Posted on 29-01-2014 | Posted in MUFFINTOP DIY, Uncategorized

Comments: 5

Who wouldn’t love a secretary?

“I’m terribly sorry, Muffintopmommy cannot come to the phone right now, she is rather busy watching the Biebs burst into flames, whilst snacking on a Pop Tart. May I take a message and she will return your call when Real Housewives is over and the keg has runneth dry?”

Dreams are free people, come on! Come fly with me—-it’s one degree out and life is too short!

Ahem….if you can’t afford a real, live secretary…..tada! How about a flip top desk aka secretary? A year ago, the husband and I decided to paint our family room—when I looked at the gold I’d chosen years earlier, a French’s mustard nightmare is all I saw. What was I thinking? Add those walls to the list of personal and societal transgressions—pegged pants, banana clips, Caillou…need I go on??? This of course set off the inevitable chain of decorating and DIY events. One thing we despised about our family room were two indentations, roughly three feet wide, on either side of the fireplace. Total wasted, awkward space; they screamed for built ins. Finally, we decided to get a quote. And….nooooo. Moneymoneymoneymoneeeeee! Thanks for playing…..If only these pesky kids didn’t need to eat all the time.

Type B, Plan B. Craigslist ho’ing. I love the lines of the old secretary desks, and just like the sideboards, they are as sturdy and practical as they are beautiful. Dood! More drawers to hide stuff in style—I’m all in. I wanted one with a serpentine aka curvy front for added interest, and I held out until I found the right deal. Scored one for $75, solid cherry, Dovetail drawers, a little banged up but overall a solid piece. Due to the unfortunate 6 year old dumping my phone in the toilette incident of 2013, I do not have any before or during pics (but I do have eyewitnesses who saw me painting in the driveway!). This is a different one currently for sale on the CL, and is roughly what it looked like prior:

Behold...a facsimile!

Behold…a facsimile!


Cue up Stevie Wonder..."Isn't she loveeeely...."

Cue up Stevie Wonder…”Isn’t she loveeeely….”

Why are my pictures sidewards again???????? *puts down Pop Tart to investigate…..

Here you can see the indentation of which I speak and see how great the secretary fits in!

Here you can see the indentation of which I speak and see how great the secretary fits in!

*finishes Pop Tart….yeah, I still don’t know….*&^% Too bad I don’t have a secretary to ask! Damn!

Anyway, this is how the DIY went down….I painted the drawers and the outside of the piece in Annie Sloan chalk paint in old white, distressed it lightly, and added a coat of clear wax and a coat of dark wax, just like the demilune shaped sideboard in my last post. The biggest benefit to using Annie Sloan paint is that you don’t have to prime first. However, in this instance, because it was a reddish toned wood to start, I found with the old white it needed one more coat than usual—I did experience some reddish bleed through. Something to keep in mind if you’re doing a similar project.

Also, Annie Sloan paint dries to a flat finish, and that’s why you add the wax step after painting—the wax protects the piece, but it also adds a lovely silky feeling to the finish. As for distressing, that’s totally a personal preference. Some hate it, some love it. I like it but try to limit it to places on the piece that might have naturally worn away over time. On this piece I chose to keep the hardware because it’s classic and I really can’t imagine any other hardware on it. I painted right over the hardware and distressed that in places as well, and I do like how it turned out. You could always unscrew the hardware and spray paint it if you wanted a different look for a minimal price, as I did with the demilune.

Here is the finish up close...

Here is the finish up close…

I kept the inside of the secretary in the cherry finish because it was in decent shape and it cleaned up well with a coat of Restor-A-Finish. It could probably use another coat as it’s been several months. And check out the cool compartments inside the flip top! You invest in a piece like this and it can truly perform so many functions—it could be used as a writing desk, a lovely addition to a dining room to store dishes, or even a bedroom piece. If you had an old school bathroom, you could use it to store linens. I have a feeling my little secretary friend will serve me well for years, even if we wind up moving from the house with the awkward indentations some day!

Annnd....we're sidewards again. Have you been drinking?

Annnd….we’re sidewards again. Have you been drinking?

AGGH! For now, my little workhorse can house stuff like this…

It was no Trouble to finish this....I'm not Sorry I bought it...(I'll regret this like the French's mustard paint, won't I? Badum dum...)

It was no Trouble to finish this….I’m not Sorry I bought it…(I’ll regret this like the French’s mustard paint, won’t I? Badum dum…)


I should really hide some top secret shiz in here….

I'm not gonna lie..I'm digging the two tone....

I’m not gonna lie..I’m digging the two tone….

As you can see, it is not perfect. And that’s okay— just like C is for cookie, it’s good enough for me! I’ve already found Lego’s and Beyblades bouncing around in there, so until the Queen of England comes to stay, we are good! (And even then? Pfft. What has she done for me lately?!!)

So that’s it—–if I can do it? You can too. Any questions before I go get my Bravo TV on?????

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Posted on 22-01-2014 | Posted in MUFFINTOP DIY, Uncategorized

Comments: 22

I know, it’s been a while.

Anyone still out there?


I couldn’t stay away. I mean, I could. I did. I even forgot how to get on this thing. Dude, seriously. I did. But, I’ve been doing a whizness business of DIY’ing over the past year and it seems like I can’t stop. So? I thought I’d share some of my projects and hope they can inspire some of you, while still reserving the right to rant about nothingness if the mood strikes. This is not Martha Stewart’s blog. This? This is more like her wicked bourgeois step cousin once removed who drinks beer out of a can, buys store bought Valentine’s in the box, and produce in a bag because she’s too lazy to wash her own damn greens always sometimes. Hey ecoli, give me a shout out if that triple wash promise on the bag ain’t true, would ya?

See, it all started because I got really bitter that my three sons would bust everything nice I had. Literally. But I still wanted my house to look cute, and so, a type B DIYer was born. Once I found Craigslist and realized I could buy stuff, not get murdered (yes!), and make the stuff actually look halfway decent for short dough, I was all in.

This is the DIY blog for Type B, laid back lazy, and/or economically challenged mamas who choose to feed and clothe their offspring rather than shop at the store we all have lovehatelovehate relations with, Lottery Barn. Btw, if you are breaking out in hives right now and your OCD is kicking, get off my lawn now–you will not survive my ‘eyeballing it’, ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’, and ‘meh, no one’s gonna look THAT close’, attitudes. You will want to smother me in my sleep and really, that will help no one. So you ready to get this party started? Sing it!

From shizz to shine, all on a dime.

I gots to save mah money for cute shoes and wine.

So let me not briefly review some of my projects—some of which I shared with you in more detail last year when I didn’t know if this was just a phase like exercising and avoiding alcohol on weekdays! (Also, I have some bad news–many of my pics are a. iPhone quality –let’s review, type B, and who would trust me with a good camera? and b. many were lost due to a tragic incident where 6 year old might have dropped my old phone in the toilette….and now you know why I shop on Craigslist!)

Anywho! Let’s do the best we can with what we have! Today we’re gonna talk sideboards. Let me say, my love affair with sideboards came to fruition when it dawned on me that they not only make a lovely statement in a room and add lighting, HELLO, they are a place to hide crap when your OCD, Type A friends are coming over and you fear they will sign you up for Hoarders. Score!

Sideboard #1, this is my dining room and this is where all the magic started. I got it for $25. No, seriously. Here’s the original post and here are some pics:



This was her before:




Sideboard #2:

Ok, this one still bothers me because I bought it from a lovely newlywed couple for only $60 and it came with a mirror that I now have hanging in my dining room above sideboard #1. (Pics to follow!) I painted it a champagne color. I feel like I stole it but they just weren’t into it. Here’s the before–look at those lines! Look at those legs!




And…….after. She was sort of banged up on the top, so I used some stuff called Restor-A-Finish because I had no clue how to strip something and restain it but wanted a two tone look. Enter the lazy girl solution! You wipe the stuff on and boom. For real. And no, I am not getting anything to pimp Restor-A-Finish since this is my FIRST official DIY post of 2014 AD! (But feel free to call me, sponsors. Mama needs new Spanx!) It worked great and has held up. The bottom got two coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint in old white with clear wax and dark wax (wax on, wax off!) and I spray painted the hardware in oil rubbed bronze. Dude. So easy. Be not afraid.



Here is a closeup of the hardware which I just think is so pretty, and the sideboard in action today, a year later. (Of course I’m not opening those drawers–but yes, they are dovetailed and yes, they do have crap in them!) And yes, I know Christmas was a month ago but how can I take that fabulous deer wreath down so soon????

photo 2

Yeah, I have no idea why this came out sidewards but I’m not going to waste valuable TMZ time to fix it. Just turn your head to the left. Annnnnd, now your cardio is done for the day. You’re welcome!

They do not make hardware like this today!

They do not make hardware like this today!

So just proving that decorating can evolve and it’s fun (and free!) to move stuff around your house, please see the mirror from this sideboard over the green one, post spray paint. I updated it for the very LONG holiday season with an ornament wreath.

Dude, you can't get a mirror at Homegoods for $60, never mind WITH a sideboard. Crazy, right? Btw, who is PUNKING me with these sideways pics? Come on!

Dude, you can’t get a mirror at Homegoods for $60, never mind WITH a sideboard. Crazy, right? Btw, who is PUNKING me with these sideways pics? Come on!


Once again, a very Merry sideways Christmas to you and yours!

Once again, a very Merry sideways Christmas to you and yours!

Finally! Sideboard #3. My MIL had this for years and gave it to us last year and we shoved it in our garage and gasp! used it for storage. It was banged up, mostly I’m afraid after being in our garage for a year. I regret there are no before pics but I sanded the top down with a palm sander, primed it, and it got two coats of semi-gloss black–it took me all of a few hours out of my day.




I do have a pic of the original color because I didn’t paint the inside of the piece. I’ll get to that soon never! Really, why would I bother? Are you gonna come to my house and open my drawers? Good luck to you if you do!

photo 2-3


Seriously? How would I find time to live the vida loca with my new koozie mitten if I was busy painting the insides of things????


So the deets….The acrylic glass knobs are from Home Depot and I bought the fork and spoon hardware on Amazon because I thought it would be fun for the kitchen. The lamp I moved from a hall table upstairs, the wine cork jar was on the cream sideboard and I still want to move that to a smaller jar, the cookbooks I had on the other sideboard, the owl was in another part of my kitchen, and the vintage scale I scored at a local shop for only $20! Oh and the framed print of wine country above is from a pre-kids trip from another lifetime!!!! So for very short money–about $30, I got a whole new look for this part of my kitchen! My MIL came over the other day, exclaimed she loved it, and wanted to know where I got it. Not kidding. So there, that makes this blog VALID! You can totally change the look of something with a little elbow grease and some imagination–it might even be lurking in your basement or garage and cost zeros dineros! (You don’t even need imagination! Go on Pinterest and steal other people’s ideas, hello. It’s not even a sin you need to confess to your local padre–that’s the whole point of it!)

Close up of the hardware or, the bling that makes this piece SING!

And so, if you look at my paint job closely, you'll see some crackling. I totally meant to do that! It's possible that's the result of hastily painting in a 15 degree garage--I have no idea!

And so, if you look at my paint job closely, you’ll see some crackling. I totally meant to do that! It’s possible that’s the result of hastily painting in a 15 degree garage–I have no idea!

So I hope this was fun and you feel inspired to go DIY something up or have a beer in your mitten–whatever rocks your world? Wanna come back next time? I hope you do!






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Posted on 22-08-2013 | Posted in Awesomeness, Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, Mom-ness, Uncategorized

Comments: 9

School is starting next week and I’m…..well, might be, not totally sad? Last year, I wrote this…I was emotional about middle starting kindergarten. But, last week, I’ll say, the full moon was coming and that didn’t help. I suddenly felt religious! I changed a well known prayer! (The Vatican hasn’t called. I guess they’re just not into new stuff? Frankly, I don’t think it would kill them to mix it up but WHO am I?)

God, grant me the serenity to accept that school doesn’t start til the 27th,
The courage to change happy hour if need be, 
And the wisdom to know that while I love my boys with every fiber of my being, even prisoners get an hour of free time, yo. 



Summer started and I was all, “Whee!!! We’re going to the beach! We’re gonna enjoy lazy days! We’re gonna sit and sip lemonade and look at stars and read awesome books!”

And then little people burped. And farted. And literally waved their tushes in my face and inquired, “DO I HAVE POOP IN MY BUTT?”

And so now, I can’t stand the sound of my own voice.

I’m sweating.

And kind of tired.

Flush the toilet!

Wash your hands! 

Put on your bike helmet!

Who crunched Cheez-It’s all over the couch?
Stop leaving your undies under the bathroom vanity!

Don’t use your shirt as a napkin!

Keep your hands to yourself!


The questions! The thousands of questions, mostly from one of them. Not just questions for me, questions for randoms. On vacation, he asks the 75 year old woman next door, “So, do you rent or own?”

Who asks people that? We don’t!

We get new neighbors at home, and he goes for it….

Man child: “So, where do you and your husband work?”

New Neighb: “We both work at Fidelity.”

Man child: “So…is that like a restaurant or a store? What is it?”

ME, nervous laughter: “It’s sort of like a bank, where your tiny college fund is!”

Which you will clearly not need, because you have no boundaries, and will probably start selling time shares in the 5th grade! Which is good, because then I will have lost my ever loving mind, and will likely need round the clock care. Don’t skimp now! Remember who wiped your arse 5,439 times! 

This one won’t sit still. The energy is boundless. But he is sunshine and light—the sweetest–and the most loyal. When the doctor asks him this summer, “Have you been reading every day?”, he looks back at me, looks at her, and says, “Possibly?” because he’s trying to stick up for me because knows we should be, yet despite our grand plans, sometimes we shower off the dirt, and plunk ourselves in front of a show instead. We do. We did. I admit it. (Stop. We have time shares to fall back on. He’ll be fiiiine. He could have at least showed her how he knew all the lyrics to “Red Solo Cup”–he’s no dope!)

Someone picks on this kid’s brother, he is first in line to stick up for him. Look out.

But if something doesn’t go his way, his temper flares. He’s the first to pitch a fit. To challenge me. And wind me up. And ask me why, why, why, why, a thousand whys. I wonder if he has ADD? So I Google it. And then wonder if  I am just that impatient as I struggle to fill the up the days, know all the answers, refill all the drinks while the two others jump from family room chairs, yelling, “Cannonball!” and ask questions like, “Who is your favorite American?”, “How many miles away is the moon?”, “Why would a child die?”, “Is Jesus skinny because all the blood runned out of him when he was nailed to that board?” I fear I just don’t have all the answers–I say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing. (My Jesus answer was good though—I said I thought he was skinny because there were no McDonald’s and no cars then—people ate right and walked everywhere! Again, Vatican, call me!)

Pickets are missing from my fence. Curtains are askew. Nothing stays clean. Things are sticky, and every morning is ground hog day as I pick up the assortment of socks and shoes and Beyblades around the house and howl after I step on an errant Lego barefoot. Pinterest is a distant memory. How would I ever make cupcakes that look like minions and create my own art when I can hardly keep my floors and my kids clean?

And when we have a playdate over–brother’s friend from school and his mom, whom I don’t know well, this kid whips out a Bud Light 40 from the fridge (*My friend gave me 4, 40′s for my birthday. I know, genius!) , swings the bottle with gusto and shouts, “This is mah mom’s drink!”

At 11 AM.

And yet, when I smash my pinkie toe on a clunky basketball sneaker left astray in the middle of the kitchen floor tonight, the one who chose to stay behind to hang with mama to look at family photos while daddy took the other two on an errand, rushes to help. It’s throbbing and I’m fighting back letting loose a litany of choice words.

“Would you like some ice? I can wrap it in a towel?”

“Why don’t you sit down?”

He pushes the ottoman toward the sofa, puts a pillow on the ottoman.

“Here, put your foot up.”

He leaves the room, comes back with a water and a pack of frozen corn for my toe.

And I realize that there will be plenty of time for reading–a lifetime. He has so much to learn, and he will learn, but being loyal and loving and compassionate, he already has in spades.

We’re ready for school. We’re ready. Amen.




Posted on 26-07-2013 | Posted in Awesomeness, Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, got what I ne-ed, Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Uncategorized

Comments: 11


Forty years ago, Bad, Bad Leroy Brown was at the top of the charts, Archie Bunker curmudgeoned his way into our living rooms on All In The Family, the MRI was invented, Billie Jean King kicked some tennis arse, and the Oakland A’s were World Series Champs. And in Boston, a little squawker was born. The thing about being born in 1973 to parents who were 40 and 45, who already had kids who were 13, 12, and 7, is that after a while the writing’s on the wall. Irish + Catholic + ohgawdmygawd. They must have hit one of the DiGirolamo’s infamous parties and, to quote Teresa from Real Housewives of New Jersey, “Brown chicka brown chow.” Too many Schlitzes? Too many VO and waters? No Catholic birth control. BOOM.


Well, all I can say is, thank God we weren’t Presbyterian. *waves hello *no offense God faring Presbyterians and all other birth control loving denominations

My family was so loving about it though. While one sister told me my parents bought me on the corner for a dime and got change, the other told me when my mom found out she was preggers she banged some pots and pans together. When the doctor called our house to share the great news a new sister was born, the third chick to make my brother wait for the bathroom, bro reportedly went behind the couch and cried. Pussy. He would be sorry when I turned out to be full of awesome. Not really. When the doctor called back, he refused to take his call. My how times have changed!

But hey, NO hard feelings! This all explains a lot, doesn’t it?

My parents were kind enough to soften the sibling barbs and say I was a”happy accident” and that I “kept them young”.

Um hmm.


1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, and……

Lights! (But not too bright, my wrinkles will show!) Camera! (Um, not too close, and let me tilt my face to hide my three chins!) Action! (Brown chicka brown chow! Shut it. I’m 99.9% sure I will not repeat history as a card carrying cafeteria Catholic heath-en!)…….


Now that it’s spelled out, it seems like a lot. 28 more than the Electric Company song. 40 years on fast forward……Walking, talking, falling of my biking, awkward buck teething, first dating, kissing, missing, soaring, oversleeping, dancing, boozing, schmoozing, marrying, birthing, parenting, writing, flighting. That was FLIGHTING, not FIGHTING. Who do you think I AM?

40. It’s just a number, right?

40% off is a lot.

$40 dollars. Not a lot.

40 lbs. Not a lot. Unless you lose 40 lbs. Then it’s a lot.

40 boyfriends, husbands, hook ups, mystery illnesses? Yup. A lot.

40 miles. Not a lot. Unless you’re running. Or swimming. Or spelunkswimhikingbikingtriahaloning. Then it’s a lot.

I know I should probably look like this right now:



But seriously. 40 is the new, what, 11? It’s all good. I’m happy. I’m healthy. (The holes in my liver will close up after summer, c’mon!) I have a wonderful family and much to be grateful for. A few months ago, I came across this quote, “Growing old is a privilege that is denied to many.”
It is. And I well know it.

So on my 40th, and for the next hopefully 40 or 80 years (you never know—this kid brought to you by Schlitz and VO—here’s hopin’!), I’m going to heed a line from my favorite writer Erma Bombecks’, “If I Had My Life To Live Over”, “I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa was faded.”

WORD. Let’s do it everyone, whether you’re 30 or 40 or 50 or 99.

We’ve earned it. With every bad breakup, boss, unfortunate hair style, trauma, scar, and loss. Every hope, dream, goal achieved. We’ve earned the right. To know who we are, who our friends are, who will gain the privilege to grow old with us and pop a squat on our faded sofas.

So bring it. 40 more years or bust. We meet here. At dawn, we ride!






Posted on 05-07-2013 | Posted in Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage

Comments: 5

I KNOW! This is a skitzo post. First, the gas card winnah!!! Pamela T! Please email me at with your full name and address so I can have Stop and Shop mail your $FITTY dollah gift card. WOOP! Thanks to all for entering!

And now, this.



So you know how when you have small urchin childs and you are prone to shop at 98 miles per hour throwing this and that into the cart? So I grabbed this cute green Ralph polo shirt at Che Mar-shalls. Extra grande. VIVA LA MUFFINTOP! Ahem. I get it home and throw it on and I look like Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc! Maybe a green apple. Or a pea on GMO steroids.

What the schluck, Ralph Lauren?

I grab the shirt, hold it up, see that it indeed says XL, EXTRA GRANDE, and not extra fricking flash your muffintop small. And then I see, under the XL, hidden from the eyes of hasty shoppers, “SLIM FIT”.

Slim fit?

Slim fit.

Um, Ralph? If I’m buying an extra grande shirt, there ain’t nothing slim about me. What in preppy hell is your ever loving point? Extra Grande +Slim Fit = Oxymoron. GET A WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY, RALPHIE!

The hell, Ralph. I’m breaking up with you. Obviously, you only want slim chubsters to wear your shitz. That’s what I get for cheating’ on mah Merona. They have REAL xl’s. Hell, they even have XXL! EXTRA EXTRA GRANDE!

Ralph. You had your chance. When I’m rich and famous some day never, I shall not be rocking your duds on Jimmy Fallon. Or at the playground. Whatevs.

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Posted on 01-07-2013 | Posted in Awesomeness, Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Retail Therapy

Comments: 12

"I'M JUST TRYING TO TREAT MY FAMILY TO A LITTLE FUN!" --photo courtesy of photobucket


Are you filling up the family truckster and hitting the open road this summer? (Take me with youuuuuuuuuu!) Stop and Shop is here to help put the swagga back into your wagon. They have graciously offered to give a $50 gas gift card to one lucky Muffintopmommy reader and one Muffintop (moi!).

You know you’re a solid grown up when receiving a $50 gas gift card makes you go BOOM like Santa’s on your roof! But seriously, I’ve been saving on my gas for years at the Stop and Shop right in my town. Never mind the rewards you can rack up, their everyday gas prices are typically the best around. Getting gas there is a no brainer. (And with the scratch I save on gas, I don’t feel one bit guilty dropping into Stop and Shop for some vino!)

With Stop and Shop gas rewards, it’s easy keep more money in your pocket for Hamburger Helper, rocking plaid pants, and other miscellaneous funsies (see above–ahem) —and there are many ways to save. First, while you’re doing your grocery shopping. Stop and Shop has tons of every day items throughout the store that are marked “Gas Rewards”. You can plan ahead by seeing the participating items in the sale flyer each week. Baby items, flowers (they have a kick arse floral department!) and other household items are included in addition to groceries–woot!

Here’s how it works:

  • Save 10¢ per gallon for every 100 points you earn.
  • You earn 1 point for every dollar you spend with your Stop & Shop card.
Points Savings
100 10¢/gallon
200 20¢/gallon
300 30¢/gallon
…up to $2.20/gallon!

Up to $2.20 a gallon! That is crazycakes!

Not sure where your nearest Stop and Shop is located? Find one near you by visiting their website.

To enter to win the gift card, please leave your first name and last initial and tell me if you’ve ever saved on gas at Stop and Shop and what fun thing you might do with your savings. Please enter by Friday, July 4th at 11:59 EST. Winner will be announced on mah blog on July 5th!

Stop and Shop is giving me a $50 gift card to facilitate this review/offer. All thoughts and opinions are my own. As usual. Like it or not. :)

Cheers to summah!!!!!!!!!!


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Posted on 26-06-2013 | Posted in Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Uncategorized

Comments: 6

Dear Future Therapist Of My Darling Boys,

First, I want you to know, my intentions were good. Like many who came before me, once upon a time I was an awesome parent. Perfect even.

Before I had kids. And that small yet glorious window where my visit with them was supervised by licensed professionals. The 48 hours after childbirth rule–I would so kick ass at mothering if I had a whole staff. Dugh. Rich people can suck it. (I’m looking at you Kardashians!)

We’re one week into summer vacation. The first morning, the little (what’s the word I’m looking for?) shitz beat me downstairs. Forgive me for not leaping out of bed, but in my advanced age you and I both know that could cause dizziness.

I know, I know. I shouldn’t have stayed up late watching Andy Cohen. (Is Andy Cohen gonna come watch my boys when they rise with the roosters? Um, no. Mazel that Andy–thanks for nuthin’! You too, Mama Manzo!) Whatever. Five minutes. To shake off the cobwebs. And not fall on my bed head. That’s all I wanted!

I came down, intending to make my children a delicious and nutritious hearty breakfast (Cheerios), and there was spilled milk all over the counter and the floor, 4 year old was sitting at the counter wolfing a huge bag of Cool Ranch Doritos that he somehow managed to split in two down the middle. (By the way, I do not know who brought that processed crap pms snack into our house! Naturally we only eat organic, whole grain, flax seed encrustedfortifiedenhancedbedazzled with vitamins and minerals and healthyfullness snacks here!) Six year old sat nearby in a mound of brownie crumbs, while 8 year old wagged his finger, “I had NOTHING to do with this!”

Fast forward an hour later to the dental check ups. I try to look Danica Patrick interested in the Car and Driver magazine after four year old locks himself in the bathroom, conveniently adjacent to the waiting room, and hollers, “Mom! I have to POOOOOOH!” Of course you do. Because Cool Ranch Doritos are the breakfast of champions. Do I know you? I’m just here to get my Car and Driver fix on.

While one reads quietly (thank you Je-sus!) the remaining waiting room occupant who belongs to moi opens and closes the Keurig coffee drawer 43 times, tries out the step lever trash can a half dozen times, asks if the girls’ hat hanging on the coat rack belongs to any number of girls we know, opens an end table and surmises that’s the secret lost and found, moves a chair back and forth, tests out the antibacterial soap three times, asks for a toothbrush, tries to break into the bathroom to converse with Sir Poops A Lot, closes the door to the waiting room, rifles through the toys as a very last resort, but then inexplicably acts angelic during the exam.

While the one who read quietly fidgets and freaks when he gets his fluoride treatment.

Huh? But I miss most of that because after Sir Poops A Lot finishes his biz, and it’s obvious the 12 year old in the waiting room isn’t going to claim him (his parents should really teach him to make eye contact with his elders—rude!) , he waddles to the door and whips it open—pants on the ground! pants on the ground! —and hollers, “DONE POOOPING!” aka come wipe my arse, woman.

So was I wrong to ask the receptionist and hygienist when we left if it was happy hour yet? (It was 11 AM. So sadly, no. I mean, they didn’t expressly say NO, because they aren’t my legal guardians, but I’m fairly certain they might have 911 on speed dial in case of dental emergencies and what not so I gave the hearty yet polite laugh to signal I was mostly kidding.)

I have been dutifully saving for my kids’ college education. Their 529′s are bursting with enough money for used books and dollar drafts. But I have to wonder if I should be setting a little sumpin’ sumpin’ aside for their therapy?

I mean, was I wrong to happily inform my kids there was 61 days left of summer break….and counting?

Was I wrong when I barked at them yesterday in the 97 degree 3 h’s (heat, humidity, haze) after busting around my backyard like a sweathog setting up our klassy blow up water slide, patching holes, hammering stakes, and putting together lawn games for a playdate when I asked them to simply turn the hose on and they answered, one after the other, um, I don’t really wanna.


I’m on an online moms group and I happen to know other kids their age make their beds, sweep the floor, set the table, and run Fortune 500 companies.

The extent of my kids’ chores that they fulfill without argument is running down to the basement to get me a beer out of the fridge. I even pour it into my own mug! Shouldn’t THEY be doing that? Oh, I told those moms that, too.

They thought I was kidding.

Those kids know I like the slim can and they better not come back with the Silver Bullets—I don’t even care if the mountains are blue or not. No thanks. A girl has her preferences, am I right?


I had dreams. I had visions. My parents raised me with manners. They did! So I planned a treat today on a rainy day–we met daddy for lunch. YAAAAY. So as I sat at the finest kids eat free restaurant with my handsome brood assembled, napkin on my lap, elbows off the table, mouth closed as I chomped complimentary popcorn, we colored with the unwashable crayons (that damn well better not have been smuggled into my home!). We played tic tac toe, and I let 6 year old win one game to bolster his confidence but beat him in the second match because dude, no one likes a 6 year old bragger. All of a sudden, spontaneously, 6 year old spun the hanging light that teetered over our table while the mini Jonas brothers burst into song.

“I’m naked and I know it!”




Thankfully, they weren’t naked. Bonus! And we were in the corner. (They know us! And remember us! Isn’t great customer service the best?!)

Should I have interjected and said, “Actually, the song goes, ‘I’m sexaaay and I know it.’”

I didn’t. Because I’m really working on being positive. Positive reinforcement! Because someone told me when you make one negative remark toward a kid, you need to make eleventycajillion positive ones to make up for it.

So I just smiled and clapped. “Great singing boys, great singing! I love you MORE than these french fries which, undoubtedly, were fried in unsaturated oil for your good health and mine!”

And then I sipped my Diet Coke. And looked at my watch.

59 days left of summer vaca. But only 4 1/2 hours til happy hour.



That Mom



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