Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Oversight?

I love it when the kids come home with their holiday artwork.

But this Thanksgiving?

Not so much.

See why by clicking HERE in today's Chicago Parent.

In case you're not able to read bad kindergarten writing, Joey is thankful for Dad, Dad, Joey, Dad, and (you guessed it) DAD.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Broken Bed

The loud crash from our second floor could have easily been mistaken for a sonic boom.  My husband's flight or fight instincts kicked in immediately.

Joe (from his recliner):  BOYS!!!!!!  What is going on up there????

Boys (in unison):  Nothing, dad.

And yet an hour later, Joe wandered upstairs to find Jack's bed cracked in half. 





Boys (in garbled unison):  We didn't know it ...uh...broke.  We were playing football.

Thankfully, my husband is a handy, handy man:

Duct tape: How the Walsh Family Will Survive the Apocalypse

I haven't the heart to tell Joe the bed's a goner.

I'll wait for a good time.

Like when he's back on his recliner.

With a beer.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Time I Was a Bad Mother (Part 42)

It took a visit with family in Texas to help me come to grips with one of my first big parenting failures.

When it came to meeting my baby's needs, I had definitely dropped the ball.

Actually, I didn't even have a ball to drop.

Full story click HERE in today's Chicago Parent.

Ultimately, I did make up for lost time.

Friday, November 15, 2013


I am a superstitious old coot.

I believe in signs, mystery, and karma.

So when I took the garbage out to the alley yesterday and looked towards the heavens, I was stunned to see this:

I thought it was the neatest thing in the world and called Joe to tell him God was saying "hi" to me. 

Joe, being far more pragmatic and cynical, responded: "If anyone was saying hi to you, it was probably an air traffic controller."

Later, on our way home from dinner that night, I bought roses from Jim the Flower Guy, a neighborhood staple who stands in the middle of 111th & Pulaski year-round selling bunches of flowers for $5.

When we got home, I doled out one flower to each child.  The boys insisted each flower get its own "rose pot," completely separate from the others.

Remind me to introduce my kids to the word "vase."  I see their SAT scores plummeting when it comes to vocabulary.

Anyway, the boys set up three flowers in the middle of our kitchen table and went to bed.  Not a single rose was touching or anywhere near another.  Yet when I walked by a few hours later, the roses were huddled together:

Vase...pint glass.  Same thing.
I'd like to think of those three roses as my children.  They may end up in their own homes with their own lives one day, but I hope they will always find comfort and love with each other.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Free Birds & Tethered Children

It's going to be a bit trickier eating Tom the Turkey this year.

Full story click HERE in today's Chicago Parent.

Monday, November 11, 2013


I am not a passive-aggressive person.  Neither is my husband.  We don't engage in the silent treatment.  Neither one of us is smart enough to be snarky.  We don't roll our eyes behind backs or act ambiguously towards people.  If we love you, you know it.  If we don't, we'll simply try to push you down a flight of stairs to avoid any confusion.

One of the natural consequences of being the type of people who wear their emotions on their sleeves is the yelling.  We are definitely not a quiet bunch.  We yell when we are happy, angry, sad, or confused.  Tack on some cuss word and you get the general idea.  Our house is definitely not a place for the faint of heart. 

Yet, it is awesome for the hard of hearing.

Then there is Jack.  Jack is not a loud child.  He hides his emotions better than most poker players.  Only a few skilled family members can discern whether he is blissfully happy or plotting your death. 

He is tricky, that kid.

So when Jack got in trouble for refusing to put away his stuff for the 5th day in a row, there were consequences.  He was not allowed to attend the Mt. Carmel vs. St. Rita state football play-off game with his father and brothers.  The decree was handed down Friday morning.

Then Jack showed up Friday afternoon with his weekly letter home:

If I had just skimmed over the letter like I usually do, I would have missed Mr. Passive-Aggressive's little dig at mom.  See it?

The letter is addressed to "Dad."

And hidden under that word is "Mom." 

But it is erased. 

And written over.

That's right.

My kid erased me.

My husband laughed his ass off at the letter and then advised Jack that he was only digging himself a deeper hole with the woman who holds the keys to his happiness in her hands.

And Joe was right.

While the rest of the family cheered on an exciting Mt. Carmel victory that night, Jack and I headed to Menards.  For three hours.  Picking out extension cords and outlet covers. 

Since then, I asked Jack what happens when he doesn't listen to mommy and erases her name.  He responded:

"We go to Menards.  For, like, EVER."

Chinese water torture doesn't hold a candle to my methods.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My Dumb-Ass Tree

I know I have written about my stupid tree before.

But I am thinking of making it a yearly tradition. You know, kind of like when Lucy pulls the football out from under Charlie Brown every year on Thanksgiving.

I truly believe in ritual.

And in a world without stupid trees.

Full story click HERE in today's Chicago Parent.

Don't let the whole "majestic" thing fool you.  My tree is daft.