From the category archives:


It seems that while I was on my little blogcation, my blog decided to break itself. Or go on strike. I firmly believe the latter is true. Since coming back, I’ve been unable to upload a single picture and a blog post without nice colorful pictures? Well, that would mean you would just have to read my drivel with no visual breaks. Today, my blog is still broken so that means one thing for you….oodles and oodles of drivel.


So since I can’t share any shiny pictures with you, I’d thought I’d share some of my parenting tips for summer so that you can feel better about yourself as a parent. You may thank me later…or take me off your reader, your call.

Summer always starts with the best of intentions. We will get the children out of bed at a reasonable hour, we will take them to do one fun thing each day, we will work to ensure numerous playdates and above all, we will encourage them to partake in the endless bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables available this time of year. It’s nice to dream. Below is a list of what summer really turns out like around here:

  • Starting off with that “endless bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables” nonsense….we think it’s a great idea.    The children, however, would beg to differ.   The only fruit they are eating is strawberries and the occasional watermellon.    Miss G will happily snarf down cantelope if I can muster up the energy to cut it into just the right size bites but will think twice after her brother pronounces it “slimy”, “gross” and “weird colored”.   (Did I mention he is color blind?    We call it orange, he calls it a shade of “blech”.)
  • Bathing is optional.    Days can go by without these children meeting a bar of soap.   We know we’ve let them ripen past their due date when they begin to smell slightly like stale corn chips.    Then it’s a one hour negotiation session to get both of them to shower and wash their hair.
  • The pool counts as a bath.   But only before they smell like corn chips so like days 1 and 2 of not bathing.    And sometimes day 3.   But never 4 because that would make me a bad mother.   Oh wait.
  • Prior to summer, the bottom half of our house is all mine.   Things must be neat and tidy, crumbs from cookies, pretzels and pop tarts are not allowed in my area.   Neither are sadly deflated juice packs.   In summer, you could forage for a week in our den and manage to gain weight eating the leftover bits left on the floors, thirst would not be a problem either because there is absolutely no reason to drink all the juice in the Capri Sun package even if your Mother reminds you that there are children who would love to have a luxury like a cold juice.
  • Regarding above guilt trip, it doesn’t work in the summer.     Or any other time of the year for that matter.
  • Bedtime?  What bedtime?    At some point, The Man and I are laying half dead on the floor covered in cookie crumbs and exhausted from trying to force them to eat when they finally migrate upstairs….which I might add is neater than downstairs now.    (Trust me, the visual is frightening….)     It’s never before 9:30 or so which leads me to my next point.
  • Early to bed and early to rise.    We’ve covered off on the early to bed thing, let’s talk about mornings.   Or mid mornings.   Or whenever they manage to migrate back down to the bottom of the house, smelling of corn chips with dragon breath and demanding a sugar coated breakfast.    Shortly after breakfast, the sugar crash sets in and mayhem erupts right outside my office door and usually when I am on the phone with a client.
  • We have a general rule in this house that after you whine eleventy million times, “I’m booooored” all fun is immediately halted.   I’m happy to announce that they reached their limit on week two of summer break and we are now officially giving the finger to any form of entertainment that might present itself.    We may revisit this again in a week or so.

So there you have it, a partial list of my summer parenting skills.   Now…go give yourself a pat on the back,  print out this post and use it as a threat against your children should they start to act up.    I promise you they will straighten up at the thought of going to live with  Aunty Stiletto for a week or so.

You’re welcome.

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Yeah, yeah…Cowboys and Gunslingers…I’ll get to part two. Yesterday I got a little surprise.

Not a bad one, and not one that was unexpected…just…just…I wasn’t quite ready for this one.

Granted, I’ve had the unmitigated pleasure of having not had to face this line of questioning for far longer than I thought I would. We had a few near misses with this delicate issue, I’ve danced around it as best I could. But finally the statement I didn’t want to hear…

“Mom, there is no Santa Claus.”


I was so not prepared for this though I should have been. Mr. C is ten years old, how we avoided this topic for so long astounds me. But there it was, and I had to deal with it. His very best friend shared this information with him yesterday. He had heard it before, but never from such a trusted source.

I remember when I started to question. I was about his age, maybe a little younger. My Santa wrapped the gifts, because in the 70′s, he had time to do that. (Why did he have more time then? Because he wasn’t on facebook or twitter all day, that’s why.) But one day, I was looking for a misplaced toy or something in my parents bedroom and I looked under the bed…only to discover the wrapping paper that Santa had used the year before, because obviously he wouldn’t have the same paper in the North Pole as the rest of the gifts under the tree in Texas, right?


So I walked out into the den with the wrapping paper in hand, lip quivering, thinking I had been lied to all these years about a jolly fat man sliding down the chimney and you know what my Mother said?

Nothing. Nothing at all. She refused to admit or deny the fact that he existed. She just sort of blinked a few times then wandered off, lit a cigarette, and poured herself a stiff drink. (Hey, it was the 70′s…) Finally after pressing her for weeks like a tiny Perry Mason and brandishing the suspect wrapping paper in her face, she came up with this gem: “To receive, you must believe.” And trust me when I tell you the look on her face let me know we were not to speak of this particular incident again.

So when my oldest child came to me yesterday and said that his best friend had told him that there was no Santa, and that in fact it was Mom and Dad who put the presents under the tree, I immediately morphed into my Mom (sans alcohol because sadly it’s not the 70′s anymore, and also, it was only 3:30) and said,

“To receive, you must believe…”

Sure, he has doubt in his mind much like I did so many years ago standing there with nothing but a roll of wrapping paper as evidence. I guess I want him to believe in the spirit of Santa still more than anything. I want him to understand that at times people will give you gifts for no other reason at all than you are a good and loving person and even sometimes when you don’t deserve them at all. These gifts can come in a varying array of fashions…compliments, hugs, friendships out of the blue or just a simple pat on the back. I’m not ready for him to let go of that thought. And I hope he never does. I never did.

Santa 1965

Of course, the good stuff on Christmas morning doesn’t exactly suck either.

You say there is no Santa?

I say I don’t believe you.

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The One Where My Son Sits In The Stanley Cup

by Mary Anne on May 31, 2009

This is The Stanley Cup.


This is Mr. C sitting in The Stanley Cup.

The year was 1999…the Dallas Stars won The Stanley Cup in one of the longest final games in history. We had a bunch of friends over and I have no idea what time it was when the game ended…all I know is I was the only one left awake in the room and I whispered “GOAL!!!!!!” at the top of my weary lungs at which point a middle of the night party ensued.

When a team wins The Stanley Cup, each player is allowed to take the cup home or on some type of adventure for a day. I’ve heard stories of roller coasters, spaghetti feasts, all sorts of things. Brian Skrudland, who played for The Stars that year, lived two doors down and he was a total family man so he was all about bringing The Cup home. Such an amazingly nice guy, and I will always remember his little daughters swimming when it was 40 degrees outside because this whole Texas winter thing where we all sat around shivering? For them, not so much. The would literally laugh at us as they ran down the street to a friends house with a little pink towel wrapped around them. Canadians, I love ‘em.

A few weeks after the big win, were minding our own business one afternoon when he unleashed his three adorable girls on the street to tell everyone The Cup had arrived. None of us knew he was going to do this so it was pretty shocking to hear his little girls yelling, “The Cup is here! The Cup is here! Party at our house!!!!” We all ran outside to watch it being unloaded from it’s crate, complete with VERY. HEAVY. SECURITY.

Needless to say, yet another party broke out with everyone posing for pictures with The Cup. In the picture above, Mr. C was six months old and I’m going to go out on a limb to say he may never have a cooler moment in all of his sporting life. We took tons of pictures, many with me in them but if you think for one moment you are going to see a picture of me six months after having that fat baby? You….are insane.

After all the posing and cheering that went on, the men gathered to drink champagne from The Cup. That’s right…The Man has actually gotten a buzz drinking from the very Cup that about half the country is in a frenzy over right now. The party didn’t wrap up until the wee hours of the morning so when I tell you I’ve lost a lot of sleep over The Stanley Cup? I’m totally not kidding.

While The Stars rarely show up for this particular party anymore, I’m still a huge hockey fan and hope all of you that are following the final games are enjoying yourselves!

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Two Headed Monster?

by Mary Anne on November 22, 2008

Or sleeping angels?

You decide.

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Grade School Math

by Mary Anne on November 17, 2008


(Miss G’s Star Student of the Week poster)

Plus this….

(Mr. C’s Thanksgiving project where we had to help a turkey escape his untimely death by adopting a disguise…in this case, the freaking Easter Bunny)

Equals this…

…a lot of this.

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