Blog, Moments, Parenting

A few things on Thursday

First, happy birthday Mom. Of course I will tell her this in person. Also she will never see this because to her the only thing a computer is for is a game of Solitaire. Both of you reading this will be glad to hear that we are on another two hour delay this morning. Good thing because the snowdrifts out there are so deep that I almost had to wear real shoes when I took the dogs outside this morning instead of my usual slippers. In the end I decided on the slippers after all and boy, that dusting we received made for a treacherous venture out back. I can only imagine how difficult the four block drive to school will be. …

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Blog, Moments, Parenting

A List of Useless Information

1. What we had for dinner tonight: Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Ingredients 4 cups chicken broth 2 cups water 2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded 1 pkg quick cooking long grain and wild rice w/ seasoning packet 2 stalks celery, chopped 3 carrots, chopped 1 small onion, chopped Fresh garlic, minced (3-4 large cloves) Olive oil 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup butter 1 cup heavy cream 1 cup milk Directions: 1. Saute carrots, celery, onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. 2. In a large pot over medium heat, combine broth, water, chicken and vegetables. Bring just to boiling, then stir in rice, reserving seasoning packet. …

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bloom-1024x687Blog, Main, Moments

The 7 Blogs that Changed My Life

I remember the first time I went online and had this realization: You mean that I can do THAT with a blog?  I’ve written before about what happened when I stopped writing for readers and started listening to the voice inside. I’ve never shared my inspiration for making that change. These seven blogs made me look at blogging in an entirely new way. They gave me the understanding that blogging can be more than an account of the day-in and day-out details of life with children underfoot, and made me see a reflection of myself in their words. Blogging can be a platform for a career as a writer, a means to help others or draw attention to a cause, …

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Blog, Moments

Mama and Ma’am

The college kid at the top of the water slide called me Ma’am. Your turn M’aam. My three year old stood behind me in line, doe-eyed and dripping wet. She nudged me on with a phrase that contained the same letters, just rearranged: Your turn Mama! And this is what I’ve become: Mama and Ma’am. I’m the mother in a swim skirt who goes down the slide so she can catch her kids when they’re deposited at the bottom. I’m the baby-holder. The doctor’s wife. The bargain hunter, the drier of tears. I’m the kisser of boo boos, the enforcer of time outs. The shussher in church. The wearer of wrinkle cream. This morning I caught a glimpse of myself in the hallway mirror, …

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Blog, Moments

Good Noise

I’m hiding from pajama-clad children for a moment, searching for a little quiet in a day that by its end will have my head pounding loud.

There will be the noise of barking at the kennel when I say goodbye to my dogs. There will be the sound I make when I swallow hard from the guilt of leaving them there for a week.

There will be the the noises of the children in the backseat on our drive. The interstate noise I memorized as a child stretched out, seatbeltless, in the way back of the station wagon driving through Kentucky.

There’ll be the hum of talk radio, cries for crackers and more juice.

If there must be noise, why can’t it all sound like this?


Happy Friday. Happy weekend. See you soon.

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showimageBlog, Check yourself, Main, Moments, Parenting

Love and Dirt and Armpit Farts

It’s Sunday morning and we are making paper airplanes at the breakfast table. The scraps are everywhere, evidence of imbalances, attempts at evening the folds. As a child I never learned to make paper airplanes. I add them to the long, long list of Things I’ve Learned since having boys: How to catch a backyard frog. How to teach proper toilet-bowl aim with a floating Fruit Loop. The perfect spot for launching homemade boats in Fourpole Creek. The difference between a Bakugan and a Pokemon. That, as it turns out,  burping the alphabet actually is quite funny. That sometimes we don’t get what we wish for but we get what we need. Image Credit: Shakopeemn.gov I never saw myself as the mother of boys. …

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2081974868_dc6e492a8a_zBlog, Moments, Parenting

Into the Gray

I placed my son, screaming with colic, into his crib and walked away. I let the screen door slam behind me and found a spot on the front porch steps. If it’d been five years earlier I would’ve slipped a Marlboro Light from a paper pack and watched the smoke swirl in front of my face, white tendrils coiling, hypnotizing me. I’d given up that habit, traded it in for a runner’s high and bad tv. Inside my baby was red-faced and howling. At 2 months old I hadn’t seen his smile, hadn’t heard his laugh, didn’t know this child. He screamed. He nursed. He drew his muscles tight like a prize fighter preparing to strike. Outside there was street noise. …

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Chicken Noodle Soup for This Mama’s Soul

It’s not the most glamorous meal, but it’ll do for a rainy Friday afternoon at home. He finds me the can opener, the boy with the chipped front tooth, and I circle the blade around that familiar can. I always add a little less water than the directions tell me to because it’s better and I’m not one to ever follow a recipe. Soon enough it’s done and the soup is ladled into plastic bowls: heavy on the noodles for the little two and heavy on the chicken for the oldest. Why is it that each time I make them soup I forget this simple truth: that more of it ends up on the table and spilled down their shirts than it does in their bellies? …

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Moments, Parenting

The Silliness of Three

Make a silly face, Mama. There’s a 3 year old on my lap, face forward and cupping my cheeks with her hands. I oblige, raising my eyebrows, sticking out my tongue, and wiggling fingers behind my head like some kind of deranged rooster. It is morning, and silly faces are our ritual. Another one! She makes a silly face without even knowing it, bed-headed and sleep-encrusted, puffy eyes. She smushes my cheeks together, forcing my lips forward in a pudgy pout. This time I attempt to cross my eyes,which I’ve never been successful at- not even with a slow finger to the nose the way so many have instructed me. I end up squinting them, nose crinkly and drawn up, duck lips like the high school girls on Instagram.  …

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On Fear and MotherhoodMoments, Parenting

On Fear and Motherhood

When I was thirteen I applied to my first writer’s workshop. I sent a thick packet of papers in an envelope I’d lifted from my father’s office store room, where shelves lined the walls with boxes of binder clips and ink for stamps. I wrapped that tension tie tightly with string. I sent off the words and went about the business of ninth grade. What I’d written that day when I sat down at the brand-new Hewlett Packard was stupid, really. Embarrassing. Trite. The kind of adolescent poetry whose sugary sweetness causes cavities as the words are read. But buried in the third paragraph was a single point of truth. She’s afraid she hasn’t been in enough pain to write well.  …

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