You can’t always blame it on the Chia Seeds

I sweep the floor, and wipe the floor, and wash the floor a lot. It’s important for you to know this so you can really appreciate the breakdown I almost had today.

I had my 1 year old nephew over yesterday, plus the 3 and 6 and 15 year old at home with me. Each kid exponentially increasing the number of times I cleaned the kitchen floor.

messy little buggers…



My nightmare began when I brought the kids upstairs after playing in the basement yesterday. The 15 year old had just left for his dads house, it was just me and the three littles.

Walking into the kitchen, I notice….dirt…..something…..on the floor. First it’s just a few specks that catch my eye, but as I look, more and more becomes visible. It’s near the side door….and the kitchen table. Little black hard specks. Did Jake go outside and track this in before he left?!  But it’s almost too hard…. I looked at the houseplants suspiciously….did someone knock one over??

I sweep. Holy hell, it’s all over the floor!! Even the hallway?! What…… I swear, I just cleaned this floor!

I blamed it on a Kashi bar with chia seeds. The one year old was carrying it around, still in the wrapper, but I figured there must have been a hole or tear, hence these little black “seeds” all over.

I vacuumed… it felt like tiny chia shrapnel shooting into my ankles…a PILE on the carpet, then Sammy pointed out a trail of them on the couch. I spent a lot of time vacuuming. Sweeping. Wiping up. Eventually, the kids went to bed, chia seed bar went in the trash, and I told the husband about it when he got home. Funny. ha ha ha.

This morning. The three little ones are all with me still. WHAT is this stuff I’m stepping on….feels like….more chia seeds?! But how???

More vacuuming… how did I miss so many on the rug? More sweeping….HOW are they BACK?? Now I’m starting to panic. Are these REALLY chia seeds? There is something a little too hard… an almost metallic glint to some of them…. and chia seeds don’t seem so aggressive usually……

                              They LOOK innocent…….

Mind races…. some sort of insect? Pieces of insect? How are they being left on my floor practically under my nose!!? Cicada’s?? I feel like I’m missing something…. maybe I need to Google “suspicious small black specks showing up on my floor whenever I turn my back”…  I realize I just wanted it to be the chia seeds… that stupid Kashi bar was never opened, I checked….

Back and forth. Back and forth. Every time I look, everywhere I look, there are more.

At this point I’m talking to myself, a little panicked. What is going on? Am I crazy? Looking for the video camera…. is this a joke? Aliens? Am I in hell??  Because I can’t stop cleaning, EVER, if I can’t stop these things from appearing after I just cleaned them up!

This is hilarious….

And then I notice Sammy. Sitting at the kitchen table, eating fake Dorito’s, with a pile of those demonic black specks under his chair. Why are they black and not orange!?  I’m convinced this is the twilight zone. This is my eternity….I just cleaned under that chair!! I creep closer, waiting for some horror to make itself known.

And I notice something.

He’s wearing ankle weights.

And one has a leak. This kid has been spilling that gritty black filler since yesterday, All. Over. My. House.


He looks startled….then sheepish as I remove them from his ankles, black evil specks spilling out as I do it.

Now clearly, these are not chia seeds…..but I had to find a way to rationalize what was happening…… so, sorry chia seeds, my bad.




Embarrassing moments with my kids

We all have those moments you can’t prep the kids for, until they happen… THEN you can say “And remember not to tell Uncle Frank that his breath stinks”, or “remember not to poke the big pimples on Sally’s face”…. things you wouldn’t think to coach them about until it’s already been too late once….

So this week I’ve had a few moments like that.

First moment…. there is a mom on Sammy’s T-ball team. We’ve seen her several times in the last few days, and every time I see her she wears a purple T shirt. I noticed it as I pulled up to the game last week, I see her sitting there, in a purple shirt. I notice this to myself, in my head… and I hear Sammy in the back seat “Why does Billy’s mom always wear a purple shirt?”

After silently congratulating him for being so aware, I offer an explanation. “Probably she has a lot of purple shirts…..that seem to look exactly the same…..and just wears a lot of purple shirts. Because she likes purple.” Both kids seemed to understand. I even told Sammy, “but don’t say anything about her purple shirt because it might make her feel bad if you think she wears purple too much.”

So JENNA walks up to her…. “Why are you wearing a purple shirt?”

As I die over to the side…. the poor lady calmly answers that it was there, clean, so she just wore it. And Jenna looks very speculative…. “I have ONE purple shirt”. Then goes to play. And I am left….shaking my head and kind of laughing… don’t know what THAT was all about….kids these days….he he he……

Most recently, it was Sammy’s turn to embarrass me. We are driving with a woman who is about 20 years older than me….. she’s very skinny, definitely skinnier than me.

For some reason, the kids start to debate who is bigger, me or this lady. Sammy says I’m bigger, Jenna says the lady is bigger. I try to say they are both right. “Well, she’s big because she’s a grown up, but she’s a small grown up.”

And Sammy turns to Jenna and feels the need to educate her, “I’ve noticed that when people get old, they get smaller….for some reason…..”


accidental profanity

Took the kids to the playground the other day, it was packed.

As I follow the 3 year old, she continues her nonstop commentary about anything and everything, which I can usually just half-listen to…. but sometimes certain words will trigger my full and panicked attention.

“Mom! I SAID, can I play with that dick thing?”


“That DICK thing…. can I play with it??”

I tried to do many things simultaneously…  ask her WHAT is she trying to say, while telling her NOT to say that word, and frantically looking around at all of the innocent children playing with parents nearby, hoping my daughter hasn’t corrupted anyone, or prompted a call to child services.

I had no idea what she was talking about, only sure about the fact that she was making a grave mispronunciation….

Event eventually forgotten, until yesterday. Sammy has this kit with fake dinosaur bones buried in this egg shaped concrete stuff, and you have to use the chisel and other tools to dig them out. DIG them out.

“Hey mommy, That’s the thing….. can I play with that digging thing??”

It all made sense. YES… you can play with that. The digging thing. Absolutely.

And she continues, with her 3 year old know it all smile…..

“See mom, I didn’t say Dick”.

“Jenna…. you just did say it… please, that’s not a nice word…. don’t say it again.”

“Ok…but I was just telling you that I won’t say Dick anymore….”

And then, the 6 year old comes in, as he is innocently rhyming random words….

As I walk out of the room I realize he caught the end of our conversation as I hear his sing song words now include:


Startling him from his unknown use of offensive language. The 19 year old can’t stop laughing. Sammy looks confused. And I just give up.


Cankles, according to, are calves that become feet-without taking an ankle break.

This word has a negative connotation, right?  Imagine my distress when I see my little 16 month old nephew toddle across the kitchen today, supported by his own little set of cankles….


although these images from illustrate a movement to not only accept the cankle in our  young ones, but to support and embrace it….. the word cankle still sounds kind of harsh and judgy.

It doesn’t inspire the mental image we want to take away when thinking of our sweet, dimply, jolly little guy. You may call him Rubenesque…but you may never call him fat.

We tossed around some variations of the word…. baby + cankles = bankles????  No…….

Then the sister came up with a brilliant compromise to describe the transient phenomenon of baby cankles…


Doesn’t it sound adorable and kind of delicious?

One day, when the nephew is a strapping young man, complete with toned calves and visible ankles, we will remind him of his sweet little baby cupcankles. Until then, we will enjoy them 🙂

I’m a sucker

Sometimes the three year old gets in trouble. Hard to believe, I know.

Recently, I’m lecturing her on, say, the best way to clean the windows. (Hint, NOT with her tongue…) She interrupts me, and says “But do you still love me?” In a completely pitiful and forlorn voice.

And so it began. She asks if I love her. I tell her of course I love her. I never STOP loving her. We do this several times a day sometimes.

And somehow it’s developed into…. “Jenna! stop *insert behavior*!  She looks over at me, and says “but mom, I still love you!” And continues what she was doing. Sometimes she actually puts her hand on my cheek, and turns my face towards her. Then she tells me, very seriously, “I still love you…. I’ll NEVER stop loving you!” And then does what she wants…

What she means is, OK, you caught me, but look….I’m saying the right words, so I get a free pass, right?? Right???

Um… yep. Pretty much.

free spirit ?? Yea, that’s it….

Babysitter secrets

I was having a conversation with my sister the other day, about a mutual friend who seems to have such conflicted feelings toward her babysitter.

Seems like the sitter is very nice, happy, friendly, responsible, and loving toward her child. He loves going over there. He is treated like family. Yet….. the friend was reluctant to leave him with her. Found fault with the way she did things, and seemed very suspicious of her.

My sister doesn’t understand how in the world this is possible. Especially since the babysitter is also a close friend of hers…and she can vouch that the girl is in fact NOT torturing or neglecting this child during the time she is watching him.

I decided to fill her in on the whole mom/babysitter relationship. At least how it sometimes goes.

For example, if you look on any babysitting site, there are ads from parents looking for that perfect person to watch their baby. But what they are asking for and what they really want aren’t always the same. In these cases, you need to read between the lines and understand that we don’t REALLY want you to love our kids. Maybe just a little, but not enough to make them love you BACK. Because then you’re competition. And that makes us hate you.

This might be a more honest look into the heart of a mom who has to work, and needs a sitter, but also hates the idea of needing a sitter, and worries about being replaced emotionally.

“In search of a dependable, efficient, no-nonsense sitter for my kids. Please be very kind to them, but also sometimes indifferent so they don’t start to love you, but instead always remember to love me more. No more than 3 hugs per day, which must be initiated by the child and tolerated by you. Absolutely no cute nicknames for them. Please do make them healthy and yummy lunches, but don’t cut the sandwich the special way that I cut it… and no pancakes made to spell their names. Just circles for you. If you witness a “first” moment, ignore it. Pretend it didn’t happen… save it for me. If they tell you they love you, pretend you just stubbed your toe and jump around yelling to distract them from those dangerous thoughts. Must be kind of irritable at the end of the day so they run to me with smiles when I come home.”

Or if you need visuals:




I may have experienced this myself…. so it’s possible that I know what I’m talking about just a tiny bit. It doesn’t make sense, but nothing makes sense after having kids anyway… In my own experience, I did finally come to really appreciate that the kids and the sitter DID love each other, and time made me realize that nothing-so far-has been able to replace me in their affections.

I think our friend is going through the same issue. Which sucks, but I guess I’d rather hate my sitter for loving my kids and making me jealous, than for actually being a shitty sitter. Ha, try saying that five times fast, shitty sitter, shitty sitter, shitty sitter….. can’t do it can you??


Another pee story

Because you can’t really hear enough about pee, right?

There was an accident in the dining room today, as the 3 year old was playing hide and seek with her brother. A pee accident. Because she couldn’t come out of her hiding spot, so what was a girl to do?

After a tearful (on her part) and somewhat angry (on my part) discussion on the merits of peeing when you need to go vs “holding it”…. we came to an agreement. We agreed to still love each other even when one of us decides to pee our pants, and even if the other person is not very happy about it. And also that we really should take time to stop playing and go pee before it decides to make a grand entrance on a very expensive rug that your father may have a stroke over if he ever found out. She missed the rug…but it was close. Too close.

But as my husband hears the story, he seems so shocked….why did she do it?

Oh, I know.

And now for my next pee story.

I was somewhere around 5 or 6 years old. Playing at the neighbors house, and at some point realized I needed to pee. I think I was in a battle with my bladder, not wanting to allow it any power over me. I would be the one to choose my place and time of elimination, thank you very much! Not some brainless, hollow organ that can’t even stretch enough to let me finish playing a summer afternoon game of hide and seek.

At some point the urge grew from nagging to alarming. I crouched down, begging my body to just HOLD IT IN! I was doing fine, until I lost my balance, fell over and released Hoover Dam.

I then stood, and took stock of what I had to work with. Warm sunny day, very wet pants. Can’t blame it on falling in a puddle….. but I COULD blame it on falling in a puddle of BUBBLES! Of course, I would tell my parents we were playing with a lake of bubbles and silly me fell in. Surely they would buy it!

I still remember crying, insisting it was BUBBLES and not pee!!!  Isn’t it funny how indignant we get when someone doesn’t believe our perfectly plausible lie?

So I get it. I get that I will have to expect these moments here and there, and remind the youngest to pee sometimes when she’s doing her best to avoid it. And I’ll tell her all the stuff, like I did today, about how it’s bad to hold it in, and not good for your body etc….

What I won’t tell her is that I’ve just gotten sooooo much better at holding it. That’s right, pee, I’m totally the boss of you.

3 year old confidence

I really hope the 3 year old keeps her spunky attitude. That’s what someone said about her today, “she’s got spunk”. I am taking it as a compliment.

She had to go potty today, just now in fact…. called me when she was done. After I do my clean up job, she walks out of the bathroom singing “Hey mom, pee is #1, and poop is #2!”  She’s holding two thumbs up above her head, as she swaggers past victoriously.

I love that she’s so proud of herself and her poop.

bad dreams = bad mom

I may have mentioned that I do the “dream magic” for the kids at bedtime. I made it up for the oldest, during the afraid of the dark/bad dreams phase…. and introduced it to the 6 year old not too long ago. Now it’s a ritual, I HAVE to do it.

He’ll remind me so I don’t forget.

Seems to work, or at least he doesn’t usually remember any bad dreams…

Last night though, he woke up crying out. Somehow I didn’t hear but his daddy did and went to lie next to him in bed until he slept again.

This morning, I’m getting ready for work… just about to wake Sammy up for school. He comes walking into the bathroom, looking a little pissed. Hand on hip, he stops in front of me and narrows his eyes.

“Guess who did the dream magic wrong?!”

I had to laugh, out loud, because I wasn’t expecting that…. he believes so much in our little dream magic ritual, that he can’t fathom it not working….unless I screw it up.

Oh, he’ll make a great teen one day.

Xcaret, Mexican adventure park

MEXICO165we came for the parrots…….

We decided to go to this place, Xcaret, on our trip. It is kind of like our zoo, on acid.

Officially, the park refers to itself as a natural sanctuary, complete with Mayan ruins and underground rivers. There are also restaurants, shows, opportunities to swim with dolphins or sharks, river rides and plenty of swimming activities. So much to do! Check out the website, if you are ever near there it is worth it!

Cool thing-that we didn’t do- was to swim through this huge natural river from one end of the park to the other, about an hour long trip. Everyone has to wear life vests and you get flippers for your feet. If I were a little braver we would have done it, but of course I had to worry about the “natural” water and possible parasites…… but it looked awesome! At one point on our walk, we looked down and could see the people swimming far below…

FullSizeRender (1)

swimming in the river

One fun thing for all us tourists…. you can pay for access to cameras all over the park, they are marked with little footprints on the ground. You wave your wristband in front of a sensor, smile for the camera, and CLICK!

Although it’s really not all that simple sometimes. For instance, sometimes you can’t find the camera….or you don’t have time to smile, people don’t know what’s going on, it’s all happening too fast!!!  Which just adds to the fun when you look up your photos later and see how intelligent your family looks…..

Xcaret, Soy Mexico


Xcaret, Soy Mexico

getting used to this…..

Xcaret, Soy Mexico

Don’t ask,



So here is what I would do next time…. Stay ALL DAY until the park closes. We wanted to see the shows, but most of them start at 5pm, we chose to leave with the bus at 5:30. We could have left at 9:30 at no extra charge, but I didn’t have a stroller and didn’t think Jenna would make it. Found the stroller rental on the way OUT.

We did enjoy a tame but beautiful boat ride…

Also, the cost of the park includes the river walk/swim…. it’s kind of a big part of the appeal. Next time I might be brave enough to do it. The place is just breathtaking, and we still got to see a lot. Such as, a quick show where men climb a pole to the music of a flute and drum, then spin upside down around and around the pole until they reach the bottom.

I loved the Mayan village, complete with graveyard, living huts, and plenty of character

The fact that even the 3 year old was enthralled was a big deal for me. It’s a no brainer that we will  be back on our next trip,  ready to experience everything Xcaret has to offer.