Extravagant kid birthdays for a new generation

Previously published in The Kansas City Star news: September 26, 2015 I grew up in a house where birthdays were not only celebrated, but morphed into a pageant. They always included some sort of a talent segment and occasional formal wear, but thank goodness swimsuits never made an appearance. (That one Christmas when Grandpa took off his shirt by the tree to model his new gift was enough torture for a lifetime. As a result, we enforced a stringent dress code.) We couldn’t celebrate a birthday on just one day. Apparently, the idea of throwing one party annually never occurred to us. Why would you do that when you could drag out your birthday for a week? So when my children were born, I unfortunately continued the tradition of pageantry. Honestly, I planned on ... [ Read More ]

Lice Union Reports They Need a Little Respect

I need to air my recent grievance to the public. Truly, I try to be the wine-glass-is-half-full type of gal, but I had a bomb dropped on me that brought out the cynic in my Syrah. There is no way to sugarcoat my woe. In fact, I’m pretty sure I would prefer a root canal than wish this on my worst enemy. At least there are drugs that can help you get through mouth surgery. I’d rather have an endless laundry pile rather than experience this again. Wait, I take that last one back. That’s partially what’s been causing my panic attacks. Just rip off the Band-Aid, and spit it out… We had lice. Parasites. An infestation, if you will. The secret L-bomb! Never before have I so vehemently practiced sterile technique, and I’ve worked inpatient in a children’s hospital. If you’ve ... [ Read More ]

Becoming a Grandmother is Not Rough at All

As Time Goes by, Here’s Walking with you, Kid I'm sure this will come as a surprise to those who know my family, but I’m proud to announce that I’ve become a grandmother! Yes, I know my daughters are eight and nine, but I’m thrilled about my new role. When I was in college my mother asked for grandkids to spoil. It might have been a tad early to request and perhaps she could have kept that desire to herself, but now I understand the draw. My friends with older children have been sharing how wonderful it is becoming a Grandmother because you get to love your grandkids with all your heart, but return them when your pampering itch is scratched (aka when the whining and begging is so obnoxious you need to escape.) My new grandson is perfect. He is sweet, loves to play outside without ... [ Read More ]

Avoiding First Week of School Parent Fails

The smell of pencil shavings permeates the air, kids’ tennis shoes are actually clean, not yet filled with various shades of rubber mulch, and bus fumes are hanging above every suburban corner because the first day of school has arrived! I’m not clicking my heels up too much. It’s always bittersweet. I desperately love my children and enjoyed having them around for almost all 2,880 hours this summer, but I must confess, it's time for my darlings to increase their mental capacity outside of my home. Clearly, things won’t go perfectly the first week of school; but I am proud to say if both my children are accounted for after a summer of fun and vacationing, and if I can get them into the car with shoes and something other than a swimsuit, I will chock that up to a major success. I’ve ... [ Read More ]

Canning Cucumbers has me Pickled

Have you ever had one of those days when you think you just can’t handle it anymore? I’m not talking about ending it all, but perhaps an impromptu locking yourself in the hall closet and not coming out until your luck improves. My near breakdown recently was due to cucumbers. It started in early May, when my husband who is the master of his garden plot, decided to change up the summer vegetables. He had read about hay bale gardening in some hipster article and thought it sounded unique and interesting. Since our suburbanite soil is at least five-feet of clay deep, and our vegetable harvest in years past has resembled an elementary school science project involving moldy beans in wet paper towels, I agreed a change was in order. Nine years ago, when my husband insisted we needed ... [ Read More ]

My Husband is Trying to Kill me

Biking is his Weapon of Choice It was a bright, sunshiny day. My husband and I planned to enjoy our time together sans daughters because they were spending a few days at their grandparents. It was a perfect day. The birds were singing while perched atop their favorite branch, as gentle breezes swayed them back and forth. The puffy clouds danced above forming various animal designs. That’s what I dreamed while gazing out my kitchen window. Then I noticed the temperature gauge and 99 degrees barked in my face. Mother Nature wasn’t messing around. I’m not sure how I got hoodwinked into taking a bicycle ride at high noon. I didn’t owe my husband anything. My mental capacity wasn’t diminished. But somehow I was persuaded it was a grand idea. Obviously, my husband is trying to kill ... [ Read More ]