Well, That Didn’t Go as Planned


Oh Saint of Perfect Memories, why have you forsaken me?

Today was the final day of finals for my high schooler, the final day for my middle schooler and the final walk to school and celebration parade out of school for my elementary schooler.

The plan was to get up early and make my kids all of their favorites: hash browns, chocolate chip pancakes, and scrambled eggs. Then run to the store to pick up the teacher gift and back to school for a class pic and watch the 5th graders walk out for the last time ever. Then a family lunch sans youngest because he had to go to a birthday party.

I’m not an early riser so I set the alarm for 6:30 so I could take a quick shower before commencing on the best last day breakfast ever. I’ve had to shower in my middle son’s shower for the past week because we are retiling ours. I snuck into his room, careful not to wake him so he could enjoy his slumber until breakfast was ready. I kept my eyes forward so I wouldn’t get worked up by the disgusto that lay on either side of my path because I was determined I was going to make this last day special. No nagging today!

Breakfast prep began with quickly cooking the frozen hash browns. First “not as planned” event: said hash browns proceeded to stick to the bottom of the pan regardless of the obnoxious amount of coconut oil I had poured in. Screw it. I scraped the hash browns onto the sheet pan and put them in the oven on broil. They’ll be done in just a couple of minutes, I thought.

So I moved onto the pancakes, using banana, egg, protein powder and chocolate chips. Second “not as planned” event: pancakes were like cardboard because I didn’t use the right ratio of ingredients. Plus, I should have just used the Power Protein mix I had in the pantry and made it easy. “No, they’ll love the pancakes I made for myself the other day”, I said. I ended up using the pancake mix halfway through but by this time it was 7:25. They were going to be downstairs any minute!

I checked on the hash browns and WTF, they were basically still white as they were when they came out of the package. Only the fringe had a touch of golden and the rack was at the highest level. Yep, the third “not as planned” event.

Youngest son descends in the same dress shorts that he wore the day before as well as a too small shirt. The no nag rule ended at this exact moment. He was supposed to have his clothes laid out the night before but he must have heard “Just pick up whatever is laying around.” So off he went to change, grumbling and stomping the entire way. Did I fail to mention that he complained about my “last day of school” music playlist? Well, that falls into the “not as planned” event list as well so let’s say that one is number five.

I hear my two sons pass on the stairs and I still needed to make the eggs! Thank God the hash browns would be ready to start on at least. A quick check revealed still a no go. He walks in and also complains about the music selection. It was our fricking mountain music playlist! They love this stuff. I clenched my teeth and asked what would he like to listen to. “Coldplay,” he said, which was on my Mountain Music playlist but we just hadn’t gotten there yet. I didn’t have time to mess with explaining what patience was because I was quickly running out of my own. Back to the eggs I went and proceeded to whip these up in a minute flat but then spilled 1/4 of them onto the floor in my haste to get the child his best last day breakfast ever.

The hash browns were semi-ready but the middle child likes his extra crispy so I had to scoop the well done ones from the edges. He proceeded to shovel down what he could and his father whisked him off to school which I’m sure he arrived late. Oldest child came down and said she didn’t have time to eat and that she would eat when she got home. So I spent most of my prep time trying to fix the pancake batter wasn’t time well spent. I managed to get some extra time to while the youngest made multiple trips upstairs to get his “your last walk out of school I want a good picture outfit”. He came downstairs ready to eat so I got him some finally done hash browns and one of the first couple of pancakes because the new pancakes were still being worked on.

They were two rubbery he said and stated that he wasn’t really hungry after all. I was walking with him to school with his normal walking buddies and their moms and, of course, I missed the group photo because I was putting our dog back inside after I realized another mom brought her male dog. That would have been a walk to forget, not remember. I don’t even know what number “not as planned’ event this is by now.

We almost made it to the school but the dog got excited and the boy walking him got tripped up, skinning the heck out of his knee. I’m sure that went on his mom’s “not as planned” event list. We got to the school, hurt boy and his mom got a ride home from his dad who met them up at the school parking lot so he could go home and clean up his wound. The other mom rode home with them so she could get to work earlier than she expected so now I’m by myself trying to catch up to my son and his friends. I get sidetracked by his P.E. teacher who I love. I run to catch up with the boys and I yell at my son to wait up. He doesn’t. As he turns to go into the doors, I yell again. “I want to take a video of you walking in for the last time…hang on!”

He turns and looks at me with utter dismay. “MOM! The doors are closing! I need to go in!” Perhaps we’ve raced to beat those closing doors a few too many times. I wanted to say, ‘Of all days, buddy, this is the least of them to worry about! Who gives a shit rip if you are late?! What’s one more tardy on the mile long list?” But I knew if I insisted he reenact the final walk-in, it was going to be horrible memory material so I said f*ck it under my breath and said, “See you after school. Thanks for the memory,” because I’m a great mom like that. I’m not proud of that one.

I proceeded to walk home by myself and when I arrived home, my tile guy asked if I had left something on the stove. I was busy outside talking to the other tile guy and said “No, sometimes when I cook pancakes the house gets smoky.” Ten minutes later I go in and sure enough, something was burning. Those hash browns that would never get crispy? Well, they were crispy now. I’m now a bit worried that our smoke alarms aren’t working properly because they had every reason to be going off. Best breakfast ever.

I managed to get two teacher gifts and a birthday gift before heading to the school to get a 5th grade class picture that was happening before the celebratory last walkout. I walk in and the picture is over with kids heading back to their classrooms to get organized. I found another mom who sent me the pic. Fine. At this point, I’m like whatever. I see my child to give him the gift to give to his teacher and he says, “I gotta go!” and runs off down the hall. I end up following him and give this teacher the gift myself. I manage to cry as I hug her and thank her for making his fifth grade year one of the best he’s had and for helping prepare him for middle school.

I scoot out to the front sidewalk to find a spot to get the best pic. My husband arrives in the nick of time…and so does the rain. Big fat ass rain drops start to fall just as the doors fill with the first class of fifth graders. My son is one of the first out the door and while in the years past we linger to take pictures with all of their friends and hug/cry with the other moms, this time it’s a “Where’s the car?!” Seriously? That’s it? My video of him was four seconds long. At that point, the rest of the parents who were waiting to get a picture of their child closed the walkway as they all tried to escape the deluge of rain coming down. To say it was a cluster was an understatement. We couldn’t find one friend nor the other teacher who we were giving a gift to which was now a bit wet. We fought the crowd like salmon to get inside only to find out the teacher we were looking for was doing car line duty. W…T…F was going on with this day?

My youngest was going to a birthday post last day of school walk out so I said goodbye to my husband, who I apologized to because I had guilted him into coming to the worst last day of school exit I had ever seen. Did I mention that by this time the rain had stopped? So basically a cloud decided to unleash at the exact moment I was going to take the most epic of all “last time” videos and then turned it off when it no longer mattered.

At this point, all I could do was laugh because I should’ve expected this. The more you want things to be this picture perfect moments that will be sealed in our memory banks forever (because they had for the other two kids, why wouldn’t they now?), the more they go the other way. As moms, we want our kids to have these incredible memories of these last of their lasts moments but really, I think it’s more for us. We want to seal them in a bottle to pull them out again and again as our kids become no longer kids.

Today was perfectly imperfect and the “not as planned” events are still memories. “Hey Mom, remember when you made those rubber pancakes on the last day of school and we got soaked when we walked out of school? Wasn’t that hilarious?”

“Yep,” I’ll reply, “Hilarious.”

The Oldies Have Passed the Baton

Anyone else completely befuddled by the revival of the 80’s? I never saw Birkenstocks coming let alone Mom Jeans. Parachute pants, maybe. But the Mom Jeans trend could have died a thousand deaths and it wouldn’t be enough. No one looks good with a two foot long back side and a dromedary hoof in the front. It was atrocious then and it’s even worse seeing a young girl purposefully wear that hideousness. We were forced to wear high-waisted jeans because they were the only style there was! These kids have choices All kinds of choices! They can order online even so no excuses for this recurring fashion nightmare.

As if that isn’t enough generational robbing, they love 80’s music. My daughter was home today from school and this afternoon she came down with her phone and our MegaBoom speaker and guess what song her and her friends are in love with right now? Just guess. Hang on to your parachute pants…”Let’s Hear It for the Boy.” I KNOW! Anyone else totally flashing back to junior high and their infatuation with the movie Footloose. 

I about died but instead I started singing at the top of my lungs right along with her. While the 80’s music wasn’t always Rock and Roll Hall of Fame material, it sure does bring about a heavy dose of happy. Before she went to soccer practice she said, “If you want to listen to my Spotify playlist, Mom, it’s the one called Oldies.” And there it is, the unintentional dagger. They have no idea they are jabbing you but it still hurts just a tad.

The Oldies used to be The Beatles, Bee Gees, ABBA…enough swoopy bangs to make you dizzy. Remember those Richard Simmons workout videos, “Sweatin’ to the Oldies”? Yeah, all of that garbage was the oldies. The thing that is ironic is that my husband and I have intentionally NOT listened to our old 80’s music so that we could stay cool to our kids. Of course, we have our favorite bands that we weave in like Big Head Todd, Dave Matthews Band, 311, Pearl Jam, Sting, Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Samples. Those will always be near and dear to our hearts. While we thought we were giving our kids the proper culture of our youth, we never, I mean never thought we’d see 80’s music finding a way onto their playlists.

Here’s a sample of the songs she has on her “oldies”:

“Don’t Stop Believin'” – Journey

“Wheel in the Sky” – Journey

“Heaven” – Bryan Adams

“We Didn’t Start the Fire” –  Billy Joel

“American Pie (?!)” – Don McLean

“Cecilia” – Simon and Garfunkel (totally college fave of mine)

“Summer of ’69” – Bryan Adams

“Sweet Child O’ Mine” – Guns N’ Roses

“Fight For Your Right”  – Beastie Boys

“With or Without You” – U2

“Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” – The Police (just try to listen to that and not dance around the room.)

“Brown Eyed Girl” – Van Morrison (how many times did you sing that drunk in the bars? A gazillion? No less than over here.)

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” – Cyndi Lauper

Are you KIDDING ME?! When did this happen?! How did I miss the signs? Well, however it happened, I’m sort of happy about it. I get to relive my high school and college days without all the drama and hangovers! And my kids love the music instead of rolling their eyes, covering their ears and yelling at us to change the station. We were cool and didn’t even know it!

While I refuse to believe this music is now “The Oldies” but I sure do consider it “The Goodies”.

My Reveal of Two Truths and A Lie

Last Friday, I wrote a post that included two truths and a lie. I wanted a fun blog post (I’d been on a serious kick for a while) but to also highlight some other bloggers I love through my own version of blog tag. I hope you guys follow the trail and get to know some more wonderful people out in the world.

But back to my two truths and a lie. Let’s work our way backwards from my last post.

Truth: I can eat the gross Bean Boozled jelly beans (from Jelly Belly) without gagging.

I never knew I had it in me until we played a little game one evening after a long day of skiing on spring break. We were vacationing with another family and the kids pulled out this box of jelly beans, called Bean Boozled. There are two flavors for each color, one good and one gross. We went around the table and blindly reached in the bowl of beans, not sure which it would be. The first couple of rounds I lucked out with juicy pear. The gross flavor would’ve been booger. Sure enough, after watching everyone else gag, spit, and wail at how gross their flavor was (moldy cheese was among the worst offenders), I knocked back skunk, barf, and stinky socks like I was the crowned champ of Fear Factor. No gag, no facial expression, no spitting it out. I can chew without flinching and not that it’s a proud skill to have, I impressed my children for one brief moment in time.

We didn’t have a fancy spinner but if you think you are up to the challenge, you can try it at home. It’s a barrel of laughs to watch your friends suffer through skunk butt and canned dog food. Add a few cocktails and you just might pee yourself. What? Everyone’s doing it. (You’ll see. Keep reading.)

Lie: I had a pet spider growing up.

Dear God, are you crazy?! This is a lie times 1,000!! I HATED spiders growing up. If I ever came across one, large or not small enough, I would cower in the corner screaming for my mom to come kill it. I’ve realized since that they were put on this earth for a reason so instead of stomping them to death, I do a catch and release method with two cups and a quick toss out the door. I still don’t love them but respect their purpose, which is not in my house.

How every spider looked to me:


This little girl clearly has more guts than I did at her age because even the fake ones creeped me out. This would have put me over the edge.


Truth: I’ve peed myself more than once (toddler years excluded).

i-need-to-peeWhile I’m not proud of this, I can only hope by sharing this with you all, you will no longer feel ashamed of your own pee your pants story. That’s right, I’m here for you.

While I’m sure I peed myself at various points in my childhood, I’m revealing the ones where I knew better. So here we go.

Exhibit 1:

Back in my preteen years, my parents had family friends over for dinner and they had two sons, a little bit older than my sister and I. One of them, Jay, was absolutely hilarious and was constantly doing impersonations, telling jokes, and other belly laugh antics. Whenever our families got together, the chances were great that I would snort or spew something from my nose or mouth. Well, not this day. I went bigger. We, the kids, were all sitting at our tiny kitchen table (our parents were clinking away at our basement bar), swiveling back and forth on the egg yolk yellow vinyl puffy chairs and white (plastic?) table. I was probably on my third or fourth pop (soda for you non-midwesterners) when Jay said something in which I could no longer contain myself, in more ways than one. I guffawed and hooted then peed myself, right there in front of two adorable teenage boys whom I was going to see again many more times throughout my teenage years.

I ran to my room holding my crotch, still laughing, with a trail of hooting behind me as they realized what I had done. Normally, I would’ve been mortified but Jay was like a brother by this time in our lives and I’m pretty sure he loved the fact that he made me laugh so hard I peed.

Exhibit 2:

We were in Florida on a family vacation doing the whole Disney World experience. I believe we were going to dinner one evening and encountered a bit of traffic along the way. Due to the extra time in the car, my sister and I had to pee really bad so my dad pulled over to a gas station, much to his displeasure since “we just left the hotel!”. While he make use of the extra time by gassing up our conversion van, we bolted for the restroom, determined to beat the other. This was a one bathroom gas station which was located on the outside (gotta love those) which my sister got to first. She did let me in rather than make me stand outside to pacing in public–so thoughtful of her!–but as I paced the small room, she laughed at my discomfort. She may or may not have exerted herself during her fit of laughter with a nice rumble in the toilet. While I’m sure I was a very mature teen at the time, when someone accidentally rattles the toilet from a fart, it’s just too funny. However, very inconvenient when you have to pee so bad your bladder feels like a water balloon ready to burst. And burst it did. I tried to make to the sink but all I managed to do was soak my underwear. Thank God I had on a skirt so the underwear went into the trash and I made my dad drive all the way back to the hotel so I could change. I blamed girl problems so he dropped the subject y.

Exhibit 3:

I can only blame myself for this one. And the guy who poured me gin and tonics the night before my wedding. We had our rehearsal dinner with family and friends and after the meal, we had a trolley take us downtown to celebrate the upcoming nuptials. Rather than go home at a decent hour, like most brides do, I wanted to spend time with all of our friends who had traveled to come celebrate our special day. I didn’t eat much at dinner (you know where this is going) so when I decided to have a gin and tonic or two, they hit and hit hard. I do not remember the trolley ride home and ended up spending the night in my parent’s hotel room. My dad got kicked out to the pull-out couch but worse, my mom woke up in a wet bed. What…the…hell? Of all my college shenanigans, none resulted in bed wetting. Did I mention the pour heavy bartender? Thank gawd for McDonald’s cheeseburger meal deal.

I know this doesn’t paint me in a good light but I’m not here to pretend to be someone else or seek approval. I’m just keeping it real and the straight up truth. My midwest charm, perhaps? 😉

(Sidenote: I felt like my old self as by the time I walked down the aisle. Something to say about being fresh out of college with a young liver!)

Exhibit 4, 5, 6, etc:

If I’ve drank any amount of water prior to any sort of jumping, I piddle. This one I get to blame on my children. This includes jumping rope, trampoline jumping, jumping jacks, etc. I have to use the restroom IMMEDIATELY before jumping activity or it’s a definite piddle party.

So there you have it! My two truths and a lie.

I tagged Julia Munroe Martin in my last post but in case you haven’t popped over there yet, please go check her out!