How to embarrass your kid in one easy step

At Disneyland, while you are watching people walk by as you wait for a parade to begin and someone yells to his friend, “Hey Marco!” . . . instinctively call out, “POLO!”

Then laugh and laugh and laugh at your own joke while your kid rolls her eyes.

More tomorrow.  We left home at 7:10 AM and returned home at 12:50 AM.  I’m utterly exhausted.


We are heading to Disneyland tomorrow.  We live only a little more than an hour from the Happiest Place on Earth and furthermore, we get to drive in the carpool lane almost the whole way there.

I’ll be back with a fresh collection of photos.

We plan to leave at 7 AM and stay until the park closes at midnight.

I have packed ibuprofen and will be wearing sensible shoes (hot pink running shoes though I do not run unless being chased by snarling pumas). I’m bringing protein bars for my daughter who will be starving as soon as we get there and a bottle of water because she’ll be dying of thirst.

Now, though, I am rushing to bed so I can get almost-enough sleep to last through the whole day of fun and frivolity.



The kids have a whole week without school.  I am super excited by this because my daughter does school at home and that means I do school at home and frankly, I’m tired of fractions.  Well, actually, I love working with fractions but it’s agony helping someone else who is 11-years old work with fractions.  I’m tired of school at home in general.

I’m mostly excited though because I had fooled myself into thinking I could sleep in this week but already that fantasy has disintegrated.  Tomorrow my daughter is going ice-skating with a friend.  I have to wake up somewhat early and deliver her by 9:45 AM.

Then on Tuesday, we’re going to Disneyland and, as is our habit, we plan to be there when it opens–at about 8 AM.  That means we’ll be leaving by 7 AM (at least) and since the park closes at midnight, we will probably stay until midnight because we are party animals.  (And by “we”, I mean my 15-year old, his friend, my 11-year old and me.)  I will catch up on my sleep when I’m living in a nursing home.

That brings us to Wednesday.  I might be sleeping in that day!

Thursday . . . cooking.

Friday . . . sleeping?  Well, see, now it seems better, like I might be sleeping in at some point this week.


Today I bought my turkey and ingredients to bake four pies because pie consensus does not exist in my family.  Weirdly, there weren’t all that meany people grocery shopping at Ralph’s.  Maybe they were all at Costco buying pre-made pumpkin pies.

At my house there will be a 2/3 ratio of pies to people.  (If my fractions are correct.  I cannot guarantee that.)

Coconut cream.



S’mores.  (Sort of.  It’s a long story but the pie involves marshmallows, chopped up Hershey’s bars, cream, and a graham cracker crust.)

Mmmmm.  Pie.

No-Soccer Saturday

I slept in.

I walked the dog.

I took my daughter to lunch at Rubio’s.

I dropped off my daughter and picked up my husband and son.

We dropped off our son at work.

We went to a movie.  (Captain Phillips, very good.)

We bought cupcakes.

Every place I drove today, I noticed how beautiful the clouds were.  They were the type of clouds artists paint.  And when we were heading home from the movie, I noticed the sun sliding down the sky in a patchwork of clouds.  I suspected the sunset would be beautiful.

I told my husband that I wanted to go see the sunset.

So we dropped off cupcakes, picked up our daughter and raced to the beach.

The rest of this story can be told in photos.

Photo: We raced to see the sunset tonight. It sets so early now--4:39!


Let it snow?

For the first time since August, my daughter’s team does not have a Saturday soccer game this weekend.  The regular season has ended and now all that’s left is a tournament in December and the State Cup in February.  (Or something like that.)

I hardly know what to do with an entire Saturday without a soccer interruption.

Well, I do know what I will do.  I need to purchase the following items:

1)  Turkey.
2)  Toilet paper.
3)  Laundry detergent.

Not necessarily in that order.


We’ve had a rainy week.  The local weather forecaster said on Facebook, “We’ve got another night of blustery, winter weather in store for us tonight San Diego,” and I’m telling you, I guess I haven’t been here long enough not to laugh because that made me laugh.

Do you know what passes for “blustery, winter weather” here in San Diego? 

Better find our gloves and hats and fur-lined boots!

Find the snow shovel!

Buy some of that stuff that makes ice melt on your front steps!


Two years ago, I forced my kids to go to the beach at sunset to be photographed for my Christmas cards.

They were not thrilled.  The oldest boys do not enjoy the beach (weird) and they do not enjoy having their photos taken.

However, I found the entire experience hilarious.  I wanted them to all jump at the same time, but that seemed impossible. I laughed and laughed at their attempts.

But finally–after many failed attempts–this happened.  Close enough.


I know Thanksgiving is coming because people keep asking me about what we’re doing for Thanksgiving.  I explain that we’re spending the day at home and that I’m cooking everything and then I remember again that I probably should get myself to the grocery store to buy a turkey and other stuff.  I am not ready.

I’m just too busy driving my kids here and there in my free time.  (Tomorrow:  Daughter to class at 8:45.  Son to work by 9.  Work at 10.  Pick up daughter at noon.  Work again until 3.  Interrupt work to pick up original son from work at 2.  Pick up youngest son from school at 3:20.  Drop off other son at work at 4:30.  It’s really getting ridiculous.)

All I really want to do is lie in bed and read.  Who knew that I was living my dream when I was fourteen years old, wishing I could do something besides lie in my bed and read ?

Hurry, hurry, hurry

I would like to have a word with the genius who sets the timers for traffic lights.  I need to know why it makes any sense for the traffic light at this block to be green while the traffic light a block ahead is red.  This causes us to sit at a green light because there is no where to go because a block ahead, the light is red.

Dear Genius Who Sets the Timers for Traffic Lights:

You are causing me to lose my cool in front of my 11-year old daughter who pointed out that I seem to have come down with an itchy case of Road Rage.  Please reconsider how you have the lights set up because as they are now, nothing makes sense.  It shouldn’t take me ten minutes to get through a couple of intersections.

Love, Mel


In related news, I spent an hour and a half picking up my son from school (a mere 19 miles away) and then dropping off my daughter at someone’s house and then returning home.  I stopped by Albertson’s on the way home to pick up a few ingredients to make dinner.

And then, twenty minutes later, when I had dinner underway, I realized I had no milk–a crucial ingredient–and so I had to grab my purse and keys so I could drive to Ralph’s for two gallons of milk.  My boys drink so much milk, it’s ridiculous and I never know when we’re out because I promise you, I just bought two gallons a minute ago.

The good news is that I can drive to Ralph’s, buy milk and return home all within ten minutes, but only because there are no traffic lights between here and there.


Earlier today, I thought I had an idea for a blog post, but as you can see, all I did today (besides working) was drive around and yell at other drivers, so I’ve got pretty much nothing.  And if you were one of the people near me stopped at a green light or dilly-dallying after the light turned green or trying to merge AHEAD of me even though the merge sign for the lane closure was a quarter mile back . . . well, yes, I was giving you dirty looks.  I’m in a hurry, people!



Untitled due to fatigue

I’m tired.  That may be the phrase I’ve said most frequently over the course of my lifetime.  Though, “close the door!’ and “stop making that noise!” and “did you brush your teeth” probably come close.

I’ve just finished an eight hour shift at my desk.  Usually I work split shifts but tonight I was covering another employee’s shift, so I’ve been here since 5 PM.  I can’t stop yawning.

Since I didn’t start working  until 5 PM and my daughter was at school from 9:30 AM until 1 PM, I had some unexpected child-free and work-free time.

My first impulse was to find a movie I want to see but nothing fit my criteria (good movie at perfectly convenient time).  Instead, I headed to thrift store where I found a few things, most notably a Mickey Mouse Santa hat from Disneyland.  Last year when we were at Disneyland at Christmas-time, my daughter wanted one of those hats but we waited too long and couldn’t find one.  So I was excited to find one at the thrift store for only a tenth of the original price.

I stopped by the beach before I headed to pick up my daughter from class.  Clouds blanketed the sky but I find the ocean beautiful in any sort of weather.  I snapped a few photos with my iPhone and then hurried to the school.


Later–but not much later–I picked up my son from his school, an ordeal that takes a minimum of forty minutes.  I had enough time for a quick nap and then it was time to start working.

Which brings us full circle.

And now that we’ve circled around, it’s time to sleep.



We’re expecting company. Now, where are all the forks?

I’d really like to know.  Where are all the forks?

All the dishes were washed.  And yet, I only had five decent forks.  Oh, sure, reject forks abound, but what happened to the normal forks?

What?  You don’t have reject forks?  We have a drawer full of reject silverware.  This is cheap silverware left in the house by the previous owners.  I bagged up most of it but somehow, for reasons that are no longer clear to me, I left a sizable collection of random, cheap silverware in the silverware drawer, next to the matching silverware.

I will not use a reject fork, but my kids have no such qualms.  Listen, I have standards.  I will not scoop food into my mouth with a weird fork.

Possibly, I have “issues.”

Anyway, tonight I finished washing dishes and discovered a grand total of five normal forks.  This was a problem because I was expecting ten people at dinner–six are my own clan, so that’s really only four extra people.  Still.  Not enough decent forks.

I sent the children on a search for forks.  Two more forks showed up.

So, we used some of the small normal forks to supplement the regular normal forks.

But I’d really like to know.  Where are all the forks?  Did I ever have more than six in the first place?

And furthermore, did the dish run away with the spoon?




My husband got word that a dear woman from our previous church died over the weekend.  She’s flown down to San Diego at the very end of September and we spent an afternoon and evening with her and her family who had joined her on a final vacation.  We were included in this precious family time because my husband was her favorite pastor and she’d asked him to perform the funeral.

I hadn’t seen her for years and to see her in a wheelchair with an oxygen tube was jarring, especially when contrasted with her cheerful demeanor.  I’m not sure I’ve ever been with someone as peaceful and joyous in the face of impending death.  It was hard to even believe that she was dying.

(Then again, we are all dying, aren’t we?  We just don’t usually notice because we do so in such small increments.  We don’t have to acknowledge this unavoidable fact.)

I come to a full stop here, unsure of where I was going with this blog post.  What more is there to say when you talk about someone passing from this life to the next?  Do I really plan to prattle on about the week’s plan, about how my husband will be flying to Seattle for the funeral?

I just can’t.

Instead, I will carry the awareness of the shortness of life with me into the coming week as I think about our friend’s family and whisper prayers for peace and strength and comfort for them.

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