It is the phrase I have attempted (with help from Jim & Charles Fay and twenty billion reminders from John) to teach myself. It is the phrase that insistently lets the kids know they are in trouble yet gives me time to think what to do next.  It is the phrase that can stop my mouth from uttering ridiculous edicts before my brain has a chance to think about them. It is the phrase that keeps me from saying,  “That’s it! You are never getting a glass of water again!” when confronted with a mess purposefully made with a glass of drinking water.  It is a good phrase.

But now I have a problem. Jane is beating me to the “Uh-oh.” Now I walk in a room and I don’t even have to scan for issues, I just listen. If I hear “Don’t say ‘Uh-oh’ Mom! Don’t say “Uh-oh’!” I know there is trouble in the making.Jane

Yes, I can hear you laughing from here and you can stop anytime now. Because seriously. Seriously.  Does she really think she can get away with all sorts of trouble just by talking fast and looking cute!?! Talk about an attitude guaranteed to make a mothers blood pressure spike!

After all, that’s my line! I get to say “Uh-oh!”  I get to use that to pause, and breath, and refrain from issuing crazy threats or giving her to the next delivery man that knocks on the door.  I say “Uh-oh.” Don’t be stealing my line Jane- I need it and unless you want to be shipped to Abu Dhabi  ala Garfield, you do too!

Furthermore, frantically repeating “Don’t say ‘Uh-oh’ Mom! Don’t say “Uh-oh’!” while continuing to do the offending activity lets me know, not only, that she knows that she shouldn’t be doing whatever it is she’s doing but also that she thinks she can get away with continuing what she’s doing  right in front of me if she’s a fast enough talker.

But the really big problem is that Jane is awful cute and listening to her panic as she tries to finish getting into trouble is, admittedly, pretty hilarious.

Which means that it’s true. She can totally get herself out of trouble and keep her mother smiling  if she’s a fast enough talker.Jane

I’m so doomed.



The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

I’ve done absolutely nothing but read.

My house is messy, my kids are bored, my husband has been ignored, I’m slightly sleep deprived and we have minimal food in the fridge.

I can’t sit down and write a real review -I have two days of neglect to make up for!

Would I recommend it?  I couldn’t recommend the last book of a trilogy, it just wouldn’t be right. You have to start with the first one, A Discovery of Witches, and go from there.  The only additional thing I will say after reading all three is that the vampire warning still holds true and that I liked each book better than the one before.

House Breaking vs. Potty Training

Jane is in the final phase of potty training. If she were a puppy it would be the time when they occasionally have accidents in the house and it’s usually your fault. Because even though they ask to go out most of the time sometimes they are just too distracted so you still have to be the one to pay attention or you’ll have another pee spot on the carpet. Trip and Sunday puppies

But I was talking about potty training kids, Jane in particular. So I should say that this is the time when she occasionally has accidents and it’s usually all my fault. Because even though she goes all by herself most of the time, sometimes she is just too distracted so I still have to be the one to pay attention or I’ll have another pee spot in a terrible and ridiculous place.Storm puppy

Which is the main way potty training children is different than housebreaking dogs. (That and kennels. I hardly ever use kennels with the kids.) When a puppy has an accident it pees on the carpet. The only time it won’t pee on the carpet is when it goes on a rug but this will only happen if the rug is so large that it won’t fit into the washing machine. A phenomenon that is annoying but at least predictable.Digby puppy

Jane, has accidents in more unusual places. We hadn’t had one in two days until she crawled inside a locker at the pool.  Cleaning carpets has none of the embarrassing factors that weaving through a mass of moms and kids in various states of undress with gobs of pee soaked paper towel does. And for that, I love puppies.Trip and Sunday puppies

Another two days accident free and Jane, dissatisfied with the five unoccupied chairs, crawled onto the dining room table to play with the Legos. And then flooded it all. Pee on the table. Pee on the centerpiece. Pee on the chairs. Pee on the Legos. Pee on Jane. No pee on the please-sign-up-to-bring-stuff-to-the-fall-party-sheet Ivy brought home from school. A puppy would have peed on the carpet and then eaten that paper, saving me lots of trouble. And for that, I love puppies.

Bucky and Piper


And yes, of course, I love Jane too, even when she pees in really terrible places. (I’m not even going to tell you about the poop – your welcome for that.) I was even going to put pictures of her in this post but then I was having too much fun finding puppy pictures! 


A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother by Christie Barlow

A Year in the Life Tour Banner

Today I am participating in a Brook Cottage Books book tour!  Click on the banner above for more information about the book and links to more stops on the tour.

I am part of a book club.  One of the many small groups of women who get together once a month, theoretically having all recently read the same book.  Of course, before we can talk about the book we have to pour some drinks, eat some snacks and catch up on the last month. And, yes, that can take most of our time, but we always get around to the book… eventually.

Reading this book, was like having a surprise guest at book club. She comes in though the door, wearing comfy clothes and monster slippers, which seems like a pretty good mark in her favor. Then she brings out her drink of choice which she brought to share – also a mark in her favor. The fact that it’s sherry is a bit odd because I’ve never known someone to do anything other than cook with the stuff but, well, she’s from England and it’s not like anyone else in the group wants my bourbon on the rocks, so we’ll roll with it  Of course, then someone asks her about herself…

A long time later we have learned many things. First off, this new one is a bit of a conversation hog. I mean really, we asked how things were going and she gave us a whole year in review! But we’ve been giggling pretty constantly so I think everyone is ok with it.  Her stories are hilarious! At least I think they are hilarious, sometimes it’s hard to tell. One wouldn’t think you’d need a translator to translate English to English but I definitely feel I’m missing some things. The only unfortunate thing is that as time has gone on the sherry has kicked in. Arms are waving, stories are louder and while she is still funny there are few topics and phrases that she seems to think have gotten funnier as the night goes on. But we’ve all been there so when she wanders I take the moment to sip my own drink and let my mind drift and quickly come to a conclusion. Girls can be mean, moms can be meaner. And this new mom, despite her humor, is no exception!

Would I recommend it? I would have invited her back for another book club, but I don’t think she actually read the book…

It was a funny, quick read, and it can be yours! Click on the book below for a chance to win your own copy of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother!

Rafflecopter Giveaway!


 This honest review was given in return for a free copy of the book from its author.

That Girl…

When it comes to conversations of Clara’s antics, it always seems to end in one or the other of us shaking our heads while saying, “That girl…”Clara

That girl has already accumulated more black eyes than I ever have.

That girl cries over the slightest injustice but doesn’t bat an eye at bloody injuries.Clara with black eye

“Hey Mom!” Clara shouts,  “Bet you didn’t notice…. THIS!” And she pulls up the leg of her pants and thrusts her foot out to show me the scratch on her ankle complete with blood smeared half way down her foot.

Me: “No, I didn’t!”

Clara: “Yeah! – Can I have a band-aid!”

Me: “Sure.”

Clara: “OK, I’ll get it!”

And off she runs, leaving me shaking my head and thinking “That girl…”Clara running


That girl is the best peacemaker in the family.

That girl has ideas and she can entertain herself with anything.Clara

One day after seeing Jane and Clara engaged in overly suspicious activities with their bedroom window, I came running upstairs to kill the fun.

Me: “We don’t throw water out the window! “We don’t throw anything out the window!”

Clara: “How about rocks?”

Me: “What about rocks?”

Clara: “Can I throw them out the window?”

That girl…



That girl is my go-to “finder” of lost objects.

That girl often has to do with why they are lost in the first place.Clara

Clara hands me a pair of poultry shears that she “found” and drops it between our bare toes.

Me: “Wow, that made my toes scared, how about you!?”

Clara giggles: “No, I knew where it was going to land.”

That girl…

Clara and the bee hives

That girl climbs trees and jumps out of them.

That girl can climb straight up a rope with just her arms.

That girl loves the beehives.

That girl collects her own duck eggs for breakfast.

That girl is never bored.Clara's fifth birthday

Yes, our conversations about Clara always end with one of us shaking our heads with half smile, as we say, “That girl…” with more than just a touch of pride.

Happy fifth birthday Clara!