Before The Traditions Come Out

It’s been almost a month now of daily photos and posts following along with gratitude prompts. And perhaps it’s because I feel like the month of gratitude is starting to make me feel like I’m bragging or that my life is full of swimmingly fantastic things when we are just as much of a mess as everyone else. Or maybe, actually, probably, it’s because I didn’t take a single picture until tonight and nothing following the prompt “traditions” seems to want to be photographed. Either way I feel compelled to share this picture.

The cat with the crazy eyes, the dirty underwear, the random school paper, a rock, some garbage – Is that Jane’s missing toothbrush I see? – a belt from a Halloween costume, birthday decorations from the beginning of October and a drum mysteriously draped in a blanket too small to be used on anything but a newborn. I look at this picture and think, ” Ahhh yes. This. This is my life. “

Traditionally (it’s the prompt, it’s a challenge, I can’t help myself) I clean the house before letting the Christmas decorations out of their boxes. Since we are being all honest here tonight, I’ll tell you that means that I’ll for sure take those birthday decorations down because I walked up these stairs just a bit ago and thought “Wow, this is all picked up”.

Okay, fine.

I’ll handle the toothbrush too.

Do you have any “must do’s” before the Christmas decorations go up?

Problem Solver

Jane looked at me, strawberry ice-cream ear to ear and neck to nose and said, “Mom, will you lick my nose off?”

Unperturbed with getting “no” for answer she took her sweaty little hand, smeared it all up and down her face, over her nose, held it out and said, “Well, then will you lick my hand?”

Then, still un-bothered by my refusal to lick anything, promptly wiped off her sticky hands on her car seat, gave me the half eaten, and now unwanted, ice cream cone and ran off to play.Jane at the top of the slide


So you see, it’s really not so bad that I forgot the napkins.

I was just helping Jane exercise her problem solving skills.

Anarchist 2.0 and the Goldfish

Children are masters at wrecking stuff.

I’m not even talking about their mothers’ bodies, peace of mind or plans for Friday night. I’m just, shallowly, talking about stuff.

Stuff like potted plants, picture frames, yoga mats and painted walls. Stuff like chapstick tubes, favorite coffee mugs, screen doors and brown sugar bears. Stuff like glasses, bowls,  plates and your favorite figurine you’ve had since you were a kid.

If you’ve got it, they can wreck it.

And three year olds? Three year olds are wreckin’ it masters.

When Clara was three, John named her The Anarchist.

The universe, finding us cute in our naivety, sent us Jane.Jane crazy eyes

Jane, Anarchist 2.0, puts Clara’s attempts to shame.

Or, *sigh* to be perfectly honest, it’s that with Jane, the third child, came a reduction of her mother’s brain cells. Leaving her poor mother with a memory and attention span that not even a goldfish would envy.

Sadly, that’d be me.

I routinely get distracted somewhere between “Why has Jane been so quiet for the last ten minutes?” and “I better go check on her.” This gives Anarchist 2.0 more than enough time to ply her skills around, say, the bathroom while she, could possibly, empty all the lotion, conditioner, shampoo and stick the band-aids to the toilet, hypothetically of course…

So, if you come to visit and you wonder why we use mason jars as glasses, have band-aids stuck to odd items and finger holes in the screen door. Just remember, an anarchist and a goldfish mom are not a pretty combination, you might want to save yourself while you still can. Jessie and JaneHeaven knows I won’t remember to warn you about the slippery bathroom floor!





Right now, at this very moment, on our desk we have:

  • cd’s
  • blank cd’s
  • blank DVDs that have never been used
  • two library movies
  • a cutting mat I used three weeks ago and never put away
  • junk mail
  • real mail (sadly bills)
  • the thingy that the real mail is supposed to be in
  • all the other junk that is actually in the thingy the bills are supposed to be in
  • a dictionary
  • a pencil
  • a one dollar bill
  • an external hard drive
  • one headband
  • some blue circular thing with weird wire in it that John attempted to use to clean out pipes in the bathroom
  • a nail clippers
  • two empty glasses
  • a computer monitor
  • the keyboard
  • the mouse (not a real one- phew)
  • speakers
  • a check book
  • a FarmTek catalog
  • dirt
  • the six CD holder thingy that is for the truck
  • a wedding invitation to a wedding that has come and gone
  • the remote for the radio
  • a few of Ivy’s worksheets from school
  • health insurance information
  • a small pink lamp with a white lady on it
  • a crayon drawing by Clara
  • a painting by Clara
  • miscellaneous cords to plug miscellaneous items into the computer
  • one Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup wrapper wadded up into a small ball

Today Clara looked at the desk and said: “Mom what you eatin’?”

Me: “Nothing.”

Clara points to wrapper: “Noooo,  what that from?”


Some could look at this situation and think – “Man, that lady sits at her computer surrounded by a gigantic mess and eats peanut butter cups while her kids are sleeping and then tries to deny it.”

John will no doubt  look at this situation and think: “A WRAPPER!?” (He hates wrappers not thrown away. I have trouble getting them to the garbage. It’s an issue.)

But not me.

I look at this situation and think – “Wow, Clara has got some excellent observation skills!”