A Dubious Purchase

I did something recently I’ve never done before. Something I would have never guessed I would have done. Something that I still can’t believe I did.

I bought a bag of makeup.

This might not sound so ridiculous to you so let me be more clear. I, whose makeup purchases in the last 10 years begins and ends with two identical tubes of mascara, bought a bag of totally random makeup. A bag of makeup that, I might add, didn’t even have single tube of mascara in it.

The woman selling it was very good, very sneaky saleswoman, she caught me at my most vulnerable, in the toy aisle of Walmart. You see it happened like this…

Ivy needed a birthday gift for a friend. I needed printer ink and tortellini. Walmart was the place to go. I met the girls in the driveway after school, so we could all go shopping together. This was mistake number one. The girls (well everyone really) are at their worst at 3:45 in the afternoon.

Everyone knows that at 3:45 you should either be taking a nap or just getting up from one. Not a single one of those girls is either sleeping or has just slept when they climb off the bus.  I, waiting in the truck, was also not sleeping, and I hadn’t taken a nap either. That was probably mistake number two.

After school is also the time when everyone is hungry. I’m sure this has something to do with the fact that Ivy keeps growing and is a bottomless pit, Jane eats slower than a snail in February and always has at least half of her lunch left and Clara, well Clara eats a snack at school at 2:30, I have no idea why she’s starving when she gets home but she is.

So I took those tired, hungry and therefore cranky children, who I knew would be tired, hungry and cranky and loaded them up in the truck anyway.  All the other mistakes pale in comparison to that decision and all things that came after this point were directly related to that decision.

Now, Walmart is the closest place for us to buy these three random things but it’s still just about a half an hour away. And remember how the kids are always hungry when they get home from school? Good, because I forgot. So Jane’s leftover lunch parts were fought over, Clara performed a random feat of magic and pulled half a bag of veggie chips from her backpack (I have no other explanation for it’s appearance) and then all the available food was declared boring and fighting erupted. The backseat food wars escalated until the truck pulled over and children were separated in such a way that no one could stay buckled up touch anyone else.

And you wonder why we drive such a big vehicle.

Now before you envision me as the wild haired frantic mother yelling “Don’t make me pull over,” I just want to say that, on this day, I handled everything with a remarkably calm and cool attitude- on the outside.

Approximately 23 grey hairs later we pulled into the park lot. Parking lots, if you don’t know, are triggers for kids to start begging for snacks. Me, evil monster mother of ridiculous expectations said, “No.”


There was crying, there was begging, there was the slowest putting on of shoes ever. And then we went into a Super Walmart.

Miraculously, and in a way that you may only understand if you also have young children, the girls all became angels. They held hands and stayed close and smiled and giggled with one another. They happily tried on super freaky looking giant animal heads. My mind reeled with the sudden change of attitude.  And then we hit the toy aisle.

Ivy was looking for a Smooshy, or a Mooshy or a Squishy or some sort of weird smash-able toy. And while they all maniacally ran up and down the aisle asking if they could get toys of their own, (No!) Ivy tried to educate me on the differences between Smooshys, and Mooshys, and Squishys and Smashies and Gooshies and… Under the guise of looking for a Mashy-Smooshy-Smush I threw one last “no” over my shoulder and snuck off toward the LEGO mini-figures.

That’s when she pounced.

Targeting moms in a Walmart toy aisle. It’s either the cruelest act ever or complete stroke of brilliance. Just wait until those mothers have said “no” so many times to their kids they don’t have any resistance left. Then use normal adult language without even a hint pouting while you show them your wonderful shimmer powder and bag of makeup that they can buy, right there between the LEGOS and the Barbies…

I didn’t even protest, I didn’t even fight, I just handed over some cold hard cash and walked away with a small bag of makeup products half of which I’ve never owned and had no idea what to do with.

When I got home I looked at what I had bought, saw that it included a pair of false eyelashes, panicked and did what every girl faced with a bad day and a pile of makeup does. I called my friends.  I had to let them know I was probably having some sort of traumatic crisis and I was in need of help, support, love and makeup tutorials.


Menards Math

15 boards + 1 box of screws + 70 minutes = 11 reasons Menards needs better managers…

  1. “I don’t know.”

  2. “Well… uhhh… I just got back from vacation.”
  3. “Wait, you gotta show us where that is!”

  4. “Even though we work here, we don’t know anything.”
  5. “I have no idea what you are talking about.”

  6. “I have never heard of that.”
  7. “What do you do with them [screws]?”

  8. “White wood? What are you racist?”
  9. “Here’s my card – even though you’d never want to use it.”

  10. ” I don’t know where those are.”

  11. “Do you want help with that?”


I couldn’t have made that up if I tried.

Was I Supposed To Bring That?

I am a great list maker and a great list forgetter.

I like making lists, shopping lists in particular are a must. But I’d be lying if I said that the list made it to the store with me more than 50% of the time.  Often it never leaves the house. Sometimes it gets left in the car. Occasionally I misplace it in my pocket, and on one memorable and confusing occasion I brought an out of date grocery list into the store with me.

Then of course there is the handwriting/spelling factor. You are perhaps blissfully unaware of the fact that my handwriting is mostly illegible because you are blessed with being able to be able to read what I type instead of what I write. Don’t even get me (or anyone else) started on my spelling. I confuse spell check. Regularly. What all this all means is that when I do make it to the store list in hand there is a good chance I may spend half my trip trying to decipher my own handwriting.


Here is my last list. Created for a Menards run, it never left the house.shopping list

Later that day I found it still on the counter covered in scribbles. Now days later, it’s still sitting here and have no idea what the last word is.

2 Outdoor Lights


White Lights

Broom ___?

I think it was “thing.” Why did I feel the need to write “thing” after broom? Why if seized by such a need did I attempt to spell it “ting” and leave out crossing the “t”? Is that what my scribbler was attempting to help me out with?

I’m not sure it’s worth the psychoanalyzation because, as usual, I remembered everything on the forgotten, illegible list but forgot to buy the item that wasn’t written down.

I make lists because they help, even when I don’t bring them.

Written in response to For The Promptless S.3 E.10 Shopping List hosted by Queen Creative.

Speech Therapy

As a mother I worry. While I like to think that my worry levels rate pretty low on the scale of mother worrying I still do it. I can’t help it. John, he’s the Dad, worry is not in his job description, so as the Mom I’ve got to pick up a bit of the slack.

Currently I’m worried that Ivy may have a speech problem.

She seems to add this superfluous  “mmmm” sound to the beginning of everything and let me tell you, in addition to worrying that her new speech issue will affect her fluency and general communication, it’s beginning to drive me crazy.

We tried working on it today:

Ivy: “Mom, can I…”

Me: ” You already have my attention just say can I, you don’t have to say Mom.”

Ivy: ” Mom, OK but…”

Me: “No, don’t say Mom, just say OK.”

Ivy: “Mom, OK, Mom can I…”

Me: “No, hear the “mmm” don’t make the “mmm” sound.”

Ivy: Mom, can I…

A speech therapist I am not.

Then we went to Farm and Fleet and she continued to make that awful “mmm” noise. Except the “mmm” had evolved into a full fledged “MMMMMOOOOOMMMM!!!!!” complete with lots of tears eliciting quite a few looks of pity from other shoppers.

I think they must have been worried about her speech problem too.

‘Tis the Season

I think I missed the memo that it’s December, and that Christmas is essentially two weeks away.

I must have been in Kansas when it went out.

Even though it snuck up on me I am excited the holiday season is here, I love it: The cookies, and the family, and the driving, and the snow, and the cookies, and the gift giving, and the Christmas trees, and the cookies, and the kids on Christmas morning, and the family dinner in Pewaukee (this will be 98 years at the same table!), and the cookies- I love it all. And since I’m all adult-like and I get to pick out and buy presents for my family I have found that I enjoy that far more than you would think from someone who has never, ever, been a shopper.

So, now that I have received my belated memo every day I don’t have something planned I think about how I should go take the girls and make a trek out into the world of stores and shiny items to pick up some gifts. Then the Christmas spirit starts to wane as I mentally plan my day. My thoughts go something like this:

It’ll be best if I can leave the house as soon as possible to get back as soon as possible. Earliest the kids get up at 7 and it takes us a good  hour and a half to dress, eat and do chores.  That’s right about when Clara is ready to take a nap. We can skip the nap this morning, she’ll be OK so long as we are doing things. Of course skipping the nap does result in a high probability that a melt down will occur in some public place, most likely when I’m trying to pay. This will no doubt happen just as Ivy is trying to put extra items from those evil displays at the register on to our pile. It is hard to carry the two girls both throwing fits bodily to the car as well as a shopping bag, but I can do it if I have to.  Then even if we make it back on the road tear free I’ll have to try to get Clara home before she falls asleep. If I feed her something half way home that should keep her awake until we get home, but will likely mean a McDonald’s stop. Then I might be able to get her into the house for a nap, but since she’ll be overtired we are looking at an hour napping max (don’t ask me why, that’s just how it works). Or she’ll fall asleep in the car and wake up when we get home, hungry and really cranky. Meanwhile Ivy will likewise be hungry and in need of a “rest” but protesting it all the while.  Wound up from being in the car too long yet still tired in the afternoon, that’s a guaranteed recipe for an afternoon “rest” struggle.   By the time I get done attempting to get them to sleep (and possibly feeding them) it’ll be time to make something for dinner to make up for the fast food consumed for lunch. Most likely I will have to do that with two cranky kids hanging off of me. John probably won’t be home in time to help (end of the year push at work and all that) and by the time I get them into bed I’ll be hating everyone and have lost the whole Christmas spirit thing entirely…

Do I even need to mention that I have yet to attempt the shopping thing?

It’s funny how that sort of  scenario seems worth a try when going grouse hunting, yet completely unmanageable if shopping is involved.

I think instead I’ll be using nap time and the power of the internet to do a bit of online shopping.

Now I’ve just got to cross my fingers that my satellite connection doesn’t go down in the snow that just started…