children, gratitude, happiness, humor, kids, life in pictures, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

What We Did For Thanksgiving Vacation

Whew!  Full Speed had a whole week off and T.Puzzle stayed home most of the week, too.

You know some mayhem ensued.

Oh how it did.

We were a busy bunch.

The week started with a ‘date’ for Mom and Full Speed.

The boys saw Santa with their cousin.

We celebrated Thanksgiving and Mad Dog’s birthday.  And yes, as a nation, I do believe in our entirety, we felt extreme gratitude that Mad Dog’s birthday coincided on this special day.   Or something like that.


Then, Mad Dog and I celebrated his birthday again as Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Pink graciously hosted our boys.  Upon our return, it is unlikely they will be invited back anytime soon.  Apparently, someone really needs to talk to their parents about their rowdy behavior.  Our apologies.


love you, Mad Dog!

Then, if all that wasn’t enough, we decorated our Christmas tree.  I tried oh-so-hard to let the boys do their thing without anxiously hovering about.  They seemed to have fun and I did too, just as long as all our breakable ornaments were hung at the top of the tree (by me!).

By the end of the week, we had two very tired boys on our hands.


So glad they have an 'off' switch.


When all was said and done, the thing that I am most grateful for is that I was actually sad to send them back to school because we had so much fun together.

Mothering these two strong spirited boys has not been without challenge.  To be able to say that I am honestly going to miss them as they trounce back to school is a turning point.

I am learning that even though there were days during vacation that they drove me to tears with their outlandish and stubborn behavior, I am now beginning to see the emergence of who they really are underneath.

Thankfully, they are two very cool little dudes.

Hope you all had a great holiday!

children, mommyhood

Teacher Tears

As you all know, yesterday at Target was a complete disaster (see Duck and Cover). I called in reinforcements for the afternoon because little T.Puzzle’s behavior remained naughty throughout the whole day. Our babysitter came in the afternoon so I could pick up Full Speed from school without having to take little T.Puzzle. Then, Mad Dog and I would go on to have a lovely date night in which we saw the movie ‘Date Night’. In my opinion ladies, Mark Wahlberg steals the show. Check it out.

So, as I make my way to pick up Full Speed, I feel a few minutes of freedom from my  T.Puzzle-related anxiety disorder and savor my five minute solitary car ride. When I reach Full Speed’s classroom he is out on the playground. His teacher always chats with me about his day and upcoming classroom events. As she approaches she says, “Oh man, I almost cried today.”

My heart drops. Oh no. Don’t tell me Full Speed had a bad day, too.

“What happened?” I anxiously venture.

“He just looked so grown-up in his cap and gown for graduation pictures I couldn’t take it. He is such a little man.” (Yes, there is a graduation for voluntary pre-kindergarten. I know, it’s a bit much.)

I let out a long breath that I hadn’t realized I had been holding. “Oh, thank God he had a good day,” I say.

If he hadn’t, she wouldn’t have been the only one holding back the tears.

gratitude, happiness, life in pictures

Piece of Cake

This happened a couple of days ago and was bumped because of all of little T.Puzzle’s exciting allergy news. As you know, Mad Dog was out of town for a training. To help me get through the week, our babysitter came to help one evening. She stayed home with T.Puzzle and I took Full Speed to karate with the older and higher ranking kids. After that, we went on a ‘date’.

He was so excited to go out with just me. We went to Ruby Tuesday’s and he handled himself fairly well. There was a point that he spastically kicked the table (you know he can’t sit still, ever) and it almost flipped over. And then there was the inappropriate comment he made about a smelly, body function. I had to sternly tell him I expected more from him and to not talk silly at the table. Other than that, it was quite enjoyable. We discussed what he is learning at school (which according to him is a lot because apparently he knows EVERYTHING) and we named the shapes of all the light fixtures (some were big and round and reminded Full Speed of cake).

When our meal was over I told him we could get dessert. His face lit up with joy. I read off the choices and he immediately chose the double chocolate cake. I told him that on a date, a gentlemen, if in agreement with his lady friend, should order when the waiter comes to the table. He was very serious about ordering the cake and was delighted to know we would get ice cream with it.

The manager came out to ask us how our meal was. He had heard that we were on a date. He asked Full Speed if he was going to pay. “I can’t pay. I’m not even an adult!” he said.

“Maybe you could go to the back and wash dishes instead,” said the manager.

“Okay,” said Full Speed. It surprised me that he was so easily compliant. He was very cute (Full Speed, not the manager, just to be clear).

When the cake arrived, Full Speed immediately dove in. He was stabbing the cake with glee and managing to get enormous chunks on his fork and somehow ably shoving these entire pieces into his little mouth. Cake was everywhere.

If the amount of mess Full Speed left on the table was any indicator of how much fun we had, then I can safely say, it was a complete success.

happiness, marital blissishness

Good Company

We had a spur of the moment date night. Our babysitter learned her work schedule and realized she had some availability last night. I learned this at about 5:30pm. I had taken the boys to the park and was on my way home to make them dinner. It still amazes me that phrases like ‘don’t sit on that boy’s head’ or ‘stop tackling your brother on top of the slide’ are used with regularity. When will I say simple phrases like, ‘no’ or ‘time to go’ without a hint of a threat behind it? Never? Don’t answer; I need some denial to survive their boyhoods.

My day had been hectic. I was grateful both boys were at school as I prepared my home for our upcoming holiday guests. I was in high gear and stressed out. I knew once we all returned from the park I’d have laundry to organize and a list of other chores I wanted done before we left on our date. Through the chaos, I got almost everything done although at great personal sacrifice to my outward appearance. Let’s just say a t-shirt, stretchy black pants, minimalist make-up (a fancy way to say lip gloss only) and a pony-tail completed my high fashion ensemble. I didn’t care; I was going on a date!!

Mad Dog was a champ. He sat through a very long and in my opinion, very good New Moon. It was broody, forlorn and moved mostly at a snail’s pace (thank goodness for a couple action sequences with werewolves for poor Mad Dog’s sake). Mad Dog had even let the boys pick out an Edward doll for me at Target (that’s who they are posing with at breakfast) a couple days prior to show his support for my mild Twilight obsession (I say mild because it’s nothing compared to my SATC obsession).

As we sat in the darkened theater I realized marriage is a lot like going to the movies. Sometimes you both agree on what movie to see and sometimes you have to let your partner decide. It’s just nice to have company no matter what you choose.

gratitude, marital blissishness

True Love’s Cup

Mad Dog and I had another date night. Our goal is to have a date night once a week. This is an extremely lofty goal but as of late, we’ve been managing it quite well. This time we were off for dinner and a movie. We saw Couples Retreat. It was lighthearted and fun. Not the best I’ve ever seen but it did make us laugh a few times.

When we arrived at the theater we got in line at the recession counter. I was jonesing for something chocolate. Mad Dog and I decided to split a Coke Zero because right now they come in ginormous Twilight collector’s cups. We already have the one with the character Bella (the main female lead) on it and I was hoping we would get one with her vampire boyfriend (Edward) on it. Yes, I’ll admit it. Apparently I am no better than a high school-aged girl when it comes to crushing on a vampire. I was let-down. Our soda came in a Jacob (the werewolf) cup. For those of you out there who have been sucked in (pardon the pun) to the Twilight saga, you can understand how disappointing this can be for someone who is clearly rooting for the vampires.

I pout a little because I don’t know when I’ll be back at the movies and I have a feeling the cups of Edward will run out soon. Mad Dog senses my distress and chivalrously offers me five dollars to go and get another soda and select the cup of my choosing. I knew I married Mad Dog for all the right reasons. He supports my fantastical whims with aplomb. I really love him for that.

I head back to the front and end up engaging in a lengthy conversation with the teenaged boy behind the counter. As soon as I walk up he says, “Let me guess, you want to get another soda. And, let me guess, you want the vampire dude on it.” Am I really that transparent? Which, in case you are curious, is a characteristic of Twilight vampires when they are in direct sunlight.

The boy shakes his head in disbelief. I try to play coy. “Maybe I should pick the one with all three main characters on it. I mean, I am on a date with my husband. Do you think he’d be offended if I picked the one with just Edward on it?” He stares blankly at me and shrugs. Why am I asking relationship advice from someone who’s most likely only learned how to drive last year?

“Well, I need to be true to myself. Edward it is,” I declare proudly for all to hear. The boy smiles a knowing smile and says, “I have to head to the back and get a new sleeve of cups. There was a group of girls in here earlier that wiped out the counter supply of Edwards”. He slips back to the storage area of the theater. He returns and I clasp my hand around the coolness of the cup and I feel victorious.


True love can show itself in many forms. For some it could come in the form of a werewolf or vampire. For me, it showed itself tonight as a patient husband that paid for an extra soda that I didn’t really need but most certainly wanted. Thanks, Mad Dog. If there would have been a cup with your picture on it, I would have chosen it hands down.