humor, motherhood

How Do You Spell Amazing? (Part Two)

Towards the end of last year, I shared with you my elite status as a spelling bee prep consultant (How Do You Spell Amazing)? There are many things one must do in order to get their clients in fighting form.  In addition to being able to read a list of words out loud (gasp!), it is paramount as a consultant to live a varied and rich life.  Through your life adventures, it will help expose your clients to words that may have otherwise slipped past them.

Well over a decade ago I must have had a premonition that I would need to grow the vocabulary of my life to further the academic excellence of my children.  When Full Speed was 8 months old, Mad Dog and I had our first weekend away.  As a mom who struggled with the all-consuming role of caring for an infant, this weekend was a revelation.  Simply walking down a hall unencumbered felt foreign and liberating.  Getting a chance to eat a meal and engage in an actual conversation warmed the depths of my soul.  During this outing, Mad Dog and I also spent some time at our resort’s bar.  Having recently stopped breastfeeding, I was happily free to indulge in a glass of wine.  I’m not sure if it was the headiness of my new-found (and short-lived) freedom, but that first glass of wine there was transcendent. To this day, I wonder if it actually is as good as I think, or if it simply reminds me of that formative slice in time of being footloose and kid-free.  You may wonder where I’m going with this, but you’ll see how it plays out later.

As I continued raising my little family and expanding all of our horizons and vocabulary, I came into my own as a spelling bee prep consultant.  The result was Full Speed’s exciting win as a fifth grader and lo and behold, T.Puzzle followed exactly the same path!

So, there I was in the audience, watching my handsome and brave T.Puzzle compete in his school’s spelling bee.  Each time it was his turn, I couldn’t even watch him.  I stared at the paper list of contestants held tightly in my hands.  I proceeded to crumple that paper to shreds as I locked it in a death grip.

The first rounds were easy for the most part, but soon the words took a complicated turn.  He hung in there round after round.  Then, he got to the word:


Immediately, I relaxed my hands and shot my mother-in-law a huge grin.  I knew my baby had it.  It wasn’t for the win but I rest assured that he was safe for another round.

‘Conundrum’ happens to be the name of the very wine I drank all those years ago.  It remains one of my favorites and has graced our table, our fridge and my outstretched hand on many occasions.

He spelled it without an ounce of hesitation.

As a mom, I pledge to do whatever it takes to help my children succeed.


I’m good like that.


Full Speed and Mad Dog took a half day to cheer T.Puzzle onto victory. A great day for all of us. Way to go, T.Puzzle!




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

Fight Club

If I could describe my perfect holiday weekend it would include things like quietly reading or blogging.  Maybe I would go to a non-violent film about love and redemption.  I would get a pedicure, go shopping or have a nice glass of wine with a fancy dinner.

Never in my wildest imagination would these plans include a knock-down, drag-out pillow war.

It is clear to me that my boys and I are very different.  Not bad different but maybe slightly crazy different.

Either way, I’m running for cover.

children, kids, life in pictures, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting


We were all set to host our friends for dinner.  Since we are the couple with the young kids, it’s most practical for them to come to our house.  That way they can still see the boys and after we put Full Speed and T.Puzzle to bed, we have the chance to have an actual uninterrupted conversation.

At least this was the plan.

Apparently, plans were made to be broken as well as the heads of overactive children.

Ten minutes before our guests arrive Full Speed does a swan dive off the couch onto our hardwoood floor.  Through his screams of pain Mad Dog was able to triage his damaged noggin.  And wouldn’t you know it, Full Speed managed to land on precisely the same spot that had been the reason for a July trip to the emergency room.

Injury #1

Fortunately this time the goose-egg reached about an eighth of the size of the previous injury.  No emergency room visit was required for Full Speed.

Injury #2

However Mom required many, many glasses of wine with her dinner.