That time I got handed poop.

I consider myself a relatively calm person. Laid back. Chill. I tend to go with the flow. Breezy.

Most days.

Then there are those days where I feel like all of my nerves are on the outside of my body and everything, including the tiniest of air molecules that come in contact with me can set me off and I get dangerously close to throwing myself out the window. (Don’t worry, I don’t hang out in tall buildings.)

(I’ve been told that I tend to be a bit on the dramatic side… I don’t see it.)


I’m having one of those days where my nerves were firmly planted on the outside of my body. After a long day and an ever longer commute home, my sweet two-year-old was acting like a two-year-old who was impersonating a fire truck. LOUDLY. I can’t stress the LOUDLY part of this enough. Because, he’s two. And as a two-year-old he’s required to do EVERYTHING loud.

So I pour myself a glass of wine. Isn’t the sound that wine makes as it pours out of the bottle and into a glass one of the best sounds ever? Or is that just me?

Never mind.

Okay, so I’m making dinner. It’s a recipe that I’ve made hundreds of times – my Mom’s “baked spaghetti.” It’s a favorite of mine (the two older kids could care less) and definitely my version of comfort food. Because it’s pasta and cheese and tomatoes and butter and love. Seriously. It’s so good.

Except on this night, I run out of thin spaghetti. Of course I don’t realize I am going to run out until after I’m halfway through cooking it. And the toddler is still pretending to be a very loud fire truck. And the dog… well, he’s just being himself which is a perfect impersonation of an asshole dog. And dinner is going to be delayed. And I’m totally annoyed.

I substitute the missing thin spaghetti for rotini. People, it’s just not the same if it’s not thin spaghetti! This is a family recipe that has been handed down by… well, at least ONE generation, maybe two… and it MUST be thin spaghetti! I’ve only ever eaten this with thin spaghetti! This is devastating to me. I’m disappointed in myself and disappointed in dinner. So I pour myself another glass of wine.

It tasted fine.

I don’t think anyone would have cared (except me) that it wasn’t thin spaghetti. In fact, the pickiest eater of a toddler loved it and devoured three helpings. WHATever.

I let the toddler down from the table and he runs into the living room. I’m in the kitchen cleaning up and washing dishes. I peek on Kaden and he’s fine; watching some Disney Jr. show which gives me a few minutes to get the kitchen back together.

Another couple of minutes go by and my sweet, precious darling of a boy walks into the kitchen and hands me something that he had been holding.

I say, “What is that?… What is in your hand?…Is that POOP?”

Why yes, it was poop.

After a multitude of hand-washing for both of us, a diaper change, a refill of my wine glass, and some snuggle time with the little stinker… I managed to calm down and get those nerves back on the inside of my skin.

I wish I could say that that was the last time he handed me poop.

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Freedom! Freedom!

I love the teachers and the curriculum at Kaden’s day care. I didn’t think I cared so much about curriculum for babies and toddlers, but apparently I do, and I now believe that it is incredibly important – even at that young age. Kaden has learned so much from being in daycare – infinitely more than I would’ve taught him if he had been home with me all this time. (and, by the way, I’m pretty sure I would suck at being a stay-at-home-mom)

The other day we were driving home after I picked him up from daycare. Our drive is about an hour long (on a good day) and so we get to have lots of conversation – which usually involves him saying “Mommy… mommy… mommy… mommy… mommy…” and or demanding milk or a snack or saying “Mommy… mommy… mommy…” All the time. And even when I acknowledge him, he still says “Mommy… mommy… mommy…” I’m not even exaggerating a little bit. Trust me.

On this particular day, as we’re passing by a car wash that has a bell as their logo – he says “something-I-couldn’t-understand BELL, Mommy!” I replied, “yes, that’s a bell, Kaden.” He said, “No Mommy, it’s the ‘something-I couldn’t-understand’ BELL!” I said, “Oh, the Liberty Bell?” And he replied, “yes.” Wow – he’s learning about the Liberty Bell! Isn’t that fantastic!?

The next morning as I’m dropping him off at daycare, I ask the teachers if they were learning about the Liberty Bell. They told me they were actually going over Black History Month icons. They were teaching the kids about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the “Freedom Bell.” The teacher continued to say that that they bring out an actual bell and ring it saying “Freedom! Freedom!” and all the kids are shouting “Freedom!” along with them.

Well, that might be the best thing I’ve ever heard. I love that so much.

So – that afternoon as we’re driving home, Kaden sees the car wash with the bell logo again and says “something-I-still-can’t-understand BELL, Mommy!” And I say, “Is that the ‘Freedom Bell,’ Kaden?” He says, “Yes!” I tell him that he’s so smart.

Then I start yelling “Freedom! Freedom!” while raising my fist in the air.

(I don’t know why I feel it’s necessary to raise my fist in the air as I say “Freedom!” but it seems appropriate in my mind and it also feels good. Try it.)

Then we happened to drive by a Taco Bell on our way home… yes, you guessed it. Kaden and I were BOTH waving our fist in the air yelling “Freedom! Freedom!”

Either I’m encouraging his education…or he’s learning just how silly his Mom can be. I’m good either way.


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Oh 2013, you were quite a year.

A year ago, if you had told me that at the end of 2013 I would be remarried, not working in the hotel industry, AND that I would have a new baby, I would have told you that you were crazy! As it turns out, I am the crazy one for not believing you. Hopefully our friendship survived the name-calling.

I never imagined that I would have another baby 12 years after my daughter was born…turns out that she has been acting like a middle child this whole time. It all makes sense now.

Having a baby at my “advanced maternal” age was not easy. Each doctor visit meant additional tests because I was considered high-risk, which caused more worry and stress – two things that you shouldn’t have a lot of during your pregnancy. I had gestational diabetes for the third time, but this time around nothing kept it in check except insulin injections. And giving yourself shots three times a day sucks. But it is amazing what women do for a little unborn baby.

Everything seemed to hurt worse than I remember it hurting. The exams, the IV, the epidural…I think I jumped out of my skin (and freaked out my husband) for every procedure. The kids and my sister were with me while I labored. We looked like a gang as we walked the halls together (then they told us we could only go two at a time).

Apparently my midwife liked to take things slow. She and I did not have the same sense of urgency. Thirty-two hours of labor later, at 5:17am, little Kaden was born.

He didn’t cry right away when he came out. I remember him making kind of a grunting sound that sounded like our cat. I didn’t want to look at any of the nurses & see any worry on their faces. I just knew he would be okay. From what my sister says, they didn’t look quite as convinced. He was brought to the exam table where he squeaked some more and opened his eyes. He also lifted up his head. (We expect him to master calculus any day now.)

There was some other drama about his bilirubin count and not being able to leave the hospital with me and me totally breaking down over it…but it all eventually worked out and I am blaming postpartum hormones on all of that. We were definitely in the hospital longer than I ever want to be in the hospital without them giving me a paycheck…but once we were home, that didn’t matter so much anymore.

The name Kaden? The K is for my Mom, Kathy. Her only grandbaby that she didn’t get to hold. Kaden’s middle name is Miguel, after his great-grandfather on his father’s side. And after we chose the name, we found out that the name Kaden means “fighter” which is totally appropriate considering all it took to get him here.


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Lots of changes coming up this year. Lots. This may be the changiest (just made that word up) year ever.

The first change? A new job.

Not just a new job. A new industry. After twenty years working in the hotel business, I am saying buh-buy to the 7/24/365 craziness that is hospitality. I still can’t believe that I won’t be dealing with bartenders, housekeepers, and restaurant servers anymore. No more meal tickets and nametags and safety shoes. Will I miss the drama of the diverse workforce that makes up the population of a large hotel? Probably.

Well, maybe after a little while.

Right now, I’m looking forward to a corporate office… an office that’s not located in the basement, next to a dumpster, near the loading dock, or surrounded on all sides by restrooms so that the soundtrack to each of my days is constant flushing. I’m looking forward to having an office that doesn’t smell like cigarette smoke from being so close to the smoking area or like the sewer because the grease traps are being cleaned. I’m especially looking forward to having an office with a window.

(Oh joy! Oh bliss! A window!)

I have a million insane stories that I could tell for days… everyone who works in HR in hotels always talks about writing a book. I think when you have people from all over the world who work in a building with liquor, money, and beds, you have lots of ways for them to get in trouble. I wish I could say that none of it surprises me anymore, but I’d be lying. I’m constantly surprised by the ingenuity of stupidity.

I know that the new place will have it’s own set of problems and, I’m sure, drama…however, I don’t know if any of it can compare to what I’ve witnessed and been involved with over the past twenty years. Though, if I hadn’t been through all of that, maybe I wouldn’t have been qualified for this new position. I have definitely learned a great deal through all the nonsense. For that, and for some amazing friends and loved ones, I am especially grateful.

So, that’s change number one… more to come.

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Tired of being so tired.


Madeline Kahn sang a song in Blazing Saddles called “I’m tired of being so tired” and that’s exactly how I feel these days. I am tired all the time. Like, even if I get a full eight hours of sleep, I need a nap. A two-hour nap. That’s not normal, right?

The other day I felt somewhat awake. I got home from work, cooked dinner, and even took the dog for a walk. I had also consumed a big-ass cup of coffee at 4:00pm. And after the walk I totally crashed. That was it for me; I was done.

A couple of months ago I started taking vitamins & eating healthier… drinking water, eating fruit. Still tired. So I made an appointment with my endocrinologist. What, YOU don’t have an endocrinologist? I do because I have a thyroid thing and I’m wondering if that is the reason for my perpetual state of sleepiness.

So I went to see the doctor. Who, by the way, reminds me of this guy from The Carol Burnett Show:


Supposedly, my doctor is one of the best in town… however, he walks like the old man that Tim Conway portrayed & sometimes asks me the same question two or three times in a row.

I told him that I have been feeling really tired all the time no matter how much sleep I get. He asked, “Do you wake up tired?” I said yes. He asked what I had been doing all summer and I said not too much. He asked if I went on vacation and I said yes, I went to Puerto Rico. I was really too tired for even having small talk. Then he asked me if I was on any medication and I said “of course I am.” Then he asked, “So, do you wake up tired?”

He had me drink some water while he felt my throat. Then he sent me to the lady who takes blood. She told me that I also needed to pee in a cup. “Do you think you can do that now,” she said. Well, sure. Because trying to aim my pee into a dixie cup is what I’ve been waiting to do all day!

After that she took seven vials of blood. SEVEN VIALS people! I stood up and almost passed out. I asked her if seven vials of blood were really necessary and she said that the doctor wanted to do A LOT of tests.

My immediate thought was, “I wonder how many of those are not going to be covered by my insurance.” Sad, but true. I have sucky insurance, folks.

Now I wait two weeks or so for test results.

Oh – and while I was looking online for the picture of Madeline Kahn, there was a question on a medical website by someone asking why they were so tired. The person asking said that they had had their thyroid checked and it was all fine so what else could it be. The answer was that it could be depression.

Ha! As if. That’s what the medication is for. Duh.

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Excessive, much?

I returned from vacation and realized that I took 1,097 photos in the seven days I was away. That was on one camera.

That doesn’t count the 30+ photos I took on my phone (the ones I chose to have developed) OR the 19 photos I took using my polaroid instax.

Plus… each kid had their own camera and was taking their own photos of the vacation. And then I just remembered the waterproof disposable camera we used for some underwater photos. I haven’t gotten those developed yet. Wait…how do I do that again? Get film developed?

So, is it more excessive that I took over 1,100 photos in seven days or that I took these photos on three different devices?

I haven’t counted how many photos the kids took, but if it’s under 1,000 I may question whether or not they are truly related to me.


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The Worst Beach Ever


Carolina Beach, Puerto Rico

I do believe I have found paradise. My “tour guide” said this was the worst beach ever – too crowded, too noisy. I loved it…maybe because of that There was music playing the entire time thanks to fellow beach-goers. And the most excellent people watching.

The kids had a blast! Skylar stayed in the water the entire time & Mack played in the sand and swam in the ocean.

How can that possibly be “the worst beach ever”?

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