Texting Fail

On the night before Valentine’s Day, I noticed that Boo, age 12, hadn’t filled out her valentines yet. The box was still sitting on the kitchen counter.

I didn’t feel like walking up the stairs, so I texted her.


Finally I sent GG upstairs to tell her sister to stop messing around and come write out her valentines. But Boo hadn’t gotten my texts.

Apparently I was texting the wrong number the whole time.


Trick or Treat

When the twins got back from trick-or-treating I immediately began inspecting their candy.

I could have been looking for safety reasons, trying to find suspicious-looking things like unwrapped candies or (gasp!) home-made treats.

I wasn’t, of course.

Pawing through Little Girl’s plastic pumpkin, I asked, “Did you get anything good?”

“Oh yes,” she said excitedly. “I got a BOOK.”


I gave her a look. “Yeah. Okay. I was kind of thinking maybe Resse’s cups…”

The ABC’s of My Trip

I just flew across the ocean with my kids. Twice.

This is not the first time I’ve made this trip. Nor will it be the last, unfortunately. But this is the first time I’ve decided to make an illustrated alphabetical list about the trip.



Little Girl was highly suspicious of the apple juice on the airplane. “Why is it in a CAN?! It’s supposed to be in a box.”


One of the highlights of the trip was the display of (and discussion about) what Little Girl found in her her belly button.

  • LG: What is this?
  • Me: It’s just dirt.
  • LG: EW! Dirt?
  • Me: It’s no big deal. Everyone has dirt in their belly button.
  • LG: Everyone does?
  • Me: Yes, everyone.
  • LG: Even brand-new BABIES?!
  • Me: Okay. Maybe not everyone…


This picture speaks for itself, I think.


Diet Coke was about the only thing keeping me going on these marathon flights. Well, and M-n-M’s…


The problem with airline earbuds is that they are made for grown-up-sized ears. They simply refuse to stay in the ears of small children! I thought I had solved this problem this year by packing headbands to wrap around the twins’ heads and hold the earbuds in, but they still fell out. Over and over and over.

Perhaps I should have considered duct tape…


It still amazes me that they refuse to feed you ANYTHING while you are trapped on an airplane for ten hours. Unless you pay extra…


Boo (age 11) discovered there was a downside to having grown about a foot taller since our last overnight flight. She couldn’t get comfortable in her seat at all.

So she got enjoy my usual overnight flight pastime: Watching all the people who can sleep on airplanes snooze away… and HATING THEM ALL.


Truthfully I like it when the screens on the airplane show you how much longer you have to go until landing. 

But I like it less when I have to keep reading it out loud to little kids, and translating the time into the number of minutes.


This problem wasn’t helped much by all the apple juice consumed on the flight.


There’s a point in the middle of  a REALLY long flight when you think you’re not going to survive to see land again. EVER.

I have been there.




I just put in a little flashback here to last year’s trip to remind me that things could always be worse.

Because they can.


The twins were obsessed with the call-flight-attendant button once they’d discovered it, which was fortunately not until the last flight.

  • Me: Don’t press the man button.
  • Them: But what happens if we press it?
  • Me: Just DON’T.
  • Them: But what happens?
  • Me: Please. Just DON’T.
  • Them: Hey! I saw one in the bathroom too!
  • Me: Don’t press it.




So to take our minds off the torture of overseas air travel with children, let’s go back and visit the torture of navigating giant airports with children.


Yep. Little Girl had a full-on panic attack at the top of the escalator and refused to go down. Meanwhile the rest of us, and her travel pillow, sailed down the escalator alone.  

Good times.

Another thing taking my mind off travel was the quilt I’ve been working on. I’m hand-sewing a quilt made of several thousand identically-sized triangles.

As of the middle of the trip I’d finished a center panel consisting of 36 squares, each containing 36 triangles. That’s 1,298 triangles all together, if you didn’t realize. And that’s not even the whole quilt yet.


Yes, that would be be the aforementioned apple juice spilling on my needlework.








Unfortunately, no tranquilizers were available.

Despite the apple-juice mishap, I continued sewing as much as I could. Although it is a problem to keep up with things in those tiny airplane seats.


It is REALLY hard to reach things when they fall under there.

But like I said, remember it could always be worse.



Once that crisis was safely averted, we settled back into mid-flight boredom.






There was some trouble when Little Girl caught sight of the safety information card.



  • Her: Why does it show the airplane going in the water?
  • Me: No, it’s just telling you what to do in case it goes in the water.
  • Her: Why would it go in the water? It’s not a boat. It’s a plane.
  • Me: Well, it wouldn’t. You’re right. We’re flying OVER the ocean.
  • Her: So why does it show the people floating in the water?
  • Me: Well, you know, just in case.
  • Her: In case what?
  • Me: In case the plane…goes down…in the water….
  • Her: It might go down in the WATER?!
  • Me: It won’t.
  • Her: But what if it does?!
  • Me; It won’t.
  • Her: But the PICTURE?!
  • Me: Let’s just put that away, shall we?

And now we are coming to the end of the alphabet, finally. Just as we EVENTUALLY came to the end of the airplane trip.




Why I haven’t written anything in a week

Because it is Spring Break.

Which means all my kids are home. All day.

Which means all the creativity has been sucked out of me, and all I can do is sit here like an unmotivated lifeless blob.


I’ll get back to you guys next week.

Christmas Gift Dilemma

Have you ever ordered something from a catalog that looked nice in the picture and then turned out to be horrifically ugly when you received it?

This just happened to me with a Christmas present I ordered. What looked like a really nice purse in the catalog photo arrived in the box and…

Ugliest. Purse. Ever.

What had looked like a nice beige owl shape was actually a giant gold lame monstrosity. Its huge eyes seemed crazily drugged rather than pleasantly sleepy. The background color that had appeared a trendy teal and brown floral was inexplicably green and orange blobs instead.

It was bad. Unfortunately, it was going to cost me almost as much as the horrid thing had originally been priced in order to return it to the mail-order company.

Still… If I gave that thing to my niece I’d never live it down. I would be forever in family lore as the Aunt Who Gave the Worst Purse for Christmas. People would try anything to avoid having me draw their name in the family lottery.

Should I give it to charity, I wondered? But I knew even the homeless wouldn’t want this thing.

I decided to just pay to return it after all.

I sent it back to the catalog with “Not as pictured” marked as “Reason for return.” (Since “Ugly as Sin” or “Appearance wounded my retinas” were not choices on the form. Surprisingly.)

And yes, I bought my niece a nicer purse.

Stuff I didn’t buy for Christmas

Here’s some toys my daughter won’t be getting this Christmas:

#1. Press-on nails for little girls


Mostly because at first glance it looks like it says “Call Girl Fingers.”

#2. A babydoll that says, “Oops! I made a stinky!”

Yes. This really exists. I laughed out loud in the toy aisle of WalMart.

#3. Any more Barbie dolls.

Okay, maybe one.

Or two.

Okay, you caught me. Between my daughters we have enough Barbies to fill a Bieber concert, and they are getting several more this Christmas.

“Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse”

I‘m a sucker for pink glitter.

So sue me.

What to do with Christmas cards after the holidays?

I save photo cards after Christmas and make holiday place-mats with them.


My grandmother actually did this years ago and we used to LOVE looking at Christmas 1965 or whatever underneath our plates. (Oh look! There’s Aunt Jodie strangling the cat in front of the Christmas tree!!)

My own kids love it too. I have a place-mat for every year since 1996.

Obviously there are too many for the table now, so last year I started hanging them up for display.


Anyways, if you want to use this idea, all you have to do is make a collage of the cards and take it to Kinko’s (I mean Fed-Ex Office) to laminate. Keep it to around 11″ x 16″ so you have a good seal on the edge around it, unless you want to get them to laminate it for you on the big machine.


I use the self laminator after the Place-Mat Disaster of ’02. (Their big machine ate my beautiful collage. It was horrifying. I managed to replace it, but still.)

This costs $3.99, which is not bad for the amount of fun we get out of looking at them year after year.

Okay. End of tutorial. More jokes tomorrow!

I still think that elf is creepy

The Elf on the Shelf: An Elf's Story

Last year I wrote about the Elf on the Shelf.

Guess what? I still don’t like that elf.

And now he has his own MOVIE?!

Here’s a synopsis (from target.com):

“An Elf’s Story is the inspirational tale of Chippey, the enthusiastic young scout elf who is assigned by Santa to restore Taylor’s belief in Christmas magic. In spite of Taylor’s twin sisters’ joy at having an elf from the North Pole as a guest in their home, he breaks the number one Elf on the Shelf rule and touches Chippey in a boyish act of defiance.

The elf loses his Christmas magic; the entire McTuttle family loses its scout elf, and both Taylor and Chippey lose their self-respect. Through the power of love and forgiveness, both of them learn that true belief cannot be taught.”

They lose their SELF-RESPECT?! What kind of a creepy story is this?

And what exactly is “inspirational” about an elf watching you all the time?

I’m sorry. I still don’t get this.