UPDATED: My Boobs Broke My Washer

January 20, 2016 in Family, Funny by Beth Woolsey

Look; it’s been a rough season for appliances in our house. I don’t know if we’re doing appliances wrong, or if appliances aren’t built for 47HundredMillion people to use them ALL DAY LONG, or if I’m modeling Breakdown / I Quit / I HONEST TO GOD CANNOT DO ONE MORE THING behavior, or what; I just know this is the house where appliances come to die terrible, terrible deaths, and we can pray for them.

Here’s an example with a beginning, a middle, a middle, a middle, a middle, and an end. Ready? OK.

We bought a microwave. It died. We bought a new microwave. It died. Greg’s grandma gave us her old microwave. It died. We bought a used microwave. The children lit it on fire. (REMOVE THE PLASTIC WRAPPER FROM THE POPCORN PACKAGE, GUYS. Just saying.) It died. Friends gave us their microwave. Died. Won a $100 BestBuy gift certificate! WOOT! Bought a new microwave. The week after the one-year warranty ended, it coughed, spluttered and died. DIED. Bought a new microwave. Died, but inside of the warranty period this time, so HA! Called the company! Demanded restitution! (With a please, ’cause there’s no need to be rude.) They sent a repairman. … A repairman. For a $75 microwave? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  Okeedokee, company. Whatever floats your boat. … The repairman came. He ordered a $50 part, and, I assume, charged the company $3B in labor. Three weeks later, the part arrived, and the repairman raised the microwave from the dead. IT LIVES. We call it Lazarus. The End.

This is, of course, but one small example of Appliance Death around here.

We’re currently on Fridge #5 for this house, where we’ve lived 14 years.

We use toothpicks and sometimes an ice pick to start our stove (long story), but the burners light all the way, like, 73% of the time.

The dishwasher died last Spring after the heating element bent and melted a hole in the tub, causing gallons and gallons (and gallons) of dirty dishwater to pour into our subfloor over weeks and weeks before it finally bubbled up from underneath the cheap laminate floor and clued us in. Which, wheeeeeeeee! New floors!

And then, on Tuesday, when the repairman was here repairing the NEW dishwasher which tried to burn our house down — melted electric connector, because it wants to be cool like the microwave, and God knows, if the microwave jumped off a bridge, the dishwasher would, too (dishwashers these days!) — the clothes washer gave up the ghost.

Kerklunk. Kerklunk. Kerklunk. Vvvvvzzzzzzz. KERKLUNK. Aaaannnddd… DEAD.


The clothes washer is lying dead upstairs as I type.

And, guys. Guys. Guys. My boobs killed it.

I know that’s true because Greg performed the autopsy, and he found my underwire wrapped around the shaft.

I don’t even know what to say about this, except I assume my boobs, with great compassion, decided the washer had had enough and took action to end its suffering.

In conclusion, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. And bless my boobs’ heart. And don’t ever let my boobs see you suffer, because they clearly mean well, but they have very, VERY poor self-control.

The End.

P.S. You can pray for Greg.

P.P.S. And the shaft.

P.P.P.S. And for Greg as he coaxes the shaft back to life.



For those of you who’ve been waiting with bated breath for the washer outcome (all of you, I’m sure), Greg has compiled the following update:

I can report the washer is whole again, resting quietly after a vigorous workout.

I removed the outer coverings, including the rubber barrier because sometimes it’s hard to get a good feel for what’s going on with a rubber barrier in the way.

I realized after exposing it that the best way in was from the rear.

Although it was a tight fit, and required a firm grasp, I pulled, pushed, yanked and twisted until the job was done.

With great relief following my efforts, I confirmed the shaft is undamaged.

My job wasn’t done, however, until the washer was satisfied with its performance, so I ran the cycle labeled “Quick Wash,” because this model knows about five kids, and came prepared for quickies when we’ve only got RIGHT NOW and we must GET IT DONE.

After the final spin, I can confirm we are back to near complete appliance compliance, and I’ve learned some valuable lessons:

  1. I’m OK with a random underwire issue once every 21 years as a cost of needing them in the first place.
  2. It might be in my best interest to encourage more regular bra replacement. I should probably offer to help Beth shop for them.
  3. Even when an appliance problem is a common one (per the guys at the local sales and repair shop I visited), in our house it has to go bigger and more spectacular than they’ve ever heard.  “Around the shaft? Really? How did it do that?”


This Is Life, And I Quit. Also, I Un-Quit.

August 12, 2015 in Beth, But Seriously, Family by Beth Woolsey

I’ve been burning the candle at both ends lately. Spitting into the wind. Taking one step forward and three steps back, minus the one step forward part.

I think that’s pretty much the same thing as being a mom, although I don’t think it’s we moms exclusively who fit those GOOD LORD I’M TIRED clichés. It’s just that… Good Lord, I’m TIRED, you know?

You know.

I know you know.

Two nights ago, I quit. Called my husband on the phone prior to dinner and said, “I QUIT. I quit. I quiiiiiiiiit. I quit, and I quit, and I quit. Not gonna parent tonight. Not gonna wife. Not gonna adult. Just gonna sit in the bathtub and read a trashy book and go to bed at 7. ‘Cause, DUDE; I’m twelve kinds of done.” I mean, I just quit temporarily, of course, but I still quit dramatically and with lots of words because otherwise what’s the point of quitting? And Greg, because he’s smarter now than he used to be, said, “OK,” and “fine,” and not, “so you’re sticking me with all the kids and all the work?” He’s SO MUCH SMARTER, friends.

Here’s how it went down:

At 5pm, I quit everything.

At 6pm, a kid started vomiting, so I unquit and got out of the tub and snuggled that kid into my bed with the specific understanding that I would requit as soon as the kid felt better.

At 8pm, the kid felt better. I re-quit.

At 8:15pm, the kid who has anxiety and panic disorders and developmental delay and questionable judgement because he’s made out of human had a meltdown. A wall-banging, anxiety-laden, ragey, annoying, heartbreaking meltdown. I unquit.

At 9pm, when that kid calmed and finally slept, I requit. QUIT quit. “I QUIT,” I told Greg. “I MEAN IT THIS TIME.”

At 9:15pm, another kid — separate from the kids above, because my kids share well, including the torture of their mommy — had stomach pains. I, however, did NOT unquit. You know why? Because this isn’t my first rodeo, folks. He had stomach pains, not a severed artery, and his stomach pains weren’t on the right side so I knew it was just gas and not appendicitis because the internet told me so.

At 9:30pm, the stomach pain kid was still crying.

And at 9:45pm.

And at 10pm, plus he added some screaming.

At 10:15pm, I unquit, and at 10:30pm, I took him to the emergency room.

At 11pm, he was admitted to the hospital.

At 11:15pm, he farted and felt much better.

At 12am, he was released, and we came home, and I got to explain to Greg that we will be paying an ER bill for gas and constipation. Again.

At 1am, I requit because sometimes you just have to have priniciples, you know? I whispered, “I quit,” but no one heard me because they were all finally asleep, and I technically requit in bed with the gassy kid on one side and the puker on the other because I’m also a mama and it’s what we mamas do. Still, priniciples.

I’m swimming upriver, friends. Trying to keep my head afloat. Sinking fast. Resurfacing.

I don’t know what to say about that other than this is life.

This is life. This cycle of drowning and floating and being dashed by the waves and finding our way to shore to rest and recover and forage for sustenance.

This is life. To sit by the ocean and to know its power from the sound and the memories of the pounding of the surf.

This is life, to rise again and brush the sand away and wade into the depths again.

This is life. To swim with long strokes and to succumb to the sea and to swim again.

This is life. This pace. This relentlessness. This strange joy in the journey even though we’re jabbed and jarred.

This is life, and I can’t tell you I wouldn’t have it any other way, because I’d honestly take a little less puking right now and a lot more sleep, but this is life, and I’m content, and sometimes that’s all we can ask.


This is life, and I unquit. For now.

With love,


10 Haikus About Motherhood

August 3, 2015 in Beth, Funny by Beth Woolsey

Here’s how I feel today: pfffttttttt.

So I wrote haikus.

I don’t know why those things go together, but they do.

Without further ado, here are:

10 Haikus About Motherhood

Got Out of Bed Late
Got out of bed late.
Big surprise. By which I mean,
No surprise at all.

Spilled Coffee
Spilled coffee on my
shirt on my way to work this
morning. Normal day.

My Kids Yell
My kids yell and yell
And yell and yell and yell and
Yell and yell and yell.

My Dog Licks Balls
My dog likes to lick.
Especially balls. My dog
Is a Ball Licker.

Potato chips break.
They’re fragile. Brittle. Crumbly.
Shrapnel everywhere.

Potato shrapnel
In my bed, on my couch, in
The carpet. Shards hurt.

I’d Like to Poop Alone
I’d like to poop a-
lone. I’d like to poop alone.
Lonely poop sounds nice.

Boys Pee on Things
Boys pee on things like
grass and trees and walls and floors,
bees and leaves and me.

Not quite menopause, but FUN!
Night sweats are sex-ay.

I’m a Tired Mom
I’m a tired mom.
That’s redundant, isn’t it?
Too tired to count syllables anymore. Pfft.

And here’s one more, as a bonus, not about motherhood, but probably applicable, depending on the kind of day you’re having:

How I Feel About What’s Happening in Our Churches and Our (in)Ability to Love Our Neighbors as Ourselves
Balls, balls, balls, balls, balls,
Balls, balls, balls, balls, balls, balls, balls.
Fuckity fuck. Balls.

In conclusion,  pfffttttttt.






P.S. Please share your haikus with me, too. A bad haiku LOVES company, friends. It’s what Jesus would do. Pretty sure.

In Retrospect…

August 2, 2015 in Funny by Beth Woolsey

In retrospect, taking 6 kids in 100+ degree weather in a non-air-conditioned vehicle for a 7 hour road trip isn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done.

On the bright side, it’s also not the stupidest thing I’ve ever done, and we invented the most fabulous on-the-go, do-it-yourself, totally-Pinterest-worthy air conditioning system while we were at it. Our system is called ICE EVERYWHERE — ice every damn where — and it worked! It worked!

Please don’t feel sad if you’ve never thought of that elegant solution yourself. It’s OK. You’re OK. Some of us are Pinteresty, and some of us aren’t, and we accept all comers here. As for me, I’m Pinteresty. Obviously. I mean, I even shoved ice in my hair, man.



Just in case you’d like to create your own DIY Air Conditioning, I’ve created a step-by-step guide below. BECAUSE I CARE, friends. Because I care.

DIY Portable Air Conditioning
A Step-By-Step Guide

Step 1: Borrow a large passenger vehicle. We borrowed an airport shuttle from my father-in-law, but I imagine any bulky, unwieldy, beast of a van absent air circulation will do.
Step 2: When the vehicle’s owner notes the lack of air conditioning in said vehicle and asks if you’re really sure you want to borrow it, given the time of year, assure him you’ll be just fine without air conditioning. After all, you live in in a temperate part of the world and you grew up in Southeast Asia. Be sure to say things like, “Pacific Northwesterners are enormous wimps,” and “How bad can it be?” Scoff loudly.
Step e: Arrange for a 5 hour road trip. Make lots of potty stops and also sort of crash your borrowed vehicle into a coffee shop awning so it becomes a 7 hour road trip. I mean, you could just make a 5 hour road trip in 5 hours, but where’s the fun in that? Honestly.
Step 4: Bring a half dozen children. They needn’t all be yours. In fact, it’s better if they’re not all yours, because being responsible for other people’s children while you’re crashing your borrowed vehicle into coffee shop awnings and keeping them locked in a metal can in the blistering heat creates maximum enjoyment for everyone where the word “enjoyment” is replaced with “dear God, what have I done?”
Step 5: Decide that if this isn’t going to be The Worst Road Trip of All Time, you’re going to have to Do Something and Do It Quick.
Step 6: Buy a boat load of ice and twelve hundred dozen million frozen treats and tell the 6 children there’s UNLIMITED EVERYTHING. YOU CAN HAVE WHATEVER YOU WANT, KIDS. SHOVE THAT ICE WHEREVER YOU LIKE AND EAT ALL THE POPSICLES. HAVE A BALL!
Step 7: Giggle when they actually shove ice every damn where.
Step 8: Be supportive when they craft their own elegant, DIY air conditioning system titled Screw Pants.


^^^The inventors of Screw PantsTM ^^^


In conclusion, take that, Pinterest.

Also, Screw Pants.

With love,





P.S. If you’ve ever wondered how to greet your neighbors when they come home from a 7 hour road trip with 6 kids in 100+ degree weather, wonder no more. THIS IS HOW:


Cold beer. Cold Coke. Praise Jesus and people who really do love their neighbors as themselves.

UPDATED with Winners: Worst Contest Ever

June 20, 2015 in Beth, Family, Funny, Uncategorized by Beth Woolsey

Hey! You know how you go on vacation with your five kids, and one starts puking, and you’re all, “Dear Jesus, please, please, please let this be food poisoning or an anxiety attack or anything other than a bug that’s going to take us all down” and then Jesus forgets about that whole Wave a Magic Wand and Make Everything Better part of his contract, and a second kid starts puking and you’re all, “OH MY GOSH, JESUS, WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT THIS,” but Jesus is all, “It doesn’t matter how many time you TELL me to be a Magic Wand, Beth; still not my gig,” so you hold the bucket for Kid Number Two and rub his back and tell him All the Poor Babies and All the I’m So Sorrys and have a minor crisis of faith, because JESUS CHRIST, and then you remember that Jesus said to Love Each Other well, and didn’t give any cool bonus features with that command — not Love and You Will Be Loved, not Love and Then I’ll Wave My Magic Wand, not Love and Everything Will Fall Into Place, just Love Period — and you realize that’s exactly what you’re doing at 3:00am with Kid Number Two? You’re exhausted, and you’re in a hotel room, and you’re beginning to have wall-to-wall pukers, and your husband can sleep through anything, and you’re sure you’re coming down with the pukes because there’s nothing like the sound and smell of vomit to make you want to do it, too, but you manage be Love anyway? You know how THAT happens?


In conclusion, Jesus is a sometimes a sneaky JERK with his agenda.

Also in conclusion, I write very long run-on sentences when I’m tired.

Also-also in conclusion, one of my besties suggested we play Clue: Woolsey Puker Edition, which is just like a regular game of Clue except instead of trying to deduce who murdered whom with what in what room (which is too easy because I murdered Greg with a pillow in our hotel room WHILE HE SLEPT THROUGH ALL THE PUKING*), we try to figure out which Woolsey will puke next, where, and into/onto what.

Clue: Woolsey Puker Edition

What We’ve Already Learned: 

1. Ian, in the minivan, rim shot into the gallon ziplock baggy.
Also acceptable are the following:
Ian, in the bathroom, mostly into the toilet,
Ian, at Craker Lake National Park, under a fir tree, and
Ian, in the hotel room, into the garbage can.

2. Cael, in the hotel room, into the ice bucket.

What Players Are Left:

1. Greg
2. Beth
3. Abby
4. Aden
5. Cai
6. Grandma
7. Grandpa
8. Zoey the Service Dog


We’re in Southern Oregon for the next four days and will be making a day trip to the Redwoods in California.
Feel free to use your imagination for puking sites; after all, that’s what we do!

How to Enter:

Leave your guess!
Include 3 parts:
1. Who will puke
2. Where
3. Into/onto what.

THERE WILL BE TWO PRIZES: ONE for the person who guesses closest, and one for the person who guesses funniest, because DEAR GOD, WE NEED A LAUGH.

It may not be a great prize, but it will NOT be puke, so Win/Win!
I’ll probably mail you some local (uncontaminated by Woolsey hands, I promise) Oregon chocolate. Or something. I don’t know. I’m open to suggestions.

I cannot wait to see your entries. Cannot WAIT.

With Love as endless as the Woolsey germs,


*P.S. Greg got up with all the kids and let me sleep in. I shall hold off smothering him with a pillow for another night.

UPDATED: We are three days post-puke-fest, and in a SHOCKING twist, we’ve had NO NEW PUKERS. (I know, I know; now that I’ve typed this out loud, it’s a’comin’, but that’ll have to be a story for another time.)

Our winners are as follows:

1. The person who got closest to NO NEW PUKERS is Ami of MommyPig.com who writes, “Ugh. So sorry. I get really pissed when Jesus doesn’t stop the puking. I mean seriously, we’re not talking curing leprosy or raising the dead here; help a mother out. I pray there will be NO MORE PUKING BY ANYONE AT ALL. EVER.” 

2. The person who wins for funniest comment is Katie with, “Ooh! Ooh! I’ll use my real life experience with my pukey pants sister to predict a future trend for the Woolseys. I predict Cai will puke on the back of Cael’s head in the middle of the night. The next day, Aden will puke in Abby’s lap in the car. In conclusion,younger siblings are rude and puke on older siblings, and then your mean mom won’t let you be mad at your little sister, because it’s not her fault she gets car sick, even though she could have chosen to puke in her OWN lap. But I’m not still bitter 26 years later or anything.” Heh heh. This is something that would TOTALLY happen to us.

Ami and Katie, send your address to me at fivekidsisalotofkids@gmail.com with the subject line “I WON,” and I’ll send you your prizes!

5 Things It Turns Out I’ll Never Be Done Learning

June 8, 2015 in Beth, Funny by Beth Woolsey

I spilled chocolate protein drink on myself this morning.

I spilled chocolate protein drink on my white work blouse and down my face and in my hair; waaaay too late, of course, to go home and change.

I gave my nephew a ride to school this morning, too, because I AM AN AWESOME HUMAN BEING, and I help my family.

Also, I screamed at the spider who malevolently descended from my sun visor while I was giving the nephew a ride, scaring said nephew because he’s “not sure that’s very safe driving, Beth, to scream and close your eyes and wave your arms like that.” I was braking and pulling over because SPIDER, but did my nephew see that part? Noooooo. He just criticized the blindness and the flailing. What does he know?

I went to the drive-through ATM a few minutes later, and I nicked the concrete pole that protects the machine from People Like Me, knocking my driver’s side mirror from the car entirely, which was a little bit my fault, because, yes, I technically hit something with a part of my car, but also was definitely not at all my fault because Someone Else of the teenaged variety had already wrecked that side mirror, like, 3 years ago, and it’s been hanging on by a thread (literal thread) and super glue, so it was pre-broken, and I just finished the job like the person who opens the pickle jar after someone else tried and tried and tried and loosened it so that the buff guy gets all the undeserved credit for actually popping that sucker open. I am undeservingly credited, is what I’m saying, for knocking the side mirror off my car, and I’m happy to share the credit with others because that’s the kind of sharing, generous person I am.

All of that, plus remembering my kids get out of school for the summer on Thursday and I have no summer childcare arranged, happened before 9:00am this morning, which, let’s be honest, makes it pretty much like every other morning, full of mishaps and danger and ME, screwing stuff up, and it occurred to me this morning that I’m not very good at adulting. That, in fact, if given periodic Adulting Exams, I’d most likely fail and have my Adulting License revoked.

“Adulting” has become a verb lately, and I approve. Yes, it’s kitchsy. Yes, it’s trendy. Yes, it’s a grotesque twisting of conventional, acceptable grammar rules, using a noun as a verb. But it’s so helpful, isn’t it?

Now that I’m 40, though, I’ve figured out nearly all of us adults are merely impersonating grown-ups. I mean, I won’t say all of us; theoretically, there’s someone out there who’s a grown-up and feels like it, too. But most of us? Yep; totally faking this adult thing and a little bit amazed we don’t get caught more often with our pants down or watching our side mirrors fly away at the drive-up bank.

It’s nice being 40, man, because the pressure’s kind of off now. If I’m not a grown-up yet, I’m unlikely to become one, and realizing that is freedom. There are things in life I’ll just never be good at — things in life I’ll always be learning and will never have “learned” — and I’m grateful to know it.

And, because I love you, fellow grown-up impersonators, and I don’t want you to ever feel alone, I present to you a short list of…


5 Things I’ve Learned I’ll Never Be Done Learning:

  1. How to Clean: I recognize that part of my problem here is an absence of motivation, and I know there are myriad how-to-clean resources available on the World Wide Webs, but I feel very confident saying I’m not ever going to fully learn how to clean things. It’s fair to say at this point in my life that washing my sheets once a week is never, ever, ever going to happen. Nope; I’ll wash my sheets once a month, maybe, if I combine just the right amount of optimism and lying to believe that’s true. And window sills? Dear Lord. Do people actually clean those? Because mine are a dead fly museum with some pretty wicked black mold in the corners to keep those fly carcasses company. Millennia from now, when future archaeologists dig up my house, they’ll create all kinds of brilliant theories on why I collected fly carcasses and what that says about our family unit. I wish I could see those reports, because, frankly, I could use an explanation.
  2. How to Have a Body: I’ve had a body for a while now. Like, as long as I’ve been alive, and a little bit before that, too, and I’ve gotta say, having a body is complicated. This thing has nooks and crannies and scratches and scars and needs. It needs stuff all the time, and I only know what those things are some of the time. This body has weight, for example, and it’s very, very good as preparing itself for a future apocalyptic starvation scenario where it needs to have the reserves to live off of body fat for months and months, but apparently no one has given it the memo that we’re not facing a Worst Case Famine Scenario here in 21st century suburban Oregon, so it’s a little behind the times. This is the body I have to navigate, and I used to think I’d figure it out eventually. HA! Now I know this body’s a life-long science experiment. Which is ultimately doomed.
  3. How to Work a Brain: I’ll be honest, my brain’s not all I was led to believe it might be when I was little. Not to belittle my mom or her parenting style, but she’s a lying liar who lies, you know? Unlimited potential, Mom? Yeah, right. Turns out, I’m not going to be a princess or the president, and, worst of all, I couldn’t actually have grown up to be a unicorn no matter how good my brain was. My brain, in fact, is a little faulty, prone to depression, and has very, very questionable judgement. Not to complain, but they should probably offer better customer service and free repairs on these things.
  4. How to Be Good at Family: Family is the best except when family is the worst, and I’m afraid I contribute to both ends of the spectrum. I’m a wonderful mom — funny, charming, engaging, involved — until I’m ragey and dysfunctional and tired and, well, not at all wonderful. And I’m a wonderful daughter, a wonderful sister, a wonderful friend and a wonderful wife in exactly the same ways because it’s important to be consistent. Yep. Sure enough. I’m wonderful. And woeful. Wonderful and weird. Wonderful and wild. And fantastic and feral and free. And triumphant and trapped. Both/And, friends. Very Both/And.
  5. How to Have Faith: Oh, Faith. Oh, Faith, you tricky bastard. Oh, Faith, who I once thought was the opposite of doubt and who I’ve since learned shelters the Doubters under her wings, and the Questioners, too, and gives Love and Light freely to all comers. Oh, Faith, who is at once both freefall and foundation, and grime and grace, and more complex and simple than I ever imagined. Oh, Faith, who I will never fully figure out or understand but whom I pursue anyway because you are as strange as you are compelling and beautiful, and, when I listen to you and not necessarily to what others say about you, I find myself drawn into the lap of God to be simply loved for all my fabulous follies and flaws.

My list, of course, could go on and on and on; thousands of thousands of things I’ll never be done learning. But this is enough for now, because I can write the list forever or go forth and live the imperfect life. I pick going forth into imperfection. And I’m inviting you to come, too.

In conclusion, I spilled chocolate protein drink on myself this morning, and I flailed blindly at a spider, and I ripped a side mirror off my car by accident and because I’m me. I will always be a mess, and there will be some things I will never figure out, and it turns out that’s OK. Which is, of course, another thing I’ll never be done learning; that I’m OK, anyway, not just despite the mess, but also because of it, for it’s inside the mess and the chaos and the madness and the mire that we find the mystery and the magic and the laughter and the grace to keep learning and keep becoming. In the end, we are all becoming; becoming, meaning in process, and becoming, meaning already beautiful. We are becoming, friends. That’s as true a truth as I know.

With love,





P.S. If you have something to add to the list — something you’ve learned you’ll never be done learning — I’d love to hear it.

Keeping It Real

May 11, 2015 in Family, Funny by Beth Woolsey

Keeping It Real

“Keeping It Real.”

That is, perhaps, the stupidest name ever for one of my blog posts. EVER ever. Because when do I not keep it real around here? I mean, really.

It’s just, even though I don’t have time to write you All the Details right now, and even though I plan to write you All the Details soon, I need you to know we moved our couch yesterday.

We moved our couch yesterday, which is Always A Mistake.

We moved our couch yesterday after 18 months of Not Moving Our Couch.

We moved our couch yesterday, even though we Know Better.

We moved our couch yesterday, and this is what we found.


And this:


And this:


I just thought you should know.





P.S. I also think you should know this:


You know, in case you run across one of those things. Then you’ll know what it is.

P.P.S. That drawing is on my living room floor.