On Poop and Poopum

I was a cheerleader in high school. I suspect I was very, very bad at it, but I like to recreate it in my head like I. WAS. AWESOME.

(This parenthetical statement is the place-holder for the really high leg kick I’m doing in my head right now.)

That’s right.

Now, Greg doesn’t have to recreate my cheerleading days in his head like it was anything, awesome or otherwise. A self-proclaimed geek who holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, Greg declared himself content to have married a one-time cheerleader. Bless his heart, he gives my life meaning. ...  read more

On Christmas and Pushing Watermelons Uphill

We live at the tippy, tippy top of a steep hill.

Our house pretty much looks just like this…

which makes biking a real bear, particularly when I’m packing my 40-pound twins in the Burley behind me.

True confession: this summer, when I was out biking with my kidlets, I bought a watermelon at the local fruit stand. It was gigantic because I have 5 children, so everything we buy is gigantic. For example, you call Costco a big box store; I call it a store. Plus, my Burley has a super convenient storage area in the back just begging me to load it. Plus-plus, it made perfect sense to try to bike up my hill with 80 pounds of children and a gigantic watermelon. And I think I’ve made it pretty clear over time that sense-making is one of my best things. ...  read more

On Recognizing the Bounty and Being Glad

Thanksgiving dawns bright and early tomorrow – or dark and early if you’re setting your alarm to get that turkey in the oven – and I am ill-prepared for the feast.

Before five kids, I was a different person. I had lists. I had lists of lists. I had lists of lists of lists.

I baked for days. I coordinated the populace. I communicated with alacrity. I was the Thanksgiving (or birthday or Christmas or Easter) drill sergeant, spurring all others on to detailed organization. I knew exactly who was bringing rolls, who was buying the bag of salad, and which grandmother was making sugar cookies. ...  read more

Woody and Me: To Infinity and Beyond

I’ve been doing this parenting gig long enough to know that this is a phase. A chapter, a stage, a season of life; call it what you will, someday I’ll sleep again.

Sadly, that “someday” of sleep is not today because I have a five-year-old going through an ambitious night terror phase. This kid is driven, I tell you. He put on his three-piece suit, grabbed his briefcase, and accepted an executive position at a top Night Terrors Firm. His corner office view is amazing...  read more

How to Make Coffee and Change the World

There are many things I love about Medical Teams International, but I shall start with the most important.

These people do not kid around when they make coffee.

For sooth, when the folks who work at Medical Teams International make coffee, they do it like every last one of them is a sleep-deprived mother of five. It’s strong, it’s opaque, you can eat it with a fork, and it will keep your heart revved on Maximum Speed for at least 4 hours. You guys, these are the people you can trust to change the world. ...  read more

Sucking on a Stick of Gross with a Heaping Side of Disgusting (or, Mmm! Dinner!)

For years, I’ve had a strict, no-complaints-at-dinnertime rule. If my kids don’t like dinner, they may say, “Thank you, Mom, for making dinner,” and that is all they may say.

It’s a good, sturdy, sensible-shoes kind of rule, ’cause nothing’s quite so demoralizing as slaving over dinner only to hear a wee little, high-pitched voice say, eloquently, “Eeeeeeeewwwww!” ...  read more

The Principal Called Again

It happened.  Just like I knew it would.  That call from the principal.  The one that starts like this,

“Hello, Beth?  This is Mrs. Principal.  I have Aden here with me.”

I always greet the principal cheerfully.  We are, after all, on the same page.  The Teach My Daughter Appropriate Behavior page.  The Please, Dear Child, Follow the Rules page.  The Let’s Minimize the Calls from the Principal page.  And the Come ON, Baby Girl, We Know You Can Do It page. There are a lot of pages.  It’s a full-length novel we’re co-writing, and it’s been years in the making. ...  read more