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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

An empty gift wrapped box

I listened to my son tell me he'd seen a video where a family wrapped an empty box because they couldn't afford presents. He was worried that would be us this year. His worries are not without basis. The credit cards are maxed with my surgery and awaiting reimbursement from insurance. There's a deductible that won't be reimbursed. There have been so, so many unexpected expenses this year. So there's just a lot we have to say no to. And that brings me shame at first if I'm honest.

No, you can't go ice skating.
No, we can't order from the fundraiser.
No, we can't go out to breakfast.
No, you can't have fill-in-the-blank.

And the shame is there. I feel embarrassed by all the things we can't do.

But then I think of all the memoirs I've read about people with tenacity and I know, in those stories, there were lean times. At lean times like these, the protagonist digs in. She saves for what's needed, does what's needed. The people in her life and the goal are what matter. She stays focused on those things, and is on top eventually.

I'm already on top. My kids have a great life. We talked about that. They will get to ski and ride bikes and swim. They have friends and family. We can go to the grocery store and buy any kind of fruit we want, any grain, any meat. I told him that 100 years ago, a Christmas orange was a real treat. We can, on the spot, listen to any song we want. I couldn't do that when I was a kid. It's a great time to be a human being.

In case you're worried, there will be presents. I bought a few things before any of this and I've got tricks up my sleeve. I'll pull quarters from all over and tape them to a roll of paper and take them to a pinball machine. They'll get presents from grandparents and it'll all be more than enough.

So I also told him not to worry, that there would be plenty of presents but that even if someday there weren't presents, we'd still have an awesome Christmas. I told him, we have all the important things.

And we really do. We have great people and love and health and a beautiful place to live.

It is Colorado gives day. This year, I can't donate. Maybe you can't either and that's ok. But if you can, there are women who are not safe, who need a place, who need help. There are people who don't have$50 for paying for stocking stuffers and there are those who do.

Consider donating

Thursday, November 2, 2017

My Own Kooky Mom

My mom moved to Colorado to be closer when I had my first baby. She moved here to help take care of him in time for my husband and I to go back to work. She retired in order to do this and loved her career as a veterinarian. I thought she'd keep working some part time but in the end, she decided she was ready to let her career go.

Except, she still holds on as a kooky animal person. She has 2 dogs, 2 cats, and 7 chickens. She has had as many as 9 chickens. Having a cluck of chickens isn't that odd, it's more the way she has hers.

When one of her chickens was attacked by a dog, she ran into the yard upset with Scarlet O'Hara-like intensity.


The chicken was terribly wounded. But my mother did not give up. Instead, she slept with the chicken inside her shirt with a water bottle.

Did I mention the chicken had a broken neck?

Well, it healed. Crooked.

The chicken's name is Sandy. But I call her Gobbles.

My mom does not appreciate my naming her beloved saved chicken Gobbles.

Sandy/Gobbles has been the best egg producer of the cluck. But the other bitches are jealous. They peck at her.

My mother is always upset at the injustice of the other chickens pecking at Gobbles. She rushes to her defense, swoops her up in her arms and kisses her. I'm not kidding.

My mother's church, a progressive Lutheran church filled with retirees, does a blessing of the animals every year. This year, my mother gave Gobbles a bath and brought her to church.

She just stopped by my house to tell me that one, she'd lost her phone which is why she just stopped by instead of calling, and two, Sandy/Gobbles is sick, her beak is hurt. She thinks the other chickens pecked it. Gobbles isn't eating. My mother is very upset about this. I want to be sympathetic but I just keep looking at her and going, "it's a chicken."

Meanwhile my mom still brings me eggs even though I'm a heartless asshole. She's gone home to forcefeed Gobbles in hopes that she returns to health.

If you think I'm weird, I'm just saying, I came by it honestly.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Insecure Writers Support Group

I just joined a group called Insecure Writers Support Group. We're supposed to post monthly about writing. I don't write much about writing, in part because I find that loop a little loony-making. Writing about writing aboutwritingaboutwriting. And in part because I find it a vanity exercise that writers seem to think that the entire world is so interested in the life of writers when, in truth, I find it a trope. So many other professions are far more interesting to me.

But I need to talk about insecurity. I'm driven to be honest and writing and parenting and insecurity all play into one another in my daily life.

Lately, I've had parenting moments where I felt like I've finally gotten it right. Where we've finally conquered my yelling problem, their compliance problem, and we're about to skate off into perfect family land. And isn't it lovely there? I can see it out of the corner of my eye.

I'm a successful writer there. I'm giving piano lessons to my seven year old. My five year old is reading. We laugh like mad while skiing on the weekends.

And truly things are good. But insecurity is very real and it crops up on a daily basis for me and I suspect for most everyone.

I had a bad moment the other day with the kids on the way to shuffle kids around so I could go support a rape victim at trial. I felt really bad and confessed my insecurity to my friend who was going with me. I was in the wrong with the kids. Just when I thought I had it all down. Lunches packed. Everyone dressed, teeth brushed, nails clipped, in the car, dinner in a crockpot cooking. I was just about to win the game of life for that day.

But because I was right there with my friend and confessed my screw up, we commiserated and I moved on. When my son was upset about it later in the day, it was easier for me to be the adult and not let guilt and my own feelings run the show. It helped to admit my minor struggle.

And I need to do the same with writing. I need to admit that on a near daily basis, I hide that I'm a writer because my work doesn't pay our bills. I don't proudly announce what I do often because I'm embarassed at my lack of financial success at it to this point.

I'm currently taking a break from my longer writing projects in order to focus on writing related things that seem more likely to bring in actual dollars to our home and which will then finance marketing and advertising that will help my books make money. I'm working on some of the more businessy things like courting reviewers.

None of these are the sexy, splashy, life-of-a-writer things I thought of when I read John Irving and thought if I just wrote a good book, I could running and figure out how to write more books. But they're what I'm doing.

We are scraping by on our bills so that I can keep at this thing. I'm committed. I've gotten good reviews in this week. But I feel insecure in writing sometimes. And if I fess up to that happening, I can be the adult who lets it pass, says it's okay to move on, and gets back to work.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Count by 10s

My four-year-old, Gomez, told my seven-year-old, Mars, that he was smarter.
Mars: No you're not.
Gomez: Yes, I am.
Mars: If you're so smart, count ten times by ten.
Gomez: Ten, ten, ten, ten, ten, ten, ten, ten, ten, ten

I'd say he won that round.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Why Standing to Pee is Overrated

My whole life, everyone's said how amazing it is to be male and the main advantage seems to be standing to pee. Especially in the woods. And I'll grant you that I have peed in the woods on skis and it did seem like it would be easier if I hadn't needed to squat to do it. But I worked it out. I did not pee down the hill while sliding. I got it done, stood up, pulled my pants up, and skied down the run.

Before having boys, I had no idea how often they pee on themselves. But the main drawback? Males piss on themselves. Often. I do not normally pee on myself and couldn't really tell you the last time that happened. But boys? All. the. time.

Case in point. Over the course of the last 12 hours, we've had three incidents of accidentally getting pee on pants. Not peeing in their pants. No. It seems to be an issue of unpredictable spraying from the penis. I had no idea how unreliable a hose those things are.

At 1:00 AM my seven year old got up to pee and got it on his pants. He woke me up. I told him to change jammies. I was too groggy to realize he hadn't actually peed in his bed so went with him to the extra bedroom to sleep.
At 2:00 AM my four year old sensed he was missing out on snuggles and found us. I slept sandwiched between the two of them who were keen on pressing against me as firmly as possible. And the cat was the icing on top. I was very loved.
At 7:00 AM my four year old emptied his bladder for the morning but his wild penis hose took a spin for his pants so he changed and that was handled.
Then at 7:40, when we were supposed to be walking out the door, it happened to the fully dressed seven year old AGAIN. So he changed again.

I haven't examined the floor. I clean it about every three days and there's always pee there.

My take on it?
Screw standing up to pee. It's overrated. I'll take cleanliness.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

What Matters in a Messy House is Backstory & Detail

I live in a messy house. On my desk are two prints I haven’t framed or hung, ARC copies of my failing book, a gift bag that instead of holding wine, holds scissors from a lesson I taught, a balled up roll of rerolled paper towels, some photos I meant to hang but haven’t, a legal pad, a sticky note with an address of where I should send the ARC copies but probably won’t today. And that’s just my desk. At least I can see some of that. The rest of the house is worse.

My bed has rips in the fitted sheet. I can see them because it’s not made. I bought a replacement but in a week, haven’t bothered to pull off the ripped sheet and put the new sheet on. The end table by my side of the bed is balanced carefully with stacks of stuff piled high. Things like artwork from the kids’ school year that I mean to put into a keepsake box but haven’t since school let out and we’re fully into July now. The kitchen needs recaulking along the sink where I’ve partially washed the morning dishes. The dishwasher is broken so it operates as a glorified drying rack where there are dishes I rarely empty.

I want to like living in a messy house. I want living like this to be a deliberate choice I’ve made. But truly that’s not the case. Truthfully, I want to control it and make it better but I can’t. I’m not up for it. And my husband and kids definitely aren’t. So I need to find peace with the mess. I need to look at the items that lay strewn about and recall their evidence of a life well-lived, of a life lived in moments where we did things that mattered and or maybe didn't matter in their individual thingness but in their collective.

The mess on the counter. It’s the crumbs from the pizzas the small hands of my four and six year olds helped roll out and topped. We made it all together and it should remind me of the value of time where you slow down and patiently wait for small hands. The prints I haven’t hung should remind me of the young artist with fear in her eyes as I told her again and again how much I thought she’d succeed and how glad I was to get some of her work. A panda vomiting brightly-colored eyeballs and eight balls and rocket ships, graffiti-esque and cartoonish. Not art for a woman in her late thirties but still, cool in that ski-culture way I like to play with my age. The gift bag should make me think of being the kind of instructor who thinks about how to make writing a kinesthetic process. Don’t just cut & paste on a keyboard but do it in real life, with paper. Remember? That’s where cut & past came from, remember? We used scissors and cut apart paper and reordered.

To make peace with the mess, I have to think. Art is messy. Life is messy.

But the truth is I am not there. Without the deliberation of writing, I get frustrated at the disorder. Angry even. I look about and think “Oh my god! We’re pigs!” and I hate it and throw blame around. Glaring this way and that. “Why can’t they ____?” And “Who does this?” Daggers from my eyes. "Clean up this mess!"

Sometimes we work together on cleaning up. It's slower but nicer. Sometimes I don't bother with the clean up.

With time spent on detail and through writing, I recall the snorkel is on the floor because we swam and it was a trip where no one got mad and I didn’t yell even once, and then we rushed in and moved on to go ride bikes. I remember that the beds are never made because we crawl back into our beds so much to hold each other and tickle and giggle and talk.

We’re not happy all the time. Sometimes the beds are messy because the kids climbed on them with shoes on in timeout and I had to say nothing so they could finish calming down and timeout could work the way it is supposed to. I had to let footprints on my sheets happen so lessons could too.

My SLR camera is on my desk because I’m hoping to take pictures we took on hikes this summer and turn them into a coloring book for the kids at the end of summer. I was hoping the same thing last summer. But sometimes we’re living so hard. Without pause and without deliberate attention to the backstory of details. And I get distracted a lot and forget things and don’t follow through on every idea.

There are details and they have backstory. Sometimes it’s just time for us to clean up and begin new stories. But maybe it’s okay to let your mind meander and not be in such a rush to get the job done. After all that’s how the kids made dinner. That’s how they play while they “clean up.” My mind does the same when I write. Needs order and reminders. I have to jot an outline or it’s all over the place. I play with a toy car, figuratively of course, and forget all about the main point unless there’s a mom over me, an outline, gently reminding “you need to put the cars away. The cousins will be here soon. Remember? That’s why we were cleaning up?” 

Yes, I remember. And we will. We’ll live and fight with the tension of order and backstory and detail and organization. And maybe someday I consider balance a deliberate choice to live with a certain amount of mess.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Stop Licking That Author Reading in Denver on June 10!

Stop Licking That Author Reading in Denver on June 10!

Who: Parents, grandparents, readers, kids
There will be a separate simultaneous story time for kids so adults can enjoy the interactive reading
When: Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 10:30 AM.
What: Listen to excerpts from my new novel, Stop Licking that in a gorgeous, hip bookstore in Denver. I'll share tips like ways to use duct tape on your toddler's winter wear, and why to teach your kids to blow snot rockets. We'll play a game of telephone and maybe, just maybe, play SuperVALLEY Girl Says!
Signed copies available at the event.
  • 1 (303) 455-1527
  • 4353 Tennyson St.
    Denver, CO 80212

Monday, April 3, 2017

12 Musts to Make Your Kids Safer, starting when they're very young

Reposted with Permission From Maureen O'Connor. I made changes to her original post but the suggestions were hers and so I asked if I could share them.

There was a recent threat at our middle school and the district sent out communications and that was all good. The event itself was unsettling and likely shook up local moms. It's good that the district followed up. But it was the tip of the iceberg in terms of reminding ourselves ways we really can be smart about safety. There will be frightening things. Big, loud, red-buttons of fear like threats of guns, and then there are the more oft-forgotten ways we make sure our kids are safe. This post is about those.

This list covers lost child, wildfires and highway closures, tech break-downs, and even "school incidents". And I've had close calls with almost all of these.

Without further ado

12 Ways to Make Your Kids Safer, starting when they're very young.

1) As soon as they know numbers, have them memorize your cell phone#. Make it a sing-song. My kids sing the last four digits of my phone number all the time. To the point that if I hear Nine-Nine, I can hear them in my head.

2) Write contact on everything. Keep it hidden - inside backpacks, in the pocket chart inside coats, use initials and cell#. My kids' car seats came with a pocket for info like this and I filled out their names & doctor's names & numbers & my number in case we're ever in an accident. Here's a blank sticker you can buy and fill out to stick to a car seat.

3) Make sure your kids know where this info is, and to use it if they get lost. Oh, and make sure your young kids know their last name. I asked my babies what their mom's & dad's grown up names were and had them practice that too.

4) If you are going to a large event (street fair, sports complex), write your info on their arm with a sharpie (tell them it's a tattoo, but under the sleeve). Or use old business cards and hide those in shoes. 

5) Play the "chauffeur" game. "Today kids, I don't know where you live, or where the school is, or the store. You must tell me how to get there." If they forget a turn, go past the street. If they tell you to turn left instead of right, and it's not a driveway, turn left.

Make them look out the window once in a while. 

6) Quiz them on their street address. And if you hide a key, how to get in if the house is locked.

7) Have them describe a car that just drove by - what color, size, features like bumper stickers and dents.

8) Teach them what a license plate is and try to read those too.

9) Go over fire escape routes and meeting places in your own home. And how to dial 911, on the phone models you have.

10) For older kids, go over other kinds of meeting places out of your home - what if the road is blocked and they're at the other end of the county, or at school, where do you meet? What if something happens and you're not there when they get off the bus? Who do you know & where do you go?

11) The fire fighters do a nice job of this at the school but it bears repeating, teach your kids that if it's smoky and they are scared, they should hug the fire fighter. And if you...say...for exampleandit's just an example...drip bacon grease all over the inside of your oven and it's smoking so badly no one can eat breakfast, this is a good time to talk about smoke. Not that I've done this, mind you.

12) Teach your kids that if someone comes up and they have a weird feeling, to trust that feeling and get away. Teach them to scream if anyone grabs them. Worst case scenario? They scream when someone makes them feel uncomfortable like their older cousin who is just joking around. BUT, I'd rather have a conversation about that, than any of the alternatives. It's easy to get through a mere misunderstanding.

And lastly, if you think it through and make plans, maybe, just maybe, you won't freak out when something does happen.

Thank you for reading and now, because you're mostly straight women, here is a picture of hot firefighters hugging puppies. Hug a firefighter. Just be sure he's not your friend's husband. Or that your hug is polite and not sweaty and you're not panting or clinging (like those puppies... geeze, do you believe them?) These guys are in Australia so they're probably good to use for this.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

3 Parenting Wins This Week

Oh man, sometimes y'all...sometimes things go RIGHT. I think I forgot.

This week all kinds of things have gone right.

1. I had a morning where the kids were ready with enough time to spare that we took our time walking to the bus. I know, shocking, right? We stomped on ice and then it was snowing so we stopped and caught flakes on our mittens and examined them. It. was. magical.

2. I had an evening where the kids helped. I made a list of the chores we needed done and promised to play trouble with them if we got the list done and we all set to work. They actually helped. I don't mean I stalked their every move while they "helped." I mean, I asked them to do things like "take your boots to the mudroom," and they DID IT. We cleaned the house. Well, sorta. We made it significantly less gross. There are still four of us.

3. The last one has a longer explanation. Here goes.

My son painted his nails with his gramma. Then kids at school told him painting nails was for girls. He has been faking sick a lot and said it was because of this. I suspected there was a little more to it but since that was what I had to go on, I texted the moms of the kids he's friends with who supposedly said this.

I waited nervously. What if this was kids echoing the message they heard at home? I don't know these familie's values super clearly. Maybe they think painting nails IS for girls, I worried. I waited.

But then they started responding. The moms and I chatted back and forth and all of our boys have been faking sick and having trouble with their feelings about disagreements and fall-outs with each other. I contacted the teacher and she set up a friendship group for them with the counselor.

I suspected it was more than just the nails and we talked and handled the bigger piece of learning how to be friends and handle disagreements.

With regard to the fingernails, the moms each talked to their sons. One of the boys has longer hair and he understood how my son felt because kids have told him his hair is for girls in the past. He cried to think he'd caused my son hurt feelings about something he understood so well. He was confused about why my son didn't tell him how upset he was. The other mom talked with her son as well and then texted me a photo of his fingernails painted green last night.

They'll make great friends. I'm so happy for them. I'm also so happy for me that the moms in my community and I can communicate and find solutions and support each other. Finally, I'm glad we live in a digital age where it was easy for me to text my concerns to the teacher so she could respond quickly AND that she did respond quickly. I'm glad my son goes to a school where he has such a great teacher and support network.

Life is hard and worth the effort. Life is good.

P.S. I almost spilled my coffee by elbowing it off my standing desk station but then, I caught it in midair. I can't be stopped! (please don't let this jinx me.)

Monday, March 27, 2017

The real life game of: What's Worse Than ______?

This is like the game (if you're in your 30s or 40s you might remember this) What's Grosser Than Gross?

Except it's What's Worse Than _____

It's spring so... I need a swimsuit. I love to swim and still get in the water and swim with my kids at least once a week and obviously more during summer. I've been avoiding the task of buying a swimsuit for about 4 years now, so I was finally down to 2 mismatched pieces and now I can't find those either. So...hell is here. AKA swimsuit shopping.

Now let's play. What's Worse Than Swimsuit Shopping?

What's worse than swimsuit shopping as a woman?
Swim suit shopping when you've had 2 kids and your body's looks like a parenting battlefield.

What's worse than swimsuit shopping as a woman who has had children and has the giant stretch marks to prove it?
Bringing your children WITH you to shop for said swimsuit.

"Mom, will you buy a bikini?" Mars
"No." Me
"What's a bikini?" Gomez
"It's a swimsuit that looks like a bra and underwear" Me
Through snorts and chortles, "That's silly!" Gomez
He's right, that IS silly!
"That's right, you won't buy a bikini." Mars
"Why" Gomez
"Because of having me. I was a BIG baby." Mars

What's worse than swimsuit shopping as a woman who has children and has the marks to prove it AND has brought her children?
Her children discussing her underwear while trying on swimsuits.

Keep in mind, I'm now at the part of dealing with actually trying on swimsuits which is fucking terrible. We all know, no matter how your body looks, this part is fucking terrible.

Not only is it the kind of shopping where you have to take off almost all of your clothes (not your underpants,) but then you have to see how your body SHOULD look in a bunch of swimsuits. Because inevitably you choose some suits that were meant for a very different body type than the one you possess.

And this problem is further worsened by how they size women's clothing. How do they do it? The answer can only be: randomly. They randomly assign letters to women's clothing.  Like, they must just have a gun that shoots out SMLXL. Some ladies in the Target factory in China get these guns and their lunch hour is getting to set the American sizing. They all giggle and shoot at the clothes.  Some combination of letters hits the clothes and they're just like *giggle, giggle* American Ladies are HUGE!

So you can't actually tell which size you'll be until you either can or can't squeeze in. And then you're panting from not squeezing in and giving up. Smartly going "Fuck that suit. That's not a medium and I can tell at my thighs that shit's going to make me cry or stab someone."

And the kids are along so crying or stabbing are decidedly not options. So you try the next thing and it fits like my skin, all hanging and bones here but fat there and fuck that suit.

"But I liked that one." Mars
"Why do you have your underpants on? I thought you weren't getting a bikini?" Mars.
"I'm not. It's a rule with trying on swimsuits that you leave your underwear on." Me.
"Why" Mars.
Holy fuck, I've never wanted less to answer a question. Because of the vagina drippies is NOT coming out of my mouth. I am NOT having that conversation. Probably ever. I'm good with explaining sex and that it feels good, etc. But about the discharge of a vagina I will not tell. Fuck, fuckity, FUCK that.
"It's the rules." Me
"I want to read the comic on your underwear." Mars
"Me too. Mars, let's read the comic on mom's underwear." Gomez
"Can you hold still so I can read this?" Mars, while approaching my butt.
"No. Let's go." Me

And that's what's worse than swimsuit shopping as a woman who has children and has the marks to prove it AND has brought said-children and those children are discussing her underwear while she tries on swimsuits and announcing that there's a comic strip on them and then yelling at how she should hold still so they can READ her underwear.

And I thought we were done with this game until I typed in "Bad Swimsuit Fit" to try to find a picture for this post. And instead of remotely valid search results, up came every skinny, perfect bitch on who has found her PERFECT fit! If you modify the search and add male, man, and men, it still comes back with mostly women. Fuck, fuck, FUCK YOU, Google!

But you know what? I did get a swimsuit. And I wore it and I liked it. And my nieces complimented me on my swimsuit. You know who I actually want to have fun with and enjoy while swimming? Children. Not men. So that's officially the best demographic to get a compliment from and also I love my nieces.

So there, Google.

So there, ladies with the size gun in the target factory in China.

The photo is of Jenny McCarthy's ex-boyfriend in a swimsuit. It's the one image I found that made me happy. I like him.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Gomez's Kidneys

When Gomez was 4 months old, he spiked a very fever in the middle of the night with no other cause. I called my mom to come over so we didn't have to wake Mars & take him to the ER with us. She came right over and off we went.

Gomez had no other symptoms. Just a high fever. So they sent us home and we followed up in the next day and week with trips to see his doctor and then specialists to find out what was going on.

It would turn out he had a kidney malformation of the ureters that caused a reflux that meant he would have chronic bladder and kidney infections. They put him on daily prophylactic antibiotics and waited to see if it would get better.

It didn't. So at 11 months, he had major kidney surgery.

Now I know many people who have kids with really serious illnesses and this is not that. All along we were fortunate and knew that this was a highly fixable and routine abnormality. I knew he'd be okay in time and with help.

Still, it's a lot to see your baby have his entire abdomen cut open. It's painful to watch your baby try to stand up and walk with 9 tubes coming out of him including an epidural. I'd never even had an epidural. It was terrifying to watch him not eat or drink because of the pain.

For the last 4 years, we've had ultrasounds for Gomez, first at four months to see how bad the reflux was, and again later at 10 months, then surgery, then more ultrasounds since to make sure the surgery was successful and to monitor the amount of scar tissue in his belly.

Every follow up ultrasound has come back with the doctor asking us to follow up in 6 months or a year. He's wanted to keep an eye on it. He's had concerns about the scar tissue.

This was the first one that Rob took Gomez in for. They got up and left the house at 7 this morning to take him to Denver to see how the scar tissue is doing, to be sure the ureters aren't leaking, to be sure he's okay. Meanwhile, Magnus and I had a special breakfast together at our favorite local spot. Then I dropped him at school, and went to work.

20 minutes ago, I got a text from Rob saying that Gomez is cleared. It's finally over. Gomez is fine.
I had no idea how much that little bit of worry existed. I didn't realize how much I worried that he could need to have additional surgery. I knew it was there but didn't think much of it, back there gnawing away at my stability until I read the text.

I literally can't stop crying from gratitude and relief. I think I might be worse at handling good news than bad news because I literally bawled at this news.

I wrote about his surgery in my book but the story wasn't really over until today. It's over. It's over. It's over.

What freakin' awesome news.

Amid my crying and celebrations, I received 2 additional texts from Rob.
#1 was a picture of the upcoming shows at a theater in Denver. We've been having an ongoing disagreement about whether you can refer to "Bone: Thugs in Harmony" as "Bone Thugs" which I argue is not okay and he says is. And they're coming to DENVER! So there was that picture.
#2 Gomez says his birthday is on the Fourth Bewakens.

So let's all celebrate by listening to bad 90s rap and eating cake. THE FOURTH BEWAKENS & I miss my uncle Charles, ya'll...

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Kids are icky

We spent the last week in Steamboat skiing. Which is not that different than our normal week except we stayed in a condo and could take the bus to a slightly different mountain. Still, taking 2 kids skiing is insane.
At one point, I rewarded the kids by taking a gondola ride with them. My 4-year-old can't yet ski that far but really likes the gondola so up we went.

It was great. Until I looked over and realized he was chewing gum. And I didn't give him gum. He found it. Ewww....

Me: "Dude, that's gross! It's been in someone else's mouth!"
4-year-old: "But it's minty!"

Remember that scene in Elf when Santa tells him that if he finds gum on the ground it's not free candy? Yeah. He needs to have a talk with Santa. Twice. Because later at the condo, he again had some. Ewwww....

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day- FREE Kindle Plus Stop Licking That in Paperback

Download Stop Licking That for FREE today. Or if you prefer a paper copy, order from Createspace. It's not quite live on Amazon yet but soon...

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Stop Licking That Out TODAY on Kindle!

Stop Licking That came out today. Get your Kindle Version here.

Download a copy and help me get a fancy best-seller button, please!!

My friend sent me a yelling text where she was mad because she accidentally started reading it when she was supposed to be studying medical terminology. HA!

Praise for Stop Licking That (which is funny to type)

There were so many moments when I thought “yep, exactly. Written by a real mom and a damn funny person. I appreciated that “Stop Licking That” got serious too. Because those moments are important and deserve attention.
-Ruth Hendricks, Early Childhood Professional and mother of 2

As a Mom and Psychotherapist, “Stop Licking That!” is a must have.  Karin Mitchell tells the ridiculous and rash parts of parenting that are both hilariously honest and heart-wrenchingly truthful.  She tells the stories that every parent can relate to without feeling an ounce of shame. It’s refreshing to read about the same triumphs and disastrous fails we have all experienced on our adventure as parents. “Stop Licking That!” will absolutely be added to my shelf of must-have books!
-Sammy Charytoniuk, Licensed Professional Counselor and parent

“Karin has such a way with words. Reading this brought back that my friends and I, in High School, had licking contests. The essence of the game was to lick something your competitor was not willing to lick, like the game chickin, but with bacteria, disease, and filth being the epicenter. It was pretty foul, and hilarious. Also probably an explanation for why were often ill in high school.”
-Drew Mikita (AKA Chicken Licken), Associate Professor Psychology and doggy daddy

“I laughed out loud so hard my husband came up to ask me what was the matter.”
-Michelle Woods Pennisi, childbirth educator and doula and mother of 2

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Party's over

At bedtime last night, Gomez told Rob, "You know in Secret Life of Pets when he says "party's over"?"
Rob answered, "Yeah?"
"Party's over.."
Gomez then rolled over and started snoring.

at 0:21

Thursday, January 19, 2017

YOUR sense of Humor

Which style or styles best match your sense of humor?

Life is Silly, let’s laugh- You see the humor in the situation when you drop a full coffee on your boss’s toe.
Situation Distiller- You’re the one who cracks a joke when things start getting too serious or awkward and we all thank you for that.
Self-deprecating- You make fun of yourself to make people laugh. It’s worth it.
Junkpunch funny- you laugh at slapstick, whoopee cushions, and when someone gets hurt.
Punny- you laugh at this joke “Why don’t cannibals eat clowns?” “Because they taste funny!”
Seriously funny- You don’t smile or laugh at your own jokes and you slide them in at just the right time to catch others unawares and crack. Them. Up.
Smartipants- Your jokes are funny and you think of the unlikely, witty line that drives them home. Often timely jokes and sometimes political are your favorites.
Quirky- It just hits your funny bone and a few others and you can’t stop laughing. Meanwhile those who don’t get it watch on in confusion. You might like Salad Fingers or cult niche humor.
Potty jokes- seriously ya’ll, farts are funny
Jokes about others- you laugh the hardest while railing on your buddy. You don’t get offended if someone makes fun of you either (otherwise, it just makes you a dick.)
What Style is Stop Licking That? Read it and tell me! Preorder it here!
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Friday, January 13, 2017

Fix, Fix

My younger son is four now. For years he and his brother have played games involving their imaginations. Sometimes it's annoying because they take things that are mine and repurpose them to be robot deodorant or whatever. But it's also hilarious to listen to them argue about.

When my younger son was 2, he would argue back at his brother that something imaginary had not broken.

"NO! FIX FIX!" and he'd wave his hand over whatever thing that doesn't actually exist and 'fix' it. They'd argue about whether it was broken or fixed and sometimes wrestling ensued.

Last night, I heard the progress of language as both boys agreed "Correct, correct!"