Tag Archives: parenting

On Parenting, Cherry M&M’s, and all the Reasons I Need An Intervention

Source: littlewhitelion.com via Tricia on Pinterest

I’m skipping the whole Hello Monday thing today.  I tried, I really did, but I am suffering from a million calorie hangover brought on by all the ridiculous food I ate last night.  Let’s face it, I only like the Super-Bowl for the food, and the commercials, but I didn’t get to see the commercials because we watched it online.  No cable and all.

I did, however, get to see the half-time show.  Forgive me for laughing out loud at a few of Beyonce’s exaggerated bootie calls.  Ok?

So I tried really hard to stay up until the end and I did, but only because of a Wicked Good Whoopie.  We are just close enough to the far North to get Maine’s famous Isomax Whoopie Pies.

I wasn’t even lying about the million calorie hangover.  It was Fat Sunday, but that’s in the past, because today is Skinny Monday. I shall eat accordingly.

Source: someecards.com via Tricia on Pinterest

This weekend nearly sent me into a stroke.  A report card landed in my mailbox on Saturday afternoon and my child’s (who shall remain nameless) world tilted on their axis.

I paced and I yelled and threatened World War III if things don’t change.  I am not proud of my emotional outburst, but I felt like I was trapped in a cartoon and the line of red was creeping over my face, higher and higher, until smoke began pouring from ears.

My lid popped.

Then I spent the remainder of the weekend emailing with one nameless Math teacher and plotting to make my child’s life a living hell until the next report card comes in the hands of our mailman.

Source: someecards.com via Tricia on Pinterest

There’s no capability problem.  It’s quite the opposite.  This is an advanced Math class, the kind where your GPA must be kept above a certain number or you get kicked out.  The problem is that one said child would rather draw than do algebra.

I hate math as much as the next person.  I really do, but schools are funny about this subject, they insist on making you take a math class every year until graduation.

In all the madness, I ate one entire bag of cherry m&m’s (not all in one sitting).  I’m like a m&m addict.  I sat in front of the fire taking deep, cleansing breaths and popping in a bright red m&m.  Someone launch an intervention please.

This morning, I woke up to the sound of a plow truck.  I have a headache and my daughter almost missed the school bus.  I would wish you all a happy Monday, but I would totally be faking it.

My wish for today is that m&m’s would come in a low calorie version and my other child would just remember the capital of California, because if I have to say S-A-C-R-A-M-E-N-T-O one more time, I may need another bag of cherry m&m’s.

Now I’ll stop talking, because when the headache wears off, I will regret my rant.

Source: google.com via Tricia on Pinterest

Oh, and happy Monday.  Sort of.

If you really want to have a Happy Monday, go visit Lisa Leonard and say Hello to something nice and sunshiny for me.  Deal?

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3 Things For A 13th Birthday

JC at Five Guys

Today my son is thirteen.  When I held him in my arms for the first time, I couldn’t really see ahead to this day, not even in my imagination.  Goodness, I couldn’t see ahead to solid foods.  I was afraid to give him his first bath and I didn’t know how to burp him correctly.

I loved him fiercely and I cried my eyes out over him.  All I really wanted him to do was to go to sleep, just for one night.  I always thought babies slept a lot.

JC in swing 001

I drank coffee until my nerves were frazzled and listened to others say that I just wasn’t acting like myself.  No sleep and wacked out hormones have a way of messing with me.  I was still the same person deep inside, but the outside was disguised by straggly hair and extra weight.  I wore the same denim skirt to church for one solid year.  Nothing else fit.

child on first day of preschool Scooby Doo backpack

Now, thirteen years layer, I’m back to me, the real me who sleeps through night and snoozes her alarm clock. My son?  He still doesn’t sleep through the night, but I stopped worrying about it long ago.  I quit reading books on how to get my baby to sleep and just waited for him to grow up.  Eventually they all do you know.


Now, today, he is a teenager.  I am the mother of a teenager.

That sobers me.

boy with a blue mustache

He grew up in his first six months of life.  He wasn’t a normal toddler; he was more like an old man in Bob The Builder sandals. I talked to him like a little person and he out-witted me at every turn. He really is the only person in my life who can wear me down to the point of giving up.  He is tenacious.

When he gets an idea, he follows through no matter what.  I cannot wait to see where that determination gets him, because he will do great things.  I know it.

My thirteen year-old loves in a way that cuddles and hugs and wants to be near.  He hates not being in the middle of all of us.  He just wants to sit by me.  I am smart enough to cherish these moments, because they won’t last, they can’t.  The days are fleeting.  By the next presidential election, he will be a driver, almost a voter.

The time it takes to grow from sleeplessness to voting is short.  I never really knew that until now.

Every morning I am greeted with a hug and his hugs don’t stop.  If I had to squish him into a box and choose a love language for him, it would time and affection.

My thirteen year old is a creator.  He has to be doing something, making something.  His mind is always working.  Sure he wants to build unrealistic things like robots that serve us drinks and follow him around, but I believe he could do it.  I believe he could do anything he sets his little mind to do.

The Help movie quote

He is a worrier, always thinking and wondering “what if”.  This is both good and bad.  It’s smart to be cautious, but there’s a time to throw caution to the wind and do greater things than he ever thought possible.  The world is much too big to need our worry.

It’s silly for me to think that thirteen won’t change things.  It has to.  It is a beginning and and an end, a step into a world unknown, sometimes so exciting every day seems to move mountains, and other days it is scary enough to want to curl back up into your two year-old self.

That’s the way it’s suppose to be; growing pains hurt.

If I could look my thirteen year-old boy in the eyes and tell him anything, it would be this.

birthday advice for a teenager

Be thankful because your life is a gift given to you by the creator of this universe.  You were loved long before you were named.  Each day you live is a blessing, for you and for those around you.  You make a difference by being in this world.  There is a plan and a purpose for your life that is so big, one day you’ll look back on it in awe and thanksgiving.  Be thankful for the good and the bad, because all those little things are what refine you, making you into the man God can work in and through.  Every moment is a time for thanksgiving.

Be prayerful, because every day you wake up, choices abound.  You won’t always make the right choice.  That’s part of life, of living and growing.  It will allow you to know sweet forgiveness and grace abounding.  Be in a state of prayer that is not just for you, but remember those around you.  They need your prayers as much as they need you.  Prayer isn’t empty or ritualistic; prayer is your lifeline, communication with your creator and savior. Prayer really does change things.

Be free son.  Jesus came to give you life and give it to you abundantly.  Don’t be tangled up in other people’s thoughts or desires for you.  Live each day free – free to follow God and chase your dreams – free to learn and make mistakes – free to love and to be loved.  Guard your freedom, because without it, life is small and shallow.

I don’t feel quite ready to be the mom of a thirteen year-old, but I couldn’t be happier or more thankful than I am to be called mom.

boy in Hawaiian shirt

Happy Birthday Fringeboy.

Mommy Super-Powers

I’m a mommy with a super-power, and I’m pretty sure I am not alone in all this super-power goodness.

We’re all gifted in different areas, but I suspect someone else may have the same super-power as me, or not.  The range of super-mommy powers is far and wide.

Wanna know what my power is?

Super Mommy

I have super-vision.

Yes, I wear glasses, but they don’t even interfere with with this super-vision.  I can look through all the scratches and smudges on my lens and I can still spot things with my super-vision.

Wanna know what I can see?

Piles of clean clothes, folded and waiting to be put away.

No one else in my house can see these piles.  They don’t have super-vision.

Puzzled kid with cartoon caption

For years I did not understand how everyone walked right past the kitchen island, piled high with their clean clothes.  Now I know.

pile of laundry

They can’t see them.  They don’t have my super-mommy powers.

What are your powers?

Because I know you’ve got them.


My Kid’s Loose Lips

If you follow along with The Domestic Fringe on Facebook, you probably saw this status update.

My daughter just got home from school. She half opened the door and yelled (for all the parents waiting at the bus stop in my driveway to hear), “You’re still in your bathrobe!!!
For the record, I am showered, hair done, makeup on, and I’m fully dressed. I was COLD! So I put my robe on to warm up. Sheesh. Some people’s kids.

My kids have a knack for saying the worst things about me.  The minute we get in public, their lips let loose.  My mother probably says the same thing about me.

spider headband - kids

I’d like to say it was worse when they were little, but that’s not true.  When they were really young, all the terrible things they said were made up stories, imaginations run wild.  Now there is a semblance of truth behind what they blab about, making it all the more embarrassing.

When my son was about five years old, he told the pediatrician I fed him squirrel.  The kid was convincing.  I even questioned dinner from the night before.  The doctor looked at me like I had three heads.  I saw little question marks pop into her eyes.  Then my son preceded to tell her an elaborate story of how we caught the squirrels.

I swore I never, ever fed him a squirrel.  Maybe some chicken beyond proper identification, but never squirrel.  I still don’t think she believed me, and how can I blame her.  My son was convincing.

In fact, my husband worried he would grow up to be a conniving little liar.  I was pretty sure this was one of those awkward kid stages, the kind where the lines between imagination and reality blurred, but every once in a while I doubted my judgement.

Thank God he outgrew the stories.  Now he just tells the truth and honestly, sometimes the truth is far worse than the fiction.

I am sure you can relate, because I suppose my kids are not so different from yours.

So do tell.  What have your children said about you?


11 Things I Love About My 11 Year Old

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to You,

Happy Birthday dear FringeKid,

Happy Birthday to YOU!!!!

Silly Kid 1

1..She is an unwavering optimist.  She is hardwired to see the silver lining in everything.  It’s difficult to have a bad day when FringeKid is around.

2..She loves a good girl’s night.  Watch a girly movie, pop pop-corn, go shopping – whatever, as long as we do it together.

silly kid 3

3.  She is a fast friend to everyone she meets.

4.  She is quick to forgive.

5.  She wears her smile every day.

6.  She is a helper.

silly kid 2

7.  She cannot understand why adults wear so much black.  I love that.  Color the world and begin with me.

8.  She is a snuggle bug, always has been.

9.  She thinks up nice things we can do for other people.

10.  She is generous with everyone and shares everything she has.

11.  She is growing up to be a warm, caring, loving girl who is beautiful on both the inside and the outside.

Happy Birthday FringeKid!

Here is an excerpt of FringeKid’s baby story…

I remember the year of my second pregnancy as the waddle and wail.  Showing at two and a half days into conception, I walked like a duck for a full forty weeks.  Near the end, I had to arch my upper half so far backwards that I feared I would never again remember how to walk fully upright.

I was an anomaly – the hunchback in reverse.

Crying on the table in the examining room, I repeatedly begged my doctor to induce me.  My baby had to be unhappy since she was folded into an envelope sealed with amniotic fluid; however, my doctor was hardened by the hormones of many women filled to their chin with baby fat.

This is why I believe there are many advantages to having an OBGYN who still has wet ink on her diploma.  The possibility remains that she can be manipulated by over-sized hysterics.

Read FringeKid’s full baby story HERE.


Mothering Mishaps

Forget about the mother-of-the-year award.  Who needs one more things to dust and polish.

Today is all about Mothering Mishaps.  Now, don’t you dare let me go on thinking I am the only mom who screws-up from time to time.  You better commiserate in the comments, because I am about to make you feel much, much better about yourself and your mad parenting skills.

I haven’t slept very well for the last week and a half.  I am blaming my coughing, hacking, spitting daughter.  Her room is right across the hall from my own and the hall is eighteen inches wide.  I hear every last bark in the night.

If these antibiotics don’t start working soon, I’m going to get my money back.  Don’t even get me started on the three bottles of over-the-counter cough medicine sitting on the shelf in my kitchen.  They are nearly useless, and the only reason they are not completely useless is because when I shove a spoonful of the slimy liquid down her throat, she makes the funniest faces.  That’s gotta be worth something.

Tired moms do mixed-up things, especially early in the morning, and I have been tired.

I don’t function well before 9 A.M.  I just heard the collective gasp of three thousand morning people.  I didn’t realize there were that many of you.

Let me clear something up.  I do function before 9 A.M.  I just don’t do it well.

The other night I tossed and turned.  I had a headache and a coughing child.  Perhaps the two were related, but I am not about to place extra blame on the kid in pigtails.  She’d tell her shrink on me one day, or worse, her blog readers.

Sometime in the wee hours of darkness, I fell asleep and started dreaming of strange and unusual things.  I would tell you all about my dream, but I failed to write it down before coffee and after coffee, the world clears.  I rub the sand from eyes and remember nothing from the hours of darkness.

While I was in this dream, I realized I overslept.  I remember popping one eye open and looking at my alarm clock.  It was three-quarters past the hour and I knew I was in big trouble.  My son should have been awake and in the shower forty-five minutes ago.  I jumped out of bed and ran down the stairs.  The house was dark.

Oh, I thought.  I’m going to have to drive him to school.  I was sure he’d miss the bus, but me driving before coffee can get a little tricky.

I threw his bedroom door open and said, “Hurry, we’re late.  I overslept!”

My poor kid jumps up like there’s a fire in the house and I’m telling him to run for his life.  That’s when I saw his clock.


Four o’clock in the morning!  That’s really not even morning, it’s four o’clock in the middle of the night, and I just dragged my son out of bed.

perpetual state of huh

Some days there is no wonder to my insanity.

“You know what?  Go back to sleep for a few hours.  I’ll see you at six.”

And I walked out the door and back up to bed.

See.  You feel pretty darn good about yourself right now.  Don’t you.

I suspect my son will be teasing me about this one for many, many years to come.

Your turn.  How come you’re not getting that mother of the year award?


P.S.  Now you understand why I had to make THESE.

My Big Fat Tacky Thanksgiving

Every family has their special talent; we do tacky well, and we’re kind of proud of it.

We planned on being in Vermont yesterday with friends, but the plague took over our house and we were in containment mode.

I’m one of those people who like to have a house full on the holidays.  It doesn’t always work out that way for us (maybe it’s my cooking), but we always invite lots of random people, family, and friends.  Usually a few show up, like my mom.  On a really grand holiday, we may even have a few others sitting around our table.

This Thanksgiving, it was just the four us.

Last week I was planning on cooking nothing for Thanksgiving.  Oh, I would gladly do dishes, stir pots, or stay out of the cooks way, but our friends were in charge; however, the other day I realized we were definitely going to be home and the other three people who share my house are going to expect a dinner worthy of thanks.

No problemo.

FringeMan scavenged the woods and brought us home a few turkeys this fall.  I had potatoes and a box of Stove Top Stuffing.  We were all set.

The First Act of Tacky

My turkey was in parts.  Ask Fringeman!  It was the first of the season and he was still mastering the craft of turkey plucking/skinning.  I took the parts out of the freezer and scratched my head for a minute.  This bird was not going to take stuffing unless I duct-taped it together, and I’m not quite redneck enough for that.

FringeMan is, but he wasn’t cooking.

I put the turkey parts in the crock pot, seasoned the heck out of it, added some chicken broth, and flipped it onto “low”.

Then I called my aunt, who said, “Oh, honey.  Not the crockpot?  You’ve been living in the boonies for far too long.  Move back to city.”

But at least I didn’t use duct tape or make mashed potatoes from a box (although I thought about it).

The Second Act of Tacky

My children were desperate for some Christmas cheer.  They’ve been talking about putting up the tree all week, so yesterday, in a stroke of parental genius, I said, “We are not putting Christmas decorations in a dirty house.  If you want them up, start cleaning.”

Antler headband and white Christmas tree

I’ve never seen my children work so hard, even the one with the fever.  They vacuumed, dusted, mopped, and cleared every surface before I finished one load of laundry.

I wish Christmas was every single month of the year.

Granted, the sum total of our crap is probably hidden under the far reaches of the couch, but out of sight is out of mom’s mind.

Pink Mini Tree

We don’t go overboard with decorations.  I don’t change out the bedding for red and white striped sheets or line the sidewalk with snowmen and eight flying reindeer, but the holiday decor we do display is nothing short of vibrant.

Christmas Tree in the kitchen

Not everyone has a plush, fuzzy, hot pink bird nestled in their tree.  Neither do they have a pink bottle brush tree on their kitchen counter.

Tacky, it’s the way we roll.

Kid's Christmas Tree

FringeMan said, “Do we always add colored lights to our pre-lit tree?”

“Yes dear, and it’s not nearly enough.”

Then the kids found the brown spot on our white tree.

“What?  Why is there a brown spot?  My tree is white!  I dreamed of a white tree for most of my life and we’ve only had this one for three years.”

“Maybe it’s all the lights.”  Said FringeMan.

Personally, I think it’s dust or some other domestic variety of dirt.

We just put a big, bright furry ornament in that space.


Are you shopping on this black Friday?

I would be, but my Christmas shopping money won’t be earned until two weeks from now when I set up a booth and sell Fringe Vanilla at a town-wide Christmas fair.

That means I’ll probably be shopping on Christmas Eve.  Truth is I thrive on highly caffeinated crowds of people fighting for the last sale shirt.  Call me crazy, but it’s energizing.