Category Archives: parenting

Three Solutions

I’m going to try to ease myself back into writing here, hopefully regularly after the boys are back in school (which is in 9 days. I can’t even believe it.). I have two trips to recap, but here’s a little story from our last weekend trip that illustrates the boys’ different personalities.

We spent the weekend at Lake Delavan in Wisconsin with Matt’s entire family. The old lake cottage was lifted off its foundation last fall, a basement poured, and the house put back. It’s still under construction, but all 16 of us were able to stay there! The boys stayed in the basement in a bunk room, and there’s a bathroom down there now, too.

And since they’re old enough to just take care of themselves, I didn’t interfere with the showering process at all.

We all bring our own towels when we stay at the cottage, and it occurred to me on the drive back to STL yesterday that I had never given the boys their bath towels after we got there. (Of course, no one asked if there were any. Typical.)

I knew that they had all showered at least once, so I asked, “Uh, what did you do to dry off?”

Luke: “I just dripped dry.”

Bennett: “I used my beach towel. There was some sand, but I didn’t care.”

Jack Henry: “I just used the towel hanging closest to the shower.” (My apologies to whomever else was drying off with that towel.)

I won’t over-analyze this, but honestly, their solutions fit their personalities so perfectly it’s hilarious.


My last post was all “tra-la-la, summer is amazing and wonderful and hot and we go to the pool every day! I love life!”

We’re on day, I don’t know, 7, maybe?, of rain. It feels like 87. And there’s no end in sight. 

The boys are coming up with new and more dangerous ways to pass the time. This is Bennett, Jack Henry and their friend Connor, aka my beloved fourth child, playing some game in the basement that resembles jumping in a leaf pile. 

Shirtless because their shirts are in the dryer, because I sent them out to play in the rain when my two children started to cannibalize. 

Send help. Or maybe just some good tequila. 

Five Days. 

That is how far into summer break it took the boys to have a bleeding incident. You guys, I’m declaring this a wild, unprecedented success. Especially because it was a no-biggie busted lip that happened innocently. 


He was fine in 2 minutes’ time.

It’s been a fun first few days. I swear NO ONE on earth loves summer as much as I do. (Except you, teacher and school admin friends. I see you.) A couple of hours at the neighborhood pool yesterday afternoon confirmed my joy…the boys swam/wrestled/nearly killed each other and I read and drank tea and mostly ignored their craziness and all was right with the world. 


one of them is super aggressive in the pool. guess who.

Sorry other moms at the pool with sweet little kids you have to monitor every second…this is your future, and it is glorious here. Yes, you have to trade those cute babies for loud, obnoxious bigger kids like mine, but it’s worth it. Carry on, Warriors. I’m feeling your pain. From over here in this chair. 

In other news, we have put the boys to work a couple of times in the yard, and they are actually helpful! 




cleaning up after edging.


Here’s to cold drinks, pool time, late bedtimes, baseball and time with friends! And a heaping measure of patience. 

also. my theory is that all boys are happy when there’s plenty of room to hit a ball or run. there will be lots of this.


I know. I haven’t blogged in a sweet forever, and then I post the slightly-ridiculous following story. But give me a break…it’s the end of the school year and I’m soaking up my last moments of freedom. 

However, this is noteworthy and deserves recording, particularly when you are the mom of several. (Jack Henry overheard me say several, and he said, “You’re only the mom of 3,” to which I replied, “It sometimes feels like a lot, ok?”)

Anyway. Three paragraphs in, the whole point of this post is the following: Jack Henry just clipped his own fingernails. This is huge, as it’s a job I’ve despised for years. 12.5, to be exact, which is how long I’ve been a mom, and how long ago I first clipped Luke’s newborn fingernails and made him bleed. Just the other night I asked myself how much longer I might be doing this, so I’m really glad I got my answer so quickly. 

There are some things I miss about having really little kids, but this definitely won’t be one of them. Here’s to big kids with self-care skills. 

Dear Boys of Mine, Do As We Say…

…not as we do.

Not a place I really intended to parent from, but, you know, sometimes you find yourself in situations where there is really no alternative but to utter those words.

For me, it’s been with my tattoos. I’ve told the boys repeatedly that when they’re fully grown ups (I’m going to go ahead and put myself solidly in this category), they can make choices like I did, but that no one better walk in the door at 18 with a skull and crossbones inked on his body. Matt has jokingly/not jokingly said that this is all on me, and he’s right.

And then Matt went and added his own example to the “not as I do” list last week.

He had a conference in NYC. His original flight on Monday was cancelled due to stormy weather on the east coast; he worked that morning to secure an alternate route, which ended up connecting through DC instead of being a direct flight.

Long story short: hours of delay on the tarmac in DC, with the flight eventually being cancelled. While Matt was trying to figure out what to do, a guy approached him about riding to NYC in the car he’d rented. Initially Matt wasn’t in; I mean, weird. But when another guy sitting close by said he was starting his new job in NYC tomorrow and he’d ride with the guy with the car, Matt decided to join them.

So yes. He drove 4+ hours in bad weather in the middle of the night with 2 strangers WHOSE LAST NAMES HE DID NOT EVEN GET (men, I tell you…3 women in a car together would have been Facebook friends before the end of the first hour).

So to my boys: we still do NOT get in cars with strangers. Ever.

The end.

They’re Back. 

Muddy, grass-stained baseball pants, that is.

Last weekend kicked off our season, with Jack Henry playing in a tournament. Bennett’s team played in a tournament this past week – Saturday, and Luke’s is next week. regular-season games begin next week, too.

I’ve missed it. I love watching the boys play. I haven’t missed supper on the run, or the whole “we need a fourth meal because we ate before the game, and we’re hungry again at 8:30pm” thing, but that’s just part of the deal.

I have not, however, missed the rush to get the uniform clean again. I used to FREAK OUT over removing the stains from the white pants, but no more. A quick spray of Shout, a little scrub of detergent if there’s a grass stain, and that’s it. No soaking, no painstaking scrubbing and multiple steps. If it doesn’t come out after what I do to them, it wasn’t meant to. That means that their pants look hideous by early May, but oh well.

Obviously, if you need me, I’ll be sitting in the bleachers.

They’re worth it :)

Happy Easter from my cleaned-up crew!

Spring Break 2015

I can’t believe it, but we’re on the other side of spring break already, which means the countdown to the end of the school year is on…39 days! 

The first several days of spring break were here in STL, and we stayed busy hanging out with friends, going to a St. Patrick’s Day celebration (we are the absolute least Irish people ever, but this was so fun), and enjoying a few 70 degree days outside all day long. 

The end of the week was spent in Chicago and the burbs. The boys couldn’t remember being at the Shedd Aquarium (I don’t even remember how long ago we took them), so that was the activity for Thursday when we got to the city. The entire family’s opinion post-visit is this: we’re pretty much over aquariums. I mean, it was cool, we saw some fun stuff, but meh. 

 Now, I LOVE downtown Chicago. I love the hustle and bustle, the crowd, the hotels and restaurants. Since the boys hadn’t ever stayed right on Michigan Ave, we decided that’s what we would do, and stayed at the Hard Rock. Love its location, and it’s a nice place. 

Overall, though, the boys weren’t all that impressed. I mean, they liked the hotel, they thought Michigan Ave was OK but not that big of a deal [mostly they were like, “we have to walk everywhere?” Suburban kids (shakes head)]. Millennium Park and the food were probably the highlights of our 24 hours in the city. I can’t say I blame them on the food: they had Garrett’s popcorn, Giordano’s pizza for supper, and Wildberry for breakfast. Plus Starbucks hot chocolate in the morning with their dad while I snuck in a workout at the hotel (see above list of food to know why this was necessary).

 We headed out to Wheaton Friday late morning for the next part of our trip: seeing Matt’s sister Heidi and her family in their new house! This was just so much fun for all of us…the boys all left in the afternoon to play baseball, and Heidi and I stayed home while her two little girls napped, which gave us a great chance to talk for a while. It was just so good to catch up! 

The rest of our time was spent with the boys playing with their little cousins and Rockit the dog, eating more amazing food, and the adults just enjoying each others’ company and a few good drinks, and a trip to a great museum on Saturday morning. 

On the way back to STL on Saturday afternoon (our Sunday was full of baseball practices and team pictures and the like, so we needed to get back), Matt asked the boys for their highlight of the trip, and all three said Aunt Heidi and Uncle Jeff’s! :) 



 Here’s to the next few weeks flying by. The pool is calling my name…