Since I’m on Vacation, Inventing a Title for This Totally Disjointed, Random, Blogkeeping Post Seems Like Extraordinarily Hard Work and So I’ve Decided Not to Title It at All

This isn’t a real blog post. This is a blog-keeping post. So if this is your first visit here, go here or here or here or here. You’ll be happier, I swear. Unless you don’t like reading about pee or penises or imperfect parenthood. Then you won’t be happier and you should probably get out now. Like, RUN as fast and as far from this place as you can because happiness is not possible for you here, and it was very nice knowing you but GO, NOW and SAVE YOURSELF. ...  read more

To Grandmother’s House We Go

We work hard to teach our kids that gentle criticism, when used correctly, is an important tool to meet one’s needs. We also teach them that stopping at criticism isn’t enough; it’s essential to offer a reasonable solution to a problem. “Identify what’s not working,” we say, “and also tell us how you’re going to fix it.” ...  read more

Weekend Plans, Insider Trading, and Making a Cleanliness Gesture

I’m spending the weekend in Portland with my oldest baby at a dance convention. This is why:

Abby flies

I forgot to watch Dance Moms for inspiration before we left, though, so I’m afraid my behavior won’t be up to nagging and bullying par. This makes me feel sad. Like I’m destined to fail from the get-go. At least I’m failing in good company, though, ’cause none of the other moms I’m staying with meet the bar, either. Maybe I can hope one of us SNAPS this weekend! Is that too much to ask? That just one of us totally loses her poo and goes all DANCE MOM all ovah the place? Pray with me, OK? ...  read more

Let Them Eat Cake

My mom feeds people.

It is her biological imperative.

Salmon must swim upriver to spawn. Geese must fly south for the winter. Moses must lead his flock to the promised land. And my mom must feed her people.

On Sunday afternoon, my dad called.

We were minus-three hours from kickoff for the Big Game. Greg was cleaning. The kids and I were avoiding cleaning. You know, the usual prep for a big party. ...  read more

How to Take Rockin’ Family Photos

I give good Peek-a-Boo.  All the kids say so.

And you only think that’s not an important life skill if you’ve never had to make a kid smile for a camera.  Can I get an “amen” from all the rockin’ peek-a-booers out there?  AMEN!

(It’s probably bad form to give my own rockin’ self an “amen,” but you know what? Some days, backing ourselves up is all we’ve got, ladies. I’m gonna start a trend. That way, I won’t be the only mama walking around the grocery store, mumbling to myself, and following up periodically with a hearty, “AMEN!” Join me, won’t you?) ...  read more

Dread and Other Benefits of Blogging

The Wife I Want To Be is at war with the Wife I Am.

It’s a raging and never-ending battle, with each side making gains and taking losses almost continuously.  “To arms!  To arms!,” I yell.  (FYI, I’m not sure which Me is yelling that.  It gets a little confusing coordinating all the skirmishes when the enemy is myself.)

Recently, my dad invited Greg to accompany him on an awesome canoe trip down Utah’s Green River. ...  read more

Grateful: A Guest Post by The Old Marine

Hi, Friend!

I’m on the trip of a lifetime to Alaska with my family.  Five kids.  Ten days.  Infinite excitement.  While we’re away having grand, bloggable adventures, I’m sharing some special posts by guest writers.

On this, our first vacation day, I’m excited to lead off with a post from my dad.  If you’ve been reading along for a while, you might know him by his pseudonym, The Old Marine.  He didn’t write this for the blog, but he said I could use it here with you. ...  read more