So, when did my kids become good? I mean, really. We went on vacation for three days, spent a total of 20 hours in the car, purposely left the Focalin and melatonin at home and still I don’t have a single complaint about our vacation. I am wondering when it was that they woke up, had a meeting and decided they no longer needed to do really dumb shit in public. It’s kind of messing with my hobby of making fun of them.

I yanked them out of bed before the sun came up. I forced them to eat an entirely unhealthy breakfast of sugary cereal. I yelled at everyone to get off their asses and hurry up with the brushing of the teeth and packing of the toothbrushes. I hurried Hubby along, complaining that the cat was going to be alone too long. I complained that there wasn’t going to be enough room in the front seat for my camera, purse, book and snack bag (I’ve learned my lesson countless times when I’ve packed the snack bag in the back seat).

When we were finally on the road, they were all too happy to just chill and listen to music. If anything, the worst behaved person on the trip was my oldest child – the hubster. But that’s nothing new. I expected that, so I made sure there was at least one rogue Red Bull in the snack bag, a baggie of mustard flavored pretzels, and a few Slim Jims. The happy hubby trifecta. He still complained, but at least he wasn’t hungry and tired. We ate fast food lunch. We cleaned fast food wrappers from the van. We cleaned fast food chunks from beneath Jack’s butt. We cleaned fast food grease from the windows, seats, headphones and hands. We cleaned fast food crumbs from the van a week later. In case anyone cares about my opinion, I highly suggest a nice healthy picnic lunch to be eaten outside your car on long trips.

And after ten hours, we arrived at Great Wolf Lodge, the funnest indoor water park adventure we’ve been to. We’ve been here three times, I think. And let me note that I am biased as it is the only one we’ve been to.





As per usual, the kids and I wait in the car whilst Hubby checks us in. We wait. And wait. And wait. The kids are bouncing around as if they had been cooped up in seat belts for ten hours and were excited about something. Damn kids. I had a headache and anticipated a frown from Hubby as he walked out to the van (not because I’m a pessimist or because he’s an asshole, mind you. Because every time we go somewhere, something pops up that puts a kink in our plans. And neither one of us are particularly ‘fly by the seat of our pants’ people.) But as it were, he walked out smiling! A home run!

We found the room easily enough, after piling three days’ worth of luggage for six people, a crock pot full of Sloppy Joe’s and three grocery bags of groceries (more Red Bull, some chips, soda, chocolate . . . necessities, people) on top of one of those rolly luggage racks things. Being the ‘you need to work hard to earn this shit’ mom that I am, I did make all the kids carry their own backpacks. Our room had the promised ‘Happy Birthday’ sign on the door and a large bag full of the birthday package treats we paid for in this nifty little add-on appropriately called the birthday package.


Let me go into painful detail here, as this thing was so cool:

At this water park, you pay for your room and you get as many water park passes as people you list staying in your room. So on this particular trip we had 11. Since it was Liam’s birthday, I thought, why the hell would I not add this $125 package to the mix? The Internet claimed that we would get a meal comp, a birthday cake, a poster, a scrapbook and tokens for the arcade for four kids. Let me tell you, at Great Wolf Lodge, they don’t skimp on their packages! I assumed we’d get a meal comp for four people, a crappy paper scrapbook with an ugly, flimsy cover and a tiny birthday cake. Instead, we got a meal comp for nearly all 11 of us (it was pizza, salad, breadsticks and soda. We had to buy one pizza because a. I like my fatty food, b. our three boys can eat an entire box of cereal in one breakfast, so dinner has to be large, and c. my Hubby is excessive in everything he does), a HUGE round birthday cake, decorated and personalized, eight arcade tokens for each kid, a chocolate bar for each kid and a scrapbook that cost $29.99 in the gift shop. I checked. Ooh, and I almost forgot what had me so impressed. The birthday child was to receive a ‘stuff the animal’ and outfit in the gift shop, akin to Build-A-Bear. I checked that out, too. The animal was $24.99 and the outfit was $19.99. So far, just the extras tally to $75, not including dinner, the cake and the arcade tokens. I’d say that the tokens should have been about . . . (ugh, maths) $8. That leaves like $40 for an entire pizza dinner and a birthday cake (don’t you dare refigure my math. That would be embarrassing. I did it all in my head with no paper and pen. I’m impressed, but I haven’t checked my work with a calculator). Regardless of actual birthdays, I’d say it would be a great idea for anyone going to GWL to add this package on. I mean, who doesn’t want to eat cake and pizza in their hotel room?


Pizza party

Back to the main attraction – my sweet baby niece made her appearance at her first vacation! At seven weeks old, she was a vision in pink. Her dark skin and hair made everything she wore look custom-colored just for her. I’d also mention the color of her eyes, but that little booger kept them closed for like the entire time she was there. Seriously, if I were a jealous person, I’d be insanely jelly of my sister and her super duper easy, sleepy baby. And the pinkness. Yeah, the pinkness would make me jealous. If I were a jealous person. Which I’m not.


Marley Renee, as pretty as her mommy

I got some great pictures of my mom sleeping in the water park.


I got a few cute pics of my kiddos smiling. I got a great shot of the birthday boy blowing out his candles. I got a few cute pics of that sweet, pink little baby. With her eyes closed, of course.

And that’s it.

See, nothing even remotely funny in three whole days.

Except for when Jamie got pulled over and received a speeding ticket with all four kids as witnesses. I was a great wife and didn’t say a single word, though inside my head I saw myself pumping my arm in the air and screaming, “YESSSSSSSSSS! It’s about time!”

Just kidding. No wife wants her hubby to get a speeding ticket.


And that’s the end of that. I must really be into this blogging thing because as Officer Not So Friendly (actually, he was kind of a dick – is it normal for a cop to ask the driver what color their car is?) was running Hubby’s license and registration, I very seriously contemplated whether I would/could be reprimanded for taking a picture of said cop handing the imminent ticket to my speeding Hubby. I wish I had done it, in hindsight. A reprimand from a crabby cop would have been great fodder for this. As would the resulting photo of shame.

I wonder what else I would do just to be able to write about it.








We all know the popular Train song “Bruises.” In it, the band endears that bruises make for better conversation . . . ain’t that the embarrassing truth if you are a mom of boys.

black eye


Jack, who seems to be a magnet for the law of threes, recently came down with a case of bruise-itis. In my family, this law applies with every. single. injury. This time, it was the fault of the trampoline. Three times. In one day. At least this time the law of threes wasn’t drawn out at all. Nope. Quick, clean, bloodless and to the point.

Early in the morning (let’s say nine am because that seems to be an acceptable time to let a preschooler jump and yell in my backyard. Because eight am would be annoying and rude), my young lad began his day full of jumping, banging on the patio door, jumping, asking for a snack, jumping, ringing the doorbell (picture Caillou hyped up on Mountain Dew and Pixie Sticks). Saving the day like coffee at sunrise were my neighbor boys, jumping for joy (literally, on the trampoline) over their day off from their school and the prospect of playing with little Jack all day. Halleluia. There should have been peace in my house.

Injury numero uno – Jack banged his ear against one of the other kids. “It huwts.” I brushed him off and sent him back out with the credo, “every owie takes you one step closer to being a man.” I’ll be regretting that for a while.

It was mere minutes after I sent him out that I could hear the definitive “I am really hurt and not just crying over nothing” cry piercing the backyard. I looked out and saw him holding his eye and scrambling off the trampoline. When I was able to pry his hand off his eye, all the while praying he hadn’t popped it out (it can happen – I saw it on Grey’s Anatomy), I unintentionally gasped at the immediate swelling of the orbital floor (or “bottom eye socket bone”, as I googled it). When I had convinced myself it wasn’t broken and he was dosed with Advil and exiled to the couch with an ice pack, popsicle and cartoons, I grabbed my camera to document this injury for the whole lot to laugh at later and perhaps learn from.


The best part of him throwing a fit while I photographed his owie? His stupid shirt. “Assemble” is not an appropriate word for tiny clothing.

Apparently, I didn’t learn from it later, because I let him go back out about an hour into his ailment. And he came in again, crying and holding his chin. Beneath it was a red skidmark, a friction burn from the mat. Geez Louise.

So when a friend I babysit for dropped off her toddler and was greeted by Jack’s shiner, she said immediately, “Whoa. Not good when you’re trying to run a daycare!” I laughed right along with her because we’re friends and it was no biggie . . . until that sweet little toddler of hers fell backward and sat down hard against the corner of the wall. Telling her mom in front of my bruised and battered child was a lesson in embarrassment! And the cashier at Bath and Body Works (“What happened to your eye?”) and the cashier at Meijer (“Hey buddy! Where’d you get that bruise?”) and the stranger at the library (“Ouch! That looks like it hurts!”) Yes, it hurt. Yes, we see it. Yes, he knows it’s there. Yes, I know I was irresponsible to let him jump on the trampoline with three older kids. Poor little guy is now embarrassed to go in public. He said he didn’t want to go to t-ball because they’ll all see his eye. He told me as we left Bath and Body Works, “Mom, I don’t wike how ev-we-one talks about my eye.” Me neither, kiddo. But you know what they say about bruises . . .