If my kids were critics…

If my kids were critics, I don’t think I’d ever be upset after a critique.

Kids are incredibly honest without prejudice. They aren’t jealous. They don’t project shame. They are NATURAL critics. They do it when you don’t even ask. Most of the time they do it without you asking.

Case in Point:

Logan (8): “Mommy, you know I love you, right?”

Me: “Yes, of course!”

Logan: “Your story wasn’t really that funny… but I still love you.”

Then we hug it out.

Notice how his critique began with a positive and ended with positive, with a little something to work on in the middle.

The best part about a kid being my critic is that I can tell him he’s wrong and then send him to his room while I retell the unfunny story to another person.

If my kids were critics…

Joie de vivre

For a while I’ve been looking for french phrases that I want to express artistically on the walls in my house. I even asked my French pal, who didn’t exactly understand what I meant as she gave me phrases like: 

“One in the hand is worth two in the bush”

“Don’t count your chickens before they hatch”

And other idioms those. While clever and good advice, these phrases aren’t exactly what I’d want on my wall.

Looking for french sayings on my own isn’t easy because it’s not my first language. I’d say I’m fluent enough to carry on a conversation with an 8 year old. The thing with sayings is that they almost never translate verbatim so I can’t exactly apply the french vocabulary I know to make an english phrase I like.

In my daily french practice (ok, maybe not EVERY day), I found a section on idioms. Perfect! I’ll practice my french while also learning new idioms that may be appropriate for wall adornment.

Même pas mal. (Didn’t even hurt) Meh. Maybe for my workout room?

Je ne sais quoi. (I don’t know what) Haha. Maybe for my desk?

In my search for french sayings, I discovered that many sayings are exclusive to language. I can’t simply take an english phrase and make it french. It’d be like taking tofu and trying to pass it off as chicken. It may taste like chicken and look like chicken. But it’s not chicken. And deep down, we know it.

Many of the best phrases are a reflection of culture.

Joie de vivre. (Exuberance of life or Joy of living) Yes! That’s a great one! It sounds like the name of a travel magazine but I think it gives off a positive vibe. 

I think this saying could go anywhere. At times when life’s got me down and I’m feeling sorry for myself, my Joie de Vivre poster could be a simple reminder to enjoy life. Plus it’s super fun to say.

Let your creak flag fly

My bathroom door has a creak. 

Creak open. Creak close. With 3 kids, that door is revolving in my house. Creak, creak, creak, creak.

The creaking was about to drive me insane when I remembered that I have some WD-40. I grabbed the can from the garage and smartly sprayed the hinges. Then I patted myself on the back for a job well done.

I gloated about my problem solving abilities and demonstrated for Donnie. I opened the door. I closed the door. I opened the door. I closed the door.


I smiled. 

Donnie made that face he makes when he’s really trying not to roll his eyes at me.

The next morning, as I’m getting ready for work, the door smacks me in the back of the head. Turns out, the un-lubricated hinge was keeping the door from closing on its own. So, now, when I get ready in the morning, I hold my arm behind me and push the door back every time it comes a swingin’. 

What is it called when you solve one problem and it causes another to appear? I’ve been trying to figure out if I can use this as a metaphor for something in my life. 

At this point, all I can think is that I wish I had my creak back.


Malheureusement, je suis malade.

Je ne peut pas joue mes enfants. Je ne peut pas travaille dans ma maison ou mon table.

Ce repos est très barbant. J’ai étudié la langue du français et regardé la télévision.

Alors, cet vacance est horrible.

Pauvre moi. Pauvre, pauvre moi.


Remember a few days ago, when I said I wasn’t going to post half-assed “Too tired to write a post” posts this time? Welp. It’s 10:17 and it’s either start a real, juicy post or go to bed.

I could list all the things I’ve done today so you’d know that I’m not wasting time doing nothing. But I’ll save it. I’m busy. There. I said it.

I’m choosing bed.

Sorry self.

The time I got kidnapped.

The other day I took the kids the park, as I often do when Donnie has an all-day volleyball function. It was nice day and I’d had enough of the indoor rough-housing.

We packed up and drove to the nearest park. The kids love the playground. It’s got all these new types of play equipment and soft, track-like material to land on so as to avoid severe boo-boos. We pulled up to the fenced-in play area. The parking lot was full. Kids were climbing over kids to get on the ladder to the slide.

I sighed, “Let’s go to the other playground.” To avoid the crying, whining and “why?,” I followed up with an overly enthusiastic, “You can feed the ducks!” They complied, not matching my enthusiasm.

We drove to the other side of the park. The side I refer to as the “old part.” It was a ghost town. The equipment was a little outdated and there was more than a slight chance that Logan would break his arm on the monkey bars.

Then there’s the “metal slide of terror.” I remember it from my childhood. The ladder is so steep that if you get too close, your face is in the butt of the person standing up two rungs. Once you’re at the top, you get the slight feeling that you may hurl your body over the tiny metal bar and crash into the poorly maintained, sparse grass below. But before you can think about it too much, you’re pushed down the slide by the kid directly behind you. Apparently he was tired of having your butt in his face. My kids LOVE this slide.

I was trying not to let my anxiety get the better of me as I watched Anya take my precious little baby Riley up the slide for about the 10th time. Suddenly, I heard someone standing behind me whispering, “Don’t turn around.” I perk up.

Are they talking to me? I turn around. Because when someone says “Don’t turn around,” every fiber of my being wants to turn around. I HAVE TO TURN AROUND.

I see a woman holding a gun-metal gray… well… gun. She says, “Dammit. I said don’t turn around. Are you stupid?” Slightly insulted by being called stupid and slightly annoyed at the fact that she didn’t tell me she had a gun before she said “don’t turn around,” I started shaking. My eyes darted to my kids. At the top of slide. It’s the only time I’d ever considered that a safe spot. Acting like she didn’t notice me looking at the slide, she said, “Get in the van.”

I screamed, “ANYA! RUN!”

The woman shoved me in the back of a windowless van. Why do they even make those? It’s like they’re asking for them to be used as kidnapping vehicles.

Anya grabbed Riley and Logan and they all 3 ran toward the nearest QuikTrip. It was about 1 mile away. I run all their possible scenarios in my head. When they get to QT, Anya will call… Wait. Who will she call? She only knows my number?! And 911. Yeah. She’ll call 911. Probably.

I pop up in bed. A dream. A very vivid dream.

Two hours later, I’m sitting at the table with the family eating sausage and eggs, “You know, Donnie, the kids should probably learn your number too. Not just mine.”

Donnie replied, “That was random.”

Here’s what I think you should do and other advice

I love giving advice. And, in some instances, I think I’m pretty good at it. I mean, people ALWAYS ask me for advice.

Here are some recent examples:

“What should I do with my boyfriend?”
Me: Dump him.

“What should I do with my life?”
Me: Go back to college.

“Which one?”
Me: That one.

Now that i think about it, all the advice I give is really just my opinion (a lot of times based on experience, but opinions nonetheless). Hmmm…

So I guess I could say I love giving opinions.

I’m full of opinions.

Volleyball night

Yet another late night playing volleyball. It’s like I’m one of those 20-year-olds who play volleyball every night (except of course, I’m setting up the port-a-crib while they’re warming up and feeding Riley snacks between games).

While stressful and busy, playing volleyball makes me feel pretty awesome. And tired. But mostly, awesome.

… And tired.