Tag Archives: Children

Happy Halloween!

Now, you’d think in our household, Halloween would be enjoyed best by those whose ages consist of only one digit. But judging from this year’s photos, I think we know who had the most fun:


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A whole new level of bad ass

Holy crap, people. Holy crap.

For those of you who have children, you know that there is “the story.” For my mother, there are five of them. With Carrie she was so drugged up she couldn’t point her out in the nursery. Tommy I think is the one where every doctor, nurse, cafeteria worker and janitor in the hospital took a peek before she finally delivered him. Laura — 10 pounds, two sets of forceps, double-episotomy, born arm first with a tooth (that’s a good one). Amy was born during Monday Night Football. Me? Well, I shot out so fast she almost left me right there on the hospital floor. Nice.

My stories are lame. I was totally drugged up and had both my children removed from me — against their will — in a nice, sterile operating suite. Hank refused to come out. George didn’t get the chance to even try.

Everyone can chip in something here. What you or your wife or your girlfriend went through. But no matter how you tell the story, to you, it seems fairly unbelievable. I mean, you DID that. You made that kid. Cool.

But, as far as baby stories go, no one can top the delivery of one Miss Lilah, born to my friend Nancy and her husband Mark (and big sister Cara) this week. In Nancy’s own words:

I delivered my own child. Yes I did.

Lilah Jane was born yesterday morning around 9:10. My contractions were still 6 minutes apart, so I told Mark to take Cara to daycare. I figured I’d get dressed and we’d head for the hospital when he got back. As soon as the van door closed I knew I’d made a bad call. I figured the best thing to do was get up, get dressed, and go sit with next-door-neighbor Jen until Mark got back.

I went and sat on the potty, and my water broke. I yelled out the window for Jen, but she had gone into her basement to work out. I told myself not to push, but my body wasn’t listening to me. At that point I realized the baby was ready to come out. I gave one good push, and most of her was out. One more good push and there she was. No I did not drop her in the toilet (but I think her feet got wet). So now I’m stuck on the in the bathroom with no help and a waxy, blue baby. Fortunately I had read just the night before what to do if you accidentally gave birth at home. I did what I could to clear her airway, wrapped her in a towel draped her cord over my arm since the placenta hadn’t been delivered yet, and walked over to my bed.

After calling 911 I ran over to the window and called Jen again, which still did me no good. I couldn’t call anyone else because 911 wouldn’t let me off the phone. The EMT’s were there pretty fast, but Mark had locked the door (ever safety conscious). Poor Jen – just about to get in the shower and wrapped in a towel -was running around her house looking for my house key.

They didn’t break down the door because they knew I was ok, so they found an open kitchen window and climbed through. They grabbed the baby, cut the cord and sent her on her way to the hospital. Right about this time Mark turned down our street and had a mini cardiac episode when he saw all the emergency vehicles at our house. He came up to see his blood covered wife starting to kind of pass out on the bed, with 6 EMT guys standing around. One of them offered me a sheet to cover myself with. I looked around and asked if anyone really thought my modesty was an issue at that point.

I had a partial placental abruption, so my upstairs looked like a crime scene (which my poor mom cleaned up) – which got even grosser when my placenta delivered. Then they packed me up (tromping around in the blood all the while) and sent me off in my own ambulance. Lilah is fine. She spent the night in the NICU. I feel great and aside from lots of blood loss I ended up in pretty good shape.

Dudes… she delivered her OWN child. Alone. In the bathroom. And not like, I’m at the prom and my mom doesn’t know I’m pregnant so I’ll push it out and leave it in paper towels in the corner then go dance with my boyfriend. More like, I have a bag packed and names picked out and I’ve called the maternity ward ahead of time and I STILL managed to have her on the fine radiant heat tiles! She’s like a genuine case of “I didn’t know I was pregnant” only she TOTALLY KNEW she was pregnant!

Holy. Crap. On. A. Stick. With. Beans.

Nancy is absolutely, 100 percent, the world’s most bad ass mother.


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A mother’s words of wisdom – part 1

I’ve decided that I need to start chronicling the things I say to my children. Not because I give stellar parenting advice or because I am mother of the year, but because most times, I am astonished at the things I say within seconds of them leaving my mouth.

Today’s actual statement to the boys:

“Please don’t kiss each other’s butts.”


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Slug Bug Stupid

As you may have noticed these days, VW has attempted to put a new spin on an old game to push some advertising and, apparently, sell cars. With violence.

Ok, maybe not so dramatic. But we’ve all seen these new Volkswagen commercials where people punch each other every time they see one. Red One. Blue One. Silver One. Only, rather than doing it for a Volkswagen Beetle — as the game was intended — they are doing it for every car.

You know what VW? Mothers of boys out there would like you to knock it off. Because you are simply encouraging our kids to punch each other at the very sight of cars. What the hell?

Of course, I am much more of a follower than a leader. So if my kids are going to start punching each other (because I am powerless to stop it and God forbid I turn off the television) then they are at least going to do it right. I mean… the game is SLUG BUG. Not Slug Passat. Not Slug Jetta. Not Slug *insert VW name here because I don’t know anymore*. Slug BUG. See how it rhymes? Genius. When playing the game, it is NOT “Punch Bug” or “Punch Buggy” or “Sluggy Buggy” or any other obnoxious take on the title. Slug. Bug. That is the game.

And thank God they stopped making the VW Bus, because my friend Nancy played a version of Slug Bug with the Bus, only she called it “Slam Van” or “Wham Van” or something like that, and it involved her whacking her man-sized knuckles on the side of your head at the very sight of one, which was more often than you would expect in the late-90’s, which was the last time she got me. I think I still have a lump on my head. I was not a fan of that game.

Back to Slug Bug.

Hank had basically started trying the new version of the game where you punch someone at the very sight of a Volkswagen. But, at 8, he really didn’t know what that meant. So he just started whacking his brother at the sight of every red car. I decided to give him a correction, without letting him know what I was doing. So there we were, driving along, when I reached into the back, gave him a good old-fashioned finger-burning smack on the leg, and yelled, “SLUG BUG RED!!!!!”

I went on to explain the game to the child. The RULES. It MUST be a Bug. You MUST say SLUG BUG and no other version of it. If you do it and it turns out not to be a Bug, I get to hit you back… twice. If you dodge out of the way, I get to hit you… twice now. Got it? He says he does. So here we go.

Then, apparently, there was a big sale at the Slug Bug store, and they were EVERYWHERE. Even saw an old one. The kid was developing a welt on his leg that likely could have gotten me in some serious trouble with child services. Growing up, as the youngest of 5, this was not my favorite game. But suddenly, I was queen! I mean, sure, I was queen because 1) I laid out all the rules and 2) my challenger is 8 years old, but still…. I AM WINNING!!! WOO HOO!!!!

Then he almost gives me a smack at the sight of a PT Cruiser (which, I think, we should be able to pull over and smack that driver around for simply purchasing such an ugly car). “Uh, uh, uh,” I warn him. “I get to hit you back twice if it’s not a bug.”

“I think,” the child says, “that I’ll take a minute to be sure it’s a bug before I yell it out.”

“Good idea,” I tell him. In my mind, I was thinking, “Silly boy. He’s going to take too long to consider when I, in the meantime, will not hesitate because I am the master of this game! I shall beat you at Slug Bug, oh wee one!” I was actually giddy at the idea of being able to hit my kid before he hit me. Ah, motherhood.

So we pull into a parking lot and right at the corner is a black one.

“SLUG BUG BLACK!” I yell as I deliver a smack to the back seat.

Then I continue to get cocky, removing both hands from the wheel so I can point my fingers in the air as I taunt the little boy. “I’m winning, I’m winning!!!!!”

I was so busy doing that, I didn’t notice the green convertible Beetle just a few stalls down from the black one.

“SLUG BUG GREEN!” the child yells, delivering a knuckle-protruding right hook to my arm.

Total dead arm.

Sweet. Mother.

What the hell did I just do?

Seems that in my excitement to have a chance to smack my child for no good reason, I forgot the rules — that he gets to hit back. And he is a boy. Sure, he’s small, but, um, boys are relentless. There’s no such thing as “not so hard” to a boy.

So we’ll put this one in my list of ideas that seemed awesome at the time. The scare game (holy crap did he get me the other day). And my inexplicable decision to teach him to pull his arm down to get trucks to honk on the highway. Which of course, he now does every time we are on the highway, which is almost every day, so on a regular basis I nearly poop my pants at the sound of an 18-wheeler blaring its horn behind me while my children giggle with delight in the back seat.

I think the proper term for the things I am teaching my children is called “What were you thinking?”

So the next time you see a red Honda with a mother and child punching each other from back seat to front, don’t fret. It’s just me teaching my children really stupid things.


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The daze of summer

I love summer. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. And again. And again. There are few things in this world that make me as happy as a hot sticky day. I absolutely adore those few nights a year when it’s so hot, the cover of the night sky cannot even bring the temperature down. Sitting on the porch in 85 degree temperatures at midnight just makes me smile. I don’t think I belong here in Illinois. It’s flipping cold in winter. But at the same time, I do think that the dreary nastiness of winter makes me far more appreciative of a little summer sweat.

This is how Jim feels about summer:

How classy is that? The truth of this picture is, Jim, despite being a ripe, mature 36 years of age, has no idea how to react when you point a camera in his direction. Doesn’t he look pissed? He told me the other day that he HATES summer. I think I will never forgive him.

Well, despite my husband’s inexplicable anger at the only good time of year, I do not fear the sun and the sweat which accompanies it. Last week I took the kids to a baseball game, but despite my intentions, we did not make it to the Taste of Chicago. So yesterday I put them on the train and away we went….

On the train. I was afraid George would not like it, but he was so excited. They made me sit up top.

Super lame blow-up games aren't so bad when they are free! Thanks Mayor Daley!

At the Millenium Park fountain.

I'm not totally sure how I feel about the fountain "sculpture." If you've never been there, the faces change. And then eventually, they purse their lips and water spits out, like they are spitting all over the children. Which of course, the kids adore. I tried to take a picture, but I needed new batteries and the camera clicked off. Stupid cheap AAs.

 Of course, a day in the city is not complete until you see something disturbing. Enter the other sculpture at the park that caught my eye:

I walked around this work of “art” looking for a title, but found none. So I can only assume this is entitled, “great big dong wrapped in foil.” In a park designed for children no less! I seriously should have been an artist, because I am certain I could have designed this nonsense.

All in all, it was a perfect summer day. I’ll let the boys sum it up for you:

Happy summer everyone!


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Fever pitch

Guess who kept his mother up all night with a fever that refused to break?

This guy.

Feel better George, and thanks for not barfing on me.

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It’s strong in this one…

I cannot believe that I left out the very most important part of the story regarding Hank and the tale of the super mean German Shepherd.

So there we were, sitting in the ER. After several hours and a good cleaning, that wound just looked bad. Not big, but deep. A gash, if you will. The child asked several times if he needed stitches, and all I could say was, “I just don’t know.” Hank is one of those kids who just HATES the doctor. He cries during school shots as if he’s been stabbed in the heart with a dull spoon, and no amount of promises of ice cream or action figures can calm his little nerves.

So after the nurse cleaned his wound and Hank realized that the doctor was next in, he started to shake. And shudder. And cry. Knowing that there was nothing I could promise, nothing I could say, no amount of hugs or kisses that would soothe my first-born, I pulled out the only trick I could think of:

“Use the force,” I said.

Dudes, it worked. He closed his eyes and said, “Focus.” Then, he promptly stopped crying, and smiled.

My kid is a freaking Jedi Knight.


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