Sunday, December 2, 2012

Emergency Preparedness: 10 Things You Need to Survive the Imminent Zombie Apocalypse

I am a member of a church that places a lot of emphasis on a little something called “Emergency Preparedness.” I am encouraged by my church leaders to collect non-perishable supplies, stock up on space blankets and flashlight batteries, and have a plan for every emergency under the sun. Mormons don’t mess around, people.

Personally, I’m glad I’ve grown up with the motivation to be prepared. Preparedness is important. Preparedness keeps you safe. It keeps you alive when disaster strikes. It keeps you from showing up on the news after said disaster screaming, “Where’s Fema?! Where’s the Red Cross?!” It keeps you from being stuck with nothing but a foam cup of dry noodles when the Mayan Calendar ends.
Preparedness is serious stuff.

We’re all about preparedness at my house. And not just because our religion encourages it. I am personally motivated to stockpile 25 lb. buckets of dehydrated milk and egg products when a hurricane strikes on the other side of the country. I’m motivated to purchase large amounts of Betty Crocker cake mixes and Fruit Roll Ups when my local grocery store has a 4 for $5 sale. My husband is motivated to stuff a cabinet full of weapons and ammunition when a Democratic president is re-elected.

But nothing has ever motivated me more than watching this TV show:

Image courtesy AMC TV

If you haven’t heard of it yet, you probably will. I’m pretty sure it’s sweeping the nation (and if it’s not, it should be). The first two seasons are on Netflix as we speak. The third season is currently underway, and as the title suggests, it’s all about a seriously disturbing zombie takeover of our precious planet earth.

Honestly, although I’m totally into end-of-the-world, apocalyptic-type stuff, this is not a show I would normally dive into. It’s pretty darn gory, for one, and there’s enough cussing in it to make a dairy farmer squirm. Ok… maybe not.

But I was curious. Oh so curious. And I paid the price for my curiosity.




That’s right – for two days, huddled in front of our 37” screen with the blinds closed and the kids watching mindless hours of Disney in their bedroom, the hubunk and I inhaled all 19 episodes of seasons 1 and 2. When we finally emerged again into the light of day, I knew our lives would never be the same again.

I have never been more motivated to prepare.

And I have therefore created this handy list of items you, too, will need when the world ends and a horrific zombie infection seizes all mankind. Call it a “Zombie Apocalypse To-Do List,” if you will. You’re welcome.


  1. Food, water, clothing, shelter, fuel. All your basics. Knowing how to grow and/or kill food yourself will also come in handy.
  2. Tools, nails, screws, and boards to block all possible entrances to your stronghold. If you rely on a vehicle as your stronghold, you’d better be sure you’ve got enough gas in the ole tank to stay mobile.
  3. LOTS AND LOTS OF GUNS. And please don’t forget the ammo.
  4. To make friends with a doctor/surgeon and make sure this person will be a part of your survival group. Veterinarians may be substituted for doctors if needed.
  5. Besides guns, you need weapons of silence (so as not to attract unwanted zombie attention). Swords, knives, hatchets, baseball bats… all valuable. Pointy sticks, screwdrivers, and other tools will also become useful in a bind.
  6. To make yourself too valuable to leave behind as zombie bait. Are you a good watchman? A superb zombie-killer? Do you have a wide base of survival knowledge? Cultivate your skills.
  7. The ability to break into abandoned buildings quickly and quietly to obtain supplies. Locksmiths and robbers survive well because of this.
  8. To practice running, climbing, swimming, and otherwise keeping yourself fit. The fat kid always gets eaten first.
  9. To be good at keeping your head in life-threatening situations. Quick-thinking. Anything you do (or do not) under severe stress (zombies chasing you through the woods, zombies trapping you in cars, zombies swarming your home) can make or break.
  10. Hope for the recovery and future of the living. If you don’t have that, you’re just one bad zombie encounter away from driving yourself off a cliff.

Oh, and one more thing you’re really going to need in the Zombie Apocalypse – a strong stomach. Zombie blood/guts/bodily shrapnel get all over the place, ya’ll. No joke.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Bystanders Guide to Helpful Bystanding

I’ve noticed some things since I’ve had kids.

To name a few:

Kids make every trip to the grocery store (/gas station/mall/fast food joint/etc.) take approximately 30 minutes longer.

There are very few things that cannot be solved by candy, toys, or holding bedroom doors shut until the screaming stops.

If you let your kids ride the bikes in Walmart, there will come a time when the “Cleanup on Aisle 10,” is definitely a signal to run to Aisle 10 and extract your child before he makes it worse.

Sleep is optional.

But perhaps the number one thing I’ve noticed since having children is that there are loads upon loads of “helpful” bystanders out there in this world.

I’m pretty sure that many of these people are just standing about in random public places, waiting for a slightly insane mother (aka: me) to stumble along with her little brood and create a scene worth “helping.” I have no doubt that most of them have the best of intentions. Many of them can likely relate to the train of chaos that follows me everywhere I go. Many of them genuinely try to help.

But some bystanders are more helpful than others.

There are three categories of helpful bystander:

  1. Nervous Grandmother
  2. Judge Judy
  3. Mary Poppins

The Nervous Grandmother is certainly possessed by good intentions. She is sweet, careful, and wise. But she is also very nervous. Perhaps her own frailties have made her overly cautious and concerned for others. Perhaps her less than catlike reflexes have given her a sense of unease when she sees little children leaning over grocery carts and jumping down stairways. Whatever it is, bless her heart, Nervous Grandmother follows you everywhere. And Nervous Grandmother gives far too many warnings.

This dear old lady can be identified by such warnings, often directed at the children but intended for the mother’s ear:

“Sit down, Honey, I don’t want you to fall!” “Do you have a jacket, Sweetie? The wind is blowing out there!” “Oh, your little feet look so cold! Where are your socks?” “Don’t put your fingers in there, they might get stuck!”

But as wonderfully cautionary as Nervous Grandmother is, she’s got nothing on Judge Judy.

Judge Judy tends to be around age 50. She tends to have dark eyebrows and does not smile. She does not direct her sage advice at the children, but speaks to the mother. Judge Judy may have adult children she considers perfect, or she may have no children at all. Judge Judy speaks harshly or often just glares and makes annoyed sounds and gestures. Judge Judy is mean. Judge Judy makes mothers run crying from the grocery store and fret late into the night that their children are going to grow up and be serial killers.

Judge Judy says things like:

“Um, hello, your kids are pulling all that stuff off the shelf down there!” “Uh, did you lose a kid?” “Ma’am, you have got to get these kids out of here.” “Are you really just letting them run through there like that?”

I don’t like Judge Judy.

But in the midst of my darkest public crises, I praise Mary Poppins.

Mary Poppins is kind, but firm. Mary Poppins recognizes when help is actually needed. Mary Poppins sees a problem and fixes it, with little ado. Mary Poppins says little, but does much. Mary Poppins is experienced. Mary Poppins is smart. Mary Poppins is practically perfect in every way (I couldn’t resist).

Mary Poppins sees a child running into the street while the mother struggles with two others and a cart full of groceries, captures the child, and returns it before the mother even notices. Mary Poppins watches from the corner of her eye and assists a child who has his finger stuck. Mary Poppins simply rights a child who has flung herself over the top of the grocery cart. Mary Poppins catches items falling from shelves. Mary Poppins assists children in finding their lost mother.

Each of these people has their place in a mother’s life. Nervous Grandmother is great on sunshiney days when you’re on top of the world and just glad someone cares. Judge Judy is great on reality television where she can be turned off with the click of a button. And Mary Poppins, she is there in the moments when she is most needed, just in time to keep us all from going insane.

May we all be the Mary Poppins in someone else’s life.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Walmart Apology


Love it, hate it, it is as American as apple pie and baseball.

It’s a place where all walks of life, all creeds and colors, can come together with a common goal. It’s a… a melting pot of sorts. The man, the woman, the child, the redneck, the businessman – all of us together. And Moms. Walmart is so good to moms.

As a mom, I can get my groceries, my wardrobe, my cleaning products, my cat food, my craft supplies, and my baby wipes in one place. THAT IS IMPORTANT.

Mothers, bless our hearts, spend every day taking care of the every need of those sweetest little beings called children (among other things). There are good days, when you cuddle up to your sleeping angel and sniff their soft, sweet skin and kiss their soft, sweet eyelashes, and you can hardly believe that something so incredibly wonderful could come from your very loins. AND THEN THERE ARE BAD DAYS.

Bad days are days when you count the minutes until you can tuck (strap) them into their beds, pray that they won’t get up once they are there, quietly collapse into fetal position on your living room floor to whimper (softly, so you won’t wake the demons children), and you can hardly believe that something so incredibly out of control could come from your cursed, wretched loins.

I had a bad day. And Walmart got to bear the brunt.

Someday I will write an apology letter to Walmart. It will say something like this:

Dear Walmart,
            I’m sorry my kids terrorize, vandalize, and otherwise violate your sacred halls. I’m sorry they pull things from shelves, break things, slobber on things, ride bicycles at high speeds through busy aisles, get lost multiple times in a single visit, run from your employees, and scream – really – loud – for – ages. I am sorry that they may have driven many potential customers out with their antics. I am sorry that no amount of purchases can make up for the pain I have caused you. And I’m really, really, really sorry for that one day.

That day was a doozy.

We were on our way home from a fun day at the state fair, all of us exhausted (as other battles had already been fought with the kids), and that man I’m married to wanted to stop once more to see if there was any good clearance on fishing gear. BAD. I. DEA.(IloveyouHoneyyouaremore

My kids ran through their standard list of entertaining public displays:
Run amuck.
Scream and laugh.
Hide from Mom.
First potty break.
Hide from Dad.
Laugh some more.
Ride bikes.
Grab things from shelves. (We are not buying that. Put it back.)
Child #1 lost.
Child #2 dawdling while we try to get to the checkout.
Child #3 crying to be held.
Second potty break.
Repeat. Multiple times.

I could have handled it all. I usually do. But my final straw, the one that sent me completely and totally over the edge, was the dreaded moment in the checkout line.

Daddy Dearest wants milk to go with the cookies we are buying. He offers to take Little E with him while I stand in line with Big E and Sis. Sounds do-able.

FIVE SECONDS LATER… the disaster began.

Sis, perched in the basket of the cart, spills our little box of cookies all over the floor. Oh well, Walmart germs never hurt anyone. I scoop them up and put them back in the box with nary a crumb left behind. No big deal.

Suddenly, Big E needs to go potty. Again. I’m wedged between two families with full carts, and I don’t know how to get out or what to do. I send the tiny-bladdered child to the (nearby) bathroom alone (where he will hopefully not be abducted). After showing him where to go, I quickly return to Child #2, who is sitting in the grocery cart, eating cookies. Are you scared yet? It gets worse.

A moment passes as I wait for an old lady on a scooter cart (bless her) try to buy a protection plan for her new TV from the young, inexperienced cashier (bless her) with a large Walmart star sticker on her cheek (wth?). Suddenly, I hear a strange noise, like liquid hitting the floor. I glance around. I see the people behind me staring underneath my cart. I look at my daughter, sitting there, surrounded by the ruffles of her little skirt, eating cookies. I look at the floor. Puddle. I look at my daughter. I bend down and look below the cart. Waterfall steadily contributing to puddle. Coming from my child.

She didn’t even have the decency to tell me she had to pee. I’m sorry Walmart. So, so sorry.

TWO DAYS LATER, she peed in the toy aisle at Kmart. I picked her up. I walked away. 

Sorry Kmart.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's the End of the World as We Know It

If you watch the evening news, you may have noticed something lately…


But I’m not talking about prophetic visions of F10 tornadoes, mountain-moving earthquakes, the Great Yellowstone Explosion (monitor that imminent disaster here), or hail the size of a beach ball crushing every WalMart from here to the moon. I’m talking about the life-altering, soul-crushing, inexplicable launch of the


I first tapped into this horrible truth on my own evening news, only to have it reaffirmed the next half hour by World News with Diane Sawyer. Obviously, there is cause for concern here, people. Diane Sawyer knows stuff.

Perhaps you’ve heard about the shortages. The unfortunate lack of rain in our grand ole US of A this summer has left us with an unfortunate lack of some of our staple foods – namely, corn and corn. Let me tell you all a little something about corn.


For a greater understanding of why our lack of corn is affecting bacon and balloons, observe:


Ok, maybe I’m not a scientist, but I think I’m on to something.

This is what the folks over at TIME Magazine have to say about our current helium situation:
The U.S. helium reserve in Amarillo, Tex., controlled by the Bureau of Land Management, accounts for 30 percent of the world’s helium. But a current Senate Bill calls for the reserve to continue selling helium, even if it risks running out by 2018. Helium is a common inert gas, but for commercial purposes it’s usually generated as a byproduct from natural gas mining. But because the recession has caused a slowdown in natural-gas production, helium markets are facing a shortage; more plants will coming online by the end of 2012 in Qatar, Russia and Wyoming, but not in time to ease the current crisis.”

Got that? No?

Here’s my interpretation:

Basically, since we elect our government in this here land of the free, we have thereby given them permission to ruin any and all birthday parties from this day until forever. Thank you, democracy. I will now do my part by sacrificing the chance to hear my husband talk like Alvin the Chipmunk on his birthday in order to leave more helium for MRI machines to diagnose my ailments.

And now you see it – the Corn/Bacon/Balloon Apocalypse has begun. We were warned, guys, we were warned.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Other Woman

So there’s this chick.

She’s got it all – she’s exciting, exotic, and really attractive.

She goes great with Doritos, Mountain Dew, and a big, fat slice of ego.

She stays up late, gets up early, goes all day and still finds the energy in-between to take away the one thing I care about the most.

My husband.

Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea here. I know what you’re thinking:

How dare he that dirty rotten scumbag #%@$&&*#^$*&^% (insert your choice expletives).

But it’s not him. It’s her.

No, really. She’s got this undeniable draw. Even I can’t resist it.

Yes, I’ve met her. We’re actually kind of friends, if you want to know the truth. And, if you want to know more of the truth, this isn’t the first time this has happened. It’s kind of an on-again, off-again, deal-with-it-as-it-comes(-again) kinda thing.

Now, I don’t write this because I want your sympathy, empathy, casseroles, or whatever else you've got to offer (unless it’s money, then you can just fill that check out right now. I also take cash). I just wanted you all to know.

And we’re working through it. The three of us. Together. It could take some time. It could take some therapy. It could take multiple packages of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Like, a lot of packages.

But we’re determined to make this work.

And if someone has to go, well I guess we all know who it has to be.


By the way… that Other Woman? 

The Mistress? 

That Great Whore of the Earth?

Her name is...

“Hunting Season.”

Yes ladies, it’s that time of year again. Lock that man up.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What's [Not] Ailing Me

I’m a worrier.

I worry about all the typical stuff a woman/wife/mother tends to: dishes, laundry, bills, the hubunk finding a job, my children’s health, work, that fabulous yacht we’re going to buy and travel the world in… blah, blah, blah. The daily grind. It’s a worrisome life.

But I have this problem. Some might call it undue stress. Or obsession. Or compulsion. Or even hypochondria. My husband would probably say that I am a stressed out obsessive-compulsive hypochondriac.

Why? Well let me start at the beginning, my friends.

For as long as I can remember, I have felt that I could, and possibly/probably would, pass on at any moment.

Lights out. Kick the bucket. Give up the ghost.


I remember being 8 years old, lying awake at night, panicking like no child should, believing I was having a heart attack and death was imminent.

And despite the fact that I quite obviously did not die back then, nor since, I still have my little problem.

I can tell you all right now, the hubunk is going to read this, and he is going to roll his eyes and moan because he has heard about my plethora of “ailments” since day one (and counting). In fact, it seems to have gotten worse since I’ve had children. I fear for their lives as much as I do my own (as a good mother should, right?). But poor Aaron. He is the unfortunate man called upon to be my diagnostic trash can, at whom I throw every symptom (real and imaginary), every speculative concern, every pathetic wail of “What is wrong with me?!”

Allow me to let you in on this wondrous part of his life.

If I get a headache that won’t seem to go away, I have a brain tumor. Or an aneurysm. There is a good chance I will have a stroke.

If I have a pain in my side for more than an hour, I have cancer (in various organs). Probably incurable.

Chest pressure? Heart palpitations? Shortness of breath? A pain in my left arm?! Certainly a heart attack.

If my hair seems to be falling out more than usual, it’s got to be lupus.

Leg ache? Definitely deep vein thrombosis.

Skin growth? Melanoma, without a doubt.

Fate has certainly been unkind, right? And who knows what I’ll contract next? The Avian flu? West Nile? That flesh-eating disease that works so quickly they have to hack off your limbs before it eats the rest of you? I’ll be pushing up daisies at any minute.

I could go on. But I won’t waste your time telling you all about the symptoms and diseases I [don’t] have. I’ve got WebMd Symptom Checker for that (and my stats are already pre-filled in those little boxes anyway).

And if I do happen to, shall we say, up and croak… no autopsy will be necessary. Just check my Google search history. Oh, and tell them not to play The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young” at the funeral. I’ve decided it doesn’t quite represent my life. Perhaps LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” might suffice?

P.S./Disclaimer: This post is in now way meant to be derogatory to those who actually suffer from these diseases. I just wanted to sarcastically point out the fact that I am a worrier without a cause, hopefully scare up a few sympathetic friends’ comments, and put my mind at ease. No offense is intended, so please don’t take it.

Or do, but don’t leave me any nasty feedback. I already worry too much, remember?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Camped Out

Well, I’m back.

I must apologize to those of you who hang upon my every word, as my words have been few and far between this month. I have a good excuse (if any excuse can be classified as such).

You see, I’ve been camping. I’ve been camping a lot. Not once, not twice, but three times in the past three weeks, with my three kids, I have ventured into the wild and experienced its wonders. I wore out my flip-flops, my daughter is now a pro at peeing outside while I hold her in “hover” position, and I’m pretty sure my hair will smell like I smoke a pack a day for two more weeks, regardless of how many times I rinse and repeat.

Basically, I never want to hear the words “great” and “outdoors” in the same sentence again. Ever.

I may also be boycotting the words “sleep” and “dirt,” as I have had too little of one, and too much of the other. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

But because I am filled with positivity (I took a shower) and light (I shaved my legs), I am taking this opportunity to turn my own pain and suffering into a tidbit for the rest of you. I’m that generous.

The first thing you’ve got to know is that I’m not a hater. I love being outside. Camping and I usually get along quite well. I don’t mind dirt, bugs, and sleeping on rocks, and I enjoy roasting mallows, singing “Kumbaya” around the campfire, and swimming in water that won’t turn my hair green (although there are often green things floating in it). I’m a country girl ya’ll.

But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

Camping is a lot of fun. But FYI, it is also a lot of work. Especially for the women/mothers/people that do all the work that keeps everyone else happy just sitting around and basking in the “vacation” part of the vacation (i.e. the men). Therefore, when considering a camping trip, you would do well to remember this simple equation:

Estimate the amount of fun you will have on this campout.

Times that number by two.

Add 1 for each pound of stuff you have to pack.

Add 25 if your family eats more than just hot dogs and s’mores.

Add 10 for each child you have (husbands count if you have to pack for them).

Add 50 for each two-year-old you have (husbands may also count here).

Times this number by 3 if your significant other is more concerned with bringing toys (motorcycles, weapons, fishing equipment, etc.) than having clean clothing and sufficient bedding (IloveyouHoneyyou’reperfecttheway

The number you end up with is the amount of work you will have to do in order to have this thing called “fun” while camping. I will leave it to you to decide whether or not it’s worth it.

Some of you may also want to add a bit to the equation depending on the number of pounds you gain on your lively excursions (aka: Let’s-see-how-much-junk-we-can-consume Campouts). So, let’s see, that’s FOUR for me. But it could have been worse, right? I mean, it was three camping trips with hardly a break in between and my workouts went down the tube… so that’s totally normal, right? Should come right off. Right? RIGHT?!

Ok. Bring on the lettuce.

Obviously, camping was a lot of work. It was also a lot of fun. I wouldn’t trade my campouts this month for anything. I was with people I love, who maybe kinda probably sorta love me, and we made some great memories.

But I’m gonna lay it out for you here, people. Don’t bother to ask me to go out into the woods again any time soon, because I am

Officially. Camped. Out.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Language Arts

Here, we have Idaho.

Photo courtesy

It’s a great state, Idaho. We have a lot of this stuff:

Photo courtesy
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Photo courtesy Forever Yours Photography

And we can't forget these. Lots and lots of these:

Photo courtesy

Which is the reason everyone had a conniption when our state quarter turned out like this:

Photo courtesy

I know.

But were you aware, my fellow Americans, that Idaho has its very own language?

Idahoan is an eloquent, difficult language to master. It doesn’t just roll off of the tongue like German or Mandarin Chinese. No. Idahoan is the real deal. No Rosetta Stone $80-a-month learn-it-quick program complete with DVD/CD/smart phone ap/online lesson/interactive software can teach you these highly developed patterns of speech.

Thankfully for you, I am a born and bred Idahoan. Four + generations of my family have learned and developed the complexities of this language and drilled them into the deepest recesses of my subconscious. I am therefore more than qualified to teach you everything you need to know about the beautiful tongue. And I won’t even charge you – this time.

First off, there is no word too short to make shorter. Anything ending in ing should quite automatically become in’ without batting an eye. The letter d may also be omitted in many cases, perhaps most commonly in the word and (as in the phrase an’ stuff).

Second, the letter t is almost always an optional consonant. Words like hunting and forgot become huh-in’ and forgaw. Idahoans seldom bother to close their mouths when speaking such words. Why waste such valuable time? There are spuds to be dug.

One word you must certainly add to your vocabulary is gonna. You may not find this word in a dictionary, but that does not mean it isn’t a real word. It is a sophisticated abbreviation of the words going to and is yet another way to save time in speech. I’m gonna go to the store, Mom. Dad, that dog’s gonna get hit by a car. Son, I’m gonna take that gun away if you point it at your sister one more time.

And if you’d really like to tap into the deepest roots of the Idahoan language, you’re going to have to ignore correct grammar as it is defined in our current society. We were should always be said, we was. One should never use the common they saw, but always replace it with they seen. It’s quite simple, actually.

There are many other complexities of this language, some too deep for immediate understanding.  The articulate slang we use may take years to learn (potatoes are spuds or bakers, and are certainly never called po-ta-tohs).There are many more letters of the alphabet that become optional when used in certain contexts (the letter e is often removed or replaced with the letter i, as in the word tent (tint)). The diversity of the individual Idahoan’s voice inflections can be grueling to interpret. It takes time and dedication to truly become one with Idaho and the decadent wealth of her linguistics.

The French can keep their language of love. I speak Idahoan.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Casual Parenting (Complete With Quiz!)

I have three kids. As of right now, I have three kids age 3 and under. So let me answer the typical questions: Yes, all three were planned; yes, it can be pretty wild; no, I am not (that) crazy (yet).

Now, I’m not sure we can compare in any way to America’s favorite oversized family the Duggars and their infamous tater-tot casserole (no, they aren't Mormons!), but just as you can't quite figure out how Jim-Bob and Michelle do it, you may be wondering how Aaron and Kayla do it.

You may also be thinking:
How do they lead such a frivolous, carefree, Hollywood lifestyle?
When do they find time to look so beautiful/handsome/fashionable?
They really have it together.
They are are my idols.

Okay, maybe you’re not thinking that last one. But I’ll tell you how we do it. It’s simple, really. We have been turned on to a little something called “Casual Parenting.”

Casual parenting is the latest craze! Scientists and parents all over nowhere are buzzing about it. Some really big names in Hollywood are using it. It’s a proven parenting method with nothing but the expected results!

Haven’t heard of the casual method? Dying to know its secrets? Take this quiz to find out how you measure up:

Question #1: Your child throws a horrendous tantrum in a public place. Your reaction is:
A)    Ignore. Better yet, try pretending the child belongs to the people behind you.
B)    Console the child as best you can and leave with apologetic glances.
C)    Public shame.
Question #2: Your child tends to strip and run naked in the front yard. Your reaction is:
A)    Pretend you don’t notice. It’s your yard after all. All those people driving by don’t have to look.
B)    Chase the naked one down and re-dress. Over. And. Over.
C)    Spank said nudist in front of the neighbors.
Question #3: Your child is on the playground and begins to quietly throw sand at another child. Your reaction is:
A)    Watch out of the corner of your eye. If it happens again and looks like it was done out of spite, then you’ll step in. Probably.
B)    Jump up and remove your child from the situation before the other kid’s mom has to save him.
C)    Scream across the playground at the child as loud as you can.

Congratulations, you’ve finished the quiz. Your results are waiting!

If you answered:
            Mostly C’s: Your kid is most likely going to grow up with a complex of some kind (or many of them). And they will probably blame you for all their problems and be really rebellious teenagers. And there’s a possibility they could end up on the Dr. Phil show. Look out.
            Mostly B’s: You’re an angel. Your methods are wonderful, but may not always be effective. Try reading up on some new methods here.
            Mostly A’s: Congratulations!! You’re already a Casual Parenting pro. Keep up the casual work!

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Once upon a time, a prince met a beautiful princess, saved her from the wicked queen, kissed her sweet red lips, and they rode merrily off into the sunset. The End.

No disrespect to all the good folks up the road (just yonder) at Disney, but… who the hay writes this stuff? Why does “The End” always come before the real good stuff like the year of cooking disasters with the kitchen ablaze, fist-fights with the in-laws, and arguing over whether to hire a nanny for the dog? You know – the real stuff. Like they show on reality TV. That’s real, right?

But really – could the two sexes be any more different?! Don’t get me wrong. In most ways it seems to work. Girl, boy. Husband, wife. Mother, father. Men and women are compliments to each other.

Like red and green.
Steak and potatoes.
Ice skating and hot cocoa.
Jello and carrots. Let’s not go there.

You know what I mean. We fit together like the pieces of a puzzle.

Only it’s a jigsaw. 5000 pieces. 
And someone lost the box with the picture on it.

I love my hubs. He is the most wonderful, caring, non-judgmental chunk of hunky I have ever known.
But he’s different. So different.

Case in point:
He says: “I’m going to clean the carpet
I say: “Great!”

He finishes one load of dirty, brown, some-kind-of-something-floating-in-it water in our machine and proceeds to dump said nastiness into my CLEAN BATHTUB.

I say (read in irritated wife voice – yeah, you know the one): “Gosh, why can’t you dump that outside? I told you that last time!”
He says: “It doesn’t matter. It’s the same.”

THE SAME????? THE SAME AS WHAT???? The same as peeing on the bathroom floor when the toilet is RIGHT THERE??? The same as drinking from the milk jug when there is a clean cup RIGHT THERE???

Oh wait, the milk jug thing is me.

Anyway… this is why he doesn’t get to clean much when I’m home. I’m nit-picky.

He says: “Listen, I wash my dirty hindparts (ok, that’s not the word he used, but it’s a humorous alternative) in the bathtub – that’s just as nasty as the dirty carpet water!”
I say: “Whatever! The carpet is way dirtier than your [hindparts]!”
He says: “No it’s not!”

See, we’re just different. Oh, so very different.

And for the record – my [hindparts] are most definitely not as nasty as the dirty carpet water…

But the carpet’s not that bad either. It’s not. It’s not. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I Hate Food

I. Hate. Food.

Okay, that’s a lie.

I love food.
Especially anything with the words sugar or peanut butter written all over it.

But I hate food.

Because the stuff I can’t seem to get enough of is the stuff that makes you start to feel your behind jiggling when you chase your naked 2-year-old down the street (don’t worry, there were no cars). Because I don’t care what people say, there must be sugar in heaven -- a whole cottage like in Hansel and Gretel (minus the creepy, child-devouring witch). Because no matter how much “working out” I think I’m doing, I always eat just enough to compensate for it.

Oh blah, you’re thinking. I don’t want to hear another woman’s fat-rant! Well, too bad. You’re here now. And the farther down the page you get,








I guess you could call me a runner. I “run” (I’m not convinced what running is, really. Some old lady can probably speedwalk faster than I run) 6 days a week. Sometimes I switch things up by riding my bike or doing awesome Netflix fitness videos from fitness instructors no one has ever heard of. I ran the entire time I was prego with my #3 baby and started back up right after. Feel free to clap.

But guess what? It’s not enough.
Because of that whole “I-have-to-eat-something-but-I-don’t-want-to-make-anything-so-I-think-I’ll-just-finish-off-the-bag-of-chocolate-chips” thing.

I’ve spent most of my life fighting my kid-in-a-candy-store eating habits. Seriously, exercising is the easy part most days. Get up, exercise, don’t worry about it the rest of the day -- score. Food… not so much. Especially with kids. Who wants to go down to the basement for another can of tuna after making sandwiches for two other people? Not me. Too much effort. Call me lazy.

I’m not really sure where these horrible habits come from. On NBC’s The Biggest Loser, everyone seems to blame trauma from their past. I don’t blame my trauma. I’m not even going to blame myself, because when someone whips out a heaping plate of d-o-n-u-t-s at a Halloween carnival, there is absolutely nothing inside of me that can resist a bite (or nine) of that crispy, frosting drenched fryer confectionery. Or chocolate-chip cookie dough, despite its (horribly dangerous/don’t eat it kids!) raw egg element. Or soft homemade pretzels dipped in cheese sauce. Or Reese’s PB Cups. Or cheesecake. Or any and all other delights that have that great white devil (sugar) listed first in their ingredients label!!!

Whaaaeeelll... we'll chit-chat more later about my intensely interesting dietary habits. I gots me a fruit pizza (sugar) in the fridge and it is just screamin’ my name ya’ll! 

Boy I hate food. I just hate it. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I Shoulda Been A Sister Wife

So there’s this show. I’m kind of into it. Ok, kind of a lot.

(Photo courtesy

If you’re not familiar with these fine folks, allow me to elaborate. They are the 5 Browns (not the pianists). They are Fundamentalist LDS and their church is still in favor of polygamist marriage. They’re not like Warren Jeffs and his compound of juvenile wives with long frizzy hair and pioneer dresses (although Mr. Brown’s hair often makes up for that). They’re, like, normal and stuff.

The third season of their TLC reality show just wrapped. And I’m lonely.

Photo courtesy TLC/

For approximately 8 months of the year, Sister Wives fills an immeasurable gap in my pathetic life. I believe it is the gap where my personal slave bff should exist. Oh, I have friends (I promise!), but my daydreams are filled with images of a girl-next-door bestie who just happens to wear the same size clothing (with a way better wardrobe), throws fabulous dinner parties on the weekends, and enjoys my children so much that she invites them over for tea and crumpets every afternoon while I catch up on my R&R. However, I have not as yet found the lucky lady who fits that bill, and have thereby come to the conclusion that sister wifery is most definitely the next best thing.

I mean really, what’s not to love? Live-in friends, intense female bonding, on-the-spot babysitters, people to cook and clean when I don’t want to (daily)... and let’s not forget the fact that there would always be at least one other to shoulder some of the weight when it comes to that surprisingly needy grown man called husband.

And so I ask again: What’s not to love?!

Yes, my husband is awesomely cooperative. Mostly.

Oh yeah, there is that whole sharing my spouse with another woman thing. Nevermind.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

There is a Sisterhood

Have any of you ever heard the song “The Brotherhood of Man” from the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying? It’s a song about helping a brotha out, bumping fists and pounding chests like guys do in the name of camaraderie. Man power and stuff. But I bet I could write a better song.

Now, I do not profess to be anything remotely close to the kind of writer who spews forth Broadway quality musicality, but I have a one-up on those guys who did. Don’t correct me if I’m wrong, but I think I have way better subject matter – namely, the Sisterhood of Woman.

Women are awesome. And frankly, I could end this post right there. But I feel like talking as long as you’re listening, so I’m going to take a moment to explain how I came to this conclusion.

It was a day like any other. I was spending a relatively pleasant afternoon at our local swimmin’ hole with my sister and my 3 little kids... When, suddenly(!) from the midst of the civilian multitude, a league of superwomen came super-marching down the beach in their super-suits (cue super-music).

Danger was looming!

A little boy was missing and the outlook was becoming grim after twenty minutes of searching. Without question, these superwomen had joined forces and were using their superpowers (Loud yelling voice to demand attention! Wide arm span for frantic waving! Speedwalking for efficiency!) to inform us lowly civilians to be on the alert. The little boy was found alive and well within five minutes. Word spread down the beach, mothers sighed in relief, children cheered, and the day was saved.

See? Women are awesome.

And I didn’t even mention the other women that day who loaned my son a towel (we forgot ours), offered me an umbrella for shade, kept an eye on my stuff, and helped me round-up my scattered family when it was time to go. When you are crazy enough to take kids to have “fun” as a lone adult, you need Superwomen to come to your rescue. Often.

And now, I swell with womanly pride and count myself lucky to be numbered among true heroes – the working woman, the homemaker, the mother/grandma/babysitter/you-name-it. The elite. The fearless. The super (dramatic space-age echo).

The Sisterhood rules.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My. Legs. Look. Good.

Guess what people? I bought me some leggings.

I realize I’m approximately 3 years (perhaps more) off the trend here, but let me explain. Remember when I told you I’m not so great at dressing myself? If I join the throng on a trend, there is generally a 1-2 year buffer between said throng and myself. And it depends on whether or not I find a purpose for the trend. See, I thrive on being able to leap and bound from great distances to rescue and/or punish children who are falling down/beating on others/consuming unknown objects. I wear heels to church (sometimes), and that’s about it. Obviously, mobility is my main priority with 3 kids 3 and under.

There is another little time obstruction to my personal trendiness. I call it the “Idaho Buffer.” For some reason, it seems to take an entire year for a trend to stretch from the big cities to the podunk of my great state. Perhaps the large amounts of potatoes we stockpile here are getting in the way. Anywho, after 3+ years, I finally found a purpose for leggings. 

And I love them.

Leggings are marvelous. I knew it the moment I put them on. It was like my legs were getting a big hug from a beautiful, stretchy, machine woven, partially synthetic bear. Imagine, if you would, all the benefits and freedom of a skirt – without having to worry about your unmentionables peeking out from underneath it!! No more long hours of sitting with your thighs clapped firmly together so as to remain socially appropriate! If you have never worn leggings with a dress, you should.

And need I mention the fact that leggings give women super-powers?! Seriously. I can now leap tall objects, run at great speeds, whip out my cheerleader moves (or at least the ones I have always tried to emulate watching Bring It On), and freely cartwheel to get where I want to go. Which is a big deal. For me.


Thank you, Fashion Gods, for inventing leggings. I’m sorry it took me so long to catch on.

Quote courtesy Sleepless in Seattle. In case you were wondering.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

And so it begins...

            As ridiculous as it may sound, I have spent weeks (perhaps months?) deciding what to blog about. I brainstormed. I listed. I organized. I rearranged. I asked for opinions from bloggers whose writings I adore. I have read and researched blogs until my eyes glazed over and I realized I hadn’t taken a deep breath in more than an hour. Why? Because I didn’t just want to be another blip on the screen that is the World Wide Web. I didn’t just want to write about my boring life for all my relatives to read. I wanted to have something important to talk about. Now, I’m not sure if that’s what I’ll achieve here, but I finally decided to JUST DO IT (thank you Nike).
In my research to determine whether this was something I really could do, I turned to some blogs that I noticed were among the popular in places like Pinterest and “Babble’s Top 50 Mom Blogs!” Stay-at-home-moms turn moguls with their blogs; blogs displaying their crafts, decorating skills, hairstyles, fashion, organizing and cooking magnificence. Less extravagant moms thrive on a special kind of mommy angst and make a living because of the blunt truths they speak regarding the many taboos of motherhood (heaven forbid you breastfeed in public!!!). Unfortunately for me, I am not particularly crafty, I can’t even do my own hair or dress myself stylishly, I am less than gifted in cookery (although I try), and guess what, I have little to no angst (depends on the day). And when I tried to write lists of what I do have notable talent/inspiring personality in, I came up short.
Don’t get me wrong. I spent 5 years at college learning how to do things like photography, art, and teaching preschool (random?). Heck, I’ve even been a wife for 5 years and a mother for 4 years, but I have a hard time convincing myself that my experience in those areas adds up to a “mentor level.” In fact, the more lists I wrote trying to come up with a great blogging idea, the more I realized how unfortunately, dismally, and utterly inexperienced I am. Hence was born my blog theme.
            So, from the exotic depths of my inexplicable lack of experience in absolutely everything (I mean, I am 24, shouldn’t I know it all by now? I had such inspiring plans when I was 12) comes the writing you will find here. Love me or hate me, my words will dribble/slosh/spill forth as I try new things, go outside my (large) box of ignorant bliss, and struggle to stay afloat on this ocean of life. I hope that my honest blogging (if there is such a thing) of my epic fails and modest wins will enlighten and inspire you, or perhaps just leave you snickering. Catch ya on the flip side.

-          Kayla

P.S. Obviously I’m still tweaking things with the blog design. Don’t let it scare you if you come back next time around and it looks a little more… awesome!