Sticks, Stones, and Broken Bones

Oh, the things you can fix!

The things you can glue!

It’s totally true!

Oh, the things you can do!

Does it feel broken?

Are any crucial parts missing?

Any strange things jutting out at nauseating angles?

Well, fear not.

Doctor apprehension is completely normal.

But before you start dialing for an ambulance, ask yourself a few more questions:

Is it bleeding profusely?

Can it be glued back together?

Sewn up or stapled shut?

Do you think you might be able to walk it off ?

Sleep it off?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes or maybe…

Why not just stay home and take care of it yourself?

Think about it.

Going to the doctor can be costly.

Not to mention nerve-wracking.

But the good news is, there are many ways to fix whatever ails you…

Right from the comfort of your own home!

Or wherever the heck you happen to be when misfortune strikes.

But before you make your final decision, ask yourself this…

Do you really need that particular body part?

(Hey, it’s a valid question. We tend to treat things like tonsils and wisdom teeth as unnecessary space fillers.)

With just a few household staples, YOU can be your own DIY healthcare provider!

Did your kid shove a grape Jolly Rancher up his nose again?

Why not try to dislodge it with the industrial strength shop vac that’s collecting dust in the garage?

Got a cracked rib?

Got tape?  

There ya go.

Problem solved.

Raging bout of food poisoning?

Charcoal capsules can be highly effective…

But cramming the long handle of a telescopic duster down your throat ought to do the trick in bringing the offending substance back up even more quickly.

All-over body aches?

Get out the frying pan. It’s time for a riveting game of Whack-an-Appendage!

Cracked a tooth? Or a head?

While the actual treatment may vary slightly, both can be remedied with a glob or two of extra strength super glue.

Some afflictions have even simpler solutions.

Suffering from high blood pressure?

Avoid kids.

Got a massive headache?

Avoid kids.

Sprained an ankle tripping over a rogue bouncy ball?

Avoid kids.

(Notice a pattern here?)

Worried about wrecking your budget with astronomical medical expenses?

A few helpful ideas:

Next time you go to the dentist, have the hygienist X-ray not only your teeth, but your entire body from head to toe, in 85 different installments.

Or save yourself the time and hassle by asking for a copy of your body X-ray scan results the next time you go through airport security.

And why bother making a trip to the eye doctor when you’re already paying for a mandatory vision test at the Motor Vehicle Department?

There’s also no need for a chiropractor if you’re experiencing back pain when you’ve got a rough child who can helpfully assist you in rearranging your bones, free of charge.

And if you think you might require the services of a skilled psychologist, guess again.

Just grab the nearest notebook and indulge in the cathartic action of jotting down your deepest thoughts and emotions.

Or better yet, park yourself in front of the bathroom mirror and revel in the fun of holding up both sides of a sure to be fascinating conversation.

It’s all psychological anyway, right?

Mind over matter.

So if you’ve just smacked your head into a brick wall after tripping over the dog or knocked yourself senseless by falling down the stairs while attempting to balance a laundry basket with a toothbrush dangling out of your mouth, today just might be your lucky day!

Or not…

Unfortunately, not everything has a simple DIY remedy. 

And so for everything else, there’s alcohol.

A good shot of whiskey or vodka ought to do the trick.

So long, strains, sprains, and spewing bloody wounds!

Everything’s gonna be alright…

~Happy Saturday, my friends! Have a fabulous weekend, and remember, super glue is your new best friend!~

It may have roots in Greek Mythology, but the caduceus looks like a deadly contraption. Come on, a stick with a pair of intertwined snakes precariously draped around it as medical insignia? Totally not comforting.

It may have roots in Greek Mythology, but the caduceus looks like a deadly contraption. Come on, a stick with a pair of intertwined snakes precariously draped around it as medical insignia? Totally not comforting.

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Snips, Snails, and Puppy Dog Tails

He eats his veggies without a word of complaint.

He’s got a surprisingly great sense of humor, too.

And he actually seems to care about my feelings…

Instead of blatantly bulldozing over them like some people I know.

(Cough, cough, cough)

But he enjoys a good treat as much as my other two.

And I know for a fact all three of them will gleefully eat off the floor whenever the opportunity presents itself.

But that’s animals for you.

And kids, too.

The numerous parallels of kids and dogs are hard to deny.

As are the pros and cons of each, respectively.

In an already male-dominated household, adding a male dog to the mix naturally made the most sense.

Sure, the dog eagerly goes around sniffing crotches and behinds.

But otherwise, he’s got fairly impeccable manners.

In fact, I’m realizing that this new dog of ours is quite possibly the best behaved one in the house.

It’s true.

I mean, aside from yesterday’s Hot Dog Incident.

Did you know if you turn your back on a package of hot dogs while preparing dinner, the dog is gonna move in quickly and claim it for his own?

Yeah, well.

Live and learn, right?

But it isn’t really so different.

Kids and dogs both have a tendency to cram questionable objects in their mouths.

The kids would eat pennies when they were babies…

This dog eats chunks of his Nerf frisbee.

But he gives me hugs, any time, any place, without fear of embarrassment.

He’s loyal and unconditionally loving.

Let’s take a look at some of the virtues and vices of kids and man’s best friend, shall we?

Pro of dog:

Very few wants and needs.

Con of kids:

Need lots. Want everything.

Con of both:

Demand loads of attention.

Pro of dog:

Doesn’t talk, and more importantly, doesn’t back-talk.

Con of kids:

Argue and back-talk incessantly.

Pro of dog:

Eats the same thing day in and day out without complaint.

Con of kids:

Complain if you have the nerve to feed them the same thing twice in one week. (Unless it’s pizza or mac and cheese.)

Pro of kids:

Food seldom goes to waste. (Because they already ate everything. In the entire house. In one sitting.)

Con of dog:

Eats tennis balls. And his frisbee. And our dinner.

Con of dog:

Eats flies right out of the air whenever he’s outside.

Pro of kids:

Well… I’ve never noticed my kids doing any such thing…

Pro of dog:

Doesn’t demand newest iPhone.

Con of kids:

Demand newest iPhone and Beats headphones and newest laptop.

Con of dog:

May not demand these gadgets, but might chew up yours, though.

Con of kids:

Addicted to all things electronic.

Con of dog:

He’s addicted, and I mean addicted to Chuck It balls. (They must be laced with crack.)

Con of dog:

If dad is choking, it must be a good time to lick him in the face until he chokes harder.

Con of kids:

If dad is choking, get agitated by the rude distraction and crank up the volume on the tv.

Pro of dog:

Wakes up refreshed and excited for a new day.

Con of kids:

Wake up like sleep-deprived, starving zombies.

Pro of dog:

Enjoys the feeling of being clean.

Con of kids:

Shower? Again? Why?!?

Con of kids:

Laughed at me when I almost fell out of my chair.

Con of dog:

Laughed at me when I almost fell out of my chair.

(Hmmmm…)

Pro of kids:

Eventually learn to use toilet.  Don’t have to use diapers or a pooper scoop for life.

Con of dog:

Will poop and pee, any time, any place, forever.

Con of kids:

They’ll fart nonstop and bodily functions become the dominate mealtime conversational topic.

Pro of dog:

Doesn’t require shoes or clothing.

Con of kids:

Not only is it considered unacceptable to show up to school naked, it’s also not cool to show up in outgrown clothes that are soooo three months ago.

Pro of dog:

Loves being active. Always wants to go for walks and play.

Con of kids:

Go outside? To do what? Is the house on fire?!?

Pro of dog:

Gives hugs and kisses without expecting anything but love in return.

Con of kids:

If they’re being unusually affectionate, watch your back. And your wallet.

Pro of kids:

If you’re lucky, they’ll help take care of you when you are old and decrepit.

Con of dog:

If you die and nobody else is around, he might consider eating you.

Wow.

Aside from that last argument, it almost seems like it’s completely one-sided.

That it should be no contest.

That unconditional love = pets.

And unconditional needs = kids.

But that’s hardly the case at all.

They’re both rewarding and heartwarming, in their different ways.

Sure, a dog won’t laugh if you leave the house with your shirt on backwards or your pants inside out.

But kids?

Oh, they’ll laugh, alright.

They’ll laugh about it now, and they’ll laugh about it every day for the next six months…

Until you do something even more foolish to take their minds off of your previous transgression.

And then you can all laugh about it together.

~Happy Saturday, everyone! Hope you all get to spend an enjoyable weekend with your kids, dogs, cats, pet snakes, or whatever brings you joy and happiness!~

As long as I don't tear this new toy to shreds in the next few seconds, I just might become the new favorite child! 

As long as I don’t tear this new toy to shreds in the next few seconds, I just might become the new favorite child!

Stupendously Speedy Stipends

“Thank you for your cooperation.”

Ha!

Like I had much choice in that matter.

I mean, short of bolting off on an attempted high-speed chase.

Which surely would’ve been quickly thwarted by the abundance of farm machinery and construction vehicles that typically dominate the roads out here.

Apparently, going to Walmart wasn’t punishment enough for one day.

I got carded for purchasing canned air as I was checking out.

Little did I know I’d be whipping out my driver’s license again 10 minutes later.

I guess I should’ve stayed home.

Who needs toilet paper and laundry detergent, anyway?

“Do you know why I pulled you over today?”

“Oh my God! Is there somebody under my car?”

Okay, no.

I did not actually say that.

I merely shook my head no in reply.

I don’t drive on the sidewalks.

I don’t plow over pedestrians.

I keep my vehicle out of cow pastures.

I’m fairly cautious, I’d say.

Minutes from home, I’d been driving up and over a teeth-jarring railroad track when I noticed telltale flashing lights in my rearview mirror.

Of course, it would be an unmarked police car.

On a one-lane road.

With no shoulder.

And no place to turn for at least half a mile.

Nothing but a long stretch of nothingness.

What was I supposed to do?

Pull off the road, into a field of hay barrels?

Preferably one full of disgruntled Longhorns?

So I crept along with those obnoxious lights flashing behind me until I pulled up to an industrial park.

Right between the shift from a 30 mph zone to a 45 mph zone, the officer’s trusty radar gun had clocked me at 43 mph.

In the 30 mph zone.

Coming down a steep hill, it’s easy to quickly gain speed if you’re not paying  attention.

He asked for my license, but didn’t bother with proof of insurance or registration.

Must’ve had sufficient time to run my plates as he was coasting along behind me, waiting to see if I’d eventually pull over.

I’m sure the motorcycle endorsement on my driver’s license didn’t earn me any brownie points, either.

Sergeant Scowly Dude didn’t look like a guy who believed in giving people the benefit of the doubt and sending them off with a warning.

I’d never, ever gotten a speeding ticket in my life.

Twelve years ago, I had been pulled over at 4:30 in the morning on the way to my final shift of work before maternity leave by an officer who had been pacing me.

At 39 weeks into pregnancy with my younger son, I nearly knocked myself out by hitting my head on the visor when asked for my license, registration, and insurance.

The officer looked on in a mix of sympathy and pity while toy airplanes and diapers flew out of my glove box as I attempted to dig out the requested paperwork.

In all fairness, I hadn’t slept in nine months, which might have been a factor.

For the whole incident.

That kindhearted officer let me off with a warning.

But this guy?

It wasn’t looking promising.

And with a mess of frizzy hair from an unfortunate combination of high humidity and rain, my typical adorableness wasn’t likely to do the trick, either.

This would’ve been a good time to have my charming kids in the car, surely?

Or my sweet, affection dog?

I’m usually sandwiched in traffic between tractors and cement mixers.

Or the occasional runaway cattle who manages to wedge, squeeze, and squish his way through narrow wire fencing to freedom.

And so I consider myself fairly lucky on days where the opportunity allows me to go more than 15 mph behind a bulldozer.

I’ve actually been passed by a semi truck a time or two.

A semi truck, for God’s sake!

Do I sound like the maniac here?

And yet, I received a whopping $250 fine.

Yikes.

I have nothing against cops.

There are countless decent ones out there who do good deeds and give back in immeasurable ways.

At any rate, I’ve been brainstorming less traditional modes of transportation.

Ooh!

I’ve got it!

Nobody ever gets pulled over on a cow!

At least, not to my knowledge.

Unless, perhaps, by a cop on a galloping horse…

The only problem is, I don’t have a cow.

And I would hate to end up with an even heftier fine, or worse yet, behind bars, for alleged cow-snatching.

Perhaps I ought to find me a Longhorn.

Nobody in their right mind is gonna want to mess with that.

Just strap on a backpack with a skunk inside for extra good measure, and voilà!

Good to go!

As a bonus, fewer suicidal animals would have the opportunity to make me an unwitting accomplice as they attempt to nosedive/hop/slither to their death at the hands (or would it be body?) of my vehicle if I’m not actually in a vehicle.

So there is that.

But I suppose this whole situation could’ve been avoided in the first place if I’d been riding a skunk or an armadillo.

Or if I’d stayed home.

And believe me, I’d be perfectly okay with not going back to Walmart again anytime soon.

~Happy Friday, everyone! Have a great weekend, and drive safely!~

Hint: It's not actually a ticket (or two) to paradise...

Hint: It’s not actually a ticket (or two) to paradise…

A Breath of Not-So-Fresh Air

Nature freaking sucks.

Seriously.

It hates me.

And the feeling is quickly becoming mutual.

I can’t breathe.

I can’t hear.

I can’t sleep.

I can’t think.

I can’t even go outside without hacking like a geriatric geezer about to keel over on the sidewalk as a single delicate breeze threatens to collapse my lungs and suck the sole remaining ounce of life left in me.

But then, it’d probably be just as well.

After all, I doubt I’d be looking forward to going back indoors to face the equally suffocating mountain of laundry that typically awaits me.

Ah!

There’s nothing quite like a breath of killer fresh air.

Fresh air is good for you, people always say.

Ha!

Fresh air, my ass.

It’s bad for my health.

Plain and simple.

Sneeze, sniffle, honk!

Wheeze, gasp, choke!

It ain’t pretty.

Oh, what’s wrong?

Nature! That’s what’s wrong!

Sure, there are stunning mountains, oceans, and other incredible scenic wonders in this world.

But some days, those natural beauties don’t even begin to balance out whatever toxic crap permeates the air.

Speaking of nature…

The sky is the limit when it comes to the range of possible allergens just waiting to wreak havoc on the already inefficient human body.

What do flowers, cats, and dairy have in common?

They’re all plotting to kill us, that’s what!

From respiratory to food to skin, there’s a unique allergy out there for everyone.

But air?

Seriously?

Air is an essential element of life.

Yet, it’s trying relentlessly to kill me.

(Much like the water I frequently find myself nearly choking to death on whenever I attempt to have a sip.)

I haven’t been able to hear out of my left ear for days.

Then again, I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, what with all the chaos around me.

And I’ve gone through enough tissues this week alone to take out an entire forest.

One thing’s for sure:

There’s no inner peace when one can’t inhale or exhale.

But meditation and guided imagery can be quite helpful, from what I understand.

Except for the fact that all I can envision is hopping on the first flight out of town to a remote tropical island to escape it all. 

I’ve tried everything under the sun for relief.

Lavender and peppermint oil in a diffuser.

Sudafed.

Vicks VapoRub.

But nothing has been working.

At least, not long enough to help get me through the day.

Or the night.

So I shove a pillow over my head.

Suffocation might at least grant me some much-needed rest.

Breathe in, wheeze out. 

Repeat for maximum exhaustion.

I’m beyond help.

And the stress from all those sleepless nights only exacerbates things.

Stress?

Bad for one’s health?

No way!

It’s a proven scientific fact that stress compromises the immune system by lowering immune response.

And the only solution, it seems, is to escape to a land far, far away.

To a peaceful, allergen-free life on that aforementioned deserted island.

Perhaps I ought to wear a full face mask whenever I brave the outdoors.

That ought to make a great impression with the neighbors.

Bird flu?

No, nature.

Here’s the biggest irony of it all:

I don’t litter.

I always recycle.

I’ve been known to pull recyclable objects out of the trash can, rinse them out, and place them in the recycling bin, for God’s sake.

I freaking care about the environment.

I try my damnest to do my part to save the earth.

And, in turn, the environmental does its best to kill me as a way of expressing its gratitude.

The great outdoors ain’t so great when it’s undoubtedly trying to do me in.

But, as the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished.

So maybe the next time a passenger attempts to toss trash out my car window, I might conveniently pretend not to notice, instead of threatening to stop the car and dump the offending litterbug off on the side of a busy highway.

Take that, nature!

Oh, who am I kidding?

I can’t help myself.

I’ll continue to try to save this freaking planet, even as it continues to try to choke the life out of me.

Sniff, cough, wheeze!

~Happy Friday friends! Hope you have a wonderful, allergy-free weekend!~

Po somehow manages to enjoy a moment of inner peace in nature. Unlike me. There's no peace for me among the pollen.

Po somehow manages to enjoy a moment of inner peace in nature. Unlike me. There’s no peace for me among the pollen.

Gone with the Whim

Experience is the best teacher.

Or so they say.

But do human beings ever truly learn from experience?

Judging by my decision-making skills, I’m gonna go with no.

Had I decided I’d been lacking a sufficient amount of insanity in my life?

Seems to me on any given day, I’m personally not lacking for ways of keeping myself sufficiently occupied.

And yet…

After writing a goofy rant about extravagant child-related expenses last week, my family and I went out and did the most logical thing possible a mere two days later.

Now, we aren’t particularly spontaneous people when it comes to making big decisions that require serious commitment.

But my younger son had recently written a compelling letter about a very specific concern related to the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey that set the madness into motion.

So, last Sunday afternoon…

We took a drive to a local pet shelter.

Just to look around, of course.

And then we somehow walked out of there with yet another mouth to feed.

We drove home with a delightful Border Collie rolling around in the backseat, wedged between my ecstatic son and me.

What did I know about dogs?

Not a whole hell of a lot, that’s for sure.

Yet once again, I found myself permitted to bring home a living thing…

With no clue as to what I was doing or getting into. 

Sensing a pattern here?

I’d only owned a small handful of pets in my life.

We had a few gerbils and hamsters when I was little.

I thought they were creepy and was terrified to ever go near them.

When I was 12, I desperately wanted a kitten.

And as luck would have it, we ended up getting one for free.

She was part Siamese, and far bigger part crazed alley cat.

When she wasn’t busy trying to stuff live birds and butterflies in her mouth, she’d move on to picking fights with the neighborhood cats.

She also tried to kill us on a daily basis as she hid at the bottom of the stairs with the hope of catching a leg or two on the way down.

And then there was our more recent failed venture in fish ownership.

The first-ever pets for my boys, the never-ending cycle of birth and death in that tank of inbreeding fish should’ve, at the very least, taught us a lesson in setting a solid case for avoiding future pets at all costs.

What were we thinking?

I’ve never been much of a dog person.

Large dogs freak me out.

Loud dogs don’t do much for me, either.

But this guy…

He’s no ordinary dog.

He’s sweet.

He’s quiet.

He stands on his hind legs and gives gentle hugs. 

He’s calm, happy, and entertaining.

He loves to be loved.

He’s our 5 year old puppy.

Most of the other dogs at the shelter were barking their heads off and bouncing off the sides of their cages like crack-fueled maniacs.

But not this guy.

He sat there quietly, gazing at us with a look of pure happiness and contentment.

As if he knew the key to being a winning prospect was simply to not look like a raving lunatic.

And so now here we are, going for walks and peeing in neighbors’ flower beds.

The dog, I mean.

Not me.

Definitely not me.

He’s also taken a liking to pooping in my herb garden.

Well, they do say pets enrich lives.

I guess the extra fertilizer must be the enriching factor.

Hopefully those herbs will really start flourishing now!

For someone who never cared much for dogs, this sweet boy managed to win me over in a heartbeat.

I’m still not sure how to feel about all the face licking and crotch sniffing, though.

But at least he doesn’t ask me when I’m going grocery shopping again since he probably won’t be the one eating us out of the house.

~Happy Friday, friends! If you’d like to read my son’s compelling case for getting a dog, click on the picture below for a larger view. I think he might have a future in persuasive essay writing. Either that, or he’ll make a disturbingly fine attorney… Have a fantastic weekend!~

The letter that led to it all...

The letter that led to it all…

It All Adds Up

Sixty dollars?!?

Are you freaking kidding me?

I’m starting to think I should’ve encouraged my kids to drop out in kindergarten when I had the chance.

You see, when my oldest son was in kindergarten, he took a swing at a fellow classmate on the playground…

For not getting a turn on a swing.

Oh, the irony.

The ensuing suspension was clearly a sign that we should’ve quit while we were ahead.

At any rate…

I (half) jokingly offered to buy this now high school-aged child of mine two middle school yearbooks for the price of one $60 high school yearbook.

Good deal, right?

He respectfully declined.

Apparently, more is not necessarily more.

School is expensive.

And everything is exponentially more expensive once you reach high school.

It’s not enough to own a single pair of Nikes.

A child must cram a minimum of two extra pairs of shoes into his backpack every day.

Just in case Converse or Vans suddenly become more popular 2/3 of the way through the school day.

OMG!

Look at those shoes!

They’re sooooo 2nd period!

Uh, yeah.

Okay.

What do you mean your phone is soooo outdated?

Since when is last year considered The Dark Ages?

And everything has a fee.

Activity fees.

PTO fees.

Booster Club fees.

(What exactly is it that we’re boosting?)

Even volunteering comes with a price tag.

Along with the obligatory background check, they now insist on taking your full set of fingerprints.

In exchange for a cheerful mug that boasts the numerous virtues of volunteering.

I’m still not convinced that was a good trade-off.

Clothes are expensive.

Books are expensive.

You need money for what?

More school pictures?

More broken earbuds?

More pencils?!?

Again?

What the…

Did you eat that last batch?

Speaking of eating…

Food.

Oh my goodness.

The amount of food growing kids require is beyond belief, especially with those never-ending growth spurts.

What do you mean there wasn’t enough food in your lunch today?

What did you think- it was all just one big snack?

My mountainous cart is always one bag of cheese puffs away from overflowing and toppling over whenever I go grocery shopping.

There seems to be some unspoken challenge in our household for attempting to eat $200 worth of groceries right out of the bags.

Bonus points if they can pull it off in under 24 hours.

When are you going shopping again?

Sigh.

I’m seeing stars as money fails to conveniently drop out of the sky.

(On a positive note, I have been saving money recently while tripling my wardrobe in the process. My boys and I are currently close enough in size that some of their shirts fit me quite nicely.)

Money, money, money.

Down the toilet.

Along with my sanity.

Fluuuuush!

~Happy Saturday, my friends! Have a safe and happy weekend!~

Oh, if only money rained from the sky...

Oh, if only money rained from the sky…

Magnificent Mascot Marvels

A promise is a promise.

In honor of my son’s big debut as his high school mascot, I promised him I’d create a special post dedicated to…

Mascots.

Celebrating the vast variety of school mascots.

Highlighting some of the most delightfully far out there, what the hell were they thinking mascot creations.

Presenting the funniest, most unusual school mascots!

Fighting Artichokes

(Scottsdale Community College ~ Scottsdale, AZ)

Sure, Artie the Artichoke looks awfully personable for a so-called fighter. But make no mistake. Every bit as vicious and prickly as a cactus, artichokes are far more dangerous than they appear.

Fighting Okra

(Delta State University ~ Cleveland, MS)

Fear the okra! This fierce (and fiercely detested) vegetable is the school’s unofficial mascot. With as much as okra is reviled, it’s easy to see how this absurd representation could, in fact, be perceived as intimidating.

Fighting Pickles

(UNCSA ~ Winston-Salem, NC)

Sensing a theme here? Unlike some of the previous fighter vegetables, this tutu-wearing pickled cucumber looks far better equipped for a dance off than an all out brawl.

Meloneers

(Rocky Ford High School ~ Rocky Ford, CO)

Sticking with the theme of disgruntled green produce, this muscular melon is not one to be messed with in a town full of… you guessed it.

Cornjerkers

(Hoopeston Area High School ~ Hoopeston, IL)

Jerky the Cornjerker. It’s a suitably corny name for the ear-of-corn mascot who represents The Sweetcorn Capital of the World.

Sugarbeeters

(Chinook High School ~ Chinook, MT)

It’s the stuff of nightmares. Is it a vegetable or a menacing kitchen gadget? Or both? At any rate, it’s disturbing. What is up with all the angry produce? 

Fighting Farmers

(Farmersville High School ~ Farmersville, TX)

With the commendable use of alliteration, Farmersville Fighting Farmers aren’t content to just sit back and let the brawling produce have all the fun.

Pretzels

(New Berlin High School ~ New Berlin, IL)

Finally, a non-produce mascot! Mr. Salty clearly boasts pretzel pride. After all, who wouldn’t be proud to be a…giant pretzel. On second thought, this is neither fierce nor motivating. And now I’m craving carbs.

Dots

(Poca High School ~ Poca, WV)

The Poca Dots. Get it? It’s actually rather clever. This polka dot bears striking resemblance to a red M & M, albeit it a rather menacing, discontented M & M who wants nothing more than to beat you up with his stubby little arms.

 

Monsoons

(Valley Vista High School ~ Surprise, AZ)

This isn’t quite how I envision a mythological almighty Thunder God like Zeus. But this bug-eyed, purple toga-clad dude is certainly intriguing.

Winged Beavers 

(Avon Old Farms School ~ Avon, CT)

Speaking of mythological creatures, perhaps this mascot was meant to be a spin-off of Pegasus, the winged horse. On second thought, it looks more like a buck-toothed Gargoyle with a lacrosse stick…

Unicorns

(New Braunfels High School ~ New  Braunfels, TX)

Well, it never hurts to believe in magic. Enough said.

Galloping Ghosts

(Kaukauna High School ~ Kaukauna, WI)

Would a ghost really gallop like a horse? Probably not. But in all fairness, Levitating Ghosts doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as this alliterating appellation.

Keggy the Keg

(Dartmouth College ~ Hanover, NH)

The unofficial mascot of a prestigious academic institution, Keggy is a perfectly impressive Ivy League school representation, don’t you think?

The Stanford Tree

(Stanford University ~ Stanford, CA)

Yet another unofficial mascot, this animatedly charming tree gives the distinct impression he’s been hanging around with Keggy a wee bit much.

And there you have it.

Vicious fruits and vegetables.

Captivating mythological creatures.

 And an assortment of exceptionally nightmarish innovations.

With any luck, you now have some highly inspired costume ideas for Halloween!

~Happy September, friends! Hope you all enjoyed this wacky compilation. Have a fantastic weekend!~

The Madness of Momming

Oh, the memories.

The marvelous, glorious, wonderous memories.

With my oldest son’s recent birthday, it’s fair to say I’ve been reminiscing a tiny bit.

Especially after rummaging through both of my boys’ baby boxes yesterday afternoon.

Sure, it’s been 15 years since I first became a mom.

But one question still lingers:

How the hell was I ever allowed to leave the hospital with a small, helpless, living human being in the first place?

Did I look like I had any clue as to what I was doing?

If I did, it must’ve explicitly been the pain medication talking.

Would you believe I’d actually packed an Eeyore rattle toy in my hospital bag?

In case my newborn child wanted to play, I reasoned.

Oh, and I’d also brought along a book.

You know, for the downtime following that whole childbirth drama.

Clearly, I was delusional from the very start.

Sure, I’d skimmed through the suggested reading material on pregnancy and babies and all that fun stuff.

But really, how hard could it be?

Right?

Did I mention I had zero experience?

Seriously, not an ounce.

I had no younger siblings.

No younger cousins.

No babysitting experience.

I mean, I worked in a toy store for a brief stint when I was in high school.

But that only served to reinforce the fact that I surely wasn’t a fan of screeching, demanding, whining little monsters.

And so my baby was the first baby I’d ever held.

What was I doing?

How was I expected to be responsible for such a tiny little human being when my ability to take care of myself was likely questionable?

My husband and I were practically kids with a kid, really.

The baby is awake?

Why is he awake?

What am I supposed to do?

Didn’t he just eat?

How much is he supposed to eat?

Is he eating enough?

Is he ever going to stop eating?

Why won’t he sleep?

Why is he still asleep?

Why won’t he go back to sleep?

Is he teething?

Is he hungry?

Why won’t he stop crying?

Does he hate me?

Oh my God. 

My baby hates me.

I’m the worst mommy in the world!

Sniffle, sniffle…sniff.

Oh.

Ewwww!

Oh, I’d read What to Expect When You’re Expecting.

And then I read What to Expect the First Year.

No other book series can make a person feel like such an epic failure so quickly.

Even if the baby was only a mere twelve days old.

If anything, those books made me a nervous wreck.

I was convinced I’d be going through my child’s life as a sleep deprived, anxiety-ridden zombie.

A zombie who’d inevitably make all the worst choices, and ultimately screw up her child’s entire life because of said sleep deprivation.

So I stopped reading.

So what if my baby preferred sleeping in his car seat over using the nice bassinet we’d bought him?

So what if I wasn’t dragging him out on stimulating play dates at three months old?

So what if he liked to shove Mega Blocks in his mouth when nobody was looking?

So what if I secretly hoped he wouldn’t eat all of his of delicious banana baby food so that I could finish it off?

I had relatively little idea of what I was doing.

But I had lots of love.

And patience.

And sheer determination.

We’ve managed to survive, so that’s gotta count for something.

In spite of all the sleepless nights.

I’ve never been one who could thrive on broken sleep.

It makes me scary.

But you know you’d reached a whole new level of exhaustion when you watch Plaza Sesamo halfway through at 2 o’clock in the morning before realizing that it isn’t actually Sesame Street.

And that it was entirely in Spanish.

Huh.

No wonder nothing made sense.

But the good news is a person can eventually adapt to existing in a zombie-like trance.

I do sometimes marvel at how we’ve managed to make it this far in life.

And all things considered, I think we’re all turning out A-OK.

From day one, these boys of mine have been teaching me more than I could ever possibly teach them.

And that’s saying a lot.

Motherhood is the biggest, scariest, most rewarding roller coaster ride of my life.

And I am happy and honored to be on this magically maddening adventure.

Even if it makes me crazier than I already was in the first place.

It’s totally worth it.

~Happy last Friday of the month! Hope you guys all have a terrific weekend!~

That Eeyore rattle in the middle? I honestly wasn't joking when I said I'd packed him in my hospital bag. Yeah. Let that sink in for a moment.

That Eeyore rattle in the middle? I honestly wasn’t joking when I said I’d packed him in my hospital bag. Yeah. Let that sink in for a moment.

Back to School Motivational Deficiency

Well, now.

Isn’t that fascinating?

I just read somewhere that there are hundreds of thousands of words in the English language.

Whoa.

That’s a lot of words.

And with so many word choice possibilities…

I can usually think of something halfway intelligent to say.

Something clever.

Something catchy.

Something smart-assy.

Especially when it comes to writing.

But school started this week.

And, like my boys, I wasn’t really feeling it.

I’d been sick as a dog all week from all the summertime stress.

I mean, fun.

Yeah, summertime fun.

But sending my favorite monsters off with one of my infamous motivational lunch notes for the first day of school was simply a must.

What can I say? I miss my favorite crazy people when they're at school.

What can I say? I miss my favorite crazy people when they’re at school.

Ummm…

Okay, so it wasn’t very subtle.

And it’s only a whopping two words in length.

But I’m not gonna lie.

I kinda like my kids.

(Shhhh! Don’t tell them!)

In the meantime, I’ll be drinking mimosas and sharpening boatloads of pencils while they’re at school.

Gotta get my money’s worth out of that automatic sharpener, right?

Oh, who am I kidding?

I managed to sharpen exactly 32 pencils before my hand cramped up to the point of being virtually nonfunctional.

And then I had to get back to attending to the never-ending mountain of laundry.

Ah, well.

So long, summer fun.

It’s back to business, as usual.

Sigh…

~Happy Friday, friends! And… Happy Birthday to a very special 15 year-old (you know who you are)! Have a terrific weekend, everyone!~

An Ode to an Oldie

I’m his favorite sister.

And he’s unquestionably my favorite brother.

This may be largely due to a technicality, but I’m pretty sure it still counts.

It’s sort of a process of elimination by default.

But I have to admit, it sure makes it easier when you only have one sibling to choose from.

It’s about to big a huge milestone birthday for this favorite brother of mine.

The big 4-0!

And with that said…

Happy Birthday, Dante!

My awesome, absolute favorite brother.

He is every bit as unique as his name.

But then, it’s not like anyone in my family is capable of doing normal very well.

He and I are obviously related.

Despite the fact he used to try to convince me I’d been adopted.

(News flash: We look far too much alike for that to have been true. So there!)

Sure, he’s more than a whole foot taller than me.

(He enjoys teasing me about how I’d clearly stunted my growth by becoming a vegetarian at too young an age.)

But we both like to write.

(Yup! He writes, too!)

And we’re both funny.

(His favorite word is haha.)

At least, I think I’m funny.

Hmmmm…

I must be pretty funny, because he’ll typically reply to my texts with one of three responses:

  1. haha
  2. lol
  3. funny

He’s got a delightfully dry sense of humor, but he truly is a man of few words.

For this reason, we tend to text far more frequently than we talk on the phone.

Whenever we do have an actual phone conversation, he’ll mutter an occasional word here and there.

Which helps reassure me he didn’t get eaten alive by his feisty dog mid-conversation.

And then he’ll proceed to breathe intermittently into the phone like Darth Vader.

Oh, well.

Some people just don’t know when to shut up.

Growing up, he was paradoxically my best pal…

And worst nightmare.

Thanks to my favorite brother, I learned how to swim.

Or perhaps more accurately…

I learned to swim because he’d otherwise have kept trying to drown me in our backyard pool.

For fun, of course.

Because this, apparently, is what bored children do to keep themselves entertained.

(Note to parents: Think carefully before you send your kids outside with painfully vague instructions, like “Go find something to do”. Nothing good ever comes out of this.)

We’d make the most of our excruciatingly short pool season in New York by excitedly jumping in as soon as the pool temperature warmed up to a bone-chilling 59 degrees.

Hey, it seemed like a totally bright at the time.

But this may well be one factor in why there are clearly some things wrong with us.

Bloodlines run deep, but crazy runs deeper.

He also got me permanently banned before I’d ever had the chance to play an instrument.

My parents made the fatal error of allowing him to play a trombone in the school band.

He wasn’t exactly what one might call a natural.

The odds of him winning a medal for his performance weren’t sounding very favorable.

And I suspect I wasn’t the only one who’d felt that way.

A year or so later, we ended up selling that trombone to the first person who showed up at our garage sale, just to make it go away.

But alas, so started my future path to choir.

At least I wasn’t making everyone’s eardrums bleed.

And then there’s what I affectionately call Dante’s Shop of Horrors.

He used to set up shop in his bedroom, with an assortment of toys, stuffed animals, and other goodies on display, in an attempt to make a few quick bucks.

Did I mention most of the items in his shop already belonged to me?

But I’d always feel sorry for him, and so I’d end up buying my own crap back out of pity.

After all, the boy had a real hunger for life.

He’d count his earnings and walk to the store to stock up on more crap.

Including an assortment of treats, like dozens of those cheap apple pies that contained no real apples.

Money well spent, I know.

But then he would always surprise me with cute little stuffed animals he’d won from the claw machine.

Which made up for a lot.

Like when he’d change the channel on the one tv in the house and kill my few remaining brain cells with never-ending marathons of Beavis and Butthead.

(Those brain cells have yet to return.)

Or when he’d blare Metallica’s Enter Sandman on repeat, shaking and rattling the house all odd hours of the night until the vibrating floor would eventually lull me to sleep.

(I’ve known every word of that song by heart since 7th grade.)

But I think of him affectionately whenever I hear She’s a Maniac.

(It’s one of his favorites.)

And whenever I hear Journey’s Any Way You Want It, I can’t help bursting out in laughter.

(I still can’t figure out why he hates that one with such passion.)

I can’t help myself.

I always crank that one up and sing along at the top of my lungs whenever it comes on the radio.

I wonder if, subconsciously, I like that one only because I know it annoys the hell out of him.

It’s entirely possible.

Aren’t siblings the best?

Anyway, I’ll leave you all with this wonderful picture of baby me playing nicely with my big brother.

(And just to be clear, I was sooo not adopted.)

~Happy Friday, friends! Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!~

Don't feel too bad for him. He probably started it...

Don’t feel too bad for him. He probably started it…