What Came First, the Kittens or the Cat?

Lisa Douglas

The kids came barreling in through the front door, screaming like banshees all hopped up on coffee and speed. “Mom! Dad! We’ve got kittens!”

My husband and I both paused what we were doing to shoot a whatchu-tawkin-’bout-Willis look to each other. “What?” My husband said, as I mumbled something along the lines of “How the hell is that possible?”

Because, you know, we don’t own a cat. Or a dog. Or any pet, for that matter.

“Do you know the door that opens to the laundry room?” My daughter asked me, a glint of hope in her eye for obtaining a free pet was alive and well and quite obvious.

Immediately, my stomach turned. “Um, yes?”

“That’s where we found them.” She snorted as she laughed, taking one kitten back from her friend who was sitting patiently on our porch swing holding all three, waiting for us to acknowledge their treasurous find.

Crap. Of course these things had to be the cutest. things. ever. Dammit, why does God make these things so ridiculously cute and put us mothers in the impossible position to have to say no? I mean, at least I have an out in situations like these, particularly with cats. The kids know that, as cute as kittens and cats are, I’m really allergic, and the possibility of us keeping their adorable find was nil.

At that moment, one of them purred, and that stomach-turning sensation I was feeling became worse the second I saw the looks on their faces. (Read more…)

Oops, We Did It Again

Kate Chretien

I had heard plenty about Oops Babies—those babies who conceived themselves all ninja-like unbeknownst to their poor, unsuspecting parents.

Over the years, we’ve heard things like:

“We love Sally and all, of course, but [said in low voice] we really didn’t NEED her.”

Or “Yeah, our youngest is 9 years apart from his older brother. [cough] contraception FAIL [cough]”

Or “Yeah, the two are 11 months apart. Uh-HUH. Did you think you couldn’t get pregnant while breastfeeding? THINK AGAIN.”

Hearing these statements always made me chuckle, but inside I always was a little surprised and possibly a little horrified. I mean, this was all coming from grown, married adults and all. These weren’t clueless teenagers . None of these scenarios involved a high school football running back awkwardly telling his girlfriend’s father, “Uh, sir, uh…me and your daughter…”

I would just assume that parents with prior children knew how this conception jazz generally worked by now. It’s not rocket science, y’all! And while we personally haven’t done anything permanent in terms of contraception (i.e. nothing involving sterile surgical instruments or anything), we’re pretty careful.

Flashback to some weeks ago as I was getting dressed in the bathroom.

“Look at this, honey. There’s all these vein tributaries running across my chest. I look like Franken-booben-stein.” (Shrug)

*sound of birds chirping*

Then, a few days later:

“I’m so bloated! Look at my belly. It looks like I’m preggers or something! Ugh!” (Shrug)

*sound of birds chirping*

Then a day later:

“Um…I hope I’m not pregnant or anything!”

“COULD you be?”

(mental calculation: okay so when did my period last come? Was it that day? Well, definitely during the vacation I was…wait, what day is today?)

“Where’s a calendar? Get me a calendar!!!”

Then a few days later:

(sheepishly emerging from bathroom carrying a pregnancy test) “Um….surprise!”

So, surprise! I’m pregnant! Honestly, I know this is a blessing. A gift.

And, to all you parents I cast judgment on before: I GET IT NOW. And to all you parents who don’t think it could happen to you: Laugh now and talk to me again in a few years once you’ve become more senile and scattered with the passage of parenting time. Those ninja babies drop in when you least expect them.

T Minus Ten Days Until I Take Over the World

Angie McCullagh

School starts in less than 10 days.

This is the year my youngest, Belle, will start Kindergarten. Which means that, for the first time in seven-and-a-half years, I’ll be doing my own thing, Monday through Friday from 9:15 to 3:20.

You heard me. That’s six hours sans kids!

Lately, I’ve been engaging in my share of fist pumping and stage whispering, “I’ve made it!” to my mom friends. But I also know, that while this is a celebratory time, I need to get down to business. There are projects that have been waiting more than half a decade for me to finish.

Over the past several years of child bearing and rearing, I’ve been fond of pushing things to the side and saying, “I’ll do it once Belle hits the big K.”

Well, the Big K is just around the corner and I need an attack plan.

Here are some things that desperately need doing: (Read more…)

The P Word

Linda Kennard

About a year ago, Tanner waltzed into the kitchen, took a deep breath and, on the exhale, casually announced, “Man, I could sure go for some puberty right now!”

Jay looked up from her afternoon snack, smirking: “Tanner, you don’t even know what ‘puberty’ means.”

Tanner was incensed. “I do too!”

“Oh yeah?” Jay challenged, still smirking. “What is it then?”

“You know! It’s that stuff—the stuff they put in sodas, like Mountain Dew!”

Clearly, he mixed up something he’d heard, although I could never quite figure out how his understanding had gone so far wrong. Of course, at this point—safely beyond the bed-wetting years and on the cusp of wet-dream years—Tanner and Clyde get the gist of puberty (at least they know you can’t find it in Mountain Dew), but they’re still a little fuzzy on the details.

“How do you know when you hit puberty?” Tanner asked me early this summer, when I was warming my winter-white body by a hotel pool in Phoenix. Eyes closed, I told him that certain types of hair in certain places are among the usual warning signs.

Jay didn’t think that was sufficient. “Do you even know where to look, Tanner?”

“Yes! The front and back doors!”

I told him to leave the back door alone. Finding anything on his own back there would be hard, which might tempt him to send Clyde prowling around. “How ‘bout you just check under your arms,” I said.

“Oh yea,” he said nodding, kind of smug. “I’ve already got hair there.” After he flashed his pit, I explained as gently as I could that one or two blond little wisps don’t actually count. And I would have left it at that, but the sometimes-heartless Jay piped up with a question that raises a haunting issue: (Read more…)

License, Registration, and um, OK

Karrie McAllister

I have never gotten pulled over for speeding.  Not that I don’t occasionally put the old pedal to the metal, but I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting one of the State Highway Patrol’s finest because of it.

Oh, I’ve had plans if I ever did though, just in case. I have thought about prepping my children to instantly start crying because they’re so afraid mommy’s going to go to jail that the officer would take pity on the trauma he inflicted on my children and he’d just wave me on.

But I never worked out that plan, and I never had a need for it.

Until recently.

I still stand by the fact that the officer was coming the other direction and from around a corner, but I saw the lights go on and knew I was going to be the lucky one with an “invitation to the Policeman’s Ball,” as my Grandpa likes to say.  The caveat here is that I am, technically, a pistol packing mama, meaning I am trained and licensed to carry a concealed weapon in my fine state (not that I do) which means I have to remain perfectly still until the officer gives me the word to roll down the window.

And that’s exactly what happened when the man knocked on my passenger side window even though I was sure he was going to greet me with his weapon drawn like I was in a late-night episode of COPS. (Read more…)

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This Weeks Tip

We did a review a while ago of dry shampoo. Here’s an alternative when you don’t have time to wash, but want to get rid of the oily-ness. Sprinkle some baking soda on your hair, comb through then quickly fluff your hair with a blow dryer. (note: You can also add a little scented baby powder to keep your hair smelling clean!)