Archive for the ‘Kids’ Category

Swear Jar

It’s that time of year again: Lent. Last year I wrote this article, A Skeptics Lent Reflections, because I have always had an aversion to giving things up for Lent. I feel like someone out there needs to break the rules and I’ve always been happy to take that role.

Looks like this year may be an exception…

So, I was in the car with a bunch of kids and my nephew told us that he was giving up candy (My niece promptly replied she wasn’t giving up anything. My soul-sister, that girl…so proud) and Thomas piped in telling the entire car that I needed to give up swearing for Lent.


I figured if my 10-year-old is parenting me, I may need to step it up a notch. So, I made a deal that I will put a $1 in this jar every time I say a bad word. I’m on the honor system when they are not around. At the end of lent, they can divvy up the money amongst themselves.

It’s only been a day and I’ve already had to pay $3.00.

I think the kids were being extra bad just to make me swear. D&mn them.

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Drawing ccourtesy of Dalai Daniel, age 7

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

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How quickly dinner at the Dalai household can deteriorate…

1.  If we could time travel, Dalai Dan would want to go into the future 200 years.

2. Thomas would want to go back to the 1600s.

3. Pissy Missy is dying to go a whole year into the future.

4. Dalai Lina would rather lose a leg than an arm.

5. The rest cheated and opted for pinkie toes. Max a shaft of hair.

6. If they could do any job, Max would want to be an NFL quarterback.

7. Thomas a scientist.

8. Annabelle wants to work at a donut shop.

9. If she had to marry someone to save the world, Annabelle would pick Addison.

10. Dalai Daniel would marry his chair or let the world explode.

11. If she could live any city, Annabelle choose South Carolina (although she has never been there).

12. If we could re-live any vacation, Dalai D would go back to Mexico.

13. I would go to France.

14. If we had to pick any skin color that doesn’t already exist, Dalai T and Dalai Dad would pick light blue. Max wants red, Annabelle yellow, Daniel orange and me, purple.

15. All the kids opted for a viral video of themselves picking and eating their buggers over going to school naked.

16. Surprisingly, Max would rather drink Thomas’s pee over our dog’s poo.

17. Annabelle would choose our cat’s poo over our dogs. (So would I)

18. There were various poo/pee combinations, and 90% of the time, pee won.

19. Thomas would rather have an epic fart in front of the President over peeing in his pants.

20. All were unanimous that they would rather have uncuttable, shoulder length ear hair over nose hair.

21. The boys chose losing their outer ears over having no nose and looking like Voldemort.

22. Dalai Dan would rather have hair down to his butt over being bald.

23. Pissy Missy would rather lose her teeth over having a big, pointy nose like her mom.

24. I told her I would start praying for her to have a big pointy nose.

25. Finally, when asked what other parent would have an inappropriate conversation like this one with their kids, without hesitation they all yelled “Mr. Bolin!”

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Double Take

Dalai Max has his first dance tonight. I didn’t think much of it until he asked me to wash his best khakis and white shirt. And to please wake him up early in the morning to shower so he could smell better and have nicer hair. WTF, I’m too young for this.

So, let’s talk about the baby, who makes me feel youthful and like I still have a functioning uterus.

Awww, there she is…

Or is it?

I never thought I would be pregnant while still feeding a three-month old. I never thought it could possibly be a girl. And I sure as hell didn’t think I would give birth to my mother-in-law.

It would be creepy if she (my mother-in-law) wasn’t such a good-looking lady. Pissy Missy has some good genetics going for her.

I have their pictures next to each other up our staircase. Even though I have passed them a thousand times, I still will stop in wonder at the mystery of genetics.

Annabelle, baby, you are going to look great when you are 65! (and I’m 98. Heavens to Betsy)

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I’ve been researching and finally have come up with a proper medical diagnosis for Dalai Daniel:

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

“A pattern of disobedient, defiant behavior towards adult authority”

Yep. That’s him. Nailed it.

In school they have a traffic light system for behavior: green is good, yellow is a warning and red means, “Stop it Daniel!”

Then I get an email detailing his obnoxious behavior. I’m considering tagging his teacher’s email as spam because they are beginning to clog up my inbox.

Red Light #1 – Dalai Daniel decided that parachute games are dumb and only for babies at Gymboree (agreed), so he refused to participate. When the teachers said he had to, he promptly ran into the parachute, knowing it was against the rules, so he would be taken out of the game and…you guessed it…NOT HAVE TO PLAY THE DUMB PARACHUTE GAME. Brilliant! I think he needs to be tested for the gifted program.

Red Light #2 – The little bugger was caught teaching a group of kids how to pretend to flip people off with their ring finger. (Note, the Dalai Lina does not flip people off. I prefer to verbalize my anger, in the form of the word SHIT mostly. Sometimes f*ck is more appropriate. So, frankly, I don’t know where he got this from) Despite our long talk, the kid still argues that he is, in fact, innocent because he didn’t ACTUALLY flip someone off. I’m thinking attorney? Politician? Because he has a point…

Red light #3 – He was caught twice putting his friends into choke holds while standing in line. A perfectly innocent act if you knew how many times the kid is in a brotherly love choke hold on the family room floor. Until someone gets hurt and an all-out fist fight ensues. Ending only when mom breaks it up or someone up crying from a bloody rug burn. Not a stellar move on his part, but I can see the confusion. I’ll give him a pass.

This is really nothing new to us.  Little D has been bucking authority since they day he was born. I remember trying to use “Love and Logic” on him: give him a set of choices to pick from so that he feels in control. Worked on my other two kids just fine.

Then one day when he was about three years old and my husband told him he couldn’t have a bite of his candy or a sip of his Coke, Dalai Daniel says to him,

“Dad, I’ll give you three choices. You give me a piece of your candy, you give me a sip of your Coke, or I’ll bite your thumb off.”

Three words: Oppositional Defiant Disorder

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You know those friends

The ones that you have knows since you were 10

That were there with you when you were the ONLY girl not asked to “go with” a boy in 6th grade

That endured Catholic uniforms, nuns and the grammar school bully with you

Slathered baby oil on your back before you cared about your skin

Bought you flautas from Juanita’s Taco Stand during surf camp

Helped you sneak out and then watched you get caught

Slipped notes to you between class

And listened to your girl drama

Was there at your wedding, manning your train

And flew across the country when your babies were born

Yep, you know those kind of friends

Who would have thought then – when all we could talk about music and boys – that there would be a day that all we could talk about was KIDS. From breastfeeding to soccer. Poopy diapers to private schools. They are the center of our world now.

These last few days I’ve been visiting my old stomping grounds in California. Holding my best friend’s baby as much as I could. And I thought, one day I’m going to get a call…

“OMG, I don’t know what I’m going to do with that daughter of mine! Can you believe she lied to me and said she was going to the movies and went to a party instead!”

And we are going to laugh and remind ourselves it is just our turn to be on the other side…

Oh, sweet Ellen, don’t lie to you mom.

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This may have been one of my most brilliant moves. Ever.

Why didn’t I come up with this before?

I usually hide the candy from THEM. Divvy it out slowly…

This year I told THEM to hide it from ME.

Go on, eat it whenever you want as long as I don’t know about it.  AND DON’T TELL ME WHERE IT IS!

Yep, everyone is happy over here.

How is it going in your neck of the woods???

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News Alert: I Hate Squirrels.

That may be a little harsh. How about, I strongly dislike the nasty rodents.

(Are you noticing a squirrel theme this week?  First I’m calling you little squirrels, then I’m saying I hate you.  That’s simply how my brain works.  Just roll with it, friends.)

Why do I hate these rats with fluffy tails?

Well, they leave walnut shells EVERYWHERE, they chew through my cable wire, they eat my strawberries, they invade my home (two incidences posted here and here), but most importantly….



Mad Max’s pumpkin…hot sauced up.

So, this year I’m on a quest to find ways to keep them off my goods.

My research uncovered many creative options.  Like shooting them, but I couldn’t get a gun permit in time.

Which left me with:  hot sauce, ammonia, vaseline, and lacquer.

Dalai’s pumpkin sprayed with craft lacquer.

Bring it on, hairy bastards.  I’ve got your number.

Pissy Missy’s girlie pumpkin lathered in vaseline.

Each pumpkin has a different treatment…and one without any treatment at all.

Dalai T’s gourd with a splashing of ammonia.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress.  Stay tuned…

Last but not least, Dalai Daniel’s poor unprotected pumpkin.  He knows what he’s in for. I can see it in his eyes.

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Kansas City has a new landmark in town. September 17 marked the grand opening of the Kauffman Performing Art Center which has been in the works for YEARS.

It is a truly stunning work of art, designed by internationally acclaimed architect Moshe Safdie and tuned by the best acoustician in the world, Yasuhisa Toyota.

We were out of town in Napa on the grand opening weekend. I’ve been dying to get a look inside, so I had a brilliant idea of taking my two youngest, Dalai Daniel and Pissy Missy to the world premiere of Tom Sawyer ballet.

Let’s just say, I overestimated.

Not the awesomeness of the structure. My kids ability to act like humans.

I kind of forgot they don’t talk or sing in ballets.

I couldn’t be too hard on them for thinking it was over and asking to leave after the first NUMBER. Not ACT. Five minutes. Done. Because they didn’t know what the hell was going on. And neither did I. Can you put some Cliff notes in the Playbill, people?

Not all was for naught. Annabelle got a solid nap and hydrated my arm with her drool. Daniel learned a good lesson in the perils of wiggling after hitting his head so hard on the chair’s sponsorship plaque it drew blood. (“You see mom, I told you why I hate this place!”)

And I remembered I’m not a ballet lover either.

So shoot me. I like words. Duh.

Call me Philistine but I prefer to eat popcorn when I’m sitting in uncomfortable chairs.

Whatever, so the people behind us decided to move seats. Worse things have happened. I’m just trying to culturalize my pups, fellow citizens, have pity on me.

(And them. They asked where the popcorn machine was. The apple doesn’t fall…)

p.s. The building is magnificent. Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

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Who else would hide a drawing of Christopher Columbus under my pillow to surprise me on Columbus Day?

Not these jack nuts…

Seriously, just when I think I want to sell her to the gypsies, she goes all cute and thoughtful on me. Stinker.

Happy (belated) Columbus Day!

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