Woe is me Wednesday

The tears are flowing freely in the Hazzard House because DJ is in Dallas until Saturday afternoon. I know other people have husbands that travel frequently or, like Grace’s husband, work long and odd hours. But my husband? My husband goes to work every day a bit after 7 and comes home a bit before 5.


None of us in the Hazzard house are used to having him gone so yesterday when he left in the morning, Jude started crying and then Jackie and then me and then, because she copies what every one else does, so did Carmela.

We did okay yesterday, though. Jackie had school in the morning and when Jude came home in the afternoon, we did homework and then I brought them across the street for a bit of McTime while I cleaned and made dinner (mac and cheese). I served the kids dinner by myself and got them to bed by myself and no one melted down or screamed and we didn’t watch too much TV.

Yesterday running smoothly made me think today, tomorrow, Friday and Saturday may run smoothly, too. But I wouldn’t want to do this all the time. No way, Jose. DJ is necessary for the smooth running of our household.

I like to flatter myself that I’m a person who recognizes my own limits and being on my own with our three kids through Saturday afternoon is straining those limits to the breaking point. Just to be clear, the problem isn’t the kids, it’s me. I have a temperament which allows me to handle my kids fairly well for about eight hours a day. The ninth hour starts to get dicey but then help arrives! DJ comes home just as my parenting skills are collapsing for the day and it is the favorite time of day for me and all three kids.

He’s my helpmate in more ways than one. My hats off to the ladies who deal with business trips and residencies and long lawyer hours (hello Jane!) but Saturday can’t come soon enough for me.


Mouthy Mondays: They’re listening!

This isn’t a real funny or cute Mouthy Mondays post but I wanted to share what DJ and I heard yesterday after Mass.

We went to a late Mass yesterday — the 5 pm at the Cathedral. (On a side note, DJ always calls late Sunday Masses “the Sinner’s Mass.”) Carmela always makes the most noise during Mass so during the first reading I took her in the back and DJ was left to deal with the over-tired older two in the front.

When it came time for the homily, I was still in the back where Carmela was throwing her bottle down, enjoying the echo it made and DJ spent the homily eating a pretend gourmet meal Jackie prepared for him in the pew.

In other words: DJ and I were both super distracted during the homily, which is never good but especially when the priest is trying to shed light on one of the more confusing Gospel passages. Yesterday’s Gospel was one of those and while DJ and I both heard Father’s opening line, we didn’t quite catch one came next.

In e car on the way home, we both lamented we hadn’t heard the homily since neither one of us understood the gospel either. All of the sudden, Jude piped up from the back “Father was talking about the Lincoln guy!”

DJ and I looked at each other in complete confusion until we both realized Jude was remembering Father’s homily centered around Abraham. Jude had heard that and thought Lincoln! So, yeah, he confused the message a bit but, despite our frequent anxiety and complaints, he was listening during Mass! Hallelujah, Lord. Now that we know this, I’m going to see if we can get priests to work in messages about cleaning and bed-making into their Sunday messages.

Father of Freedom, not to be confused with:

Father of Faith.

Mouthy Mondays: Oh, boys

With Jude starting school, I figured now would be the time to give him a bit more responsibility. This morning, after his teeth were brushed and hands washed, I said “Okay, now go make your bed.”

“What?” He cried. “Why is that always part of my life?”


Above is a picture of my over-burdened little boy. His life his hard.

Mouthy Mondays: Lexicon of SK

Hi – “Aie”

Please – “Peeeeee!!” She demandingly says this whenever she wants or needs anything.

Thank you – “Gaga” ?

Outside – “Sigh!”…. runs to the door

Shoes – “Shoes”

Plane – “Pay!”

Park – “Pa!”

Ok – “Gay”

Stop – “Dop”

Baby – “Bebe”

No – “No, no, no, no, no, no, no!” Every night at dinner.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Mouthy Mondays: Master of the Non-sequitur

At dinner last week the kids were discussing what the definition of dairy was. Jude decided eggs were not dairy but milk was because milk came from cows.

“Noooooo,” said Jackie. “I fink cows make cat food.”

“No, Jackie.” DJ replied. “Cows don’t make cat food.”

“Yes,” said Jackie. “Yike dis!” She banged her fork on the table then solemnly said “Yadies and gentleman, pwease don’t go under da water.”

Jackie will be majoring in logic.

Jackie will be majoring in logic.

Mouthy Monday — Surgical Precision

Today’s post is brought to you by this past weekend’s medical emergency, Jack’s appendectomy.  On Friday evening the whole family went to a pool party for twin boys in Jack’s class.  The kids swam for three hours and ate/drank copious amounts of pizza, cupcakes, and soda.  When we got in the car, Jack complained that his stomach hurt…which was no big surprise to Brandon and I after that evening!  We got home, he went to bed, got sick at around 11pm, and complained of pain on his lower right side that worsened during the night.  We decided to take him to the ER at 2am, and after taking some bloodwork and a CT scan, he was diagnosed with appendicitis at around 5:30am.  We waited until noon for Jack to go into surgery, and then Brandon and I had to wait even longer to see him in recovery.  He slept most of the time in there — except for when the (very kind and well-meaning but) effusive nurse stroked him on the head and called him “Lovebug,” which elicited an eyeroll from Jack in my direction.  Then we got him settled in his room and I came home to take a shower and pick up the other kids, who were at my friend’s house.  I took them back to the hospital to visit Jack, then Brandon took them back home, I stayed with Jack overnight in the hospital, and we were home by 10:30 Sunday morning.  He’s doing great.  The quote of this weekend comes from (who else but?) Joe, who told me on the way in to see Jack that, “It’s too bad that Jack got his independence taken out.  Now I can’t ‘kai-rate’ chop him in the stomach anymore.”


Jack mourning the loss of his "independence."

Jack mourning the loss of his “independence.”

PS  Oh — I almost forgot!  In the “creepy stalker” category of this weekend’s adventures, I saw Grace‘s husband in the cafeteria of the hospital.  I was getting dinner for myself and so was he.  I should have introduced myself but held back for a number of reasons, the main one being, of course, completely vain:  I didn’t want to seem like some crazy person and was afraid that I would.  Although I had taken a shower at that point, I had been up for 36 hours, my hair looked like Gilda Radner’s (no time to use the straightener), and I was wearing a sweatshirt and leggings that should have been trashed 10 pounds ago, but it was FREEZING in that hospital and I didn’t have anything else to wear.  I also really didn’t want to bother the poor man, who was probably enjoying five minutes of freedom in between delivering babies.   I should have complimented him on the very nice article which featured his family in this month’s Archdiocesan magazine, although I probably would have just gushed about his wife’s sense of style and humor instead so…whatever.  Next time.  (Just kidding — as Jack said on our way out today, “I don’t ever want to be here again.”)

  • Wouldn't you be scared if this lady randomly came up to you during your dinner break?

    Wouldn’t you be scared if this lady randomly came up to you during your dinner break?

Mouthy Mondays

From the mouth of Miss Margot lately…

mouthy margot



One day, after being told that Mommy couldn’t jump up and down with her because of the baby in my tummy:

Margot: “Yeah, then the baby might slide down into your leg.”

Another time, wandering around singing to herself:

Margot: “We pray you, we bless you, we ignore you…”

Yesterday, after being admonished for something and running to her room to get bunny to commiserate with her:

Margot (to bunny): “We just have to get Mommy, Daddy, and Ruthie OUT Of this house. [Pauses] Yes! A net! A giant net!”

After seeing part of the first Harry Potter movie at Aunt Claire’s house:

Margot: “Mommy, have you seen Peter Potter?”
Me: “Harry Potter. Yes, I have, but that movie is for bigger kids.”
Margot: “Yeah. I think I will see Peter Potter when I’m five. Or twenty.”

And finally, after everything Margot says or does…

Ruthie: “Mah too!”

dress up

Mouthy Mondays — Blast from the Past

When the boys were little, Brandon started a note on Facebook called “Conversations with the Boys” to record the cute things they said.  I am SO glad he did, because I’m terrible at writing those things down, let alone remember them!  Here’s a sample of some of their best:

Joey:  When you see a guy you don’t know you should call him “dude” or “man.”  That’s the polite thing to do.


Joey: [Watching a PBS Christmas program] “Who’s that?”

Me:   “Andrea Bocelli.  He’s blind.”

Joey: “Wow.  And he can still sing!”


Jack:  “‘Ted has a hat.  Ted wears his hat.  Ed takes Ted’s hat.  Ted is sad.'”

Joey:  “Read it again, Jack.  I love this story.”


Jack: “I just hit my head so hard that I can taste my brain in my mouth.”


Joey:  “Mom, can I have a drink of soda.?”

Jane:  “Finish your milk first, Joey.”

Joey:  “Mom, I can’t drink that milk because it tastes like fart.”


Oh, my.  I’m laughing so hard after reading these again!  You may notice that Joey is our resident wise-guy, and has been since a very young age.  That “fart” comment, for example, was made when he was three years old.  It is made even funnier by the fact that that word is “eskimo” around here, and although 3 year-old Joey knows it, he completely doesn’t care.

Today we went to our sixth (!) graduation party of the season.  Joey has really been enjoying the typical BBQ fare at these events and made himself his favorite double-decker cheeseburger.  He added a cupcake to his place.  “This is my side,” he told a friend.  Yesterday I overheard him telling my neighbor, whose son’s graduation party we were attending, that he had eaten four pieces of fried chicken, two pieces of cake, a brownie, the last of the Gus’ Pretzel, and a Doctor Pepper.  “You owe me $10,” she told him, “I didn’t budget for you to eat that much!”

And now, a gratuitous picture of my oldest three, dressed up a major league baseball players for their practice with Dad at the park this afternoon.  The Mouthy One is in the Middle.baseball photo


Mouthy Mondays: Away from home

Last year, Jude began calling me Emily for some reason. He refused to call me Mommy at all and referred to me as Emily to everyone else. He had just started preschool so this caused no end of confusion for his poor preschool teachers who though my name was Claire. At Thanksgiving, when asked what he was grateful for, Jude said “Daddy and Emily.” The teachers thought there were problems at home.

Eventually, Jude dropped the Emily but he still has a special way of referring to me when I’m not around, apparently. I found this out when he brought his journal home on the last day of school. Check out this year’s Thanksgiving entry:

This reads "I thank God for my sister, Mom, Dad and my trucks."

This reads “I thank God for my sister, Mom, Dad and my trucks.”

Click on the image to make it larger.

And now, check out how he describes each member of his family in this close up.


He describes Daddy as “the nice one,” and me as “the crazy one.” Charming.

I think I preferred Emily.

Mouthy Monday — Print Edition

This religion test came home in Joey’s backpack on the last day of school. Please note his illustrated response on the bottom of the page. Are the children thanking God for their food, or praying that their house won’t burn down?  (PS  I think you’ll may have to click on the link to enlarge it.  It’s taken me forever to figure out how to upload the image.  Speaking of Mouthy Mondays, the same boy just informed me in his “Mom Voice” that I’ve been on the computer for more than an hour and my turn is over!)

Joey the artist (2) 6-3-13