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Teenagers, ammirite?

9 May

So…I have that heard of teens and that one who dared to turn 21 this year. Which, in retrospect, is great, because I can send the 21 yr old on a wine run for me.

Never leaving the house for the win!

I love my teens. But I’m no fool. I know not to trust them with anything. I mean, if my grown siblings and I still can’t be trusted together, why should I trust my teens?

Case in point –

Sean (the second eldest, the spare to the heir) was blowing bubbles in the house the other night. Mainly to get the Zoey dog in a lather. Because Zoey is an idiot for bubbles and leaps about biting them all.

Collin (the heir to our kingdom) thought this was hilarious. And then thought “Why not drive the dog crazy by holding her?”

The dog was like “No sir! You will not keep me from killing every bubble!” and leapt from Collin’s arms to do so.



Zoey chasing bubbles outside. See that crazy look on her face? Yeah.


I find out about all this as I walk in the next day with groceries. Because they’re blowing bubbles for the dog to attack. In the living room.

Then Collin produces a balloon. “I can’t believe we still have one left.”

See, Sean decided to cover someone’s bed in balloons on April 1st. Then the balloons were scattered over the living room. I don’t know who enjoyed it more – Maura or Zoey. Between the two of them, they eventually died.

Except one.

Which Zoey was now chasing between snapping at bubbles.

I, of course, ignore all this. Because this is what passes as normal in our house. As I walk away, I hear someone say the words “water balloon”.

“NOT IN THE HOUSE!” I yell back.

And the boys died laughing because they didn’t expect me to hear it.

Fools. My brother and I – as teenagers – had an epic water fight which ended in a truce (he with the hose at the gate, me with a super soaker pointed into the window of his brand new pick up truck) and then having to mop the kitchen floor (it wasn’t me who was using the sprayer from the sink.)

I’m a gypsy raised by wolves, who produced her own carnival. We invented shenanigans, dear offspring of mine. I know all, see all.

And remember, Mother’s Day is coming. Buy me something hard to break.



Life with Maura, day 5077

12 Apr

It is spring break, so my brain is officially mush. The teens can smell the weakness I’m emitting.

But right now, three out of four of the offspring are passed out in their beds. The fourth – who is actually the fourth – has slothed her way to the sofa to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Eventually, though, she got hungry. Maybe it was the smell of my freshly brewed coffee that awoke a hunger in her. But either way, she schluffed from the sofa into the kitchen, pulled out bread and the jar of Nutella, and did her interpretive dance that says “Mom, make me a sammich.”

I didn’t want to make a sammich. I was sitting down, with my laptop and coffee.

“Why don’t you just eat some of the pizza in the fridge?” I suggested. Because cold pizza for breakfast is a family tradition.

Maura seemed to like this idea, and pulled out the pizza box. She tried to walk out of the kitchen with all the leftover pizza.

“Maura, no, just take one piece.”



“Fine.” She put the pizza box on the counter and went back into the fridge to pull out the 2 liter of rootbeer I got to go with said pizza last night.

“No Maura, it is too early for soda.”


I got up and took the 2 liter from her. She balked. “It’s too early.” I stated again, putting it in the fridge.


She lunged for the fridge. I found myself splayed across the fridge doors doing my own “Nooo!” right back. Because this is what my life has become – guarding the refrigerator like the Crown Jewels, begging teens to not eat every damn thing in there.

Maura then went over to the counter and banged the jar of Nutella.

“Want me to just make you a sandwich?” I said with a sigh of defeat.


Maura left the kitchen to return to her couch slothing to TMNT and I made the damn sammich that I should have just made in the first place.

And I’m still trying to drink my coffee.


art credit – Mike Mitchell

“Safety” pins

10 Nov

Yesterday, as I watched a mother in a hijab pick up her child from school, I wondered – Does she know I’d be a friend? Does she know I’d have her back? Or would she think I was just another white face she couldn’t trust?

I wished there was something I could wear to show I was someone who was on her side, and on the side of my friend who’s wondering if his marriage will become invalid. To teens who feel they might be bullied because they weren’t Donald Trump’s vision of America.

I came home and asked if there was anything like that and heard about how after Brexit, people wore safety pins to show they were “safe”. That they’d help combat the hatred spewed outwards. I thought “Hmm…that’s simple enough…”

As the day went on, many thoughts crashed through my head. One of them was this – I am mad at Donald Trump and the wall he wants to build and the fact that bullies of all ages now seem to feel it’s okay to spray “Make American White Again” on walls. No, really, this is happening. This is happening in MY country. Because you know what? It’s MY country too. It’s my country, my Hispanic neighbor’s country, my African American friends country, my LGBT friends country, my disabled daughter’s country, my kid’s country.

This is our country too dammit.

My daughter told me about the safety pin idea, as she saw it on Instagram. I told her how I knew about it…and then, I had an idea….

Back when I was in 5th grade, we made friendship pins. You’d take a safety pin, and put beads on it, hooking one pin into another, trading them. I had an awesome amount of friendship pins because my mom was an artist and a seamstress – we had all the supplies and funky buttons and beads. I loved my friendship pins.

And I told my daughter  – we need some friendship pins.

And she was like – omg. yes.

So we went out, we bought pins and beads and thought about the color scheme. This is what we came up with.




There’s red, white, and blue because this is OUR country too. But after those are orange beads. Because orange is the anti-bullying color. And right now, we need to be aware of bullying, and stand against it. Silver because…well…we needed something neutral on the end.

This is our start. It’s not much, but it’s something. We are making a bunch of these for her to pass out at school, and maybe pass out in the community. More than ever, we need to know that we have friends out there, and we need to let the bullies of all ages know that this is OUR country too.



UPDATE – In searching for what colors mean what…turns out orange? Is also the awareness color for…drumroll please…racial tolerance!

Something some of us could really use right now <side eyes a bunch of voters>


UPDATE AGAIN – a reader asked how to pin it because you’re putting beads on the pin side. And I was like “Oh, duh! Not everyone was a girl in 1985 south side Chicago making chains of frienship pins!”

Simply take a second safety pin and hook them together through the big open part. You can then have a “chain” of pins if you add more.



Another reader sent me a link to how to move the beads to the other side, if you don’t want to double up on pins –

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