One More Thing, #30

Both of my kids have taken to wearing makeup lately, but the reasons seem to be different.

MGM (now 8) reported that he saw a character use makeup “to disguise himself as a phantom on Scooby Doo,” and now he wants to trick our babysitter.

Spoiler alert: I think she’ll still know it’s you, MGM.

Trixie (6) just loves to borrow anything that’s mine, which is why my lipsticks are all mysteriously smushed into their caps and a David Yurman bracelet went AWOL for over a year.

In general, I’m fine with all of this as long as it doesn’t negatively impact me.

But I was distressed to discover a brand new makeup brush that had been thoroughly destroyed by one dual kid session:


The bristles used to be completely white, people.

I underestimated the saturation of the residual blush and when I went to put my own makeup on, I ended up looking something like this:


I lamented the outcome to our babysitter and she was sweet enough to surprise my by cleaning the brush back to snowy perfection with some mild soap and warm water. Merci!

P.S. Made me laugh:





Beezus and Ramona Writing Prompt

Trixie’s (6) kindergarten class is reading Beezus and Ramona, a book series I loved as a child.


Last week her teacher sent me this picture that Trixie drew after a writing prompt:

uncle hobart

Caption: I think Uncle Hobart will marry Aunt Bea


Here’s what she wrote about it:

We are reading the Ramona books and we are reading the one where Ramona and Beezus’ aunt marries Uncle Hobart, and I decided to have a writing prompt about it. When I reviewed all of them this morning, I laughed when I got to Trixie’s. I love how Uncle Hobart has the ring and the box, and how Aunt Beatrice has a surprised look on her face. But most of all, I really dig Uncle Hobart’s beard.

You raging hipster, Uncle Hobart!

P.S. Writing prompt on the next page reads: “If I could wish on a shooting start I would wish for an American Girl doll.” No surprise there.


Fake Swear Words

One thing I clearly remember about my dear father – who died nearly 13 years ago – was that he never, ever swore.

Personally, I find that well-timed profanity can really punctuate a conversation and/or emphasize a point, but if I’m honest, sailor-talk just really isn’t all that classy.


Wear an animal? Yes. Use a four-letter word? Not on your life.

Don’t get me wrong, my Dad would occasionally get angry or frustrated – especially when the Green Bay Packers were losing – but when pushed to the brink, he would use his favorite non-swear curse word, one I think he entirely made up on his own: Ratchin’-fatchin’.

Ratchin’-fatchin’ doesn’t really have a definition and wasn’t a stand-in (a la “Shut the front door!”) for a similar profane word or phrase. It stood alone and proved to be quite versatile.

I stumbled across this list of fake swear words earlier this week (my favorite? Blurgh, as uttered by one of the all-time best female characters on TV, “30 Rock’s” Liz Lemon), and I had to laugh out loud.

However, I would respectfully like to submit “ratchin’-fatchin” to the list. TV writers, you’re welcome!

The Moth Podcast

Have you listened to The Moth Podcast?

Tagline: “True stories told live.”

The tales are a real mix; some from hosted story slams featuring amateurs, some from noted writers or storytellers.

Some are funny.

Some are sad.

All are usually poignant.

I caught up on a few episodes during my recent work trip to Florida, including one from writer/actor/director Andre Gregory (he of My Dinner with Andre fame, and I am embarrassed to say I have not seen this film, which is a situation I hope to rectify soon), in which he says that as a child, he was never touched, hugged or kissed. 

The story isn’t a particularly sad one, but that line haunted me. Listen to it here.

Even though I often tell others that my own kids are driving me nuts, I make a big point every day to individually tell them that they are loved and that I am the Luckiest Mom in the World. 

(This universally elicits eye rolls from said children).

Another great piece on human connection is Starlee Kine’s “Waiting for Marina Abramovic.”  Way different from the piece by Andre Gregory, it’s funny and New York-y, and I absolutely loved it.



Mini Me

Sometimes the conversations with my kids steer off in a direction I’d never considered.

Like this one time.

And today.

I was rushing around, per usual, and Trixie (6) was leisurely eating a (pretty gross) mixture of about three different breakfast cereals.

(Her choice here, People! I was not forcing her to have little random bits of cereal dust from several boxes. At least not today).

Trixie: Dad said I’m your clone. What does that mean?

Me: Well, it means we’re almost exactly alike.

Me: We both like fancy things.

Me: We both like sparkly jewelry.

Me: We both like lip gloss.

Trixie: And we both loooooooove to eat!

Parenting is so repeatedly humbling.

Happy weekend!




Nighttime Checklist

Trixie (5) definitely appears to have inherited the List Making gene from me.

I find her attempts at writing completely adorable, even if it sometimes takes a while to figure out what she’s trying to say.

Last weekend she made a checklist for when each of her (creepy) dolls was tucked in for the night:


Their names:

  • Sunset Shimmer (seen above, wrapped in a bandana from Pirate Night when we went on a Disney cruise)
  • Rarity (a.k.a. “Rarade”)
  • Pinkie Pie

Big check for Pinkie Pie!

I also love how she fancied up her ponies for a party:


That rainbow ‘do is spectacular.



Art Gallery

Trixie (5) got an American Girl Doll art studio set from Santa, and it was a huge hit.


Photos from American Girl



She was playing “gallery” for a whole afternoon, and I overheard her dramatically channeling her inner artist and saying things like, “Oh, no! Whatever will I do? The gallery opening is tomorrow night!”

Frantic art creation ensued.

One of her finest:


Title: “What Does the Fox Say?” (Price: $8.95)

I predict a bidding war over this piece on opening night.






The Penguins

About five years ago, Spouse started a holiday tradition of decorating Fancy Pants Ranch with mechanical penguins.

It started with one, and now our flock numbers four.

During the intervening years the penguins have variously flown in formation in our front yard, frolicked on our swing set, and climbed a ladder to break into our garage, among other adventures.

(These elaborate dioramas are entirely courtesy of Spouse, the mechanical engineer).

This year a lone penguin in our front lawn is staring wistfully at the other three, who are warmly ensconced (and visible) through the upstairs windows.

Here’s the idea:




(Ok, it is so hard to photograph wire penguin forms at night with your iPhone).

Trixie decided that she would help by naming the penguins.

Much, much consideration went into their monikers.

End result:

  • Penguina
  • Waddles
  • Courage
  • Narwahl


This brought Spouse and I to a pause.

We had to ask Trixie what it was.

Her explanation: a unicorn whale.


We genuinely went back and forth: is this a real thing?

Turns out, it is.

From National Geographic:

This species of whale has an unusual and mysterious long tusk, once harvested and sold as a unicorn horn for ten times its weight in gold!

Go figure.

Here’s a video of Narwhals in action.




Like most of my parenting moments, I discovered at the last minute that the Moscow Ballet would be performing “The Nutcracker” in our town.

That very night.



Last Friday as I drove the kids to school, we heard about the Russian troupe’s performance on Minnesota Public Radio.

When I got to work I was stunned to discover that tickets were still available. In the front row.

Spouse was already committed to a Work Holiday Party that night, so it was just Kids and Me.

I got three tickets in Section 1, Row 1.

FYI, if you are attending a ballet, Row 1 is not your friend.

You can see the dancers really well, but only from the knee up.

For the most part, the kids were enthralled.

Unfortunately for me, when the March played, all I could think about was this rip-off commercial from the ’80s for Smurfberry Crunch cereal:

Overall, kids had a blast.

I was just craving a Smurfy, fruity breakfast treat.