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!




A Bad Birthday Surprise

Yesterday I had lunch with my sister and mentioned that we had to get a birthday gift for one of Trixie’s friends.

She whipped out her phone and showed us a picture of a toy that was so unbelievable that she had to document it.


In case you can’t read the fine print, this is called a Lalaloopsy Babies Diaper Surprise Doll. 

The tagline: “I magically poop charms.”

Collectible charms that you can add to your very own bracelet. Ewww.

The commercial says it all:

Again, ewww.

Needless to say, we did NOT buy this for Trixie’s friend.

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.






Sweet Victory

Last weekend, temps soared to the mid-30s in Minnesota.


Ok, it was still more like this:


After most of Saturday afternoon spent cooped up at Fancy Pants Ranch, I decided that the kids and I should venture outdoors.

Initially, they were not into my plan to take our geriatric toy poodle, Frenchie, for a stroll.

The threat of no more screens for the rest of the weekend roused them into action, though.

We set out into the late afternoon sunshine with a plan to head to the local park.

Within 30 seconds, MGM (7) and Trixie (5) were laughing, running and warning each other to avoid eating the yellow snow.

Brief discourse determined who would be allowed to walk the dog TO the park and then FROM the park.

We jumped over debris at the house-under-construction on our block.

We marveled that our neighbors had a Christmas tree on their porch. So decadent!

The park was a resounding success, despite the slide having a fresh coat of snow.

When we eventually wandered home, it wasn’t enough.

And that’s when I had my Most Successful Parenting Moment Ever.

I don’t anticipate that this will ever be repeated, but somehow I convinced the kids that shoveling snow was fun.

Each armed with an ergonomic shovel, they cleared the driveway, sidewalk and front stoop to perfection. 

At one point, our neighbor across the street popped his head out and jokingly asked if the kids were for hire.

Nope, sorry, but score one for the Mother of the Year!








Welckum Home, Mom

My heart burst when I saw these signs upon my return home from a work trip to Vancouver, Canada, last night:


My favorite is the trajectory of the celebratory return night, as depicted by Trixie (5):


What Mom does (quoting Trixie here):

  1. She comes home with sparkles. (!!!!)
  2. She eats pizza.
  3. She is happy.
  4. She goes to bed.

Yep, this night is playing out exactly as I’d hoped!

Truly, have an awesome weekend!

P.S. Bonus pic: Me depicted as a rainbow butterfly, with Trixie as smaller butterfly.


Winter Boots

To say that I wasn’t prepared for the weather to jump from Halloween to mid-January conditions this week is an understatement.


First, I cartoonishly skidded along our (short) driveway to retrieve the mail, barely maintaining equilibrium.


More elegant than I am.

Despite 25 years of driving experience, I also spun out while driving down our hill.


Not quite me, but you get my drift (Pun! Ha).

But the most egregious offense was not having boots for my kids.

I’d ordered winter coats, snowpants and new mittens back in August, but somehow I neglected to put boots on that list.

On Snowmageddon Day 1, the kids merrily trounced off to school with all requisite winter gear, save boots.

Trixie (5) told me she had to wear a cast-off pair of boots from the school’s lost and found pile at recess, which just made me feel like the horrible parent that I am.

I couldn’t bear to ask MGM (7) what he wore, but I imagine something like this:


What you get when you Google “weird boots”

That night, I vowed to take them shopping for proper boots.

Except … I forgot that I had an appointment after work for eyebrow waxing. And a facial. God forbid I miss my beauty treatments!

I remembered the Boots Issue on my way home, approximately five minutes before the only kids’ shoe store in our town closed for the night.

I’m not sure what the salesperson thought when I rushed in there, face blotchy from the facial and hair askew, sweating and shouting, “I need boots now!”

To her amazing credit, she pulled two pairs from the back in the sizes that I needed.

(By “needed,” I mean totally guessed).

And I lucked out, because I brought them home and they fit like a charm.

Here’s what we got. Both are from Kamik.


Score one for the Mother of the Year!