Category Archives: Snapshot of My Day

Sometimes tiny moments are actually big things.

The Time I Let My Poker Face Slip

Yesterday I made a devastating parenting mistake.

Tim and I were sitting in the shade in his brother’s backyard, sipping cold drinks and reading. Beautiful summer morning. The boys were playing on a slip-n-slide a ways off. A peaceful moment.

We had no idea what was coming.


Pile o’ worms

Now here’s the thing about my boys: They love bugs. They are constantly catching bugs and creepy crawly things. This doesn’t bother me. Sometimes I’ll even help them.

We’ve caught ladybugs, worms, lizards, even snakes together.


Have you ever seen anyone so in love with a snake?

There have only been a few occasions where they’ve stuck something right under my nose (literally) that has horrified me, and I’ve managed to keep my cool and breathe slowly until they take it away.

I have a pretty good poker face. This comes from years of youth ministry of all sorts. I can usually hear or see something outrageous and not react. This is a useful parenting skill. As long as you can keep your kids from surprising you, you keep the upper hand.

So. Back to yesterday.

Our blissful reverie was interrupted by our two children running over yelling. Big Brother had something clutched tight in his butterfly net, and Little Guy was proudly yelling that Big Brother caught “a huge spider!”

Before that phrase could even register he shoved the net under our noses and we saw this. IMG_0755

Look closely. That is a big, nasty wolf spider. It was frantically running around its little net space on top of Big Brother’s hand looking for someone to kill.

I immediately screamed and tried to keep from throwing up.

Tim calmly (of course, the man is never ruffled) said, “Umm, buddy, that kind can actually bite. You might want to let that one go.”

At this, Big Brother opened the net and dropped it right where we were sitting.

I screamed and flew out of my chair (I’m extremely pregnant, it usually takes me awhile to move anywhere) and shot across the yard away from the angry spider now bent on revenge.

This is when I realized my mistake.

I let my poker face slip. Not just slip. I destroyed my calm, parenting face.

They can smell fear, you know. I’m talking about the children, not the spider. They saw what makes their mom lose her mind and scream in terror. And they. did. it. They have the power now. If you have boys, you realize how dangerous this is. Boys love to make their moms scream. I think this is considered loving in their minds? And I freely showed them what I’m most afraid of.

What have I done?

If you are a mom of boys, can you relate? I want to hear about it.


Snapshot of My Day: Tornado Alley

I realized recently that a true “snapshot of my day” is literally Instagram…And a lot of the time I don’t even include a photo when I title a post Snapshot of My Day. So I guess I just need you to know that I realize how ridiculous this all is, but I don’t know what else to call it. And Creating a Mental Snapshot of My Day With Words was too lengthy. So this madness will continue.

Like many of you, we have emergency sirens that routinely go off in a “practice run.” Unlike many of you, ours is directly across the street. It blares once a month and we try not to be outside when it does because it is so loud that my ear drums literally hurt and when it’s done I’m dizzy and sick to my stomach.

This happened a while ago, when it was still warm out, but it came to mind recently and I wanted to write about it. I was taking dog, kids, and garbage outside. My arms were loaded down with a full bag as well as the overflowing plastic recycling bin. We made our way down the crazy amounts of stairs to the alley door where I asked Big Brother to hold the dog’s leash as well as hold the large metal door open for us all.

At that moment, chaos broke loose.

The siren went off, the dog panicked and ran, which pulled Big Brother away from the door, which shut on Little Guy’s leg all the way up to the knee, who was terrified because he hates loud noise, which caused the door to hit me, making me lose my balance and drop the garbage everywhere, which spread all over the alley.

The door opened again, and our apartment manager stepped out and looked at me.

This is what he saw: I was sitting on the ground in the alley, garbage strewn about, holding my screaming, hurting child, who was sure he was going to lose his leg, as the older one stood there holding his ears and yelling, because he thought if he yelled enough the siren would stop, while the dog ran in circles around us barking, because when there’s noise and chaos she likes to add to it.

I looked up and gave him a big smile, because what else could I do?

“That’s loud!” He mouthed.

I nodded.

He went back in and shut the door.

And I sat in the alley with the sound of a bomb raid in my ears and tried to piece my life back together.

Happy Thursday!

My life is full of awkward moments, I would love it if you shared one of yours. This is a Call To Awkwardness. Bring it on!

Snapshot of My Day: The Time I Almost Quit My Day Job

The other day I did something I probably shouldn’t have. I sort of experimented with my children. They talk SO MUCH, you see, and I was getting slightly annoyed by it. Because it’s not just that they talk, it’s that they are talking to me, wpid-wp-1425420889633.jpegand expecting a response. And they keep saying my name until I answer.  No matter where I was in the apartment I kept hearing, “Mom?” “Mom,” “Mom!”

Then an idea came to my head that I should have just let slip on through, as most ideas do. I wonder how many times they say my name in a day? I thought, I could track it!

One hour. How many times could they possibly say my name in one hour? So I made two columns on a note card, and carried it around with me for an hour, making a hash mark every time each boy said my name.

The hour started off like this:

“Um, Mom?”
“Um, Mom? Can we have a snack?”

Well, there’s three to start it off.

The final count? 55. Fifty-five times, you guys. In one hour.

Now, I can’t math, but I do know that that’s almost one time a minute. Think about this for a second. If I were in any other job I would report this to HR. In fact, I tried to report my children to HR, but the HR guy has stopped answering my phone calls. What if you had a coworker that said your name that much? That would be a hostile work environment!wpid-wp-1425420807340.jpeg

I think this is one of the reasons why being a mom is so hard. They won’t leave me alone! This is seriously the hardest job I’ve ever done. Now, lest you think I’m complaining, I do love this job. Most of the time. I’m not so much complaining as I am pointing out the absurd.

I don’t recommend this experiment. You probably won’t like what you find. But if you do keep track, would you let me know?

Keep on trekkin’, mamas. Oh, and by the way, does anyone know the best place to buy ear plugs?

Snapshot of My Day: The Time I Prematurely Scolded the Children

“Boys!” I yelled from the kitchen, “get in here!”

I heard them running down the stairs as I turned back to the mess I had just discovered on the counter. I keep sugar in a glass dish by the coffee supplies and it had been knocked over and spilled across the counter. wpid-wp-1424291829353.jpeg

“Which one of you got into the sugar?”

“It wasn’t me,” they both insisted.

Of course, I didn’t believe them because no one ever makes the messes I find around the apartment. They just show up. There is marker on my furniture but I never catch either of them in the act. I step in a puddle (hoping it’s just water, every time) that neither of them spilled.

I know they like to stick their fingers into the sugar jar. What kid wouldn’t? And I try to keep it far enough back on the counter that they can’t reach, but apparently this day I didn’t. I gave them an angry lecture about leaving things alone in the kitchen and then sent them back upstairs to play.

I was angrier than I should have been. It wasn’t really about the sugar. I was upset at an entire morning of cleaning up after their carelessness. Already feeling guilty after scolding them so much over such a little offense I started cleaning up the mess.

Just then, Tim walked into the kitchen, “Oh, sorry. I spilled that earlier and forgot to clean it up.”

My hands stopped wiping it up and I slowly turned around and stared at him.

Now I really felt awful.

“Boys!” I yelled again, “come down here, please.”

Feeling like the World’s Worst Mom, I apologized and asked their forgiveness. Being the grace-filled, amazing guys that they are, all was forgiven.

I’m gonna mess up. A lot. So much of this parenting thing feels unnatural to me. I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time. But I think that’s okay. I’ve learned the most important thing is to be humble enough to ask my kids forgiveness for my failings. They’re always ready to forgive.

They’re so small, but they teach me big things about God. I pray that I can be patient enough, and humble enough to learn.

Snapshot of My Day: The Time I Concluded That Boys Are Just Weird

I was set to have a productive afternoon, including connecting with some of my MOPS mamas, writing a different blog post (which will now have to come later), and listing a ton of eBay items, when my afternoon took a turn for the weird.

Little Guy came out of his room mumbling something about how there was a jewel stuck and he couldn’t get it out. It didn’t take me long to realize that the “jewel” was actually a bead and it was stuck in his nose.

So of course I did what I always do when I’m stumped: I called my mom. No answer. Okay, now what? I called Tim at work, which is usually my next call if Mama doesn’t answer.

Waiting for him to come home from work, I was on hold with our pediatrician’s office and debating whether chopsticks or tweezers would be better for the job at hand when I heard Big Brother’s quiet voice from the upstairs bathroom, “Umm, Mom? I’m so sorry, but I drank this…”

I could hear the imminent tears in his voice so I knew he did something he shouldn’t, but I couldn’t see him. Are you kidding me?? I mentally screamed, like I need an emergency right now!!

Now, this kid is notorious for putting things in his mouth that he shouldn’t, resulting in calls to Poison Control. I was sitting on the couch listening to a terrible version of Beethoven’s Fur Elise coming through my phone, waiting for the nurse to come back on, holding Little Guy who was crying hysterically because he didn’t want to see a doctor, while the bead was getting snorted further and further up his nose, while my eldest may or may not have just poisoned himself.

The only thought I could coherently focus on was,

This is my life.

This wasn’t the first, and won’t be the last time that it’s going to be like this. This is life with boys.

We got Little Guy to the doctor, got the bead out, gave him Batman stickers and a sucker, and all is well. Oh, and Big Brother drank saline solution out of a contact lens container. Which is why I make my own cleaning solutions around the kitchen and bathroom, by the way. I investigated and the worst thing he could have ingested up there was castor oil.

Boys are just weird.

Snapshot of My Day: The Time I Was Crying Into the Freezer

I normally wear contact lenses, but the other day I happened to be wearing my glasses instead when I was prepping a slow-cooker soup. I got out a big yellow onion to chop and started peeling it.

Now here’s the thing about contacts: they block out your pupils. This means that I’m not usually bothered by things like campfire smoke and onion fumes. The Burny-Fumey part doesn’t make it into the Stingy part of my eye (this is all very scientific, isn’t it?). So I sometimes forget that those things hurt. If I sit around a campfire with you I might even think you’re a wimp for switching seats when the smoke blows your way.

Now, back to my kitchen. I cut into the onion and within a second and a half the Burny-Fumey part had reached my eyes.

“AAAgh!” I screamed while furiously trying to finish cutting the onion without chopping my fingers off.

The more I kept cutting the more the tears were streaming down my face. I could barely see. I decided that roughly chopped chunks were going to have to make do and quickly threw the giant pieces of onion into the slow cooker.

I scrubbed my hands, tears streaming down my face, then started mopping my face with my t-shirt. Two preschool age-shaped blobs came into my bleary view, “Mom? Are you okay?”

“Waahaaaa,” I cried, and opened up the freezer and stuck my head inside. When the tears finally subsided and my vision cleared I came out out of the freezer and saw my two boys standing there giving me The Look. You know, The Look that men give you when you’re hysterically sobbing and both of you have no idea why and they’re uncomfortable and a little annoyed at the same time…

Yeah. They’ve mastered The Look.

The struggle is real, guys.

P.S. The soup was awesome!
Here’s the recipe if you’re interested.

Snapshot of My Day: Who is Buck?

I can’t always keep up with the imaginary games my boys play. It’s not uncommon for them to run up to me and both shout at once telling me all about their current game, half of which I don’t understand because I’m not brushed up on Transformers, Rescue Bots, or any superheroes. I do understand that Big Brother says he’s a dad who is pretending he’s a dog (that’s a thing?) and Little Guy is a cat who transforms into a truck (sounds logical).

“Wow,” I say, “that sounds…interesting…”

Then they run off to continue in their imaginary world.

The moment I want to highlight happened earlier this week during supper. Tim and the boys were already sitting in the dining room when I brought my plate over and sat in an empty chair.

As I sat down Big Brother and Little Guy both froze and looked at me. Little Guy gasped and said, “That’s where Buck is sitting!”

I stood up and looked behind me expecting to see a toy or stuffed dog. Nothing there. I sat again and looked at Little Guy. His eyes were huge and he said, “You’re sitting on Buck.”

“Who’s Buck?” I asked.

Little Guy looked at me and then looked at his daddy with the kind of look that says, Is she serious? What does she mean, “who is Buck?” What’s wrong with this lady?

Then he turned back to his food and kept eating.

“Who’s Buck?” I repeated.

They all put their heads down, ignoring me, and continued eating in silence.

Apparently I greatly offended a new friend?