Monthly Archives: September 2013

Is There An Emoticon For That?

Caveat: If you don’t find humor in the sometimes phallic nature of our universe, save yourself now and read no further today.

Setting: Yesterday, on my phone in the kitchen.

The Backstory:

Two years ago, my son’s very best pal moved out-of-state. It was a tough time. He hasn’t been able to discover a similar friendship since. Frankly, I’m not sure he will… until college if they land on the same campus.

His mom and I became good friends over time. The boys often Skype with one another and send humorous video clips to and fro to stay in touch from our phones. I think that the entertainment value is just as much for us as it is for them. These two are like Curly and Mo. Actually, more like Aykroyd and Belushi.

The boys also invented a long distance game of sorts. When they are at a park, in the grocery aisles, on a family vacation (or anywhere for that matter) in their respective states, they will serendipitously discover clues that have been magically left for one another. Sometimes, it can be a directive. Example: Walk eight paces out of your front door. Turn in three full circles then drop for five push-ups. Proceed to nearest tree. Walk around perimeter of tree truck twice with one hand on tree at all times while making favorite animal noise. Stop. Clue is within sight. It is as though they have been sneaking out at night to leave one another tokens of their esteem or tokens of randomness to find in the coming days or weeks.

This (below) is a discovery from Operation ShellaCool at the beach last summer when my son was digging and found The Clue.


Sometimes, there is no directive. It is just a nomadic stumble upon. Like, hey, check out that cool sea glass. Turner probably left that for me.


(Above) My son’s pal is looking for a clue presumably left by my son, Turner, among the red bricks on this super cool wall a full time-zone away.

So, yesterday, I am in my kitchen deciding if my heart will get racy if I brew the third cup of coffee.

My phone buzzes. A text.

Excellent. I will procrastinate further now, I think.

I look down and see this:


And since I couldn’t really see what the object in question was, I clicked on the image and saw this in what I can only describe as high def:


The following exchange ensued. You can see me (below) denying any wrongdoing. Apparently, I forgot for a second that you can’t actually teleport and leave phallic clues to be found in various places across the planet.


The sweet little guy thought the intriguing tchotchke that he found in some random place was a rocketship. And his sweet mom didn’t have the heart to tell him any different. Bless them both. We are trying to come up with a plan for facing the teacher later.

I suppose the takeaway here is that what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas if you know what I mean.  Even though I know it is hard (no pun) to part ways with such sentimental artifacts, maybe it’s time to offer a collective sigh and toss some things to the landfill. I still maintain my absolute innocence here.

Oh, and about that third cup of coffee. Not even close to necessary. Turns out snarfing large quantities of air has the same effects as caffeine.

Laughter. Always the best medicine.

Oh and if this is your long lost keychain, feel free to contact me and we will do our best to get it returned to you in good condition.

Special thanks to my anonymous friend for letting me share this lively travail of parenthood.

Cray Cray For Crayola


Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.
-Oscar Wilde-

For the past several weeks, I have been mulling over an idea. I am all mulled out. It is time to just do this thing. Leap if you will. The idea is that I am going to take two of my passions (Passion 1: toys/books/education… Portmanteau that combo however you want…Toyookation…Edubookoy, etc. + Passion 2: writing) and offer a willing audience a first-person review of something cool that I have discovered with or because of my kids.

My mama always told me that if I didn’t have something nice to say to TRY not to say anything at all. For this reason, if I am going to spend time on a write-up then it will probably only be for a product or book that knocked my socks off. I am not in the business of peeing on parades (except for today which is National Pirate Talking Day when it should really be called National Stay In Your Pajamas Because Sure They’re Hot-as-in-Hawt Day).

I am aiming to do this feature monthly. Unless people decide that they like it and WANT the info rather than just nodding out of sheer Southern politeness as we are all apt to do. If it is helpful, then I will do it more often. I eat, sleep and breathe kid books these days. I could write about a children’s book everyday for the rest of my life and die a happy woman.

This week, I am going to sing the praises of a Crayola toy that my children recently bought with $25 of their saved allowance. I ended up paying for half because they justified it as educational. And it is.

The thing is… we don’t have enough art in schools these days. Not even by a longshot. I am not pointing fingers because I honestly don’t even know who the art curricula thieves are? My guess is that it is someone who does not work in schools everyday. If I knew who the art rationing heathen were, I would’ve already done some really bad graffiti on their driveway saying something to the effect of This could’ve been so much prettier if I’d just had art every other day.

This is the Crayola Marker Maker Lab.


Here we have science, art and by virtue of drawing and writing and THINKING… a pretty fab cross-curricular investment.

As you can see, if you become the owner of your own marker lab, you will be able to mix and NAME your own colors. Do you know how often I have wanted to be the one who gets to name the newest Opi nail polish or the next Hurricane of the season (there are some people asking for that one…they are the people stealing art from schools).

My kids are loving this gadget. They have made their first few markers. As a serious children’s art collector, I am excited that I get to see not only what they draw but the colors that they mix and how they use them to create.

I love that the kids feel like little scientists as they are mixing the inks in tubes. I love that they are given the power of choice in naming the colors. See ours…an Ode to the new favorite song, Royals, ’round here.

Most of all, I love that they are excited. They are excited to create. They are excited for a new blank piece of paper. They were so giddy that they wanted to skip reading the directions.

The age recommendation as you may have noticed is 8+. I’m going to say that’s about right. Unless you have a Xanax handy, I probably wouldn’t even co-pilot this one before age 6.

Like my dad has always said, there are two ways to skin a cat. No idea why anyone would want to do that even once BUT…

If we can’t have art everyday (or even every week) at school, we can have it at home. Any day that ends in Y.

Two thumbs up on this one.


Wands – I mean– MARKERS up.

On Target

TargetMy husband and I managed to sneak away for three days of vacation recently. Without kids. If you have kids, you understand sneaking out of town WITHOUT them is like tiptoeing past a sleeping insomniac dragon. Until you are at least three zip codes away, you risk the chance of being caught and clawed homeward.

It’s always interesting when you approach a family member to watch your kids overnight. It’s like they have a sixth sense about what you are going to ask. You can see their eyes dart sideways and they fidget. They start backing away slowly, scheduling appendectomies, lasik surgeries and booking 24-hour bingo tournaments or some such obligation.

I kid. Grandparents love to take kids overnight… if the biological parents are present too.  I practically skipped to the airport for the three-day respite with the guy who made me a mom in the first place. The guy with whom I am sometimes (read: often) a passing ship in the night. The guy with whom I used to sip beers as often as I now sip green tea. Even though I was just tagging along with my husband for a work obligation, I was pumped. This could’ve been  a trip to a three-day sleep study hooked up to apnea machines for all I cared. Sleeping in and having an uninterrupted conversation over coffee that isn’t six hours old? Sign me up.

On this vacation, we were returning to Denver- the stomping grounds where we first met many years ago. He asked me on our first date for a Valentine’s Day. I don’t think he meant to do that. He just said ‘next Saturday’ and that Saturday turned out to be February 14, 1999. Talk about high stakes. He probably thought WTH have I gotten myself into? The anxiety turned out to be nothing that two bottles of white wine couldn’t remedy.

So on our little hiatus from real life recently, my husband bought a lovely heather grey women’s shirt at Target. For himself. By accident. This is what happens when men rush through Target. This is what happens when they refuse to embrace the insane magnitude of zen and comfort that Target has to offer. This is what happens when a man beelines for a clearance rack and then starts toe tapping at the register impatiently so his wife will hurry up with the browsing already.

When I finally found Matt at Target, he had the look. That are-we-done-here look. We had been there twenty minutes max. Do you understand what 20 minutes at Target feels like? It feels like nothing. Because it is nothing. If 20 minutes at Target happened to be an earthquake, it wouldn’t even register on the Richter Scale. In fact, it might reverse and fix previous earthquakes on the Richter Scale.

After the spouse unknowingly grabbed the circulation-cutting shirt for himself off of the sale rack in a rush, he had to wear it to the very populated gym on our workout ‘date’. Because going back to Target to exchange it was deemed more painful than the embarrassment of sweating up a storm in shirt that looks like this:


If armpits can lose circulation, it appeared as though his might at any given moment that day. For the first time in my life, I actually walked well behind him and stayed several treadmills away to take in the sight (aka laugh my a– off).

I’m not saying there’s a single thing wrong with my husband wearing women’s clothes. I actually thought it was pretty adorable… and very conducive to showcasing his toned arm(pits).

But there is a takeaway lesson here. It is: Do not rush a woman through a store. Especially on vacation. Or better yet, learn to embrace her passions (namely Target) and she will work with you (as opposed to against you) during college football season in the same loving manner.

Quid pro quo, guys. Quid. Pro. Quo. Yes, I know where the remote control is. No, I will not tell you. Not until we go to Target without the kids. Together. One more time. And the Broncos play the Ravens in a season opener tonight so…

Tick- tock.

Truth and love,

Wives everywhere.