I think I just found Frank a date for the prom. (Sure it’s ten years down the road, but it’s a match made in heaven.)

One of the billions of Halloween activities we did last week in kindergarten involved writing a story about a witch. We had been singing an adorable song about one for the last three weeks, and it just seemed like a cool idea.

I made cute little witch’s hats out of black paper, and attached some writing paper that I had cleverly shaped into a witch’s head. (I get my best ideas in the shower. Don’t you?)

When the kids shared their stories, Susie stood and proudly read hers to the group.

“The witch is flying and drinking.” Big grin.

I did not ask any probing questions. Some things are better left unsaid.


Rule 5,325,456,6i3 for new teachers.

Do NOT wear a shirt like this on the day of your Halloween party. Unless, of course, you WANT to be petted, stroked and groped by over 534 children that attend your school.

(You'd think I would remember this stuff, especially after the sequin sunflower shirt incident from last spring. sigh. Perhaps I'm Frank's long lost mother after all...)


God KNEW I needed to laugh every day…and so he handed me Frank - on a silver bloody, hysterical platter.

Today was the DAY of trick-or-treating in our neck of the woods, and it made for a wonderful crazy day full of excitement.

I stood outside the classroom ready to greet the children, and leading the charge down the hall was my man Frank. He leaves school most days claiming (in a LOUD and FURIOUS voice) that he is NEVER EVER coming back.

He lies.

Not only does he come BACK, he runs down the hall with a smile, arms wide open for a hug and plows into me like a mac truck with no brakes.

THAT is how I start each and every day. (And I love it.)

This morning, however, I immediately noticed something different about our Frank.

“Frank!! You’ve got GLASSES! They are so cool!”

He smiled and said, “Now I will be smarter, and will know ALL my letters and stuff. And prolly be gooder.” (If I could get my hands on a class set of THOSE glasses, I’d be set.)

We all oohed and aahhed over Frank’s glasses most of the day, and he smiled and told story after story (in his low gravelly voice) about how he got them from the “doctah” the day before.

He carefully placed them in his glasses case when we went to recess, and promptly returned them to his nose when we came inside.

At the end of the exhausting day, I started putting the chairs on top of the tables. I had shooed the excited trick-or-treaters to be out the door for their night of craziness and was praying that I could make it home before I passed out.

Then my school phone rang. It was Frank’s mother, calling to check on his behavior for the day. Apparently his night of candy collecting was contingent upon a positive report.

I not only gave her a glowing report, I also commented that his glasses were the highlight of the day.

“Glasses? He was wearing GLASSES?”

“Um. Yep.” I answered.

“Were they round wire rimmed glasses with a tree-frog case? God, that kid is driving me CRAZY!!”

Frank was wearing his brother George’s glasses. All. Day. Long.

And George? He had given them to Frank in exchange for the sticker chart Frank had brought home last week FULL of stickers. He decided he didn't want the glasses anymore.

Apparently a fairly new pair of glasses WITH a case is an even exchange for a card full of glow-in-the-dark Star Wars stickers.

I can’t WAIT to see our Frank tomorrow.

(If I had the energy, I would run to the dollar store for glasses for the whole class. Wouldn’t THAT render him speechless???)


One day at a time. One. Day.

These are difficult and painful times here at the house of vodka, for a myriad of reasons.

Out of respect and love for most of the participants, I will decline from writing about it here.

I will, however, share a thought.

I have been feeling over the years a heavy weight tied to my heart. It has pulled me slowly but surely down deep into an abyss, of which I feared no escape.

Through a great tragedy I was offered a ray of hope. It reminded me that this fragile, wondrous life of ours is short, and the only person steering its course is the captain: yours truly.

Without being aware of my true course, I have taken steps to right my way. I have slowly begun to shed the heavy fingers dragging me towards the bottom, and have realized that with one strong push I might be able to begin the journey to the surface.

And you know what I decided to do?

I pried the last of the fingers away from my heart, and I pushed.


Mrs. Gump TOTALLY stole that line from me.

For the past 39 days, I could have sworn that Frank was going to be the boy with a firm hold on my heart.

Today at morning seatwork, I turned to see Stanley wearing these:

And yes, I DID laugh out loud.




Poor Frank. Now it's an uphill battle.


The teen party (aka what would YOU do to humiliate your disobeying teen??)

YIKES!! I was so distracted yelling at Frank that I forgot I was over here today!!

It was the party to beat all parties. And frankly, she's still mad at us.

Feel free to share over there. I can't be the ONLY crazy parent around here.

Now someone fix me a martini. Quick.


He's a rookie. He's GOOD, I'l give him that, but a rookie nonetheless.

Today on the way to lunch Frank was telling all the children that he had a gun.

I heard him clear as a bell.

As the kindergartners began to get their trays, I walked to the end of the line to have a little chat with our friend. (Unfortunately, he has earned the permanent job of “caboose.”) I think he knew what was coming.

“I am five years old and I DO have a gun. A real one!” he said in his loud, gravelly voice.

I leaned in as close as I could, but my hands on his shoulders and said, “Well, I’m …..older than that….. and I have a cell phone and I am calling the POLICE, if I ever, ever, ever, ever hear you say that again. Do. You. Understand?”

He nodded.

That’s the first time I’ve rendered HIM speechless in 36 days.

You know what I got as he ran out the door for the bus? A hug and a smile and a PROMISE that he was coming back tomorrow.


Remember Dennis the Menace? Yeah. I’m teaching his son.

Me: “Now Frank, let’s try this again. I know you can do it! Listen carefully. Can you tell me a word that sounds the SAME as bat? That has the same ENDING? BAAAAAT..... .”

Frank, enthusaistically: “CAN!!!”

“Frank. Can and Bat do not rhyme.”

Frank: “They do in my house.”

And so endeth the lesson.


Sometimes it's easier to press the ignore button.

Dear mother,

I am out of my “allergy medicine” and my prescription has expired. Please call the doctor and get it for me.



Dear Bitchy,

I think PERHAPS if you’re able to go to a bar and order a shot of tequila, you are perfectly capable of calling and ordering your own “allergy medicine.” Frankly, you're closer to the doctor's office than I AM. And please clarify something for me- are you away at college OR NOT?



(I'm over here. It's important, people. trust me.)


Someone ELSE has to teach him to do that.

Note to all tween boys riding to school in their mother's cars:

When attempting to spit a HUMUNGOUS disgusting thing from your mouth OUT the passenger side window, make sure it's completely down.

Or practice your aim.

I am still nauseous, and I teach KINDERGARTEN. jesus.

13 Has Always Been Her Lucky Number..

Dear Bitchy,

Twenty-ONE years ago today your entry into this world taught me the meaning of true honest to God joy. I don’t think I can adequately describe that feeling in my heart when I first laid my eyes on you. I’ve learned so many more things from you since then.

I’ve learned how to laugh from deep down in my soul. I’ve laughed at you, I’ve laughed because of you, and of late - I’ve laughed with you.

I’ve learned the true meaning of fear, and the many faces fear has: the first STEP fear; the bicycle with no training wheels fear; the dealing with mean girls fear and the watching you enter middle school fear.

But, my darling, when you turned 16, you showed my heart the toughest meaning of fear. The kind of fear that creeps into a mother’s heart late at night and grips it so tightly it almost stops beating. I also learned to live with that fear, so that you could live your life, and make your own mistakes. (That was a tough one.) I've learned to harness that fear and turn it into hope.

You’ve also taught me that no matter how many mistakes I make, no matter how many times I embarrass you and no matter how many times I scream at you – you still love me. For that, I am most grateful.

And so, on this very special day, I want to tell you this. I loved the little girl who ran away from home to the backyard when I wouldn’t make her soup; I loved the little girl who in middle school got detention for spraying perfume on Jack Sprat; and I loved the young woman who in high school learned some tough, heartbreaking, valuable life lessons. You took them to heart and paved a new path for yourself – and that made me very, very proud.

Most importantly, I love you for who you are right now.

You are a part of my heart, my soul and my dreams. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Happy Birthday my darling Bitchy. I love you more than you will ever know. Well, except when you have a bitchy of your very own. Then you will know........only then.

(It's a repost from last year- her 20th. However, I'm too verkelmpt to write a new one. Plus, we're meeting for a DRINK, and i have to get ready!!.)


Red rover, red rover, send the tattletales right over. (And we'll tape their mouths shut.)

Today during an exciting read aloud about pumpkins, Frank found it incredibly important to shout an important piece of information to us all.

"Mrs. SMYTHE!! Sam's underwear is on inside OUT!!"

Why that is important, I still don't know. But even more disturbing was that Frank even knew that at ALL.

Tomorrow- Operation "monitor Frank more CLOSELY" begins.


I don't even remember teaching them to fly...

For the last three months I have been searching for something.

I wander the house, rearranging and moving things here and there with no real purpose. It’s disconcerting, this journey I am on; the act of releasing these birds from their captivity.

They fly hard and fast in different directions these young birds of mine, and yet they maintain a closer bond to each other then I ever witnessed when they roosted in this house.

They leave behind their brother, and although his wings are small he is already testing their strength.

And you know what I found as I searched through this almost empty nest?

In Sassy’s closet I found a stack of 26 sweatshirts and many other various items, purchased during her years of soccer and field hockey. Stacks upon stacks of things that still bear the smell of youth, cheering crowds and Friday night football games.

In Bitchy’s closet I discovered the remnants of an outrageous shoe collection; a sweater collection and many prom and homecoming dresses that we HAD to drive FAR, FAR away to purchase. They hang in her closet, harboring memories and secrets that she holds close to her heart.

As I search through the rooms and the halls of this quiet, confused home, do you know what else I discover?

Bits and pieces of… myself.

I vaguely remember that woman, the person I was before joy, love, heartache and painful parenthood interrupted me.

And I am slowly but surely putting myself back together.

I’ve decided, however, to put some of the pieces back in an entirely new order.

A reinvention.

Oh yeah, it hurts a bit, but so does everything else in this wonderful, unpredictable, crazy adventure we call life.


I'd love to crawl inside her head for ONE day.

The children came to school Friday morning so EXCITED! They knew that Firefighter Jack was bringing his fire engine to school, and that we would all get a grand presentation and probably even get to hear the sirens!

Emily, who we all know is unpredictable and phenomenal, was no exception. She was dancing around the room with great exuberance and expectation.

We marched out to the fire engine in a nice, neat line and listening intently to Firefighter Jack share about his job.

The children’s hands would fly up and down, and we would bat their questions away with a “shush” and a finger to the lips. There would be plenty of time for those later.

I watched Emily as SHE watched Firefighter Jack with great interest. In fact, he seemed to have captured her utmost attention. (Even I can't do that.)

I watched her for 15 minutes as she seemed to gobble up each word- each description of the equipment and fire safety.

As we were walking back into the building I asked her, “Emily, did you learn some great stuff? You were such a good listener!”

“YEP! And guess what? I FINALLY figured out what I want to be when I grow up!” she exclaimed with a toothless smile.

I was convinced she was going to blurt out “A Fireman!”

She smiled happily and said, “I’m going to be a UNICORN RIDER and a HULA DANCER!”

And away she ran. (To the water fountain, I suppose…)


Sometimes when you're not looking, cool things happen.

Imagine my surprise and delight, when I received an email about being included in an online magazine.

If you have a minute, see if you can find me HERE!!

These kinds of things remind me that it isn't always those who blow their horn the loudest, but the ones that like to play their instrument right alongside everyone else.

Thanks you, Beth. It's an honor to be included.


Estelle - in a five-year-old body.

We have a little character this year named Emily. She is Sassy with a CAPITAL S.

Today I sensed something a little fishy and walked with her over to her cubby. I reached in to get the balled-up paper towel that was shoved inside and imagine my surprise when a pair of our kindergarten scissors fell out.

She looked at me and said matter-of factly, "Well. THAT'S disturbing."

I might gift wrap them for her for the end of the year. (She's money, people. M.O.N.E.Y.)


I'm not proud.

Okay, so here's the real deal. I've decided to ask for a vote. Yeah, I know. I PROMISED I wouldn't EVER do it again, but crap. I can't HELP myself.

I was so WOWED by the fact that over at Babble I was ranked in the top 50 Mommy bloggers. Then, when I was in the top TEN I almost had a heart attack. When I was 5? I had to find a cute cabana boy to give me mouth to mouth. (I'm keeping him around just in case.)

If you honestly DO like coming here and reading the crazy ramblings of a woman barely holding on to her sanity, and if you have enjoyed a laugh or two, I would appreciate a vote. Oh, and while you're there? There are other amazing writers you can vote for - I know you'll recognize their names.

If you decide not to vote, no worries. You can move on and I'll never know.

I was going to hold a hunger strike- but I thought it might be more brilliant to hold an EATING strike. And probably a lot more enjoyable. (I suffer enough.) I will eat a HUGE BOWL of Ben and Jerry's for every vote I get.



Okay, I'll do it. But ONE of you people are going to have to run for me.

There are certain things we do NOT want to know.

The telling sharing portion of our morning meeting provides us with many learning opportunities. Take today, for example:

Jack: “I went to the beach last night. It was fun.”

Susie: “I went to Jin-nastiks last night! It was fun!”

Stanley: “My dog was chasing a chickmonk outside and was barkin’, barkin’, barkin’.”

Frank: “My cat is having its U-TER-US removed today. We don’t want it havin’ NO babies."

Um. Well then. Okay. On THAT happy note, let’s begin our centers!


The birth of Bitchy.

If I didn't know better, I would SWEAR this was my darling girl.

and THAT is what had me laughing all Friday night. (Thank you, Linda!!!)


Sometimes I have to self-prescribe. (Or, how can I have hot flashes when I have NO OVARIES?)

I took the day off today to visit my doctor. Not the one who removed the ten pound boulder from my shoulder, and not the doctor who is helping me prolong the replacement of the knees that served me so well through decades of competitive gymnastics.

I went to visit my best friend, the ob/gyn who removed everything that wasn't nailed down in my nether-regions, and freed me from visiting the lady product aisle every time I head to the grocery store. ( It is GLORIOUS to not have to worry about that. Honestly.)

It's been three years since she gave me the great news that I would need a total H, and frankly, that was the highlight of the year that was filled with devastation and tragedy.

I've been taking my little blue happy pill loyally every morning, and it wasn't until a month or two ago that I really started feeling, well, crappy.

I haven't been myself.

I thought at FIRST it was because my screaming, fighting, headstrong daughters went off to college leaving me a lonely working mother trying to find her way. Then Golden Boy must have instinctively known I needed him, and he has gone out of his way to keep me distracted.

I still feel crappy.

There is a war being waged inside my body, and I'm not even sure whose SIDE I'm on. I feel like an innocent bystander being hit by burning embers of shrapnel. At night. When I'm trying to sleep.

After a wonderful discussion with her (She uses the f-word. How great is THAT?) she decided it was definitely time to re-examine hormone levels, testosterone levels (I'd like to regain my mojo, if you get my drift) and my insulin levels. I don't want to get technical because, to be honest, I don't even remember everything she's checking, but it sounds like a great plan to me.

In the interim, I've decided to self medicate. I'll start with a dose of HUMOR every single day, and for the rest, you can use your imagination.

Just don't get too crazy. I'm no Lindsay Lohan.

And THIS is what I needed today. PLEASE watch this. I guarantee you will pee your pants. Just clean up your mess before you leave. There's no janitor in THIS house.