Keep the Crap out of Christmas

Every Christmas, I spend way too much time and energy, and of course money, buying things my family doesn’t need.  My kids get spoiled with gifts from me and my husband, from Santa, from their grandparents, from aunts and uncles, and from each other.The net result: a lot of crap in my house that nobody plays with by the New Year.Holy crap....more

A love letter to the city I never appreciated, until I had to leave

It’s no secret I never wanted to settle in Seattle.  I moved here in 2003 because my then- boyfriend had a great job that he loved.  I told him I would only stay for four years, and then we would have to move to the Northeast to be closer to family.Now here I am, 11 years later, getting ready to leave Seattle – not for New Jersey, but for London - because that same job is transferring that same boyfriend (now husband) for a 2 year assignment beginning in January.We are leaving the rain for… more rain....more

Grandparent Permission Slip

I just finished typing a 3-page Babysitting Instruction Manual (4 pages if you include the spreadsheet of after-school activities I have stuck on my fridge) for my parents who are flying out to watch my 3 kids for 7 days while my husband visit London in preparation for our upcoming move....more

From Bitter to Glitter: Trying to find the sparkle in the Worst Birthday Party Ever

Wow. Not sure how to describe my day. As I mentioned in my previous blog post about turning 40 being similar to turning 4, today we celebrated my youngest’s 4th birthday.  But contrary to what I wrote in the previous blog post, my girl apparently does NOT know how to party....more

6 Ways Turning 40 is a Lot Like Turning 4

My youngest just turned four on Tuesday and is acting like she has suddenly doubled her age.  Four is still young compared to her older sisters, but in her mind, she has officially made it into the Big Kid Club....more

Surviving my Daughter's Frozen Birthday Party: Let it Go. Away. Now.

So I think I’ve recovered from the Frozen birthday we hosted at our house on Saturday with nineteen Kindergarteners, three 3-year olds, and one very bored 8-year-old. Overall, it went better than expected, and everyone seemed to have a good time (except maybe my 8-year-old).  However, as if the last seven months weren’t enough, I think Saturday finally guaranteed that the Frozen soundtrack will forever be etched in my brain. So forgive me if some Frozen lyrics weave themselves into my recap, I just can’t seem to let it go....more

Looney-June: Surviving my Most Stressful Month of the Year

June is Crazy Time here in the land of the Hotel Bassemonte.  Sorry Baby Jesus, but the births of two of my daughters, my wedding anniversary, Father’s Day, and the End-of-the-School-Year-Palooza make December seem like a sleepwalk in the park. We cap off the month by flying across the country for an extended visit with family and friends.It’s just 30 days of parties, presents, and packing. Or 30 days of me trying desperately to hold onto my sanity....more

The Time I Got to Be the Fun Mom

My husband and I both like to make people laugh, but he reeeeeally likes it and cannot help performing for his easiest, cutest, most enthusiastic audience: our kids. So he is the “Fun Dad,” making me, by default, the “Mean Mom.” Well, not exactly mean, but the Boring, Serious, Responsible Mom. Which in my kids’ minds pretty much equals mean. ...more
aoi Ha, I think you are right about the youngest! I can totally see that with both my husband, ...more

American Girl Craze: Cute or Creepy?

My girls adore their American Girl dolls, even my oldest (8-year old tomboy) who has never been into dolls is crazy about Kaya the Native American doll and her horse Steps High. My younger two (almost-7 and almost-4) love to wear matching outfits with their dolls, McKenna and a rotating-name Bitty Baby. American Girl encourages this cloning behavior: the store and catalog are filled with identical outfits for girl and doll. You can even customize your doll to look like you – picking out skin tone, hair color/length/style and eye color....more
I can't imagine why your husband would not want to be involved in this!  The camp out photo is ...more

For Better, For Worse

Do you know how your kids are always so much better behaved for other people – teachers, babysitters, your friends – than they are for you? And when you tell people stories about how bad they can be at home, you can tell they don’t really believe you? I used to think it was unfair. Why do my husband and I always have to suffer the meltdowns, the drama, the fighting?  ...more