Category Archives: Family Life

How my teenager improved my day without saying a word

Parenting teenagers can be really difficult sometimes. They don’t listen. They talk back. They scream at you. You are the worst mom in the whole world. So-and-so’s mom would never make her kids do that. They hate you. You ruin EVERYTHING. They can’t wait to move out of your house and live their own lives without you breathing down their necks all the time.

But then…. sometimes a little thing can happen that makes you forget all of that, even if it’s just for a little while. You get a tiny breakthrough.

Today I let my 16-year-old spend the night at a friend’s house, and as a surprise I brought them some pizza and a 2-litre of his favorite, highly caffeinated soda. His friend’s mom was thankful and we had a brief chat while the boys gathered plates and cups. My son came over and said thank you, which was nice. BUT THEN…. he gave me a hug. Not just a half-second, one-armed teenager-in-front-of-his-friends hug, but a real, two-armed, “you are the best mom ever” kind of hug (in full view of his friend!)

*Cue exploding heart*

Day = made.

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Posted by on February 8, 2015 in Family Life, Life in General


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Road trips with children are not for the faint of heart

Road trips with children are not for the faint of heart
Disclaimer: This is not my friend's baby. Or mine for that matter. Source:

Disclaimer: This is not my friend’s baby. Or mine for that matter.

So, remember in my last post several weeks ago, where I made a passing reference to a two-day road trip with my friend and her kids, and promised I would write about it later? Okay, so this is a bit later than I originally intended, but here it is.

Despite what I and many other people predicted for a road trip with two young kids, it was actually mostly uneventful. We left a little later than originally planned (as I expected), made a few extra restroom stops (as I expected), and had some difficulty locating gas stations where we could fill up my friend’s car which runs on diesel fuel (I admit this was unexpected because I didn’t actually know there were still cars that run on deisel fuel).

There was one minor incident where I falsely accused the toddler of having a poopy diaper, even though she insisted that she had not pooped. It turns out she was indeed telling the truth and her diaper was clean and then I felt like a complete a-hole. In my defense, we had just passed a cattle ranch or something because the smell of poo was powerful and ubiquitous. But that was not the most exciting thing that happened on the trip.

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Posted by on August 14, 2014 in Family Life, Schadenfreude for you


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I guess finding runaway dogs is my superpower

I guess finding runaway dogs is my superpower

As many of you might be aware, I am a dog person. I mean, I am a person who loves dogs, not a person who is part dog as well as person. Obviously. Anyway, I have always loved dogs as far back as I can remember. One time when I was about 4 years old and I snuck out of the house (frightening the crap out of my poor babysitter) so I could sneak into a neighbor’s garage to play with their puppies.*

In what is probably a classic stroke of ironic karma, nearly all of the dogs I have had in my life have managed to sneak off at least once, much like I did all those years ago. Not to point fingers, but usually it is because some younger humans leave a door or gate open when they shouldn’t. Sometimes the dogs came back when we called them, sometimes we found them while out combing the neighborhood, and sometimes they were returned to us by friendly folks who got our phone number off their name tags. Anyway, they’ve always come back to us in one way or another, but that doesn’t make it any less terrifying when it happens; I always worry that this will be the time when they don’t come back at all.

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One small step for a man, one giant leap for me

One small step for a man, one giant leap for me

After dinner on Tuesday my teenagers asked to go to the library. And by “asked”, I mean repeatedly begged. And by “after dinner”, I mean starting the minute I got home from work and continuing every 15 minutes after that. Normally there’s no time for this kind of thing on a weeknight but thanks to the miracle of our crockpot a perfectly cooked roast was waiting for me when I got home from work and we were done eating by 6:30. Since we still had a couple of hours before I send the kids to bed,* I decided a visit to the library would be a nice way to spend the evening.

HOWEVER… Instead of accompanying them into the library, lounging around playing games on my phone and wasting time on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc as I usually do, I decided to do something I had not done in a while. I went to the gym with the intention of running on the treadmill.

I know. I’ll give you a moment to pick your jaw up off the floor and/or clean up the milk you just snorted out of your nose.

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It’s hard to be offended when you put it that way

This morning my coworker noticed that the toilet in the bathroom near our office was plugged. What follows is the paraphrased conversation that ensued.

Mary (a coworker): Hey Deb, the toilet is clogged and I can’t get it cleared with the plunger. Would you call a plumber please?
Deb (other coworker): Kari, you’re probably good at that. Why don’t you give it a try?
Me: Umm.. Why would I be good at that, specifically?
Deb: Well, you’re good at everything else.
Me: Hard to argue with that logic.

As it turns out, I am good at plunging toilets because I did in fact manage to clear the clog. All those years of having children who don’t flush the toilet has finally paid off apparently.

Good times.


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Fargo woman decides to go as a Judgmental, Fat-Shaming Jerkface for Halloween*

Perhaps you have heard this viral story about the Fargo woman who called a local radio station and announced her intention to hand out letters instead of candy to those children who she deems to be “moderately obese”. I’m not sure what gave this woman the idea that it was her duty to assess the general health of every child who comes trick-or-treating to her house this year, nor do I know what sort of education she has that makes her think she is qualified to make that determination based on a few seconds looking at a child in his/her costume. The thing is, it doesn’t matter, because no matter what her education might be, she has no right to pass judgment on children or their parents. I had every intention of writing a reply to “Cheryl” outlining the dangers in her plan, and suggesting some genuinely helpful things she could do instead if she really wanted to encourage children to be healthy.

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Big feet, short hair, and accidental wet t-shirt contests

Big feet, short hair, and accidental wet t-shirt contests

It’s been a while since I last subjected you all to my verbal diarrhea. You’re welcome, I guess? I’d like to say this is all because I don’t exactly have a smartphone anymore,* but it’s probably mostly just because I’m lazy and easily distracted. Today for your reading enjoyment, I will do my best to catch you up on the more entertaining events of the last few weeks.
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Posted by on September 11, 2013 in Family Life, Life in General, Schadenfreude for you


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