5 Weird Unfashionable Trends Seen on my Boys

Okay. I’m the absolute first to admit I don’t have much fashion sense. Any really. I go for comfort: not image. Think Anne Hathaway at the start of The Devil Wears Prada. As a matter of fact, shortly after I graduated college, I lived for 2+ years with two housemates who worked in clothing retail and that, my readers, are the only years I looked properly put together. Namely because my housemates wouldn’t let me out of the house looking like…well…a train wreck. devil-wears-prada_0

Still…I’ve read enough Glamour and Jane to know when things just don’t look right. Or are plain wrong. And this is what I. Just. Don’t. Get. about my boys:


  1. My boys won’t wear jeans. Okay… this one I understand the most. They say they’re uncomfortable. I whole-heartedly disagree, but at least they have a reason. About the only times I can force the boys into jeans are when they’re required for a school performance, when they’re camping, or when the grandparents are accompanying us to mass. And by the way, I’m sure all the moms out there understand how frigging’ easy it is for boys of any age to put a hole in the knee of track pants.
  2. My boys won’t wear long sleeves unless they’re sweatshirts. It’s perfectly acceptable to them to wear short-sleeve T-shirts no matter what the season or occasion. What does this mean exactly? It means in winter they each wear their 4 or 5 sweatshirts over and over and over again (along with their 5 or 6 track pants). It means they each have closets full of really nice long-sleeve T-shirts. Largely unworn. With the tags on. Note to my family readers: Don’t buy the boys long-sleeves. Ever.
  3. My boys can’t seem to match their socks to their clothes. One is big into the brightly colored socks. Brightly. Colored. I just don’t get it: If you wear track pants and a red t-shirt, why wouldn’t you wear your bright red socks? Because he also has bright neon green socks, too. And also, if you have tons of new bright socks as well as new socks from Christmas, why do you keep wearing your stand-bye smelly, fugly, hole-y socks that you take back out of the garbage if I throw out? And then there’s Thing 1: His socks are all over the house. Everywhere but the hamper. So it’s really not my fault that when he wears all dark clothes, all of his black socks aren’t clean and he’s relegated into white ones.


    The epitome of fashion: short-sleeves (in January), track pants and super neon socks.

  4. One boy won’t wear button shirts. If I pull one out of the closet for a wedding or school picture it’s accompanied by screaming and full-on rage mode. Rage mode is quite scary. It’s like he remembers when he was a baby that I wouldn’t put him in buttons for fear one would come off and he’d choke on it. And 10+ years later he still hasn’t forgotten this baby tip. Buttons to Thing 2 are like styrofoam to Bolt.
  5. The other boy thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to walk out of the house in five wildly clashing shades of blue. Or four different colors of camouflage. I get that in girls, particularly toddlers and pre-schoolers, mis-matched patterns are often stylish. Especially that ill-colored but totally necessary tutu fashion accessory. But not on boys. I can’t stand it when he leaves the house looking like he’s going out hunting but first wants the deer to be scared off bellowing.



So there you go: my top 5. If I thought even longer and harder about it, I could probably come up with at least ten more. But if I don’t get this post published soon, I never will. I will thank the recent snow-pocalypses for giving me two extra minutes to get this done. And by the way, as I sit here typing, I am wearing jeans, a green sweatshirt (because, after all, it is February) and matching socks with green on them. Because I don’t roll like my homies.

Chopped Junior in ‘da house, aka the evening I retired from the kitchen for about an hour

It’s no big secret that thing 2 and sometimes thing 1 whine about what I serve for dinner. It may have something to do with the fact that I try to plan an array of varied (true) and healthy (not quite as true) meals since I think eating the same thing night after night is tedious. I mean… really… who can eat chicken nuggets every frickin’ night? Is it even chicken? Their whining might have more to do with the fact that thing 2 has a very particular palate (true), and thing 1 just likes to complain a lot (you bet your ass true).

A couple of nights ago… they staged a revolt. They insisted they wanted to make their own dinners that evening. I believe Nate phrased it something to the effect of my working too hard and needing a night off (not really true since I would still have to slave over a hot stove for the hubs, Sweet Pea and I). Having recently discovered the goodness of soy sauce, Matt was perfectly honest that he wanted to make something with lots of it that night. At any rate, I decided not to argue and let them figure (f***?) it out themselves.


Above is what thing 1 came up with. Not how I would make pizza bagels, but then again I would never blasphemize a bagel by using cut-up hot-dogs as a substitute for pepperoni. Yet overall… not too shabby. Then again, he’s 12. He already nukes his own Chef Boyardee and make his own sandwiches. Oh, and occasionally brushes his own teeth and cleans his own room, but that’s another story. (I did say occasionally, right?) He even cleaned up the tomato sauce he dribbled in several places with his fingers and his tongue.

Number 2’s dinner: Well… it was not quite as palatable. He also began with mini-bagels. Unfortunately, he had to improvise at the eleventh hour when he ran out of an ingredient because Sandy ate it. For those of you who only know me through this blog, Sandy is our 5-month-old hound/retriever puppy. These actions landed Sandy Lou-Hoo in the dog-house.


Bad Thing 4!

Having only half a mini-bagel and needing a top to his “sandwich,” he settled on a hamburger bun. Somewhat logical, I’ll give him that. But inside his **creation**, it was (cue Ted Allen) “Chefs, please open your baskets:”

  • Hot dog slices
  • Leftover white rice
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Soy sauce

OMG, his disgusting creation is below. I just vomited in my mouth a little adding that picture and remembering that night. And although it took them about 45 minutes to concoct their creations compared to the 20 minutes it took me to prepare a nutritious (not true … insert serious snark) meal to the rest of us, thing 1 and thing 2 ate their dinners. And never complained once. And in our house, 15 minutes of whine-free dining is gold.


I Can’t Even…



Sometimes you CAN handle the truth: It’s just too gross … and depressing.

My two-year-old is in an “I’ll follow you everywhere, mommy” stage. It’s not separation anxiety: She’s perfectly happy to run off and not even wave good-bye to me at pre-preschool drop-off. It’s more the, “If we’re in the same house, it’s not good enough that I can hear you” stage. She wants to see my eyes at all time to make sure I’m paying attention to her, like when she’s picking her nose, adopting my Elaine-like dance moves, or just being her sweet little self.

Which is why it was not surprising when she followed me — having just finished a cup of my husband’s highly-leaded coffee — when I needed to see a man about a wallaby this morning. (Confused? Haven’t watched Finding Nemo three-hundred-and-one times? Then see my previous work of literary genius:
http://mom2mandn.com/2014/04/30/everybody-poops-sometime-you-know-that-everybody-poops-cue-r-e-m-background-music/ .)


What WAS surprising was that my usually unintelligible two-year-old followed me and then shrieked, clear as day “What is that awful smell mommy?” Yeah… like hers smell like roses. Not.

The Truth No One Tells You About Children #10606: You will never use the bathroom in peace again without a toddler present in the already small loo, a small child standing right outside the door screaming for milk, or a teenager demanding undeserved money and car keys. You will never use the bathroom in peace again unless 1) you save all your wallabies for while the children are in grammar school, 2) they are out wasting all your hard-earned money at a $25,000/year college getting a liberal arts degree, or 3) they are, again, wasting all your money in the rent-free apartment you set them up in at age eighteen (bribing them to move out so you could, once again, relive your child-free days by using the bathroom in peace and perhaps even have uninterrupted sex if your equipment is still working by then).

See… I can do it too, Jim Gaffigan! Please, somebody give me a book deal!

Sleepeating: Part II

Yeah… yeah… yeah… Haven’t published anything in ages: I know. Maybe it’s because my last totally stellar entry on Intergalactic Parenting last year only got a few likes here and on Facebook. C’mon people: I have feelings too! **sniff** **sniff**

Anyhoo, guess who’s back? Back again. Amy’s back… yet again. I had something I just had to share. Amy’s completely loyal followers — like, all 25 of them — will surely remember the fantabulous entry about Matt’s adventures in sleep-eating. Don’t remember? Allow me to refresh that pre-Alzheimer’s brain of yours:


Yeah… I know… that was a great entry, right?

Well it pleases me to no end to let you know we have another sleep-eater in the family: Sweet Pea. And she looks just as sweet sleep-eating as the Mattie-Monster. Let me show you:

In the jungle, belly totally sated from Skyline Chili Dip, the lion sleeps tonight.

In the jungle, belly totally sated from Skyline Chili Dip, the lion sleeps tonight.

Okay… so it might totally also be the direct result of both refusing to nap today and spending an hour or so running around outside with her brothers and some friends. Either way, this momma is shedding tears of pride that another of the O’Brien clan not only appreciates the world’s best chili, but also is skilled enough to use her time that efficiently that she can both eat and sleep at the same time.

She truly is a gifted child (and she takes after her mother).

This blog entry to be continued when I have more pictures of my daughter’s skill to share. She hasn’t been on this planet as long as Matt but I’m confident she’ll be able to give him a run for his money.

Intergalactic Parenting

We have owned the book, Darth Vader and Son, by Jeffrey Brown, for quite some time now. Pretty sure it was a gift for the hubs from some other poor sap of a dad in the know. Not sure why it took a frigid, cold, boring weekend for me to finally glance through it: Maybe because it’s Vader and Son instead of Padme and the Padawans. At any rate, once I finally perused of the pictures, a couple of them almost made me wet my pants. See, if Vader raised Luke, it would actually be quiet similar to my trials and tribulations in raising Nate-O, Mattie Monster and Sweet Pea. Parenting is parenting, whether it’s the 21st century here on Earth, or Yoda only knows what century on the Death Star. Here are some examples — cartoons by Mr. Brown, captions mine — of the common threads in the space-time continuum.

One ruler's trash is a kid's forbidden and filthy treasure.

One ruler’s trash is a kid’s forbidden and filthy treasure.

It takes the power of the Dark Side to potty-train the pee-filled padawans.

It takes the power of the Dark Side to potty-train the pee-filled padawans.

Tossing the toys in the Sarlac pit is preferable to the inefficient time-out tantrum.

Tossing the toys in the Sarlac pit is preferable to the inefficient time-out tantrum.

Choose your battles: The younglings have the power of the dark "why."

Choose your battles: The younglings have the power of the dark “why.”

Whatever they need to show you or tell you cannot wait til you come out of the powder room.

Whatever they need to tell you cannot possibly wait til you come out of the powder room, so ALWAYS have your game face on.

The Force and The Dark Side are no match for the power of The Snack: It always seals the deal.

The Force and The Dark Side are no match for The Snack: It always seals the deal.

Even ousted Jedi Masters consider leaving them by the side of the orbit.

Even ousted Jedi Masters consider leaving them by the side of the orbit.

...And most importantly, never, NEVER wait on the vadectomy.

…And most importantly, never, NEVER wait on the vadectomy.

“All About That Bass” – MY version

So… if you don’t know who Meghan Trainor is by now, then I guess your kids are not “all about that bass” as much as mine are. Hell… ‘lil Peyton is so obsessed with the song that I have to sing it to her before naps, bouncing her in the air on each word “treble” as we walk to her room (Did I mention she doesn’t sleep in a closet any more?). It’s the only fail-safe way I can guarantee she won’t go screaming into the crib. So when you’re singing the song as much as I do, and you fashion yourself as the female Weird Al, naturally you can’t help but create your own version. Related to your kids, of course. And before you ask: Is this strictly for everyone’s entertainment value? Well…yes! But it is true I had a cleaning lady “fire” our house. (Oh the shame of it!) My current girl probably only keeps the job ’cause she has six slobs of her own in one of those Carol-meets-Mike-Brady-type families. So here goes that mess:

“All About That Mess”
copyright 2014

Because you know I’m all about that mess,
‘Bout that mess, no cleanin’
I’m all about that mess, ’bout that mess, no cleanin’
I’m all about that mess, ’bout that mess, no cleanin’
I’m all about that mess, ’bout that mess (mess…mess…mess)

Yeah it’s pretty clear, I have three kids at home
Enough toys to fill up the friggin’ Superdome
I’ve got a vac-cuum, but no social graces
All the cheap crap in all the wrong places.
I see those perfect ones cleaning up their shit
We know you beat them kids vaccuum mom
Come now, look at my pit
Ain’t no Susie-Q didn’t raise ’em right
Just a filthy slobby mommy
And my time ain’t worth their fight.

You know a housekeeper said that she could not clean up our house?
‘Cause if she did then each time she would feel the strong need to de-louse.
Too many Legos, hot wheels, grease-covered toys and stuffed dolls,
So, you germ-a-phobe white-glove-type mommies
Just move along.

Because you know I’m all about that mess,
‘Bout that mess, no cleanin’
I’m all about that mess, ’bout that mess, no cleanin’
I’m all about that mess, ’bout that mess, no cleanin’
I’m all about that mess, ’bout that mess  (Hey)

joe's apartmentI’m bringing Joe’s Apartment back
Singin’ roaches that have got the knack
Enough spilled Cheerios to make them fat,
I’m here to tell you when your kids are full of grime
A slimy roach has got the time.

You know a housekeeper said that she could not clean up our house?
‘Cause if she did then each time she would feel the strong need to de-louse
Too many Legos, hot wheels, grease-covered toys and stuffed dolls,
So, you germ-a-phobe white-glove-type mommies
Just move along…ooooooou!

Because you know I’m all about that mess,
‘Bout that mess, no cleanin’
I’m all about that mess, ’bout that mess, no cleanin’
I’m all about that mess, ’bout that mess, no cleanin’
I’m all about that mess, ’bout that mess (repeat 3xs)

hey hey yeah yeah ….oooooooou!


“Cleaning the house while the kids are still growing is like shoveling the drive when the snow is still blowing.” – Famous quote by some mom who gets it.


It’s just another Manic Sunday, and my boys are nuts

My boys think it’s absolutely nirvana to dine on Chef Boyardee Beefaroni and ABCs & 123s, mixed together, for lunch. This is a creation lazily slopped together once by dad in an effort not to use too many microwave bowls. Now it’s a regular request. One day, just to mess with them, I think I might throw in a little Franco American Spaghettios! And do you know what I like to do when there’s only one can of said deliciousness left in the house? I hide it behind the canned vegetables for myself! Surely they would never, ever look behind those, right?

Note the whole grain variety: I only serve wholesome foods here. ;)

Note the whole grain variety: I only serve wholesome foods here. (Hardee-Har-Har!)

In other news, after said gourmet lunch the boys have spent their Sunday afternoon gathering together every single solitary acorn in the yard and placing them in the back of the toy ride-on tractor in the garage. Chef Dad, creator of the Boyardee miracle, explained to them that the squirrels need those nuts to make it through the winter. So the boys explained they will be dragging their stash back outside in an effort to fairly redistribute them in a first ever socialistic squirrel welfare-state. I would liken it to food stamps, but the logistics behind that are a little too much for their 9 and 6-year-old brains. Plus, I’m not letting them have all the printer paper so they can design said stamps, even if it does keep my little nut-jobs occupied! Why aren’t their teachers giving them more homework, anyway? Geez!

Sloppy Joes… Slop…Sloppy Joes. Sloppy Joes… Slop…Sloppy Joes. -Adam Sandler

Otherwise titled: Three Ways to Eat a Sloppy Joe

The Nate (a.k.a. “Sandwich Style”) – Hamburger meat in Sloppy Joe sauce sandwiched into a bun. However, no matter how much or how little meat, Sloppy Joe sauce will inevitably run all down hands and arms and potentially hit sleeves if not thwarted by the closest napkin or paper towel. Use spoon to scrape excess lost meat off plate. Consider licking plate when parental units aren’t looking. Or, brazenly, while they are looking.

The Matt (a.k.a. “Oreo Style”) – Again, same starting concept. However, remove top bun first and consume. Then, use fingers to eat meat. Discard any found chunks of pepper or tomato in small pile on table to the side of dinner plate. Resume eating soggy bottom bun with a fork. Leave remnants of sauce on chin, upper lip, and in corners of mouth until bed-time.

The Peyton (a.k.a “Chipmunk Style”) – Begin with tiny pieces of squashed down flat Sloppy Joe sandwich scattered over high-chair tray. Stuff all pieces into mouth at one time until cheeks puff out. Place excess chunks in hair, ears and nose for safe keeping. Require disgruntled spot cleaning followed by a bath splash-down.


The Mom – Tupperwares excess Sloppy Joe to pursue the same adventure as leftovers in a couple days. Keep Calm and Sloppy On.


She didn’t Swear I Swear

Sometime last week, in a moment of absolute mommy clumsiness, I dropped and broke a Corning Ware French White ceramic baker that I use regularly. I mean… I really couldn’t help but say “Oh shit,” as it was a wedding present that until that day had survived 13+ years. And really… there’s nothing wrong with saying “Oh shit” (see my previous post about how everybody poops), until your husband swears he heard your then fifteen-month-old daughter repeat it outside a few hours later. Granted, I’m not sure I believe the hubs: Peyton has a vocabulary of maybe 5 words tops, and a certain someone probably wants to take the heat off himself for all the swear-words the boys have learned from him. However, she IS in full-on parrot attempt mode right now. My closest friends won’t even let me bring her to our Wednesday breakfasts anymore for fear she’ll repeat something they’ve said about their ass hole husbands. So… perhaps there is some validity in what both the hubs and Peyton are saying.

And so, I’d like to now bring your attention to this recent picture of Peyton. I love it because I think there is a sweet, almost angel-like softening of her features, probably because she wouldn’t pose and hold still and mom was also using a camera phone. But herein is my point:

Sweet Pea ain't going to be so sweet and angelic once mommy is through with her.

Sweet Pea ain’t going to be so sweet and angelic once mommy is through with her.


Oh shit.

The land of the misfit toys

When the kid(s) are away, mom definitely does not get to play. As Matt is visiting his grandparents up north, mom decided to tackle cleaning out his old car bed. Minus a mattress for a couple years now, the car bed had become a receptacle for unwanted toys and breeding ground for toy sets with 300+ pieces.

Inside the cavernous shell of a car were enough toys to fund, albeit “cheaply,” our local Toys for Tots drive. I filled a giant trash bag full of shit, which included (but was not limited to) enough cheap ass Burger King and McDonalds Happy Meal toys to prove we could have provided fast and questionable food to a very, very, small, undeveloped country.

We all have this plasti-crap.

We all have this plasti-crap.

I found all the missing puzzle pieces for puzzles I had long since failed to garage sale and ultimately sent to a land-fill without their missing friends. There were enough Matchbox and Hot Wheels to film a remake of Gone in 60 Seconds, a sequel, and perhaps the entire Fast and Furious series. (I kept these. Kids never outgrow Hot Wheels. And lately they’ve become great teething toys for Peyton. Don’t laugh. I’m not kidding.)

Finally, while the legos are supposed to be confined to the basement, I believe the car bed Sarlac pit had swallowed enough legos that all the Kragle in the world wouldn’t have made a difference. Kragle

I finally emptied that sucker. Finally. At least I didn’t find anything nesting or moving. So guess what, I’m celebrating the lack of pill bugs in all that mess by having a drink. 🙂 Surprise, surprise.

Have a good night.

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