my track record is suffering

There have been moments since my oldest child was born that I have felt a bit cocky about my parenting abilities.  You know those events when you simply do or say the exact right thing and walk away feeling like the best mother in the world.  Unfortunately, my track record has suffered lately, as I have made a series of parenting mistakes.  For example, I allowed my four-year-old to walk around with pneumonia for three weeks before taking her to the doctor–not a stellar move on my part.  And last week when my youngest was throwing a tantrum over the fact that our new puppy didn’t want to snuggle with her, I said, “The next time you scream like that you better have a bone sticking out and blood gushing all over the floor.”  Perhaps not the most nurturing of responses.

Last night I went out to dinner with my girlfriends.  My oldest daqughter, Meg, was at soccer practice when I left, and I didn’t see her until I returned home.  When I walked in the door, she asked, “So, what teachers did you meet?”

I looked a bit like this:

deer in the headlights

deer in the headlights

as it dawned on me that while I was chatting, laughing, and eating with my girlfriends, hundreds of mothers and fathers where at the high school parent-teacher night, which I totally and completely forgot about.  The other disturbing information that came out of this exchange is that my son, husband, and youngest daughter all knew I was out to dinner, but no one bothered to pass this key piece of news on to Meg.  Apparently, when I am not home no one in my family talks to each other.


the scariest thing

In March, my son turned fifteen, got his learner’s permit, and started driver’s ed.  Cole has been sincerely shocked to discover that being super good at the video game Grand Theft Auto does not necessarily translate into being super good at merging into a roundabout in an actual automobile.  (Side note here:  Cole does not personally own Grand Theft Auto.  That is a violent, nasty video game which he only plays at his friend’s house.  I am confident that not allowing him to own the game makes me a better mother than my neighbor.)

So, Cole and I were out practicing his driving when he sneezed twice in quick succession.  After his final sneeze, eyes wide open, he gripped the steering wheel and straightened himself stiffly in the seat.

“Holy Crap!” he yelled.  “That is the scariest thing that has ever happened to me.”

I reminded him that his dad died when he was seven.  He has had a cast on his left arm four times.  And there was that time three years ago when he had a hundred and four fever while hiking and had to swim across the Snoqualmie River in order to get back home.

He shook his head.  “No,” he replied, catching his breath.  “Sneezing while driving is the scariest thing I have ever done.”

a solid nine and a half

I have not been in the mood for writing.  I realize this leaves all of you missing me terribly, but give me a break, people; I actually have a life beyond WordPress.  There are two reasons not much blogging has occurred on my end.  One, the weather in the Pacific Northwest has been amazing.  For those of you who live in other parts of the world, here in Washington state, the winter leaves everything with a sticky slime of pale-green moss.  Instead of writing,  I have been pressure washing.  I am sure you were frantic with worry, dying for news on my end, but the truth is my lawn furniture looks amazing and my patio is slime-free.

The second reason I have not been writing is because my family has been particularly boring lately and none of my children have done anything remotely stupid.  Still, it has been awhile, so I decided to fill you in on my Mother’s Day.

Despite the fact that I missed my mom, I had a great day yesterday.  I got toast and coffee in bed and spent my morning watching the finale of Fashion Star.  (spoiler alert: Hunter Bell wins).  Last year for Mother’s Day, I got some Target bubble bath and a giant Hershey’s bar.  I have been complaining about these gifts for a full year.  So, this year my four-year-old made me a card and did her very best lettering.  My fifteen-year-old son made me a tin and copper ring which he soldered himself.  My seventeen-year-old daughter bought me some Dior makeup (which I pretty much told her to buy and circled in a catalogue).  And my husband gave me a poster-sized photo of himself.  Fortunately, my husband has an administrative assistant who told him, “you can’t just give Kate a giant photo of yourself.” and directed Tim to the Red Door Spa where he smartly purchased a gift certificate :).

My oldest child made me salmon fettuccine for dinner, but I still had to clean up the dishes.  On a scale of one to ten, my day was a nine and a half.


pressure washed patio and super clean lawn furniture. I have been very busy!

giant photo of Mr. Congeniality.

giant photo of Mr. Congeniality.


ring made by my son


mother’s day card and gifts

apparently my son is a sexy beast

My son recently celebrated his fifteenth birthday, and once he put together his lawn mowing money and his birthday money, he had enough to buy a new snowboard.

He found the board he was after, and I gave him my credit card and permission to buy the item.

The snowboard came in the mail today and while I was cleaning up the box and paperwork, I noticed that my son had the snowboard company include a gift note with the board.  Cole had written this gift note to himself.  It says, “Cole you are a sexy beast.  Here is your premium fancy snowboard. Your future self.”

When I asked him about the note he said, “The website asked me if it was a gift.  I said yes. Then they asked if I wanted to include a gift note.  Heck yeah, I wanted a gift note, so I wrote one for myself.  Now that I know the note is an option, I’m gonna do that every time I order something.”


Note my son wrote to himself.

Note my son wrote to himself.

the Easter Bunny is not mentally challenged

Yesterday was Easter, and I hid eggs and baskets for my three kids ’cause even though my oldest is seventeen, she will still get out of bed early for jelly beans.  My four-year-old woke first and immediately found a chocolate egg.  She began searching and had amassed quite a stock-pile before her siblings came downstairs.

My son, who just turned fifteen, started looking for his basket, which I had hidden in the kitchen cupboard, but he kept looking past it and couldn’t seem to find it.  In his frustration, he began making disparaging remarks about the Easter Bunny, knowing of course that I AM THE EASTER BUNNY.

Looking straight at me he asked, “Do you think the Easter Bunny hid anything upstairs?”

“No,” I replied.  “I am sure the Easter Bunny stayed down stairs.”

“Why?  Was she too lazy to hide eggs upstairs?”

“No, I am sure she is a very hard-working bunny who didn’t want to wake your lazy butt up.”

“Why would she have woken me up?  Is she really fat with giant thumping feet?”

“No,” I insisted.  “She is quite a skinny bunny with very sweet little feet.”

“No, I’m pretty sure she is fat.  I bet she had a big bag of jelly beans and while she was filling these plastic eggs she probably ate half the bag of candy herself.”

I had no defense for this accusation.  I had indeed eaten some jelly beans.

During our conversation, my son continued unsuccessfully to find his basket.  “She’s mentally challenged, isn’t she?” he said.  “The Easter Bunny is a little off.”

“I suggest you quit talking smack about the Easter Bunny or she is going to eat the ears off your chocolate rabbit.”

Cole inhaled loudly, “CANIBAL!” he sneered.


Broken Arm Update:

I have mentioned many times that my son broke his arm several weeks ago.  He was due to have his cast taken off next Friday.  On Saturday, we were running errands and Cole decided to stay in the car while I ran into the store.  When I returned he had removed his cast by using the serrated edge of the car key.  “You were gone a long time,” he said.  “I got a little bored.”

Winter Weight Update:

I have officially lost three pounds and officially gained one pound back.  On the upside, I had my body fat tested and only 23% of my body is fat.  That means that under all this cellulite I am totally ripped!




just a small puddle

Several weeks ago, I wrote about how my fourteen-year-old son broke his arm snowboarding.  A few days later I described his incessant begging to be allowed to snowboard despite the cast on his arm.

Last weekend, I caved completely, and he spent the whole day on the slopes.  We woke up Sunday to piles of fresh powder, and I simply couldn’t take the pleas a minute longer.  He spent half of Saturday whispering, “YOLO, Mom.  YOLO.” (You only live once).

He returned Sunday with a giant grin on his face.

“How was it?” I asked.

“Today was the best day of my life,” he said.

“Really?” I laughed.

“Seriously, Mom.  Someday I will tell my grandchildren about the day I shredded the BC gnar pow with a broken arm.”  (BC=back country.  gnar pow=gnarley powder)

My son’s back country experience occurred eight days ago, but yesterday I let him snowboard again.  There are times in my experience as a mother when I simply can’t ignore my child’s unbridled enthusiasm, and the past couple weeks have been an obvious reminder of that.

Around noon my son met up with me, and asked if I would head over to the west lodge and sign a release form so he could enter a snowboard competition.

“What type of competition?” I asked.  “Is it a race?”

“No,” Cole replied.  “It’s not a race.  You have to snowboard down the hill and make it across this man-made puddle.  They are giving away Lib Tech Boards.”

My son covets the highly sought-after, highly expensive Lib Tech boards.  Still, I needed to know more about this competition.

“Do you have to do a trick or jump across the water?”

My son became increasingly elusive.  He employed all his powers of persuasion without actually describing the puddle he would be boarding across.

We headed over to the west lodge so I could take a look myself.

The man-made PUDDLE!!!

The man-made PUDDLE!!!

The puddle was the length of a swimming pool.  I spoke to the man putting the finishing touches on the water feature.  “Is it hard to get across?” I asked.

He shook his head.  “It’s pretty easy to get across,” he said.  “Of course some people dive in on purpose.”

“Why on earth would anyone dive in on purpose?”

“There is a prize for biggest splash,” he said.

At this point I glared at my son who refused to make eye contact, and I knew without a doubt he was planning to attempt biggest splash.

We bickered, but in the end, his twinkly eyes and winning smile got the best of me.  Cole, broken arm and all, went for biggest splash yesterday and was beaten by the only little girl in the competition who crashed completely and had to be saved by ski patrol.  Still, he loved every minute of it.

Cole, soaking wet after his biggest splash.  Afterwards, he spent several hours with a hair dryer attempting to dry out his cast.

Cole, soaking wet after his biggest splash. Afterwards, he spent several hours with a hair dryer attempting to dry out his cast.

my resolve is weakening

Years ago, I had a labrador retriever named King Oberon.  He had a severe case of obsessive-compulsive disorder; he simply could not stop playing fetch.  If he could see a tennis ball but was unable to reach it, he would pace hysterically.  He would pause with the ball in view and jump repeatedly trying to capture the ball for himself.  He barked, whined, yelped, and twitched nervously until someone came along and threw the ball for him to chase down.

Our black lab, King Oberon.  March 1994 - January 2005

Our black lab, King Oberon (March 1994 – January 2005) with my two oldest. They used to be so cute, now they are just messy and demanding.

My fourteen-year-old son is exactly the same way when it comes to snowboarding.  He sees snow and begins to pace, twitch, and whine until you release him to the slopes.

Unfortunately, you know by my last blog post, Cole broke his arm snowboarding a few days ago.  He spent most of yesterday attempting to convince me to allow him to snowboard despite the cast on his left arm.  Following are a list of his pleas, which I will translate for you:

“Mom, can I please go shred the gnar-pow?”

TRANSLATION:  Mom, can I please go snowboarding; it snowed recently and the powder is gnarly (in this case, gnarly is a good thing)

“Mom, I promise I won’t go BC, and I won’t hit anything jenky.”

TRANSLATION:  I promise I won’t go into the back country, and I won’t go down anything too treacherous.

“I’ll totally zag the wells and skirt the bomb holes.”

TRANSLATION:  I will avoid tree wells and deep holes.  (a tree well is the area directly beneath a pine tree where the branches protect the ground from snow thus creating a giant well or hole.  A bomb hole is an area of ungroomed terrain where the snow has settled or caved-in thus creating a pit.)

“Please, Mom, I won’t even lob the rollers.”

TRANSLATION:  I won’t launch myself off jumps.

My son is exactly like my labrador, and I must admit his constant whining is weakening my resolve.  By next weekend, I may cave completely, and if I let my son snowboard with a cast on his arm, I will either be the most neglectful mom in the world, or the most awesome mom in history.

However, if I let him go, I plan to remind him that if he breaks his other arm, no one in this family will help him use the bathroom.

Cole's cast.  It took me three tries to get this photo.  My obscene son kept raising his middle finger just as snapped the picture

Cole’s cast. It took me three tries to get this photo. My obscene son kept raising his middle finger just as I snapped the picture