Tag Archives: Monday Listicles

Thank You Summer—Jimmy Fallon Style

jimmy Fallon

Nobody does gratefulness like Jimmy Fallon. His Thank-You Notes make US grateful we have a DVR, because Erin goes to bed too early to see him live.


1. Thank you, summer, for exquisite sunsets and blogging for making it impossible to just sit here and enjoy it.

2. Thank you chemistry for protecting our kids from summer’s dangers with a marinade of DEET, chlorine, and SPF. Brussel Sprouts should totally counteract this.

3.Thank children for taking turns being pains in the asses over an entire week. It would totally suck to have a full day of summer bliss.

4. Thank you fabulously fit people at the pool for proving once and for all that the government guidelines regarding fitness are utter crap. If you want to walk up stairs without a coronary, thirty minutes a day is just fine. If you want to rock a bikini, you are gonna need to move into the gym and swap your kids for protein shakes.

5. Thank you easy breezy schedules for letting us sleep in every day, letting us hang out every evening, and  giving our kids the freedom to constantly bug us for sleepovers. Nothing says easy like a house full of other people’s kids.

6. Thank you lower gas prices for making it possible for us to hang out in real life. Communicating with each other through our joint Twitter account was getting old and making us a little creepy to our followers.

7. Thank you, crazy people, for being consistent and keeping it up over the summer. We wouldn’t know what to do if you surprised us and gave us the summer off from your reign of insane.

8. Thank you air conditioning for preventing fratricide and swamp butt. Our kids appreciate living to see the light of a new day and, well, crack sweat is not attractive on anybody.

9. Thank you X-treme Sports for making us think we should teach our kids to paddle-board this summer. And kayak. And rock climb. And mountain bike. Instead of, you know, just swim.

10. Thank you soccer ball for hours of baby-sitting and all around knock-in-the-head fun, thus allowing us time to sit here and write this list while lifting our heads every once in awhile to watch the sunset.


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The Anti-Stay-At-Home Life With Kids

We have spent many years living under the title of Stay-At-Home Moms. SAHMs if you will. But today we are here to once and for all cry bullshotskies on that title because we are NEVER home. Seriously. It would make more sense for us to sell our homes and just rove the countryside in RVs. Bonus? We’d never have to use a nasty soccer field port-a-pot again. (You know that idea is so intriguing you want to Google recreational vehicles right this minute.)

Most of this roving is because of the ordinary – sports practices, school plays, haircuts, and dentist appointments. But sometimes the Anti-Stay-At-Home life is a slice of pure adventurous pleasure. Where adventure is concerned, a picture is often worth a thousand words. (Especially when you are recovering from an epic blog conference.)

The Anti-Stay-At-Home-Life With Kids

Just add water . . .

In The Pool

Ellen’s Backyard

Tubing On The River

Gunpowder Falls (Relax, no one shot over a waterfall in a tube.)

In The Canoe

Pocomoke State Park

On The Lake

Deep Creek Lake

On The Rocks

Jane’s Island State Park

Or take it to the air . . .



Rock Climbing

The Delaware Rock Gym

But there are adventures galore on land too.

On The Road

Lost on the road, Anywhere State Park

The Abandoned Mine

Deep Creek Lake State Park

On The Road

Assateague Island, Maryland


New Germany State Park


Thank you to Stasha at Monday Listicles for inspiring us to remember that while we were blessed to choose the stay-at-home life for many years, how we “stay” at home is purely up to us.

Ellen and Erin


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If Moms Formed Rock Bands

Kim from Let Me Start By Saying wrote an epic post How Being a Parent is Like Being a Rock Star. It plays so true. Check out this little sampling.

7. Groupies follow you to the bathroom.

But this got us to thinking, if we are rock stars, and oh hellz yeah we are, we need a band, right? But motherhood is ever changing, so the band that would be right for us today might not be right for us tomorrow. So without further ado . . .


If Moms Formed Rock Bands

1. Magnificent People Makers

So maybe we can agree Adam Levine is hardcore, but he’s not carry a baby in his uterus for nine months then rocket it out of of his body hardcore. That’s what we’re talking about. Shakira represent!

2. Crushed Colic Cowgirls

We would rather ride bucking broncos being chased by bulls with Thor threatening to strike us with his hammer than live through one more second of colic.

3. Weaning Breast Milk Blossoms

Plain White T’s are so 2000s;  drippy over-sized t’s are where it’s at. Ladies, let’s show our excitement for this trend! Don’t let us down!

4. Smashing Peas

Concerts would be epic. Can you imagine a mosh pit filled with pureed legumes?

5. Toddler Safety Patrol

Have you heard our hit song No-Stitches-No-Broken-Glass-No-Pennies-In-Outlets-No-Shaved-Cats-Ever-On-Our-Watch?

6. Playdate Punks

Sometimes this band rocks and sometimes it just makes your ears bleed.

7. The PTA Presidents

This band thrives on drama, back stabbing and passive aggression. We only want to see the new green apple Skittles in our bowl. Understand?

8. The Voices of Reason and The Hormonal Screaming Banshees

This band needs a lot of wine with a side of Jameson. Earplugs would also help-the voices of reason and the banshees could fight over them.

9. Biting Nails

We’re going to have to lay down some awesome tracks to get us through dating, driving, and college applications.

10. Conflicted Empty Nesters

Just hold us. We’re going to need some serious groupie love to get us through. And once again beverages. Of the pinot noir and whiskey variety. It appears the more things change the more they stay the same.

-Ellen & Erin


Thank you Stasha for inspiring us with the Monday Listicle topic  – Real or Imagined Band Names. Check out what everyone else rocked out with.



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Motherhood By the Book

Motherhood doesn’t just change your pants size, your shoe size, and your selection at Victoria’s Secret, Motherhood changes EVERYTHING.  And then it keeps on changing. ALL. THE. TIME. You will just get your parenting stride at a stage, and your little darling is sprinting on to the next one.

To those of you already sporting stretch marks, under eye circles, and the requisite Real-Moms-Take-This-Shizz-Everywhere hand sanitizer, you know we speak The Truth. You know what would make this whole Mom thing easier short of a trainer, an industrial strength leash, and an ironclad agreement with the relatives to babysit every weekend?? Some Sisters to show you the way.

Now we’ve heard there are some great parenting books out there, but, honestly, you won’t have time to read them. Remember what we said about the sprinting?? But we love books, so we took some inspiration from classic books and children’s books to label the stages of Motherhood for you. We did the heavy lifting, so fanfare, please. . .

book stacksisterhoodguide

1. War and Peace

The First Year

Now Erin has never actually read this book, but we heard that it concerns Russia. The title conjures what it feels like in the trenches of your first year with a new baby. It’s either bliss. . . or bombs raining down on you. Prepare to be delighted, completely decimated, and so deprived of sleep you could put on your husband’s underwear and think it’s your own or fall asleep mid-sentence. Not that either of these things has ever happened to either of us.

Unhappy Baby Collage

2. What Do People Do All Day?

The Second Year

Hope you like naming aloud everything you own, see, think, hear, feel, smell, flush down the toilet, etc. because that’s what baby likes. Oh, that’s not for me, you say, my kid’s just chillin’. Well, we say that clearly you have never been at the mercy of a newly mobile but vocabulary-limited tot. YET. They jonez for this stuff like miniature meth addicts cut off from their supplier. Buy every oversized, ridiculously detailed book you can find now to assuage the tiny beasts. Richard Scarry knows. He’s the toddler-whisperer.

3. Where the Wild Things Are

The Third and Fourth Year AKA The Terrible/Terrific Twos and Threes

These kids are adorable but nuts, with a little extra nutty on top. Every time we think back to when our houses were ruled by these fickle tyrants, there is a little catch in our throats. We  do miss our ladies who dressed as princesses or ladybugs every day and our lads bedecked in boots and capes. But it’s a dog-eat-dog world  in the Land of Tod and we’ll give you three guesses who’s their favorite meal. Come to think of it, Lord of the Flies works for this stage too.

Wild Thing Collage with words

4. Interrupting Chicken

The Funny Fabulous Fact-Filled Four Year Old

Erin is 100% convinced that she did not have her attention issues until she had to parent a 4 year old—FIVE TIMES! No sentences are finished, no thoughts completed, no work is done. The four year old runs the place like a miniature Napoleon or Attila the Hun and the only consistent thing he or she is serving up is questions. Note: When the 4 year old inevitably asks you where babies come from or why you and Daddy like to wrestle, deflect, defer, and lie your pants off. You have plenty of time to pay for future counselling.

5. Brave New World 


This stage marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new one, so all that sniffling and carrying on you’re going to do is totally justified. Your baby belongs to the great big world now. And it’s a beautiful, terrible, amazing, nauseating, wondrous sight to see.

kindergarten w glasses and border

6. The Call of the Wild

Early Elementary School

Seriously, kids at this age are powered by sheer force of will and their wily, wily ways. If we could harness it, we would solve the world’s energy needs. Oh, yeah, and they are full throttle without the benefit of forethought or reason. Invest in Band-Aids and mercurochrome and wine.

jump off dock

7. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde

Late Elementary School

As a pre-cursor to the full-blown hormonal onslaught headed your way, Mother Nature gives you a little tapas of what’s to come. Honestly, a lot of the angst comes from having one foot in the Land of the Little Kid and the other in the Acreage of Adolescence, but that doesn’t mean that this stage isn’t sometimes going to keep you up at night or wrangling with each other during the day.

8. Something Wicked This Way Comes 

Middle School

Too dramatic? Maybe, especially when we both actually enjoy our Middle Schoolers and Erin loves teaching this age group. But storms are a-comin’, so you need to be ready to ride them out when they come AND to enjoy the calm seas in between the blow-ups.

bikini umbrella

9. Catch-22

Early Teen

Your tongue might actually hurt from all the times you will hold it. Happy, successful parenting with teens is all about choosing your battles, so often times you may get caught in senseless, absurd situations. We’ll take those over the scary stuff that also sometimes comes with the teen years, but none of it is easy. And <sniff>, you do sense your time together is shortening.

10. Great Expectations

Late Teen

Your baby’s getting ready to spread his or her wings, so there is great talk about the future and plans and what happens next. It’s all exciting and scary and nothing at all like what you imagined when you started this journey, oh so many moons ago.

And you will wonder how you got here so fast.

And then you’ll remember. Oh, the sprinting.



Don’t say we didn’t warn you! Erin and Ellen


We Love Stasha and Her Listicle Ways

Thank you to Stasha for more great Monday Listicle fun! Check out what others wrote or add your own list!



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9 Mom Superpowers Plus Our Kryptonite

Being a mom is like being a superhero. We’re the secret do-gooders who save the world, or at least our little corners of it. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s a whirling dervish of a phenom who can get mess done! But unlike Superman and his silly glasses, our disguises are foolproof —we wrap ourselves in the invisibility cloaks of the mundane. We are so good at flying under the radar that we NEVER get credit for our awesomeness.

Well, that changes today! We are giving credit where credit is due. Are we blowing our covers by revealing our secrets? Don’t insult us. We also emit a mysterious aura that wipes the minds around us as clean as slates. No matter how many times we perform a superpower, they can never remember how we did it. Our jobs are safe, whether we like it or not.

9 Mom Superpowers Plus Our Kryptonite


1. Finding All Things Missing

We think there must be a locator sensor that activates on the X chromosome once women have kids. What else could explain how we are the only ones who can see the “lost” notebooks that are three inches from our kids’ noses? Of course there might be one or two times that our  superpowers slip. Seems that locator sensor is fighting a daily battle with Mom Brain. Every good super hero needs a nemesis and Mom Brain is ours.

*Our Kryptonite*

We’re just going to be upfront with this. In addition to a nemesis, every superhero needs a weakness, every Achilles needs a heel. Missing Socks is ours. Our locator beacons are rendered powerless against them.

What's the big deal you say? Just you wait.

Damn you missing socks! We’ll defeat you one day!

2. Speaking in Frequencies Only Dolphins Can Hear

What else could explain that despite us nagging our kids to pick up towels one million times plus four, they STILL leave them on the floor giving mildew a place to party?

Dolphins listen to Ellen. Why can't her kids?

Dolphins listen to Ellen. Why can’t her kids?

3. Super Sonic Hearing

Yes we can hear a jar of paint being opened on the new carpet in the basement while we’re upstairs folding clothes and talking on the phone. Save yourselves some time, Kids, and stop trying to foil us. You’re no Missing Socks. You’ll never achieve that level of craftiness.

4. Multi-Tasking Marvels

You think Flash Gordon is a blur? Pfft. Watch a mom cook dinner, fold clothes, apply bandages, break up fights, and create zombies in a single swoosh. She’ll even manage to keep the Hello Kitty Band-Aids out of the chicken soup.

5. Chow Time Champions

Speaking of chicken soup . . . Ok, we hear you saying, “Wait, not all moms bake or cook.” Ah ha, those are are the women who were brilliant enough to keep their superpowers completely hidden. We can assure you those women are take-out ninjas or slick enough to have partners who can wield spatulas like maestros.  But if they ever want to let their invisibility cloaks slip to reveal those cooking powers, here are a couple of super easy recipes that will make it worth their whiles.

 Some Kind Of Awesome Creamy Chicken Salsa Soup

Yum. Soup. It's What's For Dinner.

Yum. Soup. It’s What’s For Dinner.

Healthy French Country Crockpot Chicken


6. School Project Warriors

We would never do our kids’ homework because we’re superheroes, not super-dummies. But papier-mâché and Rube Goldbergs just don’t happen without some guidance. And some superhero patience.

Clucking Adorable

Clucking Adorable

7. Travel Triumphants

We wish we could teleport, but our theory is that in evolutionary terms, teleportation  and locator powers could not exist in the same person. Our ancestors melted from the awesomeness and only the locator sensor survived. While we weep ourselves to sleep at night because teleportation was a victim to natural selection, we can rustle up one hell of a car pool.

How To Rustle Up a Mom Posse Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Source: sisterhoodofthesensiblemoms.com via Sisterhood on Pinterest

Mom superpowers are not generic. Think of each mother as part of a Justice League of Estrogen where every woman has her own special skill set. For example . . .


8. Erin Deploys Diplomacy Like a Diva

No one can smooth ruffled feathers better than Erin . . . except when she doesn’t. Uh oh, there’s another kryptonite for Erin—Andy Griffith. Don’t tell Mom Brain or she might collaborate with him to set up a trap.

9. Ellen Calms the Savage Beasts with Cakes

When we say savage beasts we mean hopped-up kids at birthday parties, but it’s really the same thing. Potato, puh-ta-toe. Tomato, little heathens smashing your ceiling fan like a pinata. It’s just a matter of pronunciation.

The mud is actually delicious fudge. In case you were worried.

The mud is actually delicious fudge. In case you were worried.



What is your unique Superpower? Tell us in the comments.

-Ellen and Erin


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Sisterhood Party Pride

We have said it before and we have to say it again: We love to party! And not just for birthdays, anniversaries, and such. Heck, if it’s a day that ends in “Y”, somebody bring the beach balls and the booze and let’s crank up the jams. Anyway, here are. . .

10 Parties That Make Us Proud


1. Irish Girls Do It in Bright Green

I just love that this Irish girl married into a Polish family with a fun-loving real-life Irish Grandmom. We love our GiGi, and all of the fabulous parties that happen on her favorite day each year!

st.patrick's day collage

2. Inside This Box is a Fabulous . . .

Road Trip. With five kids and birthdays that come in bunches, we don’t always go the traditional party route. Often times, we hit the road to celebrate. In fact, Biddie and I are still basking in the glow of our great Northeastern Adventure to celebrate her 13th birthday this past summer.

This picture is one of my favorites though. When Biddie was 10, she was obsessed with the First Ladies. Sorry, 1D! Martha Washington was her first real pin-up! Her birthday was the weekend of the Obama inauguration that year. All she wanted was to get to Washington, DC. Here she is scanning the White House windows looking for a glimpse of one of the Obama girls. Still one of my favorite birthdays ever!

White House

But other times we play it straight and we get. . .

3. The Party That Proved Just How Smart I Am!!

Eddie LOVED all things Star Wars the summer he turned four. We had a pool party and these lightsaber pool noodles were the party favor. Cheap, easy to make, and 10,000 times better than a bag of Dollar Store junk. Every mom and kid loved them! And some still have them!

But there is always a fly in the punch. Check out Eddie’s face behind his cool cupcakes. Darn kid’s ruining my boast! I swear no exorcism was required.



4. True Fans Party on Opening Day

Who parties on the opening day of the Liverpool soccer season? Maybe the family that left their North Caroline beach vacation early to see them play on American soil last summer. This might be taking the term Soccer Mom to a whole new level, but I don’t care. I’m hoping these crazy family traditions are gonna be the things that get these kids home for a visit every once in a while after the big, wide world scatters them to the winds.



5. 40 IS Fabulous!

Especially when you do it Sisterhood Style. We always treat our buddies well on their special day, but this party for our friend Lauri was the best! We went kayaking on the river near her house. Her family even had it planned for us to paddle up to a dock for some beverages and snacks along the way. Kind of like a Kayak Crawl.




Erin’s proud party moments turned out just like her: all over the place and fabulous. I’m going to stick to the traditional  birthday party genre. We take the mantra “Go big or go home” to heart around here when it comes to celebrating those special days.

1. Pandamonium

I love to have my house stuffed with happy girls.  I also love our family tradition where the birthday girl gets her very own personalized cake to dive into with abandon. The theme for Jellybean’s 12th birthday was pandas, so with 13 girls sleeping over, it was pandamonium. Get it??

Panda Collage Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

2. Monkey Business

In fact, this is the party where the personal birthday cake tradition was born by chance. So take that Pinterest. I was able to develop fun family rituals long before you rolled up on the scene.

Monkey Cake Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

3.  Letting the Cat Out of The Bag

Jellybean got our cat Sparkle for her 6th birthday. Imagine my delight when she came downstairs ready for her indoor bounce house party dressed in her kitty cat Halloween costume. Melt.

The Kitty Cat Collage Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms


4. Ginormous Water Slide For The Win

I LOVE throwing little kid birthday parties. Coed teenager parties make my palms clammy. For our first one, I got this huge water slide as a distraction. I should have thought about the bathing suit factor.

Water Slide Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

5. Back to the Good Ol’ Days

Alright, let’s forget the teen years, I’m starting to break out in hives. Let’s go back to when all I had to do was transform our basement into the American Idol sound stage. And upon review, I apparently also transformed our backyard into a superstar themed obstacle course for about a bazillion little girls. Did I mention “Go big or go home”?

Superstar Birthday Collage


In case all of this party pride is making you a little nauseous, don’t forget the New Year’s Eve when Ellen made everyone actually gag with this little gem of a Pintershit drink.

Taste Testers


Also, don’t forget to check out the other bloggers over at Monday Listicles who responded to Stasha’s prompt 10 THINGS YOU ARE PROUD OF. Feel free to join in on the fun.


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Evil Joy Lurks Below the Surface of The Sisterhood

Alright,we are just gonna lay this out for you: we have a great friendship. We laugh, we hang, and we respect each other. Truly. You have heard us wax poetic about each other here, here, and here. We started this blog together because our parenting styles are so in sync. Hello? Sensible Moms.

But every once in a loooooong while, we just take the slightest, teensiest, most microscopic joy in watching the other one squirm. Most of the time, we are both just one missing shoe away from losing our minds, so watching the other teeter on the precipice provides validation that no one is perfect and we’re all just doing the best that we can to keep the crazy train on the tracks.

Butttttt, it also provides pure, indulgent entertainment.   If that makes us slightly evil, we are 100% A-OK with that because we look darn good in black and have been diligently practicing our maniacal laughs.


10 Evil Joys of The Sensible Moms

1. Scanner Bite in the Butt

Erin has been telling Ellen for no less than one year that she is about to hook up her scanner. So far, it has only bitten Ellen and the blog in the arse until last Thursday . . .

Erin: Oh my goodness! This morning, like at 6:45 AM, I found out that Biddie (14) needs a 2 x 3 baby picture of herself  for her school’s yearbook and the deadline to email it is TODAY! She was born pre-digital! Ahhhhh! I’m headed over to a friend’s house right now to scan one before the bell rings.

Ellen: Oh, is it inconvenient for you not to have a scanner? I can’t imagine what that feels like. Oh wait, I can.

Erin: Not quite the support I was looking for.

Ellen: How about this? Plug in the blasted USB cord.


2. Throwing Gasoline on Girls’ Night Out

Ellen: Erin gets plenty of flexibility training patting herself on the back for her peacemaking abilities . . . and she really should because she has mad skills. She is the one we turn to all of the time to cool down heated discussions and and to salve hurt feelings. But every once in a while, she loses her ever-loving mind over the most unlikely subjects.

Erin: I’m sorry, but Andy Griffith really is not that great.

Ellen: That’s right, folks. She ground not one, but two soirees to a halt because she could keep silent no more about her loathing for Mr. Griffith.


Erin: Seriously? Do we need to rehash this? We already covered it here and, I might add, we decided that I deserved a sliver of vindication.

Ellen: Take your sliver if it makes you feel better. I’m just over here enjoying the chuckles it still gives me.


3. Keening Over Keens

Ellen: So while we are on the subject of Erin losing her mind over the most unlikely topics . . .

Erin: I’m ready to start spreading the evil joy around to someone else . . .

Ellen: There was this one time, while on our Big Love camping trip, that she wanted to stage a photo with all of the Keen sandals.

Erin: C’mon, it was pretty cool that all 5 moms and all 13 kids had Keens. It was like an advertisement!

Ellen: I am totally with you that it was a great picture . . .

A photo like this just doesn’t happen.


Ellen: But here is what YOU always like to refer to as “the rest of the story.” Seriously, if you want to see behind the curtain of The Sisterhood, you MUST watch this.


Erin: The shoes were not matching up because Biddie(14) wasn’t paying attention when she grabbed her Keens out of the garage and picked up TWO DIFFERENT SIZES. And I had to ask a bajillion times for her to even do that.

Ellen: I still maintain that while she made a blister-inducing bed, she snuggled down in it and NEVER complained once that her shoes weren’t fitting. What more could you want?

Erin: How about owning up to it when I was LOSING MY MIND because it looked like we were missing two shoes because of the mismatched pair?

Ellen: Fine. But what is your excuse for the Christmas tree debacle?


4. Christmas Farm or Funny Farm?

Erin: Oh, Ellen, might have been slightly jealous of my Christmas tree-getting tradition in the past. With its rosy glow of familial harmony, it was practically a Hallmark commercial. But that was all in the past. This year, things got ugly on my end and it was Ellen’s turn to smirk. Apparently, there’s only so much Norman Rockwell to go around.

Ellen: I took my evil joy with a side of fabulous family memories topped with some Beyonce-level awesomeness.


5. Bloggers Dance Meltdown

Erin: Back in May, we played with the gracious, funny Kerry at House Talkn who hosts Blogger’s Dance

Ellen: Let’s be accurate, I played. YOU were still struggling with some of the more technical aspects of blogging and STILL telling me you were about to hook up your scanner.

Erin: I did try to talk you out of it.

Ellen: That is one of the more helpful things you did because it did set me with a fit.

Erin: You took to the tech-y side of blogging like a Gremlin to water . . .

Ellen: I’m not sure that analogy is complimentary . . .

Erin: So it was with the wee-est, teensiest, most minuscule bit of joy that I watched the video have its way with you.

Ellen: Dude! Part of the problem was that YOU couldn’t get the video off of your camera and I had to construct your part on Paint  (I know! Right?) with a photo MARY emailed to me because YOU never sent me one.

Erin: What’s done is done because the end product was so worth every hour spent, tear shed, and drop of alcohol consumed. You can read the original post here. Or just get your boogie on with the video . . .

If this inspired you to get your groove on, there is still time to dance your way into Kerry’s Valentine’s Day link-up.


6. Crock O’ Something

Erin: Whilst Big Lov-ing with some of our Sisterhood friends this summer, I thought I made an interesting discovery while making our awesome Chicken Bar-B-Q. I felt like Erin The Science Gal.

Ellen: Here it comes.

Erin: But to feed the army that was five families camping, we brought two crockpots—Ellen’s with the dark crock and Erin’s with the white crock. Same ingredients.  Same time. Same everything. Different results. Hmmmm. Well, the theories started a-flying. I believed the color of the insert made a difference.

Ellen: I think that is a crock of you-know-what (Pun!). The entire Sisterhood, not just me, delighted in the way this knocked Erin off her rocker.

Erin: I may or may not be planning a legit science experiment to prove my point. Stay tuned.

Aww, does this look like a group who would throw down over crockpots?? Why, Yes. Yes, it does!


7. Mother’s Day Madness

Ellen: Nothing can send a woman over the edge faster than her family proclaiming that they will devote an entire day to her and her needs when she knows them better than anyone and knows that ain’t gonna happen—no way, no how.

Erin: Mother’s Day 2012 took Ellen down and hard. I, not yet knowing that Andy Griffith, the Keens, the crockpot, and the tree farm would do me in, delighted in Ellen’s monumental Momma meltdown.

Ellen: Oh, Karma is one sneaky devil, she is.

Ellen, Post-Tasmanian-Devil-Style Flip-Out Over Mother’s Day, her calendar, etc.


8. Travel Team Tantrums

Erin: Having kids on travel teams for soccer for the last few years, I almost choked when Ellen told me Coco (14) was joining a travel volleyball league. And then I laughed. But I swear, it was really more in commiseration. I was laughing with her, not at her.

Ellen: Yeah. To be fair, I did my research and the team had NEVER gone to ANY all weekend tournaments. . . until this year, that is.

Erin: I thought I had told you that Travel Team is code for Gas-Guzzling, Time-Sucking, Money-Grubbing  Sports Enterprise.

Ellen: I think you undersold it.

Erin: Well, I think in this case the joke’s on both of us.


9. Will Smith Gets Us But No One Else Does

Ellen: Remember wayyyyy back in the day when the Fresh Prince sang, “Parents just don’t understand”. He felt us. Honestly.

Erin: Our families and friends get that we blog. But let’s just say the majority don’t get why or how and, frankly, really don’t understand it. At all. Which is totally OK. But we do get a little evil joy when one of them says, “Well, maybe I’ll go write a blog too”.

Ellen: To which we say, “Peace out. Rock on.” And then cackle into our magic mirrors.


10. The last evil joy

Erin: I’ll admit that there was this one time I got a little smug about my triumph on the blog. We were skewering a children’s book for Ninja Mom’s Character Assassination Carousel, and we thought it would be better to read it aloud, like a read-along story. After HOURS of working (Read: crying, stomping my feet like a two year old, and throwing back some whiskey sour slushies like they were water), I finally got the audio player on to the post. My first thought? I showed Ellen.

Ellen: And MY first thought was, “Ha! I’m glad that you had a hard time with it, because the tech side of blogging has been sucking my time like a leech.”

And on that note . . .


Click the link to read some other great posts over at  Monday Listicles!


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10 Things We Never Dreamed to Dream

Erin: You never know what kids are going to come up with at any given moment. This moment actually began as an obnoxiously olfactory one. Abercrombie and Fitch punched me in the face as I stood in the bedroom door. I was choking on a tsunami of Axe molecules as I managed to croak out, “What’s goin’ on in here?” to the tiny nearly naked boy STILL spraying himself head to toe with the stuff.

“Ace said this makes you grow hair. I want to be a bear.” 

Ellen: Ha! That’s adorable and I admire his commitment to his dream.

Quite frankly, I can’t remember wanting to be anything, but a doctor at any age, and, gee, I’m really glad I picked that.

Erin: I know I wanted to be an astronaut. My family actually nicknamed me Space Puppy, and that was BEFORE the movie Space Camp too, so you KNOW I was serious.

Ellen: Well, aren’t we just a couple of cute clichés. But here’s the thing, I got the degree, but I’m not practicing. You’re not an astronaut, you space out sometimes, but you’re not an astronaut. But really, you made the right choice since there is essentially no space program now. Were there any other dream “bullets” you dodged?

Erin: I couldn’t have dreamt up the life I have now when I was 5 or 10 or even 20.  Once I left the daily grind to stay home with my kids, that’s when the possibilities really opened up.

Ellen: I couldn’t agree more, so without further ado. . .


Ten Things We Never Dreamed of Doing When We Were Kids


1. Park Rangers

Don’t worry, they didn’t give us guns.


2. Taste Testers

If you’re going to dabble in Pinterest occasionally you’ll get a mouth full of Pintershit.


3. Cowgirl

Erin mourns the loss of this hat. Should she??


4. SAHM Cheer Squad

Give me a “S” Give me an “A” Give me an “H” Give me a “M” What’s that spell? Chronically tired and under-appreciated!

5. Milkmaid

You really never  plan on being a Milkmaid, however . . .


6. Unibomber Posse

With friends like these, who needs enemies?


7. Zombie Wedding Planner

At least they weren’t picky about the freshness of the flowers or the cake. And we did win a trophy.


 8. Swingers

What did you think we meant?


 9. Synchronized Swimmers

Don’t try this at home. Years of practice.


10. Synchronized Divers

Don’t try this at home either.

We always thought we would have more dignity and make more money. Our guidance counselors really could have prepared us better.


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Thanks! Erin and Ellen


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Skeletons In Our Closets

This week’s Monday Listicle is 10 Things In Your Closets. We don’t know about you, but we might be a little bit behind in our closet cleaning . . . cleaning out the skeletons that is.

What kind of secrets were you expecting, sicko? Isn’t Ellen’s 80s hair scandalous enough?

Now wait! We see you getting all excited, grabbing the popcorn, and pulling up a chair. We’re not going to reveal that Ellen was a Bolivian black market KitchenAid mixer dealer or that Erin leads a double life as a Kool-Aid pusher (unless that Kool-Aid is Downton Abbey).

We’re talking more along the lines of closets harboring the skeletons of hobbies and projects past, the ghosts of times gone by, and the detritus from portions of our personalities that we try to keep under wraps. While it may not be in the same league as Lance Armstrong airing his dope-dripping laundry on Oprah, we’re throwing open the doors anyway.


10 Skeletons In Our Closets


1. Imelda Marcos, much?

Don’t be fooled by my yoga pants. I have A LOT of shoes and some of them are even pretty hot. They should all be contained in that cubby of shelves, but since I gave my husband the one shelf for his, mine have had to invade other regions of the closet. Yes, I am blaming him. End of story.

The sign reads “There is always room for one more pair!” But that sign is a liar. A hoarding, dirty liar.


2. Sentimental streak.

You see my foyer coat closet? It is sized for a family of one and only if that one person lived in Florida and really had no need for anything beyond a rain jacket. It is packed to bursting with coats spilling over to a hall tree, yet I can’t get rid of this puffy pink snowsuit. Both of my girls wore that adorable thing and they are 12 and 14.  I have even gone so far as to put it in a donation box not once, but twice. Each time I have rescued it at the last second. It is a bow that plucks at my heartstrings. Don’t roll your eyes. I chucked the high chair, binkies, and Candyland without blinking. Just ignore that box marked “Toddler Halloween Costumes.” I’m going to use them to dry my tears when they leave for college.

Ovary aching sweetness or Hoarders cry for help?

3. Jewelry making is a virtue. Or does it bring out my flaws?

I used to make jewelry all of the time. I went to beads shows, I subscribed to jewelry-making magazines, and I would hate to tally up the cost of the findings, beads, and tools that I have amassed. But I haven’t made a piece of jewelry in over three years. I could blame motherhood, but I took up the hobby when my girls were toddlers. I could blame blogging, but that has only been going on for a year. What’s really to blame? It’s that little flaw/virtue of my personality known as perfectionism. I loved my creations, but the creating made me want to throat punch a troll, or I guess more aptly, a troll bead.

So what do you do with a hobby that feels like work, but has too much worth to chuck? Shove it into your closet.

It’s cheaper to just buy jewelry when you factor in the cost of a nervous breakdown.

4. Ellen is SEW crafty.

Boy, do I have the supplies! But I really don’t want to over-sell myself, I’m really just Master of the Straight Seam. There was a Toto costume back in the Spring of ’05, but my therapist says it’s best just to tamp that memory down and never speak of it again. But what is really highlighted here is my reign as Queen of Unfinished Projects. See those brackets above those lovely cafe curtains in my bathroom that I finished a mere three years ago? They should hold a swag. Heh, heh, Swag. I’m just going to holler, “YOLO!” and move on.

Why yes, that is a dead plant in the foreground

5. The harbinger of a new era! An era of finished projects!

This is where it all changes: the laundry closet project! It was ever so wisely embarked upon the week before Christmas when it’s progress was halted by my flu-slide-into-the-most-killer-sinus-infection-ever sickness. But as Tide is my witness, I WILL see this through to the end. Watch for the next installment of Pintershit to read all about it. (But you shouldn’t hold your breath. Just sayin’.)



6. Treasure Trove of Trucks

Hess Trucks are super-fun toys. For me, they are also part of a family Christmas Tradition lasting almost 40 years. I love that my dad is continuing this tradition with my kids. We treat these presents about 1000% better than every other toy that comes through the door, especially any that light up. I am a true fan, but should they really be taking up so much valuable real estate? This collection doesn’t just span 15 plus years, it spans the entire width and breadth of the boys’ closet.

Note to Readers: Lack of wide angle lens makes collection appear smaller than actual size.

7. Do Your Best

Neckerchiefs, Hats, and a Bag of Badges on Master Bedroom top shelf

. . . to refrain from mocking or finger-pointing after this confession. . .

I am a full-on, sleeves-rolled-up, hiking, biking, camping, smores-making Cub Scout leader. In my Behind-the-Music (Don’t mock! We can all dream. I still have 40 years to check this one off my bucket list!), there would be a fair amount of time (10 years and counting!) dedicated to my time in Scouting. With 3 of my boys (the littlest has yet to join the pack), I have led Tigers, Wolves, and Bears (oh, my!) and served every position there is in a Cub Scout pack. I don my brown shirt with pride (although I bought it post-baby sized for a nursing décolletage I no longer possess).  My garage is also full of two storage shelves full of scout stuff and I used to have two push-carts in our shed out back, but those are posts for another day. I am all in!!

Check out all the cool things I have done with the boys! Oh, and my uber-hawtness! Nothing better than a girl in uniform. Just sayin.

8. Shutterbug

Me loves some, me precious!! The way Ellen joneses for shoes, imagine me and photography stuff.  The ONLY good thing that came from losing my camera bag was that my dear photographer friends introduced me to the two great photography websites, Adorama and B &H . It will make securing that wide angle lens my heart is now set on so much easier to obtain.

My little stash. Room for SOOOOOO Much More.

9. It’s Not What’s Inside That Counts

My kids have the grace of a herd of stampeding elephants. When they were little, closet doors succumbed to their indelicate touch on a daily basis.  So I did what any self-respecting Momma would do: I ripped those suckers off their hinges. It has worked out great, and I never thought about it again until Biddie’s 14th birthday this year. When asked what she would like to celebrate this special milestone, did she ask for a laptop, an iPhone, or a Visa card? Hellz, no. “Well, some closet doors might be nice.” Parenting fail.

All A Girl Wants Is Some Closet Doors!


10. Oh, No She Didn’t!

. . .Want a Wedding, that is. Absolutely not. Well, I wanted a wedding—I was a girl in love after all—but  I was none too sure about all the rest of it. If Pinterest had been around back then, it probably would have sent me into cardiac arrest or straight to a psychiatrist’s couch. After Steve talked me into letting him buy me an engagement ring, he then talked me into a wedding, and you know what? I loved it all! I thought my wedding was beautiful and meaningful. I thought my reception was a blast.  But, in the end, the things I was head over heels for (besides Steve, of course!) were my dress and my veil. Perhaps that is why my veil box is taking up a full corner of the smallest master closet known to man. Who knows? But check out these pictures!! That is one happy girl then! And now!

Silly Wabbit, veils are for girls!!


Thanks again to Stasha for giving us the time and space for some much-needed catharsis! Make sure you take a moment to check out all the great bloggers linked up to Monday Listicles this week. They are always good fun! Erin and Ellen

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