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What Type of PITA Are You?

What's a PITA, besides funny fodder? Well, if you have to ask, you might be one of the worst offenders. But anyway, it's "Pain in the A**." No matter how great you are, everyone has that little sliver of their personality that occasionally rears its ugly head and causes much eye rolling. So . . . What Type of PITA Are You? | Humor | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

You can just stop blinking with that doe-eyed innocence right now. We’re talking about Pains in the Asses–PITAs–and we’re talking to you!

Yeah that’s right, but rest assured we are not singling you out as a bad person. Each and every one of us has our own brand of pain in the assery–that little sliver of our personality that rears its ugly head from time to time and makes the ones nearest and dearest to us roll their eyes with abandon. We’re just asking you to embrace yours.

Now for those of you who are COMPLETE PITAs? You’ll never acknowledge who you are which is one of the reasons your flavor of PITA is in the “complete” category. Just know that if every phone call you make goes straight to voicemail, you might be a Complete PITA.

For the rest of us, here are some of the types of PITAs we’ve observed during our time on Planet Earth.

Perfectionism PITA

This is Ellen’s brand and it’s usually triggered by work standards. She can walk by a sock crumpled in the middle of the floor for a week, but darn it, anything she creates–blog posts, graphics, foot washing stations, cakes, balloon towers, life-sized zombies–makes her perfectionism kick into high gear and sends her exacting PITAssery into a collision course with whomever is closest. But really that’s only fair because it’s usually the person closest who deserves the fallout. Erin gets splattered with it all of the time. Just sayin’.

There may be other things that trigger it, but you never have to wonder because it is always direct . . . and mostly always annoying. “Let’s cut the crap and get this wrapped up” is her battle cry.

Stealth PITA

Erin likes to describe herself as a Labrador puppy–all happy go-lucky, brimming with sloppy kisses and enthusiastic tail wagging. A good portion of the world views her as easy-going. And that is true . . . until it’s not. Then it’s “Surprise! I’m going to grind everything to a screeching halt!” Ellen is always amazed by what triggers Erin to dig in her heels. There really is no rhyme or reason.

While her PITAssery is so random, it’s like waiting for a shooting star, there is a way to ignite it. Just start putting foods she loathes on her plate and watch her “You get what you get and you don’t get upset” turn into actual gagging. Or just try the magic word “cantaloupe.” That should be enough to see her undercover PITAssery bubble to the surface.

The Rules Aren’t for Me PITA

For this PITA, all of the world is a sapling ready to bend to her will, or be transplanted, or be completely ripped out by its roots and replaced by a birdbath.

She’ll sign on or up for anything because she knows conditions and plans are for other suckers, not her. No photography during the show? Well, that doesn’t mean she can’t take a picture of her princess! Open bar only has wine or beer? She will have her liquor! Of course she’ll select the fixed price menu because it’s the cheapest option but . . . “Yes, I know it’s a fixed menu, but could you replace the bruschetta appetizer with mussels, and the chicken penne with pad thai? That would be great.”

Monopolizing PITA

If you’ve ever wished you could visit the sun, just hang out with this person because she is the center of the universe. She’s the person whose sentences you feel like you can complete because YOU CAN. You’ve heard each and every one of her stories at least eleventy times plus three because she has never met a conversation she couldn’t hijack.

Oh, so you think you’re going to finish your conversation with your friends about editing software? WRONG! You’re hearing about the time Monopolizer thought she was running a 5K, but it was really a 10-miler, with her friend, Betty–“who is a hoot”–but you’re never going to meet because she now lives in Dubai and that makes Betty soooooo much more interesting than you. But rejoice that Betty is some obscure perfect friend who is halfway around the world because if she were here right now, you would be tempted to stab her in the toe with a steak knife just to give Monopolizing PITA a new story to tell.

Stir the Pot PITA

This PITA is also a conversation stopper, but instead of grinding girls’ night out to a stop from boredom, she lights it on fire. If the previous PITA’s MO is monopolize, this one’s is sabotage, and her arsenal is a nearly encyclopedic knowledge of everyone’s emotional vulnerabilities. She is a master of mercilessly digging into Achilles heels like a pair of Jimmy Choo slingbacks bought on clearance one size too small.

Enjoying silly chit chat and mojitos with your girlfriends talking about how you should all live together on a commune when you are old and retired? Not when Stir The Pot PITA marches you down the memory lane of all the squabbles everyone has had that would make living together IMPOSSIBLE. Forget fantasy living arrangements. You’ll be lucky to leave the restaurant speaking to one another.

My Problem is Your Problem PITA

This is another sneak attacker. You may not have heard from her since the calendar flipped its page, but clear your schedule now because now she has a problem and she expects you to drop EVERYTHING to solve it.

The PITAssery usually starts creeping up on you with an innocuous request: “Could I call your babysitter for Friday night?”

Easy enough. But when that sitter is unavailable, you find yourself peppered with calls, buried  in text messages, and tangled in a web so sticky, you cave and cry, “I’ll just come over and babysit for you!” Just. to. make. it. stop.

“That’s great! Do you think you could bring dinner, too, because I’m swamped. Remember Billy has allergies to Swiss cheese, peanuts, and mangoes, and Sally is a vegan, tofu hating, junkfoodivore who gags over anything green.”

Superior PITA

This is probably the same as a Complete PITA. You know the one who can find everyone else’s personality hiccup without ever turning the searchlight on herself?

Wait, what?! Don’t you go labeling US with this moniker. Remember we kicked this all off roasting ourselves? Don’t be a Stir the Pot PITA.

What Type of PITA did we miss?

-Ellen and Erin


You can follow us on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Check out our books, “I Just Want to Be Alone” and “You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth.”


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9 Reasons to Embrace That Ten(ish) Extra Pounds of Fluffiness

You know what’s easier than making resolutions? (Well, technically resolutions are fairly easy to make, it’s the keeping of them that gets thorny.) Anyway, it’s really very simple: look on the “plus side” of what you’ve got instead of buying into that whole goal making/self-improvement hoohaa. When you think about, saying you need improvement is really just being negative. Embrace positivity! Declare yourself perfect!

By the way, “plus side.” Get it? Because we’re punning about extra weight? Laughter can count as exercise, People, so get on board. At the very least, it has less calories than a slice of red velvet cake.

Worth the Effort Red Velvet Cake

Mmmmmm, red velvet cake. Worth the effort and calories?

Speaking of making the best of things, optimism and acceptance might have to tide Erin over for a while since she lost her FItbit less than a week into the new year. One minute she was obsessively looking at her step count and the next–poof!–it was gone. Ellen has offered to share her weight loss secret with her–namely a raunchy stomach virus–but Erin doesn’t seem to think the three days of abject misery are worth the loss of water weight. Weird.

So while we’re squeezing into our 2014 jeans because of our All-The-Cookies-Doughnuts-Bacon-Whiskey-Sour-Slushy-Roast-Beast Holiday Gluttony, we give you nine reasons we think it’s great to be a little fluffier.

9 Reasons to Embrace That Ten(ish) Extra Pounds of Fluffiness- Acceptance is the new resolution! - Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

1. You have no fear of ice! When you fall on your butt, you’ll bounce like a Bumble instead of cracking that tailbone. Even if you aren’t a klutz, a little extra cushion always comes in handy when you’re logging those hours on Pinterest.

2. Subzero temps don’t put a chill in your heart! You’ll be content as a polar bear with your extra insulation as you fire up the minivan for morning carpool. While others are saying, “Brrrrr,” you’ll be proclaiming, “Brrrring it!”

3. Extra poundage adds extra rad to your rack! Know what we mean, Ladies? Bonus: you have more capacity in your Cleavage Crumb Catcher which comes in handy when devouring those stale Christmas cookies in the pantry. Hides the evidence from prying little eyes.

4. Your problem with missing clothes is over! The jeans in your current rotation won’t vaporize into thin air because your teenage daughter “borrowed” them. Nobody wants the chubby pants. Nobody.

5. No more fighting with Grandma! One look at the junk in your trunk and she’ll stop pushing that last piece of pie on you.

6. Your fear of heights is a moot point! Everyone will insist you be at the base of that team-building pyramid. “Sturdy” almost sounds like a compliment when you hear it through the crunching of potato chips.

7. You’ll get more bang for your buck! No longer will your spouse feel like the “All-You-Can-Eat” buffet is wasted money on you. You’ll be a legend.

8. Your sense of accomplishment in the everyday is renewed! Successfully bending over to tug on those Uggs is celebration worthy. And actually tying shoes? Get outta here! Treat yourself to that leftover fruitcake you’re using as a doorstop.

9. People won’t bug you about your New Year’s Resolutions! They already know what they are. Oh, yes, they already know.

You’re welcome for the spin doctoring!

Ellen and Erin


You can follow us on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Check out our books, “I Just Want to Be Alone” and “You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth.”

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If You Give a Mom a Moment

If You Give a Mom a Moment - The humorous bedtime story for moms who do it all. Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

If you give a mom a moment*, she’ll decide she’s going to replace the window screen that blew out 8 or 24 months ago because winter is coming and EVERYONE else has ignored it.

Chances are she will feel like she has to wash the window first.

If she’s going to wash a window, she’s going to have to search on Pinterest for an hour or 6 to find out the best way to do it.

After she pins all of the recipes and likes all of the cat memes, she’ll discover that an old t-shirt and vinegar is the best way to go for window washing.

To find an old t-shirt, she’ll have to clean out her closet. Once she tries on all of her clothes, she’ll realize most of her jeans don’t fit anymore.

This sad revelation will send her into a spiral of depression, so she’ll go looking for the kids’ Halloween candy stash to eat away her feelings.

Gorging on the candy and hiding the wrappers at the bottom of the garbage can outside will remind her that the Halloween decorations are still up outdoors.

As she goes to scrape the putrid jack-o’-lanterns off the porch with her snow shovel, she’ll see the window screen leaning up against the house.

And chances are, she’ll just leave the @&$*%& screen leaning there because the moment was gone 7 hours ago.

*Based loosely entirely on a true story.

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The Carnival is Just Like Summer School. Really.

Have you gotten to that point in the summer where, if your kids are anything like ours, you can actually see the knowledge oozing out of their ears like a Popsicle melting on a parking lot seven inches away from the concession stand?

Was this the summer you weren’t going to let that happen?

Did you have every intention of making multiplication flash cards, but haven’t mustered the enthusiasm to buy the index cards or to install the app or to use the calculator on your phone?

Did you purchase the ingredients for that Thunderstorm in a Cup experiment you saw on Pinterest, but they are still clanking around in your trunk with the jumper cables?

Did you check out the entire Charles Dickens collection with every intention of constructing a kicky homage diorama with your kids, but the books are way past due and the librarians are starting to don brass knuckles when you enter the building?

Yeah, summer enrichment seems like a great idea in April when the air is warming and life feels fresh and new. But then the End of  School Year Gomorrah sucks the life out of you with the endless sports banquets AND field trips AND plays AND concerts AND awards assemblies so that even packing school lunches makes you want to strangle a bluebird.

Then summer hits with its breezy schedule and you think, “We all deserve a little break before buckling down,” and before you know it, the only exam your kids can pass is the swim test and you have the motivation of a sloth at a sleep convention to do anything about it.

But we have the solution! TAKE ‘EM TO THE CARNIVAL!

What? Don’t roll your eyes at us. Allow us to construct the excuse justification reasoning, so that by the end you’ll be calling your accountant to write off the whole adventure as an education expense.

Six Ways the Carnival is Just Like a Day at School

1. Health Class

Why just learn about how the colon works when you can see it in action? Experiment with how quickly a $3.00 chili dog with three pumps of pseudo-cheese and extra relish can initiate a colon cleanse in a 40 year old woman. Which leads us to . . .

2. Gym Class

The Race to the Porta Potty Dash where we ALL win if she makes it in time. Watch her hurdle small children and hold in sharts with absolutely no grace whatsoever.

3. History Class

It’s tons better than any textbook. It’s living history really. Where else can you hear a theatrical re-telling of “Tales of  Severed Fingers and the Ferris Wheels That Caused Them” by a safety inspector who was alive during the Civil War?

4. Biology Class

Two words: Ball. Pit. So much surface area for so many germs. Each child can get a different disease: ebola, and chiggers, and warts, oh my! Experience is so much better than any book learnin’. Med school here we come!

5. Language Arts

There are OODLES of opportunities for grammar lessons . . . and that’s just in the line to get ride tickets. Explain how the eff bomb is a noun, verb, and an adjective. Oh, and the reading opportunities are so varied and fun! There are signs everywhere–goodies such as “No urinating on the electrical cords” and “May cause death or mutilation.”

That brings us to everyone’s favorite . . .

6. Math Class

Your child will be able to ace the SATs before they hit puberty with problems like these:

If an unlimited ride bracelet costs a bajillion dollars and 20 tickets costs a bajillion dollars divided by 2 (take into account every ride takes an odd number of tickets, but they are only sold in even sets), how big is the second mortgage you must take out on your home to prevent your child leaving the carnival in tears because they were denied one last chance to spew chunks of their neon blue snow cone on the Tilt-A-Whirl?

See? SEE!? You a believer now? You’re welcome. Now go call your accountant about that tax break and tell them the Sensible Moms sent you.

-Ellen and Erin


You can follow us on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Check out our books, please, “I Just Want to Be Alone” and “You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth.”

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Recycling: The Good and The Ugly

Recycling is one of the easiest, most tangible ways of taking action for the planet. It reduces landfill waste and honors the resources of Mother Earth. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! It’s all good!  What could be ugly about that? Right?

Recycling The Good and The Ugly

Erin: Some of us pride ourselves on our firm commitment to recycling. You don’t just surrender your garage to this kind of chaos without trying to make it some kind of feel good environmental statement. You know, so your neighbors won’t call the authorities or feel inclined to pass judgment. Or so we’ve heard.

recycling with border

Don’t judge me, Mr. Nosy Neighbor. I’m saving the planet.

Ellen: Wow, you know I like yoga, but that was quite a stretch.

Erin: No, seriously, I’m committed. A quick looky-loo around the old homestead will let you know just how “all-in” I am! Not only do I crush cans, sort cardboard, and stockpile bottles, I reuse! That is the best because NO resources are wasted. I am making trash into treasures!

My buddies in Maine gave this to me when I moved away. Now it stores coins . . . and apparently a marble and a hairband. I never claimed to be saving the planet through organization.


It should be holding maple syrup or moonshine, but instead it’s brimming with coins and crap.


Ellen: And you’re not saving it with “reusing” either because that’s just dumping the content of your pockets into a pitcher. The pitcher was never trash unless you’re saying you were going to throw that thoughtful token of your friends’ affections away. You’re not really on the recycling train with that one. It’s more like you’re leading the ingrate parade. Try again.

Erin: Fine. You’re totally going to accept this one.  This was Ace’s first attempt at pottery when he was 5. It now holds jewelry on my dresser.


Ellen: So let me get this straight. You want a Green Earth Award for putting jewelry in a bowl? And didn’t you just imply that Ace’s work of art is trash?

Erin: Sweet Cheez-its! While we’re talking about awards who promoted you to the Semantics of Recycling Police?

Ellen: Don’t redirect. The fact is, you still haven’t presented a decent argument for why your garage looks so indecent.

Erin: Alright. This was the parting gift from my cousin’s baby shower. It now takes center stage in the kids’ bath for cotton ball storage. I claim Upcycler Extraordinaie!

I like to thank my kids preemptively for strewing cotton balls all over the floor.

I like how the lid preemptively thanks my kids for strewing cotton balls all over the floor.

Ellen: Wow. You put cotton balls in a cute jar.

Erin: You WILL declare this one a winner. These are all containers from our family room that we’re REusing to hold toys. Once upon a time, each container only held one type of toy, but in this house, summer is the time when all systems fall to crap. Once again, ozone does not get saved through organization. Hence, the ball next to the boat in the old pretzel jar. And yes, those are shark teeth.

container Collage

Ellen: Don’t sell yourself short. You have organization – all your choking hazards are grouped together in easy to reach containers on the floor.

Erin: Whatever. But THIS is high quality reusing. C’mom! Admit it!

Ellen: Yes, this qualifies as actual repurposing, BUT this is where the UGLY of recycling comes in! Dang girl. You could have peeled the Cascade label off of the bucket.

Erin: I really feel like you should be giving me more credit. If you want purty AND environmentally fabulous we have tons of lovely ideas for using milk cartons, tea tins, and glass bottles on Home Made Simple. Those ideas are as awesome as my actual attempts are pitiful.

Ellen: I can agree with that. Now all you have to do is find another excuse for your garage.

Lovely Repurposing Ideas To Make Mother Earth Smile

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Facebook Follow-Up Friday #1

Oh Facebook, how we love thee! And we’re feeling the love too! We reached 2,000 followers on our  Facebook Page this week! We have a blast over there with funny memes, recipes, shared parenting tips, and good advice. What’s not to love?

Well, there is this little issue with Facebook’s dark side. It doesn’t always show all of our followers all of the awesomeness all of the time. But we have a solution! Each week we’re going to share a little check-in on what’s been happening on our Facebook Page—what we talked about, wrote about,  laughed about, etc.. In short, a follow-up!

And Then What Happened:

We have some very cool conversations popping up on our Facebook page, but they’re hard to keep track of because life happens. Blame the kids, blame the dog, just blame it on the rain (Shout out to Milli Vanilli), but we all get interrupted. We are The Sensible Moms so we thought providing you all with a little update on how the conversations developed would make everyone’s life easier. You know, just in case, you got sidetracked.


Oh, we were excited about all of the great suggestions because who doesn’t get pumped up about scrubbing out the toilet? So many ideas to chose from!

A couple of people suggested pouring a 2 Liter bottle of Coke in the bowl. Since I actually had a 2 liter of Coke on hand left over from a holiday party and I always choose the easy route, that’s just what I did.

I poured it in before I went to bed, woke up in the morning, flushed it down, and then scrubbed the bowl. Gorgeous! Thank, readers! Erin

PS: We included the last comment in the screen shot, because it was our favorite comment on the post and we actually know her IRL. Funny, funny Momma.

Recipes we shared this week:

Yum. Soup. It’s What’s For Dinner.


Erin’s family loves this Some Kind of Awesome Creamy Chicken Salsa Soup  and your family will love it too. Ellen sure appreciated it when our friend Mary made it for her when she was recuperating from her appendectomy.

Ecard People LOVED:

It is a little ridiculous how much this got shared, but sometimes you just hit people’s funny bones the right way.


Posts To Catch Up On:

 Celebrate this, Sisterhood Style!

This is the one where we make a case for a new February holiday on the 9th. There are unicorns and rainbows, demographics that are seriously neglected in all of the other holidays.

 Ain’t Nobody Got Time for Valentine’s Day Pintershit 

Taking a cue from Sweet Brown, this the one where we tell you all the gifts we definitely don’t have time for this Valentine’s Day. Some of them will surprise you.

Ode to Sour Patch Kids

Here we play with other bloggy friends Old Dog New Tits and According to Mags in their Ketchup With Us Link-up by writing a 57 word ode to something we love. In this case, Erin bears her heart and soul about . . .Sour Patch Kids.

Funny Meme:


How else to wrap-up this follow-up then to tell you to get on over to our Facebook Page and see what’s going on right now!



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How Bloggers’ Kids Get Their Revenge

Very rarely do the planets align to create a perfect family day, but we had one this summer when Steve and I took our kids for a little impromptu tour of my hometown. No fighting, no whining, and no unpleasantness whatsoever—-it was the trifecta of family harmony.

But all good things must come to an end.

Because I was hopped up on the good vibes AND our happy jaunt around town landed us in front of the old courthouse AND it was the exact spot where Steve and I had some wedding photos taken 16 years ago, I wanted evidence. Of course, whipping out the DSLR caused some kind of shift in the universe, and things started to unravel. And quickly. Don’t  look for those photos on our Christmas card this year.

Always the one to add some gasoline to the inferno, I thought it would be a swell idea to take some photos for the blog too. I mean, the sky was blue, the air was perfect, and my kids were self-combusting—what better time to catch some photo ops? But my kids are pros now at posing as the faceless wonders, so that part of the shoot went just fine. I didn’t really think of those pictures again. Then earlier this week, I came upon this photo.

I don’t care what their teachers say. My boys are geniuses, and revenge is sweet.

Well played, gentlemen. Well played.

PS–I think I can even see them giggling. I don’t know how I missed it before.


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Biddie(13) is a twee bit obsessed with a certain boy band from across the pond. She bought the One Direction video with money from her babysitting gig and conned Steve into watching it with her. This is the conversation I overheard.

Steve: “Do any of these guys play instruments?”

Biddie: “Oh, yeah. Harry plays the kazoo. And that one plays the triangle.”

Steve: “So they’re real musicians then.”

Thinking that their musical talent might not be the main draw. . .


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Jellybean (11) quipped this after I announced that not only did I send her prepared water bottle off to school with her sister, this meant that Coco (13) had not one, but two water bottles in her lunch bag.  I do blame blogging.  Ellen

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