Monthly Archives: December 2012

Wrap up…aka humiliations gallery


Prologue If my husband had his way, this blog would be known as “Humiliations Gallore”; the title aptly stolen from The Princess Bride’s  Inigo Montoya’s  conversation with Miracle Max  Miracle Max: Wait. Wait. I make him better, Humperdinck suffers? Inigo Montoya:Humiliations galore! Miracle Max: That is a noble cause. Give me the sixty-five, .. But upon closer examination, every one and their brother has a blog or a site with that name, therefore…..

Last night when I sat down to write this blog, I asked the doll, “Can you remember a time when you were really really embarrassed about something?  If so, what was it and how long did it take you to laugh at what had happened?”  “Mom, I don’t understand what your asking me and even if I did, I wouldn’t tell you…” she replied.  “Now doll, you’re taking an awful big chance leaving it up to me to come up with something on  my own…..” I replied; hoping to scare her into an answer.  I was met with the doll, grabbing  kitchen door and closing it; leaving me isolated in the kitchen.  I guess reliving embarrassments is my thing, not hers.

0602012 was a year of fun.  I don’t know how other years’ compare-in the fun department; but so far as my memory holds, 2012 is right up at the top.  My family traveled to St. Maartin in the Virgin Islands and spent a week in paradise–literally.  We traversed back and forth from the Dutch side to the French side and marveled at the differences–particularly in clothing; or the lack there of… As we walked along Orient Beach, the doll scrunched her nose and asked, “Mommy, why is everyone on that side of the beach naked?”  “Doll, ” interjected the boy, “Had you been paying attention to Happy Harold you would understand, the French side of the beach allows people to sunbathe in the nude”.  “Shut up Boy!! I wasn’t talking to you!” the doll replied.  I repeated the boy’s answer and all was right in the world.  “Mom, all those men are ugly”  the doll pointed out.  Looking down the French side of the beach, I couldn’t help but concur; even Speedo’s would have made and improvement.


0380022012 was also a year of growing.  There were several times the boy came home very upset with his classmates, over what he deemed as their attempts to mock and humiliate him. “Welcome to junior high!” I would say in my feeble attempts to soothe his ego.  “Mom, they’re all just idiots!”  “Yeah probably; but not any more than you are, Bay.  Kids make fun of one another in hopes no one sees their own flaws.    It’s the nature of the beast”.  I tried to explain.  “That doesn’t justify their actions” He correctly argued.  “No it doesn’t, nor does it yours…  But maybe you can look beyond their flaws–be the bigger kid here….  While we still experienced a few big bumps in the road, his year did improve–especially with his prowess as a quiz bowl athlete.  He led his team to a 9-1 record and received many accolades from classmates for his efforts.  “You know Mama, I really like quiz bowl and the kids all seem to like me”.  He said after the season ended.  “What’s not to like?” Came my typical Mama retort–but what would you expect?007
Speaking of  growing…the boy passed me in height over the summer.  As you can tell from the pictures he’s now a monster.  He wears the same sized pants as his father…and pats me on top of the head, every chance he gets…talk about humiliating… but none can deny what a handsome young man he’s turning into…ugly Xmas sweatshirt aside.


0042012 was the year I took a good look at myself and laughed.  Well honestly, doing so was not difficult, especially when one has an allergic reaction to hair dye.  I remember sitting in the ER waiting room at St. Anne’s Hospital and thinking, “at least your breathing is unaffected and this is kind of funny” (expensive, but funny nonetheless).  Even my hubby got in on the act.  God only knows why I was in such a good mood that day–and found all of this absurd instead of hurt and bitter–which many people told me I should be.  Maybe working the pancake breakfast fundraiser the next day–swollen face and all and reliving the stupidity involved over and over helped.  Or maybe having the good fortune to realize,  my temporary state was nothing compared to others who suffer real chronic problems.

Last week as I fumbled around a local mall trying to buy last minute Christmas items, I decided to purchase some new bras.  “Shhh, MOM!! You’re not supposed say that word out loud” the doll just said over my shoulder.  “Doll, I didn’t say it, I wrote it–different. Besides what do you care?” I asked “You’re not going to tell them that story are you?” She asked.  “Why?  Does it embarrass you?” I reply.  “Yes” the doll answered.  “Why?  It’s about me, not you…”  Using her neck to move her head in a circular motion-dripping in attitude she replied, “Mom you embarrass and humiliate me all the time”.  Smiling back at her I replied “Good! Now we’re even”.

Humiliations and embarrassments aside, 2012 was an awesome year.  Personal growth and laughter made up a large majority of what went on.  As I get older and these days seem to run together, I’m both bewildered by my babies physical growth (when did this happen?) and blessed by what they bring into my life.  I can only hope 2013 brings more of the same–though without a swollen face this time (btdt).

Happy New Year with many blessings to come!

Marsha8of9, the Hub, the boy and the doll,  the terrorist and Brownie too!

Epilogue: One of the most embarrassing moments I shared with the doll,  I wrote about in the blog titled “Of Kitty and doll” (  This adventure merits a blog for you all to re-read.  Any attempts by me to rehash the embarrassment will not do the story justice.  If you would like to read the follow-up “Boxes” you can do so here ( as they are companion pieces.


You’ll be the best mommy ever if……


Every Christmas eve my family hosts a White Elephant gift exchange.  What once started out as a fun way for adults not to over spend on holiday gift exchanges has now become the highlight of the evening.  The problem though, the kids want to be involved as well.  I had invited a friend to come spend the evening with my family and she wondered what would happen if the kids picked up a gift that included alcohol.  “Their parents will take the gift, or find a way for one of the older-legal kids to make an exchange.  There wasn’t much worry this year as the younger kids worked for gifts they wanted.   For the doll that gift was a candy dispensing machine with a large bag of m&m’s included.

“Please mommy, please?  If someone steals this would you please exchange this back for me?” the doll begged.  “No” I replied. The last thing I want in my house is a candy machine.  Shoot I want to lose weight in the new year, not add temptations.  “PUULLEEEEASE Mommy.  If you do, you’ll be the best mommy ever!!”  “No.” I replied again; chuckling at her bribe for something that was already true. “You’re being mean MOM!!” the doll said in an attitude laced voice.  “Yeah well…if the shoe fits…” I said under my breath.

I had the second to last number, 34. The doll had to sit through 25 picks hoping and praying no one would notice the candy dispenser.  “Mom, it’s not fair.  Nathan has two numbers.  He didn’t use it the first time, but he will this time I’m sure of it”.  She said offering a more pressing reason why I should help her keep the dispenser.   Nathan, her older cousin must have overheard her plea because when his next turn arrived, he swiped it from her.  A look of despair crossed her face.  Instead of grabbing a more coveted prize to use as leverage, dejected she picked a gift no one wanted: a pair of “Christmas Story pink bunny with footed pajamas” made for an adult. “What were you thinking?” I asked her.  “What?   I think they’re cute”.

The moment of truth had arrived.  I looked over at the doll and mouthed the words, “I’m sorry” and moved to steal the most coveted item in the exchange, a framed photo of my mother’s Senior class picture.  Of course I didn’t have that long, as the cavalcade of swiping caused by my action began.  When all was said and done, I was once again empty handed and looking for a gift.  I tried to avoid the candy dispenser, instead picking a bag which contained a nice bottle of Bailey’s.  “Ooh, car bombs on New Year’s eve!” I said holding a big smile on my face.  Until that is the last person began a string of swipes which once again left me empty handed.   I looked over at the doll and swiped the candy from Nathan.  Upon retrieving the dispenser, the doll grabbed the goods and left the room–leaving nothing to chance that anyone could swipe it from her again.

“Mommy, you really are the best mommy ever!” the doll said as she leaned in to give me a thankful hug.  “You’re preaching to the choir doll, preaching to the choir…” I said in return.  “Huh?  What’s that mean?” She asked. “Never mind.”

Postscript: I heard I was the greatest ALL day on Christmas except when she didn’t get her way.  What does that tell you of her perceptions of me…? Oh and MY dispenser has been placed into HER bedroom, fully loaded and operational.  “Doll, where’s my candy machine?” I ask.  She never looks up, however, the her tongue wiggles inside her mouth as if trying to hold back a smile or laugh.  Uh huh….

Still learning after all these years…


“Boy, if you could have any video game on the planet, what would you get?” I asked the boy one night, after he turned out his lights for bed.  “Who wants to know?” He asked.  “Your Secret Santa…” I lied.  I was in the middle of a purchase on Amazon and decided to add some fun into the children’s “Clothing Christmas” by including a video game for them both.   The doll was easy to figure out–Just Dance 4 was all the rage!  The boy however I had no clue.  “Well Nintendo has a new Pokemon Black and White game out..” he began.  “Don’t you already own those?” I asked.  “No mom, these are sequels…” “Alright, I’ll tell them…” I said and exited his room.

Fast forward to the Christmas eve party and no secret Santa video game arrived.  Quite frankly I had forgotten all about my little deceptive game and could not understand why the boy seemed so unhappy.  “Marsha, is the boy getting some video game tomorrow?” My sister asked.  “No…why?”  “He’s upset.  He’s sitting out in the front room upset that he didn’t receive some video game tonight”.  “Huh.”   I said.  Wandering into the living room, sure enough, there he was sitting alone, looking upset.  “Mama, is it okay if Dad and I go over to Grammy’s for a little while?  This house is too noisy and I’m overwhelmed.”

A few years ago I would have fought him on this premise.  Today, I’m very aware how chaotic my family is and considering we’re all kind of deaf…I’m sure we’re quite loud.   “If your dad is ready to go, then sure…but you’ll miss the ‘White Elephant’ gift exchange…” I said, hoping that alone would allure him to stay.  “No thank you.” he replied.  A few minutes later both he and Dad were gone.   By the time they returned two hours later, the party was winding down.  The doll was finishing up her last dance (Just Dance 4 on Wii) with her cousins–though Elle spun off a controller, landed on a chair and fell asleep almost immediately. A short time later we were home…the kids in bed and me standing at the kitchen table wrapping presents in the wee hours of the morning.

As I pulled out the boy’s video game to wrap, the events of the night and my little deception all came back to me.  “Damn.” I said as I began to wrap.  “What’s up?” my hub asked concerned.  “Well, as his mother I blew it again.” I replied.  “What are you talking about?”  “See this dumb game?  I asked the boy what game he wanted, but under the guise of a “secret Santa” which explains why he was so bummed out tonight over at Dan’s”.  “Well, he was bummed out.  But listen he did have fun at Grammy’s playing cards with Great Gram.  Besides, when he opens this in the morning, all will be forgiven.”  “I know…” I replied.  “I just wish he hadn’t been disappointed tonight”.  I said sadly, more to myself than to him.  “Well…I’m sure…” he began, “this will not be the last time we disappoint him…”


Postscript.  He was very happy to receive the game from me and all was forgiven…then he received the other sequel from his Grandmother, which made him feel extra special.  Everything worked out for him in the end and mom feels less guilty but learned an important lesson…always tell the truth or remember your lies or you’ll feel like crud.

Car talk….


As always happens, when Dad and the boy are not around, the doll and I engage in some rewarding talks–and most all of these talks take place when I’m driving and she’s in the backseat behind me.  This past Sunday we had a heck of a talk and lord, did I enjoy myself….much to the doll’s embarrassment.

We were travelling to her Grandmother’s house for Christmas part one with her Aunt Lisa and Uncle Tom; but before we could get there, we needed to stop and buy cards and candy.  “Mom, if you’re in a bad mood one minute, then happy the next then feel like you could cry for no reason….are those signs of puberty?”  “Yes.”  “Well then, I must be in puberty because that’s how I feel all the time now”.  I smiled, trying not to laugh at her simplistic explanation.  “Mom, do boys go through all these weird changes?”  “Well they do, but differently.  I’m not sure their moods swing like girls, but they definitely go through odd changes. “Why does this happen?”  She whined.

Well doll it’s called hormones.  Your body is preparing your body to be able to carry a baby.  You’re transitioning from a little girl to a young lady.  “Yeah but if you can’t get pregnant until your married, why go through it at age ten?”  “Who says?” I asked.  “Who says what?” she replied.  “Who says you can’t get pregnant when you’re a teenager?” I asked.  “Well mom….”  “No doll, listen to me.  I’ve known several girls who were pregnant at age twelve.  TWELVE–That’s a year and a half older than you are now.  They had their babies at age 13.  ”  “How?” she asked, very confused.  “They had unprotected sex, that’s how.”  “What do you mean by “unprotected”? she asked.

I knew I had traveled into new territory where I could change the subject in an effort to avoid answering the questions or I could face them head on.  Since she was in the back seat, it was easier for me to address them  and be as honest and frank as possible, without making fun–but the latter part was very difficult.

“Doll do you know what sex is?” I asked.  “No mom, duh, of course I don’t know what it is….” she replied with a sarcastic tone.” “Alright…tell me.”  She deliberated for a moment before saying, “Well, when your married…” NOPE, that’s not sex.” I interrupted.  “O-kaay”, she replied.   “Well, when you fall in….”  “EH”! I said, simulating a buzzer, “Wrong again.  Listen doll we’re talking about sex; S-E-X, the bare bones as it were…what is SEX”.  She was quiet a moment longer before giving way to snapping fingers… “It’s when the, umm, what’s it called again…it’s when the whatchamacalic thingymabopper meets up with the egg”.  “No, that’s not sex, that’s the result of sex….try again.”  I could hear her squirm in the seat, wishing desperately she were sitting anywhere but inside this car with me.

“I’m not going to say it…” She said.  “Come on doll, it’s not a bad word.  It’s an odd word to be sure, but it’s not a bad word and you won’t get in trouble for saying the word…now tell me…” I encouraged.  “Um, it’s when the, um, the Dad’s…um….private part (she said, very pleased by her word choice) comes in contact with the girls private part.”  “That is the worst explanation that I’ve ever heard…” I replied. “Repeat after me, it’s when the boy’s PENIS…”  As the word penis sprang from my lips, the doll screamed, “MOOOOOMMMMMMMMM!” and began poking me in the back of the neck.   “Hey, stop hitting the driver!” I shouted, while trying not to laugh.  “Doll Penis…when the boy’s penis goes inside the girls vagina!”  Upon hearing the word “Vagina” I was treated to another round of yelling and hitting.

As we pulled into the local drug store, I asked her, “Do you know what your vagina is?”  “Mom, I’m done having this talk with you.” She said as we entered the building.  “Doll, we’re in the middle of a very important discussion.  You don’t expect me to stop talking about it simply because we’ve entered the store do you?”  If looks could kill I’d be wounded, maimed.  It wasn’t until we were standing in front of the card section and I began to jump up and down and say “Sex, Sex, we’re talking about Sex” over and over that I believe she gave me the kill shot, then walked into another aisle, leaving me dying at the card rack.

Once we were back inside the car I concluded our discussion….

“Doll, the point of the issue is this….puberty is a strange time for both sexes, boys and girls alike.  For girls you’ll start your menstrual cycle and for boys they begin having odd feelings toward girls.  The older you get, the more these feelings intensify.  I would love, love, love for you to wait until your happy and married; but I’m not naive enough to believe no boy will pressure you to have sex with him at some point.  I want you to be prepared, as much as possible, so you can make the right decisions…to ensure you are safe.  Plus, if you have questions….real questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me…even if I don’t have the answer, you and I can figure them out together.  Alright?”

I’m not sure if she was simply happy to have the “sex” talk over with, or if she actually listened to everything I said.  I hope/pray she did.  Before we entered her grandmother’s house though she asked, “One thing I don’t understand….”  “What’s that baby?”  “How does the spermymaggigy get out of the you know what?”  Smiling, I replied, “Well, there is some work that needs to be done, for sure, but, if you imagine a wind up toy….you wind it up and up and up until it’s ready and then when you release the toy it shoots out fast…”  The look on her face was priceless as her mind conjured up the image.  “Ewwww!” she said.  “Ewww is right doll…” I replied with a laugh “especially in your teens.”

adventures in my land….


Many things have transpired over the weekend…some I would love to write about; but alas, my BFF Christmas gift exchange ran late….and I slept in!  Now we’re in a bug rush to make our food and wrap our presents and get to church before the festivities begin tonight.  So I guess the blog will have to wait a few days…  God please allow me to remember it all….

Happy Holidays to all those who read this blog, my family celebrates Christmas, the coming of our Savior into the world so I’m off for a Merry Christmas.  I’ll be back on Wednesday….I’m sure full of stories the doll and boy would rather I not tell….


Merry Christmas!

Christmas vacation…


The doll began Christmas vacation by packing a bag and riding her bike to a friends, to spend the night.  She yelled “Bye mom!” as she walked out of the house, excited by what her day and night might hold.  “Hey!  Get back here!” I shouted.  “What?” she said, standing in my kitchen, hand on hip and acting very perturbed that I called her back into the room.  “Can I get something more than  a quick ‘bye mom’? Please?”  Her shoulders slumped as she took two steps toward me, leaning in to give me a hug and said, “I’ll see you later mom…I love you.”  As I squeezed her back I echoed her sentiment.  Then in typical mommy fashion I said, “Get outta here!”  She smiled and left the house happy.  I just wish she wasn’t that happy to be rid of us for a night.

The boy meanwhile has discovered The Piano guys on  Youtube.  For any of you who may have missed them, I’ll load a link for you to check them out.  “Mom, you have to watch this video on the Carol of the Bells.  This has to quite possibly the best version I have ever seen!” ( He announced enthusiastically at bedtime.  I of course saw this as a stall tactic and told him I would watch independent from him.  In other words, Go to bed!

Since that initial video, he’s really been captured by the beauty of classical music, as performed by these musicians.  I’m not sure if our school’s music program has been that instrumental in capturing his imagination, but these artists certainly have.  However at this moment I’ve been thinking about banning the music from my house.  Not because they are bad mind you, but rather because how many times can you hear the same music over and over again and not get sick of them?

I know…more evidence that the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree.


Need a second look? Great video!

Secret Santa’s….


Every year we are faced with the same dilemma.  The children’s need to buy a cheap, or rather, inexpensive -yet a nice gift for their “secret” Santa.   One year the boy informed me about the gift the day before it was due, thus forcing us to run to the dollar store, where their selection of cheap gifts were virtually wiped out.  His poor present included a multitask flashlight and candy bar.  A flashlight I might add, which broke apart shortly after it was removed from its packaging.  The boy on the other hand received a nice giant candy bar, (which made me slap my head and announce to myself, why didn’t I think of that?”) much to his like and my dismay.

This year the doll came home and announced two weeks before the Secret Santa presents were due and the amount she was to spend.  “Mom, Ms. Stevens said we can only spend $3.00 nothing more.”  “Can you spend less than that?” I asked for clarification.  She wrinkled her nose then added “Jeeze Mom, is there anything that costs less than $3.00?”  Apparently not.  “Oh and the boy is going to need one too, though I doubt he’ll tell you.” The doll added, correctly predicting her brother’s inaction.


Yesterday when the doll walked in from school, I asked her how her day was.  She had a sour look upon her face, which could only mean one thing….Secret Santa sucked.  “Mom, guess what?”   “What?”   “Well today was Secret Santa right?”  “Yes…” “And we spent $3.00 on those candy books…”  “Well technically I spent $2.99; but go on…”  “Mom, stop interrupting me.  Well so anyway, we are in the room, eating pizza and Ms. Steven’s announces it’s time to exchange gifts.  So I gave mine to Faith and…”  “What did you get?”  “A bag of Dorito’s from the kid’s lunch”.  I began to laugh.  I couldn’t help myself. “MOM!”  “I’m sorry doll, maybe he forgot”.   “No!  They’ve been making announcements about it everyday for the past two weeks, ‘Don’t forget Wednesday is Secret Santa Day’; he should have known.”  “Who was your Secret Santa?”  “Jagger”.  Upon hearing the boy’s name came the recognition that his family does not have a lot of money.  $3.00 could mean a lot to their family. “Oh doll, his family doesn’t have much money” I replied.  “I know. I mean I kinda get that, but at the same time….”

About then her brother walked into the house carrying a large smile across his face  “Hello mama!  My exams are finished!”   “Cool, how do you think you did?”  “I think I did very well and what’s more, check out what I got from my Secret Santa!” He held up 2 thirds of an uneaten giant Hershey Chocolate bar”.  The doll lowered her head and sulked.  “Doll, tell your brother what you got?” I said laughing.  Shooting me a dirty look she somberly said, “A bag of Doritos from his lunch box”.  The boy smirked but added, “Were they Nacho Cheese?”  “No! And I don’t even like Doritos” she added.  “Wait, you didn’t eat them?” I asked, thinking I could give her a few dollars for the bag of chips–at least helping her out of her doldrums.  “No I ate them…it’s just the total disrespect of the whole event.  I mean it wasn’t supposed to come from his lunch box.  It was supposed to be wrapped”.

“So…are you more upset about the Doritos or the fact that his gift seemed more of an after thought?” I asked. “Well, both I suppose.  You know mom, you could make me feel better by buying me a chocolate milk shake while we’re out shopping later…” She suggested.  I smiled and thoughtfully replied, “Nah, I like watching you be upset more”.  She didn’t appreciate my answer and playfully slapped me in the arm which brought about more laughter from me and then more slaps from her.

On a side note, her brother, with whom she fights constantly; showed considerable kindness to his sister by splitting what was left of his chocolate bar with her…though she might argue he was only bribing her.  Regardless,  she got Doritos and some of the boy’s yummy chocolate which is way more than most.