The case of the missing Gingerbread People

gingerbread house

As gingerbread houses pop up this holiday season, I’m reminded to buy extra candy, because my boys will eat half of it while we attempt to assemble said house.

Ah- assembling! How many of us have tried to put together our wonky-made fresh cooked gingerbread walls and roofs that NEVER seem to quite fit together with icing that refuses to serve as an efficient mortar? I plan to write a complaint to the National Association of Home Builders’ gingerbread division. Continue reading

Finding your voice, in your own time

DSC02197I’m listening to my youngest — now a teenager — COUGH and I’m praying he won’t develop the laryngitis I suffered from recently (see “Silence in the Man Cave” part 1, part 2 and part 3). If there’s anyone who genuinely enjoys talking as much as his network-news-correspondent mom, it’s my youngest.

I remember when he was about 5 or 6, on Saturday mornings, the door to our bedroom would creak open. Only a small hand reaching up to the doorknob visible. Continue reading

Driver’s Ed in the Man Cave

Drivers educationSo, I’m sitting in the little red Honda that I’ve owned since my boys were babies and their child safety seats were firmly strapped into the back seats, but this time my oldest son is sitting in the front seat and NOT on the passenger’s side!

Oh no.

He’s in the DRIVER’S seat. His lankly legs tucked under the steering wheel and his tall back pushed up against the back of the seat. Ready to learn how to drive!

Continue reading

The recessive gene conundrum

Wheel of Fortune-geneMy youngest, through the genetic wheel-of-fortune, is a blonde haired green-eyed boy.

As chance would have it, his school is full of predominately dark haired, beautifully brown-eyed students.

SO. He has become the go-to example in his biology class.

He said, “Mom, anytime she (his teacher) needs to point to an example of recessive genes, it’s ME: ‘Blonde, green eyed- oh heck! Just look at William.’” Continue reading

Signs your teen still loves you

Heart signThe men of the Man Cave are actually quite different despite their obvious physical resemblance. My sons look so much like my husband, we should have just cloned him … and I could’ve skipped labor.

My youngest is chatty and cheeky. The other day he walked past me — music blaring from the cell phone in his pocket.

“Where’s that music coming from?” I asked.

“I’m just epic,” he said. “Like Darth Vader. I just walk into a room and music starts playing!”

My oldest is more serious — feet firmly planted in the world of teenager-hood. He answers most of my questions with a grunt and greets my jokes with a two syllable version of Mom. Imagine “Maahh-uum,” complete with eye roll. Continue reading

‘Nooit Gedacht’ Or ‘My never expected home”

GpaWouter2The family home — the one I grew up in — was sold shortly after my parents divorced. By that time, most of us “kids” were already young adults; finishing college or embarking on new careers. But there was still a sense of loss knowing that my own children would never get to “go home” with me. Yes, my in-laws still live in the house my husband grew up in, so there’s a feeling of history, there. But MY home, was gone.

Then … something happened …  slowly … over time.

Continue reading

Attack of the Sock Monkeys!

sock-monkeyWhile visiting my mother and sister, recently, they insisted we go to a particular restaurant that tends to give me the hee-bee-jee-bees. So as not to offend or violate copy right rules, let’s just call it “Snacker Bucket.”

To get to a table at Snacker Bucket, one has to walk through a barrage of tchotchkes, knickknacks, packaged snacks, quilts, towels, and home-made lace covered items that scream you are NO LONGER IN THE MAN CAVE.

Seriously, it’s as if the Midwest-women’s knitting circle EXPLODED in there.

This restaurant and its appendage-shop have single handedly answered the question, and YES — Yes, you CAN have too many sock monkeys in one place. Continue reading

Hopelessly scarred by the ‘butter knife incident’

knife-blogMy husband scolded me again. For giving our sons butter knives instead of steak knives. Call it the unyielding Mommy instinct: I KNOW they’re teenagers and I KNOW they’re even taller than I am. But knives are SHARP. I’ve learned this from my own experience.

You see, when the boys were much younger, I was rushing to get dinner on:

Oldest says, “I’m hungry!” so I grab a roll, planning to cut it, spread butter on it and give it to him. So I grasp said-roll… and a serrated butter knife. Yep. Apparently someone thought it would be GENIUS to put sharp, jagged edges on a knife that is ALSO slippery with butter. Continue reading

‘Everyone gets a trophy’ is fine with me

everyone-gets-a-trophyThe “Entitled Generation … SPOILED kids … and it all starts with giving everyone a trophy!” Yes it’s a catchy phrase. And it’s SO wrong on every level.

“They get a trophy just for showing up!” They are not just “showing up.” A young child who’s involved in team sports is learning basic rules, teamwork, commitment (you are part of this team so you’re going to practice) and that running, jumping and moving-their-little-bodies is at LEAST as fun as playing a video game. I agree that by the time they’re in the third grade, abilities and levels of commitment change and then, yes, go ahead and limit the trophies. Until that time, it IS an accomplishment just getting their little butts into their uniforms and onto the baseball diamond, soccer pitch, and hockey rink or basketball court. Continue reading

What’s for dinner in the Man Cave?

frozen-dinnersThere is a show on an esteemed cooking channel that challenges chefs to open a basket, full of “mystery” items of food, and then dares chefs to make something out of them. To me and others in the Man Cave, this is called DINNER.

Dinner Attempt #1: Open the freezer. Take something out. Thaw it and make dinner. I’ll admit that once I pulled a freezer bag out, sighed and asked, “What IS that?!” My oldest replied, “Merle’s hand.” If you are a “The Walking Dead” fan you will ‘get’ this. If not, don’t look it up. It will ruin YOUR dinner. Continue reading