When Momma Gets Sick….

…Daddy becomes a superhero.

So, I was going to post something snarky with this picture of  piled up laundry like, “Look what happens when Momma gets sick.”  And you know what?  My awesome hubby, Mr. Momma Marks, washed it. All of it. And the giant pile in the kids room too. And he’s been cooking, cleaning, and bathing the children while I’m laid up with a fever, tonsillitis, and an ear infection. He’s like Superman. (Or he just wants to get laid). Either way, good man. Good man.


Why Kids are in a Hurry to Grow Up…..And Why It’s a Sham

Lately my 4-year old has been talking a lot about growing up.  “Momma, when will I be a grown-up?” is a frequent questions she asks as well as, “How can I grow up faster?”  I recall imagining being a grown up all the time when I was a kid.  I couldn’t wait.  And now here I am, all grown up, and really disenchanted by it.

Why is it that kids always want to grow up so fast and adults always say, “don’t be in such a hurry”?

Just now, my girl, having made herself a little stage, is singing at the top of her lungs to an imaginary audience.  And I just caught the lyrics, “When I am a grown up, I can do whatever I want.”

And, that’s it, isn’t it?  That’s why we want to grow up….so we can do whatever we want.

And there’s the sham.  I am grown up, and now I have kids.  And I hardly EVER get to do what I want.

~Momma Marks


How I Tricked My Children into Thinking I’m the Best Mom Ever

It’s Fat Tuesday.  I’m just as eager to justify a pancake breakfast as the next gal! And when I told my little munchkins I would make pancakes for them, they both jumped up and down shouting, “pancakes!  pancakes!” in unison.  I smiled, pleased with myself that I could elicit such joy from my little loves.

Then I set to the task of actually preparing the pancakes.  Now, I must preface this by saying, I am not the world’s best cook, by any means; however, I can generally produce the basics: scrambled eggs, pasta, pancakes, potatoes, bowls of cereal.  I may not be the best, but I’m not the worst either.  Maybe I’d say I’m slightly below average, but I try.  Anyhow, pancakes should have been a pretty easy triumph, but there I stood over the stove with dread creeping up my spine as I was getting down to the last of the batter and not one pancake had turned out right.  How could I stand to disappoint my little darlings who were still twirling around the living room dreamily in anticipation of their special breakfast treat.

This is how: I cut off the best parts of each pancake, and sliced them into bite-sized pieces.  Then I doused them in sugary syrup.  And I set them down in front of the kids as though it were the best pancakes ever.  They followed my lead, and with chubby fingers wrapped around their forks, dug in.

They LOVED them, and they never knew how horrible they really were.  Thank you, sugary syrup, for saving my breakfast disaster.

Happy Fat Tuesday!



How I Used Up a Day’s Worth of Energy in One Hour

Disclaimer: I have contracted the cold that my children have, so I am feeling extra wimpy.  Nonetheless, this is how my morning progressed:

Trying to get ready to take my daughter to preschool.

J: 2 year old boy, tantrum because he doesn’t want to get changed out of his pj’s into clothes.

K: 4 year old girl, eating her breakfast at an extraordinarily slow rate while I tell her to hurry because she need to get ready for school.

J: Tantrum because he doesn’t want his poopy diaper changed.

K: Continuing to eat while I put her clothes on for her.

J: Tantrum because he doesn’t want to brush his teeth.

K: Moving around while I try to brush her hair.

J: Tantrum because I am brushing K’s hair and not paying attention to him.

K: Tantrum because J came up to hit her while I was brushing her hair.

J: Tantrum because I am bringing him back downstairs.

K: Tantrum because she wants to be carried down the stairs rather than walk herself.

J: Tantrum because he doesn’t want to wear socks.

K: Tantrum because she put her coat on backwards.

J: Tantrum because he doesn’t want to wear boots.

K: Curled up in a little ball pouting because she couldn’t get her coat on by herself.

J: Tantrum because he doesn’t want to wear a coat.

K: Floppy and whining while I put her coat on for her (yes, I conceded).

J: Taking off his hat and mittens.

K: Tantrum because she can’t get her boots on by herself (she can but she doesn’t want to)

J: Tantrum because I am putting his hat and mittens back on.

K: Tantrum because she can’t get her backpack on by herself (again, she can but doesn’t want to).

J: Taking off his his hat and mittens.

K: Crying about a booger in her nose.

J: Tantrum because I am putting his hat and mittens back on.

K: Crying because I am scolding her for throwing her tissue on the floor and not in the garbage.

J: Taking off his hat and mittens.

MOM: Walking out the door without J’s hat and mittens or her own.

K: Playing in the snow instead of walking to the car.

J: Playing in the snow instead of walking to the car.

K: Whining because she is having trouble climbing into her car seat with all her winter gear on.

J: Tantrum because he doesn’t want to be buckled into his car seat.

K: Whining because she dropped a tissue on the floor of the car.

J: Tantrum and screaming “I DON”T LIKE IT”.

MOM: Getting in the car, taking deep breath, and driving kids to school, lamenting because we are running late….AGAIN.

Is it too early in the morning for wine?  Or a nap?


They Lasted ALMOST a Month

Per the state of Illinois, preschools do vision and hearing screenings.  When we got a notice home saying this was happening, I didn’t think twice about it.  When I got a notice that my 3 year old failed it, I was surprised.  At first, I thought she must have failed the hearing test.  She’s constantly screaming (but that’s actually probably just for attention’s sake).  Upon re-screening, she failed the vision test a second time.  And so I went home and made the first available appointment with my eye doctor.

It had never occurred to me to put my 3 year old on my vision insurance.  Both my husband and I wear glasses, but I was 18 before I donned mine, so I thought any vision correction was a long way off.  So, $400 later, we walked out of that doctor’s office with purple eye glasses on order (any other color was a deal-breaker as far as my daughter was concerned).

Once they were in, I was shocked at how thick the lenses were.  And we’re set to revisit the doctor three months later to adjust the prescription because to put her in what she actually needed would have been to harsh an adjustment.  Needless to say, there was some major mom guilt.  How did I not notice my little darling was blind as a bat?  How do you notice something like that?  No clue.  But I’m her mom. I should have, right?  Oh well, Mom.  What’s done is done.  Shove on.  

Next hurdle?  How do you convince a just turned 4 year old who has busted quite a few pairs of princess sunglasses to take good care of her glasses?  The best damn way you can.  My husband and I began instilling in her how important it is to take care of them, clean them, take them on and off safely, put them down so the lenses don’t scratch, put them in their case when not wearing them, etc, etc, etc.  It’s been exhausting, but with my diligence (and hers), we’ve persevered.  Until today.

They Lasted ALMOST a month.

They Lasted ALMOST a month.

Accidents happen.

And today, there was an accident.

And tears.

And guilt.

And more tears.

But you know what….they were under warranty.

New glasses are on order.

Let’s hope they last more than a month.



Correction to Previous Post

It has come to my attention, from one of my amazing readers, that I wrote “fowl” mouthed, as in cluck, cluck, chicken as opposed to “foul” mouthed, as in wash it out with soap.  Apologies for the first ever blog entry error.

Disclaimer: That NEVER would have happened BC (Before Children).


Momma Mush-Brain, aka MommaMarks


Killing Jesus

When her thin, little voice asked with complete sincerity, “And then did God kill all the bad guys that killed Jesus?” I knew I had told that story all wrong.

I had never really given much thought to how I would talk to my children about the story of Jesus.  I know many parents put a lot of thought into it ahead of time, and today, as I stumbled through the story of Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection, I wish I had been one of those parents.

In retrospect, there are many amazing stories about Jesus I could have told that have nothing to do with him being killed or coming back to life, but in the moment when my 4 year old daughter looked to me with her wide, blue eyes and asked me what did Jesus do, I totally had to wing it.

The conversation started out well enough.  She climbed onto my lap and asked to see the necklace I was wearing that has a tiny picture of Mother Mary engraved onto it.

“That’s Mary,” I said matter-of-factly, but she looked at me quizzically, her eyes telling me she required more explanation.  “Jesus’s Mom,” I added, and when that still didn’t quite satisfy her, I reminded her of the Christmas story she had just been exposed to a month before.  She nodded, remembering the story of Jesus’s birth, but then asked, “But, what did Jesus do?”

I immediately took this to mean that she wanted to know why he is important, and here I could have picked any one of a dozen stories from the Bible where Jesus performed a miracle and it would have been a nice story.

But instead, I decided to tell her, basically, about how Jesus was a political activist.  “Well,” I started off.  “There were some mean people that only wanted to allow rich people in the churches…” At this point, my mind sort of drifted, thinking, should I explain that they were actually temples, or synagogues, and that Jesus was a Jew? No, No, keep it simple, I reminded myself.  “And Jesus, I continued, thought that ALL people should be allowed to go to Church, whether they were rich or poor or healthy or sick.”  She listened so intently.

“And what did they do to Jesus?” she asked.

“Well,” and it came out before I even thought it all the way through.  “They killed him.”  I still cringe at myself for saying that because it opened up a whole new can of proverbial worms.  “They KILLED him?” she asked in disbelief.  “Killed him DEAD?”

“Well…uh…um…yes.  Jesus believed that everyone should be able to go to Church but the mean people didn’t, so they…um…killed him.”

That’s when she basically asked me if God smited the “mean people” for killing Jesus.

“No, no.  Jesus taught us that we don’t hurt other people, even if they hurt us.  If someone hits you, are you supposed to hit them back?”

“No,” she answered.

“That’s what Jesus taught us,” I said, feeling like I’d recovered.  “You don’t hurt other people.”   I was very pleased with myself, but my recovery was short lived.  “And then Jesus came back to life,” I said, and she jumped up with a start, like I’d just told her the sky would be purple tomorrow.

“He came back to life?” she asked, awe lacing that little voice.

“Yes.  After Jesus died, he came back to life and reminded us all not to hurt each other, so the mean people weren’t mean anymore. “   It wasn’t very eloquent, but I was feeling I had weathered yet another hard question until I said, “And then he went to heaven.”  I knew this was in error as soon as she said, “Heaven? Where is heaven?”

“Um, well, uh….”

“Is heaven in the sky?” she asked.

“I don’t really know,” I told her honestly.  “But it seems like a good place for heaven.  Some people believe that’s where heaven is.”

“I believe heaven is in the sky above the clouds,” she announced.

I smiled. “Well, that’s good,” I said.  And then I made one more horrible blunder because at some point during the next few moments where I fielded a few more questions about Jesus and heaven, I said flatly, “Heaven is where you go when you die.”

“Are you going to die?” she asked and clutched me in a fierce hug.

I held her as tight as I could, and told her the truth.

“Yes,” I said.

But I added, “But not until I’m a hundred years old, so you don’t have to worry about that for a very long time.” Here I deviated from the truth because I have no intent on living until I’m a hundred.

And then after that tight embrace, she released me and began to tell me about flying to heaven and magic and some sort of fantastical tale that I did not really get the gist of, but I was grateful the conversation was over.

All and all, I’d say I learned a valuable lesson in that maybe it isn’t always necessary to tell all the harsh stories first, particularly to wide-eyed, imaginative 4-year olds.  Maybe we don’t always have to start out killing Jesus.