Reflections on Diapers and Driver’s Licenses

I am the mother of a teenage son who now posses a Driver’s License. Good Lord help us all. Teenager took his classroom training in Driver’s Ed last summer during summer school as you may recall from this post. Although he was eligible to get his license 6 months after that we found it took considerable time to get in all the driving time requirements, complete the Behind the Wheel course (which you have to pay for) and also complete a Teen Driving Safety program with a parent. Hubby has been working diligently with him on all this over the course of the last year and when he first started going out with him for driving lessons he’d come back with eyes as big as saucers and looking a little pale. Teenager told me he’d hang onto the “chicken bar” while he sat nervously in the passenger seat. (And it’s here I should put in a public thank you to the Hubby for teaching Teenager to drive---all 50 hours-- because goodness knows I wouldn’t have made it!) So today Teenager drove solo for the very first time. He informed me just before leaving he had never been allowed/taught to back the car out of the garage. So, after instructing him on how to do this, I stood there in the garage, watching as my firstborn strapped on his seatbelt, started the ignition of the car and slowly backed out and drove off. Good grief, where has the time gone? Here he was, behind the wheel of the car, and he’s driving the thing. Wow. And yikes!

Speaking of kids growing up, the little guy is now less than two months away from turning three. How on earth can that be possible? I know I am in denial because in my mind “I just had a baby”. Okay, “I just had a baby a few months ago.” No? All right then, I had a baby exactly 34 months ago and I still have some of the baby weight. I know we have to start working diligently on potty training and I also know we have to ditch the nighttime binkie here pretty soon. But I’m having a huge crisis with all of this because at the same time he’s also going to need a bed before too much longer and so basically my diaper wearing, binkie sucking, crib sleeping baby will suddenly be wearing underwear and sleeping in a bed. Then he’ll be driving. And before you know it he’ll be off to college, never write, never call and I won’t like his girlfriend and…… I know, I know. It happens. Kids grow up-it’s inevitable. Like my Hubby says, you simply have to enjoy the stages they are in and enjoy every minute of it.

Renaissance Faire

I thought I would share a few photos from our latest Renaissance Faire adventure. Hubby decided to use his creative talents to retro-fit a wagon to house the little guy in Renaissance style. I was very impressed with the outcome!


It was also quite helpful to have Teenager to pull this thing around!

DSC01858 DSC01832


 DSC01836 Daddy & Little Guy

The wagon was painted a pretty sage green and Hubby was able to cleverly attach a bicycle basket to the back for storage (it's all about the storage for me!) He even made roll down sides to close it off for possible napping purposes. I made a cushion-ey pad for the inside and had it all set up so little guy could lay down and take a nap after lunch while we strolled around the faire. This never happened, as you might imagine. I guess I was being ridiculously optimistic!  Still though,  a great time was had by all!

Those were the days

We all know the importance of drinking water. I've been carrying around a water bottle pretty much everywhere since I learned this in Weight Watcher's for not only weight loss but general health as well.  I'm pretty good about drinking my water but there are times when I get tired of "plain 'ol water" and yearn for something a little tastier. Of course I do not want added calories and I've never been a soda drinker because to me it's just a bunch of calories I can easily avoid and use somewhere else; like good food or the occasional treat. I cannot stand diet soda or diet anything really; I think the chemical sweeteners aka "sugar substitutes" are essentially poison and we keep all those products out of our home. (I could do another whole post on that subject alone.) So lately I've discovered something new at my friendly neighborhood Target; their Archer Farms brand water with flavor. I almost passed right on by this little gem at first because if you've ever looked at those flavored waters most are either loaded with sugar or made with chemical sweetener in order to be zero calories. But this stuff is totally natural; no sugar, no artificial sweetener or artificial flavor, just a natural flavor added to the water without any type of sweetener. They have various fruit flavors like mango, passion fruit, starfruit, etc. and recently I discovered cucumber. This sounded good because I've often enjoyed water with a slice of cucumber and have noticed more places doing this these days such as the salon I get my once-in-a-blue-moon pedicure at for example. So I bought some, cracked open a cucumber flavor in the car the other day while out with the family and handed it to the hubby to taste without telling him what flavor it was. I started explaining that it was this naturally flavored water I found at Target, etc. etc. I asked him what he thought and he looked kind of confused at first, smacked his lips a couple times and then stated it had an "interesting aftertaste". I said; "Oh? What does it taste like?"  He replied; "Old hose."  Of course I instantly knew just what he meant. Back in the day, as kids playing outside on a summer day when we got thirsty we'd simply skip over to the 'ol garden hose and drink from it. Of course this was before we knew it was full of toxins and long before the days of every man, woman and child carrying around their own personal "hydration vessel".

Naturally, we now have a family joke about this stuff referring to it "hose water". Sounds like a great "retro" marketing plan; adults everywhere can relive the old familiar taste of childhood and summer. Hose water. Ah, the memories.

I know the economy is bad, but this is ridiculous

Over the last couple weeks I've had several occasions to visit a local coffee shop that I haven't frequented in the past. They've got me coming back due to a really yummy yogurt parfait that's small and low in calories--a fact that's totally unimportant to the story. First let me say this is a small place and they offer Free Wi-Fi. The first time I was there a couple weeks ago I was meeting a friend for coffee. While waiting I noticed a man, casually dressed, sitting at one of the tables. I took notice because he had one of the "good" tables that had the nice upholstered chairs, three of them to be exact, and he was taking up a spot complete with his laptop, briefcase, cell phone and other equipment actually plugged into the wall behind him. His cup of coffee was sitting on the table next to him. I thought to myself that it was a bit over-the-top for one person to take over this much room, chairs, etc, and obviously he'd decided to use the place as his own personal office complete with free Wi-Fi access. But here's the kicker folks; every time I've been there since I've seen this same guy with the same set up sitting there. And it gets worse....the last time I was in, I kid you not, I noticed his stuff sitting in his "spot" and a minute later saw him come out of the restroom carrying his bottle of contact lens solution. Frankly, I'm afraid to go back because I just know he'll come stumbling out of the men's room with a towel over his shoulder, toothbrush and razor in hand while wearing boxer shorts.

What do you get when you combine Father's Day with...

a Dad, a Teenager, and a little guy along with a fun-loving SAHM, mix in a sale at Old Navy and add a fair amount of geeky-ness?




Yeah, we're pretty silly and we're not ashamed of it. Hey, you think this is something just wait until Halloween!

A Father’s Day Tribute

I’ve wanted to write this post for awhile now and thought Father’s Day would be the perfect time.

Father’s Day has been an emotional mixed bag for me personally for many years. My own father has been gone twelve years now. Sadly, I never had a very close relationship with him. He was a much older Dad and I don’t feel he was really up for doing the “Dad thing” by the time I came along in his life. He and my mother divorced when I was twelve and I didn’t see him for many years. Once I graduated high school I went to spend the summer with him. Since by this time I was more “grown up” we did have a pretty good relationship so I was thankful for that time we had together. I saw him only a handful of times after that (he would not travel to come see us) until he died. Although he did get to meet his grandson (the now Teenager) when he was only a little over a year old, he never got to meet the little guy since he came along much later in life.

Now, celebrating Father’s day has extra special meaning in our household. My husband was always described by friends and family as the “dad type”, yet he had no children. By the time he hit age 42 (just before we met) I think he’d come to the conclusion that children were just not in the cards for him. Then he marries a thirty-something year old woman with a twelve year old son. He wanted to be a parental figure in my son’s life and at the time no one knew just how important that would be. My oldest son, [whom I refer to as “Teenager” on this blog] was the unfortunate victim of not only his parents' divorce, but years of completely insane custody and court battles that ensued once his father remarried and effectively stopped being a “Dad” to him. So, the hubby decides he needs to bring his A-game and do all he can for this boy who really needs another parental figure in his life. From day one, Hubby has treated Teenager like his own son and stepped up to the plate to be an active parent. I have to give him the credit he so richly deserves for taking on this challenging but critical role and being willing to do all he does for a child not even his own. Here’s an interesting little tidbit; Teenager and Hubby share the very same first name. What an ironic coincidence. Of course, people just assume Teenager is a “Junior” and that notion has been just fine by both Teenager and Hubby.

When the little guy came along just nine and a half months after Hubby and I married, we really felt a complete-ness to our family. By this time, Hubby was already a dad, but now he had a son of his very own as well. We say he’s got one son with his name and the other one with his face. Raising the little guy thus far has been challenging for sure. Hubby comes home from work [right around the time I’m at the end of my rope] and spends quality time with his youngest son and is a fully participating Daddy. I could not do it without him. Some days I am not quite sure how I’ll even make it through the day until he gets home and I’ll be honest-- there’s been more than a few calls to his office over the years begging asking him to come home early.

As a Father’s Day tribute to my husband, I want to thank and praise him for everything he does and for all the effort he puts into parenting. He takes his Dad role seriously. I know he knows not only what a blessing it is to be a Dad but to have been given that opportunity later in life when it looked like he might not have it at all. He is determined to be the best Dad he can possibly be. He realizes from his own experiences how important it is to be an active Dad, to spend time with his kids, to try to be patient, to talk to them and really learn about and understand them as well as teach and guide and them and have meaningful conversations rather than just superficial ones. Being a Father I’m sure carries a lot of stress for a man; the heavy responsibility of providing for your family especially when you are the main breadwinner and all the other tasks and trials that go along with the job. Raising kids is tough as it is and I cannot thank my husband enough for being willing to take on the additional challenges of our situation and to have done so with such determination, understanding, courage and love.

A couple years ago Teenager gave Hubby a plaque for Father’s Day that pretty well sums it up:

"Any man can be a Father. It takes someone special to be a Dad."

Happy Father’s Day to my hubby

and to Dads everywhere

groomsmen daddy & baby

Little Guy meets the Old Navy Mannequins


I've made fun of the mannequins in a previous post due to their inherent creepiness. However, while on a shopping trip at my local Old Navy recently I could not resist this photo op:


Little Guy and the ON Mannequins

Overheard at Costco

The hubby and I were shopping at Costco the other day picking up a few basics. We've been pretty happy with their various selections of gourmet coffee available in bags as it's generally very good and a great price as well. We overheard a man talking to his wife (loudly) while in the coffee aisle; he stated he didn't think he wanted to buy one of the varieties of bagged coffee as he wasn't sure what would be good and made the comment that he didn't want to be stuck with a bunch of coffee he didn't like. To our amusement, a couple minutes later we spotted him picking up a big can of Folger's. Apparently he's not that much of a coffee connoisseur after all.

The Mystery behind the Mayhem

A recent comment about the absence of my photo made me think about how I am probably somewhat of a mystery to those readers who don’t know me in real life. Actually, that would be the majority of my audience since there are only a very select few who know me and also know about and read this blog. On the surface SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem may look like your average, garden variety “mommy blog”. After all, I’m a stay at home mom with two kids and daily stress, fun, humor and hilarious happenings to share with my readers. But I think what is most interesting is not so much what may be going on right at the moment (though there are plenty interesting stories to share there, too) but what has occurred in the past and led up to this point. As I’ve previously mentioned, having hit the forty year mark (which I did last year) gives me some history. It’s that history that fuels who I am and how I think and act today. I’ve been trying to figure out how to share some of these stories and weave them into this blog. It’s been challenging because a blog is usually more about current happenings than past events. But I didn’t write a blog (nor was the Internet invented) back when I went through some of my most interesting life experiences. And by “interesting” I mean; controversial, intriguing, harrowing and ridiculous. I’ve found it hard to get on a roll with this because it seems awkward somehow to post about my summer happenings one day and the next tell you about that time in the eighties when I spent the holidays in a military barracks. But I started this blog thinking it would be a good place to tell the tales that just beg to be told. Because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on a Girls Night Out or at someone’s Pampered Chef/Cookie Lee/Mary Kay party and ended up being asked about that time I [fill in the blank with intriguing incident here] and had people telling me I really should write all this down/start a blog/ tell Oprah on national television/write a book. Of course I can’t guarantee that all these stories will come across as fascinating in writing as they did while telling them verbally and with wine, but we’ll see how it goes.

The “stories from the past posts” will basically be like SAHM: The Prequel. So stay tuned. Tell your friends. And link up to the blog. Because really, don’t you want to be able to say you have been reading this blog since way before the author became famous and then everyone started reading it? Of course you do.

So far this summer...

I've managed to capture in just one photo what little guy, Teenager and myself have been doing on summer break.

Summer Break '09

The Fur was Flying

There was way too much excitement around here for early on a Saturday morning. The little guy let us "sleep in" until 7am and we no sooner made it out to the kitchen when our dog Murray started barking up a storm. Now, Murray does tend to woof at various unessential things from time to time as we've heard plenty of barking when a squirrel just happened to walk by. This time he was up on the hill and staring towards our neighbors to the side of us when we saw him and he was too high up there for us to tell what was going on. So we sent Teenager up to investigate.  We couldn't tell what was going on because Teenager disappeared behind our big oak tree but we heard him asking Murray what was wrong. We then heard more barking and next saw Murray dart across the back of the hill. Just then we could clearly see that he was in hot pursuit of a Siamese cat who we assume belongs to our neighbors on the other side. I flew open the door and yelled at Murray not to eat the cat and to leave her alone. The poor cat hissed at him and took a swing with her kitty paw as Murray lost his balance while attempting to chase her down the steep and rocky hill. This gave the cat just enough time to dart through an apparent hole in our fence [that we didn't know existed] and make it safely back home.  Now, the interesting thing here is that Murray lives with a cat; his "sister" Chloe. In fact, he not only lives with her and pals around with her all day but the two of them are practically joined at the hip and even sleep snuggled up in his doghouse together. We had Chloe long before Murray came along and in fact when I brought Murray home he spent the first half hour attempting to chase and eat the cat. I was told that in order to train him I needed to tell him "No" and squirt him in the nose with a water bottle every time he went for her. I could not believe this worked, but it did. That very first day they learned to live together and tolerate each other. I have no idea when they became so tight, but it's been a long time now. So, apparently according to Murray, the rules are; "we don't eat cats who are family, but the neighbor cats are fair game".

I think we've now solved the mystery as to why Chloe never has any friends over.

Murray & Chloe