Dear Parents

Dear Parents of School Age Children,

I know for a few parents, this is your first year of your kids being in preschool or kindergarten. I leave out the parents of older kids because they’ve clearly gotten the memo on what I’m about to tell you.

No matter where your kids go to school, public, private or charter, you are going to be asked to make a donation to the school or the classroom. Now, when I say donation, I don’t mean that it’s optional, I mean that it’s tax deductible. If you need a receipt for the $30 that the teachers of your child’s class are asking for so that they can develop film and hand you a beautiful book at the end of the year with pictures of your child through out the year, that’s just dandy. But please, under no circumstances should you think you are going to get the beautiful book without the donation.

Why? Because it is not up to the other parents in the class, the room parents, the teachers nor the school to provide the “extras” for your child. The donations is what makes those adorable and fun extras possible.  It should be noted that I am not talking about parents who are in difficult financial positions. In my experience, those with difficulties in cash flow are the first to respond. I’m talking about the rude parents who refuse to donate and go as far as sending nasty emails regarding the donations because they don’t like being required to make a donation and thus leaving the teachers and volunteers to cover the costs.

Listen, if you’re fine with leaving your kid in another classroom for the day while the entire class takes a field trip, that’s fine by me. I would suggest putting the $5 you should have spent on the field trip towards future therapy, but that’s just me.

So as one of the volunteers who “keeps sending you annoying emails” please note that your name will be left off the Christmas, birthday and end of the year gifts to the teachers. Even if that means I have to write out 25 names so that I can leave yours out, I’ll happily do it. Because you are what is wrong with our school system. You are the reason that our teachers are underpaid, under appreciated and most likely why your kid is a jerk.

Also, please don’t be surprised when my response to your emails is in the same nasty tone as your original email. I’m a volunteer, I don’t paid to be nice to assholes. And please expect that I’ll continue to send you those “annoying” emails, notes in your kids cubbie and in the check out folder – I think it’s important that you’re reminded of what a jerk you really are.



Uh Oh…

As of Monday, the Wands have a new member of the family.  Name, details and more ridiculously cute pictures to come.

My sanity is SO overrated.


It’s the Little Things

Robert Earl Keen got it right. It is the little things that piss me off.

We were getting to a point in our house where the list of things that didn’t work was greater than the list of things that did work. Ok, not really, but you know what I mean. Every night I had to look at the hole in the wall that I created in a fit of frustration trying to re-install the curtain rod that Auggie had managed to pull completely out of the wall. I got a little over zealous with the drill and anchors….and well the result was not good. Peter finally stopped me and mysteriously fixed it all (I think there was some glue involved judging by the stain on the curtains…). But the holes and white patch remained.

Similarly, the weather stripping around the back door that had once been painted and was now chipping off was equally as taunting. All of the little things were easy enough to fix, if you had an hour or so of uninterrupted time. Which let me tell you how many of those hours I have.

I lamented to my friend Beth M about it and explained what I really needed was an older relative with a lot of time, know how and love for me who would come and putter around and fix stuff for free. She agreed she too needed such relative and we agreed to start looking through our respective family trees for candidates.

During a full there is too much to do and not enough time in the day Jessie Spano level melt down, I made a decision to just call the handy man and get some of this stuff fixed. Thankfully, our handyman has become family friend too – he’s a great guy who is wildly trustworthy and just really good at fixing just about anything (he just doesn’t work for free – so close to the dream!!). I made Rick a list and turned him loose with a box of paint and weather stripping. Two hours later, he was done, the house was cleaned up and he mentioned that he had fixed about 5 other small things (like the fact our front door wouldn’t stay shut unless it was locked) for me too. And his bill didn’t make me want to throw up, so that was a nice bonus. Thankfully he has known us long enough to know that I’m not entirely insane so when I got so excited about the painted wall, he doesn’t immediately call in the men with the giant butterfly nets and padded rooms.

The moral of the story? Life is too short to live with ugly weather stripping and to loose your sanity by trying to do everything yourself to save a dollar. Throw a little money at the the little stuff and enjoy some playtime with the kids.

Good Game

Four year olds are difficult. They are smart but they have few limits. They are funny but they do not have any filters. We have learned this the hard way with potty words. Basically, if you laugh when Baylor says “did you say Mini Cooper or Mini Pooper??!!” she will. not. stop. And while a good poop joke is funny the first time, the 19th time, it’s down right gross. So we’ve had to learn to be more careful than ever with our words and how we use them.

Correction. Some of us are being more careful with our words.

While playing Candy Land, Peter was doing some light trash talking. A few boos when someone would pass him. A few fist pumps when he was winning and just a hint of taunting. All pretty innocent…unless you are four and don’t know when the joke is over. As I tried to nicely tell him to knock it off, it got a bit worse because he thought I was being a sore looser.

So when it was time to say “good game” and shake hands, I licked my palm.

And because no one likes to shake a spit covered hand, he understood the joke was over and it was time to teach by example how to be a good sport.

Or at least do it when the kids aren’t listening.


I swear he does wear clothes. But it’s hot. He’s hot. He wears clothes when we leave the house and that’s good enough for me.

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Double Trouble.

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Little Foot

Bay and I like to take a good half hour after Auggie goes to bed and snuggle. We like to watch Gilmore Girls because it makes us think of Mamie and because Baylor has always loved the opening song.

She remarked the other night “look! My legs are almost as long as yours! My feet are almost as long as yours!”. I realized how long her legs really were and how big those feet were getting.

Don’t grow up too fast little lady. I need my snuggle buddy to fit on my lap a bit longer.



Sometimes you just need a friend who will sit under and umbrella and watch a movie with you. We’re grateful that M is that buddy to Baylor.


Manic Monday


Picture day at school – hair dried and brushed to perfection

First day in God knows how long I have to wear professional clothing

Juggling baby, four year old, umbrella and heals trying to keep the above looking decent


Baby with a stuffy nose who “slept” in two hour or less increments all night

No construction on water company because of…you guessed it, rain


Two doctor’s appointments

Crabby baby who is a wiggling, screaming mess  at my doctor, perfectly nice at his doctor

Four year old who is not sick, but sans nap which has made her hyper rather than tired

No ear infection, just teeth which means no end to stuffy nose or lack of sleep


Sinus infection

Doctor who is less than pleased about the crazy four year old and screaming baby

Stupid HSA account that is supposed to save us money on our health insurance will. not. work.

Finally changed into casual clothes, errands and appointments done, dinner ingredients obtained


I’m not sure who I pissed off, but apparently I made someone in the weather department angry today…

California Love

This past weekend marked our 30th something pilgrimage to Coronado, CA. It was as lovely as ever, always a family affair and always so much fun.

This guy capital L LOVED the ocean. We could not keep him out of it. Wave to the face? No biggie. Freezing cold? Not a problem.

IMG_5632 IMG_5627 IMG_5617Our view from the beach


The only place this guy looks small

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Baylor is equally crazy for the ocean and sand castles. I love the urgency on her face to get the water to her sand castle.



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Mason looking a little afraid. Rightly so.IMG_5559

We ran into her buddy Tessa – you would have thought they hadn’t seen each other in years…




If this isn’t the perfect “big sister little brother” picture


Auntie Ali, Uncle Gary and Mason looking crabby


The Noni


PW took nap shift one afternoon which left me alone. On the beach. With trashy magazines. And boat drinks. HEAVEN.

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The view from our room. Noni goes to great lengths to get joined rooms, beach side, with patios. It is worth every ounce of effort!

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The Del at night


Spying on the spectacular beach wedding


This wedding was spectacular. They had chandeliers hanging from the structure and table skirts that looked like beautiful seaweed. It was stunning.IMG_5588

Amazing sunsetIMG_5587After a full day running on the beach, playing in the waves THEN hitting the pool, Baylor rolled over and asked what I was looking at on my phone. I turned to answer her and found this:

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So here’s to the end of summer, another great vacation and many many more!