how subway made me dumb …

Our family eats a gluten free diet. Big deal. Until you go into a sandwich shop and ask a sandwich artist for a sandwich without bread. GASP! Every Subway is different, and some of them get it, but alas, this one does not.

“Can I have a foot long tuna, but can I please have it in a salad bowl instead of on bread?”

“Um. Yeah. But then I have to charge you for a double meat salad.”

“What if all I want is the tuna and cheese?”

“Still a salad.”

“Well, I’m allergic to wheat (a little stretch), so I can’t eat the bread.”

“So get white bread.”

“Hmmm. Yeah, that still has wheat in it. Can you put it in a soup cup?”

“Yeah. Or I can charge you for the foot long, and charge extra for the salad bowl.”

“No. Thanks.”

Sandwich artist scoops tuna, adds cheese, and realizes this all won’t fit into soup cup.

“This won’t fit in here. Do you want an extra cup, or do you want this in a salad bowl?”

“Are you going to charge me extra?”


“Salad bowl.”

Then I make it a meal, and of course she wants to know if I want cookies.

I can’t wait to see what happens next time.

Great job, Subway.


for the happy,




where’s lyndon?

This is the seventh birthday of my father’s that we have spent with out him. I miss him, but I keep him with me always.

We did name 2/3 of our boys after him. Ian William, and Keagan Augustus.  Sounds just like John William Burns, right?  Ian makes sense, Ian = Gaelic for John, but Keagan? Augustus?

Well, it makes sense if you know how nutty my dad was. When I was expecting Nathan, we were all sitting around chatting one day, and my mom remarked that now that she was becoming a grandmother, she would like to be called ‘Mema’. This sounded good to everyone, and was immediately adopted. Mema it was!

My dad, whose give name is John, but went by Bill his entire life, chimed in with “Well, if you’re going to be Mema, then I want to be … Lyndon.”

That was what he wanted his ‘grandpa’ name to be LYNDON! What? “Actually,” he said, “Lyndon is too tricky. Let’s go with Gus. Yep, Gus.” From that day on, we called him Papa Gus.

While packing our bags to head home from the hospital with our brand new, unnamed, third son, we got desperate, and actually went used and online random baby name generator to get ideas for what to name Keagan, since you have to have a name to leave the hospital. Then, Augustus popped up.  When Mark mentioned it, I laughed.  Augustus? But, he’s so little. Then he explained how Augustus was a version of ‘Papa Gus’ that we could use, and we both saw that it was the perfect fit.

Happy Birthday, Papa Gus!

for the happy,


Oh, October …

I have long loved the month of October. Warm days and cool nights. Sock hats, scarves, vests and fleece! As the leaves fall, and the seasons change, October marks the passing of time for me in many ways.  It actually kicks off with September 30th, the wedding anniversary of both my parents and my husband’s parents captured just 5 years apart.  Many of you may not know that this coincidence is why we were married on October 4th, which was the closest day in 1997 to September 30th that we could get married. As it worked out, that turned out, that was the PERFECT day to get married! If you were lucky enough to be there, you know! All together, between my parents, Mark’s parents, and Mark and I, we celebrated a combined 100 YEARS of MARRIAGE this year! We rock! Yes, yes we do!

The 9/30 & 10/4 duo kicked it for many years until 2005. This is the year my dad passed away. On October 4th. Yeah, that. So, every year on the 30th that call to my mom is kind of like “Ummmmm, happy anniversary? I hope you’re ok today.”  Then a few short days later we celebrate our own anniversary in true style with flashy cards bought at the last minute, and hurried, passionate pecks on the cheek, “I love you! Happy Anniversary! I’m late for something! … Thinking of you today …”  How do you properly honor those two things in the same freaking day?!? We do it just like everything else, with a smile and a laugh, and we make it on to tomorrow.

Which brings us to the 11th of Rocktober when our mini-superstar Keagan was born just 1 year after my dad died.  Yes, grieving people get busy. ;) Boy, were we thankful that I did not, in fact, have the avian flu after being in Italy, but rather surprised to find out that our earlier trip to Hawaii had been waaaayyyy more exciting than we originally remembered!

Annnnddd, then on the 12th we’re right back down as my dad waves hello, and says “Hey, what about me?’ once again. His birthday is the 12th. Up, down, up, down, up down.  This year we to this list … selling the old house on the 12th, and moving to the new house on the 19th. Immediately followed by a quick Texas get-away for mom and dad, Halloween, Thanksgiving … you get the picture.

Before you know it, I’ll be posting another story of how my kids have knocked the Christmas tree over!

for the happy,


F U Pinterest

I don’t do Pinterest. OK, that’s a lie. I do, but I just started, like two weeks ago. Really. I have a house to redo, and I’m looking for ideas. I like the iPhone app because you can’t get overwhelmed. You can only get so much on the app, and then you’re at the end, no more, just white space.

Since we are in between TV seasons, and I’ve already read 50 Shades, and am almost done with the two Martha Beck books from Mrs. Hyatt, I Pinterest in bed at night while husband works on designing house things. As an example, the other night while looking for ideas for the boys’ bedrooms, I came across this …

Source: via Kelly on Pinterest


Ummmm … totally not related to bedrooms, I don’t drink wine, he was SUPER BUSY, I jammed my iPhone in his face and said, “Holy shit! How awesome is this?!? Wouldn’t this make the coolest house warming present? (especially since everyone we know is moving)  I should make these for your mom, sister, the Betsys, Susan, Fran, blah, blah, blahflksdfosdignodigdoigoig!” He does not give to figs about Pinterest, and he, ever so politely said, “Yeah, babe. That is awesome. Cool idea. You should try that.”  Then I showed him this, and this, and this, and this ….. all with similar results. “I love it!” “Pin it” “Keeper!” “Awesome!” He was being so kind. He would give it a look, say something nice, and keep on working.  He was so patient.

And then it happened.

He started Pinteresting ME! I wanted to stab my own eyes out. I was tired. I was lying in bed with a pillow over my head. With the lights off. My intentions were quite clear. I was in bed to go to sleep.

“Hey, look at this.”


“You should see this.”


“Wow! Now this is a kitchen!”

“I promise I will never, EVER, show you another thing on Pinterest again. I am so sorry.”

“For what?”

“For driving you nuts for the last two weeks. I had no idea how annoying I was. Really.”




sorry for party rockin’ …

So, the other morning on the way to school, LMFAO’s Sorry for Party Rockin’ comes up on the radio and I turn it up at #1’s request. We are the front seat and are singing away having a great time when all of a sudden, #2 says … ‘MOM! STOP IT! YOU ARE WAAAYYY TOO OLD TO BE PARTY ROCKIN’!!!!!! You’re so embarrassing! It’s making me sick!’ He’s 7. Ugh! This is just the beginning!

After I stopped myself from letting him out of the car on the curb RIGHT THERE, I turned up the music and dropped off the kids with LMFAO blasting out of the windows!

I have learned a few things since that day.  1. My kids are waaayyyy too YOUNG to be Party Rockin’! Yikes! That song says ‘Whiskey Dick’, which is hysterical for us dinosaurs that graduated in the early 90’s, but not so awesome for those that will graduate in the class of 2020 something or other!  2. As hard as I try to fight it, I am TURNING IN TO MY MOTHER! Even though, she drove a Bitchin’ Camaro when I was in High School, and I just have a Mini Van that looks like a tampon, I am turning in to her … here’s why …

It’s 1990, and it’s 3:10, quitting time as far as us freshmen are concerned.  I gather my things and head out to Putnam Street to find my mom in her faded, navy blue ’78 Bitchin’ Camaro. Before she can get me, she has to round up my two younger siblings from Olson, and scrunch them in the backseat with my 3 year-old brother. Thank God I get the front seat. I am the oldest after all. I look up and down Putnam and I don’t see her, but I know she is there. How? How do I know she is there? The beat? Which beat? This Beat …

This Beat is Technotronic. My mom LOVED Technotronic! I mean, my mom LOVES Technotronic! She wore that tape out … more than once!  So, when  I couldn’t find her, I would just listen for the beat … kind of like putting your hand on the railroad tracks … and I would know she was just around the corner.

So, kids, I will not be Sorry for Party Rockin’! When you can’t find me, just listen for the beat!

for the happy,


P.S.  No more LMFAO for you kids! Put that on your mortgage list! Geez, those lyrics, they make me feel old!  Wiggle wiggle wiggle yeah!

the mayor of crazy town attends a funeral …

This is an oldie (but goodie) from my old, dead blog. Enjoy!
Living in our house we have 2 grown ups – mom and husband, 3 children – #1, #2, #3, 1 dog – beagle, and 2 gerbils – squiqqy and ziggy. We also call them Honey and the Black One, or Honey and The One That Bites, or Lenny and Squiggy, or Rex and The Other One. I actually don’t really care what they are called. They are stinky, and they tend to bite. It is kind of fun to watch them nibble on their sunflower seeds at night, but I could probably watch that on youtube for free and never have to clean the gerbil cage again.We once had an afternoon when we had nothing to do. No baseball, no mommy working, no soccer. Wow! sounds nice, right? Wrong. We cannot be left home alone with nothing to do. Something bad usually happens. On this particular nothing-to-do day, I sent #1 upstairs for a timeout 5 minutes after we got home from school. He returns immediately, and he is panic stricken.”Mom! honey is DEAD! The Black One killed him!”

“Oh, no, #1, I’m sure he’s fine. The Black One would never kill Honey.”

Upon investigation, I find The Black One eating Honey. Literally. I keep trying to get the very excited kids out of the room. #1 is crying, #2 is screaming, and #3 is yelling something about cowboy boots and underwear day. Yes, I said cowboy boots and underwear day.

I secure the scene and prepare to dispose of the body. I have in my possession a large black trash bag, rubber gloves, and a bottle of mean green. In the middle of removing the body (read – emptying the cage contents into the trash bag, body and all), #1 enters the room.

“Are you just going … to … throw … Honey … away…? … ! … ?”

(Actually, that was my plan, but, he’ll never know.)

“Ummmm, of course, not #1. I was just holing him there until you got here.”

“We need to bury him.”

“Really? We?”

“Yes, sniff, sniff, we, sniff, should call a, sniff, craftsman and have him, sniff, deliver a special, sniff, metal box to bury, wahhhhhh, honey in.”

“A craftsman, huh? Special metal box?”

Snnnnniiiifffff!!!!!!!!!! WWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
“OH! Well, #1, while I would love to track down a craftsman and get honey the very best metal box possible, I’m afraid that is going to be impossible because all of the best craftsman are finished working by 3:30, and it’s … well, it’s already after 4, buddy.”wwwwaaaahhhhhhhhh ……. sniff sniff sniff”My goodness. How about if we find a special cloth to wrap him in for his funeral instead? Maybe like this very special … ummmm …. bandanna?”

“OH, Mom, that would be just perfect! Honey loved red.”

He did? Super.Now that that’s settled, I remove Honey from the trash bag and very ceremoniously wrap him in the sacred red bandanna while #1 is silently praying over his dead body. You see, #1 wants to be a priest, but only if he doesn’t have to shave his head*. After enrobing the body, I let #1 hold Honey for a second to say goodbye, then I quickly shoo him from the room while I finish cleaning up the crime scene.
In case you don’t know, I do not run a pet cemetery here, and I’m not about to start today so, once #1 was out of the room, I started getting Honey into his proper funeral garb when …The back door opens and closes and small feet come walking in. It’s #3.”Mom, i’m done pooping.”

“Huh? Weren’t you just outside?”

“Yep. Come wipe me.”

“OK. what’s going on?” (he is naked from the waist down except for his flip flops.)

“Oh, I pooped outside just like we do at the farm.”

“We’re not at the farm, at home we poop inside, in the toilet.”

“Ugh, boring.” He’s 3!

“Gross. Who’s going to clean up that mess?” (He puts his hand on my arm and gives me that I know you rode the short bus here, old lady, patronizing look.)

“Don’t worry about that, Mom. Beagle already ate all my poop.”

“Fabulous. Now I won’t have to get my hands dirty before the funeral.”Enter Super Husband. Now the gang’s all here and we can proceed with the funeral. mom, husband, a keening #1, #2 who couldn’t really care less, pants less #3, and poop-eating beagle. Super Husband digs hole and gently places ‘Honey’ in the bottom, then he plays the newly downloaded ‘Taps’ on his iphone while #1 tosses shovels of dirt over ‘Honey’. What a sight.Later that night, when Super Husband asked me what would happen when Beagle dug up ‘Honey’, I told him that we had just had a funeral for a sock. That’s right. The old switcheroo.

Fast forward to the next morning. #1 wakes up first and Beagle wakes up. We tell #1 to let Beagle outside, and he refuses. He is anxious that Beagle will disturb Honey’s grave. Super Husband is sure to explain that if Beagle does disturb the grave, she will surely eat the body, so there will be no sense in searching for it. Ever.

for the happy,

happy donna day …

Alright, Catie, you got me. I’ve been hemming and hawing all day about writing a ‘Donna Day’ post. Why should I blog about a little girl that I never, ever even met? Well, here’s 10 11 reasons why …

1. Cancer fucking sucks. It has taken too many people from my life, and I’m sick of it. If I can write a blog and drum up some more interest in this event then it is a win! Oh, and cancer fucking sucks!

2. Even though I never had the honor of meeting dear, sweet Donna, and I haven’t yet met Mary Tyler Mom, or Moms Who Drink and Swear, I love them all. I secretly stalk MTM because I feel like we have all of these crazy universe connections that may just be made up in my head, but I feel like they are real. She rawks.

3. You know I love a good cause, and an overflowing plate! I’ve already got my business I’m still trying to launch, Rockin’ 4 Robin ’12 that I should be planning, The Robin’s Nest Charitable Fund, and The Dear Robin Project! Oh, and there’s that mom and wife stuff, too!

4. I might actually be driving to Chicago to shave my head if we weren’t already planning to be Colorado bound at that time!

5. Valentine’s day is overrated. We waste A LOT of money on fake love gifts – I know my husband loves me. I mean, come on, he tries to show me just how much he loves me just about every freakin’ night! I don’t need flowers to prove that. We should take all of that carnation money and use it for pediatric cancer research. Just think of how far we’d get with those billions!

6. Here’s a thought … what if everyone that reads my stinky little blog a) shares iton their facebook page and asks their friends to read it, and b) donated their coffee money ($5) or lunch money ($10) or dinner money ($20) for one day to the Big $20k-in-a-Day St. Baldrick’s Fu that Donna’s Good Things is having at Candlelite Chicago.  BECAUSE every dollar donated by February 18th (up to $2,000) is being matched by an Angel! Let’s all to a *little* something to make this better!

7. Gold Ribbons deserve lots and lots of money. Pink ribbons have their month, let gold ribbons have the rest of the year.

8. I am blessed with mostly healthy kids. One autoimmune disorder (which I can only barely handle), so I would like to give a round of applause to the parents that live in cancerville.  You deserve that and SOOOOOO much more. I know, if I had to, I would survive, but I hope I never have to know the struggles you face daily, from watching your child suffer to fighting for your insurance benefits. I cannot. even. imagine. My heart goes out to you. I am so deeply sorry for what you are going through. I wish there was more that I could do. Let me know if I can do anything.

9.  If I wore a wore a wristband with color representing every cancer that has taken someone I love, first of all, my arm would be full, second I would be wearing EVERY color. Purple, teal, gold, pink, pearl, yellow, black …

10. CatieD, you tricked me by putting ‘For Good’ in your blog post. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Really? For Good? From Wicked! I’ll explain later. You got me, girl.

11. After reading Donna’s Cancer Story, how could anyone not find the time to share, or a couple of bucks to pitch in and help out Mary Tyler Family in their quest to raise $20k in a day?!?

for the happy,


i want my baby back, baby back, baby back …

I know i already posted today, but this couldn’t wait.

I am going out tonight with my lady friends. What? I know. Anyway, this leaves the mister in charge of dinner for everyone but me. #1 is now gluten free and this presents some interesting challenges because he is supah resistant to these changes and the mister and I are still learning the gluten is in fucking EVERYTHING! So, he says ‘Hey, how about ribs?’ and #3 screams ‘NO WE CAN’T EAT RIBS!!!’ The mister looks at me and I start dying.  Flashback to Wednesday …

#3 and I are walking into the bank and he is singing the Chili’s song. ‘I want my baby back, baby back, baby back. Chili’s baby back OH MY GOD RIBS ARE MADE OF BABIES!’

At this point we are in the bank, and if we’ve met, you’ve heard me laugh, and you know it’s. not. quiet. I am guffawing in the bank, trying to assure my 5 year old that baby back ribs are, indeed not made of babies. The man behind me in line hears what we are talking about starts to giggle. A lot. He says ‘I’m so sorry, but THAT is funny.’

Tricky thing, that English language, when you are only 62 months old.  Poor kid thinks we’ve been feeding him baby backs all these years. I’d be scared too.

for the happy,


we all do it a little differently …

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Or is it? Christmas doesn’t bring out the best in me … or my husband.  We just don’t do well with change. For starters, our house is only ever barely clean to begin with, and NOW I have to REDECORATE?!? Geez. I mean, gimme a break.  We have had our Christmas tree in our home since December 3rd. Lights on it since the 5th. Ornaments since the 7th. It fell over on the 8th.  Today we decided that leaning in the corner is the perfect place for that damn tree.  *Most* of the other decorations are out or have been stuffed back in the bins and left for dead.  There will be other Christmases when our house will look like we hire elves to do all of the work.  For now, this will have to do!

We have our own kind of fun around here, and you just can’t wear your new jammies from Mema for 3 days and do the Jingle Belt Dance (click here to see the dance!) in the living room if there is Christmas crap everywhere. Here is just a minute of the boys dancing to their fave Christmas Carol – LMFAO’s I’m Sexy and I Know it. Yes, you heard me.

Now, who wants to go shopping, because this Santa needs some presies so I can stay up ALL NIGHT on Christmas Eve to wrap them. I mean, what else do I have to do that night?  I’m sure the elves will prepare breakfast …

…themostwonderfultimeoftheyearthemostwonderfultimeoftheyearthemostwonderfultimeoftheyearthemostwonderfultimeoftheyearthemostwonderfultimeoftheyearthemostwonderfultimeoftheyear …

in it for the happy,


how to ruin your fabulous massage in 3 simple steps …

I go to an AWESOME day spa! I have an AWESOME massage guy! Let’s just call him Sweet Baby Ray. My massage today was nothing short of spectacular, and NO, I didn’t get a happy ending. All of the discomfort was inflicted by none other than … me. And trust me when I say there was discomfort.  Here is your guide to How to Ruin Your Fabulous Massage in 3 Simple Steps …

Simple Step #1. Do Not Shave Your Legs – when you are racing through the shower the night before your massage when you have 20 minutes to get yourself ready and you haven’t showered in only God knows how many days, and you must wash the most important parts RIGHT FUCKING NOW because you cannot be late for wrestling practice because the coaches have been sending nasty-grams out all week about how all the parents are slackers and we all suck so get your asses to practice and you also better get your asses to the meets early to help set up the GD gym and while all these thought of murdering the wrestling coaches are running through my head, all I can hear is the wrestling match that is going on on my bed. Oh, and why the fuck did my shower take so long you ask? and by long, I mean 11 minutes. That would be because I have to wash my entire body with a special PRESCRIPTION ANTI-FUNGAL shampoo because my dirty ass wrestler kids brought me home a present from wrestling. NO, they don’t have it! JUST ME!  Did I get side tracked? Anyway, in my 11 minutes of showered out bliss, I had no time to shave my legs, and by the time I realized it this morning, Sweet Baby Ray was already asking me to get naked.


Simple Step #2. Down 16 Ounces of Gas Station Coffee – immediately prior to entering the spa on an empty spa and prior to your morning constitutional.  This adds an extra layer of extreme discomfort that even I am uncomfortable discussing in public, but what the hell?  Sweet Baby Ray asks me what I would like him to focus on today, and I replied that I would like him to work on my shoulders and neck as I was hoping that this would avoid an uncomfortable situation due to complications with Simple Step #1.  As he was gettin’ it on my neck and shoulders, that damn coffee was also gettin’ it. Good God was it gettin’ it! He kept asking me “Is that pressure OK, Miss Kelly?” Oh, yeah Ray, JUST FINE!  I was clenching like a madwoman from the massage work and clenching it down beow at the same time fearful that the tiniest slip might blow the lid off that Duchess Oven! Lucky for Sweet Baby Ray I kept it all in. You’re welcome, Ray.


Simple Step #3. Have a Cold – This allowed me to wonder if Ray was going to slip because my nose was running like a sick daycare kid in the middle of February! I am talking train tracks, baby! Oh, poor Ray.  I kept looking to see if he was wearing shoes or socks, thinking please be shoes, please be shoes! I can just imagine what a CSI light would show in that room after what happened in there today.  Then when he flipped me over he said “OH! Do you need a tissue, Miss Kelly?” I’m sure I looked fabulous! Sorry about that, Ray!


I cannot rave enough about how awesome Ray is. I’m sure he has other feelings about me. I’m a good tipper, though, so he always has a smile on his face when he sees me!  See you in two weeks, Ray! Sniffle, snifle, Faaarrrtttt!


for the happy,



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