Category Archives: I confess


Ethan is teething. He appears to be working on the top four. All at the same time. For weeks now.

Will you hate me if I tell you that I’ve never really had to deal with teething before?

You know how you don’t really know how easy you have it until the moment that you realize things could be so much worse? It reminds me of when I was about 6 weeks pregnant with my first and I bragged to Mr. French about how good I felt.

Man, what was it like to be that naive?

This last week has been filled with sleepless nights, crying, thrashing around, and multiple temper tantrums.

Even Ethan has been struggling.

Seriously though, how did my other kids sail through this so easily?

I keep thinking, surely tomorrow will be better. You can see the teeth. They’re right there. They just have to break through.

Except today, after the worst night so far, when I was just walking around in circles trying to keep him calm, after he’d taken his 15 minute nap, I started thinking that maybe he’s not teething. Maybe I’ve just been excusing all this bad behavior, and this is actually his personality.

Too bad I’m an optimist.

(Picture not from today.)



Filed under I confess, In Sickness and Health, Why does no one get my jokes?

A la ‘Branch’ Detour

So. The promised post about our little detour from Dallas.

But I might have to tell a few random little stories to get to my point. I apologize if you showed up hoping to see pictures of the dog.

She’s actually not featured much on the blog. Sorry.

Anyway. Whenever you think of Waco, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For me, it’s the infamous Seige of the Branch Davidian compound and subsequent fire that killed most of them.

The last time we were in Waco is kind of a funny story. We flew back to the US from France through Chicago, except in Chicago our flight to San Antonio got canceled and the line to get to the ticket agents was quite long. When we finally got there, our only option to get even remotely close to SA was to go to Dallas. The ticket agent, seeing our hesitation said, “If it were me, I’d go anywhere but stay in Chicago. You don’t want to get stuck here.” Well, O.k.! Dallas it is.

We got to Dallas sometime in the early morning to a mostly closed down airport, except for all the people stuck there with us. There were no other flights out and there was also a huge line to get rental cars. You’ll never guess, but there were also no hotels. This is, of course, after flying all the day before from France. I sat with the kids, sleeping on the floor, while Mr. French checked out all the possibilities for getting back to SA.

Long story, slightly shorter, he found a military guy who had to report for duty the next day that had gotten a minivan (because he called the rental agency the minute he’d landed, unlike us.) But he was willing to drive us down to SA if we paid our share of the cost. No problemo. Thank you thank you thank you! (I still can’t thank him enough.)

So, we finally all piled into the van with a guy we’d just met, after flying in from France after being out of the country for 10 months. We made it about 1/2 an hour into the chitchat before we just couldn’t keep our eyes open. And I tried, because I kind of felt bad about the situation.

The next thing I remember, I woke up to hear Mr. French asking where we were and the guy driving the van says, “Waco.”

To which Mr. French says, “Waco? Like The Waco?”


And then I fell asleep again.

(In case it’s not obvious, we made it to San Antonio safe and sound. The guy dropped us off at a Denny’s and he, I’m assuming, was able to report for duty on time.)

So, a couple of weeks ago, as we were starting our drive home, looking at the map, Mr. French says, “Oh, we’re going through Waco. I wonder how out-of-the-way it is to go to that compound? or what’s left of it.”

My phone couldn’t locate it but Mr. French’s did, so we followed it and sure enough, there it was.

Actually, at first we passed right by it, but I saw the sign that said, “Branch” out of the corner of my eye, so we turned around. Mr. French parked outside the fence and walked in to ask these two guys working on a fence. He was gone for at least 20 minutes. We’d found the right place alright and the two men were part of the church that currently resides on the property. (The surviving remnant.) And one guy proceeded to talk Mr. French’s ear off about their beliefs. At the end, he offered us a chance to “come and build the kingdom with them”, to which Mr. French replied, “Oh, we’re just passing through. We’re from Ohio.” (one benefit to moving a lot is that it’s never a lie to say that you “just moved”.)

Anyway, after that, we drove in to see the memorials and some of the ruins. There were supposed to be maps at the church building, but they were apparently out so we couldn’t really see where anything had once been. There are several new buildings. There is one place that we couldn’t really tell what it was or had been, but looking at this picture online now, the cement “pool” like thing in the back is still there. Nothing else from that picture appears to be standing. The other interesting thing is that the building was well off the road (which is a dirt road, off the highway). It’s definitely out of the way.

There are several small memorials. Closer to the church there is one for the ATF men that were killed.

There is one for the victims of the Oklahoma City Bombing as well.

Closer to the road, there is a larger one with a plaque for every person that died, including name and age.

It really just leaves you with a sense of tragedy. It was all so senseless. I think there was wrong on both sides. And it’s sad that people had to die.

I still remember, sitting on the corner of my parents bed, watching as it was happening on T.V.. I remember seeing a tank moving up to the compound, as it was called, and just feeling horrified that people were probably dying. At the time, we didn’t know all that was going on, and part of me, I remember, hoped that maybe they’d somehow escaped or something.

It made for an interesting car ride home, at least.

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Filed under French toast, I confess, Moving is my hobby, Mr. French, Oversharing, Pictures worth a thousand words, Playing the Tourist, The Dog, This is going to be really funny one day

It’s official.

I’m a houseplant killer.

I know it’s hard to believe that someone who has managed to keep five kids and a husband alive for this long could kill any and all houseplants, but it’s true.

In fact, I’m so good at killing them, I’m thinking of teaching an online class.

Funny Friendship Ecard: I just want to let you know that if you ever need to have a plant killed, I'm the person to do that job.

And I won’t even charge you.

That’s how passionate I am about it.

Plus, I’ll still get rich and famous, because I’m planning to bring a bunch of dandelions and bamboo and mint and stuff into the house, kill them, bottle up my magic potion and then sell it on late night infomercials.

And then I’ll have a Killing Houseplants for Dummies book.

And then a little workbook, with discussion questions and hands-on experiments that anyone can replicate in their own state-of-the-art-laboratory. Maybe you can have it in your book club?

And then I’ll probably do an audio book.

And maybe a follow-up How-to book on Wiping out the Rain forests or something.

And then when it comes out in paperback, you’ll see someone reading it on the beach and think, I knew that girl before she got rich and famous. Back when all she knew how to kill was the “easy” houseplants like succulents.



Hey, did you hear that my 6-week-old is 14 lbs?


Another book deal maybe?


Filed under Apparently I have no shame, I confess, Why does no one get my jokes?, With tongue placed firmly in wall of mouth

So, I guess this is me complaining?

I don’t know if it’s the 105 degrees or the 40 weeks, 4 days but I don’t even recognize my feet anymore.

I can barely walk, which is what is really making life difficult right now.

Although I am trying to stay active and I even hobbled through the store today.

I’m reminded of a very particular moment during J’s birth when I was tired and weary of the contractions and seemed stuck at a “low” number (six, I believe it was). A friend of mine thought she wanted to come to the birth but when we called at 3 or whatever it was, she decided to stay home. And I so badly wanted to trade places with her and sleep in a nice warm, soft bed.

And here I am in the opposite position. Wishing for the active part of labor to begin so I can get out of this puffy suit.

All in due time though. All in due time.


Filed under I confess, She's having a baby

You wanna hear something stupid?

1. We were at Target a week or so ago walking past the birthday supplies. Usually, I’m at the store on their birthday buying birthday cups and napkins, so I thought, “hey, I should just buy them now”. Especially since J’s birthday is a few days before the baby’s due date. And then I saw some cute stuff for F and got that too. And now I’m pretty sure I’ll forget that I bought them and I’ll still be at the store on their birthday buying stuff.

2. Joke via twitter: There are three kinds of people in the world; those who can count and those who can’t.

3. I actually have a hard deadline, with dire consequences if I miss it, coming up in May. I’m about halfway towards my goal. Which is why I’m blogging right now. I’m the procrastinator’s procrastinator.

4. So, there were these two blondes. One was on the bank of a river and the other one was on the opposite bank. The first blonde yells over to the other one. “How do I get to the other side?” The other one yells back, “You’re on the other side!”

5. I think I look huge. But I’m not that uncomfortable and I can still see my feet.

6. Joke via twitter: How many hipsters does it take to screw in a light bulb? It’s a really obscure number. You’ve probably never heard of it.

7. I’ve already sold some maternity clothes on eBay. Yeah, I hated them that much.

8. Husband joke via the husband from work: The husband says, “My wife says I never listen to anything she says. Or something like that.”

9. This is probably the best I’ve ever felt during possibly any pregnancy. Hard to say for sure, but I have a good amount of energy. Relatively little pain. This has me worried that I won’t be prepared for the birth. Because as anyone knows, the higher the pregnancy misery index, the lower the anxiety towards labor. Yes, I realize worrying about this is altogether stupid, naive and asking for it.

10. Felicity has only wet her bed one time. She has, however, climbed into our bed in the middle of the night and wet it three times.

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Filed under Apparently I have no shame, I confess, Mr. French, Why does no one get my jokes?

To each his throne

I’m not keen on the whole-every-girl-is-a-princess phenomenon. It conjures up images of spoiled brats, with an entitlement mentality, fluffy pink dresses, and gaudy jewels. But that’s just me.

Mr. French, knowing how I felt about it, loved to bring it up to tease me. Usually, it was in the sense of doting on Felicity. And he usually got the reaction he was hoping for.

But I’ve noticed, as Felicity has shown her demanding, narcissistic 2-year-old self, that the tone has shifted towards the sarcastic.

This morning, I was still in bed, (have I mentioned that I’m pregnant?) when she came in asking for a piece of bread.

“Okay,” I said. “Can Daddy get it for you?”

With that, she was gone. I figured it would be a simple transaction. Within a few minutes, Mr. French and S walked into the room, sighing and saying something about girls being difficult.

“What’s the matter?” I asked. “Didn’t she just want a piece of bread?”

“Well, at first we thought she wanted bacon, but then we realized she just wanted ham.” said Mr. French.

“So, what is she eating?”

“A piece of ham on half a raisin bagel.” He said with a sigh. “Because that’s what the princess wanted.”

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Filed under Girls are not boys, I confess, Mr. French

Shall we talk about how much bigger one gets with the 5th pregnancy compared to the 1st?

Or, would that be annoying since it’s not really true for me?

Me: 19 weeks

Yeah, let’s forget I mentioned it.

It's hard to believe there's a baby in there sometimes.

It’s boring anyway.

On the other hand, it's only supposedly 7 oz., so where's the other 9 pounds I gained?

Let’s talk about how dirty my mirror is, instead.

I would tell you that I clean it every week but that’s what is known as lying.

It wouldn’t matter if I did clean it every week because it looks like this the day after I clean it, anyway.

I thought about cleaning the mirror and then retaking the pictures, but I had things to do, and I was having a good hair moment.

I have priorities, people.

P.S. You might be interested in this post from my 4th pregnancy. (FWIW, I think I am bigger at 19 weeks now than I was at 21 weeks then.)


Filed under I confess, She's having a baby