Just a first time mom writing about the randomness of life and how being mom is full of laughter, tears, fears and happiness. Living it out one gray hair at a time.

Ketchup #50 – Now It’s Time to Say Goodbye

img_7940Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 6.14.26 PM

It’s so sad, and we knew this day was coming, that this is the last Ketchup With Us blog hop. I have to say, this hop was the VERY FIRST blog hop I ever participated in after setting up my blog over a year ago. These ladies, Mel and Michele, are putting that ketchup bottle on one last time. So if you want to get in on this momentous, yet sad event, then get’er done people! Let’s give them the send off they deserve! Hopefully, down the line they will pop up again with this fun and creative blog hop, but for now, let’s do them right and remember the funny and moving posts they have shared with us over the past few years. Below are some of my favs.

Mags First Tooth

Mel often writes about her adorable kiddos, hence the blog name with her littlest in the title. Mags is so stinkin’ adorable and in this Ketchup post with her little squeal over losing her first tooth, too precious.

Show your terrifying face

This was just a fun post and who doesn’t like a murderous ketchup bottle along with a terrified one.

B*$@% Resting Face

These women know how to work this face, even though their personalities are so opposite from it.

In Her Shoes

Ok, who wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of this adorable munchkin?

The time a rat licked Michele’s face

Yes, a rat did lick her face and she has the photo to prove it!

ODNT talks about Dean’s 1st day

I often like the posts when Michele talks about her growing kids. Much like her, during milestones I would much rather shove myself in a closet with cheese, chocolate and possibly wine (or beer) and cry it out in private, waiting for my child to just stop growing up and stay little.

Going head to head with time

Passing time stinks, especially when it comes to your children and them growing. This also reminds me of that very same Superbowl Michele took out the power at the stadium in New Orleans while playing the Twitter Superbowl party. Not literally… I think.

My favorite one that I’ve done: Our Terrified Faces

Anytime that I get to wrangle up my child and have her willing do a post with me is fun times. This kid is such a ham too. “Will you make me look like a vampire? I can pretend I’m going to bite you!” At least she didn’t really bite me, which is something I wouldn’t put passed her to do.

So, our dear Ketchup ladies, hopefully this isn’t goodbye, just and little bit of an extended break. It was fun. Thanks for inspiring creativity in my writing. (And I hope you don’t mind I borrowed and shared your pics.)

Pre-Kindergarten Mean Girls…They Do Exist



As I dropped my daughter off at school today and watched her play in the play yard until it was time for them all to line up, I noticed something that made my heart drop, then angry. Let me give you a little bit of a back story.

On the very first day of school, my daughter tried to make friends with this little girl. Everything seemed to be fine and normal, or at least what I could tell looking through my tear filled eyes. When she came home that night she didn’t really say much, which is normal with her. Like I’ve said before, school seems to be a type of secret society. Parents aren’t cool enough to know what goes on.

The next day, I dropped her off and watched a little bit and I noticed that when my daughter was trying to play with the little girl she made friends with the first day, this other girl (which I will be calling Punk #1 from now on in this post) came up and took the little girl away. My daughter, being the overly friendly child that she is tried to follow them. By this point, it was time for them all to line up and go inside. When I came to pick her up, all the kids were outside picking up the blocks and other toys so that they could go back inside the classroom and get ready to come home. 

My daughter finished cleaning and lined up with the rest of the kids, wedging herself next to the first friend that she had made. Then I saw Punk #1 stand between my daughter and the little girl. Some words were exchanged, which I was unable to hear, then I saw my daughter put her hands on her hips, step up to Punk #1 and say something. I can only imagine that it was some type of protest towards Punk #1 because the amount of sassiness coming off my child at that time was larger than herself. A small part of me was saying, “What the heck is she doing?” A much bigger part of me said, “Yeah, that’s right. Stand up for yourself. Mama’s proud!” It’s nice to know that my kid is strong willed and won’t let anyone push her around. So not like her mama, and I am extremely proud of her for having that confidence within herself. When she came out of class and I walked her to the car, I asked her what was going on. She was surprised to know that I had seen the whole thing go down because she didn’t know I was standing there at the fence watching. She shrugged it off at first, but as the night went on she told me what had happened.

Punk #1 flat out told my daughter that the little girl was her friend and that my daughter could no longer be friends with that girl. My solution, why not ask if you ALL can be friends? Apparently, my daughter had already tried that to which Punk #1 replied, “No!” 

Next day, little girl doesn’t want to be friends with my daughter anymore, but Punk #1 is being…nice? Hmm…something seems fishy to this mom. Did my child seriously just skip elementary school and middle school all together and go straight into high school? Apparently, Punk #1 doesn’t know what she wants and changed her mind at the end of the day and doesn’t want to be friends anymore. I can ALMOST see why my husband wanted a boy at this point. I try to explain to my daughter that maybe she should go make some NEW friends and leave these girls alone, but she is stubborn.

So, start week 2 of school. Today I dropped her off and watched her play before line up. Then I saw the other 2 little girls (Punk #1 included in that) run to the play structure. They see my daughter, give a distasteful look, and run to the other side of the play structure. My daughter stood there for a second and watched them, then turned around to me, ran to me and gave me a hug. She seemed okay, but my heart dropped a little. Then she ran off and played with a little boy, who wasn’t in her class. I stood there watching my daughter and then eyeing those 2 little girls. I could feel Mama Bear trying to emerge, but then I look at my daughter and she seems happy, so I suppress those feelings. 

Then I see Punk #1, with the little girl (now named Punk #2) climb up some bars to where my daughter is standing at the top. Punk #1 sees my daughter, who was seemingly not paying attention to their presence, and Punk #1 stops. Punk #2 says, “Why aren’t you going up?” to which Punk #1 replies, “Emily is there. Climb down.” My daughter didn’t hear any of this, she was too busy playing with the little boy, but mama heard ALL of it. What’s worse is that Punk #1 has recruited 2 more girls to her group. So all the girls climbed down and ran off.

Being the over sensitive person that I am, I teared up while walking back to my car. My daughter seems okay, not angry or upset, so I don’t feel I should say anything to her teacher. It is just upsetting to see 4 and 5 year old kids act this way. I would think that they are too young to develop this kind of negativity towards others on their own. Especially when my kid, who is super loving and friendly, just wants to be friends with everyone. 

I guess all I can do is ask her open ended questions at the end of the day and make sure that she is okay. I know this won’t be the last time this happens, it’s only the beginning. 

What do you do when you see this happen to your own kids? Especially at such a young age. 

Fast forward to pick up time. All parents line up against the fence, feeling much like a prison yard, and watch our children walk out of the classroom in a single file line. My daughter always has the biggest smile on her face when she spots me. The arms beginning waving and her little voice yells out, “Hi Mama!” It always makes me so happy to see her after that long 3 1/2 hour break from one another. Today, though, after she yells “Hi Mama!” I quickly noticed she was wedged between Punks #1 & #2. She looks at me and yells, “We’re friends now! She’s not mean anymore!” Oy! Seriously?!?

As we walk to the car, my daughter says good-bye to which Punk #1 replies, “Bye Best Friend!” Ex-squeeze me? So I look to my daughter and ask her what exactly happened and she told me this:

Today the teacher talked to all of us and said that she wants us ALL to be friendly with one another and to be friends. So then (Punk #1) came up to me and said that she was sorry for being so mean to me and wants to be friends now!

Hmm…interesting. Did the teacher see what I saw? She was watching the kids on the playground when I was. 

Whatever the case may be, I’ve still got my eyes on those girls. There is no doubt that my daughter can take care of herself. I guess it’s more for myself to make sure she is okay. It hurts to see your kid alienated from others. I’m just glad, for now, things seem to be copacetic. We’ll see what next week, tomorrow for that matter, brings. 

Guest Post by Eli Pacheco of Coach Daddy :Why Parental Texting is a !@#%!

I am so very lucky to have some amazing individuals guest post for me. Let me tell ya this one, you guys, are going to LOVE. He is a brilliant writer, a soccer coach and a dad. Go check out his blog at Coach Daddy. Without further ado, please welcome Coach Daddy himself, Eli Pacheco!

Why Parental Texting is a !@#%!

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/totoro_zine/6421616685/">Francisco Javier Argel</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">cc</a>

Photo Credit: Francisco Javier Argel – Flickr.com

Kids and their smartphones … don’t get me started. Things were different, back in my day.

When I discussed topics for my guest post with Tammie, I suggested kids and the text phenomenon. Tammie has a few years to reach this milestone. Or should I say test of your holy fortitude.

I get to foster my kids’ journey through technology and communication. To trick them into thinking I will know if they Google something anything racy. Or Snap Chat with the wrong boys.

I get to do this on a mobile screen the size of half a graham cracker with keyboard letters no bigger than chocolate chips.

I get to do this with a possum’s eyesight and fingers not intended by God to tickle ivories, let alone type on smartphones. (I’ll confirm myself as a curmudgeon 17 times in this post. That’s 11 already, I’m sure.)

Forget degree of difficulty. The smartphone text concept (and any typing on smartphones) is flawed. It’s a menace to society. How? Let me count the ways.

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/justard/14217451220/">Just Ard</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>

Photo Credit: Just Ard – flickr.com

1.     Texting rewards kids for coming close

Seriously, try and type something AND GET NEARLY EVERY LETTER WRONG AND THE AUTO CORRECT WILL SAVE YOUR ASS. Unfortunately, it won’t even save one butt cheek during a school spelling test.

Or college application.

Or food stamp application.

This exploited weakness will perplex a kid if she gets on an archaic beast such as a computer keyboard.

My first typewriter was cold and metal and unforgiving. It smelled strongly of typewriter ribbon. It exclaimed every keystroke with a “wham!” It came in a horrifically immobile carrying case the size of an overstuffed raccoon. Roughly.

If I typed something wrong – it was wrong. And it was a job for correction tape. For every.single.letter.

I loved that typewriter. Did I mention that?

 <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/superic/14482958021/">Eric Willis (superic)</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>

Photo Credit: Eric Willis (supereric) – Flickr.com

2.     BAE, HBU, and POS (which doesn’t stand for what we thought it did)

As if auto correct and other butt-saving processes weren’t enough, kids have a generation of acronyms. Acronyms aren’t the kids’ invention, of course. Even my parents knew what TCOB meant. (Do you?)

Kids have dumb ones, though. Heard of BAE? My girls use it. It stands for “Before Anyone Else.” I think it’s a term of endearment, and I also think they use it on more than one kid. So everyone can tie for first.

Reminds me of the time I finished tied for second in a handsome contest.

Everyone else tied for first.

(Oh, and HBU means “how ’bout you?” POS is “parent over shoulder,” not “piece of …” well, you know.)

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/marknye/8241325991/">Mark Nye, ClubofHumanBeings.com</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>

Photo Credit: Mark Nye (Club of Human Beings) – Flickr.com

3.     Parental naiveté can be used to your advantage

Parents – dads, especially – aren’t expected to be adept at all this smartphone jive. Or know anything about anything to do with technology or even basic intelligence.

You know how everyone in the courtroom dismisses Matlock as an old, clueless bumpkin? Then, what happens by the end of the episode?

Matlock cracks the case (and the witness) with down-home country charm. Aw, shucks.

With dads, there’s no down-home country charm. All we’re armed with is fatherly cluelessness. When I want the girls to do something other than play on their devices, I tell them, “Tell your friends BBYL.”

Cue the eye rolls and angry glares. Even I know BBYL means absolutely nothing, but ticks them off to satisfying levels for a dad like me.

It might sound cruel. It might feel petty. But it’s just one fight on the great technological battleground all parents must endure.

Dad might struggle to tap a screen to text, but he knows the power of annoyance.

BAE, even.

technology quote

When he’s not chasing ambulances with his children inside or waxing poetic about frozen fish, Eli Pacheco writes the blog Coach Daddy. Follow him on Google Plus, Pinterest, and Twitter.

And Off She Goes…

Today was the first day of school for my little girl. She is now a transitional kindergartner. How terrifying is that? You don’t realize how fast time really goes until you hit those major milestones. It really feels like just yesterday I was holding that fragile, little baby girl in my arms. It also makes me realize how I take our time together for granted sometimes. Now more than ever since I returned to work. Yes, the work portion is very part time, but still it makes a difference when you are a SAHM for a year. Now, I am an overly emotional person. I wear my heart right out there on my sleeve. But really, after watching her walk off into her classroom, it really does feel like a sort of emptiness in my heart that I really can’t describe.

My daughter also showed these same type of emotions the night before I returned to work. She cried for almost 2 hours and all I could really understand between her sobs were, “Mama, please don’t go!” I tried not to cry with her, especially while I could feel my heart breaking. Trying to explain the whole situation as to why you needed to go back to work is never easy, especially to a 4 year old that doesn’t completely understand. All she hears is that mommy won’t be home all the time with her anymore. At least, for the time being, I will be working while she is in school. I will be able to drop her off and pick her up. So hopefully, this works out so that she won’t even really notice I’m gone. 

Sure we butt heads, A LOT, when we are together all day every day, but I guess that’s what moms and daughters do. She is a strong willed kid, nothing like what I was like when I was her age, so I have a difficult time trying to parent a child that is the opposite of me. I did, however, marry a strong willed man, so you would think I would be use to the characteristics after 10 years. I guess it’s different being married to one and having to parent one. All a learning process.

The plus side to having a strong willed kiddo, is that she was big and brave as she walked into her classroom. All smiles and waving to mom and dad saying “Bye!” I couldn’t be more proud of her. Me, on the other hand, cried like a baby all the way back to my car and then some. She was in preschool last year, so you would think this drop off would be easier. Nope. Like I said, I’m an emotional person. Leaving my baby with others, whom I don’t know, isn’t easy for me. There’s kind of a big difference between private (which is where she was last year) and public (where she is now) schools. It’s just a different environment. I’m not saying one is better than the other. I went to public school and I turned out okay, or at least I’d like to think so. The important thing to remember is that no matter what school she goes to, the teachers are there to protect her. The world, now, is a scary place and I just have to put my faith in those individuals that she will be with every day that they will keep her safe. 

So, as I watch my little walk off into her 2nd year of school and impatiently wait for her to get out, a little piece of my heart will be missing. They grow so quickly.



Another Post About Some Funky Weird Toys

The other day, my daughter and I we browsing online for Halloween costumes. Yes, Halloween costumes! It will be here in about 2 months! Crazy, right? Anyway, we got side tracked somehow and began looking at toys on Zulily. Now, the toys I am about to show you are the oddest things I have ever seen and I’m still trying to figure out what kind of kid would be compelled enough to say, “Hey, Mom and Dad! Have you seen this? I really WANT this toy!” 

With that being said, here are some of the plush toys made by GIANTmicrobes. Enjoy…

dust mite plush

I don’t know about you, but I’m sure ever kid wants a giant sized dust mite. Not only could your kid be sleeping with these little suckers in their bed (literally), but now they can cuddle them all they want! 

flea plush

What about a flea? Yes, that’s right, you can snuggle these guys, unlike the actual thing that bites you and are difficult to get rid of.

maggot plush

Don’t like creepy crawlies with legs, well then, how about a maggot? Yeah, you read that right. A maggot!

pimple plush

How about a cute little pimple? 

earache plush

Or an ear ache?

cough plush

Or better yet, the germ that causes a nasty cough?

kissing disease plush

Still not tickling your fancy? How about the germ that causes the disease loving called “the kissing disease”?

flu plush

Ooh, ooh…I know! How about everyone’s favorite bug, the flu?

anthrax plush

Anthrax anyone?

diarrhea plush

And my personal favorite (not really)…drum roll please…the diarrhea bug! No, that’s not a typo, it’s real. Who in the heck says to themselves, “Ya know, kids today really need to have cuddly toys that the very thought of them turns your stomach.” Can you imagine show and tell at school and someone brings this thing in? Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall in the classroom that day. Mind you, this is just a very small portion of what this company makes. They also have microbes called cancer and ebola if you are interested.


Ketchup #48 – A Difficult First

A little late, but it’s time to do the ever so wonderful link-up, Ketchup With Us, hosted by Mel of According to Mags and Michele of ODNT. There’s only a few link-ups left before Ketchup seals up their bottle, at least for a little while. Hopefully these ladies won’t be on hiatus for too long. This link-up is ALWAYS fun AND it gets me to remember to write. That’s always important, right?

This time around, we were asked to either link-up an old post or write about a “First”. There are many firsts I could easily write about. The first time I learned I was pregnant, the first moment I held my now 4 year old (almost 5) in my arms, even the first time I wrote and directed a screenplay. Instead, I decided to write about a difficult time in my life. A time where I witnessed a family member lose control. The reason I chose to write about this is because, as you all know, recently we lost an incredible man whom I greatly admired. He made me laugh until I was in tears every single time I saw him. Robin Williams was generous and brilliant, but also so terribly tortured inside that he made the decision to take his own life. Depression is a wicked disease and I have seen it take hold of a family member, who attempted to take her own life.

I was about 23 years old, my aunt had been in an out of psych wards dealing with major anxiety and depression. She was recovering from open heart surgery and a mass of other health problems, which I’m sure didn’t help her mental state much. I remember before the horrific event happened, my mom and I had taken her to a doctor in Fremont to try and figure out why she was having debilitating stomach pains. I remember sitting in that cold office chair. My mom at the far end, my aunt in the middle and me next to her. The doctor, who was harsh and rude, said “there is nothing wrong with her”, talking as if my aunt wasn’t even in the room. Fed up with doctor after doctor unable to find anything physically wrong with my aunt, I spoke up and said “if there is nothing wrong with her, then why is she in so much pain?” He pulled his glasses off his face, stared directly at me, and in a cold voice said, “because she is faking it all.” Right then I could feel my whole entire body tense up. How dare he! I’m a pretty calm person and it takes a lot for me to get completely angry to the point where I will speak up and say something and within a matter of five minutes this dude seemed to accomplish that. My voice got loud and my hands tightly clenched around the arms of the chair, “how can you say she is faking this whole thing?!?” To which he replied, “Easy. Attention.” I can’t remember what was said after that, I probably mentally blocked it out because I was so angry. With no emotion, my aunt walked back to the car.

Early morning, close to 3am, my mom gets a phone call from my Nanie. She runs out of the house, gets in her car and leaves. I find out a little later that my aunt had attempted to take her own life. She had taken a pair of dull scissors and slit both of her wrists during the night. Thankfully, she didn’t go deep enough. This was the first time I had ever known anyone to be so sad and broken down inside that they just no longer wanted to be here. I remember seeing her at the psych ward later that day, both wrists bandaged up, soul broken. What do you say to someone in that situation? I had to be sensitive, but at the same time I had so many questions. This was the first time I had sat directly in front of my aunt feeling as if I had let her down. I had spent years taking her in and out of hospitals trying to diagnose her pain (physical mind you), not once did I think about the pain she felt inside. It was the first time I had felt completely defeated. I couldn’t help her. No one could. She never really overcame her depression and subsequently passed away in 2008, in her early 50’s. They say she passed due to mass amounts of health problems, but honestly I’m not sure if that is entirely true. After her passing, my mom and I had gathered her things at the home she was living in. Going through small trinket boxes I discovered lots of her medications hidden. How long was she not taking her heart or diabetic medication? Could this have had a hand in her untimely death? Did she know that this could possibly happen?

We will never really know. I know that she was sad. I know she felt as if she was abandoned. I know that she wanted to be with her dad again. I just hope that now she is at peace with everything. I still feel guilty about what transpired between the two of us and how I wish there was more I could have done for her. In a way, that’s why I wanted to share this story. If this story can help anyone with coming to terms with depression or how to handle someone that you fear may be dealing with depression, then I’m glad I wrote this post. We never really know what is going on on the inside. 


Thank You For the Laughs


Celebrity deaths don’t usually strike me as hard as the most recent one has. Any loss of life is tragic, but for some reason, Robin William’s death has struck a chord in my heart.

Maybe it’s because he is my mom’s age; maybe it’s because, in my own family, depression has dealt a huge role in family members lives and I have seen first hand how strong it can take a hold of individuals. Also, maybe, it’s because yesterday, a small light of my own childhood dimmed. For any reason, he will be missed by many. He left a sheer genius legacy, which no one will ever be able to fill.

He lives around my area and he use to come into my town regularly for biking gear. I never met the man, although I wish I had. I saw a glimpse of him in Reno, Nevada while he was filming the movie Father’s Day with Billy Crystal. He seemed to love people, always interacted with them and that “stand-up” side always seemed to be on. 

I remember, back in 1989, my aunt (who suffered from her own demons of depression) was watching my younger brother and I while my mom went with my Nanie to visit my Papa in the hospital. It was late, I didn’t want to sleep, and she was had brought over a VHS tape to watch of Robin William’s stand-up, A Night at the Met, that she had recorded off of HBO. I was only 9 at the time, a little young to be watching that kind of stand-up, but in all honesty, I didn’t get the jokes. I just remember him, all that energy. Bouncing from one end of the stage to the other. Never stopping. His comedy wasn’t just funny, it was much more than that. There was always a spot in his show where he would speak such profound words, something that you could relate to, something that made you think.

To honor this spectacular human being, I just wanted to share some of my favorite movies and quotes from him. 

Popeye - 2



Aladdin (Probably my all time favorite Disney character)


Good Morning, Vietnam (Pretty much a one man 2 hour movie. Brilliant!)


Hook (Who could have dawned a better Peter Pan?)


What Dreams May Come (still gets me to this day)


The Birdcage


Patch Adams


Dead Poets Society (my favorite movie)


Mork and Mindy




So thank you, sir, for sharing that little spark of madness inside with all of us. 

You will be greatly missed. May you find whatever peace you were seeking that you could not find here on earth. Nanoo nanoo, dear sir.


If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, please know it is okay to talk. Speak with your family, speak with your friends. It’s a silent demon that does not go away on it’s own.

1-800-273-TALK (8255)


Crazy is relative. Just ask my relatives. And music!

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