Bon Jovi Cologne, $300, and YouTube


That is not the beginning, or even the punchline, of a funny (or even very bad) joke. It is a short list of some of the things I’ve been working on that haven’t appeared on this site.

Man Smell” is an essay I wrote about my surprise and dismay when my first born son started emitting unmistakable boy-scented body odor starting at age 6! It is published on Mamalode, a web and print magazine that features funny and moving essays about parenthood. The more clicks I get, the more I get paid. It’s not my ideal revenue structure, and I was hoping the essay would have been chosen for the print mag, but it’s a start. Many people have found it funny and I dare say, especially those who have or have had or have been little boys.


The $300 is a rounded up figure – the amount over budget we found ourselves after three months of tracking our spending and attempting to stick within said budget. I chronicle this journey at Mint’s blog – Mint is a free online and mobile budgeting tool created by Intuit, who also makes Quicken and Quickbooks and other financial software tools. Their blog, Mintlife, publishes helpful articles about personal finances every day. My series is a first person account of one family’s decision to get control of its spending, called “American Family Budget.” (Start from the bottom to follow the story from the beginning.) Sometimes it’s helpful, sometimes it’s funny, and sometimes it just makes you feel less alone.

dressing room

YouTube – I listed this because soon I will be adding the video of my appearance in Expressing Motherhood, the stage show in which 12 women write and perform their own stories about parenting or being parented, to my channel. You should subscribe (just click the orange “subscribe” button that appears to the right just under the header photo), because when I finally get the balls to watch the clip and upload it, you will be alerted so that you can see it. If you didn’t make it to Hollywood for any of the 8 performances because you either live far away or you were just too busy or it just wasn’t that interesting to you at the time, this is where you can click and watch and say “Whew, I dodged a bullet with that one” or “Dammit. I totally regret skipping this!”

Chinese New Year Wish

Brady came home from school with good news:

“Great Grampa is going to be alive again, Mom!”

For a moment I couldn’t speak. I dropped everything and gave him my full attention. “What do you mean?” I asked him.

“Oh,” he said. “At school I got a wish, and I wished for Great Grampa to be alive again!”

He beamed at me, proud of the gift of his wish. He showed it to me. It looked like this:


I looked at his face. He absolutely believed that it’s true.

Then he ran off to play.

He has brought it up again, when Kyle puts on the Notre Dame sweatshirt that was my Grampa’s, that is too small for me and too big for him, but he wears it to school on chilly days. “This was Great Grampa’s,” he’ll say. And then Brady says “He’s dead. But I wished him back alive, so he’s going to be alive again someday.”

I repeat the “in due time,” part to him, and remind him that this could take a very long time.

“I know,” he says. “I’ll wait.”

great grandparents

Wordless Wednesday: Black and White

ship bg bw

Photo by Leslie Dumke

Just For Fun: Pythagorean’s Therom


Only the writing at the very bottom is my husband’s. The rest is my 8-year-old’s.

Other kids are into sports…