Diary of a Tired Mom – The Please No More Words Edition

It’s been a weird month for me.

My subconscious wants to write very badly – I have dreamed about writing blog posts multiple times in the past month.

And those dreams have not been limited to when I was asleep.

When I got my first dose ever of “the gas” at the dentist, I was so trippy that my entire being was spinning out in staticky, multicolored, 8D spirals, and as the galaxies orbited what was left of me, I began realizing deep truths such as “I don’t even exist anymore. But I faintly hear the dentist still drilling on my teeth. I wonder if she realizes I don’t exist anymore. Someone should tell her she’s wasting her time except it can’t be me because I don’t exist anymore. But wow this would make a great blog post. Wait until I describe these new colors and sensations to the world. It will CHANGE IT.”

(Right after that, I came back to existence enough to rip off the gas and vomit three times.)

(I’m pretty sure my dentist will not allow me to have such services again.)

So yeah, a weird month. But despite my desire to write, I have had a rough month health-wise, so I haven’t been able to write. I’m getting better, so I’ll try to document some of my jotted-down notes from the month.

(Except not the rest of my thoughts from the dentist’s chair. Because those would change the universe too drastically and I’m not ready to pull the rug out from under y’all like that.)


Tiers of Childhood Monologue.

In case you haven’t noticed, kids talk a lot.

They ask a lot of questions, tells the same things over and over, and LOVE to, once they can read, tell you everything they are reading.

The prime ages for this phenomenon, I believe, is between 6 and 10. Which helps me understand a little more why toddlers are middle schoolers are my jam.

(But, Noah is the snuggliest nine-year-old boy that ever lived, which entirely makes up for his endless words. Most of the time.)

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(Also he’s prepared for anything. Which comes in handy more often than you’d think. Though I did tell him I was afraid this particular preparation belt would keep me from having grandkids if he fell at the wrong angle.)

Car rides are especially difficult for words with me, because the multi-tasking of operating a large machine AND listening to my kid (because I learned long ago that I am entirely incapable of tuning out any words ever) is tricky. So I have tried to hone the quality of words that come out in the car.

And so, there needs to be a helpful chart – a continuum if you will – of the things read or narrated to a parent while said parent is driving.

Level Negative Ten: iPad narration. I DO NOT CARE what your Monsters are singing about. THAT IS GREAT that you just killed all your Minecraft villagers and goats, but is it really? Did those angular goats really deserve that slaughter? But whatever you want to do to the goats, do it – just don’t tell me about it while I’m driving. (We even have a family code word (more on that later) for QUIT NARRATING YOUR IPAD GAME TO ME.)

Level Negative Eight: Unnecessary and/or repetitive questions about the future. This seems like a placeholder in conversation that my children love to use to fill space. Thankfully Ali learned my terror of answering questions about the future a couple years ago and ceased doing it most of the time, but it’s still a favorite hobby of Noah’s.

Level Negative Six: Jokes from a joke book. Or worse, jokes they know and have already told you ten times. Jokes are excruciating 99 out of 100 times. But then there’s always that one joke that catches you off guard and actually makes you laugh, which makes it not so bad.

Level Negative Two: Trivia books and Guinness Book of World Record books. These facts, read aloud, can be sometimes interesting. But then they seem to read the same pages over and over and they begin to feel like jokes.

Level Positive Two: Hearing about the books they’re reading, or their school books. I like knowing that they’re interested and involved in what they’re reading. Although Noah sometimes gets too involved in his history book, throwing his book on the floor and screaming at our forefathers for their prejudices, poor decision making, and foolish life-ending dueling. But that can be entertaining as well, giving this oration an overall positive rating.

Level Positive Four: Family Feud Cards. This is the one random Car Conversation Savior that I’ve found I enjoy. Someone got these for Christmas, and Noah loves quizzing Chris and I on Family Feud categories. They’re actually entertaining with the same magic that Family Feud is entertaining as a show – magic I don’t necessarily understand but appreciate nonetheless. But what makes them most fun is the children’s uncertainty about whether they’re inappropriate or not when they don’t understand them.

I present this example:

Noah: “Name things that start with the word ‘skinny'”

I snorted. My first thought was “Skinny B**ch”

I wondered if it was on the card, but I certainly wasn’t going to ask.

Chris and I got a few right, then trailed off.

Noah: “Do you give up?”

Us: “Sure.”

Noah:”There’s only one left but I think it’s inappropriate.”

Me: “Oh here it comes.”

Noah: “It’s ‘Skinny Late’ with Two T’s.”

Chris and I thought for a second, then exploded with laughter.

And immediately dared each other to go into Starbucks and order a Skinny Late with Two T’s.


I’m learning how to live with an apparent extrovert.

I held out hope for a long time that Noah was just an outgoing introvert, but the evidence continues to suggest a strong strain of extroversion. The amount of sounds that need to come out of his mouth at all times is staggering. It’s mostly questions but also comments, sounds, random thoughts, and just a stream of consciousness.

As such, over the past few years, we’ve created a collection of Callahan Family Code Words. I only have to say one word, and he knows exactly what I mean, rather than me having to use up all my words telling him to use less words.

Here is the legend to the Callahan Family Code Words. We haven’t copyrighted them, and so we offer them free to help you, too, have a less verbally overwhelming life.

Rubiks – “You’re making random, repetitive, completely unnecessary noises and I let it go for a while but I now need you to cease.”

Honda – “That question is either a.) a question about the future, b.) a completely unnecessary question, or c.) you’re just out of questions for the day because you’ve asked more than my brain can possibly handle. So I’m not answering it.”

Blubbermuffin – “NO ONE wants to hear your narration of your iPad game. If you don’t want your iPad to disappear forever, you’re gonna have to keep your mouth shut while playing.”

Banana – “Quit using your mouth and start using your eyes. We’re on a hike forgoodnesssake can we enjoy the sounds of nature PLEASE.”

The nicest part of these words is that I have to be less rude as a mother. There’s much less emotional content to just say “Honda” rather than “FOR THE LOVE DO NOT ASK ME ANOTHER BLOOMIN’ QUESTION, CHILD.” He knows what I mean and he accepts it without emotion. AND, the magic of the code word keeps him from arguing with me – it just ends the conversation.

But despite my code words’ helpfulness, I do assume this blog post has fully informed you of where my headspace has been going and why I haven’t had any words left for writing.

Diary of a Tired Mom: Dead of Winter Edition

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I’m afraid that all of my motivation and Type A-Ness was housed in my uterus. It’s been nearly six weeks since its removal, and I don’t feel like running, eating vegetables, eating less Christmas chocolate, writing, cleaning, educating my children (which I am managing to do anyway – whether quality education or not), or really much of anything else.

I mean, I kinda want to do those things, but my ability to make myself is….lacking.

I am positive that my motivation has been morcellated and yanked out through my bellybutton in confetti-sized pieces. I signed a lot of paperwork for that surgery, but I know I didn’t approve that.

My Only Hope is that it is actually the deadly mixture of the cold hellish depths of winter and the lack of uterus that is actually causing this steep decline in productivity, and that, come spring, I’ll be a normally contributing member of society yet again.

Which brings me to this pondering…

The idea of New Years Resolutions is the stupidest idea of the entire human race. Amie’s comment on this post caused me to ruminate on the absolute awful timing of this concept, and I think we need to lobby for legislation to be passed to END THIS IDIOCY.

How could there be a worse time to try and make huge overhauling lifestyle and diet changes than right after the end of the holidays (depressing!), when we still have loads of chocolate (yum!), in the deepest, darkest, coldest part of winter (we need those carbs to survive!), and besides the fact that January in general is proven to be the crappiest month of the year?

We are literally torturing ourselves into extinction with New Years Resolutions. This is probs what happened to dinosaurs and dodos.

In their place, I propose that we should have Daylight Savings Time* Resolutions. A clunkier naming, sure, but so. much. smarter. We shall diet and exercise when we get our extra hour of daylight back, when Spring is starting to peek around the corner, and when hope fills the world once more, when fruits and vegetables are available in abundance – that’s when we have the energy and mental fortitude for such things as resolutions!

*OBVIOUSLY, I would rather pass legislation to stay in Daylight Savings Time all year round, but if I can’t do that, No More New Years Resolutions is a close second.


You know that bizarre list of traditional wedding gifts that includes romantic notions such as tin and wool? I think we need to make that list more practical and rewrite it to be entirely made up of re-buying wedding presents as they run out of their useful lives.

1st Year: You don’t have any money, but you’re still coasting by on fresh wedding presents. Anyway, your love is gift enough. Maybe splurge and buy a bag of celery.

2nd Year: There is definitely a random minor appliance you got for a wedding present that was a lemon and has now quit working. Is it a can opener? Iron? Vegetable chopper? Replace that bad boy. Otherwise you’ll spend the next five years frustrated that you didn’t.

5th Year: Your comforter is old and has pills on the fabric, not to mention that nasty stain from that one time you tried to drink cranberry juice in your bed while half-sleep. Plus, you probably hate that design by now. This year’s New Traditional gift is: ALL NEW BEDDING!

6th Year: Those three times you’ve actually attempted to iron, you definitely melted something. From now on, every attempt to flatten wrinkles will also include appliqueing old burnt plastic onto the item of clothing. But just throw the thing away. You’re never going to figure out the ironing thing, and the dryer plus a damp washcloth works passably for your level of domesticity.

8th Year: Yo – truth time. Your towels are disgusting. They’re ragged on some edges and pulled into tight spirals on others. They have bleach spots even though you’ve never used bleach your entire marriage. The gift of the year is towels. Your butts will thank you.

10th Year: You are on your second toddler and he has now thrown away all your forks and half your spoons, leaving you to attempt to shovel steak into your mouth on your ridged grapefruit spoon. It’s time for the gift of silverware. But don’t buy that ridiculous $50-a-place-setting kind that you received as wedding presents – at this stage of your life, it’s best to invest in the 108 piece box set on clearance at TJ Maxx. You still have a toddler, after all.

11th Year: Did you know you were supposed to replace your mattress last year? Happy Anniversary! Go lay on 257 mattresses and freak out about the most anxiety-inducing purchase you’ll ever make. And – spoiler – you’ll still pick the wrong one. Then you will attempt to use The Force to hurry along the next ten years so you can try again to get it right. (You won’t.)

17th Year: Your bowls are all chipped, and your plates are ravaged with silverware scrape lines. This year’s traditional gift is a new set of casual china. Plus – c’mon. Your taste in dinnerware was crap when you gleefully danced through Macy’s with that delightful registry gun. Now it’s time to get something you really like.

…But no matter how many years you’re married, the gift of the year is NEVER a Kitchen-Aid mixer, because those things never die – even if you’d really like an excuse to get one of those fancy multicolored ones.


24-36 hours after I cut onions (no less, no more), when I take a hot shower, once the room gets steamy, my shower is filled with the smell of fresh onion – as if I were standing in the middle of a 500-acre onion farm and just pulled up a perfect onion bulb. I believe that my skin is an organic diffuser that is specially adjusted to diffuse the onion’s essential oils. My superpowers are marketable – that is, unless everyone has this skill. Please report in immediately.

Diary of a Tired Mom: Beliefs and Dreams.

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Every time I need Triple Antibiotic cream, I can only find Hydrocortisone – and not just one tube, multiple tubes. Every time I need Hydrocortisone, I can only find Triple Antibiotic cream  – and not just one tube, multiple tubes.

I no longer believe that these two creams are separate entities. They cannot exist at the same time because THEY ARE THE SAME TUBES. They cackle with evil glee at their ability to change their name when they see me coming. They are the David Blaine of First Aid.


I vehemently believe that my phone is listening to me and selling my conversations to Facebook.

Multiple times over the last few months I’ve had a conversation about something random, and then a few hours later have an ad served to me in my Facebook feed regarding that topic.

For instance, Chris and I discussed Ole Miss (as in the university and the football team.) Their coach left in scandal and I asked Chris to tell me the long and colorful story while we were on a hike.

We never talk about Ole Miss.

The very next time I opened Facebook, I had an ad for Ole Miss gameday apparel.

I mean, that’s just stupid. My phone should know what kind of gameday looks I’m into.

After a few more of these uncanny and quite suspicious instances, I decided to turn off my “Hey Siri” feature. I considered that maybe that’s how it was justifying its listening habits – it was always keeping an ear out for me to say “Hey Siri,” and anything it heard in the meantime it just happened to mention in passing to Mark Zuckerberg.

But then, weeks after divorcing Hey Siri, I had lunch with a friend and discussed all the misguided ways that people attempt to comfort the grieving. Four hours later, I received this ad:

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So not only is it still listening, it’s contextually analyzing my conversations and making frighteningly intelligent decisions based on what it hears.

Y’all – I’m pretty sure the computers have already taken over. In fact, I’m not even sure if I’m real anymore. I may just be a figment of my computer’s imagination.


You know you’re at a homeschool event when a kid pops off a boob to say they need to go potty. With perfect sentence structure.

Am I saying that homeschoolers breastfeed longer than most people?

Or that they potty-train early?

Or that they reinforce fantastic sentence structure at very young ages?

That’s for you to decide.


Summer in Alabama has been painful. We had such a mild fall, winter, and spring that I nearly forgot what an extreme season felt like for a second.

But it’s hot.

It’s humid.

It will sap you of all ability to breathe the moment you step foot out the door.

Which means that I am once again daydreaming about my Pipe Dream.

I had a dream one blessed night a couple of summers ago that was so blissful that I’ve not forgotten it. In my dream, there was a raised, enclosed, air-conditioned runway (not walkway, although I will allow walkers into my dream as well but definitely not bikes – sorry bikers) that went from my neighborhood all the way to downtown.

It was glass on three sides, in the shape of an arch, and significantly raised above the roads so that you could see everything around you and were looking down at the treetops.

It was basically the Jetson’s Utopia for a runner. And I loved it. And craved it. And fantasized about it.

I mean, I know this project would only cost ten billion or so dollars, especially depending on how many neighborhoods we’d connect in this super fabulous modern monstrosity. Oh – and also you’d definitely need a few open-air observation decks here and there for sunset watching and the like.

But it would be EXTRAORDINARY.

Think of the tourists it’d bring. Runners would come to run this above-city course during the hottest days of summer and the coldest days of winter. You could even run during a tornado. Okay maybe not a tornado but close.

Air-Conditioned-Running-Path_thumb5Yes, even Disco dancers would come to dance in my dreamy tunnel.

There would be regular water stops and vending machines where you could buy Gu and Body Glide and deliciously cold Protein Icees.

Every so often this magical tunnel would dip down to ground level, weaving through the nature preserves around town – Red Mountain Park, Ruffner Mountain, Oak Mountain State Park, giving you the opportunity to run through the woods during those months that normally leave you heaving, dehydrated, and mosquito food.

Then it would shoot back up into the air, offering just the right amount of hill workouts, and continue its majestic treetop view of the city.

I would pay a decent monthly membership to this tunnel. At least in the summer.

(And I’ll even let the bikers use it in the spring and fall.)

And hey – if we have to sell it as a Light Rails option too, you know, since Birmingham is kinda in last place in the whole public transportation arena, that’s totally fine. There can be a train running alongside my Most Amazing Air-Conditioned Runway.

I keep trying to sell Chris on this fantastic magnanimous idea and he reminds me that it is a LITERAL Pipe Dream and I must accept the reality that it’s completely impractical.

Sure it is.

But it would be incredible.