Category Archives: Family

My Husband Loves Me More Than Your Husband Loves You

I love my husband and I know he loves me.

I’ve met a lot of women who like to have their husband’s love proved to them on a regular basis in the form of flowers, gifts, and jewelry. However, these are not my preferred forms of affection.

Although I appreciate flowers, I know within days the petals will drop, the pollen will cause my daughter Emily to be sneezing up a storm, and in a week, I will be the one hauling the dead bouquet to the green bin and having to wash a vase filled with skunk water.

In lieu of gifts, I would much prefer a gift certificate for “Free lawn mowing without the prompting of subtle hints” and “Complimentary kitchen cleaning – including wiping down the stove.”

And although I love admiring the glittery jewels other women wear, I just couldn’t appreciate showing off a chunk of bling when we’re still up to our eyeballs in credit card debt.

My husband Tom shows me he loves me in subtle ways. He’ll fill up the Keurig coffee maker with water when the light is flashing, even though he is already done with his own caffeine fix. If he’s making a root beer float for himself, he’ll offer to make one for me. And if I order a meal that turns out to be to the left of “just ok,” he’ll offer half of his meal, even if he’s starving and his dish is delectable.

We moved in together in May of 2005 and weren’t married until October, and there was still a lot I didn’t know about him. I volunteered Tom to man the grill for the annual Hartsook Street Block Party, which took place on the hottest day of the year. The temperature soared to 110 degrees and the humidity was so thick neighbors were sweating more liquid than they were ingesting. Tom lamented that the grill actually felt cooler than the air. He perched himself in front of that charcoal-induced sauna for four hours. Later he told me to never NEVER volunteer him for anything ever again without his permission.

Why does this scenario make him a more loving husband than the rest of the men out there? Because he wasn’t a dick the entire time he was grilling, he told me the “no volunteering” request without raising his voice, and he didn’t hold a grudge about it for weeks. How about it, Ladies? Would your hubbies have that reaction?

But the Grand Finale of Best Humbandrycame last night, just after 4:00 am. The previous day, our dogs found a bin in our pantry filled with Special K bars and ingested about a dozen of them.

Devil Dogs

Tom came home to crumbs, wrappers, and two very guilty-looking dogs. Then he cleaned up the mess before I could take a picture for my blog (more Best Husband kudos!).

In the middle of the night I awoke to a fearsome stench. I got up and started to walk toward the switch to turn on the light when I felt squish squish squish – the unexpected feeling of stepping on gooey wetness.

I turned on the light and started screaming.

“Tom! Tom!” He had gone out to the couch about an hour earlier because he couldn’t sleep. Tom ran in like he was ready to fend off a home intruder and we both stared down at the bedroom carpet.

It was completely covered in runny diarrhea. It looked like someone had unloaded a paintball gun filled with caramel-colored pellets. The mess was sprayed all over the doors, the walls, and the mirrored closet doors. I was actually standing in the middle of the Feces Forest and had no idea how to get out of it.

I just stood there – stunned, paralyzed, terrified. I had no idea where to even start cleaning up such a sewage spill.

I was still a motionless statue by the time Tom arrived with the pooper scooper and started cleaning up the watery excrement. He looked like he was playing a game of miniature golf, but instead of a ball, he was easing the club over stinky slime.

I performed a standing long jump into the hallway, dashed into the bathroom, and scrubbed the bottoms of my feet so hard you would have thought I was a plague victim in Contagion. Then I prepared a bucket with Mr. Clean, poured the hottest water I could stand with industrial-strength rubber gloves, and raced back to the bedroom.

“I’m done,” Tom said. ” Go sleep in the kids’ room.”

Well, his idea of “done” and my idea of “done” are two completely different things. Granted, the piles had been smeared down from two inches to two millimeters, but instead of random piles of poop, there now was a smooth ground cover of crap.

And tomorrow morning it would be a dried, crusty ground cover of crap.

I kneeled down in the hallway safe zone, rung out a soapy sponge, and started to scrub.

“Go to bed,” Tom gently ordered.

I was really beat. This was going to be the first time in over a week that I would be getting more than 6 hours of sleep, and now that plan had gone out the now-open window. The stench was truly unbearable and I was afraid I might even vomit, which would have been a nuisance since the pooper scooper was now outside.

“I’ll take care of it in the morning,” Tom said. I knew this really meant I’ll think about taking care of it in the morning, but if I wait until afternoon, I know you’ll do it anyway. But I was so tired, and the smell was so overwhelming offensive, I staggered to the kids’ room and crawled into the bottom bunk. Fortunately for me, Jake has been sleeping I the top bunk with Mary since he’s afraid of zombies (which apparently only make an appearance at his 9:00 pm bedtime).

I awoke this morning, dreading the job in front of me.

Mary woke up in the bunk above me and asked why I was in her room. She hopped out of bed the instant I told her what happened.

“Can I see?”

We headed through the hall and I plugged my nose as I opened the door, ready to be hit in the face by the noxious odor.

Instead, our carpet shampooer sat in the middle of the room and the carpet was clean.

What the…?

Tom was already holding a cup of coffee.

“I cleaned it last night.” He gulped his coffee. “I couldn’t sleep.”

Later in the day he hosed off the dozen or so piles of diarrhea scattered throughout the yard that were ejected after the dogs had been banished outside.

“I also cleaned and shaved Spike’s butt,” Tom said casually.

Apparently the constant streaming of liquid excrement had created a hefty cement-like compound, and leaves, dead flowers and weeds were caked onto our Australian Shepherd’s anus.

So for all you women who treasure the glittery bling, the dozen roses and the fancy gifts, I’d like to ask you a single question:

Would your husband let you sleep while he shampooed a shit-filled carpet and scrubbed the poopy ass of your long-haired dog?

This is why my husband loves me more than your husband loves you.

How about you? How does your spouse or significant other show you that he/she loves you?

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Filed under Anxiety, Debt, Family, Humor, Husband, Kids

A Visit From the Ghost of Mother’s Day Past

Today was Mother’s Day. I woke up at 10:15 am and my first thought was, “God, I slept in late.” Then came a second sudden thought: “I’m going back to sleep!”

I rolled over and threw the pillow over my face, then heard a loud throat-clearing sound in front of me. A plump elderly woman resembling Mrs. Santa Claus was floating in front of my bed.

“Happy Mother’s Day!” the woman said. I realized that it was Grandma Flynn, my paternal grandmother, looking remarkably spry despite being dead for nearly 40 years. I jolted awake in an instant.

“Grandma! What are you doing here?”

“Why I’m the ghost of Mother’s Day Past,” she told me. “You looked like you were about to sleep away Mother’s Day, so I decided to take you on a little trip.”

In an instant, we were both hovering over my childhood home, circa 1969.  The kitchen looked like a tornado struck, with pots, pans, dishes, food and stickiness everywhere. A 7-year old me was carrying a tray of food into my mom’s bedroom, along with my siblings Tammie (6), Michael (5), and Teri (4).

“Happy Mother’s Day!” we shouted in semi-unison.

My 27-year old mom shot up and glanced at her alarm clock: 6:00 am. She stared at our breakfast: cold burnt toast, charcoal-colored bacon, runny eggs, and unstirred orange juice made from concentrate. A clump of frozen pulp spilled on the bedspread as the younger me set the tray down.

“Breakfast in bed?” my mother gushed. She took a big bite of the black toast and smiled a truly genuine smile.

“This is the best Mother’s Day ever!” she declared as she pulled us in for an enormous group hug.

My floating Present Day self turned to Grandma Flynn. “Wow. She actually ate it. Yuck.”

“Your mom was a good woman,” my grandmother said.

“She still is,” I replied.

Then Grandma Flynn brought me back to Present Day and I saw that it was still 10:15 am. No time had gone by.

“Why are you showing me this, Grandma?” I asked.

“Because it’s Mother’s Day and you just want to sleep in rather than let your children fix you breakfast in bed.”

“But I hate crumbs in my bed,” I said. “And even though the kids tell me they’re going to clean up the mess, I know I’m the one who’s going to end up mopping the kitchen. I just want to sleep in and go out to breakfast.”

Grandma Flynn shook her head sadly and started to float away.

“Wait, Grandma!” I called after her. “Why are you leaving?”

“You are about to be visited by the Ghost of Mother’s Day Future,” she answered. And then she disappeared.

A moment later, an animated Jane Jetson appeared in my bedroom and transported me in her futuristic hovercraft. We flew to a nursing home. And there I was, lying in a bed wearing really ugly pajamas. And if I thought I looked flabby and wrinkly at 49, it was nothing compared to what I’ll look like at 85.

A nurse walked into the room with a tray of cold oatmeal. “Happy Mother’s Day,” she greeted me. The nurse started to feed me as oatmeal dribbled down my chin.

“No! No!” I cried. “Please don’t let this be my future, Jane Jetson! Let me go back to present day Mother’s Day! I can change. Let me eat the burnt toast!”

A second later, a grown Emily and Mary walked through the door of the nursing home.

“Mom! You’re not dressed yet?” Mary asked, shoving me out of bed.

Emily pulled a sweatshirt over my head. “Our reservation is in half an hour!”

A moment later we were at a huge brunch buffet, joined by a grown-up Jake and a bunch of my grandkids. Jane Jetson rolled her eyes and heaved a heavy sigh.

“Oh. You’re one of those.”

“One of what?” The Present Day Me asked.

“BTR’s.”

I stared at Jane cluelessly.

“Burnt Toast Reformers,” she clarified. “One of those moms who convinces her kids that she’d rather sleep in and go out to breakfast than wake up at the crack of dawn and eat burnt toast.”

Jane Jetson guided me back to the hovercraft and flew me back to Present Day.

Then, like Grandma Flynn, she too disappeared.

I glanced at the clock. It was still 10:15 am.

So I rolled over and went back to sleep until 10:45 am.

And then I pulled on a sweatshirt and ate breakfast with my kids.

At Marie Callender’s. Where there is no burnt toast, and no mess to clean up.

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Filed under Family, Holidays, Humor, Kids, Parenting, Parody

Volunteerism – It’s Not Just a Job; It’s a Job Without a Paycheck.

At about 3:45 pm on Tuesday, I dropped by the dubbing stage on the Disney lot, where Erik the recordist downloaded my conformed dialogue tracks. By 4:00 pm I was waving goodbye to my supervisor, my boss, the mixers and the producer of “Once Upon a Time.” I probably won’t see any of them again until season 2 begins next September.

I love my job as the dialogue editor on the show, but with only 22 episodes a year, it leaves a very long hiatus.

So on Wednesday morning I woke up and started my new job. I love this job too – probably even more than I love working on a hit show. And my new job pays nothing.

When I say “nothing,” I don’t mean that it’s something close to nothing like minimum wage at McDonald’s. My new job pays nothing because for the next month I’ll be working as a volunteer.

Since 2001 I have been a parent at Colfax Charter Elementary School in Valley Village. Back then, most families in the neighborhood sent their kids to private schools. They didn’t really know much about our little public school. So in 1998 when my daughter turned 2, I started volunteering at Colfax in an effort to infiltrate the school and see first hand what it was like.

They placed me in a 1st grade class with a teacher named Paige Gage, and I fell in love. Besides having a name that rhymed (something every 1st grade teacher should have) she was engaging, fun, and she genuinely seemed to enjoy being there everyday with the kids. It turns out she was a parent there years ago and became a teacher later. Her children are now grown and she’s still at Colfax and teaching 2nd grade now. And I’m still in love with her.

There are countless parents and members of the community who consistently devote a truckload of time to help this little gem of a school. Throughout the work season I participate in little ways as a room parent and in PTA, but when I’m on hiatus, I have the opportunity to really dive in. It is an incredibly rewarding experience to work with other volunteers to make our wonderful school even better and be able to interact with the kids. Here are some of the really fun things I can look forward to doing for the next 6 weeks of the school year:

Kindergarten violins

On Mondays and Wednesdays at 12:30 I get to help my son Jake and his classmates place their feet correctly on the Arthur Murray-like foot positions on the floor and keep the boys from having sword fights with the bows. The kindergarten recital is May 24. For that day I’ll probably work as a kid wrangler and try to keep them from messing up their white button-down shirts. Good thing the recital is first thing in the morning or after recess I’d be racing home and washing a large load of white button-down shirts.

Helping in the classroom

Today I helped the kids paint sunflowers. I let a girl named Emma make a second one after I totally screwed hers up by suggesting she fix a part of it. She was doing way better without my help.

Beautification

This Saturday, May 12th we’re all bringing our gardening gloves, rakes and creaking backs to the campus to sweep, clean and plant. It’s scheduled right between Jake’s baseball game and my niece’s baby shower in Yucaipa, so I can just spare an hour. That’s how long it should take to clean up 10 square yards of an area covered in juice box straw wrappers. Damn Juicy Juice.

PTA/PACE Elections

May 17th I get to see who’s going to be Co-VP of Communications with me. The term will be up for my current partner Joanne, which is really scary since she’s the one who takes the great photos and sends out the Constant Contact email messages to the whole school. I’m crossing my fingers that the new Co-VP is artistic and tech-savvy. Otherwise I’ll need to learn how to take photos where people actually have their eyes open.

Restaurant Fundraisers

Lisa and Abbe are a couple of energetic go-getters, and I work with them on Restaurant Fundraisers where Colfax gets 20% back. I have the task of counting out the exact number of flyers for each classroom and placing them in the teachers’ boxes so they’ll go home in the students’ backpacks. We have fundraisers at Menchie’s on May 18th and a combo Cold Stone Creamery / Green Apple China Bistro on June 5th. The teachers scoop the ice cream at Cold Stone, and there’s always a line out the door of students who ask, “Mrs. Tepper…  can I have another sample?”

Teacher Appreciation Lunch

I’ve signed up to bring lasagna. I used to make an amazing lasagna before I had kids.  Now every year I sign up to bring a lasagna to the Teacher Appreciation Lunch with the intention of making a homemade one, and every year I realize that an amazing lasagna takes about half a day to prepare. I’m thinking of just cooking a Stouffer’s in one of my Corningware trays so it looks like I actually spent more time on it than merely turning an oven dial.

Vaudeville

Every year, that same teacher I volunteered for back in 1998 puts on a Vaudeville Show. Starting in January, Paige Gage has rehearsals every Wednesday afternoon not only for her 2nd grade class, but she also offers it to every 2nd grader in the school and any older student who wants to help with the show. I’m the gal who gets to press “play” on the iPod. The kids sing songs like Jimmy Durante’s Inka Dinka Doo, perform magic tricks, and tell really corny jokes. I’ll hear the words “knock knock… who’s there?” more than any sane person should hear in a lifetime.

School Site Council

There’s a governance meeting once a month where we get to discuss the school charter, curriculum, budgets, and other topics that would make a kindergartner’s eyes glaze over. This is the time I get to act like a grownup and try to act like I really understand all that “I second it” and “I’d like to make a motion” stuff. Because it’s elementary school, I’d love to call it “Me too” and “Whatcha think if…?”

Career Day

I have the opportunity to make three 20-30 minute presentations on what a sound editor does for a living. After I explain that I work from home and wear headphones all day, the kids who will decide to pursue this career when they grow up will either be sound aficionados or anti-social shut-ins.

Tribute Songs

During the very last PTA/PACE meeting of the year we have a presentation to say goodbye to all the 5th grade parents who have gone above and beyond in volunteering for the school. I have the dream-of-a-lifetime job of writing a bunch of parodies and having some of the 5th graders perform it that night. My goal is to make the parents simultaneously roar with laughter and weep like babies. (Have some fun and check out last year’s karaoke version at Colfax 5th Grade Tribute 2011 on Youtube).

Colfax World Fair Marketing

This is the Big Kahuna of my volunteer activities, which is fitting since one of the things I get to hype is the Big Kahuna – a huge water slide at the Colfax World Fair on June 2nd. Last year about 7,000 guests attended this event which made $140,000 in a single day. My job is to get the news out about the fair by any means possible and to make enough money to keep all of Colfax’s extracurricular (and curricular) programs alive. I have a great team of volunteers working with me this year who will be spreading the word with Facebook, Twitter, Patch, emails, banners, posters, car magnets, flyers, postcards, lawn signs, newspapers, magazines, radio, online or just good old fashioned word of mouth. By June 2nd, if you haven’t heard of the Colfax World Fair, it means you’ve been in a coma under a rock on a desert island.

Finally…

Tuesday, June 19th is the last day of the 2011-2012 year for this little LAUSD school. So at 1:30 pm I’ll be clocking out.

By then I’ll need a nap.

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Filed under Family, Humor, Kids, Multitasking, Music, Parenting, Public Education, Public Schools, Volunteering

RIP 1998 Toyota Sienna XLE

I got the call three weeks ago that one of my best friends of the last 15 years had died. She had been in an accident, and her injuries were just too severe to save her. Personally, I don’t think they tried very hard. I know it’s because of her age. When you’re old, you’re expendable. I disagree. I think she still had a lot of good years left in her.

My kids hung out with her every day, and all their friends knew her well. My companion and I spent an insane amount of time together and we never tired of each other. She was attractive, yet low-maintenance. She was dependable. And until her tragic, untimely death, I knew I could always count on her.

She was my 1998 Toyota Sienna XLE Minivan.

On Friday the 13th of April I was trying to parallel park on a residential street two blocks from my home when another car struck the front of my car and sped away. The collision tore the front bumper completely off my minivan and broke the axel. Still, the damage looked repairable, so it was a real shock when the auto body shop told me it a total loss.

When I got the news, I just started sobbing, and I’ve been continuously crying ever since. This was the car that I was going to pass on to my daughter Emily when she starts driving this summer. However, I already knew that I was going to be an Indian giver. I loved my Toyota Sienna XLE and even though she was already 15 years old, I wanted to keep her a little longer.

Toyota came out with the Sienna as a minivan substitute for the discontinued Previa. We bought one of the first off the assembly line in the summer of 1997. It had a sliding sunroof, leather interior, dual air conditioning, power windows, radio/cassette/CD and a power driver’s seat. Coming directly from a Mustang convertible, it was nice to step into the lap of luxury rather than some sticky, soiled kidmobile.

I eventually got a couple of dings on my minivan, but by that time the car was so old that didn’t bother me much. There was a scrape along the passenger side from a Trader Joe’s shopping cart, and the paint was starting to fade from the repair done in 2004 from the time I was backing out of a parking spot at Warner Bros. and didn’t see a pole in my blind spot. But the engine was pristine. I performed regular tune ups and oil changes, and in 15 years there was not one single engine breakdown or malfunction. Remember when I mentioned that she was dependable? I would be hard pressed to find any human as trustworthy as my Sienna.

Jake loved to have the sun roof open. Emily enjoyed sitting in the front seat and propping her boots on the dash. Mary – always the social butterfly – would have a carload of her friends coming home with her, their heavy backpacks piled in the back. It was roomy enough to transport the whole family plus my mother-in-law to the Inland Empire for holidays with my family. It felt like first class seating in an airplane, and my Sienna probably got us there faster than flight + check in time.

Since all the back seats were removable, I have probably helped move 30 people into new homes, and loaned my car out as a free U-Haul to a wide variety of friends. I had just purchased custom leatherette seat covers to hide the rips and cracked upholstery on the driver’s seat, and only the day before the accident the odometer clicked past the milestone 150,000 miles. My Sienna should certainly have been placed alongside the Energizer Bunny and the Timex watch as a product that takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

I loved this car the way many people love their animals. I’ll probably get some nasty comments by saying that, but it’s true. Granted, it was a one-sided love, because it’s not like a car can love you back. But it’s certainly better than most one-sided relationships where your love is not reciprocated. At least my object of love made me exceedingly happy.

A week after the accident, I turned over my keys, signed away my rights, and cleared my belongings out my minivan. It felt like I was packing up keepsakes after a death, yet the death seemed like my own. Emily was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1999, and I found old stashes of glucose tabs, blood testing strips, glucagon and insulin that had expired years ago. Finding all those supplies brought back the flood of fear that engulfed me when Emily received the diagnosis just two weeks after her 3rd birthday. We had to keep emergency supplies with us wherever we went, and those first few years we’d grab them from the glove compartment. Now Emily carries diabetic supplies herself. I never thought there’d be a day when I wouldn’t obsess about her disease, yet at some point it happened.

I cleared out CDs I hadn’t heard in years – Steve Winwood, Phil Collins and the recently departed Whitney Houston. These CDs had long since taken a back burner to NPR and iTunes while I was driving solo, Adele when Mary was with me, and everything from David Bowie to Ozzy Osborne to My Chemical Romance to the soundtrack to the musical Spring Awakening for my daughter Emily.

The seat pockets held headshots and resumes of my daughters from their commercial auditions stint years ago; about 50 Bed Bath & Beyond coupons (they take expired coupons if you didn’t know); baby wipes that were bone dry; my daughters’ ID cards and fingerprints that were issued back in 2003; makeup that had solidified, faded, or otherwise been rendered unusable; and bandaids and sunblock in a variety of car cubbies. Despite my LASIK surgery last summer, I found two pairs glasses and contact solution that expired in 2002.

By now the vehicle is probably being dismantled and sold as used parts for other 1998 Toyota Sienna XLE owners who want to keep their trusty friends around just a little bit longer. I can’t blame them. That’s what I would have done if I had a choice.

As a tribute to my dearly departed friend, here are some of the posts I wrote on Very VERY Busy Mom that featured my beloved minivan.  Please join me on a trip down Memory Lane:

There is Nothing Sexy about Washing My Filthy Minivan

Celebrating My Vanity With My Vanity License Plates

 ($ ÷ Gallon) x (Miles ÷ Gallon) = LA Gasoline Anxiety

Road Trip with Kids – 40 Years Ago and Today

That New Car Smell Has Left My Minivan

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Filed under Anxiety, Family, Humor

Easter: The Religious Holiday That’s All About the Candy

Jake: My Little Bunny

The evolution of holidays can be a little comical. Who would have guessed that when the Indians (AKA politically correct Native Americans) held a welcome dinner for their new neighbors – the Pilgrims – that that nearly 400 years later it would all be about grown men screaming at their flat screens, trying to urge some college boy with a pigskin to “Run! Run! Dammit! Run!”

Two centuries after a golden child was born in a barn, we celebrate with a fat man (AKA politically correct “slightly overweight male”) stuffing Hot Wheels and iPod accessories into “stockings.” “Stockings” bear no resemblance to actual socks or pantyhose, and instead are just large bags decorated with evergreens, winged cherubs, and magnified snowflake atoms.

And just 33 years after the previous event, we celebrate the rising of a dead man (AKA very politically incorrect zombie [I am so completely kidding with this blasphemy because my God has a sense of humor]) with baby ducks, fluffy bunnies, and sending children off in search of colored hard-boiled eggs and plastic ovals filled with anything that will rot baby teeth.

When I was a child, my mom would hide Easter baskets for my siblings and me. The baskets were filled with shredded plastic hay, foiled-wrapped chocolate eggs and a large chocolate rabbit. Mom was not a very good hider. The basket would be stealthily perched behind the living room drapes, on the top of a bookshelf, or underneath a dining room chair. Within seconds of getting out of bed we’d be munching the ears off defenseless brown bunnies.

My oldest daughter Emily was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 3, so I never started this sugar-filled tradition with my children since they’d be getting their fill of candy later in the afternoon. I can justify that I saved them from the bitter disappointment of realizing that the large chocolate bunny was actually hollow and not filled with fudge or creamy nougat. Or I can think that because I’m a much better hider than my mom, that my kids would be spending all Easter Sunday searching for a basket that was melting in the attic, in the cupboard that stores the mousetraps, or resting on the top of our backyard telephone pole.

With the exception of the whole going to mass thing, Easter was always one of my favorite holidays of the year. When I was a kid, we’d get together with the rest of the Flynn aunts, uncles and cousins at my grandparents’ home and all the cousins would have an Easter egg hunt. My Aunt Helen has a super-8 film of us dressed in our Sunday best as we all ran through the bushes searching for colored eggs. My youngest sister Teri was about 3 years old and the film shows her trying to bite through the shell of a hard-boiled egg. Today Teri’s a charge nurse in Riverside and has to pump the stomachs of children like herself who digest foreign objects that are not meant to be edible. I guess it was destiny.

The Flynns are now spread out all over the western states, so today it’s just my immediate family that travels to my sister Tammie’s house in Fontana for the big Easter egg hunt. Besides my 3 kids, I have 6 nieces, 4 nephews, 2 great-nieces and 3 great-nephews (including one coming in July), 5 step-N&Ns and one nephew/Godson who can’t spend Easter with us anymore because he died in a tragic motorcycle accident last year (but like Jesus – the big Easter Man himself, I believe he’s with us in spirit). We make The Waltons look like a nuclear family.

Every Easter Tammie hauls out a bin large enough to store a Great Dane, and it’s filled with empty plastic Easter eggs. The adults spend a chunk of the afternoon filling the eggs with candy while the kids decorate more hard-boiled eggs than they will probably ever eat in a lifetime. Then we hide the hundreds of eggs around my sister’s backyard, hoping that the hiding spots are not so clever that the kids will bypass them and the candy will instead be eaten by one of Tammie’s many goat-like dogs who will literally eat anything that’s not nailed down. She used to have several pet bunnies (which were appropriate for Easter), but even though they resided in a Fort Knox-like cage, they were attacked by the seemingly sweet dogs.

There aren’t any Easter ducks in Tammie’s backyard, but she does have two chickens roaming around, and for some reason the dogs ignore them. I assume that beaks present a more dangerous weapon than an adorable twitchy nose. During today’s Easter egg hunt, one of the kids found a large pile of non-colored eggs in the bushes and realized that they were not the plastic variety, but instead a hidden stash laid by the chickens. It was a little late in the day to hard-boil and stain them with vinegar-scented coloring, but they’ll probably make a nice omelet tomorrow.

Because it was a beautiful Southern California day, the kids had been splashing in the Jacuzzi so they hunted for eggs in their bathing suits. If you’re reading this from Canada, aren’t you just a tad jealous?

I am writing this blog on my laptop as my husband drives all home on the traffic-filled 10 Freeway. There are lots of other minivans and SUVs around us, filled with people like us who just spent a fun-filled day with friends and family, good food, and a fruitful search for candy-filled eggs. My kids are exhausted, which is a good thing since tomorrow ends LAUSD’s spring vacation, and full bellies and a long car ride home are sure to mean a good night’s sleep.

Now on to the next big holiday: Memorial Day. It’s a day that we honor all our country’s soldiers with charcoal and hot dogs.

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Filed under Family, Holidays, Humor, Parenting