This Is More Miraculous Than Funny

This weekend, Trifecta challenged us to write 33 words about taking a giant leap in honor of the anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon. In light of the recent tragedy in this country, this is a great time to celebrate a miracle, or two. Bear with me…it’s another poem.


Despite the losses

And the fact

that I have a 30% chance

Of having a healthy pregnancy,

We tried again.

Her middle name is “Faith.”

The surprise boy?


For short.

Ten Things That Just Flip My Skirt.

As you all know, I’m extremely thankful for my family, husband, children, health, house, job, etc. There are some other things for which I am grateful as well. I am listing them for Stasha’s Monday Listicle—on Tuesday.

  1. Patience. Lil’ P. is finessing his prowess with a spoon. This explains why I have applesauce in my eye. I am also thankful for the shower curtain I spread out beneath the high chair. Self-control is another biggie.
  2. Carpet cleaner.
  3. The fact that I’m a multi-tasking GENIUS. This morning, Lil’ K. announced that she needed to pee, launched herself from her bed, and headed for the upstairs bathroom. I was downstairs pulling Lil’ P. off the top of the dining room table, when I heard sudden sobbing and what sounded like a downpour on the dining room ceiling.  She didn’t make it to the toilet. Shit.
  4. The fact that I haven’t put the Exersaucer thingy away. I dropped Lil’ P. into the seat while I went up to see about Lil’ K.’s flood. His legs stretched all the way out from under all the toys, but he was contained.
  5. Bleach and a Shop-Vac.
  6. Cartoons. I used to be thankful for Nick Jr. until those bastards at Viacom decided that Direct TV and I needed to pony up another billion for my few minutes of marketing-free daily sanity. Screw you, Viacom. At least there’s Disney and Sprout and all those stupid Dream Light commercials.
  7. ”Every Sperm Is Sacred” on my iPod for when my kid pees on the floor.
  8. “The Philosopher’s Drinking Song” on my iPod for when I accidently calculate the amount of time I spend cleaning up bodily excretions.
  9. Date nights. Heh Heh.
  10. The fact that I live with such founts of hilarity—there’s no excuse for writer’s block in this house.

Squirrels Eat Tomatoes, Drive Man Nuts

“Mama, can I touch the dead squirrel?” asked my four-year-old, Lil’ K.

Finding a dead squirrel in one’s tomato patch seems rather innocuous, particularly when one owns a ferocious crackhead beagle. In this case, the dog had nothing to do with the squirrel’s untimely end—she’s too bent on eating the air conditioning man. This particular rodent and his friends died because they didn’t take the hint and get the hell out of our tomato patch.

Mr. Jenn takes great pride his garden and in the neighboring wildlife. He always yelled at the dog for digging around his veggie plants and chasing critters. When deer began to nosh on our turnip greens earlier, Crackhead napped on the porch.

“Damn useless dog,” Mr. Jenn, Lord of Mixed Messages, muttered.

He then enlisted Lil’ K.’s help in constructing a scarecrow. The deer moved on.

When the squirrels discovered the ripening tomatoes on the thirty-three vines Mr. Jenn planted, he tried peeing on the scarecrow in hopes that the scent would scare them away.

Later, we found a green tomato with a squirrel-sized bite in it. I looked up into a nearby tree and discovered several more tomatoes sitting on a squirrel feeder Mr. Jenn constructed last winter. My dear husband, who apparently fancied himself Walt-Freaking-Disney or something, had to take action quickly or he was going to lose the several pints of salsa and quarts of tomato juice that I preserve each summer.

He tried putting a fake owl beside the scarecrow. The following day, we found chewed-up tomatoes under the owl.

Shots startled me at the buttcrack of dawn the next morning. My husband had disappeared, so I crept to the garden, making sure the Mayans hadn’t confused their dates. I found Mr. Jenn in his underwear, aiming his .22.

“The little bastards should have left when I asked nicely,” he whispered.

POW! A squirrel and a tomato fell out of the tree. Apparently, Walt-Freakin’-Disney no longer wanted squirrels in this small world!”

Questions About Domestication…and SEX!

This week, Stasha, at Northwest Mommy, posted a meme with interesting questions for us to answer. Enjoy!

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 23, and find line 4. What is it?

“He teases me with his fingers, my nipple growing hard and elongating under his skillful touch.” Fifty Shades Darker, by E.L. James.

Seems all I’ve read about lately is sex. I’ve finished the first two books in the hormonal Fifty-Shades-of-Cliché trilogy—I still haven’t downloaded the third because I have a family that would like some attention. Despite the repetitive phrases splashed all through it, I found myself chained to my Kindle until I’d finished these two well-lubricated, only moderately kinky romances. I’m not sure if that line is on page 23, but it’s at 23% on my Kindle.

2. How many times a day do you say Hi?

I say, “Hi” every five minutes or so because it’s my toddler’s new favorite word. Lil’ P. says it to me, the dog, his sister, and all the Little People littering the floor. He then runs away laughing his head off. The cuteness factor is off the charts, especially when he and his big sister, Lil’ K. wrestle in the floor. I love summer!

Since we live way back here in the country, it’s customary to wave at everyone we pass on the road to town, If you count waving at people as a “hi” of sorts, I probably “say” it twice more per day.

Since reading the naughty books above, I only greet my husband with clothespins and a canning jar lifter so he doesn’t count.

3. Have you ever worn a uniform?

I wore a uniform for the first nine years of my school career. One would think that a plaid jumper would sort of stifle a young lady’s individuality. Not so. It’s amazing what a pair of Madonna earrings and several lacy head bands tied together will do for a Peter Pan collared shirt.

4. What do you think about the most?

I contemplate writing, strong verbs, characters in humorous situations, and the relative fullness of diapers. And sex.

5. How many keys are on your keyring?

I have one truck key, and the keys I took as souvenirs from my classroom in the school the tornado destroyed. I guess you’re wondering where my house key is, right? For awhile, we didn’t lock our house, so a key wasn’t important. After a series of robberies took place a few miles up the road, we’ve upped security measures considerably. Unfortunately, I locked myself out on several occasions because I kept forgetting that we’d suddenly morphed into Fort Knox. I have the key hidden so that I don’t have to worry about standing in the rain or snow and waiting for someone to rescue me. We really don’t have anything that anyone would want to steal, except a TV with a really sticky remote.

6. What was the last thing you bought?

I downloaded the song “Hell on Heels” by the Pistol Annies. One can wish, right?

7. Are you growing anything these days?

Mr. Jenn planted us a massive garden with tomatoes, green and banana peppers, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, romaine lettuce, onions, radishes, and snaps (green beans to y’all city folks). I’ve canned ten quarts of snaps and six pints of squash relish. I started a batch of 13 day pickles yesterday. I love preserving food from my garden. And then there are the canning jar lifters…

8. What is under your bed?

I’m afraid to look—probably more children.

9. What is most important in life?

My marriage, children, and family are most important—in that order.

10. What is the strangest word you used this week?

We had a “derecho” over the weekend, which is a windstorm that travels over 240 miles. There were gusts of wind of over 100 miles per hour. Basically, it was like being in a hurricane for about five minutes. We had limbs down, but much less damage than other areas. Big cities are just getting power back as we had storms all weekend that hindered restoration. I’ve seen hurricanes, a major tornado, an earthquake, and now a “derecho” in a place that occasionally had a somewhat wicked thunderstorm. Were the Mayans right?

A Day in the Life Of Lil’ P.

You know you’re the mother of a male toddler when you spend your days trying to avert destruction and certain death within the confines of your own house. Additionally, when you post pictures of said child, you consider Photoshopping the dirt on your floors out of the photos, then realize you don’t have enough skills in this department to even attempt such a mammoth task.

Our day with Lil’ P., the child in question, began after Mr. Jenn took the Big Worrells fishing early one morning. Upon their return, they introduced the Little Worrells to their catch. Lil’ K., having caught some sizable fish of her own, was somewhat unimpressed. Lil’ P., on the other hand, nearly lost his mind with fascination.

Yes, my son made out with the dead fish. We didn’t predict that this would happen. Big A. merely held the fish up for his inspection, and before she could move it, he gave it a great big MUAH. I’ve been trying for months to get him to kiss me like that, to no avail.

It may not seem so unusual to see a little boy playing with a dead fish and spreading slime and scales across a kitchen floor. However, when the fish made it to the spot on the floor by way of the child’s head, things get a little more interesting. In another unpredictable move, Lil’ P. opted to scrub the fish across his head, drop it down his back, and let it slide across the floor so he could try to recapture its floppy slipperiness. Notice the odd part in his hair. The other side is stuck together with fish scales.

Our first bath of the day transpired before ten o’clock. Do you know how hard it is to get fish scales out of a child’s hair?

Mr. Jenn took the kids into the garden while he picked vegetables. In order to keep Lil’ P. happy, he gave him a bucket. Lil’ P. turned the pristine, clear water into this muddled nastiness in about three minutes. On to our next bath–Mr. Jenn may not be gettin’ any tonight.

You know you’re a mother to a boy when you drag him in the bathroom with you so you can pee. He escapes, and by the time you catch him, he’s in imminent danger of cracking his head open. You forget that you didn’t flush until your husband/child/neighbor/mother-in-law/air conditioning man reminds you a few hours later.

How the hell did he get that?

I guess I should have let him keep it.

The bowl might have kept him out of here.

Finally, you know you’re a mother to a boy when you forget you even own thong underwear until your son goes digging in your closet and comes out with a pair on his head.

I’m linking up with for another wonderful world famous writing prompt this week. Check out the wonderful writers over there!



Parenting, Mr. Jenn Style!

In honor of Father’s Day, I have to kick Mr. Jenn into the spotlight this weekend and share a few things he’s taught me about parenting. Ever since I ran into him (with my cart) in Wal-Mart and gave him my number (for insurance purposes), we’ve lived life pretty much happily ever after. Okay, I’m kidding about both the cart and the insurance, but we really do have a Wally World love story. I’ve been watching Mr. Jenn parent from the very beginning because he brought along Big T. and Big A. when we got married. They were six and eight when we met, and they will turn 19 and 21 this summer. Since they both live pretty successful lives thus far, I’d say the time he’s spent and the consideration he’s given them have worked.

“They just want attention,” Mr. Jenn would always say when Big A. and Big T. would swing from the ceiling or chase each other around the house with sticks. Mr. Jenn happens to be in law enforcement so he has a commanding presence. He could always shut down bad behavior just by making an appearance in the room, but he also knew that much of the Big Worrells little kid foolishness was just their way of asking for our time and attention. During those nutty times, Mr. Jenn would stop what he was doing, get in the floor, and just play for awhile. Inevitably, Big A. and Big T. would calm right down. The other day, our small children, Lil’ K. and Lil’ P. were creating mayhem of their own while I was trying to clean the house.  Lil’ K. was chasing Lil’ P. with her dragon sword and Lil’ P. whipped around and pulled out a chunk of her hair. After correcting both parties, I took them outside and chased them around (with the dragon sword) for about half an hour until they fell on the ground giggling and went in for a nap. Mr. Jenn has taught me to allow our children to make us put down our adult problems and play for awhile. Even five minutes makes a big difference.

“Mr. Jenn was the best room mother…er…father ever,” sighed one of my colleagues at school the other day.  I had seen Mr. Jenn bringing in cupcakes and cookies to Big A.’s and Big T.’s classes on several occasions before we officially became “an item.” From the time he enrolled the kids in the elementary school where I taught, he was always there. The agency he works for encourages all employees to be active in their children’s schools; upper management also requires officers to do wildlife and law enforcement-related programs for kids. Mr. Jenn would come in to school with deer, bear, and turkey mounts to teach our students about wildlife management. In addition to sweets, he often brought live squirrels or snakes to Big A.’s and Big T.’s classroom parties.

Since we’ve been together, there are few performances or sporting events involving our big kids that he’s missed.

“I just want to be in a parade, though,” he’s been saying. “I want to fix that old truck up [the brown, rolling, jacked-up engine-less turd housed in our basement], hook it to my trailer, and haul a bunch of kids down the road. That truck would look good pulling a float, don’t you think?”

Since Big A.’s and Big T.’s float pulling days are probably over, we’ll have to see if Lil’ P. and Lil’ K. need a trailer in one of our community parades. Hopefully, they won’t mind being pulled by a large cow pie on Mickey Thompson Super Swampers.

Aside from his Room Dad duties, he also coached Big T. in baseball and football. He was also man enough to finally admit that neither sport was Big T.’s thing, so they both took up golf together. On his first attempt at golf in my parents’ back yard, Mr. Jenn launched both the ball and the head of his driver right smack into my dad’s tomato plants. Even though he initially sucked at golf, he was delighted when Big T. made the high school golf team. Mr. Jenn has certainly embraced the sport and plays with Big T. and enjoys free-for-alls and reckless golf cart racing tournaments with all his cop buddies.

Time, attention, and lots of playing seem to have worked with the first wave of Worrell kids. We can only hope that our second two turn out as wonderfully as the older ones. If the first twelve years of parenting with Mr. Jenn are any indication, we are in for a hell of a lot of fun in the next eighteen or so. Happy Father’s Day, Babe! I love you!

Mama’s Losin’ It

33 Words About Assertiveness Training

It wasn’t the first time her uncle had teased her, but it was the first time she’d stood up for herself.  Her daddy was teaching her assertiveness; he hadn’t taught his five-year-old girl to moon anyone, though!





 This weekend’s Trifecta Writing Challenge is to write thirty-three words based around the phrase “It wasn’t the first time.” Don’t pick on the above child–oh, wait–she’s all grown up now:)

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