The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Category: family (page 1 of 3)

…and that’s how a ballsy woman scrapbooks.

In honor of Mother’s Day tomorrow, I want to share with you one of my favorite posts from 2011 about my own incredible mother… a woman who continues to inspire me every day. Happy Mother’s Day!


Going through my baby pictures recently really got me thinking…

Are you a perfectionist?

I am.

Not in every part of my life, but in many ways, yes.

For instance, I don’t finish most of the projects I start because I fear they won’t be good enough. Or perhaps I am waiting to buy the perfect tool to make the perfect ____________ (scrapbook page, stained glass window, hand woven basket, quilt square, granny square, beaded chandelier… pick a craft, any craft).

This is a very common trait in people with clutter issues. Oh fine, I’ll say it, hoarders.

My mother is not a hoarder or a perfectionist.

Continue reading

The thing about siblings…

This is the first year all three of my kids have extra-curricular activities and life seems to have gotten a bit more unmanageable all of a sudden.

Bucket Head taking Taekwondo

Tell you what though, as much as I sometimes envy my friends with only one child, there really is something special about the life-lessons and social skills kids with siblings have to endure get to experience.

Recently we had a very interesting situation dropped in our laps. Continue reading

Dysfunctional Mother’s Day Cards

Ah Mother’s Day—a special day set aside just for us, and the women who ruined us.

Dysfunctional Mothers Day Cards by The Bearded IrisMom—wait, where are you going?

You know I’m just kidding, right?

(*cough cough cough*)

Sorry. I didn’t mean to wheeze on your St. John Knit. Sometimes I just have trouble breathing at my full lung capacity. Oh, no reason.


Sorry I haven’t called. I’ve just been so busy with my breathing treatments, and cranial reshaping therapy, and all. No—it’s okay! You didn’t know! It was 1970. Nobody knew not to pick babies up by their heads back then. No worries!

But my cell block mates and I have been working really hard on a collaborative article over at In The Powder Room today about passive aggressive greeting cards. It’s a series of Mother’s Day Cards that should exist! I think you’ll really enjoy it and possibly even forgive me for that time I quit graduate school and moved back in with you and bought a brain damaged pet store puppy who shit all over your house.

Please know that my one lung and I were totally not thinking of you AT ALL when we were brainstorming about the various mothers in our lives. You are a saint, and everyone in my shock therapy waiting room knows it.

With nothing but love, Mama, (and a teensy bit of pent up resentment for that time you “forgot” to come to my arraignment and went on a Booze Cruise with “Uncle” Paul and his battalion instead.)*


(*None of this is true. I just have an overactive imagination…probably because I was so grossly unsupervised** as a child.)

(**Again, I’m kidding. My mother is totally awesome and anyone who says anything negative about her is going to hear from me, my cell block mates, and a sock full of nickels.)


Fifty Shades of Slap-Yo-Mama Hilarity

I have not read Fifty Shades of Grey.

I realize this probably qualifies me as someone who is living under that proverbial rock, but so be it.

Because I am never going to read Fifty Shades of Grey.

And that’s final.

My reasons are two fold: Continue reading

Man, that was a really big wave.

My kids are all back in school, and I’m finally going through some summer photos.

Boy howdy, we sure did have some fun this summer. We went to visit one set of my parents in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware for a week. East Coast beaches are my favorite. The water is dark and wild at times, so you have to be on your toes.

You never know when a really big wave is going to clobber you, which just adds to the fun.

But you know what’s really fun?

…layering two bathing suits and tricking your kids into believing that the huge wave you just ate actually hit you so hard that it knocked your bathing suit right off your tuchus and onto your head.



It gets them every time.

And honestly, is there any sound in the world better than your kids laughing?



Nope. It’s the best.



Look at that face on my daughter. Priceless. Totally worth the potential shame of crawling out of the surf with a wet tankini bottom on my kisser.

Props to my Step-Dad Donn for picking up my camera when he suspected something was up and capturing one of my favorite memories of the summer. He’s good people, yo.

What’s your best fail-proof way to crack up your kids? (I need some fresh ideas.)


Do you or someone you love suffer from Mispronunciationitis?

Okay, fine. I just made that word up.

But basically, I’m referring to someone who has trouble correctly pronouncing certain words.

For me, this person is my mother.

And you wonder why I gave up the hooch.

It’s been an issue her entire life, but I notice it getting worse as she ages.

When my brother and I were kids, she would try to get in on our “Ew, that’s gross!” banter, by interjecting “Yes, that’s gross-ling.” And when we would shudder at her lack of coolness, it would just spur her on. Kind of like when I say “totes” (for ‘totally’) around my 12 year old son, just to watch him flinch.

She also used to take us clothes shopping for special occasions at a Pittsburgh store called Kenny Kardon, which she pronounced “Kinney CarDAW(ng)” (rhymes with croissant). And she wasn’t trying to be funny like when we refer to Target as Tarjay. She truly thought it was pronounced all Frenchy-like. She does that. I have no idea how the store was really pronounced (it’s closed now), but knowing Pittsburghers like I do, my guess is a French accent isn’t correct.

We were visiting with my mom recently and decided to make a big spaghetti dinner. She only bought one box of spaghetti for 7 of us, but had a back up box of “pen-NAY” (penne) in the pantry. Pen-NAY? The hell? (Bless her tongue-tied heart.)

But the real clincher for me occurred when we were at a Japanese restaurant the other night. She had a hankering for some of those steamed soybeans in the shell, or edamame as they are universally known. The waiters and waitresses always pronounce this dish “EH-duh-mom-MAY,” but that has never stopped my mom from ordering “Eat a Mommy.”

And she’ll ask everyone else at the table if they would like some “Eat a Mommy” when it arrives, because she’s thoughtful and generous like that.

“Jim?” she’ll ask my husband, her favorite son-in-law, “Eat a Mommy?”

Under his breath {heh heh heh} “Yes please, Jan. That would be great! I love Eat a Mommy.”

Then Bucket Head has to get in on it. “Eat a Mommy?! No, EAT ME! Hey guys, EAT ME! WHO WANTS TO EAT ME?”

People at neighboring tables are rubber necking to see who is shouting “eat me.” I smile and wave. “He’s five,” I politely excuse on his behalf. I find myself doing this a lot lately.

But back to my mom, no matter how many times I try to correct her and teach her not to say “Eat a Mommy,” her mouth simply cannot perform this action. You should hear how she butchers “sashimi.” And for the love of God, never discuss Chincoteague Island, Virginia, within her earshot.

This prompted me to ask my Facebook friends if they have anyone in their life who is a chronic mispronouncer, and boy-oh-boy did they respond! Here are some of my favorite replies:

Barbara Jeanne: I have an older friend who is always going shopping at “Walmarks” not sure where the marks are on the wall… but thats where he goes…

Lerner: My step mother always call it Tommy Hif-flinger. And chipotle is chi-pol-Tay. Drives me nuts.

Megan: My grandma used to watch “That Ofra” every day on tv. Sigh.

Rubber Chicken Madness: My grandmother used to say “oblituary”

Abbie: Ohhhh….no one over fifty can say prostate…they say prostRate.

Jane: My mom never says Whoopi Goldberg’s name right. She always makes the Whoop part sound like someone’s having a party.

Ninja Mom: My mother, an educated, worldly woman, says, “FRA-hee-TAHS.” Woman, they are FRAH-GEE-TAHS. Stop embarrassing me at Taco Bell.

Oh thank God I’m not the only one.

(And yes, Ninja Mom is always that funny.)

I know I said I was going to keep my comments closed for the summer (which has been bittersweet), but this is too good to not open up for more discussion. So tell me, who in your life has Mispronunciationitis and what do they say that cracks you up (and/or makes you want to jam a chopstick into your eye)?


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