The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: mini-me (page 2 of 5)

And that’s where baby corn comes from.

I wish you could come over for dinner sometime and see with your own eyes the kind of mayhem that exists around my kitchen table every night.

Just last evening alone, I witnessed:

1.) The Gatekeeper (husband) pleading with the rest of us to have “just one meal without any butt talk or bodily functions.”

2.) Mini-Me (9 y.o. daughter) showcasing a new magic trick: holding her own pinky with the rest of her fingers on the same hand and making it wiggle like a worm. (So freaky and gross! And also, hilarious! Might have to video tape it for you at some point.)

3.) Bucket Head (4 y.o. son) rattling off all the characters from the X-Men cartoon and explaining to us in vivid detail why Jean Grey would never marry Gambit, and then saying “Don’t worry mom, I said GAMBIT, with a G.”

4.) And my favorite moment from the night, a conversation about the origins of baby corn.

photo of baby corn

baby corn

We were having slow-cooker coconut ginger chicken and veggies discovered earlier this week on Pinterest. (Kids hated it, but The Gatekeeper and I had three bowls each. Delish! Thanks Elliot!)

While picking through the veggies for another bite of chicken,  Mini-Me cocked her head to the side and said, “Where does baby corn come from?”

Without missing a single beat, my 12 year old son Nature Boy said,

“Well, when a Mommy Corn and a Daddy Corn love each other very much…”

I swear to God.

The kid is TWELVE years old. He should have his own sitcom.

I’m telling you, I laughed until tears were streaming down my face. And then I saw that look in his eyes, that look of pride indicating, “Yeah, I made my mom laugh. Score!” I know that feeling. It’s the BEST.

Then I told the kids about the classic baby corn scene from Big. You know the one…

And we made plans to watch it together as a family later tonight. I can hardly wait!

(Updated: DO NOT watch “Big” with your kids. Holy CRAP. Totally inappropriate. See comments below.) 

By the way, according to the google, baby corn is just immature regular corn that is harvested before it has a chance to develop into big meaty flossable adult corn. Hey, the more you know. Frankly, I’m relieved. I don’t like to think of my veggies bumping uglies, especially in corn fields where dudes like Malachai could be hiding out with their scary sickles and shit.

So that’s the dealio with baby corn. Little red potatoes though? Totally different story…

Whoa...that is one happy sweet potato!

"The Vulvato" submitted by @NotSoSunshine

I was wondering what that thumping sound in my pantry was! Mystery solved.

Special thanks to @NotSoSunshine of TheFlyingWalleeties for sharing her spectacular “vulvato” with me on the twitter.

Have a good weekend, y’all.

jovially yours,


“Oh my GOD. What’s that smell?!!”

Driving 12+ hours in a minivan with three kids is never easy, even in the best of conditions.

Now factor in Thanksgiving traffic, heavy winds, rain, bad windshield wipers, and the horrifyingly treacherous mountain freeways of West Virginia? We’re lucky to be alive today.

In driving conditions such as these, it helps to be able to concentrate on the driving.

So imagine my chagrin when I started to hear 4 year old Bucket Head whimpering from the back seat about 5 hours into the trip home yesterday.

"Ewwwww. What's that smell?"

Mind you, the three kids had been exceptionally well behaved thus far on the drive. Thanks to the advice from my Facebook friend, Michele D., we were paying each kid 50 cents for every half hour that passed without any negative incidents such as fighting, whining, not sharing, and any other general unpleasantries. (Michele, it worked like a charm. Thank you!)

My husband was driving, so I turned around in my seat to see what Bucket Head was fussing about.

And that’s when it hit me:

…the stench! 

Like a kick to the face.

“Oh my GOD! What’s that smell?!!!” I choked.

Bucket Head’s whimpering had quickly escalated into full fledged gagging.

Then he started to cry. “I feeuw yike I going to fomit.” [sic]

The stench reached my husband, the driver. He quickly covered his nose. “Oh my GOD. What the hell? Did I run over something?”

My eyes were starting to water. It was as if someone had launched a tear gas grenade into the car.

Suddenly, 12 year old Nature Boy pleaded from the back row “Dad, the windows are locked! Open the windows! OPEN THE WINDOWS!

My 9 year old daughter Mini-Me was the only one not moving or speaking.

She was just sitting there calmly, playing her DSi, completely nonplussed to our panicky gasps for fresh air.

And that’s when I noticed…

she had taken her boots off…

and she wasn’t wearing socks.

If you can imagine the scent emitted from a hot chunk of Camembert being fried into a sandwich between two ripe jock straps on top of a car radiator next to a nursing home dumpster, you are halfway there.

I’m telling you, I have never in all my life smelled something like this, not during childbirth, not at the petting zoo, not even during low tide under the boardwalk with the Golumpki-filled traveling circus carnies.

How in the world does a little girl *this* cute create such a rank odor?

Honest to Pete…whoever coined the phrase “sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what girls are made of,” obviously never met my daughter.

Perhaps a rewrite is in order: “Cute as can be but with stank a-plenty…”

Or “Smart and quite charming, but her foot-odor’s alarming…”


That’s not right. Let’s blame the man-made boots instead.

Too bad, because they are super cute.

We bought them at Tarjay about a month ago. They are absolutely adorable on her and the silver sequins go with everything!


I know.

That’s Pittsburgh, my beloved hometown. Hard to focus on the sparkly boots with a gorgeous backdrop like that, isn’t it? You should see it at night when you emerge from the darkness of the Fort Pitt Tunnel. Takes my breath away every time.

I took that picture up on Mount Washington the day after Thanksgiving last week. Look at Bucket Head holding his bird. Literally. We had just bought him a little blue clay bird whistle in town. Two minutes after this picture was taken he dropped it and it shattered into a vajillion little pieces. Good times.

There were two teenaged sisters there with their parents and one of them said to my daughter, “Oh my gosh, I LOVE your boots!” It was really sweet. You should have seen Mini-Me’s face when she was complimented by a teenager!

Sadly, you really can’t judge a boot by its cover, because the synthetic “furry” material of the lining on these puppies is a hot breeding ground for bacteria. And when sweaty foot bacteria get together for potlucks, they bring the funk, yo. 

If I had one of those special infrared cameras the CSI guys use, the boots would look like this:

Sure was a long drive home. We had to keep the windows cracked, in spite of the cold, windy rain. Mini-Me cried that she couldn’t keep the boots on because they were too hot and she wanted to sleep. We tried to wrap the boots in a blanket, but it only muffled the fragrance and gently disbursed it throughout the vehicle like a Hot Fontina Scented Glade Plug-In. (Coming soon to stores near you.)

So now I’m off to Google foot odor solutions. If my life were any more glamorous I’d be scrubbing the seat backs at Zorba’s XXX Movie Theater.

Home, sweet home.


 © Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris. All rights reserved. Get your own damn cheese.

The Race, The Chase, and The Sacred Embrace

Last weekend my 8 year old daughter and I ran her first 5K race together with her Girls on the Run team.

Words alone could never do this experience justice.

I think the best way to share the highlights of it is in the format of my race day iTunes playlist.

1.) Lose Yourself (Eminem)

We are herded toward the starting line and given a 30 second countdown. No turning back now.

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo

This was the first time I had ever run a race with so many kids. Leaving the starting line is like trying to flush 100 ricocheting pinballs down your grandma’s pink porcelain commode.

2.) What Goes Around (Justin Timberlake)

“What goes around, goes around, goes around
Comes all the way back around”

The runners are spreading out and setting their paces. I love this song…it always helps me get into the rhythm of the run.

3.) Any Way You Want It (Journey)

Oh, I want it. I just don’t know if I can do it. Doubt washes over me as Mini-Me starts surging ahead little by little. She is so cute, looking over her shoulder to make sure I am still there. I don’t want to hold her back so I give her the thumbs up or wave every time. Not wanting to distract her, I finally motion for her to go on without me. She does. It is bittersweet.

4.) Waterloo (ABBA)

Possibly the worst running song ever. Yes, the 148 beats per minute would have been perfect for a 10 minute mile, but not the message I want to hear when running up a hill… alone.

“Waterloo. I was defeated, you won the war.”

Shake it off. New song coming on…

5.) Invincible (Pat Benetar)

Now we’re talking. I definitely need to feel invincible while all these small children are passing me. Oh look, there goes a mom pushing her twins in a stroller… right… past… me. Damn. I suck. But wait…

6.) Let My Love Open the Door (Pete Townshend)

“When everything feels all over
When everybody seems unkind
I’ll give you a four-leaf clover
Take all the worry out of your mind
Let my love open the door… to your heart”

At a rocking 165 BPM, this song could have been just the power surge I needed! Only problem: it comes on just as I am passing a yard sale. Seriously, hosting a street-side yard sale while people are racing past your house is pretty fucking uncool guys. It is super hard to finish my race with this shabby-chic adirondack chair on my back.

7.) Animal (Neon Trees)

“Whoa-Oh, I want some more. Oh-oh, what are you waiting for?”

Oh HAYLE yes. Great beat, fun song, I’m in the groove now. I can do this.

“Here we go again. I feel the chemicals kicking in.”

I am closing in on two girls running slightly ahead of their moms when I overhear one girl shout to her friend “YES! It feels so good to finally beat my mom at something!” The moms and I burst out laughing and it occurs to me that Mini-Me is probably feeling that same rush. You go girls! We moms are so proud of you!!

My daughter, just as she was about to cross the finish line with her coach, a full two minutes ahead of me.

 8.) Firework (Katy Perry)

“Ignite the light and let it shine. Just own the night like the fourth of July. ‘Cuz baby you’re a firework. Come on show ’em what you’re worth.”

I am approaching the home stretch now, and finally a downward slope after a long uphill climb. This is just the song I need to hear.

Speaking of bright spots, there was a woman at this race who was such a source of light, she almost blinded me. I’m telling you, she had a smile on her face the entire race. You couldn’t help but smile back when you saw her.

And not just because she was running in a pink prom dress.

"Boom boom boom, even brighter than the moon moon moon!"

It was love at first sight. I totally want to be that chick when I grow up.

Finally, the last quarter mile. The course ends with a lap of the high school track. The end is in sight! There are volunteers from the girls’ high school track team here holding up signs that say “You GO girl!” and “You are BEAUTIFUL!” My cup runneth over.

9.) Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough (Michael Jackson)

“Keep on with the force don’t stop. Don’t stop ’till you get enough.”

It’s a little slow for my running goal, but I knew the words would push me. As I round the bend toward the last 1/8 mile, my 12 year old son Nature Boy runs up alongside me. “You can do it Mom! Finish strong!”

A few seconds later I am across the finish line and into the trembling arms of Mini-Me who is anxiously awaiting my arrival.

I ask her, “Oh honey, are you okay? Are these sad tears or happy tears?” “Happy tears, Mama. I’m so proud of myself.”

Amen, sister.

But this next one is the real money shot, if you ask me:

Major props to my husband for his bad ass sports photography skillz. Not easy to do with so many people constantly popping into his shots. And praise Jeeezus for photo cropping. Apparently spandex is a privilege and not a God-given right. I apologize to anyone who was running behind me that day. Those poor girls will probably never eat cottage cheese again.

I promised Mini-Me I’d continue training so I could keep up with her next time. She suggested we train together. Oh boy. Here we go again…

your very tired friend,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris. All rights reserved.

She’s number one!

Tomorrow is the big day my 8 year old daughter Mini-Me and I will run our first 5K race together.


I’m proud to say I think we’re both ready… ready as we’ll ever be. I just completed my Couch to 5K running plan. Well kinda. I started in week 5, totally skipped week 8 (Aunt Flo says “hey,” by the way), and ran only one time in week 9. Mediocrity. It’s how I roll.

But I did run 3 whole miles without stopping or dying on Wednesday and it was absolutely cathartic. In fact, I’d like to apologize to the other 6 people on the track with me that day for my maniacal outbursts. Meh, at least I gave them something to talk about at the dinner table later. “Whoa, you guys, you should have seen this crazy lady at the track today! She was laughing and crying and randomly breaking into Journey songs. It was super scary.”

{Don’t stop. Be-lee-eee-vin’!}

I coudn’t help it, y’all. The conditions at the track were perfect for training that day: not too hot, not too cold. It was slightly overcast so I couldn’t see my dorky shadow flailing about like Tigger having a seizure. And I finally figured out how to stop my iPod from shuffling with every step. Man, that was annoying. What a difference to be able to hear a whole song instead of only the first two seconds. (Totally not exaggerating. Der.)

Also, the only other people on the track that day were walkers. I love when that happens! Running amidst walkers makes me feel all Maya Rudolph fast! Oh wait, maybe that’s Wilma Rudolph fast. Nah, who am I kidding? I’m definitely more like Maya Rudolph. Pregnant Maya Rudolph, tops.

More days than not, I show up at the track and there are very fit women in perfectly coordinated running ensembles who effortlessly run laps around me while I’m huffing and puffing and threatening to blow their skinny little houses down. I feel bad about myself when those ladies are there.

But you know who doesn’t feel bad about herself today? Mini-Me.

She came home from practice yesterday with her race-day running packet. She was beyond excited to tell me all about it.

Her: “Mom! I got my number for the race! Guess what it is!”

Me: “Uh, I don’t know. What is it?”


Me: “GET OUT!”

Her: “Really! I’m number ONE!”

Me: “Well of course you are! You rock. But seriously, what’s your number?”

Her: “Mom. I’m serious. I’m number one.”

Me: “You are totally messing with me. Prove it.”

Her: “Mom, seriously. Look!”

Me: “Whaaaaat? How in the world…? Seriously. That is the coolest thing EVER! Finally, your hyper-assertiveness is paying off. What did you do, push the coach’s kid out of the way to grab that number?”

Her: “No Mom, they just gave it to me. And since you’re my running buddy, I’m hoping you’ll be NUMBER TWO!”

Me: “Bwahahahahahaha! NUMBER TWO! That would be so awesome! Oh. Em. Geee. I totally want to be number two. It will be extra hilarious when I poop myself at the halfway point.”

Her: “I know, right?!”

And, end scene.

That kid kills me.

So I went to pick up my race packet yesterday, and sadly, I’m not number two. Booooo-hisss! But the number two IS in my four digit number (three times!), so maybe I’ll just have to find a way to pin it on myself creatively. Hmmm.

Also, total buzz kill, I just found out that ALL Girls on the Run participants get #1 for their bib number. Damn. I sure hope Mini-Me doesn’t notice that when we get there tomorrow. She’s so excited!

Wish us luck, friends. Well, really, just wish me luck. I’mma need it.

already crapping my pants,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris. All rights reserved.

So now, I run.

“You’re fisting!” she snapped.

“Well, YOU’RE leaving skid marks,” I snapped back. “Pick up your feet!”

No, this is not boudoir dialogue.

This is what it sounds like when my 8 year old daughter Mini-Me and I go running together.

Okay, so we’ve only done it once. But that’s how it sounded, mixed with a lot of heavy breathing and the muffled slap-slap-slap of my ass cheeks on the backs of my thighs.

She’s part of a Girls on the Run program at her school and she’s training for her first 5K. Apparently, one of the tips she’s gleaned from her training is to not tighten your hands into fists while you run.

Guilty as charged. I was fisting. But I had my stop watch in one hand and my car key in the other.

And the fact that she calls it fisting makes me laugh, and I’m really not fit enough to waste so much of my precious oxygen cackling while I run.

What Mini-Me hasn’t yet learned is to pick up her damn feet so she doesn’t sound like a little old man shuff-shuff-shuffling off to Buffalo. Drives me nuts!

Not that I’m a pro or anything. I only ran my first 5K about 18 months ago right around the time I reluctantly turned 40. But I do know enough about running basics and physics in general to know that dragging her feet will slow her down, tire her out, and ruin her shoes.

Of course, she’d rather fist a hemorrhoidal honey badger than listen to her Mama, but whatever.

Her coaches suggested that at least one parent from each family train with the girls as their “running buddy.” They encouraged us to sign up for the 5K run too.

Our race is scheduled for November 12th. That’s less than 4 weeks away. So now I’m in training. I’m doing the Couch to 5K running plan because that’s what I did before and it worked for me.

This time though, I jumped in at training week #5 instead of starting from the beginning. Doing things half-assed and without adequate preparation is pretty much how I roll.

But I ain’t no quitter…  most   some of the   this time.

And I have really good motivation: I definitely don’t want to embarrass my kid next month and be the one rickety mom hyperventilating on the sidelines, needing medical support.

So now, I run.

I am a runner!

(photo source:

Aw yeah. Eye of the tiger, baby.

Maybe someday she’ll look back on this time together as she accepts her first Olympic Gold medal and she’ll think “That was pretty cool that my Mom trained for and ran my first race with me.” And then she’ll tell Bob Costas all about fisting and skid marks and the sound of my butt.

Hey, a gal can dream.

Got any great running (or parenting) tips for me? Leave me a comment and tell me what you know.

Born to run,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

This craft fair didn’t suck.

Last weekend while running a few errands, Mini-Me and I serendipitously happened upon the most delightful outdoor craft fair!

It was a spectacular autumn day here and Mini-Me had $8.00 burning a hole in her little pocketbook, so I opened my window as we slowly cruised by Market 334. Live music and the smell of barbecue simultaneously hit me smack in the kisser. Cue the illegal u-turn.

“We’ll just check it out. If it sucks, we’ll go to Target.”

Sure, it sounds jaded, but in my experience, local craft fairs in North Georgia can be hit or miss. We went to one a couple years ago that had hand-crocheted toilet paper coozies as far as the eye could see. My dead Aunt Doris would have loved it. But me? Not so much.

Well imagine my surprise… this craft fair was 100% awesome. There was not a single corn cob back-scratcher in sight. Sorry Target, we’ll come by another day.

Every booth was more fabulous than the last. Luckily for me, I didn’t have a lot of money in my wallet, or I could have easily dropped the kids’ college funds there. But we did make a few purchases you have to see.

First up: something unique, sparkly, practical, and FUN!

While ooh-ing and aah-ing over all the shiny things in the Two Bead Broads booth, I was immediately drawn to a sign for “Hillblingy Goblets.” I misread it and thought it said “Hillbilly.” Either way — she had me at GOBLET.

You know I loves me my wine.

Y’all, feast your eyes on my newest acquisition.

Gold Hillblingy Goblet by Kris Straukas of Two Bead Broads

Is that just fun on a stick, or WHAT?! I will be drinking my afternoon Momtini from this on a daily basis. And best of all, I can just screw the lid on so the flies don’t steal sips of my hooch while I’m not lookin’!

The fabulous artist who makes these doesn’t have an Etsy store (yet), but if you’d like to buy one (or twelve), it’s no big thang for her to ship them to you. She makes them in all kinds of color combos, but I decided to “go for the the gold” because it makes me feel all classy, an’ ‘at. Contact Kris Straukas for more info at

The next booth we couldn’t resist was stocked full of the cutest handmade stuffed fleece creatures we’d ever seen. Check these out; they’re called Musers. They remind me a little of those ubiquitous “Ugly Dolls,” but way cuter and in much groovier fleece patterns.

Mini-Me and I were mesmerized by these funky little guys. And the artist, Kathryn Muse, was so sweet to us. She took the time to tell us all about her creative process and how she comes up with her ideas (lots of input from her kids). She even offered to coach me on how to sew one of my own someday if I ever unearth my sewing machine.

Mini-Me and local artist Kathryn Muse, creator of Musers(TM).

Kathryn’s little Musers would make darling gifts. She has an Etsy shop and a blog where she introduces new creatures and shares about her journey as a new Etsy seller. She also does custom orders. Love that!

And now, please meet the newest member of my Halloween decorating committee:

This fun little dude is made out of tube socks! I am seriously in love! My kids and I have made sock-monkeys before, but I never would have dreamed about making a skeleton. Look at this face!

He’s got a sparkly tie, a plastic spider sewn to his shoulder, and I love that his eyes are two different sizes. ADORABLE. The artist is Stacia Roble. She has an Etsy shop, but I’m not sure if she has anything in stock right now. Contact her at for more information.

Finally, one last artist to highlight. Meet “Sweet Sammy,” a mother-daughter team who make beautiful handcrafted wooden pendants and necklaces. Mini-Me thought she would simply die if she didn’t get one of these. Luckily for me, the artist had a soft spot for little girls with great taste, so she was willing to work with Mini-Me’s very limited budget. Then she gift wrapped her selection in a beautiful bag and made us both feel very special. I truly appreciate anyone who goes above and beyond like that. Thank you Martina!

The time we spent at Market 334 was my idea of the perfect Fall day with one of my three favorite kids. I hope your weekend was equally wonderful!

Supporting local artists, spending quality time with my baby, and finding a classy way to get my drink on at the same time; life is good!


PS – If you’re new here, please help others find me by “liking” the The Bearded Iris at’s list of the Top 50 Mom Blogs (I’m currently #12). That’s liking, not licking. Unless you’re Gerard Butler, my husband, or my dog, please don’t lick me. Thanks.

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

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