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My aunt Terrell, my sister Quinn and her two children came to stay with us for a few days. The trip was so fun and I loved having them here right up until the moment they said…

“What’s that noise we’ve been hearing for the past couple days?”

And I’m all like, “That’s the noise of seven spirited children in one house.”

And they said, “No, not that noise. That other noise.”

And then I heard it.

It was like a low siren. Or maybe more like the wind whistling. Or perhaps  like the faint crying of a baby.

It was hard to know. What I did know was that the noise immediately started to make me insane. Like cranky crazy.

As we listened to it over and over again, I kept asking them, “I don’t understand  who am I supposed to call to investigate a low siren, wind whistling, crying baby sound? Seriously! Who am I supposed to call for this?”

Quinn and Terrell both desperately wanted to say, “Ghostbusters” but knew I was in a fragile state.

I finally decided to call my air conditioning guy because he’s super nice and the kind of person who doesn’t charge you to swing by and investigate the supernatural. Plus, maybe it was the air conditioning.

So he came to hear the incessant noise and the moment he arrived, it abruptly stopped.

I told him to just stand by because it would definitely start again.

It did not start again.

After quite a bit of time – about the amount of time someone starts to feel like a hostage victim – I let him leave.

And that’s when the sound began again.

Luckily, he was still in the neighborhood and actually came back.

And finally heard it.

“That is definitely not a problem with your air conditioner,” the AC guy said.

“Okay, what is it then? Is it an electrical issue? A water leak? A problem in my vents?” I asked.

“Sounds like an owl. Do you hear it more at night?”

“Yes!” I exclaimed.

“I think you have yourself an owl problem. Probably on your roof. But don’t try to shoot it because this is the Everglades. Those owls are protected.”

“Good to know. Because I was about to scamper up my drainage pipe to the roof with my rifle.”

Except I don’t own a rifle. And I don’t even know how to scamper very well.

My AC guy/ Everglades wildlife expert/ Hardy boy left.

My guests departed.

And now I’m hoping the owl does the same.


Not too long ago, I wrote a post for Alpha Mom about The Absolutely Most Useless Baby Products Ever. Because I am not new to the baby rodeo and have had 5 kids, I think I know what works and what doesn’t (at least for me).

And if I can keep one mother from buying knee pads for her crawling baby, then at least I have made a small difference in this world.

But this is what you have to know about me. Once I declare something, there is a pretty good chance that I will some day do the opposite.

Like I once said, “I will absolutely never move to Washington, DC. It’s sweltering in the summer and there are no hot guys there.” And of course, I did move to Washington, DC for a few years and even eventually found a hot guy there. Not the smartest chap around but seriously model material.

I also once declared that I would never wear skinny jeans. I have about six pairs in my closet. I wear them all the time.

And for some reason that I can’t remember, I was against buying a Wii. I think I envisioned my children turning into video game obsessed monsters. I bought the Wii. Nothing evil happened.

And I also remember finding out a friend was moving to the suburbs and saying to her, “Why would anyone leave the city?” Apparently me – just 3 months later.

Now thankfully, I have not bought knee pads for a my 10-month-old. I still hold firm that babies don’t need knee pads unless they plan to go roller blading.

However I did recently buy this….

cash at grocery

Yes, that’s a shopping cart cover. And it is on my list of The Absolutely Most Useless Baby Products ever. In fact this is what I wrote about it…

“Don’t buy one of these unless you want to take a photo of your baby in it so you can laugh at yourself years later. There are germs everywhere. It’s actually good to expose your kid to germs so they can build up their immune system! This cover is not going to protect your child from the universe.”

Well, 10-month-old Cash was sucking nonstop on the metal shopping cart and it was totally  gross. So I caved and now he’s got this plush ride.

I can’t wait to laugh at myself in a few years.


Every time one of my kids says they are sick and can’t possibly make it to school, I immediately assume I am being swindled.

Because sometimes I am. It’s just so hard to know.

Recently my 3rd grader was so sick she couldn’t even lift her head off the pillow. And it was field day at school. That’s a day where kids get to run around and play games for a couple hours in the afternoon. Given her great desire to participate in field day, I knew she was seriously sick.

Well, by noon – when I had to leave to volunteer for field day – she had somehow summoned the strength to go.

“How am I supposed to explain to your teacher that you were too sick for math and reading but now you are fully healed in time for the field day activities?” She shrugged her shoulders.

I guess it was a miracle. But because I really had no desire to volunteer for her class without her there, I let her go.

In some ways I understood. In college, I distinctly remember being too exhausted for 8 am English class but had rebounded in time for a fraternity mixer that evening. We all have the great potential to heal ourselves (or ignore our symptoms) when fun is involved.

As a parent, you really have to be a super sleuth to decide whether kids are truly sick.

My one tip… make sick days at home as tedious as possible.  I don’t let the kids watch TV or play on their iTouches. They are allowed to read books (the paper kind), do art, play the piano or rest. That’s it. If that gets boring, they can help me unload the dishwasher.

It seems to work. My daughter Summer still refers to one sick day as her “most boring day ever.”

So when she recently had a minor sore throat, she opted to go to school. I gave her a quick spray of Chloraseptic sore throat spray and she was good to go.

I remember using this product as a kid and totally forgot about it until the company asked me to do a sponsored post.  

I always struggle when my kids have sore throats because I’m still not comfortable letting my 7 and 9 year old have lozenges. (Hey, at least, I no longer cut up their grapes.) But seriously, this is an easy way to treat minor throat pain.

The sprays come in a range of flavours, including cherry, citrus and honey lemon and are alcohol, aspirin and sugar free.

Here’s a cute video but my husband is a way better juggler…

This post was sponsored by Chloraseptic. All ideas are my own.


1. There are HD channels?!

2. Attempted once to find the high definition channels but then got exhausted by the 500’s and had to take a power nap.

3. Rarely notice the difference between HD and non-HD anyway. Of course, I still can’t tell the difference between Amy Adams and Isla Fisher.

4. HD shows hog all the space on my DVR and then my DVR will cruelly delete “Chicago Fire” and leave on all 38 episodes of Disney’s “ANT Farm.”

5. A sharp focus is not always the most flattering. Just ask Barbara Walters.

6. High definition is too fancy. I like my TV gritty and old school. “The Love Boat” would have been way too flashy in HD.

7. I don’t watch sports which apparently are amazing in HD. I think I might have once watched 2 minutes of a basketball game in high def. Or maybe it was on the regular channel. Refer back to #3.

8. Feeling of solidarity among many women who can’t be bothered to watch or care about high definition television.

9. I would hate to miss the look of awe on my husband’s face when we sit down to watch a show together and he realizes I have not recorded it in HD. Again.


It actually happened on Saturday. The National Day of Unplugging. At first I thought Rick was going to cave because on Friday night, he said to me, “What if Fidel Castro dies and CBS can’t reach me?”

This is not the first time Castro has tried to sabotage my weekend plans.

We finally decided that Rick would keep his phone but only allow a call from his news director to come through.

Spoiler alert: Castro did not die. He was obviously as committed to this unplugging day as we were.

Then we broke the unplugging news to the kids.  They were very supportive and said things like, “I will die without music from my iTouch” and “If we can’t have TV, you can’t have coffee.” They even unplugged the coffee maker in defiance.

They also asked if other families celebrated this National Day of Unplugging. Yes, I exclaimed! It’s a fabulous interfaith holiday. It’s sweeping the nation! I’m absolutely sure of it. No, I don’t know of anyone else doing it.

The day was very 1980’s inspired. We went to the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Ft. Lauderdale and hoped to meet up with a friend and her girls. But of course she was in one spot, we were in a different spot and well, they weren’t the same. End of plan to meet up.

It reminded me of that time in 1985 when you went to the mall to meet your friend Stacy in front of Spencer’s gifts but she wasn’t there and you never knew what happened until 3 days later when she passed you a note in Algebra class that said her brother refused to give her a ride to the mall so she is now the only one who still doesn’t own the Men at Work album and she’s completely depressed about it and let’s get a New Coke after school.

There was something very calming about not having a phone all day. I didn’t have to think about when to check my phone because there was no phone to check. I could just well… be.

Plus, every time I used the porta potty at the parade, I didn’t have to worry about my phone falling out of my back pocket and into the toilet.

I looked up more than down.

I did a lot more people watching.

And yes, I missed some important texts. Like this one from a friend who sent me a very funny Mother’s Day gift idea..

coffee mug

It was 5 hours before I responded to this!

Mostly I realized that it was nice to have time when I wasn’t constantly being interrupted by texts, Tweets and Facebook updates.

Sometimes it can all just a wait a few hours. While you be.


(Yes, we used a real camera – not connected to a phone – to take this picture.)

kelcey kintner


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