The Day We Accidentally Froze Our Fish

Not that the above title needs any further explanation... but we accidentally almost froze our beta fish last week.

Her name is Dorothy.

So, it's nap time, and it's quiet... and I hear this singing... and I can't figure out where it's coming from.

And I finally make my way into the playroom, and then into the playroom bathroom, and there's Dorothy, ninety nine percent frozen to the bottom of her tank and she's all:

Okay, so the singing part didn't happen... but she was kinda frozen to her rocks.

You see, the playroom has electric heat and the rest of the house doesn't.

So we only turn the heat on in there when we play in there.

Anyway, one thing led to another and there was Dorothy, hanging on for dear life.

Listen, I know shit about fish, so I am legit freaking out that my baby girl's fish is going to be dead when she wakes up from her nap.

I have no clue when I became so attached to Dorothy, but all of a sudden I was determined to save her little fish life.

I was pretty sure that if she wasn't too dead already, she would live.

So, I start googling and I stick my finger in Dorothy's water and realize that it is basically an ice cube.

Apparently Beta fish like warm water. Woops.

Within minutes I am six pages deep on a Beta thread from 2007 reading about colors and fins and gills and oxygen levels and heaters. For real, I had no idea that people love their fish so damn much.

I quickly realize  that I suck as a fish owner and I feel pretty crappy about it.

Not that I am not a nice person, but my compassion towards a $2 fish astonishes even me.

So, I decide right then and there that I will become Bill Nye the Science Guy.

I start playing with water temperatures.

This is absurd because I honestly dont even like to get my hands wet.

I have no idea what the fuck I am doing but it involves a lot of turning the faucet on and off and a ton of Tupperware.

Since it was nap time, our house was quiet except for the buzz buzzing of my cell phone.

It was Husband of course, texting me like, "stop playing with the water, you are going to kill the fish, you are not Bill Nye.... Blah blah."

I stopped responding... I was on a mission.

After I got Dorothy in some warmer water, she started flit fluttering around slowly, but it occured to me that that she was kind of like, a weird ass color.

She wasnt deep blue anymore, she was like, dead green.

And her tail was all wrinkly like she had been in a bathtub for too long.

I wasn't convinced that she'd live, so I did what I had to do.

I woke Girlfriend up from her nap to prepare her that Dorothy might kick the bucket.

She looked at me with those big brown eyes and gave me an open mouthed, blink blink.

She quietly got out of bed and walked across the room without saying a word.

Her Daddy had recently given her flowers, which were sitting on her dresser.

She grabbed the flowers from their vase, shook off the excess water, and said, "Okay, let's go watch Dorothy die. I'll give her these flowers and then we can go buy another fish. Can I get a red one?"

Clearly, Girlfriend is still too young to give any shits about her fish dying.

We watched Dorothy swim around for awhile and stayed quiet...

When Girlfriend got tired of being quiet she looked at me and said, "Ugh... Dorothy is taking FOREVER to die! Let's just have a party for her to live."

Girlfriend was all, "let's sing songs and act silly to celebrate her blue life!"

And so we did.

It's been about two weeks now, and Dorothy is still alive and kicking swimming.

I was super proud of my girl for being so calm about the entire event... if not a little worried at her apparent lack of compassion.

At the end of the day, the fish lived, and we all laughed. 

Oh and in case there are any beta police out there reading this, dont worry, her water is warm now.


Her Story: Someone Like You

"Her Story: Someone Like You," is a new weekly feature, designed to bring us all a little closer together. Please join me as I share stories of women from all over the world. It is my hope that you will see a little of yourself or someone you know in these stories... and that you will share them... making our great big world feel a little more like a neighborhood, where no one is alone. If you would like to be featured in Her Story, please email me at ourtinyplace@gmail.com.

"I started eating the core of a pineapple, seriously, it's wood. I listened to church radio... I'm not even religious! But somewhere along the line I decided that I would grab on to any strand of hope that I could find. Seven rounds of IVF, two miscarriages, and losing a baby at 26 weeks ... all in the span of four years, will do that to a person. I had a really hard time when people around me announced their pregnancies, especially when they announced them early. I was always scared that the other shoe would drop for them, because it always dropped for me. Every time. And I would get so mad,because they were pregnant and I wasn't. It wasn't their fault, but I was still mad. Our insurance didn't cover IVF, or any medication. We spent so, so much money. We went through a lot of heartache and growing in those years. Everything was uncertain, and emotional, and my body, my poor body. But I refused to give up. We got a dog two years into our journey because I was desperate to be a mother to something! I''ll never forget when my husband tried to give me my first Lupron shot in my belly. He would get really close to me with that teeny tiny needle, and I'd start laughing and back away from him. We were both nervous and had no clue what this journey would be like... ignorance was still bliss at that point. But those needles stayed in our lives for years and I eventually became a pro at giving myself shots. Even the progesterone ones, and those are big, nasty needles full of thick oil that goes into your butt muscle. Our 7th round of IVF was our all or nothing, last chance. We were all in at that point. I emptied my 401k and prayed to Gods that I didn't even know existed before all of this started. My husband took me for acupuncture after my amazing Doctor transferred our last 3 embryos. I cant say for certain that it made a difference, but a few weeks later on February 7, 2009, I got my BFP... that's infertility speak for "Big Fat Positive"... I was pregnant. Two weeks later we heard two heart beats, and at 18 weeks 5 days we found out that our babies were fraternal twin boys. But our joy was short lived. The doctors told us at 24 weeks that one of our sons wasn't growing properly, his heartbeat was strong but his growth had stopped. We had one perfectly healthy, strong boy, and one that wasn't. There was no explanation, no reasoning...the ball was dropping again. When we found out, I decided that the boys needed names. We lost Connor Mathew on July 13, he was 26 weeks and 2 days. Connor means "strong willed," and Mathews means, "gift from God,"... we thought it was the perfect name for our baby who never lived outside of my belly, but was such a gift to us all the same. The doctors were watching me like a hawk at that point, I had appointments every other day. I remember telling one of the nurses, "I'm not leaving here with no one." I followed every instruction and did everything they asked to keep my remaining son alive. On September 29, 2009, both boys were delivered via c-section. Cole Joseph, was born strong and healthy. It was the happiest, and saddest day of my life. My very first day of Motherhood taught me that I am stronger than I ever thought possible. I held both of my babies that day, and my heart will never be the same. We still mourn Connor, and I often think about the brother that never was, but I look at Cole and know that this is the way it was supposed to be. He is everything that I always wanted, he's smart, funny and kind.. and we make a great team. I wear my necklace for the boys everyday, I never take if off. Sometimes people ask about it and I tell them my story, I'm not embarrassed or ashamed that we did IVF. It's not a bad thing, it gave me my family. I am a better mother because of all that we lost... and I am grateful every day for all that we gained."


He Said...

Husband ran in to the grocery store the other day and left the rest of us waiting in the car.

The kids were growing restless after only a few minutes and Boyfriend started in like kids do...

"Come on! Where is he? I want to go home!"

I did the Mom thing.... "He'll just be another minute, Bud, I promise... he's only getting a few things."

Boyfriend, clearly having heard this line before, was quick to snap back: "Yeh right. I know my Dad. He probably walked inside and found a couch somewhere and is taking a nap!"

And just like that, he gave me my favorite story of all time.


Those Kids

You know those kids that you read about that you cant let out of your sight for five seconds??

I have one.

Actually... I have two.

Girlfriend and Number 3 are the Power Couple that toddler terrorists worship. I'm sure of it.

The pair of them are pretty much unstoppable together and also, they literally think of every single thing that they can do to terrorize our home.

Like if you can imagine it, they can do it.

So yesterday, we come home from the grocery store and as I'm emptying the groceries, the dynamic duo terrible twosome, goes upstairs to the kid's bathroom.

Girlfriend's all: "I'm going to brush my teeth. He's going to help me."

I'm like, whatever kid... just give me three minutes to put the food away and don't break anything.

Not five minutes later they are standing in my kitchen, like this:

So, I'm like... ahh... what the fuck happened.

Actually I didn't say that, but I wanted to.

Girlfriend's like... "Number 3 made such a mess! But don't worry, it's mostly just us being wet and not a mess upstairs."

I have no idea why I took that as an acceptable answer, but I did.

So I'm thinking, okay, I'll take some pictures of them like this, and take a video, and we will all have a good chuckle.

So I'm snap-snapping away and they are slipping and sliding all over the floor... and then I hear it:




And then... much faster .....

Drip drip drip dripdripdripdripdripdripdripdripdripdripdripdripdripdripdripdripdripdripdrip

Water was coming out of my ceiling.... and landing smack in the center of my kitchen table.

Like one inch from our chandelier, was a shower... pouring onto our table.

I absolutely had a panic attack at that point, I think I blacked out. I have no clue what happened next except I put Girlfriend in her room and Number 3 in his crib.

I threw some towels on the table and dabbed at the ceiling and dried the bathroom floor (which was flooded with an inch of water)..... my background noise was the kids, screaming and crying from their bedrooms.

Number 3, even though he is a huge freaking terror, is the most sensitive of the kids and hates to be disciplined.

So as I'm picking up entire rolls of toilet paper that they had soaked and thrown into their pond, he is sobbing in the background, "I SORRRYYYYYY!! I SOORRRRRRRYYYY!!"

And, because my life isn't ridiculous enough... before the water war, there had been a small cup of oyster crackers that one of the kids had left upstairs.

So now there's soggy oyster crackers, all over the entire bathroom floor... they were making soup apparently.

As I'm surveying the damage I realize that I haven't yelled at anyone yet, which is kind of amazing.

And then, just as I'm being proud of myself for not losing my cool on the kids for, ultimately just being kids... I start to cry.

It was just one of those days where it seems like, for crying out loud, why cant I just put the freaking groceries away without you trashing our home.

And sometimes I don't want to be the one that has to make excuses for the kids... like, "oh don't worry, it's totally fine, it was an accident that they flooded the bathroom onto the table and it will be totally fine and we probably, might not, maybe wont, have to get OUR FUCKING CEILING RIPPED OUT!"

The panic attack was coming back, clearly.

I call Husband at work, crying... come home, quick, the ceiling, the table, the floor, the kids. Help.

Husband, God love him, he doesn't understand that these things just freaking happen sometimes, he thinks our kids are the only ones that fuck houses UP... so I was preparing myself to be blamed for this somehow. 

I hang up on Husband and call my Dad... because that's how I was raised.

If something goes wrong, my sisters and I call our parents. It's just what we do.

So my Dad answers, and let me tell you... he was the freaking opposite of helpful.

I'm all shrieky and panicky telling him everything and do you know what he did?

He laughed.

I'm like DAD! This is not funny!

And he's like, "Ahh, they're good kids."


And he's all: "Well it's not coming out of my ceiling."

Good point.

Just as my father was finishing up being totally useless and laughing at my flooded house... Husband walked in the door.

He was totally calm.

Thank God, because I was hyperventilating and the kids were still wailing in their rooms.

He helped me clean everything up, surveyed the damage and decided that it would dry in an hour or so.

I was totally shocked at his composure, and was so happy to have a partner that chooses to lose his cool on my off days.

It's never good to have two active lunatics under the same roof, one of them should always rest.

At the end of the day... the ceiling stays, the kids ate lunch with their dad, and even helped dry the bathroom.

Oh and I added an extra bottle of soap in their bathroom... just in case there's a next time, their flood can do double duty.



Number 3 is the sneakiest little guy.

He has total tribe mentality, he physically NEEDS to be near his brother and his sister... he just isn't himself when they aren't around.

He is loud and full of life and funny when he is with them...

And when they are at school... he becomes so quiet.

And sneaky.

He is my Houdini.

We will be sitting side by side playing trucks and I'll look away, or answer the phone, or take out the trash and suddenly... he's gone.

He mastered all of our baby gates by 18 months and absolutely thinks that he should have the same rules and privileges as his older siblings do.

This includes walking around wherever he damn hell pleases, just like the big kids do.

So he'll silently walk off and I'll panic and scream his name, and he will remain totally and completely silent, until I find him.

One time I was actually in tears sprinting through the house and I found him under the basement stairs, and when I turned the corner he said: "Hi Mom. Found me."

Now that he has been pulling the Houdini act for about two weeks we are careful not to let him out of our site.

Yesterday though, I had to pee.

I mean, it happens.

He was playing six feet away from the bathroom door and so I thought this will be fine, I'll just pee and then I'll open the door and he'll still be there.

Except that's the thing with toddlers... they suck.

So I come out of the bathroom and he's gone. Of course he is.

I went through the normal steps of finding him, call his name, check under things and behind things... I knew he couldn't be far.

I found him in another bathroom.

I knocked on the door... "Number 3?? What are you doing in there?"

"I Working"... he said.

Oh. Working. Makes total sense.

I had no freaking idea what the Hell that statement meant coming out of a two year old.

I started to open the door and then stopped, deciding that whatever "I working" meant... I wanted to capture it forever on my camera.

I snapped a picture as soon as I turned the corner.

My finger processed the, "Make this a memory," before my mouth could get upset at the toddler for doing toddler things when he was left on his own for 14 seconds.

 Soooo... a whole box of tampons down the toilet later...

And now Number 3 is wearing a bracelet made of bells. One hundred percent of the time.


Happy Valentine's Day!

Husband and I have been married for almost 9 years... which means I am basically dead according to Valentine's Day.

The whole hearts and flowers thing just doesn't do it for me anymore, which is totally fine...

I've had my fair share of wonderful, over the top Valentine's Days, so I like to focus the day on the kids, and being together as a family.

Here are the gremlins, not dressed in red... opening gifts that were not wrapped.

We gave Girlfriend face paint.

I have no idea why.

Our Valentine's Day this year was all about keeping them calm, warm (hello it is like Antarctica here right now), and feeding them whatever they would actually eat... amIright???

We made the kids pancakes with whipped cream and strawberries for breakfast, and took them out for pizza and bowling for dinner... which was just enough excitement to make the day feel special, without making us all exhausted.

Sometimes I think parents do all this extra ridiculous Pinteresty stuff just because they want to post it online and show the world that they did all this extra stuff...

Which in turn makes everyone else wonder if they are somehow their "enough" is actually really not good enough. 

And to that I say this....

Here's my whole Valentine's tribe... standing near bowling balls.

It's not exactly the staged Valentine's Day photo shoots that I used to have time for... but it's still great and I love it anyway.

No one was posing, no one was fighting, and everyone was playing with their Dad.

I have no idea what else was going on in this moment, but I know they were all happy, they were all together, and there wasn't a single red heart in sight.

However you spent your Hallmark Holiday, I hope it put a smile on your face, and love in your heart.


Guess Who's Back...

...Back again, Mama's back.. tell a friend.

Thirteen months and 2 weeks after leaving, here I am, announcing my return with a 90's related rap title.

Blogging has been on my mind for about 6 weeks, and I have been dragging my feet and wondering the right way to come back, or if I should even come back at all to be honest.

Then this morning I said screw it, today's the day... and here we are.

When I closed up shop last year, it was absolutely 100% the right thing to do.

I was seriously drowning in little human responsibilities and I just didn't have the time anymore.

But now... the kids are getting older, and I have a better handle on the situation (for today, anyway).

If you're a writer, then you will understand this next part.

I can hear my writer's voice in my head, and when I need to write I don't know how to turn it off.

When the words start pouring out for a poem, or a letter, or a blog post, I have to stop everything and write them down..

They come fast and furiously and then, they stop.

If I don't catch them while they're flowing, I forget them all.

My writer's voice has been hounding me for weeks... write write write.

And for awhile I thought, I'm going to start a new blog. A more mature version of Our Tiny Place.

And then I decided... let's just keep the name... but change the focus a tad every once in awhile.

Let's make it less kids, and more me... sometimes.

Shit, I matter too, right? I mean, a little bit at least.

So that's my focus this time around.

Less kids... more... woman, life, less Mom blog, more human blog.

That's the goal anyway.

I am in a different chapter of parenting... I am finding out that I am still a person (seriously, who knew?).

I started working again. At night. While the kids are asleep.

Which means... drum roll please... getting out of yoga pants!!!

I know. It was a super hard transition.

But working also means talking to adults, and having my own money... helping with the bills and working towards a better future for our family... with my husband... as a TEAM.

I needed that validation for myself so desperately that I could literally taste it for awhile there.

But now I've got it.

Now I'm bringing home the bacon too... literally and figuratively.

Why else am I back?

Well, this might sound totally pompous and arrogant but I'm gonna just go for it.

I fucking hate everything I read on the Internet.


I am so freaking tired of being shamed for every. single. freaking. thing. that. I. do!

I want this to be the least judgmental corner of the Internet.

I want people to come here and KNOW that they will not find a list of 12 reasons that they are screwing their kids up for life.

I am so tired of the lists! Who are these people! And why do they love numbering things so much?

This new fresh start for the blog is also a beginning of something different.

Everything has changed around here, and nothing has changed around here.

I still have a foul mouth, and make jokes that embarrass my mother in law.

I still make cookies more often than I do laundry, and I still love to hide and jump out and scare the crap out of the kids.

The babies are old, and so so SMART!

I honestly could not be any prouder of them.

If you still follow me on Instagram, then you already know this, for sure.

I spent this past year soaking up every single itty bitty second of Number 3's baby-ness... and now he is two and so old and suuuuch a trouble maker!!!

Girlfriend is my little bestie and just adores the shit out of her baby brother. I call her Mini Mom.

And Boyfriend... sigh.

Most of you have a soft spot for Boyfriend because I wrote about him for the longest, and that is where the biggest change will be in the blog this time around.

I have decided that I probably wont write much about him because he is at an age where he would be embarrassed if I posted too many pictures of him or told too many stories.

If any of his friend's parents ever stumbled onto Our Tiny Place, I would never want Boyfriend to be ashamed that his Mother told stories about his funny little life.

So out of respect for my growing lad, he wont be the star of the show anymore.

I'm not really sure what direction things will go in this time... but a few things are for sure.

I wont blog every day, and I wont post nearly as many pictures.

The truth is, the Internet is a weird place, and I don't want to put so much of myself out there that we end up with a lunatic knocking on our door at 1 am trying to cut my skin off to wear me like a purse.

Ya feel me?

So I am going to go into this return to blogging kind of slowly... less photos, way less editing... no scrubbing my house until it shines for pictures. Ever.

You will see the real deal because I have juuust enough time in the day to blog every once in awhile... but definitely not enough time to clean so that people online will think that my sink is always empty.

Spoiler alert: It's not. In fact, it's full of dishes right this second.

Just keeping it real.

What else can you expect this time around??

I'm really not sure.

Who knows if I will blog for a week, a month, a year... I honestly have no clue.

But, I know I want to interview other women, kind of Humans Of New York style, just their picture and a clip of their story... and also just write, about life....

...As a woman and an adult... as being someone more than a Mom.

I'm all about making us all feel more normal... about bringing us together in a way that makes us all laugh a little and say... "Thank God it's not just me".

All I ever wanted in my whole life was to be a Mother... and now, I am finally learning that it is okay to be yourself too.

It took me a long time to grasp that concept, but now that I've found it, I want to share this next Chapter with all of you.

A friend that just had a brand new baby asked me for any advice that I can give, anything at all.

Now I don't really like to give baby advice because I think that whatever works for you is right, but she persisted and I thought long and hard before telling her this...

Now that I am on the other side of baby babies, I can say with confidence.... don't worry, you will love your husband again.

I am so thankful to be able to say that my marriage has recovered from all those nights that I wanted to kick my husband in the face while I was up nursing 17 times as he lay snuggled in bed snoring.

It gets better. I promise.

Trust in the process, and trust in yourself that you chose the right partner.

It gets better and one day you'll wake up and be like me... remembering what it was like to be you.

Until then... welcome back to Our Tiny Place... I'm totally winging this shit and I hope you'll stick around long enough to see what happens next.

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