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Under-caffeinated Mom


One lid.
Five compartments.


(Obviously I’m not the only one who’s come to think of the typical lunchbox as Satan’s petrie dish.)

Thanks Goodbyn!


I have always wondered how I should greet someone who’s wearing earbuds, and thanks to this book I now know.

Thanks Uptight Seattleite for the insights.

Available at and bookstores everywhere.


Why can’t kids follow directions? Is “doing what you’re told” really that hard?

“The Gigglesnort Test” is an updated version of something our own grade school teacher made us take many, many (too many, really) years ago. It works just fine on a single child, but has much more of an impact if you can get a handful of kids to take it at the same time.

The Gigglesnort Test

This test is designed to see how well you follow directions. Are you thorough? Do you do everything you’re supposed to? In the order you’re supposed to do it?

Let’s begin:

1. Read all the directions first, before you do anything else.

2. Turn to the person on your left and say “Hello, my name is Mister Gigglesnort.”

3. Stand up and smile, then sit back down.

4. Stand up, throw your head back and laugh like a clown.

5. Sit back down.

6. Raise both of your hands in the air and shake them for 30 seconds.

7. Look at your teacher and say “You’re doing a great job, Teach’.”

8. Put your head down on your desk.

9. Don’t do anything directions 2 through 8 tell you to do. Instead, just sit quietly at your desk and see if other kids in the class are as good at following directions as you are.


In a week like this, TV usually wins. But for two days now it’s been soundly beaten by tape, scissors, string, a closetful of cardboard boxes and a little imagination.


Thanks for the nice review.


With Wipeout finished for the year, we’ve started watching The Next Iron Chef, which has inspired us to do our own version at home. Each kid picks out three ingredients and then we try to make something edible.

Sometimes we’re successful, sometimes not, but what’s been really surprising is how unexpectedly versatile some foods are.

Take pomegranates: one night we made pomegranate chicken, pomegranate lemonade, pomegranate sole, and vanilla ice cream with pomegranate sauce.

The kids ate them all, too.

The biggest surprise, however, was Froot Loops. Who’d have thought they’d work really well on pizza? Or that I’d feel less guilty letting the kids eat ‘em that way?


Because you can’t spell Halloween without “N” and “O”

KID: Can I go trick or treating by myself?
KID: Why not?
UNDER-CAFFEINATED MOM: Because it’s not safe
KID: But you went out trick or treating by yourself when you were a kid.
UNDER-CAFFEINATED MOM: I know, but that was different.
KID: How?
UNDER-CAFFEINATED MOM: Because when I went out by myself, I didn’t worry. But if you go out by yourself, I will.


Was the inventor of “temporary” tattoos evil?

No, but if you’ve ever had to scrub one off the night before School Picture Day, you know that whoever it was definitely wasn’t a parent. Thankfully, there’s Removeez, which also gets rid of permanent marker, tape, tar, sap, wax, grease, paint, adhesive bandages and lots of other things kids get on their skin.

(Usually right after you say “Just don’t get any on yourself,” too.)



I am not Martha Stewart. I don’t want to be Martha Stewart. I’m not even sure I like Martha Stewart. And yet, it would be nice if I could make a picture-perfect holiday treat.

(Though not from scratch, from Williams-Sonoma.)



How much of your kids’ art do you keep? And where do you keep it? I have enough finger-paintings to fill a gallery, which is why I like Artimus Art. It’s a membership-based archival service that lets you keep your kid’s art in private and public online galleries, or create custom-bound books and DVDs.

Crayon reliefs and finger-paintings never looked so professional.



If you came home one night and all you had was asparagus, quinoa and chicken, what would you do? Order take-out? Cookthink is great because you can input whatever you have in your fridge and it will find you the perfect recipe.

(Now… if only it could guarantee my kids would eat it.)


If you can’t have fun with your socks, what’s the point? These sock 3-packs from Little Miss Matched are great because you can pick from miss-matched sets or create your own.


Do your kids draw on walls? Did you draw on walls? That’s the whole point with this wallpaper: a gallery full of black and white frames your little Picasso can go crazy with. (As long as they don’t spill paint on the floor.)



KIDS: Can we go to the store?
ME: Why?
KIDS: To get brownies.
ME: I have brownie mix in the cabinet, why don’t we just make them?
KIDS: ’cause you can’t cook.
ME: Wanna bet?

Thanks to this pan, I can actually make awesome brownies.



Trying to teach your kids to read? It’s tough, and we tried everything before we discovered this series. Each hardcover has 10 softcover books inside, plus stickers, so when your kids gets through one, he or she gets a reward. If you click on the link you can read the reviews (5-star) and other parents’ comments.


New “Fame” 0, old “Fame” 1 (at least according to reviews)


Unfortunately, this card was inspired by true events:


You know those people who always seem to have great ideas? I think they get them from here:


If you like Overcaffeinated Dad humor, you’ll love this:


This is what I’d watch if I had any time:


We have an entire cabinet in the kitchen devoted to bars because (a) we never have time to eat a real breakfast in the morning and (b) everybody likes something different. You Bar is great for picky kids (and parents) because you pick your own ingredients.



Shouldn’t getting organized be easy? These help (even though putting everything in the “limbo” folder sort of defeats the purpose).


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