Posts Filed Under weeks of mayhem

This week…”I’m just pooping” (and other good news)

by Janelle Hanchett


  1. I’m not sure if you know this, but Georgia (the 2-year-old) wakes up in the morning, removes her clothing and diaper, launches herself out of the crib and goes about her business. Now, her business used to involve running down the hallway screaming “Mama! You gotta get up!” but it’s evolved, apparently.
  2. Today I heard her bedroom close the door behind her all efficiently like she always does, even though she’s like a toy-spewing tornado on meth the rest of the day (Why does she always shut her door? Who the hell knows why? Because toddlers are insane.) and I waited for her to come into my room. I waited and waited and waited, hoping she’d come in at any moment so I didn’t have to remove myself from my bed. After enough minutes passed that I started getting worried, I asked Rocket (Mac was off RUNNING up hills or doing some other insane shit healthy people do) to get up and see what Georgia’s up to (YES, I made my 7-year-old get up to check on the toddler while I laid there and checked my phone…WHAT?). So he comes back a couple minutes later and says “She’s on the potty.”
  3. We keep the toddler potty in the living room. Because we keep it classy. So I figure she’s fine and get up like 20 minutes later (don’t hate, Rocket was with her), and when I get into the living room she’s still on the potty, which means she’s been on there for like 40 minutes at this point. We make eye contact and she like read my mind when she answered “I’m just pooping!” and I swear there was an eye roll. I mumbled that she clearly inherited the pooping-for-eternity trait from her father. I probably shouldn’t say those things on the internet. I mean seriously, is there nothing sacred?! (no, no there isn’t)
  4. Anyhoo, I’m slightly less traumatized about my exam in 3.5 weeks. It may be because I’ve been studying my British lit like a madwoman, or it’s because I’ve resigned myself and pretty much no longer care. I guess we’ll find out after the exam. Whee! Livin’ on the edge.
  5. Speaking of “exams,” Rocket made the announcement, and my heart nearly shattered: “I’m the only one in my class who can’t read.” And his head fell onto his arm, face down on the table, and it’s true, he’s 7 and a half and isn’t reading, and can’t seem to recall many words or letters, and it’s getting a little rough. We’re having him assessed on April 2, just because I want some insight into how to work with him, how to make these scribbles on the page come alive to him.
  6. It’s a strange feeling to have this kid who isn’t on the “curve” and you’re stuck between wanting him to be free and confident and young while also wanting him to read, because you value learning, but then again what is learning? And how do we know learning is synonymous with reading and school?  IS IT? What if it isn’t? What if there are other ways? And what if I get him a label of “dyslexic” or whatever and then he’s that forever and his curiosity fades into a vague understanding of his own deficiencies, and he gives up altogether.
  7. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It ain’t easy having one of “those” kids.
  8. Today I went to a luncheon for my lovely friend who looks better than most people even though she’s 8 months pregnant and I was sitting there cracking up with this group of women, listening to them tell it how it is, uncensored, witty, real. And I thought to myself this is what it’s like hanging out with real women, strong and smart women.
  9. It isn’t competitive. It isn’t one-upping. It isn’t female pissing matches shrouded in paper-thin decorum. It’s wild, it’s loud, it’s funny. It’s empowering and nourishing and fucking hysterical.
  10. And it revives the woman who’s wondering about her boy, the one who isn’t reading, who can’t remember words 5 minutes after he learns them, because he got up to go to the bathroom and now they’re all gone and he looks at you like “I’m trying.”

And I wonder if he knows the teachers say there’s something wrong, but more importantly I wonder if he knows there’s nothing wrong. Nothing at all. And there never will be.

I knew that today when I was hanging out with these women.

I mean it. I have incredible friends, and it appears the circle is just getting wider.

Here’s what we’ve been up to…

Ava making fun of "duck face" in her new dress

Ava making fun of “duck face” in her new dress


and I wouldn’t trust this guy in the park


or any of these people, to be honest.


well, at least she’ll stay warm


Daisy. Do you know her? She’s a good one.


it’s been 80 degrees all week…


mesh caps and child care – it’s how we roll


after he made the reading comment, I kept him home from school, just to hang out with me


and Laser, who just wants to cuddle


and then at lunch the mother’s heart exploded


my lovely nephew’s 7th birthday party…

Have a great week.

With love,


35 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized, weeks of mayhem | March 17, 2013

This week…I’m doing it and thriving! (and by “thriving” I mean “drowning!”)

by Janelle Hanchett


  1. I haven’t written one of these “week in review” posts in so long I barely remember how to do it. Seriously it’s been like three weeks. Somehow I think you all have survived, though I, for one, have missed it. Where the hell else am I going to record the trivial events of my life and share misguided, slightly ridiculous musings?
  2. So first I think we should address the elephant in the room. Oh yeah, that’s the one, that post I wrote that “got big,” or at least for me. The “dying to live” post. Check it out: before I wrote that post my busiest blog day was 2,500 visits. The day after I wrote that post, 35,000 people came to the blog, and in the days that followed 250,000 more came. TRIP OUT. Let me just say “welcome” to the new people. Thank you for sticking around. We’re glad to have you.
  3. The good news is that the post brought a lot of new readers, the bad news is that post brought a whole shit load of crazies who called me all sorts of names all over the internet and accused me of being all sorts of things, including but not limited to: melodramatic, anti-feminist, anti-gay/male/adoptive parent, a whiner, etc., and I was feeling all weird and violated for a minute, like “DUDE. I just wrote about a FEELING. How can a FEELING be attacked?” And I wanted to crawl back into my safe hole with you people. But then I remembered that only about 5% of the feedback was negative, and most of the people who read it were like “thanks for saying it,” and that made me feel like maybe I was of some use to some women, and that’s an amazing feeling.
  4. But isn’t it weird how a huge percentage of feedback can be positive, and yet your mind focuses on the negative?! More proof that my brain is unreliable, and quite possibly out to destroy me.
  5. In other news, pretty much my whole house smells funky. It’s sort of this weird aroma not totally unlike vomit, though not quite there. Ask me what I’m doing about it.
  6. In the last two weeks, my kids have had rotating illnesses – colds, norovirus, ear infections, yay! – but never on the same fucking day. One gets sick, then better, then it moves to the next one. They can’t all be sick on the same day. THAT WOULD BE TOO EASY.
  7. On April 13 I’m taking the comprehensive exam for my Master’s program. It’s no big deal, I just have to somehow pull from the recesses of my already struggling brain sufficient information to write 3 essays in 6 hours based on pretty much any text since the beginning of English literature.
  8. Okay I’m exaggerating a little. There’s actually a 2-page, single-spaced reading list that I must know. But there’s British literature on it. I don’t know British literature. I ONLY DO AMERICA DAMN IT. Fuck Keats. [I don’t mean that. Please don’t send me to hell, literary gods. I’m just frustrated. It’s not you. It’s me.]
  9. In short, people, I’m terrified. I can’t fail this exam.
  10. On a completely unrelated, actually happy vein, the other positive fallout from the “big blog post” is that I may have a couple opportunities to write for some online magazines, which means you’ll have more places to read me! Try to contain your excitement. No really. Do it. Stop pole dancing. OR DON’T.
  11. Anyway at the risk of sounding sentimental, I really want to tell you readers, old and new, how much I appreciate you. I started this blog a couple years ago because I felt like an outsider in the mothering world, and I thought I was this weird island of ineptitude. That feeling has not vanished, because DUH I STILL HAVE KIDS, but at least now I know there’s a whole crap load of mothers just like me – struggling and loving and getting pissed and trying really hard not to destroy the whole gig. You and your brilliant comments, every one of which I read (even if I don’t always have the time to respond), make this ridiculous feat of mothering way, WAY better, and I mean it. I know that if I could hang out with most of you, and it would be like we’ve been friends forever.

Anyway, here’s some Instagrammed glory of our lives. These pics make my life look so hipster-cool-happy.

So please keep in mind while you look at these, MY HOUSE SMELLS LIKE VOMIT.

And I’m doing nothing about it.


We went on a trip and Rocket forgot socks and underwear, but remembered this stuffed dog.

We went on a trip and Rocket forgot socks and underwear, but remembered this stuffed dog.

It's been sunny in 77 degrees...

It’s been sunny in California…like 77 degrees…


Don't worry. It'll rain this month.

Don’t worry. It’ll rain this month.

my husband shaved off his beard but is growing a porn-star 'stache. Yay.

my husband shaved off his beard but is growing a porn-star ‘stache. Yay.


still trying to train this lil bastard

still trying to train this lil bastard

dressing up, making period-appropriate faces...

dressing up, making period-appropriate faces…


Seriously, Keats. WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?

Seriously, Keats. WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?

And how is that dimple so big?

And how is that dimple so big?

Have a great week.


48 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized, weeks of mayhem | March 3, 2013

This week…I feel 18 again, SORT OF.

by Janelle Hanchett
  1. So, school’s back in. I am officially “over it.” Normally, I feel all this excitement in my gut at the prospect of buying pens and highlighters and flags. (no really, I do.) This semester, I feel like I’m signing up for the gradual demise of my soul. Wow. That was dramatic.
  2. Even my advising professor was all “You’re ready to be doing something else.”
  3. But the MOST FUN THING EVER is that I’m suddenly like 18 again, because I keep hearing That Dreaded Question – and I’m already over that one too: “So, what are you going to do when you graduate?”
  4. Only rather than being able to say “going to college!”, I get to stare at them blankly and answer “I dunno, discuss postcolonial theory with my labrador?”
  5. I mean shit, if I’m going to feel put-on-the-spot like an 18-year-old, can’t I at least have my flat belly and small ass back? I feel like that’s a fair compromise.
  6. Speaking of fat asses, I’ve been eating shit all week. I have lost one pound since I wrote my fat-chick post, so evidently, I SUCK. However, for the past three weeks I’ve been doing the “Couch to 5K” program (it’s an app on my Iphone), which means I’ve been jogging 3 times a week. The husband says I’ve been looking thinner, and my super-trusted friend says that when you first start running you usually gain weight. That may be true, or it’s the shit I’ve been funneling down my throat to drown out my terror of not knowing what I’m going to do when I graduate.
  7. Get a job? Go on for my PhD? Try for the PhD and if I don’t get in, get a job? Fuck it all and have another kid and write (AS IF THAT’S POSSIBLE)?
  8. I realize you all can’t answer these questions for me, and I realize they’ll all get figured out in time, because, well, is there any other option?
  9. Today we watched the 49ers lose the Super Bowl. There are a lot of sad people out on the streets around me right now. I’m not much of a football sports fanatic (um, we don’t even have a television), but I have to admit, growing up within an hour of San Francisco, I’ve always had a heart for the niners and the Giants, and I have an even bigger heart for the damn underdog, which is why I REALLY, REALLY wanted them to pull through. I mean shit they were fightin’!
  10. Also, I’m gearing up to write my first “FTM Friday” post (Fuck the Man Friday). I had to go with the more offensive title, mostly because we’ve gotta keep it real on this blog — I mean seriously, what would we do if a bunch of politically correct green mamas landed on this blog, gettin’ all offended and shit? Anyway I’ve been holding off starting the series because I want to be sure all the recipes I’ve been using are the best ones (for example the AMAZING deodorant I was so excited about suddenly starting giving me a nasty rash (BUT ONLY ON ONE ARMPIT!), so now I’m experimenting with other recipes, but I plan on starting the series this week. Also, if any of you are artistically inclined, maybe you could make me a little FTM Friday mascot. I want like a little hippie chick or dude with a shirt on that says “fuck the man.” I have a vision, but no means to execute it (read: talent). Come on, puh-lease?

I’d be happy with something out of Microsoft Paint. Not joking.

Anyway, here’s a few photos from our week (or maybe the last two?).

Love you, people.



We’ve been laughing at friends’ houses.


and dancing at friends’ houses

Rocket hung out in San Francisco with his nana.

and rocked his cake-decorating class, with me.

there have been pig tails

And this. Weirdness.

Sometimes you suspect your kids are weird. Other times, you just know it.

Have a good week.


Also, if you’re bored on Wednesday night (Feb. 6), come to “Bows & Arrows” in downtown Sacramento at 8pm. I’m “doing a reading.”

Hoping I figure out what that means before 8pm on February 6.


14 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | February 3, 2013

This week…IS IT OVER YET?

by Janelle Hanchett
  1. If I were a stay-at-home-mom and I knew some self-righteous working mom who thought I did nothing all day, I’d totally knock on her door 3 weeks into winter break, smile and ask “How do ya like me now, bitch?”
  2. Cause seriously. This shit’s crazy.
  4. It’s not that we all hate each other. Or maybe it is. No, we just mostly hate each other. I jest. The truth is that 90% percent of the time my kids are annoying the hell out of each other AND me, 5% of the time they’re not annoying each other but definitely annoying me –and the remaining 5% is the time we’re having happy family bonding moments.
  5. So as you can see, those odds suck. There is so much yelling in my house. It ain’t right.
  6. The thing is, I’m not really working and school doesn’t start again until January 28, so basically I’ve been doing nothing except “homemaking” (I put that it in quotes because seriously, I’m not sure if I’m capable of such a task) since December 10. The good news is I turned over some miracle crafting leaf in the form of my obsession with making body care products. The bad news is my house looks like the woman in charge has an obsession with making body care products, as opposed to, say, cleaning. Or “homemaking.”
  7. I haven’t done laundry in nineteen days, but if you need a rosemary mint sugar scrub, I’m your girl.
  8. I suppose I should do some sort of Christmas-recap-Happy-New-Year’s-reflection-thing, but the truth is I really don’t feel like it. Christmas was a bit of a disappointment, as holidays usually are, and it passed as Christmas usually does, driving around and getting ready and not being at home, with my family, where I want to be. Next year I’m cancelling all commitments on that day. I mean it. I’m out. I just want to sit at home with my husband and kids for a few hours to open gifts and play with them, hang out together and relax and drink coffee and not have to get dressed or drive or be anywhere, until the evening at least. I don’t know why that means so much to me, but it does, and I have only myself to blame for not making it happen, pretty much ever. I seem to cave at the critical moment. I’m a caver. I always think it will be okay and fun and then it’s just too much and it’s stressful. But then by the next year, I forget again. And I get a little sad at the end of the day, because once again I didn’t spend Christmas the way I envisioned. Let’s talk about something else.
  9. Like New Year’s. Yes, New Year’s. Now THAT was fun. Some new friends of ours (who I now pretty much see as family) invited us on New Year’s Eve to a house they rented on Lake Tahoe. The day before New Year’s Eve was the day we spent running around thrift stores trying to scrounge together snow gear. Oh yeah. We plan.
  10. But we went and it was one of those days that’s just so perfect. Where the weather’s fine and the company’s wonderful and the fire’s burning and the kids are laughing. It was a 5% kind of day, and it set it all right.

Happy New Year to all of you. I fucking love you.

Let’s do big shit this year. Or not.

Cause let’s be honest, we’re already big. We’re huge, particularly in Japan.

Kinduva big deal.

Well to each other, at least. And that must be something, right? Maybe in Japan?

Anyway…snow trip!

my jacket from the 1980s!

steer clear of the yellow, Georgie!

he’s growing his beard back. oh happy day.

definitely a 5% kind of day

13 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | January 6, 2013

This week…I made gift baskets!!! (and almost locked my kids out in the cold)

by Janelle Hanchett


  1. This week I spent my time doing what I always do the week before Christmas: I bought shit I can barely afford, ran around trying to get every gift on The Ubiquitous List, and tried really hard not to lock my kids in the backyard all day.
  2. Since it was raining, I felt like somebody may call CPS, so I didn’t.
  3. BUT HOLY SHIT I WANTED TO. (What? What’s that you say? Where’s my Christmas spirit? Um, my Christmas spirit left when my kids lost their freaking minds, about five days after they got out of school and it started raining like FOREVER and there’s nothing to do but run around our too-small house and scream and yell and piss each other off until I rather suddenly boil the fuck over in a fiery cauldron of Christmas spirit). I’m serious. They are really annoying.
  4. Speaking of annoying, I’ve decided Christmas music would suck way less if there weren’t so many damn bells involved. All that jingling. Damn.
  5. In my own personal quest to annoy people, I’ve been saying “Merry Christmas” on a regular basis to pretty much everybody, mostly because “happy holidays” is a P.C. term. And we all know how I feel about P.C. terms.
  6. Also, I don’t think saying “Merry Christmas” means “I wish you a happy day celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ because I’m assuming everybody is a Christian and if you’re not, well I think you should be.” Rather, I believe it means something more like “I wish you a happy Christmas holiday.” And since it’s a national holiday, presumably a large portion of the population (sans Walmart workers, of course) – whether or not they celebrate Christmas – will have that holiday off work, and may, therefore, deserve to be wished a happy one.
  7. Plus, if somebody wishes me a “Happy Chanukah,” I’m not going to be offended – I’m going to think something along the lines of “That person just said something nice to me. That’s nice.” And I’d probably respond “Thanks.” But I really don’t think I’d say to myself “How dare you cast your Jewishness on me!”
  8. But of course, I could be wrong. I’ve never actually been the non-Christmas-celebrator having to deal with the onslaught of Christmas each year. Or maybe I just don’t get it. I don’t know; basically when I say “Merry Christmas” I feel like I’m saying something meaningful and authentic. When I say “happy holidays” I feel like I’m saying something meaningless and hollow because I’m afraid I’ll offend somebody. Not that I have anything against “happy holidays.” I mean really, does it fucking matter what we say? The bottom line is that we’re saying something pleasant. Does anybody feel me on this one or am I just an asshole?
  9. At risk of losing all street cred, I got inspired by my friend Jo and started making body products (from recipes I found on Pinterest), and, um, well, ahem…I think I’ve found my calling. I made lavender sea salt body scrub, peppermint sugar scrub, peppermint lip balm (!!), healing hand salve, hand lotion, and even SOAPS (Do you know easy it is to buy the goatsmilk soap bars, melt them down, add stuff and feel like freaking SouleMama?). We started out doing it because we were making homemade gifts for people due to money shortages, but now I’m hooked and I think I’ll be doing this forever, until I enter DIY Body Product Rehab. Don’t knock it; it exists.
  10. So Mac made applesauce and chutney, and we rolled beeswax candles and stuck it in a basket with the body products and a napkin and a sprig of tree (I copied it entirely off this blog (which also has some of the recipes I used) because I have no crafty ideas of my own (mean that)), and the result was pretty rad, if I may say so myself. Photographic evidence below.

What’s that they say about mothers and need and invention?

Yeah, well, wait til I tell you what we made Rocket for Christmas. I may lose half my readers.

But until then, Merry freaking Christmas!

15 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | December 24, 2012