Posts Filed Under weeks of mayhem

This week…we went camping and got a puppy. Or, lost our minds.

by Janelle Hanchett


  1. A few months ago, Mac and I started making noises about getting another dog – you know, a dog that actually plays, or moves, or likes kids. We decided on a Labrador. On Sunday, we got him. He is pictured below. Rocket named him Laser. Of course, that’s his name because it’s perfect.
  2. We have had Laser for 24 hours. I love Laser. Laser is wonderful. Laser is really freaking busy.
  3. Seriously people, what is WRONG WITH US? Our life was already insane. Chaos. Mayhem. Disorder. Noise. Pee. All of it reaching heights I never knew existed…and what do I do? “Honey, we need a family dog. We need one to go on trips with us and play catch and eat stuff it shouldn’t and bark.” Yes, clearly. That is what we need. Another mammal with toilet and obedience issues. Yay! And so my life is has reached a new pinnacle of crazy and I’m falling in deep love with this freaking dog, already. He’s bright, even-tempered, playful, engaged and eager to please. Not a spaz. He may actually be the least spastic member of this family.
  4. By the way, he is not my “fur baby.” And he never will be. Full stop.
  5. So the plan was that on Sunday we would drive up to Grass Valley to get the puppy from the breeder (no, we did not go to a shelter and we have our reasons and yes I am a terrible person and yes I should be shot. the end.). But on Tuesday, Mac texted me on his lunch break “Let’s camp in the foothills Saturday night.” And if there’s one thing I LOVE it’s impulsive decision-making and unplanned trips into the wilderness, so I said “hells yeah baby,” and found us a spot in a campground along the North Fork of the American River in the Tahoe National Forest. Incidentally, it was one of the best campgrounds I’ve ever been to and the trip was absolutely magical, probably because it was thrown together with very little thought or expectation, and we were all just glad to get the hell out of the Sac valley and its inferno ways.
  6. The campground was small and remote, filled to the brim with spruce and pine trees. The water poured from a natural spring in the ground. At the end of it was a swimming hole in the river.  Above the pool was a gentle waterfall that poured across the rocks with just enough force the kids could safely ride their intertube down it, into the swimming hole. They did it about fifty times.
  7. Mac and I sat on a nearby rock and watched them play. Georgia slept in her stroller. It was one of those afternoons when you’re sure there is not a single thing in the world you need beyond what you have, right here and right now.
  8. And let me get all hippie on you for a minute. As I watched those kids play and laugh in that river, navigating rocks and slippery spots, pulling each other out of the water, scraping their feet on gravel, dunking unexpectedly under the water, getting cold, getting too much sun, getting filthy, I realized that THIS is the thing that allows kids to develop a love of the earth. They were playing with her. They were riding her waves, exploring her rocks, cooling themselves in her water. And I thought to myself, this is probably the most important thing I could ever teach my kids, because if you love the earth you always have a friend, a source of nourishment, a source of peace. A place to revive your spirits and clear your mind and wonder again, like when you were a kid and you spent 5 hours riding a little waterfall on the American River.
  9.  My mom took us everywhere. We camped all the time. She always let me play in the river without the appropriate shoes. She always let me explore dunes and tide pools and rivers – alone and for hours and hours – and to this day, I feel in my bones that freedom, that joy and peace and wonder, and I feel a yearning for it sometimes. And I know where to go.

Wanna go sing kumbayah? Me too. But first, check out these pictures.

Have a great week, everybody.

navigating the river, without shoes (and in Rocket's case, without pants). totally unsafe.


telling stories to each other in the river. they thought I wasn’t listening.

the swimming hole

the swimming hole, see the little waterfall above it?

going down the little waterfall

gettin' stuck


and gettin down to the bottom, floating into the swimming hole

took this from our rock. maybe the best picture I’ve ever taken of them…

I have never seen them have so much fun together. pure joy.

he was so relaxed

so was he, on our rock above the waterfall

around the campfire. notice the shorts? yeah, it was like 74 degrees at 9pm

watching the campfire

we sang and played. I'm telling you it was magical.

filthy, barefoot, very happy toddler.

are you seeing those hands?

Rocket learned how to use a sling shot. Also very safe. PSHHHT.

And I took a picture with my kids.

And then, we added this guy to our family.

And Rocket found his new best friend.



16 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | June 18, 2012

This week… well, it happened.

by Janelle Hanchett


  1. This week has reaffirmed for me that somehow, the coolest women on the planet have come together from the four corners of the world to read this blog [this is not on account of the quality of the blog. Rather, it is coincidental.]. Seriously. I am convinced that I could be friends with EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU.
  2. In fact, I want to meet. Maybe we should plan a retreat or some nonsense – right in the middle of America – where we could get together and party and pretend we don’t have children for like a week. Err, I mean, “scrap book about our kids.” I mean it though. The baby sprinkle comments blew my mind. Big love.
  3. Speaking of big love, the freaking bird went away for 2 days. Then it returned. Of COURSE I haven’t actually done any of your brilliant suggestions, because I never get anything actually DONE, you know, proactively. I’m more into surviving. You know, getting through the day.
  4. My home is once again at that state where every single room is destroyed, every closet filled to the brim, every cupboard overflowing, every drawer not shutting, every corner full of shit we don’t need.
  5. SOMEBODY, PLEASE. Please help me. I can’t take it anymore.
  6. Along those same lines (of not being able to take it anymore), in the past 3 days I’ve had two women – count ’em TWO – say to me…”Have you heard about that ‘attachment parenting’ thing? It’s INSANE. Horrible thing. I read all about it in Time Magazine.” These women asked me about this in two totally different contexts. Completely unrelated. The first time I heard it, I attempted to give a little perspective on the matter (basically explaining that Time misconstrued and demonized AP). But to the second lady I just mumbled incoherently, realizing suddenly that Time Magazine is not the problem.
  7. The problem is that people derive their opinions from a crap magazine about one millimeter more reliable than the tabloids, believing [because it’s shiny and looks real and official] every word they read, soaking up its perspective as if it were their own, figuring “it must be true,” letting long-dormant critical thinking skills sink deeper into the cracks of their hardly-used brains. Oh my God that wasn’t nice. But I’m sick of the SHEEP PEOPLE THE SHEEP.
  8. People want to be told what to believe. As Ava said the other day…”I’m coming to the conclusion that pretty much nobody thinks.” She was referring to her friends at school. I am referring to the general population.
  9. I’m beginning to think that the only thing schools should teach is critical thinking. That should be it. And maybe reading. Reading and thinking. Hey students, THINK FOR YOURSELVES. Don’t derive an opinion based on one source. Question everything. Analyze it all. Do your own research. Think, fucker, THINK.
  10. But I digress. Back to this week. Yesterday we went to a lavender farm where we cut our own lavender. I love lavender. We took pictures. Rocket and Ava loved it. Georgia, not so much. She was acting like demon spawn. Cute demon spawn, but still.

disgruntled for no apparent reason. I get that.

picking lavender


Check out the bow people. I adore her.


ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Look at that boy

17 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | June 11, 2012

This week…drowsy tweaking, more parenting confusion.

by Janelle Hanchett


  1. My car is so disgusting I’m almost embarrassed. Almost, because I don’t really give a shit. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I have lost even the appearance of sanity, control, or organization.
  2. I’ve also accepted that I am no longer cool and will pretty much never be, so the fact that kid clothes, board books, sippy cups and goggles quite often fall out of my car when I open the back door…yeah, that doesn’t really bother me. Sometimes, I just leave the crap on the ground and drive off. (no of course I don’t do that. that would be LITTERING.)
  3. Being sick is the single most effective way to appreciate one’s health. I’ve been going back and forth between raging allergies and a head-cold. Both are equally annoying, but since I’m never totally sure which one it is that’s destroying my life, I take all the medicines I have to treat both conditions. This, of course, leaves me feeling like a drowsy tweaker.
  4. There may have been a time in my life when “drowsy tweaker” sounded appealing, but NOW IS NOT THAT TIME. I want my health back because these children have never gotten the memo that sick people are supposed to be left in peace to rest and heal.
  5. The toddler currently eats strawberries and beef. And that’s pretty much it.
  6. Yesterday I glanced at my 10-year-old and I saw the beauty of a young woman, just for a flash, and my head almost spun around like that chick in The Exorcist.
  7. Still going strong without the T.V. Ultimately it has been so much easier for me because the kids have learned to play together, by themselves – entertain themselves – (read: leaving me alone a lot more often). They are presently building a fort in the front room. I’m in the living room writing this. Occasionally I have to sneak in and “steal their baby” out of their fort and hide it, so they can then “pack provisions” and “go into the wilderness” to find the baby that got stolen (and I hid).
  8.  I promise I’ll stop talking about the T.V. thing. I’m probably being pretty annoying about it. Sorry. Just still trippin’ out by it. I’ll get over it.
  9. There continue to be elements of parenting that baffle the hell out of me – horrible, complex, apparently unsolvable dilemmas. And yet, we are just expected to live with them. For example, what the fuck are you supposed to do with the fucking fascinating water dispenser? Get rid of it? Nope. The tap water tastes like ass. Push the trash can in front of it? Brilliant! Until she learns to, um, push it away. Remove all cups from the house so she can’t get her own “wa-wa?” No matter, she’s just as happy filling plates, toys, or the tray at the bottom of the dispenser. Or her hands, or nothing.
  10. So what do you do? You deal with it. You deal with spilled water in nearly every corner of the house and a wet toddler pretty much always and kids constantly slipping on the linoleum because Georgia spilled water out of the dispenser and the mother is too lame to figure out a solution. Right? That’s what you do, right? Or am I missing something?

Drowsy tweaker out.

P.S. I want an Iphone so I can use Instagram. That thing is fuunnnn. Here’s some things we did this week, looking cooler because it’s on Instagram (husband has an Iphone).

Ava rode Mac's horse on her grandparent's ranch. The horse is "Major Ben."

so did Rocket

And Mac and my brother suddenly started using the slip-n-slide (notice full clothing)



15 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | June 4, 2012

This week…I trapped beaver and went to the beach.

by Janelle Hanchett



  1. On Tuesday, I participated in a school event for my daughter which involved me dressing up in 1840s garb and pretending I’m a beaver trapper. Yes, a beaver trapper.
  2. When I told my husband about these responsibilities, he responded with a smirk, “I can help. I’ve been trying to ‘trap beaver’ my whole life.” Niiiiiiice.
  3. Our class runneth over. Speaking of class, I’m still throwing baseballs at bluejays, naked. The bird has now become my nemesis. I’m like what’s his face in that one movie. Was that helpful? You know, the gopher guy. Caddyshack! Bill Murray in Caddyshack. This week I will be taking the suggestions you all offered to see if I can eliminate the bastard. Don’t worry. I’ll keep you posted.
  4. On Friday my lower back decided it would explode or something. Whatever it did, I was in some of the most crippling pain I’ve felt in years, which is how long it’s been since the last time my lower back exploded. It pinched some nerve (sciatica?) that runs down my left leg and another one that runs across my left hip. PEOPLE I WANTED TO DIE. I’m still in a lot of pain but it’s not like before. Dude I should totally tell you the story of the first time my sciatica flared up like this. It was like 14 years ago, and I’ll give you a hint of how it went down: I woke up on the floor of some house with people I didn’t know and I couldn’t walk. So I just laid there and waited for my best friend who was supposed to be there but wasn’t. The weirdest part was that this house was such a party crash pad, nobody even noticed (or cared) that there was some chick fully awake lying immobile on her back in the middle of the dining room floor. Good times.
  5. I probably shouldn’t tell stories like that on the internet. Oh well.
  6. And of course, this is the weekend we planned to go to Santa Cruz for a blues festival/beach trip. So Friday afternoon I went to the chiropractor, got a massage, iced the hell out of it, did stretches and hoped for the best. It didn’t go very well. I think my family had fun but I was pretty miserable the whole time.
  7. I was going to have my husband go without me but I feared he may let my kids drown in the ocean. He has a small focus problem. You know, like he can’t do it.
  8. The good news is we spent today at this little beach town called Capitola and it was by far the most exquisite weather I’ve ever seen there. Sunny, warm, clear. Northern California, you have my heart. Even though I was lying immobile on my back getting a raccoon sunburn, I was struck by the beauty of it all.
  9. By the way, what the hell is a “push present?” I don’t know what it is but I know I hate it. The name alone makes me slightly ill. Waaaay too cute.
  10. You know what is not too cute, though it might be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my life?

This. All three kids got in bed together and Ava made Georgia’s wrinkle-nose grin, and Rocket pretended he was asleep.

Worth it.

10 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | May 27, 2012

This week…naked baseball-throwing, and other commonplace activities.

by Janelle Hanchett
  1. Quick. Somebody tell me what sort of developmental nightmare happens at 21-22 months. Georgia WILL NOT sleep. Well, she will, but only in 2-hour increments and after about an HOUR of rocking, soothing, patting, fucking ET CETERA. She had a sinus infection earlier this week; I am praying to God almighty that that’s the problem.
  2. Speaking of problems, I got an ear infection. WHATTHEFUCK? Those only happen to kids. Uncool, almighty God.
  3. In other news, ear infections really reallyreally hurt and I now believe my kids are bad-asses, having endured so many with so much less complaining than their mother exhibited.
  4. I hate leaf-blowers. We’ve been over this so I won’t repeat myself. But I hate them.
  5. I hate leaf-blowers, but I love my friends. I have amazing friends. I like having friends. There was a time when I had none, on account of being a self-centered drunk who couldn’t call people back, show up, or be nice.
  6. There is a bird (some sort of jay I think) who sits in a tree in our backyard, and occasionally the telephone pole behind it (yes, our yard is as stunning as you’re probably envisioning) AND CHIRPS AND SING ALL FUCKING…NIGHT. Did you catch that? NIGHT. The damn thing makes the most insane, ear-piercing racket — during the night. What sort of crackhead bird tweets and sings at night? He does it in the day, too. But for obvious reasons, it’s the night thing that kills me. So you know what I do? I throw baseballs at it. While naked.
  7. Allow me to explain. I sleep naked. OOOOOOO, kinky. No, just comfortable. I’ve always slept without clothes. Like forever. So I’m lying there in bed and I hear this bird “song” (if it’s a song, it’s death metal played loudly, backwards, and with scratches) and it’s so loud people – SO LOUD – I can’t sleep. And it’s like 1am and the whole house is asleep, so I go outside. I don’t put clothes on because who does that? Too much work. Plus I figure it’s dark outside and if some weirdo wants to peek through my fence all night on the off chance somebody might walk by naked, well, he/she deserves a little glimpse. That’s some devotion. Anyway the first time this jay and I had a little midnight encounter I tried rushing the tree and yelling at it to scare him away, but it didn’t even phase the bastard. So I look around. At my feet I observe a bucket of baseballs. Ah ha! I pick one up and I chuck it at the tree. Fucker flew off immediately. Since that worked so well, I’ve been doing it nightly for like 5 days. I’m so good at it now I can throw the baseball, have it go through the tree and hit the telephone pole behind it, so it falls back into our yard (as opposed to our neighbor’s yard, where they were ending up before).
  8. I couldn’t make this shit up.
  9. You know, honestly, I’m not sure I have anything left to say after telling that whole story. I think we’ll just leave it at that, as an explanation of how my week has been.

Can we all please take a moment to notice how much I do not look like a woman who throws baseballs at birds while naked, at least in the following photograph?





















You see, I pull it off well. At least I think I do. I do, don’t I?

Nevermind, don’t answer. It’s probably best.

How cute is it that Rocket’s looking up at his daddy? Adore.

This week, may all squawking Jays be eradicated from your life through a weird bird-destroying disease.

Or baseballs.



20 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | May 20, 2012