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What I learned this week…you are not going to believe what I did.

by Janelle Hanchett
  1. Okay, y’all are going to think I’m lying when I tell you this, because it’s totally freaking unbelievable, and frankly, respectable humans just don’t do this sort of thing, but I did it, and I’ll admit it: I completed a project I pinned on Pinterest.
  2. I’ m not lying. I did. Well, of course, by “I” I mean “my husband,” but still. Impressive, right?
  3. “We” built a raised bed out of cinderblocks. Then “we” got soil and put it in the bed. Then, we put plants in the soil (I actually helped with that part). And now, we have a garden. Can you believe that shit? The whole thing blows my mind. Photographic evidence below.
  4. Speaking of food, that Georgia character can put some AWAY. That kid eats I tell ya. Last night she ate four pieces of pork, about 9 heads of broccoli, and rice. Two hours later she ate chicken and more rice. This morning she ate TWO WHOLE eggs (scrambled), half a bagel & cream cheese and a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal. And an oatmeal cookie (which of course I didn’t give her because I don’t feed my toddler sugar, obviously). I am trippin’ with this kid’s eating habits. All I know is, she didn’t learn that shit from me…bird-eater that I am. HAHAHAHA.
  5.  My allergies are so bad I want to rip my face off.
  6. The kids are playing baseball/softball again. We’ve already been over my feelings about extracurricular activities, but I just wanted to let you all know that my getting-ready-for-baseball skills have not improved. In fact I believe they’ve degenerated. Even further. Who knew that was even possible? I’ve gotten so bad my 6-year-old son defied all laws of the nature and the universe by putting his own uniform out the day before baseball. When I was shocked and elated and full of joy and wonder at his behavior, he looked at me and said “Well, mama, there’s no way YOU’RE ever gonna find it in time.”
  7. So that confirms there are now TWO – count ’em – TWO children in this house who are more responsible than I am.
  8. Georgia, however, continues to dump trash cans on her head, so clearly I’ve got her beat when it comes to sound decision-making.
  9. Yes, I am strangely comforted by that.
  10. Speaking of comfort, school’s out in two weeks. For three months. And then, summertime. When the livin’s easy.

You see those green things? Those are PLANTS.













Georgia likes to "help."


12 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized, weeks of mayhem | April 30, 2012

This week…I am 33 and still sarcastic.

by Janelle Hanchett


  1. On Tuesday night, Rocket dislocated Georgia’s elbow by “helping” her do a “handstand.” Thankfully the doctor just popped it back in but ohmygod the crying and agony she went through. How do people hurt children? I cannot understand it.
  2. An hour into it I felt drained and exhausted and paralyzed with powerlessness and I would have done ANYTHING to stop that little one from hurting. I just don’t get how a person could inflict suffering on a kid, purposely. Repeatedly. Do they not feel the misery I did? And if they do, how the hell do they live with themselves?
  3. On a happier note, on Wednesday I turned 33 and my family threw me a little surprise party. My brother and his family drove 2 hours to be there. A couple of my closest friends were there. I was struck by the love.
  4. On Wednesday night Georgia got sick AGAIN and has had a fever for FOUR FUCKING DAYS. We’re taking her to the same urgent care we were at on Tuesday. They’re gonna call CPS.
  5. Yesterday I spent 14 (that’s right. FOURTEEN) hours grading midterm essay exams. As long as I live I will never use the words “therefore,” “clearly,” or “significant” again.
  6. Clearly, I’m full of shit.
  7. Speaking of “full of shit,” I’m really serious that we need a sarcasm font. Let’s all agree on one (and by “all” I mean “humanity”). That way the fucktards who read my writing and get their panties all knotted up thinking I’m serious will have access to that fun little thing we call “a sense of humor.”
  8. Have you ever noticed that people who don’t have kids are by far the most judgmental of those of us who do? I think that’s weird. I mean when I haven’t done something I realize I haven’t done that thing. WOW. Deep. And therefore, my opinion arises out of speculation, not experience, and as such, it doesn’t hold much weight. Though I may share it with my friends when nobody’s looking, I SURE AS HELL wouldn’t bestow my uninformed opinion upon somebody who has actually done the thing in question. [mostly for fear of looking like an ass.] That would be like me telling a person how to raise twins, or Mac how to be an ironworker…”Honey, you’re holding your welder incorrectly…” (is it actually called a “welder?”) or him telling me how to have a baby “oh sweetheart, you’re pushing all wrong. Let me tell ya how it’s done.” Insane I say. Insane.
  9. Damnit. Also used “therefore.”
  10. So if my baby doesn’t get better in the next 5 hours I’m going to turn myself into CPS for some sort of vacation. (that was sarcastic.)

By the way, I just gotta tell you readers that I think you’re amazing. I’m serious. I write a post and then I get these freaking incredible comments that say it better than I did. And then, when some psycho comments, we all rally around and cyber-kick their ass.

We are BFFs. We are. Can’t be helped.

Check out the pillow Ava made me for my birthday. It’s a “sleeping” pillow that you hang from the door. One side says “Welcome,” the other side says this:

The kid gets me.

Have a great week, everybody.

4 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized | April 1, 2012

Contributing to the Truancy of Children

by Janelle Hanchett


I do things on a somewhat regular basis that cause me to question my qualifications for parenthood.

For example, I sometimes contribute to the truancy of my children. I’ll take them out of school early or bring them late or have them miss a day or two for last-minute beach trips or jaunts to San Francisco or pretty much no compelling reason at all.

It’s not that I think school is unimportant. Obviously not. I mean shit, I’m a grad student, clearly I don’t think it’s a complete waste of time.

It’s just that I have a hard time convincing myself that sitting in a classroom with 20 other 4th-graders is more important than a trip to the ocean with your family.

This week I pulled Ava out of school for 3 days because it was my Spring break and I felt like cruising down South to visit my best friend Claire, who I’ve known since 2nd grade. She lives in Central California, near San Luis Obispo, and we went. The husband had to work, so I took all three kids by myself, knowing that I’d be hanging with another mother, who would help me.

I felt a little guilty for taking Ava out. But I’ll be honest, it was worth it. At least I think it was. Maybe she’ll end up in therapy because her mother was a flake, but alas, nobody’s perfect.

There is something remarkable about a best friend since childhood. There is something sacred and wonderful about a person who isn’t “family” but has known you longer than most people on the planet. Family HAS to love you (well, at least in my family), but a best friend? Ah, they’re there because they want to be with you. They chose you. They don’t have to be there. But they are.

When we were 7, Claire and I played dolls and “restaurant” and Barbies in my bedroom. We had a pet bug named “Shiloh” who lived under a Monopoly hotel.

When we were 10, we busted into the neighbor’s house one boring summer afternoon, until we realized we had just done something illegal and we freaked out and bolted. When we got home we sprayed hairspray on the stucco wall of her house and lit it on fire. Both of those activities were my idea.

When we were 12, we went roller skating every Saturday and contemplated boys from afar.

When we were 13, we got dressed up and Waltzed with her younger twin cousins in her grandma’s living room, while she drank bourbon and smoked cigarettes and instructed our dance moves.

When we were 15, we stole her grandma’s Cadillac in Santa Clara and drove around.

When we were 17, we did the same but added beer.

When we were 18, we gazed into the eyes of Claire’s newborn baby and wondered what the hell had happened.

When we were 21, we drank Bloody Mary’s at 7am in Vegas.

When we were 25, we didn’t talk much, because I was drunk and lost and too full of self-hatred to reach out to the people who knew me before I was a failure.

When we were 29, I got sober and drove to her house 5 hours away and asked her to forgive me and love me again. And it became clear she had never stopped.

And now, at 32, we get together and take care of kids and talk until 2 in the morning and laugh like we did when we were 10 years old, giggling in the back of our parents’ cars, sisters who chose one another.

I guess this week I just needed my friend. Maybe Ava should have gone to school.

Then again, maybe not.

We went to Morro Bay

and Georgia contemplated god, err, I mean the ocean.


we missed daddy

We went to Avila and it was 73 degrees and glory.


Georgie wore her new bathing suit and we all died from the cuteness.

Rocket dug "the biggest hole pretty much in the world"

And made this face, which kills me.


doing what big sister does...


Still a little girl...


Yep, it was definitely worth it.


Claire and Georgia.

What I learned this week…special super late edition!

by Janelle Hanchett


  1. Family trips would be a lot more fun if my kids weren’t there.
  2. I realize this adjustment may threaten the occasion’s status as a “family trip,” but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.
  3. This past weekend we went to Sonoma County for two annual holiday parties – one with my extended family – the other with friends so old they are like extended family. And it would have been a lot more fun if my kids weren’t there, or maybe if they just stopped by occasionally. I mean they’re nice to look at, especially all dolled up in their Christmas gear, but they’re just so fucking annoying, particularly on trips. I believe this warrants a blog post of its own, but I’ll give you a rundown of the key problem areas: 1. Car rides; 2. Hotel rooms; 3. Behaving at other people’s houses.
  4. But I guess the yelling and car sickness and tears and whining is all part of the deal – the youngest cousins going batshit crazy because some tyrannical aunt fed them soda and lollipops the size of their heads and Christmas outfits getting muddy (pissing me off) and flailing squealing boys and kids crashed out in the gift-filled car on the way home and new babies and old babies and all that family. Who knew me since I was a baby and a kid and a hot-headed teenager and now. All that crazy family we’ve held onto, once a year whether we need it or not. I just love those people so much. They are my people. And I wouldn’t change a single freaking thing.
  5. But holy shit does it all make me miss my grandma. My dear grandma Bonny, who held it together and held me together, and fills my soul with longing and meaning and maternal pride. Because my roots are some badass roots, through her. And when I feel like it’s getting too heavy I think of my grandma Bonny and I tell her about it and she tells me through my heart that I’m tough as nails, just like her, and I’ll be just fine. But I miss her so much I feel paralyzed sometimes, like I can’t figure out how to navigate this place without her and I can’t believe she’s gone, even though it’s been 3 years.  I feel like she’s just gotta come back and say hello one of these days. But she hasn’t so far.
  6. I’ll tell you about her someday, when I can see through my tears long enough to express my adoration for her.
  7. Admittedly, however, she created a brood and extended brood a little like a mix of The Office and National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation, but for the sake of privacy, I’m leaving out details. You know who you are.
  8. Btw, I have a rather infantile need to rebel – you know, do something contrary just on principle, for no reason whatsoever. For example, when I see those water conservation toilets that tell you to pull up for “Number 1” and push down for “Number 2,” I feel like pushing down even though I just went Number 1. I don’t actually do that, though, because that would be wrong. But I want to.
  9. I feel better having admitted that.
  10. I would also like to admit that I am a little proud of myself. Doesn’t happen often, but I felt a genuine sense of pride when I finished this semester of graduate school – there were many days when I wanted to quit, with the husband gone and all, but I stuck through it, and I freaking finished that shit. Yo.
  11. And…today is our ten-year anniversary. I have so much to say about this, but there isn’t time right now. There is just too much to say. Ten years.

Is Christmas really on Sunday? I’m so screwed. Can’t we push it back a week? Damnit.

5 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized | December 19, 2011