Poop is the word. The oft used -in spite of Mom’s discouragements – word. Aren’t there other, more interesting, topics of conversation? Sure, Mom. We’ll try.

Driving home from summer camp, Medium and a friend decided to record a spontaneous “commercial.”

I think she’s been secretly spying me watching Mad Men …

Last weekend, Medium called a family meeting. We haven’t had one in months and I had no idea what triggered her to think of it.

She explained her problem and clearly communicated her expectations for our behavior. We raised our eyebrows (I may have smirked a little) and nodded understandingly. Every one of us promised to do better in the future.

We dispersed to our posts in front of various screens and quite frankly, I forgot the whole thing.

That is, until this morning, when I staggered into the bathroom for a shower and found this written reminder of my girl’s instructions:

Protected by Ziploc

She is her mother’s daughter. The “…or else” was implied.

This is the first week in 31 months where I’ve had to make myself look presentable before 7 a.m. Three days in a row. And counting. So now you know it’s true: I’ve made the leap back into paid employment.

KidsVT, that esteemed magazine whose editors kindly publish words I’ve written, printed an essay where I did some reflecting. On my life. And the lessons I’ve learned recently. Follow this link to read it: From Working Mom to Stay-at-Home Mom… and Back Again.

To prepare myself for the shock of reentering the workforce, I spent the last 30 days of my “mommy sabbatical” focused not so much on my family but on myself. I hosted and went to mommy coffees, sweated liters of water during Body Combat, lunched out, went skiing, practiced taekwondo, attempted yoga, caught a few shows, ran a 5K, went on a Downton Abbey sleepover, had more than a few alcoholic beverages and otherwise thoroughly enjoyed the company of an amazingly wide circle of women (and a few men) who I am so incredibly fortunate to call “friends.” It was an amazing month. Thank you all!

Oh, don’t worry. I hardly neglected my family. I also made elaborate dinners (a departure from my usual scrounging around in the fridge for edibles), scrubbed the house, hoed out the kids’ rooms and spent quality time with the OINKdaddy. On three Wednesdays in a row, I let Small, Medium and Large play hooky (One child at a time – I’m not totally insane!). We spent our days together doing whatever they wanted to do (snowboarding, arts and crafts and skeet ball – guess who wanted what). We had a ball and I hope they will forever remember our “Mommy Days.”

Because they weren’t just these last three Wednesdays.

My official number for my 5K.... How did they know?

P.S. My last thought for tonight is a plea for help: I need a new slogan for my acronym, OINK. Suggestions welcome! I’m stuck on “Only Idiots have Numerous Kids.” But that isn’t very nice. Even if it might be true…

I’m a good sleeper and I value my bed time. But when I’m stressed or anxious, sleep’s the first thing to go. For a while, I was spontaneously waking every night at 3:13 a.m. After checking the clock, I’d lie there, listening to the dark – too lazy to read. Too lazy to do last night’s dishes. Too lazy to surf the internet. Too lazy to move.

I thought about the kids and the OINKdaddy. I mentally listed things I needed to do around the house and to the house, starting with cleaning the bathrooms and ending with getting the exterior re-sided. I made resolutions and remembered websites I’ve been meaning to visit. I composed pithy posts (which were forgotten by morning) and considered the deeper meaning of life. But mostly, I laid there and wished that I was sleeping.

Was there a root cause to my insomnia? Was I worried about the health and welfare of those nearest and dearest to me? Was I nervous about the half-marathon I was in training for? Was I freaked about testing for my black belt in Taekwondo? It could have been any of those things, but it wasn’t. It was this: I knew I needed to go back to work.

Change is good, or so they say. It’s the transition that sometimes rubs one raw. We’ll see. More on this later. For now, a promise, to you and to myself: I will keep writing.

I hope you’ll keep reading.

P.S. I’ve decided to keep my blog name. “DINKtales” just doesn’t resonate with me and I’m uninterested in attracting the audience who is looking for that kind of tale. Happy new year!

I’m working on a post that explains my long absence but this news couldn’t wait: Johnson and Johnson has issued a formal apology for creating a run on feminine plugs.

I complained about alerted people to this problem in my post, “What’s the Dealio Johnson and Johnson?” last February. I had hoped that someone at J&J would send me a personal response to my fantastically worded email, but I’ll just have to accept their personalized video apology, instead.

Go to O.B. tampons’ website, type in your name, and voila! A good-looking nerd will croon a “triple sorry” just for you. I watched it twice (the Canadian version doesn’t seem to be different from its U.S. sister). You’ll enjoy the white baby grand piano, rose petals and heart tattoos. Hilariously excellent.

Thanks to astute OINKtales readers, Kaki, for forwarding me the link to the apology and Meredith, who recommended I purchase my feminine hygiene products from drugstore.com. You warm my dove surrounded heart!

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