Road Trip!

Have you ever had one of these moments where you are struck with the fact “Wow, we didn’t do things this way when I was a kid?!” (insert head scratch here) Yeah? Well, me too. It’s one of my “senior moments” I am now having on the regular. What elicited this now all too familiar response recently?

PROM. DRESS. SHOPPING. All I can say is I made it out alive. Mom win.

So in past years of special occasion dress shopping my daughter and I have tried a variety of ways to find “THE DRESS. ”

There has been the joint venture to the big department store where I stand outside the dressing room and wait for the big reveal of the options, with a twirl and an ooh and an ahh. There has been the online purchase of an option or two and take back the ones that don’t make the cut to the store. More than once, she has gone with one of her girlfriends on her own to try on dresses and send pictures to me real-time for approval. (This one even worked out on THE DAY OF a Homecoming dance one year and stands out as one of my all-time favorite dresses she has worn.) But there has NEVER been a road trip the likes of which we had last weekend, which you are about to enjoy from the comfort of your seat and favorite electronic device. (Boy Moms: sit back and soak this in!)

I knew there would be a childhood friend to pick-up, gas to get and a coffee stop. So I set my alarm, purposefully missing my iron-clad Saturday morning routine of Spin class and geared up for an experience. I had heard rumblings of what this could be like, so I was planning for the worst and hoping for the best.

We left at 8:15 am last Saturday morning to travel across state lines to the Chicago Metro area to visit a store that claims to be one of the largest dress shops in the world. I was told there is typically a line outside the door, so get there early. Well, a little bit of putzing on my part and a line in the coffee drive-thru got us there a few moments past the store opening of 10 a.m. Yep, there was a line!

In my wildest dreams, I did not envision this epic store being in a line-up of stores in a strip mall with a 7-Eleven. And a parking lot to match! There were at least 20-25 Moms and daughters in line already and the parking lot was madness. There were only two exits/entrances. All the spots were filled and at least 5 or 6 cars were trying to go in two different directions to claim a non-existent spot.

I made the quick decision to drop off the girls to stand in line while I circled the block. As I turned right out of the parking lot I realized we were very close to the airport and I was NOT going to be finding ANY parking that way. Meanwhile my daughter called me on the phone to let me know if I hurried her and her friend were physically standing in a newly opened-up parking spot waiting for my return.

Oh the other Mom’s in their SUV’s are gonna love this! I thought. But as I rationalized, I had been there previously with no spots and I was okay with using the resources available to me (the girls!) to get us into the store! Ha!

So I hurried back to the store, watched them fend off two other cars and slide into a spot made for a compact car with MY SUV! (Brave move, Mama!) And I hoped and prayed my car would not get keyed!

The girls got inside and there was a flurry of activity. Store employees dressed in all black, running around with ear pieces, assisting those who had been lucky enough to land in the first “wave” of available dressing rooms. (They have 30 rooms to try on dresses!) We were numbers 55 and 56.

The Rules: Each gal got 3 dresses to find and pass off to an employee. If you pre-shopped online you could try and make a beeline for the dress you wanted or go to their designated area for printing off the dresses you wanted. You waited for your number to be called. Then once called, you got 50 minutes to work with an employee to try on your dresses and make way for the next wave of gals who wanted their crack at the dressing rooms.

Now truth be told, we have had amazing luck in past years with finding a dress in a reasonable price range we can live with. THIS year, all bets were off and I was getting ready for the sticker shock. It’s not that we were not willing to be resourceful and shop around locally but after doing all of that we were still out of luck so that is how we ended up on this escapade.

We waited and watched 54 other gals try on their dresses and one by one come out of the dressing room to twirl and spin. We picked our faves, decided which ones we would totally pass on and wondered when it would be our turn. FINALLY by almost Noon the girls got in! Score!

It was so fun watching them show off their combined six dresses. These two have known each other since birth. And I could not believe they were standing there almost 18 years old and getting ready to Prom and graduate and go off to college. Blink!

The funniest thing was at the end of it all, the employee assigned to each gal brings them a metal shopping basket with a handle and tells them to stuff all of their belongings in it so they can re-locate to ANOTHER set of dressing rooms to change back into their street clothes. This way not a minute is wasted in getting more girls in the fitting rooms. It was hilarious watching her parade through the store with her things in a basket while wearing a formal, sequined gown!

Yes I did choke at the price. But in my daughter’s defense, her dress was the least choking of the prices of the three dresses. So THAT was a win. It needs a simple alteration at a local seamstress and she will be good to go. We were starving after all of this, so we went across the street to a 50+ year Chicago hot dog establishment where I proceeded to reward myself with literally 50 pounds of Italian Beef. Done!

I wouldn’t trade it for anything and 7 hours later, we were back home. Whew!

How’s that for a road trip?

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© Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom, 2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Girls’ Weekend – Lessons Learned, Tips and Tricks

The Girls’ Weekend. Mysterious and strange to the opposite sex. Especially NINE women. En Masse. Hitting a bar and grill for Bloody Mary’s or trying to corral each other back together at an outlet Mall without losing one or two to the shoe stores forever.

Having had the privilege of spending three days with friends centered around a Half Marathon in an idyllic location, I am filled with good vibes and refreshed (yet oh-so-tired at the same time)! Here’s what I observed along the way:

  • Food and beverage are KEY. We had enough to feed a small country and stock a mid-sized tavern. Thank God many calories were burned during the race!
  • Leave your watch at home. It takes a TON of time to relocate nine women. There were bathroom stops, shopping stops, coffee stops, stops for head counts, double head counts, beers, a Kentucky Derby to watch, more bathroom stops, a stop for chocolate chip pie,  oh – and 13.1 miles to tackle on foot. Girls’ Weekend defies the space-time continuum. And only a woman could understand that and be okay with it.
  • There are no pillow fights, guys, so stop wishing it so.
  • We like to eat. While eating we talk about how to make what we’re eating and who needs a copy of it for their own kitchen, but NEVER any calories or any guilt.
  • LOTS of coffee is paramount.
  • Sadly, a lot of talk centered around potty talk. I don’t mean a potty mouth. I mean literally talk of using the potty too much, too little and how to train my two-year old quicker. Which by the way, ladies (if you’re reading this!) she is 5 days with no diapers and doing awesome! Thanks for the push off the cliff!
  • No matter how far in advance you plan, it is all over WAY too quick. And for most Moms, the planning in advance takes three times the amount of time the trip lasts.
  • A little humor I found on one of the shopping trips…


  • With the right group of women, the amount of support and encouragement you can receive would put your friendly neighborhood therapist out of business. Feeling dreary? Score the perfect pair of wedges at the outlet mall. Too tired? Have another cup of coffee and do some cartwheels. Need some excitement in your life?  Mix some wine in with your fire pit and get your groove on.  It feels like it can all be fixed with your girlfriends. At least for one weekend.
  • Everyone is so interesting and unique. We all work, shop for groceries, gas up the car, run to appointments, carpool, fold laundry blah, blah, blah. Lurking under all that is an amazing woman with good stories to tell, full of surprises and lots of laughter.
  • These trips are a Must-Do. Find a friend and make one happen. I don’t care if it’s downtown wherever or back country nowhere. It’s so worth it.
  • One final thought…WHEN CAN WE GO BACK?!

Love these Women!

Love these Women!

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© Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Keep the Laugh Track Going

Message received.  I am super fun hanging out with my family of origin. I am a scowling, laughter-is-not-on-tap kind of witch when I am at home.

Well…not really.

But Techno commented to me after seeing me in hysterics this weekend “Mom, why aren’t you like this at home?”  This new information and perception did give me pause.

My family got together this past weekend to hang out, play games, eat, drink and be merry. With the exception of one brother who lives out-of-state, the rest of us showed up ready to unwind and enjoy each other’s company.

At one point my Mom could barely breathe and I was near ready to pee my pants. Laughter is THE BEST medicine and so good for the soul. You can bet this Mom of three, including one Tasmanian Devil toddler does not get large amounts of time in the day to practice this skill. Between heaps of laundry, dirty floors, homework emergencies, playground dramas, chauffeuring kids in a myriad of directions and poopy diapers, laughing just isn’t high on the priority list.

Well, it should be.

And I know it is hard to be Ice and partake in my family’s brand of shenanigans. Just as I don’t get his family’s humor or their jokes from bygone days, I know he is only mildly amused in some cases and downright ready to run for the hills in others.

Let’s just say this particular party was epic in the howling category.

It felt good. It rang true to parts of who I am somewhere down deep. Those parts don’t get to see daylight sometimes and I guess it had been too long.

However, it was a wonderful question my son asked me. Because it made me realize it’s good for my kids to see me like that. It’s good for them to know I love my siblings. Family is fun. Life is full of wonderful, silly, incredibly joyful moments. And I need to make sure that my home is a place where that is cultivated. Laundry and all.

I will start finding ways to work on that.

Keep laughing.


My siblings and I in our obligatory “jazz hands” photo every time we are lucky enough to get together

© Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Do These Look Like the Eyes of a Wrecking Ball?

wpid-img_20140812_174749.jpgI pretty much got away scot-free with my two oldest. Except for Twinkle Toes’ mullet-cutting episode of 2008 (she cut, I freaked) and the red and blue crayon grout-drawing on my ceramic tile in the kitchen done by Techno himself (trust me it was no Monet) I never really had too many wild kid stories to share.

My friend’s son was dubbed the “Wrecking Ball” (her own moniker for him) when he was about two. I confess try as I might it was hard to relate to that about four years ago, sailing along in my Toddler-less world with two pretty self-sufficient older kids.

Until. Little Bee.

“Wrecking Ball” may have a soul mate and I fear it’s MY two-year old.

On a daily basis she provides us with one mischievous feat after the next. It’s like she can sniff out the weakness in any situation and use it to her advantage.

Got a coffee mug up high enough? Think again. By week’s end the carpet-cleaning professional was in my house after I tried to take care of the offending splatter myself (and broke my friend’s irreplaceable, trusty circa 1980 carpet cleaning machine in the process. Thank you for saving me, Ebay!)

Need to test out if the spindles on your decking are “to code?” Don’t worry she will try to stick her head through them and give you a heart attack.

Scissors left out by mistake? No problem, she will find them, run away with them and laugh in your face while doing it.

The one day I did not take the time to put her shorts back on after changing her diaper pre-nap, she made sure to “help” me get the process started after she woke up by attempting to change her diaper herself and make pretty pictures with it.

And my most favorite scenario of recent memory…sitting in the salon waiting to get Twinkle’s hair cut last week and listening to some sassy language blurt out of Bee’s mouth. Praying that the two elderly ladies waiting patiently beside us were not going to hear a four-letter word from my curly-haired darling.

I affectionately call her my fortieth birthday present (well, really I was 39 but I’m not splitting hairs over it) And oddly enough, I feel like some days I am way too old for this.  Other days it keeps me young.

By and large I choose to stick with the keeping me young deal. Bring it on, little pip squeak!  I shudder to think how old I would be now if we didn’t have her.

I threw myself a minor pity party a couple of weeks ago when for the second time in a row I was not carded when I purchased my beloved red wine.

Then BAM! This past weekend “May I see your ID please?” rung sweetly in my ears.

Thanks, Bee.


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© Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Does this Coupon App-ly?

As I stood in my local grocery store this week it hit me how utterly ridiculous it is that I need to consult a COMPUTER (a.k.a. my smart phone) to access the best prices.  When did shopping become an exercise in how tech savvy you can be and how many apps you can use to clog your phone?

It is complicated enough for me to push a cart, keep Little Bee pumped with Goldfish crackers, watch for stray items being grabbed off the shelves by her or hurled from the cart, navigate each store’s aisles for what I want (because you can never shop at just ONE place for everything you need) AND be expected to walk a straight line without crashing my cart into some unsuspecting senior citizen (because I am looking at my phone for that store’s “Deal ‘o the Day”).

Why is it such a game? Why can’t you just offer me your best price?  Am I in a real-live domestic goddess game of Survivor? Will there be a year’s supply of Pop Tarts at the end if I can balance all of this nonsense without losing my mind?

They want your dollars. They want your loyalty.

Every store has an app you should download. E-Clip coupons. Downloadable deals. Save 5% if you do this. Save an extra 10% if you do that. Take $2 off your next order if you throw away 10 minutes of your life every time you shop here and fill out our survey to “tell us how we’re doing”.

What if I do a cartwheel round-off down your aisles while singing your commercial’s jingle… then what does that get me?

I will tell you. A one-way trip to a rubber room.

Stop the ride, I want to get off.

Speaking of rides, remember when you were a kid and for a penny or a nickel you could take a ride on an electric pony? That was some fun technology at the grocery store. I can get behind that.

Ode to Coffee

I met you late in life.

I didn’t even know I was looking for you.

What started out as a chance meeting and then a few visits here and there, turned into a regular thing.

It was a little shaky and jittery at first. I’ll admit it, I was shy.

You were aggressive. Bold and bitter.

I wasn’t sure I could stomach your bite.

But over time, you grew on me.

The things I accomplished with you by my side kept me wanting more.

Those sleepless nights with Little Bee, my party girl.  Come morning you were there to help me jump-start my day.

The “taxi service” I now run is so much more enjoyable with you as my co-pilot.

The intolerable cold of winter seems less intolerable.

Even the 5:30 wake-up call to pound the pavement or jump in the pool is easier to stomach if I know you are waiting for me when my eyes open.

I don’t want to know what life would be like without you.

I have grown accustomed to your presence.

Promise me you will never be too far.

I know, gag, right?

Couldn’t help it…Long live COFFEE! IMG_20140428_164235338


Not Applying for my AARP Card Just Yet

I hope I have a long way to go until I am hunched over, walking with a cane and talking about “those young whipper snappers.” But I got more than a glimpse of what it means to be an “older generation” this week.

While walking through the mall with Little Bee I had to approach the information desk to get my bearings.

“Is there a Hallmark store in the mall?” I asked the woman behind the desk. (There wasn’t.) But the mall cop who was shooting the bull with her offered me some suggestions. When I looked into his eyes momentarily I was struck right away.

He looked like he had escaped from the middle school lunch table.

Last night, inspired by a new recipe from one of the many recipes I’m guilty of collecting (and never making) the iPod was blasting and me and Little Bee were putting on a groove shoe… minding our own business.  I glanced over at Twinkle Toes and her eyes bugged out like Macauley Culkin in Home Alone. (Does anybody remember that movie or is it just me?)

home alone

Apparently I had stepped into shaky territory feeling it was safe to dance in my own kitchen. Because I have now become the mom with jazz hands whose kids run in the other direction when Kool and the Gang comes on.  Well, not really Kool and the Gang, but you get the idea.

And I know every generation has their lingo.

Cruisin’ for a bruisin’, Groovy! and Don’t have a cow! come to mind.


But now there are text abbreviations, the ever-popular LOL, lmk and btw.

I remember the first time I heard “B.T. dubs.”


Took me a senior moment and then I got it.  Stands for the phrase “by the way”. It’s abbreviated in texting form to “btw” and now the young ones actually say “B.T.dubs.”

I told Techno, “Uh, yeah, please do yourself a favor and don’t talk like that.”

But then what will he have to look back and laugh about when he’s my age?  And isn’t that part of the fun of getting older? Laughing at your younger, stupider self? I can’t bear to deny him THAT joy.


© Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



Me and My Boy: Nine Rounds with the Driveway

Driveway1So I haven’t had the pleasure of firing up the snow blower in several years.  I mostly make sure I am feverishly working on some other indoor project when it’s time to shovel. Or I have a baby and nurse that baby right through winter so I always have a reason to stay comfortably sedentary on the couch. (Currently that baby is done nursing but she is a 19-month-old holy terror that needs to be watched AT ALL TIMES. And I am happy to be the one to do it during shoveling time.)

But yes, another smack of this never-ending blast of winter hit the Midwest and left Ice diverted on a plane from Nashville to Dubuque.  Dubuque is not O’Hare. O’Hare is where his car was parked.  He was supposed to get home the same day. Not 4 or 5 in the morning the next day by driving himself and several others heading in the same direction in a rental car.

When the situation was discovered it was a momentary realization…”Oh, crap.  Me and my boy have to tackle this ourselves.”

Being the domestic Goddess I am, I had been busy all afternoon.  I knew it was snowing like crazy but had no real knowledge of how much had hit the ground til the garage door went up.  God bless Techno for heading out there first despite five minutes of pre-teen grumbling, over-exaggerated sighs and protests. Meanwhile I searched for my warmest socks and my serious snow-shoveling boots.

Techno got one shovel in the snow. One. This wasn’t happening.

I tried to reach Ice for directions on how to fire up the beast of a snow blower we have. It’s got some serious horsepower and kind of scares me a little. He didn’t answer.

We had to figure this out ourselves. Remembering that I had been in charge of this detestable job one other time when he was out-of-town and written down the highlights I searched the junk drawer for this nugget of gold.  BINGO!  I hit pay dirt.

Techno and I stood in the garage reading, double-checking and doing.  We got that baby humming like a Maserati and then clicked the choke one too many times to the left and it died. So close.

We tried again and this time got it working. We were excited.  And Techno had just come off his Dad’s Snow Blower Training Academy recently so he knew how to operate it.

The city’s street plow was just barreling through when we finally made it out.  So I had a fresh mound of ice chunks and snow that stood at least three to four feet tall at the edge of the driveway to play with. Good times.

Techno carefully navigated the driveway and threw that snow. I huffed and puffed at my chosen station like I was Richard Simmons Sweatin’ to the Oldies. Turns out there is catharsis in showing that driveway whose boss. I haven’t seen the pavement on the driveway for weeks.  And once I saw a glimpse of that wet brown concrete it was like a sign that there IS life after winter and I was in a HUGE hurry to get there.

The feeling of accomplishment while working with Techno and tackling this task we both were feeling ill-equipped to handle was pure joy.  I was so proud of him for not only following but remembering his Dad’s instructions and being such an enormous help. An hour later we were victorious.

Bring it on.  No really, just stop.

“Don’t Drink Your Fart Water”


In an alternate universe I would never hear this sentence. In this universe it barely raises an eyebrow. Ice was on the phone with a friend and her son was making bubbles in the tub… shall we say? And then to make sure he hit that level of grossness most boys aspire to, he was attempting to drink the water.  If you’re a Mom, this is a perfectly normal quote, right? If your friend on the other end of the line is a Dad, he totally gets it. Thus you share.

The absurdity of what is heard and deciphered by parents from their children is priceless.

When I was growing up my parents had what we all refer to as “The Book”. A red, cloth-covered journal that houses years’ worth of utterly zany quotes, quips and outbursts from me and my quick-witted siblings.

Even as adults we have sat at my Mom’s on more than one occasion and begged to read “The Book”. So when I had my son (now 11), my Dad thought it a fitting gift while still in the hospital to present me with a brown Italian leather-bound journal of my own to start our own capital B-Book.


The following are a few excerpts to brighten your day. If you’re in the mood to chuckle, read on. If not, come back later.

Twinkle Toes age 2 and a half: “Daddy where are you going?”

Ice: “I’m going to work so I can buy you things. Like when you get older you’ll need car insurance.  What else do I have to buy you?

Twinkle: “Diamonds.”


Techno age 5: “Mom, is it still today?”

Ice talking to Techno age 5: “I’m going on a date with a hot girl.”

Techno: “Where is Mom going?”

Ice yelled at Twinkle for pulling on our ridiculously expensive window treatments: “Even when I yell at you I still love you.”

Twinkle: I know, but I cry when you love me!”

Ice to both kids explaining about the body: “A smart way to tell Mom you have to pee is to say urinate. Can you say urinate?”


Twinkle age 4: “I’m Nate.”

There. Now you have your bathroom humor covered for 2014. You can thank me later.

Don’t Sell Me Superwoman

Being the huge fan of browsing mail-order catalogs and trying to devise a way to have the ripped athletic physique like most of the models contained within is a special form of torture I subject myself to. So could there be a better time to do this than at the start of the new year, during “Resolution week” (which it’s already been established I don’t participate in.) Pages upon pages of sun-tanned, impossibly natural beauties with perfect smiles and glow-bright teeth?  Looking disgustingly happy surfing some Hawaiian wave or photographed mid-acrobatic climb up the side of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Jealous much?

So I’m still loving the clothes. Dog earring page after page and so very subtly letting Ice know that I just might love a gift certificate for any upcoming occasions that might warrant it.  And by the way, spread the word!

“When did they introduce that style?” I think.

“Oooooh, that would be so cute to wear to the next picnic or trip to the Zoo with Little Bee.”

So caught up in the piles and piles of cute things that I envision adorning my closet,  I completely miss the captions on the multitudes of Super Women featured in this edition.

Looking closer I see descriptions of jobs, accomplishments and favorite pastimes of these ladies.  A painting psychotherapist and a woman who faces down a mountain lion and professes surviving natural childbirth? Or how about a surfing environmental researcher who has a law degree and scales mountains? Let me tell ya, I can sooo relate.

All of the sudden I question if I am worthy of sporting these clothes.  A picnic and the Zoo?  Shouldn’t I organize an effort to raise funds for a new playground first or champion saving a species for which I visit at the zoo before I can wear these clothes? Geesh!

I share this with Ice and you know what he says? “How many kids do they have?”

I don’t seem to recall more than one caption mentioning anything about that…