20 Reasons My Toddler is Losing His or Her Mind


Okay, so I totally stole this from these Daddy blogs here and here. But, as they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

The summer schedule has been great. The lazy mornings, the sandy feet naps and sunscreen greased pigtails. Popsicles, ice cream cones and S’mores. My kids are having the best summer ever and I think some of the credit goes to their dear old Mom here. After all, if I still am able to organize craft and story time after seeing each of them, on a daily basis, lose their mind over various not-really-apocalyptic events, I think I deserve a great, big, sparkly gold star. And a hot bath. And a pedicure.

Reasons my Toddler is Losing His or Her Mind.

1. I have mentioned that hot dogs are for dinner and he does not eat hot dogs, he only eats hot dog buns.

2. He’s NOT TIRED and I have implied, said, thought, or looked at him in a way that has indicated that I think that he could possibly be— tired.

3. I’ve asked her not to take her diaper off after she poops.

4. I did not “catch the bubbles” that he blew over my head.

5. I would not let her bring her wet towel to bed with her.

6. He pushed his straw into his juice box and can’t get it out.

7. His sister ate the breakfast that he didn’t want that has been sitting at the table for the past two hours.

8. I am not able to pick up the toy he dropped and know exactly where it is on the floor while I am driving the car.

9. The restaurant we went to “just ran out” of chocolate milk.

10. I am not able to dice up his waffle 3.4 seconds after putting it onto the plate in front of him.

11. I did not let her hold the entire bag of chips as she took a bite of each chip and put it back.

12. I got sunscreen in his mouth when he shook his head while I was applying it.

13. I’ve mentioned a word that rhymes with, has the same connotation as or somehow implies the word “nap.”

14. I won’t let him bring the Ipad in the shower.

15. I am trying to put pigtails in her hair.

16. I keep switching her shoes from the wrong feet to the right feet.

17. I won’t let her put on a hooded sweatshirt on a 98 degree day.

18. I won’t let her play with Windex.

19. I’ve mentioned the word “banana” and HE DOESN’T LIKE BANANAS!

20. I’ve asked if maybe he would like anything other than a butter sandwich on the beach.


If you have any reasons YOUR toddler is losing his or her mind, feel free to comment below!



An Unplanned Blog-cation


Celia not so pleased on Christmas day

Well, I have been a little negligent of Shortcut Girl this week. It was a particularly hard week for several reasons. Had a lot of family time (read: the kids were crazy), we did a bit of traveling, Celia was sick and then I got The Cold. The Cold That No One Should Ever Get For the Love of God. Let’s do a little recap.

Day 1: Lump in back of throat that makes you keep clearing your throat to rid yourself of. Ears seem plugged. One nostril is impossibly congested to the point that your nose just gives up on it. Your hair hurts. An added bonus is that this cold also arrives on Christmas Eve.

Day 2: Your hair still hurts, your eyes start watering, you have stopped being able to taste. Everything smells kind of gross and your nose just spills you-know-what with little notice. You are having a conversation with in laws on Christmas day that is interrupted by your nose letting loose. Your throat begins to get scratchy. Your lips feel like someone salted them down and burned a layer of skin off of them. You have a fever. And the chills.

Day 3: You wake up sweating, your shirt is soaked. Cough is in full effect. There’s no denying it now. Doses of Day Quil and Alka Seltzer aren’t working anymore and you have started eating only carbs and sugar because they are the only thing you can kind of taste. You realize this is a terrible diet plan but you don’t care.

Day 4: You stop talking. Sleep, water and cough drops are the only thing you take time for. You start to consider that you may have done something terrible to deserve this.

Day 5: You wake up feeling better, look in the mirror and realize you have pink eye. You look in the bathroom closet at the medications you have taken during the past five days: Visine, Vaseline, Delsym, Alka-Seltzer, Day Quil, Chloroseptic. And a Neti Pot in a pear tree.

Day 6: (Today) You start thinking about life like a normal person again. Until you have another coughing fit. You then contemplate punching your sleeping husband beside you (just for a moment, it eventually passes and he remains safely in slumber).

Day 7: ???

So, dear readers, I have not abandoned you. But along with my energy, sparkling personality and sweet disposition, this _____ing cold took away my will to blog.

Stay tuned, I might get a full night’s sleep tonight and be back at it tomorrow!

Giving Thanks Part Two


After a wonderful weekend spent in Cape Cod and Boston seeing members from both sides of our family, I made up a list of things that I am truly thankful for this holiday season. Where the last one was a little silly, this one has veins of sap and syrup. I am always known for a good warm and fuzzy now and again but this one might require some Kleenex.

1. My job. I feel very blessed to work with children. Children (yes, even teenagers) renew your faith in the human race. You see people grow, mature, figure themselves out and laugh at themselves year after year after year. I love that I get to do all that while also reading and writing (and well, getting people to listen to me in the front of the room). But really, it’s about the kids that I work with not the content of what I teach.

2. Mommy. My mother grew up in a small town in rural New York. She was abandoned by her own mother at the age of four. Raised by her grandmother and stepmother. At 19, she had my brother. At 25, my sister, and me, lagging behind (because of a second marriage) at 37. Name it, my Mom endured it as a single Mom– twice. But that woman has more love for me and my children in her little finger than some people see in their lifetime. I am lucky for the little, the sweet, the amazing Tessie Holmes. Without her, I would not be half the mother I am today.

3. Books. This break, I read a great book. When She Woke by Hilary Jordan. I am thankful for the love of reading my parents, brother and sister instilled in me and also I am thankful for libraries and bookstores that keep me reading more and more. It’s easy to get sucked into the virtual world of social networking and blogging and forget about the wonderful world of fiction. Without my love of reading I would not have #1 or #5.

4. My Home. My husband and I bought our house when we had been dating barely two years. I was 25, blurry eyed and in love. It was our “little” project that has turned into our big project and has stalled out many times over the years. It’s smaller than I would like and does not really hold all of our family for holidays. But it’s ours. It’s the first home we made our own and where we brought home our children from the hospital. It’s where we knocked down walls and hung sheet rock. It’s where I found out I was pregnant both times and where I shared the news with Michael. It’s not a page out of Pottery Barn. There’s no attached garage or finished basement. But there’s a whole lot of Gallagher love all over that house. And there’s no other place I’d rather be.

5. This, right here. When I started this blog, it was a pet project. I worried about it “taking off” or “reaching readers.” Now I just focus on the words and making them fit together to produce some meaning and value to anyone, be they a friend of mine or a stranger. You might stumble upon this blog every once in a while for fun or you might be a dedicated reader when I have a new post. Either way, you keep what I am writing relevant and meaningful to me, which is all I have ever needed. This blog is my outlet. It quiets my mind, helps me to feel I am productive and articulate. And it gives some semblance to the random thoughts I have all week. Very often a post idea will wander around my head for a day or two before I write it down and when I do get a chance to write, it’s like I have opened a vein. Blogging suits my life as a Mom, teacher and lover of all things reality. Shortcut Girl is the pretty cool lens through which I now regard my life. For years I have been looking for something like a blog to harness the pathological need to write and be heard. And here she was, right in front of me the whole time.

Hope you had a great weekend everyone. Let the holiday season begin!