The Write Timing

My voyage toward publication

#momlife July 12, 2016

There’s a funny little hashtag out there that I’m currently enjoying with every ounce of my stretch-marked, hip-widened, pony-tailed mom being.  #momlife  is the go-to when a mom experiences one of those moments that only a fellow mom can fully appreciate.  The moments where you look around and think, Where is another adult with whom I can share an eye roll?  After yesterday’s heartstring pulling story about the birth of my sweet baby boy, the “beauty” part of my story, I thought it would be a perfect day to talk about the “beast” part.  The part that makes me sigh.  The part that sometimes makes me huff (in an exasperated, but not too loud voice so as to keep the children relatively calm), “Come on, life!”  They are the #momlife moments.  And this one’s a doozy.



#momlife moment #1:


I’m trying to get back in shape after the birth of Baby Phillips #2 (Nathan, who we fondly refer to as “Nate Dogg,” because: Class of ’99).  I’m training for a 5K, which to many of you, may sound like a silly thing for which to feel the need to train.  But those of you who know me personally, know that I am no runner.  I have never been a runner.  My non-running days go all the way back to elementary school when I would feign illness to skip out on running the mile in PE (sorry Mr. Lebeda).  But even though I have a long relationship with hating running, I always think it seems fun when I see families post about doing 5Ks and fun runs together.  I want to be able to do that for Olivia and Nathan, not just wait at the end with a sign.  So I’m training.  (Which, by the way, I’m using the Couch to 5K app and absolutely love it!)


When I’m in workout mode, I prefer to do my exercising in the morning.  I have always been a morning person, plus, I like starting my day with a workout.  It immediately makes me feel like I accomplished something that day, and then I can’t spend the entire day coming up with excuses for why I can’t work out later.  One of the joys of being a nursing mother is that you wake up with a very heavy chest.  Especially if (knock on wood), your child is doing a good job of sleeping.  So I can’t exactly workout before feeding Nate.  I have to feed him, sometimes pump, get dressed, and then finally head out the door to work out.  I have to try to time it so I can be showered and ready around the time my husband leaves for work in case our daughter decides to wake up early.  He leaves for work at 6:30, which gives me a fairly small window of exercising opportunity.  Do I use this as a excuse not to work out?  No.  Well, mostly no.  Okay, it may be half and half.


One day, about a month ago, I didn’t get up to work out.  However, I knew it was going to be a lovely day and I needed a loaf of bread for dinner.  We happen to live about a mile from Great Harvest, so I thought, what a perfect idea!  I’ll put my darling dears in the stroller and we’ll walk to get some bread.  The walk was as lovely as I thought it would be (with the exception of GH opening about 8 minutes late, which totally messed up my timing, but I digress).  We got a loaf of dakota and a loaf of apricot almond (both were a-mazing), I threw them in the bottom of the stroller, looked online to figure out how to recline a sleeping Olivia’s seat, and we headed for home.


While it was a lovely day, it was still a summer day, which in Nebraska meant humidity.  By the time we got home, we were all a bit sweaty, particularly me.  And it was time for Nate to eat.  I used to love to nurse Olivia in the bathtub, so I thought, okay, we can all just take a bath!  That night was bath night anyway.  I was sure I could save us some time by bathing them with me in the afternoon and my husband would be so impressed with my time management skills!  So I ran the water, got everyone undressed, and we all hopped in the tub.


Image courtesy of Pexels. My bathroom is far less luxurious.

It was marvelous.  Olivia played and “helped” wash her brother’s hair.  Nate ate like a champ.  When everyone’s fingers and toes had adequately pruned, I thought it was about time for us to get out.  This was the part I hadn’t quite planned.  I thought, maybe if I just wait an extra five minutes, my husband would get home and could take the baby while I dried off and got Olivia ready.


As always, my children had other plans.


Olivia stood up from the bubbles she was blowing.  She looked at me with her beautiful blue eyes and proceeded to pee in the water.


“Livvy!”  I exclaimed, “Did you just go potty?”


“Uh huh.”


Since we want to potty train in the near future, I was careful about my response.  “It’s okay to go potty.  But next time, tell mommy and we can sit on the potty chair.”


She gave me an olibgatory “uh huh” and then sat back down to play.  Ew.  Probably time to get out.


I was just about to stand up with Nate when I looked down at my precious boy.  He looked back at me with adoring eyes and sent forth a giant poo from his adorable bottom.  All three of us were now immersed in poop and pee water.


This time I couldn’t help it.  I gasped.  I jumped up, careful to hold on tight to my poopy boy.  “Don’t move!” I said to Livvy.  “Stay on that side of the tub.”  I grabbed my own towel, wrapped Nate in it and put my non-rolling baby safely in the very center of our bed.  Knowing he’d be safe and warm, I went and grabbed Olivia out of the water and started the process of drying her off.


I wish I would’ve taken a picture of the aftermath.  The amount of poo in that tub was incredible.  Perhaps the water made it appear to be more than it was.  Or perhaps he had been holding onto it for a while, waiting for the right moment.  But either way, it called for additional bathing.  And a lot of Clorox.


When my husband (finally) did get home, I told him the whole ordeal.  His immediate response was, “You should blog about that.”


So here I am.  Blogging about this very #momlife moment.  Stay tuned for more.  After all – I still have two children under the age of two.  #momlife indeed.


Far from Perfect June 30, 2015

Filed under: Funny Things — michellephillips @ 3:16 pm
Tags: , ,

I’m intrigued by birth order.  In college, my Honors thesis focused on how birth affected students in the classroom.  As a teacher, I like to find out which of my students have which birth order positions and see if their personalities match typical birth order characteristics.  I like talking about it in passing with friends.

Any idea what birth order position I hold?

Yep.  Oldest.

The perfectionist.  The pleaser.  The rule follower.

Check.  Check.  Aaaaaaaaaand CHECK.

I like things to be “just so.”  My closet (organized by style and color).  My lesson plans (objectives in bold; left aligned).  My diaper bag  (tissue/Boogie Wipe/pacifier pocket should not be confused with diaper/wipe/changing pad pocket).

I don’t like to disappoint people.  If I just went to the store to get my groceries for the week, and my sister asks if I want to go to the Farmer’s Market, I will probably say yes even though I already have everything I could possibly need.

And rules?  Don’t even get me started.

But let me tell you about how far from perfect this oldest child is in one lovely example.

A few weeks ago, my cousins and I decided to get together for a play date.  We each have a child under the age of two and got together so the kids could play (and realistically, so the four of us could talk to other adults).  I was going to pick up something to bring, but the morning of our play date, thought – Hey!  I have an apple cake mix.  I can just whip that up really quickly.    And you know what?  I had apples.  I had time while Baby O napped.  So I did it!  I brought freshly baked apple bars to our play date.  They were delicious.  Everyone enjoyed them, including my darling daughter who ate one crumb by crumb.

Now you’re probably thinking – Michelle!  That sounds pretty perfect (except for the part where you gave your daughter sugar – shame on you!).  But that’s not where the story ends, my friends.

Oh no.

Because my delicious apple bars were not gone when I left my cousin’s house.  I still had about 1/3 a batch left.  But guess how perfect this was?  I was meeting up with some friends that same night to watch The Bachelorette.  So I sliced some apple bars, arranged them on a cute little platter, covered them with foil, and headed out to watch Kaitlyn make out with hoards of men (but it’s okay guys, she has to know if they have chemistry).

My husband and I left at the same time.  I grabbed the bars, dropped some cans in the recycling bin, tossed the diaper bag in the backseat, and nestled Baby O in her car seat.  Daddy followed us out of the neighborhood.  As we merged onto Dodge Street, I noticed a silver bird head straight for my husband’s car and just nearly miss!

What was that?!  I thought.  What a strange phenomenon.  It’s not every day you see silver wings take flight.


I felt the seat next to me for the apple bars.  The 6 apple bars that would have been the perfect complement to Chris Harrison.

But why would they have been next to me, when they looked so nice on the shoulder of the road?



Girls’ Night January 5, 2013


Last night, I had some of my very favorite people over to my house for our annual Dolphens Cousins Girls’ Night!  Though not every Dolphens girl cousin was able to attend (We missed you Katie, Tami, Lindsay, and Kayla; Time to move to Omaha, Jessica and Rachel!), the five of us who were here had a fantastic time.  Through our very casual (I’m talking pajama pants and no lip gloss) yet so-much-fun evening, I came to a few realizations:


1.) The Dolphens family really likes cheese.  Weird first realization, but with the exception of Megan (who brought deviled eggs, which didn’t really fit the “appetizers and pjs” theme, but we enjoyed them anyway), everyone else brought something with cheese in it.  We had beer cheese dip, swiss cheese dip, cream cheese dip (x2), and actual sliced cheese!  Luckily, cheese goes well with wine.

2.) We are hilarious.  Now, we may or may not (most likely not) be hilarious to other people, but to one another?  Tears-running-down-the-face funny.  In fact, it’s why I intentionally wore water-proof mascara yesterday.  I know my cousins well.

Photo 13

3.) We can say anything to each other.  We talked about silly little things and terribly important things.  From recurring nightmares (which had some very strange and eery similarities among sisters) to marriage and children, there was only one lull in the conversation (due to each of us eating some type of cheesy app).

4.) Big families are the greatest.  I have always loved having a plethora of cousins.  From the time we were little kids, it was so much fun to go to family parties and see all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins (and of course, our wonderful grandparents!).  It’s especially wonderful when the majority of your big family lives in town.  We still get together as a big Dolphens clan, and no matter how old we get, we have an absolute blast.


5.) We all take after our incredible mothers.  It’s in our looks, our mannerisms, and our laughs, but most of all, it’s in who we are.  Each of my cousins has become the amazing woman she is through the influence of her equally amazing mom (and our awesome dads too, of course!).

6.) I am very, very blessed to have these women in my life.  Enough said.

Thanks for a wonderful Girls’ Night, ladies!  Who’s planning the next?


Round Three October 22, 2012

In honor of tonight’s final presidential debate, I thought I’d share some entertaining responses from the “Election 2012” pretest that I gave my 5th graders last week.  Since it was a pretest, the only thing we had covered as a class were the three branches of government.  The rest were up to the students!  I wanted to see where their current level of knowledge was.  The spellings are kept the same in order to add to the effect.  Enjoy!

Question 1: What are the three branches of government?

*Most students got this question correct.  Here are some creative spellings:

legelator, exsekitive, jujishle

judical, legislate, excuitive

And an incorrect answer…  Forgot

Question 2: What are the two main political parties in the United States?

Democrat, Republican

No idia

I have absolutely no idea.


Tax income & ?

Questions 3: What are the United States voting qualifications?

Vote 1 time.

heath cair (She meant “health care.”)

Have to be a citizen of the United States. 

*Nearly every student already knew that you had to be 18 years old to vote (though one guessed 16 and another 21).

Question 4: We live in a democracy.  What is a democracy?

We can vote.

We have a prezedent NOT a king.


A deal with other countries so they can’t take over ours.

    the law

makes life fair for all

I think a group of people who live in the same area and have to agree on specific things.

Question 5: Who are the two main presidential candidates?

*Most knew that the candidates are Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.  Here are the creative spellings (a few made me laugh out loud!)

Obama, Mit Robney

Mid Romny and Broco Boma

Boraka Obama Mid Romny

Brako Obama Mt Romny

The president and the government

(and my personal favorite…) Obama, Mittens

Questions 6: Who are the two main vice presidential candidates?

I forgot.

Vice president and senator

Biden and ?

rihyn and ?

*Two out of 24 students got this question correct.

Question 7: Who are the two Nebraska Senate candidates?

Bob Kerrey and Deb Fisher  (This is the correct answer for my non-Nebraska friends.)

Bob Kerrey, Roman Ryan

VP, President

Question 8: Who are the two Nebraska District 2 House of Representatives candidates?

*The correct answer is Lee Terry and John Ewing.  No students answered correctly.

Dave Hinamen and ?

Wite house and ?

judges, prisaners

Question 9: What do you know about elections?

It is how we get a presadent.

Every 4 years people elect a new presedents based on decions on taxes ect.

Whoever gets the most votes wins.  You have to fill out a ballet to vote.

You should keep them to yourself and you vote in a cubicle.

Who gets more votes gets the job.

Question 10: When is Election Day?

*One student answered this correctly.

It’s November 6, 2012 – make sure you get out there and vote!




Pure Craziness October 17, 2012

Prepare yourselves.

I am about to write about a topic that is of great importance.  This post may very well have a direct impact on many of your lives.  My wonderful readers, you will fall into two distinct categories.

The first group will nod (knowingly) and shake your head at the perfect moments.  You will empathize and by the end, you will feel as though someone has spoken directly to your soul.

The others?  You’ll shake your head (immediately).  You’ll roll your eyes (a lot).  You may even laugh out loud.

It’s highly likely that nothing I write will change either group’s opinions.  But I’m writing about it anyway.  Because this post simply must be written.

Last night, something quite substantial occurred.  No, I’m not talking about the presidential debate.  I am talking about the tweet that I received from my friend Erin once the debate was over.  The one that told me of the latest news from People…Emily Maynard and Jef Holm have ended their engagement.

I know.  Grab your tissues.  (Roll your eyes, the rest of you.)

The Bachelor/Bachelorette series has the most atrocious track record of people actually finding true love, it’s ridiculous.  Out of 24 seasons (not including the I-know-it’s-a-hot-mess-but-I-just-can’t-turn-away debacle that is Bachelor Pad), there are only 2 couples that have actually made it to the altar.  Trista and Ryan are the perfect happy couple.  Jason and Molly (who he didn’t even choose on the show) made it and are now expecting a baby.  Ashley and JP are (fingers crossed!) going to wed in December – on live TV like everyone has been dreaming about since Jason and Molly.  Every other couple, 21 out of 24, has split.  My 5th graders could tell you that with 3/24 of couples lasting, your chances of finding “true love” are slim to none.  (They could also find equivalent fractions for your chances and convert it to a decimal.)

Yet – I cannot stop watching it.

There’s just something about it.  The hot tubs.  The out-of-this-world dates.  The “chopping block.”  The roses.  I simply love it.  Each season, I find myself sucked into the world of group dates and fantasy suites once more.  I wait all Monday to plop myself in front of the TV with a snack and my Twitter feed (you truly haven’t watched Bachelor/Bachelorette/BP until you’ve watched with #Bachelor) and I revel in every debaucherous moment.  Which is most of them.

It is the ultimate in guilty pleasures.  And even though I had high hopes for Jef and Emily, (and I was thrilled to hear Ben and Courtney finally called it quits), there is still a little bit of hope for those of us who love to watch Chris Harrison and company.  Every few years, a couple makes it through the group dates, the trips around the world, the fantasy suite, the final rose, AND through dating like a normal human being.  And we get to witness their extravagant wedding.

You’d better believe I’ll be watching JP and Ashley’s wedding.  Is 6 weeks the proper etiquette for sending viewing party invites?  Erin, I think it’s time to go cake tasting.




Uh – what? September 12, 2012

Filed under: Funny Things,Uncategorized — michellephillips @ 6:15 am
Tags: , , ,

It’s Open House week, so I only have time for a brief post this morning.  Luckily, I saw the perfect blogging fodder on my way to the coffee shop!

Most days of the week, I take the Dodge Expressway from my home in West Omaha to school in Dundee.  On Wednesdays, however, I take Blondo Street so I can stop and get coffee for my husband, then drop it off at Preco.  Driving down the two-lane portion of Blondo, I was anxiously awaiting the spot just east of 138th where the two lanes become four.  I had been following a little white car and I was certain the person driving was either elderly or Ben Darling (read – a slow driver).

We got to 138th, I swept around the white car and continued on my way.  As the roadways often go, the car and I ended up next to each other at a stop light (120 and Blondo).  I glanced to my left and think my jaw may have actually dropped open.

The driver was probably about 35 (but not Ben Darling).

There were two passengers – I estimate them at 75 and 77.

Both were had their faces turned down to their phones and their fingers were tapping away at the screens.

Uh – what?

I’m accustomed to seeing teens on their phones in the car, and even husbands and wives.  But this older couple riding with their son/grandson made me chuckle.  They also made me realize how vastly different the world has become since the time I was in school (you know, back in high school, when everyone had pagers?).  And it also made me realize something else.

Mom – the time has come.  You need to start texting.


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