I Drive My Mother Nuts

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I’m still recovering from my last week of camping and a stomach bug – not at the same time thankfully. I’m behind on the blog, but I thought this would be a good post to share with you today. I mean – seriously – the woman had Crisco in her camper!

My mom is visiting me this week, which is always fun. We laugh a lot and get a lot of house projects accomplished when she’s in town. And she gets to read me your blog comments out loud rather than call me on the phone every time someone comments.

My Mom is in Town

Especially now that I have kids, I could easily have my mom move in full-time. Anyone that wants to wash my windows, change diapers, do my laundry, clean up the kitchen and play with my kids can stay forever as far as I’m concerned.

But – there are several things about being here that drive HER nuts!

I Don’t Have a Stocked Pantry

If you’ve ever been to my mom’s house, then you know that if the world is coming to an end – you want to be in her house when it does. She could feed 20 people for 20 years if necessary.

If she has any less than 15 cans of Crisco in the basement, she gets a little twitch in her left eye. And – after camping with her last weekend – I can tell you that she even takes Crisco with her while camping!

And so she is constantly surprised by the bareness of my pantry. We go to the grocery store once a week, and we get what we need.

If we happen to run out of something, we just don’t eat that something or bake those cookies until we go to the store again (or we run out and pick some up if we really need to.)

This makes my mom nervous to be here for more than a few days. Because if we run out of brown rice or pasta, the world really could end.

I Don’t Keep a Running Grocery List

Along with the pantry issues, I don’t keep a running grocery list throughout the week. I’ll be the first to admit that this would save me time when I’m making the weekly grocery list – but it just hasn’t consistently happened for me.

My mom spends the majority of her visits making her own grocery list for us.

Mom: You only have 10 rolls of paper towels. Do you have paper towels on your grocery list?

Me: No. I don’t have a grocery list.

Mom: Well – do you know you only have one roll of tin foil? And I only see 20 AA batteries – that could be a problem.

Now I leave a pad of paper and a pen next to her bed so that she can carry it with her during her visits and write down whatever her heart desires.

I Don’t Have Kleenex. Ever.

What can I say? Our noses don’t run very much. And when they do, it’s nothing that a little toilet paper or a shirt sleeve can’t take care of.

My mom, on the other hand, prefers to have tissues tucked into both sleeves, in her pockets, in her bra and in her purse at all times. You never know when you (or someone within a 10-mile radius) is going to need 500 Kleenex.

So you can see why my lack of tissue makes my mom nervous. Within the first few hours of her visit she never fails to ask,

“Where do you keep your Kleenex?”

Me: I don’t have any.

Mom: What? What do you wipe your nose on?

Me: I don’t.

My mom told Alice that they make special tissue just for noses, and Alice didn’t believe her. “Yia Yia is so silly!”

I Don’t Care When My Kids Pooped Last

My mom loves to report poops to me.

“Miles just had a really big one. He had to strain just a little, but I don’t think it was too bad.”

“Alice pooped just before nap. I’d give it about a 4 on the runny scale. And – did you feed her corn today?”

Statements like these usually lead to conversations like this:

Me: Thanks.

Mom: Well, don’t you think you should know?

Me: Nope.

Mom: What if you need to know? What if they get sick and the doctor asks you when the last time was that they pooped or if it’s been soft or hard?

Me: Ummmm….

What can I say? I stopped tracking poops when Miles was an infant. I’m not even sure when the last time was that I pooped. Oh – wait – I remember now. It was the last time I was in public with all three kids…


  1. Dawn

    March 26, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Ha! I love it. And? I think I love your Mom… can she come visit me, too?

  2. Vicki

    March 26, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Anna, I love your blog!

    I have a question for you – is that beautiful woman – your mother – smiling at you and holding your beautiful children – flipping you the bird??!!

    Just asking……

  3. Cherie Fish

    March 26, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Oh, come on, Anna. I was chuckling in the beginning, but as I read on, it all sounds perfectly normal to me. When I have our grandkids, I email their moms at work all day with eating, napping, and poop reports. And, I have kleenex in every room and pocket. And, I get the whole pantry thing. You would think we lived through the Great Depression. Roll with it and enjoy. I wish I could be there to giggle with you and help with a project. I LOVE the picture!

  4. Abbey

    March 26, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Lol to the tissue comment! My mom ALWAYS harps on me about the tissues!!! I don’t tend to buy them because what’s a tissue do that toilet paper can’t?! 🙂 too funny. Must be a generational thing.

  5. Kai

    March 26, 2012 at 9:48 am

    I think I need your mom to come stay with ME a week! I am SOOOOOO like her in the staying stocked up on stuff. Maybe it really IS generational, but I like to think it’s just good common sense. Oh, wait. That’s most likely TRUE in your mom’s case. In MINE, it’s more like I’m severely ANAL & more than a little delusional. Stay tuned for my post, “Generational or Delusional? Why I buy a back-up A/C filter every time I go to the store and why I think it’s normal to have at LEAST 6 back-up bottles of Vick’s Nasal Spray.” (Come on OVER, Yia-Yia!)

  6. Nadine in Nevada

    March 26, 2012 at 10:05 am

    #1 – I can see where you got your beautiful self. There is no doubt that you are your mother’s daughter.

    #2 – Why is your mother flipping you off in the picture? LOL – I love sassy ladies!

  7. Sha

    March 26, 2012 at 10:06 am

    hilarious! that is so my mom! she always brings bags of food with her when she comes, and her stay is usually only a day. must be she doesn’t like our daily grilled cheese for lunch or she feels my kids haven’t had fruit in weeks! not that i’m complaining, free food is always welcomed here! oh and Connie gets a twitch without her bottled water…yup, never leaves home without a car full!

  8. Danielle Higginbottom-Brown

    March 26, 2012 at 10:08 am

    HA! I knew I was not the only one who did not have a box of Kleenex in the house!!!!! We never have it! Oh, and before I forget “Hi (hand waving) Anna’s mom!, Anna and I are internet besties, in case she didn’t tell you…. and you are more than welcome to come stay at my house and make me grocery lists!!! but plz bring your own kleenex because its not on my running grocery list, so I would probably forget to buy it! ((Hugs)), oh ya, hi Anna!

  9. AizzaMarie

    March 26, 2012 at 10:17 am

    It is always fun to be visited by moms and even our mom-in-laws…They would love to cuddle and be with our kids…

  10. Whitney

    March 26, 2012 at 10:22 am

    HAHA! I do have to say that I’m a little like your Mama, but no too much. I did clean out my pantry and I have like 50 boxes of Hamburger Helper…I never cook the stuff, I need to quit buying it…but at least I’m stocked for the end of the world.

  11. katie

    March 26, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Love IT – and you will want to hear about the prune juice experiment this weekend :)…. I’m so lucky I live down the street – I get to see these wonderful women this week – YAY (I know, i’m clearly bragging)…

  12. Jenni

    March 26, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Haha! I’m so glad we are not the only mother daughter team who goes through these things. I love reading your blog.


  13. alocke

    March 26, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Love it. I know your mom from NW and this is so funny about her. Thanks for the chuckles and hope you have a good time together:)

  14. Paige Kellerman

    March 26, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I love when my mom comes over as well. No one holds a special place in my heart like the woman who spontaneously starts doing my dishes and laundry. Although, I get the same horrified cross-examination occasionally. When the twins were born, she was folding all of our unmentionables, came across Husband’s worn out boxers with the hole in the front, gave me a horrified look and said, matter-of-factly, “These are going in the trash.”


    “Don’t you think these need to go in the trash?”

    “I don’t give my soul mate’s underwear much thought…are there any more painkillers I can take?”

    “Well, they’re going in the trash.”

    “As you wish. I’m going to pass out and hope my boobs stop hurting.”

  15. Vanessa Pierson

    March 26, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Haha your mom sounds fun! My mom is the same way with the food, of course I would like to be stocked up too, but renting doesn’t really give you that option. But whenever my mom comes she opens the pantry and says ‘where’s all your food’ And I will then tell her I just went to the store the day before and show her food I bought for her to eat, and the next day she tells me she needs to go grocery shopping.

  16. Sandra

    March 26, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Very funny …we actually have a stocked area just for emergency purposes{zombie attack?}.
    PS My mother brings over underwear { for me}…not sure what that is all about

  17. Julie

    March 26, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Oh my goodness! I just laughed and laughed over this post! My mother is the exact same way. Than you so much for this report as it was just the chuckle that I needed today AND I know know I am not alone! Hahahaha

  18. Deb

    March 26, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Oh my – I love your mom. She reminds me of my own. Cracked up over the conversation about poop – that is so funny.
    First time commenter – just found your blog via Kellys Break Room.

  19. Rachel

    March 26, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Oh my goodness…this could so be a combination of my mom and my mother in law. My mom is totally baffled that I don’t have kleenex on hand. I hate to waste money on a specialty item (cuz that’s what it is!) when you can just blow your nose in some toilet paper if the going gets that rough. Sleeves are our best friends, especially when the kids are little…theirs or mine worked just fine.

    Growing up my mom was deathly afraid of running out of toilet paper so she hoarded it. Now I make sure I have paper products on hand and I do stock up when I find a sale, but it’s not nearly as comfortable of a stockpile as my mom would like.

    And my mother in law is a forever list maker. She is defined by her yellow note pad (that she buys in bulk) to make lists. You open the last jar of peanut butter, you put it on the list…but not just any list, the specific store list. So if it’s a bucket of peanut butter it goes on the Costco list, if it’s a small just it goes on the Safeway list. It’s amazing how things appear when you put them on her list. My husband put trail mix on the list and the next time we visited it was sitting in the pantry for him.

    I swear, we totally need to hang out. Too bad states divide us, we would be bestest friends.

  20. Shalani

    March 26, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    How I love your write up Anna! It was great reading your blog it was really indeed a mother touch feelings thank for giving out this information to all of us.

  21. Judie S.

    March 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Nadine and I had the exact same thought! Why is your mom flipping you/us off? Hysterical! Laughing my head off!!

    Nadine in Nevada, you’ll love this. In the ’70s, my dad was temporarily working in Las Vegas for an aerospace firm that contracted with Nellis AFB. The firm put him up on the fifth floor of beautiful a high-rise condo with a nice balcony. My Uncle Gary was a LVPD helicopter pilot (one of the first). In the middle of the night, Uncle Gary thought it was funny to fly his noisy LVPD helicopter close to the condo and shine that enormous helicopter spotlight from the air onto the balcony and living room of my dad’s condo and wake him up. My dad would go out on the balcony shirtless and in his skivvies and flip Uncle Gary the bird…while the neighbors and people on the street watched. Then he’d go inside, turn off the lights, and go back to sleep while Uncle Gary flew away. We always wondered what people thought. My dad cracked up every time he retold that story. Rest peacefully, Dad and Uncle Gary. You must be in heaven flipping everyone the bird!

    Anyway, I still wonder why mom is flippin’ y’all off. Love a parent with a sense of humor!!

  22. Laura

    March 26, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    HA! I love it. I’m your mom and you’re my mom. HILARIOUS

  23. Marlene

    March 26, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Oh my does this ever sound like my visits to Angie’s!!Always need to go to the grocery store, I keep a running grocery list, she generally keeps the bathrooms for me to “work on”, re organize cloth closets and drawers, then she calls me to check where i put the items ( good reason to call i guess) and NEVER has any Kleenex!!! I always bring one for me to have!!! Hmmm must be a “generation” thingy! This just made me laugh!!!! Have fun on your visit and enjoy one another!!!

  24. Marlene

    March 26, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Why is your mom flipping the bird inthe photo in here????

  25. imklvr

    March 26, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    I truly believe that Kleenex is really only made for grandmas. I NEVER had it in my house when my kids were growing up . If they had a cold or runny nose for any reason, they got their VERY OWN roll of toilet paper. Actually, I still prefer a roll of TP on my desk, cuz it takes up less room. But now that I’m a grandma, I have Kleenex in every room! Yeppers, it’s a grandma thing.

    (Hey, mom…don’t you think your daughter could write a book?)

  26. Dana

    March 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    My mom is always asking where my Kleenex is too!! The last time she went to Sam’s club and stocked up on Kleenex she brought me like 4 boxes to have at my house. Little does she know she is the ONLY one who uses them. The open box is covered with dust on the bottom shelf of my computer table as we speak. LOL. Love reading your posts!! 🙂

  27. Nadine in Nevada

    March 26, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Oh Judie –

    That is CLASSIC! Those are things that we hold dear when our parent(s) have passed on…

    1- My mother and future mother-in-law freaking out when my husband & I wanted to get married at the Ponderosa Ranch in the Lake Tahoe Area. Not because of the marriage but because outside the beautiful little chapel were pony rides. For some reason they thought that wan’t appropriate.

    2- My wonderful mother-in-law, in the last hour of her life, refusing to give up her dentures. She swore that when the time came she was going to die with her teeth in. She had slipped into a coma and her dentures slid out of place. The told me to take them out. Hello?!!? Anyway, she wasn’t giving them up, coma or not. Imagine the look on the families face when they walk into mom’s hospital room to find me “playing” tug-of-war with mom’s teeth and me and my brother-in-law doubled over in laughter.


  28. jassica

    March 26, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    I use Kleenex everyday. Several, actually. I always have. Growing up, whenever I went to visit my sister at her house, I would always take a box of Kleenex…because she didn’t EVER have any. And if I forgot? I had to use toilet paper!! The insanity! I’m with your mom on this one. 🙂

  29. Shelly Kramer

    March 26, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Please give your awesome Mom a hug for me!

  30. Judie S.

    March 26, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    OHMIGOD!!!!! That is so funny. Good for your mom!!! This is such a great visual in my mind. I can’t stop laughing.

    My dad died on April 8, 2001, and my husband, brother, sister, mom, and I dutifully went to the mortuary to make the arrangements. With a straight face….yes, a freaking straight face…the mortuarian (or whatever you call the guy selling you the fancy coffee can in which to hold dad’s cremated remains) said with a straight face, “We can have the service on Friday the 13th.” He didn’t even crack a smile, acted like Friday the 13th was any other day. It took a few seconds for our giggles to turn in to laughter, I said that my dad absolutely would have loved to be put into the ground on Friday the 13th. He would have laughed his ass off!!

    P.S. I wanted to decoupage that fancy coffee can.

    P.P.S.S. Still laughing over your mom’s dentures.

  31. Judie S.

    March 26, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    P.P.P.S.S.S. Did you get married at Ponderosa Ranch?

  32. Stefanie McClintic

    March 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Hahaha Aunt Linda, come stay with me for a week. I have Kleenex but that’s about it. Sometimes I don’t have toilet paper so that’s where the kleenex comes in to use 🙂 my pantry is empty as well, maybe I’ll come shopping in your basement. Lol. Miss you Anna. Let me know next time your in town!

  33. Kim

    March 29, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Love it!! Can we swap moms, please? Yours is awesome! 🙂

  34. Kim

    April 1, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Gotta love those moms!

  35. Stephanie

    April 3, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Funny although I can’t help but be a little jealous. My mother doesn’t call me unless she needs money or to borrow something and she hasn’t a maternal instict in her body…. on the flip side, since she isn’t very motherly I feel like mom of the year on a daily basis!

  36. Becky

    April 8, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    this is awesome. My mom just holds in everything that bugs her. I’ve give anything to just hear it like it is. 🙂

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  38. Kelly

    February 8, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    I think we have the same mother!!!

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  41. Devon

    October 22, 2013 at 7:12 am

    These are also some of the reasons I don’t think I’m qualified to be an adult…sounds like your mom would think so too! I NEVER have tissues OR a stocked pantry!

  42. tammigirl

    October 22, 2013 at 8:43 am

    We all need at least a few little things to hang onto which prove to ourselves we are not, indeed, fully turning into our mother.

  43. Kathie

    October 22, 2013 at 8:50 am

    My mother in law is a former nurse and therefore leaves me meticulous notes about the size, shape, color and smell of anyone’s poops. Including the dog! Seriously, do I care about the dog’s poop?
    Love your stories!!

  44. Mom

    October 22, 2013 at 9:13 am

    ha! see Anna – it could be worse – I promise not to even mention when Benson poops – unless of course it’s inside – then I will mention it and save it so you can clean it up!! Even I have my limits!

  45. Mom

    October 22, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Would you like me to send you my check-list for your next shopping trip? Just to be helpful …..

  46. Mom

    October 22, 2013 at 9:15 am

    I’m trying not to take that personal on behalf of all mothers everywhere…..

  47. Michelle

    October 22, 2013 at 9:17 am

    your mom is awesome, but why does it look like she is giving the camera the finger in that photo? does she realize she is doing it? subliminal? hope everyone is feeling better!!

  48. My Special Kind of Crazy

    October 22, 2013 at 9:33 am

    We never kept track of our kids’ poops except now the oldest tells us every time she’s going to poop. It was pretty bad when one time we realized she hadn’t pooped in like 12 days (at 9 months old) and we had to take her to the dr’s. But I still don’t track poops with my 2nd….perhap’s I’ll never learn.
    But my pantry is stocked…though some of the stuff in the back may be from 2006….when we moved in….

  49. Beth

    October 22, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Are you sure MY mom didn’t come to visit? Granted I LOVE that my mom buys us groceries when she is here but we always end up throwing food away :(. She must think we eat A LOT! Kleenex? We don’t need them bc I know she always has some in her pocket. The poop thing- I don’t mind knowing that my kids pooped but she can save the details. Every. Time. Bleh!

  50. Parri

    October 22, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Thanks for the smile. OMG, I think I have to meet your mom, who I just learned is a good friend of Christine Taylor, one of my all-time favorite people. I have the same Costco gene. I just can’t sleep if I don’t have a back up supply of at least 98 rolls of toilet paper and 24 rolls of paper towels. I live in a bungalow, so it’s hard to find places to stash this stuff. There’s toilet paper in every closet, my pantry … everywhere but my underwear drawer.

  51. Carrie

    October 22, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Your mom could be a clone of mine or my grandma…I think it must be a Michigan/Midwest thing, don’t you? Either wY, I love posts like this because it reminds me of my childhood and my grandmas habits. 🙂

  52. Julie manicmom

    October 22, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    YES. THIS.

    Exactly my mother to a tee!!!!!

  53. Mary

    October 22, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    I love it! I live with my mom and we have enough food in the pantry to feed 20 people for 20 years. And our freezer is fully stocked too.

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