jen groeber: mama art

4 kids in 3 years: reflections on motherhood, art and life.

Forgetting to Remember

I thought of this thing today, but then it left my mind. It left my mind amidst the tumble of things I’m supposed to be doing, the school auction, the … Continue reading

April 15, 2014 · 4 Comments

Date Night and the Wind Turbines

I’ve been thinking about marriage lately. It may be the spring weather (finally), the birds looking for love in all the wrong places, mating for life and so on. I … Continue reading

April 12, 2014 · 22 Comments

You go to the funeral.

I am in a JetBlue plane, somewhere between Massachusetts and Philadelphia, snapping gum, fighting for elbow room, staving off sleep. Every time I cough, the woman next to me flinches. … Continue reading

April 8, 2014 · 31 Comments

Homecoming

Chik, chuk, chik, chuk; the hazards beat a dull heart. We line the cars up along the sepia-tinted streets of my childhood. There are flags trembling, a light drizzle. I … Continue reading

April 8, 2014 · 17 Comments

Mama lost her brain… again.

Today, cleaning out my e-mail from weeks ago, I re-read an e-mail from one of my college roommates. We’d had a girl’s weekend in Washington, D.C. complete with walks to … Continue reading

April 4, 2014 · 15 Comments

Building a Neighborhood One Cup of Corn at a Time

I needed corn for the crockpot. The Chicken Taco Bowl crockpot to be exact. Canned? Frozen? Honestly, no one cares. At my house we call them the “filler calories”, because each … Continue reading

April 1, 2014 · 4 Comments

Littlewing, A Mother’s Anthem

Today it was cold, but with the promise of spring. At least that’s what we all told each other. One Mama grabbed me by the arm, literally grabbed me, and … Continue reading

March 28, 2014 · 12 Comments

The Librarian, the Library and the Words

Part I. My Mother It always begins here. My mother was a librarian. Let me clarify. My mother was a librarian for about as long as I bagged raw chicken … Continue reading

March 24, 2014 · 38 Comments

Typhoid Mary, A Poem

There was a girl named Mary Mallon one hundred years ago She lived in the city that never sleeps, moving from home to home An Irish cook, some would call … Continue reading

March 21, 2014 · 10 Comments

4 Thunder Road, Cape Cod, New Jersey (for my Dad)

This is us, creating a sense of time and place for our children. Last night at bedtime, after the teeth were flossed and brushed, the pajamas put on, the stories … Continue reading

March 18, 2014 · 11 Comments

On Aging, In Honor of the Seven Women Who Live Inside Me

It happened slowly… and all at once. Last week I was 29 with a rounded, peach-skinned face that I disliked for its pudginess, and BAM! It’s fifteen years later and … Continue reading

March 14, 2014 · 22 Comments

The Winter of Our Discontent

Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this sun of York; And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house In the deep bosom of the … Continue reading

March 11, 2014 · 10 Comments

The Big Girl Crib

My baby is still in a crib. I don’t mean like phat cribs on MTV with diamond bedazzles and an indoor treehouse. That would be Lindsey-Lo-tastic, but it’s not us. … Continue reading

March 7, 2014 · 9 Comments

The Best Worst Gift Ever

I got it. The absolute best worst gift one could ever hope for on her birthday. When I opened the box I immediately burst into tears, no pre-game chokey voice … Continue reading

March 4, 2014 · 8 Comments

Wonder Woman and the Lost Tooth

I want to remember this. Today I picked up Jasper at the end of school, and he had that face. It was the classic chokey-voice face, the quiver chin, patchy-cheek … Continue reading

March 1, 2014 · 19 Comments

On the Occasion of My 43rd Birthday: The Dave Matthews Prophecy

I was always a jinxie girl. It was rarely the typical signs of luck that got me;  black cats, ladders, the number thirteen, stepping on cracks (which may explain why … Continue reading

February 25, 2014 · 28 Comments

My Brother and the Silence

I remember it like this. It was the summer of 1980. I was nine. It was six months after the operation, and my father was so weak that my mother … Continue reading

February 20, 2014 · 39 Comments

If I Wrote a Food Blog, Dreams of a Stay-at-Home Mom

If I wrote a food blog, it’d only have one page, A single recipe that would take center stage. Single moms would use it, grannies on the go, nursing moms … Continue reading

February 18, 2014 · 11 Comments

Naked Self-Portraits, A Love Story

When I met my husband he had an 18” neck and a 36” waist, he had that kind of build. I had been unloading art supplies from my 84′ VW … Continue reading

February 14, 2014 · 23 Comments

Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief

I was standing at my usual station by the kitchen sink and Cabot ran by, reeking of lavender… Lavender Soft Soap, that is. I don’t know what her obsession with soap … Continue reading

February 11, 2014 · 13 Comments

Guest Blog, Yo! The Things We Carry With Us

Guess what. I’m not here. I’m HERE! Wait, let me explain. Remember when I said I hadn’t even read a blog before writing one, except maybe the craniosynostosis one? (And … Continue reading

February 9, 2014 · 6 Comments

Craniosynostosis (My First Blog Experience)

I remember very little from the first year of preemie twin motherhood (three kids in 17 months… zoiks!). I remember kangarooing our preemies every day in the NICU and navigating … Continue reading

February 4, 2014 · 26 Comments

My Mother’s Letters

I remember we had at least one television on all day and night for Butchie and he would scream in his stinking chair in the corner while cartoons blared. I … Continue reading

January 29, 2014 · 172 Comments

Cleaning House: The Craft Table

This is the part I wrote two weeks ago: Once a week I take all the recycling piled in the mud room out to the garage, put it in five … Continue reading

January 28, 2014 · 17 Comments

A Love Supreme (Mother of the Year 2014, Fingers Crossed!)

Dear Committee Chair for Mother of the Year (CCMOY), First, I hope this finds you well. I know it’s been one heck of a crazy week with snow days galore. … Continue reading

January 24, 2014 · 10 Comments

Give Me Strength

Today I had one of those mornings. You know the mornings I mean. I woke up a little late; he wouldn’t get his clothes on and rolled his eyes when … Continue reading

January 21, 2014 · 14 Comments

What Kind of Mama Are You? (A Cosmo-Style Quiz)

1. It’s 7am. You open the dishwasher and pull out your kids’ four favorite farm animal plates, their four juice cups, pour some milk, slice some bread, cut up some … Continue reading

January 17, 2014 · 12 Comments

Why I don’t curse. (Because I’m a good girl, that’s why…)

When I was a kid, a young kid, like with a Benjamin Franklin lunchbox with a Liberty Bell cartoon on it, I was what they call “a pottymouth”. I was … Continue reading

January 14, 2014 · 8 Comments

Blogging Neophyte

Confession. I know nothing about blogging. True story. I’d never read a blog let alone posted on one before I began writing my own. I was shocked when I got … Continue reading

January 12, 2014 · 33 Comments

Becoming a Parent

Do you remember the first time you held a newborn? I was sitting in my sister’s house. She pulled out a boob that no longer even faintly resembled mine (we … Continue reading

January 9, 2014 · 12 Comments

Sledding and Cocoa

I love sledding. I mean, I really love sledding.  When I was first married, my husband and I lived in a haunted mansion in Philadelphia. Seriously. It was so haunted … Continue reading

January 5, 2014 · 11 Comments

Resolution

I am not someone who makes resolutions. The only resolution I made was in 1989, and it was to lose weight. In retrospect it wasn’t so much what one would … Continue reading

January 1, 2014 · 6 Comments

The Holiday Card (Als ich kann.)

So why haven’t I been writing, you ask. Well, besides the family in town, teaching a five-year-old boy to use a sewing machine, the new Barbie Dreamhouse that needs me … Continue reading

December 30, 2013 · 11 Comments

Santa is Real

We were sitting in an upstairs room at our favorite neighborhood eatery last week. It’s an old inn turned restaurant with sloped floors, tilting narrow steps and a rabbit’s warren of dark … Continue reading

December 24, 2013 · 1 Comment

Balls and Feathers

I’ve begun reading mama blogs and the whole awesome-mother-thing has gotten worse. You know, the “how can I be all that I can be” thing? How am I teaching my … Continue reading

December 22, 2013 · 8 Comments

Today is the Day

Today is the day. Today is the day we all woke up late and groggy and grouchy because of the high school holiday concert last night that began at 7:30 … Continue reading

December 13, 2013 · 5 Comments

Barbie’s Dreamhouse

The time has come. Two girls, ages three and five. The oldest one asked for “a house for da Barbies big enough for ‘dem to stand in.” The wooden Melissa … Continue reading

December 11, 2013 · 8 Comments

It’s a Give a Moose a Muffin Day… Again

Talking with a parking lot Mama friend outside of the pre-school, we watched as our kids threw sticks to fake the geese out (farm school… seriously.) It was the first … Continue reading

December 7, 2013 · 12 Comments

Elf on the Shelf: A Poem

Twas the midnight before December and all through the house There I was tip-toeing, just like a big mouse, Looking in places you’d never go look For a cute little … Continue reading

December 5, 2013 · 10 Comments

Celeriac, A Coming of Age

“Is this celeriac? I love this celeriac!” Five-year-old Mica exclaimed this while sitting in the bar of a funky little Mexican, biker, gourmet, locally sourced Mexican restaurant in Brunswick, ME. The … Continue reading

December 2, 2013 · 2 Comments

The Song and My Father

I’ve been wanting to write something. I’ve been wanting to write two somethings, actually. One something begins like this. It finally happened. Today, driving in the minivan, I heard the … Continue reading

November 30, 2013 · 15 Comments

Four Kids, One Limo

“Mo-om!! I don’t want her in my room! It’s MY room!” Driving home from school last week with every car seat in the minivan full, Reid was contemplating a play date … Continue reading

November 26, 2013 · 3 Comments

Pardon me, sir, but is that your truck on my minivan?

A funny thing happened on the way to the preschool. Friday was a bleak and rainy morning and as per usual, we were late. Because no one would put on … Continue reading

November 24, 2013 · 11 Comments

Lego My Ego

Another long-overdue thank you. Dear Ole Kirk Christiansen (May I call you Ole?), It was great reading about you in Wikipedia the other day. I’m sorry this thank you is … Continue reading

November 20, 2013 · 4 Comments

A Response to All the Things Our Parents Did Badly

I was standing in Jasper’s kindergarten classroom for orientation and during an awkward moment of quiet I  turned to the mother I’d just met and said, “I feel like our … Continue reading

November 18, 2013 · 12 Comments

I love the word retarded, and it’s a complicated love.

I love the word retarded, and it’s a complicated love. Third-Grade Me: “Blah, blah, blah, my retarded brother.” In my memory time stands still in this very Quentin Tarantino way. … Continue reading

November 16, 2013 · 16 Comments

In Case They Need Me

Mica handed me one of those annoying Tinker Toy pieces today. You know the one. The wooden wheel with the holes for spokes? And of course, there was a yellow … Continue reading

November 13, 2013 · Leave a comment

I am a bag lady.

I am a bag lady. When I (finally) got pregnant with Jasper, a wise woman who was a mentor, colleague and friend gave me a bag as a baby gift. … Continue reading

November 11, 2013 · 3 Comments

Lederhosen

To begin, you need to know I get the chokey voice. When I first met my husband it was the chokey voice, plus I tapped my nose and I got … Continue reading

November 8, 2013 · 26 Comments

Picture Day?! Seriously?

I missed picture day last Monday. I mean, my kids were at school and everything, but Reid was dressed like a polka dot Oompa-Loompa and Mica’s pants didn’t entirely cover … Continue reading

November 4, 2013 · 1 Comment

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