Best of My 2013 Facebook Status Updates

And when I came downstairs this morning (after a second night of being up half the night with a sick child), THIS is what I saw when I turned on the light.

December 31 – the last day of the year. Time to take a few moments to reflect on the highlights of 2013.  Some technologically forced reflections have been available for weeks to help with this task.  This, for example, appeared on my Facebook timeline:


Jennifer Prestholdt

A look at your 20 biggest moments on Facebook.

Learn more.
Share Your Year.

Frankly, it looked suspiciously like 2012, but with more directives and a slightly larger font (and now in United Nations baby blue, I might add).

Year in Review
Jennifer Prestholdt
A look at your 20 biggest moments from the year including life events, highlighted posts and your popular stories.

But this Year in Review app most certainly does not accurately reflect  my “20 biggest moments from the year”.   Some of the pictures were not even from 2013!  So, in what has become an annual tradition, I’m taking charge of my Year in Review and creating my own”Best of My Facebook Status Updates”of some of the funniest moments for me in 2013.  (And if you like this post, you can also check out Best of My 2012 Facebook Status Updates and Best of My 2011 Status Updates.)

Best of My 2013 Facebook Status Updates

#25      The fifth graders are studying puberty, so the dinner conversation was interesting. It was a spectacularly unfortunate coincidence that we grilled tonight – and tubular meat products were on the menu.

#24      Some families set a place for Elijah. Our family apparently sets a place for Trouble.

Photo: Some families set a place for Elijah. Our family apparently sets a place for Trouble.


Eliza (age 8):  “Are you drinking barf?”
Me: “Yes. I threw up in the smoothie machine and added a banana. Now I’m drinking it.”
Eliza: “Is this called ‘sarcasm’?”

#22  I’m helping my 7th grader study for his Tom Sawyer test. So I showed him the classic Rush video. To which he responded, “Mom, this is not really helping.”

#21       In 5 minutes, I have to give a lecture on international human rights mechanisms to a class at the U of Iowa Law School. Unfortunately, I just figured out that since it is via Skype, they will all see how messy my office is. Gotta go stuff some documents in the closet and sweep some files under the rug…

#20     “When in doubt, add cheese.” This is the kind of advice I give to my daughter.

#19     Positive things about below zero weather: I stuck the tragically unchilled bottle of wine outside for 5 minutes. Now it is cold (and DE-licious!)


Mom, when I grow up – if I’m a teacher – on the first day of school I’ll pull down a map of Europe and say “I see London. I see France.”And I’ll be wearing, like, really bright pink boxers or something and I’ll have my jeans low.

So then I’ll turn my back to the class and pull down another map and say, “Class, what else do you see?” And the kids that raise their hands and say, “Mr. ___, I see your…”

Well, that’s how I’ll know who the troublemakers are.

#17     Note to self:  Be careful doing laundry this week.  Very, VERY careful!

34 snakes
There were 2 pockets. Each pocket held 17 snakes. How many snakes in all?

#16    My flight out of Delhi was cancelled, so I was re-routed through Paris. Perhaps the only major airport in the world that smells of fresh-baked croissants at 6 am in the morning!


“Simon, turn off the TV.”

“I can’t, Mom! Everything I need to know about life is on Dr. Who!”

#14     Home! And, as always when I return from the developing world, I am feeling so thankful for clean air, hot water, high-speed internet, urban planning and traffic control – and a democratic system of government that is not perfect, but which functions smoothly and provides us with services without corruption. Perspective is a valuable thing.

#13     Lady behind me at the grocery store:  “Girl!  You’ve either got a big family or you’re done shopping for 2013!

#12      First week back at school update:

Eliza (grade 3):  “What’s the difference between fiction and non-fiction again?”

Simon (grade 6): “Non-fiction is real. Like Facebook.”

Eliza: “So what is fiction?”

Simon: “It’s fantasy, it’s not real. Like Facebook.”

#11   The Polly Pockets were willing to sacrifice their heads for the opportunity to skydive off our back balcony.

Photo: The Polly Pockets were willing to sacrifice their heads for the opportunity to skydive off our back balcony.


“Mom, do you have a name for our toilet?”
“No.” (pause) “But something tells me you might.”
“Yeah. Our toilet is named Bob.”

#9     (The next day)   I have been informed that the gender of our upstairs toilet “Bob” has been reassigned. Depending on who you ask, she is now either “Tina” or “Betsy”.

#8     Well, at the request of one of my sons, I bought ramen noodles for the first time in 25 years. Still the same price – 29 cents. The way I figure, it’s never too early to prepare them for college.


 Eliza: “Hannah says that when I grow up, I should be a doctor.”
Me: “I concur.”
Eliza: “An American Girl doctor.”
Me: “I retract my previous statement.”

#6     Still life with retainer.

Photo: Still life with retainer.

#5     I could have done without these 6th grade boys and their dinner discussion. All you need to know about it is that their creation myth involves the planet “Poopiter” and explains why there is so much cosmic gas in the universe.

#4     I made the mistake of taking my 11-year-old son with me when I was shopping for bras. With having to yell so many times, “Don’t touch that!” and “Stop squishing it!”, I ended up accidentally buying a nursing bra.

#3     I sent my 13yo son to camp with two pairs of shoes.   Somehow, he managed to come home with just one.   One shoe, that is.

#2     I very much appreciated that the employees stocking shelves at the downtown Target let me participate in their “Churchill-off”. I only made it two rounds (they were still going when I went to check out) but I got to use the only two Churchill quotes that I can ever manage to remember:

        1. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

        2. Lady Astor: “Sir, if you were my husband, I would give you poison.”

            Churchill: “If I were your husband, I would take it.”

#1      It’s just not a holiday in our family until someone gets a pie in the face.

Photo: It's just not a holiday in our family until someone gets a pie in the face.

Thanks for reading The Human Rights Warrior!  See you in 2014!

Happy New Year from Sullivan's Island, South Carolina!
Happy New Year from Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina!

Best of My Facebook Status Updates 2012

Cinderella sure has an interesting way of drying her gowns.
Cinderella sure has an interesting way of drying her gowns.

It’s that time of year again.  That special time of year, when the treetops glisten … and children listen … and the”Best of ” lists come rolling out. You won’t find me in the Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Albums of 2012 or The New Yorker’s Best Books of 2012 (numbering 28, down from 37 last year).  I am not one of  the E! Top 10 Stylish Stars of the Year (thankfully, though, I am NOT on either E!’s list of Top 10 Wardrobe Malfunctions OR their list of Top 10 Mug Shots).  My name cannot be found on ANY of the many 2012 Forbes Rich Lists – not even Richest Pastors in Nigeria.   Unlike Honey Boo Boo Child, I am not one of Barbara Walters’ 10 Most Fascinating People of 2012.  Gawker’s 10 Least Fascinating People of 2012 list isn’t out yet, so I may still have a shot at that. Salon’s 2012 Hack List? Nope.  The Best 140 Twitter Feeds of 2012?  Sadly, no.   And I just learned that President Barack Obama beat me out for Time’s 2012 Person of the Year.

Last week, this appeared on my Facebook timeline:

Year in Review
Jennifer Prestholdt
A look at your 20 biggest moments from the year including life events,
highlighted posts and your popular stories.

So, I checked it out.  How could I resist my life events, highlighted posts and popular stories?  But  my 2012 Year in Review was an utter and complete disaster!  I don’t know what kind of random generators are at work here, but this app most certainly does not capture my “20 biggest moments from the year”.   Some of the pictures were not even from 2012!  In short, Facebook Year in Review app is like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas: “The three words that describe you are as follows, and I quote: ‘STINK. STANK. STUNK.'”

These days there is precisely one thing in my life that is entirely within my control and that is my Facebook status update. So I’m taking charge of my Year in Review and creating my own”Best of My 2012 Facebook Status Updates”!

Best of My 2012 Facebook Status Updates

# 25   This sugar is not just pure.  It’s DHAM pure!

dahm pure

#24     Me (to my 10 year-old): “Simon, turn off the TV. Your screen time is done.”
Simon: “It doesn’t count as screen time if it is football or Barack Obama.”
Well played, son. Well played!

#23  Some people have Elf on the Shelf. I have cat barf on the Playmobil nativity scene.

#22  To the gentleman crossing against the light while reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I say, “Have you any idea how much damage that bulldozer would suffer if I just let it roll straight over you?”

‎#21  Chickie (my 7 year-old daughter): “Mom, do you know why we light candles at this time of year? It’s to keep the trolls out of the house. It’s true. It says so in the Bible.”

#20 I did not realize that I even had a granddaughter, much less such a thoughtful one!

happy anaverse

#19     As I was jaunting around this morning with my bike helmet pushed back and dangling down my back like Laura Ingalls Wilder’s sunbonnet, it suddenly struck me that perhaps I did not look as fetching as I would hope.

#18     Fortunately, I left the restaurant for another meeting BEFORE my colleagues ordered the “head chips”- at Kathmandu, Nepal.

#17     Further proof of my bad hockey mom status: Packing Simon’s gear for hockey camp, I couldn’t remember what the thing that they wear on the chest is called. So I called it a “breastplate”.  (I also called his nut cup a “codpiece”, but that was on purpose.)

#16     Note to self:

go to work

#15     Chickie: “Where is everybody?”
Me: “They went to Sev’s hockey game.”
Chickie: “WOOHOO! Girls’ night! Let’s get into our jammies and READ!!”

#14     Went to gym. Worked out. Took shower. Realized I had forgotten to bring a towel. Dried off with my sock. Keep calm and carry on!

#13     Bonnie Tyler, reincarnated as a 10 year old boy. Turn around, bright eyes!

#12     These are the kinds of conversations that go on in my head:

Me: Why did I buy this Empire-waisted dress? I look terrible in this style?
Myself: It was only 7 dollars.
I: Ooooo! Excellent bargain shopping

#11       I keep reading the UN Millennium Development Goals – MDG – as – MGD – Miller Genuine Draft. It must be Friday!

#10     To flush or not to flush.  That is the question.


#9     I waited a couple of decades and read the book again. Same conclusion. Mr. Rochester is an a-hole. Run, Jane Eyre, RUN!

#8     Overheard Chickie giving a friend a tour of our house: “This is mom’s closet. Or as I call it, My Shoe Store.”

#7     Future God’s Gift to Women: “Girls don’t like AXE, they like Old Spice. Wait, no. AXE was invented by women because they like the smell. I need some AXE. Girls like AXE.”

#6     Last day of summer vacation.
         “What’s left on the school supply list, Chickie?”
         “We’ve got everything but The Lorax wipes.”

#5     My rule:  You forget your lunch box at school and you get the Lunch Box of Shame the next day.

lunch box of shame

#4     7:10 am and I’ve already had to answer the questions “Is this a scalene triangle” and “Can you make me an omelette?”

#3     My Mother’s Day present:  The Napoleon Dynamite Dance!

#2     Chickie: “Mommy, what is a Miley Cyrus?”
          Me: “It’s a person.”
          Chickie: “Really? I thought it was a body part. One of the private ones.”

#1     I found this in my grandma’s apartment today. Also found out that she had voted absentee before she died. I don’t know if it still counts, but I’m proud that, at 98, she made sure to vote. And that she voted No on both state constitutional amendments (one that would have limited the right of same-sex couples to marry and one that would have limited the right to vote). Go Edna!

obama family

This post is in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge: Wrap It Up!  Check out other original “Year In Review” posts by following the link.

Best of My 2011 Status Updates

“Why yes, I do know both Wallace AND Gromit. Why do you ask?”

It’s that time of year again, when the “Best of” lists are rolling out. Sadly, I am not Time’s 2011 Person of the Year. You won’t find me in the NFL’s Top 100 PlayersRolling Stone’s 50 Best Albums of 2011,The New Yorker’s Favorite Books from 2011 (numbering 37),  iTunes’  Top 25 Songs of 2011,  E! Top 10 Stylish Stars of the Year,  or Forbe’s 5 Top Retail Success Stories of 2011.  I am not (thankfully, given The Kompany) on either Barbara Walters’ 10 Most Fascinating People of 2011 list or Gawker’s 10 Least Fascinating People of 2011 list. Salon’s 2011 Hack List? Nope.  I didn’t even make Babble’s Top 100 Mom Blogs, which has me and the other estimated 3,999,900 mom bloggers feeling just a smidge left out.

So, in the spirit of the “Best of 2011” season, I decided to put together my very own top 25 list.  The only problem is that these days there is precisely one thing in my life that is entirely within my control – my Facebook status updates.  Welcome to “Best of My 2011 Status Updates”!  I’m posting it now before Facebook – through random-number generator or Mark Zuckerberg’s pet rats in a Skinner box or whatever means they use to decide these things – tells me what my Best 2011 Status Updates are and then posts them in my friends’ News Feed. (Which I predict will happen on Monday, December 26 at 9:36 am EST.)

Best of My 2011 Status Upates

#25 It just seems like you shouldn’t have to start your day with the sentence, “Hey! Don’t pee on your sister!”

#24 It’s snowing. Both the front and the back doors are open. The refrigerator door, too. Come on! Work with me, people!

#23 I was looking for a wineglass but I found Darth Vader in HEAVEN!


#22 “Don’t throw up on the iPad!” And how is YOUR Friday night going?

#21 ‎”If you’re going to get out of bed, for God’s sake bring the throw up bowl with you!” And how is YOUR morning going?

#20 Taco Tuesday for those family members who did not throw up today. Everyone else gets pablum.

#19  ‎”Can you make us turkey waffles?” Happy Thanksgiving!


#18  Most of the time, I think I’m just a normal mom. And then I do things like yell, “You boys stop fighting or I’m going to get Nonviolent Peaceforce up in here!!!” Which makes me think I’m not so normal.

#17  A day that starts with threatening your sons with international non-governmental organizations could really only end with teaching your daughter the difference between flipping the bird and the Vulcan “Live long and prosper” sign.

#16  No Comment.

no comment

#15  Is it wrong that my first reaction to the Demi/Ashton split is, “Oh no! What will happen to their foundation that works to eliminate sex slavery?”

#14  Burnt the toast. Threw it out the door. Squirrel caught it and scampered away.

#13 I’m thankful for my (ZOMBIE!!!) family and friends.


#12  “No, honey, they are poppy seed muffins. Not hockey seed muffins.”

#11  Today is “World Toilet Day.” That is all.

#10  Better to be a friend hole than that other kind of hole.

friend hole

#9  Had a brief, friendly chat with my boyz about what to do if a coach wants to bear hug you in the shower.

#8  Accidentally made a reservation for brunch tomorrow at a restaurant in Australia. Stupid World Wide Web!

#7  Apparently my “mom” pheromones are so strong that random German AND Greek children fall asleep on me on transatlantic flights.

#6  That’s right, sweetie. It’s a “coffee blender”, not a “margarita maker”.


#5  Now is as good a time as any to introduce the small fry to Spinal Tap.

#4  Sometimes, it is best just to remain silent. For example, when your 9 year old son says, “Mom, you are a brick house!”

#3  Daughter: “Can I get a Barack Obama Barbie for Christmas?”

Me: “Ummmm…I need to focus on making dinner right now.”

Daughter: “So, is that a YES?”

#2  My Friday night involved a 4th grader, a saxaphone, some sheet music, and two Youtube videos of Boil Them Cabbage Down.


#1. 9 yo son (critiquing little sister on the way she is carrying her babydoll):  “You’re never gonna make a good mom.”

6 yo daughter:  “Your shirt is on backwards.”

Oops!  My Top 25 list is all filled up and I only got as far back as October in my Facebook “Older Posts”!  Wait a minute – this is how these these “Best of” lists actually work, isn’t it?  They are really just the  highlights from the last quarter with maybe one or two standouts thrown in from earlier in the year?

Once Again, No Comment


Postscript:  You may be wondering what any of this has to do with human rights.  It doesn’t really.  But I have learned from working in human rights the importance of humor as a coping mechanism for dealing with the tough things in life.   I’ve done a couple of posts on this already:  You Really Can’t Make This Stuff Up – Part I  and You Really Can’t Make This Stuff Up – Part II.  I consider this post to be You Really Can’t Make This Stuff Up – Part III.