RIP, Mr. Chipmunk

One of the hardest things about parenting for me is coming up with good explanations and “Momisms” on the spot. It doesn’t help that I am living with a 6-year-old Lawyer in Training either. She does NOT take my first answer as solid. She continues to question and reason and inquire and investigate and OMG . . . . it can be just exhausting sometimes. I love her curiosity, but geez kid.

I like to think I’m a pretty smooth operator and think quickly on my feet, but when it comes to the hard-hitting issues of parenthood, I sometimes fall short and find myself stammering through what feels like an interrogation by a smaller version of myself.

Case in point:  A poor unfortunate forest creature on a recent weekend trip. We had hopped on some golf carts and were taking a wonderfully serene tour through a resort golf course in the mountain lake region here in our beautiful state of West Virginia, and Little Princess and I were sharing a cart. We were having so much fun! Singing, chit-chatting, and just enjoying our surroundings.

We continued this little journey as the golf course path wove through the hills and into the forest. The lush greenery of it all nearly took my breath away. It really felt like a little enchanted forest.

Until it wasn’t.

I slowed our cart as we realized that something seemed to be scurrying across our path. Upon further investigation, I quickly (but not soon enough to dodge the bullet I’m about to share with you) realized it was a chipmunk in the THROES of death. I am not even exaggerating. It looked like a dramatic western death scene acted out by forest rodentia. I couldn’t swerve around him (her?) because he was convulsing all over the path and I was afraid I would squash  him, further scarring my daughter for life as “The Mommy Who Smashed a Chipmunk.”

I had no other course of action than to wait for him to finally stop seizing and go around cautiously. After what felt like hours of the two of us watching in horror (it was seconds), I was able to slowly navigate the cart around his lifeless body. He was on my side of the cart, but 6-year-olds are curious and we are all crippled by our inability to look away from a train crash, so we both got a clear visual of the blood that was coming out of his little mouth profusely.

I have no clue how this happened. We didn’t run over him; I was pretty sure the cart in front of us was too far ahead of us to have hit him.

Can chipmunks fall out of trees to their death?!?

No, seriously, I’m asking because that is the exact explanation I gave my daughter.

She was quiet for a little while and I said to her, “I’m sorry we had to see that. It was sad. Do you have any questions?” (Silently applauding myself for such an amazing reaction to the situation and rethinking writing a book on stellar parenting.)

Not so fast, Holls.

Cue 6-year-old rage and dramatics.



I held her as she cried and I tried to navigate a golf cart on a narrow path and attempted to explain to her that there wasn’t a Chipmunk Vet (“YES THERE IS!”), and that there wasn’t anything that could be done to save him due to the severe head trauma sustained from his fall. “WE SHOULD HAVE PICKED HIM UP AND HELPED HIM!” More tears.

Look, I get it. I’m a sympathetic soul, too, and it hurt my heart to watch the poor little guy die. But I want to really emphasize to anyone who is reading this and thinks my daughter has a point and that I should have done something that this thing was undeniably and reliably D-E-A-D. Watching it flop all over the trail was terrible.


She continued to cry. I continued to silently curse the heavens above for making us witness something so yucky, thereby also forcing me to have this somber discussion on what is supposed to be a relaxing weekend vacation. I started to feel emotional because I couldn’t take away my baby’s sadness and it hurt my heart to see her so upset. I empathized with her hopelessness toward the chipmunk, as I felt helpless as to what to say to comfort her. I also couldn’t stop picturing all the Chipmunk Greats:  Alvin, Simon, Theodore, Chip, and Dale.

I had exhausted all the right things to say, which wasn’t much. That parenting book of mine will probably be more of a pamphlet than anything, really, so I whipped out the last trick up my sleeve:  Chipmunk Prayer Vigil. I pulled the golf cart over and turned it off, and we said a prayer for the little fella.

We bowed our heads and asked Jesus to open up his pearly gates and welcome Mr. Chipmunk in with an abundance of nuts and other chipmunk friends.*

*Seriously. I said all those things. I was grasping for straws here, people.

We eventually made it back to the clubhouse and I shared with the other adults in our golf cart caravan the traumatic events of the last 15 minutes or so. (Actually, what I think I said was, “ok, which one of you ***********ers hit the **** chipmunk?!?”) None of them did; after all they really were too far ahead of us. But I really have no idea what happened to that thing! I’m sticking with it lost its footing and fell from high branch.

As children tend to do, Little Princess rebounded nicely and soon forgot about the critter and his untimely demise.  I think I’m more scarred over the whole debacle, partially because I wonder if I handled it correctly. Death is a difficult topic with kids, and it is hard to explain a situation that is truly hopeless. Mr. Chipmunk went to heaven. There was nothing we could do. And we got to watch (UGH!).

Later that evening at dinner, we were all enjoying dining al fresca, and the whole chipmunk fiasco of 2018 seemed to have passed us. We had moved on to the acceptance stage of grief and were at peace. #amen


And then, I sh!t you not, at that very moment a freaking bird flew across the terrace and smacked RIGHT INTO the glass window next to our table and dropped like a rock to the ground in front of God and everyone (including the kids).


*orders glass of wine*

How to: Homemade Bath Bombs

Our Little Princess is just like me; she likes a good project. So when it became a sensation to make your own bath bombs at home, I rationalized it a couple ways:

  1. Cheaper than those dang LOL balls (which we ended up buying anyways)
  2. I can benefit from these decadent bath time goodies myself (albeit with interruptions and/or an audience)
  3. I was avoiding the slime craze at all costs (didn’t work; we got there eventually)

I started researching for the best and easiest recipes for these little fizzy orbs of delight, and was quickly sucked in by the Lush-like colors scents. Truth be told, I would love to run my own up-scale bath products shop, but I don’t think that is in the cards. (A girl can dream, though!) So many different beautiful colors and scents and bubbles! Oh my!

img_5385So, we set up the “Bubble Lab,” complete with all the things to run a successful small business out of our basement. My main goal:  Recoup my initial investment as we had several epic fails. It worked, too! Bath bombs are huge right now, and we even figured out how to shove a little dinosaur into an egg mold for a fun little bath-time discovery. We had a lot of mommy/daughter fun with these little creations.

It is also a great learning activity as well since the kids are learning about chemical reactions and recipes, some basic business/econ skills and following directions (Haha! Even I laughed at that last one.)

Buying bath bombs outright can add up quickly, and the fun only last for moments, so without further ado, I give to you the recipe and process that we found worked the best for us in order to enjoy both the process of making them and using them.


  • Bath bomb molds (a few in different sizes is fun; I prefer the metal ones)
  • bowl(s)
  • gloves
  • measuring cups/spoons
  • place to make a small mess that isn’t too humid


  • citric acid (1/2 cup)
  • baking soda (1 cup)
  • corn starch (1/2 cup)
  • epsom salts (1/2 cup)
  • almond oil (2 Tablespoons)
  • food coloring (a few to several drops depending upon what shade you want)
  • essential oils (20-30 drops total of the scents you like)
  • water (3 teaspoons)

*This makes about 6 of the medium size bath bomb molds in the link above. Size of bomb obviously affects how many you get. Feel free to double the recipe to make more!


Mix up the dry ingredients first in a large bowl, and the wet ingredients separately. SLOWLY pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a gloved hand. If you pour the wet stuff in too fast, it will cause the chemical reaction that makes the bomb fizz when put in water, so you want to avoid that as much as possible. The mixture/dough/whatever you want to call it should be the consistency of fresh snow – the kind that makes a perfect snowball. It shouldn’t be too wet, and if it is powder-like, it might be too dry. This is the part that is tricky – finding the perfect consistency. I won’t lie… it was kind of frustrating. But, keep in mind, even disintegrated bath bombs will fizz and smell good, so you can always decide that they are “bath salts” if you feel the juice isn’t worth the squeeze.

You can add in more scent or coloring if you want. If you’re feeling super adventurous, you can divide the mixture in half before you put the coloring in and then make the bombs multi-colored. The world is your oyster. Kick up your heels and go crazy with your creativity. Some people add things like lavender or sea kelp to theirs. I don’t because something touching my foot in the tub elicits fear; not relaxation. But, to each her own I suppose.


Once the mixture is ready, pack both halves of a bath bomb mold (slightly over-packed).  Press the halves together and then carefully pull them apart to reveal a perfectly round, colorful and fragrant bath bomb. Place it gently on a not-too-hard surface to “cure” for 24 img_5387hours at least (I used a hand towel with wax paper on it to cushion the bombs as pictured here).

After the 24 hours is up,  if you don’t use them right away, be sure to put them in a plastic bag to preserve the scent. I bought some favor baggies on Amazon and tied them with a ribbon, but I think separating them in sandwich baggies would be fine as well. Store them in a dry and non-humid environment so they don’t disintegrate before use. You also want to watch where you’re making them and letting them cure as they are affected by humidity easily. We experimented with a de-humidifier (this project really snowballed quickly, can ya tell?), but really if you make them somewhere dry, you’ll be fine.


For kids, I love the cotton candy scented oil, and my own personal favorite to add to img_5384different bombs is Vetiver. I tried some skin safe vegan dyes that worked well, but food coloring will work too (I had zero issues with staining). My favorite essential oils came from P&J Trading. Once they have set for 24 hours, feel free to plop them into the tub! Be careful … they can make your tub/shower slick!

  • Total investment: ~$100
  • Bath bombs made:  A Shit Ton

This really is a fun little activity to do, and as adults we can reap the benefits of them as well for a relaxing little spa experience. After all, it is just as easy to yell at the kids from the tub than anywhere else.