Mama Diaries

Friday, December 31, 2010

Head Adjustment

"Mama, your head is on backwards," my son said as he arranged my long hair over my face. (No comments on that comment, please.)


"Yeah. Your face is on the back of your head, and your ears are on the wrong way."

"What should I do about this?" I asked.

"Shake your head like a dog."

I shook my head like a dog.

"No, shake it three times like a dog."

My head was starting to hurt after that. "How's that?" I asked.

"Your head is still on backwards. Better try shaking it five times."

"How's that?" I asked after feeling like my neck had major whiplash.

"Um, now you look like an angry Mama."


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dirty Dog

It's raining outside. I didn't feel like going out with the dog today. So I let him run around outside by himself. I don't know what I was thinking. Maybe I thought a dog could stay relatively clean and return just a little wet. I was wrong.

That fifteen week old beast came galloping through the door, not only wet, but covered in mud. He shook himself, and mud went flying all over the kitchen walls. He scratched at the garbage can and got mud all over that. Muddy paw prints covered the kitchen floor. And wherever he sat, there oozed puddles of mud. Did I mention the stench? Wet dogs are bad enough. Muddy wet dogs are simply unbearable. I thought I would vomit.

I attempted to wipe the beast with a warm wet cloth. The beast was more interested in playing tug. So now the beast sits by the back door drying off while I sit here trying to figure out how I'm going to get him upstairs to give him a bath without causing permanent damage to my house.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Movie Mayhem

This afternoon I took my kids to the movies. It was one of those 3-D productions, so we got the funky glasses to go along with the tickets. Of course my kids also wanted some snacks.

"Two Kid's Combos please," I requested. It took a few minutes to receive those.

"Mama, can you hold this?" my son asked as he handed me his kid combo.

"Mama can you hold this?" my daughter asked as she handed me her 3-
D glasses. (Why do kids think their moms have as many arms as an octopus?)

We found our seats in the theater, and somehow I managed to allocate everything without dropping even so much as a popcorn kernel.

My son put on his 3-D glasses. They looked really big on his little face. I put on my 3-D glasses. They looked really small on my big face.

"Buddy," I said. "Let's switch glasses. I think I got your kid glasses."

We switched. Of course he had managed to get his buttery popcorn hands all over the lenses. When I put them on, the right lens was a mess. I couldn't get it cleaned either. So I watched the movie out of blurry 3-D glasses.

And then my daughter spilled her popcorn all over the floor.

Oh well. These are the joys of motherhood.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Normally I wouldn't share stupidity like this, but the way my six-year-old son worded his comment was rather amusing.

"Mom," my son called. "I need you more than my sister needs you."

"Why do you need me more than your sister needs me?"

"Because I clogged the toilet with a putrid dump."

(Indeed he did, with about a half a roll of toilet paper!)

Monday, December 27, 2010


Wasn't it Christmas just two days ago? Didn't my kids just get a whole bunch of presents? Wasn't Hanukkah earlier this month? Didn't they get enough presents then? Will someone please tell me then, why the first words out of their mouths this morning were, "Mom, I'm bored!"

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Cookie Hiding Place Revealed

All right. Here it is: the secret hiding place for my delectable chocolate chip cookies. Actually, there were two places, just because I don't like to put all of my eggs in one basket.

Location number one: in the appliance garage on the kitchen counter. My husband never uses the mixer, so I figured that was a pretty safe place.

Location number two: in the basement on a shelf behind paint cans. I didn't think he'd be doing any painting projects. I was right.

If you see my husband, don't tell him! I may have to do it again next year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Capers

First of all, Merry Christmas! At the time of this writing, it is now late in the evening of December 25th.

Let me tell you about my day. It began with the usual inspection of presents under the tree (which occurred at 1:30 AM). (My kids aren't very good about waiting for the sun to rise, so Santa has to stop at my house before midnight.)

After breakfast, the kids and I made popcorn garland to string on the trees outside. That was fine, until the dog decided that popcorn garland looked mighty tastey. He jumped up, snagged a string, and proceeded to devour it. Of course, we had to grab that from him, because dogs can't digest popcorn. That was fun.

Next project: Making the Gingerbread House. I usually make a "gingerbread house" out of graham crackers and cake frosting. This year something possessed me to buy one of those fancy kits complete with Willy Wonka candy.

I squirted the packet of icing onto the panels of the house and attempted to "glue" them together. That was a good trick, since the icing was a little on the runny side. I finally got the house together. Then it was time to add the details. Here's how that went:

"Mommy, frost the roof."

"Mommy the wall is falling down."

"Mommy the roof is sliding off."

"Mommy add more icing."

"Mommy the front caved in."

"Mommy, the whole house fell down."

Ugh. Sorry kids. Better luck next year. (Note to self: Use cake frosting instead of icing to assemble the house.)

Finally, my son came running into my room.

"Mommy, come quick!"



I looked. "What the heck is in your sister's hair?" I said looking at the glob of pink stuff that was plastered in her hair.


Yeah. Flarp (aka: noisy putty) from Santa. What was Santa thinking?

So I spent the rest of the day getting Flarp out of my daughter's hair.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Cookie Monster Strikes Again

Some of you may be wondering if my husband found the cookies I hid. No he did not. ( I will tell you where I hid them tomorrow, after I make the last cookie tray for my dad.) He did however, find the cookies my students gave me as gifts. I received a dozen mint chocolate chip cookies from one student. I had one. My kids each had one. That left nine in the bag.

This morning the bag was empty, along with the five of my special chocolate chip cookies that I had rationed for him. So let's see, that's fourteen cookies.

Later, he found the cookie tin one of my students had given me. He ate all the chocolate chip cookies out of that one (about five cookies).

My daughter wanted to sample some of those cookies.

"Mom, Daddy ate all the cookies again!" she said, very disappointed.

And you wonder why I had to resort to hiding the cookies!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Edible Cookies?

Today we made Christmas cutout cookies. I rolled out the dough and shaped it. It was my kids' job to decorate them. When I was a kid, I was very neat and artistic. Santa always had eyeballs, and brown boots. I think I may have even added candy buttons on his suit.

My kids definitely don't take after me on the details of cookie decorating. I put out all of the sprinkles and decorations. What did they do? They picked only the green sprinkles and poured them all over the cookie pan. Sure, it was quick, and sure, some did get on the cookies, but I think more ended up on the tray.

"Do you think anyone is going to want to eat these?'" my six-year-old son asked.

"Yeah. You probably will."

I put the cookies on the counter. The dog smelled them. He jumped up and nearly pulled the tray off of the counter.

"Make that you and the dog!"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bad Dog

Our 14 week old German Shepherd puppy was very mischievous today. He nipped at everybody, he barked more than was acceptable, he bit the cat's tail, he destroyed the cat's shelter, he terrorized the dogs next door, he wouldn't follow commands, and he had an accident on the kitchen floor.

"Mommy, that doggy is bad!" said my son. "He's going to get coal in his stocking!"

"If he keeps it up, he most certainly will!" I replied.

"Oh, if he gets coal, can I have it?"

"Um, sure. Why?"

"I like collecting rocks."

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hiding the Cookies

Before I tell you that story, I have to tell you this story:

A couple of years ago (or maybe longer than that), I made a huge batch of my delectable chocolate chip cookies. I make them only once a year, because they are rather addictive. Anyway, I made these cookies and put them away in the freezer to distribute at Christmas. Now, we're talking about 120 cookies. When I went in the freezer, I pulled out the container and opened it. To my surprise, all 120 cookies were gone. In their place was a note from my husband that read, "Num, Num, Num."

Every year I have tried to make my cookies a few days before Christmas, so that at least most of the cookies are still there. This year, I simply don't have time to make a couple batches of those cookies, or even make them at a later time. So this year, I got smart. I hid them.

Now, I know my husband needs his cookies, so I made him a batch of those Betty Crocker Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies. My friend said they were good. My husband grabbed one after dinner.

'These aren't your cookies!" he exclaimed. "Where are your cookies?" (He knew I had already made them.)

"They're hiding!"


"I'm not telling!"

Then my husband started to take all of the frozen meat and vegetables out of the freezer.

"Woman, where are those cookies?"

"I'm not telling!"

Hee Hee.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Vet Visit

Today we had to take the cat and the dog to the vet. Let me tell you about that.

The dog went in one room. The cat went into the other.

The dog was first. He had to get his kennel cough vaccination which is a spray up the nose. Well, the doctor sprayed, and the dog sneezed -all over the doctor's glasses.

After the dog was done, he went back to the waiting room, where he promptly peed all over the floor. Ugh!

Then it was the cat's turn. Well, the cat had a tapeworm piece stuck to his rear end. That wasn't good. So he got a shot for the tapeworm infestation. Then they took a stool sample. When they brought him back to the room, he let out a huge fart that stunk so bad I thought I'd vomit.

The doctor proceeded to inspect the fecal samples of both animals. "Mom, there are three doctors inspecting the poop!" my son exclaimed.

"Must be a lot of poop to inspect," I replied.

The doctor came back with the report: "The dog is fine. The cat has round worms."


Meanwhile the cat let out another stinky fart. This time it stunk up the entire office.

Someone made the comment, "That cat sure has problems!"


So now I've paid over a thousand dollars for that darn stray cat, and then he went and pooped in the crate. Some thanks I got! Peeeeeeew!!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Puff Mobile

Every Friday I volunteer in my daughter's classroom. I never know what I'm going to find. As I walked down the hall, I noticed a group of kids crawling on their hands and knees blowing on contraptions that looked like sailboats on wheels.

"What's going on here?" I asked.

"We're having puff mobile races," one of the kids replied.

I got down for a closer look.

The contraptions were made of bendy-straws, pins, life savers (for the wheels), and a sheet of notebook paper (for the sail).

"Cool," I said.

It made me wish I was a third grader again! ( I may have to try making one of those at home.)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mario Mania

"Mommy, can you play the Mario theme on your violin?"


"You know..." The little guy belted out the tune in his nice six-year-old voice.

"Hold on," I said. "Let me get the violin."

Somehow I managed to produce the tune, not quite perfectly, but good enough for the little guy.

A little while later he came in holding some styrofoam concoction with a pencil going through it.

"What the heck is this?" I asked.

"A Mario propellor hat."


Even at school, he draws Mario pictures all over his papers. I think it's an obsession. I don't know if I should laugh or be worried.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cookie Cramp

I think I'm going to be sick. I have this terrible habit of sampling all the cookies I make. I've been baking a lot of cookies (tis the season!). Three batches were made just today.

Here's what else happened today: a cookie exchange. You know what that meant - I had to sample everybody else's cookies.

So let me see, I think I've eaten about seventeen cookies today. No, make that eighteen. Ugh! No wonder my tummy doesn't feel so good!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Shoveling Snow

It's that time of year again, when the fluffy white stuff falls from the sky. It has a nasty habit of accumulating in the driveway, making it difficult to traverse to and fro. Today was one of those days where the handy dandy shovel had to come off the hook in the garage and be put to use.

As I toiled outside, my six-year-old son decided to join in the fun. He grabbed the kid shovel and began doing his thing. What was his thing? Getting a load of the white stuff on his shovel and flinging it high into the air.

"Look, mommy. I'm making it snow!"

Gee kid, thanks!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Carrot Sandwich

"Who wants to make lunch today?" I asked my kids.

"I do!" they both shouted in unison.

"Okay," I said. "Go make some lunch."

My daughter made normal ham and cheese sandwiches for my husband, herself, and her brother. I had the honor of being given my six-year-old son's concoction.

I looked at the sandwich. I touched the bread. It seemed stale. "Um, did you microwave the bread?" I asked.

"No," he replied. That was good, because I didn't want him using the microwave yet! "I toasted it."

I opened up the sandwich. There were about a dozen mini carrots inside. A carrot sandwich! This delectable delight was served with a side of goldfish crackers swimming in ranch dressing. Would you believe, it was actually good!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Culinary Disasters

Today was Christmas cookie baking day. Fortunately, that wasn't a disaster. Here's what was the disaster:

As I worked on creating cookies, my daughter decided to do a little cooking of her own. She pulled out the blender, some yogurt and an assortment of vegetables. "Mommy don't look," she said.

I knew that was going to be trouble. She filled up the blender, pressed the grind button, and concocted something green. "Here mommy, drink this."

I looked at it. "This is going to kill me," I said sniffing it. I took a sip. Yuck! "What is this stuff?"

"Spinach, carrots, ice, and vanilla yogurt."

Note to self - don't mix those ingredients!

Next creation: Honey bread. My daughter got some wheat bread, rolled it in a little ball and coated it with honey and parmesan cheese. Then she nuked it in the microwave, twice, for 40 seconds. "Here Mom, eat this," she said handing me a rock-hard ball on a plate.

"Are you serious?"


I took a little piece off. "Yuck!' I exclaimed. "This is awful!"

"Here," I said handing her a package of chocolate molten lava cake. "Make this."

She mixed and poured and did pretty well until she knocked the filled muffin pans on the floor.

"Ugh!" she cried looking at the chocolate lava which was now spread across the floor.

It definitely was not a good cooking day for her!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dirty Dog

"This dog stinks!" I exclaimed as I got a whiff of our 12 week old German Shepherd puppy. "He needs a bath!"

My husband is the bath-giver for the dog. (Hey, I took care of the kids, so he gets to take care of the dog. Besides, there's no way I would want to deal with that squirming bundle of fur in a bathtub!) So he took the dog up to the bathtub. There was an awful lot of yelping and splashing and carrying on up there.

When he was done, the dog looked like an oversized drowned rat.

"Honey, go check out the bathroom," my husband said.

Did I really want to?

I went upstairs to take a peek. The tub was covered in dog hair. There was a black dirt ring at the water line, and there was hairy water all over the floors and walls. What a mess!

"Um, so who's cleaning up that mess?" I asked.

"You are!" my husband exclaimed.

"Not!" I said. "And when you're done cleaning up that mess, why don't you brush his teeth!"

Hee Hee.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Present

This evening I was wrapping Christmas presents. My son sat down next to me and decided to do a little gift wrapping too. First he had to create some presents. He went off and got some paper and sissors.

"Mommy, I'm going to make some paper snowflakes and wrap them up. I'm going to give them to a person I know whose name is Sherry."

"I see." I watched in amusement as he made the snowflakes and then proceeded to wrap them. He must've used at least a half a roll of Scotch tape doing it. When he was finished he had a nice little package completely covered in tape.

"Here Mommy, this is for you. Put it under the tree and just forget about it until Christmas."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Decorating

We have a family tradition where each day in December, the kids peek inside the drawer of an advent calendar to find a piece of candy and a paper with an activity written on it. Today's activity was, "Decorate your room for Christmas." When the kids were younger, I used to take part in the activities. Now, for the most part, they are on their own. I had no idea what they might do.

I taught piano lessons, as usual. When I was finished, my nine-year-old daughter ran down the stairs shouting, "Mommy, you have to see my room!"

Uh oh.

I climbed the stairs and attempted to walk into her room. She had Christmas lights strung all around her room, taped to the walls. She had paper snowflakes taped to the walls. She found every Christmas stuffed animal she owned and covered her bed and the floor with them. It was quite a production.

Then my six-year-old son called me. "Mommy, check out my room!"

Christmas lights were strung across his bed, taped to the walls and the window. Paper snowflakes covered his door. He even found his Bart Simpson that sings an interesting rendition of Jingle Bells.

"Wow," I said, "You kids are certainly creative!"

Too bad they aren't as good at cleaning up their rooms!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Snow Boy

I've heard a lot of commentaries about how kids don't play outside much these days. That's not the case in my household. Maybe it's because I have a no-TV policy during the day. My kids are always outside. They are outside even when I don't want them outside. Take today for instance. It's a frigid seventeen degrees outside.

"Mommy, I want to go outside to play," my six- year-old son said.

"It's freezing out there."


"Dress warm!"

Out he went, all bundled up. He had a blast playing in his fort in the woods.

Forty-five minutes later he came back in the house.

"Mom, it's freezing out there!"

"No kidding, snow boy!"

I then made him a cup of hot cocoa, and he was soon toasty warm.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Power Point Expert

Before I start on this subject, let me first say that this is the first day that I feel semi-human (that is, of this week - not of my life). I think I'm getting better. The plague is lifting.

Okay. So today my daughter asked if she could go online to make a power point presentation.

I was flabbergasted. "What?" I said. "You're only nine years old!"

"We learned how to do it in school," she replied.

"Okay," I said. "Go for it."

She went to the computer, and within twenty minutes she had created an excellent power point presentation about puppies, complete with photos of our own puppy and music.

"How did you do that?" I asked, completely amazed. (I had never done a power point presentation.)

"You just click this icon, and this icon, and this icon, and that's it."

Oh. I am definitely still back in the Stone Age!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sick Mama Part 3

Will the saga ever end? So let me start with part two and a half. Last night, after I finished typing my last post, I had to take my daughter to the dance studio for a dress rehearsal (she couldn't miss that practice!). I walked in the studio and immediately saw one of my friends.

"Sherry, are you okay?"

"Um, no. I have a really bad cold or something."

"Are you taking anything?"


"That stuff doesn't work. Try this." She reached into her purse and pulled out a packet of Theraflu. (It's great to have friends who are walking medicine cabinets!)

I took the Theraflu when I got home. It did work better than Nyquil, but unfortunately the effect didn't last. The next morning (this morning) I was feeling pretty awful again. And guess what day it was? Performance day!

"Honey," I asked my husband, "Would you please take our daughter to her performance?"

He agreed. So my daughter got herself ready, and applied her makeup the best she could. The two made their way to the location of the performance.

Here was the news when they returned home: "Mom, I forgot my tap shoes."


"Yeah, I had to wear my teacher's shoes."

"Good thing you have big feet," I thought.

"And my teacher told me I was a mess. You know what I said?"


"When Mama's sick, everything's a mess!"

Ain't that the truth!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sick Mama Part 2

Today I'm feeling worse than yesterday. I talked to my mom, and she said that she has the same thing. So, apparently, this is some kind of crud we picked up at the Children's Museum in Indianapolis.

Anyway, I decided to try to take a little nap. (You know I'm sick if I attempt to lay down in the middle of the afternoon!). Two seconds later:

"Mama, how do you spell, "Super Mario Propeller Hat Toys?"

You've got to be kidding me! I croaked out the letters while my son wrote them on a piece of paper.

"Mama, when you get better, can you mail this piece of paper to Macy's. I saw a commercial that said they can make anything you want. Isn't that nice?"


Two minutes later, I hear a commotion in the kitchen. (Oh, did I mention that the dog threw up today, and I had to clean that?). Now what?

A knock on my door. "Mama, I made you a snack so you can get better." My son brought in a plate of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and carrots.

"That's sweet," I said. "Now Mommy really needs to rest."

More commotion in the kitchen. A knock at my door. "Mama, I brought you some healthy juice." He placed the glass of Acai juice on the night stand.

"Thank you honey, now I really need to rest."

Two minutes later, "Mama, are you better yet?"


"I brought you some yogurt."


I guess he really wants that Super Mario Propeller Hat Toy.

(Then the dog started whining and that was the end of my "rest.")

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sick Mama

Why do moms never get a break even when they're sick? I'm an absolute wreck. I don't know if it's a really bad cold or a touch of the flu. All I'd really like to do is stay in bed. But no.

"Mommy, the dog needs to go potty!"

"Can't you take him out?"

"No, I don't know how."

What can be so hard about opening the back door and walking out with the dog? I guess for a six-year-old that's a monumental task.

"Mommy, I'm hungry!"

"Can't you make yourself something to eat?"

"No, I don't know how."

Now that's a farse if I've heard one. That little guy is perfectly capable of raiding the pantry for a box of crackers. I've seen him do it!

"Mommy, you have to go to parent teacher conferences!"

Yeah, I did. So I dragged my sorry self to the school, looking like death run over and sounding like a hoarse frog. The teachers were probably wondering about me.

Now I really should go to bed instead of writing this blog post. But first a bit of Nyquil...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Cat

Four months ago, a pathetically skinny brown tabby cat wandered into our yard. Now if it were you, would you turn this poor little creature away? Of course not. So we did what most kind-hearted people would do: we fed it.

Apparently it liked the restaurant because it's still here. We tried finding a home for him, but nobody wanted the poor cat. So today, I took him to the vet and got him neutered and vaccinated. I guess after spending $410.00 (and who knows how much for cat food), that officially makes him our cat. I sure hope he doesn't mind the snow!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Smart Dog

German Shepherds are known to be smart dogs. Our 11-week old puppy is proving that he is one smart pooch. Not only has he learned all the standard tricks like sit, down, come, shake, and stay, he managed to turn on my son's Nintendo DS that was lying on the floor AND open the sliding door using his leash. I thought I was being brilliant by attaching his leash to the handle while I went into the other room. He figured out that if he moved the bird cage and dragged the leash, he could open the door. When I arrived in the room a few minutes later, he was sticking his nose out the door.

The dog even knows to go into his crate when he's tired. He opens the door and plops himself down on the blanket.

"Mom," my daughter commented after watching the pooch tuck himself in, "That dog is smarter than me. I'd be staying up all night!"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Spaghetti Head

This evening, my children an I were gathered around the dinner table eating a plate of spaghetti.

"Mom," my daughter blurted, "Wouldn't it be great if people had spaghetti hair?"

I didn't say anything. I just looked at her while chewing a mouthful of spaghetti.

"Yeah, and the sauce could be a hat," my son chimed in. "Like this..."

"Don't even think about it," I said as I wisked a spaghetti noodle out of his hand.

Where do kids come up with these things?

Sunday, November 28, 2010


"Where are my shoes?" I griped this morning as I attempted to go outside to get the newspaper.

They weren't in my usual spot. I'm usually pretty good about putting my stuff where it belongs (unlike the other members of my family).

I looked in the laundry room. I looked in the kitchen. I looked in the front hall. I looked in the family room. Let me tell you, I was getting pretty upset about not finding my shoes.

Then my nine-year-old daughter came in from taking the dog outside. Guess what were on her feet?


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Jigson Club

My kids and the neighborhood kids have this new club. It's called the Jigson Club.

"Mom, come see our club," my daughter called.

I bundled up and headed out into the woods. The kids had made a nice little fort with fallen branches, and covered it with an old sheet.

"Nice," I said.

"Look at our price list," my daughter said as she shoved a stack of papers at me.


"We're selling things."

There were an assortment of pet rocks, pom-pom pets, and other creative doo-dads and what-nots. Leave it to my entrepreneurial daughter to make it a business. I knew I was getting suckered into this one.

I now have a lovely pet rock sitting on the counter in my kitchen. Guess how much it cost? $3.00. What a deal!

Friday, November 26, 2010


What is it with guys and X-Box? Even the puppy seems to like X-Box. The first thing he does when he's feeling particularly frisky, is run in the family room and grab the X-Box control in his mouth.

It must be genetic.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dog Boy

As I was walking down the hall, I spotted a strange-looking creature. It looked a little like a boy, but it was walking on all fours with a towel hanging out of its mouth.

I observed this creature for a while. I watched it pick up a rubber snake with its mouth. Then it poked its head under some blankets and curled up in a ball.

"Odd," I thought. I didn't say anything.

I went to another room for a while and came back to the hall. In the middle of the floor was the creature curled up on a pillow.

"Um, what exactly are you"" I asked the creature.

"Dog boy. Woof, Woof!"

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Silence. Now that's something I don't get much of. This evening I got some. The kids were gone. The grandparents were gone. The husband was gone. And the dog was sound asleep in his crate.

Ahhh. What a wonderful thing!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cup Castle

Today I visited the dentist with my son. As I sat in the chair getting my teeth cleaned, my son became fidgity. "Mom, I'm bored."

"Then do something creative," I responded.

Maybe I should've thought that out before I responded, because my little guy got really creative - with the dentist's rinsing cups.

He pulled out a dozen cups and started stacking.

"Look, Mom! It's Grandpa Bowser's Castle (a Mario character, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the name, Bowser)."

He continued stacking, making various castle configurations with those cups.

The hygienist laughed. "Well, at least he's busy!"

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dancing in the Restroom

This afternoon, my family and I went to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. While we were there, we had to use the restrooms. My father took my son to the men's room, and I took my daughter to the lady's room.

There was quite a line in the lady's room. We stood in line and started to get a little bored. That's when we noticed that the music that was playing had a good beat. Soon my daughter and I were tapping are feet and doing some dance moves. Another lady and her daughter joined in. It looked a little crazy, but it was great fun.

When we came out of the restroom, we were greeted by my son and father.

"Mommy, guess what?" my son said, all excited. "Grandpa and I were dancing in the bathroom!"

What can I say? Great minds think alike.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Painting the Town.

It was a gray day as my kids and I drove through Indiana to Indianapolis.

"Mom, this town needs to be painted," my nine-year-old artistic daughter said. "Look at the sky. Look at the road. Look at the trees. Everything is gray!"

"Hmmm," I said as I looked around. "Well, not everything. The grass is brown."

"It's ugly!" she exclaimed.

"You are right," I agreed. "Let's paint the sky blue with rainbows. Let's paint the grass green with red and yellow flowers. Let's paint the road purple and pink."


So, if you happen to be driving along Interstate 74 in Indiana, and you notice that things look a little more colorful than usual, you'll know who did it!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ooey Goo

This evening, as I was trying to deal with our nippy obnoxious puppy beast, my daughter, her friends, my son, and his friends decided to have a great science experiment in my kitchen. They pulled out two boxes of corn starch, food coloring, and water. Then they pulled out a package of paper cups and the Usborne book of Science Experiments. They mixed, and poured, and came up with some God-aweful sticky concoction which they poured into the cups.

"What are you going to do with that?" I asked staring at the huge mess in front of me as the dog nipped at my heels.

"We're going to sell it!"

"Oh yeah? To who?"

"Our friends."

"How are you going to do that?"

"We'll put it in our club house and advertise."

"Great," I said as the dog had an accident on the floor.

I think a nice vacation on a warm, sunny beach sounds pretty good about now (without the kids and the dog).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mama Luigi

My six-year-old son gave me a compliment. I think. He said, "Mom, I like Luigi better than Mario."

"Why is that?" I asked.

"Mario's fat, like this," and he stuck his hands way out demonstrating how big Mario's belly was.

"Hmmm. I see," I said. "And what about Luigi?"

"Luigi is skinny. Like you."

Monday, November 15, 2010


This has been one of those days when I wish somebody else would do my job.

The dog has diarrhea, and my son is vomitting.

Any volunteers?

Sunday, November 14, 2010


This morning my son came in from playing outside. He was covered in mud, feathers, and paint. "What are you doing out there?" I asked, amazed that he could get so dirty so soon.

"I'm making pet rocks and Indian hats," he replied.

"You're a mess!" I exclaimed.

"You are too," he countered.


"Go look in the mirror."

I marched over to the mirror and peered at my reflection. Sure enough, dried pancake batter was plastered in my hair.

I guess it's genetic.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Propeller Head

"Mom, I want a propeller hat," my six-year-old son remarked.

"A what?"

"A propeller hat - just like the one Super Mario has."

"Oh," I said. I knew Mario had to be involved in this somewhere. "Why?" I asked.

"So that when an F5 tornado comes through, I can fly through the air and travel to another state. Wouldn't that be cool?"

Um, yeah.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Patriotic Pride

Today, my kids' school had a wonderful assembly for Veterans Day. Veterans were invited to attend. My father came all the way from Cleveland (a four hour drive). After a tour of the Black Hawk helicopter, the school welcomed the veterans and sang patriotic songs. It was really touching to hear all of the brave men and women's names called as they came forward to receive certificates from the school honoring them for their service.

I have to admit, I got all teary-eyed as I listened to my kindergartener belt out, My Country Tis of Thee, as he sat on his grandpa's lap.

I am so proud to be American. Thank you to all the veterans who have served this country!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Asleep on the Bus

This morning, at about 11:15 AM I was standing at the bus stop waiting to pick up my son from school. The bus pulled up. I looked at my son. It appeared that his eyes were closed.

"No, it couldn't be," I thought. "Did he actually fall asleep on the bus?"

As soon as the bus stopped, he tipped over.

That poor kid did fall asleep on the bus! I guess the sleepless nights with the puppy are catching up to all of us!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Deja Vu

I feel like I've done all this before; the sleepless nights, tripping over toys, diaper duty (or a variation thereof). Why did I let my kids talk me into getting a dog? As I tripped over the kong on the kitchen floor for the eleventh time, I couldn't help thinking that I must be crazy!

But at least it's cute!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fingerprints and Noseprints

My sliding glass doors that lead to the backyard are usually covered with handprints and fingerprints at about the three foot height. I'm sure you can probably guess the cause: the kiddies who come in and out all day long.

Now at about the six inch mark, there's a new bunch 0f prints: nose prints. Guess who made those? The German Shepherd puppy!

Those doors really have a lot of character!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Potty Training the Pooch

Would you believe that it's easier to potty train a dog than it is a human child? Maybe it's because they have some inate sense to not defacate in their sleeping quarters.

We just got our eight-week-old German Shepherd puppy two days ago, and today, he seems well on the way to being potty trained. He whines when he has to go out. We take him out, he sniffs around, does his thing, and we go back in the house.

Why couldn't it have been this easy with my son?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Elusive Sleep

I have re-entered the world of the sleep-deprived. As expected, Schultz, our new puppy, kept us up quite a bit last night. He'd whine for about an hour in his crate, fall asleep for about an hour, then wake up and do it all over again. Did I mention going outside in the freezing cold for a potty break? At least with the kids, I was able to stay nice and warm!

Needless to say, we're all a little tired here.

Even my daughter, who begged for the puppy, said this morning, "That dumb dog! Can we take him back?"

I don't think so.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Schultz has Arrived!

Our German Shepherd puppy, Schultz, has come home. He is the cutest little fur ball! He seems to be rather smart too. My kids are so unbelievably happy!

My daughter nearly jumped out of her skin when she got off of the bus. "Mommy, Mommy, is he here yet?"

"Pretty soon," I replied.

Then he arrived. The kids went crazy! Schultz wagged his little tail and licked their faces.

Let's hope they are still thrilled with him after he keeps us up all night!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Last Day of Relative Tranquility

Today is the last day of relative tranquility in my life. Well, maybe not my entire life, but for a good ten years, anyway. Why? The puppy is coming tomorrow. Yes, the adorable bundle of fur and tongue, otherwise known as a German Shepherd, will be arriving some time tomorrow afternoon. The kids are ecstatic.

I've been staring at the floors all day, trying to engrain in my head what scratch-free, hair-free floors look like. I know they won't be staying that way for long. I'm also trying very hard not to remember what sleepless nights are like. Unfortunately, I haven't forgotten. Here we go again!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bandit Strikes Again

Do you remember that raccoon that has been stealing cat food from the cat's bowl? Well, he's at it again. This time it was with my son's Halloween candy.

My brilliant little guy took his bucket of candy outside and left it there overnight.

"Mom, where's my candy?" he asked the next day.

"Probably where you left it," I replied.

He marched outside and came back a few minutes later. "Mom, I think a bear ate it!"

I went outside to have a look. Candy wrappers were scattered everywhere, torn up like no human would do. "Nope," I replied. "It was the raccoon."

I guess that's one way to get rid of access candy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bear Poison

There's been a bear sighting in Loveland, Ohio. That's where I live. I don't know what that thing is doing around here, but it certainly isn't welcome.

My kids and some of the neighborhood kids decided to do something about it.

"Mom, I need a mug," my nine-year-old daughter said.

"What for?"

"You'll see."

She filled the mug with water, and put it in the microwave for about a minute. Then she went in the spice cupboard and pulled out an assortment of spices. She took her collection and headed outdoors.

A few minutes later she ran back inside. "Mom, you gotta see this!"

I went outside to see what the fuss was about. She led me to a big tree that obviously had some markings from a creature rubbing against it. "Look at those bear claw marks on the tree!"

"Hmmm," I said as my eye caught the mug on the ground next to the tree. There were some berries, leaves, and a cigar butt from my husband's last smoke added to the hot water and spices. "What the heck is that?" I asked.

"Bear poison!"

Monday, November 1, 2010

Candy Monster

"Mommy, Daddy has been eating my candy!"

Such was the comment of my nine-year-old daughter as she inspected her bucket of Halloween candy this morning.

I went over to take a look. Sure enough, there was a definite dent in the candy. I hadn't confiscated any to freeze it, so I knew the culprit was somewhere in the house.

My daughter and I walked over to Daddy's "spot" on the sofa. Guess what we found? That's right. Candy wrappers!

That Daddy!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pumpkin Goop

It's that day again - the one where grown-ups make silly faces on big orange guords and then light a fire inside, all for the entertainment of little people in costumes.

I had the wonderful pleasure of carving four such guords (also known as pumpkins for those whose brains are little fuzzy from drinking too much apple cider). They turned out quite nicely, if I may say so myself, but I was covered from head to toe in pumpkin goup and seeds (my kids helped a little with that).

It's all fun though - part of the yearly tradition. As I sat with my pumpkin-stained pants, poncho, and sombrero passing out candy this evening, I thought, "What could be better?"

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cookie Dough and the Zoo Creatures

Do you remember Cookie Dough, the guinea pig? She was a visitor at our house about a month ago. Well, today Cookie Dough had a big adventure. She was minding her own business, poking around in her woodchips, when a representative from the zoo arrived in the classroom.

The zoo representative had some creatures of her own. Creature number one was a hawk. As soon as the hawk came out the box, he zeroed in on the poor little rodent. Fortunately, the cage was between Cookie Dough and the hawk. The hawk charged at the cage and ended up getting his beak stuck.

As if that commotion wasn't enough, creature number two was introduced. Creature number two was a three-year-old alligator. As soon as he came out of his box, he saw Cookie Dough. He squirmed right out of the zoo representative's hands and landed on top of Cookie Dough's cage.

Needless to say, the zoo representative quickly gathered up her gator, hawk, and whatever other creatures she had, and headed out of the classroom. Cookie Dough definitely looked good enough to eat!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Whipped Cream

Today I made the mistake of letting my six-year-old son have free reign of the Redi Whip can. I had put out a piece of pumpkin pie.

"Can I put on the whipped cream?"

"Okay," I said without giving it much thought.

In a matter of seconds, he had whipped cream piled on the pie, whipped cream in his milk, whipped cream on his plate, whipped cream on the table, and whipped cream all over his face.

"What are you doing?" I bellowed.

He grinned. "More whipped cream?"

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

In the Dark

Yesterday we had a power failure for about eight hours. This was great excitement for the kids, especially when it started getting dark. They ran around bumping into things. They hid in corners and jumped out , scaring the living daylights out of each other. They pretended to be ghosts. It was all great fun.

Meanwhile, I was trying to teach piano lessons by the light of a flashlight. (I did warn the students beforehand that we were out of power, but they too thought it was great fun to play in the dark.)

"Mom, why did they invent power?" my daughter asked. "We really don't need it!"

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Bash

I'm exhausted. I just hosted a halloween party for about a dozen kids. Boy, do those kids know how to cause a raucus! I spent hours, no....days, decorating the house and making the food. I had a vegetable cemetary concoction, apple lips with teeth, mummy fingers, and more. The only things the kids wanted were the mummy hot dogs, rotten apple apple cider, and cupcakes.

After the kids left, I looked around. There was toilet paper all over the living room floor (from the mummy wrapping contest), apples still bobbing in a tub of water, and an assortment of paper plates, cups, and food remains all over the kitchen.

I sat down and sighed.

Then my son came running in the room.

"Mom, that was the best party ever! Can we do it again next year?"

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Picture Perfect

Do you know that saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words?" My son's school picture says that and then some. On picture day this year, I was in Israel. Grandma and Grandpa were in charge of watching the kids.

I don't know what went on, but I had to look twice to make sure that was really my kid in the picture. His eyes had bags under them, his hair had a bad case of bed head, and his lips were all puffy from a run-in with a kid on the playground. He was a mess.

My son came over and looked at his picture. "I think they did something wrong with my head," he said.

Yeah. Something like that.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Poo Patrol

Today I salute all parents and keepers of creatures that require waste removal. It's not a fun job, but it is certainly one that is necessary.

As a mom, I have changed numerous diapers (probably numbering in the millions), and cleaned up several accidents. As a pet owner, I have cleaned bird droppings, frog goop, dirty fish water, and cat waste. Today I cleaned a turtle turd. Soon I will be picking up dog doo. (Sigh.)

So here's to all of you involved in the waste management of your creatures. Cheers!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Kindergarten Fun

I got to play in kindergarten today. It was fun!

Maybe I should explain.

Every week I go into my kids' school to help. On Wednesdays, I go to help in my son's kindergarten class. Today was fingerpainting day. I had a blast painting the kindergarteners' hands red and watching them make hand prints on the papers.

When I was done, I looked at my hands. They were a dark shade of red. I tried to wipe them off with the wipes that had been provided, but that red paint wouldn't come off.

So I guess I'll just go get some nail polish and paint my nails red. Maybe nobody will notice.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pet Coon

Apparently I have a new pet. This one is a pet raccoon.

You may recall that a couple of days ago, we were visited by a very bold raccoon who seemed to want to come inside and make himself at home. This morning the coon came back. It was about seven o'clock in the morning, and still dark outside. Bootsie the cat was at the door begging for breakfast. I put out the cat food and water and then went to make my kid's breakfast.

I glanced out and saw Bootsie happily munching on his kibbles. After I set the table, I looked out again. It was still dark, but the tail I saw against our sliding door was a lot thicker and had rings on it. Hmm, I thought. Could it be our bandit friend?

I turned on the light. Yep. It was the coon. He had eaten the rest of Bootsie's food and was pawing at the window, begging for more.

What am I going to do with that thing?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mama Turtle

The turtle saga continues. My son and another neighborhood boy were in the woods behind our house this evening. Guess what they found? An adult box turtle. We're guessing it's the mama box turtle.

My daughter came running in the house screaming, "Get the baby! The mommy's here!"

"What?" I said, completely confused.

Then she showed me the big find.

"All right. That thing needs to go hibernate," I said.

"But can't it see its baby?"

"Fine. Then put it right back where you found it."

Baby turtle and mama turtle got introduced. The baby was mildly interested. The mama didn't care. My daughter was thrilled.

"Oh, they love each other!"

Uh huh.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Terrorizing the Cat

This evening I came home from my daughter's girl scout meeting and heard a terrible noise. It sounded like a dinosaur.

I went around to the back of my house to investigate, and guess what? It was a dinosaur! I kid you not. My husband and son were playing with Spike, a giant remote control dinosaur on our back patio.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Terrorizing the cat," my husband replied.

"That's terrible!" I exclaimed.

My daughter quickly went over to comfort the poor cat who clearly was not pleased with the dinosaur in his territory.

What is it with men, anyway? Will somebody please explain?

Saturday, October 16, 2010


We have a cool little tradition in the neighborhood in which I live. The week before Halloween, when it is dark outside, the doorbell rings. The kids rush to open the door. On the the doorstep, is a plastic pumpkin filled with candy and a note that says we have been "booed." If we're lucky, we can catch the treater before he runs off. Anyway, once you've been "booed," it is your turn to "boo" two other people.

Tonight was our night. Of course, nobody is supposed to know who the "booer" is. Well, my little guy doesn't exactly play by the rules. The genious put a little note in one of the pumpkins which had his name on it. To make matters worse, the little guy didn't even get the pumpkin to the right person, so the message made absolutely no sense to the receiver.

When my kids realized their mistake, they started laughing hysterically. They couldn't stop laughing to make the next delivery. I think the whole neighborhood heard them. So much for secrecy.

(When we got home, the phone rang. It was my son's friend who had received pumpkin with the strange message. He didn't care about the message. He was just glad to get the candy.)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Animal House

Do you remember that turtle my son found yesterday? We released it as planned. Today, my son went to see if he could find it, and sure enough it was there, in the exact spot we left it. I was a little concerned about that. Surely the little critter would have wandered off.

So I went online and did a little investigating about baby box turtles. I found out, first, that it is not good to feed baby box turtles fruit of any kind (so much for the strawberries). I also learned that box turtles that hatch late in the year, seldom survive the winter. Oh dear. Now you know I can't just let the little turtle die out there. So, my son and I made a little trip to the pet store to get a terrarium, UVB heat lamp, box turtle food, and other necessities. One hundred and seventeen dollars later, we have a nice little habitat for the turtle. I think the turtle likes it. He promptly buried himself under the coco husks.

What a mom won't do!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


There's a new celebrity in the neighborhood. It's Boxy the Box Turtle. This morning, as my son and I were walking through the woods in our backyard, we spotted a baby box turtle. Of course my son had to scoop it up and carry it around all day.

"Leave it alone," I said. "It's a baby. It needs to sleep!"

Of course those words fell on deaf ears.

Boxy was brought to the bus stop where all of the kids had to see and touch it. Then the kids all came over to play with Boxy. That poor turtle was held during games of tag, dropped a couple of times (fortunately with no apparent injuries), and handled way more than any baby should be handled.

Finally Boxy was put back where we found it. I felt bad, so I left it a pile of strawberries. Hopefully the trauma won't be long-lasting, and it will grow up to be a happy little box turtle.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dr. Professor Bubba

"Mom, I want to go to the natural history museum." These were the words that came out of my six-year-old son's mouth today.

I looked at the piles of laundry that needed to be done. I looked at my watch. "Bubba, we don't have much time. Your sister will be home from school soon."


I sighed. What mom can deny her child a trip to the natural history museum when an inquisitive mind wishes to learn.


We made the trek to the museum. The little man headed right for the trading post - that's the section that contains some neat things like fossils, and shark teeth, and turtle shells.

"May I please see your turtle shells?" the little man asked.

"Certainly," said the lady behind the counter.

The young man gazed intently at the carapaces. "These are from sea turtles," he said with authority.

"Why yes, I believe you are right," the lady said.

"I know all about turtles," he announced.

Yes, indeed, Dr. Professor Bubba.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Little Bandit

Yesterday I filled the bird feeder with bird seed. This morning the feeder was empty. There wasn't even a trace of seeds on the ground. I was perplexed. This evening I found out what had happened.

As I was giving my children their snack before bedtime, I happened to glance out through our sliding glass doors in the kitchen. Usually I see Bootsie the cat. What I saw was quite remarkable. I had to look twice, because I assumed that my sleep-deprived state was causing me to hallucinate. At the window was a huge raccoon. standing on his back legs with his paws against the window.

"Hey kids," I called. "Look at the raccoon!"

For a moment the coon and the kids locked eyes. Neither of them moved. Then Bootsie the cat came charging to reclaim his spot. The raccoon scurried off, but not for long. He reappeared at the bird feeder, scavanging for whatever seeds remained.

The cat and the kids watched that coon for about twenty minutes until it disappeared into the darkness.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm Home!

Did you miss me? My kids did. I was on a very long trip to Israel. It was absolutely fantastic! I'd say it was the best vacation I ever had. My husband and I saw almost all of the country - the West Bank, Masada, the Dead Sea, the place where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, Old Jerusalem, New Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv, Golan, and every place in between.

Today my husband and I dragged our tired bodies back home. What a long flight! When we returned, the kids squealed with delight and nearly squeezed me to death. I guess they were happy to see me. I took an inspection to see if they hadn't fallen apart. Aside from their colds, and my son's fat lip (he had a collision with a kid on the playground), they were in good order. Grandma and Grandpa did a good job.

Now I'm going to bed. I'm in serious need of a nap!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

No, Don't Go!

Tomorrow morning I am leaving for a ten day trip to Israel. Just my husband and I are going. The kids are staying home with their grandparents. All day long my son was begging me not to go.

"Mommy, why do you have to go?"

"We have a wedding to attend."

'That's not fair!"

Then my daughter came home and started.

"Mommy, please don't go!"

"I'll call you every day."

"No, don't go!' Then the big tears came rolling down.

Nothing like making a mom feel bad about going on vacation!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mario Cart

If you haven't noticed, the Halloween costumes are out in the stores. My son noticed. He of course, had to inspect every single one. He finally settled on a Mario costume (if you don't know who Mario is, he's a video game character who dresses like a plumber and has a big mustache and red cap.).

Of course he wanted to put the costume on when he got home. Then he wanted to parade around the neighborhood.

"Mommy," he said, "I'm going to drive my golf cart now. Will you please come with me?"

So off we went, around the neighborhood - he in his pint-sized golf cart and me following behind. It was quite a sight. A few kids even came out of their houses to see the "Mario Kart" character.

Then my son spotted a grasshopper. He hopped out of the cart to chase it. Finally he caught it. "Mommy, I'm going to take the grasshopper home."

"What about the golf cart?"

"You can take it home."

So I sat on the little seat, hung my legs over the hood, and pressed the gas pedal with my hand. Now that was a sight - me in the pint-sized golf cart following a little Mario Man and a grasshopper. (A few of our neighbors had a good chuckle watching us!)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Spider Trap

This afternoon I walked out onto my front porch and noticed an upside-down glass sitting there. I walked over to investigate. Under the glass was a dead daddy-long-leg spider. Also under the glass was a block of chocolate which was mal-formed and discolored and a green lego. Puzzled I went into the house to ask my son about it. I knew he had something to do with it - maybe because of the green lego.

"Oh that," he said. "That's a spider trap."

"So, you lured the spider over with the chocolate and green lego, and then you popped a glass over it?" I asked.

"Yep, that's how it works."

Hmmm. Maybe I ought to make a few of those for the basement.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ancient One

"Mom, were you around at the time of the dinosaurs?"

I looked at my son in disbelief. "No," I said, " I would have to be at least 65 million years old. Do you think I'm 65 million years old?"

My son thought about it and then grinned. "No, but sometimes you look like you're 65 million years old!"

Ha Ha.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Crafty Kids

Both of my kids had a chance to learn some new skills today. I took my daughter to JoAnn Fabric where she learned to use a sewing machine and make a pillow case. My husband took my son to Lowes where he hammered together a race car. Both kids were thrilled with their creations.

As we were leaving JoAnn Fabric, my daughter was grinning ear to ear, proudly showing every customer she met her pillow case. "Mommy, that was fun!" she exclaimed. "Can we get a sewing machine like the one in class?"

"Um, right- next time I have about $500.00." I guess I had better work more and start saving!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Math Games

I have concluded that moms are pretty smart. Do you know why? It's because they go through school at least twice: once as kids, then again again when they help their own kids with homework.

I, of course, have been the one helping my oldest daughter with her homework (not doing it, but rather explaining things she might not understand). This year I've been having fun with math. The math teacher is very creative. Every day there's a new math game to play. Today's game involved playing cards. It's called "Guess the card." Here's how it works: Player one picks a card out of the deck. This card remains a secret. Player two must figure out what the card is by doing some math. The remaining cards must be sorted so that they are in pairs that equal ten. Kings, queens, and jacks are removed as a unit of one king, one queen, and one jack. (The Ace= 1) . When player two is done, there should be one remaining card. Subtract the value of that card from ten, and that is the answer for the mystery card that player one has.

Isn't that cool? Now you'll have to go try that at home!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cookie Dough

A couple of weeks ago my daughter came home with a note from the teacher asking for volunteers to care for the class guinea pig on weekends. Being the kind-hearted animal lover that I am, I volunteered without thinking twice. Today was our assigned day to watch "Cookie Dough."

I expected to see my daughter coming off of the bus with a small container and a guinea pig. (I don't know what I was thinking.) Instead, she came off of the bus with only her backpack.

"Where's the guinea pig? " I asked.

"You're supposed to pick it up today or tomorrow."

"Okay, let's go now to get it."

We went back to the school and soon found Cookie Dough in the middle of the hall outside of the classroom in an enormous cage.

"How the heck are we supposed to get that thing home?" I asked. (I'm not one of those moms who drives around in a minivan, although I think maybe I should.)

"And where are the directions for taking care of this thing?"

Fortunately the janitor was nearby, so she gave me a quick lesson on guinea pig care.

Then I had to haul that thing to my car. That wasn't pretty. Then I had to haul it up the steps when I got home. That wasn't pretty either.

Now Cookie Dough is sitting on the floor in our loft wondering what the heck just happened. I'm kind of wondering that too!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dog Bite

Didn't I just say we were getting a dog yesterday? Today I got bit by one.

I went to get my son who was playing at a friend's house. I heard the kids playing in the back, so I went to the back yard to call him. That's when it happened.

This big white dog charged at me, jumped on me, and bit my arm. I got it off, but it kept trying to jump on me and bite me. I told the kid to call his dog off, but the darn dog wouldn't listen. As if that wasn't bad enough, it started jumping on my kids and biting them!

Then I got mad! I got that dog off of them and got the heck out of there!

What a bad dog! My kids won't be going there again!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Roller Coaster

Wow! What a day it's been! Everthing was pretty normal until my kids came home from school. The chaos began during my first student's piano lesson.

"Mom!!!!! Help!!!!! (A neighborhood kid, whose name I won't mention) is chasing us with poison ivy!!!!" screamed my daughter.

"Right," I thought. "What kind of moron would be holding poison ivy and chasing people around with it?" I calmly finished the lesson and went to investigate. The kid was sitting at our picnic table in our backyard.

"So, " I began, "What's this about poison ivy? Did you really have poison ivy in your hands?"


"What were you thinking?" I asked completely dumbfounded.

"I don't know."

Of course not.

Meanwhile my son was sitting there scratching himself. "Mom, I'm really itchy!" I rushed him into the bathtub. Hopefully the damage won't be too bad.

An hour later, when my last student was leaving, my daughter came through the front door sobbing. "What's wrong?" I asked.

"The frog is dead," she wailed.

"Which frog? Croaky? (our pet)"

"No, Lisa!"

"Who's Lisa?"

Apparently Lisa was one of the frogs from the frog puddle. The above-mentioned neighborhood kid had taken Lisa out of her habitat. She got lost, ended up in the street, and dried out. My daughter was heartbroken.

"Do you want to see where I buried her?" She led me to the rose garden and showed me a little tombstone with flowers. On the stone was written the words, "My friend, Leesah."

The saga continues. As I was sitting at the kitchen table trying to help my teary-eyed daughter with her homework, my husband decided to break some important news. He gathered the children around and made this announcement: "Someone was just born who is going to become a member of our family."

My kids were thoroughly confused. He went on to explain, "We're going to get a German Shepherd puppy in about eight weeks."

You should have seen my daughter. She went nuts - crying, laughing, squealing all at the same time. I wish I had my camera!

All would have ended happily had it not been for the last incident of the day. My son then was told to hustle upstairs to get ready for bath time. He hustled right into the back of an iron-back chair, chipping his tooth and bleeding all over. (I can only hope that he didn't damage his new front tooth that is just coming in.)

The kids are in bed now. Thank God! I don't think I can handle any more for today!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Animal Yard

This afternoon I looked outside to check on my kids and the neighborhood kids who were playing in our backyard. Everyone was playing nicely. Then I did a double take. Walking around on the back patio was a fat guinea pig. What the heck was that thing doing there? Didn't it know there was a dangerous cat lurking nearby?

"Hey kids," I called, "Where did this guinea pig come from?"

"Oh, that's mine," called one of the kids.

"You might want to keep an eye on him," I said as I watched the little fur ball investigate a chipmunk hole.

"Mama," my son called, "Can Croaky come out?" Croaky is our pet African Clawed Frog.

I thought about that for a minute. The weather was warm enough. "Okay, but Croaky has to stay in his tank."

I hauled that tank down to the picnic table. The kids were delighted to play with the frog.

Meanwhile, in the other yard, the Huskies were howling. They had spotted the cat.

I think I must be living in a zoo!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Band Aid Boy

As you have probably figured out from previous posts, my son likes to be outside. As a result, he is typically covered in an assortment of Band Aids.

Today was a record. He arrived home from a playdate with some neighborhood boys completely cut up from his thighs to his ankles. The mom had cleaned him up and neosporined his wounds, but I had the job of applying the Band Aids. By the time we were done, he had fifteen new Band Aids in assorted styles covering his legs. I think he had more Band Aids than skin on his legs!

What can I say? I guess that's proof that my kids don't spend much time sitting in front of the TV.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Star Struck

Last night I took my tween-age daughter to a "back to school bash" held at a local church. A band called the "Hi-Tops" played. We had seen the "Hi-Tops" perform about two years ago. They are a pretty good all-girl band. My daughter loved them. She was so excited to see them again that she could not contain herself. She positioned herself right in front of the stage, screaming and yelling and jumping up and down like she had ants in her pants. Then one of the band members reached down and gave her a sideways high five.

She came running and screaming to where I had parked myself. "She touched my hand, she touched my hand!!!!!!" she yelled. (More screams.)

"Wonderful," I shouted as enthusiastically as I could, knowing that I was doing some serious damage to my ears (remind me to bring earplugs next time!)

"I'm never going to wash my hand again!"

"We'll see about that," I replied.

She washed her hands as soon as she got home.

At least it was a wonderful memory for her. Now if only my ears would stop ringing!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Frog Yoga

It rained last night (finally!). Do you know what that means? It means that the frog puddle has returned to its full glory. Do you know what else that means? It means that my kids and the neighborhood kids gathered to terrorize the seven frogs that live in that puddle.

Today's frog trick was to contort the little green amphibians into yoga poses. I have to admit, frogs are really good at the lotus pose. I couldn't believe what they had those frogs doing. I also couldn't believe that the frogs were letting them do it. Perhaps the frogs felt safe with creatures who put so much effort into preserving their habitat.

(For those of you who are animal lovers, rest assured, the frogs were fine after the kid-handling. They returned back to their little puddle and resumed croaking.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Growing Up

My little girl is growing up. Today she asked if she could go bike riding around the neighborhood with her friend.

"Take your watch and be back in a half hour."

A half hour later she came in the door right on time. "I'm home!" She proudly announced.

I can't believe how quickly kids grow up! It seems like just yesterday she was a baby.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Waterfall Construction

Do you remember that frog habitat I was trying to save a couple of weeks ago? Well, the "Save the Frog Habitat" has now become a full-fledged "Create a Frog Waterpark" project. Now my kids and the neighborhood kids have banded together to form a construction crew. They are out in the middle of the woods with shovels and extra-long hoses that actually reach from one of my neighbor's houses to the location of the frog puddle.

I went back there to investigate. I found miniature construction pylons, kid-sized shovels, and a tiny trickle of water coming from a hose, leading down to the puddle. Not one frog was in sight. I think the heavy construction caused a major evacuation. The plan is to create a tiered waterfall that leads down to the frog puddle.

I'll keep you updated on the progress.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Turtle Birthday or Bust

The big old turtle cloud was hanging over my six-year-old son's head today.

"Mom, I want to go to a turtle petting farm!" he exclaimed.

"I don't think they have such a thing," I replied, thinking that turtles carry all kinds of terrible germs. Why would a place allow anybody to pet turtles?

"Look it up online," the little guy replied.

I sighed. "All right," I said. I was sure that my search would be short and sweet. Boy was I wrong!

There are turtle petting farms all over the country. The one in Grand Caymen looked pretty good to my turtle lover.

"I want to have my next birthday there," he said. "Okay?"

"I'll keep that in mind," I replied.

"If I can't have my birthday there, then I don't want a birthday!"

Well! I'm going to have to remember that! (It might be an inexpensive birthday next year.)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Muscle Girl

Mommies do a lot of lifting. They lift babies, toddlers, bicycles, and an awful lot of groceries. My eight- year- old daughter has witnessed the heavy lifting that I have done. She decided it was her turn to do some heavy lifting.

"Mommy, I bet I can lift you up," she said.

"I don't know about that," I said.

"Let me try."

"Um, okay."

I really didn't expect her to do more than knock me off balance a little bit.

Would you believe she actually lifted me off of the ground? I couldn't believe it! It must be all of those tumbling classes that she's been taking!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Puppy Boy

My friend just brought home a white lab puppy. The little critter is only eight weeks old. Naturally, my kids had to visit the white ball of fluff.

The little puppy was outside playing when we arrived. It was rolling around on the ground, getting absolutely filthy. My six-year-old son saw that and decided that rolling around on the ground looked like a great idea. So that's what he did.

When he was done, he was covered from head to toe in dry grass and dirt. I looked at the puppy. I looked at my son. What a pair!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Turtle Hunting

My six-year-old son loves turtles. He seems to have a perpetual turtle cloud hovering above his head. Turtles are always on his mind. Today's mission was to find some turtles. We started in our backyard. A year ago, a box turtle was spotted near the sandbox. After a thorough investigation of the yard, and the woods behind the yard, we concluded that "boxy" was no longer around.

Our search then expanded to the local nature preserve. We had on one occasion spotted a box turtle just off of the hiking trail. We returned to the spot, but alas, there was no "boxy." We completed our hike without finding one turtle.

Then we visited a local pond to see if we could spot some red-eared sliders. No luck there either.

My little guy was getting quite upset.

"Okay," I said, "How about we go to the indoor nature center where we know they have a box turtle."

That's what we did. It wasn't quite as fun as finding it in the wild, but at least we got to see it.

My son was pleased.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Octopus Heads

Today was my son's first day of kindergarten. (Now you may be wondering what that has to do with octopus heads. Here's what it has to do with octopus heads:) As a special treat for the special day, I took the little guy to the sushi counter at the local grocery store. Sushi is one of his favorite foods. I think he must have inherited the sushi gene from my husband.

The little man stood peering at the assortment of tuna and shrimp and other odd looking delicacies. Then his little eyeballs rested on the baby octopus container. "I want this," he exclaimed.

"That's disgusting!" I said as I examined the brown creatures. "Their heads are still on!"

"Cool!" my son said.

"Can't you choose a California roll, or something more palatable?"

"Nope, I want the baby octopuses."

My son actually enjoyed eating those digusting things. Then my husband came home. He had to have some too. I thought I was going to be sick! Who would kill baby octopi anyway? There should be a law against that!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Driveway Campout

This evening my family was celebrating the last days of summer with one of our friends. We had a wonderful cookout in the backyard. Our visit lasted long after the sun went down. The kids thought that was great. They set up camp in the driveway with some blankets, a lantern, and some popsicles.

They found the Big Dipper, and the North Star. They made wishes on every star they saw. They had a simply marvelous time out there in the dark.

"Mommy can we stay out here all night?"

"Sorry kids, it's way past your bedtime - time to come in!"


We'll have to do that again next Labor Day weekend.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Mama Truck

I was on my hands and knees cleaning the bathroom floor, when I heard my husband calling me.


What could that guy possibly want?

"Woman, I need your help."

"What seems to be the problem?" I replied.

"Come ouside and see."

I followed him out to the backyard. There in the dried up creek bed was our tractor. It was stuck.

"I pressed the wrong pedal and ended up in the creek. I don't have a truck, so I need you to push me out."

He started the engine, and I pushed. I got that big old tractor unstuck on the first try.

Later in the day, my six-year-old son came up to me and started pressing on my belly.

"What do you want?" I asked him.

"You're supposed to beep when I press your belly button."

Apparently the men in my family now think I'm a truck.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Block Engineer

My six-year-old son loves to play with wooden blocks (almost as much as Legos). He came up to me and asked me to build with him.

"What do you want me to build?"

"Anything you want."

"How about a giraffe?"

"No, that's too weird."

So much for anything I wanted. I decided to think outside of the box and build a car, boat, and submarine.

"How do you like my submarine?" I asked.

My son looked at it and shook his head. "That doesn't look like a submarine."

"Okay, then let's see you make one."

The little man went to work. What he created was a masterpiece, complete with periscope and torpedos. After he finished making his creation, he stood back to admire it.

"See, Mommy. That's how you do it."

I guess I have a lot to learn!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Saving the Habitat

Do you recall that frog puddle from yesterday? Well, today it evaporated. My son quickly discovered this calamity and ran into the house to tell me.

"Mommy, save the frogs' habitat! It has disappeared."

"Um. Okay."

I found my large lobster pot and filled it with water.

I then hauled that thing through the woods to the place where the puddle was last seen. That pot had to weigh at least fifty pounds!

I poured the water into the dried creek bed.

My son was pleased.

Soon the frogs returned.

Ahhh, the things we do to save a habitat!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Frog Puddle

My kids and I were walking in the woods along a dried-up creek behind our house today. Suddenly, in front of us, an olive-green frog hopped by.

"That's odd," I said. "There's no water here."

I looked a little further down the creek bed, and there in a low area, was a small puddle of water, no more than two feet wide.

Naturally my son had to investigate.

As he neared the puddle, several frogs scurried out of the way and hopped into it.

Would you believe that there were about seven frogs all huddled in this little puddle?

My son decided this was a great place to catch frogs, so he went home, donned his fireman rain boots and gardening gloves, and went frog catching. I believe he managed to catch all seven. (Of course he released them back into their little puddle.)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Twisty Balloons

Have you ever seen those balloons that clowns use to create things like poodles, and giraffes, and crowns? My kids received a pack of those today. Guess who got to do the creating? Me of course!

"Mom, can you make a puppy?"

"Ummm, sure."

I looked at the diagram and figured out what kinds of twists and turns the balloon needed. Soon, we had a rather long-nosed puppy.

"Make another," my daughter exclaimed.

As I was creating this second puppy, my son left the room. A few minutes later he returned. I felt a cold drippy sensation on the back of my leg.

"Puppy is giving you a kiss!" (Apparently he had wet the puppy's nose at the sink.)

I just can't seem to get away from slobbery dogs!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Those Doggone Dogs!

In case you've been wondering where I've been, I've been in the great state of Virginia, covered in dog hair and dog slobber. My family and I went to Virginia to visit my father-in-law and his two giant yellow labs, Hoover and Clancy. They are the sweetest dogs, but boy are they messy!

I walked in the door with my kids, and was immediately greeted with slobbery kisses and a few good wacks with the tails. I reached down to pet the beasts, and found myself covered with clumps of hair.

"Do these boys need a brushing?" I asked.

"It doesn't do any good," was the reply.

"Okay," I thought as I looked around at the blanket of dog hair covering the floor.

My kids didn't seem to mind. Soon they were rolling around on the floor using the big dogs as pillows. They were covered from head to toe in dog hair.

"Mommy, can we have a dog, PLEASE!!!!"

I looked at my clothes. I looked at my kids' clothes. I looked at the floor around me. I looked at the wet slobber on my knees.

"No." End of discussion.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In Disguise

Blue bottle pop candy leaves stains on one's lips, teeth, and tongue. Make a mental note of that.

My son had one of those things just before we had to leave the house to run some errands. His teeth, lips, and tongue were a bright shade of blue when he was finished. I grabbed a wet paper towel and tried to clean him off. It didn't work as well as I had hoped.

"Okay," I said. "Wear these sunglasses, and maybe nobody will recognize you."

He was pleased to comply.

First stop was the bank. We pulled in the drive- through, hoping nobody would pay that much attention to us. "Hi Sherry," the teller said as soon as she saw me. "Does your son have blue lips?"


"Yes," I replied, "he was eating a bottle pop candy."

"Oh," said the nice teller. "Then I'll give him a blue lollipop so it'll match."

How thoughtful!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sticky Fingers

There's a neat program here in Cincinnati, where an artist painted thirty pianos and placed them in various locations throughout the city. If you see one, you can play it. Today my children and I found one at a local ice cream shop. I told them they could play it before they got ice cream, because I knew their fingers would be a sticky mess afterwards.

They played and had a marvelous time doing so. We got our ice cream and ate it. Everything was going as planned until my son decided he wanted to play again.

Let's just say I had to clean Mr. Sticky Fingers and the piano before we left! Who's brilliant idea was it to put a piano at an ice cream shop anyway? (I'm actually glad it was there. We had a lot of fun playing it!)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Squeaky Knees

My husband decided to teach my kids a new trick this evening. He lay down on his back on the floor, cupped his hands behind his knees, and alternately bent and straightened his legs in rapid succession, thus creating a noisy squeak. The kids thought that was great. Of course they had to learn how to do it.

After about five minutes, all of my "kids" were on the floor in my son's bedroom squeaking their knees. What a sight! I just stood there shaking my head.

(I think I know what my kids will be doing tomorrow. Thanks, Daddy!)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Name that Smoothie

I was browsing through my Family Fun magazine today and came across a recipe for a smoothie made with a certain green vegetable (which I happen to like). My kids always stick they noses up at it when I slice some up and put it on my sandwich.

I thought I'd have a little fun and see if I could get them to like it this new way. While they were out of the room, I got out the blender, the vegetable, milk, ice, and a couple other ingredients. I went to work.

When I had completed the concoction, I tasted it. Delicious!

"Kids, come here," I said. "I want you to try this."

They looked at the green thing. "What is it?"

"Just try it."

My son, the brave one, tried it first.

"Do you like it?"

"Yeah, it's good," he said.

My daughter tried it. "It has vanilla in it, doesn't it?" she queried.


"I like the vanilla, but I'm not sure about the back taste (whatever that meant). What is it?"


"Ewww, mommmmm! You made us drink avocado?"

Hee Hee.

Here's the recipe if you want to try it: In a blender, combine a peeled and pitted avocado with 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of ice cubes, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Blend until smooth.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chainsaw Men

My husband decided that today would be a good day to prune trees. When my husband does things, it's no small job. Today was no exception. Out came the big, noisy chain saw. My six-year-old son decided that he wanted to get in on the action. So he came out with his little, noisy chain saw.

The boys started hacking away at the trees. When they were done, there was a big pile of branches and a little pile of leaves. Both were filthy, and both were grinning from ear to ear.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hummingbird Friend

One of the most relaxing things in my life is watching birds feed at the bird feeder or play in the bird bath. Today I was inspired to get a hummingbird feeder.

We went to the Wild Bird Center and picked out a feeder and some food. Then we found a nice place outside to put it so that we could watch the birds as we ate our meals. As soon as we walked outside to place the feeder on a pole, a hummingbird flew by. My kids and I were impressed at how quickly the little bird found the feeder!

Later that afternoon we watched as the hummingbird perched itself on the feeder and drank.

"Mommy, that's awesome!" my son said.

I had to agree. Sometimes the simplest things in life are the best.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I've Got Mail!

I went to the mailbox today and noticed a peculiar - looking envelope in my mailbox. I looked at the front. It said, "Mama Dog," in strangely familiar handwriting.

I opened it up. Written on a white piece of paper in the same familiar handwriting were the words, "Mama Dog."

When I went into the house, my six-year-old son was grinning from ear to ear. Uh huh. "Mama" and "Dog" are the two words he can spell and write without assistance. I, apparently, am the Mama Dog.

Woof, Woof.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Barber Dog

Loveland, the town where I live, is a quaint little place. Downtown Loveland has a candy shop, a coffee shop, and an old-fashioned barber - the kind that has the blue and red striped cylinder thing outside its door (what are those called anyway?).

I had never paid much attention to the barber shop, but today was a different story. The kids and I had just made a trip to the candy store. They were tightly clutching their bags of gummy fish, when we noticed an elderly couple peering into the barber shop window.

"There's a dog in there," they said.

Sure enough, there was a long-haired Australian sheep dog sitting in one of the chairs.

I wondered what that was all about. Surely it wasn't a pet grooming store! Then I noticed the sign on the door. It said, "Barber dog is in."

My kids were thrilled. So was the dog. It jumped off of the chair, grabbed its pink chew toy, and bolted to the door. It was ready to play.

The barber came to the door. He was a picture from the past, complete with handle-bar mustache and bow tie. "Gigi likes to play, " he said. He opened the door and let Gigi out. The kids and Gigi had a marvelous time until Gigi discovered the gummy fish.

"No candy for you, Gigi!" That was the end of their playdate. We'll have to visit Gigi again - without the bags of candy!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Voice Changers

My kids have a little hand-held device called the ya-da-ya-da-ya-da voice changer. They press a little button to record their voice, and then they play it back. It can be played back in a normal mode, a faster high-pitched mode, or a slower deep mode.

They decided to bring this little device in the car. What do you think they did with it? Well, they recorded themselves crying and screaming like babies. Then they played it back on the higher pitch. Why? They wanted to hear what they sounded like as babies.

I really didn't need to hear that. I for one, remember quite well what they sounded like as crying babies!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Taking Out the Trash

"Mom, I want to take out the trash," my six-year old son said.

I couldn't believe my ears. "Okay, " I said, "go ahead."

He pulled off the lid of the kitchen garbage can and attempted to lift the garbage bag out.

"Can you help me," he asked. "It's too heavy!"

I gave him a hand.

"I want to take it outside by myself."

I let him try. It was difficult for him, but he managed to lift it by wrapping his arms around it.

"Will you please lift the lid," he asked as we arrived at the outside garbage can. Again I provided assistance.

I helped him hoist the bag into the can. When he finished he grinned from ear to ear. He was very proud of himself!

I wonder if he's going to be that willing to take out the garbage when he's sixteen.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tooth Fairy Visit

No, this isn't about the tooth fairy coming to give me something for my extracted wisdom teeth. I'm still waiting for that to happen! This is about my daughter losing her first molar. That is a pretty big event! Unfortunately, she is sick with a fever and sore throat.

My daughter is a very sweet, kindhearted person. She was very concerned that the tooth fairy might get sick. So, she left her little tooth pillow with the tooth safely tucked in the tooth pocket outside of her bedroom door.

Wasn't that thoughtful!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Paint in the Hair

This seems to be part two of an entry I wrote a week ago. If you recall, my son painted a trophy at a pottery store. We decided that it was an award for being the messiest painter in Cincinnati. The young man is living up to his title.

Once again, we were painting. This time, it was at our house. My son was supposed to be painting wooden race cars.

"Mom, Bubba has paint in his ears!" my daughter informed me.

I looked at him. Sure enough, he had paint in his ears, on his elbows, on his neck, and in his hair.

I looked at the race car. There was actually more paint on him than on the race car. I really don't know how he manages it. The kid is good!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Yanked Teeth

Here's how my day went today:

9:00 AM: Took son to T-ball camp
9:05 AM: Discovered that son was wearing crocs instead of tennis shoes.
9:07 AM: Returned home to get correct shoes.
9:10 AM: Took off son's crocs and put on tennis shoes.

9:30 - 10:15 AM: Miscellaneous running around
10:20 AM: Went to Subway to eat last meal of the day.
10:30 AM: Back at T-ball camp to watch son play final T-ball game.
11:00 AM: Went to dentist to have wisdom teeth extracted.
12:00 PM: Received shots in gums and roof of mouth to numb area for extractions.
12:05 - 12:45 PM: Wisdom teeth yanked out.
12:55PM: Got in car and drove home.

Rest of the day: Peace and quiet. Nobody bothered me! Maybe I should do this tooth yanking thing more often. It seems to be the only way for me to get a break!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Box

My husband ordered some new speakers the other day. They arrived in two tall and narrow boxes. Of course my kids weren't interested in the speakers. They were interested in the box. That box became a vampire coffin, a locker, a club house, and a boat.

This evening, I noticed that my son was rather quiet. That usually means he's up to something, so I went to investigate. I looked everywhere, but could not find him. Finally, I heard snoring coming from the box. I lifted the flap. My little guy was sound asleep. Apparently boxes make good beds too.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wacky Wednesday

Today was wacky Wednesday. What on earth did that mean? It meant that you could dress in mis-matched socks, mis-matched shoes, inside-out shirts, and backwards shorts. I did not invent this day (believe it or not). It was the creation of my son's T-ball coaches.

So my little guy dressed himself. His shirt was backwards and inside out. His shorts were backwards. Even his baseball cap was inside out.

This was fine for his T-ball practice. Unfortunately, I forgot to correct his outfit. We walked into the post office and got some pretty strange looks. I guess that means that I must be a wacky mom!

Personal note: My son learned to ride his bike without training wheels today! I was very proud of him.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Kids Loose in the Candy Store

As a special treat today, I took my kids to the local candy store. The plan was to get a little ice cream and cool off after a very hot afternoon at T-ball camp.

We walked into the store. My kids' eyeballs got as big as saucers.

"Look at these candy lips!" my son exclaimed.

"Look at these lemon drops!" said my daughter.

"What would you like?" I asked. (I know, that was a dumb question!)

By the time we left, my son had a huge lollipop in his hand, with blue sticky stuff on his nose.

"I wish our house was like this!" my daughter exclaimed.

I for one, was glad it wasn't! What a mess that would be!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ghost Hunting

Today my family and I visited the National Airforce Museum in Dayton. My husband was interested in the history of all of the aircraft. The kids and I were interested in hunting for ghosts.

The National Airforce Museum is said to be one of the most haunted places in the nation, according to the book, Haunted Places the National Directory. So we had to do a little investigating.

Every two seconds my son would ask, "Where is the haunted helicopter?"

"That's nonsense," my husband would reply. "Don't you want to hear about the history of these planes?"

"I want to see a ghost!"

We only found three of the supposedly-haunted planes. I didn't notice anything particularly strange about them. I will however, say that the plane called the Midnight Serenade gave me the creeps. It was sitting in the corner next to the Bockscar plane that dropped the bomb on Nagasaki and ended the war. This plane was a night bomber. It was a big black plane hiding in the shadows. Oddly enough, the Bockscar was one that was said to be haunted. I'm wondering if the ghosts were hiding out in the Midnight Serenade, waiting for the crowds to leave so they could come out and play!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Breaking the Silence

I took my kids out to eat at McDonald's today. Normally McDonald's is a rather noisy place with lots of people chowing down. Not today. There were only a couple of customers, and it was really quiet!

We had some difficulties choosing a clean seat (maybe that's why nobody was there), but we finally settled on a place near a gentleman who was obviously doing some work on his computer.

"You have to be quiet so you don't bother the man," I said.

We settled down, and I hoped for the best. I knew it was going to be quite a challenge to keep my kids quiet. They were doing pretty well, when all of a sudden my son let out a really loud belch. I couldn't believe it!

Fortunately, the gentleman was good-natured about it and chuckled. Leave it to my boy to do something like that!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Books by Sherry Ellis

Books by Sherry Ellis

Mad Painter

Today the kids and I went to a little place called the Mad Potter. It's a place that sells pottery that you get to paint. My son picked a trophy. My daughter picked a coffee mug.

"Why do you want a trophy?" I asked my little guy.

"I like trophies."

"Okay, what's it for?" I asked.

He didn't know.

Then the painting began. When it was all done, there was paint all over my little guy's arms, hands, and face, not to mention the mess on the table. He was thrilled.

"I know what that trophy is for," I said. "It's for the messiest painter in Cincinnati!"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fancy Books

I am amazed at how far book technology has come! My kids and I went to the bookstore today. My son got a pop-up Star Wars Guide to the Galaxy book that was absolutely unbelievable. Of course the price tag on that book was absolutely unbelievable too! Then my son found a Star Wars animation book. The characters in the illustrations actually looked like they were running. How do they make these things? Those illustrators must have some kind of paper engineering degree!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Great Mis-Adventure

Today was adventure day. That's the day I take my kids to a new place and we go exploring. The plan for today was to visit the National Air Force Museum in Dayton, followed by the World Peace Museum, which is also in Dayton. Well, let me tell you how that went.

We were driving up the freeway to Dayton. Everything was going smoothly, except I noticed off in the distance, that the sky was black and looking rather ominous. "Hmm," I thought,"that looks like trouble."

Sure enough, as soon as we entered the Dayton area, we found ourselves in the middle of a huge thunder storm. Pink lightening was striking everywhere, and the rain was coming down in torrents. To make matters worse, we were also in a construction zone. I was looking for exit 54C. Of course, exit 54C was closed, due to the construction. "Oh, brother!" I thought.

I got off at the next exit, hoping to find some detour signs. No luck. In fact, the traffic lights were all out. Do you know how much fun that was? Meanwhile, in the back seat, my kids were complaining about the weather. They definitely did not like the lightening!

I managed to turn around and get back on the freeway. I figured that we would just head home. Then I saw the sign for exit 54C. "Yippee!" I thought. Unfortunately, the sign was a bit misleading. I have no idea where those roads led, but it sure wasn't to my destination! To make a long story short, my attempts to follow exit 54C led to me to a neighbor that I wouldn't want to visit at night!

After about ten more minutes of wandering through the storm, I found my way back to the freeway. Then I saw the exit for the World Peace Museum.

"What do you think, kids?"

"Mom, there is no way we're going to do that!' my daughter exclaimed.

"All right. We'll go home then."

We didn't go home. We went to Starbucks. We got out of the car. We got wet. We ordered vanilla milk and a strawberry-banana smoothie and sat at the stools by the window watching the rain and lightening come down.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cool Art

I took my kids to the grocery store today. We made our way to the frozen food aisle. I opened the door and took out a box of popcicles. That gave my son a brilliant idea.

"Mommy, leave the door open," he exclaimed.

I looked at him funny, knowing that he was definitely up to something.

I watched as he began to draw a smiley face on the condensation that had formed on the inside of the door. Then he drew the body with stick arms and legs. My daughter thought that was an excellent idea, so she had to begin her own masterpiece. By the time they were done, they had created a masterpiece which would have made Picasso proud.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mechanical Genious

If you have been following this blog, you know that my son had received a 1, 137 piece LEGO Starwars AT-AT set. I have been diligently working on this thing for over a week now. As of today's date, I have assembled the internal workings of the main body and three legs. That would be two instruction books.

Today, I was getting rather bleary-eyed and having trouble locating pieces and parts. My six-year old son assisted me many times in finding those miniscule things. At one point, I had attached one of the legs to the main body.

"Mommy, that's backwards," the little man told me.

"No it's not," I replied, as I double-checked the picture.

It seemed to work, and it looked okay to me. Then I went to the next direction.

"Something's not right, " I said.

"That's because it's backwards, " my little guy said. "Here, mommy, I'll fix it."

Wouldn't you know that little mechanical genious figured it out!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sugar Buzz

Today is my birthday. My family must have decided that I needed some extra sugar (to make me less grouchy, perhaps?). First, they made me a wonderful birthday cake. I thought that was enough, but then my daughter made me a birthday pie. It was a strawberry pie with cool whip and sprinkles. She insisted that I have a piece. It was of course, delicious. A little while later, they offered me an orange creamcicle. Now they want to go outside and roast marshmallows. I think I will be dieting until my next birthday!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Noodle Piece Prize

I was playing the game of Life with my kids. My daughter was helping me read what was written in the various spaces. When my son landed on a space, she read, "Win the noodle piece prize. Collect $125,000."

We all started laughing. Of course it should have been the "Nobel Peace Prize," but the noodle prize was quite appropriate for my little guy!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ghost in the Dentist's Office

My dentist's office is haunted. The ghosts are none other than my two crazy kids covered in a bed sheet! I could not believe it when I discovered that my kids had smuggled a sheet out of the house and brought it into the car. As we walked into the dentist's office, I noticed my daughter had a package under her arm.

"What's that?" I asked.

"A sheet."


"We're going to put on a play."

"In the dentist's office?"


Well, let's just say, the staff, customers, and fish were quite entertained!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fairy House

My kids and I have started a nice little tradition. For each season, we build a fairy house. In the winter, they are usually constructed out of icicles. In the spring, we find tree branches, flowers, and stones. Today we constructed our summer fairy house. It was quite a masterpiece! In addition to the usual tree branches, flowers, pine cones, and greenery, we added shells we had found at the river. We made tables and plates. We found some berries for fairy food and added those too. This little house even had a chandelier hanging from the ceiling. My kids were very proud of their creation!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


You might recall that about two months ago, my son was begging my father-in-law for a Lego Star Wars AT-AT set. Grandpa promised to get it for his birthday. Well, yesterday was the little guy's birthday, and true to his word, Grandpa delivered the AT-AT - all one thousand, one hundred and thirty-seven pieces!

Who do you think is going to be putting that thing together? I'll give you a hint: It's sure not the birthday boy.

"Come on, mommy, put together the AT-AT!"

I've been working on that darned thing for about five hours now, and I have only a half of a leg put together. At this rate it's going to take me until his next birthday to put it together! Thanks Grandpa!