Mama Diaries

Sunday, January 30, 2011


My father-in-law's dog, a yellow lab, died today. His name was Hoover. My children didn't take that news very well. There were lots of tears and lots of questions.

"Mommy, why did Hoover have to die. He was such a good dog!"

"Mommy, what did Hoover feel when he was put down? Did it hurt?"

"Mommy, did they bury Hoover?"

"Mommy, when is our doggy going to die?"

I really dislike having to answer those kind of questions, but I guess it's all part of life.

Here's to Hoover - a good dog. May he rest in peace!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Two Dollar Bill

My kids think two dollar bills are cool. In fact, we had to make a special trip to the bank so that they could trade their dollar bills for two dollar bills.

When we got to the bank, my son marched up to the teller holding his dollar bills high in the air.

"I'd like a two dollar bill please."

The teller looked over the big counter. "You would?" she asked.

"Yes, please."

The teller checked her cash drawer. There was no two dollar bill. So the little guy went to the next teller.

"I'd like a two dollar bill please."

That teller checked her drawer. No two dollar bill.

Then he went over to the head teller.

"I'd like a two dollar bill please."

Well, the head teller went into the big vault to get those two dollar bills for my kids. Let me tell you about how thrilled my son was. That two dollar bill never left his hands for the rest of the day!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fabricating Sunglasses

My ancient sunglasses finally broke after I had put them in my purse today. I think they got smashed with all of the clutter and kid toys that are in there.

"Mom, I'm going to make you a new pair of sunglasses," my six-year-old son announced.

"Okay," I said. "Have fun."

He found a big piece of cardboard. He found a pen, scissors, and scotch tape.

"This requires careful planning," he said. "I'm going to make the design first."

He took the pen and drew an elaborate picture of sunglasses (which was pretty amazing, since the letters and words he writes in school are so illegible.) Then he assigned a number to each of the parts. "We have to know how to connect them once they are cut out," he explained.

Then he attempted to cut. The cardboard was a little thick. "Mom, will you cut this out?"

I did.

Then he got out the scotch tape and taped the ear pieces on to the frame. "Here Mom, try these on."

I put them on. Would you believe, they actually fit?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Putting the Dog to Bed

Our puppy was looking like he needed a nap, so my six-year-old son decided to tell him a bedtime story:

"There was once a big ship named the Titanic... Hey! Quit biting me! Now I have to start again."

A few seconds later:

"There was once a big ship named the Titanic. It hit an iceburg and......Hey! Quit biting me! Now I have to start all over...but at least I got a little farther."

A couple seconds later:

"There was once a big ship named the Edmund Fitzgerald. Then a big storm came and....Hey! Mom! Why won't this dumb dog let me finish his bedtime story?"

"Because he's a dog."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dentist Appointment

Today my kids went to the dentist. The cleaning was fine, but both kids were not happy about flouride that was put on their teeth afterwards.

"Mom, this stuff tastes awful!" they said.

"I know," I replied. "But it helps protect your teeth."

Then we went to make our six month appointment. It landed on my son's birthday.

"Oh, look at that," I said. "You'll have clean teeth for your birthday!"

"Why do I have to go to the dentist on my birthday?" he asked, not impressed with having clean teeth on his birthday.

"Because it's your lucky day!"

"That's not lucky!" he exclaimed.

(They learn fast, don't they!)

Monday, January 24, 2011


It was one hour before I was supposed to have guests over for a Pampered Chef Party. The house was clean. The kids were under control. The dog was under control.

I decided to chill the gingerale in the refrigerator before making the drinks. My refrigerator was a bit packed, but I still found a space for the two-liter bottle - on the edge of one of the shelves. I knew that it was precariously balanced, but I figured nobody else would be going in the refrigerator for the next hour.

I was wrong.

My dear husband decided to go on a cookie hunt. (He knew there would be cookies at the party.) He opened up the refrigerator. Of course, the two liter bottle tumbled right out, hit the floor, and exploded!

My husband was covered in gingerale. My floors were covered in gingerale. The walls were covered in gingerale. Even the ceiling was covered in gingerale. It was a catastrophic mess!

"WOMAN!!!" my husband bellowed. "YOU SABOTAGED ME!!!"

At that point I was just laughing so hard at the ridiculous situation. "And now you're going to laugh at me?' he continued. "You get to clean up this mess!!!"

I looked at the ceiling. I looked at the walls. I looked at the chairs and the countertops. Even the dog was covered in gingerale (which he apparently enjoyed, because he was licking it off of himself).

Five washes later, the floor is still a little sticky. The guests are coming though, so I guess that will have to do. I hope they don't mind a little stickiness!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Closet Club

"Mom, we're bored," my kids complained.

I gave them my usual response: "Then get creative."

An hour later I noticed that it was rather quiet in the house. That usually means that some kind of trouble is going on. I listened carefully to see if I could ascertain exactly where my kids were hiding.

I heard a scratching sound. It was coming from my son's bedroom. I went to investigate. The mess on the floor of his room looked like a hurricane had struck. Everything that had been neatly organized in the closet was now on the floor. I looked at the closet. The door was closed. On the door was a sign that read: "Cool Closet Club. Ages 6-10 only." I had a funny feeling that the kids were behind that door.

I knocked. "Um, excuse me, what's going on in there?"

The door slid open. My kids were sitting on the floor playing their Nintendo DSs. More signs were plastered on the wall inside the closet.

"Do you like our club?"

"Sure," I said, "Now who's going to clean this mess?"

"You are," they said.

Friday, January 21, 2011


I think I have turned into an icicle. Why? Because I have spent the entire day outside. It was a balmy 14 degrees in lovely Cincinnati.

The morning started with a shovelling of the driveway. It was 7 degrees and windy. After that, I spent time in the backyard with the dog (he wanted to go outside, that crazy mutt!). Then I had the brilliant idea to take my kids sledding. We spent the afternoon going up and down a rather steep hill. (It was actually a lot of fun - I hadn't been sledding since I was a kid.)

Then my daughter decided that she wanted to go door to door selling girl scout cookies. (She wants to sell 2000 boxes of cookies to earn the laptop computer, so I guess that means I'll be doing even more freezing!)

Two hours later, after the sun went down, I arrived back home. I looked at the thermometer: 9 degrees. My fingers are frozen. My cheeks are red. My chin is red. And of course my nose is red. I wonder if I will ever thaw out.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Spa Treatment

"Mom, I need an egg," my nine-year old daughter said.

"Why?" I countered.

"You'll see," she replied.

She cracked the egg and separated the yolk.

"Mom, how do you whip egg whites?"

I showed her my incredibly amazing egg white whipping technique.

"Mom, I need some lemon juice."


"You'll see."

She folded the lemon juice into the egg white concoction.

"Here Mom. Put this on your face."

"What? You have got to be kidding!" I said. "You put it on your face."

She did. Then she proceeded to walk around the house with the white egg concoction plastered on her face.

"But Mom, this is a fancy spa treatment. It's a skin tightening mask."
Then she showed me the "recipe" in her spa book. It really was a skin tightening mask.

I wonder if it can get rid of wrinkles.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Crazy Checkers

I thought my six-year old son might have an aptitude for playing checkers, so I decided to teach him the rules of the game.

As we played, he jumped over my players and claimed them, and I jumped over his players and claimed them.

He suddenly took a good look at the board and realized that I had jumped over more of his players. What did he do? He grabbed the players he had won from me and put them down on the board on his side. Then he proceeded to jump over my players.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"I needed reinforcements so I used your prisoners for my army."

Now there's some strategy!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hapy Berth-day

I bet you're thinking that I've suddenly lost my knack for spelling. No. Not yet, anyway.

"Hapy Berth-day," is what I saw spelled out in Legos on the countertop at my mother-in-law's house. It was her 70th birthday, and her Lego-loving six-year-old grandsons decided to create this memorable birthday greeting.

As we all chowed down on cake, I couldn't help but think that "Berth-day" might actually be a very appropriate thing to call the day. After all, doesn't it seem that we need a little extra "berth" after eating cake?

Friday, January 14, 2011


Ever since reading the book, Flotsam, my son has had an interest in magnifying glasses. (In the story, a little boy carefully scrutinizes a hermit crab and photos using a magnifying glass.)

Today the little guy got his very own magnifying glass. He had to examine everything. When he got into my car, he examined my seats.

"Mom, I see a germ here. And here's another one. And another!"

(Gosh. Is my car really that dirty?)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tooth Fairy

Last night my daughter lost a tooth. She put the tooth in the tooth fairy pillow and anxiously awaited the cash that might be found the next morning.

Well, I received a "memo" from the "other" tooth fairy that visits. It said that the usual tooth fairy was relieved of her duties, as she had already paid a visit once this week for the little man in the house who had lost a tooth.

"Okay," I thought. "Tooth fairies appreciate a break now and then."

The next morning, my daughter looked in her tooth pillow.

"Mommy, the tooth fairy didn't come!"

Uh oh. I guess the tooth fairy is in the doghouse now!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Million Dollars

"Mom, do they make a million dollar bill?" my six-year-old son asked.

"I don't think so, but if they did, I'd sure like to have one," I replied.

"Do you know what I'd do with a million dollars?" my son asked.

"No, what would you do with a million dollars?"

"I'd buy a lap top computer. Then I'd buy a house at Home Depot (do they sell houses?). Then I'd go to Timbuktu and eat sand (well, okay, but that's not exactly what I'd want to do). Then I'd go to Target and buy a Nintendo DSi and a Wii system."

Hmmm. What would you do with a million dollars?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Waiting for the Mail

Have you ever waited for something to arrive in the mail? Doesn't it drive you crazy when you wait and wait and wait for the mail to be delivered, and then your expected mail doesn't arrive?

Well, that's what happened to my son today.

"Mom, when is the mail going to get here?"

"It could be here any minute."

A minute later: "Mom, you said the mail would be here already!"

(I did?)

A minute later, he marched upstairs to my bedroom and opened the window.

"What are you doing? It's seventeen degrees out there!" I exclaimed.

"I'm listening for the mail truck."

This continued for about an hour.

Finally, the mail arrived. I went out to get it. The expected mail was not there. My little guy was quite upset.

"Mom, when is the UPS man coming?"

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Today the kids and I watched a movie called, James and the Giant Peach. You may have read the book when you were a kid. That big old peach inspired some rather interesting comments:

"Mom, I wish I had a giant cake," my nine-year-old daughter said.

"Me too!" exclaimed my son.

"And what would you do with a giant cake?"

"Eat it!"

"I think you'd get a tummy ache," I commented.

"We wouldn't eat it all at once," said my daughter.

"I would hope not," I replied.

"We'd eat it in a year," said my son.

"It would be stale by then," I said.

"So? It's still cake!"

Friday, January 7, 2011

Pajama Day

It was pajama day at school today. The kids were allowed to wear their PJs all day. It was fun to see all the kids looking like they just rolled out of bed. (Judging by the look of their hair, I think some of them did exactly that.)

I thought my son would be pleased to wear his pajamas. But no. He came off of the bus with a scowl on his face (a highly unusual thing for my pleasant little man). "I hate wearing pajamas to school," he said.

"Why?" I asked.

"It's just not comfortable. I want to change into my play clothes. I'm never wearing pajamas to school again!"


Now my daughter, on the other hand, got off the bus with a big grin on her face. "I'm keeping my pajamas on for the rest of the day," she announced.

And she did.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bad Dog

Yesterday wasn't such a good day for the dog. I left him outside unsupervised because I wanted to get some work done. That was a mistake. He shredded our grill cover, destroyed the cat's shelter and bedding, chewed up the hose, dug holes in my garden, and broke a flower pot.

As if that wasn't bad enough, later, he jumped up to the table, grabbed my daughter's homework, and shredded that.

Does anybody want a German Shepherd puppy? (He's cute!)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hurt Feelings

Today I took my six-year-old son to an indoor playground.

As I signed the waiver sheets and paid the admission fee, my son said to the man behind the counter, "I like this place. I always make friends here!"

Unfortuantely, it was not a good day for making friends. My friendly little guy went up to another little boy who was about his age, and asked if he wanted to play.

"Get away from me, and never talk to me again!" the little boy said.

My son was crushed. He came over to me and buried his face in my coat.

"Mommy, that boy hurt my feelings like nobody ever has in my life." he said. I felt so bad for him.

Then he looked up. "Can we talk about this up there?" he asked pointing to a high platform of one of the playsets.

"Okay," I said, and followed him up to the top of the playset. We had a good mother-son talk up there. I think he felt a little better after that.

Why do kids have to be so cruel?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Shoe Dilemma

My daughter isn't very organized. Her room always looks like a tornado went through it.

So today she had to go to dance class. My husband took her while I finished teaching violin lessons. When I was finished, I went up to the studio to pick her up. She didn't look very happy. I wondered what her problem could be.

"My feet hurt!" she complained as she walked out of the class.

"Why?" I asked.

"These shoes are too small!" she said.

"I just bought you new dance shoes. How could they be too small?"

"These aren't my shoes."


"I lost my shoe bag, so I had to borrow these. They're too small, and they are both different sizes. AND they are both left foot shoes."

"Well, no wonder your feet hurt!" I said.

"Mommy, what did you do with my shoe bag?"

I knew I'd be blamed for this somehow.

"Nothing. Let's go home and look in your closet when we get home."

Guess what. I looked in her closet and found her shoe bag. It was just on the wrong side.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Backseat Discussions

One of the greatest places to learn about your kids and what goes on in their minds, is in the car. My kids and I have had some pretty meaningful discussions as I drive them around town.

Today's meaningful discussion was with my son.

"Mommy, where does Santa get his elves?"

"Um, I think Mommy and Daddy elves have baby elves, and they grow up and work in Santa's shop."

"What if they don't want to?"

"Then I suppose they can go to college and do whatever they want."

"Mommy, does Santa ever get gifts?"

"I don't know. Most kids give Santa milk and cookies. What would you give Santa if you gave him a present?"


"That's a very thoughtful present. I'm sure Santa's lips get chapped flying around the world in his sleigh."

"Yeah, and going through blizzards isn't very good for his lips either."

What a thoughtful kid!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Midnight Mario Madness

Happy New Year!

Did you stay up until midnight last night? My kids did. My husband did. Me? Not quite. It was close though. At around 9:00 PM, my son asked me to play Mario music on our keyboard. So I spent about a half hour searching for Mario sheet music online. After I found it I printed it out. I couldn't believe how many themes there were!

Then I went to the basement and began the Mario playing marathon. From about 9:45 PM to 11:22 PM, I was pounding out Mario music.

"Mommy, play the Star theme!"

"Mommy, play the Underwater theme."

"Now play the other Underwater theme."

"Mommy, play the Main theme!"

Oy gewalt! So at 11:23 PM I quite simply had had enough. I went upstairs where my daughter was watching Hannah Montana Forever, and decided it was time for me to retire. I was done with Mario and done with Hannah for 2010.

On to 2011.