Mama Diaries

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Brick Ball

My seven-year-old son isn't very good about waiting.  You've probably already figured that out from reading previous posts about doctor visits.

Well, today I had to drag the little guy to my daughter's dance class.  My husband is out of town, so I'm stuck with the boy.  I knew he wouldn't behave, so he and I took a little walk to Dairy Queen.  It's a tradition, that when we go to Dairy Queen, we have to get one of those little rubber balls from the machine - you know, the twenty-five cent ones.

After stuffing down a cheeseburger, french fries, and ice cream sandwich (I know - real healthy!), we headed back to the studio.

The class wasn't quite finished, so of course my son was antsy.

"Mom, watch this," he said.  He whipped the little orange ball against a wall in the hall and watched it bounce back and forth between the walls.  "Isn't that cool?  It's just like the game 'brick ball' on my Ipod."

"No, Bubba.  That's not cool.  What if the ball bounces against the window and breaks it?  What if it accidentally hits someone?"

"That won't happen."

He threw the ball down the hall, attempting to bounce it against the far wall.  Unfortunately someone was turning the corner.  The ball hit the man smack dab in the middle of his belly.  If it was any bigger, the ball wouldn've knocked him out.

"Oh my gosh, I'm sooo sorry!"  I profusely apologized.

Fortunately, the man was very nice about it.  But no more Brick Ball for the little guy! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Escaped Dog

Yep.  He did it again.  Our wonderful German Shepherd escaped from our yard.  We had let the varmint out of the house because we wanted to eat our dinner in peace.  (It's rather annoying to be cutting your food while having a wet nose on the end of a black snoot making its way on to your plate.)

Schultz trotted off to do whatever doggies do. 

Usually he stays outside the sliding glass doors barking to be let in, or smudging the window with his nose prints. 

"It's kind of nice not having Schultz bug us while we're eating," I commented.

Then the phone rang.

I answered it.  "Hello?"

"Uh, hi," the voice on the other end said.  "We have Schultz."

Uh oh.  I knew it was too good to be true!

It turns out that one of the neighborhood kids had left our gate open.  Schultz saw it as a great opportunity to go visit his buddy, a golden retriever, a few streets away.

My husband found him, having a wonderful time with his buddy.

That didn't last long.  He was brought home and banished to his crate for the rest of the evening.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nerf Attack

I made the big mistake of getting my son a new nerf gun. 

It's not my son who was the problem. It was my husband.

I was pulling out of the driveway in my car, when I heard some thuds on my window.  I stopped the car.

"Hey, what do you think you're doing?' I said.

My husband had the weapon in his hand and was firing a steady stream of nerf bullets at me.  He grinned.  "Target practice."

Then my son got involved.  "Can I try?"

"No way, man," I said.  Then I turned to my husband.  "How would you like if I used your motorcycle for target practice?"

No response.

"That's what I thought."  

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall-o-ween Fun

A local amusement part was hosting a fall-o-ween event today, so I thought I'd bring the kids for some fun.

Well, let me tell you about this fun.  The kids wanted to ride on this crazy ride that made you go around and around and up and down and sideways, backwards.  I had to ride with my son, because he wasn't tall enough to go by himself.  Oh my gosh.  This ride was the most miserable ride I had ever been on in my entire life.  It was worse than being on a boat at sea in 20 foot waves (and yes, I have done that .)  I thought I was going to throw up.  Meanwhile, my daughter was behind me shrieking for the ride to stop.  She wasn't enjoying it either.

We finally got off of that thing and decided to do something tame, like go pet some animals in the petting area.  Ha!  Well, the animals didn't smell so good.  And to top it off, the pony my son rode decided he had to go to the bathroom.  Only, you know how ponies are - they don't use the facilities, and they don't wear diapers.  All this on top of my already nauseated stomach. 

I really don't know how I survied.  Moms obviously need to have strong stomachs!

The good news is, aside from that crazy ride, the kids had a great time.   

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Check Mate

A couple of years ago, I taught my daughter how to play chess.  I've watched her get better and better with each passing month.  We had reached the point where I was not "letting" her win.  She had to actually use her brain to figure out how to outsmart me.

Every week she asked me to play.  Every week, she lost.  Until today.  I was all focused on eliminating her knight, that I didn't realize my king was in the path of her queen.  Oops.  She got me.  (Except she didn't give me the "check" warning the move before, which I had to complain about.)

She was thrilled.  She actually beat me.

"Mom, I won!  I'm smarter than you!"

Uh, I don't think so.  At least not yet.  

Friday, September 23, 2011

Flowers for Mommy

I like when my kids give me flowers.  My son just gave me a bouquet of weeds a couple of weeks ago.  Which reminds me, I need to discard those and clean the vase.

Today, my German Shepherd surprised me with a bunch of flowers.  I had let him out to do whatever he does.  About a half hour later, I heard a clunking sound on the back sliding doors.  I went over to investigate.  The dog had a lovely bouquet of sedum from my garden in his mouth.

"Aw, Schultz, are those for me?" I asked as I opened the door.

I attempted to take them from his mouth.  He jumped back. 

"What is this, a game?"

He presented the flowers once again.  I reached for them.  He jumped back.

"Okay, dog.  Are you saying you want to play a game of tug with the flowers?"

He whipped his head back and forth.

I took that as a "yes."

So  much for flowers for the mommy.  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Underside of the Table

I never look on the underside of my kitchen table.  Why should I?  My kids are fairly neat, so I would never suspect a mess there.

Today, my seven-year old son crawled under the table after dinner and made this announcement:  "Mama, there's a huge glob of peanut butter under the table."

"What?" I said.

"Yeah.  Look."

I crawled under the table and found not one, but two smears of peanut butter.  They looked a lot like doggy nose prints.

We had put some peanut butter in the dog's kong toy a few months ago.  Apparently after he got the peanut butter out, he smeared it under the table. 

Do you know what it's like cleaning up three-month-old peanut butter.  Pretty disgusting!

Note to self:  Inspect under the table on a daily basis, and don't put peanut butter in the dog's kong! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mr. Stink

Our German Shepherd knows how to get really dirty!  This morning he was absolutely revolting.  He smelled like dirty socks and turd burgers all rolled into one.

My son came to the kitchen table for breakfast and nearly threw up.

"That dog stinks!  I can't eat my breakfast in the same room with him.  I'm going to vomit!"

I couldn't argue with that, so I moved my son into the office.

I marched up to the bedroom where my husband was still sleeping.  "Hey!  Wake up!" I said.  "You have to do something about the varmint.  He's disgusting!  Go give him a bath!"

My husband rolled over and grunted.  "You do it."

"Nope.  Not my department."

Later, my husband tossed the dog into the bathtub.  He was scrubbed from top to bottom.  When he was done, he shook himself.  Hair plastered the walls.  The bathroom was a disaster.

The dog happily raced around the house, soaking everything he touched.

"Well, at least he doesn't stink anymore," I said. "Now somebody needs to clean the bathroom."

"You do it," said my husband.

"Not my department.  Kids, he's your dog.  Go clean up after him!"

They scrubbed the bathroom.

About an hour later, the dog had to go outside for a potty break.  Of course it was raining, which meant it was super muddy out there.

The dog came back in with muddy paws and mud all over his legs.  He left a trail of mud all over the kitchen floor.

"All right," I said.  "Somebody better clean up this mess."

"You do it," said my husband.

"Not my department."


Soon the kids were mopping the floor.

I had a nice piece of cheesecake while I watched them.

Life is good.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fun at the Orthodontist

Waiting in doctors' offices is not my son's favorite thing to do.  He gets really antsy, if you know what I mean.

Today he had a visit at the orthodontist's office.

"Have a seat, honey.  The doctor will be in to see you shortly," the receptionist said.

My son grinned.  He brushed his teeth and immediately went into one of the patient rooms and pulled out one of those little stools on wheels.  He sat down on the wheely chair.

"Dude, please put that back,"  I said.   "The receptionist meant you should sit in one of these normal chairs over here."

"Those are boring."

"Too bad."

Then it was time for him to wait in the big chair - the one that tilts back.  Unfortunately, it wasn't quite time for the doctor to come in, so sitting in that chair lasted about thirty seconds.

My little man got up and went over to the fan that was spinning in the corner.  He started speaking into it: "My name is Bub-ba.   I am a ro-bot."  He sounded just like a robot.  Somehow the fan was modulating his voice so that it did sound like a robot.

"How did you know it would do that?" I asked.

"I do it all the time with the fan in our garage."

"I see."

All of the workers who heard him laughed.

I just shook my head.  Never a dull moment!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Selling Popcorn

My son recently joined the cub scouts.  Their fundraiser is popcorn sales.  Today the big guy and I want door to door selling the stuff.

"Mommy, I'm going to ride my bike."

"Oh.  And what am I going to do?  Run?"


He took off like a crazy man.

I literally ran behind him all the way around the neighborhood as he visited his target houses.

"Mommy, this is fun!  I like selling popcorn!"

I groaned.  "Yeah, you're not the one running!"

I bet you I ran at least two miles.  At least we didn't have three feet of snow and sub-zero temperatures like when I had to sell girl scout cookies with my daughter!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Go-Kart

At 7:52 AM, my seven-year-old son announced he was ready to work on a big project.  "Mom, come into the garage and help me make a go-kart."

"Seriously?  Dude, you're still in your pajamas, and I'm trying to make breakfast!"

"Yeah.  Come on.  This won't take long."

I sighed and followed him into the garage.  The parts were already laid out:  a skateboard, the big box from our firepit, and Hello Kitty duct tape.

"Okay, Mom.  You hold this skateboard here while I tape it to the box."

I patiently did my job.

When he was finished, we flipped the skateboard-box contraption over.

"Thanks, Mom.  Now help me get this into the driveway."

"You're actually going to sit in this thing and ride it down the driveway?"


I shook my head.  I picked up the weird concoction and placed it in the driveway.

"Watch this, Mama!"  He sat in the box and rolled all the way down the driveway.

"Wow!" I said.  "Now I bet all your friends are going to want one of those."

"Yeah.  It's the best go-kart ever!"     

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Mentos/Coke Experiment

My kids had been bugging their dad to do an experiment with Coke and Mentos.  I don't know if you've ever heard of combining the two, but the effect is, well, let's just say, explosive.

Today my husband came home from the grocery store with a couple of two liter bottles of Coke and a roll of Mentos.

"Mommy, we're going to make an explosion!" my daughter said.

"Terrific," I said.  "Where?"

"In the backyard."

Well, at least it wasn't going to be in the house.

I went outside to see the big event.

My husband took the cap off of one bottle of Coke.  My daughter put in two Mentos. 

Everyone took a few steps back as the Coke exploded out of the bottle.  This thing looked like a geyser.

My kids squealed with delight.  "That was cool!  Can we do it again?"

My husband obliged.

This time they put six Mentos in.

Let me just say, there was very little Coke in the bottle after that one.

"Okay, kids.  Who's cleaning this up?"

"Bring out the dog!" they said.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Conversations with a Dog

I think I'm losing my mind.  Why?  Because I've developed this annoying habit of talking to my dog. 

Here's one of today's conversations:

"Dog, did you really have to tip your food bowl and knock your food all over the floor?"

Dog stares at me and cocks his head.

"I mean, seriously, what do you think I am?  The maid?"

Dog yaps.

"Now be a good dog and eat your kibbles."

Dog sniffs his spilled kibbles and walks away.

"Aw, now come on!  Don't be so obstinate."

Dog yaps then he sticks his big nose on the sliding French doors.

"What, you want to go outside?"

Dog yaps.

I slide open the door and he prances out.

"See ya."

Dog looks back and then trots away.

See, I think Dog and I have some kind of understanding.  Crazy, huh?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Three Minutes

It's amazing what can happen in three minutes around my house.

"Mommy, I blocked the toilet.  Plunge it, please!"  My son is an expert at blocking toilets.

While I was plunging the toilet...."Ahhh!  Mommy!  There's  a giant spider!  It has yellow markings on its belly!  Help!"    That was my daughter. 

I stopped plunging and took care of the spider.

I went back to plunging.

"Mommy!  The dog is eating my arm!  Make him stop!"  That was my son.

"Schultz!  Crate!" I bellowed.

Schultz went to his crate.  I went back to plunging.

"Mommy, I'm hungry!"

"Oy!   Can't I just plunge this toilet?"

There you have it, folks.  Three minutes of my life.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Guessing Game

My kids and I were at the doctor's office, waiting.  You know how that goes.  My seven-year-old son decided to do something constructive to pass the time.  He found some pails and miscellaneous objects in a toy bin.

"Mommy, guess which pail has the bobble head under it."  He switched the pails around.

"That one," I said when he was done.

"No fair!  You cheated."

"How did I cheat?"

"I don't know.  Close your eyes."

He did his thing, but I heard some interesting shuffling sounds.  I knew he was up to something.

"Okay, open your eyes.  Which one?"

"None of them," I said. 

"Hey!  You cheated!" 

"No I didn't.  I heard you move something by the plant over there.  You didn't say I had to block my ears!"

"Close your eyes and block your ears."

I did.

"Now which one?"

I guessed correctly.


"Nope.  I'm just good!"

Monday, September 12, 2011

Last Days of Summer

"Mom, I want to go swimming," my seven-year-old son said.

I looked at the thermometer.  "But it's only 76 degrees.  That's too cold!"

"Please, mom!  I made a pool on the side of the house."


Of course I had to check this out.

The young man had dragged his sandbox to where the hose was, and filled it up, all the way to the top.  "Do you like it?"

"Uh...."  Then I spotted the firepit box.  I lifted the lid.  A bag of marshmallows was inside.  "What's this?"

"Oh, after I was done swimming, I thought we could roast marshmallows, and I could sit in the box and eat them." 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cat Drama

Do you remember those Huskies that live next door to us?  The ones that sliced my dog's ear?  Well, I think that those dogs are more trouble than my dog.  They got in big trouble today.

One of the Huskies had been trying to get into our yard for a very long time.  Its owners even planted thorny rose bushes along the fenceline in hopes of detering the dog. 

Today was the day he got through.

My daughter came running into the house.  "Our neighbor needs help.  Their dog is in our yard...and he killed a cat!"

My first thought was, "Oh my gosh.  It better not be our cat!"

I ran outside to see what was going on. 

The Huskie was in our yard with a cat carcass in his mouth, and the poor lady was trying to get her dog.  Meanwhile, the lady's little baby was in my husband's arms, screaming for his mommy.

It was a three ring circus.  Fortunately, my dog had the brains to stay away from the situation.  He came right into the house and went to his crate.  For once, he was a good dog.  I think there's hope for him!

Also, the dead cat was not our cat.  That was a relief!  I suspect it was one of the strays that live in the woods. 

So, the cat was cleaned up.  The dog was sent home.  The baby stopped crying.  And we all lived happily ever after. 

The End.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Black Eye

Well ladies and gentlemen, I am now sporting a lovely black eye, given to me by none other than my beloved German Shepherd.  Yep.  I kid you not.

We were outside playing a lovely game of fetch and tug.  The ninety-five pound puppy got a little rambunctious and decided to jump.  His claw hit me just under my right eye.  Talk about painful!  I did not need stitches, and fortunately, he did no damage to my eye (other than cut the area under it and make it all black and blue) . 

So now when everyone asks what happened, I tell them I was beat up by my puppy.  It's a great story! 

Note to self:  Get the beast's nails trimmed!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Cast and the Chainsaw

It was cast removal day for my daughter.  She had broken her wrist about four weeks ago.  Now it was time to get it off.

"Mom, my friends at school said they use a chainsaw to get it off.  They said my arm is going to bleed."

"That's not true."

"Yes it is.  My best friend said so.  And she doesn't lie."

"Do you really think they're going to hurt you as they take off your cast?"


We drove to the doctor's office. 

"I don't want to go in."

"Okay.  No drama," I said.  "Let's just go in, get this done, and go home."

Of course there was drama.

The nurse came in, and my daughter made a fuss.  "Are you going to use a chainsaw?"


"My friend said you will cut my arm."

"No.  I will not cut your arm.  But I might tickle it."

My daughter made a face.

Then the saw came out.  It was an itty bitty rotary saw.  And it made a lot of noise.

My daughter looked petrified. 

But in no time at all, the cast was removed.

"Now was that so bad?" the nurse asked.


Then the x-rays were taken.  Unfortunately, the break hadn't quite healed.

"No!  I'm not wearing another cast!"

Oy gewalt! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Reflections on 9-11

Today I'm going to diverge from my usual ramblings about my kids and the creatures that live in my house.  Today, as we near the ten-year anniversary of 9-11, I'm going to share a snapshot of my experiences and reflect on what that day means to me as a mother.

September 11,2001 started as any other.  I remember looking out of the window of my Cleveland home, thinking what a lovely sunny day it was.  I was nine months pregnant with my first child.  The anticipation of becoming a new mother and holding my baby filled me with joy.  I felt her kick within me.

Then the telephone rang.  It was my husband.
 "Turn on the TV," he said.  "A plane just crashed into one of the twin towers in New York City."

That was the beginning of the nightmare.  I sat down on the sofa and turned on the news.  A plane had just crashed into the Pentagon.  I knew this was no accident.  Something very wrong was happening.  I watched in horror as the second plane slammed into the remaining tower.  That's when I began to cry.  I cried for the lives that were lost.  I cried for the families- the mom and dads, the sons and daughters of those people who died.  I cried for our country.  And I cried for my unborn daughter.

I didn't know in the days or weeks that followed what the world would look like for my child.  When I finally held her in my arms, I prayed that she would not have to live in fear.  I prayed for a world of peace.

Now, ten years later, we live in a world that has been changed by 9-11.  We don't live in fear, but we are more cautious - more guarded.  We realize that we are not invincible.  We also do not take for granted the freedom we hold so precious.

As a mother, I want my children to know that no matter what hardships may befall us, we can still choose to stand tall and rise above them.  I want them to value their freedom and never become complacent.  I want them to be proud to be American.  These are the lessons from 9-11.  These are the thoughts that we must hold close to our hearts as we continue to rise from the ashes.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Bone Museum

My husband made a nice rack of ribs for our Labor Day celebration.

The kids gobbled them right up.  Not a scrap of meat was left on those bones.

My seven-year-old son had a pile of about eight bones sitting on his plate when he was done.

"Make sure you throw those in the garbage," I said.

"No.  I'm saving them."

"Why are you saving bones?"

"I have a collection."

"You do?"

"Yeah.  For my bone museum."

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The German Shredder Strikes Again

"Mom, the picnic table is knocked over and the umbrella is in pieces!" my nine-year-old daughter announced, looking out the window.

"Uh oh," I said.  I walked over to the French doors and looked out.  The table was indeed on its side.  The chairs were knocked over, and the umbrella was most definitely in pieces.  The culprit?  Our wonderful German Shepherd "puppy."


He ran to to farthest corner of the backyard.  He knew he was in serious trouble.  I grabbed the dog by his scruff and hauled him to his crate.

I think it's time for the shock collar!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sugar Water

My nine-year-old daughter was rummaging through the refrigerator, trying to find something to drink.  She stumbled upon a Gatorade container with liquid inside.

Now, this Gatorade container was supposed to have an orange beverage inside.  The label was clearly marked. 

My daughter didn't seem to notice that little detail.

She poured herself a glass  and guzzled it down.

I saw her when she was putting the container back.

"Did you just drink that?" I asked.

"Yeah, why?"

"It's not Gatorade."

"It's not?"

"No.  It's hummingbird water.  See, it says 'hummingbird water.'"

She turned a pale shade of grey.  "Am I going to die?"

"No, but you might have a little buzz.  That stuff was sugar water."

"No wonder it tasted good.  I'm going to have more!"


Friday, September 2, 2011

Blueprint for a Jet Pack

"Mommy," my seven-year-old son said, "I made a blueprint for a jet pack that would fly a million people!"  He waved a notebook paper with scribbley lines and stick figures on it in front of me.

"Really?  Tell me about it," I said.

"You need 10 metal poles, 641 wooden planks, 10 plastic sticks, and a rope.  See - the poles fit together and the rope ties here."

"I see."

"It's as big as a playground, that's why it can hold a million people."

"Uh huh."

"Oh, and I forgot one more important thing."


"The smiley face sticker that goes right in the middle!"

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Doggy Toy

This morning, I took my German Shepherd out to go potty.  As soon as he was out the door, he noticed a locust lyiing on its back on the patio.  I knew that poor locust didn't have a chance.  The varmint poked him with his big snoot. 

The locust buzzed.

The dog pounced.

The locust buzzed again.

"Hey, dumb locust.  Just stay still and he'll leave you alone," I said.

Apparently, the locust didn't understand a word I said.  It buzzed again.

The dog pounced.

And that was the end of the locust.