Mama Diaries

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mud Pie

"Mama, when you go to the store, could you get some pie tins?" my daughter asked.

"Why?  Are you planning on doing some baking?" I replied.

"No.  I'm going to make mud pies."


I went to the store and got pie tins.  Afterwards, my daughter, son, and some of their friends went into the back woods to bake up their mud pie concoctions. I was pleased that they chose not to bring these things into the house.

"What did you do with your mud pies?" I asked when my kids came back inside.

"Oh, we fed them to the pumpkins," said my daughter.  "We're hoping the food will help them grow." (Our neighbors behind us threw their pumpkins from Halloween into our woods. Instead of cleaning them up, my kids are trying to grow a pumpkin patch.)

So maybe the mud pies are going to turn into pumpkin pies.  One can only hope!

Monday, January 30, 2012

He'll Be Dancing Around the Table When He Comes...

Yesterday morning, I was in Cleveland (which is why there was no post).  My family and I went out for breakfast at a place called the Mustard Seed.  It was a pretty neat place.  The lower level was a grocery store, but on the upper level, it was a buffet restaurant.  And there was a stage for musicians.

Lucky for us, a bluegrass band was the entertainment of the morning. And you know how catchy bluegrass fiddle music can be.  My son simply couldn't resist moving to the beat.  He stood up and started dancing around our table.

"Bubba," I said.  "What are you doing?"


I guess that was pretty obvious.

"Mama, come up and dance with me!"

I let the kid drag me up by the stage.  He went to town hopping around.  I couldn't just stand there.  Well, I guess I could've, but I decided to get a little crazy, too.  Pretty soon, my son and I were do-si-do-ing around the restaurant. 

The musicians laughed.  The customers eating their food clapped. The waitresses giggled.  We may have been a couple of nutcases from Cincinnati, but I think everyone enjoyed our show!   

Saturday, January 28, 2012

New Food for the Pooch

Before I talk about my dog's new diet, I have a short advertisement:  My book,  That Mama is a Grouch, is being offered as a giveaway on the BookPlex website.  If you want to try for a free copy, please visit the link (you'll have to scroll down a bit to find my book). 

Now, back to the regularly scheduled programming.  This afternoon, my husband decided to get a sandwich from Subway.  Instead of eating it in the kitchen, he decided to chow down in his office.  He threw the wrappings and uneaten parts in the office garbage can.  Then he took off to do whatever he does.

Meanwhile, I was busy doing laundry and household chores - not exactly keeping an eye on our wayward German Shepherd.  As I passed by the office, I heard a strange sound.  I peeked in.  What do you think I saw?

Yep.  You guessed it.  Torn subway wrappers all over the floor.  Crumbs scattered everywhere.  The dog was having a ball chowing down on Subway rermains.


He looked up.  Uh, oh.  He knew he was in trouble.  He marched straight to his crate.

"And wipe that mayonaise off your snoot!"  I said as I locked the door behind him.

I guess a Subway sandwich was just too hard to resist!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Batting the Garage Door Open

When I walked out into the garage this morning, I noticed a baseball bat lying on the floor.

"Why is there a baseball bat in the middle of the garage?" I asked my seven-year-old son.

"I was trying to open the garage door."

"With a baseball bat?" 


"What were you going to do?  Beat the door open?"  I couldn't believe he'd try to bust through a metal garage door.

"No, Mom, that's silly," my son said.  "I used it to reach the button.  I pressed the garage door opener with it."

Oh.  I guess I should give my kid more credit.  He's actually pretty inventive!     

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Beating Up the Cake

It was my son's half-birthday today.  To commemorate the occasion, I baked a cake.  Normal people would use a boxed mix.  But I'm not normal.  I have to do everything from scratch.  Anyway, I pulled out the sugar and measured it.  Only the trouble was that the sugar was in a hard lumpy form.  I don't know what happened to it, but I didn't feel like going to the store to get a new bag.  So I beat it.  Literally.

"Mom," my son asked.  "What are you doing?"

"What does it look like I'm doing?"

"Um, killing the sugar?"


I finished beating that stuff and got it pulverized pretty good. I made the cake, which actually turned out well.

As we ate it, my daughter made an interesting comment.  "Mom, next time can you make it denser?"

I looked at her funny.  "Why?"

"I'd like to conduct a science experiment and throw it off a cliff."

"What?" I asked, incredulously.

"Yeah.  We can test its mass by the amount of splat it leaves."

And I thought I was being violent with the cake!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Use for the Dog

Our German Shepherd hasn't been a very useful dog.  He pretty much destroys everything, and leaves dirt and filth wherever he goes.

Today I found a use for him.  My kids had eaten a bowl of Cherios for breakfast, and quite a few of those oat "o's" had landed on the floor.

"Schultz," I said.  "Do something about those."

He looked at me like I had rocks in my head.

"Dog, look!"  I pointed to the Cherios on the ground.

Then he figured it out, and went to town.  He ate every single one of them.

"Good boy, Schultz!"

He wagged his tail.  Now if I can only get him to stop shedding and clean up his muddy paw prints! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Boogie in the Roller Rink

I took my kids roller skating to let them burn off some steam. It was my son's second time.

This kid is a real hot shot.  He thinks he has all the moves.  So when the DJ announced free dance time in the center, my boy got right in the thick of things.  He was jamming with his hands in the air, rocking to the beat.  The teenagers there, thought he was pretty cool.  They started imitating his dance moves.

"Check that kid out!" I said.

My daughter took a look and started cracking up.  "What is he doing?"

"He's showing them some Bubba moves."

One little kid in an orange Harley sweatshirt on roller skates leading a group of about ten teenagers in the middle of the roller rink. What a sight!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Speaking Dog

"Schultz!  Stop it right now!  I don't like what you're doing!"  These were the words of my seven-year-old son to our 16 month old German Shepherd.

"What's the varmint doing?" I asked.

"He's trying to bite my hand and eat my toy."

"Tell him to sit and drop it."

"I did.  And he didn't listen."

I scowled at the dog.  "Schultz, sit."

He sat.

"Next time, I'm going to try speaking dog," my son said. "Maybe he just doesn't understand my English."

"And how would you speak dog?" I asked.

"Like this:  Woof...Woof...Woof, woof, woof, woof!"

Schultz cocked his head.

"See, he's listening. He understands!"

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Burnt Pancakes

This morning I was attempting to make pancakes. And feed the dog, and feed the cat, and pour juice, and hold a conversation with my seven-year-old son.  Things just don't go so well when I attempt to multi-task so early in the morning.

Anyway, I ended up burning the pancakes.

"Well, kid," I said.  "I burnt the pancakes.  Sorry."

"That's all right mom.  I'll eat them, because if I was stranded in the wilderness, and burnt pancakes were all I had to eat, I'd eat them."

Well, that makes me feel so much better.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Stitching Socks

I few minutes ago, my kids were in the family room horsing around with the dog.

"Schultz!" I heard my son yell.  "Stop it!"

I couldn't wait to find out what kind of trouble was going on.

"Mama!" My son marched into the office.  "Schultz ate my favorite sock!"

I looked down.  "Um, I still see socks on both feet."

"Yeah, but look.  He put a hole in this one."

I looked.  There was a hole.

"Can you please sew this.  I don't want a hole in my favorite socks."

He whipped off his stinky sock and put it on the desk.  Then he marched off.

Sigh. I guess I have a sock to repair.  But I most definitely am washing it first!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Interior Decorating

At the front entry of my house, is a table with a vase filled with pretty flowers - fake ones.  Along with the flowers, are some glass pebbles.  That's the way it's been for the last four years.  Today, I found a slight change.

As I walked past the vase, I had to look twice.  There were some brown oval-shaped things that didn't quite look like the glass pebbles that I was accustomed to seeing.  I reached in and pulled one out.  I sniffed it.  Chocolate?

There was only one individual in the house that would come up with that kind of creativity:  my son.

"Bubba!" I called.

He meandered over to me.

"What's this?" I asked holding up the oval chocolate.

"That?"  he said, acting all innocent.  "Oh, that's a chocolate covered peanut."

"And what exactly is a chocolate covered peanut doing in this vase?"

"Well, the plain clear glass things in there are kind of boring.  It needs a little color."

I see.  Apparently it needs a little flavor, too!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mama, the Brainless Penguin

Every day, I run around like a maniac, fitting a bazillion things into fifteen hours of awake time.  By the time night falls, I'm ready to collapse.  It's a phenomenon that happens day after day, three hundred and sixty-five days a year (366 this year).

It's usually in the evening at my point of utter exhaustion, that my kids barrage me with a million questions.  And of course, my brain doesn't work, so the answers are sometimes incoherent or downright stupid. Such was the case last night.  I can't even remember what the questions were.

What I can remember, is that my answer must've been some kind of mumbo jumbo, because my husband's response was, "Leave Mommy alone.  She's in her penguin jammies.  And when she's in her penguin jammies, her brain doesn't work."

Yep.  He got that one right!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wallet Thief

Wasn't it just last week that the stupid dog ripped apart my husband's wallet and credit cards?

This morning my husband came downstairs and noticed a twenty dollar bill lying in the hall in front of the dog.  "Why is there a twenty dollar bill on the floor?" he asked.

Without even glancing up from the computer, I answered.  "Probably because the dog ate your wallet again."

My husband growled.  He marched over to the other room and found his wallet on the floor.


Fortunately for Schultz, nothing else was chewed up or damaged.

"Next time you try stealing twenty bucks from me, dog,  you're going to the pound!"

I think he means it!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bop It

I have finally found something to keep my kids busy during long car rides.  It's a game called Bop It.  Kids have to pull, twist, shout, or bop this hand-held toy according to the directives given by the perky voice in the toy.  And they have to do it in a timely manner, or they lose.

Today, we tested this thing on a long car ride.  Here's what I heard:

"Bop it!"

"Twist it!"

"Bop it!"

"Shout it!"

"Pass it!"

"Bop it!"

"Pull it!"

"You lose!"

This went on for an hour.  My kids thought it was the best thing ever.  It was nice that they weren't fighting, but man, I think I just about lost my mind, listening to that racket!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Busting the Bubble Wrap

I don't know what it is about bubble wrap packaging. The stuff is just irresistable to pop.

I found my husband laying out a long strand of bubble wrap packaging on the floor of my kitchen.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"You'll see."

When he was done arranging it, he jumped into the air and landed right in the middle of it.


My kids heard the ruccus and came running.

"I want to do it!" they squealed.

Soon, all three of them were jumping on the bubble wrap.

And then the dog came.  Do you know what he did?  He bit it!


It's amazing how much fun a little thing like bubble wrap can be!    

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Tracking a Snow Angel

If there's one thing my German Shepherd is good at, it's tracking.  This morning I took the beast out for a walk.  My son had left about ten minutes earlier to walk to his friend's house.  I could see his tracks in the snow.  The beast kept his nose to the ground, following the scent mark my son left behind.

At one point, my son veered off the sidewalk.  I allowed the dog to follow the trail.  Where do you think it led?  To a beautiful snow angel.  Apparently my son was inspired to lay down in the snow to create one.

My dog wagged his tail.  "Good boy, Schultz!' I said.  "You found the angel!"

I wish he was that good at staying out of trouble!  

Friday, January 13, 2012

Morning Rush

I really hate when I forget to set the alarm clock.  That's exactly what happened last night.  When I woke up, I noticed it was starting to get light outside.  Uh oh.  That's not the greatest way to start Friday the thirteenth!  Sure enough, I looked at the clock.  Seven forty one.  Ten minutes until the bus comes.

I jumped out of bed.  "Kids!  Time to get up!  The bus comes in ten minutes!"

Let's just say the kids weren't very happy.  "What?"  they both exclaimed after shaking off the morning groggies.  "What are you talking about?"

"I'm talking about getting dressed really fast and going to the bus stop."

They got themselves dressed lickity split.  We even had breakfast (Special K).  And we got out that door in seven minutes.  It was record time!

And do you know what else?  We were the first ones at the bus stop!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Butterfly Surgery

I like to give stickers to my young piano students who do a good job on their lessons!  Today, I had a young lady who did an excellent job, so I told her she could pick a sticker from my collection.  She chose a butterfly.

As she tried to peel it off, the butterfly ripped.  "Oh, no!" she said.  "Poor butterfly!"

"We can try to fix it," I said.

"I have an idea," she said.  "I'll do surgery."

I watched her carefully attach the wings to the body.  "There" she said.  "Now make sure nobody bothers it.  The patient has to rest!"

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pizza for Pooch

This evening, my son was munching on a slice of pizza.  He left the table to go to the bathroom.  Our German Shepherd with the big black snoot decided to take a sniff.  He put that big old head on the kitchen table and inhaled.  It must've smelled good, because the next thing he did, was grab that piece of pizza and take a bite out of it.

"Schultz!" I hollared.

He dropped it on the table and retreated.

My son returned to the table.  He noticed a bite mark on his pizza. He also noticed that it wan't where he put it. "What happened to my pizza?"

"Turn around and look at the dog," I said.

He did.  A sticky string of mozarella cheese was still hanging off the dog's chin.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Flying High

I think my kids have a serious case of spring fever.  They've been a little crazy lately.  Maybe that's because it's been so nice outside.

So today, my son jumped off the bus with his arms in an extended position.

"Whoa, buddy," I said.  "What are you doing?"


"Um, okay."

He proceeded to run really fast, then jump in the air, with his arms in that extended position.  Next thing I knew, he was face down on the ground.

"Hey, are you okay?"

He got up and brushed himself off.  "I don't get it.  Why didn't I stay in the air?"

"Because you're not a bird."

"But I have wings!"

"Sorry, kid.  You're wings don't work."

So now he's working on inventing a pair that will. Good luck with that!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Taking the Dog to the Vet

It was time for the beast's yearly checkup and shots.  And you can imagine how that went! 

After collecting a fresh fecal sample from the backyard, I hauled that furry varmint into the back seat of my car.  I got in the front seat.

"Pant, pant, pant."  His giant head was next to me, and he was panting in my ear.

"Schultz, sit back and put your seat belt on!"

He didn't put his seat belt on.  Instead he drooled all over my armrest.

"Schultz! That's disgusting!"

He didn't care.

When we got to the vet's office, he was so exuberant, he could barely contain himself.

"Okay, can you get him on the scale?" the vet assistant asked.

"Are you kidding?  You want this giant wild beast to stand still on that little itty bitty thing?"

We wrestled the ninety pound bundle of energy and got him to stand on the scale for a whole two seconds.

Then it was time to draw blood.  Oh boy!  Schultz did not like that one bit! 

The vet entered soon after. "Hi, Schultz!  Have you been a good boy?"


We attempted to make him sit still for the shots.  No deal.  "We're going to call the back up help," the vet said.  Three techs came in.  "All right.  Hold him down!"

It wasn't easy, but with some tender loving care from yours truly, we got the job done.

I can't wait to do this again next year!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Grounded for Life

It looks like the dog is going to be in the doghouse for the rest of his life.

What did he do?  He ate the grill. The expensive Weber grill.  All three knobs were torn off and the ignition switch was yanked out and gnawed on.  The grill is no longer fit to function, thanks to that idiot German Shepherd. 

So let's see.  In the last two weeks, he tried to eat my violin case.  He ate my husband's wallet and credit cards.  He tried to eat the Christmas tree.  And he ate the grill.

As my daughter said, "That dog  is grounded forever!"

Bad dog!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Shaking off the Ornaments

Today I decided it was time to take down the Christmas tree.  I methodically began taking off the ornaments -very gently so that nothing would break.

Along came my husband.  He took a look at the tree.  "Is that thing crooked?"

"Yeah, but it's okay," I said.  "Everything is a little crooked around here."

"Why is it crooked?"

"I don't know.  Maybe I put it up wrong."

He grabbed the tree and started shaking it. Ornaments tumbled on to the ground.

"Hey," I said.  "You're going to break the ornaments!"

"Well, you were trying to get them off, weren't you?"

"Yeah, but not like that!"

I guess men have their own ways of doing things.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Tooth Fairy Gets it Right

That tooth fairy has had a history of not doing a very good job lately.  I really don't know what her problem was.  Well, last night she finally redeemed herself.

Do you remember that baby tooth that wouldn't come out?  The one my daughter tried to milk dud out?  It's out now, but it didn't come out the easy way.  We had to take her to the dentist to have it pulled.  She was not pleased.

The tooth fairy must've heard about all the drama, so she decided to be extra nice on her visit.

My daughter was thrilled with the cash she received for that troublesome tooth.

"I guess that tooth fairy is not so bad, after all," she said.

That's good news for the tooth fairy.  She was getting a little nervous about her job security.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wallet for Breakfast

Apparently my German Shepherd is tired of eating kibbles for breakfast.  He prefers wallets.

This morning, as I went about my morning chores, I noticed that it seemed a bit quiet in the house.  The dog was not locked in his crate, so my sixth sense told me that he was definitely up to something.  I walked over to the loft and looked over the railing.  What do you think I saw?  That's right.  The bad beast was lying on the floor with my husband's wallet in his mouth.  Money and credit cards were strewn all over the floor.


He knew he was in trouble.  I crated him before the daddy had a chance to come down and beat the tar out of him.  Then I went over to survey the damage.

My poor husband's wallet was torn up.  His credit cards were mangled.  His license was mangled.  It was a mess!  So now my husband has to order new credit cards, get a new license, and buy a new wallet.

I tell you, we have one very naughty doggy!  I think we should take him back and ask for a refund.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Big Snowball

"Mama, come out and play with me," my seven-year-old son said.

"Dude, it's freezing out there.  I don't want to go out."

"Please, Mama.  It'll be fun!"

Those are the famous last words.  "All right," I said.  But I hardly thought it would be fun.

We both bundled up and headed into the snowy outdoors where it was a balmy 17 degrees.

"Let's make a snowman," my son suggested.

I stooped down and rolled three little snowballs.  Then I stacked them on top of each other.  "There," I said.  "That's it for the snowman."  As I stood up, I got pelted with a couple of iceballs.  "Hey!" I hollared.  "No snowball fights!"

"Yes, snowballs fights!" my son said as he rolled a few more and hurled them at me.

"It's cold.  I'm going inside," I announced.   And that's what I did.

About five minutes later, the doorbell rang.  It was my son, with a giant snowball in his arms.  "I'm going to get you, Mama!"

"Oh no, you're not!" 

He waited for me to come out.  But I didn't.  So now there's a giant snowball sitting on my front porch, just waiting to pelt somebody.  I wonder who it'll be.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Catching Crawdads

It's 27 degrees and snowing in Cincinnati.  And what was my son doing?  He was outside with his buddies catching crawdads.  Apparently the little shell critters got confused by the warm weather a few days ago.  They were out and about in the creek, doing whatever crawdads do.

So my little guy bundled up in his snowsuit.  He put on his hat, scarf and mittens, and headed out to the creek.  A little while later, he came back with five crawdads in his mitts.

"Look, Mom!"

I looked at the squirmy brown creatures. "Nice.  Now how about you put those crawdads back, and come in for a nice cup of hot cocoa?"


Nothing like a day of catching crawdads followed by a cup of hot cocoa!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Mama Pokemon

"Mama, what Pokemon are you?"

"Huh?" I said.  What the heck was my seven-year-old son talking about?  "Dude, last time I checked, I was human.  I'm not a Pokemon!"

"But just tell me what Pokemon you are," he insisted.

"Okay.  Peekachu."  That's the only Pokemon I knew.

"Mom, you're not a Peekachu.  Peekachus are loud."

"So what do you think I am?"

"Hmmm."  He consulted his Nintendo DS for a list.  He scrolled through it.  "How about this one?"

It was a cute little mouse looking thing.  "No," I said.  "Too mousy."

"What about this one?"

It was a fat rabbit thing.  "No.  Too rabbity."

"What about this one?"

I looked at the gothic vampire thing.  "Yeah.  That's what I am.  What is it?"

"Gothelle.  She's a psychic type.  Habitat unknown."

Psychic type?  Check.  I definitely have a sixth sense to know what's going on with my kids. 

Habitat unknown.  Yeah.  I have no idea what kind of asylum I live in.

Plus she looks pretty creepy.  I've been told I resemble something like that.

Perfect.  My new name is Mama Gothelle.