Mama Diaries

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Shave and a Haircut

Bubba, my eight-year-old son, was looking a little shaggy.  "Mama, I want to go to the barber!" He said.

"Can't we just go to Great Clips?  It would be faster," I said.

"No, Mama.  We have to go to the barber."

I didn't feel like arguing, so I took him there.  The barber is located in the quaint downtown area of Loveland, Ohio.  It always feels like you're stepping back in time when you go.  And walking into the barber shop is no different.  The barber is a nice old man who wears one of those white barber smocks. Cans of brylcreem and aftershave line the shelves.  You wouldn't believe it unless you saw it.

Anyway, the man cut my son's hair.   When he was done, he asked my boy if he wanted a shave.

"I don't have whiskers yet," Bubba answered.

The barber looked closely.  "You have peach fuzz.  Those are going to turn into whiskers pretty soon."

Bubba took a closer look in the mirror.  "Hmm," he said.  "I'm going to keep an eye on that peach fuzz, and as soon as I see a whisker, I'll be back for a shave!"

In case I'm not here tomorrow, I'd like to wish everyone who celebrates Easter a very Happy Easter!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Bubba Bocce Ball

It was a beautiful day here in Cincinnati.  My boy wanted to play outside.  "Mama, come play with me!"

I couldn't say "no" to the little man (even though I still have a ton of stuff to do get ready for Easter!).  "Okay, Bubba, I'll play for a little while."

We went outside and found the Bocce Ball game.  "Let's play this," Bubba said. 

If you're not familiar with the game, here's how it works:  You throw a little white ball, and then you throw some heavy colored balls and try to hit the white one.   The person who gets the closest wins the round.

We began the game.  I threw the white ball, then standing in place, I threw my red balls.  They got pretty close.  Then it was Bubba's turn.  Do you know what he did?  He walked right up to the white ball and plopped his black balls down next to it.

"Bubba,"  I said.  "That's not how you play the game.  That's cheating!"

"Sorry, Mama, I'll do it different next time."

And he did.  When it was his turn to throw the white ball, he picked it up and put it on a tree branch.  Then he positioned his black balls on branches right next to it.

I shook my head.  "Bubba, what do you call this? You're supposed to throw the ball like I did.  And it's supposed to land on the ground!"

"No, Mama," he answered.  "We're not playing regular Bocce Ball.  We're playing Bubba Bocce Ball." 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spill King

My son seems to be having some issues today with spilling things.  This morning, I took him to my critique meeting at Panera Bread and got him a smoothie.  Somehow, half of the smoothie ended up on the floor.

"Naughty smoothie!" he said, looking at the mess on the floor and on his jacket.  I cleaned it up and took the boy and his smoothie-covered jacket home.

At lunchtime, I gave the boy some yogurt.  A short while later, he walked over to me.  "Mama, I need a paper towel."

"Why, Bubba?"

"I had a little spill."  He pointed at his shirt and pants.  They were covered in yogurt.

I had him change, and threw his dirty clothes in the wash. 

Then he drank his juice.  And guess what?  He had another little spill.

"Bubba, what seems to be the problem, today?"  I asked.

"I don't know, Mama.  Nothing wants to be eaten, and it's running away from my mouth!"

I hate when that happens!    

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Poke Piano

"Bubba, it's time to practice piano," I said to my eight-year-old son.

He meandered into the room, holding his Nintendo DS.  "Okay, Mama." 

I sat down in my teaching chair next to the piano bench and waited for him to sit down. He did, but the Nintendo was still in his hands.  "Dude, you need to put that thing down now.  You can't play with it in your hands."

"Yes I can, Mama!  Watch!"  He brought up some kind of Pokemon app and took out his stylus.  Two seconds later, he was touching the screen, playing the theme from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, which was part of his lesson. What's more is, he actually had to select the correct notes to play. 

I couldn't believe it. Poke piano.  Now I'm never going to get that kid unglued from his DS!   

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Busy Man

First of all, I'm going to explain the blog blitz thing that has been sitting on my side bar.  I know you're all just dying to know what it is!  DL Hammons   came up with this really cool idea to "blitz" one lucky blogger once a week.  What the heck does that mean?  It means that on the chosen day, all bloggers who are on the blog blitz list will visit that special person and leave a comment on that person's most recent post.  That's potentially hundreds of comments.  Pretty cool, huh?  Everyone on the list will have a chance to be blitzed.  If you want to participate, hop over to DL Hammons' blog and sign up!  

Today's lucky person is PK Hrezo, so stop by and leave her a comment!

Okay.  Now for the story.

"Mama," my eight year old son said.  "I'm really busy at night."

I tried  to surpress a laugh.  "Oh yeah? Doing what?"

"Well, I roll up my pajama pant legs.  And then I knock my blankets off.  But I wish I wouldn't do that, because I like my blankets on the bed."

I nodded.  "Uh, huh.  Anything else?"

"Yeah.  I talk and sometimes I get up and walk around."

"While you're asleep?" 

"No. While I'm half asleep." 

I looked at that boy. "Why don't you just stay in bed and be totally sleep?"

"Because sleep is boring!"


Monday, March 25, 2013

Cracking Eggs

When I woke up from my nap on Saturday, I was hit with the realization that I had a lot of cooking to do.  Passover dinner was to be at my house the next day.  And I hadn't even started. (If you have no idea about how extensive Passover dinners are, let me just say, it's basically a twenty course meal.)

I began with the hard boiled eggs - fifteen of them.  After they were cooked, I cracked and peeled off the shells, one at a time.  Not fun! 

My eight year old son wandered into the kitchen.  He stood next to me and watched me intently.  "Mama, that's not how you do it," he said.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Watch and learn, Mama."  He grabbed the bowl of eggs.  And then do you know what he did?  He dumped them on the floor!

I stared at him, speechless.

He grinned.  "See Mama, now they're all cracked!"

And then he walked off, leaving me to clean up the mess on the floor.

Oy gewalt!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Stuck Necklace

My daughter had another dance competition today. (She did well -another double platinum rating.)  We had to get up at the crack of dawn to be there for an early performance.  Unfortunately, the hotel we stayed at was rather noisy.  Neither of us slept much.  Needless to say, it wasn't easy to get the hair and makeup done!  Since I had all kinds of issues with that, my daughter insisted on putting her choker rhinestone neckace on herself. 

"Fine," I said.  "My eyes are probably to bleary to see the clasp, anyway."

She got it on no problem.  But when we got home, and she tried to take it off, it wouldn't budge.  "Mom, it's stuck!  Can you you get it off?"

I took a look at it.  It was a hopeless cause.  I'm not sure how she did it, but the latch is permanently stuck on one of the links.  "I can't figure this out," I said.  "Just take a shower and leave the thing on.  I'll look at it again, later." That's what she did.

So ladies and gentlemen, does anybody who isn't as sleep-deprived as me have any suggestions?  I really don't want to destroy the thing.  Her next competition is in a couple of weeks, and I'm afraid a replacement won't come in on time.  Here's my idea:  I'm going to go take a little nap.  Maybe the answer will come to me in a dream. If you have a better plan, let me know! 

Good night!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Impressing the Lady

Spring is in the air and it seems to have affected Schultz, our hundred pound German Shepherd.

I took the beast for a walk today.  Half-way through our walk, he spotted a female German Shepherd.  (I think she was an old lady, but that didn't seem to matter to Schultz.)  She was standing in her driveway, watching us. 

Schultz decided to see what he could do to impress the lady.  He did his fancy prance in front of her. And he gawked.  He couldn't take his eyes off of her.  Then he got to the next driveway.  Since he was so busy prancing and gawking, he didn't notice that it was slippery asphalt.  He slipped and fell flat on his face.

"Schultz, you moron," I said.  "That's no way to impress a lady!"

So what did he do?  He got up, took a potty break on the lawn, and kept prancing.

What a man!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

April Fools

Yesterday, as I was teaching a violin lesson, a five and a half foot tall creature meandered into the room.  It looked like Pikachu.  It stared at me and then wandered off.  A few minutes later, a three-foot tall Luigi walked in.  It paused for a few seconds, and then like the Pikachu, wandered off.  I wondered what these creatures were doing in my house.

Five minutes later, they reappeared, this time with orange jack-o-lanterns in their hands.  The Pikachu spoke.  "We're going trick-or-treating."  I recognized that voice.  It belonged to one of my offspring. The female one.

"Excuse me," I said.  "It's not Halloween. I think you're a little confused."

"We're not confused." the Luigi said.  "We're playing an April Fools joke."

I looked at that boy.  "It's not April Fools, either."

"That's the point," my daughter said.  "We're going to mess with everyone's heads.  They won't know if it's Halloween, April Fools, or just the first day of Spring!" 

Before I go, I just have to share some exciting news with you.  My book, That Mama is a Grouch, is a 2013 Mom's Choice Award silver recipient!    (And that's no joke!)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fork Fight

Last night, when I went over to the piano to start practicing, I noticed that there was a pile of forks sitting on top.  There must've been at least twenty of them - every fork in the house.

"Kids," I called.  "Who put the forks on the piano?"

"Bubba did," my daughter said.

"I did not!" Bubba retorted.

Hmmm.  Something suspicious was going on here.  I walked over to my husband who was saving the galaxy on his computer.  "Did you put the forks on the piano?"

No answer.  He must've been engrossed in a big battle.

I knew I had to do a little detective work.

"Now why would somebody put forks on top of a piano?" I asked my son.

"Probably to get them away from Daddy." 

"Why would you need to get them away from Daddy?"

"I didn't need to, but my sister did.  Daddy was chasing her around trying to poke her with a fork."

I walked over to my daughter.  "Was Daddy chasing you with a fork?"

"Yeah.  He tried to stab me in the tush!" 

Whoa.  "Why?"  I asked.

"Maybe because I was being obnoxious."

Oh.  "So you were the one who put the forks on the piano."

My daughter looked down at her feet.  "Yes."

I'm such a good detective!  Now I have to figure out what to do with the Daddy.  Maybe I should lock him in the crate with our German Shepherd, Schultz!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lightening Eyeballs and Other Mayhem

I watched my eight-year-old son sitting at the kitchen table.  He had a flashlight, and was taking it apart.  After he had dismembered it, he turned it on and shined it into his eyes. (He did have a part in front, partially blocking the stream of light.)

"Bubba, what are you doing?" I asked.

"Lightening my eyeballs."

"Excuse me?" I said.

"I want to see what I look like with lighter eyeballs."

All I could do was shake my head.

Meanwhile, my daughter who was sitting on the barstool sipping Sprite, thought that was the most hilarious thing she'd ever heard.  She promptly spit out her Sprite - all over my manuscripts which were to be mailed to agents. 

"What the heck?"  I bellowed.

My daughter could not stop laughing.  Sprite came out her nose and dripped onto my manuscripts. 

"This cannot be for real," I said.

"Don't worry Mom,"  my daughter said.  "The agents will still take them.  They're children's books.  A little sticky Sprite is to be expected!"


Monday, March 18, 2013

Getting a Little Exercise

I was washing dishes when a certain three foot tall individual ran past me.  Five seconds later, he did it again.  And again.

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

"Running!" he said whipping by.

"I can see that.  But why are you running in circles around the house?  That's a good way to get hurt."

"I need exercise."

Exercise?  "Dude, if you wait until it stops raining, you can exercise all you want outside."

"But Mama, I have to fill in the chart."

"What chart?"

"The exercise chart from school.  We have to exercise for thirty minutes every day.  And if I try to wait for it to stop raining, it might not ever stop.  So I'm doing indoor exercise."

And off he went to run in circles for another twenty minutes while I sat and watched.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Alien Mama

Let me begin my first explaining that my son is color-blind.  (This is the reason for the pink teddy bear on his bed.)

Today he came up to me and stuck his face right up to mine.  "Mama, you look like an alien."

"What makes you say that?" I asked.  I thought maybe it had something to do with my duck bill and three eyeballs.

Not quite.  "Your eyes are neon purple with green specks," he said.

"Really?"  I walked over to a mirror for a closer inspection.  They looked rather blue to me.

"Yeah, Mama.  What planet are you from?"

"I thought the same one you're from - Earth."

"No, Mama.  You're not from Earth."  He walked over to the phone and handed it to me.  "You'd better phone home and find out where you're from."

Okay, then.  (So ladies and gentlemen, if I find out what planet I'm from, I'll give you the news update.)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Evil Leprechaun

A few days ago, my son made a leprechaun trap for a school project.  He took it to school and waited to see if a leprechaun would show up.  One did.  And he wasn't very nice!

"Mama," my son said when he came home from school.  "The leprechaun destroyed my trap!"

"Really?' I said.  "What did he do?"

"He ripped off the door and bashed a hole through the wall."

"It sounds like he was mad!" I said.

"Yeah.  And do you know what else?"

"What else?"

My son grinned.  "He pooped in there!"

I looked at that kid.  "Seriously?"

"Yeah.  There was a sparkly turd on the floor."

I tried not to laugh.  "Oh.  Well, I guess even leprechauns have to go potty.  Next time design the trap with a bathroom!"

(The leprechaun did leave a nice green bead necklace.  I guess that's the least he could do after all the trouble he caused!)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Dinner Music

"Mama," my eight-year-old son said.  "I think we should light some candles for dinner."

Apparently tuna noodle casserole was bringing out the romantic side of the little man.  "Okay, Bubba," I said.  "I'll light some candles."

After the candles were lit, we sat down to eat. 


"Yes, Bubba?"

"We need a little music to go with the candle light dinner."

Of course.  "What kind of music would you like?"

He thought about that for a minute and then got up and went to the phone.  He pressed a button to activate the ring tone.  It was "Liebestraum" by Franz Liszt.  "Perfect," he said. (He didn't even seem to mind that he had to get up every ten seconds to continue the music.)

Such was our candlelight dinner.  So ladies and gentlemen, if you want a perfectly romantic dinner, make yourself some tuna noodle casserole, light a few candles, and grab your phones!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Leprechaun Trap

My son came home from school with an important project:  to construct a leprechaun trap.

"How are you going to trap a leprechaun?" I asked.

"You'll see." The boy went to work armed with a shoebox, magic marker, yarn, and sticky tape.  About twenty minutes later, he showed up with the creation pictured above.  "Do you like my trap?"

I looked at that thing.  He had carved out a door and drawn a nice little house - complete with furniture inside.  He had also constructed an elaborate string pulley system with the yarn.  "How does it work?" I asked.

"The leprechaun is going to see the sign for free gold.  (These signs are posted all around the house with arrows leading to the door.)  He's going to walk in the open door to get the gold.  But I'm going to be behind the house.  As soon as he's in, I'm going to pull the yarn, and the door is going to close.  Little green man is going to be trapped inside!"  Bubba demonstrated. To my surprise, it worked perfectly.

So now we have to wait for a leprechaun to show up. (And of course, what leprechaun can resist free gold?) Hopefully it will be when someone is there to operate the trap.  I'll let you know how that goes!    


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Right Church, Wrong Pew

Yesterday, I pulled my son out of school for an orthodontist appointment.  We showed up at the office, and the receptionist looked at me like I had three eyeballs.  "I don't think you're supposed to be here."

"But I wrote it on the calendar," I said.

"Well, the computer is down, so I can't check for sure.  But I really don't think you're supposed to be here." 

"Okay,"  I said.  "Should I take him back to school?"

"No.  We'll fit him in."

After the appointment, the receptionist had the computer up and running.  "Let's see when you were actually supposed to be here."  She typed a few things in.  "Uh, huh," she said.  "You were supposed to be here last Tuesday.  Same time.  Same place."

"Oh,"  I said.  "Sorry."

"That's okay, girl.  You were at the right church.  You just had the wrong pew."

Story of my life!  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Closet Raid

Today is picture day at school.  This morning, my eleven-year-old daughter went through her closet, looking for something to wear. "Mom, I don't have anything good for picture day."

I walked in her room and checked out the situation.  "You have plenty of clothes."  I pulled a few tops out. 

"I can't wear those!" she exclaimed.

"Why not?"

"They're not fashionable," she said, and then added, "We have to go shopping."

"Girlfriend," I said.  "It's seven o'clock in the morning.  You're not going shopping.  Just find something!"

Ten minutes later she came downstairs.  I looked at the girl.  The top she had on looked kind of familiar.  "Isn't that mine?" I asked.

"Yeah.  It was the most decent thing I could find."

(So, I guess I'm not so unfashionable after all! )  

Monday, March 11, 2013

Bubba Gump

We watched the movie, Forrest Gump, yesterday.  My son, Bubba, thought it was great.  (He especially liked the part where Forrest was on his big run, and he decided he was tired and wanted to go home.)

My husband thought he'd have a little fun at the dinner table.  "Bubba, talk like a southerner."

"Howdy.  My name is Bubba, and I like shrimp," Bubba said.  It was quite a good southern drawl.

"That's good, Bubba.  Are you going to get a shrimp boat?" I asked.


"Where are you going to put it?"

Bubba giggled. "In your head."

All right, then.  It can sit in there with all the other weird characters.  There's plenty of room now that I've lost my mind!  

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Tea Party

Do you remember a couple of weeks ago when my son made a teapot?  Well, here it is:

And today we had a tea party.

"Mama, we need some tea," Bubba said.  "What flavors do we have?"

I went through the list. He chose Mandarin Orange Spice.

"We need some cake, too," he added.

"We don't need cake," I said.

"Yes, we do," my daughter chimed in.

"Then you make it," I said.

So she did.  It was yellow cake with chocolate syrup and white and brown chocolate chips.  It was the most lopsided, messy creation I had ever seen.

"This is the best tea party ever!" my son said as we all sat down to enjoy it.

I had to agree, because all I had to do was operate the stove and oven! 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Face Mask

"Mom, I need some honey," my eleven-year-old daughter said.

"Why?" I asked.

"You'll see."

I figured she was going to conduct some kind of scientific experiment.  I gave her the honey and went off to do my business.

Ten minutes later, she and my son waltzed into the room and stood next to me.  They had a big grin plastered on each of their faces. And something else.

"What the heck is on your face?" I asked my daughter.

"Honey.  And sugar.  And vitamin E capsules."


"Yeah, mom.  It's a face mask, and it's going to make our faces really soft."

Just then, our German Shepherd Schultz joined the party.  He sat down and cocked his head.  His big old nose started sniffing.

"I think he wants to eat your face masks," I said.

My kids' eyes got big.  They screamed and took off.  And Schultz charged after them.

So much for the face mask!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Snow War

Yesterday, my kids had a snow day, which meant they didn't have school.  (This is why I didn't post - I was too busy with them.) 

In the morning, I went outside to shovel the driveway.  My son went out with me.  "Are you going to help?"  I asked.

"Yeah, Mama!"  He picked up his little shovel and started shoveling.  Except he didn't deposit the snow on the side of the driveway.  He deposited it on me!

"Bubba, what are you doing?"  I asked, completely exasperated.

"Having a snow war, Mama!"

"A snow war?"

"Yeah.  And you're going to lose!"

"How do you figure?"

Bubba pointed at our cat.  He was perched on top of a snow pile, knocking little snowballs down into the driveway.  "Two against one!"

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Indoor Swimming Pool

My eight-year-old son came downstairs wearing nothing but his bathing suit. 

"Bubba," I said.  "What do you think you're doing?"

"Going swimming."

I looked at that boy.  "Dude, it's twenty degrees outside, and the pool is closed.  You're not going swimming."

The boy grinned.  "Yes, I am. Would you like to see the pool?"

I couldn't wait.  I followed him into the kitchen where a large rubbermaid container was sitting on the floor.  And guess what?  It was full of water.

My boy hopped in and started splashing.  "Do you like my pool?"


Monday, March 4, 2013


I have returned from my daughter's dance competition in Louisville,Kentucky. It was fantastic!  My daughter's team was awarded double platinum (the highest level) and won first place overall. You would not believe how excited she was!  And she had the extra honor of being the one to collect the trophies and medals for the team. 

I'll share a quick story about life backstage in the dressing rooms before I tell my knot story.  So, I was with the girls in the dressing room while they were preparing to go on.  My daughter decided to mess with her makeup case.

"Leave it alone," I said.  "You're going to drop it and break it."

"Mom, I'm not going to break it."

Two seconds later, she dropped it.  Eyeshadow spilled out onto the floor. It crumbled and left a powdered mess.  Same thing with the blush.  It took everything for me not to say, "I told you so!"  Instead, I said, "Just clean it up!"

Meanwhile the other girls were runnning around, opening and closing the window shades.  One girl would open, and the other would race to close it before the other was opened.  I just shook my head.   Finally, they turned an iPod on and started dancing to, "I'm Sexy and I Know It."  You don't even want to know what that looked like!

Such is the life of a dance mom!

Now for the featured story.

I was standing at the bus stop with my eight-year-old son this morning, when I happened to look down at his shoes.  "Dude, you need to tie your shoes."

"They are tied, Mama."

I stooped down to take a closer look. Yes, they were tied- in a long string of knots.  "Why are your shoes tied like this?"

"Because it was fun," he answered.  "Do you want to know how many knots I tied?"

"How many, Bubba?"


Great.  "Can you untie them?"

"No," he said.  "You do it."

I shook my head and stooped down. It was not easy untying them, especially because he was rather squirmy. When I was almost done, he turned so that his tush was near my face, and let out a little gas.

"Bubba!"  I yelled. 

He giggled and ran off.  "Thanks, Mama!"


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Old Mama

I'm back!  Sort of.  Tomorrow I take off again. 

So, I walked in the door last night, and was tackled by my daughter.  She gave me a big bear hug.  Apparently she missed me.  I expected some sort of comment to that effect, but instead she said, "Guess what Bubba said about you."

This ought to be good, I thought. "What did Bubba say?"

"Well, he was trying to figure out how old you were.  At first he thought you were 22, but then he said that there was definitely no way you were 22."

"Okay," I said.  "So how old did he think I was?"


Oy!  (No, I'm most definitely not 52!)

On to another story (actually, I'm quite full of them today).  I was rather hungry when I came home at about 9:00 last night.  After I had put down my suitcase and was properly greeted by all creatures in my family, I searched for something to eat.  I went to the cereal cupboard.  There was no cereal.  I looked in the fruit bowl for a banana.  Nothing.  I looked in the refrigerator for juice.  None.  I even looked in the freezer for ice cream. No ice cream.  We were out of food.  "Hey,"  I said.  "Are you trying to starve me?"

They laughed.  "But we left you laundry to fold, a toilet to unblock, and a dishwasher to fix.  What more could you want?"  (Yes, there were 4 loads of laundry to fold, 2 loads to wash, a clogged toilet, and a busted dishwasher.  Note to self:   I must teach my offspring the fine art of folding laundry!)

As for the trip to Rhode Island (where the conference was), it was quite an adventure.  My flight was cancelled due to inclement weather.  It took me nearly 12 hours to get there, and I spent 3 sitting on an airplane next to an enebriated old man who reeked of alcohol and chatted my ear off about a shooting on the Las Vegas strip and the weather across the nation. I now know that the weather in Kansas is not good.  But I already knew that from a story I read about the Wizard of Oz.

Coming back wasn't so bad.  Except the TSA inspected my baggage and left me a little note.  I wonder how they liked the Beethoven and Tchaikovsky violin concertos I had stuffed in there along with the books about Egypt and an Arabic dictionary (for my current manuscript research).  I would've liked to have seen the looks on their faces when they saw those!

The conference was awesome, and definitely worth all the trouble getting there.  Now I'm off to Louisville for a dance competition.  See you when I get back!