Mama Diaries

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Phone Meal

My kids still keep in touch with their friends from Cincinnati.  In fact, they spend hours on the speakerphone, talking with them and playing online video games.  Yesterday, they were on the phone.  I heard the two boys on the other end giggling and carrying on, just as my kids were.  It sounded like my house was full of kids.

I sat down at the kitchen table and listened in on their conversation. 

"Dude," my son said to one of the boys.  "My mom can hear you.  She's right here."

"Oh, hi Mrs. Ellis.  I'm hungry," the boy said.  "Do you have something to eat?"

"Sure.  I'll send you a slice of pizza and some chocolate chip cookies through the phone lines," I answered.

Can't let a thousand miles stand in the way of a hungry boy!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Salmonella Poisoning

I hope all of you who celebrated Thanksgiving had a great day.  I sure did.  Thank you for all the well-wishes in your comments!

I don't know about you, but I have a lot of leftover turkey.  What does one do with leftover turkey?  Make sandwiches, of course!  This afternoon, for lunch, I piled up a bunch of turkey between some slices of bread, along with apples, poppy seed dressing and cheese.  I plopped it in front of my kids and told them to eat it.

My son made a face, but bit into it.  "Mama," He said after he swallowed.  "Can't you get salmonella poisoning from eating raw turkey?"

"Yes, Bubba, you can."

"Then why are you feeding us raw turkey?"

I laughed. "It's not raw.  It's cold.  And you won't get salmonella from eating cold, cooked turkey."

"Are you sure, Mama.  Because I can taste the salmonella. I think you're trying to poison us."  

Oy gewalt!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Donut Dillemma

It's Hanukkah at my pad, which means it's time to make potato latkes and eat jelly donuts.  (I know, real healthy, but I didn't invent it, so don't give me any snide remarks!)

I went to the store to pick up the donuts.  I scoured that place, but could not find even one jelly-filled donut. Since I don't know where any other donut stores are, and I don't feel like making them from scratch, I bought a dozen glazed donuts.  Good enough, I thought.

Unfortunately, my kids didn't think so.  "Mom, this isn't right," my daughter said.  "We need jelly donuts."

"Listen, this is all I could find.  Just deal with it."

"I can't deal with it," my daughter said.  "It's Hanukkah and we need jelly donuts!"

I went to the refrigerator and pulled out a jar of grape jelly.  I opened it, and smeared a layer of the purple stuff on top of a donut and handed it to her.  "There you go.  A jelly donut, just for you!"

I don't know if I'll be here tomorrow, but I'd like to wish all of you in the USA who celebrate Thanksgiving, a very Happy Thanksgiving!  And in the spirit of the holiday, I'd like to thank all of you for following me and being my blog friends!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Makeup Guru

My twelve-year-old daughter knows a lot about makeup.  That's probably because she spends all her free time watching You tube videos of makeup tutorials.

Today, she gave me a makeup tutorial.  "Mom, you really should do your eyeliner differently.  I think Urban Decay eyeliner would work better than what you're using."


"Here, let me show you what kind of makeup you should use to make yourself look pretty."  She brought up the Sephora website.  If you don't know what Sephora is, it's a huge makeup store.  "Here," she said.  "Naked Urban Decay eye shadows.  That's a basic palate."

I looked at the price - $18.95.

She scrolled down.  "You need some lip stains, too."

"Lip stains?"  I said.  "What's wrong with my lipstick?"

"It doesn't last all day."


Price of the collection of lip stains:  $365.00.

She continued this way, going through eyeliners, foundations, blush, brushes, and mascara.  By the time she was finished, she had about $800 worth of products.  "That should do it, Mom.  If you get all of these and use them, you might look good."



Monday, November 25, 2013

Ear Assault

Here's a little news before I begin my story about something you might want to do if you're an author:

Milo James Fowler is hosting a Freebies special – Tis More Blessed. “If you have a book/eBook/short story/collection you'd like to give away or raffle off on Friday December 6th, Friday the 13th, Friday the 20th, or Friday the 27th, just enter your name and the date(s) of your giveaway under Link Title.”

I'll be giving away copies of my books on each of the Fridays, so be sure to stop by at my place, and all the other author's places for a chance to win books.

And now for the story:

I was driving my kids around town today.  We had several stops, which meant they had to spend a lot of time in the car. To break the monotony, they decided it would be great fun to belt out songs that were on the radio.

I grimaced.  "Kids, that's insulting to my ears!  Can you be a little quieter and less scratchy?"

"No, Mama," my son said.  "I'm going to be the best singer in the world!  I need to practice."

"Yeah, mom.  We're rock stars!" my daughter chimed in.

They shouted the lyrics at the top of their lungs.

"Could you at least sing in tune?" I implored, wishing I had a pair of headphones to block out the cacophony.

"We are in tune," said my son.

"Okay.  Maybe it's the music selection.  How about you sing something like Beethoven's ninth symphony?"

I saw my daughter grimace in the rear view mirror.  "No, Mom.  That music makes my ears bleed!"

"Your ears?" I said.  "What about mine?"

"Yeah.  I think Beethoven's ninth would make your ears bleed, too!"

Oy gewalt!  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Chubby Bunny Marshmallow Challenge

 I was driving my daughter and her friend to school the other day, when her friend had this remark:  "Mrs. Ellis, I did the Chubby Bunny Marshmallow challenge!"

"The what?" I asked.

"The Chubby Bunny Marshmallow challenge.  You have to put a marshmallow in your mouth and say, 'chubby bunny.'  You keep adding marshmallows until you can't do it any more."

"Seriously?"  I couldn't believe people would do something so stupid.

"Mom, I want to try," my daughter said.

"Forget it.  I don't need any of my kids choking on marshmallows!"

She was very disappointed.

So ladies and gentlemen, in case you're curious, here is a fine example of the Chubby Bunny Marshmallow challenge:   

(By the way, my daughter's friend only managed to stuff in two marshmallows.)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Mac and Cheese - Bubba Style

My boy, Bubba, came home from school, absolutely starving.  Unfortunately, I was on an important phone call, and couldn't really stop to cook.  I boiled a pot of water and dumped some macaroni noodles in while I was on the phone.

"Mama, the noodles are ready," he said as the kitchen timer went off. 

I had enough time to turn the timer off, but then I had to shuffle through paperwork to give some information to the person I was talking to.

Apparently, Bubba couldn't wait.  He took over operations and made the mac and cheese his way.

When I got off the phone, I looked in the pot.  "Bubba, what's this?"  Powdered cheese was floating on the surface of the water, while the noodles were clumped on the bottom of the pot.

"Mac and cheese.  I'm hungry, Mama.  I couldn't wait."

"Okay, Bubba, this isn't exactly how you make mac and cheese.  You're supposed to drain the noodles first, and then add milk and butter."

Bubba shrugged.  "Just fix it, Mama.  You know how."


I drained the noodles, attempted to mix them with the remaining powdered cheese, added a little butter, and dumped it on a plate.  "There you go, Bubba."

He tasted them.  "Hmmm," he said.  "Not bad, but I think it needs a little salt and pepper."

"Coming right up," I said.

I handed him the seasonings, which he sprinkled over the top. Then he tasted it.  "Perfect, Mama.  See.  I know how to cook mac and cheese!"     

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Reading Fort

I think my nine-year-old son has an obsession with pillows.  He insisted on having a huge pile of them stacked up around him before he started reading his book.

"Bubba," I said.  "There's no way you're going to be able to read with all those pillows practically covering up your head!"

"I can read, Mama," he assured me.

I looked at the kid.  I could barely see him, and I wasn't convinced that he was actually reading in there.  "Bubba, please read out loud so I know you're doing what you're supposed to be doing."

He started reading.  It seemed he actually was reading the words on the pages. Fifteen minutes later, he was done.  He dug himself out of the pillow pile and plopped the book on the table.

"Was it really necessary to make a pillow fort like that?" I asked.

"Yeah, you never know when one of the monsters might jump out of the book and come looking for you!"

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Wild Deer Chase

We have quite a few deer living in the woods behind our house.  They make an appearance every morning.  Usually, it's rather uneventful. They eat their leaves and retreat into the forest.   Not this morning.  This morning it was massive chaos, because this morning, our crazy German Shepherd, Schultz, decided it would be a lot of fun to chase the deer.

I took him out at six o'clock in the morning, when it was still dark, to do his business.  Unbeknownst to me, the entire herd was grazing in my backyard. Schultz spotted them immediately.  There was no way I could hold the hundred pound beast back.

He charged.  I heard the deer scatter.  He chased them into the woods.  And out.

"Schultz!" I bellowed as two deer ran past me.

Schultz was in hot pursuit of another one.  The deer came toward me and quickly swerved when she spotted me.

"Schultz, come!"

Fortunately, the beast is a well-trained creature.  He skidded to a stop.  The deer ran off to who-only-knows where, and Schultz followed me into the house, with a big doggy grin and his tongue nearly dragging on the ground.

Crazy dog!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Anchorman Bubba

My family and I went to the CNN studios in Atlanta for a grand tour of the place.  It was pretty interesting.  My nine-year-old son, Bubba, thought the cameras were really cool. So when the tour guide asked for a volunteer to come up and be an anchorman, my son raised his hand right away.  And of course, because he's a cute kid, he got picked.

He marched up and parked himself at the big desk.  The tour guide operated the teleprompter while the cameras rolled.  He read his script like a real professional.  Then came the end - the part where the anchorman gives his name.

Bubba, with a huge grin on his face, said, "This has been, Insert Name Here, reporting for CNN news."

Everybody cracked up. It was so funny!

So ladies and gentlemen, in about twenty years, if you're watching CNN news and you see a young man reporting as, Insert Name Here, you'll know it's my boy.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Playing Chess with Bubba

"Mama," my nine-year-old son asked.  "Will you play chess with me?"

I didn't realize the kid knew how to play chess.  "Okay," I said.  "One game."

We got out the chess board and set up the pieces.  Surprisingly, he remembered what I had taught him a long time ago.  He was doing pretty well.  After about a half hour, I was getting tired of the game.  I also had a ton of things to do, so I decided to make a bold move and see what happened.  I moved my queen all the way up the board and parked her right next to his king.  "Check," I said.

I wondered if he would knock her off with his king.  He didn't.  He took his bishop and knocked off my rook.

"Check mate," I said on my next move, capturing his king and winning the game.

"That's not fair!" Bubba complained.

"What do you mean, it's not fair?"  I said.  "You could've gotten my queen!"

"You didn't tell me I could get the queen.  I thought I had to get the rook.  Redo!"

"No redo, Bubba.  Mama rules.  And that's that!"

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cry Baby

I was sitting at my computer, doing my thing (whatever that is), when  I heard a baby crying.  On and on the baby went.  Clearly, he was quite upset.  After ten minutes of listening to this, I wondered why the baby was still outside and why he was still crying.  What's up with this, and where's the Mom? I thought.

I got up to investigate.

I went to the back door.  That's when I saw the baby.  He was on my deck, wailing away

What? you ask.

Yes.  The "baby" was none other than our cat, Bootsy.  Another tom cat had come up on the deck (Bootsy's territory) and parked himself there.  Bootsy was not happy!  It took me a minute to get over the shock that my cat sounded exactly like a human baby. But then I got into mom mode and chased off the intruder.

The baby stopped crying, curled himself in a little ball, and resumed his nap.

Another Mama job well-done!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Win-Win Situation

When my nine-year-old son does his homework, I have to sit next to him, supervising.  If I don't, his mind has a tendency to wander, and the work doesn't get done.  Last night I sat next to him at the kitchen table.  But instead of doing his homework, he was goofing around, looking out the window and humming songs.

"Bubba.  You need to focus, or you're never going to finish!" I said.

"Maybe I'll focus if you stop watching me," he answered.

"Fine.  I have lots of work to do, anyway," I said getting up.  "Go ahead and work on this yourself."

"But Mama, you have to stay."

"Why do I have to stay?" I asked.

"Because your presence helps me focus.  Just don't watch me."


So I closed my eyes and took a little nap at the kitchen table while he did his homework.  Not a bad deal - I get some rest, and he gets his work done!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Schultz vs. Sponge Bob Square Pants

Schultz, our hundred pound German Shepherd, had a romp with the oh-so-famous cartoon character, Sponge Bob Square Pants.  And it didn't go so well for the sponge guy.  Let me tell you about it.

My kids inflated a Sponge Bob Square Pants punching balloon - a huge yellow thing with Sponge Bob's trademark smiling face and buck teeth.  They proceeded to punch the heck out of it.  Schultz heard the commotion and came in to investigate.  Of course he wanted a piece of the action.

He jumped on that thing, causing the kids to release it and run away.  It was all Schultz's after that!  He chased it with his mouth wide open, ready to sink his fangs into Sponge Bob if he caught him.  Sponge Bob ran for his life, bouncing against tables and walls.  This went on for almost ten minutes.  Finally, Schultz cornered the big yellow thing. He pounced and took a bite out of Sponge Bob's eyeball.

Let's just say after that, SpongeBob was no more.  And Schultz, after recovering from a minor heart attack, decided that large yellow punching balloons were not exactly the best toys to play with!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Schultz, the Celebrity

There's a star living at my pad. He's none other than our hundred pound German Shepherd, Schultz.  I was walking him the other day when a  neighborhood garage sale was taking place.  People swarmed the street.  When they saw Schultz, they stopped and stared. "What a big dog!" they exclaimed.  "Is he friendly?"

"Sure," I said.  "Do you want to pet him?"

Schultz sat nicely while everyone patted his big head and scratched his back. 

Some people came over with their cameras.  "He's a beautiful dog," they said.  "Can we take his picture?"

Schultz didn't mind.  He let his big tongue flop out while they snapped away.

Then some kids came by.  "Can we pet your dog?"

"Uh huh."

The moms pulled out their cameras.  "Your dog is the biggest we've ever seen!" they said.  "Can we take his picture with our kids?"

"Go ahead," I said.

Schultz sat patiently while the pictures were taken.

Hmmm.  Maybe I should start charging money for pictures with Schultz.  I bet that furry beast could make millions with his celebrity status!       

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mama is Buried Alive!

I now know what it is like to be buried alive - under pillows!  Last night, the kids and I had movie night.  Instead of watching the movie, my nine-year-old son decided it would be great fun to bury me under all the pillows in the house.

He started with the sofa pillows.  Ten of them.  He piled them up, so all you could see was my face.  "Bubba," I said.  "I'd really like to see this movie.  Could you cut out the pillow piling?"

"No, Mama.  This is fun!"

Then he found sofa cushions and added them on top.

"Uh, Bubba," I said.  "It's kind of hard to breathe in here."

He didn't care.  He just added more pillows.

I tried to knock the pile off of me, but it was too heavy. I succeeded in knocking the ones off of my head, so at least I could breathe.

"Bubba.  Enough.  You're going to end up killing your Mama by burying her under too many pillows!"

Fortunately my daughter had some sense, and removed the pillows (much to my son's dismay).  Otherwise I might have just died under that pillow pile!  

Friday, November 8, 2013

Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest

It's time for the Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest, where we name one to three bloggers who have dropped off the blogosphere who we really miss, and name one to three others who we'd miss if they were gone.  This little blogfest is hosted by Alex Cavanaugh, Andrew Leon and Matthew MacNish.
Here's the person I miss:  Judy at Life...Minute by Minute.  (But guess what?  I just popped over there, and she showed up again!  She's been back a few days.  She had been gone since April.  I thought she was never coming back.  Yippee!)
And here's who I'd miss if they stopped blogging:  Well, I'd miss all of you - especially those who visit and comment regularly. 
But here are the three:
1. Yvonne Lewis who has nostalgic music playing on her blog of lovely poems. (Apparently Yvonne is having some trouble with her website, so I can't get the link.  But those of you who know her, know what a sweet lady she is!)
2. Arni at Travel Gourmande who shares her world travels with gorgeous pictures.
3.  Dana  who is like a ray of sunshine with all her Sunday Inspirations and Friday Funnies. 
If you have a chance, stop by and visit all of these wonderful bloggers!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Waking Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed

At 6:00 this morning, I went into my son's bedroom to wake him up for school.  "Time to get up!" I said in my usual cheery voice.

He grunted and rolled over.  "Mama, do you always have to say the same thing every day?"

"What do you want me to say?" I asked.  "Cheeseburgers have  high amounts of fat and cholesterol?"

"No, Mama.  Why don't you not say anything at all?"

"Then how will you know it's time to get up?" I asked. 

"I'll just know."


I went downstairs and put out his breakfast.

My boy came down shortly after and stared at the cereal.  "Mama.  We need to get different cereal.  I don't like this stuff and you give it to me every day."

I looked at the kid.  "Listen.  I think you must've gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.  Why don't you go back upstairs and try this again?"

So that's what he did.  When he came back down, he ate his cereal without a complaint.  Apparently waking up on the other side of the bed helped!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Bubba's Smelly Trick

My son got off the school bus and handed me a package.  "Here Mama, this is for you."

I opened it.  It was a cookie.  And it looked and smelled like a gingersnap cookie.  "You made this is school?" I asked.


I examined it closely. "Bubba, it's as hard as a rock.  Is it stale?"

He laughed.  "No.  It's fresh."

"Should I eat it?"

"No, Mama," he said.  "You'll end up in the hospital.  It's an air freshener!"

Silly Mama!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Virtual Sleepover

My twelve-year-old daughter really misses her best friend from Cincinnati (where we lived before our recent move).  They used to have sleepovers all the time.  Fortunately, because of technology, they are still able to keep in touch regularly.

"Mom, I'm having a sleepover tonight with KK (her friend)."

"Really?" I asked.  "How are you going to do that?"

She pulled out her iPod.  Her best friend was on it via Facetime.  "Hi, Mrs. Ellis," she said, waving.

"Hi, KK," I said.

"We're going to stay up all night on Facetime," my daughter said.  "Maybe we'll even watch a movie and eat popcorn together."

"Right," I said.  "And then have a pillow fight?"

The girls grinned.

So that's what they did - watched part of a movie, ate popcorn, danced around to music, talked about girl stuff, and went to bed.  The only thing that was missing was the pillow fight.  And I certainly didn't miss that!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Why Sleeping Can Kill You

"Mama," my nine-year-old son said.  "Did you know that stress can kill you?"

"Yes," I said. "Everybody knows that."

"Did you know that sleeping can kill you, too?"

"Um, no.  How so?" I asked.

"If you sleep a long time, your arteries will clog up.  Then blood won't be able to get to your brain or heart.  And then you'll have a heart attack or stroke. Which will make you die."

"Oh," I said.  "But if I don't sleep then that will be a stress on my body, which will produce the hormone, cortisol, which will give me a heart attack or brain aneurism, which will make me die."

My son thought about that.  "Yeah."

"So I'm going to die either way," I said.


I think I'll sleep.  It's the better way to go!


Friday, November 1, 2013

How to Make a Tooth

My kids came home with a huge stash of candy after last night's Trick-or-Treat session.  After I checked all of it, they started munching away.  It looked like they intended to eat the entire supply in one sitting. 

"Wait a minute," I said.  "Only four little pieces.  We don't need you rotting your teeth out tonight!"

"But Mama," my nine-year-old son said. "Teeth are easy to make."

I  looked at that boy sideways.  "They are?"

"Yeah.  All you have to do is get some milk and let it go stale. When it dries out, you'll see some powdered stuff left.  Take the powdered stuff and shape it into a tooth, because that's what teeth are made out of."


(I see the boy has a promising future in dentistry!)