Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Funnies from February/March

S to j - you disgust me.

J - I want a chinchilla. Or one of those  hot dogs

A- I want strawberry oak meal for breftist

A - I'm just putting cheese dip upon my beans 

J, after giving Jesse rice Krispie treat: here dad, I didn't even lick it. 

A: My legs are going to eat you. 
They are very hungry. 

Jed: is dat ours car? 

Jed: wi wi wi wildkratts

A and S: Hark the barrel cracker sings, glory to the cracker king 

Wow! Look at that tree! They must 
really love god! 

S: no poopages allowed in this car! Jed: oh yes there is, Adelaide and Josie! 

Jed: I don't like potatoes very far. 

Sharon: I have some thing in my throat! Jed: a bug? 

A- a blue race car that's a commode control 

Jed: it was a accideent

Maybe it's another me - that's one thing I don't want!
Maybe it's a penis! 

S- bells on cocktail ring

Jed- I grow up? Yep, you're a little boy but you will grow into a man, like dad. 
You want to be like dad when you grow up? Or papaw, or grandpa, or pop-pop? 
Nope. I want to be like Jed. 

Josie-There's cheesy people in there - see there is people in there
The time has come- pond scum

Sadie- It's not just chocolate it's Turkish delight

Where dose thingajiggers? Jed

Everyone would be in love with me! -A
No! Not you Adelaide. Jed

Adelaide's insults: balloon breaker! Daisy-stomper! Candy-wrapper-eater! 

Jed's first alone shower 1/14/14. I use man soap. I a big boy. Now hold me like 
a baby and carry me to my room 

Sadie: he has a good sense of Homer. Like the odyssey, mom

I doin good. I fine

You my pecial mom in da whole wide world. 

If I die young bury me in breakfast. Lay me down on a bed of pancakes ... Sink 
me in some syrup at Dawn... Send me away in the words of some sausage 

No phones, no angry birds, no dragon city, no hay day. No cell phones, you 
wanted to talk to somebody you went to the phone that was stuck to the wall in 
the kitchen! A: well, did you have TOILETS?

Feist 1234 - Adelaide she's not very good at counting 

Dey have a real turtle dere! Jed

Discussing dating. What if you went out with a boy by herself and you didn't 
like him and he kept trying to kiss you? I think I would probably punch him in 
the face and kick it out of the car and take his keys and drive home. 

Josie dollar home I will still love you and I am old and when a teenager and I 
will also still want to even when you're 137.

Oh oh oh oh I want to go (to Ben's house) 

Josie: I gravel at your feet

Sadie: when I grow up I am not moving out until I get married. I'll tell you 
that. Of course then I will probably run out of money, and then I will come 
back. Yep that's probably what's going to happen.

I want to be like you said Josie you're really pretty and I like your voice and 
you're really nice and you're a good mom. Sadie I want to have a voice like you 
and to look like you and to have a heart like you and then I cried

Jed : yeah, ma'am (you're good at building, yeah I am)

A: repair to be amazed! (Inside her new toy box) 

Adelaide getting her abc and bible practice confused: ABCDEFG, Hosea, Isaiah, 
Jeremiah, K, Lamentations, MNOP

Jed, after falling down in the floor. Just stop it floor. 

 Singing, Lord my heart is set on you... Jed: oh, I will sit on you! 

A - are you saying I'm not friendly? Waitress talk 

A: jam in the door, Jed : yeah jelly in the door

Jed picking nose - a is it one of those rusty ones? Jed, pick pick... YES!! Got 

Best mom ever, after I got the reading lights

A: yawn... Whew, nap times calling my name 

Jed: can I watch pater rabbit? And that is a question mark? 

A: maybe it was a leprecoon 

A little bit of thunder, a little bit of lightning

Jed, after the train show - yeah, dere was a couple of twains. 

Jed: if I had a baby goat, I would name him Weasel. 

Adelaide, out of the blue: what does chap even mean anyway? I said chap? Or 
chat? How do you spell it? Adelaide I don't know. I can't read. I think you 
spell it J I D. I said that spells "jid." Hysterical laughing. Yeah, that's what 
I meant."

Josie, after I told her I would pay her to rub my shoulders and my sore neck, 
said well it only costs a quarter. I said that's a pretty good deal. She said, 
well, yeah. I used to sell hearts for a living, red ones that I cut out of 
paper. But that didn't turn out so well. I sold one to you and dad and grandpa 
and Aunt lydia. I made a dollar, but you can't live forever on a dollar. Guess I 
should move on to the next thing. 

Sadie: Jed, repeat after me. I am not a donut. I am not for eating. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Catchin' Up

A few Sundays ago, Jesse was changing Jed in the nursery at church. Jed said, "I a man too!" Jesse laughed and said, "Yep, buddy, you're a man like Dad!" Jed said, "No, Dad! Wanna watch I-ron-Man 2!"

One of the things Jed says now that I don't want to forget is: "I want you snuggle me!"

Also, "I want salad!"

Also, after some southern influence: "Yay-us! Tay-ug! Nay-ow!" (Yes, Tag, Now!)

We were looking up in the sky at a jetstream and Jed said, "Whassat? I pull it down? I touch it?"

Adelaide: "Mom, have you ever been to The Outer Space? Maybe I will go one day."

Sadie to Dalton, running around in our backyard: "Hey, you run like a girl! And that's a compliment!"

Adelaide while watching King Kong, after we all had a good laugh at his googly eyes and lovey-dovey looks and then the girl gets away and Kong is furious: "Welp, I guess the smiling is over."

Josie: "I really want to catch that bird."
Me: "Just put salt on its talk and you can catch it."
"Mom. Are you serious? You can't be serious."
"Try it and see."
"Hey! Everybody! Get the salt shaker! Quick!"

Things you find in a little boy's pants pocket:
A squinky
A "fuzzy" from his blue blanket
A penny
A seashell
A rock
An acorn

Jed: "Dere's cweepy tings in da woods. Wike cwabs and wolfs and sharks and stwollers and soldiers and statues. Us be cwying in da woods!"

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Moving Day

To find REAL posts made after 8/3/13, please visit: 


IMAGINARY posts will still be made here. :)

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

That's Funny

Kids are naturally funny.

Some of them take things so literally – others are goofballs that turn just about anything into a joke. Some of them use physical humor (without really meaning to) and some of them just have a gift. 

I’m not sure which category any of mine fall into, but I do know that they crack me up on a regular basis with their shenanigans, weird words and “jokes.” They’re at ages when they know what’s funny to them, but they aren’t quite so sure what might be funny to anyone else. 

For example, knock-knock jokes are very popular around here these days, but some VERY strange things show up at the proverbial door when I say, “Who’s there?” Things like “Lamp Hat, Indian Beard, Monkey Boy” or “Window Rat.” Funny, yes… but probably not in the witty way that they were intended! 

Here are some of my other recent favorite funnies: 

When my cousin Angela put her contacts in and some lipstick on, Josie looked at her and said, “Huh. You’re looking pretty. I hadn’t noticed.”

Jed’s very first knock-knock joke:
“Knot knot.”
Me: “Who’s there?”
Me: “Cack who?”
“Grandma! Hahahaha!”

Sadie to Josie: "If you were the last person on earth, and you had the last baby on earth, and you were that baby's mom, what would you name it?"
Josie, without skipping a beat: “Lucky."

Adelaide was in a newspaper article about the library’s Lego Club. When Grandma Beth found out about it, she exclaimed, “Adelaide, how did you make the paper?” Adelaide replied with a sigh: “Grandma, I didn't make paper, I made LEGOS." 

2-year-old Jed stomped through the house yelling: "Boobies!" I asked, laughing, “Oh, do you like boobies?” He responded with a sneaky laugh: "Heh heh - yeah! Yeah, I do.” 

Adelaide: "My true love is Prince Caspian. Actually it's Aragorn. No wait. Actually, it's Legless."  (Legless = Legolas from The Lord of the Rings) 

Jed's second shot at a knock-knock joke:
"Knot knot."
Me: “Who's there?”
"Wiener sausage!"

Sadie and Josie had a bit of an altercation over a favorite book. Sadie said, “I had it first!" Josie shot back, "HEY! Didn't you learn anything in Sunday School? The last shall be first!" 

Sadie, singing to her (pestering) little brother: "This old man, he said NO!"

Me to Jed: "Jed, do you know what color this balloon is?”
Jed: “Yeah… it’s poop.”  

My children aren’t allowed to "swear" at our house. I recently overheard how they have gotten around that rule: "I vow! I vow! I vow my little butt off!" 

Jed's third try: "Knot knot." Who's there? "Cow." Cow who? "Um... buncha cows. Moo to you!" 

Not to be outdone, Adelaide gave it a try:  
"Knock knock!"
Me: “Who's there?”
Me: “Banana Who?”
"BananaBananaBananaBananaBananaBananaBananaBanana. Say, aren't you glad I didn't say banana?"
Josie: "Adelaide! You JUST DID.”

As we backed out of a parking space at the mall, I asked, "Adelaide, is there anyone behind me?" Jed piped up from the backseat: "Me! Me! I behind you, Mommy!" 

No matter the joke, my kids always find a way to build up my self-esteem…like when this happened:

Me: “Adelaide, I found a gray hair!”
Adelaide: “Don't worry. I'll still love you when you're old. I'll also still love you when you're DEAD. But that won't be for a while, right? Wait a second... How old are you again?” 

from my 7/13/13 post for www.mentorpatch.com 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tootin' on a vine

I was reading Ten Little Ladybugs to Jedidiah before his nap. He tooted on my leg and laughed. So I read, "Ten little ladybugs tooting on a vine." To this, he absolutely CRACKED UP. Then he suddenly stopped laughing, looked at me and said, very seriously, "Hey. It 'tinks in here."


"My fuzzy! Whure my fuzzy?"

Jed is always very concerned about where, exactly, his "fuzzy" is. His "fuzzy" is always a tiny piece of bluish green yarn lint that he pulls affectionately from his favorite crocheted blanket -- the one my good friend Sherry from NC made for him before he was born.

Every time he goes down for a nap or for bedtime, he wants to cover up ONLY with his fuzzy blanket and he immediately reaches down and snags a little piece of fuzz to hold between his finger and thumb on his right hand (his left hand is busy, since it is the finger-sucking hand.)

When he wakes up in the mornings, he always brings his tiny piece of fuzzy along with him to climb into my bed to snuggle. If he drops it, he's very conscientious about finding it! And it's always TINY! I love how he's so interested in something so miniscule.

Yesterday when he went outside, he carefully placed his "fuzzy" on the kitchen counter and said, "Mom, I leave my fuzzy, my fuzzy, right dere?"

Yes, Buddy. You can leave your fuzzy with me any time. :)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Smells Like Summer

“Mom, smell this!”
My 9-year-old, Sadie, shoved a bright gold and maroon marigold right up under my nose.

“It smells just like summer!” she said, then danced off through the yard.

Summer has its own smells, doesn’t it? The smell of honeysuckle vines takes me back to my Great Aunt Stella’s house where I stayed when school was out. When it got hot (which was pretty early in the morning in North Carolina), my cousins and I would wade in the little creek that ran through the front yard. On the honeysuckle-covered banks, we would try to catch minnows and make mud pies for our pretend restaurant – which we (aptly) named “Gravy Country” because of all the mud gravy we served over our rock biscuits. Later we’d pick hot grapes from the vines in the backyard. The purplish-blue skins would burst open with sweetness in my mouth – they even tasted like summer.

The smell of hot asphalt reminds me of the “burning feet dance” I would do as I walked barefoot across our driveway. I’d reward my tingling (singed) feet in the cool grass by the pool. I remember the smell of my tanned skin, the chlorine from the water and the towels fresh from the dryer.

The smell of sawdust and motor oil transports me to the shady garage behind our house where my daddy would work on cars during the summer – I’d bring him a glass of cold sweet tea when it was really hot outside. I remember the smell of the lemons, the sweat of the ice on the glass and the sweat on my hardworking daddy’s white v-neck T-shirt.

The smells of fresh sliced cucumbers, along with tomato biscuits, always take me immediately to summertime – even when it’s the dead of winter.

I wonder what smells are going to take my kids back to their childhoods? Back to… well… now?

Marigolds? Warm cobbler made from cherries from our tree? Blue raspberry popsicles from the freezer in the garage? The sizzle-y smell of burnt out sparklers? The juicy smell of a newly sliced watermelon? The earthy smell from helping in their Grandma’s garden?

Or maybe they’ll remember the smell of fresh-cut grass and the gasoline smell from sitting on their dad’s lap on the mower. Or the acrid smell that lightning bugs leave on their little hands when they let their captives soar to freedom. Or maybe the smell of the fresh-from-the-field strawberries from the farm where we pick every year. Or the fizzy-lemon-lime smell from the “spritzers” their Grammie makes them when it’s hot outside.

Maybe they’ll remember the tantalizing smell of their dad’s smoker as it teased us all day long with the delicious smell of ribs or brisket until it was finally dinnertime.

Right now, my kids are outside in the warm sun, breathing in their own summer memories. Breathe deep, my sweet babies. These memories are going to last you for a lifetime.

So breathe deep.

--from my 6-15-13 post for www.mentorpatch.com

Friday, June 07, 2013

Doin' Nothin'

I haven’t checked a single thing off my “to do” list this week.

I keep drawing arrows to tomorrow. And tomorrow. And tomorrow.

But it’s okay. My cousin and her two little boys were visiting us from North Carolina. This was a much anticipated event, so my kids and I have been doing things that we don’t usually do – all in the name of fun.

We had no itinerary – no plans at all, really – for five days. This is not normal for me!

We stayed up late and spent entire days doing nothing.

When we were tired of doing nothing, we did things like playing with Legos at the library, going to Sunday School and playing on our “killer death swing.”  We went for spins on the motorcycle. We had friends over for dinner. We went to The Natural History Museum, toured the “Parade the Oval” recycled art tent at Wade Oval downtown and ate dinner at Don Tequila (and we ordered three cheese dips!)

We went to the park, ate pepperoni rolls from Great Harvest, visited Squire's Castle and jumped to our hearts’ content in the giant “Jumpy Thing” we rented for Adelaide’s birthday party.

We danced through a milkweed blizzard. We spent two mornings at the beach, looking for beach glass and building sand castles. We went fishing and canoeing at Hidden Lake.

The kids goofed off, ran around the yard, dug in the mud with sticks and shovels, told goofy jokes, played board games and Donkey Kong and roasted marshmallows.

In short, we had a fantastic time.

Summer seems like a pretty good time to let certain things go. I mean, getting nothing done might really be getting something (more important) done anyway: sitting in the sun and soaking up life.

Sometimes it seems like I am ruled by my to-do list.

But this week I didn’t miss it at all.

This summer, I hope we can all toss our lists aside and have at least a few days to do "nothin'."

--from my 6/7/13 post for www.mentorpatch.com 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wait Just a Minute

It’s going by just a little bit too fast.

I’ve been a mom for over nine years now. Of all the jobs I’ve ever had, being a mother is the hardest, the most demanding – and the most rewarding. I can’t imagine my life now without these little people in it.

As the days and months – and years – go by, it’s becoming all too clear how fast the time goes.
"Did you organize that I could run so fast?"

When I was little, I used to hear my parents talk about “how fast time flies.” I never agreed with them. Time CRAWLED by back then… my birthday always seemed like it would never come, and Christmas was even worse!

But now? Wow. Now I get it.

I took Sadie shopping for clothes the other day in the Juniors’ section – she can’t find anything that fits her long legs in the Girls’ section anymore.

Josie went to a horse riding class all by herself and she was perfectly fine without me. She made two new “best friends,” and she even got their phone numbers.

Adelaide turned five this week – my little baby girl is FIVE. She’s already lost two teeth and she’s starting to learn to read.

Jedidiah, my baby boy, now talks in complete sentences. As we went past the bakery in the grocery store yesterday he informed me: “I want some cake. In my mouf!”

I used to think that their littleness – their “kid-ness” – would go on forever. But now I see that it won’t. They really are only little for a little while.

They don’t understand that most days I just want to catch them and somehow freeze them in one of their amazing moments:

Jed, red-faced and exuberant, swinging his arms and jumping with both feet (clad in his favorite snowboots) from the lawn chair into the grass, yelling, “Wook, Mom! I DOOoooo it!”

Adelaide, giggling madly with squinched-up eyes, running through the yard wearing a puppy dog t-shirt, a long skirt and bare feet, tossing a “Did you organize I could run so fast?” over her shoulder as she passes by in a blur. (She substitutes “organize" for "realize.")

Josie (wearing her pirate eye patch), lovingly concentrating on her latest bug capture, building it a habitat and letting it crawl all over her arms while she digs her toes into the dirt and sings (loudly) to the wind: “Duke Duke Duke Duke of Earl, Duke Duke….”

Sadie, flitting from her garden to the flowerbeds with a watering can, a butterfly net, a paintbrush, and a bucket of rocks, saying, “Mom! You have GOT to come see this! I cracked that boulder open with my rock-hammer! Oh, and how do you spell chrysalis?”  

And now… now that chances are very slim that I’ll ever have another baby, it makes me sad to know that they are growing up a little more every day. And the days are almost a blur.

I don’t really know who I am anymore, aside from them. They have, to an extent, consumed me.  

But they are still my babies. I love the excitement they bring to my life – the chaos, the newness, the imagination. I love watching them overcome every obstacle. I love how they are constantly reinventing themselves, conquering their fears and trying scary, intimidating things.  

It scares me a little that they are growing up – that every step they take from now on will be a step further away from me. Fortunately, since this is also the busiest I’ve ever been, I really don't have much time to dwell on it.

Sometimes when I’m tucking them in at night, I sing them this little song I made up (which they think is sappy but they love that it makes me cry): “Please stay little just a little while longer… don’t grow up so fast
Please stay little just a little while longer, I want this moment to last.”

Yes, time is flying, and some moments are harder than others, but I wouldn’t trade this time for anything.  

Not one minute of it.

--from my 5/29/13 post for www.mentorpatch.com

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I'm Not That Simple

Men are simple creatures, aren’t they?

I don’t know about you, but I used to operate under the assumption that my husband was somehow always in deep thought. He would sit there, looking all introspective, and I’d ask him, “What are you thinking?” He would usually glance up and say, “Huh? What? Nuthin.’”

And honestly, I used to think he was keeping something from me. Something deep and, well, profound. Meaningful. At least thoughtful. But after almost twelve years of marriage, I’ve come to the conclusion that usually he really IS thinking about “nuthin.’”

Once I figured this out, I decided to explain to him that women, too, are simple. After this long, he should really be an expert about me, for Pete’s sake. I wanted him to understand that I am easy to please. I am a “what you see is what you get” kind of girl.

Then I realized that I was wrong.

For example, if he comes home and finds me face down on the bed crying, his simple mind assumes that something must’ve happened to cause the crying. He asks:

“What’s wrong?”
To which I respond, “Noth-th-th-ing!”
“So why are you crying?”
“I don’t – I don’t – I don’t KNOW!”
“Then stop it!”
“I want to, but I – I – cannnnn’t!”

He walks out the room with a big sigh, shaking his head and muttering something unintelligible.
He also mutters at me for other reasons:

“I have to take Sadie to the dentist and Josie to sushi night and Adelaide to the library and I have to get Jed’s hair cut and I have to get to the grocery store before the deli closes and I need to take a shower and the laundry isn’t done and I still don’t have my article written!”
 “So why don’t you just reschedule something?” he asks calmly.

“I can’t! I can’t just reschedule!”

Arrrgh. Why can’t he understand that I don’t want his help to solve my problem – I just want him to commiserate with me. To feel my pain.

Or, for instance:

“They don’t like me! I am so upset! I just don’t understand it….”
“So? Who cares if they don’t like you? Don’t like them back!”
“That’s not the point!” You see, I just want him to reassure me. To tell me that anyone who doesn’t think I’m fantastic is just completely crazy.

He’s very plain and simple. His logic is completely crazy in all its simplicity, if you ask me.

Sometimes I do wish that I were a little less complicated. But the mind of a woman just isn’t meant to be figured out. It’s not going to happen.

Simple as that.

--from my 5/23/13 post for www.mentorpatch.com

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

He said, she said

"Jed, how did you get out of your bed?"
"I climb out."

"Jed, where's Grampie Don?"
"Work. You killin' a- me!"

"I do it!"
"More time!" (as in, one more time!)
"Guys doin'?" (to his sisters)
"Sew Boots!" (what shoes do you want to wear? It's ALWAYS snow boots.)
"Too bad."
"I seepy too."

"Hey, I didn't organize that Grampie was home today!" And she didn't realize it either. 
"And now I will repair for take-off." And hopefully prepare, too.

Adelaide to her big sister, as Sadie worked hard to build a fire in the firepit:
"Sadie, you are the best fire-pit builder EVER. When I grow up, I'm going to be a good fire-pit builder just like YOU." 

Josie, to me, as I ran alongside the Powerwheels Jeep carrying her and Jed and chased Adelaide on her bike: "Yah, mule! Yah!"

"Sadie, do NOT take any more blankets in the living room to pile up for your sleeping pallet!"
"But MOM, the flord is har!"
"But Sadie, you are a pat rack!"

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What a Mess!

“Look at this mess!”

How many times have you caught yourself saying this, moms?

I don’t know about you, but I seem to channel my mother’s voice at least twice a week. Here are some of the messiest messes that I’ve run (stumbled, slipped, slid) across in my tenure as a mom:

Washing a diaper in the washing machine. This is SO annoying. You open the washer, start taking out your “clean” clothes and find a billion little sticky gel balls all over EVERYTHING. Not only do you have to rewash the load of laundry, you have to spend 45 minutes cleaning “super-absorbent power crystals” out of the holes in your washing machine. And you can only hope it was a clean diaper.

Eggs. My little girl opened the refrigerator door and an entire carton of eggs somehow fell out and landed on the floor with a splat. It was such a sticky, slimy mess. I just stood and looked at it. I mean, how do you even begin to clean something like that up? Paper towels don’t help one bit. You try to wipe them up and those eggs just slide right out of there. I ended up using the dustpan and a LOT of Clorox wipes.

Dog poop on shoes. Whether it’s from your own (pre-scooped) yard or from an irresponsible dog-owner in the park, your child’s shoes (especially boots with thick tread) are a magnet for dog poop. There’s just no easy way to go about digging the poop out from between those crevices. A stick? A pencil? A Q-tip? Doesn’t matter. It’s all disgusting, and no water hose has enough pressure to give you adequate help.

Prickers. Last fall, my daughter ran into a pricker bush (I don’t know the scientific name) next to our garage. This particular bush has very pretty flowers in the summer, but in the fall, it becomes a gigantic evil reverse-porcupine pincushion. She had on, of course, a pink fleece coat. Those prickers got stuck EVERYWHERE. After we both worked on plucking them out for hours, I just eventually gave up and got her a new coat.

Oh no.. they were all in one basket, too.
Play-doh. Every kid loves Play-doh, right? And I must admit, it does keep them busy (and even quiet!) for hours. But is it worth it when you find the leftovers dried up and ground into the carpet? It’s impossible to get out, so you step on a hard, crusty reminder of all that fun every time you walk barefoot down the hallway.

Sugar (or flour). My kids love to cook and bake. I like for them to help, too (it’s always one lesson closer to them doing all of the cooking instead of me!) One of my favorite messes has to be when sugar gets all over the floor. Don’t you just love the gritty, crunchy feeling of walking around on that stuff on your kitchen floor? I know I do.

Poop under fingernails. Have you ever been a little less careful than you should have been while changing a stinky diaper? I have. Have you ever had baby poop under your fingernails? I have.

Throw up. Every mom has been through her share of midnight cleaning raids, aka “a stomach bug.” Cleaning up “throw up” is, in my book, the most disgusting thing in the world. Slimy. Stinky. Uncontainable. Gagworthy. Everywhere.

Goldfish crackers in water. Maybe I’m the only one that this has happened to. I hope so. My girls put some goldfish crackers in a cup of water on the top bunk of their bed, then proceeded to forget that it was there. That is, until they accidentally kicked it over and it dripped all over the bed, down the side rails, and onto the bottom bunk. Nasty, days-old cheddar goldfish cracker soup smells like you would not BELIEVE. We had to fumigate their room for DAYS.

Glitter, mud, strawberries, sprinkles, diaper cream, syrup, toothpaste, milk, Styrofoam “beans,” toilet paper, bubbles, painting the dog… I could go on and on.

Parenting is a messy business. Children are not for the neat!

What’s the biggest mess you’ve ever had to clean up?

The Drama from Your Mama

Being a mom is very confusing.

One minute, my daughter was dancing around without a care in the world, singing, "This is the best day of my life!" and the next, she was throwing herself face-down on the bed while moaning, "Nobody likes me! I should just go eat worms!"

Girls seem to be a bit over-dramatic – at least mine are.

And I have THREE of them.

My 4-year-old was upset over some injustice (wrought by Yours Truly) and she sobbed, “You are the baddest mom in the world! Even in the whole LAND!”

Wow. In the whole LAND, people! I guess I might’ve lost sleep over this, had she not changed her mind roughly 12 seconds later and exclaimed, “You are the very best mom! I am going to hug you and never let go!”

With this sort of thing going on, I'm not sure exactly what's going to happen around here as they get older. When they become teenagers (they will all be teenagers at the same time for several years) and the hormones really start flowing, is my house going to implode or something? Is the roof going to blow off?

Today while building a garden box with her dad, my oldest ran into the kitchen and proclaimed, “I am a horrible, awful, terrible, completely worthless gardener! I spilled dirt everywhere, I keep dropping every single thing I pick up and I almost hit Daddy in the face with the rake! I am the worst!”

Five minutes later, she ran back outside, nonchalantly informing me: “Gotta get back out there! I’m the best gardener ever, you know.”

My husband has already told me that I'm just going to have to handle “those teen years.” He says that he's going to go into the bedroom, close the door and not come out until after they all turn 18.

One night after watching a particularly dramatic sob, flounce and exit sequence, I asked him, "What makes you think that I know how to deal with this?"

He answered, "Because you are exactly the same way.”

But I am definitely NOT. He is the worst husband in the whole LAND and I think he should just go eat worms.

--from my 5/21/13 post for www.mentorpatch.com 

13 Ways Moms are Like Celebrities

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you over-working, under-sleeping, multi-tasking, laundry-doing, ever-loving moms!

Today I’d like to turn your attention to how WE, the moms, are like celebrities. No, we don’t have tons of money and we don’t spend $500 on a new purse. But take a peek at these striking similarities:

1. Your name is a household name. Let’s face it. Everyone knows you’re a mom. You have that “mom look” about you. And anywhere you hear your name (even from complete strangers at the grocery store, the library, the park) you always look up and answer, “What?”

2. People follow you around everywhere. You have your own special version of the paparazzi. They always know where you are. They show up uninvited and usually, they make a nuisance of themselves.

3. Wherever you go, people scream and cry for you. Your time and attention are in high demand. You are number one on the Most Desirable People List.

4. You have a chauffeur. Oh, wait – I meant you ARE a chauffeur.

5. You have your own talk show. It’s called Sit Down for Dinner, and you, the host, spend half an hour trying to interview unforthcoming people to find out what the heck they have been up to and why. Sometimes, they jump up and down on your couch like Tom Cruise.

6. You spend thousands of hours “on the road.” Granted, you’re not going to Aspen, Rome or the French Riviera. But play group, Sunday School, the museum and summer camp are close seconds.

7. You have to entertain crowds of screaming fanatics (and sometimes, all of their friends.)

8. You get no privacy. Not even in the bathroom. If you lock the door, someone can usually figure out how to unlock it from the outside. Otherwise, you’ll be able to see their fingers sticking through under the crack at the bottom . Come on, they just want to be close to you.

9. Someone is always pulling at your clothes or throwing their (dirty) underwear at you. Or socks.

10. You set trends. You come up with fashion-forward ideas like matching holey yoga pants with mismatched flip-flops in the dead of winter. Or this season’s newest look: coffee-splattered t-shirts half-tucked into mud-splattered jeans with cowboy boots. And trending for summer: hair that sticks up in front and looks like a rat’s nest in back along with a great-looking sunburn because you used up all the sunscreen on your 2-year-old’s voluminous cheeks.

11. You’re always being quoted. Quotes will usually be unforgettable gems starting out with, “But Mo-om, YOU said….” or any random bad word that has inadvertently come out of your mouth sometime in the past six months. Quotes are usually conveniently remembered either during prayer at church or at your in-laws’ house.

12. Your fans adore you. They want to be just like you , so you better be careful what you say, do, eat, wear, read, watch…. Oh, forget it. Just be careful how you live.

13. And the best thing about being a celebrity mom? You already know it. You love your biggest fans more than anything else in the world. 

--from my 5/21/13 post for www.mentorpatch.com

A Mom's Rant: Brought to you by Girls' Clothing

I am annoyed by many things.

Here’s a short list: whistles, whining, garden hoses that won’t un-kink, Christmas lights of any sort, electrical cords, people who yell at other people that they are “intolerant” (doesn’t this neutralize any “intolerance” that they themselves claim to have?), dog poop, pens that don’t work, shoestrings that are too short, people who don’t pull over to the curb when they are getting a ticket, repetitive noises, car alarms, dead batteries, bullies, Abercrombie & Fitch, weeds that grow between bricks, when people think I’m ignorant because I have a southern accent, radio commercials, pollen, background TV noise, caution signs that read “BUMP” (seems like it would be just as easy to fix the bump as to put up a sign) and a myriad of other things.

However, since summer is coming up and I have three daughters, I have decided to focus my annoyance on one thing (for the moment, anyway.) That thing is: girls’ clothing.

Shopping with my daughters should be fun. Usually it is, but the other day as my 9-year-old and I looked through row after row of skimpy swimsuits and super short summery shorts, she asked, “Why do they sell stuff like this for kids?” She’s a smart girl, and that’s a good question. She seemed curious and frustrated at the same time when she found a section of padded bikini tops in the girls’ 8-10 section. “This stuff doesn’t seem very modest,” she added, with a roll of her eyes.

I would have to agree. When I was growing up, if I had tried to leave the house in some of the things being marketed to our young girls today, my daddy would’ve sent me straight back to my room to change and/or put on a sweater.

I am annoyed – and offended, I might add – that so many of today’s stores and designers seem to be selling sex to our daughters. Don’t they grow up too soon as it is? Why would we want to buy them underwear printed with the words “Feeling Lucky?”

I’ve said it before (When Did Halloween Get So Trashy?) and I’ll say it again:
Whose brilliant idea was it to start dressing our little girls like grown (and immodest, at that) women? Why is this okay?

Call me old-fashioned. Call me style-less. Heck, just call me crabby. I may very well be all of these things (and worse), but it’s not just about clothing. Being modest is about so much more than that. It’s about self-respect. It’s about dignity and having people like you for YOU, not for what you’re wearing (or NOT wearing.)

I’ll be honest with you – as the mother of three girls, I’m worried about this issue. As styles get skimpier and skimpier and the whole “sex sells” idea permeates more and more of our culture, it’s getting harder and harder to teach girls that they are MORE than just a pretty face – more than some boobs and a perky backside. It’s getting harder and harder to convince them of the truth: that their worth isn’t based on their outward appearance and that they do not have to believe what they hear (or see)!

I know that’s “what’s in the stores.” I know that it’s hard to find other styles. I know that girls want to wear stuff that’s “in,” stuff that’s popular – stuff that people in magazines are wearing. But newsflash: we don’t HAVE to buy that stuff. We are the parents. We have the money. If the stores aren’t moving the short shorts and the skimpy, low-cut tank tops, then they WILL get something different. If we complain, if we tell the manager, if we write some emails to corporate offices… we could really change some things.

Of course I’m not suggesting that girls need to wear puritanical dresses and veils, but we have to teach our girls to be strong minded individuals who value themselves and are capable of making rational decisions about their bodies and yes, even their choice of clothing. Yes, I know that as their mother, it’s my job to do that. But the fact is that they LIVE in the culture that surrounds them. No matter what I teach them, they will (in some way or shape or form) be affected by our culture, and to put it bluntly, this part of our culture is just stupid.

Is it any surprise that the US is full of thousands and thousands of young girls who are suffering from eating disorders? Or that kids are having sex at younger and younger ages? In a world where sexual exploitation and “gendercide” of females are taking place at an unbelievable rate, shouldn’t we have something better to offer as role models than unrealistically thin models dressed in string bikinis? Shouldn’t our stores offer little girls’ clothing that looks like it should be worn by (gasp) LITTLE GIRLS?

Make no mistake – our children are being objectified by retailers and we are PAYING them to do it.
Shouldn’t parents be infuriated by this? Or at the very least, annoyed?

Our daughters deserve better.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Diah Hayes

I love that boy so much I can't stand it.

Yes, I think I'm completely in love with a 2 year old.

I love the way he looks in my eyes and laughs this silly little giggle.
I love the way he grins and slyly says, "Peeeease? Pease, Mom?"
I love the way he runs with this weird little "hitch in his giddy-up" and holds his arms bowed out to the sides.
I love how says his sisters' names: Addy-aide, Docie, Say.
I love how he saunters in and says, "ROCCCCO! We home!"
I love his question words: "Whure? Who? What? No? (which means "I don't know)
I love how he says his name: "Diah Hayes" or, more recently, "Boy."
I love how he yells, "I wub YOUUUUUUU!" through the door when I put him down for his nap.
I love how he comes into the room and says, "Hey-doh."
I love how he sneaks into my bed and says, "I snuggle. Nursey! Read. Book."
I love how he yells "Ant! Ant!" and will stare at bugs for half an hour at a time.
I love his crazy hair and his chubby hands and his big feet and his fat little knees.
I love how he says "Whure Dad?"
I love how he sneezes and says "Bess you!" to himself.
I love how he kicks his toys to the side and says, "Scu me" to his fire truck. 
I love how he dances a crazy dance with his hands on his hips and a giant smile on his face.
I love his pointy, Christian Bale-like teeth and his teeny little dimple.
I love how every morning, he pulls "a fuzzy" from his blanket and carries it around with him.
I love how he gives in when he thinks someone is crying and how he is so SWEET.
I love how he says, "I pray! God, pray, God, Donut, God. Amen."
I love how when he falls down sometimes he jumps right back up and says, "I fine!" 
I love how he gives hugs (and pats on the back) and smooches.
I love how he says "I do it. I DOOOOOO it!"

I do NOT love how he steals the Power Wheels and tries to drive into the street or how he grabs handfuls of dirt and THROWS them into the air or how he takes off his own diaper and pees in the floor and laughs or how he climbs on top of the refrigerator or takes Daddy's tools out to "fix" things, or sticks the keys into the ignition of the car and says, "I DRIVE!"

But, oh, how I love him. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Sadie on her first ever motorcycle ride with her dad:
"Believe me, it was a lot of fun. It was the best time I've ever had in my LIFE."

Josie to Grammie and Sadie, who were talking about what slowpokes we are when we were lagging behind them in the parking lot at The Natural History Museum:

Sadie, in a thwarted compliment attempt:
"Mom, you are a handsome woman!"

Josie, in an attempt that went just as awry:
"You're like a cow, Mom. You're a good mom. Like a cow." 

Adelaide's ideas

"There's a little man that lives inside all of us - and his name's Plaque. I learned that in my Teeth Class."

Adelaide pulled her toy sword out of the crack in the ottoman, held it over her head, and said, "I'm Queen Arthur!"

Chicken Code

“I want to raise chickens because I want to gather eggs. And sell them to our friends and neighbors.”

This is the answer I got from my 8-year-old daughter when I asked her why she’s become so obsessed with chickens.
Right now when we “gather eggs,” I send one of the girls out to the extra refrigerator in the garage. They fill a little basket with the eggs they get from the giant family-sized 3-dozen carton from Sam’s Club.

This "egg-substitute" is not cutting it for Sadie. What she really wants to do is gather eggs from actual chickens.

We have plenty of room, plenty of land, a handy dad who can build a proper enclosure and some kids with a great deal of enthusiasm and “want to.”

We homeschool, so this would be a fantastic opportunity for my kids to learn about responsibility, animal husbandry, buying and selling, making a profit and dealing with the public when they possibly might show the birds at the county fair.

So I called the city. I was told that we are not allowed to have chickens at all. Hmm. I was surprised and, honestly, somewhat annoyed. A) I really don’t like being told what I can or can’t do on my own property and B) I don’t want to train my kids that you’ve got to go and ask the government for “permission” to feed your family. Granted, this isn’t necessarily something that's going to keep us from going hungry, but you understand my point.

Don’t get me wrong – I understand zoning. I understand that I shouldn’t be allowed to raise rattlesnakes in my backyard or set up a mobile home next to my garage. I can even understand why we shouldn't have a rooster because, let's face it, roosters are loud (we used to live next door to someone with a rooster in NC and he woke us up every day.) But I don't understand why, if we have plenty of land (we do) and plenty of space between neighbors (we do) and a very willing and eager 8-year-old who actually wants to work and learn about sustainable, renewable resources - why can't we (legally) own three little chickens?

I did some research. In other large cities like New York and Philadelphia, they are beginning to adopt rules that allow chickens within city limits. According to backyardchickens.com, in the city of Cleveland (where most yards are tiny) you can legally have up to three laying hens. But in Mentor, where I have a humongous yard, you can’t have any.

I’m not trying to start a debate or anything. I’m just asking, why?

I decided to write to my very kind and helpful City Councilwoman. She informed me that at this time, there isn’t a Council majority of at least four members that would vote to change what I’m henceforth referring to as the “Anti-Chicken Code.” I also found out that at least a few other people in the area would be interested in changing the code.

I love living in Mentor. I don’t want it to become Farmville or anything like that. I’m not really sure how to go about this, but I think maybe we could initially draft an ordinance to allow citizens in residentially zoned areas to raise a maximum of three hens per household in a well-maintained coop. If necessary, residents could even apply for a permit or receive approval from half of their adjacent neighbors (I bet a dozen fresh eggs would go a long way with some neighbors!) There could be distance restrictions between chicken coops and neighboring properties.

Some friends of mine were allowed to raise chickens in Painesville when it wasn’t technically “allowed” because it was a special project for 4H and homeschooling (even the initial petitioning of the city would be a great learning experience for us.) I wonder if we could we allow it in Mentor for special circumstances, too?

One more thing – I’m not sure I want to try to change a rule if my kids and I are the ONLY ones who want to change it, so I’d really love to hear your opinion – even if it's different from mine.
What are your thoughts on the “Anti-Chicken Code?”

from my 3/22/13 post for www.mentorpatch.com 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Whenever we come home from somewhere, Jed runs into the house and yells, "RO-CCO!" We home!"

"I go updairs."

When he was mad at me because I wouldn't give him any candy, he stuck out his lower lip and said. "Whure Kim? Go see Kim."

When he wants me to hold him, he says, "Up! Mama! Up dere!"

Things he likes to say:
"Dog book, Cow book (including looking for the 'bousie' - squeak squeak!"
"Wormer? Wormer?" (his word for caterpillar, which he is obsessed with.)

"Crack my up, bonky head!"
"I seepy too!"

He cracks up when he pulls the hair down into my face and then I blow it back out of my face.

I asked Jed, "Do you like Mommy?" "Yeah." (in his deep voice) "Do you like Dad?" "Yeah." "Do you like Sadie? Josie? Adelaide? Roscoe?" "Yeah." "And what else do you like? "Chicken wings. Pizza."

Jed likes to sing a little song that goes something like this:
"A cracker bowl.
A chicken wing.
A fishin' pole."

Sunday, March 17, 2013

There's Magic Everywhere

Last year my girls tried to catch a leprechaun.

The sneaky little fellow refused to be caught, though. That failure resulted in some extensive planning; my girls have been hoping that he would make not only a return trip, but also some mistakes.

Sure enough, last week some “evidence” starting popping up. Sadie, who is 8, discovered some tiny paper shamrocks on the bookshelf that weren’t there the night before. 7-year-old Josie found some magically delicious marshmallow clovers from a box of Lucky Charms in the mailbox. And someone mysteriously repaired the torn picture of a rainbow and a golden egg in one of Adelaide’s books.

After writing down a list of evidence, Sadie asked, “Mom, why do so many magical things happen at our house? I mean, seriously, think about it: fairies, leprechauns, elves, Santa…we’ve got it all. There’s magic everywhere.”

My reply: “I’m pretty sure it’s because your mother has a great imagination. Or maybe it’s just because she’s nuts.”

Earlier this week, all three of the girls went to the library with their dad to build new (and hopefully improved) leprechaun traps. They also got to play games, learn interesting St. Patrick’s Day facts and bring home their own box-propped-up-with-a-stick-traps, “gold coins” and glittery shamrock stickers.
When they got home, they burst through the door to show me their treasures. I heard Sadie explaining to one of her sisters, “Unfortunately, this trap is not what you would call an automatic trap. Since the string is tied to the stick, someone has to man the trap. And I am pretty sure Mom is not going to let me stay up all night to pull this string myself. Maybe the leprechaun will trip on the string and trap himself.”

As they were baiting their traps, Sadie told me, “Leprechauns are born cobblers, you know. They love to make shoes. So he’ll know which one is mine, because mine is very fashionable.”

Josie set hers up in the hallway. She explained: “Well, I have decided that I need to bait it with more than just food, since last year’s didn’t work. So I’ve put in a little bed, a tiny pillow, a picture of a shiny shamrock on the wall and some Lucky Charms. What leprechaun can resist this?”

Adelaide showed me (very specifically) how to set up her trap: “Well, you take this thing and you put it here like this and then you turn this thing this way and put this thing over there and then you set it up like this and then when the leprechaun comes, you yank the string and then BOOM! You got him!”

Then she informed me that when you trap a leprechaun, “you have to lick him on the eye when you catch him. Like this.” She squinched her eyes shut and darted her little tongue in and out like a lizard.
“You do what!? Why?” I asked, completely baffled at this bizarre leprechaun-catching strategy.
“I don’t know… that’s just what the library lady said. To lick him on his eyes.”

After a sudden moment of silence, Sadie and Josie simultaneously burst into laughter. Doubled over, Sadie managed to get out the words, “Not LICK him on his eyes! Haha! LOOK him IN his eyes! Hahaha!”

Adelaide processed this and responded, “Oh. Whatever.”

I told them that I hope they catch one, because I could sure use some gold. I was reprimanded: “They don’t carry their gold around with them, silly. It’s at the end of the rainbow!”

Regardless, there are three new (and improved) traps set all around my house. Here’s hoping that I’m one pot of gold richer by the weekend.

And even if I’m not, there’s magic everywhere.

-from my 3/17/13 article for www.mentorpatch.com