Mama Diaries

Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Sparkly Celebration

My kids are thrilled to be out of school. My son, Bubba, came off the bus waving his hands in the air,  yelling, "I'm free!"

My daughter had a different kind of celebration. It involved sparklers. You know - those things that are basically fireworks on a stick.

"Mom, we need to go to the store," she had said.

"What for?" I'd asked.

"To get sparklers. My friend is coming over after our last day of school, and we're going to light sparklers."

It didn't sound too harmful. So I agreed to this. We came home with ten boxes of sparklers. I figured there would be enough for a fourth of July celebration, too.

That's not how it worked.

At 10:00 at night, the girls went out with all of the sparklers.   Yes, all of them.

They had a blast, yelling and running around the yard with crackling lights on a stick.

When they came in I shook my head. "Do you have any left?"

My daughter grinned. "No."

"Do you realize how many sparklers you just used?"

She did the math. "Two hundred?"

"Yeah. Two hundred. Don't you think that was a little excessive?"

She shook her head. "Not after this year!"

Friday, May 22, 2015

Thinking Ahead

My son came home from school the other day and told me that an NFL (national football league) player was his substitute gym teacher.

"That's pretty awesome," I said. "It sound like he was probably way cooler than your regular gym teacher!"

"He was," said my son. "And I even got his autograph!" He pulled out a piece of notebook paper and showed me.

"That's special," I said. "Hold on to it."

"Is it going to be worth a lot of money?" he asked.

"It all depends. If the person becomes really famous, like Babe Ruth, it could be worth a lot of money."

He thought about that. "What if I get really famous?" he asked. "Will my autograph be worth a lot of money?"

I shrugged. "Possibly."

Then he grinned. "I know what I'm going to do."

"What are you going to do, Bubba?"

"I'm going to sign a bunch of things and give them to my kids. And then I'll get famous, and they can sell my autograph and make a lot of money!"

(That's what I call thinking ahead!)      

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Present for Mama

Before I begin, I'd like to thank everyone for your congratulatory remarks regarding my new book, Ten Zany Birds. You are all so supportive, and I want you to know how much I appreciate that!

I'd also like to let you know that I'm a guest on author, Roy Huff's blog.  I talk about surviving the publishing process. Please stop by and visit if you have a minute or two.

Now for the story.

I was busy typing on the computer, when my husband called me. "Woman! Come here. I have something for you!"

I couldn't wait to see what it was.

I walked into the kitchen and found the man standing next to the table with a huge grin on his face. He was pointing to a huge package of toilet paper which was sitting on it.

I raised my eyebrows. "An anniversary present?" I asked.

He laughed. "It's exactly what you need. Twenty rolls of toilet paper. And look, it has a new design for improved comfort."

"Thanks," I said. "You're so thoughtful. Always thinking of my comfort. And it's what I always wanted."

He walked away, looking quite pleased with himself.

(I'm trying to decide if this tops the toilet I received for Mother's Day. What do you think?)

Monday, May 18, 2015

New Book Release: Ten Zany Birds

I am very excited to announce that my new children's picture book, Ten Zany Birds, has finally arrived! Right now it's available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle in the United States, but it will be available soon worldwide, and at other outlets. You can find it here.

Short blurb:  Ten zany birds have a tree party, until one by one they find other things to do. It's a zany countdown - which bird will stick around?

Description:  When ten little birds get together, it's a feathered festival! The party would last forever, if none of the ten friends were so easily distracted.

One is frightened by a loud plane. One gets hungry. One wants to race and another needs a bath. Only one stays to sing in the tree, but who will it be?

Ten Zany Birds is a fun, beautifully illustrated picture book. As parents and teachers read, children are introduced to counting and basic subtraction skills. Whenever a bird leaves, the number of striped, spotted, and polka-dotted birds changes, teaching the application of simple classification rules.

Whimsical and entertaining, Sherry Ellis's tale of ten silly, distractible little birds is an excellent choice for both pre-reader storybook time and early readers. 

(If anyone would like to review it, please let me know!)

Now for a short story: Trouble in the Cat House

This one involves Bootsy, our cat. Yesterday morning, I went outside just in time to see Bootsy chasing something. The chase led right to his cat igloo. He stood at the entrance in full pounce mode.

"What's going on, boy?" I asked.

He didn't move for about ten seconds. Then he sat down and started meowing. Clearly, he was upset. He looked at me and meowed, like he wanted me to do something about whatever his problem was.

I walked over to his igloo and peered inside. All I saw was his cat pillow. That couldn't be it. I took the cat pillow out, half expecting to see a snake.

I didn't see a snake. But I did see something. It was small, and brown, and furry.  And it looked at me with little beady eyes. Can you guess what it was?

A chipmunk!

"Oh, boy, little chipmunk," I said. "Not a smart thing to wander into a cat house!"

I picked Bootsy up and got him away from there. I figured he probably didn't want to mess up his house with chipmunk guts, which is why he didn't make the kill. But that little creature didn't stand a chance with the sinister cat waiting at the entrance!

(I returned later, to see if the chipmunk was still inside. He wasn't. And I didn't see any blood trails, so hopefully he lived to see another day!)

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Perfect Paper Airplane

I walked into my son's room and found about a half a dozen paper airplanes lying on the floor. I called him into the room. "What's up with this?" I asked.

"I was making paper airplanes," he said.

That was pretty obvious.

"I wanted to make the perfect paper airplane."

"Did you get one?" I asked.

"Not yet," he said. "Can you make it?"

I shrugged. "Give me some paper and I'll try."

He did, and I made one of the models from The Dangerous Book for Boys. "There you go," I said.

He flew it. "Pretty good, but not perfect."

"Then you'd better ask your dad. If anyone can make a perfect paper airplane, it's him."

So he went to my husband. 

An hour later, he came back with a huge grin on his face. "Watch this," he said. He tossed the plane into the air. Honestly, I have never seen a paper airplane fly so far and straight.

"Wow," I said. "That's a masterpiece!"

I inspected it. The thing had flaps cut out, paperclips attached, and the most intricate looking nose. It was an engineering marvel.

My son took it outside and showed his friends. They were amazed at how far that thing flew down the street.

I think my husband has a future in aeronautical engineering!

Here's a picture of the thing for those of you wanting to know what it looks like:

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Doing the Whip

The other day, I caught my daughter doing something very strange. She was standing, with her knees  bent, her arm extended in front of her, bouncing.

I watched her for two seconds. "What the heck are you doing?" I asked.

"The Whip," she explained.

"The what?"

"The Whip. It's a dance we all do in school. We had a flash mob doing it today."

"This is what you do in school?"

She nodded. "Do you want to know how to do it?"

I wasn't sure I did, but I figured if I knew how, it would make me slightly cooler than I already am.

She demonstrated. "Stand with your legs apart and knees bent. Then pull your arm back and thrust it straight out. Bounce and move your arm slowly to the side."

I did it.

She laughed. "Mom, you look silly!"

"Girlfriend, I think anyone doing this would look silly!" I retorted. "Even the Macarena was better than this!"

She wasn't sure about that.

So, ladies and gentlemen, if you want to be cool, learn the latest dance that the youth of our nation are doing. Here's a demonstration by some fine costumed individuals:

Note:  The lyrics of the tune they dance to, are not exactly "G" rated, so if profanity bothers you, don't watch!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

How to Make Stir Fry

Cooking is not exactly one of my strong points. Mostly, I don't have the time or patience to deal with it. I throw stuff together, and hope for the best.

So, the other day, my husband sent me a video. It  pretty much describes how I operate in the kitchen. I'm sure you'll be amused.