Mama Diaries

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spy Games

It was a beautiful day in Cincinnati - a perfect day to go to the playground and be spies. "What?" you ask. Yes, my two creative and adventurous secret agents wanted to spy on other kids. So they got out their spy gear and positioned themselves under a sliding board at a local playground. I nonchalantly "read" a magazine and spied on them. That lasted about fifteen minutes. Then they decided it would be more fun to actually slide down the slide. So that's what we did. (Yes, "we" - I like to play on sliding boards too!)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Officer Bubba

Today we had to go to the pet store to get our pet frog some food. My little guy decided that it would be necessary to dress in his police costume for the occasion. I tried to convince him otherwise, but there was no changing his mind. So he went to the pet store in full police attire - tickets, handcuffs, and all.

"Oh, how cute!" said the lady behind the counter.
"Aww!" said the lady feeding the lizards.
"Woof, woof!" said the little girl puppy.

Then we went to the Bath and Body Works store for some liquid soap.

"Oh, he's sooo cute!" said the sales clerk.
"Totally adorable!" raved the lady arranging the lotions.

There's something to be said about a man in uniform!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rock Star

My daughter has wanted to be a rock star since she was five years old. Yesterday we had the opportunity to see what that was all about. We went to the Taylor Swift concert at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati. This was a first concert for both of us. The sound was deafening. We had earplugs, but even then, it was too loud. My daughter actually sat in her seat with tears streaming down her face as the opening band played. Taylor Swift was pretty good (although I actually preferred the opener, Kellie Pickler). My daughter enjoyed seeing her, but commented that her wild hair-swinging was a bit much (my neck hurt just watching Taylor whip her hair around).

After the concert, I asked my daughter if she still wanted to be a rock star. The answer was a definite "No!" She didn't like the loudness, and she didn't like the crowds.

Maybe she'll be a doctor.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Shopping Fun

I'm not a big shopper, but my daughter and mother-in-law, who are both girly-girls, love to shop. Today it was time to shop for my daughter. She had grown about two sizes in the the last four months and was in need of a wardrobe overhall. We spent almost four hours picking out "outfits" and trying them on in two different stores. Of course, most of the things didn't quite fit, so they went back on the rack. Normally I wouldn't enjoy such a trip, but just to see the joy on my daughter's face and my mother-in-law's face made it all worth it.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Model Madness

My five-year-old son has this thing for model airplanes, model ships, and model army tanks: Not the kind that are already put together, but the kind that require the gluing of miniscule parts. We have about five partially finished models that have been sitting around for a while. I've just lost patience with them. Legos are all I want to deal with these days.

So Grandpa came over today. Grandpa is a good guy.
"Grandpa, can you put together my Centaur Tank?" my son begged.
"Sure!" said Grandpa without thinking twice. "Where's the glue?"

We didn't have that stinky model glue. We had super glue. Poor Grandpa! He spent nearly four hours working on that thing, dropping tiny parts, crawling on the floor looking for them, and getting super glue all over his fingers and face. I told Grandpa he didn't have to do that, but he was determined to make his grandson happy.

My little guy was thrilled when that thing was finished! And all of us learned that fine sandpaper was very useful for getting super glue off skin.

Way to go Grandpa!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bon Appetit

Passover is tomorrow (or at least our Seder dinner is) and it is my job to make the dessert. Let me begin by first informing you, that I am not Jewish. My husband, my children, and my in-laws are. So, it probably is not a really good idea to ask someone like me to do anything for this feast. Nevertheless, I attempted to make a nice recipe for Almond-Macaroon torte with chocolate frosting and orange compote (sounds good doesn't it?).

I'm afraid my rendition of it didn't look anything like the picture. I knew when the batter was poured that something was terribly wrong. But since I couldn't add flour or baking soda, I didn't know what the heck to do with it. So I put it in the oven. A torte is supposed to have a cake-like consistancy. When I pulled my "torte" out, it was flat like a cracker and hard as a rock.

"Oh well," I thought. "On to the frosting." I didn't have much luck on that part either. My frosting ended up like a brown play-do concoction. I couldn't even spread it with a knife. So I plastered it in place with my hands.

I stood back to look at my masterpiece. I cut off a few uneven parts and covered it with saran wrap. "Done!" I said. It looked okay, but I figured it was going to taste aweful.

So my husband came home from work and my kids came home from school and started munching on the pieces I had cut off. "Mmm. That's good!" they said.

You have got to be kidding!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mirror Mirror on the Wall...

This evening my daughter decided to look like a princess. She pulled out her makeup (the stuff she uses for dance performances) and went to town. When she was done, she pranced out of her room and said, "How do I look?"

I took one look at her blotchy salmon-colored cheeks, her bright red lips, and smudged brown eye-shadow and said, "Honey, you look like a circus clown! Is that blush on your cheeks?"

"No mommy - it's eyeshadow!"

"On your cheeks?"


A moment of silence...

"Honey, what were you trying to do?"

"I was trying to look like Snow White. Snow White wears makeup. Haven't you seen her red lips?"

Of course.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Paradigm Shift

Today was a bit of a rough day in my world. If you've read my previous posts, you know that my daughter was sick with strep. The good news is that she is feeling better. The bad news is that I am not. I've been fighting this for a few days now, but I'm getting worn down. My point is not to tell you about my ailments, but rather something mildly amusing.

My daughter was home today from school, because the rules state that she has to be on her medicine 24 hours before she could go back. So she was home, and feeling fine. Now my daughter is a very creative and imaginative person (I wonder who she gets that from). She decided to create a tea party in the loft for her dolls. She pulled out every quilt, blanket, towel, and sheet from our linen closet and made a lovely "set" for her tea party. Then she raided the refrigerator and brought out the raspberries and cheese. It was a delightful party. I asked her to clean it up when she was done.

Four hours later, after putting together two Indianna Jones Lego sets (300+ pieces), helping my daughter with her schoolwork, and having four loads of laundry heaped on my bedroom floor that needed to be folded, I glanced over at the loft. Was everything put away? Of course not. The cheese was looking pretty disgusting by that time.

I said, "What a mess!"
My son said, "What a beautiful Wonder Land!"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Visit to the Doctor

Last night my daughter had a temperature of 104 F. Not so good. So this morning we went to the doctor. She has strep throat. I never knew that strep throat could cause a child to vomit. Apparently it does. So now she is on antibiotics and doing much better.

Now for the funny part: In the lobby of the medical building is a nice fountain. People like to throw coins in this fountain. Well, my five-year-old son decided to go "fishing" for some coins. Before I could stop him, he rolled up his sleeve and plunged his arm into the water.

"What are you doing?" I asked, completely shocked (even though I shouldn't have been).
"Getting money," he answered nonchalantly.
"Honey, that money is for the poor people. Leave it in there," I said.
"But mommy, you are poor!"

(Do you think he heard me complain about not having enough money to buy things too many times?)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Seeing Pink

Have you ever had the experience of having a high fever where everything you see looks pink? My eight year old daughter experienced that today. She's running a fever of 103 F and vomitting. It's not pretty.

"Mom, is it just me, or is everything pink?" she asked.
"Yep, everything is pink. Isn't it lovely?" I joked.
"No!" she complained.
Then she threw up in the bucket she had next to her.
"Here mom. Can you clean this up?" she asked handing me the pail.

I love my job!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


This morning my eight -year-old daughter announced that she wanted to go on a diet. I could not believe my ears! This girl doesn't have a pound to lose. I don't either, so this definitely wasn't something she picked up from me. "Why in the world do you think you need to go on a diet?" I asked.

"I need to lose weight," she said.
"Where?" I countered.
"Exactly! You don't have to go on a diet!' I said.
"But mom, my friend is on a diet."
I asked who this friend was. That girl didn't need to go on a diet either! I just don't get this. Eight years old and worried about diets already.

I just told my daughter to eat healthy and exercise. You don't need to "diet" if you take care of yourself. What a crazy society we live in!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Snow White

This evening my kids and I watched Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. That's one of my favorite Disney animated classics. I just couldn't help wondering though, how Snow White and her prince were going to get to their castle in the clouds. I suppose they'd need a beanstock!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Fever

Spring has sprung in Cincinnati and it's time to hit the beach - the sandbox beach, that is. My kids decided it was time to put on their bathing suits and jump in the sandbox. So that's what they did. They had a ball. I even thought about trading my pitch fork for a sand shovel. Making sand castles looked a lot more fun than shoveling mulch!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Green Day

Everywhere I looked, everyone was wearing green today. That could mean only one thing: It was St. Patrick's Day. I never wear green on St. Patrick's Day, and neither do my kids. We wear red,orange, yellow, blue, indigo, violet, and even shocking pink. I've never much cared for the holiday - it seems to be all about drinking beer and bar hopping. So this morning when I dropped my son off at school, one little boy asked, "Why aren't you wearing green?" I said, "Because if I look like a rainbow, I might find the pot of gold!"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Mulch Pile

It's that time of year again - mulching time! This evening we received an order of 8 cubic yards of mulch. My kids wasted no time climbing to the top of the pile. They love getting as dirty as possible. They also enjoy creating erupting "volcanoes." This is done by throwing mulch high into the air from the top of the "volcano." They then squeal with delight as mulch slides down the side of the mound into the driveway and grass. I've learned to tolerate this ritual. The kids have so much fun doing it. I figure, what's a little dirt? The kids are kids only once - let them enjoy it!

(You should see the sink and the bathtub after that after they scrub themselves! What a mess!)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Video Game Genious

My five year old son is a video game genious. You should see the way he plays his Indiana Jones Lego XBOX 360 game! Today I sat down to play with him. I'm pretty much a technical moron. So, this kid was running circles around me. I'm sitting there trying to figure out if I need to press the "X" button, or the "B" button to obliterate a bad guy who is about to obliterate me. Then I couldn't figure out how to get my character across the molten lava. I tried to jump, but I never jumped far enough. I lost all of my "lives." Finally my little guy couldn't take it any more. "Mom, give me that thing! I'll get you over. You just don't know what you're doing!" Exactomundo kiddo!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dress Up Dillema

A long time ago - about two years ago, my daughter loved playing dress-up. She had princess costumes, wigs, crowns, capes, fairy get the picture. In fact, sometimes she insisted on going to the grocery store in one of her get-ups (yes, I was one of "those" moms who actually let her kid out of the house looking like a character from one of the Grimm Fairy Tales).

Now she is eight. That has all changed. Today she had a girl scout meeting and the theme was pretend play. She actually had to dress up and talk about her character. You would not believe the complaints I got about that: "Mom, dress up is for babies! I'm not dressing up!"

Fortunately the girl scout leader had the brilliant idea to have a cheerleader costume. That was acceptable. My daughter dressed up as a "geeky cheerleader" complete with a bleached-blond wig and oversized sunglasses. And she had fun!

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I have often wondered why I bother spending big bucks on Nintendo DS systems, American Girl Dolls, and Legos when all my kids really want to do is play in a box. As I write this, my kids are hunkered down in a large box, happily drawing cartoons (picture a scene from Noggin's Pinky Dinky Doo), and having fantastic adventures. Talk about cheap entertainment!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Are we Crazy?

This morning I picked up the Cincinnati Enquirer, the local newspaper, and read the headline: "Are we really the 'craziest'?" Apparently, a news and opinion website called The Daily Beast, did a study of 57 large metropolitan areas nationwide. They found that Cincinnati ranked number 1 for the craziest people. This was based on psychiatrists per capita, stress, eccentricity, and drinking. Wow! So I did a little survey with my Facebook friends an asked them if they were crazy. The response was, "Yes!" So it's official:
Cincinnati has the craziest moms!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Jumpin Joeys

Today I took my little guy to a tumbling place called Jumpin Joeys. At first he did fairly normal things like climb on the mats, bounce on the inflatable, and climb the sliding board. Then he found the rubber bowling pins. He thought they looked like grenades. So he morphed into combat mode and played "soldier" with those bowling pins. I think the other kids were afraid - very afraid! So I took my little warrior home.

By the way, the tooth fairy did come last night. At the breakfast table this morning, my almost-nine-year-old daughter asked,"Mommie, aren't you the tooth fairy?" right in front of her little brother. I dodged that one with a, "What do you think?"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tooth Fairy Time

It's time for the tooth fairy to visit again. My son lost his second tooth. This time he didn't completely lose it. The first time, the little guy was so pleased that he actually lost a tooth that he insisted on playing with it throughout the day. By evening the tooth was missing, so we had to draw a tooth and leave it under the pillow. Fortunately the tooth fairy still paid a visit. I'll let you know how successful the tooth fairy visit is tonight.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Death March through Nature

Today I had the brilliant idea to take my 5 year old son on a nature walk to a vernal pond in a nature preserve. The goal was to find salamander eggs. It sounded good on paper. This was a three mile hike through moderately rough terrain. The little man did fairly well for about a quarter mile. Then he informed me he was too tired to walk anymore.

I really wanted to see those salamander eggs, so I carried the little man. We went up the hills, through the mud and finally got to the vernal swamp. Unfortunately we didn't see any salamander eggs (we saw pictures of them on a lovely wooden sign though). The good news is that we did see a frog. A real live frog!

And then I carried the little man back - another 1.5 miles while he giggled on my shoulders and messed my hair up so that I couldn't see a thing.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ahhhh - Spring!

This is the time of year I love most. Spring! It's the time I can finally get my kids out of the house and away from those gosh darn video games! It was simply gorgeous outside today. As soon as my kids came home from school, they dashed outside to ride their bicycles and scooters. I took a stroll around the yard and noticed the daffodils coming up. The warm sun felt great on my face! I basked in the beauty of it all...until I went inside and saw the mud tracks all over the floor. Ahhhh - Spring!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Rantings of a "Cookie Mom"

If you haven't noticed, the girl scouts have been out in full force selling girl scout cookies. This year I have had the immense pleasure of being the "cookie mom." The "cookie mom" is responsible for all things related to cookie sales in the troop. I think I have cookies coming out of my ears! My troop sold about 1400 boxes of cookies. I thought that was pretty good, until I heard from another mom who said her troop sold 2600 boxes. Wow!

Anyway, it was cookie booth day today for the Daisies of the troop (the second for our troop). Do you know what it's like to try to get a bunch of 6 year olds to behave for three hours and sell cookies? Oy! At one point the adult dad who was helping me took all of the girls outside for a snack break. There I was at the table by myself when the big rush came. Let me tell you how much fun that was! (Of course I requested that two girls stay at the table to help me, but did they listen...NO!) And then they were bugging me about getting those enormous bubble gum balls from the machine. Do you know what that would have looked like? Picture four six-year olds chewing bubble gum asking, 'Do ya wanna buy girl scout cookies?" So I had to be the big bad mommie and say, "NO BUBBLE GUM! DON"T ASK ME AGAIN!! "

Note to self: Next time schedule the girls to work in shifts no longer than one and a half hours!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Maple Sugaring

It's maple sugaring time in Ohio. For those who don't know what the heck I'm talking about, it's the time when the sugar maple trees are tapped so that we can have yummy maple syrup on our pancakes. Today I took my family for the annual maple sugar outing. It's an event where we listen to a naturalist talk about the history and methods of collecting maple sugar. Then we walk in mud and bog-like conditions to "oooh and ahhh" about how much sugar water is in the bucket at each tapped tree. My kids really don't enjoy the naturalist's commentaries, although I must say, today's guide was quite thorough. My kids prefer to poke each other with sticks and get as filthy as possible, which is exactly what they did today. My little guy even commented in a very clear voice that he didn't want to hear the guy talk. I told him he'd get to eat some maple sugar treats if he'd politely listen. He did, and afterwards got to enjoy pure maple syrup and cubes of maple sugar. It was quite a sight seeing those happy little faces covered in maple syrup and mud! And did I mention the sugar buzz afterward?

Thursday, March 4, 2010


This morning my son informed me that he wanted to go to the Newport Aquarium in Kentucky. He said he wanted to see the penguins. I told him that wasn't in the budget, and besides, I was busy!

"But, Mom, I want to see the penguins!"

I sighed. Reluctantly, I went online to get information about the cost and directions on how to get there. I figured the Aquarium was at least educational - better than playing Mario Brothers on the Nintendo DS.

So off we headed for a forty minute car ride to the Aquarium. To make a long story short, I managed to get there, but I couldn't find the parking garage or any other place to park, and the lane I was in led right back over the bridge to Ohio. There I was lost in the middle of downtown Cincinnati. I was really mad! I did a lot of complaining and snapped at my son when he wanted to give me "hints" on how to find my way back to the Aquarium. Finally, I found some signs that directed me back to a familiar highway. I got on that highway and headed back home (actually we ended up at a playground first).

When my son saw that I was finally calmed down, and that we definitely were not going back to the Aquarium, he said, "That's all right mom. We can get the stuffed animal penguin at another store."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Oink, Oink, Snort, Snort....Moo?

I think I gave birth to a couple of piglets. Really. Not only are they the messiest creatures on the planet, but they actually snort. I've never heard anything like it (from humans, that is). They'll get started laughing, and pretty soon it turns into snorting. So, last night when I was giving my son a bath ,he started goofing around and oinking in the bath tub. I made some crazy faces at him which made him start laughing. Pretty soon - you guessed it - he was snorting. So what did I do? The only thing a mom with nursing experience would do - I mooed!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Beginning

Well, it's not really "the beginning," but it's the beginning of this particular blog. I did this about eight years ago when my oldest daughter was just a baby. I recorded all of the sleepless nights. I recorded all of the stupid things I did because of my sleep deprivation. (One of the most memorable was driving around the city with my purse on my trunk. I just couldn't figure out why everyone was beeping at me!)

Now that my kids have graduated from that and entered the school years, I'm going to record some of the crazy things they do (and I do), and share things that have helped me survive along the way. Feel free to add your own stories in the comment sections.