Mama Diaries

Friday, April 30, 2010

Caterpillar Crossing

This afternoon I took my little guy for a stroller ride around the neighborhood. We always find something interesting to look at along the way. Today it was a caterpillar. It was inching its way across the sidewalk in a leisurely manner. My son spotted it and requested that we stop to befriend it. He squatted down and began talking to it. After a few minutes, he felt they were acquainted enough for it to be acceptable to pick the caterpillar up. So he did. He giggled as the caterpillar crawled up his arm. "It tickles!" he said laughing.

After a few minutes, I told him it was time for the caterpillar to be on its way. Reluctantly, my son put the caterpillar back down on the sidewalk. We watched it crawl slowly toward the grass.

"Bye bye, caterpillar," my son said. "See you next time!"

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pickle Cravings

I know - you're probably thinking that I have some big announcement to make about a new kid on the way. Why else would I be talking about pickle cravings?

I'm not the one who has been having pickle cravings. My son has.

For about a week now, he has been asking me everyday for pickles. "I love pickles!' he'd exclaim. "I really love pickles!" On and on he'd talk about pickles. I had asked him why he suddenly developed a fondness for pickles. I can't even recall a time he'd had one. Every time we go to McDonalds, he'd take the pickles off.

Today when we went grocery shopping, he again asked for pickles. All the way through the store it was, "Mommy, don't forget the pickles!" So I broke down and bought those sweet bread and butter kind. At least those are somewhat palatable.

When we got home my little guy announced that he wanted to make a Crabby Patty. Aha! It was all about making an official SpongeBob Crabby Patty! So we got out the pickles, and the lettuce, and the ketchup, and cut the bread into circles so that he could make a Crabby Patty. It was a fantastic Crabby Patty, complete with ketchup smiley face and pickle eyeballs.

I'm so glad we got pickles!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mr. Friendly

My son is a very outgoing character. He talks with everyone he meets. Today we were at Walmart. As usual, he approached various customers and talked to them about his day. At the checkout line, he talked to the cashier about his lego sets and all of the sets that he saw in the toy section that he wanted for his birthday. That took at least ten minutes. Then he saw the door greeter. Of course he had to tell the door greeter that he was going to be a Star Wars Storm Trooper for Halloween this year. That conversation went on for at least five minutes. Then he saw a customer coming in as we were leaving, and he had to tell them about the chocolate covered donuts with sprinkes and the pumpkin pie that he saw in the bakery. Do you think he has a future as a Walmart Door Greeter?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


This post has nothing to do with my kids. Rather, it is about a piano student and a parakeet. I teach an autistic child who is an amazing person. Once in a while something truly funny happens during his lesson. Today he was playing and my pet parakeet named Sunshine started chirping loudly. The young man asked why Sunshine was chirping. I told him it was because she liked his music. He giggled. Then he played another song. Sunshine chirped again. He asked why she was chirping. I told him it was because she liked his song. He giggled. Then again he played. The parakeet chirped. And, you guessed it: He asked why she was chirping. I answered that she liked his music. Then he busted out in a full laugh. I had never heard him laugh so hard. It was like a ray of sunshine. Thanks Sunshine!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Alien Life Form

Last night my family watched a Stephen Hawking special on the Discovery channel about aliens in outer space. It was quite intriguing. My daughter asked if I thought any aliens had visited Earth. Right on cue, my five-year-old son came in dressed in his Star Wars Droid costume.

"I am an alien life form!" he announced.

Well Mr. Hawking, that settles it. Alien life forms do exist!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Daddy Day

Today my husband announced that he wanted some "Daddy time" with our daughter. They were gone about three hours, and by the look on my daughter's face, I could tell it was a wonderful experience. She came in with a huge smile on her face and a pink teddy bear from Build A Bear Workshop. He had taken her to the mall, which was an excellent choice for our girly-girl. They had gone purse shopping through the Coach section, sunglass hunting in the Paris Hilton section, and then went to the Build A Bear Workshop. Fortunately they came home with only the bear. The sunglasses were $197.00 - more than a chair at the furniture store they visited!

My husband had a good time too. I could tell, because when he came home, he had a Harley Davidson bag in his hands with some motorcycle parts.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Octopus Mom

Moms need to have more than two arms. Today I took my kids to a lovely flower show. There were a lot of activities for them to do. They planted tomatoes, made basket gardens, and painted pet rocks. By the time they were done, I found myself carrying two tomato plants, two Mr. Grass heads, two pet rocks (with wet paint), two window gardens, two fairy wands, two butterflies on a stick, two basket gardens, two fairy dust packets, two beechnut trees, and two pictures of my kids dressed up as an astronaut and rock star. All of this was piled in my arms. It was quite a sight! Fortunately a worker saw me and took pity on my situation. She provided a lovely orange cloth bag in which I could place my treasures.

The person who invented bags was a genious. I bet she was a mom !

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bug Hunting

We have baby Praying Mantises in our house and they're hungry! We had a vial of fruitflies which the little varmits quickly devoured. So today it was time to forage for tiny insects. My son and I went on a little nature walk with a bug catching net and critter container. We overturned rocks, looked on sticks, and dug holes in the dirt. We found plenty of worms, but the best we did on the bug search was two little potato bugs - certainly not acceptable for our hungry little bugs!

So I went online to the science store and ordered a vile of fruit flies. Thank God for modern technology!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

I have been trying to teach my kids about the importance of taking care of the earth and the creatures that live on it. So to commemorate this year's Earth Day, we planted some potatoes and "adopted" two animals from the World Wildlife Federation. The adoptions have become a yearly tradition, and my kids love to look at the collection of framed pictures we have of all the animals we have adopted. We are also planning to see the movie, "Oceans" this week, so that a dollar will be donated towards a nature-preservation organization.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lego Breakthrough

My son has finally learned how to follow Lego directions and can now put together his own Lego sets . He was working on a Star Wars space ship today. Picture this: A five year old kid lying on the floor with Lego pieces spread out all around him carefully studying the instruction booklet. An hour later he came up to me with his creation. "Look Mom!" He was so proud of himself. And guess what? It was almost perfect - only three pieces weren't quite right. I think that's better than my first attempt at a Lego set. Sometimes that kid really amazes me!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Funny Guy

My five year old son is a natural born comedian. Every day he comes up with something funny. I thought I'd share some of today's funny quotes.

This morning we were getting ready for school. He was moving a little slow, and I told him to pick up the speed. He said, "Mom, my feet only go 20 mph in the morning. They go 50 mph in the afternoon."

Later in the afternoon we were at the store. My little guy noticed the cashier's scanner sitting in its holder. He said to the cashier," I think your scanner is looking at me. Why is your scanner looking at me?"

The cashier replied, "I think it's because you're cute."

There was a long moment of silence. Then the little man replied, "I think you may be right!"

Finally my funny guy announced that he "needed to go to Chuck E. Cheese."

"Why?" I asked.

"So I can be a kid!" he replied with a straight face.

Um. Right.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Crazy Hair Day

Did you know that today was "Crazy Hair Day?" I didn't until my daughter came downstairs in the morning with her hair in some crazy style I had never seen before.

"How do you like my hair?" she asked as she pranced around the kitchen.

"Um." I didn't know what I should say. "It's interesting."

"It's crazy hair day!" she announced. "Come on, Bubba," she said to my son, "It's your turn for a crazy hairdo."

Ten minutes later, my little man came out with what resembled a mohawk, only it smelled like a strange mix of shampoo and hairspray.

Then it was my turn. As I lay on the floor playing with wooden blocks, my daughter started styling my hair. When she was done, I hardly recognized myself.

"What a cute little baby," my daughter said.

I quickly got up and looked in a mirror. I had cute little pony tails sticking up all over my head.

My son started crying. "I want my mommy back!"

I quickly pulled out the pony tails. "Ta Da!" I exclaimed. "Here I am!"

And that is the story of Crazy Hair Day.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Jumping for Joy

I took my daughter to the mall today. The Merry-Go-Round was gone, but in its place was a Bungee Trampoline.

"Please Mom, can I go on it?"

I looked at the cords and the high poles and watched as other kids flipped up to the ceiling.

"Um, no. Let's go get your jeans."

After we finished shopping we stopped for pretzels and lemonade. Then we proceeded to the exit. There it was again: The Bungee Trampoline.


"But you just ate!"


I looked at the sign with the price on it. Six dollars. "It's too expensive!"


The kids did look like they were having fun. I supposed that six dollars wasn't so bad for a memory that would probably last a lifetime.

"All right. Go ahead."

She loved it! She squealed with delight as her head nearly touched the ceiling.

"That was awesome, Mom! (Burp) We have to do that every time we come!"

Oh brother. What did I just start?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Boy Genious

Today was toy day at my son's school. It happens every Friday. He always brings his Nintendo DS and plays Mario Brothers. The kids in his class love when he comes in on Friday. They swarm around him like flies on jam. The only problem is, this game seems to be addictive. Even when it's time to leave, my little guy can't stop playing it. He walks out of his classroom gazing intently at the smudged screen, his little thumbs moving about a hundred miles an hour. He walks all the way down the stairs doing this.

Today the principal of the school commented on this little phenomenon. "Wow!" she said, "You can walk and play your Nintendo at the same time!"

"Uh-huh," he replied. "And I can even have a conversation."

What a genious!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mr. Clean

A little background information to start: My son is the messiest kid on the planet. He is constantly covered with grime, dirt and the remains of his last snack/meal . Today we went to an indoor playground which is also a showroom for swing sets and play equipment. It just so happened that one of the playsets was recently sold and removed from the play area. My son went over to inspect the spot. Two-years worth of dust was what remained. He gazed down at the dust pile thoughtfully. Then he marched over to the manager who was standing nearby.

"Excuse me sir," began my little man with purple icing on his T-shirt, "Could you please get some dusting tools to clean that pile over there?"

The manager looked down at my little guy and busted out laughing.

(What can I say? At least he was polite.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Looney Tune

My mother-in-law called me this afternoon and announced she had a disgusting little song to teach my kids. "Hmmm, " I thought. "Should I or shouldn't I give the phone to my little darlings?" Since I'm a very polite person, I decided to hand over the phone. Now I'm questioning my decision. She taught them the following tune:

"Greasy, grimy gopher guts, mutilated monkey meat, dirty little birdy feet, and I forgot my spoon. (Slurp)" (Sung to the tune of The Old Grey Mare)

Now my kids are parading around the house wearing their insect-vision masks and singing that song.

Thanks Mom.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jumping Spider

Yesterday it was all about praying mantises and fruit flies. Today it's about a jumping spider. I was working on writing new music for a children's CD when I was startled by something jumping out from under my manuscript papers. "What the heck?' I thought. I quickly moved the papers out of the way and discovered a tiny spider jumping across my desk. "This isn't acceptable!" I exclaimed.

"What isn't acceptable?' asked my son.
'There's a spider on my desk."
"Oh, let me see!" My son peered down at the little arachnid cowering under my picture frame. "Don't kill it!"
"So what do you want me to do with it?"
'Take it outside!"

Right. So I scooped up the little creature in a cup and released it into the great outdoors. It better not come back , or next time it might not be so lucky!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Mantises Have Hatched!

There's always a science experiment going on in my house. It might be a chemisty experiment to see how baking soda, vinegar, and alka-seltzer react when mixed. It might be a crystal growing experiment. Today, our "see how Praying Mantis babies come out of their egg case" experiment, happened. About three months ago we ordered a praying mantis egg case. We attached it to a twig with a paper clip and waited for the little bugs to appear. And oh, yes, we ordered fruit flies for food. So we have watched three generations of fruit flies hatch in a test tube as well.

So when I looked in the pagoda today and saw about twenty of these little things crawling around, I was actually surprised. I didn't think those little buggers were ever going to hatch. Then the feeding fun began. I had to dump fruit flies into the pagoda. Well of course, I managed to dump fruit flies everywhere except in the pagoda. There I was, trying to round up fruit flies while my kids were laughing like hyenas. I think I got them all in (I hope!)

Now we'll see if we can manage to raise the mantises to adulthood without me completely losing my sanity or ending up with a fruit-fly infested house!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's Only a Movie...

I've always been an emotional basketcase when it comes to sappy movies. Today my daughter and went to see The Last Song. I was very upset when it was discovered that the likeable dad character had cancer and was going to die soon. "Those poor children, " I thought, "they're going to lose their daddy!" Then I started crying. It got even worse when the guy finally did die - it was a classic sit in a chair, at the end of a lovely song knock over a glass of water and die. Then I was just sobbing. My daughter looked over. She wanted to know what had happened. "He died," I stammered.
"But mom," she said as she comforted me,"it's only a movie!"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dancing With the Stars

We have a keyboard in our basement which my children and I love to play. The kids really like the demo feature where they can press a button and a song plays. That's what we did today. The song du jour was "Jingle Bells." My daughter sang a lovely rendition of it: "Dashing through the snow, on a pair of broken skis, o'er the hills we go, crashing into trees..." while my son and I danced around like a couple of crazy nuts. Do you think we should try out for Dancing With the Stars?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Let the Adventures Begin!

Every summer my kids and I try to do something new every week. It may be a visit to a new playground, a trip to a museum, or a hike through a nature preserve. These little excursions take a little planning. So today, I planned our 2010 Summer Adventures. I told my little guy where we would be going.

"I want to go now!"
"Honey, these are summer activities."
"I want to go now!"

I looked at the clock. We had an hour and a half before I had to pick up my daughter from school. I tried explaining that we had very little time to do anything anyway.

"Pick something close. I want to go now!"

I scoured my Adventures Around Cincinnati Book (good resource, by the way for those living in the Cincinnati area) and found a history museum that was a half hour away.

"Okay, let's go."

What a great place it was! We only had twenty minutes to visit, but it was a lot of fun. And the nice lady at the desk gave us a discount pass for the next time we visit. Sometimes it's good to be a little bit crazy!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Don't Feed the Ants!

Today my little guy and I went out for lunch at a local restaraunt with my friend and her kids. The food was good, the service was great, but there was a slight problem with insects. Looking down at the ground, my son spotted a colony of ants attacking a piece of cheese. He thought that was great. So what did he do? He grabbed a little cheese from his lunch and gave it to the ants. I don't think he was happy when we notified the employees of the ant problem, which was promptly cleaned up. But no worries - before we left, he found a roley-poley potato bug to befriend and take home.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mad Libs

Have you ever had one of those days where your kids are having temper tantrums, not listening, and complaining all day? Today was one of those days. I even needed a time out, because I thought I would blow a fuse. So after I calmed myself down, I decided to get out a Mad Lib book. My son and I started filling in nouns, plural nouns, and adjectives to make utterly ridiculous stories. That helped diffuse things for a little while. So, moral of the story, have a couple of Mad Lib books for you and your kids to do when your lid is about to blow.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Poop Problems

Warning: this post is not for those who faint easily. If you get sick reading about disgusting things, then please STOP! Go to another, less disgusting post, and read that. Okay. Don't say I didn't warn you.

My little guy seems to have a thing about blocking toilets with his fecal material. I honestly don't know how he gets the stuff out of his little body, but he does. Inevitably, it blocks the toilets. It happens at home. It happens at the dance studio. It happens at McDonalds. This is a weekly occurance. Well, today it happened again. Fortunately, he did it at home. This thing was so big, that it required a garden shovel to cut it into pieces. Even that didn't get down the drain. (See, I told you this was going to be disgusting.)

Now the good news, is that I've finally found a way to get the darn thing down. I decided to post this, so that I can share my helpful information with readers who experience similar problems. Here's what you do: Get dish washing liquid, laundry detergent, and super hot water. Pour equal quantities of the dish washing soap, and laundry detergent down the toilet, followed by very hot water. That flushes it down every time!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Night Creatures

Last night gave me a sense of deja vu. I felt like I was reliving the nights I spent when my kids were babies. I was kept awake all night by the sound of screeching and wailing. But it wasn't my kids. The night creatures were out. I had my window open because it was warm last night. Usually I can deal with the sound of deer walking around outside knocking things over. I can even deal with the cat fights. What was going on last night was something I hadn't heard before. I'm still not sure what it was, but whatever it was, it was not happy! I'm thinking it was an owl fight (do owls fight?).

The sounds even awakened my kids. They were pretty grouchy today from the interrupted sleep. Maybe now they will understand why I was such a grouch during those early years!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


It was a beautiful Easter. The weather was perfect. The flowers were blooming. The Easter egg hunt was a success. We even saw twenty seven frogs in the frog pond at a local children's garden. Everything was just marvelous, until the ham incident.

Let me back up for a moment and share another story about ham. This one goes back about nine years, when I was a newly wed, attempting to make an Easter ham for the family. I read the cookbook, carefully following the directions . The glaze on the ham looked lovely. I put it in the oven. When the timer went off, I took it out. I sliced it. My husband came in and looked at it. "Honey, did you forget to take off the wrapper?" Yep. That was nine years ago.

I seem to have problems with ham. Maybe it's because I only make it once a year, and need more practice. So this evening, I pulled the ham out of the oven and put it on the cutting board. It sat there a few minutes while I prepared the other dishes. I returned to the ham, and not thinking, picked up the hot roasting pan with my bare hands. Ouch! That was painful! Just what I needed after singing my arm hairs making Easter eggs yesterday!

So much for a perfect ending.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Eggcellent Eggs

I have a new respect for people who can make Ukrainian Easter eggs well. Today, my children and I attempted to make these lovely works of art. For a first time, they turned out pretty well. I'm not sure I turned out pretty well, though. My fingers are now assorted colors, wax is now covering the palms of my hands, and my arm hairs are singed. Yes, as I reach over the burning candle to place an egg on a paper towel for one of my kids, I noticed a terrible smell. I looked down. "Gosh darn it, " I thought, "that smell is my arm hairs burning!"

Friday, April 2, 2010

April Fool

Yes, I know. Today is not April Fools Day. I thought I wouldn't have anything to report other than, "Mommy, you have a spider on your back." I didn't exactly fall for that one. Boy, was I wrong!

Last night, tired after a long day, I walked into my bedroom. My bed looked a little odd. There was a roll at the foot of my bed that went all the way across under my comforter. I took off the decorative pillows and rolled back the comforter. Do you know what those little imps did? They removed my bedding all the way down to the mattress and rolled it to the foot of the bed.

If they weren't already tucked in for the night, I would've made them fix it! I guess I need to watch them closely on future April Fools Days!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Mud Bath

This week, my daughter has been enjoying a pony camp over her spring break. It's on a very nice farm, complete with mud and swamp-like puddles. My son tagged along today when I dropped my daughter off. He wanted to see the ponies. He did not, however, want to get muddy. (Go figure - he's the dirtiest kid on the planet.)

"Mommy, please carry me. I don't want to get my nice shoes muddy."

I sighed and picked up my fifty pound sack of potatoes.

After playing with the ponies, it was time to return to the car. I lifted him again and carried him back to the car. That's when he spied the big swamp puddle with log paths cutting through it.

"Mommy, put me down! I want to walk on the logs."

"You're going to get muddy!" I cautioned.

"No I won't!"

So what did he do? Walked on the log, which promptly tipped and sent him into the muddy swamp puddle.

So much for staying clean.