Mama Diaries

Monday, May 31, 2010

Strawberry Pickin'

It's the lovely month of June (well, almost), which means it's time to pick strawberries! My family and went out to pick those delectable little berries at the strawberry farm today. I'm glad we were assigned a row, because there were so many, one would hardly know where to begin. As you might expect, more strawberries ended up in my kid's tummies than in the basket. My kids had every intention of helping me fill the basket, but those strawberries were just so sweet and juicy, they couldn't resist! Fortunately my husband is an amazing strawberry-picker. He quickly helped me fill two huge trays with berries.

We had a bonus golf-cart ride back to the paying/weighing station. The kids thought that was great. The lady at the cash register took one look at my kids and started laughing. "So how did all those strawberries taste?" She asked. I guess the red stains around each of their lips gave it away!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hide and Seek

One of my son's favorite games is hide and seek. He wanted to play it today -outside in the scorching heat.

"Mommy, count to ten."

I counted.

He hid in the magnolia tree. I found him -piece of cake.

"Your turn!"

My turn is always a good trick. Of course I'm big, so hiding places are a little hard to come by. That's not what makes it really tricky though. My son never closes his eyes and counts to ten. He follows me. So that means I have to outrun him. I managed to get away. I hid in a most excellent place. He tried to find me, but he gave up after passing me two times. It was funny to watch. Then I snuck up behind him and said, "Boo!" You should have seen him jump!

Then it was my turn to count again. He thought he was being pretty clever when he went inside the house. But I was smarter than he thought. I hid behind the magnolia tree and waited for him to come out the front door. Then as he walked down the front walkway, I snuck up behind him and scared him again!

I like playing hide and seek too!

Saturday, May 29, 2010


My little guy went swimming today at the neighborhood pool. When he was done, he was hungry!

"I'm famished!" he said. (Yes, my five-year-old did use the word, "famished." -Pretty impressive!)

So I made hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. When they were finished cooking, I brought them in.

"I'll take one of each," he said.

"Let's start with a hamburger,' I replied.

He ate the entire hamburger.

"I'm ready for my hot dog."

He ate the hot dog.

"Still hungry!"

"Have some watermelon, " I said.

He ate the watermelon.

"I have a little room left for ice cream," he said.

What am I ever going to do when he becomes a teenager?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Emerald, Rubies, and Pipe Cleaners

My daughter is probably one of the most creative people I have ever met. Today was her first day of summer vacation. She decided to spend it making pretty necklaces out of pom poms and pipe cleaners. she worked diligently in her room for about an hour. When she was finished, she brought out some neckaces, bracelets, rings, earings and a crown. "These are for you, Mommy!"

"Why thank you," I exclaimed. "They are beautiful!"

"Put them on!"

I put on the crown, the earings, the bracelet, the necklace, and the ring.

"You look beautiful!" said my daughter.

I have to admit, those colorful pipe cleaners did add to my appearance.

Then it was time to go to the bank. I was about to take off my jewels, but my daughter begged me to keep them on.

So into the bank I went, decked out in pipe cleaners and pom poms.

What a mom doesn't do for her kids!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Grouchy Mama

Today I'm feeling a bit like the mama in my new book, That Mama is a Grouch. Let me tell you why. First, I was trying to prepare the minutes from the Ohio String Teachers Board of Directors meeting that occured the night before. Every two minutes it was, "Mommy, I need you!"

"No, you don't!" I would grumble.

Then my son parked himself on his belly in the office where I was working. He started kicking his legs. Guess what happened next? He knocked the floor lamp over and broke it.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to..." he whimpered.

'Yeah, I know. Just go," I said.

A little while later, it was, "Mommy, I need help!"

Exasperated, I went to see what he needed. There, spread out on the family room floor, were the contents of a mighty big Lego set - 890 pieces to be exact. "Can you help me put this together?"


(I think I got about 500 of those pieces together. The rest will have to wait!)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fuzzy Friends

Here in Ohio, it's that time of year when the cottonwood trees start shedding their seeds. Fuzzy little white puffs float through the sky on a gentle breeze. Sounds lovely, doesn't it? Well, it's not because I'm allergic to them! My eyes get all red and itchy, and I start sneezing, even with the prescription allergy medication I take.

So today I was outside with my son. He was chasing these little white puffs. I really wasn't paying much attention, until he came over to me with a request: "Uppies," he said. Translation: Pick me up! So I did. Unfortunately, I did not see he had one of those fuzzies on his finger, and he was aiming to shove it right up my nose.

"Hey, cut it out!" I said, quickly putting him back on the ground. 'You wouldn't like it if I put one of those up your nose!"

"Yes I would! Fuzzy friends like noses!" was the reply.

Um, right. If he was sitting here, like I am, with a swollen eyeball that's itching very badly, he would be singing a different tune!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Creative Genious

One of the requirements for being a mom is an ability to be creative. My creative abilities were put to the test today.

My son was playing with his wrestling action figures. "Mom, we need to go to the store!"


"I need a wrestling ring."

"No you don't."

"Yes I do!"

"Then go find four sticks," was my reply.

He looked at me like I had rocks in my head, but he went and fetched the sticks.

"Now go find some yarn," I instructed.

He came back with some lovely pink yarn.

"Now find some playdo."

When he had completed his mission, I tied the pink yarn to the sticks, and put the sticks in the playdo.

"Viola!" I said, looking at my masterpiece. " A new wresting ring!"

My little guy was amazed.

Monday, May 24, 2010

R U Lookin at Me?

If you have been reading this diary, you probably have figured out that my son is a bit of a character. Today was no exception. I was teaching piano lessons while a mother and her little girl waited. My son decided he was going to provide the entertainment. He got out a balloon and blew it up. Then he released it so that it went flying around the room. The little girl, who was only about seven months old stared in utter fascination.

Then he decided to play peek-a-boo with the little girl. She thought that was great too.

"Why is she staring at me?" my son complained.

"She thinks you're funny and cute," said the mom.

"Tell her to quit staring at me!"

Then he went behind the drapes and made silly faces at the girl.

She thought that was marvelous and of course she stared at him.

"She is still staring at me," he complained once again.

"What do you expect?" I replied. "If you don't want her to stare at you, leave the room."

So he did.

A few minutes later he reappeared with his Star Wars Clone costume on.

What do you think the little girl did?

That's right. She stared at him. ( I think my little guy secretly liked it!)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Girl Scout?

Before I tell you the "Girl Scout" story, I have to tell you this one: This morning I awoke and did what I always do: I went to my son's room to wake him up. I walked in and found that he was missing. "Hmmm," I thought. "Where could he be?"

I looked in the guest bedroom, where my dad had been sleeping. It was empty. I decided to investigate. I looked all over the house and could not find them. Then I heard tapping. It was coming from the garage. Curious, I opened the door. There, on the garage floor, were my son and father, hammering away with some wood and nails.

"We're making an AT-AT!" my son exclaimed with a huge grin on his face.

Fast forward to late afternoon. It was time for my daughter's girl scout meeting. Unfortunately, my husband, who was supposed to come home, was still out on his motorcycle. That meant I had to take my son to the girl scout meeting.

The girl scouts looked at me quizzically as I brought my son in with his new AT-AT. I explained my situation. They were okay with having him at the meeting. Then it was time to sing girl scout songs. My little guy decided that singing about a moose who drinks juice just wasn't for him. So he started belting out the Star Wars Imperial March.

"I'm a boy girl scout!" he announced, after he finished his song.

Um, right.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Flood Fun

This evening in Cincinnati, we had a deluge of rain. It caused some minor flooding. Our cul-de-sac was transformed into a small pond. The neighborhood kids thought this was great, and went running out to wade in the water. It actually came up to their knees.

Of course my kids had to join in the fun. My son went running out, fully clothed in his long pants, socks, and tennis shoes.

"Wait!" I yelled. "You have to take off your shoes!"

"I don't care!" he yelled back.

"I do!" I replied.

Reluctantly he went inside to change into his swim trunks.

He quickly reappeared and dashed into the water. "This is fun," he exclaimed.

Meanwhile all of the adults had gathered around watching the water rise. While the kids were having fun, the adults were discussing flood insurance.

Ahh to be a kid again and not worry about a little extra water falling down from the sky!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dust Bunnies

My son and I went to the bank this morning. It was one of those visits where we had to sit at a big desk and fill out paperwork. The meeting took a little longer than expected because of a slow computer system (why does that always happen at banks?). Anyway, my five-year-old son started getting antsey.

He decided it would be a good idea to crawl under the big desk. So that's what he did.

"It sure is dirty under here," he remarked.

"Uh-huh," I mumbled as I looked over some paperwork. "I think you had better get out of there."

"Look, a staple," he exclaimed.

"You can throw that in the garbage," said the man behind the desk.

"Look, a water bottle," he said as he rolled out his treasure.

"That's about a year old," replied the man behind the desk. "Do you want it?"

Of course he did. Mental note: Wash that bottle!

"Here's some candy," he exclaimed as he pulled out a lifesaver.

"Don't eat it!" I implored. I was sure that was at least a year old too.

"Look! Dust Bunnies!" he exclaimed.

I looked up from the paperwork to see him covered with "dust bunnies."


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Garbage Head

This morning I noticed that it was time to take out the kitchen trash. I took the domed lid off of the trash can and pulled out the garbage bag. I placed the lid on the floor next to the trash can while I went outside to deposit the bag into the outside trash can.

When I came back inside, I had a little surprise. My five-yeaer-old son had the trash can lid on his head.

"What in the world are you doing?" I asked.

"I'm an astronaut," he said as he flipped his "visor" up and down.

There's never a dull moment at my house!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

AT-AT Obsession

"What's an AT-AT," you ask? It's a Star Wars vehicle. It's also something my son told me that he absolutely needed. Here's how that conversation went:

"Mommy, can I please have a motorized AT-AT?"




"Why not?"

"I'm not spending $130.00 for a Lego set!"

"That's not expensive."

"Yes it is. Now don't nudge me about it anymore."

Then Grandpa came over - the same one who put together that model tank and got super glue all over his hands a couple of months ago. Do you remember him?

"Grandpa, will you buy me a motorized AT-AT for my birthday?"

"Sure," replied Grandpa. "Where do I get it?"

I just shook my head. Where did my well-mannered kid go, and why is it that grandparents spoil their grandchildren? I suppose I'll find the answer to that when I become a grandmother!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Kindergarten Readiness

This evening my five-year-old son and I went to visit his future kindergarten classroom and teachers. I had rushed out of the house after teaching piano lessons, and had not checked my little guy to see if he was presentable. Big mistake. We arrived at the school, and as he got out of the car, I noticed that he was quite a mess. He had Kool Aid stains all around his mouth and on his nose. He had Kool Aid stains on his sweat pants. Crumbs from his last meal were still plastered on his cheek.

Of course I had nothing to clean off the mess. So, we marched into the school hand in hand. He greeted everyone with a big smile and struck up conversations with all of the teachers.

On our way out, we met the principal. My little guy stuck out his grimy hand. "Nice to meet you!" he said.

What can I say? At least he's polite.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Spit Bugs

Okay, so they are actually called spittle bugs, but these little insects actually use spit to make their nests. I had no idea that bugs did that until my daughter and I went on a girl scout nature hike. Through the trees and over creeks we went (didn't I just do this yesterday with my son?), until the naturalist found a gewey clump of insect eggs.

"Look," she said, "bug spit!"

"Ewwwwww!" all of the girl scouts exclaimed. "Disgusting!"

"Hmmmm, " I mused. Now when I go for walks in the woods I have to watch out for animal poop and bug spit. Great!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Stinky Feet

Today my son and I went for a little walk down the bike trail at a local park. It was fun, but my son and I aren't ones to stay on the beaten path for long. We decided to "offroad" it. Into the underbrush we went, exploring the trail less taken. We trudged through mud. Tall, wet plants whipped at our legs. We felt a real sense of adventure.

Finally we made our way back to the regular bike trail and meandered our way back to the car. After we had gotten in, I noticed a terrible smell.

"What's that?" I asked.

"It smells like poop!" my son answered.

Sure enough, it was poop. Apparently I had stepped in some animal's waste products. I guess sometimes there's a price to pay when you wander off the beaten trail.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sand in my Eye

Today was a day spent at the Museum Center of Cincinnati. That place is fantastic! We spent hours at the children's museum playing in water, running through tunnels, shoveling rocks into wheelbarrows, and building foam arched bridges. We learned about the history of Cincinnati and saw a full scale train model of the city. We marvelled at dinosaur bones and walked through a prehistoric tunnel right into the ice age. We even enjoyed a movie at the Omnimax theater.

It would have been a perfect day had there not been the "sandbox incident." There was a sandbox play area in the Natural History Museum, and my little guy wanted to play in it. He played quite nicely. Then it was time to put his shoes back on. His grubby little hands were covered in sand. Unfortunately I did not notice that little detail. When I went to put on his shoes, his little hand met my eyeball. I got a fistful of sand in my eye! I seriously thought I was not going to be able to drive home with this sand stuck under my contact lenses.

It only took twenty minutes for my eye to stop tearing. I guess that's not so bad, considering what a good time we had. Oh look - more sand just fell off of my face!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Vist to the Post Office

Did you know that a visit to the post office could be an exciting event? It can, if you have an imaginative five-year old boy with you!

As we stepped into the post office, my little guy noticed that the floor looked like the steps of an escalator. So we had to stand on the "escalator" before we could proceed to the next part of the post office.

Then my little guy saw a big round table that had an odd metal track on the floor going around it. "Choo Choo train!" he exclaimed. Of course he had to take a ride on the "choo choo train."

Then he noticed that if he talked really loud, he could hear an echo. Yes, you guessed it, he started yelling random words as loud as he could so that he could hear the echo.

We finally made it into the room where our package could be mailed. My little guy thought it would be a good time to pull out his Sponge Bob Squarepants video game. It was just too quiet and solemn in that post office line. Soon all of the customers were chuckling as they listened to the cheerful music.

My little guy made it a great time for everyone!

Monday, May 10, 2010


My kids and I went to a local farm to check out the kids - the goat kind. They were only a couple of weeks old (not my kids-the goat ones), but already they were behaving like, well, kids. They were climbing, fighting for their Mommy's attention, playing, nursing, and sleeping. It was fun to watch my kids interact with the goat kids. I couldn't help thinking that no matter what the species, kids will be kids!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day Inspiration

Happy Mother's Day to all moms everywhere!

I was going to tell you about my Mother's Day - about the black eye I had to deal with first thing this morning, the spilled juice, the dirty laundry, etc. - but then I read this wonderful story in a book called Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Hanson, Jennifer Hawthorne, and Marci Shimoff, and I thought I'd share it with you. The story is called "Who to Believe."

It's the story of Wilma Rudolph, a three-time Olympic gold medal winner in running events. She was the 20th of 22 children, and she was born prematurely. Her survival was doubtful. When she was four years old, she had double pneumonia and scarlet fever. It left her with a paralyzed left leg.

Wilma was very fortunate to have a mother who told her she could do whatever she wanted to do with her life. She told her that all she needed was faith, persistance, courage, and an indomitable spirit. So when the doctors said she wouldn't be able to walk again, Wilma decided that she would be the world's greatest woman runner.

That's what she did! She entered races and came in last every time. Then she came in second last. Finally she won. Then there was no stopping her! In 1960 she went to the Olympic Games in Rome and won three gold medals!

How's that for an inspirational story of overcoming obstacles and the influence of a wise mom!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Santa Claus

I know, what kind of topic is "Santa Claus" for the beginning of May? My children thought it was an excellent topic to discuss at the breakfast table this morning. I think they had getting a puppy on their mind. They've been begging for one for the last three years.

Anyway, here's the way that conversation went:

"Mommy, how does Santa get around the world so fast?"

Answer: "I don't know. Maybe he has super-powered jet engines on his sleigh."

"Mommy, if nobody ever sees Santa, how do we know his reindeer's names?"

Answer: "When he's at the mall during the holiday season, he shares that information with privileged workers."

"Mommy, where does he park his sleigh and reindeer when he goes to the mall?"

Answer: "He stops at a local farm and leaves his reindeer and sleigh in a barn. Then the farmer drives him to the mall."

"Mommy, why won't Santa give us a puppy?"

Answer: "Mommy is allergic to puppies."

End of discussion.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fingerprints and Flower Pots

I love the little Mother's Day crafts that teachers create. I have received clay hand prints , flowers to plant in the garden, fingerprint artwork, and lovely Mother's Day poems. All have been given with lots of love, hugs, and kisses.

Today my daughter came home with yet another beautiful masterpiece. It was a flower pot with fingerprint artwork all over it. In the center was a beautiful yellow marigold. These little treasures never fail to bring a tear to my eye.

I love being a Mom!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

More Medicine

My little guy was sick today. It was pretty disheartening to see my normally-energetic son curled up on the sofa.

"Mom, can I have more medicine? I'm dizzy."

"Sorry, it isn't time yet."

Five minutes later...

"Mom, can I have more medicine? I'm freezing."

This continued all day.

The good news: We had no messes in the family room today! I guess that goes to show you that something good can be found in just about every situation.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pizza is Served

My son and I were playing "restaurant" today. The only entre on the menu was pizza.

"What do you want on your pizza?" asked my little guy.

"Cheese and Pepperoni," I responded.

"Coming right up!"

I waited a few minutes as my son scavanged up a few items to create a "pizza."

As he brought the concoction over, he dropped several items of it onto the floor.

"I see we are adding some dirt." I said as he dropped it again.
"And some bugs," (as he dropped it again),
"And some worms."

"Well now, that looks delicious!" I said staring down at this disk of dice and lego pieces.

"...And tastey too!"

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A What Where?

Things have a way of turning up in the most peculiar places in my house. Lost wedding rings have been found in shoes, car keys have been found in the dryer, and sometimes the milk has been found in the cereal cupboard (that one definitely is not pleasant!).

Today, my husband was the one to experience the crazy "What Where?" syndrome. It started in the morning. He had noticed a lump in his pillow the previous night, but had never bothered to investigate. This morning he looked in the pillow case and pulled out one of my son's socks.

Later, after work, he came home and was about to put on his tennis shoes. Fortunately he looked inside before he put it on.

"Come here," he said to me. "Guess what I found?"

I looked in his hand, and saw a cute little goldfish cracker.

"Awww," I said. "Bubba left you a present!"

Monday, May 3, 2010

Identity Problem

I knew it was going to be a strange day when my son began "chasing his tail" first thing in the morning. That's right. He was chasing his tail. A paper fake dollar bill served as his tail, and he was spinning around in circles trying to get it. Then he stuck his tongue out and started panting.

I tried to ignore it, but that was honestly a little hard to do.

The real fun began later in the afternoon when we were walking through a parking lot. The crazy animal began licking my arm! There I was , packages in one hand and my son's hand in the other, getting licked.

"Wait a minute!" I said. "You're not a dog! Quit licking my arm!"

"Woof!" He said.

I sure hope my boy returns tomorrow!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Wizard Potion

Rainy days are perfect for science experiments. Today was such a day at my house. I knew something was up when my daughter asked for vinegar, oil, dish soap, glitter, baking soda, and food coloring. Then she got out a glass jar and cookie sheet. It was going to be a big production.

She poured half of the bottle of vinegar into the jar, followed by some food coloring and oil. Then she squeezed in a bit of dish soap. She mixed that together with a spoon. Then she sprinkled the whole concoction with gold glitter.

"Now for the final touch," she announced as she poured in some baking soda. The whole thing began fizzing and sudsing right out of the jar. It was a good thing she had that cookie tray!

"What is this concoction?" I asked.

"Don't you know?"

"Um, no."

"It's a fizzy wizard potion!"

Of course.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Silly Bands

There's a new fashion rage sweeping across Ohio (and maybe elsewhere). They are called silly bands. "What are they?" you ask. Tiny little rubber bracelets for kids that come in a variety of shapes: animals, angels, guitars, you name it. The kids put these multi-colored bands on their arms and parade around comparing which ones they have to the ones their friends have. Then they trade to get ones they don't have. It's a big deal.

So the other day, my daughter came home begging me to go to the store to buy some silly bands. "That's silly!" I replied.

"But Mom, everybody has them!"


"So can I please have some?"

'How much are they?" I asked.

"Two dollars and fifty cents." was the reply.

"Well I guess that won't break the bank," I said.

We found them, she put thirty of them on, and was considered "cool" by her friends.

I wish I had been the guy from Toledo, Ohio who had thought to make them! I bet he'll be making millions from those silly bands!