Mama Diaries

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

No, Don't Go!

Tomorrow morning I am leaving for a ten day trip to Israel. Just my husband and I are going. The kids are staying home with their grandparents. All day long my son was begging me not to go.

"Mommy, why do you have to go?"

"We have a wedding to attend."

'That's not fair!"

Then my daughter came home and started.

"Mommy, please don't go!"

"I'll call you every day."

"No, don't go!' Then the big tears came rolling down.

Nothing like making a mom feel bad about going on vacation!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mario Cart

If you haven't noticed, the Halloween costumes are out in the stores. My son noticed. He of course, had to inspect every single one. He finally settled on a Mario costume (if you don't know who Mario is, he's a video game character who dresses like a plumber and has a big mustache and red cap.).

Of course he wanted to put the costume on when he got home. Then he wanted to parade around the neighborhood.

"Mommy," he said, "I'm going to drive my golf cart now. Will you please come with me?"

So off we went, around the neighborhood - he in his pint-sized golf cart and me following behind. It was quite a sight. A few kids even came out of their houses to see the "Mario Kart" character.

Then my son spotted a grasshopper. He hopped out of the cart to chase it. Finally he caught it. "Mommy, I'm going to take the grasshopper home."

"What about the golf cart?"

"You can take it home."

So I sat on the little seat, hung my legs over the hood, and pressed the gas pedal with my hand. Now that was a sight - me in the pint-sized golf cart following a little Mario Man and a grasshopper. (A few of our neighbors had a good chuckle watching us!)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Spider Trap

This afternoon I walked out onto my front porch and noticed an upside-down glass sitting there. I walked over to investigate. Under the glass was a dead daddy-long-leg spider. Also under the glass was a block of chocolate which was mal-formed and discolored and a green lego. Puzzled I went into the house to ask my son about it. I knew he had something to do with it - maybe because of the green lego.

"Oh that," he said. "That's a spider trap."

"So, you lured the spider over with the chocolate and green lego, and then you popped a glass over it?" I asked.

"Yep, that's how it works."

Hmmm. Maybe I ought to make a few of those for the basement.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ancient One

"Mom, were you around at the time of the dinosaurs?"

I looked at my son in disbelief. "No," I said, " I would have to be at least 65 million years old. Do you think I'm 65 million years old?"

My son thought about it and then grinned. "No, but sometimes you look like you're 65 million years old!"

Ha Ha.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Crafty Kids

Both of my kids had a chance to learn some new skills today. I took my daughter to JoAnn Fabric where she learned to use a sewing machine and make a pillow case. My husband took my son to Lowes where he hammered together a race car. Both kids were thrilled with their creations.

As we were leaving JoAnn Fabric, my daughter was grinning ear to ear, proudly showing every customer she met her pillow case. "Mommy, that was fun!" she exclaimed. "Can we get a sewing machine like the one in class?"

"Um, right- next time I have about $500.00." I guess I had better work more and start saving!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Math Games

I have concluded that moms are pretty smart. Do you know why? It's because they go through school at least twice: once as kids, then again again when they help their own kids with homework.

I, of course, have been the one helping my oldest daughter with her homework (not doing it, but rather explaining things she might not understand). This year I've been having fun with math. The math teacher is very creative. Every day there's a new math game to play. Today's game involved playing cards. It's called "Guess the card." Here's how it works: Player one picks a card out of the deck. This card remains a secret. Player two must figure out what the card is by doing some math. The remaining cards must be sorted so that they are in pairs that equal ten. Kings, queens, and jacks are removed as a unit of one king, one queen, and one jack. (The Ace= 1) . When player two is done, there should be one remaining card. Subtract the value of that card from ten, and that is the answer for the mystery card that player one has.

Isn't that cool? Now you'll have to go try that at home!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cookie Dough

A couple of weeks ago my daughter came home with a note from the teacher asking for volunteers to care for the class guinea pig on weekends. Being the kind-hearted animal lover that I am, I volunteered without thinking twice. Today was our assigned day to watch "Cookie Dough."

I expected to see my daughter coming off of the bus with a small container and a guinea pig. (I don't know what I was thinking.) Instead, she came off of the bus with only her backpack.

"Where's the guinea pig? " I asked.

"You're supposed to pick it up today or tomorrow."

"Okay, let's go now to get it."

We went back to the school and soon found Cookie Dough in the middle of the hall outside of the classroom in an enormous cage.

"How the heck are we supposed to get that thing home?" I asked. (I'm not one of those moms who drives around in a minivan, although I think maybe I should.)

"And where are the directions for taking care of this thing?"

Fortunately the janitor was nearby, so she gave me a quick lesson on guinea pig care.

Then I had to haul that thing to my car. That wasn't pretty. Then I had to haul it up the steps when I got home. That wasn't pretty either.

Now Cookie Dough is sitting on the floor in our loft wondering what the heck just happened. I'm kind of wondering that too!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dog Bite

Didn't I just say we were getting a dog yesterday? Today I got bit by one.

I went to get my son who was playing at a friend's house. I heard the kids playing in the back, so I went to the back yard to call him. That's when it happened.

This big white dog charged at me, jumped on me, and bit my arm. I got it off, but it kept trying to jump on me and bite me. I told the kid to call his dog off, but the darn dog wouldn't listen. As if that wasn't bad enough, it started jumping on my kids and biting them!

Then I got mad! I got that dog off of them and got the heck out of there!

What a bad dog! My kids won't be going there again!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Roller Coaster

Wow! What a day it's been! Everthing was pretty normal until my kids came home from school. The chaos began during my first student's piano lesson.

"Mom!!!!! Help!!!!! (A neighborhood kid, whose name I won't mention) is chasing us with poison ivy!!!!" screamed my daughter.

"Right," I thought. "What kind of moron would be holding poison ivy and chasing people around with it?" I calmly finished the lesson and went to investigate. The kid was sitting at our picnic table in our backyard.

"So, " I began, "What's this about poison ivy? Did you really have poison ivy in your hands?"


"What were you thinking?" I asked completely dumbfounded.

"I don't know."

Of course not.

Meanwhile my son was sitting there scratching himself. "Mom, I'm really itchy!" I rushed him into the bathtub. Hopefully the damage won't be too bad.

An hour later, when my last student was leaving, my daughter came through the front door sobbing. "What's wrong?" I asked.

"The frog is dead," she wailed.

"Which frog? Croaky? (our pet)"

"No, Lisa!"

"Who's Lisa?"

Apparently Lisa was one of the frogs from the frog puddle. The above-mentioned neighborhood kid had taken Lisa out of her habitat. She got lost, ended up in the street, and dried out. My daughter was heartbroken.

"Do you want to see where I buried her?" She led me to the rose garden and showed me a little tombstone with flowers. On the stone was written the words, "My friend, Leesah."

The saga continues. As I was sitting at the kitchen table trying to help my teary-eyed daughter with her homework, my husband decided to break some important news. He gathered the children around and made this announcement: "Someone was just born who is going to become a member of our family."

My kids were thoroughly confused. He went on to explain, "We're going to get a German Shepherd puppy in about eight weeks."

You should have seen my daughter. She went nuts - crying, laughing, squealing all at the same time. I wish I had my camera!

All would have ended happily had it not been for the last incident of the day. My son then was told to hustle upstairs to get ready for bath time. He hustled right into the back of an iron-back chair, chipping his tooth and bleeding all over. (I can only hope that he didn't damage his new front tooth that is just coming in.)

The kids are in bed now. Thank God! I don't think I can handle any more for today!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Animal Yard

This afternoon I looked outside to check on my kids and the neighborhood kids who were playing in our backyard. Everyone was playing nicely. Then I did a double take. Walking around on the back patio was a fat guinea pig. What the heck was that thing doing there? Didn't it know there was a dangerous cat lurking nearby?

"Hey kids," I called, "Where did this guinea pig come from?"

"Oh, that's mine," called one of the kids.

"You might want to keep an eye on him," I said as I watched the little fur ball investigate a chipmunk hole.

"Mama," my son called, "Can Croaky come out?" Croaky is our pet African Clawed Frog.

I thought about that for a minute. The weather was warm enough. "Okay, but Croaky has to stay in his tank."

I hauled that tank down to the picnic table. The kids were delighted to play with the frog.

Meanwhile, in the other yard, the Huskies were howling. They had spotted the cat.

I think I must be living in a zoo!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Band Aid Boy

As you have probably figured out from previous posts, my son likes to be outside. As a result, he is typically covered in an assortment of Band Aids.

Today was a record. He arrived home from a playdate with some neighborhood boys completely cut up from his thighs to his ankles. The mom had cleaned him up and neosporined his wounds, but I had the job of applying the Band Aids. By the time we were done, he had fifteen new Band Aids in assorted styles covering his legs. I think he had more Band Aids than skin on his legs!

What can I say? I guess that's proof that my kids don't spend much time sitting in front of the TV.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Star Struck

Last night I took my tween-age daughter to a "back to school bash" held at a local church. A band called the "Hi-Tops" played. We had seen the "Hi-Tops" perform about two years ago. They are a pretty good all-girl band. My daughter loved them. She was so excited to see them again that she could not contain herself. She positioned herself right in front of the stage, screaming and yelling and jumping up and down like she had ants in her pants. Then one of the band members reached down and gave her a sideways high five.

She came running and screaming to where I had parked myself. "She touched my hand, she touched my hand!!!!!!" she yelled. (More screams.)

"Wonderful," I shouted as enthusiastically as I could, knowing that I was doing some serious damage to my ears (remind me to bring earplugs next time!)

"I'm never going to wash my hand again!"

"We'll see about that," I replied.

She washed her hands as soon as she got home.

At least it was a wonderful memory for her. Now if only my ears would stop ringing!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Frog Yoga

It rained last night (finally!). Do you know what that means? It means that the frog puddle has returned to its full glory. Do you know what else that means? It means that my kids and the neighborhood kids gathered to terrorize the seven frogs that live in that puddle.

Today's frog trick was to contort the little green amphibians into yoga poses. I have to admit, frogs are really good at the lotus pose. I couldn't believe what they had those frogs doing. I also couldn't believe that the frogs were letting them do it. Perhaps the frogs felt safe with creatures who put so much effort into preserving their habitat.

(For those of you who are animal lovers, rest assured, the frogs were fine after the kid-handling. They returned back to their little puddle and resumed croaking.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Growing Up

My little girl is growing up. Today she asked if she could go bike riding around the neighborhood with her friend.

"Take your watch and be back in a half hour."

A half hour later she came in the door right on time. "I'm home!" She proudly announced.

I can't believe how quickly kids grow up! It seems like just yesterday she was a baby.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Waterfall Construction

Do you remember that frog habitat I was trying to save a couple of weeks ago? Well, the "Save the Frog Habitat" has now become a full-fledged "Create a Frog Waterpark" project. Now my kids and the neighborhood kids have banded together to form a construction crew. They are out in the middle of the woods with shovels and extra-long hoses that actually reach from one of my neighbor's houses to the location of the frog puddle.

I went back there to investigate. I found miniature construction pylons, kid-sized shovels, and a tiny trickle of water coming from a hose, leading down to the puddle. Not one frog was in sight. I think the heavy construction caused a major evacuation. The plan is to create a tiered waterfall that leads down to the frog puddle.

I'll keep you updated on the progress.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Turtle Birthday or Bust

The big old turtle cloud was hanging over my six-year-old son's head today.

"Mom, I want to go to a turtle petting farm!" he exclaimed.

"I don't think they have such a thing," I replied, thinking that turtles carry all kinds of terrible germs. Why would a place allow anybody to pet turtles?

"Look it up online," the little guy replied.

I sighed. "All right," I said. I was sure that my search would be short and sweet. Boy was I wrong!

There are turtle petting farms all over the country. The one in Grand Caymen looked pretty good to my turtle lover.

"I want to have my next birthday there," he said. "Okay?"

"I'll keep that in mind," I replied.

"If I can't have my birthday there, then I don't want a birthday!"

Well! I'm going to have to remember that! (It might be an inexpensive birthday next year.)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Muscle Girl

Mommies do a lot of lifting. They lift babies, toddlers, bicycles, and an awful lot of groceries. My eight- year- old daughter has witnessed the heavy lifting that I have done. She decided it was her turn to do some heavy lifting.

"Mommy, I bet I can lift you up," she said.

"I don't know about that," I said.

"Let me try."

"Um, okay."

I really didn't expect her to do more than knock me off balance a little bit.

Would you believe she actually lifted me off of the ground? I couldn't believe it! It must be all of those tumbling classes that she's been taking!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Puppy Boy

My friend just brought home a white lab puppy. The little critter is only eight weeks old. Naturally, my kids had to visit the white ball of fluff.

The little puppy was outside playing when we arrived. It was rolling around on the ground, getting absolutely filthy. My six-year-old son saw that and decided that rolling around on the ground looked like a great idea. So that's what he did.

When he was done, he was covered from head to toe in dry grass and dirt. I looked at the puppy. I looked at my son. What a pair!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Turtle Hunting

My six-year-old son loves turtles. He seems to have a perpetual turtle cloud hovering above his head. Turtles are always on his mind. Today's mission was to find some turtles. We started in our backyard. A year ago, a box turtle was spotted near the sandbox. After a thorough investigation of the yard, and the woods behind the yard, we concluded that "boxy" was no longer around.

Our search then expanded to the local nature preserve. We had on one occasion spotted a box turtle just off of the hiking trail. We returned to the spot, but alas, there was no "boxy." We completed our hike without finding one turtle.

Then we visited a local pond to see if we could spot some red-eared sliders. No luck there either.

My little guy was getting quite upset.

"Okay," I said, "How about we go to the indoor nature center where we know they have a box turtle."

That's what we did. It wasn't quite as fun as finding it in the wild, but at least we got to see it.

My son was pleased.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Octopus Heads

Today was my son's first day of kindergarten. (Now you may be wondering what that has to do with octopus heads. Here's what it has to do with octopus heads:) As a special treat for the special day, I took the little guy to the sushi counter at the local grocery store. Sushi is one of his favorite foods. I think he must have inherited the sushi gene from my husband.

The little man stood peering at the assortment of tuna and shrimp and other odd looking delicacies. Then his little eyeballs rested on the baby octopus container. "I want this," he exclaimed.

"That's disgusting!" I said as I examined the brown creatures. "Their heads are still on!"

"Cool!" my son said.

"Can't you choose a California roll, or something more palatable?"

"Nope, I want the baby octopuses."

My son actually enjoyed eating those digusting things. Then my husband came home. He had to have some too. I thought I was going to be sick! Who would kill baby octopi anyway? There should be a law against that!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Driveway Campout

This evening my family was celebrating the last days of summer with one of our friends. We had a wonderful cookout in the backyard. Our visit lasted long after the sun went down. The kids thought that was great. They set up camp in the driveway with some blankets, a lantern, and some popsicles.

They found the Big Dipper, and the North Star. They made wishes on every star they saw. They had a simply marvelous time out there in the dark.

"Mommy can we stay out here all night?"

"Sorry kids, it's way past your bedtime - time to come in!"


We'll have to do that again next Labor Day weekend.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Mama Truck

I was on my hands and knees cleaning the bathroom floor, when I heard my husband calling me.


What could that guy possibly want?

"Woman, I need your help."

"What seems to be the problem?" I replied.

"Come ouside and see."

I followed him out to the backyard. There in the dried up creek bed was our tractor. It was stuck.

"I pressed the wrong pedal and ended up in the creek. I don't have a truck, so I need you to push me out."

He started the engine, and I pushed. I got that big old tractor unstuck on the first try.

Later in the day, my six-year-old son came up to me and started pressing on my belly.

"What do you want?" I asked him.

"You're supposed to beep when I press your belly button."

Apparently the men in my family now think I'm a truck.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Block Engineer

My six-year-old son loves to play with wooden blocks (almost as much as Legos). He came up to me and asked me to build with him.

"What do you want me to build?"

"Anything you want."

"How about a giraffe?"

"No, that's too weird."

So much for anything I wanted. I decided to think outside of the box and build a car, boat, and submarine.

"How do you like my submarine?" I asked.

My son looked at it and shook his head. "That doesn't look like a submarine."

"Okay, then let's see you make one."

The little man went to work. What he created was a masterpiece, complete with periscope and torpedos. After he finished making his creation, he stood back to admire it.

"See, Mommy. That's how you do it."

I guess I have a lot to learn!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Saving the Habitat

Do you recall that frog puddle from yesterday? Well, today it evaporated. My son quickly discovered this calamity and ran into the house to tell me.

"Mommy, save the frogs' habitat! It has disappeared."

"Um. Okay."

I found my large lobster pot and filled it with water.

I then hauled that thing through the woods to the place where the puddle was last seen. That pot had to weigh at least fifty pounds!

I poured the water into the dried creek bed.

My son was pleased.

Soon the frogs returned.

Ahhh, the things we do to save a habitat!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Frog Puddle

My kids and I were walking in the woods along a dried-up creek behind our house today. Suddenly, in front of us, an olive-green frog hopped by.

"That's odd," I said. "There's no water here."

I looked a little further down the creek bed, and there in a low area, was a small puddle of water, no more than two feet wide.

Naturally my son had to investigate.

As he neared the puddle, several frogs scurried out of the way and hopped into it.

Would you believe that there were about seven frogs all huddled in this little puddle?

My son decided this was a great place to catch frogs, so he went home, donned his fireman rain boots and gardening gloves, and went frog catching. I believe he managed to catch all seven. (Of course he released them back into their little puddle.)