Mama Diaries

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pumpkin Goop

It's that day again - the one where grown-ups make silly faces on big orange guords and then light a fire inside, all for the entertainment of little people in costumes.

I had the wonderful pleasure of carving four such guords (also known as pumpkins for those whose brains are little fuzzy from drinking too much apple cider). They turned out quite nicely, if I may say so myself, but I was covered from head to toe in pumpkin goup and seeds (my kids helped a little with that).

It's all fun though - part of the yearly tradition. As I sat with my pumpkin-stained pants, poncho, and sombrero passing out candy this evening, I thought, "What could be better?"

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cookie Dough and the Zoo Creatures

Do you remember Cookie Dough, the guinea pig? She was a visitor at our house about a month ago. Well, today Cookie Dough had a big adventure. She was minding her own business, poking around in her woodchips, when a representative from the zoo arrived in the classroom.

The zoo representative had some creatures of her own. Creature number one was a hawk. As soon as the hawk came out the box, he zeroed in on the poor little rodent. Fortunately, the cage was between Cookie Dough and the hawk. The hawk charged at the cage and ended up getting his beak stuck.

As if that commotion wasn't enough, creature number two was introduced. Creature number two was a three-year-old alligator. As soon as he came out of his box, he saw Cookie Dough. He squirmed right out of the zoo representative's hands and landed on top of Cookie Dough's cage.

Needless to say, the zoo representative quickly gathered up her gator, hawk, and whatever other creatures she had, and headed out of the classroom. Cookie Dough definitely looked good enough to eat!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Whipped Cream

Today I made the mistake of letting my six-year-old son have free reign of the Redi Whip can. I had put out a piece of pumpkin pie.

"Can I put on the whipped cream?"

"Okay," I said without giving it much thought.

In a matter of seconds, he had whipped cream piled on the pie, whipped cream in his milk, whipped cream on his plate, whipped cream on the table, and whipped cream all over his face.

"What are you doing?" I bellowed.

He grinned. "More whipped cream?"

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

In the Dark

Yesterday we had a power failure for about eight hours. This was great excitement for the kids, especially when it started getting dark. They ran around bumping into things. They hid in corners and jumped out , scaring the living daylights out of each other. They pretended to be ghosts. It was all great fun.

Meanwhile, I was trying to teach piano lessons by the light of a flashlight. (I did warn the students beforehand that we were out of power, but they too thought it was great fun to play in the dark.)

"Mom, why did they invent power?" my daughter asked. "We really don't need it!"

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Bash

I'm exhausted. I just hosted a halloween party for about a dozen kids. Boy, do those kids know how to cause a raucus! I spent hours, no....days, decorating the house and making the food. I had a vegetable cemetary concoction, apple lips with teeth, mummy fingers, and more. The only things the kids wanted were the mummy hot dogs, rotten apple apple cider, and cupcakes.

After the kids left, I looked around. There was toilet paper all over the living room floor (from the mummy wrapping contest), apples still bobbing in a tub of water, and an assortment of paper plates, cups, and food remains all over the kitchen.

I sat down and sighed.

Then my son came running in the room.

"Mom, that was the best party ever! Can we do it again next year?"

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Picture Perfect

Do you know that saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words?" My son's school picture says that and then some. On picture day this year, I was in Israel. Grandma and Grandpa were in charge of watching the kids.

I don't know what went on, but I had to look twice to make sure that was really my kid in the picture. His eyes had bags under them, his hair had a bad case of bed head, and his lips were all puffy from a run-in with a kid on the playground. He was a mess.

My son came over and looked at his picture. "I think they did something wrong with my head," he said.

Yeah. Something like that.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Poo Patrol

Today I salute all parents and keepers of creatures that require waste removal. It's not a fun job, but it is certainly one that is necessary.

As a mom, I have changed numerous diapers (probably numbering in the millions), and cleaned up several accidents. As a pet owner, I have cleaned bird droppings, frog goop, dirty fish water, and cat waste. Today I cleaned a turtle turd. Soon I will be picking up dog doo. (Sigh.)

So here's to all of you involved in the waste management of your creatures. Cheers!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Kindergarten Fun

I got to play in kindergarten today. It was fun!

Maybe I should explain.

Every week I go into my kids' school to help. On Wednesdays, I go to help in my son's kindergarten class. Today was fingerpainting day. I had a blast painting the kindergarteners' hands red and watching them make hand prints on the papers.

When I was done, I looked at my hands. They were a dark shade of red. I tried to wipe them off with the wipes that had been provided, but that red paint wouldn't come off.

So I guess I'll just go get some nail polish and paint my nails red. Maybe nobody will notice.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pet Coon

Apparently I have a new pet. This one is a pet raccoon.

You may recall that a couple of days ago, we were visited by a very bold raccoon who seemed to want to come inside and make himself at home. This morning the coon came back. It was about seven o'clock in the morning, and still dark outside. Bootsie the cat was at the door begging for breakfast. I put out the cat food and water and then went to make my kid's breakfast.

I glanced out and saw Bootsie happily munching on his kibbles. After I set the table, I looked out again. It was still dark, but the tail I saw against our sliding door was a lot thicker and had rings on it. Hmm, I thought. Could it be our bandit friend?

I turned on the light. Yep. It was the coon. He had eaten the rest of Bootsie's food and was pawing at the window, begging for more.

What am I going to do with that thing?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mama Turtle

The turtle saga continues. My son and another neighborhood boy were in the woods behind our house this evening. Guess what they found? An adult box turtle. We're guessing it's the mama box turtle.

My daughter came running in the house screaming, "Get the baby! The mommy's here!"

"What?" I said, completely confused.

Then she showed me the big find.

"All right. That thing needs to go hibernate," I said.

"But can't it see its baby?"

"Fine. Then put it right back where you found it."

Baby turtle and mama turtle got introduced. The baby was mildly interested. The mama didn't care. My daughter was thrilled.

"Oh, they love each other!"

Uh huh.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Terrorizing the Cat

This evening I came home from my daughter's girl scout meeting and heard a terrible noise. It sounded like a dinosaur.

I went around to the back of my house to investigate, and guess what? It was a dinosaur! I kid you not. My husband and son were playing with Spike, a giant remote control dinosaur on our back patio.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Terrorizing the cat," my husband replied.

"That's terrible!" I exclaimed.

My daughter quickly went over to comfort the poor cat who clearly was not pleased with the dinosaur in his territory.

What is it with men, anyway? Will somebody please explain?

Saturday, October 16, 2010


We have a cool little tradition in the neighborhood in which I live. The week before Halloween, when it is dark outside, the doorbell rings. The kids rush to open the door. On the the doorstep, is a plastic pumpkin filled with candy and a note that says we have been "booed." If we're lucky, we can catch the treater before he runs off. Anyway, once you've been "booed," it is your turn to "boo" two other people.

Tonight was our night. Of course, nobody is supposed to know who the "booer" is. Well, my little guy doesn't exactly play by the rules. The genious put a little note in one of the pumpkins which had his name on it. To make matters worse, the little guy didn't even get the pumpkin to the right person, so the message made absolutely no sense to the receiver.

When my kids realized their mistake, they started laughing hysterically. They couldn't stop laughing to make the next delivery. I think the whole neighborhood heard them. So much for secrecy.

(When we got home, the phone rang. It was my son's friend who had received pumpkin with the strange message. He didn't care about the message. He was just glad to get the candy.)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Animal House

Do you remember that turtle my son found yesterday? We released it as planned. Today, my son went to see if he could find it, and sure enough it was there, in the exact spot we left it. I was a little concerned about that. Surely the little critter would have wandered off.

So I went online and did a little investigating about baby box turtles. I found out, first, that it is not good to feed baby box turtles fruit of any kind (so much for the strawberries). I also learned that box turtles that hatch late in the year, seldom survive the winter. Oh dear. Now you know I can't just let the little turtle die out there. So, my son and I made a little trip to the pet store to get a terrarium, UVB heat lamp, box turtle food, and other necessities. One hundred and seventeen dollars later, we have a nice little habitat for the turtle. I think the turtle likes it. He promptly buried himself under the coco husks.

What a mom won't do!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


There's a new celebrity in the neighborhood. It's Boxy the Box Turtle. This morning, as my son and I were walking through the woods in our backyard, we spotted a baby box turtle. Of course my son had to scoop it up and carry it around all day.

"Leave it alone," I said. "It's a baby. It needs to sleep!"

Of course those words fell on deaf ears.

Boxy was brought to the bus stop where all of the kids had to see and touch it. Then the kids all came over to play with Boxy. That poor turtle was held during games of tag, dropped a couple of times (fortunately with no apparent injuries), and handled way more than any baby should be handled.

Finally Boxy was put back where we found it. I felt bad, so I left it a pile of strawberries. Hopefully the trauma won't be long-lasting, and it will grow up to be a happy little box turtle.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dr. Professor Bubba

"Mom, I want to go to the natural history museum." These were the words that came out of my six-year-old son's mouth today.

I looked at the piles of laundry that needed to be done. I looked at my watch. "Bubba, we don't have much time. Your sister will be home from school soon."


I sighed. What mom can deny her child a trip to the natural history museum when an inquisitive mind wishes to learn.


We made the trek to the museum. The little man headed right for the trading post - that's the section that contains some neat things like fossils, and shark teeth, and turtle shells.

"May I please see your turtle shells?" the little man asked.

"Certainly," said the lady behind the counter.

The young man gazed intently at the carapaces. "These are from sea turtles," he said with authority.

"Why yes, I believe you are right," the lady said.

"I know all about turtles," he announced.

Yes, indeed, Dr. Professor Bubba.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Little Bandit

Yesterday I filled the bird feeder with bird seed. This morning the feeder was empty. There wasn't even a trace of seeds on the ground. I was perplexed. This evening I found out what had happened.

As I was giving my children their snack before bedtime, I happened to glance out through our sliding glass doors in the kitchen. Usually I see Bootsie the cat. What I saw was quite remarkable. I had to look twice, because I assumed that my sleep-deprived state was causing me to hallucinate. At the window was a huge raccoon. standing on his back legs with his paws against the window.

"Hey kids," I called. "Look at the raccoon!"

For a moment the coon and the kids locked eyes. Neither of them moved. Then Bootsie the cat came charging to reclaim his spot. The raccoon scurried off, but not for long. He reappeared at the bird feeder, scavanging for whatever seeds remained.

The cat and the kids watched that coon for about twenty minutes until it disappeared into the darkness.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm Home!

Did you miss me? My kids did. I was on a very long trip to Israel. It was absolutely fantastic! I'd say it was the best vacation I ever had. My husband and I saw almost all of the country - the West Bank, Masada, the Dead Sea, the place where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, Old Jerusalem, New Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv, Golan, and every place in between.

Today my husband and I dragged our tired bodies back home. What a long flight! When we returned, the kids squealed with delight and nearly squeezed me to death. I guess they were happy to see me. I took an inspection to see if they hadn't fallen apart. Aside from their colds, and my son's fat lip (he had a collision with a kid on the playground), they were in good order. Grandma and Grandpa did a good job.

Now I'm going to bed. I'm in serious need of a nap!