Mama Diaries

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bottled Creatures

Today I found my son rummaging through the recycle container.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"You'll see."

A few minutes later he placed an empty water bottle on the table.  Except it wasn't really empty.  There was a cicada inside.

I looked at my son and shook my head.  "How long are you going to keep that thing?"

"I don't know."

He went off, leaving the cicada on my kitchen table.

About twenty minutes later, he came in with an empty milk jug.  Except it wasn't really empty.  There was a baby toad inside.

"What are you going to do with that?"

"Examine him."

So now I have a cicada and a toad sitting in containers on my kitchen table.  What next?  

Friday, July 29, 2011

Frog Catching

"Mom, can I go catch a frog?" my seven-year-old son asked.

"Uh, sure.  It's hot outside.  Are you sure you want to do that?"



He went about his business and I went about mine. 

A few minutes later, I heard some rustling in the loft.  I walked over to investigate. 

I found my son holding our aquatic African clawed frog.  He had pulled it out of the tank.

"I caught one!"

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Peanut Butter War Paint

My son and his buddy were sitting at my kitchen table eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Sounds harmeless enough, doesn't it?

Two minutes later:  "Mom, how do carrots and peanut butter taste together?"

"I don't know.  I think carrots and ranch dressing would taste better."

"Can I have some ranch dressing...and peanut butter."

I looked at him and grimaced.  "Are you sure?" 


I gave the boys some peanut butter and ranch dressing along with some carrots.  Then I went back to washing dishes.

Oddly enough, they liked the combination.  They asked for more peanut butter. 

I looked at them kind of funny, but I gave it to them anyway.  Big mistake.  Two seconds later, they dipped their fingers in it and started applying it to their faces.

"War paint!" they cried as they jumped around like wild Indians.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bag of Minnows

My son went to his buddy's house for a playdate.  The house is situated right on the lake, so the boys like to play by the lake, searching for frogs and harassing the fish.

When I went to pick up my son, I noticed he had a zip-lock bag in his hands.

"What do you have there?" I asked him.

"Minnows," he responded.

"I think you had better put those little fish back in the lake.  They might die if you don't."

"They're in lake water.  They'll be fine," my son said.

"They're going to get hungry,"  I replied, hoping to convince the little guy to return the creatures to their home.

He promptly scooped up some algae and threw it into the bag. 

"There.  They'll be fine."

So now we have a bag of minnows on our kitchen counter.  What next?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cup Castles

Today my kids went to the dentist for their semi-yearly checkup.  I don't know what it is about going to the dentist, but my kids seem to have a need to entertain themselves in strange ways whenever we are there.  Last time we went, I think my kids brought sheets and pretended to be ghosts in the waiting area.

Cup castles were the order for today's visit.  My son promptly walked over to the water jug and usurped a handful of plastic cups.

"Hey, don't do that!"  I said.  "Those are for customers who are going to drink the water."

"I'm a customer, and I'm going to drink the water," he said.

Then he sat on the floor and began stacking the cups.  I sighed as my daughter joined in the fun.

By the time they were called to the back by the hygienist, they had constructed a towering masterpiece.

The receptionist was impressed.  I wasn't, because I was the one who cleaned it up!    

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tire Re-tread Problem

There is a major issue here in Cincinnati with truckers losing their tire re-treads!  A week ago, I almost ran over a huge chunk of tread in the road.  A few days ago, my husband actually did run over a large re-tread because he couldn't get out of the way.  If he was on his motorcycle, he would've been killed.   Today, my family and I were almost involved in a serious accident because of one.

We were driving along on our way to the Dayton Air Show.  Suddenly, the car next to us swerved into our lane to miss a huge re-tread that was in the middle of the freeway.  Fortunately, my husband reacted quickly.  We swerved onto the shoulder, nearly tipping onto two tires.  It was very scary! Had we been just a little further up on the road, in the construction zone, we would have been crushed between the wall and the swerving vehicle!

Something has to be done about this.  Either re-treading should not be allowed, or strict regulations should be placed on how much use re-tread tires should have.  Most certainly, there should be a better clean-up of re-tread tires on the roads.  They're everywhere and they're dangerous!  

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Birthday Present

"Mommy, I have a present for you,"  my son said.

"That's nice, but it's not quite my birthday," I replied.

"Here, you'll like it."  He handed me a folded up leaf.  "Open it."

I screamed as a bristly wooly bear caterpiller crawled out into my hand.

My son grinned ear to ear.  "Wasn't that nice of me?"

I scowled at him.  "Yeah, it's the nicest thing anybody has ever done to me in my entire life."

Friday, July 22, 2011

Biker Boy

My son got a new bike for his birthday.  He's loves it!  He drove that thing up and down the street in the scorching heat for almost an hour.

When he took his helmet off, his head was soaked with sweat.

"Dude, take a break or your going to keel over from heat exhaustion,"  I said.

"No way!  This bike is awesome!"

At least it's better than watching TV!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mud Men

I don't know why my son and his friend decided to spend almost the entire day outside.  It was 97 degrees and humid.  But that's what they did.  They were out in the woods, wading in the creek, harrassing frogs.

I went outside to check on them. 

"Aren't you guys hot?" 

"No," they said.
Somehow I didn't believe them, since sweat was pouring off of their dirty heads.

I gave them some lemonade, patched up a few wounds, at let them carry on.

Eventually the friend's mother came to get him.

She took one look at him.  "Whoa!  What happened to you?"  His legs were covered in mud.  His shirt and shorts were covered in mud, his sandals were coverd in mud  (at least my kid had creeking boots).

"Um, sorry about that," I said.  "Let me hose him off."

That's what I did.  Then I sent him on his merry way.  That was one happy little boy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mr. Drool

No, I'm not referring to my dog, although he does drool a lot.  I'm referring to my six-year-old son.  Today he got his retainer from the orthodontist. 

"He's probably going to drool a lot," the orthodontist warned.

Boy, was she right!

That boy stood at the desk as we made our next appointment, drooling all over the floor.

"Hey!  That's disgusting!" I admonished.

"Ewww, gross," his big sister exclaimed.

He looked at us with a devilish grin.  I knew he was really enjoying himself.

"Keep that slobber under control, or I'm going to have to throw you in the crate with the dog,"  I said.

I think that did the trick.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Six Eyes

"Honey, I have a present for you!"  my husband exclaimed .  "It's kind of funny, but not really."

"Uh, oh," I thought. "This can't be good."

He pulled out a bag.  "Tah-dah!"

I looked at him and shook my head.  "You've got to be kidding."

It was a package of three pairs of reading glasses.  He knew I had gone to the eye doctor and that the doctor said I'd be needing bi-focals soon.

"Three?"  I asked.

"Yep.  One for you, one for me, and one for when we lose a pair."

So now ladies and gentleman, I have six eyes:  the pair God gave me that aren't working so well anymore, a pair of contact lenses, and a pair of reading glasses.  Ah, the joys of getting older!

Monday, July 18, 2011


Well, my days of relative peace and quite have come to an end.  The kids are back from Grandma's house, and chaos has resumed.

"Do you want to see something stupid?" my six-year-old son asked as he was eating his lunch.

"No.  Not really," I replied.

I guess my answer really didn't matter because the next second he was pouring his Capri Sun juice onto his head.

I looked at him and shook my head.  I could not believe what I had just seen.

"I hope that fly that's been buzzing around here lands on your head and lays some maggots on you for that one!"  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Day of Pampering

A year and a half ago, my husband got me a wonderful Mother's Day gift:  a gift certificate for an hour massage and manicure and pedicure at a local spa.  I have been so busy, that I have been unable to use it.  It was about to expire. 

So today (my last day without the kids), I finally went in and had a marvelous treat.  It was two and a half hours of relaxation.  I almost didn't know what to do with myself. 

I feel completely rested.  My hands and nails look great.  And all of those knots that were in my back and neck are gone.  How marvelous.  I could really get used to this!  

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sewing Badges

My kids have been at their grandparent's house for three days now.  You would not believe how much I have gotten done!  I love my kids, but it's nice not to hear, "Mama..., Mama....Mama" all day long.

One of the projects I had been putting off, was sewing my daughter's girl scout badges on her vest.  I have to admit, it's  a project I didn't look forward to.  I remembered all the pricks my fingers got last year sewing those badges on!

So now, fifteen badges later, I look at my poor fingers.  They've been pierced at least thirty times.  It hurts to play my violin.  It hurts to play my viola.

Hey girl scout badge maker people - could you try making badges that iron on and don't fall off?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Trouble Strikes Again

Yeah.  This is about the dog again.  Last night I went to bed around 11:30 PM.  My husband decided to stay up and watch TV.  I fell asleep and was rudely awakened by the sound of my husband yelling. 

"What the heck?"  I thought.

I went to investigate the situation.  What I found was a distraught husband, moss from our ficus tree all over the family room floor, my husband's torn deck shoes, and a guilty looking pooch.

"Uh oh," I said.  "Touble was at it again."

I'm still not sure how all of that happened.  Maybe my husband fell asleep and the dog decided to trash the place.

That's not the end of the story.  In the morning, I could not find my watch.  I could have sworn I left it on the kitchen counter when I washed the dirt off of my hands and arms the previous evening.  I searched everywhere.  I was getting very frustrated.

Then I took out the dog for a potty break.  He went right to my watch which was lying on the grass.  How did it get there, and how did he find it?

He's either a hero or a cunning thief!   

Monday, July 11, 2011

Doggy's New Trick

The kids are on vacation this week at their grandparents' house.  That means a big break for me!  Well, sort of.  If I didn't have that darn dog, it would be perfect. 

Do you know what that varmit did today?  He learned a new trick.  Good?  No.  Not good.  He learned to pry the register vents off and throw his bone down the vent.  He thought it was great!  That's all I need - the house blowing up because a bone landed in the furnace!

So I had to yell at him, take away his bone, and throw him in his crate.

I think we should have named him Trouble.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Gosh Darn Dog

A few days ago, our German Shepherd learned how to escape out of our fenced yard.  This is the same dog that learned how to open the door and go outside when he was three months old.  I'm telling you, this dog is a genious.

Today, my  husband and I repaired the fence.  It was a sweltering 97 degrees outside.  My husband had hurt his hip, so it was up to me to do the heavy lifting.  I had to lift the gate door off of its hinge.  Then I had to haul it to a location where we could remove the metal wire that the darn dog had bent with his teeth.  Of course the U-nails didn't want to come out.  So my husband and I had to do some serious work with the crow bar to pry them out.

Meanwhile sweat was just pouring off of us.  An hour later we had repaired the fence (after mounting additional wooden beams on the gate).  I hauled the gate back on to the hinges.  (You should see the muscles I'm getting from all the lifting I've been doing!) 

"Release the beast!" my husband exclaimed.

We let the enormous dog out into the yard.  What was the first thing he did?  He went over to the gate and tried to chew on the new  wooden beams.

Gosh darn dog!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Follow at Your Own Risk

It was adventure day.  On adventure day, I take my kids to some place we had never been before.  Our destination was in Dayton, Ohio.  I consulted MapQuest for directions and hit the open road.

Everything seemed to be going just fine, until the directions took us to a residential street that ended in a cul-de-sac.  Destination was supposed to be at the end of the cul-de-sac.

"Um, something isn't right here," I said.

"No kidding," my precocious daughter replied.  "Did you use MapQuest again?"



I decided to ask for directions.

The first individual I met was a half-naked man on a riding mower.  "Excuse me sir, can you tell me how to get to my destination.  I seem to be lost."

After about a ten-minute explanation, we were on the road again.

We drove on, following the man's directions.  I was beginning to think that the half-naked man on the riding mower was sending me on a wild goose chase.  So I stopped in a gas station.

"I have no idea where that is," said the attendent when I inquired.  Fortunately, a nice elderly gentleman overheard my inquiry. 

"Take this road," he said pointing to the next street, "and it'll be on your right side."

Wonderful!  After a few twists and turns and a detour down another street, we reached our destination.

On the way home we saw a car with a bumper sticker:  "If you're following me, you're lost too!"  

I need one of those! 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Escape Artist

Our ninety-pound German Shepherd "puppy" pulled a Houdini move today.  In the morning, I took him outside to do his business.  Usually, I bring him in after that, but if he seems like he wants to stay outside and play, I let him run around our fenced yard while I go make breakfast. Today was one of those days.   Our fence is a combination of wood and wire.  We were sure that our enormous beast would be safely confined. 


Our doorbell rang early this morning and our neighbor, not looking too happy, had our dog by the collar.  Uh oh.

We checked our fence.  Some of the wire had been pulled back.  It was a small opening, but the beast was apparently able to get through.  My husband got out some tools and hammered down the fence, supposedly securing it.

I let the dog out, throughout the day, observing what he would do.  He tried to get through again, but it didn't seem like he could get under the fence.  In the evening, I let the dog out in the back.  Then I went in to do something else.  Bad idea.

I happend to look out the window of my room.  I noticed a small dog chasing a baby bird.  I was about to go save the bird, when who should go bounding through the front yard, but our giant German Shepherd!

I could not believe it!  He chased off the little dog (fortunately, he didn't notice the baby bird).  Then he found a rabbit and chased that thing around and around a neighbor's house. 

Of course the beast didn't obey any commands to come.  Bad dog! 

He finally lay down and I got the leash on him.  That bad dog won't be going out unattended any time soon.  How in the world does a giant 90 pound dog slip out of a hole that's maybe 5 inches wide and one inch tall?  Unbelievable!   

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

See What?

Today the kids and I visited the optometrist.

As we walked in the door, the bell rang, notifying everyone of our arrival.  My son immediately immitated the sound of the bell.  I knew he was in fine form.

We waited our turn. 

Finally it was time for my little guy to sit in the big chair.  The lights dimmed.

"Are you going to tell ghost stories?  I think I see a ghost,"  the little guy said.

The optometrist looked at him funny.  "What do you see on that wall?"  he asked pointing to the letter chart.

"A bunch of dots and dashes," was the reply.

"Look real hard and tell me what you see."

The goofball had a fit of giggles, but finally managed to ascertain what was written on the chart.

Then it was time for the color deficiancy test.  Well, he failed that with flying colors.

"I see nothing but teeny tiny ghosts and goblins."

Oy gewalt!   

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Handy Mom

Lately, I've been doing a lot of home maintenance.  Not the usual washing laundry and cleaning dishes, but the kind that requires the use of ladders and tools.  Yesterday I was hauling ladders around the house.

"Yeah, woman.  That's what I like to see," my husband said. 

Today I decided to tackle putting together the fussball table.  It had been sitting on my basement floor for months waiting for my husband to do the job.  I finally got tired of waiting.  I went to the tool box and pulled out my husband's huge socket wrench set.  I pulled out another wrench and headed downstairs.

It took me a while to figure out which size socket I needed.  It took me a little more time to figure out how the socket wrench actually worked (I didn't realize there was a gizmo to flip on it when I wanted to reverse the wrenching process.).  Then it took me a little time to coordinate using one wrench to hold the bolt and the other to tighten it.  Anyway, the fussball table is now standing on its sturdy legs.  (I even flipped that thing right-side up by myself.)

I think even my husband will be proud of me. (Hopefully he won't get any ideas to have me do all the home repairs now!)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Surprise Party

It was my brother-in-law's fortieth birthday today.  We were planning on visiting him to celebrate, but he said he would be travelling and not available.

Okay, we thought.  We'd save his presents and see him next week. 

Well around dinner time we had some visitors.

"Surprise!"  Yes, it was my brother-in-law and his family.  They were in the area, (interesting because they live two hours away) and they thought they'd stop by. 

So my husband and I whipped up an impromptu birthday party.  My husband fired up the grill.  I pulled out a birthday pie, and we all had a great time.

That's what I call a surprise party!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Ear Piercing

Today was the big day - my daughter went and got her ears pierced.  I told her she could do it for her tenth birthday, so she's been waiting a long time.

She was really nervous about it.

"Is it going to hurt?" she asked.

"It pinches, but it doesn't last long," I replied.

"Granny says it's really going to hurt and that I'm going to cry and run away."

"Don't listen to Granny.  She doesn't know what she's talking about."  (I have to have a little talk with my mother-in-law about scaring her grandaughter!)

We went to the piercing pagoda at the mall.  She picked out cute butterfly earings.  She sat in the chair and looked at me with great apprehension.

She looked at the lady who was going to pierce her ears.  "Does it hurt?"

"I'm not going to say it doesn't, but it doesn't last long."  At least she was honest.

I held my daughter's sweaty hands as the lady pierced her ears.

It hurt, but she made it through it. 

After the initial pain subsided, she looked in the mirror and admired her pretty earings. 

"It was worth it," she said.