Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Singers

My husband is a singer/songwriter and musician.  Everyday, he practices one of the instruments in his office or writes lyrics on his notepad.  The boys have always been around musical instruments whether it is at our home, Abuelita's (Grandma's) house, or Grandma & Grandpa's house.  Music is a big part of their lives.

The other day, Son #1 and Son #2 were especially inspired to sing.  They ran in circles around the living room belting out the lyrics to one of their dad's songs.  My husband's song played softly in the background as if to accompany their loud yet out of breath voices.  They didn't know the entire song so they filled in the blanks with their own made up words.  Son #2 sang joyously as Son #1 chased him.  Shrieks of laughter filled the instrumental sections.  Soon the song ended and it was time for a bath.

Son #1 climbed into the bath tub first.  He invented games with the boats and played a song on the water flute.  My husband and I sat in the living room watching Frasier while Son #2 connected train tracks on the floor.  Then, we heard a sound from inside the bathroom.  We turned off the TV and listened for a moment.  Son #1 was serenading the duckies with songs from school.  My husband and I giggled mischievously as we eavesdropped on the impromptu concert.  Eventually, the water in the bath got cold.  Son #1 washed up quickly and hopped out of the tub.  The concert was over for now.

After Son #2's bath and a few stories, we all relaxed in the living room together.  Son #2 crawled onto the sofa and lay his head on one of the arms.  My husband turned on the evening football game.  Son #1 watched intently while Son #2 relaxed on the cushions.  My youngest son's eyes drooped off and on until they finally closed.  Then, he turned over to his side and covered himself with a quilt.  My husband and I nodded to each other acknowledging that our son had fallen asleep.  A commercial with a catchy tune rang out from the television.  As the tune was ending, Son #2 sat up from his sleep and sang the last phrase of the jingle.  He smiled to himself and then went back to sleep.  We all looked at each other in shock.  Then, we laughed hysterically.  Apparently, my sons sing in their sleep.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Da Bears

I love the Cowboys but I also love the Bears.  I grew up watching Walter Payton, the Fridge, and Jim McMahon tear up Soldier Field in the 80's.  Those were the glory days.  My dad and I were usually glued to the old TV with a bowl of popcorn.  Popcorn would fly through the air as we shrieked with all our might.  Walter Payton was my favorite player on that team.  He was an unbelievable running back whose signature stutter step wowed fans and opponents alike.

In the 90's, Saturday Night Live did a skit about "Da Bears" and "Da Bulls"  The skit is hysterical.  (Da Superfans)  My husband and I mimic it often.  Of course, the kids think my husband and I are silly.

One afternoon while watching our usual Sunday football games, my husband and I began to joke around about that skit.  I giggled.  "Oh don't cha know.  I love da bears."

My husband cracked up.  "Ya.  Da Bears are cool."

My husband asked.  "So.  What will da Bears do today?"

"Oh. Ya know."  I responded.  "Dere likely to put up aboot 800 points for da game."

"Ya.  And dere opponents will score nothing."  My husband countered.

Then, I sang out.  "Daaa Bears."

The boys were listening to our exchange.  Son #1 rolled his eyes and laughed.  Son #2 crawled up onto the rocking chair where I happened to be sitting.  From behind me a tiny toddler's voice rang out.  "Daaa Bulls."

My husband and I turned to each other in surprise.  Then, we belly laughed for a good while.

Kids will imitate anything.  Fortunately, my husband and I were mocking a funny but fairly clean skit.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Time in Days Gone By

The Christmas and winter season always brings to mind warm and cheerful memories. 

When I was six, my parents used to rent a cabin for about a week in Yosemite during those snowy winter months.  In my mind, I can visualize our VW Bug following the narrow, winding mountain road to our destination.  Once, one of my uncles road up with us.  He was much younger than my dad and related to his older nieces/nephews as a cousin. 

When we reached the cabin, my mom carried my little baby brother into the old wooden A-frame.  My dad immediately began to form snowballs and throw them like fast balls at my uncle and I.  A vicious snowball fight ensued until we eventually ran out of steam.  Then, it was time to unload the suitcases from the trunk.  My dad carried in the luggage while my uncle brought out the snow saucer. 

My uncle and I jumped on the saucer and slid down the icy drive.  The road  was fairly steep with a sharp corner.  However, we were positive that we could stop before the bend.  The saucer picked up speed as it hurled itself down the mountain.  My uncle panicked as he saw the upcoming grove of Ponderosa Pines.  He leaned with all his might to the left trying to avoid the sharp bend.  I think he hoped that the tall bank of snow would gently stop the saucer's wild slide.  He was wrong.  As we hit the bank, we launched into the air.  The airborne saucer struck one of the pines.  The force of the collision sent us flying into the forest.  I sat up from a particularly fluffy mound of snow.  My uncle struggled to his feet.  He looked at me with fear in his eyes and whispered.  "Don't tell your dad."

Now, you can tell that monkey business runs rampant in my family. 

Son #1 can get into mischief like a champ.  Last year, we took Son #1 skiing.  He learned to ski when he was three and is fairly confident in his abilities.  That confidence turned out to be his down fall.  We were cruising down a gentle green trail in traffic when Son #1 asked.  "Mommy, can we go down that run?" 

I peered over the steep edge and shook my head.  "No Baby.  That's a black diamond.  You need to get better at your turns before trying that run." 

Son #1 nodded his head but looked unconvinced.  He scooted closer and closer to the edge.  My husband and I warned him not to get too close but Son #1 would not listen.  Then when our heads were turned, Son #1 leaped off the edge.  I turned to see my oldest son rocketing over moguls.  So far, he had not fallen.  I was irritated but also slightly impressed.  Then as luck would have it, his ski caught an edge that shot him toward a grove of pine trees.  My heart shot up to my throat in fear.  My husband screamed.  "Fall down!"

Fortunately, Son #1 listened and slid on his rear straight into a tree.  My husband and I raced to the spot where he lay.  Son #1 wailed loudly as I approached.  I threw off my skis and scooped up my son.  From our precarious perch on the mountain, I inspected Son #1's head, eyes, trunk, and limbs.  Everything looked fine.  Son #1 was pretty lucky.  He dried his tears and then gazed into my eyes.  Solemnly, he asked.  "Can we try that black diamond again?"


Before you conclude that mischievousness comes from my side of the family,  let me tell you a story about my husband when he was a toddler.

My husband's parents can bake with the best of them.  During the holiday season, the counter space is lined with delectable treats and pastries.  As a toddler, my husband had a sweet tooth.  He was also an insatiable climber.  Nothing good could come from having those two traits.

One afternoon as goodies cooled on the kitchen counter, my in-laws searched for their middle child.  He was nowhere to be found.  They looked in his room, in the living room, and other areas of the house.  Then, they heard strange noises coming from the kitchen.  Surely, he wouldn't be in the kitchen.

Upon entering the kitchen, they saw a peculiar sight.  On the counter among the pastries and goodies sat a happy little boy.  His hands were held up with delight as he inspected the delicious treats.  His eyes sparkled with anticipation. 

There is a picture documenting this misadventure.  My husband swears he can almost remember that day.

These days, Son #2 is a toddler.  He is usually dancing on our kitchen table, climbing up our refrigerator, flinging objects off their shelves, or running naked through the church.  Mayhem follows where ever he goes.

Today, he was intent on getting into the garage.  Earlier, my husband and the boys played with a mini John Deer tractor in the front yard.  Son #2 shrieked with joy as his older brother drove up and down the sidewalk.  Sadly, all good things must come to an end. 

My eldest son trotted obediently into the house with cheeks that were cold and rosy.  Son #2 was not as compliant and followed my husband unwillingly up the driveway.  Once in the house, Son #2 chattered about going back outside.  I listened to his complaints.  Then, I patiently explained that we needed to wait before riding the tractor again.  Son #2 would not hear of it and repeatedly tried to escape into the garage.  One time, he succeeded in climbing onto the seat of the tractor.  Unfortunately, he was without a jacket and shoes.  So, I scooped him up and brought him back inside to the warmth of our house.  Then, I locked the garage door.  His mischief had come to an end.  (or so I thought)

The next thing I knew, Son #2 was laying on  the laundry room floor eating cat food.  I placed my head in my hands.  Why couldn't he stay out of trouble?  Then, I picked up my little son and carried him into the living room.  I said.  "Eww.  Don't eat cat food.  That's yucky."

Son #2 crunched away on a salty morsel.  Then, he stopped and removed the half eaten morsel from his mouth.  He handed the slimy speck to me and repeated.  "That's yucky."

Christmas really is a special time of year for monkey business.  Whether you are traveling across Wyoming in a blizzard, lying on your back with your skis in the air, shaking your rear at traffic stuck on an icy highway, or peeking at presents in the stockings, may your Christmas be merry and your holidays be bright.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from our family to yours.

(sweet Christmas song below)

Sammy Stumph


Monday, December 23, 2013

Oh No! The Tooth Fairy!

In our house, the tooth fairy is an enigmatic creature that appears randomly regardless of when a tooth has been lost.  In our house, the tooth fairy morphs from a mom to a dad depending on schedules and obligations.  The tooth fairy is also very forgetful.

On more than one occasion, the tooth fairy has forgotten to place a dollar underneath Son #1's pillow and retrieve the lost tooth.  Usually, the tooth fairy remembers while at work or on the drive over to work.  Then, a frantic call is placed to the parent still at home.  The tooth fairy's excuses run the gamut of ridiculousness.  Once the tooth fairy was stuck in traffic and had sent an email to notify Son #1 of the dilemma.  Another time, the tooth fairy was traveling out of state and would surely arrive within a few hours.  Once, the tooth fairy sneaked a dollar under Son #1's pillow while the boys were watching cartoons after school.  The tooth fairy is a sly and sneaky critter.

One bitterly cold Thursday, Son #1 lost a tooth at the end of the school day.  Son #1 was racing from his teacher's classroom as I walked into the school building.  I smiled and patted his head.  He shouted.  "Hi Mom!  I lost my tooth!  See!  I'm going to get my stuff in the gym!"

I smiled and said.  "OK."  Then, I strolled to the office to take care of some business.

Son #1 sped back from the gym with his backpack and jacket.  At the office, the secretary placed his tooth into a tooth locket.  Then, she helped him pull it over his head.  Son #1 proudly stated.  "I can't wait for the tooth fairy to give me a dollar!"

I assured him.  "Oh yeah.  Just put it under your pillow.  The tooth fairy will get you your dollar."

From the school, we drove to a department store.  I needed to begin shopping for presents before the impending ice storm descended upon us.  Son #1 and I hopped out of the car into the arctic air.  We rushed toward the warm building, on a mission to purchase a gift for Abuelita.  After searching through the store, we found the perfect gift.  Upon paying for the gift, we braced ourselves against the biting wind and headed for the car.  As Son #1 jumped into the car, I heard him cry out.  "Oh no!  I lost my tooth locket.  It slipped out of my hands and I can't find it anywhere." 

I quickly scanned the ground outside of the car but found nothing.  Then, I asked.  "Did it fall in the car or outside?"

Son #1 answered.  "It fell in the car."

Relieved, I responded.  "OK.  If it fell in the car, we should be able to find it at home."

At home, Son #1 searched the back seat but could not find the tooth locket anywhere.  After he had gone inside, I thoroughly searched my entire car but came up with nothing.  I was baffled and then incredibly sad.  I had a feeling that the tooth locket had fallen outside of the car at the department store.  Maybe, it had fallen underneath the car in a place that was difficult to find.  I felt terrible for Son #1. 

Son #1 took the loss of his tooth locket fairly well.   He is such a positive, happy-go-lucky child.  Son #1 smiled sweetly and said.  "It's OK, Mommy.  We'll find it."  Then, he scurried off to play.

As evening fell, the icy rain and sleet began to entomb our little world.  I commented to my husband.  "Now, we'll never find his tooth.  It's probably frozen underneath a layer of ice in the parking lot."  My husband agreed with me as we watched the limbs of our trees slowly bend with the weight of the freezing rain.  However, Son #1 was unconcerned with his missing tooth and gazed at the icy world before him with wonder in his eyes.  "School would definitely be canceled the next day."  He thought.

The next morning, Son #1 shrieked with delight as he peered out of his bedroom window.  Our world had been transformed into a winter wonderland.  Quickly, he devoured his breakfast.  Then with the speed of light, he dressed in his snow clothes and ran outside to play.  Son #1 slid, dug, and threw ice in every direction.  Every now and then, he would come inside to drink hot chocolate and warm his inner core. 

The icy backyard looked like fun so I pulled on my own snow clothes.  Then, I crunched across the ground to where Son #1 was kneeling.  I knelt down beside him and asked.  "What are you doing?"

Son #1's voice wavered.  "I'm looking for the tooth fairy.  She was supposed to come last night but then it snowed.  Now she's trapped in the ice and I think she's going to die."  He dug frantically through the layers of ice covering our backyard.  Poor baby.  

I comforted him.  "I'm sure that the tooth fairy is fine.  I think she text-ed your dad and said that she's just running late because of the weather."

"Are you sure?"  Son #1 demanded.

"I'm sure."  I replied with a straight face.

Son #1 relaxed.  "Phew.  I was worried.  I thought she got buried under the ice.  Will she be here soon?"

"She'll get here as soon as she can."  I said and prayed that we might find his lost tooth.

Simple prayers do get answered.  We found the tooth a week and a half later underneath the driver's seat in my car.  Two days after finding the tooth, the tooth fairy got around to delivering Son #1's dollar.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sunshine Award for Bloggers


The Sunshine Award:  An award bestowed to bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others.

I would like to thank Bonnie of http://adalinctolife.blogspot.ca for nominating me for this award.  One of my favorite things about Bonnie's blog is her list of favorite books.  Bonnie's list inspires me to run to the library and search for them.  There are several that I know my boys will love.

The Sunshine award rules 

  • Thank and recognize your Nominating Blogger
  • Give 11 random facts about yourself
  • Answer the 11 questions given by your Nominating Blogger
  • Pick 11 Blogger Nominees
  • Post 11 questions for your nominees (you can not nominate your Nominating Blogger)

 Eleven Random Facts
  1. I used to play hide and seek in the orange fields when I was a little girl.
  2. In college, I hitch hiked in Europe.
  3. My ultimate dream house is a cave in Kauai on the beach beside a scuba shop and a surf shop.
  4. My down fall is chips and salsa.
  5. I think Pete the Cat is hilarious.
  6. Dumb and Dumber cracks me up.
  7. Horror movies give me nightmares...still.
  8. I want to plant a lot of broccoli in the garden next fall.
  9. I love the Cowboys in good years, mediocre years, and bad years.
  10. Grapes are delicious.
  11. I'd like to learn how to play the trumpet.

Questions from Bonnie

1.  What is your favorite song right now to lift your mood? 
Mexico by James Taylor
 2.  What is last book your read that you would recommend?
Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
Richest Caveman by Doug Batchelor
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
The Bible
 3.  What is the one thing you do if you have a 1/2 a day to yourself?
Scuba Dive
 4.  How long have you been seeing your current hairdresser?
Hairdresser?  Oh wait...you mean my scissors.
 5.  What is the one thing you would tell your 18 year old self?
Fast cars and boats don't make a relationship work.  Also, go overseas as a student missionary.
 6.  If money was not a problem, where in the world would you love to see?
Great Barrier Reef 30 to 100 feet below the surface.
 7.  What is your favorite thing to do with your family during the holiday season?
Play, ski, snowboard, eat tamales
 8.  How many loads of laundry do you think you do in a week?
 9.  How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Ten to Fifteen
 10.  What is your favorite dessert?
Raspberry Ice cream
 11.  As a teenager what kind of music would someone find on your mixed cassette tape?
Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Punk, and Folk Music

Blogger Nominees for the Sunshine Award:

 Dina Farmer:  http://blueberriesandbokeh.wordpress.com

 Elisa:  http://confetticakes.blogspot.com

 Kim:  http://mykentuckyhome-kim.blogspot.com/


Paul Margerison:  http://thediving.blogspot.com/

Richard Boutelle:  http://theskitraveler.blogspot.com/

Erica:  http://www.whatdowedoallday.com/

Sara Green:  http://www.motherfluff.com

Echo:  http://domainofthemadmommy.blogspot.com/

Lisa Lewis:  http://www.lisalewismd.com/


My Questions to the Nominees:

  1. What is your favorite memory as a child?
  2. Who inspires you?
  3. What language would you learn if you had the time?
  4. What makes you laugh?
  5. Describe your perfect day.
  6. Describe your first car.
  7. How did you furnish your first place when you moved out of your parents' house?
  8. What is the best practical joke you have ever played?
  9. What is your favorite board game?
  10. Where is your favorite place to camp?
  11. Which vegetable would you have reclassified as a poisonous weed?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Games in the Snow

This weekend, my boys played out in the snow.  Outside, it was 14 degrees with a thick layer of ice covering our entire yard.  On top of the ice was a thin layer of snow.

The boys bundled up in their snow pants, jackets, hats and gloves.  Then, they carefully tiptoed onto the ice on our back porch.  Once off the back porch, they explored every inch of the back yard.  They poked at icicles, scooped snow, and pounded on the layers of ice entombing everything in the backyard. 

After a while, I decided to join them and teach my youngest how to ski.  Son #1 has been skiing numerous times but hopped into my ski boots first.  He scooted around the yard joyfully.  Sometimes, he would get stuck and call for help.  Once he was freed, Son #1 would glide across the ice and snow again.

Son #2 watched my eldest son ski eagerly awaiting his turn.  Finally, Son #1's turn on the skis was up.  Son #2 toddled to my empty ski boots and lifted his foot with anticipation.  I removed his shoes and popped him into my boots.  Then, Son #2 began to glide across our yard with help from behind.  Son #2 giggled with glee as the icy world whizzed by underneath my skis.  All too soon, his turn was done.  Son #2 was sad but his cheeks were rosy with cold.  Quickly I gathered both boys into the house to warm them up with hot chocolate.


The next day was just as cold and icy.  Son #1 dressed in his snow clothes quickly and rushed out the back door.  He could not wait to play in the ice and snow again.  Son #1 immediately began to break away large chunks of ice.  Soon, he had a good sized collection of large ice fragments in a pile on the ground.  I peeked from between the blinds and wondered what my eldest son had in store for the icy, misshapen blocks. 

Soon, Son #1 knelt on the ground and began to race these pieces of ice across the ground.  He made little engine noises for each chunk as they skidded around in intricate patterns.  A very complex racing game emerged from his collection of ice.  There were good icy guys and bad icy guys.  Each played a role in his little drama. 

I chuckled to myself.  Son #1's game reminds me of a game my dad used to play when he was a little boy.  Apparently, my dad acted out World War II with sticks in his backyard. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Where's your Mommy?

Son #2 is finally potty trained.  He does not refuse to sit on the toilet.  He does not soil his training pants with abandon.  He does not rip off his soiled diaper and run through the house naked.  I do not happen upon disgusting accidents in unfortunate places.  All is well in my world.

Now, I can take Son #2 anywhere and feel confident that my young son will stay dry.  I've taken him to the grocery store, the park, and church in regular underwear.  I feel like I've conquered the world.  Of course, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my husband.  He is my partner in the madness that is potty training.

The other day, we had Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's house.  Son #2 wore a pull up to my sister's house but consistently used the guest restroom to relieve himself.  He was so proud every time he used the restroom.  Afterwards, my young son would shout out.  "Oh wow!  I did potty!  Oh look!  There's poo poo in the potty!"  Whereupon, I would congratulate him enthusiastically.

Soon, dinner was served at the dining room table.  We happily devoured our meals.  Some went back for seconds and thirds.  Then, we settled into the living room chairs to watch the Cowboys play the Raiders.  Midway through the game, I got up to use the restroom.  Son #2 toddled behind me and asked.  "Where going?"

I knelt down and said.  "I'm going to go potty.  Go sit with your Tia (Aunt)."

Son #2 wandered back to the living room and immediately burst into tears.  Tia pulled him into her lap and asked.  "What's the matter?"

Son #2 wiped the tears on his cheek and responded.  "Mommy gone."

Tia asked with a bit of concern.  "Where did Mommy go?"

Son #2 paused for a moment and then answered.  "Mommy go poo poo."

I wonder if my family will cheer for me when I'm finished on the potty.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Our little family still has a VCR.  We also still have a lot of Disney movies on video.  It may seem as though we are stuck in the 80's.  Yet, to assume that would be a mistake.  We do enjoy some of the latest types of technology but there is nothing like watching an old, nostalgic video on the VCR.

One day, the boys sat down to watch one of their favorite cartoons on video.  They cuddled up to each other with their pillows, blankets, and bowls of popcorn.  Their attention was captured by the story and music as their favorite character danced across the screen.  Periodically, they would giggle and laugh loudly.  My husband and I watched with them as we sat in our cozy chairs.  It was a very entertaining movie even for adults.

Finally, the movie was finished.  The boys rubbed their eyes sleepily as they picked up their blankets and pillows.  My husband walked over the the VCR and began to rewind the video.  Son #1 looked at the VCR quizzically and asked.  "What are you doing?"

My husband replied.  "I'm rewinding the video."

"Why are you rewinding the video?"  Son #1 inquired.

"You have to rewind the video so you can watch it again later."  My husband answered.

"You do?!"  Son #1 exclaimed, shocked that videos must be rewound in order to view them again.

Then, it occurred to my husband that our sons live in a world of instant gratification.  If you want to watch a movie, all you have to do is select the movie on Netflix, Hulu, or any other site through internet TV.  Our boys will never experience trekking out to the video store and perusing the aisles until they find a movie that looks interesting.  They will also never experience renting movies for a quarter on 25 cent movie night.  Everything is at the touch of their finger tips.  It is weird how times have changed.

Oh well.  I guess that's the way things go.

When my boys have their own children, they will wistfully remember the days of iPads and Tablets.  Their kids will probably ask.  "What's a touch screen, Daddy?" and "Why is it so flat?"

Here's to longing for the days of yore.

Monday, November 25, 2013


Tonight like every other night, Son #2 began to get ready for bed.  I bathed him in soothing warm water.  He lay in the water and blew bubbles as I washed his hair.  Then, I rinsed the soap off of his hair and body.  While the tub emptied out, I wrapped my wiggly toddler in a fluffy towel.  Lotion was applied to his baby soft skin so that it would not dry out.  Then, I went in search of his pajamas.

After both of my boys were dressed for bed, my husband and I sat with them on the sofa to read their Bible stories.  Christmas music played in the background and the lights on the tree glowed softly.  The boys listened intently.  Soon their eyelids began to droop as we led them to their rooms.  I tucked Son #1 under his covers, hugged him, and kissed his forehead.  Son #1 and I whispered our good nights.  Then, I snuggled Son #2 into his bed.  We sang a Pete the Cat song.  Finally, I hugged him and kissed his little nose.

I whispered to my littlest son.  "Stay in your bed and go to sleep.  OK?"

Son #2 whispered a reply.  "OK."

"I love you."  I said as I crept out of his room.

I went to the living room to fold some laundry.  As I sorted through the articles of clothing, I flipped on the television to watch a little psychological thriller.  Normally, I don't enjoy those types of shows at all but this one hooked me.  Five minutes into the show, I heard a little voice.  "I need potty."

"Let's go potty."  I assured Son #2 and we hurried to the restroom.

After tucking my tiny son into his bed again, I resumed the program and continued folding the laundry.  I had just finished arranging the folded clothing into their respective piles when tiny foot steps pattered through the hallway.  I looked up and met my naughty son's eyes.  He saw the expression on my face and ran in the opposite direction to his room.  I walked to his room and saw Son #2 scrambling back to bed.  Gently, I tucked my monkey under his covers and reiterated.  "Stay in your bed and go to sleep.  OK?"

Son #2 giggled and whispered.  "OK."

Son #2 hopped out of his bed several more times.  Several more times, I sent Son #2 scrambling for his covers.  Each time, my mischievous toddler promised that he would go to sleep.  I believed him less and less every time.  Finally, my husband relieved me from the ridiculousness and set about putting our son to bed.  Again.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  Surely, my husband had some magical solution for getting our son to sleep.   

An hour passed and my husband slipped out of Son #2's room.  I smiled at him and asked.  "How did it go?" 

He grinned and replied.  "Son #2's still awake.  He'll probably be in the living room in about five minutes."  Then, my husband disappeared to his office.

Five minutes passed but Son #2 did not appear.  I shrugged my shoulders and went to my room to do a few things.  I lost track of time flipping through a magazine and fiddling with some paper work.  Then, I went to investigate the whereabouts of my youngest son.

All seemed quiet in the living room so I tiptoed into the hallway.  No errant toddler was seen in the hallway so I peered around the doorway to his room.  Son #2 saw my head pop in so he sat up and greeted me.  "Hi Mom."

Surprised, I responded.  "Lay down.  Go to sleep." 

Son #2 wiggled in his bed and kicked his legs.  He managed to kick off his blankets.  I walked over to his bed and sat down.  Then, I straightened the blankets and tucked them under his arms.  Son #2 smiled and reached for my ear.  I hugged him and gave him a kiss.  Son #2 yawned, rubbed his eyes, and then handed me a remote to the television in the living room.  I held the remote with a confused expression on my face.

Why is there a remote in his room?

Then it dawned on me. 

That little rascal has been out of bed!  He stole the remote!

Son #2 confirmed my suspicion with his next statement.  "I wanu watch Bobbie."  (Translation:  I want to watch Bob the Builder.)

Yeah Buddy.  I don't think so.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

I'm Ready!

A few weeks ago, our little family was getting ready to run an early morning errand.  The boys' eyelids were drooping as they groggily stumbled out of bed.  My husband and I quickly dressed.  Then, we set about gathering our checkbook and other items necessary for the trip.

Son #1 shouted out.  "I'm ready!"  He had thrown on some shorts, a t-shirt, and some tennis shoes.  His hair was standing on end so my husband suggested.  "You need a hat.  Your hair is sticking up."  Son #1 scurried to his room to find his ball cap.

The minute hand ticked continuously as we meandered throughout the house.  Neither my husband or I have any sense of time so urgency to leave the house is relative.  I got distracted rinsing a few dishes while my husband checked his auctions on an MMORPG.  The acronym means mass multi player online role playing game.  (Yeah.  We're nerds.  I don't care.)  Next, I fed the dog and cat as my husband rummaged through papers on his desk.

Eventually, we realized we needed to hurry so my husband called out to the boys.  "Are you ready to go?"

A tiny voice from inside Son #1's room responded.  "I'm ready!"  Then, our oldest son bounded out of his room toward the garage.

Another tiny voice from inside Son #2's room echoed.  "I'm ready!"  Then, our youngest son toddled out of his room naked as a jaybird holding his pull up in one hand.

My husband and I looked at each other with amusement etched on our faces.  Then, I replied.  "You're not ready.  You're naked!"

Son #2 giggled and ran back to his room with his pull up waving in the wind.

We shook our heads and laughed.

It is only acceptable in a nudist colony to run errands naked.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Ultimate Excuse

Son #1 absolutely despises bath time.  He is at the stage where he enjoys being dirty and stinky.  In fact, we have designated Sunday as his stinky day. 

On Sundays, he is able to do all his favorite things such as watch football, play football outside, play football with his toys in his room, and avoid taking a bath.  Son #1 takes baths at night so technically his stinky day begins Saturday night.  On Sunday nights, Son #1 must take a bath in order to be ready for school the next day.

One Sunday after watching the Cowboys play, I announced that it was bath time.  Son #1 immediately shouted.  "I don't want to take a bath!"

I replied calmly but irritably.  "You have to take a bath.  You cannot go to school stinky.  Plus you're sweaty from running around all day like a chicken without a head."

Son #1 giggled for a moment but then argued.  "But I haven't had time to finish my game in my room!  I don't want to take a bath!  I don't want to go to bed!"

I gave him a withering stare and then a very effective ultimatum.  Son #1 got the message and ran with all his might to the restroom.  At the door, he shot back defiantly.  "I don't want to be clean!"  However, Son #1 did hop into the soapy water in the tub.

I gave Son #1 some time to cool down.  Then, I entered the bathroom and sat down beside him.  "How are you doing?"  I asked kindly.

"Good."  Son #1 gave a short reply.

"Have you washed your hair?"  I inquired.

"No.  But I washed my body."  Son #1 answered.

"Did you wash with soap?"  I asked.

"Y-e-e-s-s."  Son #1 replied with a touch of annoyance.  Then, he said.  "I don't like taking baths."

"Oh really.  You need to take baths otherwise you'll stink."  I said.

"Nuh Uh!  I shouldn't have to take baths."  Son #1 shot back.

"Why do you say that?"  I asked curiously.

"BECAUSE!  Cowboy fans don't have to take baths!"  Son #1 explained.

I shudder at the idea.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Poop in the Hand Leads to Bad Ju Ju

Son #2 is in the process of potty training...again.  During the summer, he potty trained and grasped the basic concept.  However, toward the end of the summer Son #2 resisted using the toilet and reverted back to pooping his pants.  This, of course, was out of pure defiance.

The other day, my husband and I were watching our youngest son run naked through the house.  He was doing well getting to the toilet when he needed to urinate.  Yet, we noticed he had not pooped at all that day.  Trouble was coming.

All of a sudden, my husband noticed Son #2's face turning bright red.  He grunted and squatted to the floor.  My husband shrieked.  "Poo poo in the potty!"  Son #2 stopped for a moment to look questioningly at my husband.  Then, my husband grabbed our little son's arm and rushed him to the restroom.

While all this was going on, I sat in the rocking chair reviewing data from my place of employment.  From my seat, I could hear the following events.

My husband encouraged.  "Hurry Son.  You need to poo poo in the potty."

Son #2 scrambled to the potty but took his time climbing onto the seat.

My husband shouted.  "No Son!  Nooooo!"

I could hear Son #2 whisper in a tiny voice.  "Oh no."  One could only assume that Son #2 missed the toilet and that a large turd lay on the bathroom floor.

Then, I heard my husband call out.  "I've got poop on my hands!?!"  I collapsed into a fit of laughter.

With a hint of irritation, my husband yelled.  "That's not funny!"

"It is to me!"  I replied between tears and laughter.

My husband eventually disinfected the bathroom floor and our baby's bottom.  However, his revenge came to haunt me a few weeks later.

Today, Son #2 was successfully using the potty when he needed to urinate.  Comfortable in the knowledge that my child was basically potty trained, I went to my bedroom to finish the laundry.  I should never have left the main living quarters.  My small toddler was running around with a shirt and a bare bottom.  That always spells trouble.

Ten minutes into folding laundry, I heard a little voice call my name.  "Mama!  Mama!  I poo pooed."  I glanced around the corner and saw Son #2's legs covered in excrement.  He was standing in the living room yet I did not see the turd.  Where could it be?

I walked down the hallway to his room investigating the carpet.  So far, everything was still clean.  Then, I entered his room and saw what can only be describe as my husband's revenge upon me.  Poo was everywhere.  Upon a second investigation of my small child, I discovered the feces was also on his hands.

Quickly, I removed all the toys from the bathtub and placed my dirty child into the basin.  Then, I poured soap over his shirt and body.  Water ran from the faucet to the drain in an effort to clear the poo from the bath tub and my child's body.  Meanwhile, I worked on cleansing his room.

As always, I learn from the many mishaps that occur.  Unfortunately, I have trouble remembering the lessons.

Confucius say elevator smell different to midget.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Hanging Diaper

During the summer months, Son #2 and I worked on potty training.  I introduced his big boy underwear to him and we admired them together.  He tried them on and practiced using the toilet.  By the end of the summer, he had grasped the concept but still missed on occasion.  Then, school began again.

All of a sudden, Son #2 began to fight using the potty.  He missed numerous times throughout the day.  My husband and I were thoroughly exasperated.  We wondered why our baby suddenly refused to use the toilet.  With heavy hearts, we reverted back to putting Son #2 in diapers. 

Son #2 was thrilled with the prospect of pottying in his diaper.  He cooed and smiled knowing full well that he had won a pretty significant battle.  No longer would he have to rush to the restroom when he felt the urge to pee.  All he had to do was let it all loose as he casually played with his toys. 

For two months, Son #2 pooped and peed in a diaper.  He toddled around the house satisfied that he could lazily evacuate his waste.  One day, Son #2 looked down at his diaper to examine the tabs.  He discovered that they attached and detached themselves from the main part of the diaper.  For a moment, he amused himself undoing and redoing the diaper.  Then with a sense of finality, Son #2 stripped off his diaper and tossed it onto the floor. 

Son #2 ran up and down the hallway to show off his nudity.  My husband and I analyzed the situation and concluded that he was beginning to reconsider his potty training protest.  However, he was not ready to resume potty training yet so we continued to place him in diapers. 

One day, Son #2 mischievously undid one side of his diaper.  I eyed him with exasperation but said nothing.  Son #2 waddled about the living room with the hanging diaper clinging desperately to his leg.  He paused at my recliner and gazed into my eyes.  I smiled warmly at him and he grunted.  Then, his face turned red as he grasped the chair tensely.  It was then that I realized he was pooping.

Just my luck.

Quickly, I reached down to reattach his diaper.  Sadly, I was too late.  With one hand, I held the bottom of the precarious diaper and its feculent cargo.  With the other hand, I carefully removed the soiled diaper from my little rascal.

Many poems have been written about a mother's hands.  Mothers' hands lift their children, wipe tears away, comfort when there is need, and soothe away childhood fears.  Too bad the poets haven't written about a mother's hands catching stinky parcels from little rears.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

You Must Be Really Old

Earlier this evening, the kids played with the toys in the playroom at Abuelita's (Grandma's) house.  Son #1 fiddled with the Nintendo while Son #2 scrambled over the Foosball table.  I dozed on the recliner as my mom (Abuelita) half watched Veggie Tales with the kids.  It was a relaxing end to a fun family day.

The sun drifted gently behind the houses as stars crept into the night sky.  My eyes grew heavy as I rocked in the chair.  Then, sleep enveloped me.  I must have fallen asleep for a while because I was awakened to my mom tickling my nose.  A horrible smell permeated the room.  I was informed that Son #2 needed a diaper change. 

Some of you may be thinking.  "Wait a second.  Wasn't he already potty trained?"  You are quite correct.  Son #2 does know how to use the potty.  He learned this summer.  He owns big boy underwear.  He just prefers to poop his pants.  We'll discuss this in another post soon.

I meandered to my husband's car and retrieved a diaper.  Then, I plodded up the stairs to the playroom to take care of the stink bomb that resided in Son #2's rear.  While I changed my younger son, I caught Son #1's eyes and said.  "Hey Buddy.  It's time to go home.  Your best friend is coming over to watch football tomorrow and you need your rest."

Son #1 protested for a second but obediently put away the Nintendo.  Then, he skipped down the stairs all the while telling Abuelita about his big day tomorrow.  Son #1 sat on the steps beside Abuelita and put on his shoes.  He tied the first shoe effortlessly but then had trouble with the next shoe.  "Abuelita, can you help me tie my shoe?"  He asked after struggling to untangle the laces.

"Sure."  Abuelita said and she leaned down to investigate the matter.

Son #1 watched as Abuelita smoothed the laces and tied them in a bow.  He studied her hands as she tightened the bow securely in place.  Then, he gazed at her face questioningly and stated.  "You must be really old."

Statements such as the one above are always great for the ego.

My mom and I snickered as we cast sideways glances at each other.  Then, she turned to my eldest son and inquired.  "Why do you say that?"

Son #1 thought for a moment and answered.  "Because you have big veins on your hands like grandmas and grandpas."


Abuelita got an amused look on her face and commented.  "Son #1 thinks that Abuelita is my name.  I don't think he knows that it means Grandma."  Then, she turned to Son #1 and investigated her theory.  "Do you know my name?"

Son #1 replied.  "Oh yes.  It's Abuelita."

"Noooo.  That's not my name.  Abuelita means Grandma in Spanish."  My mom laughed.

Son #1 looked confused.  "You mean you're a grandma???"

Moral of the Story:  If you ever begin to feel cocky about your youthful looks, talk to a first grader.  They will definitely deflate your bubble.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Why?! Why?!

Why have viruses and bacteria taken a hold of my children?  Until I defeat these little germs, the stories will be sitting on my post it notes scattered across my desk.  They may possibly end up on the floor.  Hopefully, my little ceramic mouse will keep track of them.  Wish me luck on my quest for healthy children.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Spelling Lesson

It was a beautiful afternoon.  The sun streamed into the kitchen window and brightened the entire room.  Son #1 sat at the kitchen table studiously working on his homework.  He was writing out his spelling words in preparation for his spelling test tomorrow.  Son #2 sat beside him coloring a picture of a train with his big crayons.  I was preparing supper.

The spelling test was a big deal.  I could hear Son #1 mumbling to himself as he spelled out words on the assignment.  "C-a-t spells cat.  A-t spells at"  He whispered.  Son #2 repeated after his older brother.  "Cat!  At!"  I smiled as Son #1 continued.  "A-m spells am.  T-h-a-n-k spells thank."  Son #1 was deep in concentration.

Then, Son #1 looked up from his work and asked.  "Did you know that a-s spells ass?

My shoulders shook as I laughed silently.  "Oh really."  I said with a smirk.

Son #1 replied.  "Yes.  And did you know that when you add a 'k' to ass it spells ask."

I wanted to fall down on the ground laughing but I held my composure.  "Hey, that's cool."

Son #1 went back to his work.  "A-s-k spells ask."  Son #2 parroted his brother.  "Ask!"  I thought to myself.  Good grief!  Well at least they aren't saying ass.  I shrugged and shook my head.  Then, I turned away from the boys and silently laughed again. 

Technically speaking, the definition of ass just means donkey.  However, I like the slang definition better and will be laughing about it in a corner a bit more.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Missing Tooth

A few weekends ago, our little family decided to explore the river walk in our community.  We loaded the bike, roller blades, and stroller into the trailer.  Then, we went on a quick jaunt to the beginning of the trail.  Son #1 was so excited but also a bit worried.  He had just lost a baby tooth a couple days earlier and he wasn't sure how this missing tooth would affect him. 

"Mommy, will I still be able to ride my bike?"  Son #1 asked with a mixture of excitement and concern.

"Baby, you'll be fine."  I comforted.

Son #1 settled into the backseat and fiddled with the hole in his smile.  He was proud of his missing tooth.  It made him feel grown up.

When we arrived, my husband pulled out our things and set them up alongside the car.  (Yes...we pulled a trailer with a four banger but that is a different story altogether.)  Son #1 jumped out of the car screaming with delight.  "I can't wait to ride my bike!  Look!  There's another guy with a bike!  He brought a helmet just like me!"

My husband and I smiled at our eldest son's enthusiasm.  It is infectious and always makes the day a little more fun.  We helped Son #1 onto his bike and Son #2 into his stroller.  Then, we rode off quickly to the trail.

At first, the trail wound its way between a golf course and a river.  Native greenery shaded us from the burning sun.  Eventually, we came upon a quiet cemetery and fields of tall, golden grass.  The trail climbed small, rolling hills and dipped into miniature valleys.  Finally, we could go no further.  We journeyed back towards our car. 

Sweat dripped down our faces as we pulled up beside our vehicle.  Though exhausted from our adventure, my husband and I loaded our things back into the trailer.  Gently, I placed a sleeping Son #2 into his car seat.  Son #1 quietly buckled up in the back seat.  Soon, we were on our way home. 

Son #1 leaned against the door and looked out the window.  Any worry about his missing tooth had dissipated on the bike ride.  He had thoroughly enjoyed our little journey on the river walk and looked as though he might fall asleep.  Then, Son #1 said in a wistful yet satisfied voice.  "I'm fancy without my tooth."

The Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Tonight for supper, I prepared a spicy vegetable soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  It was raining outside and comfort food seemed appropriate.  Son #1 and my husband sat at the table as I put together their plates of food.  They were especially excited about the grilled cheese sandwiches.  I motioned for Son #2 to join us at the table.  He promptly turned up his nose and squealed.  "Uh! uh!"

Son #2 ran to the living room as fast as his little legs could carry him.  I called to him.  "Come here.  Mmm.  It's sandwiches.  It's good.  It's delicious."

Son #2 yelled.  "Na No!"  He shrieked defiantly and then hurled himself at the refrigerator door.  "I want my ba!"  (Translation:  Bleep!  Bleep!  Get me my milk in my sippy cup!)

Was this my sweet toddler?  I wasn't too sure.  Who was this little, screamy thing that had replaced my sweet baby?

I opened the refrigerator door, poured the vanilla soy milk into the sippy cup, and lifted an eyebrow at Son #2.  Then, I placed his cup onto the table beside his food.  "Sit down, Baby.  Here's your ba and your food."  I encouraged.

Son #2 threw himself against a chair and spit as he rubbed his hands against his nose.  This was to show his disdain at my suggestion.  Then with a purposeful look upon his tiny face, Son #2 removed his booster seat and sippy cup from the premises.  Painstakingly, he dragged them to the sofa in the living room.  He faced the chair towards the wall, sat down, and gave us an icy cold shoulder as he drank his milk.  When his milk was done, Son #2 strode to his room in silence.

My husband and I looked at each other.  Shock and amusement shone on our faces.  There was no denying it.  Son #2 just dissed us.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


One lazy Sunday afternoon, I listened to the James Taylor Pandora station while the boys played with their toys in the living room.  Periodically, I hummed along with a tune as I read a magazine in my rocking chair.  Then, the song "Amie" by Pure Prairie League began to play.  I sang along loudly.  My husband heard me singing and he joined in the fun.  Son #1 smiled at us and started to hum. 

Amie what you want to do?  We crooned.

I think I could stay with you.  We continued our serenade.

For a while, maybe longer if I do.  Our singing began to fade as we went about our business. 

While we were singing, Son #2 was studying us intently.  When we stopped, Son #2 picked up his drum and attempted to keep time with Pure Prairie League as they finished up their song.  I watched in amusement.  However, my amusement soon turned to amazement as Son #2 belted out the chorus.

Amie what you want to do?  Son #2 squeaked.

I tink I wa wa wa you.  Son #2 mumbled.

Fa a wa, wa wa wa wa wa I do.  Son #2 sang confidently.

Amie what you want to do?  Son #2 repeated over and over again as he toddled down the hallway to his room.

I was flabbergasted.  Then, I smiled smugly to my husband and blurted out what every proud parent says about their child.  "Babe, Son #2 is a genius!"

Monday, September 16, 2013

Airplanes, Cleats, and Homework

One day, Son #1 came home from school and tossed his backpack on his bedroom floor.  As usual, I grabbed the homework folder from his bag and looked inside.  In the back pocket, ten pages of unfinished school work lay neatly stacked and organized.  I pulled the stack out and thumbed through it.




Coloring Sheet...

Art Assignment...

Bible Project...

Mad Minutes...

Another Coloring Sheet???


Social Studies...

What did my kid do at school today?  Obviously, he did nothing because I was staring at a full day of work in his homework folder.  Irritated, I marched over to Son #1's room and asked.  "Why do you have so much homework?"

Son #1 looked at me sheepishly and replied.  "Uh.  I don't know."

"Did you do any work today?"  I continued.

"Yeah."  Son #1 responded.

I decided to try a different tactic because I was not getting any  clear answers.  I read the note from the teacher in the homework folder.

Son #1 has been playing airplane with his pencil instead of doing his work. When it is time for recess, Son #1 completes his work before playing.  He says he works like a rocket to get his work done.  Here's to him working like a rocket during class time.

"Have you been playing airplane in the classroom instead of doing your work?"  I questioned my son.

"Yeah!  I can make my pencil fly really high and then dive bomb my desk."  Son #1 said with gusto.

"What else have you been doing?"  I probed.

"Oh.  Well, I've been thinking about my cleats in my backpack."  Son #1 explained.

"You took your cleats to school."  I repeated. 


My son had not completed any work because he was too busy playing pencil airplanes and dreaming about his cleats.  I discussed at length with Son #1  the importance of completing his work at school.  We also talked about getting good grades and putting forth his best effort when he works.  He's a very smart little boy.  However, I may have to bribe him to get good grades in the near future. 

Of course, this is my karma.  I was not interested in school so my parents paid me to get as many A's as possible.  Being a little mercenary, I tried to make straight A's for every report card.  Now, I'm getting what I deserve.  Fortunately, I learned a thing or two from my dad.  He made me save every last cent for college.  I'll be doing the same for Son #1.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Drums

Son #2 got drums and a few other percussion instruments designed for toddlers on his second birthday.  One evening, Son #2 strutted around the living room with the large drum strapped to his shoulders.  He pounded with the drumsticks in style.  My husband and I cheered him on from our comfortable chairs.

Rat at tat tat.  Son #2 marched as he drummed to the beat in his head. 

Rat a tat tat.  Son #2 spun around and strode toward the kitchen. 

Son #2 beat the drum with his sticks several more times until he was distracted by a cartoon on the television.  The animated figures dancing about the screen reeled him away from his drums.  Son #2's arms hung limply as his hands relaxed their grasp on the drumsticks.  The drum dangled from its strap on my toddler's neck.  He was completely engrossed in cartoon's tale. 

My husband and I began a conversation about something random.  We really began to discuss this random thought when all of a sudden we heard a tiny voice cry out.  "Help!  Help!"

My husband and I stopped our discussion and turned toward the direction of the little voice.  We heard it again.  "Help!  Help!"

There Son #2 stood with the drum hanging lopsided from his neck and shoulder.  My husband rushed over to save him.  Son #2 cried out once more.  "Help me!"

My husband helped Son #2 out of the drum's strap and gave him a little hug.  Son #2 patted his dad's shoulder and said.  "Tatu."  (Translation:  Thank you.)  Then as if nothing had happened, Son #2 toddled over to his drums to play once again.

Apparently, Son #2 is one tough little dude.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sharing the Ba

One Sunday morning, an untidy Son #2 dug into the kitchen cabinets and played with the Tupperware.  Plastic bowls and lids spilled through the opening onto the floor.  Son #2 sang a garbled song as he flung things behind him.  He was intently searching for something mumbling.  "Hmm.  Le's see.  Hmm.  Le's see."  (Translation:  Hmm.  Let's see.)

All of a sudden he spied the object of his search.  Son #2 announced.  "Oh.  Dere is!"  (Translation:  Oh.  There it is.)

Son #2 fiddled and stacked until he had it just so.  Then, he toddled to my bedroom with his prize.  There, he presented it to me with outstretched arms.  I asked.  "What do you have, Baby?"

"Ba."  Son #2 answered with love in his eyes.  (Translation:  I want you to have my bottle.)  The ba he was offering was a stack of four round, plastic containers.  He held it up for me to drink.  I took the "ba" from Son #2 and pretended to drink my milk. 

"Mmm.  That was good.  Thank you, Baby."  I said tenderly.

Son #2 smiled and wiggled his little fingers as if to request the empty container.  I obliged and returned the empty "ba".  Then, I suggested.  "Go give your Daddy some "ba", too."

Son #2's eyes danced as he chirped.  "Oh! OK."  Then, he scurried toward my husband's office.

As he entered the room, he held up the "ba" as a little gift to his daddy.  My husband turned and asked.  "What is this?"

"Ba."  Son #2 offered in a matter-of fact voice.

"Huh?"  My husband took the gift but looked confused.

"He wants you to drink it."  I explained.

My husband's eyes twinkled as he lifted the "ba" to his mouth.  He made a few slurping sounds and wiped his mouth.  Son #2 stretched out his arm and wriggled his fingers.  My husband returned the empty "ba" and commented.  "Mmm.  Good.  Thank you, little son."

Son #2 proudly strolled back to the kitchen to make more mayhem.  I couldn't wait to see what his imagination would create next.

The Casual Conversation

One Saturday afternoon, Tia (Aunt) and Son #1 struck up a casual conversation.  Tia was curious about Son #1 and the upcoming school year.  She began.  "Are you excited about first grade?"

Son #1 glanced up from the collection of cars in Abuelita's (Grandma's) playroom and responded.  "Oh yeah.  I can't wait.  I'm going to miss kindergarten, though."

Tia asked.  "Why?"

Son #1 said.  "Because I'm not going to the same school.  I'm going to miss my friends."

Tia was curious and questioned Son #1 a bit more.  "So what did you learn in kindergarten?"

"I learned about math and I learned to read and about gardens.  Oh and I learned about the BAD FINGER."  Son #1 stated.

"The BAD FINGER???"  Tia replied a bit shocked.

"Oh. Yeah.  We never use the BAD FINGER."  Son #1 explained as he half held it in the air.  "My best friend showed me."

"Do you have any other friends."  Tia asked trying to change the subject.

"Oh. Yeah.  I like to play with my girl friend.  We're going to get married."  Son #1 announced.

"What does she look like?"  Tia asked with amusement etched on her face.

"A Girl"  Son #1 replied nonchalantly.

Tia exploded into giggles.  Conversations with six year old kids are amazing.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Cracker

One night, I dropped my kids off at the child care center in the gym so I could exercise.  Son #1 gleefully ran into the center toward the video games.  Son #2 clung to my neck and eyed the care givers with a touch of worry. 

Both of my boys have been attending this center since they were 6 weeks old.  Son #2 was worrying needlessly considering he knew the care givers well.  One of the girls smiled at him and gathered him into her arms.  Son #2 cried pitifully but only for a second.  Soon, he was distracted with a very interesting cracker.

Son #2 fidgeted with the cracker trying to decide when to eat it.  The care giver played games with him and made him laugh.  All throughout the game playing, Son #2 held tightly to the cracker.  It was his prized possession, a treasure to keep safe. 

Twenty minutes passed.  The care giver noticed that Son #2 had still not eaten the cracker.  She said to him.  "Since you haven't eaten the cracker, I can take it and put it away for you."

Son #2 wrinkled his brow and thought for a second.  Then, he shoved the cracker into his mouth decisively.  His cheeks bulged like a squirrel hoarding nuts for the winter.  The expression on his face dared.  "Now, come and take the cracker."

Toddlers can be so contrary.  They will smuggle a snack around a room, playing games until the snack has turned into tiny crumbs.  However the moment you suggest they put the snack away, they will swallow it whole to keep you from getting to it.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Cup

One hot and summery afternoon, my sons busily played in the living room.  New Socks, our Border Collie, lay on the kitchen floor with his eyes half closed.  Dreamily, he eyed the children as they raced across the linoleum with their little cars.

"Vrroomm!" The imaginary engine roared as Son #1 screeched across the floor.

"Rrrrrrr!"  Puttered the other imaginary engine as Son #2 raced to catch his brother.

The boys played for some time before they began to get thirsty.  Son #1 and Son #2 scampered to my room.  Son #1 shouted.  "I'm thirsty!  Can I get some water?"

"What do you say?"  I asked.

"Please???"  Son #1 replied.

Son #2 piped up.  "I want ba."  (Translation:  I would like my cup filled with milk please.)

I walked to the refrigerator with my ragamuffins in tow.  They jumped up and down excitedly awaiting their refreshing drink.  I handed Son #1 an ice cold water bottle.  He thanked me and ran to the couch.  Son #2 whined a bit as I filled his cup with vanilla soy milk.  Then, his face lit up as I handed him his cup.  He chattered.  "Tatu."  (Translation:  Thank you.)  Then, he pattered after his brother to the couch.

I went back to my room and the boys relaxed on the couch.  My two sons chattered on the couch happily.  Soon, they went their separate ways.  Then, I heard my husband yell.  "No, Son!  No!!!"
I jumped up and ran toward the commotion. 

When I arrived in the kitchen, my husband cried out.  "Son #2 just dumped out his cup of milk on the floor!"

Perplexed, I asked my husband.  "Why did he do that?"

My husband answered irritably.  "He was trying to give the dog a drink.  I caught him doing it and yelled for him to stop.  When he heard me, he began to jump around.  Then, he dumped his drink onto the ground."

Son #2 babbled with interest at the mess in front of the dog.  New Socks happily licked at the puddle of milk.  My husband mopped the spill in frustration.  I shook my head.

Son #2 has discovered the joy of feeding his food and drinks to the dog.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Unattended TV

This afternoon, I sat down on my bed and watched a sitcom while folding the laundry.  Son #1 and Son #2 were playing in their rooms with their trains.  My husband was outside watering the lawn.  Silence permeated every corner of the house.  The tranquility was unbelievable.  I diligently folded the clean clothes while laughing at the ridiculousness on TV. 

Once folded, I delivered the neat piles of clothing to each room.  I quietly tucked the stacks of shirts and shorts into their drawers.  Then, I tiptoed out of the rooms careful not to disturb their peaceful games.  When the clothes were put away, I wandered outside of the house and chatted with my husband.

Time passed while we breezily talked about the minor events of our day.  It was hot outside so I decided to go back in the house.  When I walked into the entry way, I saw Son #2 riding his tricycle through the living room.  He chattered and giggled joyfully as he rounded the corner to the kitchen.  I smiled at my youngest son and then looked around for Son #1. 

Where could he be hiding?

I checked in his room.  He wasn't there.

I checked in Son #2's room.  He wasn't there.

I checked in my husband's office.  He wasn't there either.

Then, I heard canned laughter emanating from my bedroom.  Could he be in there?  I strolled to my room and stood at the door.  Son #1 was sprawled on my bed watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory.

I asked.  "What are you doing in here?"

Son #1 turned away from the show and answered.  "I'm watching The Big Bang Theory."

I wrinkled my brow.  "Why?"

Son #1 responded.  "Well, this show has a lot of bad words and I'm watching it so I will know what I shouldn't say."

"Get out of my room!"  I said in mock irritation.

Of all the things I wanted my son to learn today, bad words from a TV show was not one of them.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Blue Jean Shorts

This last Saturday, my boys and I quietly entered the sanctuary of our church looking for a place to sit.  Son #1 quickly spied a friend and asked to sit with him.  After reviewing church etiquette, Son #1 settled into the pew beside his buddy.  Son #2 and I sat nearby in case there happened to be some monkey business.  I really should not have worried about Son #1.  However, Son #2 had a few surprises up his little preppy sleeve.

At first, Son #2 quietly looked at pictures on my phone.  This kept him amused through the announcements.  Then, he began to fuss and tossed my phone to the ground.  Fortunately, my phone is ridiculously old.  When the phone split apart into three pieces, I shrugged slightly and proceeded to collect the parts off the floor.  Then, I pulled up a demo game and handed it back to the little curmudgeon.  Son #2 fiddled with the buttons and gazed at the screen.  This little game bought me some time.

After the game was done, Son #2 tossed the phone into the aisle.  I tried to pick up the pieces but found it awkward holding my baby.  Son #2 took advantage of my clumsy grasp and wriggled down to the carpet.  He bounded to the pew in front of me and climbed up onto the cushion.  I swiped my baby off the pew as he struggled to get away.  I had a weak grip on him.  Son #2 pushed the pieces of the phone out of my hand to distract me.  Then, he weaseled his way out of my arms again.

This time he headed down the aisle.  I gave him my meanest stinky eye and motioned for him to return.  Son #2 just smiled and promptly removed his blue jean shorts.  My naughty rascal kicked his shorts off, picked them up, and threw them a little further down the aisle.  My eyes grew big with shock.  Did he just get NAKED inside our church?

I began to laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of the situation.  However, I knew I needed to recover from the giggles quickly before Son #2 made a mad dash for the podium.  Once composed, I scrambled after my half naked toddler, lifted him into my arms, and recovered the blue jean shorts.  I rushed back to my seat and dressed the little nudist.  Then, I briefly lectured him on the virtues of staying dressed in church.  Son #2 looked at me with his wide innocent eyes.  When I had finished talking, he motioned for another game on my phone.  I made a sour face but found him a new game.

The new game entertained him for quite some time.  I was in the middle of enjoying a good sermon when my phone flew in an arc to the floor.  Son #2 wriggled from my arms, stripped off his shorts, and proceeded to search for the pieces of my phone down the aisle.


Could the earth just open up and swallow me whole?

Unfortunately, it did not.

I scurried after my exhibitionist and gathered him in my arms.  Then, I scooped up his shorts and my useless phone.  Quickly, I dressed him again.  Will the madness ever end???

Fortunately, the madness did end.  However, my mortification lives on in infamy.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Overalls

One lovely morning, I began to dress Son #2 for church.  I dug through his drawers and selected a froggy overall with a matching shirt.  I sighed and gazed at the outfit.  He was going to look adorable.  Cheerfully, I brought the little outfit to my youngest son and presented it to him with pride.  "Look, baby."  I said.  "You're going to wear your froggy outfit today."

Son #2 peered at his clothes from behind his collection of toys.  A frown came over his once serene face.  Then, he bolted down the hallway to the kitchen.

What in the world!

I quickly snatched the clothes from the floor and chased after my naughty little baby.  Son #2 giggled hysterically as he dashed from room to room.  Finally, I caught him, stripped him of his pajamas, and slid him into his little outfit.  Son #2 tugged at the top of his overalls and protested.  Before he could wail in despair, I distracted him with a cool, new game.

While Son #2 was amusing himself, I continued to get myself and Son #1 ready.  From time to time, I would check on my little baby.  He seemed to be entertaining himself well as he played with his toys in his room.

All of a sudden, the house was silent.  I tiptoed from my room and peeked down the hallway.  Why was it so quiet?  What kind of nonsense had my sons created?  As I entered the hallway, Son #2 rounded the corner of his door frame NAKED.  He shrieked when he saw me and scampered to the living room.  I wanted to curse.  Frantically, I chased him through the house, caught him, and redressed him.  Then, I stomped to my room to finish getting ready.

Once I was dressed, I sat down at the table to eat my breakfast.  By that time, Son #1 was busily playing with his cars secure in the knowledge that he was dressed and ready to go.  As I ate, I noticed a tiny yet NAKED toddler strolling through the kitchen.

Not again!!

Quickly, I raced around the house picking up a trail of baby clothes.  Son #2 laughed as he ran to the front door to jiggle the knob.  I cornered him, slid him into his outfit again, and returned to my seat to finish breakfast.

Why won't this kid stay dressed???

Finally, my husband came out to the living room and announced.  "I'm ready.  How are you guys doing?"

I crossed my eyes and said.  "Son #1 is ready but Son #2 keeps stripping off his clothes.  I've dressed that rascal at least three times."

My husband laughed and asked.  "Do you think he's still dressed?"

"He better be dressed."  I replied in exasperation.

"Yeah."  My husband agreed.  "But I bet you five dollars he gets NAKED while we're at church."

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sharing the Ice Cream

One of my favorite memories as a kid was going to get ice cream on a hot summer day.  The ice cream shop was not that far from where we lived so we would pile into the car whenever we heard its siren song.  Once there, my brother, parents, and I would order our single scoop cone.  Anything more was a luxury.  Then, we would sit around a table and savor our delicious treat. 

My brother and I were tiny little monkeys who could not eat those scoops of ice cream fast enough.  Inevitably, the ice cream would begin to drip down the sugar cone.  At first, the ice cream would drip slowly.  However as time went by, the drips would pick up speed.  My dad would motion for us to come to him as he said.  "Here.  Let me help you."  Then, he would proceed to eat half of our ice cream scoop.  We would cry out in protest.  "Hey!!!  You're eating it all!!!"  My dad would laugh and say.  "You need to eat your ice cream faster so I don't have to help you." 

Fast forward to the present.

My boys love to get ice cream from the ice cream truck that comes through our neighborhood.  They can hear the truck's songs long before it turns onto our street.  I try to have a pile of change ready just in case the truck's siren song beckons.

One afternoon, Son #1 sprinted out of the front door screaming.  "The ice cream man is here!  The ice cream man is here"  I shouted to Son #2.  "Hurry baby!  Let's get some ice cream!"  We ran out the open front door to the curb where my elder son was standing.  Son #1 was waving his arms frantically in order to flag down the ice cream man.  The truck reversed its course and carefully backed up toward our house. 

When the truck had stopped completely, the ice cream man poked his head out of the window and took our order.  He smiled and handed us our ice cream cones.  We cheerfully handed him the money.  Then, we waved good bye and took our treats inside the house. 

I ushered the children to the kitchen table and opened the wrappers.  Son #1 and Son #2 grabbed their cones like two greedy hyenas.  Then, a strange thing happened.  Instead of devouring their ice cream, they began to daintily lick their cones.  Time passed as the children savored their ice cream.  Soon, little drips began to run down the sides of their cones. 

The drips ran slowly at first but then picked up speed.  I chuckled to myself and then motioned for my children to come to me.  "Here.  Let me help you."  I offered.  They handed me their cones and I proceeded to eat about half of their ice cream."

"Hey!!!  You're eating it all!!!"  Son #1 cried out in protest.

"You need to eat your ice cream faster so I don't have to help you."  I replied with a laugh.

I left the boys in the kitchen to finish up their ice cream.  A little while later, I heard Son #2 cry out in protest.  This was strange.  I peered around the corner and saw Son #1 "helping" Son #2 lick the drippy ice cream off of the cone.  I disappeared behind the corner and broke out into laughter.  Apparently, my dad's ice cream swiping legacy lives on in me and my sons.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Ears and the Nose

Son #1 was sniffling and clearing his throat this afternoon.  My husband asked.  "Are you getting sick?"

Son #1sniffed again and moved his jaw to clear the stuffiness out of his ears.  Then, he said.  "No, but my ear is jammed up."

I furrowed my brow and motioned for Son #1 to come to where I was sitting.  Son #1 obediently walked over to me and sniffed for the third time.  I peered at his nose and ears.  Then, I inquired.  "What's going on with your ear?"

Son #1 moved his jaw to pop his ear again.  He shrugged his shoulders and responded.  "I don't know.  My ear has a jam." 

"He's been complaining about his ear being stuffed for a couple of days."  My husband informed me.

"Hmm."  I pondered.  "Do you have allergies?"

"Maybe."  Son #1 replied.

"Do you have a cold?"  I asked.

"I don't know."  Son #1 said as he moved in closer to me.  "Feel my nose.  Does it feel cold?"

Does his nose feel cold???

Kids are funny.  They take things so literally.  However, I felt his nose.  It did not feel cold.

Fishing in the Creek

One sultry afternoon,  our little family and extended family members had a picnic in the local botanical garden.  A vast spread of vegetables, fruits, burritos, sandwiches, and random junk food covered our little picnic table.  The kids' greedy eyes were as wide as saucers.  They immediately began to beg for food.  I dished the delightful treats onto their plates.  My boys scarfed their food like ravenous little wolves and then wrangled their Tia (Aunt) away from her food to play with the ball. 

The afternoon passed lazily.  Son #1 and Son #2 were dripping in sweat when they finished their game.  Soon, they were fishing out cold water bottles from the ice chest.  While the adults talked, they ran up and down a little hill.  Then, they discovered the creek.  I had my eye on them as they disappeared behind the trees that shaded the little creek winding through the garden.  I got up from my chair and quickly followed them.  What were my little rascals going to do?

As soon as I rounded the grove of trees, I saw my boys gazing with wonder as the creek trickled across the small rocks.  The kids looked hot so I motioned them to follow me.  I sat down on a rock, took off my shoes, and stuck my feet into the cool water.  It felt so good.  The boys flashed me huge smiles and did the same thing.  At first, they stuck their toes into the water.  Then, they splashed about while poking at rocks with a stick.

All of a sudden, Son #1 decided he was going to pretend like he was fishing.  He grabbed a stick and sat on a rock waiting for the invisible fish.  Son #2 had to do what his brother was doing so he found a stick as well.  Then, he plopped himself down beside his brother and began to imitate his actions.  I chuckled to myself.  Sometimes, they really are a miniature version of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It's Hot

This morning, Son #2 refused to eat breakfast.  I had prepared for him a scrumptious bowl of apple cinnamon oatmeal.  (His favorite.)  Unfortunately, Son #2 turned up his nose at the site of his breakfast and scurried from the table.  He bounced on the couch and galloped around the coffee table impishly.  "Come eat your food.  It's good."  I gently urged.

Son #2 shook his head firmly.  "Uh uh."

"Sit down.  Eat your food.  Aren't you hungry?"  My husband beseech-ed.

Son #2 turned his head and ran.

Finally, Son #2 came into the dinette area and reached for a bag of cookies.  My brow furrowed.  No way was I going to give him a cookie when he had not eaten breakfast.  My husband was in agreement and said.  "No, Son.  You have to eat your breakfast first."

Son #2 fussed but eventually climbed onto his chair.  My husband offered a bite but Son #2 turned his head.  The spoon danced in front of Son #2's eyes as my husband enticed.  "Take a bite.  It's good.  It's delicious."

"Yum.  So delicious."  I echoed providing my support to the situation.

Son #2 refused.  "It's hot."  It was not hot.

"It's not hot.  See?"  My husband took a bite of the oatmeal and savored the flavor.  "Yum.  So good.  So delicious."

Son #2 could not be convinced.  "No, no.  Hot."  He said with surety.

We finally gave up and let him run around like a chicken in the living room.  He did not get the cookie but eventually he did get hungry enough to finish his breakfast.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Sandcastle

While visiting the beach, Son #1 and I decided we would build a grand sandcastle.  Quickly, we threw on clothes and ate breakfast.  Then, we sprinted to the beach like Calvin and Hobbs carrying our shovels and pails.  Son #1 scouted out a good location and began to dig.  I knelt down beside him and filled my bucket.

Some time passed and the walls of our sand city began to take shape.  Son #1 was busily digging a tunnel while I constructed a three tier palace.  Then, Son #1 called out.  "Mom, I need help."

I walked over to where he was working and proceeded to dig opposite of my son.  The trick to digging a tunnel that will last is to dig it deep with a wide bridge.  Another trick is to stay as far away from the bridge and tunnel while digging as possible.  So there we were lying prostrate on the ground.  Our arms were in the tunnel furiously scooping sand like an armadillo.  Finally, our shovels met and broke through the last remaining sandy barrier. 

I shouted with excitement.  "We did it!  Look!  You can see through to the other side!" 

Son #1 pressed his face against the sand and peered through the tunnel.  "I can see you!"  He cried.

With our tunnel accomplished, we moved on to designing streets, buildings, markets, farms, and the exterior wall.  Son #1 scooped the extra sand from our buildings, bridges, and tunnels.  He methodically piled the sand by our little lake and river.

I asked.  "What are you making?"

Son #1 responded.  "A volcano."

Apparently this sandy city was a replica of Pompeii.  No matter.  We continued with our project for most of the day until hunger and the setting sun beckoned us inside.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Jumping the Waves

When I was in college, I loved to go down to the Gulf of Mexico and body surf on the waves.  There is nothing like the warm salt water, sandy beaches, and the bright sun that characterizes that particular coastline.  I specifically enjoyed jumping the waves while I plodded out into the ocean looking for the perfect wave to ride.

While we were on vacation, Son #2 became enamored with the ocean and its waves.  He would run as fast as he could toward the water as my husband or I chased after him.  We would catch up to him, lift him into the air, and let the surf tickle his toes.  Son #2 laughed with glee and then begged for more.  My husband and I are suckers.  We would always oblige him.

On one of my many journeys with Son #2 into the breaking swell, I reminisced about my trips to the gulf.  Son #2 reminded me of myself when I was young, covered in salt water and anticipating the next wave.  Soon the next wave was upon us.  I hoisted my crazy toddler into the air as the water lapped at his ankles.  He squealed with excitement. 

All too soon, it was time for a nap.  Son #2's eyelids drooped wearily as he clung to his dad's leg.  My husband was also tired and volunteered to take him inside.  I waved to my baby as he clung to my husband's shoulder.  Then, I promised to come inside after a while.  With a touch of childish delight, I ran over to where Son #1 was constructing his sand castle.  However, that is another story.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The T-Shirt

While on vacation at a gorgeous beach get away, our little family wound through the streets looking for a place to eat.  Son #1 trotted ahead with his dad while Son #2 toddled beside me holding onto my finger.  We stopped to look in windows and ponder our options.  Were we hungry for Mexican food?  No.  Not this time.  Did we want to eat Chinese food?  Maybe the adults would like it but the kids would fuss.  What about pizza?  Hmm.  Now that sounds delicious to everybody in the group.

We happily strolled down the main street in the direction of the pizza place.  Son #1 was so excited.  He talked animatedly about getting cheese pizza.  "That's my favorite!"  He announced to everyone in earshot.

Our little band was almost to its destination.  We could smell the scent of pizza in the air.  Our pace quickened.  Our mouths watered.  The pizza place was in our sights.  We hurriedly drove through the crowd of people on the sidewalk.  A clearing in the sea of people appeared.  As I paused to appreciate the gift of personal space, a woman on a phone began to talk loudly.  I am a nosy person so I eavesdropped on the conversation.  She seemed to be discussing directions or locations with the person on the other end of the line.  All of a sudden she looked up at me and asked.  "Excuse me.  What city are we in?"

I turned toward the woman.  She was dressed in tourist clothes.  Her t-shirt seemed brand new.  Obviously, she had purchased the t-shirt in this lovely beach town.  I grinned with amusement as I read her shirt to her.  "Honolulu, Hawaii."

She thanked me and went back to inform her friend of her location.  I smirked evilly as Son #2 and I walked away. 

T-shirts are wonderful items.  They are comfortable to wear and sometimes they help you remember your location.