Friday, August 30, 2013

Poor Boo

Last week we had leftovers for dinner one night.

I hate to do that, but sometimes there's just so many plastic containers in the fridge, you've got to get rid of some of them. It's just like: Open something and eat it, for crying out loud!

Anyways, that night Boo was playing outside and came in a little late.

"Aw, did I miss dinner?" she asked.

"Well, yeah," I said. "But we were just having leftovers; there's still some you can eat."

Boo made a face. "So I get leftover leftovers?!" she said in disgust.

Sorry, kid.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I guess I don't have anything to say about Miley Cyrus

I tried to have an honest dialogue with my teenage daughter on the subject of Miley's now-infamous VMA performance.

(Honestly, I had more trouble with the weird giant bears than with the whole Robin Thicke thing. Just visually speaking.)

Unfortunately I said the word "twerk." ET said to NEVER SAY THAT WORD AGAIN.

She said a mom trying to talk "cool" is like the dumb guys at school trying to speak Spanish.

"Um... Ko Mo Ez Staz, Me Um Eego." she demonstrated in a duh-voice with a bad Spanish accent. 

"It just sounds wrong, Mom," she explained. "WRONG."

(image from

Update on this post:
Upon discussion with my other teenager, I have discovered that I may not actually know what "twerk" means.
Me: It's just shaking your butt, isn't it?
GG: No Mom. It's not.
Me: Yeah, like this.
GG: NO! Ew! Stop that!
Me: Well if that's wrong then you show me how to do it.
GG: No! Just Google it, Mom.
Me: I still think it's like this.
GG: ACK! Please stop! My eyes!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Thanks for the virus

My oldest daughter ET has gone away to school.

We talk on the phone a lot because mommy misses her, and she likes to tell me what she's doing. (Before school started, that was pretty much playing computer games and watching TV. Now, of course, she's much busier.)

She emailed me a link to a movie she liked so that we could discuss it. It was called "Alone," and it was in Korean with subtitles; don't ask me where she found it.

I clicked on the link and watch about 3/4 of the movie. The plot had to do with conjoined twin sisters who both loved the same man. (I'm not making this up. I swear.)

Just at the most suspenseful part, my computer froze up and I got this "blocked" screen.

That's right! A virus. My kid sent me A VIRUS.

The screen informed me that my computer was being held hostage by terrorists, and that they would set it free for only $400.

I tried to remove the thing myself, using instructions I got from a "virus removal service." The service said to call them for help if their instructions did not work.

When I called them, the guy said my infection was "really bad," and that I would need a "virus removal expert" to get it off.

Which would cost only $300.

My husband pointed out that this seems really suspicious. How do we know these people didn't make the virus in the first place, and THAT'S why they are such "experts" on it?! Sounds like some kind of conspiracy plot.

Anyways, I did not pay the terrorists, or the experts. I did end up having to pay a regular guy $100 to kill the thing, and my computer was down for two weeks.

But at least I know the guy here wasn't involved in the original plot. I think...

The worst part is... I still don't know what happened with the Korean conjoined twins!

Monday, August 19, 2013


The twins started kindergarten last week.

In preparation for this momentous occasion, I purchased a mountain of school supplies and was required to label it all with their names.

And I mean, they make you WRITE THE KID'S NAME ON EVERYTHING.

I don't mean just on the two notebooks, eight folders, one pencil box, two erasers, one pair of scissors, four boxes of crayons, et cetera, for each child.

I mean each individual thing. That's 96 crayons, 20 pencils, and 40 markers EACH.

But I'm not really complaining.

It's a small price to pay in order to get them into school ALL DAY LONG.

And look how happy they are about it!

That is, they were happy until they found out they were going be in separate classes. But that's another story...

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What's Going On?

(image from

I'm working on some changes for this blog.

Does that sound ominous? Sorry.

Hopefully we will be able to transfer to a format tht makes it easier to comment, follow, and such.

Stay tuned....

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Playing Board Games With Preschoolers

...Otherwise entitled, "Praying for Patience."

While I was playing Candy Land with the twins today, I think time slowed down.

In SUPER S-L-O-W M-O-T-I-O-N we crawled along the board with our game pieces, only to be sent back again and again.

"Oh no! I drew Mr. Minty!" (GROAN)

The whole thing was further complicated by:

1) Little Boy's threats to jump to the finish line regardless of the cards' directions. (Him: "I win!" Me: "Um. You can't win while the rest of us are out of the room.")

2) Little Girl's ill-wishing of her brother. ("I hope he gets Plumpy!" "Please let him get stuck in Molasses Swamp!")

We had to reshuffle the cards THREE times. I thought the game would never end.

Still, at least game-playing teaches them good sportsmanship. Right?

Little Boy paused in his gloating over winning to reassure me. "You losed, Mom! But you did good losing."

Sunday, July 28, 2013

They DO grow up... eventually

Yesterday my five-year-old daughter streaked through the house screaming, "i have to poop; I have to Poop; I Have to Poop; I HAVE TO POOP!!!!"

Then she stopped just short of the bathroom and said, "Oh. It was just a poot." She calmly went back to playing in the living room.

This child has NO SHAME.

This might concern me if I didn't know that kids grow out of this.

I can remember being mortified by my oldest daughter's antics as a preschooler. I had my mother sew her little frilly bloomers to wear under her church dresses so she didn't flash the congregation during the children's sermon. I thought she would never stop lifting her skirts over her head.

Amazingly enough, as a sixteen-year-old, I notice she never does this anymore.

Neither do the thirteen and ten-year-olds. Their skirts stay resolutely down. It's great how they can manage to go to the bathroom all on their own, too.

I may be a little TOO blase about this sort of thing now, however. The preschool teacher had to remind me last year to make sure Little Girl wears shorts under her dresses. I was thinking, "She's FOUR. Who cares if people see her My Little Pony underwear? SHE certainly doesn't mind."

In any case, at least she'll learn a semblance of modesty by age sixteen.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My least favorite letter of the alphabet

Okay. Pictures are disapperaing inexplicably from my blog.

I would understand if they were someone else's photos that I was unauthorized to use, but these are my OWN pics!

The first time this happened it was on my post about Bug-Bombing the Van. ET had snapped an awesome photo of the roach she saw fleeing the van to show me as evidence, and of course I had to include it in my post.

I posted it, and it disappeared, leaving behind a little box with a tiny red "x" in it.

So I reposted it, and a few days later, Mr. Tiny Red X reappeared.

I growled and gave up.

Then recently I had an awesome pic of Little Girl waving a pair of thong underwear like a flag. It was such a cute image that I built a whole blog post around it.

Enter Mr. Tiny Red X.


And NOW, Mr. T-R-X has invaded my reading blog!!!!  I had a lovely ratings system I'd created with photos of my own hand giving each book the thumbs-up or thumbs-down. But now, all my books have received only.....



I have NO IDEA how to fix this!

I have now resorted to a crude cartoon hand-signal system.

I know, it's completely pathetic.

And it still may not be safe from that evil third-from-last letter of the alphabet who stalks me.


I give you a big THUMBS-DOWN!

UPDATE: My very-smart friend emailed me privately after reading this post with some suggestions on how to deafeat Mr. Tiny Red X. The gist of it was... LEARN TO OPERATE YOUR BLOG PROPERLY! Sigh. I'll work on it.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Beefaroni Incident (Illustrated)

I made the kids some beefaroni for lunch. Hooray! They wanted to eat by the TV.

I placed the twins' bowls on the table, but Boo carried her own bowl.

Little Girl was so excited that she vaulted herself over the back of the couch towards her beefaroni bowl.

Unfortunately, the upward momentum of Little Girl's foot caught Boo's full bowl of beefaroni.

Everyone yelled and I came in to witness the carnage.

The good news is, all the children survived the incident unscathed.

I can't say as much for the furniture.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Apparently I am a robot...

You know those security-test thingies on the internet that make you type in some random letters and numbers to prove you're an actual human?

I can't seem to pass those tests.

I'm serious. I just spent like twenty minutes today trying (unsuccessfully) to download a game for my daughter to play on my phone while we waited at the orthodontist.

Yes, it WAS a game for my daughter, you Doubty Mc Doubter.

So I had to set up an account in order to download the app or whatever, and it wanted to make me prove I wasn't a robot.

I groaned when I saw it. "I can never pass these tests," I told Boo. She laughed like I was kidding.

I wasn't. I couldn't do it. I kept messing up the characters. I'm going, "Is that a number one or a letter I? Is this capital or lowercase? What is that weird twisty thing? Is that supposed to be a digit or just a blob?"

Long story short: the orthodontist was finished adjusting GG's braces before I was able to get any sort of entertainment loaded on my phone.

It was pathetic.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Mommy takes the kids to the movies

(image from

I took the older girls to see World War Z.

Yeah I'm the kind of mom who takes her teenagers to zombie movies. That either makes me cool, or crazy. I'm not sure which.

Anyways, it was PG-13.

It was still super-scary. Lots of people got killed, albeit with a minimal amount of blood. But in the end, Brad Pitt single-handedly figured out how to save the whole world.

IT WAS SO COOL. I loved it!

Then as we were leaving the theater, ET started poking holes in the ending.

Apparently it wasn't realistic enough for her. (Because, of course, realism is REALLY important in zombie apocalypse movies. Right?)

She thought it was ridiculous that Brad-the-not-scientist would find out how to semi-defeat the zombies all on his own.Wouldn't someone else have discovered the solution way before Brad did? That's what she thought.

So I had to respond to these anti-Brad comments in a mature and parental manner.

I put my fingers in my ears and yelled, "Brad Pitt saved the world and that's it! La-la-la-la-I'm-not-listening!"

Sometimes you have to set the example.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What about Paula Deen?

Paula Deen Housekeeper in Jail for Theft

I don't watch cooking shows. This is because they are all about... you guessed it!, accompanied by no eating, which is of course cooking's only redeeming quality.  To me, cooking shows are a lose-lose situation.

Still, I can't help hearing about Paula Deen. It seems everyone has an opinion about what's been going on with her.

(image from

The internet rumors seem divided. Is Paula being persecuted wrongly for an idle comment made twenty years ago? Or is she taking a deserved hit for continued ill-treatment of minority employees? I don't know whom to believe. 

There is one opinion, however, that I think has not been properly considered. I heard two Southern Black ladies talking the other day:

Lady 1: That sure is too bad about Paula Deen.
Lady 2: Mmm-hmmm; sure is.
Lady 1: I saw it coming though.
Lady 2: You did?
Lady 1: Sure did. I knew, once she stopped cooking with all that butter, Paula Deen was going down.
Lady 2: That's true enough. Trying to lighten up her recipes! My lands!
Lady 1: Who's gonna eat that?
Lady 2: Sure enough.
Lady 1: Nobody wants to eat that.
Lady 2: Mmm-hmmm. That's what I'm saying.
Lady 1: So I knew she wouldn't last much longer.
Lady 2: Just goes to show.
Lady 1: Sure does.
Lady 2: Still...You got to watch what you say though.
Lady 1: Ain't that the truth.

So... Maybe Paula's problem isn't about what she said or didn't say.

Maybe it's simply the fact that she betrayed her commitment to butter.

Something to think about...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

There's nothing funnier to a five-year-old

My seventeen-year-old niece left a pair of thong underwear in the car.

It's not quite as bad as it sounds; she had been shopping with ET and GG, so it was a brand new pair. Still on the clear plastic hanger. Tags on and everything. Really.

But you can imagine the hilarity that ensued when the twins found a pair of underwear lying around.

Little Girl held it up in the air and chanted, "Undies! Undies! Undies!"

She also said that the hanger was a magic wand and declared herself the Underwear Fairy.

It takes so little to entertain the very young.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Family Photo for Father's Day

Family photos are always tough. Mostly because we have to stand so close to each other, which is just a breeding ground for shoving and fighting.

But the kids all got together for this little gem in honor of Father's Day.

Nice, huh?

My father-in-law pointed out to me, "You're the only one who looks happy."

"Yeah," I said. "And I'm faking."

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Story of the Beautiful Washing Machine

As I may have mentioned in my last post, we arrived in Birmingham in the late evening with a plastic bag of peed-on clothes, along with the rest of our luggage.

So even though I was super-tired when we got to my in-laws' house, it was necessary for me to wash some clothes. My mother-in-law said we could use her new washing machine.

As the kids were getting ready for bed, I entered the laundry room with the pee-clothes and a few other things to round out the load. I opened the the lid of the washing machine.

It was so beautiful.

Seriously. I actually called GG in to look at the inside of this machine because it was so shiny and CLEAN.

I felt like Indiana Jones.

(image from

I said to GG, "I feel bad putting our dirty clothes in this gorgeous washing machine." I was only half-kidding.

But I put them in anyways. After all, you can't leave pee-soaked clothes unwashed too long. I'd already delayed almost 24 hours, an unfortunate necessity while transporting the nasty things four thousand miles or so.

I delayed going to bed until the clothes were done so I could get them into the dryer. Even though I was dead-tired. But when the cycle was done, I got a nasty shock.

Someone had left GUM in their POCKET.

Yep. And what's nastier than a washing machine full of zillions of tiny gum bits? Not much.

So... I was stuck sitting up even later picking off and scraping up all that gum. 

Did I mention I was dead-tired?

But the worst part was: I had defiled this beautiful pristine piece of equipment within an hour of being introduced to it.

This is why I don't have nice stuff. And, if you have any nice stuff, you should probably keep me away from it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Long List of Apologies

Cabin View Of Asa B738
We've just completed yet another torturous overseas plane trip. We left Honolulu at 8 p.m. one day, and finally arrived in Birmingham at 8 p.m. the next. Subtracting the five-hour time difference, that's NINETEEN hours of riding in and waiting for airplanes.

It was a pretty difficult trip for all of us.

(image from

So I'd like to send an open letter of apology to the following people:

1. To the stranger seated beside Little Girl and me on the plane from Honolulu: I'm sorry my child kept leaning on you when she fell asleep. And that she peed her seat.

2. To the people who got flashed: I'm sorry I forgot to pack clean underwear and my five-year old had to "go commando" after the seat-wetting incident.

3. To everyone seated near the cabin bathroom: I'm sorry for my daughter's ear-piercing, blood-curdling shrieks when she pinched her finger in the folding door. I took her inside the cubicle as quckly as I could, but I know you could probably still hear her. (I think even the birds flying nearby were cringing at the noise.)

4. To the people stuck standing up and sitting on the floor in the waiting area at the Seattle airport: I'm sorry my family took up all the chairs. In our defense, they really should have installed more than seven.

5. To the security team in the Seattle airport: I'm sorry we looked so suspicious. Or for whatever thing we did that made you swarm the area we were occupying with about twenty agents and a couple of bomb dogs.

6. To the odd-looking possible cross-dresser seated next to my teenage daughter: I'm sorry she thought you were an undercover agent. I think she was just still freaked out by the uber-security scan at the airport.

7. To the passengers on the last leg of the trip: I'm sorry I couldn't muster enough energy to properly reprimand the twins when they started that "Who can yell the word 'poopy' the loudest?" contest. I really tried,but I kept nodding off. (You know you're tired when you can sleep through a screaming contest.)

And, last but not least:

8. To my husband: I'm sorry I was so grouchy. I started out pleasant; I really did. It's just that the lack of sleep made all the nice leak out of me. I noticed that it seemed to work that way for you as well.

Anyways, I'm glad that's all over.

Until it's time to go back....

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The cupboard is not quite bare....

We're about to go away for a month, so I'm trying to use up some of the food stored in the pantry and freezer. Therefore, as of last week, I am not buying new food.

You can imagine how happy the kids are about this policy.

They act as if our kitchen looks like this picture, which I got from a food pantry's desperate appeal for donations, dated several years ago.
(image from

Here's ET's account of her current quest-for-snack procedure:

1. Check refrigerator.
2. Check pantry.
3. Lower standards.
4. Repeat as often as necessary.

They are so deprived....

In my defense, here is my ACTUAL reduced-stock pantry:

Monday, May 27, 2013

Gecko in the Car!

I was driving the kids to school and I heard Little Girl start yelling from the backseat, "Gecko! Gecko!"

Huh, I thought. She sees a gecko somewhere.

Then I saw it. Looking right at me.


Then... it jumped at me.


Let me just point out that I did NOT crash the car. I may deserve a medal for that.

Now, I know a gecko is not exactly a man-eating monster, but I challenge any one of you to keep your cool when one JUMPS AT YOUR FACE.


So that thing was leaping all over the car and the kids were screaming...and I just had to keep driving. Finally we got it to jump out the door when we'd stopped at the school.

I thought that was the end of it. But then later I went to the drive-thru at McDonald's....

Is this thing following me?!

(As a side note, I took the top picture of the gecko in my car after my first round of screaming had subsided. Boo said, "What the heck are you DOING Mom? Are you going to put this on your BLOG?!" Really, how could I resist?)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Now I REALLY feel like a clown...

Okay, when I posted the story about the carnival, I should have pointed out that my friend who organized it did an awesome job.

And that she asked other people to dress as clowns but they wouldn't.

And that the homeless kids had a great time and loved the carnival.

And that I'm the kind of jerk who makes jokes about charity events in my blog and then feels bad later....

Here's a photo of the whole clown outfit by the way:

There now. Didn't that make you laugh? I'm not SO much of a jerk, right?

Also, while I'm at it.... I publicly apologize to my neighbor for my stinky outside trash can. Thank you for hosing it down. You are great.

Also I'm sorry to that guy I accidentally cut off in traffic yesterday. And to that lady in church who thinks I sing too loud. And...

Okay, one more clown picture for good measure:

You can't hate this girl, can you?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Why am I the only one dressed as a clown?

Carnival, Tent, Amusement Park, Flag, Big Top, Exhibition, Clown, Patch, Embroidered Patch, Crest, Merit Badge, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides
My friend was organizing a carnival for kids at a homeless shelter and I volunteered to help.

(Okay, let's be honest: She called for volunteers and I pretended not to hear. She put up notices for volunteers on the internet and I did not click on the links. Then she asked me to volunteer, and I tried to change the subject, and finally agreed to help. This is because I am too lazy to willingly volunteer for anything. But didn't the first sentence sound nicer? The plain truth can often be harsh.)

Anyways, I agreed to help at the carnival, and she asked if I had anything "clownish" to wear. So I said I would come up with something.

I made a vest out of balloons and painted my face up. I don't have a full shot of the outfit but here I am in my car, cheerfully driving to the carnival:

I had to park kind of far away so I ended up walking down a busy street in the clown getup. Finally I arrived at the carnival.

Lots of people were there. NONE OF THEM were dressed in anything even remotely "clownish."

I felt like Reese Witherspoon's charcter in Legally Blonde at her first Harvard party. (They told her it was a costume party and it wasn't.)

Yeah, except she looked A LOT better.

( Reese's image from

(carnival patch image from

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

That awkward moment when...

You realize you're texting three times more often than your teenage daughters.
Uh-oh. Time to dial it down there, Mommy...

Saturday, May 4, 2013

An Original Comic

Today I'm trying my hand at cartooning. Lucky you! You get to be my test audience!


 The end.
How was that?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I may need to rethink this

I have developed a strategy for dealing with the embarrassing things my kid blurts out in public.

You know the kind of things I mean. You're passsing a stranger with an oddity of some type, and your child's eyes lock onto the person and he makes an observation at top volume.

"Mommy, that lady is FAT!"

"What is that thing on that man's FACE?!"

"Ew! That boy STINKS! What's WRONG with him?!"

Et cetera.

In the past I had always had what I'd call the usual response: the Shush-and-Rush.

That is, trying to silence the child, hurrying away from the scene, and hoping the person hadn't heard.

I have learned that this does not work. The person heard, all right. Everyone in the whole store heard! And if they didn't, they sure heard it when the child repeated himself as you were dragging him away. "But why is she so FAT, Mommy? WHY?!"

So what I've started doing is addressing the remark directly, in full view of the offended party and the rest of the world.

Example: I say brightly, "Well, sweetie. Some people are fat and some people are thin. Everyone is different; that's how God made us, and it's okay."

The major advantage to the Direct-Address is that it makes the child stop repeating the inappropriate thing, because he feels listened to. And that's all he wants, is an answer to his question. Really. He's not trying to be irritating. (Usually.)

The other thing that I hope this strategy does is show the remarked-upon person that I care about their feelings and am not just allowing my child to say hurtful things with impunity. This part, unfortunately, does not always work out the way I plan.

Enter the One-Armed-Kid.

We were at the McDonald's playground and a little boy came in who had the lower half of his arm missing. Little Girl was FASCINATED.

She came running to me. "Mommy! That boy has ONE ARM! He only has ONE ARM! What happened to his ARM?!"

I put on my calm-friendly-and-bright voice. "Well, sweetie, sometimes people have one arm. Everyone is different; that's how God made us, and it's okay."

She persisted. "But Mommy! What happened to his ARM?!"

"I don't know," I said, nonplussed that she hadn't stopped yelling yet. My strategy was failing. I tried to remain matter-of-fact and said, "Maybe you could ask him."

This was a BIG mistake. She ran directly to the boy.

"WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR ARM?!" she yelled in his face.

The boy screamed and ran away from her. (Do you blame him?) She came back to me and I told her that maybe he didn't want to talk about it. Finally she went back to play without asking more questions.

A few minutes later I saw the kid's mom grimly putting on his shoes and dragging him out of the area. He was crying. I felt horrible. Had my child and I driven him away from the playland? Obviously we'd offended the mom with our agressive directness.

Still, I'm not sure how I should have handled it. 

Does anyone else have a better idea?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Birthdays birthdays birthdays

I have always done birthday parties at home for my kids; I have so many children that it's a bad idea to set a Chuck-E-Cheese kind of precendent. We'd go broke pretty quickly that way.

With my older children I put lots of effort into their parties to make up for the lack of money spent. I planned and organized their birthdays like Julie the Love Boat cruise director.

(image from

For example: When Boo turned six, she chose a Native American theme. She hand-decorated each invitation with a drawing of an Indian princess.

At the party, we made feathered headdresses, and beaded necklaces, went on a "bear hunt" and had a "papoose race." Also we played "rain dance" and I read a story complete with hand motions. The goody bags were also Native-American themed and designed to hold the crafts the children made. All of these things I created myself from dollar-store materials and a lot of time in the weeks leading up to the party.

But for the twins' fifth birthday last weekend, I didn't do any of that. I'm just too tired for that stuff these days.

Here are the preparations I made:

I rented a bouncy house. I made cupcakes. I invited every kid they know.

That's it.

About twenty-five kids descended on my house and ran amok for two hours. They bounced in the inflatable castle, played in the dress-up chest, and enjoyed the twins' toys. They ate cupcakes and ice cream. They "assisted" with gift distribution and opening, and then happily played with all the new toys.

The place was utter chaos. Moms looked on in horror as I did nothing to corral the craziness. Julie from the Love Boat would have died of shame.

I think the kids had a great time, though.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My son peed on the DVD player

I can't even believe I just wrote that sentence. But yes, Little Boy peed on the DVD player.

Fortunately it wasn't plugged in at the time.

Why did he do it? To annoy his sister, of course.

And also because the desire to pee on things seems to be genetically inborn in males.

Hence this annoyingly ubiquitous bumper sticker:

And you can even go to the website above and have this little guy pee on anything you want!

I don't need to. I have my own little guy.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

UGH! Here we go again...

This week we played another round of that exciting game, "What the heck is that horrible smell?!"

This time we noticed a certain distasteful odor in the garage Sunday morning. We weren't sure of the origin, although a gas leak or sewer seepage were mentioned as possibilities.

By Sunday evening it was really bad. My husband came into the garage, sniffed the air, and said, "That's a dead thing." Then he left.

We looked around but the dead thing could not be located on first glance. I knew a full search would have to be performed on Monday.

I left the windows up in the van for the night to keep the smell from invading the car, and I hung a new air freshener from the rearview mirror.

Monday morning GG went into the garage to get something before school, and she immediately came back. "I don't really need it," she gasped, covering her mouth and nose and shutting the door quickly.

I opened the outside door to try to air things out, but the stink in the garage was still horrendous. We held our collective breaths as we ran to the van and shut the doors.

Inside the car the scent of Perfectly Pomegranate battled valiantly with the the stench of Dead Thing. The air was bearable, but only just.

It was imperative to that we find out the source of this bad smell, but I felt weary at the very thought of moving everything stored in the garage to try to find the horror that might lurk behind all those boxes.

ET said I should hire an exterminator. "I'll bet if you gave some guy a hundred bucks he'd find the dead thing."

I looked at her. "I'll give you fifty to find it."

"Done!" she said, a little too quickly. I probably should have low-balled her a bit more.

When we got home I parked the van outside and left the door open. ET began moving things out of the garage piece by piece.

Then she stood still and thought. She knew it would be smarter to try and find the source of the smell, but somehow it seemed to be coming from everywhere at once. Then she saw a few flies buzzing around and she had a thought.

"Follow the flies," she said to herself.

Or maybe it was Yoda who said it. (Although wouldn't he have said "The flies you follow"?)

Anyways, she realized that the flies would go directly to the dead thing. So she waited, and the cloud of flies gathered and formed and hovered around....

THE VAN!!!  Under which she saw few flies darting around a couple of gray feathers.

"Eureka!" said ET, and she came to me. In her best elementary-my-dear-Watson-style, she triumphantly informed me of her conclusion:

"Mother! I have deduced that the dead thing is a bird, and that it is under the hood of your car! You owe me fifty bucks!"

With extreme trepidation, I pressed the button and popped the hood.


"Now how am I going to get that thing out of there?" I wondered aloud.

ET shrugged. "That would cost you another fifty," she said, and went into the house.

Monday, April 8, 2013

PJ Day can be stressful

(image frommrssearles2ndgradeclass)

It was pajama day at Boo's school today.

She wanted to participate, but was afraid. She thought, What if no one else does it?

She thought, What if I have the wrong day, or all my friends suddenly decide pajama day is suddenly uncool?

She thought, What if I'm the only one in the entire fourth grade wearing my pajamas to school?

So she carefully packed regular clothes in her bag, just in case, and watched the kids going into school as I drove through the parking lot to drop her off.

I pointed out several kids wearing PJ's. She witheringly told me they were "little kids."

I pulled up to the dropoff point, but Boo did not get out. She sat in the back on the van, frozen by indecision.

Then she suddenly burst into a flurry of activity. I looked back at her.

She had changed into regular clothes and was stuffing the PJ's in her bag.

As she left the van, I wondered, is she already too old for pajama day?

But when she came home, the PJ's were back on. All her friends had been wearing them after all!

Not too old yet...

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Happy Family Outing

I took the kids to Farrell's for dinner.

That is, we ate dinner, but we were really there for the ice cream.

The hostess took us to a booth. I looked at it uncertainly.

I had told her there were six of us. (Yes, I took all five children.) She seemed to expect all of us to squeeze onto the two bench seats. Probably she wasn't used to seeing anyone with so many children.

Gamely, we all sat down, three to each side. It was a little tight. There was some shoving.

We looked at our menus, and around at the fun decor. ET pointed at something behind me.

We looked back to see what she was talking about. There was a mirror, a carousel horse, and about twenty-five kitschy little signs.

GG asked for clarification. "What do you see?"

I said, being cute, "She sees a happy family!" in my cheeriest voice.

ET gave me a look. "Uh, no," she said.

Boo smiled. "I do! I see a happy family!"

Heartened, I said, "You do?"

"Yep," said Boo, "right over there." She pointed across the room at smiling couple with a single child.

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Fools Day... again?!

So it's April Fools Day. I've said it before, but it's not my favorite holiday.

But this year the twins are apparently able to understand the concept. Sort of.

Little Girl said to me, "Mommy, my teacher said it's April Fools!" When I agreed that it was, she suddenly got a mischevous look on her face.

Barely containing a giggle, she said, "Mommy there's a sucker on your head!" I pretended to gasp and check my head, and she laughed and laughed. "April Fools!"

This gag got less funny as the night went on, by the way. (For me, I mean. She still thought it was a  riot.)

Anyways, this year there are some neighbors playing pranks on one another. For example, one neighbor gave another a plate of brownies:
Image result for april fool brown e

Isn't that cute? (And no Ex-Lax involved. Admit it--you thought it would be Ex-Lax, didn't you?)

A neighbor kid played a less-cute prank at my house, involving a rubber band and my sink sprayer, so that when I turned on the kitchen sink I got sprayed in the face with water.

Here's a dramatic recreation with a model who is obviously not me:
(image from

That kid is lucky she's not mine, and therefore gets to live to see April 2nd.