Mama Diaries

Monday, February 28, 2011

Mother Nature

Last night we had a noisy thunderstorm. Thunder shook the house. Rain pelted against the window panes. It was one of those storms that woke everyone in the house.

This morning everyone commented on how ferocious it was. Here's what my husband had to say:

"Hey kids, do you know what happened last night?"

"Yeah, we had a thunderstorm."

"No, we had an angry Mommy flying around the house, whipping her tail and spewing lightening."


"Yes! That Mommy was really angry last night! She was a fire-breathing dragon!"

"What Mommy?" asked my son, trying to comprehend.

"Your Mommy."

My son looked at me with his eyes open wide.

Bet you didn't know I was Mother Nature!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Strep Puppet

The strep throat bacteria that has been going around finally hit my house. My daughter was diagnosed with it last night, and my son appears to be coming down with it.

That didn't seem to put a damper on my kids' sense of humor, though. I found them making paper bag puppets that had strep throat. They were angry looking things with red throats.

"My throat hurts!" squeaked my daughter as she handled the puppet.

"Mine too!" replied my son's puppet.

"What should we do?" asked my daughter's puppet.

"We should sit in the doctor's waiting room a real long time and get our throats tickled with a cotton swab."

"Cool! And then we can have some of that yummy pink medicine!"

Sounds like a plan to me.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cookie Mom

Girl Scout cookies were delivered today. I'm the cookie mom for the troop, so that meant that I had to haul and sort over two thousand boxes of cookies. (I did have a little help.)

Let me tell you, it's a real workout carrying those boxes up and down my basement steps!

So, after all of the cookies had been sorted, my son came downstairs to have a look.

"Are these cookies for me?" he asked.

"No, and please don't touch them."

Of course, that's an impossible feat for a six-year-old. Two seconds later he had a box of Tag-A-Longs in his hands.

"Put that back!' I hollered. "Where did you get that?"

"Um, I think it was here. Or maybe it was here. No, it was here."


If I have to recount those cookies again, I think I'm going to die!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mommy the Carpenter

I didn't know that I needed carpentry skills to be a mom. I found out today, that being a carpenter is part of the job. My son got a "kid" carpenter set. It came with a saw, hammer, screwdriver, and a bunch of "wood" pieces. (The wood was actually more like foam.)

Included in the kit was an instruction book for creating things like helicopters, ships, and army tanks. The instructions were pretty vague. There were no measurements.

"Mommy, will you make the tank?"

I looked at the directions. "Hmmm, this is a better job for Grandpa."


"Oh, all right."

I set to work with the saw, cutting the wood into various shapes. Then I got out the nails and the hammer. I pounded it all together. Somehow I made that thing look like a tank.

"Mommy, good job!" my son said. "Now can you make the ship?"

(I thought this was supposed to be his project!)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Hundred Dollar Bill

My son has been saving his money for six years. He had a huge jar full of change. Well, today was the big day where he cashed in his loot.

We made a trip to the bank. He proudly marched in with his jar of change. I helped him dump it into the change machine. He pushed the button and watched the machine count his money. When it was done he had one hundred dollars!

He marched up to the bank teller with his receipt.

"I'd like a hundred dollar bill please," he announced.

The teller pulled out a hundred dollar bill from her drawer.

"What are you going to buy with this hundred dollar bill?" she asked.

"Well, I'm going to save it and buy a house someday," he replied.

Now that's a man who plans ahead!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sneaky Dog

Tonight I was tucking my daughter in to bed when I heard a strange noise. It was one of those Zhu Zhu pet hamsters. The sound was coming from my son's room. This was strange because my son was sound asleep. I could hear him snoring.

I went to investigate. You wouldn't believe what I found. That darned dog of ours had snuck up into my son's bedroom and parked himself in the middle of the bedroom floor. He was lying down amongst the stuffed animals chewing on the Zhu Zhu pet.

I dragged the dog down the stairs after yanking the toy hamster out of his mouth. "Bad dog!" I admonished. Meanwhile, my son kept snoring away, completely unaware of the chaos that had just happened around him.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Profile of the Mama

It's always interesting to learn about how your kids view you. I had the opportunity to see how I appear to my daughter. She had a writing assignment to write about someone she knows well. That someone was me. Here's how that went:

She said she loves me (that's good news!). She said I have blue eyes, peach skin, short brown hair, and I wear makeup. (Okay, that's pretty accurate.) She said I'm musical, and that I'm an author. (That's right too.) She even said I was polite because I always say "please" and "thank you." Then the fun stuff started.

She said I tell her to clean her room all the time (yep). She said I say "no" to the dog all the time (yep). She said I snuggle with the cat and that I love animals (well, sort of). She said I'm really busy, but added that she likes when I play with her. Here's what really made me laugh: She says I look really tired. She says I need a nap.

I couldn't agree more!

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Dip in the Creek

It's pouring rain here in Cincinnati. That didn't stop my son from going outside though. He put on his jacket and rain boots and headed out to splash around - literally.

That boy came back in the house completely soaked.

"What did you do?" I asked.

"I fell in the creek," he said. "It was a little muddy, and I slipped."

Then he took off his rain boots and flipped them upside down. Water poured out all over the floor. "Looks like I brought the creek inside," he commented.

"Yep, you sure did," I said. "Thanks a lot!"

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Expensive Tooth Fairy

One of the girls in my daughter's girl scout troop lost a tooth.

"How much did the tooth fairy bring?" asked the troop leader.

"Ten dollars," the girl replied.

The troop leader and I looked at each other in disbelief.

Later, my daughter asked why the tooth fairy doesn't leave her ten dollars.

"The tooth fairy doesn't have any money after she stops by that kid's house!"

Friday, February 18, 2011

Star Gazing

It was one o'clock in the afternoon. My son came to me with a rather unusual request: "Mama, can you set up the telescope?"

"Dude, it's the middle of the afternoon. What do you think you're going to see out there?"

"Um, I don't know. Can you just please set up the telescope."

"Okay, but don't look at the sun. You'll damage your eyes.''

He agreed not to look at the sun, so I set up the telescope. He spent about fifteen minutes looking through the eyepiece. Then he came inside.

"What did you see?"

"Nothing but blue sky and tree branches," he replied. "I was hoping to see a meteor."

Oh. Better luck next time!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Spring Planting

The weather has been rather nice in sunny Cincinnati. At times like these, our thoughts turn to spring. My son's thoughts were definitely on spring. I found him in front of our house with a garden shovel and a packet of Forget-Me-Nots. He was busy digging holes.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Planting flowers," he answered. "I like gardening."

"Me too," I said.

I watched him carefully put the seeds in the holes he had dug. Then he covered them with dirt and patted them lovingly with his shovel.

"When they come up, they will be your Valentine's Day present," he told me.

Wasn't that sweet!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fossil Mountain

"Mommy, take me to Fossil Mountain.....please!!!" Those were the words I heard today from my six-year-old son.

Fossil mountain, AKA Trammel Fossil Park for those of you who are familiar with the Cincinnati attraction, is a really cool hill that's loaded with fossils. Just about every rock you pick up has some sort of fossil on it - mostly ancient sea life that once lived in the area. Well, I still wasn't feeling good, but I just couldn't pass up an educational opportunity. So we trekked to the mountain.

My son was thrilled. He scoured that mountain and found all kinds of neat fossils. (He also found deer tracks which he followed into the woods.) He found all kinds of interesting rocks and minerals. He even went on a meteor hunt (no, we didn't find any space rocks, but it was fun looking). We spent nearly two hours on that big old hill.

By the time we were done, I was exhausted again. (The amount of coughing I've done in the last few days has been ridiculous!) I wondered if we should've just stayed home. But seeing how thrilled my son was, made it worth it, especially when he gave me one of his big grins and said, "I love you, Mommy!"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Stupid Mama

I know, "stupid" isn't a nice word. But I was definitely stupid.

Most people, when they are not feeling good, stay home and do absolutely nothing. Me? I run around like a maniac, just because I have so much to do.

So today, I went to the store to get fruit for the school Valentine's Day party. Then I went to the school to drop it off. I didn't stay, because I didn't want to contaminate the kids (okay, so that was a little smart). Then I had to go to the post office to mail books to reviewers who are going to be blogging about my works as part of my month-long book tour that's coming up. Then I had to get a Valentine's Day present for my husband (I couldn't not do that, right?). Then I had to put a roast in the slow cooker (my family has to eat, right?). Then I made a cake (for Valentine's Day, of course). Then I had to pick up my son. Then he said, "Mama, I want to ride around the block on my scooter."

"You can't do that by yourself."

"Will you come with me?"

So then I pretty much ran around the block with my kid.

Now I'm sitting here, feeling like I'm absolutely going to die. My ears are ringing loudly, my body is aching, and I just want to go to bed.

I'm just so stupid.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ailing Accompanist

Sorry for the lack of a post yesterday. I was just too sick to type. Let me tell you my story. As you know, I've been fighting some kind of wicked germ. The other day it got my voice. Then it attacked my whole body. I had the shakes, a fever of almost 103, and aches. My head felt like it was in a vice, and my lungs felt like they were on fire. I was a catastrophe.

Well, unfortunately, that was the day I had to accompany my violin students for the Ohio Music Educators Solo and Ensemble Contests. I knew I had to be there, because they were counting on me.

I lay in bed until 1:00 PM, trying to rest as much as possible. Then I crawled out of bed, caked a lot of makeup on my face, so you couldn't really tell I was sick, and drugged myself with Tylenol and a decongestant. I hauled my sorry self to downtown Cincinnati.

Somehow I managed to make it through the day. (Fortunately I had only two students to accompany.) It wasn't fun trying to play with my head pounding and my body aching!

Then I hauled my sorry self home, threw up, and crawled into bed (after I brushed my teeth.)

Ugh! Let's hope I don't have to do that again!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lost Voice

It's never good when a mom loses her voice. That happened to me today. I've been fighting a virus for several days now, and the darn thing finally got me down. It stole my voice.

So there I was in the store, trying to tell my son to leave the Leapster display, so we could go home.

"Mom, I can't hear what you're saying," he said as he continued to press buttons.

"Stop playing with that, and let's go!" I rasped.

"Still can't hear you," he said. (Why do kids choose to be on their worse behavior when you don't feel good?)

I barked louder: "Let's go! I don't feel good, and I need to get home!"

Finally he pulled himself away from the toy.

Then I got home, and the dog was being obnoxious.

"Sit!" I commanded in my hoarse whisper of a voice.

The dog looked at me like I had three heads.

So here's to all moms who have ever had to conduct business with no voice: Kudos to you!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


"Mom, I'm bored!" my six-year-old son called.

"Okay, so you have more toys than Toys R Us, and you're telling me that you're bored?" I responded.


So I marched down to the basement with the little man and did some digging. We uncovered some Bendaroos. If you have no idea about what I'm talking about, Bendaroos are little wax-like sticks that can be shaped into various creations.

"Here, do something with these," I suggested.

My son sat down and went to work. Soon the little guy brought over his concoction. It looked just like a cheeseburger, complete with lettuce and tomato.

"That's great!" I complimented him.

"Mommy, you make something."

"Okay." I went to work bending and shaping those little wax strings. When I was finished, I had created an ice cream sundae, complete with whipped cream and a cherry."

"Mommy, that looks good enough to eat!"

"It does, doesn't it?" I said. "Maybe I should make a spoon." I fabricated a spoon and the two of us sat together "eating" our ice cream sundae.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Grumpy Mama

It's always difficult to manage all the creatures, kids, work, and household chores by myself when my husband is out of town. Today was one of those days where I had to "keep all the plates spinning." It's even more difficult when I don't feel good, and when I'm extremely tired. Today was one of those days as well.

Apparently my fatigue was affecting my personality. "Mommy, you're grouchy!' my son informed me. (This was after a rather legnthy whine session where my son complained that I didn't take him to the natural history museum.)

"Yeah, well you're grouchy too," I retorted.

Then my daughter came home complaining how she hurt her foot in gym class. I didn't offer much sympathy.

"Mommy, why are you so grouchy?" she asked.

The rest of the day continued much the same way. Finally, at the end of the day, as I was reading a bedtime story to my son, my daughter came up and taped a sign to my back. It read:

"Caution, stay back 500 feet. Grumpy Mama!"

Wouldn't that make a great T-shirt?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dog Slop

I don't know who's worse - the dog or my kids. I was upstairs trying to fold some laundry when suddenly I hear the pounding of feet and an awful lot of screaming.

I ran downstairs to see what the heck was going on. My son had let the dog in and the dog was absolutely filthy. He smelled like he may have even romped in some of his business. Anyway, the kids didn't have control of the beast, and he bolted through the dining room and jumped on my sofa, leaving a trail of brown goop everywhere.

I quickly grabbed the dog's leash and got him under control. (At least the animal listens to me!) I put him in his crate. I cleaned up the mess, and all was well.

Then my son decided that he wanted to go outside.

"Mommy, can you help me put on my shoes?"

As I helped him, he put his hand over to the dog and let the dog lick it. Then do you know what that boy did? He wiped his slobbery hand on my head and got dog slop all over my hair!

What did I do to deserve this?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Gem Hunters

My kids have recently become interested in rocks and gems. My six-year-old son received a comprehensive rock guide book for Christmas, which he has read from cover to cover. He is becoming quite the expert in rocks.

Today my kids went outside to dig up some rocks. They were on a mission to find valuable gems. I'm not so sure there are any valuable gems to be found in the clay of Cincinnati, but they thought they'd give it a try.

A half hour later, my son came running into the house, very excited.

"Mom, I found some pyrite!" (Fools gold for anyone who isn't familiar with pyrite.)

"Hmmm," I said. "I don't think pyrite is found in these parts. Let me take a look."

My little guy handed over a huge chunk of rock. It was a muddy mess.

"Dude, this is shale, and it's covered with mud."

"Is it valuable?"


"Is it rare?"


"Then I'll go out and try to find a diamond."

Two hours later, he still had not found a diamond, but he did find a piece of granite. He was quite pleased.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hissing Cockroaches

My six-year-old son likes strange and bizarre creatures. Eyeless fish, jumping spiders, and vampire squids are some of his favorites. Today, at the natural history museum, he met some other strange creatures: Madagascar hissing cockroaches. They were crawling around in a rubbermaid container as a scientist shared information about them.

Naturally my little guy had to scoop one of those big bugs up. He held it in his little hand.

"Mommy, she likes me!" he exclaimed.

"How do you know it's a 'she?'" I asked.

"She's gentle, and she doesn't have horns."

The scientist looked at him, completely amazed that he knew that. "Why, yes, that's correct!" she said. "How did you know that?"

"Um, I don't know. Maybe I learned it in school somewhere. Can I take her home?"

The scientist looked at me. "Absolutely not," I said. "We have enough creatures to care for!"

My son put the cockroach back. "Okay. Maybe for my birthday."

Keep dreaming, kid!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Doggone Dog!

We have a five-month-old German Shepherd. That dog sure knows how to cause trouble! This evening, my son went upstairs to take his bath. My husband decided to let the dog sit next to him in his office. The dog lay down next to the desk and pretended to be a good dog. (Yes - he pretends. I know this, because I've seen him in action many times.)

My husband busied himself on the computer, sure that the dog was going to remain mellow. Boy, was he wrong! Suddenly that passive pooch bolted out the door, ran around the house at breakneck speed and ran up the stairs, where he heard my son splashing in the bathtub. Do you know what that dog did next? He charged into the bathroom and jumped into the bathtub with my son!

It sounded like somebody did a cannonball jump into a pool. My son screamed. Water splashed everywhere. Then that rotten dog wouldn't get out. Do you know what it's like trying to haul a sixty pound wet beast out of a tub?

We finally got the dog out of the tub. The beast ran into the hall and shook himself. Water went flying everywhere. Then he charged down the stairs, somersaulting down the last few, crashing into the front door. He slipped as he tried to run down the hall to his crate. Finally, he made it to his crate. Running at high speed, he smashed into the back of it, causing the crate to slide across the kitchen floor.

Then he lay down, gave us one of his cute puppy looks, and promptly fell asleep.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day

It's Groundhog day - that day when an oversized rodent is plucked from his cozy hole in the ground and made to endure the torments of flashing cameras and news reporters.

"Mommy, how does the groundhog know how long winter will be?" my astute six-year-old son asked.

"He doesn't. It's all media hype and a great excuse for teachers to have kids do art projects involving groundhogs."



"Poor groundhog. He had to come up and freeze in all of this snow!"

(Maybe we should get some animal rights activists involved in this case!)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Girl Scout Cookies

My daughter is a Girl Scout. In case you haven't already been visited by a Girl Scout selling cookies, here's a new alert: It's Girl Scout Cookie Sales time.

It's always so much fun going door to door in the freezing cold, selling those high-carb delights. My daughter and I have been visiting several neighborhoods in our area, trying to meet her goal of 2000 boxes of cookies. (She wants a lap-top computer. If she gets 2000 boxes sold, she earns the computer.)

"I have to sell 2000 boxes of cookies," she tells the customers.

They always raise an eyebrow when they hear about that lofty goal.

She's up to about 200 boxes. We'll keep on selling, but since I'm the cookie mom for our very large troop, I'm wondering how exactly I'm going to fit 2000 boxes of cookies in my basement (which I will probably have anyway once all the girls submit their orders.).

Anybody want a box of cookies? (Just kidding!)