His Signature Shirt

Thing 2 woke up last night at 11:30.  He turned his bedroom light on, all by himself, and then he gathered up all of his Thomas Trains for a nearly-midnight run down the tracks. There was much animation and voices for the trains being thrown out, because someone said, “Whoa!  Train crash!  Are you okay?”

His mama assured him that we have a strict NO TRAIN TRIPS AFTER 7:30 PM policy, because 7:30 PM is also known as BEDTIME, BEDTIME, OH GLORIOUS BEDTIME.

We also have a very strict NO TRAIN CRASHES AFTER 7:30 PM policy, too, because Thing 2 enjoys crashing his trains on the tracks more than he does taking them for a leisurely, tourist-y type drive to see the fall foliage out the train windows, while the conductor sings songs about hot chocolate.  Hubs and I don’t know if we should be worried about this or not, but we’ve decided NOT.  Thing 2 may enjoy causing nineteen-car pileups on the train tracks and inquiring about the physical health of all the passengers afterward, but the boy always, always, ALWAYS wanted to be the bad guy from every movie he ever saw when he was in preschool.  We didn’t have a Batman or a Luke Skywalker or a Peter Pan; we had the Joker and Darth Maul and Captain Hook.  Since the boy turned out okay, even with his desire to wear black capes and steal from the poor, we’re guessing that his younger brother and his penchant for wrecking the Burlington Northern (so that the National Transportation Safety Board has to come in and do a full-on investigation and ask if anyone was hopped up on sugar at the time of the accident) will be just fine, too.

By 2:00 this morning, Thing 2 was back to sleeping.

By 4:00 this morning, so I was.

And that is going to be the card that I play tonight, as I admit that I just needed to belly up to the bar at Starbucks all day and ask the baristas to keep the caffeine coming, before I simply fell over and took a nap at their counter.  It’s bedtime, y’all, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

But, before I go, I’ll just show you that Thing 2 still managed to look cute today, even though he’d been awake for long hours.  His mother, on the other hand, managed to have one of those days, where the hot rollers and the makeup and the outfit just didn’t cooperate, and she really just looked a lot like this:

bad-perm-barbie(And… just to be clear… I DID NOT take that picture.  I stole it off the World Wide Web and am in danger of being placed in solitary confinement for copyright infringements, because we don’t have Barbies at our house that we can have photo shoots with.)

(#Boyhouse  #Legos  #BBGuns  #PeeOnTheFloorNearTheToilet)

That about sums up The Look that I went to work with this morning, but I think my exhausted eyes were a bit droopier.

And they’re also brown, instead of blue.

But Thing 2 looked like he should have been wearing Ralph Lauren on the runways for a fashion show today, even though he simply wore his SIGNATURE SHIRT, which my sister bought for him.

IMG_0421 IMG_0422 IMG_0425I’ve never thought that it was fair that it’s so much easier for boys to throw on jeans and a T-shirt and simply look better than the girls who spend an hour and a half in front of the mirror, begging the hot rollers to work some magic, as they hold cold cucumber slices to their eyeballs and cross their fingers that the bags disappear.

Y’all have a merry night and try to get some sleep.

If You’re Going To Jump In The Puddles, You Need To Wear Your Boots

Thing 2 is a dedicated fan of the Peppa Pig cartoon.  It’s British, and it’s stinking adorable.  Even Hubs and I get sucked into the Pig family’s antics, because I think we see OURSELVES in Daddy Pig and Mommy Pig.

(Most especially the episode where Daddy Pig snores too much.)

(I’m just sayin’.)

In one episode, Peppa and her little brother, George, jump in puddles after a big rainstorm.  Peppa, being the bossy responsible older sister, lets George know that if he’s going to jump in puddles, he needs to wear his boots.

Our toddler has taken that statement to heart.  He’s a Puddle Jumping Activist, who closes his eyes in sheer pleasure whenever he comes across one, and he tells us all the time, “Jump in puddles… wear boots.”

He is also convinced that a pair of Toms high-top sneakers, that our darling friend, Jackie, gave to him for his birthday, can be classified as BOOTS.  Every single time he sees puddles, he insists that he MUST have this pair of shoes on, because BOOTS, BOOTS, BOOTS!  Never mind that they’re sneakers.  Thing 2 has no concept of how to dress for a basketball game; he sees that these shoes come up over his ankles, so… THEY’RE BOOTS.  End of the story.  Close the book up.  And he’ll win the argument every single time.

This morning, when I told him that it was time to go and that we needed to get his shoes on, he grabbed his “boots” and said, “He needs to jump in puddles.  He needs boots.”

(Thing 2 calls himself “he” all the time.  It’s so dadgum cute, I never want it to end.)

So… he wore his Toms sneakers today, that aren’t really boots… except they ARE really boots at our house.

Of course I took some pictures, because he was just too stinking cute NOT to take pictures of this morning.

IMG_0401 IMG_0403 IMG_0404 IMG_0406 IMG_0407 IMG_0408 IMG_0409 IMG_0410 IMG_0412 IMG_0416 IMG_0418The funny thing is…

… we didn’t have any puddles at all today.  We’re still in the middle of some of the most glorious fall weather I’ve ever seen, where the sun shines brightly, and the air is warm, and everything outside is just golden from the glow of the leaves turning.

As it turns out, Toms sneakers are good for dry weather, too, which is a good thing, because we’ve put a whole lot of miles on this pair.

The Weekend Of Getting It Done

Well.

I would’ve written something last night, but I felt y’all deserved better than what my mind could conjure up.  I actually sat down at the computer to throw a blog post together, and after twenty-minutes of catching up on everyone’s lives on Facebook, I just shut the Big Mac down and called it a day.

My conclusion was that EVERYONE had lived a more glamorous life than I did this weekend.

On Friday, I cleaned house.  It wasn’t the kind of sporadic cleaning that I’ve become famous for lately, where I focus on ONE simple task and get ‘er done like a farm girl with a harvest deadline.  You know… the cleaning where I say, “I’ll see the kitchen counters by the end of the day, or so help me, I’ll just go to bed with a sink full of dirty dishes.”  No, ma’am.  On Friday, I pulled out all the stops.  There was vacuuming and mopping.  There was straightening and scrubbing and polishing and shining and a low point where I decided to apply more deodorant, because IS THAT ME?  And then I sort of stepped back and thought, “The world needs to see this!  I should make a You Tube video called THE DAY MY HOUSE WAS CLEAN ENOUGH FOR A MAGAZINE SHOOT.”  And then I didn’t, because I’m still smack in the middle of Jodi Picoult’s new book, and I treated myself to a bit of reading instead of walking through my house with my cell phone set to VIDEO, saying, “And here is my bathroom sink, after I chiseled all the dried hairspray off of it.”

Then, when the boy came home from school, he fired up the neighbor’s riding lawn mower and drove over our lawn, which rather efficiently collected half of the 382 trillion leaves that are currently fluttering around our property and lying dead on our grass.  Usually, we do the leaf collecting the old fashioned way, which is to say that we get out the rakes and the blower and the leather gloves and the giant garbage buckets, and we sweat and labor and fill the back of Hubs’ truck, until he decides to drive it over to the green-waste bins in the nearby park and dump it.  And then we repeat that procedure one thousand and forty-two more times.  It’s a lovely way to get all the family bonding done for the year, especially when one of you has to chase the toddler down the street, as he’s seen a wild turkey and decided to follow after it with deaf ears that can no longer hear his mother screaming for him to STOP!!

(Oh, I kid, people.  I never scream outside at the boys.  WHAT would the neighbors think?  They’d think I’m that crazy woman in the cul de sac, who shoots rock salt out of a BB gun at kids who trespass across her lawn.)

By borrowing the neighbor’s riding lawn mower, we were done with nine hours’ worth of manual labor in forty-five minutes.  And by we, I mean the boy was done with all that work, because all I did was stand on the deck with Thing 2 and enthusiastically clap with my toddler, every time the boy drove past us.  Thing 2 provided his big brother with a fan club, who diligently cheered him on with happy shouts and fist pumps and jumping up and down, every single time the mower approached the deck.  The boy couldn’t quit smiling over his brother’s enthusiasm, either.

Rest assured, we’re going to take full advantage of our neighbor’s goodness, because I’ve decided that I like being a cheerleader in the Spirit Club, while my big boy works, a lot better than I like being an unpaid day laborer.  The boy and I have also tried to count our allowances to see if we could afford a riding mower of our own, and we’ve decided that between us, we have $48.34.

It’s a start.

On Saturday, Papa came over to help Hubs build a giant workbench in the garage.  Basically, it’s like a glorified kitchen counter, without a sink in it, and Hubs can’t quit smiling over it.  I think this is going to be named Command Center, as the big boys have enormous plans for everything that is going to take place on that workbench.  Thing 2 sees it as a perfectly level spot that would be prime real estate for setting up his Thomas the Train set.

While all the hammering and drilling and sawing was happening in the garage, I decided to ignore the gloriously beautiful fall weather and submerge myself in the boy’s walk-in closet, while he was otherwise occupied.  I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but our teenager has done some growing.

And by growing, I mean he’s grown over eight inches in the past year, with no signs of slowing it down.

Thankfully, we’ve been pulling in some new clothes that actually fit him, through the generosity of our neighbors, who have bigger boys who have outgrown all of their American Eagle shirts and jeans.  Plus, I did some online shopping for the boy, because I’ve reached a point in my life where I sit back with a piping hot chai tea and say, “Life is too short to spend any part of it forcing the boy into a dressing room.”  It’s because the boy’s attitude sinks to an all-time, whining low whenever he’s forced to try clothes on.  He’ll let you know, in colorful phrases interspersed with a wrinkled forehead and body slouching, that he HATES CLOTHES SHOPPING MORE THAN HE HATES THE BARBIE DOLL INDUSTRY.  That is why Jesus provided us with online shopping, I guess… it sure saves this mama’s sanity.

So… on Saturday… while the boy was helping build a giant workbench in the garage… I ripped into his closet to pull out everything that no longer fits him, EVEN THOUGH (!!!) the weather was so beautiful outside, I felt absolutely guilty for staying indoors with the toddler.  And this is where I admit that I was a terrible parent on Saturday, because I plugged Thing 2 into the cartoons, and let him watch an entire marathon of mind-rotting adventures of Mickey Mouse and Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig, while I sorted and folded and rehung things and tidied up.

In the end, I had a pile of discarded clothes that could only be crossed by Olympic pole vaulters.

And then I unpacked the bags of hand-me-downs and the bags of brand new clothes, and I hung them up so nicely that a heavenly glow started to shine in that closet.  I folded jeans and matched socks together that haven’t seen their twin since 1954, and then I sat back and sighed.

By this time, I figured I’d been in that closet for the better part of the day, and I was beat.  Thing 2 was revved up, because he’d had no contact with the outside world, and because he had been lethargic in front of the cartoons.  So… he decided to liven things up around our house by pulling out a box of pancake flour from our pantry, which he unloaded completely on my kitchen floor.

And then he walked through it.

And then he threw pancake flour high into the air above his head, while he clapped for himself.

And then he rolled in it.

And that is the point when I came flying into the kitchen from the boy’s closet, to discover that my PRISTINE KITCHEN was no longer clean, because it looked like a flour factory had exploded.

I won’t lie.

I wanted to sit my sweaty self down and bawl, but crying is for the weak.  So… I hauled out the vacuum cleaner, and let Thing 2 suck up the majority of his mess, which made him happier than MAKING THE MESS had done.  In the end, I finished the finer vacuuming, getting the spots the toddler missed, and we mopped again… and wiped down all the kitchen cabinets… and the kitchen counters… and gave Thing 2 a sponge-bath in the sink, because he was completely covered in flour, too.

By Saturday evening, I was beat, which is why I only had the energy to microwave some chicken nuggets and pull out the mandarin oranges for the family’s dinner.  Hubs played his Get Out Of Dinner Free card, and claimed that he was still pretty much full from lunch.

I have no idea how June Cleaver managed to clean her boys’ closets and clean up a flour explosion all over her kitchen, and still whip up a beef bourguignon and roasted potatoes for dinner.

On Sunday, Thing 2 and I did a park tour, while the boy went to his tennis lessons and while Hubs stayed home to accomplish some little projects.  That little boy of ours needed to run and run and also RUN.  So… we climbed and did the slides at one park… and then we loaded up into the Suburban and moved on to the next park, where we repeated the entire procedure again.  I had him roll down the grassy hills and climb up to the tallest slides, over and over, because USE SOME OF THAT ENERGY UP, SON!!

IMG_2849(Please don’t worry about this snapshot.  Although this could be labeled as VERY DANGEROUS for other toddlers, Thing 2 is a trained professional when it comes to dangling off the HIGH pull-up bar at the park.  He’ll do a pull-up of his own, and then he just… drops to the ground and claps for himself.)

And today?  Well, I got up this morning and decided that my home no longer resembled the uber-clean house that I’d lived in on Friday.  Somehow, we had real messes again, so I spent the morning tidying things up.

And then!

Then… I did ALL.  OF.  THE.  LAUNDRY.

Oh, people!  I did.  Today, I washed every last piece of dirty whatever that we had.  I washed it all.  I ran my washing machine into the ground… I just kept whipping the side of it, like it was a wayward racehorse, as I shouted out, “More!  Faster!  Give me more speed!”  And it did, which is surprising, because our washing machine is old enough that it’s only one degree removed from the washboard-in-the-creek method of laundry-doing.

I’m trying to remember the last time that I had all of the laundry done at one time, and I’m coming up with 1936.

And then, as luck would have it, the boy had a double-header soccer game this evening, so now my laundry baskets are filled with dirty, sweaty, smelly soccer stuff.  I have stinky socks and shorts and jerseys in there, just waiting for tomorrow’s list of chores to roll around, because there’s never any rest for the mothers.

Also?  Well, while I was downstairs in the laundry room, swapping one wet load from the washer and putting it into the dryer this morning, Thing 2 was upstairs, raiding the pantry.  He decided that Cheerios would make a fine mid-morning snack, so he tried to open that brand-new, still-factory-sealed box on his own.

That’s the reason our cereal box now looks like this:

IMG_2858

Happy Monday, everyone.  Happy Monday.

Good Books. Good Chai. Good Days.

I know that you’ll be happy to hear that all the world is right again.

Except for areas heavily riddled with crime and riots and Ebola and low populations of Christianity.  Nothing is right there.  But at our house, all is right, once again, because I found Starbucks’ Tazo Chai in a K-cup today, and I’m pretty sure I squealed like a pink piglet in the world’s best mudhole when I saw it.  It is not my usual, Oregon Chai brand, that I make at home, but SWEET MERCY!  I came home this afternoon and had my first cup, and I forgot all of my problems in the hot perfection.  My next mission is to just throw the off-brand of chai K-cups in the garbage can, because life is just too short to store bad chai in your pantry.

And speaking of pantries, look what I found in OURS today:

IMG_2842Now, I realize that my pantry is lovely enough that pinners everywhere are smacking snapshots of it onto their own Pinterest accounts, right and left.  I hesitated even putting this picture on the blog tonight, because I’m kind of like Monica Geller, on Friends, exposing that I work diligently to keep a clean house… but I hide filth behind closet doors.

Or pantry doors.

Whatever.

While I was making my bed first thing this morning, I heard Thing 2′s voice holler, “Wow!  He’s really high!”  You can bet that I ran across our house at speeds that would have qualified me for Olympic sprints, and THAT is what I found.

(And yes, Thing 2 calls himself “he” all the time.  As in, “He wants a drink!” and “He wants an apple!” and “He wants to go to park!” and “He’s really high!”  I think all the parenting handbooks would encourage me to correct his pronoun usage by restating, “I want a drink,” but this is too cute.  It makes my heart melt with all the sweetness, whenever he looks at me and says, “Mommy, he wants a hug.”  I hope it sticks around for a few more months yet.)

Anyway.  I had hidden a bag of Tootsie Pop suckers on the very top shelf up there… thinking that the toddler would never see them.  Apparently my wishful thinking is over, because he found that bag of suckers this morning on his climb, and announced, “He wants a red sucker!”

But yes.  I’m just keeping things VERY REAL around here, by admitting our food storage sins through photos.  The pantry is a disaster.  Plus… we really DO have Cheez-Its and Little Debbie cookies and boxed macaroni and cheese, and you won’t see THOSE THINGS stored in any of the pantries on Pinterest.  There are no little wicker baskets with tiny chalkboard labels on them that read JUNK FOOD CRACKERS on Pinterest.  No, ma’am.  Those little chalkboard labels on those trendy pantry baskets all read ORGANIC, WHOLE GRAIN GOODNESS FOR AFTERNOON SNACKS, BECAUSE THIS MOTHER IS ON TOP OF HER GAME.

Also?  Well, Thing 2 needs to take a lot of the blame for our pantry’s condition, because he is CONTINUALLY taking food out of it and carrying it around the house.  And then he shoves it back IN to the pantry, and two-year-olds never care to put things back in an alphabetical manner, with the labels facing front and center.

I mean… seriously… just look what they do with a bag of popcorn:

IMG_2839That was yesterday’s bit of fun.

Of course, that snapshot right there was taken AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MESS, because what I don’t have a photo of is when Thing 2 swung his arms like a windmill on speed pills and swept all of that popcorn off the chair, shooting it for fourteen miles across our kitchen floors.

What else?

While I was at Walmart today, rejoicing over the Starbucks Tazo chai that I’d scored, I also discovered that Jodi Picoult has a brand new, hardcover book out, and I didn’t waste any time at all tossing it into my card.  I never know WHO has new books out these days; I never know WHO has new movies premiering, either.  All I know is that Hubs records Gold Rush on the TV, and the DVR fires up to take care of that business at 8:30 every single morning of the week, and THAT is in the middle of Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse.  Every morning, my TV screen gives me the option of 1.  Watching Gold Rush.  2.  Deleting the recording of Gold Rush and watching Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse.  3.  Continuing to record Gold Rush and shut the TV off.  Because we have ninety remote controls to run our TV and DVR and satellite, I never know how to push buttons to get the option that reads, “Continue recording your husband’s show, even though this is the time slot for RERUNS, and he’s ALREADY SEEN THEM ALL, and keep on watching Mickey Mouse, so that your toddler’s head doesn’t spin sideways off his neck in his grief that ol’ Mick has been put on hold while you deal with the message box on the screen.”  Why can’t THAT be an option?!

I’m telling you, if it’s not on Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse or Paw Patrol or Peppa Pig or Barney… I don’t know about it.

One of my greatest pleasures in life is getting my hair cut every two months and catching up on the outside world through all the back issues of People magazine that my stylist saves for me to read in her chair.

Where were we?

So yes.  Apparently, Jodi Picoult has a brand new book out, and I am now the proud owner of it.

In hardback.

Because I’m very classy.

(And if you believe that, please scroll back up to look at the condition of my pantry.)

Between the new book and the new chai… well… I got absolutely nothing done this afternoon.  Nothing.  I had enormous visions of me catching up on the laundry today, because OCTOBER 16th, 2014 was the first day in a month that was COMPLETELY and also UTTERLY BLANK on my calendar.  I had NOTHING to do today.  Nowhere to be today.  No appointments to keep today.  I woke up with the smell of fresh laundry on my mind, and I had every intention of doing all the vacuuming and mopping, too, but I’ll be honest with you:  Tidying up the pantry never crossed my mind.  Not at all.

And then… I started reading my book during the toddler’s naptime, while I sipped my new chai tea…

… and here it is, bedtime and nothing has been accomplished.

I think that’s what tomorrow is for, folks.

Another Night Where I Just Ramble

I didn’t post anything last night here at Jedi Mama, Incorporated, because we were all still extremely busy celebrating Columbus Day with a giant, smoked turkey… stuffing… an enormous ship pinata… and a cake shaped just like the Pinta.

Oh, wait.

We’re the family who didn’t even bake a cupcake in honor of Christopher Columbus, so we were probably just busily wrapped up in THIS HAS BEEN A TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY and LOOK!  NOW WE HAVE SOCCER PRACTICE! and MAMA IS OFF TO BIBLE STUDY and WHAT DO YOU MEAN, ‘YOU HAVEN’T STARTED THE HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT THAT IS DUE IN THE MORNING, THAT WAS GIVEN TO YOU TEN DAYS AGO’?”

Yes.  We are THAT family.

So I’ll just throw some random things at you tonight.  I apologize ahead of time for the fact that this post will probably contain more typos than usual, and max itself out on run-on sentences.

1.  My terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day happened in PE yesterday, because?  Do you remember the little fellow who fell on his face last week and popped one of his bottom teeth through his upper lip, and WHOA, BLOOD!!?

Yeah.

That VERY SAME BOY was running full speed yesterday morning, and he collided with another boy.  And this time, he ripped his bottom lip open and knocked his two front teeth pretty much OUT.  So much OUT, in fact, he had surgery last night at 5:30 to splint his front teeth together in an effort to keep them in his mouth forever and ever, amen, because they’re his permanent teeth.

And the second boy?  Well, he has a perfect impression of the first boy’s teeth in his forehead.  We could use that forehead as forensics evidence, because HELLO, PRECISE DENTAL RECORD OF THE UPPER TEETH FROM THAT KID WHO’S BLEEDING PROFUSELY FROM THE MOUTH OVER THERE.

And?  Do you know how much blood we had yesterday?  Enough to make the TOOTH THROUGH THE LIP incident from last week look as harmless as a mosquito bite.  Yesterday’s blood bath might have left folks wondering if a backstreet butcher shop was being run in my gymnasium.

AND MY PE CLASS ISN’T NORMALLY LIKE THIS, PEOPLE!!  This is my nineteenth year of teaching, because I’m as old as Christopher Columbus himself, and this is only the fourth time we’ve had to send someone to the doctor… and 50% of my “HE’S GONNA NEED TO SEE SOMEONE ABOUT THAT” times has been with THIS KID, IN THE PAST SEVEN DAYS!!

2.  We have owls.  Well, we don’t keep them as PETS, because this isn’t Hogwarts, and because I know what they eat and puke back up.  No, thanks.  I currently have an entire bag of microwave popcorn scattered all over my home office floor, because Thing 2 did it; I don’t need owl pellets added to the mess I’m going to be sweeping up in four more minutes.  Outside, in our trees, when it gets really dark, a family of owls comes out and starts hooting.  They are nothing but obnoxious.  Hubs is rather fond of their nighttime conversations, but I’m pretty sure I could strangle their leader barehanded at 1:30 in the morning.  There are three of them.  Not that I can actually SEE THEM to COUNT THEM, but I can HEAR THEM.  And I can distinctly hear three separate owl voices.  They chat with one another.

They chat all night long.

They chat about I JUST HAD FOURTEEN CUPS OF ESPRESSO, AND I’M A LITTLE WIRED RIGHT NOW, SO I MAY JUST HOOT STRAIGHT THROUGH UNTIL TOMORROW AFTERNOON.

They drive me nuts, because I can’t sleep.

They were in full-force, owl-hooting glory last night, and let me tell you:  They kind of creep me out in the darkest part of the night.  They’re worse than the far-off howling of coyotes, because they are RIGHT OUTSIDE MY BEDROOM WINDOW, and I want them and their enormous yellow eyeballs to just go away.

I have had just over four hours’ worth of sleep, because of those owls.

Tonight, I’ll be throwing pop cans off of my deck, in my pajamas, at 1:00 in the morning, trying to topple one off his branch.  I’ve got fairly good aim, so I feel like it’ll be as easy as those rigged carnival games.

Who knows?  I may win Hubs a giant, stuffed owl.

3.  I bought a chai tea at Starbucks on my way to work this morning, because I hate, loathe and also despise the new chai K-cups that I bought last week at the grocery store.

(This just confirms that Jesus always intended us to buy our chai directly from the Starbucks source.)

I know the dangers of hot drinks — that they can be… well… EXTREMELY HOT.  In my excitement to get my hands on that thing this morning, I gulped a giant drink before I was even out of Starbucks’ parking lot, which is when I realized HOLY MOTHER OF COLOMBIAN COFFEE PICKERS!!!   HOT LAVA!!!  HOT!!!! LAVA!!!!  I couldn’t swallow it, because it was like taking a bite out of the sun, so, without even understanding what I was really doing, I just spit it out all over myself.

I have third-degree burns on my chin now.

I had a little issue of DID YOU SPILL YOUR COFFEE ON THE FRONT OF YOUR SHIRT when I got to work.  I simply replied, “Nope.  I spit that out on myself, thank you very much.”

And THAT, people, is all that I have for you tonight.  I have taught PE all day (and we had absolutely ZERO BLOOD SPILLS!!).  I made a pot of homemade soup, clear from the scratch and practically cut my left index finger off with our new chopping knife after I got home.  (Yes.  We got new kitchen knives.  It’s because we had no idea that what we were doing with our old knives wasn’t actually called CUTTING; it was called SAWING.  These new knives are WICKED DING SHARP, and I have nine fingers now to prove it.)  Then I loaded both boys up into the Suburban, and we went out to the church for youth group, where I played games with all the little kids.  (Apparently the church hasn’t gotten word yet that we have major mouth injuries in my PE class, and maybe I’m an INSURANCE RISK for youth group night now.)  And I’ve had four hours’ worth of sleep, because OWLS!!  OWLS EVERYWHERE!!  Annnnddddd… I have an entire bag of microwave popcorn to sweep up off my hardwood floor now.

So I’m off to bed.

Behave, y’all.

We Didn’t Even Bake A Cupcake

Well, it’s Columbus Day, and I went ahead and celebrated it exactly like Chris C. always envisioned people would, when he first crashed his ship into the sandy, North American beaches and disembarked:

I went to Walmart with the toddler, where I realized that my favorite chai latte K-cups must be a thing of the past now, because my luck goes like this:  EVERYTHING I LOVE IS ALWAYS DISCONTINUED, which explains why I can no longer buy my favorite L’Oreal lipstick from 1988, which was an iridescent pink and paired well with my white-leather-fringed Bon Jovi boots.  So… I bought a new brand of chai today.  My official review is that it’s absolutely awful.  Those K-cups taste like something that probably sat below deck on the Santa Maria for the entire journey across the ocean… and the rats may or may not have crawled in and out of the chai barrels for a bath time swim, just to get the filth and stench out of their fur coats. It certainly was no brand of tea that the queen would have sipped while she commissioned Christopher to go forth and discover new lands, which just goes to show you one thing:  Chai tea was always meant to be had at Starbucks.

Then… I hauled the boy and Kellen out to tennis lessons first thing this morning, because nothing says CELEBRATE YOUR DAY OFF FROM SCHOOL like an early-hour wake-up call for tennis.

(And nothing adds to the vacation-day celebration like having your mom declare, “Your room looks like the devastating photos on the news after an F5 tornado has hit a town.  Your life will be shut down until the National Guard is called in to help you with the cleanup.  I’ll try to get some rations, in the form of MREs and bottles of distilled water, dropped at your door, because MAMA CARES.”)

(I’m happy to report that the cleanup took place.  The boy carried a load of dirty clothes OUT OF his bedroom that made it look like the entire Duggar family had been living in his walk-in closet for three months straight without the luxury of a washing machine.  I can’t even tell you the joy this brought to my heart to see that MY ALREADY ENORMOUS LAUNDRY PILES WERE BEING QUADRUPLED WITH ONE DUMP.)

Then there were errands to run.  Specifically, we went to the post office to mail a package today, but LOW!  The mind of the elderly does not work at full speed all the time, and I plum, dadgum forgot that the post office was closed today, so that employees could have their own Columbus Day Celebrations at Walmart and with bad chai lattes.  So… I went to the UPS Store, where I found out that YES, they COULD take my package today, although it won’t be mailed until tomorrow, because DID I REALIZE TODAY WAS AN ACTUAL HOLIDAY?

After that, I took Thing 2 to the park, where he went down the slide one thousand, three hundred and fourteen more times, before he decided that he really just wanted to spend the rest of the afternoon flinging sand in all directions from the sandbox.  This would have been all fine and dandy with me, until my baby discovered a… AHEM!… bit of a “cat dropping.”  This called for Emergency Sanitation Rituals, carried out by the ever-present bottle of Germ-X in Mama’s Suburban, right before we drove straight home and washed our hands thirteen times in our bathroom sink.

And then we took the boy to his soccer game this evening, where we all heartily cheered him and his teammates on to a 3 to 1 victory.  We are a clapping and cheering sort of family.

And that was today.  I really regret the fact that we didn’t buy a bouquet of balloons or make a cake to celebrate the discovery of our continent, but between CRACK-OF-THE-DAWN TENNIS LESSONS and THE POST OFFICE IS CLOSED and WHAT KIND OF NEW HELL IS THIS CHAI TEA and CAT TURD!  CAT TURD!  CAT TURD IN THE BABY’S HANDS!, we didn’t go all out this year.

Merry Columbus Day, y’all.

The Big Change

Yes.  We can call this post The Big Change.

We can also call it That Time I Clogged Up Your Hard Drive With All The Snapshots.

Thing 2 is looking a little different this weekend, and by a little different, I mean, “Whoa, Gladys!  Look how handsome he is!”

(Not that he wasn’t handsome before, because he was.  I don’t think I’ve minced my words when I’ve spent all the days telling you that my boys are the cutest children on this continent.)

(And I know that Jesus doesn’t appreciate a bragger, but I don’t think it’s bragging when you’re just stating a word of truth.)

(Amen.)

Thing 2 has had some monstrous curls, and I have loved them.  But lately, those curls had been taking on more of a dreadlock formation, as they gave me grief with their vocabulary words of SNARLED and TANGLED and TWISTED and WE SURE USE A BOTTLE OF CONDITIONER QUICKLY AROUND HERE THESE DAYS.  My goal was to grow them long, because DON’T TELL ME THAT LONG CURLS ON A LITTLE BOY WOULDN’T BE ADORABLE.  I was on a mission to achieve a surfer look with our toddler, with a shaggy, beach mane of windblown curls.

But then genetics didn’t cooperate with me, because that boy’s DNA decided to play a game called LET’S JUST SHOW HER THAT SHE’LL NEVER GET A COMB THROUGH THESE THINGS AGAIN and HELLO, BOB MARLEY.

So… I had to give in.  I had to call our stylist and say, “Book the little man an appointment for something more than just a trim.  And do it quickly, before I change my mind and decide that dreadlocks will look really, REALLY hip and keep them, because MY WORD!  I don’t want to cut these off.”

THE BEFORE PICTURES

Now… this is not how Thing 2′s hair normally looked, but sometimes… in the mornings before he showered… Hubs would grab a hair pick and go to town on that mane.  The result always made our toddler look like he was a member of the Harlem Globetrotters.

(Also?  Well, that’s the food dye of an orange M&M dripping down his chin, because Thing 2 had just done his morning business on the big boy potty, which earns him a candy reward.)

IMG_9723 IMG_9724 IMG_9727 IMG_9730Every day, after his morning shower, I would get Thing 2 dressed and apply some hair product to his curls, which tamed them up pretty nicely…

…until they just got TOO LONG to be tamed, and they decided to let their wild nature flourish with abandon.

IMG_9737 IMG_9738 IMG_9739 IMG_9743 IMG_9746 IMG_9747 IMG_9791 IMG_9749 IMG_9751 IMG_9754 IMG_9766 IMG_9768 IMG_9769 IMG_9771 IMG_9772 IMG_9952 IMG_9954 IMG_9957 IMG_9962 IMG_9966 IMG_9977 IMG_9978 IMG_9979 IMG_9980 IMG_9995 IMG_0005Grammy bought the “Crazy Hair, Don’t Care” T-shirt for Thing 2.

Never has a shirt been more appropriate for a child.  It TOTALLY fit.

(And yes.  I just used the word TOTALLY like it was 1987 again.  Bless my heart.)

Then, on Friday afternoon, we walked into our friend Lisa’s salon.  Lisa has cut all of our hair since the very olden days of WE DON’T EVEN HAVE CHILDREN YET.  If you’re doing the math, and you know that the boy is fourteen… well… that comes out to a few appointments that we’ve had in Lisa’s twirly chair.

We gave Thing 2 a bright red sucker, because we like to reward him with the food dyes that good mothers avoid at all costs.  Did you go potty on the toilet?  Yay!!  Here’s some orange dye!  Did you sit nicely for a haircut?  Whoop!!  Whoop!!  Have some bright red food dye!”

IMG_0011 IMG_0012 IMG_0013Lisa told Thing 2 that he needed to sit like a big boy and not cry…

… and then she told ME that I needed to be a big girl and let her do her work with the clippers, without ME crying.

THE AFTER PICTURES

I’m happy to report that both the toddler and his mama sat nicely, and nobody cried.

When Lisa stepped back to proclaim that her magic-working was over, we had THIS:

IMG_0015 IMG_0017 IMG_0018 IMG_0136 IMG_0138 IMG_0139 IMG_0142 IMG_0143 IMG_0144 IMG_0149 IMG_0155 IMG_0159 IMG_0160Be still, my heart!!

I didn’t know that it was possible for Thing 2 to be even cuter, but we’ve proved otherwise.  This haircut makes me SO HAPPY.

We expect Ralph Lauren to be calling any moment now to ask if our toddler would be interested in modeling some shirts with polo ponies on them.

(Speaking of Ralph, when the boy was six, he once asked me, “Hey, Mom?  Why do most of my shirts have this dumb guy, who’s holding a big stick and riding a horse, on them?”  That was the day that I wrote him out of our will.)

Anyway, that’s going to do it for tonight, y’all.

Merry Sunday.  It’s kind of like a holiday for us, because NO SCHOOL TOMORROW!!  We’re on our day-long Fall Break, while our Colorado counterparts celebrate their week-long Fall Break from school… those lucky dogs who like to text us and RUB.  IT.  IN.

They Caught The Fire Of The Thai Pizza, And We Couldn’t Put It Out

Before I say anything else here, I need to talk about the pizza Hubs brought home last night.

And honestly?  The MAMA IS ON A COOKING ROLL streak didn’t really end, so much as it came to a bit of road construction, otherwise known as MAMA WAS GONE FOR TWELVE CONSECUTIVE HOURS FROM HOME YESTERDAY, SO… LIKEWHEN WAS SHE SUPPOSED TO BROWN UP SOME BURGER FOR A NICE TATER TOT CASSEROLE?  I have resumed my dedication now to bringing succulent meals to our table, that make me look as well-polished as Carol Brady.

But Carol had Alice, so who are we kidding?

Between the boy’s soccer game last night and our mad dash to get to the church for youth group that was going to start exactly fourteen minutes after the game ended, I managed to shout out to Hubs, “Stay alive!  I will find you!”

Except… not really.  I said, “If you want food tonight, grab some take-and-bake pizzas!”  And then I may have smiled that grin of mine where my teeth sparkle like a toothpaste commercial and added, “And it would be fantastic if you had them all hot and on the counter waiting for us when youth group is finished.”

We are a rut-livin’ bunch at our house, when it comes to the take-and-bake  pizzas.  We NEVER deviate from the tried-and-true order, in which we get one large cheese pizza for the boys and one large pizza with Canadian bacon and onions and pepperoni for the grownups around here.  We stick to the plan; we never stray from the trail.  We are boring and extremely predictable when it comes to our pizza order.

Or… we WERE… until the boy and Thing 2 and I walked in our front door at 7:45 last night to discover THREE pizzas on our kitchen counter, because Hubs had ventured out into unexplored territory and purchased a Thai Pizza.

My first comment was, “I can’t believe you bought a pizza with zucchini on it.”

Because Hubs frowns at zucchini like we all frown at Ebola.  He won’t touch it.

He said, “I had no idea that this pizza came with zucchini on it, until they handed it to me, but it’s okay, because I can’t even taste it.”

The translation, through an interpreter, for that statement is:  THE THAI SAUCE ON THIS PIZZA IS SO HOT, YOU WILL TRY TO UTTER CURSE WORDS, BUT FIND THAT YOU CAN’T, BECAUSE YOUR TONGUE HAS BURST INTO FLAMES AND LEFT NOTHING BUT A PILE OF GRAY ASH IN YOUR MOUTH.

I kid you not.

I tried the pizza, and I’m here to say that it can be used as a sinus rinse and a colon cleanse, all at the same time.  It chapped my lips and made me cry, and WHAT ZUCCHINI?!  WAS THERE ZUCCHINI ON IT?!  Because all you can taste is DEVIL HOT, and you don’t even notice that there are actually real vegetables on the crust.

You can replicate this pizza at home, if you like, by spreading some pizza sauce onto a prepared pizza crust… adding some zucchini… and then dousing the whole thing in cheese and gasoline, right before you light a match.  The tricky part will be taking a bite through the flames, but I’m here to tell you that it can be done.

So… the soccer game last night.

We won’t talk about the score, because… in the words of our coach… “Sometimes you just have to know when your coaching instructions aren’t going to work any more, and then you find your happy place in your brain, where you can’t hear the cries of those being slaughtered.”

The boy’s team this season has played some powerfully good soccer under Coach Paul’s guidance, and this is the second time that we have played the Purple Team.  In our first game against them, we tied… zero to zero… because the defensive lines on Purple and Lime Green couldn’t be breached with nuclear warheads that evening.

And then there was last night, when Purple decided that they were on fire, exactly like Hot Thai Sauce, and Lime Green decided that HEY!  WHAT’S EVERYONE GOING TO DRESS UP AS FOR HALLOWEEN? and also OH, MAN!  DID YOU THINK THAT LAST ESSAY QUESTION ON THE SCIENCE TEST WAS HARD, OR WHAT?!

Because Lime Green wasn’t thinking about scoring goals last night, when the score looked more like a basketball score than anything else.

Eight.  To.  Zero.

But the good news is that we know half of those Purple kids (because this is Small Town, USA, and we know EVERYONE), and we still love them, especially since the boy’s best buddy, Kellen, plays for that team.

So last night’s match-up will just go down in the history books as The Game That Shall Not Be Named, but everyone really did have a good time.

I snapped some pre-game photos of a few spectators…

There’s Cousin K and his buddy, Mason.  (Mason’s older sister is Cousin L’s good friend, and she plays on our team.)

IMG_9806 IMG_9808And little Cousin H…

IMG_9810

And Thing 2, who dressed in his favorite team’s colors, while he managed to yell, “Go!  Go!  Goooooo!” like the best college cheerleader who has ever loaned his voice to a sporting event.

IMG_9812Kellen took the job as keeper for his team during the first half of the game.

IMG_9811And then we sort of got that game started.

IMG_9816 IMG_9825 IMG_9833 IMG_9835This is the boy’s friend, Josh.  Josh is WICKED DANG FAST, and he’s an awesome soccer player.  Josh knows how to move that ball around a field.

IMG_9819Here’s Kiley and Cousin L.  Kiley’s dad (who has been Hubs’ good friend since they, themselves, were in junior high school) is our coach.

IMG_9830 IMG_9836 IMG_9839 IMG_9840 IMG_9841 IMG_9847 IMG_9849 IMG_9851 IMG_9860 IMG_9853 IMG_9854 IMG_9879 IMG_9880 IMG_9881At halftime, I think the score was six to zero, but this is a non-competitive, non-score-keeping league, so we don’t care about that.

Except every parent on the sidelines KNEW EXACTLY that it was six to zero.

IMG_9861 IMG_9866 IMG_9868 IMG_9873 IMG_9875 IMG_9877Kellen came out of his goalie box for the second half, and he and the boy played side-by-side… on opposing teams.

IMG_9887 IMG_9888 IMG_9890 IMG_9894 IMG_9897 IMG_9898 IMG_9899 IMG_9900 IMG_9902 IMG_9905 IMG_9906 IMG_9908 IMG_9909And then the Lime Green goalie went down to catch a ball, and she landed on her shoulder wrong.

We had an injury that required attention and lots of ice, so Coach Paul put the boy into the goalie box.  The boy wasn’t excited about this at all, because he’s not a fan of playing keeper.

IMG_9915 IMG_9918 IMG_9921 IMG_9923 IMG_9927 IMG_9928 IMG_9932 IMG_9933Our boy had some amazing saves that made his mama holler congratulatory statements like a wild woman, while she clapped ferociously and wished that she could whistle loudly, because LOOK AT MY KID WHO JUST STOPPED FIVE RAPID-FIRE SHOTS ON GOAL!!!

And then Kellen… BLESS.  HIS.  HEART…. scored two goals on his best friend.

Thankfully, theirs is a friendship where that sort of thing certainly doesn’t matter.

IMG_9938 IMG_9939

Coach called a post-game, team meeting to remind everyone that it isn’t about who wins or loses… and that grief counselors would be on hand in the parking lot for parents to talk to, as they tried to cope and handle an eight to zero loss.

IMG_9937 IMG_9943Oh, people.

I kid!

It was a fun, FUN game, even though the score didn’t work out in our favor.  We have fun kids on our team… we played fun kids on the Purple Team… and there were some stinking fun parents in the bleachers to talk to during the game.  Plus, the weather was simply beautiful; it was just good to be out there with everyone.

And see?

Even Coach Paul was grinning after the game.

IMG_9944 IMG_9945 IMG_9946Y’all have a merry weekend, and I have some advice:

I know that the weekends are famous for pizza-eating, so if you order the Thai Pizza, make sure that your fire extinguisher is up to code and is readily accessible to everyone in the home.

Prayer Request Wednesday

I left my house at exactly 8:00 this morning, because we had an 8:15 appointment.

(This is where I laugh at big city dwellers and shout out, “Ha!  We may not have a Target or an Applebee’s, but we can drive from one end of our town to the other in less time than it takes you to boil water for the macaroni noodles!”)

(But then I remember that this is actually kind of BRAGGING, and Jesus doesn’t like that.)

After my early-morning appointment, I went to Starbucks, because I needed nutrition.  Specifically, I needed the type of nutrients that come in a white cup with a green mermaid, and has the words OPRAH CHAI written on the side.  After that, I taught PE.  (No one split a lip open today, so YAY.)  And then we watched the boy’s soccer game.  And then we flew back across town for youth group at our church, where I helped run the games, because apparently someone caught wind of the fact that I actually know all the rules to dodgeball.

(Except… a lot of the time, I just make the rules up as I go along.)

I got home tonight at 7:45.

Now, Trigonometry made my eyebrows twitch and Calculus made my head explode, but I’m capable of subtracting 7:45 pm from 8:00 am, and coming up with the answer of LONG DAY.  And LONG DAY translates into QUICK BLOG POST, because I feel like my brain needs to be wrapped in a warm blanket and tucked into a feather bed for twelve hours.

Anyway.

I thought I’d just do a different kind of blog post tonight, because DIFFERENT is always GOOD, unless you’re messing with macaroni and cheese.  Then… it’s only the bright-orange Kraft kind, filled with every artificial food dye known to man.  You don’t ever switch to something different there, or the kids will surround you with mutiny on their minds.

I just thought that we could do a bit of a Prayer Request Wednesday, because suddenly I know several families who are in desperate need of people talking to Jesus for them.  So, if you’re the praying sort (and I really hope that you are), could you take a few minutes and just mention these people to Jesus before you head to bed tonight?

1.  My little Leena.  I did a blog post about her a while back, which you can read RIGHT HERE.  Leena is a first grader this year, and I have her in my PE class.  She was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma cancer… at the age of SIX.  Leena is sweet and wonderful, and I.  CAN’T.  EVEN.  IMAGINE.

I cannot even begin to imagine where her parents are pulling their strength from right now, except I DO know where.  Leena’s family knows Jesus, and they’re falling smack down in front of him right now, asking for some miracles for their little girl.  I know that they’d love for you to include Leena in your own prayers at home.

2.  Hubs and I went to school with a set of brothers… Frank and Shad.  Shad married Shelly, and they became good friends of ours, because Shelly is adorable and fun and lively and a total kick in the pants.  We ADORE her.  (Oh, Shad is pretty-okay, too; we kind of like him.)  Then… Frank and Shad moved their families… their wives and their kiddos… from Small Town, USA to a little beach town in California, where they could all learn to surf.  And then Shelly told us to join them there, because the temperatures never get above 75 degrees, and GLORY, GLORY, HALLELUJAH!!  I loved the sound of THAT, but I’m not getting on a surf board at all.  Not ever.  I saw Jaws and Soul Surfer, and there is simply NO WAY that I’m going to crawl onto a surf board when the ocean is filled with sharks with giant teeth.

Anyway.

Frank’s son… Shad and Shelly’s nephew… is Jared.  Jared is seventeen years old, and a couple of days ago, he went to his school nurse, because he was having some vision problems, which paired themselves with a bad headache.  He told the nurse that he felt like he was going to pass out.

Jared was taken by ambulance, from his high school to the hospital, with signs of a brain trauma and fluid on his brain.

This seventeen year old boy, who is loved and cherished by all of his family, is now in a medically-induced coma, as well as being medically paralyzed, so that the swelling in his brain can go down, and so that fluid can be drained off.

Jared’s family would like all the prayers that they can get right now.

3.  My friend Jodi is one of the biggest pumpkins around; she’s just sweet, sweet, SWEET, and we love her to bits and pieces.  Jodi has a brother named Larry, and he has found out that he has cancer.  This diagnosis has brought a lot of tears with it, but Larry is tolerating his chemotherapy pretty well right now.  Jodi and her family would love for you to talk to Jesus about her brother and the blessing of a full recovery for Larry.

4.  Theresa was my very best friend in high school and college.  She is the one friend who knows me the best… the one friend who has laughed with me the most… the one friend who has cried with me more than any one else.  I adore that girl, even if she moved to Rival Town after we graduated from college, because a dentist offered her a job as a hygienist there, and she decided not to wait around to see if a Small Town dentist would do the same.  She was on THAT job, because… well… we were young and fresh out of college, and having a paycheck was going to get us off of a diet of perpetual Ramen Noodles.

Theresa is married to Gary.  Gary won’t mind if I tell you this, but he’s a total dork.  But… we adore him anyway, because Gary is fun and hilarious; he makes our sides ache from all the laughing we do whenever we’re with him, and he has always been the perfect husband for Theresa. 

Always.

Gary has a cancerous tumor that is growing and growing in his neck.  It can’t be operated on.  Gary needs Jesus to hand him a miracle, and we know that Jesus is absolutely capable of that.  I know that Theresa would hug all of you tight and kiss the sides of your cheeks, if you would find a few moments to pray for Gary.  He’s a good man, and he’s endured a lot over the past couple of years with this diagnosis.

5.  My dad had a “high grade cancer tumor” taken out of his bladder this past April.  The scary news was that this was a WICKED UGLY tumor; the good news is that the cancer cells hadn’t gone into the lining of my dad’s bladder at all.  He has had two different surgeries and undergone several treatment sessions, and we would all love for you to sit before Jesus and ask Him to please keep this cancer AWAY… and also GONE.  We don’t want to see any more of this bladder cancer, because my dad has some grandchildren to see to.  And… we sort of like my dad, too.  His name is David, and we would be blessed to have you pray for him.

And this is the part where I insert this one sentence:  I HATE CANCER.  I HATE IT… I HATE IT… I TOTALLY STINKING LOATHE AND DESPISE IT.

And that’s going to wrap up my quick list of prayer requests this evening.

I just know that there are a lot of people out there who are capable of throwing prayers at Jesus’ feet.  If you wouldn’t mind, I know that these families would COVET your prayers… that they would BEG FOR your prayers… that they would sob with an overwhelming feeling of THANK YOU… if you would just take a few moments to pray for Leena… and Jared… and Larry… and Gary… and my dad, David.

Thank you.

Y’all have a merry Wednesday night.

The Bright Side Of An Extra Hole In Your Lip

Well.

Do y’all know what Mama likes after being up all night long with a coughing toddler and insomnia, and earning exactly ninety minutes of sleep?  She likes a little Melatonin.  I’m not going to lie.  I saw the bottle of Melatonin at our house last night, and I did partake without even batting an eyelash.

I slept like Rip Van Winkle from 9:30 last night until OH GLORIOUS, OH GLORIOUS, OH GLORY HALLELUJAH six o’clock this morning, because so did Thing 2.

(Except he slept from 7:30 last night until 6:00 this morning.  He scored a couple extra hours, but who’s counting?)

(And I’m not even kidding.  When we get to sleep in until 6 AM at our house, it could just as well be NOON-THIRTY, for all the rejoicing we do.)

I woke up this morning and realized that I couldn’t have felt better rested than Sleeping Beauty did, when the Handsome Prince gave her a little smooch and she sat up and asked him where he was taking her for breakfast, because OH, MY!  SOME PANCAKES SOUND GOOD ABOUT NOW.  I think that I even functioned like a normal human being, who is not at all sleep-deprived, in gym class today, which was great, because we had the Grand Mother of All Accidents happen, when one of my first graders tripped, fell, hit his face on the gym’s floor… and popped one of his bottom teeth CLEAN THROUGH HIS UPPER LIP, and HELLO, HOLE, RIGHT SMACK THERE.  We had enough blood to look like I had botched a leg amputation, which means that I got to use the special-agent cleaner that kills everything from spiders to hollyhocks to bloodborne pathogens.  The little fellow’s sweet mama came to collect him, and I think that I apologized sixteen dozen times, until she finally hugged me and said, “You seem more nervous than I am!  Things like this happen, and we’ll just pop into the pediatrician to see if he needs a couple of stitches.”

She said this, y’all, because she is A NURSE.

And blood doesn’t bother her.

And neither do holes that sunlight can shine through in an upper lip.

Which is why I am NOT a nurse, because those things DO tend to make my need a paper sack to breathe into.

I’ve taught PE at this little private school going on nineteen years now (I started teaching in preschool, obviously, because PRODIGY), and this is only the second time we’ve had to send a kiddo out for stitches.

And now I get to wipe the big number off the white board that says, “We’ve been accident-free in the gym for 89,471 days,” and write a fat DONUT there.

As it turned out, this little guy’s mom came back to the school, specifically to tell me that HE’S GONNA BE JUST FINE!  And because the tooth ripped such a nice, tidy, CLEAN hole through his lip, the doctor decided not to even stitch it.  She sent him to the dentist, for X-rays, and all of his teeth are firmly in place.  Mom told me, “He’s sore, but he’s SUPER EXCITED, because the dentist told him that he needs to have five entire days of a soft diet.  The dentist specifically told him PUDDINGS, ICE CREAM, MILK SHAKES, YOGURT and SOUP.”  And then Mom added, “He had a chocolate milkshake with whipped cream for lunch, and he said this was going to be the best week of his life!”

I guess I should have told him, “And you’re welcome for that, Little Man!  Without PE today, you’d be eating that piece of overcooked, chicken fried steak for hot lunch.”

Carry on, and may y’all rest like Sleeping Beauty tonight, too, because it is so dadgum refreshing!