Ears And Tubes And Things

So this little man…

IMG_7265… is going to have surgery to put tubes in his ears bright and early tomorrow morning.

Actually, he’s scheduled to be at the hospital so early, it probably won’t be bright at all.  It’ll just be early.

I know that the procedure is quick and easy… and that ear, nose and throat doctors push tubes into little ears all of the time… but… if y’all want to talk to Jesus a little bit for us tonight… and ask Him to just let this particular bit of surgery be a true, genuine, by-the-book breeze… well, our family would sure appreciate it.

Cheers to these tubes draining the sludge in our little fellow’s ears, and ending the back-to-back ear infections at our house.

Have a good Tuesday evening.

The Big Long Weekend

If you need to know what our weekend was like, let me give you a bit of a hint:

Last night, Thing 2 was sound asleep, in bed, at 6:30.

Hubs went to bed at 7:15.

I crawled into bed, to read, at 8:00.

My neighbor texted me at 8:30, and we ended up laughing, because she insisted that she’d never be able to get into bed SO EARLY.  Apparently she is young and fun and vibrant in the evenings.

I’m just elderly by 8 PM; I don’t try to deny it.  After I’ve had my dinner of soft Salisbury steak, with a nice, lemon-flavored, fish-shaped, Jell-O mold salad (with the fruit cocktail)… I like to sit for a spell on my sofa, with an afghan over my cold knees, catching up on Murder, She Wrote.  And by 8:00, MaMaw likes to be in bed.

By 9:00 last night, I was out cold, too.

But really.

I went to my co-workers funeral on Saturday morning, where I managed to bawl my eyeballs plum out in a church that was packed to standing room only.  I had taught with this man for the past twenty years, and he will be greatly missed at our little school, as he suddenly passed away, ten days earlier, of a heart attack.  What was neat about his funeral, is that the kids came out in huge batches.  Kids who went to our school two years ago.  Kids who attended five years ago.  Kids whose parents paid their tuition for them to be there ten years ago.  Kids came who were there twenty years ago.

Many of these kids are so grown up now, they have beards and babies and mortgages; they talk about teething infants and insurance premiums and wine in a box these days.

And let me tell you… I talked and talked and talked to all of these kids that I haven’t seen for years and years.  They live in nearby states… and faraway states.  One came from Thailand for the funeral, where he’s currently working.  It was so incredibly good to see them all again, but I wish the circumstances would have been different.

We all did.

I hugged so many necks, I was overwhelmed.

And because we realized on Saturday exactly how short time can be… and that we are never guaranteed a tomorrow here on earth… we told one another how much we meant to each other.  Kids told me, over and over, how much they loved being in my PE classes when they were little; I told them, in turn, how much I had adored them back then, and how beautifully they’ve grown up.

I cried a lot on Saturday.

And then I came home with a raging, massive migraine that took me out, because my head could only handle so many tears that day.  I grabbed a blanket and laid like a slug on my bed, as the Excedrin Migraine streamed into my veins.

On Saturday night, Thing 2 was up ALL.  NIGHT.  LONG.  We welcomed in Ear Infection #824.

By Sunday morning, I looked like I lived in a dumpster, and Thing 2 looked like an unattended child, with dried snot all over his nose.

The mother never cleans up the nose of the second child like she did with the firstborn.

Later, after we were hopped up on Motrin and completely immune to pain… after we had showered and cleaned our boogers off… we went to little Cousin H’s 4th birthday party, because WHAT?  SHE’S FOUR ALREADY?!

It seemed impossible, but the little darling arrived in our lives four entire years ago already.

IMG_5279I think she’s one of the prettiest things I’ve ever seen.

The whole gang of preschoolers showed up to help her celebrate, too, because they heard there was free ice cream cake and fruit punch to party goers.  The preschool crowd never turns down a chance for free cake.

IMG_5268 IMG_5272 IMG_5296 IMG_5275 IMG_5277Thing 2 showed everyone how to play Ring Around the Rosie, because he had just learned to play it in preschool.  If you’ve never seen the three- and four-year-old crowd holler out, “Ashes, ashes, we all fall down,” as they collapse in a heap of laughter, then you’re not really living.  It was adorable.

IMG_5280When it was time for that free ice cream cake, we had to actually PHYSICALLY RESTRAIN Thing 2 from getting too close to it, because he was flat-out determined that HE was gonna blow that candle out when the song finished.

IMG_5286Cousin H gave him the stink eye, as he threatened to storm the cake and get it done on that candle.

IMG_5287And then there were presents.

When I took Thing 2 shopping for H, I showed him an Elsa Barbie doll, and asked him if he thought she would like it.  He screamed right there in the store, “No!  No way!  H hates Elsa, Mom!  She hates Elsa Barbies!”  I asked him what he thought she would like then, and he said, “H likes monster trucks and tractors and Ninja Turtles.  Let’s go look at those things!  That’s a good idea!”

Little H got the Elsa Barbie, and let me tell you this:  I think she was powerfully happy to have it, and thrilled beyond measure that it WAS NOT the Grave Digger Monster Truck.  I have my suspicions that Thing 2 was really trying to get himself the gift of a new monster truck at the store this weekend.

IMG_5302 IMG_5298 IMG_5295When we came home from the party, Thing 2’s Motrin had worn off, and he was in the throes of a Level Seventy-Seven bit of ear pain.

An hour later, his temperature was 102 with that ear infection.

Hubs and I gave him another shot glass full of Motrin; he slammed it back, and he was sound asleep at 6:30.

And yes.  After eight hundred and twenty-four more ear infections, we saw our Ear, Nose and Throat doctor first thing this morning.

We’re on the fast track to getting tubes in our ears this week.  It’s gonna happen.

Tonight, we had a family dinner for Little H, because today is her REAL birthday.  She is officially a four-year-old.  She even told Thing 2, “I’m four today; I’m a lot older than you are.”

H asked for a homemade meatloaf and mashed potatoes for dinner, so that’s what Sister whipped up.  Thing 2 was heartbroken that we were traveling across town for A STINKING MEATLOAF, because he wouldn’t touch one of those with a twenty-nine-and-a-half-foot pole.

I did make all the cousins sit together for a quick snapshot.

IMG_7251I have no explanation for Cousin K.  He looks a touch feral there, but I guess we’ll keep him in the family, seeing as how he’s paid for and all.

And that, people, brings us smack up until now.

It’s 8 pm on Monday night, and I’ve got a little guy who is ready for his next Motrin dose and some time in the rocking chair with his Mama, before he falls asleep here.

Y’all have a merry Monday.

Straight Lines

Thing 2 had preschool today.

When I take him to school, I usually stick around for a few minutes, because #LastBaby and #ImGonnaLinger.  After signing up for his classroom job, which was feeding the pet fish named Peanut, he sat down at the table with his worksheet.

It was a worksheet where kids were being asked to trace a dotted line with a crayon.  On the left side of the paper, there was a picture of a single leaf.  On the right side, there was a picture of a pile of leaves.  In each exercise, the kids were asked to trace the dotted lines, which went up big hills and down into low valleys, with some loops, to get the lone leaf to the pile.

Thing 2 started right in on the first problem by drawing a straight line from the leaf to the pile.

I told him, “Hey… you have to trace the line!  You have to go up and down the mountains, and not just straight across.”

His teacher looked over at him and said, “Thing 2, pretend that your crayon is a tractor, and you have to drive it up the hills of the dotted line.”

Thing 2 moved on to the second problem on the page, without saying a word.  He drew another straight line, right through all the loops of the dotted line.

I said, “You didn’t trace the mountains.”

Seriously?  Does the child NOT care about earning straight As by following directions and doing the assignment right?  Where have I gone wrong with him?

He told me, “This is a whole lot easier if you DON’T go up and down the hills.  It’s easier to just go straight.”




After leaving my kid and his theory that the quickest route between any two points is a straight line (which, clearly, he already knows, so VERY ADVANCED, Y’ALL), I came home to the hills and valleys of my dirty laundry.  The week has gotten away from me, and I’m fairly certain that we have more clothes on my closet floor than we do hanging up in the family’s closets.

I’m obviously losing at Housewifing.

My washing machine ran at a speed that resembled a rocket launch all day.  Dirty clothes in; wet clothes out.  Dry clothes out of the dryer; throw them on the bed; ignore them for the rest of the day.  Repeat.  Repeat.  RE-STINKING-PEAT.

(My mother just shuddered in horror.  She raised me better… she did her best to influence me to be the type of person who immediately folds clean clothes and puts them away, and today I have failed her.  Today, I became the girl who dumps clean clothes onto the bed and walks away.)

But then THIS popped up on one of my friends’ Facebook feed today:

12234878_997262273677775_1217221440931581366_nThat’s me, over here at my house, with my hand in the air.  I’m waving it around frantically to signal YES!  YES, I HAVE.

Probably more than once.

How badly do we really need that load of bath towels?  What about the sheets?  Can we just buy new, cheap sheets at Walmart?

All I could think was that the quickest way to get from the point of HERE’S A BIG WHOPPER PILE OF DIRTY LAUNDRY to LOOK!  IT’S ALL WASHED AND DRIED AND FOLDED AND PUT AWAY – NOW HAVE SOME WINE would be a straight line.

Straight from the closet to the garbage dumpster.

Never mind the hills and valleys of hauling all those jeans and T-shirts up and down the stairs and switching them from the washer to the dryer and adding fabric softener, and folding them.

Sometimes, my preschooler’s line of thinking is way ahead of mine.

He’s kind of like a little Einstein.

These Two Cousins

They’re only three and a half months apart in age.

They can fight better than any two siblings have ever done.

They can hug one another tighter than any two siblings have ever done, too.

She bosses him around like a crew chief; he’ll smack her across the top of the head when he feels like she’s out of line.  They share chicken nuggets, almonds, a love for Bubble Guppies and the common cold.  They both pray for one another, and then fight over who has the bigger bowl of Goldfish crackers at snack time.

I think she’s full of a lot of sugar and spice…

image1 image2… while he’s pretty much all snail.

I have no idea WHAT they were dressing up as.  She’s a belly-dancing, gypsy-princess police woman, while he’s a firefighting knight with a mean karate chop.

Hubs thinks he looks like Shrek.

91ae7a37636cd329620f2ebe76034a66No matter.

My heart is happy that they have one another, and that they get to grow up side by side.  She’ll do all the talking to get the two of them out of trouble, as she bats those eyelashes and grins with those dimples, and he’ll kick the ever-lovin’ snot out of anyone who gives her grief.

They’re the very best friends, and I love them.

The Question Is: What Is Defense, Alex?

Let me tell you about my day.

Hubs had one of his bi-annual teeth cleaning appointments at the dentist’s office first thing this morning.  It’s because Hubs doesn’t like to take time off work for trivial things, like getting plaque scraped off his teeth and being handed a brand new toothbrush, so he schedules things like that for 7 AM.  And really?  Why not?  By 7:00 in the morning, we’ve already been up for two entire hours, celebrating the joy that is THE EARLY-RISING PRESCHOOLER and cradling our coffee mugs like they’re precious, liquid gold.

Except this morning?

Said preschooler slept in until 7:10.

I kid you not.  I’m fairly certain that he read the big calendar on the kitchen wall before bedtime last night and said to himself, “What?  The old man’s gotta be out the door by 6:50 in the morning?  Well… I think I’ll just pull my TWICE IN A LIFETIME event of sleeping in tomorrow.”

And he did.


So that was really pleasant that we were all up in the wee dark hours of the morning, without the kid who normally wakes us up then, when we could have been sleeping in until 7:10 ourselves, because who are we kidding?  I may have had to get up two hours before going anywhere in the ’80s, because getting a Rave home permanent to stand at attention with half a can of Aqua Net took TIME and MUCH MANUAL LABOR.  Now days, I’m the queen of unwashed hair and top knots, because it’s only PE.

And because I have no shame.

Then… in PE this week, we are working on the concepts of OFFENSE and DEFENSE.

(Offense is when Payton Manning has the ball and defense is when the Chiefs intercept his throws.)

(In case you were confused.)

We have been working on offense and defense for two weeks now, and I’m determined that by the end of this week, all of my little tykes in the gym will be able to tell me the difference between the two, as we play soccer.

SOCCER.  That word will be important in a moment.

Today, we reviewed the offense and the defense.  We talked about how the offense will have possession of the soccer ball, and how they’ll work to score goals on the other team.  We talked about how defense will work to guard their goals, and keep the ball from being kicked into the net.

My lesson was filled with quick, one-minute games of six-on-six soccer, with three kids playing offense on a team and three playing defense.  We talked about how the three kids in the front would cross the center line of the gym with the ball and work together to score a goal.  And then I said, “So what will the three kids in the back line be doing?  What will they be playing, while the other three play offense?

The 1st graders, who were all gathered around me, threw their hands high into the air, begging to be called on to answer the question with the words PLAYING DEFENSE.  I called on one little girl, who was enthusiastically waving her hand back and forth and whispering the words, “Pick me!  Pick me!”  Well, I picked her, and I said, “E, what will the three kids in the back row of this soccer game be playing?”

She yelled out, “They’ll be back there playing basketball!!!!”

People, she answered my question with PRIDE.  She thought she’d nailed it.  She grinned from ear to ear.

We may be working on offense and defense next week, too.  Maybe it’ll be a lesson that has to continue through April, because NO KID LEFT BEHIND.  We will all know that basketball isn’t what the back line of a soccer team is playing when we wrap up 1st grade this year.

After that, I ate a burrito in the teachers’ lounge for lunch.  When I bit into the thing, it exploded in a volcanic eruption of meat and beans and cheese and sour cream, sending a baseball-sized glob right smack into my hair.

I believe the word you are looking for that describes my afternoon fashion style is CLASSY.

And it also means that I’ll have to wash my hair tomorrow.  I may have no regrets about not using the shampoo on a daily basis, because MESSY BUN!!, but I draw the line at BEANS AND CHEESE IN THE HAIR.  That bit of dried-crunch will have to be taken care of tomorrow morning.

Y’all have a good Tuesday.

It Was A Week

Things have been pretty quiet here on the blog, because apparently the CEO took some time off.

I’d like to say that she went to a tropical beach, where she sat in the sand while someone brought her coconut-laced drinks with umbrellas in them as she was reading her book in the sun and bronzing up her skin, in preparation for Small Town’s dreary winter, but the honest truth is less glamorous.

It’s been a week.

That’s the honest truth.  In respect for the week that it’s been, it just didn’t feel right to sit down at the computer to pound the potatoes out of the keyboard and write some goofy paragraphs filled with nonsense.

I teach at a little private school.  We’re a tiny school, with one classroom per grade.  Our teaching staff and budget are so small, we don’t even have teachers’ aides.  Instead, we do things the old fashioned way — all of us teachers take turns doing recess duty and cafeteria duty.  We make our own photocopies in the office, we laminate our own stuff, and we find out who’s about to make the run, two blocks away, to the little coffee shack that sits in the parking lot of a grocery store, because she’ll always bring back a tray of hot drinks in the winter months.  We know the names of every other teacher’s own sons and daughters.  We know who likes cucumbers and who doesn’t in the school lunch salads.  We know who is gluten-intolerant and who left a half-full cup of coffee on the counter in the office, because we know what coffee mugs everyone uses.

In other words, we’re kind of a family.

And on Thursday morning, one of our family members suffered a massive heart attack before work… at 6:30 in the morning… and passed away.  To say that our little school was shocked is a total understatement.  There aren’t enough adjectives to describe how shocked we were.  This man had been robust and healthy the day before; I had, in fact, eaten lunch with him in the teachers’ lounge the day before.  We were the only two in there, and we’d just plopped down at the table with our food and talked about all kinds of things… the soccer drills I was doing in PE… his grandchildren… and the fact that one of my kindergarten kiddos has emerged as a budding athlete this month, when I never realized the athletic potential she’s had buried inside of her, because she talks so much and likes to twirl around in her skirts so that they flair out and look all princess-like.

When lunch was over, we said good-bye.  I told him to have a good afternoon.  He told me to have fun in the gym with my 2nd graders, who were coming in for PE next.

It was the last time I would ever speak to him.  We said good-bye… we did… but we didn’t say it, expecting it to be THE FINAL ONE.  This man taught in our upper school (5th through 8th grades), teaching social studies and PE.  I handle the lower school (pre-kindergarten through 4th grade) PE.  I’ve shared my gym and PE supply closet with this man for TWENTY ENTIRE YEARS NOW.

For twenty years, I’ve picked up the jackets he leaves behind on the bleachers.  For twenty years, I have picked up his keys and his lesson planner and his coaching notes and his laptop, which he’s left on the bleachers, because he was never as oriented to detail as I am.  He was forever just walking off, and leaving stuff behind.

On Thursday, I couldn’t even imagine teaching PE without the little pieces of his life that he always managed to leave behind sitting on the bleachers in our gym.  Our school’s flag has flown at half-mast.  Our teachers are quiet.  Our children are full of tears.  Our girls’ basketball team (which he coached) is full of questions and sorrow and enormous grief, as he finished up practice with them on Wednesday night, and told them that they were all ready for Thursday afternoon’s game.

The game that he wouldn’t be attending with them after all.

The game which would ultimately be cancelled, because our children were in no way emotionally capable of playing basketball that night.

This teacher has left behind his wife and three sons, along with three grandchildren.  He was the teacher who always, always, ALWAYS saw the good in every child.  When I saw a kiddo bouncing around the gym and not following directions… when I had asked that child to sit down and listen to the new game directions three times… my frustration would settle in and I’d dock some game minutes, so that he could sit on the bench for a bit.  This PE teacher would have seen the underlying problem… and would have asked me, “Did you know his dog was hit by a car in front of him two days ago?”


No, I didn’t.

This teacher was the type that kids just TALKED TO.  They poured out their life stories to him, and he LISTENED.  And he always knew what was driving the behavior behind every child in our school.  Not just SOME children… but ALL the children.  He was a dedicated master at understanding kids.

My goal is to be more like that.  Yes… kids pour out their life stories to me.  But do I listen like he did?  Not always.  Do I understand the driving force behind every kid’s actions?  Hardly ever.  Am I too quick to take game minutes off in PE… to let a disruptive kid sit out, rather than taking the time to ask him what his heart is feeling?  EVERY.  DAY.

My eyes have been opened to the changes I want to make with my PE kiddos.

And then… boom!

Paris got hit with terrorist attacks this weekend, leaving broken families sobbing out their grief.  On Saturday, I had a cough that rivaled the whooping cough.  I coughed so hard, I couldn’t catch my breath at times.  On Sunday, Thing 2 went down with an ear infection and a fever of 102.8.  The boy stayed home from school today with the stomach flu.  Our house is dirty enough to be labeled as a crack house today.  We have more dirty clothes now than clean clothes.  Thing 2 took an entire box of baby wipes and squeezed the liquid out of each one of them (EACH!! ONE!!) onto the train table in his bedroom.  If you don’t think an entire box of baby wipes holds a lot of liquid, then think again.  Stock tanks on ranches don’t hold as much for horses to drink from.  And if that wasn’t enough, Hubs left a spray bottle of apple juice sitting on our kitchen counter, which he’d been using to spray ribs down on the barbecue with yesterday.  Thing 2 got his hands on it, and squirted apple juice all over our kitchen floor.  ALL.  THE HECK.  OVER.  We have sopped up that mess and steam mopped, and we are STILL sticking to the hardwood floor in the kitchen.  And the Denver Broncos?  Well.  We’re not speaking about Sunday’s game at our house, because the pain is just too fresh yet for Hubs to handle.

It’s been a hard week.

But this is what I know.

God is still sitting on His throne, and nothing that happened this past week surprised Him.  He never once gasped and declared, “Well!  I certainly didn’t see THAT ONE coming!”  And He’s trustworthy enough to be leaned upon.

So there.  I’m sure that the usual goofy nonsense that you’ve come to expect here at Jedi Mama, Incorporated will resume in full force soon.  But for today, I just implore you to pray for those in need.  Pray for Paris.  Pray for hurting families.  Pray for your neighbor, even when you have no idea if he or she even needs prayer.

Y’all have a happy Monday night.  May your families be well and healthy and held close to your hearts, and may all your baby wipes stay in their original packaging, sopping wet inside the waterproof case, exactly like Jesus intended for them to be.

H Is For Honda

THING 2:  Hey, Mom!  Look!  My shirt has an H on the front of it!  An H… like for Honda!”

ME:  It sure looks like an H, doesn’t it?  But it’s actually the symbol for Under Armour, because that’s an Under Armour shirt.  I don’t think it’s really an H.

THING 2:  It IS an H.  I don’t like Under Armour.  I just like my Honda shirts… with the Hs on them… because they’re soft.  I LOVE my Honda shirts!  I want all of my shirts to have an H for Honda on them!

IMG_7245Dear Under Armour,

We apologize.  Apparently we’re representing for Honda in your gear, but the flaw in your design is that it really does look like an H.  However, whether they think it’s Under Armour or Honda, my boys both adore your shirts… and your sweatpants… and your shorts… and everything else you put your NOT-AN-H symbol on.  Thank you for making us broke.


A Mama Of A Preschooler Who Knows His Letters

Evening Fillers

I would never make it in that part of Alaska, where it stays dark for the better part of a day, every day, for weeks on end.  It’s a solid word of truth that I flat-out ADORE a dark, cloudy, rainy day, but what I don’t like is the NIGHTTIME kind of dark.

It’s because when the nighttime kind of dark strikes, my brain says, “Whoa.  Better get the pajamas on.  Let’s hurry up and get into bed, because DARK, DARK, DARK.”  It’s like a siren signaling an invasion.



With this time change, it feels like it’s dark at lunchtime now, so we’ve been trying to sit around the kettle in the fireplace and think of things to occupy our time in the evenings, exactly like Charles and Caroline Ingalls would have done it.  I don’t want the world to think that I could never have been a pioneer.


I could never have been a pioneer.

It’s because God made me for such a time as this, and my time involves central air conditioning and lattes and HGTV‘s magazine, and an indoor bathroom that has too many advantages over the outhouse to list.

Namely, Charmin.

And White Citrus pump soap at the sink from Bath and Body Works.


We have to convince Thing 2 that it isn’t his bedtime at 5:30, too.  That has a whole lot to do with the small fact that Hubs and I yanked that kid’s nap away a few months ago, in a last-ditch effort to get him to sleep through the night.  We just felt that… AT THE TENDER AGE OF THREE… someone had better be sleeping all night, if they want to continue with the free room and board, so we threw caution to the wind and struck the nap from the daily itinerary.

That was when we were handed the miracle of HE SLEEPS!  But, since the kid goes at a speed similar to a rocket launch, all the livelong day, and since he gets up at 5:00 most mornings, he’s PLUM DADGUM WORN OUT when the DARK, DARK, DARK siren goes off.

And that is when he starts telling us, “I need a nap!  I’m sleepy!”

So… we keep the kiddo moving and shaking, right up until 7 PM, and then boom!  He gets his teeth brushed and his pajamas on; his mama rocks him, and he’s out from 7:15 PM to 5:15 AM.

I won’t lie.  Sleeping through the night has been life changing…

… mainly for Thing 2’s parents.

This week, our STAY AWAKE FOR ANOTHER NINETY MINUTES activities included the boys building tractors together with Legos…

IMG_7222 IMG_7230 IMG_7231… and using a baking tray full of plain-Jane, white rice to drive toy combines around in.

IMG_7233 IMG_7232 IMG_7234I’m not going to lie.

By the time Thing 2 was finished with that pan, all of the rice was on my living room floor.  We could’ve made snow angels and practiced our cross-country skiing.

Charles and Caroline are going to have to rethink the rice bin, because it’s too hard to shovel the little house’s living room by candlelight in the evenings.

Cheers to making it until 7:00 again tonight.

The Day That Mama Didn’t Do What She Normally Does

I once saw a little cartoon illustration, where the dad comes home from work, clutching his briefcase, and the mom is sitting on the kitchen counter, surrounded by an insane mess in the house, a herd of fighting children and an exploded box of Cheerios.  Chaos reigned, as she stared at her husband and said, “Do you remember how you asked me yesterday what I do all day?  Well… today I didn’t do it.”

And that pretty much sums up my day today.

I couldn’t hold completely true to NOT DOING IT ALL today, because Thing 2 and I have become dedicated to getting our big Walmart haul done on Monday mornings, in an effort to avoid the super center on the weekends.  The beauty of this is that there are no shoppers at 8 AM on a Monday, because apparently the rest of Small Town has things to do all day that are EVIDENT.  My preschooler and I busted through all the aisles, grabbing everything from the ridiculously expensive Honeycrisp apples and boneless, skinless chicken breasts, to toothpaste and shampoo.

After we had stood in the checkout line for a longer stretch of time than it took us to actually gather a cartload of groceries, I was ready for a counseling session for my Post Traumatic Stress issues.  It’s the only way I can describe having a three-and-a-half-year old strapped into the cart with you, while you’re WAITING… WAITING… WAITING… for your turn at the conveyor belt and cash register.  Because do you know what Small Town’s Walmart does NOT have at 8 AM?

That would be an abundance of checkers.  Apparently the rule is, “Let’s build thirty checkout aisles and only open two of them on Monday mornings.”


Thing 2 must’ve sensed an infringement on his space, because at one point he stood up in the baby seat of the cart and said to the gentleman behind us, “Move back!  It’s not your turn!  It’s OUR TURN!  Get your cart away from ours!”

Obviously, Hubs and I are winning at parenting, especially in the category of OUR CHILD ONLY SPEAKS WORDS OF KINDNESS AND THROWS THE LOVE AROUND LIKE ROSE PETALS AT ALL TIMES.  Please pray for us as the Spirit leads you.

We apologized to the gentleman for our unkind words, and then learned that he hadn’t heard a single word Thing 2 had actually said to him in the first place, so THAT was fun… explaining that we were saying SORRY for talking so naughty, when it was never understood that we had even been talking naughty in the first place, because HONEY, I’M GETTING A LITTLE HARD OF THE HEARING LATELY, AND HAVEN’T TAKEN THE HEARING AIDE PLUNGE YET.

So, you can only imagine that when I actually made it home and had unpacked everything…

… all I really wanted to do was to sit down with the new Nicholas Sparks book that I started reading over the weekend, while I plugged Thing 2 into an endless sea of cartoons on the satellite dish.

Don’t judge me.  It was just one of those days.

I may have gotten up occasionally to refill my coffee cup, but basically the pedometer on my phone just laid down and died, from lack of use today.

And then, suddenly, it was time to yank the TV away from Thing 2, whose eyes were kind of spinning in a kaleidoscope of VISUAL SENSORY OVERLOAD colors and head to our hair appointments.

It’s because, in the words of Dolly Parton, “There is no such thing as natural beauty.”  Burt Reynolds had to have her mustache waxed off today, and then there was this little matter of LET’S COLOR ALL THE HAIR, because what I’ve dealt with this week has included a flooded bathroom, a cow patty on my bathroom floor, a red Sharpie PERMANENT marker taken to the face, and the small fact that SOMEONE took my brand new box of fabric softener sheets for the dryer, opened them, and scattered them around the living room like snowflakes while I wasn’t looking, in addition to all the dinners I had to cook and that one load of laundry I washed, because Hubs and the boy both declared, “Is our nation suffering from a clean jeans shortage?”

Yes.  It’s a crisis that CNN is currently covering; I’m so sorry that it’s happening right here at our house, too.  That’s just entirely too close for comfort.

So yes!  Let’s color all the hair, and let’s cut Thing 2’s curly mop down to something that doesn’t harbor dried leaves from outside like fugitives.


I’m fairly certain that I have to be a productive member of society tomorrow, so I’ve made my peace with the fact that days like today can’t happen all the time.

Mainly, because we are also out of clean coffee mugs, and clean coffee mugs are a LIFE NECESSITY, because they hold all the coffee that some folks need to get through the days.

And also because if the judges for the Mother of the Year Award learn that I exposed my preschooler to more TV today than he usually watches in two weeks, I’ll lose my crown.

And really… wearing that crown has always drawn the eye of the commoner away from the mustache creeping across my lip, so I can’t give it up.

And one more thing…

Today is National Adoption Day, so I just have to say OH, MY WORD!  Adoption is a pretty fantastic little way to do things, because it can take a family of three and turn them into a family of four.

This was the first snapshot ever taken of us AS a family of four.

I was crying.

And I’d just been through labor and delivery, so please excuse the fact that I’m wearing a ratty old T-shirt and my hair is a bit of a mess.  Of course, I wasn’t the one laboring and delivering, because our adorable little birth mom did that for us, but still.  I bawled right along with her, and I can’t even put into words the emotions that smacked me that day when she put that child into our arms forever.


So yes.  Happy National Adoption Day.

Y’all have a blessed Monday evening.  And I hope that your kitchens are cleaner than mine is.

Does This Face Tattoo Make Me Look Tougher?


… THIS happened late Friday afternoon…

image1Thing 2 came out of his bedroom and hollered, “Hey, everyone!  How do you like my face?”

I liked his face just fine, because I assumed that what I was looking at was a Crayola washable marker.

Heavy emphasis on the washable part.

What I was really looking at, though, was A RED SHARPIE MARKER.

Taken directly to the face.

How do I say this in English?  PERM-A-NENT.

So that’s how our preschooler spent the better part of HIS weekend… with a face tat that made him completely unemployable for jobs on the top level of the skyscrapers, with a giant, mahogany desk facing the windows and the beautiful view of the bay.

Thankfully, with persistent scrubbing, he’s looking like he can start interviewing for executive level jobs by tomorrow morning.