We Celebrated Kellen, But Neglected The Cats

I know that y’all have been waiting all day for a status report on HOW DID WE SLEEP.

(Really… if that’s what you’ve been doing all day, you need to get a life, because we are not that exciting.)

I am, however, more than happy to tell you that WE ALL SLEPT last night.  And we all stayed in our own beds last night.  And the night was perfect and every kind of lovely, and WHAT A DIFFERENCE A FULL NIGHT’S REST MAKES, IN TERMS OF HOW YOUR DAY GOES!  It’s almost like caffeine doesn’t need to be administered through an IV or an old Albuterol inhaler.

And then I heard on the radio this evening that it’s National Cat Day.  I had no idea that this was a real thing, so I was completely unprepared.  I didn’t have time to sift through all the National Cat Day party ideas on Pinterest or bake a cake in the shape of a salmon.  I didn’t have time to run to Hobby Lobby for fabric to make a pennant banner, and we had no heavy cream to warm up for our saucers.

It’s exactly like no one even cares in this house, as far as the cats’ parties go.

And then, as the fellow on the radio kept talking about this little-known holiday, I learned that for the low, low price of thirty American dollars, there is an organization that will bring you a cat to cuddle in your lap for fifteen minutes, with all of their proceeds going to local shelters.  That’s when I decided that Hubs and I should volunteer our very own Cat 1 as a Cuddle Cat.  People could wear leather gloves and welding masks, and she could sit in their laps for fifteen minutes (or six-tenths of a single second, which is probably how long she’d make it), because have any of you ever tried to hold onto a love kitten that’s the product of a wolverine and a puma’s romance together?

As it turned out, our celebration for National Cat Day here at home involved me adding more dry cat chow to the girls’ bowl in the laundry room, and I freshened up their water dish.  The end.  It’s all the partying I was prepared for.

In other news, I have a camera memory card that’s about to explode with pictures of things we’ve done, which can also be labeled as EVENTS MAMA HAS GOTTEN BEHIND ON WITH THE BLOGGING.  Honestly, I’m still amazed that I manage to keep up with this blog, because my habit is to JUST QUIT new things.  I’ll submit SCRAPBOOKING as the first bit of evidence.  I couldn’t commit to keeping on top of it, and I honestly felt like my brain was going to catch fire and explode, leaving an awful splatter pattern on the wall behind me, if I ever had to look at double-sided sticky tape and fancy die-cut machines again, which is why I was blogging the boy’s debut into the world of I CAN FINALLY CRAWL ON MY OWN when he was in grade school.

And then Scrapbooking died at our house.

So, I’m trying diligently to stay on top of all the NOT FALLING BEHIND on the blog.  Bear with me.

Last week, the boy’s good buddy, Kellen, turned fourteen.  His mama (Sarah) threw a little party to celebrate his birthday, because she was far more prepared with the date than I was with the one for National Cat Day.  Sarah had homemade cupcakes with real cream cheese frosting.  She had a lemonade stand that was completely Pinterest-worthy, and homemade popcorn that involved a cast iron skillet, with nary a microwave in sight.  She had chips and homemade salsa and adult beverages.

And then she pulled out the fancy glasses, because Kellen’s birthday just happened to fall on the day of the solar eclipse.

IMG_0431 IMG_0453 IMG_0428 IMG_0457 IMG_0458 IMG_0454 IMG_0459 IMG_0451 IMG_0432 IMG_0452And then, as boys are prone to doing, their interest in LOOK HOW THE MOON PASSES IN FRONT OF THE SUN LIKE THAT fell to the wayside, and the homemade battle axes, spears, shields and wooden daggers caught their attention.

What we have learned, as these other mamas and I have all raised boys together, is that there is really no age limit to warfare.  What was fun when they were all nine years old and battling one another by clubbing each other with sticks and dollar store swords is STILL FUN TO THIS VERY DAY.

I’m sure that all of their battle practice will come in quite handy, in case one of them ever needs to fight… say… a helium-filled Mylar balloon in the darkest part of the night.

Sides were chosen.  Alliances were formed.  Boundaries were drawn.  Enemies were declared.

IMG_0435 IMG_0445 IMG_0446 IMG_0447 IMG_0449 IMG_0466 IMG_0467And then those boys kind of cut loose.  We only had one head that took a direct hit from a stick that threatened to split the skull wide open, so us mamas called it a victorious afternoon.  In fact, with boys, any afternoon of battling that doesn’t require an X-ray of some kind can be declared one of victory.

IMG_0471 IMG_0472 IMG_0473 IMG_0475 IMG_0476 IMG_0478 IMG_0479 IMG_0480 IMG_0482 IMG_0483 IMG_0485 IMG_0488 IMG_0489 IMG_0491 IMG_0494 IMG_0495And then those fancy, homemade cupcakes were brought out.  Everyone sang a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday to Kellen.  Thing 2 even chimed in on the choruses, as he sang out, loud and clear for all to hear, “Birthday you!  Birthday you!!!!”

IMG_0498 IMG_0499 IMG_0504 IMG_0507 IMG_0509 IMG_0510 IMG_0513 IMG_0514 IMG_0518 IMG_0524 IMG_0535 IMG_0541 IMG_0548When the battle resumed after the cupcakes were polished off, someone gave a wooden croquet mallet to Thing 2, thinking WELL, THAT SHOULD BE SAFE.


My two-year-old watched the other boys swing their spears and axes, and he swung that croquet mallet for all he was worth.  Unfortunately, he connected it to the stomach of a nine-year-old.  Every ounce of oxygen was knocked out of the poor kid, as he had the wind leave his body completely.  He dropped to the ground like a ton of bricks thrown off a building’s rooftop.  When he could finally regain enough breath to speak again, all he could moan out was, “The baby tried to kill me!!”

Hubs and I are pretty certain that Thing 2 would’ve made a remarkable Viking.

IMG_0550 IMG_0563 IMG_0564 IMG_0566 IMG_0572After we had nursed the nine-year-old back to health, the party continued with some present-opening.

The boy gave Kellen a T-shirt from the Dr. Who TV series.  I have no idea who the doctor is… I don’t watch that one, because science fiction makes me want to beat my own head against a brick wall, but apparently Dr. Who is a huge hit with the 8th grade crowd this year.

IMG_0551 IMG_0552 IMG_0554 IMG_0555 IMG_0558 IMG_0559 IMG_0565Kellen got some other fine gifts as well, like Legos and arrows for his bow and a can of LOOK, MA!  NO PRESERVATIVES squirty cheese, because he adores that particular snack food item.

IMG_0576 IMG_0574 IMG_0582 IMG_0586 IMG_0592 IMG_0587 IMG_0593 IMG_0594 IMG_0613 IMG_0597 IMG_0595And, knowing Bae-John’s mama as well as I do, I know that she will stand tall with pride over the fact that her youngest child brushed his teeth with squirty cheese!

Since he wasn’t MY kid, I howled with laughter, because it was frightfully funny.

IMG_0614But then, MY kid did something much worse.

Do y’all remember how I said that Sarah had a lemonade stand that could’ve been photographed for Pinterest?  She had a giant, glass jug of lemonade, that had a spout on it, which could be turned for easy lemonade access.  The drink was homemade, with real sugar and real lemon slices, and it sat on a little, metal stand, with pretty drinking glasses on a tray right beside it.

Well, someone introduced Thing 2 to the art of filling his cup with water and then pouring it into the sandbox to make lakes.  My toddler was thrilled with this, until his water supply ran low, so, being RATHER RESOURCEFUL, Thing 2 simply began refilling his cup at the lemonade stand, and no adult realized it.

Yes, y’all… MY KID used the beautifully-presented, delicious tasting lemonade to make ponds and riverbeds in the sand.  There are no words that describe the full extent of HOW STICKY AND FILTHY HE WAS, when his construction work was all wrapped up.

IMG_0616 IMG_0603 IMG_0607 IMG_0610Later, I also walked by the leftover cupcakes and saw that three of them were sitting on the tray…

… and that they were completely naked, because SOMEBODY had licked all their frosting off.  There is no physical evidence to suggest who might have done this terrible thing, so who am I to point fingers?!

After that, Thing 2 managed to grab someone’s beer off one of the outdoor tables and slam back a sip, before we manhandled the cup away from him.  He simply licked his lips and announced, “Mmm!  THAT GOOD!”

We may never be invited back to a party again, which is why we’ll probably end up being crazy cat people, who celebrate National Cat Day alone, at home, with a salmon-shaped cake that’s had the frosting licked clean off of it.

Happy Wednesday, y’all.

We’re Lacking In The Sleeping

Let me tell y’all about last night.

In case you’ve forgotten, Hubs fought a Mylar balloon that had a slow helium leak at 12:45, night-before-last.  It was a ferocious battle in the darkest part of the night, and Hubs won.  (Yes… the balloon was leaking gas, and it was struggling to remain afloat.  Hubs opened his eyes in the middle of the night to see that creature hovering three feet off the floor, right smack beside him, and then it had the audacity to brush against his face half of a second later.  Hubs was out of bed like someone had shoved a hot cattle prod into his thigh.  The balloon is dead now, and its nearest relatives have been contacted.)  I woke up in a sheer panic, because FIGHT!!  FIGHT!!  FIGHT!!  MUHAMMAD ALI IS TAKING ON A HELIUM BALLOON!!  I was hopped up on adrenaline surges like a sky-diving junkie, and that was all she wrote for me.

As in, there was no chance that I was going BACK to sleep, even after Hubs and his windmill-swinging arms were quiet, and the balloon was deceased, and all the flying like a butterfly and stinking like a bee was in the past.  I was awake from 12:45 until pretty much 4:00 in the morning, because YES!  MY NAME IS MAMA, AND I HAVE SLEEP ISSUES!

When LAST NIGHT rolled around, I was almost giddy with excitement.  Some girls get plum dadgum thrilled at the prospect of dressing up in an evening gown and heading to a royal ball, and I’m here to tell you that I was EXACTLY THAT EXCITED… but over the thought of putting on my pajamas and getting into my very own bed, after the rough night we’d had before.  I’m pretty sure that I was grinning in twenty-seven different directions while I rocked Thing 2 to sleep at 7:30, because GLORY, GLORY, HALLELUJAH, Mama is going to bed now, too!

I told Hubs, “I will not attend any of your midnight fights tonight.  If you choose to go to battle, you’ll be on your own for rinsing out your mouthguard and putting the hood on your robe up when you finish.  You will BE!! QUIET!! TONIGHT!!”

I checked on the boys.  Thing 2 was sound asleep in his bed, and the boy was tucked into the recliner in our family room, with his heating blanket and pillow, because he has decided that sleeping in the cheaply-made, didn’t-cost-a-lot recliner, that is as comfortable as sitting on a bench made out of stone and covered in faux leather fabric can be, is his new FAVORITE SLEEPING SPOT.

Whatever.  He’s fourteen and capable of making decisions that will affect the longevity of his backbone for the rest of his life.

And then… BOOM!

I was out cold.

At 9:30, I remember in a fog of sleepiness that Hubs announced he was taking over the boy’s bed, since the boy had opted for the basement recliner.  The boy, you see, has a Tempur Pedic mattress, and we do not.  It takes a very little excuse for us to take over that mattress when the boy isn’t around to claim it himself.  Hubs and I have a mattress that is all about SLEEPING WITH YOUR  PERSONAL NUMBER, and I’m going to go on record and say that the thing cost more than my first car and is less comfortable than the concrete recliner is.

At 2:00 this morning, I woke up because the boy was standing beside my bed.  (Rest assured, fighting him never even occurred to me.)  He announced, “Mom?  Are you awake?  Because my stomach hurts bad!”

Which is how I came to be awake with the boy from 2:00 to 3:00 this morning.

At 3:00, he had fallen asleep in MY bed, so I decided that I would migrate to the sofa in the living room, because AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT RECLINER THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN HAULED TO THE LANDFILL SIX YEARS AGO.  Hubs was in the boy’s bed; the boy was in our bed; I was destined for the sofa, and I felt like we were living out a modern-day remake of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

On my way from my bedroom to the living room, I had to pass Thing 2′s door.

He opened it at 3:02, and boldly shouted, “HE WANTS TO GO TO THE CAR WASH!!!!”

(He calls himself “he.”)

(It’s very cute during the daytime hours, but it is NOT AT ALL AN ENDEARING TRAIT at 3:02 in the morning.)

I assured the toddler that no one was washing any cars at 3 AM, and that he should get back into his bed THIS-VERY-STINKING-INSTANT-BEFORE-MAMA-LOSES-HER-MIND.

He went back to bed.

He got back up at 3:04.

He opened his bedroom door and hollered out again, “He wants to go to the car wash!”

Hubs came stumbling out of the boy’s bedroom, and said, “I’ll take this one.”  Hubs made a bed on Thing 2′s floor, and he snapped his fingers every time the toddler poked so much as a toe off the edge of his bed.

Thing 2 laid on his bed and sang songs to himself until 5:15 this morning.

Sometime about 3:15 this morning, I ended up on the boy’s gloriously wonderful mattress, but I was not able to sleep, as a rousing rendition of “The Wheels On The Bus Go ‘Round and ‘Round” was being belted out — IN TUNE!! — from Thing 2′s bedroom.  That song was followed by a chorus of “Happy Birthday,” which Thing 2 learned last week, and which he sings as “Birthday you!  Birthday you!”  When the birthday wishes were sung out and finished, we heard “God’s Not Dead,” “Old MacDonald,” “Copperhead Road,” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

(Thing 2 is one of those people who has a passion for ALL KINDS of music, and he can memorize a song better than I can memorize the drive-up menu at Starbucks.)

Finally, I realized at 5:15 this morning that the singing had quit.  I was asleep at 5:15 and just seven seconds after it.

At 5:30, I woke up because Cat 2 decided to jump up on the bathroom sink, and she knocked over our drinking glass.

It clattered to the floor with as much noise as a full-grown man fighting a Mylar balloon, while a building is exploding from dynamite in the background.

And THAT, folks, is how our night panned out.  With the exception of fifteen minutes, where I slept like I was a comatose victim and more than likely drooled on the boy’s pillow, I have been awake since 2:00 this morning.

We are ALL going to bed now, and there ain’t nobody getting out of their beds.  Ain’t nobody playing a game of musical beds either.  If anyone wakes me up tonight, I’ll be at the Holiday Inn afterward…

I’ll let y’all know tomorrow how it turned out.


I think there’s quite a bit of truth in THIS:


(And bless your heart if you actually read this whole thing.  My mind is numb from a lack of sleep, and this post is about as entertaining as having a fishhook stuck in your mouth is.)

Good night.

Girls’ Weekend Away

It’s no secret that Thing 2 adores a good helium balloon, and it’s also not a secret that Grammy keeps feeding his addiction with trips to the local dollar store for MORE balloons.  Now, knowing that as the back story, do you want to know what one of the most refreshing ways you can wake up in the middle of the night is?

It would be to the sound of your husband FIGHTING a Mylar balloon at 12:45 AM, with enough force to sound like forty-eleven elephant ninjas have stomped into your bedroom, with trunks a-trumpeting and feet a-crushing.  Apparently, Hubs opened his eyes at 12:45 this morning to see a helium balloon with a slow leak hovering three feet off the floor, RIGHT.  BESIDE.  HIM.  He said that it scared the snot out of him so badly, his adrenaline surged to KILL SOMEONE levels, and he fought that balloon to its death.  It was exactly as quiet as a full-on fireworks display, that took place while someone else was throwing fancy china plates against the wall and a third person was blasting his air horn.

And that is the very reason that I was awake from 12:45 to 4:00 this morning.  My own adrenaline surged to RUN, RUN, RUN levels, because WHO IS HAVING THE HUNGER GAMES SHAKE DOWN IN MY BEDROOM? and also… RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!

I’d like to blame Hubs for the giant bags under my eyes today.


This weekend I escaped town with a lovely pack of girls, because Beth Moore was speaking at An Event.

(Do you know Beth?  She’s my BFF, regardless of the fact that we have never met in person, what with her being famous and me being UN-FAMOUS.  It’s exactly like I’m her stalker, following her around from Bible study to Bible study, as I read all of her books and attend her day-long siumulcasts.  I’m a FRIENDLY stalker, though, because ain’t nobody with a teenager and a toddler got time to dress up in a trenchcoat and dark glasses and follow someone around 24/7.)

We left town in a Suburban heavily loaded with girls on Friday afternoon, and I’m not sure we EVER quit laughing.  My face ended up aching with all the muscle cramps involved with spending an entire weekend with my head thrown back in hilarity.

When we checked into our hotel, our fan club greeted us outside.  They were hoping to have their pictures taken with us, and that we would have bread crusts to throw to them.


I also may or may not have texted Katie C. to tell her that BETH MOORE WAS STAYING IN OUR HOTEL, IN THE ROOM RIGHT BETWEEN OURS, before she arrived in her car, which may or may not have caused her to nearly get a speeding ticket and run over a stop sign in her haste to get there, because BETH!!!!  BETH RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO US!!!

It wasn’t the truth, y’all.  Beth was NOT at our hotel.  Katie C. almost cried real tears of disappointment, but I think she and I are still fabulous friends, regardless of my cruelty.

At dinner on Friday night, as we sat together at a round table, so that we could all see everyone’s sweet faces clearly, we realized that between eight of us moms, we had left a total of twenty-five children behind with their daddies.  That could be the very reason that NO ONE said at dinner, “Sit up here and eat your broccoli right this second,” or “Put that down and quit playing with it at the table,” or “I said SIT DOWN AND EAT YOUR BROCCOLI!” or “I said NO TOYS AT THE TABLE!” or “Stop throwing your broccoli,” or “Quit texting during dinner!”  None of us leaned down to retrieve dropped spoons nineteen times… none of us had yogurt thrown on our sleeves… none of us found that we’d sat on a half-eaten fish stick when we got up for more napkins and that we were carrying it around, dangling from the backside of our “mom jeans.”

I also ordered a filet mignon, because WHY NOT?  It turned out to be the driest steak that I’ve ever experienced in my life, and it required an entire pitcher of water to get it down.  Halfway through my piece of shoe leather, Melanie, who knows cuts of meat like she knows brands of facial moisturizers, leaned over my plate and said, “I thought you were ordering the filet?  Why’d you get a sirloin instead?”

Yes.  That would be me.  When I ordered a filet and I was served a piece of sirloin right off the horse’s back, I had no idea.

(I’m sorry, Hubs.  I was too busy talking to take notice.)

After dinner, we rushed across town in major traffic, missed an exit, drove over a curb to get back to said exit, and finally made it to see Beth Moore, live and in person…

… along with 400,000 other women and six men.

(In fact, all of the men’s restrooms were converted to bathrooms for women, with enormous signs on them that said PLEASE, LADIES!  TINKLE IN HERE, TOO!, so I’m not sure WHERE those six men went for potty breaks.)

I just had the camera on my iPhone this weekend, and let me tell you what I love about my phone’s camera:


I love NOTHING about it.

This is the reason that all of my snapshots look like they were taken through a tunnel in the year of our Lord, eighteen hundred and twenty-nine, but I couldn’t NOT snap group shots of all of my precious friends on our Beth Adventure.

And LOOK!!  Our dear friend Katie flew in from STINKING ALASKA for the event, and had to be picked up at the airport!  Talk about a genuine friend and Jesus-lover, who came all the way from the land of igloos to Bigger Town, USA for a word from Beth.

(Also?  I can’t take credit for this blurry picture.  Katie C. [We have TWO Katies in our group] snapped this of Katie H. as she got off the plane, and I think Katie C. was so excited to see Katie H. [Can I just refer to them as H and C from here on out?!], that her hand was shaking from LOOK!  SHE’S HERE!!!  SHE’S HERRRRRREEEEE!!!!)

IMG_2860H had her neck hugged no fewer than seventeen thousand times this weekend, because WELCOME BACK and DID YOU PACK ENOUGH CLOTHES TO LIVE HERE AGAIN FOREVER?

IMG_2862IMG_2863And then we got after it, with some phenomenal praise music and a word straight from Jesus, through Beth Moore herself.

IMG_2866Afterward, we went back to our hotel room, where we laughed and talked and didn’t sleep.

THAT may be due to the small fact that I am a… How do I say this in English?… high maintenance sleeper.  I require a nest built out of certain pillows every single night and a ceiling fan and the perfect temperature.  If any of those things are off… if even one pillow is missing from the edges of my nest, I will feel it as surely as I would feel a single pea beneath a stack of mattresses, and sleep will elude me.

On Saturday morning, we all met downstairs for COFFEE, COFFEE, COFFEE and our continental breakfast, and we realized that only LIBBY really slept, because Libby can apparently sleep anywhere, including in mattress stores when she lies down to try one out.

And then we went back across town in major traffic and DID NOT miss our exit, because we were experienced by then, so that we could finish up the conference…

… and take more group shots of each other.

IMG_2868 IMG_2876 IMG_2875 IMG_2878 IMG_2879And I’ll be the first to say it.

My hair wasn’t GOOD HAIR on Saturday.  It was second-day hair, which got scraped back into a messy bun, that turned out to be nine parts JUST HORRID and one part THIS WILL DO.  It wasn’t the hair I wanted to show off at a Beth Event, but Jesus decided that the stronghold called PRIDE OF A FANTASTIC HAIR DAY was going to be broken down for me.

I’m just relieved that I was the only one suffering from UGLY HAIR SYNDROME, and that all of my precious friends received an abundance of volume and cuteness this weekend.

And… listen.

Beth spoke all weekend long on BLESSINGS.  Only, she’s from Texas, so she adds an extra syllable, so she actually spoke on BUH-LESS-INGS.

Buh-less her heart.

The crazy thing is (which probably isn’t all THAT crazy, if you know Jesus’ personality at all) is that I have been praying about blessings for my boys for the past month.  I’ve been specifically praying that Jesus would give them blessings, much like the patriarchs gave blessings to their sons in the Old Testament, straight from God Himself, so… when Beth opened up her Bible on Friday night and said, “We’ll be talking this entire weekend about blessings,” my jaw sort of dropped open, and I said, “Really, Jesus?”  And then I sat up and listened.

The CliffsNotes version of the weekend is that all of our words have power, and we should use our words to speak blessings over EVERYONE, instead of speaking negativeness over them.

I took eighty-six pages of notes, because I’m pretty sure the message was aimed straight at me.

It was a precious time, y’all.

After Beth wrapped up the conference, our pack of girls went en masse to do some shopping.  Bigger Town, USA had no idea what had been turned loose on it.  We shopped until the physical exhaustion set in.  We laughed until we had cramps.  We hugged one another, we cried with one another, and we hugged some more.

We also tried to keep up with Melanie, who is a Professional Shopper.  She makes all of our THOUGHT WE WERE PROFESSIONAL SHOPPERS OURSELVES look like we’re nothing but contestant on Amateur Night.  All I can say is that when Melanie is in your group, you need to wear comfortable shoes, because she knows what she is looking for.  Hubs would be so dadgum proud of her, because she has a game plan for every store that she enters, and she doesn’t participate in the man-killing part called I’M WANDERING IN A STORE AND JUST LOOKING.

(She can also tell the difference between filets and sirloins.  Clearly, she should be nominated for our country’s president.  She can see problems and take charge, and she has great hair every single day of her life.)

And then, in the very dark part of the night, we drove back home.  Our Suburban looked like Santa’s sleigh, and we talked nonstop during the two-hour car ride, while we all passed around Sister’s bag of organic granola and Melanie’s bag of brown-rice chips for A LATE DINNER IN THE CAR.

And then I got a migraine, exactly twenty miles from home.  It struck like a midnight Mylar balloon attack, and made me, at one point, shout out, “I NEED OUT TO PUKE!!!!”

But… regardless of the migraine grand finale, I wouldn’t have changed a single thing about this weekend!  It was really and truly the best kind of fun I’ve had with the girls in ages!  And, after I had slept off my major headache and realized with ENORMOUS SADNESS that I had left my own favorite and expensive down-filled pillow in the hotel room (the very pillow that is the CORNERSTONE of my nightly pillow nest!), I greeted my little family with a rejuvenated spirit.

And you can bet that I’m going to be speaking BUH-LESS-INGS over all of their precious little selves.

So… to Sister and Katie H. (all the way from Alaska!!) and Katie C. and Libby and Melanie and Abbey and Jamie and Christa and Ellen and Angela and Amber and Heidi and Regan and Veronica… AND BETH MOORE… thank you for one fantastic weekend away.

And, rest assured, the hotel is mailing my beloved pillow back to me.

Just Some Words On A Thursday Night

I had a whole lot of intentions of weeding through the snapshots on my camera’s memory card today, and slapping some onto the blog this evening.

And by some, I probably meant four hundred and forty-nine.  It’s because life has been happening, and we’ve finished up our soccer season with a big tournament, and we’ve been to a couple of super fun parties with friends, and Thing 2 has played with some friends of his own, and I’ve taken pictures of it all.

And then, after I picked up the house this morning and got some laundry started and unloaded the dishwasher and made beds and helped the toddler string beads together and tickled a pair of chubby baby feet, I put Thing 2 down for a nap.  I probably should have gone through my memory card then… or I should have taken a nap myself at that time, because SWEET MERCY!   We have fallen into another season of THE TODDLER AIN’T SLEEPIN’ AT NIGHT AGAIN, with a chaser of MAMA’S KINDA TIRED, but listen…

I was still reading Jodi Picoult’s brand new book, called Leaving Time, and I needed to know what really happened at The Elephant Sanctuary.  This book has sucked me into the mystery of WHO DID WHAT, and the Nancy Drew side of me became very smug, as I THOUGHT that I’d figured everything out… only then I read along some more and learned that NO… NO, I DIDN’T FIGURE ANYTHING OUT, because I didn’t see THAT coming.

Yes, this book broadsided me with the plot twist.

As in, this book might just as well have picked up a wooden club and smacked me across the head, because THAT WAS SO NOT WHAT I WAS EXPECTING TO SEE HAPPEN!!

I’ve never wanted to turn to the last few pages in the book and catch a glimpse of WHO IS STILL ALIVE at the end more than I’ve wanted to do it with this book, even though I think that CHEATING ON THE ENDING like this is thirty-six kinds of wrong.  I do, in fact, JUDGE FOLKS who look at the last chapter in the book before they’ve gotten there by reading.  I judge them, and I find them lacking in self control.

I NEVER look ahead in a book.


At all.

But this one made me want to, until I had to just pull myself up by the bootstraps and say, “Keep reading, Girlfriend, and don’t ruin the ending for yourself ahead of time.”  Thankfully, I listened to myself and resisted the urge.

So that’s how I spent the quiet time of Thing 2′s nap today:  Reading.  I finished that book.  I DID find out exactly what happened at The Elephant Sanctuary, and then I sort of just quietly closed that book shut and said, “Wow,” because there are few endings to a story that manage to blindside me like this one did.

Also… I’ve always WANTED a pet elephant, and this book just confirms that my desires to raise one in my backyard haven’t weakened at all over the years.  The only real problem comes from the fact that I’m on a continual COMPLAIN TRAIN over how much food a single teenage boy eats out of our pantry, so I cannot even begin to fathom how much prep work there would be to preparing meals for an elephant pet, especially when a whole watermelon is the equivalent of a lone Ritz cracker to one.

So… I didn’t get my snapshots gone through.  There aren’t any photos here tonight… and I’m leaving tomorrow for a Girls’ Weekend with a whole pack of lovely friends.  I need to wrap things up now and go pack a bag, and then fall into a comatose sleep, right after I talk to Jesus about COULD THING 2 PLEASE, PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE, WITH A CHERRY ON TOP, SLEEP ALL NIGHT LONG TONIGHT?

(Don’t think that you can break into our house while I’m gone, either, because Hubs is still here with the boys, doing “man things” together, and he’d love nothing more than to rough up a bandit, while our vicious housecat, Cat 1, cheered him on to victory and grinned about slicing up a liver as a celebration meal.)

(I’m sorry to be so graphic, but Cat 1 isn’t squeamish.)

Before I go, though, I have to show you this one thing that utterly and completely describes me and Hubs to perfection:

1977381_841088845920768_2012995799_nEvery single time Hubs and I grocery shop together, he boldly declares, “I feel like we’re WANDERING!”  Seeing this today just boosted my spirits, as I was relieved to learn that other women go into the grocery store with no real game plan, either, even though men go in like they’re on a Navy SEAL-sponsored recovery mission.

(I also feel like that red line up there could represent the differences in thought patterns in the brain, too, but I’m no scientist, so who really knows?)

At any rate, it pretty much sums up the fact that I’ll need a grocery delivery service when I have an elephant trumpeting for fresh cantaloupe in my backyard every day.  I can only imagine the amount of wandering I’d do in the produce section, trying to decide how many butternut squash and apples it was going to take to feed the family pet for the week.

Y’all have a merry weekend.

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


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:


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.


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!!?


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 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.