Working The System

Thing 2 likes to remind us that he’s a big boy.

As in, he likes to tell us that he’s ALMOST SIXTEEN and that he CAN ALMOST DRIVE, all of the time.  If we insist that he’s our small boy, he denies it with an argument that refuses to lose.  So, it came as a bit of a surprise this afternoon, when he announced to the woman in the deli at the grocery store, “I’m just a little kid!”

She was busy filling an order for chicken for the elderly man in front of us, so she didn’t hear Thing 2.

No matter.

He sat up straighter in the cart, leaned closer to the deli counter, and pretty much hollered, “I said, I’M JUST A LITTLE KID!”

I told him that we don’t talk to people with that tone of voice, and then I added, “And I thought you were almost sixteen?”

Thing 2 looked at me and announced, “Mom, sometimes when you tell people at the grocery store that you’re just a little kid, they give you free cookies, and you don’t even have to give them any money.”

Pray for our family as the Spirit leads you.

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The Trick-Or-Treating Recap

Do you know what today is?

It’s All Saints Day.

What this means is that it’s a holy holiday at our little private Catholic school, so NO SCHOOL!  NO SCHOOL FOR OUR BELOVED LITTLE CATHOLIC CHILDREN TODAY!  Thankfully, this NO SCHOOL situation held true for Baptist PE teachers, too.  The honest truth is that, since I only teach two days a week, the holy days never seem to fall on my teaching days, so BLESS MYSELF, but I never, ever get the random holy day off in the middle of a work week.

No, ma’am.  It’s ALL THE DODGEBALL, ALL THE TIME for me.

So, you can imagine my joy when I found out over a month ago that All Saints Day was GOING TO HIT A TUESDAY!!  Goodbye, PE; hello, DOING NOTHING WHILE MY OWN CHILDREN ARE IN SCHOOL!!

This was pretty much my behavio:

I Love Kellie Pickler excited kellie pickler ecstatic cmt

Add to that the fact that I could sip coffee quietly, all by myself, on NO SCHOOL / ALL SAINTS DAY, on the day AFTER Halloween, where I could SLOWLY recover from all the trick-or-treating hoopla from the night before, and I was looking a win-win deal straight in the face…

… until the housekeeper that I can’t really afford said that she would be by first thing this morning to do all the cleaning.

Which meant that I felt horribly guilty about her cleaning, while I sat and sipped coffee, while I occasionally jumped up to spin circles of joy and clap my hands together, so I got up, rinsed out my mug, and joined her.

Yes.

It’s true.

I spent my GIFTED FREE DAY cleaning my house, right beside our little housekeeping gal.  I worked up a sweat, scrubbing down my laundry room and wiping cabinets and disinfecting ALL THE THINGS, but, in the end, I sat back, surveyed a house that was spic-and-span, and heaved an enormous sigh of relief.

And then I promptly booked a hotel for our little family of four tonight, because clearly, we cannot make any plans to eat dinner here or sleep here this evening, or all of my free-day-cleaning-efforts will be wasted.

So, that’s what I did today, instead of leisurely sipping hot coffee with gobs of half-and-half in it, while I dug through Thing 2’s candy basket, pilfering Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Because that candy basket?

Sweet mercy, but Thing 2 hit the mother load vein last night.

We started at Grammy and Papa’s place.  Grammy put an entire grocery store worth of chocolate into Thing 2’s pumpkin bucket, and then he grabbed four granola bars, a box of cheese-flavored crackers, and a bottled water from her pantry, all on his own, before he left.  Apparently, he was stalking up on staples before winter hits.

img_3426We chased that down with a trip to Mam and Pa’s house, where Mam laid out her chocolate offerings on the kitchen island and let Thing 2 and the boy pick their happiness.  Thing 2 picked away, and then ended up eating his weight in Kit-Kat bars.  I believe this was his attempt to SUGAR LOAD before the marathon trick-or-treat session began later.

img_3429 img_3431We were set to team up with good friends for trick-or-treating at 6:00 last night.  Thing 2 only asked if it “was 6:00 yet” seventeen thousand, four hundred and seventy-one times.

Thankfully, 6:00 finally happened.  It was a green light for trick-or-treating, and the princess and the MINJUN Turtle ended up with more sugary snacks than they could successfully lift in their buckets and run with.

img_3433 img_3435The 1920s gangster joined us, but gangsters are entirely too cool to knock on doors and beg for free treats.  However, they are not too cool to steal chocolate from their brothers’ baskets when said brothers aren’t paying attention.

img_3440 img_3444After practicing their trick-or-treat skills at Tyler and Heather’s house in a Halloween Dress Rehearsal, and learning exactly how to shout, “TRICK-OR-TREAT,” hold their buckets out and SAY THANK YOU, we were off.

img_3451 img_3456Two houses down the road, we learned that what we HAD NOT covered in the dry run practice session was this:

DON’T STAND ON THE DOORSTEP AND POUND THE DOORBELL 1,000 TIMES BEFORE THE HOMEOWNERS OPEN IT.

I’m fairly certain that the Minjun Turtle and the Pretty Princess rang each doorbell forty-two times before doors were thrown open to greet them.  Thing 2 also perfected the GRAB-AND-GO method of trick-or-treating, while the princess was quite content to examine the goodies in her bag and walk a little slower, so she didn’t leave a glass slipper behind.

Sadly, she wasn’t successful at that.

Backup sneakers had to be brought in as a replacement team for the glass slippers, which were left on every set of front porch steps that she climbed.  Also, Thing 2 ditched his Minjun Turtle mask, because of I CAN’T SEE!  I CAN’T SEE!  I CAN’T SEE, MOM!!!  Thankfully, our wardrobe adjustments were easy to accomplish last night.

img_3449 img_3459 img_3461 img_3463 img_3468 img_3475 img_3479We pretty much walked a half marathon last night.  We stopped to admire some friends’ cleverness, as they had brought their fire pit out to their front driveway, where they were making S’more for all the costumed kids.  We even managed to BARELY survive a haunted front porch.  The porch was dark and covered with spider webs and ghouls dangling from the rafters.  When our VERY LITTLE CHILDREN walked up to the darkened front door, the home-owning ghoul, who was dressed all in black and hiding in the shadows, stood up and growled.

The princess screamed and Thing 2 slammed his arm across her chest to prevent her from getting any closer.  From the front sidewalk, we heard him shout, “Stay back, Vivian!”  I won’t lie.  My mama’s heart was super proud of him for protecting her like he did.  And then I pretty much wanted to go kick an adult ghoul in the shins for scaring our preschoolers like he did.

And then ask me how badly I wanted to kick his shins at 11:30 last night, when Thing 2 woke up from a deep sleep, screaming horrendously because he’d had a bad dream.

But, the one scary front porch and the following nightmare aside, our Halloween was a successful one.  We are completely LOADED with peanut butter cups and Hershey’s and miniature Snickers and Twix candy bars.

Plus, my ENTIRE HOUSE IS CLEAN.

I’m writing it all off as a major WIN.

Halloween 2016

Halloween 2016 is down in the books.

The boy went as a gangster from the 1920s.  Of course, none of his friends were dressing up for school today, because TOO COOL FOR THAT, but he wore the zoot suit for a birthday party – slash – murder mystery game – slash – costume-wearing event on Saturday night.

img_3406 img_3410Thing 2 was a Minjun Turtle.

Yes.

I said MINJUN.  It’s because we’re four, and that’s how we pronounce NINJA right now, and Mama thinks it’s too cute to correct.  Also, I will bawl if anyone teaches him the proper pronunciation.  Our entire family now refers to the pizza-eating, crime-fighting creatures as THE TEENAGE MUTANT MINJUN TURTLES.

img_3415 img_3421img_3424Happy Halloween, y’all.  May your sugar crashes be small tonight.

That Day When I Almost Fought A Witch And Went Viral

Hubs and I went into Walmart this afternoon for our weekly Big Haul.  We desperately needed groceries, because we had no half-and-half for coffee.  If you have no half-and-half for coffee, then there’s really no need to even HAVE coffee.

At the checkout lane, we ended up with a witch scanning our groceries.  She was dressed up for Halloween, with the black, pointy hat, a green wig, and a sweet-looking wart, complete with three long hairs on it, stuck on her chin.

I hope the wart was part of her costume, but you can never be too sure these days.

I told her she looked great, because YES!  That little gal had invested a lot of time and cleverness into her witch get-up.

As she was scanning our half-and-half and our yogurt and our apples, she commented that she had to work until 11:30 this evening, and she’d LOVE — JUST LOVE IT!  OH, MY GOSH!  LIKE, IT WOULD BE SOOOO NICE TO HAVE!! — some of Thing 2’s energy.  Apparently, she had been watching him point out various store employees who were dressed up, and then she couldn’t help but have heard him clapping for all the costumes.

Hubs and I both said, in unison, “You can have ALL of his energy!”  And then the two of us burst out laughing, because clearly we have been married long enough… and been parents long enough together… to think the exact same thoughts.

The little girl checking us out laughed and said, “Well, I just need a little energy to get to 11:30 tonight, when I get off work.  Because you know what?  I’m more of a morning person, and less of a night person, and… like… I’m gonna completely tank and run out of momentum about 10:45 tonight, and I will still have another forty-five minutes to go.”

Forty-five minutes left after tanking?  The poor dear.

She talked so fast, I figured that she and Thing 2 probably already had a lot in common, and that she probably didn’t need much of his energy bottled up in a shot glass.

I told her, “Well, 10:45 is later than I would make it.  I’m a morning person, too, but I’m done with the day about 8:30 each night.”

Without missing a beat, the little gal laughed and said, “That probably has a lot to do with the fact that you’re A WHOLE LOT OLDER THAN I AM, so you’re probably getting to that stage in your life when you need to just sit down a lot, like older people do.”

And that’s pretty much when Hubs got to cheer me on in a fistfight.

Oh, people.

I kid.

Hubs didn’t cheer at all.  He kept yelling, “Stop fighting in Walmart, Mama!  People are using their phones to record this, and you’re going to end up on You Tube in ten minutes!”

As we left Walmart, I told Hubs, “It’s a good thing that little witch doesn’t work for tips!”

I think Hubs mumbled something about “REIGN THE IRRITATION IN, GLADYS!  YOU’RE GETTING ALL WORKED UP, WHICH ISN’T GOOD AT YOUR AGE.  WE’LL GET YOU HOME AND SETTLED IN FRONT OF WHEEL OF FORTUNE, SO YOU CAN SIT DOWN A BIT, WITH YOUR PROGRAM AND YOUR KNITTING, IN NO TIME.”

A Hasty Retreat

THING 2: (as he was climbing into my chair, right behind me): “Before you read me that book, Mom, I just want to do one thing.”
ME: “What one thing?”
THING 2: “I’m going to give you a haircut. I already got the real scissors.”

And THAT is how I managed to jump out of a rocking chair so quickly, I knocked it over, along with my preschooler and the pile of books we were going to read.

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Today

In case you want to know what’s going on in our lives right now, I can fill you in quickly.

1.  I taught PE all day yesterday.

2.  And all day today.

3.  I have back-to-back classes, so bathroom breaks are always a trick to coordinate; the only hope of achieving the luxury of a pit stop is when one class is coming into the gym and one class is leaving the gym.

4.  Two cups of coffee and two bottles of water will speed up the need for coordinating a trip to the restroom.  Sometimes, you just have to grab a well-known parent in the hallway, and ask, “Can you just watch these kindergartners change their shoes?  You know… while I visit the ladies’ room?”

5.  Thing 2 spent the afternoon with Grammy while I worked today.

6.  When I walked into her place to pick him up, I didn’t see him, but Grammy pointed to the bathroom door.

7.  It’s much easier to take a bathroom break when you’re four.

8.  Grammy’s place smelled INCREDIBLY STRONGLY of orange oil.

9.  I thought Grammy had gone a little overboard on her air freshening attempts, but I was polite and refrained from saying anything.

10.  When Thing 2 was done in the bathroom and opened the door, we learned that he had sprayed an ENTIRE ENTIRE ENTIRE bottle of brand new orange oil dusting spray all over the bathroom.

11.  The only visual I have is this:  Let’s pretend that someone struck oil in a five-foot-by-five-foot bathroom, and said oil sprayed on the floors and the walls and the sink and the potty and the ceiling and the toilet paper dispenser.

12.  And then pretend that all of that spraying oil smelled just like oranges.

13.  Dawn dish soap and a mop are necessary items when you’re cleaning up an orange oil dusting spray spill that has contaminated the environment.

14.  It takes forever.

15.  It’s been two hours, and I STILL smell orange oil, and I’m at my house.

16.  I smell orange oil every single time I inhale.

17.  I will never be able to use orange oil again in my life, because the smell is now dead to me.

18.  I like to pretend that little Prince William probably sprays entire bottles of cleaner in the bathrooms at his palace.

19.  I’m sure Princess Kate and I are both facing the same parenting issues.

20.  I’m sure she probably mopped up the mess in HER bathroom all by herself, too.

And THAT about sums everything up right now.  I wish I had something more glamorous for y’all tonight, but the honest truth is that it was a long day in PE and I forgot to get everything ready and chopped this morning, so that I could put homemade chicken noodle soup in our crockpot for dinner this evening.

Which means I came home and THERE WAS NO DINNER, because OH, YES!  SOUP DIDN’T HAPPEN.  So now we’re looking at some tortilla chips and a brick of cheddar cheese.  Yum, yum, dinner!

Y’all have a good Wednesday evening.

 

 

Good Parenting And Busy Weekends

Between 1995 and 2000, I was a fantastic mother.

What?!

You say that the boy didn’t come along until 2000, exactly five years after Hubs and I stood outside, beneath an arbor covered in wildflowers, and proclaimed that we’d try our very best to love one another forever and ever, amen?

Well.  No matter.  For those five years before Hubs and I actually HAD a kid, I was a great mom.  I knew that our child wasn’t going to eat fast food.  Like… ever.  Fast food clogged arteries and prevented optimum brain growth, and it was all made out of cow feet and chicken beaks and fried up in motor oil, right there under those Golden Arches.

I was going to use cloth diapers, because HOW HARD COULD THAT REALLY BE?  Why pollute the environment any more than it already was, after I’d contributed to the hole in the ozone in the ’80s, with all of my aerosol hairspray use?  I felt like I OWED IT to the environment to change my ways, after my big hair settled down.  And really?  Well, Mary used cloth diapers on Jesus, and all the pioneers used them, and even my own mother used them on me, so… yesCloth diapers it was going to be.

My child was also never going to watch TV, either, because we were going to enrich his little mind with ALL THE LEARNING and ALL THE ACTIVITIES!  Bless all the educational activities!

And housework?  OF COURSE OUR HOUSE WOULD BE SPOTLESS.  Children thrive in clean homes, and what kind of a mother has no time to DUST ALL THE THINGS?

And sugar?  We weren’t even going to go there.  Sugar would be for trick-or-treating and school Christmas parties, and then there would be the Great Sugar Sabbatical between December 26th and Halloween the following year.  The Lord was going to see our dedication to fresh fruits and celery sticks as snacks, and He was going to be so very, very proud of our boy’s parents.

And then?

Well, real life happened.

The boy was premature and required a decent-length stay in the NICU, where the nurses adorned his adorable bottom in Pampers.  Once he had been weaned off every tube and wire in existence and been dismissed, we took him home.  I declared to Hubs, “Tomorrow, we will start cloth diapering.”

And then we were awake all night, checking on a baby who no longer sported a heart monitor to announce to the world if things suddenly stopped beating in the middle of the night.  Hubs and I pretty much stayed one inch away from his bassinet for that entire first night at home, with our hand on his chest.

Because we were such good parents.

Which is the time we realized that EXHAUSTED PARENTS really have no time for rinsing cloth diapers out in a toilet.

The landfill is polluted because of us and all the Pampers we bought.

Eventually, the boy also learned to lean out of the Suburban window at a drive-thru, to holler out, “I want a Happy Meal, with four chicken nuggets and a chocolate milk.”  And, if that wasn’t bad enough, he quickly learned to shout from the backseat when we pulled into Starbucks, “I’ll have a caramel latte, heavy on the caramel, heavy on the whipped cream, and just one shot, please.”

Still, Hubs and I did fairly well with him.

Cue the second child.

Today, that second child of ours had an awesome day at preschool.  Yesterday, he had an awesome day at preschool.  So, to celebrate, he’s sitting here beside me, at this very moment, eating a lollipop in every color of the rainbow, which is approximately the size of a basketball.

A BASKETBALL-SIZED LOLLIPOP, PEOPLE!!

He’s sitting in the pile of crumbs from the granola bar he ate yesterday.  You know… the Nature Valley granola bars that are as hard as rocks and shatter when you bite into them, sending granola, from the very heart of the Nature Valley, crumbling all over the place??  There are no children on this planet who enjoy those solid, crunch-crunch-crunchy granola bars… except MY children.  And when they eat them, it looks like a beaver has chewed an entire forest down, leaving sawdust / granola crumbs three feet deep.  I might also add that while Thing 2 eats this giant lollipop, in the middle of a floor that was never swept last night, he’s also watching The Backyardigans on the iPad.

And do you know what?

I’m chalking it all up as a parenting win.  I parent differently now than I did before I had kids, but listen:  Let’s just encourage one another and pat one another on the backs and say, “Long live the four-pack of chicken nuggets from McDonald’s, paired with chocolate milk!”

I don’t even really know where I was going with all of that, but I thought it was important that you know what my preschooler was doing while I write this post.

Also?  Our weekend was a busy one.

Thing 2 had a play date with one of his BFFs, while their two mamas sat on a park bench, solving world problems and telling one another that take-and-bake pizzas were really BASICALLY homemade, seeing as how they are BAKED IN YOUR OVEN, WHICH IS IN YOUR HOME.

See?  We are the wind beneath each other’s wings.

Also?  Well, those two boys played and played and PUH-LAYED.  They climbed and jumped and spun and hopped and pretended to be superheros.  They laughed hysterically and shared some tears when one hit his back on the slide and the other conked his noggin on the park bench.

But, they both had a fantastic time.

And then… when I asked them to smile great big smiles for a picture, THIS is what I got:

img_3380Basically, Thing 2 whispered, “Hey!  My mom wants to take a picture.   Why don’t you look like you have to poop, and I’ll look like the cat who just ate the canary, and maybe she won’t ask us to pose for snapshots any more, when she realizes how rotten we are at it.”

Also, Hubs and some friends rented an air compressor that was so enormous, it had to be pulled on a trailer.  ‘Twas the season for traveling around town, dragging that air compressor from one house to another, to blow everyone’s underground sprinklers out for the winter.  Ain’t nobody got time for broken sprinkler pipes, come June 1st.

Hubs took the boys with him.  Apparently, Thing 2 took his chores seriously at all of our friends’ houses, as all the menfolk got busy working, and he was EXHAUSTED on Saturday night.

image1 img_7727He was so worn out, he actually slept in until 7:05 on Sunday morning.

It was exactly like an early Christmas present to his parents.

On Sunday, Hubs and the boy went into Walmart for the Big Haul…

without me.

I’m not even kidding you!  I had a meeting to go to, so Hubs took our lengthy grocery list, and he and the boy GOT.  IT.  DONE.

For the first time EVER, our bi-weekly Big Haul happened WITHOUT ME.

And there was my birthday present, early.

Add to that the fact that I met a friend in the park for two hours on Sunday, where we got to chat and chat, and talk and chat some more while the kids played, and it all panned out to be a pretty marvelous weekend.

Happy Tuesday, y’all.

Our Baby Can Make His Bed

Y’all, listen.

Our BABY wanted to help Hubs and me make our bed yesterday.  (And YES!  Typing “Hubs and me” is grammatically correct right there.  It really is!)  The only problem is that our BABY is not tall enough to reach our bed, so having him help make it would have involved  him needing to climb up on top of the bed… on top of all the covers that were being pulled tight and smoothed out… and that would have created a train wreck, as far as Bed Making 101 goes.

So I told Thing 2 that he could go make HIS bed.

And he did.

Hubs and I watched him, from the doorway of our bedroom.  He grabbed his little red blanket and spread it all out, and then he folded it up, just so, and placed it at the foot of his bed, just like he’s seen his mama do, time and time again.  Afterward, he took his little pillow and put it right where it needed to go.

He was so proud of himself!  He was STINKING PROUD of himself, and I almost cried, because this is our BABY!!  Our BABY just made his bed yesterday morning.

Of course I took a picture.

img_7728It doesn’t look quite like Mama does it.  I tend to put the airplane quilt on his bed, and I like to turn the airplane pillow RIGHT SIDE UP, so the airplane doesn’t look like it’s lost an engine and is about to begin a downward spiral that’s going to result in a fireball.  But I DO fold up our little man’s extra blanket and put it right at the foot of the bed.

Hubs and I (And yes… in this case it really IS “Hubs and I,” because I used to be an English major, y’all!) had to tell Thing 2 several times yesterday that he did an amazing job making his bed, because he did.

HE DID!

His mama was powerfully proud of his accomplishment!

The Post Where We Talk About Prayers, Toilet Handles, Tractors and Figure Skating

Well, hello there!

You really didn’t think I’d make it into work this evening, to pound the potatoes out of the keyboard and get a blog post up, did you?  Oh, ye of little faith.  I’m here, and I have things to write, but I’ll warn you right now:  I woke up at 3:50 AM this morning from a wicked awful dream, and I never went back to sleep, so what you read here tonight might be a mixture of run-on sentences and words that don’t make sense.

In other words, just a normal post at Jedi Mama, Inc.

To help things along, I think I’ll just do bullet points tonight, because my OCD, exhausted self loves some decent bullet points.

Or rather, NUMBERED points.

It’s all good.

1.  Yes.  I woke up at 3:50 this morning from a nightmare.  I even realized that I woke up hollering a little bit.  It wasn’t your SCREAMING IN THE SHOWER IN A HORROR  MOVIE sort of holler, but still… it was an elevated voice that would make it hard to hear the TV, if you were watching it in the same room.

What you need to know is that Hubs slept through it.

And the boy slept through it.

And Thing 2 slept through it.

So basically, I feel very safe in my house, knowing that my hollering alarm system is stellar, and the menfolk will jump out of bed to lend their help, if we had a burglar in the house at 3:50 in the morning.

2.  Yesterday morning, after I had dropped Thing 2 off at his preschool, I drove myself to work.  When I parked in front of my school, I started to let myself out of my seatbelt.  The belt wouldn’t release.  I had managed to catch my shirt hem on the set belt hook, which I then shoved right into the little receptacle unit, and lo!  The result was a seatbelt that wasn’t going to release its occupant for all the tea in China.

The beauty of the situation was that I had shoved my cell phone into my backpack, which was in the backseat.

After pushing that seatbelt button and pulling the strap, and trying to loosen the part around my waist, I finally came to the conclusion that I was going to have to drive the two blocks over to the fire station and literally LEAN ON MY HORN to get the attention of the firemen.

The conversation would have gone like this:

“Hi!  I’m stuck in my seatbelt, because my shirt hem got caught in it, and I couldn’t CALL YOU, because my phone is in the backseat.  Can you use that little seatbelt-cutting tool you have… or even the Jaws of Life… and get me out of my Suburban?”

Thankfully, after a few minutes, the Lord’s favor shone upon me, and the seatbelt came loose, without the need to get the firemen involved.

3.  Thing 2 and I like to pray together while we drive to preschool every morning.  Basically, this involves me praying some phrases out loud, for him and over him, while he repeats them.

img_3368This morning, I prayed, “I am a mighty warrior for Jesus.  I will be a blessing to my teacher today, and I will be a blessing to my friends today.”

Thing 2 was busy, repeating the words from his spot in the backseat.  It went exactly like this:

“I am a mighty warrior for Jesus.  I will be a blessing to FORD MUSTANG!!!  FORD!!!!  MUSTAAAAAAANG!!!!  Mom!!  We just passed a Ford Mustang!  Did you see it, Mom?  DID YOU SEE IT???”

img_33714.  I think we’ve talked about our backyard here at the office of Jedi Mama, Incorporated before.

Or rather, we’ve talked about our family’s total LACK of a backyard.

Oh, we have THE SPACE where the backyard should GO, but what we had was a giant pile of dirt and tall weeds where the pheasants and the woodchucks felt safe.  When we built our house, we landscaped the front yard, which is lush and lovely and a genuine blessing to our neighbors.

And then we ran out of money, as everyone who pays for a new construction loan tends to do.

And then we adopted a baby.

And that baby never slept.

And we became tired people who had no money.

Now, we are still tired people who have no money, but it’s time that we show the neighbors that we can be a blessing to — FORD MUSTANG!! FORD MUSTANG!! — them, by giving them something other than despair to stare at, when they gaze out the windows of their homes.

Hubs borrowed his friend Greg’s tractor, and we no longer have a dirt pile back there.

We no longer have tall, tall weeds back there.

What we have is a whole heap of FLATLAND OF FRESH DIRT, which means BRING ON SPRINGTIME!  Because when next Spring arrives, we’re going to put in sprinklers and lay sod and show the cul de sac that WE MEAN SOME LANDSCAPING BUSINESS around here.

I should note that Thing 2 believes, from the bottom of his heart, that Greg GAVE HIM THE KUBOTA TRACTOR FOR HIS BIRTHDAY.

His birthday, which is in March.

No matter.  Our preschooler is utterly convinced that this tractor is HIS to keep, forever and ever, amen.  Hubs and I are not looking forward to ALL THE EMOTIONS that are going to come charging straight out, when that orange tractor has to be loaded up on a trailer and returned to Greg’s shop.

img_3154 img_3147Thing 2 was put in charge of gathering all the rocks that got turned over and exposed.

He took his job very seriously.

img_3122 img_3328He also got to use his Tonka truck to haul dirt and fill in the low spots around the new concrete patio edges.

img_3308 img_3292He also saved fourteen thousand, nine hundred and four earthworms from being run over by the tractor.

And then he packed those worms around in his hand, and in his dump truck, for so long, they probably slipped quietly away to be with Jesus before the afternoon was over.

img_3313Thing 2 also got to dig to his heart’s content, which turned out to be a substantial amount of digging.

Dirt is one of Thing 2’s favorite mediums to work in.

img_3180 img_3219 img_3222The boy logged several work hours onto the Kubota, too.

He was as happy doing this as Thing 2 was about playing in the dirt.  I think Mary Poppins was exactly right, when she said, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun… you find the fun, and SNAP!  The job’s a game!”  Our boys would have been content to work outside like this for the entire week, which is why Hubs and I actually had a little space of time where we sat on the deck and simply WATCHED all the construction work unfolding before our eyes.

And Hubs saw all that construction work, and he called it good.  The children were the arrows in our quiver, and they were doing a powerfully fine job of earning their keep.

img_3282 img_3280 img_3242 img_32445.  Thing 2’s curls are still growing.

And growing.

And growing.

The amount of dirt from the landscaping project that came into our house, via the curls last weekend, was enough to plant a fiddle leaf fig in a big pot with.

img_3345

6.  Hubs and I signed Thing 2 up for ice skating lessons this winter.  He will start lessons next month.  I was so excited to tell him, because he is always PLUM DADGUM THRILLED to play “hockey” at home.

His version of hockey is taking anything that is stick-like (golf clubs, long wooden spoons from the kitchen, cardboard tubes from empty paper towel rolls) and smacking anything that is puck-like (Matchbox cars, golf balls, Legos, rocks).  He has no real desire to shoot for nets and score goals at home; instead, he shoots for distance, to see how far he can smack something.

If a Matchbox car becomes the victim of a slapshot and chips the Sheetrock, then he gives himself a couple extra points for good measure.

Hubs and I assumed that he might like ice skating lessons, because ice skating lessons eventually lead to HEY!  YOU’RE OLD ENOUGH TO ACTUALLY PLAY HOCKEY IN SMALL TOWN, USA NOW.

When I told him that he was all signed up for lessons, he bawled his head off.

Bawled and bawled and bawled.

And then he bawled some more.

Hubs and I couldn’t figure out why, because all he would do is sob, “I’m NOT doing ice skating lessons EVER!  IT’S FOR GIRLS!!!!”  No amount of talking to him could convince him that HELLO, MEN WHO PLAY IN THE NHL.  We told him about all the boys who play on the Avalanche team, and all of them ice skate, but it was a no-go.

Because of course it was.

Ice skating lessons are wicked expensive.

Finally, when I was trying to warm him up to the idea of skating YET AGAIN yesterday morning, he finally said, “It’s for girls!  I’m not doing it!  I’m not going to jump and twirl on the ice!!  I WON’T DO IT!!!”

Which is the exact moment that Hubs and I realized that Thing 2 believed he had been signed up for FIGURE SKATING LESSONS, and that his parents were pinning their hopes and dreams of seeing him skate across the ice, doing double axles, Beillmann spins, and Russian split jumps, while he was dressed in sequins.

img_31757.   A friend of mine posted THIS on Instagram earlier this week:

14680869_1810489775876449_866485969363676756_o-e1476802449556Um… WHAT??!!

How can anyone from Beverly Hills 90210 BE FIFTY YEARS OLD and on the cover of AARP?

I felt like my entire day had been flushed straight down the toilet when I saw this.  Because seriously… Dylan and Kelly and Brandon and the gang are still just eighteen and meeting up at The Peach Pit after school.  I may need some therapy to get through the fact that the teenagers from my college days are now gracing the cover of AARP.

I saw a sign the other day that said, “DON’T YOU HATE IT WHEN YOU RUN INTO AN OLD PERSON DOWNTOWN… AND THEN REALIZE YOU GRADUATED FROM  HIGH SCHOOL WITH HIM?”

8.  Speaking of flushing things down the toilet…

… the handle on our toilet broke off eight days ago.  This would have been all fine and dandy, and been the cause for a trip to Home Depot for a quick replacement, EXCEPT…

… this was the second handle from Home Depot that has fallen off our toilet in brokenness.

Which is why Hubs ordered our third toilet handle online.

Which is why we had to wait FIVE DAYS for him to find the exact handle he wanted, and then THREE DAYS for Amazon to ship it to us, because PRIME LIED THIS TIME, and it wasn’t TWO-DAY SHIPPING!

Oh, Amazon Prime!  You broke our hearts with your OOPS!  THIS-WILL-TAKE-THREE-DAYS-OF-SHIPPING.  What is this?  The 1800s?

And THAT, people, is why we have been taking the lid off the tank of the toilet and pulling up on the little, metal bar-thingy in there to FLUSH.

I have felt like Wilma Flintstone for the past eight days.

And THAT, people, is all I have for this evening.  You can exhale your sighs of relief and get back to binge-watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix, which is exactly what I intend to do.

Of course, it won’t be long before Matt Saracen graduates from high school and debuts his modeling career on the cover of AARP, because that’s just how life goes.

Y’all have a great weekend.

Hello! It’s Me!

I know, right?

It’s almost like nobody even works here, at the office of Jedi Mama, Incorporated, any more.  The mail is piling up on the desk, the mini-fridge needs cleaned out, because someone left a tuna fish sandwich in there, and y’all know how UNPRETTY that has got to smell, and the blog posts have gone unwritten.

The only defense I can plead is ALL THE BUSY.  I feel like the jury is going to see right through that defense though, because… yes.  I have two LONG AND JAM-PACKED days of work… and two kids.  I feel like I’ll be asked in cross-examination about the women who work five LONG AND JAM-PACKED days and have FIVE KIDS.  All I can say is that I am in awe of all those women and would like to hug them tight and ask them to mentor me.

Especially if they make real dinners every night and homemade bread on the weekends… and still manage to see the bottom of their dirty clothes hampers.

Anyway.

I have been home for exactly 38 minutes.  I’ve managed to cook a take-and-bake pizza at 425 degrees and cheer for my boys to EAT QUICK!  GOBBLE IT UP!  FASTER, BOYS!  EAT THAT PIZZA FASTER!  Because?  Well, we are off to youth group at the church, where it’s my turn to teach the games class.

And then I’m going to come home and breathe, and relax, because my long weekend starts tonight at 8:00, when we get home from the church.

Which, you know, is the joy of only working two days every week.

But… before I go… I’ll leave you with something Jen Hatmaker posted on Instragram this morning.

img_7716Who are these people who drink their coffee BLACK?  I mean, other than my parents?  Because I love myself so much, I can’t even touch a cup of coffee that isn’t the color of pale beige sand on a beach.  So, you know, I basically want a cup of warm milk with a little coffee flavoring.

Happy Wednesday night, y’all.  With any luck at all, the boss will show up to work at Jedi Mama, Inc. tomorrow night and get something written.

Bless.