When The Arctic Air Came Through Town

When we last left off over here at Jedi Mama, Incorporated, I had been in the throes of a passionate eye infection, while Hubs was suffering from the worst case of a sinus infection he’s ever had…

… since the last sinus infection he had.

And suffering is a relative term.  When Hubs is sick, Hubs suffers.  Scarlet O’Hara never endured a hardship like the pain of Hubs taking to his bed with the plague.

But yes.  I woke up on Tuesday morning with a raging peri-orbital eye infection.  This isn’t my first rodeo with these VERY RARE, NEVER-OCCURS-IN-ANY-NORMAL-PERSON’S-EYEBALL bouts of infection.  This was my fourth peri-orbital infection, which is exactly four more than any other human being has ever had.  In the past, oral antibiotics and shots have never worked.  I’ve ended up taking my eye (which always swells up half of my face and makes me look like I belong in a horror movie) to the hospital, where I endure three entire days being pampered with daily bedding changes by CNAs and an IV of meds.

On Tuesday morning, I called in sick to work.  I marched straight to the Urgent Care clinic and said, “I don’t want to mess around with the antibiotic cocktails you think you can create.  I know my eye, and I want an IV in my arm in the next five minutes.”

Except I wasn’t that bossy, because I can never be bossy to anyone, even though Hubs will disagree.

The Urgent Care doctor called in the ER doctor, and they both stared at my eye.  And then they suited up in rubber gloves, so that they could both poke and prod and squeeze my eye, until I felt a little faint.  And then the ER doctor said, “I want to try an antibiotic pill.”

Realistic, Debby Downer said, “It won’t work.”

The ER doctor said, “I think it might.”

Realistic, Debby Downer, who was on her fourth rodeo here, announced, “It will not.  And I will end up with a face the size of the Great Pumpkin, and THEN I’ll be in the hospital for an IV.”

But I took the prescription, which cost all of $13.42.

And, lo!  The angel of the Lord quietly whispered, “We’ve got this,” which is how an antibiotic that cost thirteen and a half bucks HAS WORKED!!!  Pop the champagne cork!  Praise that Jesus fellow!  Because He pulled off something great there.  My eye is back to normal now.  I wish I could say that about the rest of me.

In the meantime, Hubs continued to get worse and worse with his sinus infection, until he could no longer breathe or stop coughing.  He coughed and he coughed and he coughed.  He gasped for air, and coughed some more, and announced that he’d enjoyed being married to me, but that this might actually be the end of the road for him.  He had already seen the doctor, and she’d said the word that no one wants to hear:  VIRAL.

On Friday, ten full days after the VIRAL proclamation, I sent Hubs BACK to the doctor, where he basically said he’d buy antibiotics off the Black Market, if she didn’t put him in contact with a dealer NOW.

By Saturday morning, the guy was almost back to normal, which made us shout the word, BACTERIAL.

In other words, Hubs and I are planning to survive the eye and the congestion and the cough.

We got to see the boy’s band concert on Thursday night.

As we were driving to the concert, we had THIS little conversation:

THE BOY: “I forgot to tell you… I’m first chair in the clarinets.”
ME: “Son! That’s awesome! How long have you had first chair?”
THE BOY: “Well, pretty much all year. I didn’t think it was a big deal.”
ME: “You’re killing me, Smalls.” And then, joking, “Is there any other big news you’ve forgotten to tell your mom?”
THE BOY: “Well, I got the scores back on the PSAT that I took in October. I scored in the 95th percentile, nationwide. But I didn’t forget to tell you that, because I just got the scores today.”

Y’all!  Our kid is kind of quietly awesome!  So yeah.  First chair in the clarinet section, AND he scored better than 95% of the nation’s high school JUNIORS, while he is just a sophomore, who was invited to take the PSAT, based on his GPA.  His parents are kind of stinking proud of him.

img_4174 img_4179 img_0537On Friday afternoon, Grammy and Hubs’ sister dropped off an adorable little Christmas tree at our house, so the boys got busy decorating THAT late Friday afternoon, in the middle of a blizzard.

image2ssI think someone was a TITCH tired, because look at that YAWN I caught with the camera!  Also?  Well, I think Santa might’ve stopped off at Mardis Gras, before he decorated our tree.

images1 imagesdfd4In other news, THIS happened this weekend:

imagesds3If you’ve ever wondered what living on the polar ice cap, in an Igloo, with nothing but a small campfire would feel like, I assure you… we TRIED IT OUT this weekend.  Small Town went into storm mode, as everyone gathered bread and milk and eggs and chili ingredients at the grocery store on Thursday night, because THE STORM IS A-COMIN’, GLADYS!

But school?  Yeah, we still had it.  This is Small Town, USA.  We just add another layer, let the cars warm up five extra minutes, pull the snowblowers out of the garage, and get ourselves where we need to be.  It’s not like we’re… you know… TEXANS, who think 49 degrees ABOVE THE ZERO is suffering.

And lest you think I’m wrong on that, the cute neighbor boy and his two older brothers called the boy at 8:00 on Friday night, when it was twenty BELOW and said, “We’re going to see the new Star Wars movie at 9:30.  Wanna come?”

And he did.  He went, and he came home at 12:15 Saturday morning.  He said, “It’s a bit chilly out there, but the movie was AWESOME.”

Meanwhile, it was business as usual.  Hubs and Thing 2 dug us out of our driveway Saturday morning, after we had over a foot of new snow fall on Friday.

img_4184 img_4193And, to just mock the kids who think 49 degrees is too cold, Thing 2 yanked both of his bicycles out of the garage and rode around for a while, even though it was… well… 41 DEGREES BELOW ZERO WITH THE WINDCHILL.

img_4212 img_4215 img_4221I also baked cookies with Thing 2 bright and early on Saturday morning.  I had envisioned an idyllic morning of baking and sparkles and love glitters, but then reality happened.  Baking with a preschooler always means that your kitchen will look like Chernobyl, while you wonder if it’s okay to pop the top on the champagne and make yourself a mimosa, since it’s BEFORE NOON.

image3 image1ffAnd then, cold weather be danged!

We took Thing 2 out to his ice skating lessons, even though the windchill was still MINUS TWENTY-EIGHT when we drove him across town to the rink!

img_4233Sadly, Thing 2, who is as fast as a space shuttle launch on his skates, wiped out during the weekly races.

He wiped out…

… and another little boy BEAT HIM TO THE WALL.

Of course, he lost with grace and humbleness and great dignity.

img_4230Later on Saturday night, when we were back down into the windchill territory of MINUS THIRTY-FOUR DEGREES again, Hubs and I dropped our boys off at Mam and Pa’s house.  We went to Hubs’ company’s Christmas party at the golf course, and look!


I cannot tolerate the beets.  Thankfully, Hubs eats beets, and he cleaned them right up for me.

Hubs’ party ended up being the ABSOLUTE MOST FUN!  We sat and talked and laughed our heads off and drank key lime pie martinis with good friends, and then laughed until we cried during the White Elephant Gift Exchange.  I laughed so much on Saturday night, my sides hurt!

When we went back to Mam and Pa’s house to collect our boys at the UNHOLY HOUR OF 9:30 PM, we found out that Thing 2 had… um… FALLEN ASLEEP.

So we did the only thing we could do.


And then we came home and slept like rocks!!  I didn’t even open my eyes until 7:30 this morning!!!  Merry Christmas to us!!

Meanwhile, over at Mam and Pa’s house, Thing 2 woke up at 3:30 AM and never went back to sleep.

Which is why things looked like THIS at 11:00 this morning:

image3561And then things looked like THIS at 2:00 this afternoon, when Thing 2 was finally up and moving about:

img_4237That would be the unshowered hair of our youngest son, without any fresh product in it.


And that brings us to tonight, y’all.  It’s going to be an early bedtime for all of us.

Happy Sunday!

There Are Twelve Days Until Christmas

We are twelve days away from Christmas, and our home is one of those that looks like a tree-hugging hostel, where guests can sleep at ease, knowing that no Balsam Fir has gone to its death, wrapped in a burial cloth of colored lights.  We have nary a single red or green bulb burning over here, no Christmas goose being fattened up at the last minute, no gifts for four family members, and no silver wrapping paper.

In other words, feel free to pin pictures of us under HOW TO DISAPPOINT YOUR CHILDREN, WITH LESS THAN TWO WEEKS TO GO UNTIL CHRISTMAS.

Of course, we HAD us some plans to get a tree this last weekend, in the usual way.  This is where we traipse, as a family, to the local Christmas tree lot.  I then proceed to look at any number of trees that have their branches folded tightly against their trunks and are wrapped in mesh, trying to picture it in my house.  Too big?  Too full?  To string-beany?  You can never tell when they’re wrapped in mesh.  It’s a game of Russian Roulette.  I then proceed to hold the tree aside for Hubs to look at, so that I can get HIS opinion, but listen:  Hubs’ opinion on a tree from a tree lot is ALWAYS, without fail, “I DON’T CARE.”

Do you like this one?  I DON’T CARE.

What about this one?  I DON’T CARE.

Does this one look to full for our living room?  I DON’T CARE.

Hubs’ idea of securing a Christmas trees involves a chain saw, snowshoes and a thermos filled with Schnapps, because that’s the way the pioneers did things.  My idea of a Christmas tree involves Walmart and the phrases PRE-LIT and NO PINE NEEDLES ON THE FLOOR TO GOUGE THROUGH YOUR SOCKS AND IMPALE  YOUR HEEL.  The tree lot is our middle ground.

And now?


Let me tell you about now.

I have an eye infection.  It’s exactly the kind of eye infection you might expect from a backwoods girl, who rents a trailer, styles her hair with bacon grease, and hasn’t decorated the place for Christmas by December 13th.  My eye is currently the size of a golf ball, and the color of a nice Christmas plum.  Any hopes of us venturing out tonight to get a tree will be fruitless, because I can only see out of one eye.  I’m on an antibiotic that can kill an elephant, and I have enjoyed the day hopping back and forth between the urgent care clinic, the lab for a blood draw, the pharmacy, and my sofa, where I did my level best to keep that horse pill in my gut and not barf it all over the place.

Hi.  My name is Mama.  Do you come to this blog often?  I should warn you that we just tell it like it is around here.

Hubs continues to suffer from the worst sinus congestion to ever hit the free world, which means he’s up throughout the night, coughing and hacking and gagging and declaring that death might be easier than trying to breathe.  He’s exactly as quiet as the Army, when they start 3,000 tanks up and drive across the desert to take target practice for training.

So yeah.

That’s about all that’s going on around here these days.

How are things with you?

I Blame Dora

NICE LADY IN THE GROCERY STORE: “Oh, my goodness! Aren’t you just cute with all those curls!”
THING 2: “I don’t talk to strangers.”
NICE LADY: “Well… that’s certainly a good thing.”
THING 2: “I don’t talk to strangers, unless I talk in Spanish. Gumpa, hoobrah, coober, wug, frunfrun.” (And then, in a stage whisper to his mother, with his hand hiding his mouth:) “That was Spanish. I don’t think she understood a word I said.”

Which wine pairs best with a scenario like this? I’m asking for a friend.



Ordinary Life Around Here

I should tell you that thirty minutes ago, I decide that washing an oversized baby gate in my laundry room sink was something that would be right-dadgum easy.  Except, you know, the very opposite of that.  A friend of mine needed to borrow a gate, to keep her hound from wandering downstairs to their family room and ALL THE CARPET, so she called me, thinking that we might be just far enough past the toddler stage to still have a gate in our house that we had no need for.

She was, in fact, right.

The problem came in that I couldn’t find the gate for her, until last night, when my memory kicked into gear and said, “Girl, the last time  you probably used that thing was on the deck, when you wanted to keep Thing 2 from zipping down the stairs and running away from home in the great beyond.”  Yes.  Yes, that was the exact last time I used the baby gate, and then someone from the male tribe must’ve shoved it beneath the deck, and lo!  There it still was.

It was adorned with dirt and dead leaves and ice, because SWEET MERCY!  It was eleven degrees below the point of zero this morning, y’all.  We are enduring some winter hardships in the name of no one wants to leave the comfort of our fireplace to go anywhere, because it’s too stinking cold outside.

But, lest I digress on the weather like I’m an eighty-six year old man who has himself some weather-related opinions, I will get back to the baby gate.

Which I washed in my laundry room sink.

Even though it didn’t fit.

I shoved it in, as best I could, turned on the water, and started to scrub one side of it.  Meanwhile, the water was being funneled right off the side of the baby gate, unbeknownst to me.

Which is why I had an inch of standing water on the floor surrounding me.

Which is why I had to use a bathroom towel to save ourselves from wet drywall and the eventual onset of the black mold.

Which is why I never really finished washing the baby gate, as I was completely distracted from that by FLOODED FLOOR!  Some things just seem to take priority in your life, don’t they?

So then, in the middle of sopping up water, the boy walked by, announcing that he was going out for something.  The frigid temperatures have no impact on a sixteen-year-old boy whose driver’s license is still fresh.  So, I gave him the barely-dried-off baby gate, so that he could drop it by my friend’s house.  I may have been stuck in the laundry room, mopping up water, but I was NOT going to have to go back out in the icy weather.

The real truth is that we are THAT FAMILY, who lets you borrow our filthy baby gate, without bothering to finish sprucing it up for you.

Jesus, be near us.


Hi, everyone.  And really?  Is everyone even still reading this blog, considering that I’ve decided to act like a college sophomore with spring fever, as I rarely show up here to post anything any more?  I’m sure that everyone has dwindled down to one person, so… you know... Hi, Mom!

It seems like this week has just been filled with one event after another, which started with my sister saying, HEY!  COUSIN L IS GOING STRAIGHT INTO THE HOSPITAL.

image1And honestly?  It’s not even fair that she looks that cute when she’s hooked up to an IV and lying in a hospital bed, chatting with her cousin.

For a few months now, Cousin L has had an enlarged spleen.  Or so they thought.  She had a bulge the size of a tennis ball on her side, and a couple of doctors have run every test imaginable, because WHY IS THIS SPLEEN SO BIG?  And then her MRI showed that her spleen wasn’t enlarged, but YES, IT IS!  BECAUSE WHAT IS THIS BULGE IN HER SIDE THAT YOU CAN SEE WITH THE NAKED EYE?  And then L had an allergic reaction to the MRI dye, and boom!  There she was, admitted to the hospital for Benadryl in an IV, which is when a surgeon stopped by her room, looked at the painful bulge in her side and announced, “It’s torn cartilage that is pushing out.”

And just like that, she had an official diagnosis, which only took seven months to get.  After a couple of days in the hospital, the pain in her side is now being controlled by Ibuprofen and these magical numbing patches that stick on like giant bandages, and she’s enjoying a few more days out of school.  And then, with twelve weeks of limited activity, she should be able to heal this cartilage tear right up.

Immediately after that, Thing 2 came home limping from preschool and decided that what he really wanted to do in life was sit on the sofa and bawl from pain.


Our energetic little four-year-old couldn’t even walk two feet without crumpling in pain, so of course I called our pediatrician, who told us he probably pulled a muscle in his groin.

Thing 2 didn’t move from the sofa for twenty-four hours, so you can imagine all the red flags that were waved and the alarms that went off, announcing THIS KID REALLY DOES HURT.  He was loaded on an enormous, doctor-ordered dose of Motrin, and didn’t get up to make a mess in our house for an entire day.

And then Hubs diagnosed himself with a sinus infection yesterday that flattened him.

This is how things looked in our living room:

img_0429Neither  one of them moved, and neither one of them could even muster the strength to eat the pizzas I brought home, so the boy and I did our level best to eat extra slices.

Our reprieve from not having any messes in our house is officially over now, as Thing 2 is currently sitting behind me while I type this, in a pile of Legos that covers an acre of hardwood floor and will require six grown, manual laborers and three hours to clean up.

This morning, the boy announced that he feels a head cold coming on.

This afternoon, the boy’s car broke down, which required me to fly into my panicked mother state, where I shouted into the phone, “Are you safe?  ARE YOU OFF THE ROAD AND SAFE?  DON’T TALK TO STRANGERS IF THEY STOP TO HELP!!  DON’T EAT THE CANDY THEY OFFER YOU!!”  To which he responded, “Geez, Ma!  I’m fine!  I just need towed home!”  Because of course he did.  He considered it a grand adventure, as he began tinkering beneath the hood of his car, hoping to pinpoint the problem, while it was FOUR DEGREES BELOW ZERO.  It was every mother’s worst nightmare, and my only consolation is that he had gloves in his car, because JUST THIS VERY STINKING MORNING, as he was leaving in nothing but a sweatshirt (BLESS!), I told him, “It’s wicked cold!  You WILL put gloves in your car!  You WILL wear a heavy coat!  You WILL take the car charger for your cell phone!”  When he insisted why, I said, “What if you have to change a flat tire, when it’s eleven degrees below?”

I intend to sit back now and wait for him to thank me for the grand wisdom I gave to him of GLOVES!  PHONE CHARGER!  HEAVY COAT!

In other words, it’s just normal life around here, y’all.

Have a great weekend.

The Weekend Where I Slept

No matter how the final hours of this weekend pan out, I will put it to bed with this victory:  Yesterday I picked up our Halloween pumpkin, which the fraternity of squirrels in our neighborhood gathered ’round to feast upon weeks ago, and which has been snowed on twice now and frozen pretty much solid, and I threw it in the dumpster.  I know that I really should have walked it across the street to the green waste dumpster at the park, but whatever.  I didn’t have the stamina to carry my frozen pumpkin with the rotting stem that far, and risk having it just explode and spill its gangrene guts all over my shoes.  And let’s face it… If I haven’t been able to carry my pumpkin one hundred yards to the green waste dumpster in the past month, I figured it wasn’t going to happen yesterday, either.  It is nestled in with the Hefty garbage bags in our family’s dumpster, where it is quietly waiting for the garbage truck to come by in the morning.

I feel like this little victory was very likely the high point of our winter, so far.

Don’t judge us.

While other folks have been out, balancing precariously on ladders and hanging Christmas lights off of their gutters, we’ve been over here, hoping guests don’t realize that YES!  THAT’S STILL A HALLOWEEN PUMPKIN SITTING BESIDE OUR FRONT DOOR.  Everything else that happened over the weekend was just icing on the Pumpkin Pitching Cake.

Yesterday, I got up with Thing 2 at 5:30 in the morning, because our babe has no concept of YOUR PARENTS WOULD LIKE TO SLEEP.  And also, FOR THE LOVE!  By the time Hubs rolled out of bed at 8:00, Thing 2 was basically ready for lunch.  He and I had watched some TV shows together, practiced writing his alphabet, done a few pages in his preschool workbook, made oatmeal, and plowed through a cup of hot tea, because we were out of coffee.  I can’t even tell you the horrors of getting up at 5:30 on a Saturday morning with the four-year-old, only to realize that THE COFFEE WAS WIPED OUT ON FRIDAY.

Clearly, I need to speak to the live-in maid that we don’t have about being more diligent with her grocery-fetching.

At 8:00, when Hubs waltzed out of the bedroom, all refreshed like a college boy sleeping in over Christmas Break at his parents’ house, I announced that I was heading to the bathroom to shower.  Sadly, I didn’t make it to the bathroom.  As I strolled past my bed, I realized that YES, GLADYS!  I’M EXHAUSTED.  I laid down…

… and woke up at 11:10 yesterday morning.

I’ve tried to feel some shame about that, because the last time I slept in until 11:10 in the morning was NEVER, but I can’t.  Thing 2 has been awake in the middle of the night too many times lately, and he never sleeps past 5:30 in the mornings.  I felt like I had done my time in the trenches of Very Little Sleep.

Of course, when you get back out of bed at 11:10 in the morning, and you have to be at ice skating lessons by 12:30, you tend to RUSH, RUSH, RUSH.  Thankfully, we made it.  Thing 2 was adorned in his skates and helmet and ready to take the ice at exactly 12:29.

The weekend victories were many.

Thing 2 has learned to skate.  As in, he now skates with a speed that can rival any Olympic speed skater and break the sound barrier.  This is not really the best thing for his preschool skating lessons, because, while the other three-, four-, and five-year-olds took to the ice to learn how to get themselves up when they fall down and how to take little baby steps in their skates to make forward progress, Thing 2 LEFT his class and took off.  He bent low at the waist, used his power arms, and started skating laps around the rink, exactly like he was on the high school hockey team.

His teacher caught him around the waist, and brought him back to the class.

He took off a second time.

His teacher managed to snag him again, and redirect him to class, where he was to TAKE SOME BABY STEPS and WHAT IS THIS BUSINESS OF ALREADY KNOWING HOW TO SKATE?

By the third time our child left his class, his skating instructor just let him go.  He did his own thing, skating hither and yon like he’d been fired from a rocket launcher, until his teacher lined the class up against one wall of the rink for the weekly skate races.  Thing 2 returned to his class on his own, pushed his back against the wall, waited for the GO signal, and boom!

He was at the opposite side of the rink before anyone else was a quarter way across the width of the ice.

By the time his thirty-minute class was over, Hubs and I decided that we may need to enroll him in a class for the more-advanced skater, thanks to Cousin W showing our kid how to glide on the ice.

Thing 2 and the boy, along with a pack of the boy’s friends, all stayed for Open Skate right after the lessons finished, where Thing 2 got to let loose and skate like he wanted to.

By the time we pulled him off the ice, he was starving.  We hit Taco Bell for a quick lunch, and Thing 2 ate FOUR AND A HALF TACOS AND AN ORDER OF TORTILLA CHIPS.  Apparently, appetites are created during intense skating workouts.

After lunch, we all went to a little birthday party for our darling friend, Vivian.  She turned four on Saturday.  The party shook down at the local rec center’s indoor playland, where Thing 2 ran sixty-four miles, before he snarfed a slice of cake right off his plate in three bites, exactly like he was a golden lab scrounging cake at a kid’s party.

We may not be able to afford to feed him any longer.

Thankfully, by the time Saturday night rolled around, everyone was tired.  And by EVERYONE, I mean Thing 2.  We hung out with pizza and our boys at our house, watching our beloved College Town football team play in a championship game, which they lost.  By 9:00, Hubs and I called it a night.  The boy, being sixteen, believes it’s a sin to go to bed before midnight.  He would never have been able to look his peers in the eyes tomorrow morning, if any of them found out he’d gone to bed at 9:00, when his folks did.

And then, after our early-to-bed-like-the-elderly-folks-we-are kind of Saturday night, I woke up at 3:00 this morning.  By the time Thing 2 got up at 6:30 (Praises!  He slept in after wearing himself out yesterday!), I was STILL.  AWAKE.


Completely.  Still.  Awake.

So, when Hubs rolled out of bed at 7:45 this morning, exactly like a teenager, I did what I am apparently accustomed to doing these days:  I went straight back to bed and passed out cold.

I slept through Hubs getting himself and the boys ready for church.

I slept through Hubs taking himself and the boys to church.

I slept through Hubs taking himself and the boys to Walmart for necessities, like coffee.

I slept like I’d been gifted with IV anesthesia.

I slept until they all came back home, at 11:00 this morning.

I think this simply shows that Hubs was a lot more responsible than I was today, especially since I never even bothered to shower or get out of my pajamas this afternoon.

But!  Regardless, that rotted Halloween pumpkin IS IN THE DUMPSTER.  It’s almost as good as sticking a water bottle on the flip!

The Young Jedi On Ice

It has been a busy day, that started with me shoveling snow off the patio at 6:30 this morning and pretty much ended with my mom handing us a Tupperware container full of ham and beans and saying, “Here’s a little something, so you don’t have to cook dinner tonight.”

In between those two things, there was recess duty in the 14 DEGREE WINDCHILL.  God bless Small Town, USA in the winter!

Since I don’t have enough mental strength left to write anything tonight, I will show y’all a video of Thing 2 ice skating.  Hubs and I took him to the rink for Open Skate at 2:30 yesterday, when everyone was still at work and school.  He lucked out and had the rink all to himself, with the exception of four kids who are homeschooled and were there to skate.

And yes.

You really CAN hear my four year old shouting HA, HA, HA!  YOU CAN’T CATCH ME! at those four kids.  Clearly, he thinks he’s Wayne Gretsky and can’t be caught on the ice.  He’s done Hubs’ heart proud.

The force is strong with this one.


The Thanksgiving Weekend Recap

Well, Monday came, and now we’re all back on a schedule, of some sort.

My schedule today included laundry, more laundry, a trip to the grocery store to pick up everything I forgot at the trip to the grocery store yesterday, scrubbing the dirty hand prints off my bathroom mirror so that I could see myself again tomorrow morning, and more laundry.

Clearly, I lead a glamorous life.  Haters gonna hate.

Like the typical Real Housewives of Small Town, USA, I didn’t devote any of my vacation time to washing clothes.  Apparently, I assumed our live-in maid would take care of that chore, and then this morning, I realized that she must’ve been on a holiday break, too.  That’s the reason I sent Thing 2 to preschool this morning, WITH SNOW PANTS THAT WERE COVERED IN MUD.  I kid you not.  Hubs picked him up on Tuesday from school, and sent me a text that read, “His snow gear is a muddy mess.  Snow melted on playground and they had it dug up to install new swing set.  I left it all in the laundry room sink.”  What you should know about that text is that it consisted of more words than Hubs usually texts in an entire week.

I actually remembered that text this morning, when I couldn’t find Thing 2’s snow pants, and lo!  There they were, hanging over the sink, covered in enough dried mud to make an archeologist busy for a week with his tiny brushes.  In other words, we have become THAT FAMILY at the preschool, as my child lost fourteen pounds of dried mud between his cubby and the playground door, after he got himself dressed for recess.

In other news, our Thanksgiving Break was a good one.  We were basically ice skating or eating the entire time.

On Wednesday, the cousins wanted to teach Thing 2 to skate.  They’re all dedicated skaters and hockey players, which meant I wouldn’t fall on the ice and wind up in a Thanksgiving Hip Replacement Surgery, if I let them be the instructors.

I took my camera to the rink (because of course I did), and then I pretty much forgot my camera everywhere we went for the rest of the weekend.

The girls were so excited to get Thing 2 out on the ice.  I snapped this picture when we first arrived at the rink.

img_3927Thirty seconds later, the girls’ lives looked like this:

img_3928 img_4005Ten minutes after that, they returned to the side of the rink, announcing that their backs had everything in common with a 95 year old woman who had spent her entire life picking cabbages out of fields.  I think they were more than happy to turn the challenge of teaching a preschooler to skate over to seventeen-year-old Cousin W, when he arrived on the ice.

Cousin W took a no-nonsense approach to skating.  He taught Thing 2 how to get up on his skates by himself, rather than begging for help from passing strangers who skated by.  W taught him to take little steps in his skates, which eventually turned into little glides in his skates.

img_3937 img_3944 img_3957 img_4010It took less than thirty minutes for W to have that little fellow of ours whipping around the ice without falling.

And?  Well, when you’ve shown that YES!  YOU CAN SKATE ON YOUR OWN, and your cousin is bigger than Chewbaca, he will treat you to Rocket Skating.  This involves him picking you up and skating faster than a NASCAR running on rocket fuel.

img_3942 img_3943 img_3949 img_3960 img_4019And… just like that… our kid was declared a skater.  The big kids kept him out on the ice for two entire hours on Wednesday.

img_3970 img_3979 img_3977 img_3989 img_4011 img_4025 img_4021 img_4003 img_4042 img_4038 img_4054 img_4045 img_4048 img_4061I had THE BEST TIME watching that pack of children skate together!

img_4026 img_4028Eventually, Cousin M and Cousin B showed up at the rink, too.  They’d played hockey all morning and needed LUNCH before they joined everyone at Open Skate.

This is our tribe of kids.  They all decided that Thing 2 needed to sign up for hockey, so we showed him the penalty box and said, “Little Buddy, here’s where YOU’LL sit when you play!”

img_4057After skating for two hours on Wednesday, the cousins took Thing 2 back to Open Skate on Friday.  By Saturday morning, when Thing 2 showed up for the weekly skating lessons we signed him up for, he was a pro.  His instructor told us, “Wow!  Thing 2 learned to skate this week!”  Yes.  Yes, he did.  He won the skate races his instructor had for them, and took off gliding all over the rink.

Hubs and I have decided that Cousin W should supplement his income by teaching preschoolers to skate himself.  And then I decided that W should probably just move in with us.  We love him.  He’s family.  And I think he’d do a right-fine job of being our MANNY.  Plus, with any luck at all, he might wash Thing 2’s dirty snow pants more often than I do.

On Wednesday, Hubs decided to brine a turkey.

Doesn’t everyone soak their holiday birds this way?  In a bright orange Home Depot bucket?  Please don’t tell me that we’re the only family who brines this way!

img_4066Shelves cam out of our fridge and spent the next couple of days on our kitchen counter, which is exactly where I enjoy seeing refrigerator shelves.  Yogurt and leftover jambalaya and eggs and jams got crammed into any spot they’d fit, because the bird’s brine became the entire focus of the weekend.

And then on Wednesday, guess who turned five?

img_4067Cousin H!  Thing 2 was not at all happy to hear that she had beat him to five.  He kept insisting all day on Wednesday, “It’s not fair that H is five now, and I’m not!  She’s the winner, and that means I’m a loser!  I don’t like losing at being five!”

The honest truth is, Thing 2 doesn’t like to lose at ANYTHING.

We bought Little H a Barbie, who came with fairy wings AND a mermaid tail.  With easy wardrobe changes, she could go from dancing at the ball to swimming with Ariel or flying with Tinkerbell.  Thing 2 handed her the gift when we got to her house and announced, “This is your birthday present, but it’s not a very good one.”

Thankfully, H thought otherwise.  She was actually quite impressed!

On Thanksgiving, Thing 2 slept in until 7:00 in the morning, because ICE SKATING WORE HIM OUT.  This was something of a Thanksgiving Miracle, but here’s what else happened that day:  Hubs set the alarm for 5 AM, so he could put that properly-brined turkey on his Traeger.

In other words, there was no rest for the weary mothers.

We had dinner with my family at lunch time.  I can’t even begin to list all the carbohydrates that were involved, but suffice it to say that I cherished every last one of them.

Thing 2 managed to eat two bites of turkey, five olives (enough for each finger on one hand) and half of a dinner roll.  The end.  He was done eating.

img_4076Hubs and the boys and I left my sister’s house to drive to Hubs’ brother’s house.  It was our second wave of holiday eating.  I told Hubs on the way out there, “I can’t do it!  I can’t eat anything else!  I hate food!  I never want to see food again!”

Which is why Hubs and I had nothing to eat there.  We simply enjoyed the family time with everyone, as I sipped a glass of punch and washed Thing 2 up, after the wrestling match with Cousin M knocked out his front tooth.

img_4084Thing 2 couldn’t be bothered to have anything except a glass of juice at his aunt and uncle’s house.  Oh, to be a preschooler on Thanksgiving, when all the food doesn’t interest you at all, because you’d rather be off, playing!

Thankfully, the boy announced, with his sixteen year old appetite, “Well… I plan on eating!”  And so he did.  He filled another plate high, and blasted right through it.

By 9:30 Thursday night, after we had been home for a while and Thing 2 was sleeping, I looked at Hubs and said, “So… do you think we could call your brother and see if we could drive out for a plate of leftovers now?  Because I’m hungry.”

Oh, Thanksgiving!  I have such a love / hate relationship with you!

The rest of our weekend was dedicated to waking up at 4:45 on Friday morning, to see if the Tooth Fairy had come overnight, ice skating, seeing Santa Claus (Thing 2 asked for a toy train, because he only has three hundred of them right now, an airplane, and a gun that shoots real fire), hanging out downtown one night with friends, where the boys got to ride a train, and venturing off to the theater to see the new movie Moana.

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Halfway through Moana, Thing 2, who had been sitting on his knees, fell through the back of his seat, got stuck (!!!), and let the entire audience know that his light-up cowboy boots had fallen off and he didn’t want his legs cut off to get him out.  Meanwhile, I had to invest every arm muscle I had to pull him OUT of the seat, as his legs were on the floor in the row behind us, while his upper body was sticking out of the chair in our row.  Good times.

God bless the energetic four year olds everywhere.

And now… here it is… Monday already.

We hope your Thanksgiving vacations were as family-filled as ours was.


Just A Sunday Evening Hello

I really had big hopes of doing a Thanksgiving Weekend Recap post here tonight, because obviously that would be what the CEO wanted… you know… given that this is the very tail end of the blessed holiday weekend, and that blog posts should be TIMELY.

Sadly, this is the time when the CEO wants one thing…

… and ends up cleaning out someone’s week-old tuna salad sandwich out of the mini fridge in the break room instead.

Here’s to hoping that someone from the staff at Jedi Mama, Inc. shows up to work tomorrow night.  In the meantime, I will leave you with this Calvin and Hobbes cartoon, which EXACTLY sums up my life right now.

f2c4ef8a813fc2ff10ecf50d242d799aHappy Sunday night, y’all.  May your coffee be hot and filled with plenty of creamer first thing tomorrow morning, and may all of your preschoolers sleep through the night, like they’re supposed to do.


The Thanksgiving Tooth Fairy

And now… after more turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, bacon-wrapped jalapenos, stuffing, hot rolls, deviled eggs, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and apple pie than we can possibly hold in our bellies, we are gathered back in our own home, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Thanksgiving Tooth Fairy.

She flutters in and makes an appearance on Thanksgiving Night, after you’ve wrestled your thirteen-year-old cousin like a barbarian (in some effort to burn off all the carbohydrate calories you ingested), and smacked your mouth against his ankle bone.

img_4083God bless all the boy moms.

And God bless all the moms of little girls, too, who never have to deal with Hulk Hogan and Triple H, rolling around on their family room floors.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.