Thursday, May 31, 2012

100 WORD SONG: When the Morning Comes

This post is in response to Lance's 100 Word Song. I was honored that this week Lance asked ME to pick the song. Thanks so much! I admit it, I felt the pressure. The first thing I did was write my friend, Michele, from the blog, ODNT, for advice on what to choose. She quickly reminded me of a song that I had mentioned to her in our brainstorm when she got to pick a month back. So, I ended up going with OK Go's  "This Too Shall Pass". Honestly, I needed the reminder this week that it's all going to be okay. And I thought others might, too. Enjoy.


When the Morning Comes

It was a day full of "I wants", "I needs", and "but whys". As night came, she slid under the welcoming sheets of her bed. The pillow accepted her head as if it had never left. She released a sigh anticipating a peaceful moment of not having to think for at least four hours. Her wake-up call would come in that time from her chubby-cheeked, ravenous cherub. Slumber claimed her soundly and swiftly. Sunbeams woke her what seemed minutes later.  She blinked in disbelief at the eight hour gift as a welcoming sound drifted through the monitor.

“Mama, Dood Mornin’."

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

LET'S TALK ABOUT TEXT BABY

Tuck: "Mama, who are you texting?"
Me: "Daddy."
Tuck: "Well, don't use all capitals because that means you are YELLING at someone."
Me: "How do you know that, Tuck?"
Tuck: "Daddy and I read it in the 'Piano and Laylee' book about text messaging."
Me: "You are too cool, kid"
Tuck: "It's true."



We found these terrific books for children ages 5-9 called the Piano and Laylee Learning Adventure Series by Carmela Curatola Knowles. They are about the adventures of two sweet puppies who learn how to be safe and responsible while using technology in this digital age. Since our kids really took to them and obviously quote from them, I thought I'd share with my blog folk. There are five Mag's sized books that talk about the safety and etiquette of going online, text messaging, cyberbullying, copyright, and acceptable use policies. 

Tuck especially loves the book 'Piano and Laylee Text Message'. He uses our old iPod Touch to play a few game apps. Chris also set him up recently with a text feature that goes only to our phones. It's how he'll know to text appropriately in his later years...and not to use it to break up with a girl. Seriously, what is wrong with kids these days?  I digress. 

When I got my first text for him, I heard him laughing so hard from his room. I knew, because he is six, that I would be getting the best text ever. And I did. It was so very sweet. 




It just isn't a text message to your mom unless you mention POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP! 

Learn more about the Piano and Laylee Series:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

BRAIN DRAIN for The Lighting and the Lightning Bug

I am linking up with The Lighting and the Lightning Bug "Flicker of Inspiration". Their prompt caught my attention, plus they are a supportive writing community site. The prompt is this: Write. Write for ten minutes without stopping. Your topic can be anything. The important thing about this prompt is just writing. Get your thoughts down on paper and share them with us. Don't edit. Don't polish. Just write.

So, I started my stopwatch on my iPhone and off I go for 10 minutes.



In their prompt, they also gave a word to help you out if you couldn't think of anything to write. "SPEED". This word fits us this year. I feel like Chris and I have been on fast forward for a while. Just like loads of other hard working people, we do what we can. I work as a University Supervisor part-time while Mags is in her three mornings of preschool. I also manage to work as a Home bound teacher part-time. Since I only have to observe my student teachers 3x every 7 weeks, I have time in between to visit other students if needed. I like the jobs, don't get me wrong, but I sometimes envy the moms who are meeting up at the preschool to go grab coffee or go for a run together.

Tuck is out of school for summer vacation on Tuesday. That means I have that boy all to myself...well, and I have to share him with Mags. I'm really looking forward to spending the days with him. I know there will be fighting and grumpy days (I'm realistic), but he is a cool, little dude and I miss his face when he's in school.  I keep saying, "This summer is going to be SLOW PACED!" and I am hoping to hold true to that.  But just like every other summer before it, I feel it starting to fill up fast. Of course in a good way with friends and family, but still. Then this week a monkey wrench was thrown into our summer. I was not happy about it at all. I'm hoping to find out all the details on Tuesday and then I plan to share what it is all about. Until then, this was a fun little exercise. I just went over 10 minutes, so I am officially finished.  Thanks Lighting!




100 WORD SONG: Drenched

This post is in response to Lance's 100 Word Song. The song was Lacuna Coil's 'Within Me'. As I watched the video and listened to the words, this is what came to me. It's darker than my usual writing, but that's how I took the song, so I stepped out of my comfort zone. That's the only way to grow, right? Thanks for pushing me, Lance. Thank you to my husband especially for being drenched in light.

DRENCHED

The demon lay dormant deep within. It always possessed the threat of releasing its fury without warning, without hesitation. It’s monition summoned her attention when her screams for help became too close to the surface. Tortuous pain would admonish her for this behavior.

Her beauty was its mask. She was a beguiler. People passed her on the street, unaware of her imminent demise, her diminishing spirit. Her soul riddled with evil, her body haggard and jaded. Relinquishing control would make it go away. And then, just as it thought it was victorious, he came into her life, drenched in light.



TRIFEXTRA: Bloom Where You're Planted

This post is in response to Trifecta's Trifextra Weekend challenge. We challenge you to write a poem of your own in either 33 words, 3 lines or 3 stanzas.I chose to do the 33 words. Here is what I came up with, inspired by this picture I took. 



 Bloom Where You're Planted

Blooming into the light. Growing into pure brilliance.  Boasting an 
aroma that captures the essence of life. Limited hours of a 
wondrous sight. Petals fade as tears fall. A true beauty lost forever. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

IT'S NOT ALL IT'S CRACKED UP TO BE...OR IS IT?

Mags: "When I'm an adult, I'm gonna be the best 'in-charger' person ever."

I don't doubt this one bit. She'll be large and in charge and she'll find out what I found out. It's not always sunshine, rainbows, and getting what you want when your'e in charge. In fact, there are days when I would gladly give up my rein as "the adult" to the four-year-old. Can you imagine? That might be fun. What if I just threw up my hands one day and said, 

"Here you go, Mags. Here is my scepter and crown. Have at it!" 

Well, first off, we'd eat avocados and lick the lime flavor off the Tostidos all day long. The only drink available would be "warmed up milk". I'd be able to whine that it was not the right temperature and demand that it be corrected at once. No Barbies would be dressed and we'd leave them all over the house. We'd take four baths and paint a picture with toothpaste in the sink  because...well...why not? We'd brush our teeth twelve times and overflow the sink an equal amount. Next we'd get out the play make-up, little bottles of brightly colored nail polish, and stuffed toys galore. They'd be set up on the beige carpet. Who cares if we spill it? Mags won't mind. And since she holds the scepter, she calls the shots.

No need to clean up these things either. We'd just move on to the next thing, which would be Play Doh. All the brightly colored, tube shaped, brand new containers would be no more. Hot pink, bright orange, neon green and then we'd throw some purple in there for good measure.

"Look! I made an alien!"

After it was all smashed together, we'd put all our efforts forth to shove it into one tube. The new grayish color would pour out over the top while we placed the cover on haphazardly so it would be sure to dry out. Those little stray pieces that fell off the table and all over the floor, you ask? No worries. We'd step on them and mash them into the carpet as much as we possibly could. It would match the nail polish we spilled earlier.

After that....BUBBLE TIME! Outside, we'd blow bubbles while wearing flippers and goggles just because we could. That thick, sticky, soapy liquid would cover us and the ground. We'd be layered in grass and dirt from chasing those floating spheres all over the yard. Then we'd spend the rest of the afternoon eating as many Popsicles as we could handle and pointing out to each other what pictures we found in the clouds. 

Wait a cotton pickin' second! This day sounds divine! She is way more fun than me. I'm handing over my scepter and crown this instant. Well...maybe.


Right after I catch this bubble.  


I linked this post up on Kelley's Break Room for Finding the Funny #20

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Trifecta Writing Challenge: The Wake Up Call

This post is in response to Trifecta's Weekly Challenge. They ask that we use the third definition of the given word and create a story that is 33-333 words in length using that word. The word this week is:


1 a : living in a state of nature and not ordinarily tame or domesticated <wild ducks>
   b (1) : growing or produced without human aid or care <wildhoney> 
      (2) : related to or resembling a corresponding cultivated or domesticated organism
2 a : not inhabited or cultivated <wild land>
   b : not amenable to human habitation or cultivation


THE WAKE UP CALL

She woke up with a start, her mind wild with fear. Laying there, frozen, ears intensely listening for another sound to confirm her worst nightmare. She was sure she heard a distinct crash from down the hall. Her heartbeat was deafening. There was an eerie silence filling the house now. In the time it took to run through her emergency escape plan in her mind, she began to realize it must have been a dream. There would have been another sound alerting her to an intruder by now. 

Slowly releasing herself from the confines of her own mental bindings, she reached over and felt her husband’s chest rise as he took a deep breath and rolled over. She felt the adrenaline drain from her veins as she cautiously gave in to her slumber. As her body relaxed, she heard a sudden bump, a man’s voice cursing, and heavy footsteps in the lower level of the house. Her husband sat straight up, instinctively grabbed for the nine iron he kept next to the bed, and harshly whispered, 

“Stay here. Don’t move.” 
 
There would be no time for her childish escape plan now. Sweat poured down her back as she began to shake uncontrollably. Her stomach lurched and her body pulsating with terror as her husband guardedly moved down the hall. She lost sight of him as he reached the landing by the stairs. The light in the hall flicked on, footsteps on the landing, and then shouting. A struggle. The sound of a fist on face. A moan, a plead, a gunshot. Silence.

PICTURE THIS

Me: "Chris, I'm going to grab my camera. Can you set the kids up for a cute Easter picture in front of the picture window?"
Chris: "Sure, Honey."
Me: (coming back with camera) "Yep, I should have known."

*CLICK*
This is the sixteenth installment of "Picture This"
You can read all about why I started this by clicking on the link.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I FOUGHT THE STROLLER...AND THE STROLLER WON

"If someone says 'Have a magical day' one more time to me, I'm going to hurt them."

Back when the kids were little, we would join Chris on trips he took to present at conferences. For a few years, he attended one that was about 10 minutes from Disney World. How fun is that? 

Well, not really fun if you have an unruly two-year-old, a brand new two-month-old, and a mama with postpartum hormones. Lucky for me, Chris thought ahead. He suggested we have his then 21 year-old-cousin, Christie, join us on the trip. That way she could help me out during the day while he was working. We all thought this was a fantastic idea. Her and I could take Tuck (and Mags) into Magic Kingdom. Turns out it was a learning experience for all of us. Most of all Christie. What's the number one thing we learned? 


How to make your 21 year old cousin NOT to want to 
have kids anytime soon. 

Here's how: 

Make her be in charge of the baby stroller the entire time.

She'll have to drag it out of the van, hit herself in the shins with it, figure out how to unfold it, get the baby in and out, figure out how to fold it back up, and get it back in the van. If you're are going for broke, have her be in charge of it in the parks of  Disney World. This means she'll need to carry the folded stroller on the Disney Tram that doesn't even have leg room, never mind folded up stroller room, get it off the Tram, hit herself in the shins again, fight to unfold it with 347 people pushing by her while watching the two-year-old spin into a tantrum that he had to get off the Tram. 

Then she'll have to get said flailing, kicking, and screaming two-year-old into the stroller, while watching her language, and putting pressure on the bloody wound she got while opening the darn thing. Now, let her wheel it around the park weaving in and out of people who are playing chicken with her and their own strollers. Who will move first?

While you are on a roll, don't forget to have her be in charge of parking the stroller in the designated Disney Stroller Parking spots 100 yds from the ride you are going on. Since she is a smart cookie, she'll remember the exact spot she placed this devil on wheels. Jokes on her because the Park Attendants will play musical strollers while we are on the ride, leaving her searching for your very expensive baby equipment like her bottle of beer at a frat party.

If you feel like this in itself doesn't seal the deal, no worries. The kids will take over. Since the two-year-old has been eating Disney delicacies since we arrived, he'll have a blow out diaper. Not to be out done by her big brother (even at two-months-old), the newborn will follow suit and simultaneously have an up the back and down the legs explosion. The rancid smell will soak into the car seats and overtake your rental van. Have her deal with one of the kids while you use an entire box of wipes attempting to clean up the other child.  She'll walk the two-year-old around the van, dry heaving, while he screams "I HAVE POOPS" and is dripping down his legs. 

By the end of the trip I'm sure she was cursing Chris for suggesting this idea, her mother for getting her the plane tickets, and me for having post baby, sleep-deprived, mental breakdowns every thirty minutes. When the day arrived for her to go home, she was up, showered, packed, and ready to leave for the airport at 6:00 AM. Thing is, she was a GINORMOUS help. 

Just like having a baby though, she has forgotten the horrid details of that trip. In fact, we just attended her wedding shower this past weekend. She'll make a stunning bride...and hopefully we didn't scar her enough that she'll make a cute little mommy one day, too. 

We love you Christie with all our hearts. I owe you at least twenty diaper changes and a six bottles of wine. You can hold me to that when you have kids. 


Now,  who thinks I should give her a stroller for a wedding present? 
Just kidding! Well, sorta. 


I'm linking up with Yeah Write #58

Monday, May 21, 2012

100 WORD SONG: Alright

This post is in response to Lance's 100 Word Song. The song this week is from one of my favorites, The Beatles. I have some great memories with my brother, his car, and belting out their songs. I thought I would write on of these memories down. Enjoy! 


ALRIGHT

The door opens with a loud squeak, threatening to fall off the 30 year old hinges. The MGB is painted burnt orange red. The smell inside is of gasoline, exhaust, and dilapidated leather. As her brother turns the key, both say a prayer the engine and coordinating parts will cooperate today. It roars to life with a sputter. She’s the co-pilot and knows her place. They pull out of the driveway and she turns the wobbly radio knob to full blast. The Beatles blare out  of the strained speakers “...it’s gonna be alright, alright!”...and truer words were never spoken.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

MILESTONE MADNESS

Tuck: "Mama, you're not going to cry today, are you? That would be really embarrassing."

I promised Tuck I would TRY not to cry. That's a hard promise to make. Especially because it was his Pre-K graduation. This was a big step for all of us. It meant he would officially be in elementary school in the fall, ride the big, yellow bus he had drooled over for years, and be without ME the whole, entire day. He would be a "big kid" and he reminded me every chance he got. 

When graduation day came, he was nervous. Like, puke in his graduation cap kind of nervous. I asked him what the deal was as we sat at the breakfast table and ate our Blueberry Frosted Mini Wheats. The little, cardboard graduation cap he had to wear became the topic of conversation and was the cause behind his quivering lip. He didn't like the hat. It had an elastic on it that dug into the back of his ears and under his chin. To be fair, this kid has a HUGE noggin. I have the battle scars to prove it. So, I told him when I dropped him off that I would help him loosen the elastic. That appeased him and just like that Transformers became the new topic. 

We arrived at the school. In the twelve minute drive there he reminded me sixteen times about the evil elastic. We hopped out of the car and walked into MASS CHAOS. Kids were crying, teachers were consoling, and parents were running away. Before I knew it, Tuck was sucked in the classroom by an invisible force. I explained the hat situation to his teacher, Ms. Nancy, who graciously hid her, 'you are a whack job' look and told me she would take care of it. Ms. Nancy, being the best teacher in all the Pre-K land, was always true to her word. I ran away with the rest of the parents to get some quick errands done before the ceremony. 

After I swung by the bank and the grocery store, I went home to pick up Mags and Chris. Off we went to see our boy achieve yet another milestone in his life. The three of us entered the school and Ms. Nancy gave me a thumbs up. Awesome. Problem solved. Then we found some chairs and waited for the procession. As the kids walked in, I spotted Tuck immediately. He was fumbling with his hat and fighting back tears. The second he looked up and saw me he was out of line, into my arms, and sobbing. 

"The hat is too big! Now it's falling off." 

I quickly attempted to readjust to no avail. In fact, I broke the elastic. A look of horror filled his tiny face. 

"It's okay. It will stay on, no worries." I lied. 

At that point he told me he was NOT going to wear it and left to take his place up in front of the parents, sans cap. He cried through the first song and then, just like that, he pulled it together. He was doing it. He was being a big kid dealing with a little bit of disappointment and moving past it. Yes, it was just a cap, but this was a big moment for him. He NEVER, EVER lets anything go. He chews on it like cud for hours, then swallows it, then brings it back up to chew on it some more. I swear that boy has seven stomachs.  

We were proud to see him get it together without our coaxing. It was a telling moment. He was growing up. He was learning. He was becoming a big boy.

I mean, honestly. Who needs a graduation cap anyway? 



This post is linked up with "Dare to Share: Graduation" at The Lightning and the Lighting Bug

Friday, May 18, 2012

STRANGER DANGER

Mags: "Mama! That man was a stranger. You shouldn't talk to strangers."
Me: "I was trying not to, Mags, but he kept talking."
Mags: "Then run away and tell an adult!"

I have a way with men. It's incredible actually. A talent, if you will. Just my presence makes them flock to me. Grocery stores, local coffee shops, in the parking lot of Walmart....wherever. There's no holding them back. Of course, they are men that fall only in the 60+ age range, or as I affectionately call, The Early Bird Special Club.

I've become wary of these men over the years, though, due to my encounters. I find that they aren't always as innocent as they seem. Since everyone in my life seems to get a kick out my geriatric magnetism, I though I would share here and write up a few of my favorites. Enjoy and please feel free to share your own awkward stories in the comments!

The Apple Guy 

He was upon me in a flash. Before I could even react,  he was three sentences in and holding an apple up to my face. I backed away slowly, politely smiling at his gummy grin. Who was I Snow White? I just wanted a bag of apples. I thought the smile would appease him. I was wrong. He followed me through produce section explaining the differences between Golden Delicious and Red Delicious. One is green and one is red. This was detailed information. Then he offered me a bite of the fruit and told me it was okay because he would pay for it. I declined this very tempting offer and skipped the fresh produce section that week. We had enough canned stuff to get us through. 



The Milk Guy

I learned a little something during this encounter. More than the different colors of apples. As I went over to grab a gallon of milk out of the cooler at the store, an older man approached me. He told me that milk was $.30 cheaper at another store today and that if I told the cashier up front, they would match that price.I had no idea they did price matching at this store. Fantastic! What a pleasant surprise. He just saved me some money. He wasn't going to be weird or offer me candy...or poisoned apples. As I walked back to my cart he followed me saying, 

"So, make sure you tell that cashier okay? Oh, and by the way, your zipper is wide open." 

As much as I was appreciative of him pointing this out to me, it was awkward. I would have preferred he just let me walk around in shame then leaving me wondering why he was staring at my midsection. At that point I fumbled and ran away with my cart to go zip up my pants in a deserted aisle somewhere. 

The Feet Guy

Last summer I was pumping gas. Nothing out of the ordinary. I paid, pushed the buttons, and started pumping. That's when I noticed the older man across from me. He pointed his finger at my feet and his mouth moved. I should have kept my own mouth shut, but before I could stop myself, I asked,

"What?" 

He leaned closer and yelled, 

"I really like your feet." 

I don't even know how much gas I had pumped. I quickly took the nozzle out of the tank and prayed he didn't smother me with a chloroform-filled rag and haul me away. 

The Wine Guy

This guy fooled me with his whit, charm, and wine knowledge. He also had this incredibly interesting mustache that I could not take my eyes off of. One of those 'curled at the end' types. I was with a bunch of friends at a luncheon that was held at a local winery. The mustached man was our pourer. He was well spoken, respectful, and funny. I love me a good sense of humor. I wanted a picture of his mustache to show my husband. Of course my friends jumped all over it and asked the man to take a picture with me. That was fine. No harm in that. But then, it happened. He wrapped his arm around my waist tight, pulled me towards him and whispered, 

"Dare I say that you have a nice figure? Dare I say it feels just as good as it looks?" 

Umm...NO. You dare not, but it was too late. Check out his mustache. He was mid-whisper in this picture.




The Frog in the Hat Guy

Mags and I were strolling through the store when an older man in a John Deere hat walked up to us. This is a recreation and by no means an exaggeration.

Man: "Hey, do you two ladies know I have a frog in my hat?"
Me: "Ummmmmm"
Man: "Look at this young lady." *leaning in towards Mags and moving his forehead up and down* "Do you see it moving under there?"
Mags: *blank stare*
Man: "Do you see it? See? Watch my hat move up and down. The frog is jumping."
Mags: *staring at me, then back at the man, back at me* "Mama, let's go."
Me: "Alright, well, you have a nice day."
Man: "I will. Well, me and my frog will."
Me: *walking away*
Mags: "Mama, you know there wasn't a frog under there, right? It was just his head movin' up and down."
Me: "Yup. I got it Mags."

She's smarter than your average bear...or old man with a "frog" in his hat.


The Cup O' Joe Guy


Half-awake, the coffee shop called my name. The jingling of my purse told me I had enough change sunk to the bottom to purchase a cup of coffee. I pulled open the door and the eye contact with the older gentleman was immediate. I smiled instinctively. 

"Always respect your elders" my mom would say. 
I wasn't at the counter long when the smell of Old Spice overwhelmed me. Then I hear a gruff, smoke-ridden voice say,

"Margie, let me buy this sweet young girl a cup o' joe." 

He dug deep into his pocket and threw a crumpled one and some change on the counter. I protested immediately.

"That is so kind of you, but not necessary." 

Then he smiled and said, 

"You look just like my daughter. She was such a good girl. Let me do this for you."  

I teared up, shut up, and thanked him profusely.

He renewed my faith in the old guy that day. I was happy to see there were men out there like my own Grandpa. Upstanding, sweet, and genuine. Of course, that lasted until the Post Office Guy, but that's a story for another post. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

LAUGH-IN

Mags: "That is such a cute baby! Aww, look at her, Mama."
Me: "That is you, Mags, when you were a baby."
Mags: "You must have loved me so much cause I was so cute!"


Chris and I took a trip down memory lane the other night. We both ended up teary-eyed from crying, laughing, and laughing-crying. I sometimes forget in the mundane, day to day, sleepless, hectic-ness just how much fun we had with our babies when they were very little. We were both saying how thankful we are for the technology available to us. That way we can take an obnoxious amount of video and pictures to document our kid's lives. That way, when Chris and I are old and rocking away on our front porch, we can look through videos and pictures and reminisce. 

I wanted to share a few videos that Chris put together years ago. They are a little over a minute each and still make me laugh the most whenever I watch them. It's amazing the games we played and the ones that worked in our zombie-like state. These little moments made us feel like we were "doing it right". Who needs all those fancy baby books anyways?

All you seem to need in these videos are the following things:
The ability to make sneezing noises, a cap full of water, and
 a bunny Pez dispenser. Simple, right? Take a look!






Tuesday, May 15, 2012

IT'S ALL ABOUT ME...BUT NOT REALLY

Tuck: "Did you like your Mother's Day, Mama?"
Me: "I loved it. You guys did a fantastic job at making me feel special."
Tuck: "I had fun, too. You know what I think?"
Me: "What?"
Tuck: "I think there should be a 'Son's Day'.Then I can get breakfast in bed, too." 

Mother's Day was made for me by this face. 


And this one (blurry, I know, but you get the picture...pun intended)


Because we were watching this:


Oh, wait. No.That's not what we were watching. But, this guys was adorable. While waiting for the kids' music concert to start, my husband pointed him out to the kids. He was high above the stage working the lights. When I pointed my camera at him, he smiled at me and waved. I was so excited because if you look closely, you will see he is under the age of 60. That is a huge feat for me considering I am most popular with guys in the Early Bird Special club. 

Anyways, the kids were so excited to be watching THIS: 


THIS being the Imagination Movers concert...live. They danced their little hearts out for an hour and a half straight. The kids danced too, and smiled ear to ear the entire time. They joined in, they sang along, they shook their tail feathers, and it did my heart good. They won't be this young forever. I just treasure these moments when they are in their element and let loose. Plus, each of them has their own style.   

Mags has really picked up some moves. I don't know where...maybe preschool or the aisles of Target? That girl can really keep a rhythm and shake her booty. Tuck just mimicked whatever dance the guys did on stage. The robot seemed to be his specialty. It was stiff movements that he could handle. 

Me? I snapped pictures, sang along...loudly...with Chris, and we watched the kids rock out. When we got home, exhaustion set in. Sure I could have gone to a spa or had a pedicure, but I figured when they are older, they'll feel like they HAVE to spend the day with me. Right now, they WANT to spend the day with me. 

And who knows? 
By the time they're 18, it might be changed to "Son's Day". 
You just never know with these kids. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE...AND SING

Tuck: "I made you a coupon book in school. It's full of things I'll do for you."
Me: "How thoughtful. What kinds of things are in there?"
Tuck: "It's a surprise. But I can tell you that cleaning my room is definitely NOT one of them."
Me: *sigh*

I'm sure the coupon book will be full of kisses and hugs. I definitely can't get enough of those. I need to secretly stash one or two of them away for when he's 15 and telling me to drop him off  around the corner from school. Then I can whip one of those coupons out in his little first grade hand writing and tell him it's binding by the law of motherhood. There's no way out of that. Am I right? 

Speaking of being a mom, I have found Chris and the kids in more than one huddle whispering. When I walk into the room they all shush each other and stare blankly at me. Mags will then say,

"Nothing to see here. We weren't talking about Mother's Day."

I can always count on her to spill the beans. In reality, I don't care what we do on Mother's Day, as long as I get to sleep in a little and spend the day with my kids. Maybe I could request that they don't fight or tattle on Sunday? That's a good present right there. Oh, and a dance party in the kitchen. I definitely want one of those this weekend! 

That way we can warm up because Sunday afternoon we are taking the kids to see the Imagination Movers concert...live. So fun. Talk about a non-stop dance party. It's definitely a show for all ages. Chris and I rock out shamelessly...and sing every single word to every single song. In between I snap pictures of our kids  doing all their signature dance moves and smiling for an hour and a half straight.



Here's the thing. Music saves my sanity most days. I owe the people who work hard to make quality children's music big time. I should buy them all a coffee. They've helped us make it through 10 hour car rides to visit family multiple times a year, bedtime routines, the 2:00 AM croup steam session in the bathroom, the never ending two year old's tantrum, days of being stuck in the car running around doing errands, and every day moments with a smile. Never mind the fun beats and rhythms to make up our own adult lyrics to. I am such a rock star at that.

So, here's to our favorites: Movers, Justin Roberts, Laurie Berkner, Choo Choo Soul, Jason and Layla, and Curious George. Okay, George isn't a musician, but he still puts a huge smile on our kids' faces, so he deserves a shout out. Thanks for all you do. This mother appreciates it more than you will ever know!


And what makes a mother happier than seeing her kids happy?




 Nothing that I can think of. 

Happy Mother's Day! 


Friday, May 11, 2012

TRIFEXTRA: A Trip to Remember

This post is in response to Trifecta's Trifextra weekend challenge. Their instructions were simple. Thirty-three word story and one of the words has to be "mother".

I'd like to send a special shout out to my creative husband, Chris, who helped me brainstorm ideas of how to use the word. You inspire the geek in me. xo


A Trip to Remember

Dear Mother,

I bought you this ticket. Everyone says it’s a prime vacation spot. When you get there make sure you abduct a good one. Earthlings make a great souvenir.

Your son,

Gargalax

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Trifecta Writing Challenge: Her Way Out

This post is in response to Trifecta's weekly challenge. They want you to use the third definition of the word given in a 33-333 word story. The word for this week is 'enigma'. Funny little story, when I first saw the word on their site I read, 'enema'. I got a good laugh out of it. :)

enig·ma noun \i-ˈnig-mə, e-\
1: an obscure speech or writing
2: something hard to understand or explain
3: an inscrutable or mysterious person


HER WAY OUT

He drifted past her in the foggy shadows of her dreams. An enigma ingrained in her soul. A puzzle riddled with awkward fitting pieces. The veil of sleep draped over her eyes concealing his identity. She’d cry out for him but any response was lost in this world of dreams. As always, too soon, the morning would gently caress her face and she’d awaken, disappointed, confused, and longing.

TAKE A PICTURE

Mags: "Mama, I'm going to take a quick picture of what I made on your phone." 
Me: "OK, but just take one, OK?"
Mags: "I already took eight. I'll just take ONE more like you said, cause I'm a good listener."

Mags loves to take pictures with my phone. When I clear out my pictures every few days, I usually find seventeen pictures of a monster she created with an app, twelve of her feet in all different levels of blurriness, and random pictures I have caught or saved. 

So, this got me thinking. You know how you can analyze a dream?  I bet you can do the same thing with the last five pictures on your smart phone. You can learn a lot about yourself and others can learn a lot about you (as scary as that might be). It got me thinking, if a stranger found my phone, here's what they might analyze the pictures to mean: 

There's a strong possibility they have Captain America's phone. Captain America really likes to play dress-up apps. He enjoys drinking Capri Sun and then reuses the empty pouches to create a lovely dress and purse combo. How responsible. He is a " go green" kind of guy. Captain America also must be training this small, spitfire of a child using Yoga poses for future hand to hand combat. He also has given her a secret identity of her very own. The helmet is the key. There is a whole new generation of superheroes in town.

Okay, okay. So maybe that would just be my husband's take on the last five pictures, but here's mine: 

My secret identity was revealed, Mags dresses dolls on apps like she dresses herself, when my friends ask for suggestions of what to wear to an event, I jump right in to help out as best I can, it's always good to try new things to stay active, and you can never be too safe when you are 
playing...on the floor...in you house.  I am a mom. No doubt about it.


What would others learn about 
you from the last five pictures on your phone?

Monday, May 7, 2012

CHARIOTS OF FIRE

Mags: "Giddy-up, Horsey!"

Isn't it so cute when your kids ask to ride on your back like a horse? Then you gallop them up and down the hallway a few times as they giggle and neigh and then you say, "Whew. This horsey is TIIIIIIIRED." After that you go on our merry way playing a new game. No harm. No foul. Yep. Super fun. Unless you are running like a horse for a mile. 

Yesterday my husband did a local 5K. We were excited to do it because it was a smaller race with friends of ours and they also had a 1 mile walk/run for the kids...and me. Tuck is a natural runner. If you put him in an open field, he is going to take off. Mags...well...she is more of a swimmer. We all have our talents. 

I honestly don't know what I was thinking. I knew as soon as they shouted, "Ready, set, go!" Tuck would be gone. Mags hung for about 100 yards and then stopped. The course was a series of loops, but it also had curves and turns where I was not able to see my boy. This didn't sit well with me. I wanted to keep up as best I could, but I didn't want to discourage my little swimmer girl. We walked for about 20 seconds as I watched the gap grow between Tuck and us. He was coming up to one of the places where I wasn't able to see him so I yelled for him to stop. He was mad, but did what I asked. Then Mags said, "Can you just run with me on your back?" 

I immediately bent down and she crawled on. How hard could it be carrying 34 pounds on my back for a mile? Well, that answer came quick. I've been a runner since high school, so I thought I'd be fine. Holy guacamole. That hurt. I caught up to Tuck while Mags' bony little arms constricted around my neck. Between the oxygen deprivation and the burning that screamed from my legs I thought I was going to pass out. Once we hit the final turn it was a huge horseshoe shape to the finish. This was a good thing because then I could let Tuck go and watch him make his way around the half-circle to the finish. Mags  finally loosened her grip and we trotted along. 



We cheered really loud and obnoxious-like as Captain Runner Pants crossed the finish. That's when Mags decided she was ready to get down and run it in. 

"Come on Mags, you can do it!" 

Tuck was at the finish clapping and jumping up and down for her. She really turned on the jets those last 100 yards. Me? I was behind her taking pictures and trying to breath through my partially crushed wind pipe. In the end, we all had a blast! Tuck came in 2nd place for the 1 mile and Chris came in 3rd for the 5K. And honestly, there's only one thing to say to that. 


Yippee Ki-Ay
(Extra points for you if you can name the movie)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

TRIFEXTRA: Curfew

This post is in response to Trifecta's Trifextra Weekend Challenge. They gave us simple directions this weekend. Tell 3 truths and 1 lie in 33-333 words. This story was the first thing that came to mind. Enjoy!


Curfew

Lips buzzing and head in the clouds, she started the car as she watched him walk away, giving her one last wave before disappearing into his house. Being late for curfew was not a concern at the moment. Floating. 

On a school night her parents insisted she be home by 9:00 p.m. She held up her phone to see the time, but was met by a dark screen. Her phone battery had died earlier in the night. She tossed the useless technology on the seat and glanced over at the dashboard clock. It read 9:23 p.m. Late.

As the car hummed along the long, desolate stretch of highway to her ultimate destination, reality set in. Sinking. 
Exhilaration flipped to distress as her exit to home approached. Four minutes and a stop for gas was all that stood between her and her fate. Nervous. It all depended on how she played her cards. Her deception skills were lacking. If she wanted to see him again, though, she would have to come up with something believable. Think. 

The car rolled cautiously into the driveway. The porch light shone brightly, warning her they were waiting.  Panic. The door opened as her mother stood there, arms crossed, daggers shooting from her eyes. Breathe.

“Mom, sorry I am late. I completely lost track of time, had to stop for gas, the battery died on my phone and my girlfriend needed a ride home.”

Her mother’s glare softened. 


“I’m tired. We’ll talk about it in the morning.”

Parting ways, she breathed a sigh of relief. Then, from the top of the stairs, she heard her mom’s voice reveal,  

“By the way, Bradley called to make sure you got home safe. He said he couldn't reach you on your cell phone after you dropped him off.”

Caught!


Friday, May 4, 2012

ONE POST TO RULE THEM ALL

Chris: "I'm gonna geek out on you for a second." 

Usually when my husband says this it is followed by something about superheroes or some techie gadget he read about. I don't mind listening. It's always interesting and after being together over ten years, I can hold my own in these conversations...and even add to them sometimes. Chris usually closes out the geeked out moment by saying, "Never thought you'd have that conversation in your whole life, didja?" 


Last night, we took the kids bike riding on a nearby trail. While following behind Tuck, the great two-wheel bike rider, I took great pride in the fact that I had my own geek moment. While riding along, I saw a tree that had fallen. To the layman's eye it would be just a tree that had been topped off and lay in a cool position. To me...my mind immediately saw an Ent. A what you ask? Wait...why are you leaving? Come back. I have to show you the picture!



Who is familiar with Lord of the Rings? Tolkien? Peter Jackson? Raise your hands up high so I can see them. There's a few hands. OK, you in the back. The guy with the "My uncle went to Mordor and all I got was this lousy shirt" t-shirt, you know what it is? That's right. It's a tree in the books and movies that is gigantic and possesses human qualities. I snapped this picture and when Chris and Mags caught up to us, I quickly pulled out my camera to show my husband. I swear I heard him fall in love with me even more at that moment. 

But wait, our geeked out night wasn't over. As we rode over a bridge on the trail, Chris spotted something beneath it. Nooooo! It wasn't the Grumpy Old Troll. How ridiculous would that be? He saw footsteps in the mud on the side of the creek flowing under the bridge. We showed the kids and immediately Tuck said, 


"Those look like Bigfoot tracks"




Yes. I took another picture. Who is familiar with the show, 'Finding Bigfoot'? Anyone? You in the back with the t-shirt that says, "I'm A Squatch Watcher", you must know about this elusive creature. If you have never seen 'Finding Bigfoot', it is a group of four people gathering eye-witness accounts and evidence. During every episode, they walk through the woods using different techniques in an attempt to attract a Bigfoot. Their goal is to capture the creature on film, proving it's existence. Our kids love this show. (Ranae, the skeptic of the four, is our family favorite.)

The thing that keeps us coming back to watch it is that it uses the scientific method so clearly in every episode. The educator in me can't resist this. They model it well and our kids have picked up on it. So, when Tuck saw the footprint, he immediately thought Bigfoot. Then he looked around and pointed out all the things (evidence) in the area that the Bigfoot investigators say would make it "squatchy". I was impressed with Tuck's reasoning. A Jr. investigator in the making? Perhaps. 

So, let's sum up this post, shall we? 

1. I posted a picture of an tree that I refer to as an Ent.
2, I posted a picture of a footprint that I refer to as a possible Bigfoot print.
3. I posted a post about a tree and a footprint.


Oh! And to close out this geeked out post, guess where I am going tonight? To bring my husband to see the Avengers movie. Yep...


I bet you never thought you'd read a post like 
this in your whole life, didja?