Saturday, December 31, 2011


"It's OK, Buddy, don't cry. They'll be back soon."

Since we live at least eight hours from each of our families, we try to have visits as often as we can. Our kids have become seasoned professionals when saying goodbye to our loved ones who visit. Each of the kids deal with it in their own way. Today was no different.  When my parents were leaving, we were prepared for the usual reactions.  

Tuck cried. Hard. Mags dealt with it well at that moment. She was busy. It always hits her a few hours later. This is how it always goes. Then there's my poor parents. I'm not sure how long they cry for in the car by themselves. To me, all those tears mean we had a fun and memorable visit. 

What caught me off guard about our departure ritual of tears was how the kids reacted to each other. We were getting ready to distract Tuck's attention by making New Year's Eve hats. However, while waving out the window at Meme and Papa as they drove away, Mags jumped up next to Tuck. She immediately began patting his back and comforting him. This sight made me get all teary. I snapped a picture because I love catching memories like this when I can.

Just when I was getting ready to jump in to do my distracting gig, Mags turned to Tuck. She looked at his face and said, 

"Wow, Tuck, your scar is looking great on your eye!" 

My husband and I both looked at each other and started laughing a bit. She was trying to distract him in her own little way. Go on with your bad self, little Miss Distract-ability. Did it work? For a moment. The fact that she tried to divert his attention? Absolutely priceless.

I hope your 2012 is full of catching some amazing memories that 
will fill your heart full of happiness to the very tip top.

Friday, December 30, 2011


Tuck: "Can I have a turn on the Wii?"
Mags: "I don't know. Are you done whining?"
Caught! She does listen to what I say to her over and over and over again. I have noticed it more over this Christmas break since she has all day with her brother home. She busts out her "Mamaisms" on poor Tuck every chance she gets.
Mags has always been the enforcer of rules. She breaks 'em like nobody's business, but makes sure everyone else is following them. Just this morning I heard her saying to him at the breakfast table, "Tuckah! That piece of banana in your mouth is too big! That's dangerous. You could choke." 
Tuck, who is forever appeasing her, took out half the banana he had shoved in his mouth (impressive) and starts eating it in smaller bites. He knows she is right. He knows she is just trying to protect him. Most of all, he knows she will tattle. How does he know? Two words: Christmas Break.
It has been a solid week of them both home, together, all day long. Don't get me wrong, it has had it's usual ups and downs with behavior and sibling rivalry, but overall, they have held up well. By now you can definitely start seeing the novelty of "vacation week" wearing off, at least in our house. The whining and fighting has become more abundant. The tattling has become more frequent. The patience for each other's antics has diminished and my patience needs a good recharge, too.
There is one thing though that I always look forward to during break. That is to really see just how much Tuck's independence has grown in the past 3 months. I miss those little milestones now that he is in school all day. So, I had forgotten what a tight ship Tuck runs when he is here full time. It took me the first day of break to adjust to his regiment, but Mags was following suit, so I just went with it. Schedules are his thing. He likes to know what is happening at all times, ahead of time. So, I forced myself to loosen my reins a little and see what happened. Here's how his schedule went:
7:00 A.M. Breakfast. Turn on the tube, sit, eat, zone out.
8:00 A.M. Turn off the tube, get dressed, get playing.
8:01-9:59 A.M.- Playing games, singing and dancing, coloring pictures, making forts, chasing bad guys, fighting with Mags after she stole the toy he just put down, playing babies with Mags, fighting over the babies with Mags, helping me vacuum, working together to vacuum, building Lego houses, fighting with Mags over the Lego house she broke "on an accident" and synchronized whining.
10:00 A.M Time for snack
10:15 A.M Get in the car to do errands.
12:00 P.M Back from errands, eat lunch, make plans for after quiet time.
12:30 P.M-2:00P.M Quiet time. Shhhhhh! I mean it!
2:01-4:00-More singing and dancing, building of train tracks, asking if it is time for Daddy to come home yet, fighting with Mags who just tore down his fort "on an accident", playing board games with Mama and Mags, hiding and seeking, whining that Mags found him too soon, asking how much longer until Daddy gets home, pulling out Transformers, watching Mama struggle to transform them *grumble grumble*, eating snack, fighting with Mags, hearing Daddy's car and jumping around.
4:01 P.M-Daddy's home and all is right in their worlds and mine.
My favorite part of this day is when my husband asks them, "So, what did you guys do today?"

Tuck: "OH, NOTHING!"
Mags: "Well, Daddy, Tuckah whined about the Wii game."
Me: "Yup, that about sums it up. How was your day, Honey?"

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Me: *Uncontrollable coughing fit*"Coughcoughgagcoughcoughgaspcough"

Kids in unison: "Maaaaama! Shhhhh! We can't hear the music."

We should have been listening to "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" because that is what I felt. Pure love, concern, and compassion...for the music playing. Sorry, kids. Did my gasping for air block out the "Manamana" song that is playing for the 15th time in a row? How selfish of me. Let me just go pass out from lack of oxygen over here in the corner of the kitchen. You know, the corner with the crumbs that come out of now where. Seriously. I don't even cook, cut, or make anything on that side of the kitchen. Where do they come from? Sorry. Side thought. I just wonder is all. Especially now that I am sitting in a pile of them in the corner about to pass out. 

To be fair, Tuck did come in the kitchen to tell me I should go lay down in my bed. He quickly followed up that thoughtful suggestion by telling me my cough was grossing him out. Mags followed close behind to put her two cents in.

"Your cough is super bad, Mama. You need a nap. I will watch Tuck."

Oh, that makes me feel a ton better. I can just see how this will go:

*Cue dream sequence*(not the Nightmare on Elm Street kind. The Wayne's World kind.)

I go lay down in my bed. I fall asleep immediately. Mags comes in and gives Tuck the "all clear". They go under the sink and pull out the jar of layered holiday candy. The leftover, misfit Halloween candy is at the bottom. Then there is birthday candy in the middle mixed in with some random scores of candy accumulated through the multitude of holiday events we have been to. On the top, well, that is where the prime candy lays. That is where the Santa candy is. He doesn't mess around. He brings the good stuff. Plenty of sugar and chocolate. It calls to them. The force is strong in this one. They won't be able to resist.

I wake up in a panic to find wrappers piled high all over the house. I find my children swinging from the beams in our ceiling. The Muppet soundtrack is blaring. The jar is tipped over on the floor, almost empty. They see me and freeze. As usual, Tuck begins to recite his dissertation of why they did what they did. Mags jumps in with some helpful details and facts about butterflies. By the end, I am too tired to fight about it. I sit down and eat the rest of the spilled misfit Halloween candy. 

*end dream sequence*

I realize how a nap will not work for me and how my kids are staring at me confused by my silence. I know! I could turn on a movie and get them to snuggle up with me on the couch. I'll at least be able to rest while the kids watch T.V. and give in to it's magical zombiefying powers. (I just made that word up. It's my blog. I can do that if I want to.) 

Definitely! Yep! That is our plan.
Off I go to snug....coughcoughcoughcoughcoughgaspcoughgagcoughcough.
Change of plan. I'll be in the kitchen corner.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Achieving the Boston Accent: 101

Tucker: "Maaaaaaaama! I can't find the markers!"
Mags: "TUCKAH! You say it 'mahkahs', like Papa. 

My parents are here from Massachusetts. My husband says I pick my up my accent full force when one of two things happens. First is when we reach the Mass Pike on our drive back for a visit. He says, "You roll down the window to pay the toll and suddenly 'it is wicked cold he-ya.'". Second is when my parents are here visiting with us for three or more days. I jump right back into dropping my r's all over the house (which reminds me I need to vacuum).  It'll be wicked thick by the time they leave to drive back in their cah. I'm not the only one, though. I can also hear it in the kids. Secretly, I love it. Mags, having a flair for drama, really gets into it. It only lasts for a few days, but it is really cute.

So, let's do some quick Boston accent training, shall we? You know you want to.  First we will need to cross over the Mass Pike. Just drop your r's at the toll and let's go!

Ahhh, that's bettah. First and foremost, it's pronounced BAH-STON. If you need a little help getting an idea of what it should really sound like you can watch "Good Will Hunting" or go to a Red Sox game at Fenway Pahk. You can check out the Green Monstah and order a bee-ya. Bee-ya may improve your accent. 

So, in Bah-ston, we really don't all pahk the cahs in Hahvahd yahd. If I had a quarter for how many times I have been asked to say that in Northern Virginia, I could have bought myself a frappe. What is a frappe you ask? It is simply a milkshake but just sounds fancier. They are delicious.  Once you have had your frappe, you may want a drink out of a bubblah, which is a water fountain. However, any bubblahs in my book are germ ridden, so maybe you just want to buy a bottle of watah. That means you will have to go to the grocery sto-wa. In the grocery sto-wa, you fill up your carriage with groceries. While you are there, you may want to pick up some tonic. I prefer Caffeine Free Coke if you are buying.  

If they don't sell bee-ya in the grocery sto-wa, don't worry! You can always run to the packie. That's where you can buy all sorts of lick-ah.  Just ask the check out lady where the nearest one is and she'll point you in the right direction. She'll probably tell you to bank a left out of the store and it'll be right ovah the-ya. 

I am hoping you picked up dinn-ah. What are we having? Lobstah and Steamahs, of course. With watah for rinsing the steamahs off and buttah to dip them in. Lots of it. Don't forget the lobstah crack-ahs. Those contraptions make it a lot easier to crack the shell. Also, I prefer the necks to the bellies of the steamahs, so you may want to find an eating partner who likes steamah bellies. Waste not, want not.

There ya go. You're all set to visit Bah-ston. No worries. When in doubt, just throw wicked before everything you say. You'll be wicked awesome. Just keep practicing.  You'll see. It's wicked freeing, losing your r's for a few days. You could even say it's WICKED PISSAH!  

I hope you enjoy your stay! I have to go help Tuckah find the mahkahs now. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Me: "Mags, what is going on this morning?"
Mags: "Nuffin'. I just feel out of sorts."

I get that. It is so hard this time of year. The excitement of it all really wears kids down. We started seeing Christmas trees go up in our stores as they were putting out the Halloween costumes for goodness sake. Pretty soon the'll have Rudolf promoting "Back to School" sales. Buy two notebooks and get a pack of tinsel free. Or, they could be like my neighbor and just combine Halloween and Christmas. Who doesn't love a good Santa Zombie? 

So, I get Mags' "out of sorts". She has been on overdrive for 25 straight days. Putting up the decorations, trying not to touch the most delicate ornaments on the tree, finding elves, going to parties, singing lots of Christmas carols, making dozens of cookies, devising plans to get one of those cookies from your sleep deprived Mama every morning for breakfast, mustering up the courage to sit on Santa's lap, figuring out what presents you want most, creating naughty lists, eating a butt load of sugar, and then trying to behave through it all. As my grandmother says, "It's too much!".  

After thinking about it, I really need to give both the kids some slack for hanging on through the past 25 days as well as they did. So when the melt downs come over the next couple of days, I may just join in. Show 'em how it is really done. Then I will suggest a nap. Like I said before, all that excitement, anticipation, and cookie eating is exhausting. Obviously. 

SLEEP IS SO OVERRATED (that's the lack of sleep talking)

Mags: "Mama! Shhhhhhh! Daddy is sleeping. We need to leave him alone so we don't wake him up."
Me: "What about me? Why don't you leave me alone when I am sleeping?"
Mags: "Cause you like it when I wake you up."

Alright. Which one of you told her this lie? Fess up. This coming from Mags, the little girl who slept the first six weeks of her life away. Since our first born was colicky 24/7 for the first four months of his life, I thought for sure something was wrong with our second born, baby girl. The doctors told me that she was completely normal. Apparently, newborns usually sleep a lot. Wow. This was news to me, since Tuck (our first born) NEVER slept as an infant. So I went with it. It was glorious. She was even sleeping through the night at six weeks old. Ahhhhh. Precious sleep. 

Then at 12 weeks, she decided that sleep was so last year. She turned into the a "party all night" kind of babe. Here's the thing, though.  When she was awake multiple times a night, she was the most pleasant, little creature. She would coo and smile at me. After I'd give her a bottle, burp, and diaper change, she would be set.  Our first born on the other hand would SCREAM at me for hours with no rhyme or reason. Bottled, burped, diapered, warm bath given, rocked, me crying with him while we walk-bounced, and he would still be screaming his little face off. That was not pleasant. Not one little bit. 

So, when she made this comment today I started to wonder why she thought this. I mean, I WAS happy to get up with her and give her what she needed. Who can resist a chubby-cheeked four month old super excited to see you? Even when you were sleep deprived, not sure when you brushed your teeth or hair last, and a shower was a distant memory; she reached for me. Don't be mistaken. I was not happy to lose my beauty sleep, but that was not her fault. She was tiny then. Needy. 

As time wore on, though, I was not always smiling when I went in to get her. I was ready for her to sleep through the night. To get into a pattern. It happened eventually, but not consistently enough to rid the dark circles from under my eyes. 

Now, four years later, we are battling through her night terrors together. She goes in stages and they are exhausting for both of us. No worries! Both boys (big and small) sleep soundly through the crazy, inconsolable, screaming and crying. That's just me. Then there are Mags' intense night terror screams. We get through these stages, but it is like having a four month old all over again. I don't like that she is scared, that they make her so upset, and that they are reoccurring each and every night for weeks on end. I do like that I am the one that can comfort her. I like that all I have to do is whisper in her ear that I am there, tuck her disease ridden silky under her arm, and kiss her warm cheeks three or maybe twenty times to get her to calm down. 

So, I guess when I think about it...yes. I like that my little girl thinks that I enjoy it when she wakes me up, especially when she needs to be comforted. We have formed a strong bond through these night time soirees. For that I am grateful. After all, she is one of the three most important people in my life. When she says things like this, it gets me through the frustration of us both not sleeping well. It helps me to remember that I am lucky to be considered one of the most important people in her life, too.

Well, except when I'm on the naughty list!

*If you click on the red words in this post, it will bring you to previous posts about silky and the naughty list. This may help you understand their significance a little bit better. Enjoy!

Monday, December 26, 2011


As Mags says, "I'm so excited I could puke!" 

We hope your day is full excitement...but not puke. 


Saturday, December 24, 2011


Me: "Hey, Mags. It might be easier to rake if you put your silky down."
Mags: "No, but thanks for the 'sur-guess-tion'.

What is a "silky" you ask? See that piece of cloth she is clinging to tightly? That is her comfort item, well,  besides Tucker. Tucker is technically her comfort person. Anyways, we have two silkies. When I saw her getting attached as a baby, I promptly found the brand online and ordered a second one as a "just in case" silky. What happened? She then took to both of them. She needed both of them at all times. One would not do. 

So, we had two silkies for me to watch out for. Two silkies to track down each night. Were they in the car? Were they under the coffee table? Crap! Where were we today? I remember one time I thought we left silky at the library. I literally ran through in my head a plan of how to get the librarian's home phone number. Luckily, it was in her bed the whole time...after 30 minutes of searching. *grumble grumble*

One fateful day, however, her main silky went missing. No matter how hard we looked we could not find her. (Yes, she refers to silky as "her") I tore the house apart. For days and days. I was heartbroken for her. Every single nap. Every single rock in the rocking chair. Every single bed time. I heard the same thing from her. "Mama, I really miss my old silky." RIP.MY.HEART.OUT! I dreamed about silky and all the places she could be. Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months and months turned into close to a year. I was ready to climb into the crawl space for goodness sake, just in case a mouse had taken it and made it a nest. OK, so this thought was crazy, but you just never know. 

I did order her another silky that year from the Easter Bunny to try and fill the void. No go. She never took to her. She preferred the remaining old, well loved, ebola virus ridden silky to the new one. I all but had given up. As long as we didn't lose the one old silky we had, I was fine. Then, something unexpected happened! While we were getting ready to decorate for Christmas this year, we took down all the boxes from the attic, as usual.  As I opened the first box, I began passing out decorations to the kids to go hang, find a spot for, or throw somewhere.  As I got to the bottom of the box, I reached in and pulled out a familiar piece of cloth.

I literally gasped and jumped up and down. I was a little embarrassed about this, but I started to cry. I was so excited for Mags. She was out of her mind when we had her come look in the box. She cried, laughed and sat herself down for a good snuggle. It did my heart good. I felt relief. I felt her relief. I could visibly see it. She promptly named her "old, lost silky".

So, here's to you, Oldlostsilky. 
Keeper of comfort. Keeper of dreams. Keeper of friendship. 
Carrier of germs and rare diseases. 

                        I hope your dreams are filled with sugar
                                  plum fairies dancing in your head!
                                             Merry Christmas Eve!

Friday, December 23, 2011


Me: "Wow, it is cold out today!"
Mags: "It is, Mama! We should grab a coffee and have a chat." 

Great idea. Let's go grab a decaf for me, a hot chocolate for you and do just that! Wanna know what our chat was about? I'll give a hint. It revolved around a beautiful Christmas card we received from a friend of mine. I taught with this friend when I first moved here 12 years ago. Three years ago my friend had triplets. Let me tell you, if I could pick any one of my friends to have triplets, it would be her. Organized, fun, and creative does not even begin to cover it. Anyways, I digress.

I opened my friend's card to be greeted with the beaming faces of her adorable triplets. I handed the card to Mags who asked me "Who are these people again?". I explained to her it is my friend, her husband, and their three kids. She smiled. Took a sip of her hot chocolate and the conversation began:

"Awww, these kids are so cute, Mama! I like their dresses! Your friend has three whole kids?" I giggled a little. "Yep! Plus, you want to know what is so special about my friend and her kids?" She shakes her head vigorously as she is sipping. I hand her a napkin and while she is wiping her face, the table and her shirt I explain it to her. "My friend grew all three of those babies in her belly AT THE SAME TIME!" In her typical dramatic fashion she slams the cup on the table, drops her mouth open and says, "NO WAY! They all fit in her tummy together?" I go on to tell her how some Mamas' bodies grow more than one baby at a time. 

Then the questions started rolling. "So, did she have more than ONE tummy to grow them in?" I told her no, that they all grew in the same tummy. They just were stacked on top of each other, like a pig pile in football. This led to  "Do you think they were squished?" I told her probably by the end and that is why they told their Mama they wanted to come out. "Did they fight?" I told her I bet it sure felt like it to my friend! "What about food? Did they have to all share the food in the belly?" I told her that they each got their own food from their Mama. "Well, did their Mama eat a LOT LOT LOT LOT of food?" I told her she probably had to eat a little more than she usually did. "I hope she ate lots of ice cream, cause you know how much babies loooooooove ice cream. Right, Mama?" 

I knew where this line of questioning was headed. I saw it in Mags' eyes.  She wanted to take a detour in CanIHaveSomeIceCream Land. I quickly told her that my friend probably ate lots of healthy fruits and vegetables to help her babies grow strong.  She seemed satisfied by my answers. We finished up our drinks and I started to get up, thinking this entertaining conversation was over. 

Then it happened. To be honest, I was a little surprised it didn't come out sooner. I heard her exclaim, "Wait, Mama! How did those babies get out of her tummy?"  Since Mags knows the doctors had to pull her out from a cut they made in my belly, I told her just that. The doctor had to make a cut in my friend's belly and pull the babies out. 

She nodded at me, understanding. I could see her thinking, processing, and thinking some more. Then she asked,  "Hmmmm. Well, did they all hang onto each other when the doctor pulled?" I am certain I gave her my best confused look. Upon noticing my baffled expression, she kindly elaborated, "You know, like the doctor pulled one of the babies out and the other baby held her hand and then that baby held the other baby's hand. Did they come out like that?" 

 I started to laugh, not at her, but at the image 
that immediately popped into my head. 
 You know you thought it too!

I told her the doctor pulled them out one by one for safety reasons.She said, "Phew! Well, I am glad they were safe." I agreed! This ended the conversation and the day went on in usual fashion. We played, picked up Tuck from the bus and Daddy came home. 

I thought for sure she would play out the triplet thing with her own babies, but she seemed to have forgotten. I should have known better. While waiting for dinner and playing with her brother, I heard Mags inform him in detail about the Mama who had three "magical" babies all at the same time!  "Isn't that so special, Tucker?" she asked him after she had finished her story. Tuck's response to her was, "You are making that up. Nobody can have three babies at one time!". *sigh* I smiled and grabbed the card off the counter. I went over to Tuck, sat down, and explained it through once again. 

This time though, I had a little help from Mags, 
expert on triplets and "magical" babies.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


"Who should I hug first, Mama?"

This was what Mags asked me the first day of preschool as we walked into a classroom full of crying three year old children. The teacher had two on her hip and two on her leg. Ahhh, the memories. I did that for one year. If you asked me five years ago if you would have caught me teaching ten 3 year olds, I would have laughed you right out of the room. I thought I would never teach any child too young to blow their own nose, but I did. I loved it. Not everyday, but most days. 

So, we walk in and she gears up to help. This is one of Mags many talents. She is maternal, almost to a fault. In her mind, her preschool teachers (who are fantastic people) assist HER in the classroom. She thinks they are there to prepare the snack, since she is not allowed in the kitchen at school. They run the craft center, since she needs to play with her friends. They read the class stories, since she can't read yet. That is coming, though. Give her time. She practices reading to her babies every night. She lines them up on her bed and shows them the pictures. However, if they are making too much of a ruckus, they get put in timeout. I hate to point fingers, but ONE of these guys in the picture seems to be a "frequent flyer" in timeout. When will he learn she means business?  I have!

The thing is, her classmates respond to it. When I pick her up from preschool, she says good bye to everyone and they wave back at her enthusiastically. She does her best "queen wave" and off we go. So you can imagine her delight when we were at the Christmas concert and there were an overwhelming number of preschoolers biting at the bit to go sing, see their moms, ring their bells, and run around the space behind the bleachers. So many distractions, so little time. No worries. Mags was there to help patrol the kids and keep everyone in line. Can you spot her in all her glory; fancy new red sweater from Meme and white bunny boots? 

Overall, Mags is fiercely protective to those she loves and finds interesting. She is all business most times and can be very bossy. At the end of the day, though, she has a heart of gold and a disarming smile. Mama Mags. The girl whose 27 babies are fed, diapered and tucked snugly in their "beds" every night.

Her pairing of who sleeps with who may not always be the best, but they are both going to be fed and tucked in. Right?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


"Mama, can I get a little privacy here? Please?"

Well, of course you can Mags. Just not with the elf. Due to the traumatic elven experience my husband and I had last year, we vowed this year to keep an eye and ear open when the kids were around that little rascal. Yes. I said, "TRAUMATIC ELVEN EXPERIENCE."  Never heard of it? It's true. I will prove it.

There we were. Christmas morning. Paper was flying. Kids were squealing. Parents were beaming with pride at their success. It was a magical morning. As the last gift was unwrapped and adored, my husband and I noticed our son's face drop like a rock. We immediately addressed his mood change. He looked up at us and said, 

"I guess Santa didn't think I was a very good boy this year." 

Wh-wh-wh-what? I was speechless and before I knew it, he was enveloped in my arms. My husband jumped in, 

"Buddy, why would you say something like that? Look at all the awesome toys you got!".

Tuck replied, "Well, all I really wanted was the Bumblebee Battle Blaster Arm. It is all I asked Santa for."

My husband and I exchanged baffled looks mouthing to each other, 

"Did he tell YOU that? NO! NOT ME! Did he tell YOU?"  

Tuck then came out with it. 

"I told Mowgali (our elf) and he was supposed to tell Santa for me."  

More baffled looks were exchanged between my husband and I followed up by mouthing "Are you going to the store, or am I?"  

So there I was, in WalMart, on Christmas morning running as fast as I could to the toy aisle saying every prayer I could remember from my 13 years of Catholic school. The white floor tile glare blinded me momentarily, but I finally reached Aisle 13. Looking, searching, panic building and then, there it was! The yellow, tube-like structure labeled "Transformer Bumblebee Blaster."  I grabbed it and ran as fast as I could up to the front. I still to this day cannot tell you how much I paid for that conquest. I didn't even have her bag it.

I brought it to the car and wrapped it in his special "Santa" paper I threw in the trunk. Once it was set, I had exactly 17 minutes on the drive home to come up with a way to sneak the present into the house.  I pulled into our driveway with a mediocre plan. I trusted in my husband's distracting skills enough to know I could pull the old, 

"Oh, look at this rather large, oddly shaped present we missed laying under the tree" routine. 

That would do, but it just wasn't magical enough.

That's when I saw it. There was about three inches of snow left on the ground from a storm a few days prior. Two sled trails were carved into our front hill from our sled rides. I realized that it looked just like Santa's sleigh had landed there. 

I ran upstairs and threw the present in the slope of one the trails. Then, I pulled into the garage, caught my breath, grabbed the gallon of milk on the seat and went inside the house. (At some point in my panic, I had grabbed a gallon of milk as a cover.) I grabbed my husband by the fridge to fill him in on the plan. After a round of applause, we played it out well.

I explained to the family that when I arrived home, I thought I saw something in the snow. I had our son come over and check out the window for me. He saw the present and flipped out. 

"A PRESENT. WRAPPED IN MY PAPER! IN THE SNOW! IT MUST HAVE FALLEN OUT OF SANTA'S SLEIGH!". Phew! He wasn't scarred and had a pretty fun memory to boot. 

OK, Mags, to answer your question again...yes. 
You may have some privacy in the bathroom, just not with the elf. 


Tuesday, December 20, 2011


"Mama, I am sorry to tell you this. You are on the naughty list." 

Apparently Mags has been keeping a naughty list. Who is on this list with me? So glad you asked. They are:

The Grinch, all the kids who are mean to Charlie Brown, all the reindeer who make fun of Rudolf, the mean, head elf in Rudolf, the lady who taunts Santa in the Best Buy commercial, and me. 

Before we investigate her reasoning for this list further, let's talk about the list itself for a minute. The Naughty List. What an intriguing concept. I feared this thing when I was a child. Now I look forward to it being November 1st so I can use it on my own children. My son fears it. Not that he needs to. Mags, however, could use a little warning here and there. The girl whose motto in life seems to fit,  “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission”. 

 In typical Mags fashion, she took this “naughty list” as a challenge. She decided to make it her own.  She would “help” Santa out by keeping one for him. I admire her clever thinking. In all honesty, I wish I had thought of that when I was little. She did indeed turn the power struggle around. She acts all helpful to Santa with her covert, fly under the radar, collector of "Naughty List Nellie's" disguise. 

I really would not put it by her. I mean, there IS an app for everything. For crying out loud, the girl can work my iPhone better than me. If she is undercover, she does feed the big man good info. I mean, c’mon! Of course he's not going to think twice about all of the people on her list. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

 The Grinch 
He turns it around ON Christmas Day. He takes ALL their things. Robs them blind. Leaves a crumb too small for a mouse and all that jazz. You can hand out all the "roast beast" you want Grinchy. Mags isn't buying it. So close, but no cigar!
All the Peanut characters who are mean to Charlie Brown
This happens all year long in every holiday special. Good grief! Poor Charlie Brown never gets a break. Plus, they call him "stupid" a lot.  A word that we don't use in this house and Mags the enforcer is quick to point that out.  Maybe it's their turn to get a rock for a change.
All the reindeer who are mean to Rudolf 
Agreed! They are pretty cruel. Of course, they love him on Christmas Eve when he saves the day. Surprise! Who doesn’t love the guy who throws the winning touchdown? I mean, to be honest, Santa was even a bit rough on  poor Rudolf! Mags was too busy scolding all the other reindeer 
and elves on the TV to notice that, though.

The mean, head elf in Rudolf
Well, he did get what was coming to him in the end. I always wondered if Herbie gave him enough Novocaine when fixing his aching tooth. "I'm sorry Head Elf, what are you saying? I can't hear you over the drill." 

The lady who taunts Santa in the Best Buy commercials 
Personally, I think Best Buy should be on this list too, but apparently it is not my call. I am not the holder of the "secret app". Anyways, enough of my conspiracy theories. What is that woman thinking? Really?  I mean the big guy gets ONE night a year to do his magical thing. On top of that, you are going to give him attitude after he shoves himself down your dirty chimney?  She didn't even put out her fire in her fire place. Sheesh. She was asking for it. The first time Mags saw the commercial she turned to me with a shocked look on her face and declared, “That lady is FRESH Mama! She is not being very nice to poor Santa. I bet he will put her on the naughty list!”  I gave a hearty, "YEP! I think so too Mags!", secretly hoping I was now off the naughty list.

 This status changes daily. Who knows why I am on the naughty list? Don't answer that. I have been working a little bit harder these past few weeks on "practice what you preach". It is so hard not get caught up in the hustle and bustle that fills the air mixed in with a little anxiety and impatience. The best reminder I have for what this holiday is about is my children. Like I said in my first post, they keep me honest and on the straight and narrow.
For that I am thankful and humbled. I off the naughty list yet?

I guess not!


"I believe in you, Mama. I know you can do it!" 

Let's get ready to BLOG!

Monday, December 19, 2011


Hello! Let me introduce myself. I am a mom of 2, a wife of 1, Special Educator,  Homebound teacher,  Math tutor, a University Supervisor for student teachers, a writer, and podcast producer. I aspire to be a professional napper because I am TIRED.

As most of you know, I currently have a more educational blog and podcast that I produce with my husband called Night Light Stories. What’s that? You didn’t know? Well feel free to check it out over at We write, edit, and record original children’s stories. We post vocabulary, comprehension questions, and family friendly activities over on our compendium blog.

So, why a new blog, Mel? 
Well, I really wanted to practice my writing in a fun, informal, and creative way. I also wanted to share it with others.  So I went through the options of how I could do this. Here is what I came up with:

1. I could keep a journal. A paper one. Like in the olden days. I could be the next Laura Ingalls Wilder. However, I know myself well enough to know that this is how this will go:
Picture it. I am writing, writing, hand cramping, writing, wondering how to spell "preposterous", no red line pops under my hand writing to warn me I spelled it wrong, wondering why I am not just typing it into a Google Doc, writing, hand cramping and then my husband comes in the room. He sees my process, nods and smiles. He can hold it in no longer and says, “You know, I have a couple of ways that would make that easier for you.” Then he rattles off his impressive list of techie sites and clever ways to incorporate recording it. I stare at him, nodding, smiling, and trying to just jot the brilliant thoughts down while they are still in my brain for the remaining 2.2 seconds they will last there. Too late. They're gone. Plus, how do I share a hand written, coffee ring stained, paper journal? Will I get it back? It would take forever to pass around to my friends! Cross this one off the list. No go!

2. My other option is to use Google Docs to practice my creative writing. I will get up early, like an hour before the kids. 5 AM. Great idea! Here's how this will go:
I will brew coffee and burn my mouth with that coffee until 5:15 AM. I will check all my social media sites. Oooh! Two new people are following me on Twitter. I must check them out. Oh! I must block this "follower". That is NOT an appropriate Twitter handle once you say it out loud. I have to give them kudos for spelling it so cleverly so Twitter would not say “NO WAY! YOUR’E GROSS!” . Does Twitter say that? It should. 
That would be a funny pop up. The whale hovering with all the birds holding him up as they all have their tongues sticking out with disgusted looks on their faces. How do these people find me? I’m the host of a children’s podcast. Anyways. Now we are at 5:30. My coffee is gone and my tongue is so burnt that it is numb. Maybe I should have another cup? Oops, forgot to check my work email. BOOM! 5:45. I hear rustling. I hear a sweet little voice call my name. I go in and tell her it is still dark, it is the middle of the night , and to go back to sleep. She buys On my way out of her room I bump into my sleepy, stumbling son who is trying to find the bathroom. Kiss him on the head and then I remember. I have to finish checking my work email. Wait, my coffee. Which one first?  Crud! I was going to write. Where the heck did all these dishes come from in the sink? As you can see, that didn’t go well. KAPOW! Time’s up!

3. The next idea that pops into my brain is I will do this said writing during the four year old’s “quiet time”. This is an easy one. It will go like this:
I end up writing ideas down for a story for the podcast in between her incessant needs to try to get out of quiet time. Guess how much creative writing I get done?

So here I am. The best option I came up with. Blog. I have fun writing for people. I have fun being creative in what I write. I just needed something to write about. What better subject than something entertaining you know inside and out? That would be my children.
They keep me on my toes every minute of the day. They keep me on the straight and narrow. They make me a better person. They make me crazy. They make me say things I never, ever thought I would have say to another person. “We DO NOT eat baby wipes! I don’t care how delicious they smell!” They keep me honest and keep me humble. “That’s right! Mama has 12 zits! Great counting!”

This blog is about the world from their perspective, in particular our 4 year old’s perpective. The way she views the world around her can be hilarious at times. She thinks outside the box. It may be WAY out of the box and you may have to look in the room adjacent to the box, but there always seems to be a connection to something you have taught her. I plan to investigate her  thoughts in a fun and light way. If you are up for the adventure, I hope your will join me!  
Welcome to "According to Mags..."!