We’ve Got High Hopes

Oh yes, yes we do!  And those hopes started soaring around the end of July. In an effort to encourage some independent reading on the part of our reluctant reader (Sweetboy), Sweetman downloaded an adapted version of “The Swiss Family Robinson” onto the iPad.   We took a small gamble that the ultimate family adventure story would be up Sweetboy’s alley, since he doesn’t enjoy reading much of anything.  Other than maps. Oh, how he loves his maps.  He also has a little love affair with the iPad, so there was that in our corner, too. Y’all?  It. Is. Awesome.  We had forgotten how engrossing that story is!


Sweetboy also adores snuggling in with me or Sweetman to read at night.  For that, we are so thankful.   And on that, we decided to capitalize.  When father and son got to the part that referenced the rubber tree plant, Sweetman started singing the song. These are the moments that Sweetboy’s Autism bares itself clothed only in hilarity.  He quite simply informed him that, “Now is not the time for singing. It’s the time for reading, Daddy.”  Alrighty then.


When Sweetman came downstairs and relayed the story to me, I didn’t know what in the blue blazes the “Rubber Tree Plant Song” was, that he was referring to.  So, I did what any Reference Librarian worth their salt would surely suggest: I asked the YouTube.  And here’s what I heard:


And I instantly remembered hearing the song from somewhere in my memory.  Where or under what circumstances? Who in tarnation knows. My brain is fuzzy enough just trying to recall what I told Sweetman we’d have for dinner tonight!  But, it reminded me that next week begins a new year of school.  A new year of opportunities for growth.  A new year of possibilities! And, as Sweetboy prepares to enter the Third Grade next week, that, my Sweetfriends?  That gives me high hopes indeed!

So, what gives ya’ll high hopes?  Do tell!

Newness and What-knot

The times. They are a changin’.  It would seem that newness is everywhere we turn right this minute.  New leaves are turning. New friendships are forming.  New jobs, new dreams, and new favorites are all afoot.  And it is good.

One thing that isn’t new? Sweetboy’s attitude about school.  This is the conversation I inadvertently walked into last night.  And please, by all means, do insert whatever dramatic tones you can just hear in your mind as you read it – I’m quite sure he used those exact ones as he wailed…

Sweetboy:  (Almost with back of hand slapped against his forehead) ” Oh NOOOO!!!  There are only 5 weeks left until I have to go back to school!”  (Followed by much weeping and gnashing of teeth.)

Me:  “Really?  That sounds to me like 35 more days of summer fun!”

And in other news, Sweetgirl, also, hasn’t changed her stance on “I NOT!”, one iota.

Me: (Watching her fling around the new “big-girl” necklace The Nana foolishly generously sent to her) “Sweetgirl, please don’t fling the necklace around and around.  It will get knots in it and Mama will have to work very hard to take them out. (I.E. Won’t be able to take them out because, the eyes?  They ain’t what they used to be.)

Sweetgirl: (C’mon, we ALL know exactly where this is going…) “I NOT flinging it Mama, I am just playing with it and making a commotion!” (Insert shock on my part as I wonder where in the sam hill she learned the word commotion – that’s just above my pay grade, right there.)

Moments, nay, seconds, later…

Knots, anyone?

Sweetgirl: “MAMA!!! My neckwace is all knottered up!  (How does she hear these words I say???)

Oh, yes indeedy.  I’m still working on em’.  I’ll keep you posted.  Or knot.

Funny Ideas – Part Huh?

We made it through our Church’s VBS week.  We came, we saw, we conquered.  Then, we crashed. Here are some of the things that happened this week that made me and/or Sweetman say, “What the huh?”.

I attempted, on Crazy Hair Day, to copy a hair style that I saw on a you-tube video.  In it, the girl placed a water bottle on top of her head, flipped her head upside down, gathered all of said hair around the water bottle and secured it with a ponytail holder.  Still on board, here?  I realized quickly that my hair wasn’t long enough for that.  But I, in my desperation craftiness, remembered that I did indeed have exactly 2 of those cheap plastic two-part wine glasses left over from my 40th birthday party last year.  Yes, friends, I am klassy like that. AND, I can be crafty like that!  This is what I came up with instead:

Gotta few extra plastic party wineglasses laying around?

Aren’t I purty?  Seriously.  Aren’t I?  The mask really completes the look, don’t you think?  No?  Well, just be thankful that I didn’t poke somebody’s eye out with those things!  And not for nothin’, but getting into and out of the car with those things in my hair wasn’t pretty either.

In other parts of the house – I’ve mentioned before that Sweetboy has some funny ideas.  I’m becoming concerned that he has identity issues.  Please see exhibit A below.  And you may or may not remember – the child has blond hair.  Also, he is not a pig. Nor is he a pig with a mole. His artistic sensibilities are baffling:

I’m fairly certain that jet black hair dye is in my child’s future

And lastly, Sweetgirl graciously offered to “help” me make waffles this morning.  Now, I am no whiz in the kitchen.  Nay, I barely “kitchen” at all; but I am often in that derned room of the house making waffles on the weekends.  This?  This was Sweetgirl’s opening salvo as to how she could help me:

Apparently, I neglected to teach her that we always start with CLEAN kitchen items…

And there you have it.

Heading For the Hills (Or As the Case May Be, The Ocean)

I should be sleeping in preparation for our flight outta Dodge tomorrow morning; but instead, I’m here.  Here are the top 5 things that have gone down around here this week.  A few of them even caused a giggle or three.

1) Sweetgirl started packing her own carry on all by herself.  On Monday.  Unfortunately, she’s realized each day that something she packed she’s just “gotsa have now, Mama!”. We’ve spent today rounding up each and every one of those said items and corralling them back into her carry on.

2)  I do solemnly believe that Sweetdog now knows how to spell. I’m 99.9% positive that her ears perked up when she heard me mention packing her bag up for the kennel yesterday.  It may also be why she left us a “parting present” early this morning.

3) Benadryl just may have been created in Heaven, because the sleep we’ve been able to get around here, despite 4 of the 4 of us having colds,  has been divine.

4) The pending trip has an amazing behavior modification effect.  And I like it.  A lot.  Forget about the ol’ Stink Eye.  Go with “Oh My! Whatever will The Nana and Captain Ahab say when they hear/see that next week?”.  Pure gold in verbal form.

5) The thought of being with my peeps down in Florida and letting my hair go all “roller coaster” on me is just fine and dandy with me.  Or, in other news, I’m getting old enough that I just don’t give a hoot.

I’ll be posting some enthralling pictures, I’m sure.  In the meantime, what sorts of things do y’all do to prepare for big trips?

Not Fit For a Princess In Training

We did a little of this today:

And by “this”, I mean that we left the house at 9:00 am and didn’t get back until 5:30 pm. It was a full day of salty sea air, sunshine, and sand. Except for the 3 minutes where Sweetgirl went missing on a very crowded beach and I about lost my lunch at the one minute mark of the search (she was looking for “your umbrella, mama, and I couldn’t find it.”), it was a pretty great beach day.

Now, one would think that on the drive back home these two Sweetchildren of mine, and the two friends we had with us, would be wiped out.  One would be flat-out wrong.  After a day of fun in the sun, this is the conversation that took place in the car:

Sweetgirl:  “Bum Burp Bum Burp Bum Bum Burp”  (Sung to some I-Don’t-Have-A-Clue-What-Kind-Of-Tune.  Followed by squeals of laughter from the 2 nine-year old boys as well as the other little girl in the car.)

Mama:  “Sweetgirl, those aren’t words fit for a Lady.  Especially a lady in training to be a princess.”

Sweetboy:  “But they are if she’s a lady in ‘potty training’ mama, right?”

Oh, dear.  Yes indeed child.  Most unfortunately, yes, indeed.

To Talk Or To Breathe

“Asking you to stop talking is like asking you to stop breathing.  It just doesn’t work out that well for you.”

Sweetman. To me.  When he wanted me to button it up.  Which I rarely do.  If you can even imagine…

We’ve been talking a lot over here.  Sweetman and I always seem to slip more easily into “talk to each other” mode after dinner during the summertime.  What is it about that?  And those kidlets of mine? Sweet Moses, they can be chatty.  I have to admit, though, I secretly love it.  We don’t get to talk much all day during the school year and I just like to hear what’s percolating in those little heads of theirs.  This week, anyway.  I’ll let you know if I still feel that way come July.

It should come as no surprise to anyone then, that today, during our attempt to watch “Madagascar 3” on the big screen, Sweetgirl talked in my ear the Whole Derned Time.  Seriously.  And I had to wonder if I was this chatty when I was her age.  Because, if I was?  I owe my parents a heck of a lot more than some nice Hillshire Farms sausage and cheese baskets.  Word of mercy.

But, and here’s the beauty in this bounty of talking that’s going on around here, I’ve noticed something.  It would seem that much like when we write without censoring for a time, important thoughts, and even coherent ones, begin to emerge.  My ears have been privy to some very interesting inner workings going on inside the heads of Sweetboy and Sweetgirl this week.  I love getting the inside scoop on the thought process behind the myriad choices my children make throughout their day; whether it be the choice of snack, playtime toy, game or book. Here’s what I’m learning:

  1. Children seem to make far better choices when you limit their choices.  Clear as mud?
  2. When given the opportunity to practice imaginary play without any direction, some very interesting conversations take place.
  3. Questions are sometimes asked more to know that mama is near than to know the answer.
  4. An atta-girl or atta-boy is sometimes all it takes to keep the good choices rolling.
  5. And, hugs still rule the day at the end of the, you know… day.

I don’t always get this parenting thing right and sometimes I don’t understand these children that I’ve been given to parent.  But, I am so stinkin’ grateful that I get the chance to try it all over again tomorrow. Especially with these kids. I don’t ever want them to stop The Talking.  Even Sweetman enjoys all the chatter.  Well… I’m fairly certain he’d admit that he’d gladly take a small break from some of mine.  As long as I continue to breathe. Indeed!

What about you?  What interesting things have you had the opportunity to observe about your kidlets now that school’s out?

That Kid Has Some Awfully Funny Ideas

And by funny, I mean ridiculous. As in, “If you don’t knock it off with all of this funny business, there is going to be Big Trouble.”. I do not know what is going on around here with that Sweetboy lately, but shoo-ee!  You’d think a holy horde of hooligans have taken up residence.  But no. It’s just one quirky 9 year ol’ boy.

I give you… Exhibit A:

The defendant’s response was, and I quote, “It looked like the bar at gymnastics. I was practicing.”


I’d also like to present Exhibit B:

The defendant was adamant that, and I quote, “It seemed like a fun place to sit.”


And finally, Sweetboy has blonde hair and blue eyes. Armed with that pertinent information,  I present our final exhibit of the evening. To this, I can only ask, “What The What?”  I give you… his self-portrait from school: