Monthly Archives: May 2012

Grandparent Invasion


Memorial Day brings on the end of the school year and my parents’ semi-annual vacation.  Because we have lived in so many far away places in such a short period of time, they usually try to visit us during one of them a year.  The children when they were small saw them at least once a month because we were a two-hour drive.  Now, we are 4.5 hours and they came to spend a few days with us.  Of course the kiddies try to compete for their attention which leaves me trembling in my shoes.

It all started with the teen on Sunday morning.  He wanted to see a movie with his friend but we had a trip to the Brookfield Zoo planned.  He decides to text the grandparents to see how many seats their car will hold because on his own he thinks it’s a good idea to invite the friend along.  I had to veto the friend coming along but didn’t find out about the grandparent text conference until later in the day.  Not only can the kids be sneaky but those grandparents can be just as foxy.

As we are headed to the zoo, I realize way too late that none of the darlings has brought along a phone, electronic device, or even a book.  Riding with the queen simply to the store is a major undertaking…adding on an hour was pure torture for everyone involved.

The queen who hadn’t been to the zoo in some time wasn’t sure to make of it but was in a hurry to see the pacyhdermians (this is her created word I might add).  She may have enjoyed them more than the $2.75 snow cone we had to have.  Very glad I saved those Girl Scout cookie boxes.  For every five cartons you turn in at the Brookfield Zoo, one child can get in free.

We had a lovely lunch in downtown Chicago.  On the way out, the tween wants to know how this whole grandparent/parent relationship works.  In his words, “It’s kind of strange when it is the three of you.  You’re the mom and are in charge but now we are throwing your parents into the mix.  So, Mom, who is in charge?  Do you see the dilemma here?  You realize it is your parents, so do they have a leg up on you?”  Yes, Tween, I see the dilemma but not to fear I am always in charge–just ask your dad.

Monday we headed to Fair Oaks Farm for a little learning on cows.  If you are ever in the area and looking for a place to go for a few hours, I highly recommend checking them out  I do believe the queen enjoyed the cows more than the zoo.  We did however skip the birthing barn.  When you have one that is 11 and another 14–this is not a good time to be checking out the birth of cows–just ask the teen.

Tuesday meant the teen, tween, and queen were headed back to school.  I got the whole day to my parents by myself.  Even though I’m newly 40, spending time alone with my parents rocks!  Actual conversations took place that didn’t include–would you stop doing that, I will be with you in a minute, did you notice I was talking, and Gma, Gma, Grandma.

Summer vacation starts in just two short days.  Check back soon for a glimpse of our fun-filled summer!

Fantastic Friday


Sometimes a mom just doesn’t have enough brain space for worry or time management.  How it is that we get so much done is always a miracle to me.

Thursday evening the teen had a baseball game at 8 p.m.  Yes, on a school night.  Can you believe it?  Of course I had to let the coach know I thought this was crazy and didn’t he know brains needed to rest in order to function correctly and be able to learn the next day.  His response, “Yes, ma’am”.  During the game, my husband emails me that the teen has been hurt and that they are coming home.  To me this means his leg might need to be amputated and we are going to spend several hours at the hospital.  Guess what?  It was only a little bruised.  Nothing that some Tylenol and ice didn’t fix.

Along with the injury was a loud bump in the laundry room which followed with me yelling at the tween.  I figured he had knocked down something in the bathroom.  Our kids are great for causing towel rods to become dislodged from the wall.  Since we haven’t put the one back up in their bath I knew it couldn’t be that so I my I had moved on to the shower rod.  It was none other than a 100 ounce bottle of Downy that fell off the window ledge and spilled all over the laundry room floor.  It is still a mystery as to how this happened because no one was in there.  Too bad it couldn’t have been the one I had just emptied.  Cleaning up fabric softener may come in close to being as hard as cleaning up an oil spill in the ocean.

All that excitement makes it hard to sleep (not that people at my age sleep well to begin with) and makes it easy to forget all the other things I needed to do before going to bed.

The tween and the queen were having an outside lunch for the end of a 5th and 1st grade peer mentor program.  This meant I would need two peanut butter sandwiches with the crusts removed.  Normally not a problem but becomes a huge one when there is no bread.

During the no bread dilemma, I get a text from the teen that I didn’t give him any lunch money last night and I really need to get that money to him right away.  Let me add that on top of the bread, and the texts from the teen I had gotten the teen up twenty minutes behind schedule.  He wasn’t overly thrilled with his late wake up call that required him to get out of the house in just ten minutes.

On top of the no lunch money situation, I was getting texts from the husband about his day.  While getting out of the shower, the queen comes to ask why it is her grass skirt won’t stay closed (oh yes, it was Island Day also).

I had been invited to a fun day of shopping with some super moms and was seriously considering backing out of the trip by 7:30 a.m. because there were too many crazy things going on at my own home.  Somehow I made an emergency bread run, texted the friends to say I was going to need a few extra minutes, made the no-crust sandwiches, delivered two children to the bus stop, wrote a second check for the teen’s lunch (I had given him one the night before but it vanished into the lost papers triangle), presented a check for the teen’s lunch to the school secretary, whom I might add thinks he is the best thing since sliced bread, raced home, made the bed, and started the dishwasher.  All of this by 8:45 a.m.!  Let the shopping begin!

Just as I finish this post the teen stands by my side holding that check he swore I had never given him!

Let the Weekend Battles Begin


Most people enjoy the weekend.  Ah, it’s FRIDAY!!! can be heard from so many.  Not that I don’t like Friday, Saturday, and Sunday but it means my children will be able to drive one another crazy for the next 60 hours–I think of it as summer break in little segments.

Here is how mine went:

Pre-battle Friday:  I had gone to school to do a little volunteer work and ran longer than I had planned.  I forgot about the teen’s social calendar and he was hot on my heels when I got home.  Wanting to know where I had been, when was I taking him to X, how long was it going to take me to fix dinner, did I realize he had places I was supposed to take him.  This didn’t go so well for him.  Note to self, he is growing because his eyeballs are now almost level with mine.

Dinner Battle:  The war brewed when it was time for dinner.  The teen wanted to instruct the queen on OJ pouring and the tween decided to drag his heels on eating brocoli.

After Dinner Bomb:  I had enough of everyone and sent them to clean their rooms.  That will teach them, right?

Sneak Attack:  Saturday morning I took a quick glance in the laundry room and it looked like a bunker had been built out of dirty laundry.  There was a pile seven feet long and two feet high taking up much of the laundry room.  The teen, tween, and queen are notorious for cleaning up their rooms by taking everything to the laundry area.

Bathroom Battles:  While showering the queen barged into my bathroom screaming loudly that the teen was trying to kill the tween and what was I going to do about it.  Still trying to figure out why she is the only person on earth who doesn’t understand that I really like to be alone while showering and brushing my teeth.  Even growing up where five of us lived in a teeny tiny house with one bathroom, everyone left me alone when I brushed my teeth.  I don’t think I have brushed my teeth alone for at least the past week.

Waffle Bombs:  The queen has learned to use the toaster and uses it every chance she gets.  Saturday seemed like a good day for her to practice her culinary skills.  While heating waffles, she and the teen decided to debate the legal rights of a seven-year old and whether or not the Constitution involves her.  This rose to a very loud crescendo which then required my prowess.  I did what any crazy mom would do and started throwing away waffles.  The teen decided it was his legal right to eat waffles and get a ride to baseball which I was beginning to think might not happen anytime in the next century.

Mom Attack:  I get the teen to the ball field when he discovers he has forgotten his cleats and why don’t I just go home and get them.  After the morning I had I wasn’t sure I wanted to so I dragged my feet by going to the ATM, getting a Diet Coke, making my bed, finishing my getting ready process, and getting the queen ready to leave.  I still managed to get them there in time for the game but I allowed him to sweat it out a bit.  He might not be so lucky next time.

Peace Treaty:  By the time the game was over most was forgotten.  The teen apologized for being a jerk (his word choice not mine), he’s starting to realize it is a waste of words to argue with the queen and that I’m not very nice when I get interrupted twice while getting ready in the morning.  He made my heart happy when he apologized but he did let me know his team mates thought it was kind of mean for me to throw away perfectly good waffles.

Summer vacation starts when?



Mother’s Day


With Mother’s Day hanging in the breeze I thought it would be a good time to reflect on my mother and how we have ended up being so much the same.  Young people always vow to be different from their parents and in some cases they are but sometimes it ends up being a similar book with a different cover.  For example, the queen plans to never marry or have children but she thinks I’m coming to live with her and do all the cooking, cleaning and laundry.  I never planned to marry either but sure wasn’t planning to take my mom with me.

As some of you know, I have a huge thing about Diet Coke with ice, in a cup, with a lid, and a straw.  Where do you think this crazy habit came from?  My mom of course.  She was probably around my age when my dad started calling her ever-present cup St Christopher of Plastic Cups.

Currently, I have a freak thing going with plastic in the microwave and the dishwasher.  I am sure the Tupperware salesperson I use wishes I had never met her.  I ask so many questions about its safety that she sends me links to different research articles.  In case you would like to know, BPAs have not been present in Tupperware brand products since the 70s.  My freaking out about weird stuff of course comes from my mom.  I grew up in the 70s when people dropped acid and who knows what all.  Seems as though she read an article about the tattoo prizes in Cracker Jack being laced with acid.  We were by no means allowed to lick that slip of paper and slap it on some body part because our brains might explode.  Imagine the surprise of me and my sister when Grandma gave the queen a package containing tattoos at Christmas.

Not only were Cracker Jack tattoos forbidden but so were Pop Rock candies.  Don’t you know they might get swallowed and you choke on them jumping around in your stomach.  Guess who actually buys Pop Rocks for my kids.  Oh yes, Grandma once again and she actually eats them too.  Let me add that I don’t because I’m more concerned about tooth decay.  But that’s okay, I don’t allow the queen to use stick on nails because they might trap fungus on the nail and cause her to lose them all.

My mom had this phrase “if you have to ask the question you already know the answer.”  She would whip it out when you wanted to do something that wasn’t really okay but wanted permission to do it anyway.  Guess who has fallen victim to the phrase?  Everyone who lives in my house and a few extra folks and it was uttered by me not my mom.

There were three of us and I have three myself.  My mom was always throwing out a name, and then, another, and sometimes the dog’s and even her brothers’ in hopes of getting it right.  Well, the same is happening to me especially when I’m going on voice and not appearance.  At the stages of life my three are in, it is hard to tell by voice alone who I am addressing.  Let’s just say the teen doesn’t like to be confused for the queen.

So, don’t forget to thank mom for all the fun things that make up who you are.  If you are buying a gift and running short on time or short on cash, consider offering the services of loading the dishwasher daily for a week or even a month (this is mainly for the teen who reads my blog).  I truly believe it would be similar to winning the lottery.  There is nothing better than waking to an empty sink.

Weekend Woes


Wow!  Time can sure fly when you are having fun.  It has been a quick Saturday and Sunday and it is get ready for Monday already.

In just over two days we have

  • worked on a school project which is still not finished
  • competed at a track meet
  • lunched out and met up with most of the girls’ track team
  • vomited on more than one occasion
  • ate gopher guts
  • earned a fun badge with Girl Scouts
  • sanitized softee
  • had an if you can reach you can eat it dinner

The tween has a huge state project on Kentucky due in the morning but he wakes up in the night Friday with a great case of a stomach virus or an inner ear infection.  So, it’s off to the doctor for us in the morning.  I am probably the world’s worst mom when it comes to a sick kid.  Vomit I due not do.  Thankfully, I have a husband who is able to take care of that kind of spillage because it would have to just sit there until we moved again.

The teen competed in his last track meet of the season and we had agreed to take him out to a lunch of his choice.  He picks BW3s which is fine with us.  Imagine my surprise when most of the girls’ track team shows up after we had ordered.  The teen says, “Oh yeah, I heard them say something about coming here.”  He decides to be shy for the first time in his life and refuses the offer to go sit with them.  This causes a huge chorus of we love you teen please come sit with us.  I had to fill in that he loves his mama and wants to stay with me.  For some crazy reason, this didn’t stop the chorus nor did it embarrass the teen.

Softee had to be sanitized this weekend (this means it was in the washer for 1 hour and 44 minutes on hot).  This is the queen’s attachment, lovely, constant companion, can’t sleep without her.  Each time I wash it I secretly hope that it disintegrates.  Softee is really pretty nasty–I have been known to use the tongs to transfer it from the bedroom to the washing machine.  I has more hole than blanket.  The queen can now wear it over her head–kind of like a royal robe.

We didn’t really eat gopher guts.  I just decided to rename banana pudding thinking if I decided not to make it the queen wouldn’t get her feathers all ruffled.  She insists banana pudding is gopher guts and believes it should be served at the next Daisy meeting.  Imagine the emails and phone calls I would get from serving that.

I am truly enjoying the if you can reach it you can eat it dinner tonight.  The teen isn’t hungry, the tween isn’t eating (which saves on clean up), and the queen is fascinated with frozen waffles and the toaster.  She thinks she is really big stuff being able to operate the toaster…one day when she leaves our nest, she will at least be able to serve frozen waffles and Carnation Instant Breakfast (she may want to practice securing the lid on the Tupperware shaker).

Have a great week and enjoy the last few weeks of school.  You are breathing my air or staring at me will soon be taking place in a home near you.