Sunday, June 28, 2009

"Swing Dancing" at the park.

The set-up:
I accidentally brought the kids to 4-H Camp almost three hours early. (Paige over-compensated for 'homeschooler time' when writing the check-in time on the calendar).
We decided to back-track and let the kids run around at a local park, while I chilled out in the van.

I had the radio on while the kids were on the swings (they could not hear the music).

Friday, June 26, 2009

I'll Take It

It was one of those typical fights with a teenager. You know, the kind that get so ugly no one can tell who the teenager is?
It was over hotdog buns, if you can believe it.
Her friend was in the room and saw the whole thing. He had a look of eager anticipation, like he was waiting for one of us to ask his opinion on the matter, or to possibly choose sides.
Not happening.
(In our family, reaching outside the fight as it's happening to call for back-up is a sign of weakness. If you cannot fight the battle on your own, you've already lost.)
Later, I was still stewing over the fight, and though I knew the friend would have given his honest opinion of the argument as I drove him home, I have strict rules about discussing parenting and/ or my marriage with my kids' friends, so I had to stew in silence.
Instead, we discussed his tutoring my kids in math over the summer, and his varying work schedule.
Then I received a text-
"Dear parental unit:
im very sorry i said disrespectful things 2 u.
I was very stressed out.
But thats no excuse.
I hope u can forgive me.
I love u!"

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What Kind of a Mother Would...

My friend Joe told me yesterday that he overheard a woman in Lowe's threaten her children with,
"If you two don't behave, I'm going to give you away to strangers who will feed you nothing but dogfood!"
Joe, himself a father of one grown son, thought that was a terrible thing to say to one's children.
I thought it was pretty funny, and I'm sure if I threatened my children with the same thing, they'd call my bluff. Dogfood has to be better than whole-wheat pasta, right?

Another story takes place at my house. Angie brought her kids and visiting father to my house for our book club. Her toddler was asleep in the van, and her father had planned to nap in the van, as well, after he used the bathroom. It turned out that he enjoyed sitting out on the deck, and so that's where he stayed. All the kids were running in and out, shouting and having a great time. As I gave Angie the tour of the house, and back yard, she scanned the children crouched at the edge of the pond she asked, "Where's the baby?". A look of horror crossed her face and she spun around and raced back to her van. Both side doors were open, and the baby was still asleep in his seat. He was fine. But it easily could have been every parent's worst nightmare.

I've said for ten years that when I write my parenting book it will be titled, "Where's Tess?", because from infancy on, she was notorious for getting left behind on family outings.

I think every mother starts out self-righteous. We read stories in the paper, or hear tales at the park, and more often than not, one of the women, with a judgmental tone in her voice, will say "What kind of mother would..."
This is because they are so completely consumed with thoughts of their child that even in their chronic state of sleep-deprivation they cannot imagine being so careless, rude, or forgetful.

After a couple years, the child will get lost at the store while the mother is reading labels, or will wander down the street one summer afternoon wearing nothing but a Barney snowboot.
That mother will grapple with reality: either she is a terrible mother, just like those other terrible mothers she heard about.... or she is a good mother who turned her back for one brief moment and chaos happened, and those other mothers were also good mothers dealing with the chaos that comes with parenting.

And with any luck, she will laugh, be thankful everyone is okay, and will lose the self-righteous attitude.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Harrison's Computer Art

Harrison uses Paint to create pictures that are pretty cool. Check 'em out!

"Man and Reptile"

"Dark Spiderman"





Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mom Party vs Teen Party (Mom Party Won)


Melinda and Elby


Maggie and her bourbon.


Amazing dinner by Erica and Lori.

With sunblock!

Pip being goofy.

Joe giving Sadie a "gummi worm wet willie".

Someone feed this boy a cheeseburger, stat!

Teens don't sit on furniture... they clot.

Pip? Pip! No!!

Oh, Nooooooo!!!!

Just kidding.
The wind blew it over, and Pip lifted it off. That's his story, and he's sticking to it.
What log?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Valley World of Warcraft

Swatara invited us to VWOF for her birthday party. I had never been there, and the three kids I took with me also had never been.
We all had a great time, and got to see our friends.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Only the First One Gets Poetry

The rest are lucky to get a toothbrush!

Sadie is not going to 4-H Camp this year because she wanted the money to go to Summer School, instead.
As her younger siblings head off to 4-H Camp, she's been feeling nostalgic, and browsing through old camp cards, letters, programs and photos.
Terminally sentimental, she has kept it all, in organized folders and boxes, year by year.

I came across this letter we sent to her in 2007:

A 4-H Camp Poem from Mom

Don't stay up too late,
Don't sleep in too long,
Don't pierce your ears to try to belong.

Don't flip anyone off when they take your picture,
Don't do anything that will cause Randy to lecture.

Be helpful and kind.
Don't just sit on your behind.
When making food choices, keep your roommates in mind.
(Don't eat the Beanie-Weenies, they'll make you all farty.)
Oh! And invite all your friends to the 2007 MUD PARTY!!


A 4-H Camp Poem from Dad

Don't sneak out of your cabin.
With the boys, please don't flirt.

Don't drink any beer
Or wear a short skirt.

Don't drown in the pool
On your pillow don't drool

While you're gone, we miss you more than you think,
But we've saved for you all the dishes in the sink.

Enjoy all your classes
Remind the boys I'll kick their... butts.

Don't spoof your drink when you laugh during lunch
And remember...
You're still my little girl and I love you a whole bunch!


Monday, June 15, 2009

Marco... Polo... Marco... Hey, You're Cheating!

We went to the pool today.
It was a great time, with lots to look at.

At first, I thought this was "Magnum", until I realized he was turned to the right. "Blue Steel", it is.

Guy in the background... "They see me rolling, on my segway..."
White & Nerdy- Your Team!

Eddie Munster Caveman- Your Team!

Arden with "pool hair".

Me, with pool... everything.

Caption Needed!
This looks like an advertisement out of a magazine.
What product are they selling?
(post in my comments)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Infant Shower (don't say "B@BY!")

"Do you hear that, up in the nest, Harrison?"
"Yes, I do!"
"What's in the nest?"
"Well, they hatched, and what came out?"

"Hey, Mommy, what does 'infant' mean?"
"Nice try!"

"Be nice to Harris- he's your big brother!"
"He is not! He's my b-bad brother!"

And so the day went, with each of us trying to trick the others into saying the 'b' word.

The first thing I noticed about Jackie's sister was her large, white...

But it was actually Danny who flashed his rack a few times and got most of the b@by beads.

Our musical guest tonight is Jackie, singing a soulful hymn:

And now a word from our sponsor:

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Annndd we're back!
There were some interesting food choices at this party:

Jungle Cake

Fruit Pram

Baby-Sock Flowers with Chocolate Sauce for Dipping

Pregnancy can be a strange time for a woman. Jackie is known for throwing up at parties, but this time it was her guests who were nauseated by her latest weird food craving- cotton balls!

However, Jackie seemed to enjoy them so much that soon everyone else was strapping a pantyliner across their face and digging in.


Now, a word from our sponsor:

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