Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mommas, don't let your babies...

Don’t we all do it?

As parents, we worry. We wonder. We try to figure out if we’re doing everything right. We stay up late, feeling guilty because we’re not sure we made the correct choices for our kids.

Some days I feel like I’ve got this parenting thing wired, and that I’m raising my kids in a way I can be proud of.

And then there’s tonight.

Nothing like hearing your four year old daughter singing... “Doncha’ wish your girlfriend was hot like me?!” to really make a person doubt some of their parenting decisions. ;)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

This last weekend our family went camping at Inks Lake. While we were there, we went on a hike, went fishing, actually caught some fish (!), built a campfire, roasted hot dogs and made s’mores, met some new friends at the next campsite (played chase with the new friends in the mud!), and slept in a tent amidst a thunderstorm.

The next day we got home, and spent the afternoon at a BBQ and pool party hosted by some friends, where we ate delicious food, swam in the pool, lounged in the hot tub, played with our pals, and slid down the inflatable water slide.

On Memorial Day, we went to another cookout, where the kids all splashed around on the ‘Slip & Slide’, played water games in the little pool, and had a great time swinging and playing on our friends’ brand new playscape. We cooled down in the afternoon watching a movie and eating brownies and ice cream.

I only mention this because when asked at dinner last night what he wrote in his journal for the best part of his weekend, would you like to guess Davis’s answer?

“I wrote about how we went to the Dollar Store and I got some plastic army men. They’re cool.”

You have GOT to be freakin' kidding me!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Remember yesterday’s blog? Well, I think I spoke too soon.

Yesterday Josie and Davis scootered their little booties home from school, walked in the door, and I overheard them saying to each other:

“You ask her!”

“No, you ask her!”

“No, you!”

That kind of an exchange is never good. It means someone is probably going to ask me one of the following:
1. How babies are made…
2. If I’ve gotten a phone call from their teacher yet…
3. How much it costs to replace a broken window…
4. If they can each have 4 friends come to the house for a sleepover, and they KNOW they were supposed to ask first, but those friends will be here in 5 minutes.

This time, though, they wanted to ask me about a little legend known as ‘Bloody Mary’. (First I ascertained that they were NOT referring to one of their parents’ trips to New Orleans, in which a legendary number of Bloody Marys was consumed. Whew! ;)

Nope…turns out that someone from Josie’s class told her that if you go into a bathroom, close the door, turn out the lights, and say ‘Bloody Mary’ three times fast, that a bloody ghost will appear. Niiiice… Evidently someone has an older brother or sister that enjoys messing with their head.

I, of course, have heard this before. Along with the ‘hook on the car door handle’ urban legend, the ‘dead cat in the Dillard’s bag’ story, and we mustn’t forget the one about ‘discovering an old lady sitting in your car, and it turns out that it’s a DUDE...sitting on an AXE’!. That’s a real gem.

I assured them that it was not true, and that they could go into a bathroom, turn out the lights, and say ‘Bloody Mary’ five thousand times, and the worst that would happen would be that they might get a little hoarse.

So it’s ironic that I blogged yesterday about the fact that, unlike their good old mom, my kids are not freaked out by ‘creepy things under the bed’. Nope, instead they’re just going to refuse to go to the bathroom alone.

And as their mother, I will be there for them… I might just have to leap in and out of bed to do it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


It never fails. Almost every night when Phil and I check on the kids before heading to bed, at least one of them has their legs hanging over the edge of the bed while they’re sleeping.

Clearly my children have not developed a good healthy fear of the monsters under their beds.

Maybe it’s my fault. I have not exposed them to scary movies (unless you count that Space Buddies movie… it is frighteningly bad) Maybe its just the fact that they know they have waaay too much junk under their beds to house a creature larger than one of those cute little ‘Gizmo’ guys from the movie, “Gremlins”. (Phil just informed me that they are called mogwai?! Um, okay.)

But for whatever reason, they have no problem falling asleep, arms and legs all akimbo, half in and half out of bed. It mystifies me. I admit that I will move them back into their beds under the pretense of covering them back up with their blankets.

Seriously, I’m not too proud to tell you that when I wake up in the middle of the night and have to get up, I do not loiter by the side of the bed. I will make a beeline to the bathroom, and waste no time getting back into my cozy bed, quickly swinging my feet up, lest the monsters get any ideas about how tasty my toes might be. And as I’m drifting off to sleep, I certainly don’t dangle any of my extremities over the edge of the bed. No sense tempting the creatures.

I guess it’s too many scary movies from my youth. I know, intellectually, that there is nothing frightening under my bed. And even if there were, Phil’s snoring would scare the bejeezus out of it. ;)

But I also happen to know that I’m not the only adult sufferer of ‘illogical fear of creepy things under the bed’. A good friend told me just a few weeks ago that she, too, gets a little freaked out climbing into bed in the dark, but being an adult, ‘forces’ herself to climb slowly into bed.

My children have no such issues. They do not concern themselves with monsters under the bed. We’ve never had to issue a bottle of ‘monster spray’ to combat scary things under the bed or in their closets. What is 'monster spray'? Well, Family Fun magazine tells you to put scented water in a spray bottle and have your children ‘spray away the boogey man' to calm their fears.

I prefer Binaca myself. Monsters don’t like minty freshness.

Friday, May 22, 2009

"If I were President" by Josie. Age 8

For Josie's 2nd grade spring conference, we chose to do our 'student-led' conference at home. (you mean I get the option to not have to take all three cranky kids up to the school and wait out in the hallway while another mother takes more than her fair share of time discussing her child's 'giftedness'?! Yes, please!)

'Student led' basically means that you sit with your child as they go through a huge mound of their 'best work' from the spring, explaining each and every math problem and glue squiqqle.

My personal favorite? A particular journal entry...

"If I were President I would make laws that stopped:
1. hunting
2. smoking
3. killing and
4. street silliness.

I would put a sighn outside the White House that said: WE STAND UNITED.

I would have a poster outside my office with Americans on it and I would have lunches with famous people. By Josie. Age 8"

Um... street silliness?!! I couldn't stop laughing. When asked what exactly she meant by that, her response:

"You know... like people being silly? In the street? I'd put a stop to that."

Well played, future President.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's in the bag!

It’s almost time. It will be here before we know it… the end of the school year (insert ‘Death Star’ music from Star Wars here ;).

Okay, okay, I admit… it’s time. Time for homework to not be an issue. Time to not have to get up early every morning. Time to not have to pack lunches.

And most importantly, time to retire the smelly, disgusting backpacks.

We start each school year with pristine, new backpacks, emblazoned with their names, packed neatly with supplies and a brand new lunch box featuring: the latest Disney tween movie for Josie (you know: ‘High School Musical VI: The Gang Graduates Community College’), and something with G.I. Joe, Ninja turtles or Power Heroes (basically anything that Mommy can’t remember the names of…) for Davis. New water bottles tucked securely in the side pockets, the front zipper pouch housing a healthy snack for morning snacktime, and folders that don’t look like they’ve sat under a wet towel for 3 days.

Fast forward to May… and frankly, I’m a little terrified to open the kids’ backpacks on any given day (more ‘Death Star’ music here).

And I frequently don’t. It is solely their responsibility when they get home from school to take out their folder, file it in their ‘inbox’, put their lunchbox in the pantry, and hang their backpack on their hook in the laundry room (hey, I figure they have to do it at school… they can do it at home, too!)

Sooo, rarely do I even have to look in their backpacks. But on the occasions when I do, I have discovered that Josie keeps a veritable treasure trove in her backpack of ‘beautiful gems’ (otherwise known as rocks), books, tiny stuffed animals, and itty bitty pencil erasers in the shapes of watermelon slices and gumball machines.

Aaaand last week? Why, a shard of broken glass, of course. Yep. A piece of green glass that she undoubtedly spied on the walk home, and decided that she just *had* to have it because it was so pretty and sparkly!

***Sidenote: Now, I know my beer bottles (c’mon… you KNOW I do!), and I’m pretty certain it was from a Heineken bottle (which had most likely been swiped from dad’s garage refrigerator to be consumed in the park by a group of obnoxious teenagers).

But, anyway, there it lay, in the bottom of my child’s backpack, just waiting to send me to the emergency room for a couple dozen stitches and a tetanus shot.

Davis, on the other hand, has a 6 month collection of crushed snacks in the bottom of his backpack. Don’t want to eat those animal crackers, son? Well, don’t throw them out! Just crush them beyond recognition in the Zip-loc baggy they’re in, and throw the baggy back into the backpack. You know how hard it is to get all that sand out of your car after you go to the beach? Well, D’s backpack is full of ‘cracker sand’. Which turns into ‘cracker mud’ when his water bottle leaks as a result of throwing his backpack into the trees at the park. (Don’t ask.)

But yesterday was the worst. I have mentioned that the kids know to take out their folders, homework and lunchboxes when they get home from school. I have made my expectations very clear. Looking back, I guess I should have included ‘wet socks’ on that list.

Because when I unzipped the boy’s backpack on Monday morning, I discovered the socks he’d worn to Wellness Day on Friday. They had gotten soaked in the water games, and evidently he’d taken them off and shoved them into the bottom of his bag… where they had fermented… all weekend. The smell was a heady mix of wet dog, mildew and sour milk. I practically passed out.

Honestly, school better let out soon… between the disgusting socks and the broken glass, these backpacks may just be the death of me. (Does anybody else hear that damn music?! ;)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Shorties, but goodies...

Here are just a few funny things the kids have said over the last week or so. Very often they say things that just totally crack me up, but they aren’t enough to write an entire blog about them, so here are a few ‘shorts’…


Overheard while shopping with the girls last week…

Josie: Libby, you should listen to me.

Libby: Why?

Josie: Because I’m older than you. I have more experience, and I have a lot of wisdom you need to hear.


Libby, upon getting an ice cream sundae at McDonald’s…

“This is the best day of my life! I’m gonna eat this baby up…”


Last week, Phil was on his cell phone with a business associate, doing the ‘uh-huh’ thing, nodding his head...and when he finally gets off the phone, he says, “Sorry, she reeeally likes to talk.”

Davis: Kind of like Mommy?



Joking around with Davis while he is trying on his suit for swim team…

Me: Dude, you are sooo skinny… you need to eat more!

Davis: I won’t always be skinny. Someday I’ll be like you.

Me: I’m not skinny?

Davis: Nope. But you’re not fat. You’re kinda medium.

Me: Medium?

Davis: Yeah… medium fat.

Niiiiice. That kid is really good for my ego. ;)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

You have GOT to be freakin' kidding me!

To quote my husband’s favorite expression… “You have GOT to be freakin’ kidding me!”

Not to belabor the point…. I mean, I know I’ve already blogged about my kids waking up early on Saturday mornings, but it seriously bugs me.

This morning for example, I just KNEW my kids would sleep in for a little bit, considering that yesterday was Wellness Day at school (which is basically ‘Field Day’ on steroids), and they were outside playing all day.

When I picked them up from school, we immediately headed to the pool to meet some friends, and we swam for a couple of hours. Once at home, we had our traditional pizza and movie night, where we ate frozen pizza that was just the teensiest bit… um, crunchy (read: burned), and watched ‘Oliver and Company’ (Haven’t seen it? It’s a Disney classic. Well as classic as a movie that has little dogs sporting the voices of Billy Joel and Cheech Marin can be.)

Anyway, I just knew they’d be worn out. I knew that they’d be asleep the minute their heads hit the pillow, and I just KNEW that I would be able to luxuriate in bed until at least… oh, 7:45?

So imagine my irritation when a little person came into my room at 6:30 this morning with one simple request… “Mommy, could you check my toothpaste now?”

You have GOT to be freakin’ kidding me!!

Okay, okay, I admit that it’s partly my fault. I TOLD the kids today would be ‘toothpaste check day’, I just didn’t realize they’d get up THAT early, brush their teeth, and want me to check their tubes of toothpaste.

Now you may be asking what the hubbub about the toothpaste is… (well, maybe you’re not, but I’m going to explain it anyway, just so you don’t think I’m some kind of toothpaste tube Nazi.)

A few weeks ago, we were having toothpaste issues. The kids would squeeze it up, let it get congealed on the top, and lose the cap. The tube was just gross. To combat the problem, I bought each of them their own tube of toothpaste, labeled it with their names, and told them I would be checking their toothpaste. A clean tube of toothpaste earned them each a trip to the dollar store. (FYI… my kids plus the dollar store? Well, that’s another blog! ;)

They have been asking me everyday for two weeks… “Are you checking toothpaste today?”

My answer? “Hmmm…. I MIGHT. I guess you’d better make sure it’s clean.”

“The cap, too?”

“The cap, too.”

Last night I mentioned that I would probably do my ‘toothpaste check’ this morning…

I guess I should have thought it through. I guess I could have told them I would be checking in the afternoon. I guess if I'd really wanted to sleep in, I wouldn't have mentioned it at all.

I guess I should end this blog so we can go to the damn dollar store now. ;)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Time after time after time...

Time is a tricky thing.

I only say this because I spent the drive home from the pool with my kids today discussing ‘time’.

Josie: Mommy, what was there before the 1900’s?

Me: The 1800’s.

Josie: No, I mean… before the teen numbers? What were the years called?

Me (completely confused and little woozy from the sun): Huh?

Josie: What was there before the 1100’s? Would people say, like, 896?

Me (finally understanding): Yes, it would be the year 896 A.D.

Which, of course, led into the discussion of ‘A.D.’ and subsequently ‘B.C.’ (fortunately it was a pretty lengthy drive home from our friend’s pool ;)

And this conversation led in a most roundabout way to celebrating Christmas.

Josie: Mom, did you know that no one really knows when Jesus was born, and we just happen to celebrate his birthday in December?

Davis: Um, yeah we do! He was born on Christmas!

Josie: No, He’s just WHY we celebrate Christmas. No one really knows the exact date Jesus was born.

Me: That’s true. Nobody knows the exact day he was born.

Davis (shrugging): Why don’t they just Google it?

Wow… if all of life’s questions could be solved so simply. ;)

Monday, May 11, 2009


I love my husband. For Mother’s day, he bought me a gun.

I couldn’t have been more excited! I’d been looking at different ones on-line, scouring the web for the best deals, and whenever I would come across someone in daily life who had the one I’d been eyeing, I’d ask to try theirs out.

I’d feel the heft in my right hand, feel that urge to squeeze the trigger, and I’d just know that I had to have one of my own.

So when Phil surprised me with it for Mother’s Day, I couldn’t wait to get it out of the box and try it out (after, of course, reading the instruction manual and figuring out how to load the thing!)

Unfortunately I’ll have to wait a week or so… the tape didn’t come with it, and we had to order that separately. So, I’m waiting, waiting, for my tape rolls to come in…

Um… huh? Yes, tape. TAPE! It’s a tape gun, people. Geez, what did you think I was talking about? ;)

And it’s beyond awesome. Flowers are sooo yesterday… what shows your wife that you truly love and adore her? A tape gun. But not just ANY tape gun…an industrial size adhesive applicator typically used in frame shops, but we scrapbookers are claiming them as our own.

Forget those wimpy little tape runners… glue dots, be damned!

I’m going to be using this bad boy, ‘Charlie’s Angels style’.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

In honor of Mother's Day...

Just thought I'd share this little poem that my son wrote for me...

My mom loves Me. She makes the best crafts
I Love my mom

How totally awesome is that?! He wrote one for his dad, too, but um, hello?! That one will NOT be making an appearance for at least another month and a half ;)

Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful moms.

You, too, are outstanding. :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Okay. I have a confession. A confession that’s going to make me sound much more ‘Suzy Homemaker-ish’ than I really am. Really.

I love my Crock-Pot. Yep, loooove it.

I actually own two Crock-Pots (or ‘slow-cookers’, if we’re going to get technical). One that is the ‘standard’ size which I use most of the time, and the other is the ‘Big Mama’ one, suitable for feeding a crowd of approximately fifteen hundred.

I just love the way my house smells when I’m cooking something in my Crock-Pot. I love how easy it makes my day. I love being able to hang out with my friends at the park for an extra 45 minutes in the afternoons, watching our kids play, knowing that dinner is ready the minute we walk in the door.

And now that they make those nifty bags that you put in the slow-cooker before you use it, and then just throw away when you’re cleaning up? Well, when I discovered those, I swear that the heavens opened up and the angels sang a little chorus of 'No more scrubbing! Alleluia!' Or maybe that was just Phil ;)

Of course, sometimes (like tonight), I have a little trouble with the Crock-Pot knob. I know, I know. It shouldn’t be that difficult. I mean, really, what are the options?

Well, there is ‘Warm’ for the first option. I don’t really use that setting very often, except for when I’m making hot cheesy dip, and I need to keep it warm for my party-goers. And, of course, when I’m melting the wax from my ‘spa-at-home’ bikini wax kit. Wow…I bet you’ll never eat cheese dip at another one of my parties, am I right?

The next setting is ‘Low’ and it is, by far, my favorite one to use. Get the kids off to school, throw a bunch of random stuff into the crock-pot, and open the lid approximately every 2 hours to smell the delicious goodness.

Well, at least I start off the day very HOPEFUL that it will be delicious. I must admit I have had a couple of mishaps with my Crock-Pot. There was this one time with tuna… well, I don’t want to get into it, but let’s just say- it wasn’t pretty. Oh, and this other time with spareribs. They *were* pretty. They just tasted like crap. With barbecue sauce.

But I have had many more successes than failures on the ‘Low’ setting. I have several ‘tried and true’ recipes that are always a big hit. There is, of course, Jen’s brisket and gravy recipe. My Mexican Chicken chowder. That chicken swissy thing… I’m not sure of the actual name of the recipe, I’m sure it’s something much more clever than ‘that chicken swissy thing’, but it has chicken in it, and swiss cheese. So…um…well, yeah.

I’m a little more apt to screw things up on the ‘High’ setting. It doesn’t always happen, but food can go haywire with the ‘High’ setting. Most things cook just fine, but when they don’t, they are either totally undercooked or completely overcooked. So, my chicken is either still pinkish when I cut it (of course, JUST as the children are in the kitchen, ‘fainting from hunger, Mom!’) or it’s so dry that we have to dip each bite in a glass of water before we attempt to chew it, a la ‘Christmas Vacation’ with the Griswolds. Come on, you know the scene… the one with the Christmas turkey. I’m choking a little just thinking about it.

And then there’s tonight. Meatballs with BBQ sauce… easy, breezy, right? Just about anything in the crock-pot tastes good when doused with barbecue sauce (with the exception, evidently, of spareribs.) Unfortunately I didn’t pay attention to the part about cooking them for 3 hours… on HIGH. Cooking them for three hours on ‘Low’ just wasn’t going to do the trick.

So, I guess I know what we’re having for dinner tomorrow night. Because tonight turned out to be a trip to Taco Bell.

Stupid knob.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Your kid's so cute, they should be in a magazine!

This, my friends, is a magazine ad. Yep. That’s right. It is from the ‘in-flight’ magazine for Frontier Airlines. One of those nifty little magazines that is conveniently tucked into the back of the seat in front of you (no, not ‘SkyMall’… the OTHER one! You know, the one where the idiot that flew before you attempted the crossword but wrote in all the wrong letters? In pen?!)

But even better… it’s a magazine ad that features two people that I love very much. Now the last magazine ad that featured two people that I love very much was an ad for the new Muppet movie, starring Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog, but even *that* wasn’t as blog-worthy as this.

This is one of my bestest friends in the entire universe, Jen… (you may have seen her various and witty comments on this here blog!), and her daughter, Allie. Allie was born just a few months before Davis, and Jen actually went into LABOR with the little darlin’ at my house! (Sidenote: she didn’t think it was labor… she just thought she had indigestion… from my cooking?! Humph!)

To this day, I believe we cemented our friendship through being pregnant together, getting irritated with our husbands together, traversing the first few years of ‘mommyhood’ together, and weathering a few storms together.

And this magazine ad brings me to one such storm. A few weeks after Allie was born, she was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. If you’re not familiar with CF, it’s a pretty terrible disease. Fortunately, Allie stays healthy with her regimen of daily enzymes, vitamins, and breathing treatments.

She’s also a kind of a spunky child. She definitely has a mind of her own (a kid after my own heart...) Jen and I always joke that Allie and Davis were separated at birth. Together, the two of them could… well, I don’t want to even think about what mischief the two of them could create! I think one day they’ll probably get married, and then God help us all! ;)

So every year, we have ‘Allie’s Walk’… okay, well it’s actually the ‘Great Strides Walk’ to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis research, but around here, we prefer just to call it ‘Allie’s Walk’. I'm including the link for more information about the walk, information about how you can donate some spare change, and more about Cystic Fibrosis.
(Seriously… educate yourselves, people!)

Unfortunately for yet another year, the Linsons will be at the walk in spirit only (hey, it’s in Denver, okay?!), but even from Texas, we’ll always be a part of ‘Allie’s Alliance’ (cool team name, huh?) Because we love this kid, and we love her family, and we send a prayer up to heaven every day that a cure is found.

And the sooner, the better. :)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Three weeks later...

In the immortal words of my dear friend, Marcy...

"Sorry. Just not feelin' it right now. Be back later."