Category Archives: Out of the mouths of babes….

Odds and Ends

Good morning everyone!

I just have a little bit of this and a little bit of that to share this morning, so we will be jumping around some.

  • How do you know if you’re absent-minded?

I was, unfortunately, presented with two unmistakable signs this morning that I am, indeed, prone to be absent-minded.  The first was when, after trying on her own for about five minutes, Kayla came to me for help in finding the peanut butter.  After checking behind her on the counter and in the pantry, I suggested that she try the refrigerator, since every once in a while when I am not paying attention to what I am doing, I put the peanut butter in there.  See, Peanut Butter in the Refrigerator.  Sure enough, there it was, on the top shelf.

The second was when I couldn’t find my glasses.  After roaming our bedroom and bathroom and the great room looking everywhere I could think of, I suddenly put my hands up to my face just to be sure I wasn’t looking for my glasses with them already on my face.  (I have done that before.)  To my immense relief, they weren’t there, but the fact that I had to check is very telling.

  •    Free Slushies

Kayla announced at the dinner table the other night that she would be excited when she got to middle school, where “they” have “free slushies for 75 cents.”  She offered to bring one home for each of us, too.


  • Mandy

Mandy is still eating interminably slow.  While this is great for blogging in the mornings, it presents many other problems in terms of morning preparations, since she won’t eat unless I am sitting here at the table beside her and she is extremely prone to be distracted.  When Kayla comes out for breakfast, she stops eating.  If Kayla leans down to pet her, she stops eating.  If Tyra wanders by, she stops eating.  If she hears any noise in the kitchen, she stops eating.  I bet a butterfly landing on a branch on the other side of the world would be enough for her to stop eating.  The only saving grace is Darwin; if he is anywhere in the vicinity of her and her food, she will eat faster – apparently Tyra is allowed to take her food away if she chooses (it’s been a while since Tyra has done that), but Darwin, as the junior member of the pack, is decidedly not.  Since he’s asleep and snoring in the den right now, I don’t think she has anything to worry about.

Mandy and Darwin, but not while Mandy is eating!

Have a great day!


You know it’s bad when….

You know it’s bad when your 9 year old daughter tells you that you need to go ahead and take your nap so that you won’t be so grumpy!  Yes, she really said that, and the sad part is that she was right!

Hope all of you are having a great weekend!


Kayla’s Conundrum

Good morning everyone!

In case you haven’t noticed, it has gotten hot again.  That ugly two word phrase “heat index” which usually comes with the equally ugly “heat advisory” has slipped back into my weatherman’s vocabulary.  I think our heat index was somewhere between 106 and 108 the other day.   When that happens, our house gets a little warm; our poor air conditioner does the best that it can, but only manages about a 20 – 25 degree temperature differential during the day.  At night the house cools down, but when the heat index is over 100, it is still several hours after sundown before the air conditioner gets to rest. 

The other night, we put Kayla to bed at her usual bedtime.  An hour later Kayla started crying, so I went into her bedroom to see what the fuss was about.  She told me, “Mommy, I’m hot.”  I gently pointed out to her that the fact that she had her bedspread,  a thick blanket and a sheet tightly cocooned around her might have something to do with it.  She emphatically disagreed. 

Rather than teach her elementary thermodynamics at 9 p.m. on a Tuesday night, I decided to make another gentle suggestion.  Perhaps, I urged politely, the room might feel cooler if she used her ceiling fan?  As I did so, I turned the fan on for illustrative effect.  I was told that solution, too, was unacceptable because it meant that the fan would be rotating while she was asleep.  A little less gently and politely, I mentioned that the fan rotating was the whole point of the exercise.  She remained unimpressed.

At that point, the tired parent part of me kicked in.  I told her that I was sorry she was hot, but she had to stay in bed.  As she crawled back under her comforter, the blanket and the sheet, I had one last idea.  I told her that I would bump the air down another two degrees, but that it would take a while for her to feel any effect because the air conditioner hadn’t even gotten below 76 yet.  A little teary-eyed, she sniffled her way to sleep as I closed the door. 

Kayla managed to find her way to sleep and out of her conundrum.  When she got up the next morning, she showed me that she had turned on her fan.  She also conceded that having it on did make her feel better.  Whether this was sans bedspread and blanket, she failed to share. 

Have a great day everyone!


Bird Watching, Twinkle and Dog Rules, the Sequel

Good morning everyone!

  • Bird Watching

    From Print Shop Professional 2.0

I am writing this post today with a copy of Bird Watcher’s magazine sitting next to me. Why have I subscribed to Bird Watcher’s magazine when my experience with bird watching is limited to the birds I see at zoos, the birds that sit on my fence, and the birds that sit on lamp posts, electrical wires, and the huge flocks of sparrows that wheel through this area in the fall?  Am I eagerly starting a new hobby that would require me to tramp through wilderness at the crack of dawn armed with a binocular and the ability to sit still and silent long enough to see something worthwhile? 

No.  The truth is that I just don’t believe Publisher’s Clearing House when they say that a purchase is not necessary to win their grand prize of $5000 a week for life, and Bird Watcher’s Magazine was one of the best choices available to me. 

  • Twinkle

    From Wikimedia Commons, by the European Southern Observatory

We went and saw Cowboys and Aliens Friday night, and riding home Kayla got kind of sleepy.  Mark felt like singing, so, joking around, he started to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”  That woke Kayla up enough for her to say, “The stars are beautiful, but they don’t really twinkle, do they?”  Score again for the 9-year-old!

  • Dog Rules, the Sequel

    Mandy's close-up

A while ago, I wrote a post about the hierarchy my dogs use, Dog Rules.  While I retain the sobriquet of She-Who-Feeds-Us-Every-Morning, Mandy has also awarded me with the title of She-Whom-I-Must-Ask-To-Let-Me-Out-Immediately-After-She-Settles-Down-On-The-Couch-For-The-Evening.  Her timing is always impeccable.  No matter how late it is, (The term late is relative; I need to be on the couch by 8 to start settling down for bed at 9, so I am referring to whether I sit down at 8, 8:30 or 8:45), and how long Mark and Kayla have been on the couch already, the minute I sit down and pull out my cross-stitch, she comes up to me to tell me that she needs to go out.  Darwin, never wishing to be left behind, joins in.  Tyra usually skips this mid-evening excursion, because she has already staked out her spot on the sofa so she can sit by Mark. 

Tyra on the couch

Mark thinks it’s funny.

Have a great day everyone!


Magnetic Attraction

Good morning!

I hope everyone had a nice Fourth of July.  We had a nice one, a quiet weekend, with a lot of laughter, but not the kind of things you can easily share, except for Kayla’s chiding comment to Mandy that Mandy needed to improve her “altitude.”  While all of us will admit that Mandy is vertically challenged, more altitude is not something she needs.  I saw her leap this weekend greeting someone and when she did, her face was level with this person’s face.  Kayla meant “attitude”, but I am afraid that when dealing with “No-no”, attitude is a lot cause. 

Today, however, I am sitting here eating breakfast, hoping against hope that the (new) shirt I am wearing is not magnetic.  Although magnetic shirts are not a part of most people’s life, I am extraordinarily gifted at picking out shirts that attract food stains.  Other people go blithely throughout life with shirts that never see a stain, but not me.   

Spaghetti sauce is especially attracted to everything that I wear, with the power of the attraction increasing geometrically to the whiteness of the shirt involved.  I have seen the sauce leap a four foot gap just to reach my shirt – without hitting anyone or anything else in the room! 

Most people (except perhaps my husband) encounter trouble with spaghetti sauce somewhere along the line, but my shirts attract much more than just spaghetti sauce.  Any kind of sauce or dressing is a lock to reach my shirt, and I have even gotten stains from food items that should tamely stay either on the plate or in my mouth where they belong, including simple things like apples and carrots. 

I was afraid I was going to find a new source of shirt attraction last year when I started art lessons.  Strangely, although you would think that my shirts’ magnetism would be even stronger when it comes to paints and pastels and charcoal, they are not.  Paints, pastels and charcoal are much more interested in reaching paper than they are in reaching my shirt, although there was the one incident when some oil paint overcame its attraction to the canvas to leap instead onto one of my shirts.  Of course, it took a pure white shirt to accomplish that. 

Is there a solution to this problem?  I am not sure, but I have at least learned one thing:  Shout is definitely my friend!

Have a great day everyone!


The Rest of the Story….

Hi Everyone!

Last week, when I picked Kayla up from art, her art teacher told me that she wished she could have written down half of the things Kayla said while she was teaching her because they were so funny.  I laughed and told her that now she knew why I had started a blog; the material I have available is just too good to waste. 

Two days later, as I was trying to coordinate day camp’s free swim time with my need to pick Kayla up early for the orthodontist, Kayla told me that at day camp, “The weather doesn’t stop them from doing anything.”  (There was a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon.)  I thought that was kind of funny, so I shared it with the day camp counselors who laughed and then said, “She’s so funny all the time anyhow.”  I told Mark about both of those comments and wondered whether I have a budding comedienne, a chatterbox, a genius, or a combination of all three on my hands. 

Then came our little escapade with the hurricane glass and her elbow.  (Just when I thought I could retire the list….).  While the story itself was too good to add anything else to it, there was an aftermath.  After I got the glass off, Kayla kind of sniffled and cried through the rest of her bath.  I went in to check on her and she said, woefully and through her sniffs, “I should try out for the part of Moaning Myrtle.”  (FN)  I asked why, and she said, “Because all I do is moan, moan, moan.”  I did the only thing a rational parent could do in that situation, which is answer, “Oh!” and start to walk out of the room before I cracked a smile. 

As I was leaving, she looked up at me and said forcefully, “Yes!”  I turned around and said, “What?”  She said, “Yes, you can tell Daddy I said that.”  I told her that I was planning on it and then she said (still sniffling), “That works out then.”  At that moment any effort on my part to keep a straight face was completely lost.  I high-tailed it out of her bathroom into our bedroom laughing.  Mark asked me why, I told him about it, and then he looked at me, grinned and asked, “And you wonder why people tell you she’s funny?” 

Have a great day everyone!


FN.  For those who don’t follow the Harry Potter books or movies, Moaning Myrtle is a girl ghost who floats around sighing and moaning most of the time.

Of Sloths and Moths, Zero-Pack Abs and Other Items

Good morning everyone!

On the four lane and at Patriot Point

You may remember my post from a few days ago, Hometown Heroes:  The 214th Comes Home.  If you do, you will be happy to know that the remaining 57 members of the 214th came home this past Saturday, to the same rousing reception the first group received.  The flags, signs and ribbons were still in place, and I’m sure the people were, too.

Six Pack of Abs - Not for 9 year olds!

Kayla and I stopped at the grocery store on the way home yesterday, and in the checkout line she managed to entertain the (male) cashier, bagboy, and the three adults waiting in line behind us.  It started when I told her not to lift the dog food, it was too heavy.  In a bright, conversational tone, she informed me that everyone in her class said she was “skinny as a rail.”  A trifle indignant on her behalf, I told her that wasn’t true, she was the perfect size for her.  She nodded in agreement, and said, “I know.”  Then she held her arm up in the classic bicep flexing pose to announce to me and the world that, “I’m strong, even if I have a zero-pack of abs!”   That’s when the observers were no longer able to keep a straight face.  I told her she was nine, and didn’t need anything more than a zero pack!

This weekend, just goofing around, I combed my hair completely over my face so that I looked like “Cousin Itt” from the Munsters.  I asked Kayla what she thought of it.  She told me I looked like a moth.  Then she said, “No, not a moth, but it is an animal that sounds like moth.”  It took me three days of rolling it around in the back of my mind before I realized she meant a sloth!  And I have to admit, there was a resemblance.

Sloth: Public Domain Photo by Dave Pape

Have a great day everyone!


Beach Talk

Good morning (almost good afternoon) everyone!

We went to Destin, Florida for a few days, in connection with a meeting I had, and got home last night.  I have one more day off to get us caught up on household chores, especially laundry, before I start back.

Load of Laundry: From Print Shop Professional 2.0

The weather at the beach was pleasant – a little hot, but the breeze off of the ocean made up for it.  I got to play in the ocean for a while late Saturday afternoon.  It was the perfect time to go – late enough that we didn’t have to worry about sunscreen, or fooling with chairs or any other paraphernalia besides towels, and late enough that the water had been warmed by the sun all day, making it enjoyable and refreshing instead of numbing.  There were a few people around, but not many.  Because we weren’t going to be there that long, I left my camera in the room, so you will just have to picture the sugar white sand, with the blue-green turquoise water on your own. 

From PrintShop Professional 2.0

We have been trying to encourage Kayla to be a little braver while swimming in the ocean.  We will let her swim in a pool without a life vest with one of us watching her, but she is not quite a confident enough swimmer yet to do the same in the ocean.  She does well, but every once in a while, even with the life vest, she starts to panic and when she does, she immediately grabs my swimsuit (often in a place where I would prefer a wardrobe malfunction not occur).  At one of those moments this trip, her hand slipped across my back, giving me a scratch.  I told her to be careful, she had just scratched my back , and she looked at me and said, “Usually you like having your back scratched.”  I started to comment further, but decided to let her win that one on points. 

Back Scratch: From Professional Print Shop 2.0

On Friday evening we got ready to go out.   She put on a skort and a cute top that matched the new purse she bought with her allowance( to go with the other 10 purses she has that she doesn’t use – can you tell I wasn’t exactly in favor of the purchase?) and began prancing around the room.  I asked her what she was doing, and she told me “I’m a professional!”  I asked her “A professional what?” She shrugged, answering, “I don’t know.”  It didn’t particularly worry her!

From Print Shop 2.0 Professional

One of the things about being a mother is that once your child is able to talk, you are programmed to react automatically every time you hear, “Mom!”  We went to see the movie Green Lantern one afternoon, and after we finished we both went into the restroom.  A voice floated out from somewhere in the bathroom while I was in a stall that said, “Mom, is that thunder?”  Being well programmed, I answered, “No, the theater music is just very loud.  Don’t worry about it.”  When I went up to wash my hands, Kayla was grinning from ear to ear.  “You do know that wasn’t me, don’t you?”  Well, no, I didn’t, (the echo made it hard to identify the voice) but I wasn’t going to admit it to her! 

Thunder Clouds: From Professional Print Shop 2.0

Have a good day everyone!


Child’s Play

Hi everyone!

One of the privileges of being a mom is the privilege of watching our children’s imagination at work when they play. 

To her great regret, Kayla doesn’t have any brothers or sisters to play with, but she uses her imagination (and sometimes the dogs) to make up for that.  I had the chance to get a peek into her play world this weekend, and wanted to share it with you.

Kayla has often said that she wants to be a teacher.  Saturday morning, she decided to play teacher, and set up her school.  When I walked in her room to check on what she was doing, I couldn’t resist grabbing the camera!

At the moment I walked in, she was taking a break.

(I admit that sparkling lemonade and pickles won’t work for everyone as a snack – it certainly doesn’t for me – but she likes them.)

Then she noticed I had the camera.

Oh no, she's taking pictures again!

 Although she wasn’t thrilled at first, she decided after a moment’s reflection that having a class photographer would be a good thing, so she continued playing. 

First she taught her class:

Then she allowed me to meet her students and view the various seating arrangements.  Since many of the stuffed animals in the class are old friends, I was happy to see them.

Three of the seven student class (originally it was a nine student class, but Darwin and Mandy high-tailed it out of the room as soon as I opened the door), Abby, Sparks and Ruffy (from right to left), were provided with the lid of the toy box as their desk, and were seated firmly between the toy box and the bed.  Kayla had furnished them with name tags, and allowed them to start work.

Ruffy, Sparks and Abby's work


Abby and Sparks are twins, and younger than Ruffy.  They both came from the local Build-A-Bear workshop.  Ruffy is a little older; he was bought to be a little brother to Scruffy and Fluffy by my husband when he spent a week in Boston on business once.  Scruffy (not shown – Kayla said he was the oldest and was in a different class) is the first Build-A-Bear Kayla ever owned, and is a stuffed dog.  She had slipped Scruffy (leaving his sister/twin Fluffy, a stuffed rabbit, at home) into Mark’s suitcase, and about four days into the trip, Mark told her that Scruffy kept getting in trouble by turning the TV on when Mark wasn’t in his room, so he bought Ruffy to keep Scruffy company.  Kayla loved it! 


The next three members of the seven student class were, again from left to right, Gatlin, Fluffy and Ana. 


Kayla decided to join their picture and have a little fun at the same time:

They also had been provided with name tags and had started their work:

The last member of the class, Gale, was tucked behind a wooden chest, which she was using as her desk.

I think she was apart from the others because she was smaller, and Kayla wanted her protected.  However, Gale also had managed to start on her work:

Kayla set up everything I have shown you so far on her own before she ever knew that I was going to come in and take pictures.  However, we collaborated on the final pictures, since we both decided that every class needs a class picture.   The first picture was just of the students.

Then we took one of the class with their teacher.

After that, I was forced to leave the world of my child’s imagination for the much more mundane task of doing laundry, but that was okay.  Class continued until lunchtime, at which time it abruptly came to a halt as all of the students were hastily scooped into Kayla’s closet so she could eat. 

Kids are fun!

Have a great day everyone!


The Miracle Cure

Hi Everyone!

I hope you have had/are having a great Thursday.  Only one  more day until Friday!

This morning, I was on track and on time with everything, and then the sound I most dread in the mornings when I am in a hurry began – Kayla was crying hard out in the den.  I went out to see what was going on, and after playing 20 questions was about to lose my temper when I finally was able to translate “eee mmmm yyyyy urssssss” to “my eye hurts.”  I looked at the eye, which appeared normal, and asked several question about how it hurt, when it started hurting  and what was going on with it.  She forgot to cry in answering my questions, and seemed very pleased that I was taking her seriously.  She did feel just a hair warm to the touch, so I went on a quest for the thermometer, which failed. 

The thermometer mysteriously disappeared about two weeks ago; probably because I ended up putting in somewhere safe after walking around with it during the month I had bronchitis unable to believe that I could feel that bad and still not have a fever.

I was a little mystified by Kayla’s symptoms, and the suddenness of their onset.  On the theory that it might be sinus pressure, I had her lean over for a count of ten, and then flip her head back.  She told me nothing had changed, and then said, in her most pitiful voice, “Couldn’t you just call Ms. Hanlon at your work and tell her you are going to be late so I can go see my doctor?” 

I thought about it for a minute, but wasn’t convinced enough to sign on for a day home sick with my child, so I suggested instead that I would take her on to day camp, and then, if she didn’t feel better before their lunch at 11:00, she could call me and then I would take her home.  She looked at me with both eyes wide and said, “But then I will miss swim time!”  I said in my most sincerely regretful voice, “That’s true, honey, but if you’re sick, we need to get you looked at.”  She sat still for another minute then looked at me sideways and announced that, really, she had started to feel a little better once she flipped her head back, and she thought she better risk going to camp.

Another miracle cure accomplished!

Have a great evening everyone!