Welcome to Mommy (and Daddy) Lingo!

Hi and thanks for visiting this site. As a mother of 3 I've said some pretty odd stuff over these past 10 years and thought it would be fun to write a bunch of them down.

And now, with the encouragement of my brother, I'd like to share some of these unconventional, yet practical, phrases. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"Oh, I almost stepped on a dragon,"

my husband calmy said to me as he stepped out of the shower this morning (it's okay, we're married). "Yeah, that happens," was my reply to this information as I continued washing my hair (it's okay, we're married). As a parent, you're constantly in peril of serious injury from a variety of objects left on the floor, but after a while, you get quite agile and amazingly adept at avoiding sure catastrophe. Over the years, hubby and I have stepped on things we never imagined could even be possible, and yet we've lived to tell the tales. (like almost breaking a hip while gliding on a matchbox car or almost losing a toe to a lego). But lately our floors have become less hazardous and so I fear we have become more presumptuous - we casually walk around without even looking down anymore! But, thanks to his cat-like reflexes, my hubby dodged the dragon and saved himself from certain agony.

HAPPY (and safe) HOLIDAYS!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

"Mommy you smell stinky to me, but I love you anyway."

Hmmm, thank you? A very sweet guesture from my sweet little man, but it still left me wondering, well, if I was indeed stinky. So I asked him what it was about me that was stinky. "I don't know. I just smell stinky on you," he replied as he sniffed me. He then proceeded to let me know, with each sniff, that nope, it wasn't my cheek, and nope, it wasn't my mouth, and nope, it wasn't my feet, and nope, it wasn't my armpits. Finally he shrugged his shoulders and admitted defeat, "I don't know what it is mommy. I just smell stinky on you, but that's okay because I still love you." And then I couldn't care less what it was because my little man loved me and that's all that mattered. (but I did go brush my teeth...)

Monday, December 12, 2011

"Are you supposed to be shaking your booty at each other?"

'Cause I thought I clearly heard daddy say to get your jackets on. Maybe I misunderstood. It happens sometimes. But I don't think this is the case here. I think that you got distracted on your way and somehow running to get your jackets turned into this. And I can't, for the life of me, understand how. But now that we've determined what it is you really are supposed to be doing, let's get back on track and forget this ever happened, k?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"Well it's because you tried to moo."

Try it: Make an angry cow mooing sound and see if your throat hurts. I'll wait. Does it feel a bit scratchy? I thought so. So now you and my 4 year old know that you're taking a chance when you make animal noises, especially angry ones. It certainly might be a risk worth taking, but just be aware of the consequences. Good luck and have fun.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Don't hide it down your pants."

Although I would hope no one would ever think to look there, I would rather that not even be an option. So son, please find another place to put whatever object it is you don't want the seeker to find. We don't want to set a precedent of storing sought-after objects in our private areas, now do we?

I'm not sure if I'm just getting too complacent with my words, too comfortable with weirdness, or just uninspired, but I've noticed that the length between my posts has grown quite a bit recently. I'll try and get back on track soon, but in the meantime, feel free to send some creativity my way! practicalmama@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"Pop your own bubbles."

That's it. Nothing else. The message was clear and there was no explanation needed. My friend pleasantly stated the directive and her daughter obligingly followed. And so we then continued our chatting while the little ones blew bubbles in their soapy water glasses and things went on as usual.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"You don't need to sound like a monkey to get someone to stop talking."

Although, I must admit, that would work as an adult, if just for the sheer bizarreness of it. But I'm trying to teach my kids skills for handling a variety of situations in a positive way, so letting this practice simply pass unnoticed wouldn't really be in the best interest of my child, right? So I gave my little guy some tips on getting a word in while others are talking and explained that resorting to monkey noises probably wouldn't get the desired results. He grimaced, but then said (rather loudly), "Excuse me, I have something to say here!" While not exactly what I was going for, an improvement nonetheless.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"Okay then don't hover your feet over the table."

Don't you just love it when your child 'corrects' you or tries to get away with something based on a technicality or ignores a request because it wasn't addressed directly to them? I guess it just keeps us on our toes. You know what? The more I think about it the more I realize that kids actually make you smarter: They are unpredictable, therefore making you more alert and mentally sharp. They make you think about how you word things, therefore making you more linguistically adept. They constantly surprise you, therefore making you adaptable and flexible. And they make you laugh, therefore making you healthier by sending more oxygen to your tissues and relieving stress. I think I've just inadvertently stumbled upon a health/psychology book just waiting to be written! Now all I need is a grant and a publisher and time to do hours of research and studies and I'll be all set.

Friday, October 28, 2011

"I would rather you not lick any toes."

Was that too stuffy of me? Do I just need to lighten up a bit? I mean, he did make a valid point when he said he would only lick his own toes from now on. I guess that is his own business and perhaps I should have left it at that, but, in my defense, I did make it a fairly weak request and not some hard fast rule. Ah, who knows?!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"Nobody eats poopy, buddy."

Although some friends were trying to tell me that, in some cases, poop is in fact eaten in certain circumstances, I still stand strong behind this statement. My kids are very curious and I absolutely love that about them so when my youngest asked me why kids can't eat poopy I really didn't think twice about the question. It actually fit in with the circumstances (circumstance: he on the toilet, me in bathroom with him). I'm a semantics kinda gal, though I try not to get too picky when it comes to explaining stuff to my kids, so my son's use of 'can't' made me pause for a second. I immediately thought, 'Well they can, actually, and some do - I've heard stories that'll make you look at poop in a whole new light,' or something to that effect. But what I said was something about that being a yucky thing to do and one might get sick from doing it. He then asked if grown ups could eat poopy and that's when I made the above blanket statement. He seemed appeased for the moment, but then his brain shifted a bit and he asked what exactly poopy was. I explained and that led to another question, 'But how is poopy made?' The next thing I knew I was talking about particles and intestines and nutrients and the colon. When I stopped to take a breath I saw the look of confusion on my son's face, so I just told him to finish up and we'd continue our discussion another time (although I was kind of on a roll). Apparently I was gone for a noticeable amount of time because the friends who were over asked if all was well. And this is where the poop conversation continued and when they came up with exceptions to my 'rule.' And that is why my friends with kids are the most fun group to hang out with and just be your silly self and talk about poop and other things you 'shouldn't' talk about.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"'Cause now you have milk on your eye."

This is such an 'I told you so' moment. I know we've all had these and will continue to have them for the rest of our lives because, well, we're now parents and on the other side, so to speak, and we know everything. Although, I guess, if I remember correctly, I thought I knew everything as a kid as well. Hmmm. Anyway, the other day my youngest was attempting to drink his milk without using his hands. I told him he needed to use his hands. He asked why, as he leaned over and grabbed the cup by his teeth. As soon as he put the cup down, I told him exactly why. I knew he should have used his hands, I knew it, I knew it, I knew it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Well why did you put glue on your feet?"

Once again, a question that I never thought I'd have to ask. But I did ask. And I did have to. I understand that many times I am really only asking out of sheer curiosity and/or amazement and I do realize that I probably won't get the answer that I truly want, but sometimes I just can't help myelf and so I go ahead and ask. Am I always satisfied with the response? No. Do I sometimes regret even asking? Yes. And will all that stop me from continuing to ask these silly questions? Uh...nope.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"All humans have pee pees."

Simple. To the point. Little room for confusion. I admit it, sometimes my explanations are a bit vague and indirect and verbose, so this time I thought I'd take the straightforward approach (a.k.a. - the hubby way) and move things along. My youngest and I have been spending loads of quality time together since school has started for everyone else in the family and we've become quite a swift team. We run errands together, deliver cookies to friends, take long walks to the park. So, because of all this one-on-one time, we talk a lot about the world around us and I try my best to answer his sometimes loaded questions (I'm referring to a doozy yesterday that both disturbed me and impressed me with its insight and depth) in a helpful and open, yet calm and informative, way. So when he was putting on his shoes this morning and asked me if babies had pee pees, I answered him with this short reply and went on to explain why this was so. He thought about it for a second, processed it, agreed with me and put on his other shoe. I love that little guy.

Friday, September 30, 2011

"Why are you still naked?"

Oops, isn't that embarrassing?! Unless you're a child, then, once again, you don't really care and could spend many hours doing various things in the buff and wonder what is wrong with all the adults in this world and their preoccupation with clothes. So the answer that I got to this question was a rather confused, "I don't know" as said child continued to not put clothes on. I thought it was a rather legitimate query being that we were about to leave, but I quickly realized that the answer I was looking for (something like, "oh my goodness, that is strange. i'll be sure to get dressed immediately because I certainly can't go anywhere in public like this) was not going to come. So I then went on to explain that I was indeed serious when I said we were leaving in a few minutes and that no one would be going anywhere naked (although, deep down i truly didn't think i needed to explain something as, well, obvious, as this). But, alas, I did, so I did, and I walked away, once again, shaking my head and wondering if I'll ever not be surprised.

Monday, September 26, 2011

"Yelling is not going to get you a red bear."

Once again, my hubby has managed to make me smile with his low-key one-liners and sensible demeanor. I hope this one, as well as the following, will put a smile on your face too...

"Be smarter than the styrofoam."

"Don't stick the battery in your ear, dude."

"Just don't put the French fry in your ear."

"If you don't stop crying I'm going to tickle you."

"You can't handle the daddy!"

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Put some clothes on before you do Donkey Kicks, please."

Actually, getting dressed before doing any exercise should be a given, unless of course, it's naked yoga, but still, I think I'd have an issue with sitting down at any point. Anyway, apparently if you're a child there are no issues whatsoever about doing just about anything naked, which has been proven to me time and again by my children. (For those of you unfamiliar with Donkey Kicks, here is a brief description: As a precursor to doing a handstand in gymnastics, a child places his or her hands on a mat, bends over (similar to downward dog), and kicks his or her legs up and back, repeatedly). Now having this mental image of this exercise, I hope you can understand my insistence of wearing clothes. Something just didn't feel right about it, especially since we were in a small hotel room and her brothers were on the bed watching her because, well, she had just said, "Hey guys, watch this!"

Friday, September 16, 2011

"Oh, there goes somebody's flying rabbit,"

said my brother-in-law, matter-of-factly, as he then peacefully returned to looking at something on his laptop, unmoved by neither the animal sailing through the air nor the strange words that just came out of his mouth. Somehow, even after all these years of being a mom, I still get amused at both the weird things that parents say and how dispassionately they say them. And sometimes I even like to take it a step further in my head and concoct a 'regular' scenario, where adults are speaking and one makes an observation, such as the one above, and how funny it would be to see people's reactions. Okay, so maybe that makes me just a little weird myself, but hey, who isn't, right?!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Another penis story (sort of):

The previous post certainly hit home to many of you, so I'd like to continue on this theme not simply because I have a lot to add, but also because it's funny and silly and awkward and it makes me laugh. Let's rewind about 3.5 years to when my oldest was in kindergarten and my youngest was just a year old: It was a dry and warm spring day in western Oregon (a break from the cloudy norm) so my friend and I decided we would walk to school to pick up the kids. We had our littles in strollers and walked and chatted along the way. We were in the beginnings of our friendship and it was the first time we had walked to school together (this will matter shortly). Once we arrived at the school, the kids were eager to get out of the stroller and run around...or so I thought. While my friend unbuckled her cutie and helped her get up, I did the same. But my guy wasn't interested in running around with his friend - he had other, lazier, plans. As soon as he stood up, he did a big stretch, arms up in the air, head back, belly out. My friend and I watched this sweet performance and I even commented on how he looked like a little old man. We were still smiling as we observed Act 2: he slowly brought his right hand to his mouth to suck his 2 fingers and his left hand carefully down his shorts. I think I even heard him sigh. Now, it took me a second to react, so as we're still looking at him stand there with his hand in his pants her daughter is running over to ask him to play. She kind of has a confused look on her face as she gets closer, but by that time I've redirected his, ahem, attentions, and he's now ready to focus on other things. For a second I hope my new friend wasn't bothered by this display but I quickly see the look of understanding in her eyes and the slight grin on her face and I know that this is just the beginning of comical experiences we will share over the coming years.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

"Please don't play Plants vs. Zombies on my phone with your penis."

Aah, gotta love little boys and be nothing but impressed with how 'creative' they can get. A mom recently shared this quote and as soon as I read it, I instantly thought of all the ways my own little man has used his wee wee as if it were just a mere extension of his hand. If you have a son, I'm sure this quote is not weird at all, and if you don't, then just enjoy the quirkiness of it and the funny images it conjures up!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

"I don't want the hand to brush me anymore."

That sounded ominous even as it came out of my mouth, but I will relate the story anyway. Do not be frightened. My son had found a hand, as boys sometimes do, and brought it over to me. He then began to brush my hair with it, as one might do when one comes across a hand. As he did this, he chuckled softly. After a few moments, I could take no more of this strange behavior and said what I needed to say to end this. Reluctantly, my son ceased the peculiarity and the hand was never seen again.

Monday, August 22, 2011

"Don't use your tongue to wipe your nose."

We have some friends whose youngest has the same impressive yet equally icky ability as my oldest to touch her nose with her tongue. While this trait can sometimes, somehow, come in handy, it mostly works best in "Hey, look what I can do!" situations. But I guess that really depends on who is doing it and who is watching. Anyway, apparently aforementioned sweetie pie had a runny nose the other day and our dad friend happened to look over at the exact moment of her using her tongue to, well, clean things up. He calmly made the above statement, then simply followed it up with another straightforward directive: "Go get a tissue." And that was that.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"You cannot use a paintbrush to clean the toilet."

While I appreciate your enthusiasm for helping out, we must be clear on some key things before we continue to 'work' together:

The first I just mentioned.

The second is that you cannot wipe wet paint off the walls with a towel.

The third is that when you are vacuuming and the vacuum suddenly makes an ear-piercing howl, you cannot keep vacuuming.

And the last (for now) is that you cannot use the same disinfecting wipe to clean the silverwear that you just used to clean the floor.

Now, I understand that these seem a bit restrictive and discouraging but I will gladly show you all the ways you can help out around the house. And little one, please understand that I enjoy your aid immensely and absolutely love having you right by my side as we scrub and wash and spray our way to a cleaner house.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

"Try not to jump on people's faces with your feet."

This is one of my more astute statements, I must admit. One can never get too redundant with children.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"It's not his fault you're sticking your arm in his face."

Did you follow that? I'm not positive I did, but it applied perfectly to what was going on in the back of the van a few days ago. Or was it weeks ago? Anyway, I hear my girlie loudly protest to her older brother about touching her arm, so I look back to get an idea of what is really going on. What I witness is her sticking her arm right in front of his face, him moving it out of the way, and her telling him to stop touching her. When she sees me she complains about how he won't stop pushing her. Sorry sweet pea, I know you're bored and this is somehow some sort of entertainment for you, but your brother is actually being quite patient and I'm not sure I would be as gracious, so find another way to pass the time or else you might just have to skip the next super fun activity we have planned (which, at this point, I cannot recall, but I'm positive it was amazingly cool). After I make my eloquent statement, I turn around and hope for the best. Not much else I felt I could do while going 70 mph on the freeway.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

"We'll smell your feet later, buddy"

Yep, that's about where we are in our 5 1/2 week road tripping adventure. It has come down to not only smelly feet, but the desire to prove to others that one's feet aren't actually all that bad. We were somewhere in Wyoming yesterday, heading happily toward the Grand Tetons (French for...), when our kids decided that even though their feet looked dirty, they weren't really too smelly. My oldest, who was sitting behind me, tried to insist I take a whiff by sticking his feet through the gap in the headrest. Once I let him know I seriously had no desire to smell them, he stopped encouraging me to do so. But my youngest was truly hoping hubby and I would indulge him and "just smell them, please, really qwickly." I actually almost did, simply because he was so sincere and serious, but I quickly changed my mind and assured him we would do so at another time. Honestly, I didn't plan on actually following through with that, it just kind of came out.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


My youngest has resorted to squishing his face for entertainment. Location: somewhere in Iowa.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

"Don't eat the sofa."

What makes this quote so funny to me is not so much the words themselves (although really, who says that in normal conversation?), but the manner in which they were told to me. We were working our way south from Michigan and stopped by to see some other friends in Kentucky - these ones we hadn't seen in about 10 years. Like all others so far, we just chatted and told stories and laughed about old times as if we had been apart only a few days. As we were getting ready to leave, our friend said he had one more thing to tell us, specifically for this blog-thing, and proceeded to relate the story of how the above words, incredulously to him, ended up coming out of his mouth: There had been some storms recently and their power went out, so he, his wife, and their two sons temporarily moved to a motel to beat the humid Kentucky heat. After a few days, the power returned so they packed their things to head back home. But not before he turned around to walk out the door and witness his youngest chomping on the sofa (older brother clarified to us that he was not actually eating the sofa, just biting it). He then blurted out what he blurted out and walked out the door, shaking his head. Now, as he was telling us all this he kept interjecting that he couldn't believe what had just come out of his mouth. He kept laughing and saying he never imagined the need to say such a thing to one of his children. Hubby and I laughed knowingly and we all joked about 'how much times have changed' - we can say crazy things and now people won't look at us strangely! Well...maybe not that last part...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"It's not nice to kill people."

- Play a happy game -

- Don't say you're going to kill me -

- Because people don't like it when you say you're going to kill them -

- I know it's not real, but still - nice games are more fun -

- You can chase me, but maybe you can just bump me with it instead -

- Good idea, let's just play something else -

(I know, it's more fun playing with your brother and sister. Mom's kinda lame. They'll be back soon.)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"Don't use the knife on people."

Sound advice for a 2 year old - something she will surely carry with her for years to come - and something she might even pass along to her peers the next time she's playing kitchen at a friend's house. On our travels we have been fortunate to find old friends and reconnect with them by spontaneously showing up at their doorsteps and inviting ourselves in. (well maybe not so 'spontaneously' - we did give a few people a day or two notice). But, not only have people been open and warm and generous, they have shared wonderful tales of adventures and, ultimately, parenthood (since all of these friends, including us, didn't have children when we first started hanging out). I wasn't able to capture all of the great quotes or situations that came up in our visits, just a few. But what I did notice throughout it all was the common thread of crazy talk that has become so common for all of us these days. And it was great. It was only after our friend said what he said that he chuckled a bit and looked at us and shrugged. We laughed too and started elaborating on his statement until it all got even too silly for us. And that, really, exemplifies what has made this trip so amazing so far: That we can pick up right where we left off 7, 10, 17 years ago, as if we had only been away for a weekend and have brought back tales to tell and memories to share. And that is what I hope our children will remember from this trip. Although I know full well that they'll tell their friends all about Michigan's Adventure and riding in Grandpa's boat and watching lightening storms rather than the incredible bond of friendship that can remain strong despite years of separation. I was 4...6...8 before.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

"Yep, that's all corn."

No, we weren't looking at a field, or a farm, or a market, we were looking at the one and only Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. It just seemed logical that on our way east from Mount Rushmore, we would make a quick detour to see something with such an intruiging name. Now, I must admit that the only reason we found out about this tucked away gem was from the roadside sign, but I now feel the need to spread the word and inform others who might be on a similar adventure (or might just hop in the car after this post) of the "majestic, and uniquely American folk art icon" in the interesting state of South Dakota. My husband and I were more curious than anything and the kids were just happy to be stopping again, so we hopped off the interstate and followed the signs. After about 5 miles we knew in an instant that we had arrived. Who could have missed the enormous building artfully decorated with thousands of colorful corn? And the best part of the whole experience?? It was all free! We actually learned that it has been around since 1892 - who'd have thought? I can't say we'd ever stop there again, but it was fun making that unplanned detour and stretching our legs for a bit. Oh, and the kids getting their picture taken with a giant corn cob.

Side note: We're in Michigan, and have been for almost a week, (i've been trying to finish this particular post for three days) and our friends live out away a bit, so the Internet connection is pretty spotty, so posts have been few and far between but...soon we will be heading south through Kentucky and hopefully I can keep up a bit better. I do have other fabulously interesting tidbits to share, so stay tuned and I'll catch up shortly.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

P.S. ~ Tip of the night:

When you get your son up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, and it's all dark because the power is still out, make sure the lid is up. Don't just assume he will check it and don't think the sound that you hear is pee hitting the water, because you'll be wrong on both accounts. (okay, maybe that last part should only apply to me, but i just want to save others from the same messy fate)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

"Well, some people just live in motels."

It all became clear when I walked into the 'lobby' to get a room. I should have known something was amiss when the girl on the phone said that only rooms upstairs were available. I had told her that was fine - semi-wondering why she would make a point to say that, followed by an expectant pause - but I just shrugged it off. But then when I went in and got a key, and she told me again about there being only upstairs rooms open, it hit me - perhaps just the ground floor was really for nightly use and the upstairs was for, um, longer stays. When I inquired what exactly she meant by 'the upstairs' she simply said, "Well, not the ground floor." Oh, okay. So we unloaded and settled in. The kids were excited to be anywhere, especially anywhere with a pool, and hubby was so laid back about everything that I felt a bit guilty not wanting to even take off my sandals in the room. Fast forward to that evening as we walked around, looking for a place to eat, and I happened to say something about the hotel being more like a residence. My daughter quickly began the inquisition and I said what I said and left it at that. So...here are some observations that might come in handy if you're in the Mt. Rushmore area:

Rapid City, SD is about 23 miles from Mt. Rushmore, and off the main highway, which makes it a great stopping point for the night. It's part-tourist, part-resident with plenty of places to stay and eat. Hotel prices range from $66+tax to over 100 a night.

Keystone, SD is within a few minutes of the Memorial and is quite active. Lots of shops and activities and hotels boasting low, low prices for rooms. Unless you're a single person and need only one bed, then the $49.95 price will not apply to you. Nevertheless, the increased rate for a two-bed room might be well worth it.

Based on my experience, I would recommend staying in Keystone and paying (what would have cost us) $10 more for a room that is right in the hustle and bustle of town with access to a pool and gift shops and dining, OR, staying in Rapid City (and paying a bit more that $79+tax) where things have more of a local feel and where you can resume your highway journey easily.

Quick synopsis of our day in South Dakota: drive straight to Mt. Rushmore from campsite in Sheridan, WY - $11 a car load and full access to everything. Hike up to memorial, snap some pics, check out the gift shop, look for a place to stay. Outside dining at Mexican restaurant next to 'motel' when storm comes in and hail starts falling like crazy. Move inside, power goes off and we finish our meal in the dark. Walk back to motel, still no power, kids go to bed and hubby and I join the locals on the balcony and watch the lighting. All in all, an adventure as always and our kiddos now take anything that comes their way with such nonchalance that I sometimes wonder if they're even paying attention. But, for those of you who have not traveled much with kids, know this: It gets easier with each trip. Know that things will not be perfect nor easy nor clean, but also remember that the more you do it, the less of a hassle it is (i'm talkin' to you sarah!). So pack your bags and hit the road!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"Just wear the same underwear - it's clean enough."

Everyone knows that the rules change when you're traveling...right? I wouldn't say something like that at home, surely, but I really didn't see the need to waste a perfectly clean enough pair of undies. I explained how we should save our clean stuff, like underwaer, for other times, like when we're around our friends, but since we weren't staying in Missoula for very long it didn't really matter if we wore the same clothes again. Besides, we'd be putting on our bathing suits after breakfast anyway. All this I said to our 4 year old while my oldest proudly used himself as a visual example. Now, I can see how all this might be a bit confusing for a little kid and quite blatantly go against all that he has heard us tell him, but I felt it was time to let him in on the rule changes. He still resisted and insisted he needed new undies, but I'm sure, in time, he will come to embrace this new view and gladly wear the same clothes over again. Let's just hope he doesn't get too comfortable doing that.

So, speaking of Missoula, here's some info that might be helpful if you're in these parts: Splash Montana is worth a summer visit. This waterpark is located near the old town, in a residential area. It has 3 big water slides, a long lazy river, and plenty of things for the littler ones to enjoy. Our family of 5 spent under $22 for an all day pass. We had a lot of fun (until we had to get out for a while due to lightening in the area) and I would definitely go back (if Missoula is on the way to wherever we might be headed).

Next stop: Mount Rushmore

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Road trips make you more creative

I had the talk with my girl this morning as we embarked on our month-ish long road trip. You know the one: We'll be traveling for a while, we won't have all the comforts of home, we must adapt and make the best out of what we have, etc. To my surprise and delight, she stopped complaining about the bread and ate her sandwich. The peanut butter sandwich, I must tell you, that I made using the only spreading tool I could come up with - a straw. I had 3 hungry kids, a jar of peanut butter and bread, and no knife. The kids thought I was pretty ingenious with that little trick. It was the perfect example of the point I was trying to make and I don't care that it happened totally by accident.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

On the Road with Mommylingo

It's summer and summer for our family means some sort of trip. This year we're taking a road tripping adventure across a big chunk of the US and I'm inviting you to come along! Well, not literally, unless of course you live somewhere in Oregon or Michigan or Tennessee or any state along the way... If so, then you're welcome to join the adventure. But for those of you in other areas or not into traveling for hours at a time in a van with 3 kids, then you can share the joy just by reading.

I'm thinking of adding a few things to the blog, depending on how inspired I feel (also read: depending on how tired I am):

+ Some pics of local quirkiness and cool sights we encounter
+ Some tips for traveling with kids
+ Some tips on what not to do when traveling with kids

If you know of something cool we should see, do, eat, etc. along the way, I'd love to share it - along with your site/blog! Just send me your suggestions and you'll see a post about.

Our first planned stop is Missoula, MT at Splash Montana. We're heading out next week, so I hope to hear from you soon!

Next stop: Mount Rushmore, SD! Anything good to see there???


Friday, June 17, 2011

"Just forget about the snail, dude."

- Guys, I found a snail! Guys, a snail! C'mere, look at the snail! I saw a snail...right here! Come back and see the snail! Hey! You guys, I saw a snail! Come back, there's a snail! Guys, a snail! I found a snail!! -

While I admired my son's enthusiasm, it was clear we couldn't let this go on too much longer or else it just would have turned ugly. So my hubby gently verbally nudged him along while physically encouraging our little guy to get back on his scooter. We were headed back to camp this morning to pack up after a nice stroll by the water. Our first trip of the summer and it was great. This was just the beginning of a summer of travel and the kids just couldn't get enough, so I hope their excitement remains strong once we hit the long road east!

Monday, June 13, 2011

"Has the little guy flipped you off yet?"

You gotta love older siblings, especially ones who sincerely have the best interest of their younger brother/sister at heart. But you don't have to love the information they share with them, even though it might be done with the best intentions. Apparently, at some point, our youngest must have had his middle finger up, by itself, and our daughter, in the hopes of protecting and educating her little brother, told him that doing that meant a bad word. So that was all it took to pique his interest and make him want to do it as much as he could. And to further encourage him, albeit inadvertently, she would gasp and give him a short lecture on how he should NOT be doing that. We immediately talked about better ways to discourage him from doing that. Now I can't remember if I asked my hubby the question or vice versa but the answer was the same: Yes. (you know, one of those things i didn't think i'd ever have to say as a parent) So...we're working on it and there has been improvement, but, for those of you who might come in contact with my son - Sorry. Don't take it personally. Yes I know he is doing that. No, it's not okay. And yes, we're trying to get him to stop.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"Aw shush, I just kicked the dragon."

I just wanted to quietly get in bed and go to sleep. My husband was already cozy and the lights were off. The kids were asleep, the dog was passed out at the foot of our bed, and there was peace in the house. Peace...until that darn dragon roared to life. At first, I didn't even realize that I had touched anything, but my toe must have just clipped it as I slithered into bed. Suddenly, there was roaring and wings flapping and flames shooting out of nowhere. The dog jumps up (as quickly as a 12 year old dog can) and my understandably startled husband mumbles something about a cat. I whisper my explanation as I fumble for the offending toy, grope for the off button and try to regain some of the tranquility that I just shattered. Oops, sorry, g'night.

Monday, June 6, 2011

"I guess I do smell like gum."

My response to my son's question, "Mommy, why do you smell like gum?"

I then started to explain why I would smell this way when I realized that my daily hygiene regimen includes soap infused with grapefruit, blueberries in my facial cleansing wipes, and peaches in my lotion. Hmm, I guess that's one way to get your daily servings of fruit.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

"Freaking out is an automatic time out."

I would like to expand this rule to include adults, please. I think it should be posted on business walls, right below, "No shirt. No shoes. No service." And in employee handbooks in the "Workplace Expectations" section, right after, "Employee has regular and punctual attendance." I don't believe the consequence is too severe and I do believe that it would be effective in reducing stress and possible embarrassment. Feel free to change the font, laminate it, and display it proudly in your home. You're welcome.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

"But your tongue doesn't have eyes."

Watch out - this quote stems from logic and might be difficult to follow. If you're getting too confused at any point, feel free to consult an anatomy book and flip to the 'head' section. Here is only my side of the conversation (solely done for added distraction):

It does smell good doesn't it.
Don't look at it, then.
You know the deal, buddy. Open your mouth, it's small.
No, this is a different one. Really.
Good idea, just close your eyes. All your eyes.
But your tongue doesn't have eyes.
No it doesn't. Just your face. Just your eyes are your only eyes.
Those are called 'taste buds,' not eyes.
Yes they do, but they're not. I'll show you on the computer in a second.
Just open!
Nice. Now let's go find some tongue eyes.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Okay sure, you can wear two undies."

You would have thought that I just told him he could live at Disney World and eat ice cream everyday, by his reaction. I absolutely love it when my kids get excited about things but it's even more endearing when they get excited about nothing I would even remotely consider exciting. And then that makes me excited for some reason and I want to spread the joy, but then I realize what it is I'm actually excited about and then I just have to laugh because, for a split second, I actually thought about telling someone, for example, how awesome it was that my son was wearing two pairs of underwear. Thankfully most of my friends these days are parents and would be very forgiving of such an awkward statement.

Excitement is infectious, especially around children, so I'd like for you to pause for a moment and honestly recall the last time you got giddy over something absurd. Anyone brave enough to share?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

"Uh sweetie, put your clothes back on."

Now what professional hasn't said that before?! You're doing a presentation or are holding a meeting and you glance over and see someone stripping. Now your first reaction might be, 'What the...?! Why would you think it's okay to start taking your clothes off while I'm talking?!' but, since you are a professional, you know you must keep order and remain calm. After all, people look up to you, follow your example, and trust your judgement. So, just as my daughter's kindergarten teacher did, you make your statement and immediately return to the subject at hand, without missing a beat. You act as though saying what you just said fits perfectly into the flow of things and carry on as though seeing what you just saw somehow wasn't strange at all. That's really a gift in itself that many school teachers posses and we have to give credit to those professionals who manage to keep it together in times of great weirdness. Thank you, Mrs. Kindergarten Teacher for not focusing on the nonsensical. I know you just wanted to throw your hands up in the air and gasp, 'Why?!' (i could tell by the split second look you gave me as i jerked my head up as soon as i heard what you said), but you didn't. That, I must admit, was classy.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

"You had a time out because you yelled at the couch?"

This is the conversation I had with my 4 year old last night. If you find yourself getting frustrated, it's okay, I understand.

Son: I'm ready to taaalk.
Me: Okay, come in here please.
Me: Why did you have a time out?
Son: For being mean.
Me: No. Why did you have a time out?
Son: Because I didn't listen.
Me: No. What did you do to the couch?
Son: I hit.
Me: You had a time out because you hit the couch?
Son: Yes.
Me: No. What did you do to the couch?
Son: I yelled.
Me: You had a time out because you yelled at the couch?
Son: Yes.
Me: No. You had a time out because you wrote on the couch. Now, why did you have a time out?
Son: Oh yeah, because I drew on the couch with a pencil.
Me: Yeah?
Son: Yeah.
Me: Yeah.

(glad we had this talk. you've clearly shown remorse and complete understanding of your actions. i feel confident that your future time outs will be just as useful in teaching you responsibility and allowing you to contemplate your behavior and its consequences. thank you for showing me just how effective this whole process has been. excuse me now, i've got some thinking of my own to do)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"I will not duct tape the sleeves to your arms."

My daughter would do anything for fashion, apparently, and it makes me a tiny bit uneasy to think that she quickly and very matter-of-factly suggested I simply apply a powerful adhesive to her arms so that she could look stunning. Honestly, I don't know where she gets that from because I am quite comfortable in yoga pants and a t-shirt. But I have to admit that she has an incredible sense of style and an amazing imagination when it comes to clothes (and really just decorating, in general). In fact, my husband has asked our girl to 'help me' pick out an outfit on a few occasions. Hmm. Anyway, yesterday she was getting ready for school (kindergarten, no less) and came in to ask if I would cut the sleeves off of one of her long sleeved shirts. I was thinking that maybe one had gotten too small and she wanted to salvage it by turning it into a summer shirt (she does stuff like that), but upon further questioning I learned that she only wanted the sleeves because she was wearing a sleeveless dress and it might be cold outside for recess and the shawl she was wearing (from the sarong I had gotten her from Hawaii) might not be warm enough. Impressed by her ingenuity, I told her that while that was a great idea, the sleeves wouldn't stay on very well. That's when the real creativity started rolling. We had gone back and forth with a few ideas when she happily made her final suggestion, which I quickly shot down. After explaining why that wouldn't work I told her that there were indeed sleeves that you could purchase for just such an occasion and that I would be happy to look for some in her size. She seemed satisfied enough and walked away. But I still had this image in my head of her teacher's face when my daughter carefully took off the shawl at the playground and ran towards the slide, blinding everyone as the sun reflected off her beautifully duct-taped arms.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Listen, we do NOT throw eggs at the wall, okay?"

In fact, we don't throw eggs anywhere. When my youngest was younger, he had the unfortunate habit of throwing things when he got flustered. I don't really know why this was his chosen method of expression but I'm sure glad it didn't last too long. On this particular day, I was about to make cookies or something and had put the eggs on the counter while I got out the remaining ingredients. Within the 2 seconds it took me to shut the fridge, the little guy had managed to somehow get from the living room to the kitchen, grab an egg off the counter (which he could barely reach on his tiptoes), and be standing behind me smiling and holding an egg precariously in his little hand. At first I wasn't even worried; I was actually impressed by this amazing feat. But then my daughter sees him (and she knows very well what he was capable of) and yells out, "Oh no, he has an egg!" I try and keep my voice calm and my movements slow while I smile and sweetly call out his name. But by then it was too late. My daughter's initial cry immediately put my son on high alert and he stood there frozen for a second, his eyes wide and darting from side to side. I could tell that we had only milliseconds to act but I also knew we had to tread carefully, so I took a small step forward with a hand outstretched and my head tilted in an I'm-not-trying-to-alarm-you-but-I-really-want-what's-in-your-hand kind of way. But, unfortunately, that was all it took to send him running, egg in hand, towards the toy room. My daughter and I tried to intercept him but he was just too swift. As he stopped in front of the futon and faced the wall, I feebly called out, "No, no, don't throw the egg at...the...wall. Aah." Too late. I looked over just in time to see the egg hit low on the wall and slowly ooze down onto the cushion, behind the futon and into the carpet. It's amazing how quickly a 2 year old can move. As I cleaned up the gooeyness I had a heart-to-heart with the little guy about eggs and about how they are much better cooked than thrown. I'd like to believe he understood every word because he hasn't thrown an egg since.

Monday, May 16, 2011

"Stop wearing the bowl, please."

Once again, I wouldn't have thought it necessary to make such a statement, but here we were, walking to a friend's house to return her glass bowl, and my son decides to wear it. At first, I give him 'the look' and he immediately takes it off so I think we're fine. But then I hear my daughter giggling so I turn around to see the bowl on my son's head again. Now, at this point my son doesn't realize that I see him, so when I make my remark and he turns around, he's still got a goofy smile on his face and the glass bowl on his head. I have to admit, it was pretty funny so I try and stifle a laugh while still trying to look serious, but that's not working out so well so I just abandon the whole I'm-the-parent-here-so-I-can't-think-this-is-funny act and go ahead and laugh with them. I do, however, insist on keeping the bowl off the head due to sanitary reasons and my son reluctantly agrees. We return the bowl with no further incident but I realize on the walk back home that I forgot to suggest that my friend at least rinse out the bowl before using it again. Oops.

Friday, May 13, 2011

"Why does James Bond get married a lot?"

[Um, well son, he's not 'getting married' when you see him kiss a girl (then get out of bed with her or kick her out), he's actually getting something else that I don't really want to have to explain right now]

[Uh, what they're doing has nothing to do with getting married and everything to do with getting information (among other things you don't need to be thinking about at your age)]

[Well, he doesn't marry any one of those ladies you see him with; he's just using them (and even though your father is skipping the bulk of the scenes, you've still seen enough to make me worry)]

"Oh, it's just for the movie," replies my husband nonchalantly, without blinking an eye. "Ok," says my son complacently, without taking his eyes off the screen. Thanks guys for reminding me that sometimes it's best to just keep things simple.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"See, it's fun to put undies on."

Imagine saying that to a grown up! But really, sometimes it's just easier to get silly instead of mad. I'll let you use your imaginations on this one, but I think you get the idea of what went on and how I shifted gears to avoid getting annoyed when my son kept deliberately missing the leg opening of his undies because he didn't feel the need to put them on exactly when I wanted him to. I'll just say that in the end, everyone was smiling.

Monday, May 9, 2011

"Your teeth are on the floor again."

I don't know how many times I have to tell you this, granny, and I can't believe you wouldn't even notice, but you've somehow managed to again leave your teeth right in the hallway where anyone can step on them. Sheesh. Okay, so maybe I didn't say this to my grandmother and maybe I embellished a little. Maybe. But my daughter got the point and stashed her teeth away in a safe place, hopefully never to be tossed on the floor again. Another example of something I never thought I would ever have to say to my child. Perhaps I should write my own version of a parenting book called, "What to Expect to Come Out of Your Mouth that You Never Expected Would Ever Come Out of Your Mouth." Once again, I'll work on the title...

Friday, May 6, 2011

"Don't flash the neighbors, okay?"

What can I even say about this? We live in a cul-de-sac and know all our neighbors pretty well, but there's a line when it comes to flashing and my son almost crossed it. Now, that line is different in every family, and I'm not here to judge when it comes to that, but I figured standing near the window, shirt up and pants off, shaking back and forth yelling "Woohoo" might have been a little much for anyone. So I just made a short, polite request while maintaining an upbeat tone, and my dear son complied, albeit a bit reluctantly. He ran off to finish getting dressed and I peeked out the window hoping the 'hood was too busy to notice.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"Old ladies are people too."

And I should know since today I've officially become one!! But yesterday my kids were watching some show and my daughter says something like, "That old lady is pretty funny." My youngest looks a bit confused, then points to the tv and says, "She's an old lady?" Daughter and son go through a brief exchange about 'old ladies' and 'people' and the little guy finally looks straight at me, bottom lip quivering, and slowly says, "But I thought she was a person." (Now I'd like to think that hubby and I have done such an incredible job of teaching our children that people are people and to not judge anyone based solely on appearance, and that is why our youngest is so confused and visibly upset by the label my daughter has put on this poor woman. And since I don't truly know the reasoning behind his distress, I can only speculate and jump to these broad assumptions in favor of my parenting skills.) So...I reassured him that all was right in the world and life became pleasant and fun again. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to finish my birthday coffee in bed, get ready for my massage and enjoy this sunny day. I hope it's sunny in your little world as well.

Monday, May 2, 2011

"You can't shoot me while I'm kissing you."

Perhaps this was the tactic the military used to capture bin Laden. That would really throw somebody off, huh? It sure helped me out when my daughter aimed her weapon at me the other day. Feel free to use this one if you ever find yourself in a situation where you might get shot. In the meantime, I'm going to go back to watching the news.

Friday, April 29, 2011

"How 'bout just some clean-up pants?"

So a lot of times when we have clean-up time in our house, we have clean-up music to go along with it. It gets everybody moving and dancing and cleaning and it's really just a way to make these events less painful for everyone. But the other day my son came downstairs, ready to clean up, without any pants on. Now, for some reason, he'll often appear without pants and hubby and I will ask him to go put some on. He usually has an 'explanation' - he was looking for a specific pair, the ones he was going to wear were dirty, he's hot, etc... But this time he was content standing in the living room, in just his shirt and undies, ready to rock and roll and get some cleaning done. He jumped up, clapped his hands and said, "Alright, how 'bout some clean-up music?!" I, being the cool, quick-witted mom that I am (ahem), quickly shot back with my above retort. It took him a second for this to sink in, but then he chuckled, ran upstairs, and put on some pants. Yeah, I'm pretty proud of this one.

Now, apparently I'm not alone in the son-not-wearing-pants-around-the-house department because, just the other day, my friend told me of a new rule in their house - "You must wear pants in all common areas." She then recounted what prompted this: She walked into the kitchen the other morning and saw her son sitting at the table, eating his breakfast, in only his underwear. She said he was a bit weary at first, but when she explained that since he's the oldest (11) and has 2 younger sisters he should probably set the tone of wearing clothes while in the company of others. She also assured him that, while in the privacy of his own room, he's free to walk around in just his undies any time he wants. This, evidently, was the clincher.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Will you stop barking so I can hear your brother?"

We have a dog. A lovely old Golden Retriever who is gentle and sweet and patient and, most of all, quiet. So...I wasn't talking to him when I said this. I wasn't even talking to my youngest child. Nope, my 8.75 year old decided the other day that barking at random times was the way he was going to communicate. At first I must have tuned it out (as any parent has the amazing ability to do) so when my youngest started asking me a question I didn't realize why I couldn't understand him. But then it hit me, the barking, coming from my son standing in the kitchen holding an apple. I even attempted to ignore it by crouching down and asking the little man to repeat himself, but then it hit me - this is ridiculous. So I held up my finger in the just-a-second motion, sighed a deep sigh, turned my head in the direction of the barking and said what I said. My oldest immediately stopped in mid bark and resumed eating his apple as if nothing at all strange had just occurred.

Monday, April 25, 2011

"Don't sneak out of bed to do your homework."

I can honestly say I never thought this would be an issue as a parent. If this is the worst of it, then what's all the fuss about parenting? Seriously, why all the parenting classes and books and magazines devoted to 'dealing with' all the issues with children? Come on, all kids want to do is just finish their work and we're just standing in their way, making all these rules, imposing all these curfews. What if we just said hey, go to bed whenever you're done doing whatever it is you're doing then maybe we wouldn't need so many rules. I wonder what would happen if I did that for a week. I'm sure my husband would support me fully and not think I've lost my marbles. I bet the kids would be more relaxed about going to bed since it would be totally their choice when it would happen and I'm sure they'd be more productive because they wouldn't feel like they had any deadlines. They'd wake up refreshed and stress-free, ready to tackle any project. Their teachers might even thank me and ask me to hold a seminar for the other parents to teach them of my new found wisdom. I think I've just created a career for myself - Traveling Consultant to Help End Sneaking out of Bed. I may need to work on the name a bit. Call me if you want to schedule a workshop. But hurry, time slots will fill up fast, I just know it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Don't let your nose touch the butter."

I guess if your face is at the same level as the counter and you really want to see what is going on, then a statement like this is appropriate. Or if you're a chef training another chef and offering advice on food handling etiquette, then this might slip out. Or if you're an adult doing some interesting stunts with breakfast foods then this would fit as well. So it looks like I'm saying that maybe this is one of those remarks that can really be all-encompassing. Hmm, I wouldn't have initially thought that, but after some consideration it seems as though what I said could be quite useful in a variety of circumstances. But then again, doesn't that apply to all the previous quotes as well??

Monday, April 18, 2011

"Great, now what are we gonna do with the body?"

For some reason, when my friend heard me say this to my son, she expressed concern not so much with the statement itself, but rather the ease with which those words left my mouth. And possibly what preceded them - "Look, you killed him and we're walking." I don't understand why. I mean, I try to teach my kids to be responsible and that actions have consequences and to correct and learn from their mistakes, so this instance should be no different than any other event that might come up in my children's future. It's not like I'd ever said those words before (that she knows of) or that I should have reacted differently (like upset or something) so why was she looking at me strangely and backing away? Hmm, curious. I wonder what her problem was. Oh well, I guess some folks are a bit sensitive. But one needs to keep one's head in these types of circumstances, right? I wonder if she'll ever go on a walk with us again...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

"Mr. Shh"

While watching some cartoon show with my youngest I had never seen before:

Son: What's his name?
Me: I don't know
Son: What's his name?
Me: Mr. Anderson
Son: No. What's his name?
Me: Mr. Feathers
Son: No. What's his name?
Me: Mr. Butterfly
Me: Mr. Shh
Son: Huh?
Me: Shh
Son: Oh, okay.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Don't lick your hair again."

Morning time at the neighbor's: What do you do if you're 5 years old and you're sitting at the breakfast table and your older brother tells you your hair is sticking up? Well, you immediately stick your tongue out, lick your palms and wipe your hair down. You've got to take care of business, right? You never know who you'll run into and you've got to look your best. No time to worry about what might still be on your tongue and now on your hands - you simply can't go around with stray hairs out of place. It's a chance you take. Anyway, that's what moms are for - let them worry about the little things so you can concentrate on what's really important. And mom, chill out.

Monday, April 11, 2011

"I can be silly while I sleep."

This was my profound statement of the day. The little man came in a bit early this morning and wanted me to join him in his activity book fun. I, on the other hand, was looking for a few more minutes of shut eye. However, it was hard to resist his cuteness so I grabbed the pencil (that he was sticking in my face while whispering, "here mommy, here you go") and traced the lines that he indicated needed tracing. I then snuck in a quick 'nap' while he searched for the other picture he thought we should do next. He caught me though and stated that it was morning time and therefore time to get up and be silly. I attempted one last (admittedly pathetic) shot at staying in bed with the above statement, but quickly realized it was a losing battle, so I got in a nice long stretch while pulling back the covers and slowly moving my body off the bed. Once my son realized I was actually getting up he hopped off the bed, grabbed my robe and said, "Good job, mommy!" Seriously, what sweeter way to start the day?! (except maybe to have the exact same scenario happen 2 hours later).

Friday, April 8, 2011

"I'll smell your feet if you stop swinging."

I had to make a deal. I couldn't risk getting kicked in the face. He kept saying that his feet smelled so good, that I had to smell them, but then he'd grab hold of the two bucket seats and start swinging again. I knew that if I attempted to take a whiff while he was in motion I could end up with a toe in the eye. Or worse. I didn't want to take that chance. It was all about timing - and he certainly was trying to make it easy for me by lifting his legs and extending his feet towards me - but one small miscalculation and Bam! I'd be hurting. So I did what any prudent (cautious? wary? scared?) adult would do, I proposed a compromise that was pleasing to us both. He thought about it for a moment, then said, "Oh, okay," and let go of the arm rests while bringing a foot up to my face. I grabbed the chubby foot, took a nice big sniff, then released it. He waited expectantly for my appraisal. I put my finger up to my mouth in a pensive gesture, then simply said, "Yep, not bad." He seemed quite pleased with that assessment and happily began swinging again. I'm sure I could have successfully managed the tricky maneuver but thought it might be too odd of an explanation had things gone awry. It's okay, call me a chicken.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Throwing yourself on the floor is NOT an apology."

Although maybe in your little world it's an obvious gesture of remorse, in the world in which I'm trying to teach you to thrive, it's not. It's actually a bit confusing because the person you have just wronged might think you are hurt in some way and forget the offense while checking on you, which really defeats the purpose of that act because no justice has been served either way. Or maybe that's the whole point exactly and you are one little genius and I'm just slow. Perhaps you're on to something brilliant and I should follow your lead from now on. That's it, you're a 4 year old apology-avoider prodigy! Your diversionary tactics are remarkable and I must remember to take notes from now on. Hold that pose, let me get a pen!

Monday, April 4, 2011

"Thank you for showing me your undies."

I bet I'm not the only one who has said this. I bet some of you have even said it to an adult. And I even bet some of you have heard it said to you. I just bet.

I, though, said it to my 4 year old the other day in the van when, for some reason, he decided to call for me, say, "See, look," and pull his jeans down ever so slightly to reveal the top part of his underwear. Not sure exactly why he thought it necessary to that, I simply thanked him and turned around. He seemed satisfied with that and quickly replied, "You're welcome," and turned to look out the window. Not another word was spoken about undies for the rest of the ride.

Friday, April 1, 2011

"Don't punch yourself in the pee pee."

What more can I say? This is one of those things that really shouldn't need to be said. I've actually got another one of these, but I'll save it for later. Just chew on this one for a while. Say it out loud - it's actually kind of catchy.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Review - Farberware - 52151 - Insulated Nonstick Carbon Steel 14" x 16" Cookie Seet

Your Rating: 5 stars
Headline: Versatile, easy to clean, and sturdy

I decided to review this cookie sheet because I needed to replace my old, beloved one and like it even better! The size is perfect for cookies, baking potato chips, roasting veggies, and heating up pizzas. And it's thin enough to fit in between the oven racks so I can use more than one pan at a time. One word of caution, though: don't try to slice anything on it because it might (will!) dent rather easily. Other than that, it's sturdy enough to handle some bumping and pressure.

My Review - Proctor-Silex E160B Coffee Grinder

Compact, fast, good for small batches

By Practicalmama from Salem, OR on 3/31/2011


4out of 5

This is one of the three items I chose to order and review and I got it because our coffee maker with the built-in grinder died not too long ago. As soon as it arrived (which was only a few days after I ordered it!) I tested it out. I grabbed some beans and excitedly - I get excited about things like this - used it. It was so quiet and fast that I wasn't sure if it did a good job, but when I opened the lid I saw that things were exactly how I liked them. I put the grounds in the filter to brew a pot of delicious REAL Colombian coffee (my Colombian mom brought me the good stuff) when I noticed that the filter was maybe halfway filled. I know I like my coffee strong, but I knew this wasn't going to be enough to make the usual 6 cups, so I added some more. Overall, the grinder worked great, it's cute and the best part is that it has a retractable cord! Little things make me happy and this little thing made me happy. If you only need a grinder for a few cups of coffee, this little guy is the one for you.


My Review of Amsterdam 25" Two-Tone Expandable Rolling Suitcase in Gray

Originally submitted at CSN Stores


  • Rolling suitcase features superior two-tone polyester construction
  • Add-a-bag strap and clasp for toting additional bag
  • Large zippered mesh lid pocket and dual shoe pockets
  • Expandable (25% more packing capacity)
  • Mu...

  • Compact, cute, solid

    By Practicalmama from Sale, OR on 3/31/2011


    5out of 5

    When I was asked to review a product from CSN Stores I, once again, couldn't decide on just one thing. So I ended up getting three! We travel quite a bit as a family so we get a lot of use out of our suitcases. This suitcase turned out to be a bit smaller than expected, but it actually fits quite a bit of stuff. I like how it feels secure and zips easily. It feels a bit narrow, but I didn't want to bump up to the next size because I probably don't need to pack too many things anyway! It rolls really smoothly which helps so much because now the kids can use it. Our bigger suitcase just lost a wheel and tips all over the place now, so next time around I'll order the next size up.


    Wednesday, March 30, 2011

    "Get out of the pillowcase and uncross your eyes when I'm talking to you."

    It's kind of distracting to talk to someone when they come hopping over to you with their eyes crossed. Especially when you called them over to discipline them. Has this ever happened to you? No, right?! Because kids are crazy, silly, funny, and goofy and as a parent you sometimes have to just go with it and keep a straight face when what you really want to do is fall on the floor laughing. I think anyone who regularly interacts with children would win the grand prize on the old show "Make Me Laugh." Remember that show?!

    Monday, March 28, 2011

    "Mommy, can you wash my balls later?"


    Tee hee hee, giggle giggle. I just couldn't even help myself on this one. I hadn't seen my kids all week and was already giddy so even the slightest thing was going to make me laugh anyway, so when I heard my oldest ask me this question, in all seriousness, I just looked at my hubby and began to giggle. But my son didn't stop there, oh no. He continued to explain how his balls were dirty and they needed to be cleaned and that he was trying but knew that I could get his balls cleaner than he could. My husband gave me an almost disapproving look, but I just kept right on snickering. My son couldn't hear me and no other children were around, so I didn't have any explaining or covering up to do, right? Right. Our honeymoon was fantastic but we were both ready to get back to being mommy and daddy. By the way, my son wanted his balls clean so he could practice juggling, his new favorite thing to do.

    Speaking of balls, a reader sent me this little story a bit ago:

    "I said this yesterday during my daughter's 1st bday party. We gave her a ball as a bday gift and she loved it so I explained to our guests: 'Oh yeah we picked this gift because everytime she'd go to the neighbors' she'd play with their balls.'

    See?! It's not just me!

    Wednesday, March 23, 2011

    Intermission: Honeymoon in Hawaii

    Taking a short break here while hubby and I take our long-awaited honeymoon. We never had one 15 years ago so we thought it was about time. Kids are with my mom so I won't have any good quotes to write about, but I will surely get back to 'work' as soon as I see my munchkins again. In the meantime, I'm going to soak up the sun, snorkel with my man, and enjoy a few days with no schedule or plan. But I sure do miss my little ones!

    Above is a pic of the first thing we saw in the water as soon as we got here on Monday!!

    Monday, March 21, 2011

    "Remember the force field."

    He was dead serious, my neighbor was, when he uttered those words to his son last night. I heard it and just looked at him for a second, waiting for him to burst out laughing. But he didn't. After a few minutes I mentioned that I had a new quote for the next day. That's when he smiled and explained: To keep son from playing too roughly with little sister after she had come home from surgery (to remove magnets from tummy), he took a kid-friendly approach and told his son that he had to be soft with sister and to treat her as if she had a force field around her. He laughed a bit and said something about not knowing exactly how to explain it all to a 5 year old, but I thought it was perfect. It had worked and that's all you can ask for as a parent, especially when you say something so, well, weird. Just genius.

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    "You're brushing your feet?"

    Yeah I know, this is one of those questions that doesn't need a response. Or even really needs to be asked. But...I'm a mom and it's become a sort of affliction with me - I must ask an obvious question. The answer is glaringly evident and I know very well that what I am about to ask is really more of an observation than a legitimate question, yet still I ask it anyway. It's like I see myself about to open my mouth and utter something completely superfluous but I'm paralyzed to stop it. The words just spill out. Okay, I admit it, I need help. Hi, I'm a mom and I ask painfully conspicuous questions.

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    "Oh don't put the chocolate between your toes."

    I still don't get it, after all these years and three kids later. What is the allure? It seems inevitable that if one of my children is sitting cross-legged, with something in his or her hand and no socks on, that that 'something' is surely to wind up between their toes. Yummy. Especially when it's a food item. I mean, I love my kids' sweet feet and all and could play with their adorable toes any day of the week, but I also know quite well that they often don't wear socks with their shoes and spend a great deal of their time running around, being active. So...the fact that objects get placed in these awesome little stink bombs makes me shiver just a tiny bit. Tiny bit. But...when I see a perfectly delicious piece of food get wedged in between what I can only imagine are sweaty, smelly toes, I get kinda grossed out. Kinda. Should I just make a new rule? You know, one of those I-never-in-a-million-years-thought-I-would-ever-have-to-make-a-rule-like-this-because-it's-just-downright-ridiculous kind of rules like, "Don't ever stick food in between your toes. Ever." ?????

    Saturday, March 12, 2011

    "Dance your way upstairs."

    What a fun way to start the bedtime ritual! We should all take our own parental advice now and then because sometimes we throw out a real gem that really shouldn't be ignored. And sometimes we throw out a real dud that really shouldn't be repeated. But I like this one, and it was fitting, and it was heeded, and so my daughter and I waltzed our way up the steps and into the bathroom to brush teeth, then into her room to be tucked in and cuddled. It was enchanting and enjoyable and we just might do it again. As should you.

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    "You can tickle her feet later."

    There's a time and a place for everything and now's not the time nor the place. Get yourselves back to her house, wait until she takes off her shoes, then ask her politely if she would like her feet tickled. If she gives the go ahead, then you can work your magic and get her laughing. But right now you need to load up in the car and get buckled 'cause we've gotta go. But then again I guess when you're four anytime is a good time to tickle feet, huh?

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    "There's no need for you to be touching his turkey."

    No need. It's fine where it is on his sandwich and besides, it's his sandwich and he put the turkey where it is, so how 'bout when you make your own sandwich you can arrange the ingredients however you please. Does that sound reasonable? I didn't actually say all of this, aside from the quote and first 7 words, but I thought it and that surely counts for something.

    Sunday, March 6, 2011

    "Well you won't be weird down here."

    Youngest comes downstairs the other night with his pillow and blanket in tow. He can't sleep in his bed, he says. When I ask why not, he worriedly replies, "Because my bed is making me weird." As we cuddle on the couch for a bit, I ask him a few more questions about how his bed could be making him weird. Not quite completely understanding his reasoning, I come to the conclusion that "cold" would be a more accurate word. I reassure him, we snuggle, then I grab another blanket on the way back to his bed and get him all cozied up and warm. That seemed to do the trick.

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    "Is it easier to do math upside down?"

    Maybe that was my problem in high school...and college. Maybe I shouldn't have sat upright and taken notes. Maybe I should have flipped over in my desk and answered questions while on my head. That seemed to be working for my son last night as he was practicing his multiplication. Too bad I didn't think of that. But I can just picture my hubby now, as he reads this post, shaking his head in disapproval. (he happens to be a math instructor who has this crazy notion that anyone can do math and all it takes is an open mind and a good guide. he even thinks it's fun. i know he's right, i just need to take his class. i wonder if it would embarrass him if i used our son's method...)

    Monday, February 28, 2011

    "No mean hugs."

    You know what I'm talking about: the kids have been arguing, mom or dad suggests they be nice to each other instead, you know, just to see if that makes anyone any happier; the kids make that agreement to each other and consent to hug, only mom or dad can tell that they're both still angry and really just want to take this opportunity to 'hug' the fake smile right off brother/sister's face so mom or dad intervenes one more small time, making the above request and monitoring the interaction carefully, even joining in her/himself just to make sure everyone is all lovey and tender and no one gets squished. I mean, wouldn't that defeat the purpose of the hug in the first place?

    Friday, February 25, 2011

    "Will you help me put daddy back in the bag?"

    We're doing a forensic unit at home and this week was dead body week. We were fresh out of cadavers so my husband stepped in. My daughter had just finished the autopsy to determine cause of death when she spotted a clue. We had to hurry and get back to the station so I started cleaning up...You can figure out the rest.


    My in-laws made a puzzle out of a 2nd grade picture of my hubby and gave it to us the last time we saw them. My daughter had put it together earlier and it was now time to clean up. I thought I'd pitch in when I saw how diligently she was working so I grabbed the plastic baggy and started picking up the pieces...You can figure out the rest.

    Which one of these stories is true? Use your mad investigative skills to untangle the web I have spun. Careful, things may not be as they appear. Good luck.

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    "You need to talk, not just roll away."

    We all had 'assigned' seats for our daughter's impromptu puppet show, with our own personalized 'tickets,' so when my oldest decided he wanted to 'trade' with my youngest, there was an issue. But instead of handling the situation like an adult, my 4 year old dropped to his knees, grunted, and started rolling away on his back. (makes me wonder now if he's seen this behavior before...hmmm...maybe he was acting like an adult...) Anyway, so I said what I said, he let out another grunt, rolled around some more, then got up and reluctantly asked his brother to move. Was that really so hard? I was actually teaching him a life lesson just then: Don't roll away from confrontation. Grunting is not the answer. Dropping to your knees when upset will not resolve problems. He'll thank me later, I'm sure.

    Saturday, February 19, 2011

    Quote break. Review opportunity.

    How fun would it be to get a swing set for me, I mean the kids, this spring?! Not sure if it'll happen but CSN Stores certainly makes it fun to look at swingsets and all kinds of outdoor play items. Or maybe I'll check out their beautiful bedding or some funky lights for the bathroom or even a fancy kitchen appliance. Those folks at CSN Stores have really been generous with their giveaways and now another review! I'm not sure what I'll end up reviewing but I'll certainly have fun looking through all their neat stuff. Since they have over 200 stores, I know I'll be happily busy searching for just the right product to share with you. Stay tuned...

    Friday, February 18, 2011

    "Laugh tomorrow. Goodnight."

    I think it's pretty clear how daddy was feeling at this point. Little man is definitely the biggest goofball in our family and, while he keeps us in stitches most of the time, there comes a moment (usually in the evening) when mommy and daddy are ready for some calm and quiet. So when I heard my little guy cracking (himself) up while my husband was tucking him in, I perked up to hear how my hubby was going to deal with it. Once again, I was surprised and impressed by his calmness and brevity. That's all it took. The laughter ceased and we proceeded to have a relaxing evening watching a movie. But not before we both looked at each other and smiled knowingly about how silly our lives have become.

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    "I'm done apologizing to your frog."

    I know I stepped on it, and I did say I was sorry. Twice. But just because it still couldn't hear me doesn't mean I'm going to keep apologizing. I understand that it fell down the steps the second time so it was distracted but I think the important part is that you heard me and can surely relay my remorse. Is that fair? Are we good? Good.

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    "I'm not going to fight until you put your pjs on."

    Umm...huh? Now that's not something you normally hear at, say, a cage fight. But it sure would catch the opponent off guard and give you some sort of weird advantage, simply because the person might just think you're unstable and therefore unpredictable and worthy of fearing. So, now that I'm thinking more about it, someone needs to go ahead and say this to another adult. Should you find yourself in a situation where a fight might very well occur, I suggest you utter these words to your opponent/assailant/competitor and be ready to reap the benefits of talking crazy. Just try it. I mean, what's the worse that could happen??

    Oh, Happy Valentine's Day!!

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    "Mmm, your butt doesn't need to touch her face."

    I realize you're just wrestling around and I know that you're really flexible, but I'm sure there is a way you can manage to 'take your sister downtown' without your bottom being smack-dab on her face. I'm just sayin'.

    Sunday, February 6, 2011

    "Is that your friend's underwear on the table?"

    Daughter: Yes
    Me: So she just left without her underwear?
    Daughter: Yes
    Me: But...why?
    Daughter: I don't know.
    Me: So...
    Daughter: Oh, maybe she was wearing mine.
    Me: Oh. (naturally.....)

    Okay, not a big deal - these girls often switch clothes, dress up, etc. whenever they get together so it's not unusual for random articles of clothing to be left behind. What would be unusual is this:

    Hubby: Is that your friend's underwear on the table?
    Me: Yes
    Hubby: So she just left without her underwear?
    Me: Yes
    Hubby: But...why?
    Me: I don't know.
    Hubby: So...
    Me: Oh, maybe she was wearing mine.

    Now that would cause some concern for all parties involved, huh?

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    "Let me hold your gun until we get on the bus."

    Or: "Don't shoot strangers."

    Or: "Shoot only family."

    Take your pick. These are all things my bro-in-law said to his daughter one day during our DW trip. Each child got to pick out a little something from one of the shops at the park and my niece chose a cool looking toy gun. Or rifle. Not sure...Anyway, she was having lots of fun with it but daddy just wanted to make sure no one got offended. He's really into gun safety. Her twin sister, on the other hand, was happily playing with her princess purse or doll or necklace (can't remember exactly what she chose) and was quite oblivious to the gun show. Now, these two cuties are very shy and rarely talk to someone until they feel super comfortable with that person, so just picture the little shooter, head down and eyes up, a shy smile on her face, walking around quietly 'shooting' whatever she felt needed shooting. I don't think anyone would have minded being shot by her at all.

    Monday, January 31, 2011

    "Why would I tell you to sit on your head?"

    "So the woodpecker is driving?"

    "Is there a reason you're wearing flip flops in the snow?"

    "When is it okay to eat candy for breakfast?"

    "How did the cat get in the dishwasher?"

    "Did you just lick the dog?"

    "Why would you put gum on the cat?!"

    "How could the dinosaur be afraid of the dolphin?"

    "But...why is it okay to sleep naked?"

    "Where did you last have your feet?"

    "Aren't you cold without your legs?"

    Thanks to all who sent these in! Hilarious. Keep 'em coming...

    Thursday, January 27, 2011

    "Is that how hippos laugh?"

    Now, let's just take a moment to reflect on this question. As a person, you ask a ton of questions on a daily basis. If you're at school or at work, you ask a ton more. And those questions might be a little more specialized or unique in some way and might not be easily understandable to someone not familiar with the subject or context. But as a parent, you find yourself asking perfectly ridiculous questions to little people who couldn't possibly know the correct answer because, well, there probably isn't one. Yet we ask these questions with such seriousness and sincerity. And they might even lead to some sort of inane discussion where questions and sentences are shooting out from all sides and no one is joking but nothing really makes sense either. Whereas the work or school questions could be answered by finding or figuring out something, the parent/child questions can't really be answered by anyone, no matter how much research you do or how long you ponder. Just looking back on some of my own questions got me thinking about other parents and what they've asked.

    So now I pose this to you: What crazy thing have you asked your child/children (nieces, nephews, friends' kids, etc.) lately?

    In case you need some guidance, here are a few more of mine:

    Did that baby come out of your nose?
    Why are you smelling me?
    How about you both be chocolate baby?
    Did you just put a girl down your shirt?

    E-mail me at practicalmama@gmail.com or leave a comment on the Facebook page. I can't wait to get a crazy list going to share with others!

    Monday, January 24, 2011

    "You can cry and clean up at the same time."

    It's true, you can. I've seen it done and have even done so myself on occasion. So, I'm sorry you're upset that you have to dismantle your 'office' but I gave you fair warning that this time was going to come. But standing in the middle of the living room, crying, isn't going to pick up the mess so put that frustration to good use and grab that lamp and put it back on the table. You go girl! Now gather all those papers and stack them in a pile, pick them all up and take them to your room. You can do this! Fill that box up with the crayons and markers and you're almost done. Just wheel that chair back to the computer room and we'll call it good. Nice job - way to hold it together. Come give me a hug and a high five!

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    "Your woodpecker just poked me in the eye."

    Ahem. I felt a bit funny saying that to my kid, but I just thought he should be aware of what was going on. Not that it hurt or anything, just a bit fuzzy and uncomfortable. But still...one needs to be in control of one's things and not have them flailing around incautiously, right?

    Happy Friday everyone!

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    "You just made me dance in my pants!"

    When my daughter gets excited she says funky things. And when she's playing, she really gets into character and comes up with rather bizarre thoughts. But she says them with such enthusiasm and sincerity that you can't help but feel what she's feeling. So when I told her some great news (like we'd be getting ice cream later or we were thinking about taking them swimming...) she immediately got this glow on her face and said the first thing she was feeling (as she energetically acted out her words). I love that about her - the freedom to say and do whatever is on her mind without caring how it sounds or even who is listening. So when I overheard her say the other day, in the most sweetest tone ever, "Sorry I'm touching your chicken, I just need to see something," I just smiled. But then, after a few moments, I heard her exclaim in a rather exasperated manner, "Oh don't leave your chicken in the doorway!" and I just had to go give her a big hug.

    Saturday, January 15, 2011

    "Dancing around under the blankets was not one of the options."

    My husband had clearly stated what the kids needed to clean up and he even gave examples of some of the things they could do: take the chairs back to the kitchen, put the cushions back on the couches, return the toys to the toy room, etc. So when he saw our oldest shaking his stuff instead of cleaning, he simply made this statement and walked on. I managed to catch only a glimpse of my son emerging from the blankets and putting them on the sofa, but it was enough to see him still shaking his sweet head to whatever music he was hearing in it.

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    "Take the boots off your hands and put the shoes on your feet."

    Sheesh. Remember when you were a kid and you liked to put feet items on your hands? Like socks and shoes and maybe even pantyhose? And you thought it was so fun and really funny and thought everyone else should be enjoying it as much as you? And you wanted to take the time to show off your absurdness (ha ha, look, i'm wearing shoes...on my hands!)? And you even tried to get your mom or dad to join in because it was just hilarious? Well, it's really not. Not anymore, anyway. Not when your 8 year old has your boots up to his shoulders and nothing on his feet and it's time to leave for school. Not when your 2 other kids are about to join in and strip the shoes off their own feet to wear them on their hands. Not when you already woke up with a headache and would rather be in your pjs sipping tea and not driving a van full of children to school because it's your day to drive in the carpool. Okay, so maybe I was a bit grouchy. Maybe I should have just laughed and cheered him on. Or maybe I could just surprise him and be wearing my flip flops on my hands when I go pick him up. Now wouldn't that be hilarious?!

    Sunday, January 9, 2011

    "Ok, I guess I'll go escort my son to the dragon now."

    It's not often that you get to talk about dragons in such a calm, nonchalant way. At least for me. But it was Disney World and all kinds creatures abound so I think it would actually be quite difficult not to say something that didn't mention a fairy or a talking lion or a giant rat. Our week in the magical kingdom was filled with fun and wonder and, from the adults' point of view, bemusement and excess. So when my youngest kept pulling me toward some enormity while I was trying to talk to my brother-in-law, I didn't think twice about how my words, in most 'normal' situations, might be cause for concern. So I did precisely as I said and went to show my son the huge orange dragon that welcomed you to another land. And he loved it, so I loved it, and we were all happy once again.

    Thursday, January 6, 2011

    "Honey, you're sitting in pizza,"

    said my mother-in-law, in a slow southern drawl, to my niece. Since beginning this blog I have, at times, become desensitized to some of the strange things I say to my children and don't even think to write some stuff down, but when I hear someone else utter oddities I immediately perk up and take note. It was day 4 of Disney World and we're back at the hotel. Another long, but fun, day of riding and walking. The adults are all worn out but the children have somehow found their 2nd or 3rd wind and just seem to keep on going. Grandma is watching the kids play and eat when she casually makes this observation. I hear it and just laugh. Then my husband laughs. She looks over and asks what is so funny. When I repeat what she had just said she takes a moment to process how peculiar that must have sounded and begins giggling as well. Maybe we were just tired or maybe we were just feeling silly, but that made for a good reminder of how differently we talk to kids and how indifferent we can become to it.

    Take a moment to think about what you've said to your kids today....

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    "Yes good, don't fight Mickey Mouse."

    From their cousins, my sons got light sabers and were 'fighting' each other at the hotel last week. My oldest grew weary and walked away, but little guy was still going strong. At one point I heard him talking animately to whomever was his opponent when he suddenly stopped, looked at me and said, "Don't worry mommy, I'm not gonna fight Mickey Mouse." As I assured him that this was indeed a good idea, I heard my sister-in-law snicker as she walked by. We looked at each other and just smiled and shrugged. What else was there to say?