We were first introduced to a ‘Where’s Waldo’ book when it was given to our older son as a birthday present. It is a cute book that is composed of various pages, each with different scenes that contain multiple images and details. It is like activity overdrive for your eyes. Within all of this visual activity lies a strategically placed, possibly obscure “Waldo.” He is always present…somewhere. The object of the book(s) is to ignore all of the distractions and discover Waldo.
While I was going through some recent family pictures I realized with a smile that we have a Waldo living in our midst. Look at a few of the pictures below and see if you can answer “Where’s Waldo?”
Where's Waldo during our kitchen remodel?
White? Stinky breath? Furry? Gaseous? Food mugger? Yes, our “Waldo” is none other than our faithful English Lab. She always manages to include herself in the pictures because she is never far from underfoot. We’ve gone sailing through the air because of her enormous body girth invading our body balance zone too many times to count. Even in one of the photos on “don’t mess with the estrogen factor” (in this blog) her tail could be seen cleverly hidden behind our youngest child.
At one point in time during the kid’s bedtime routine, everyone ended up in the bathroom…somehow, not exactly sure how but I’ll never let it happen again. The boys, were gathered around the toilet having “pee races” while Donnie cheered them on. Testosterone at its best. It was pure chaos and the noise volume was deafening causing my head to throb. If given the option I would not be within 2ft of that crowded, hot steamy, rank smelling (thanks to the boys letting them rip!) thunderous space. As I was helping our youngest brush his teeth I felt a hot, steamy sensation on the back of my calf. At first I thought it was from one of the multiple bodies in the room or actual steam condensing on my leg due to the extreme temperature in the bathroom. However, after a few seconds I began to realize that the sensation was way too localized, too concentrated in one area and occasionally cool and moist. Glancing down I saw that the localized steam bath was due to the fact that Angel had managed to maneuver her lard butt into the already cramped space and, given the lack of space, was panting on my leg with her nose pressed against me! She had the entire house to invade so why would she want to be in this cramped war zone? Immediately I visualized whale watchers observing my stress and irritation build to the point where they would yell out the warning “There she blows!” Snapping back to reality I yelled “ANGEL!” fully intending to go off on a verbal rampage insulting her existence in the bathroom that night. However, when I called her name she bounced up excitedly nearly knocking me and Sam over, her tail wagging, tongue hanging out just thankful to be included and noticed among the chaos. I could only smile as hubs replied “Well they ARE family dogs and they like to BE with their family.” Be with our family is a job that she does quite well. As our family continues to create many visually stimulating photos we will always be sure to ask “Where’s Waldo?”
Posted in Dogs
Red Hatters pottery painting
Truth be told I am about as creative as a copier machine however, when I got the call from my 80yr old Grammy to join her and the Red Hatters for a night out creating master works of pottery, I was all over it! The pottery painting place is one of my daughter’s and my favorite spot to spend quality time and $$$. Money being the operative word in my last sentence. I mean, why wouldn’t you justify spending that outrageously inflated price of $46 on a serving platter? YOUR child CREATED it with her mind and bare hands right? Sometimes that explanation works when the hubby wants to know why a small loan was drafted to cover an evening of pottery painting, but I wouldn’t recommend using it. To be safe, just opt for the cheap animal figurine.
The Red Hatters were in full garb and ready for some paint brush action by the time we arrived. Some of the women were amazingly creative and took to their project like seasoned Generals. Confidence abounded around them as they picked their pottery and paint colors without an ounce of hesitation. Within minutes these creative wonders were seated and feverishly went to work on their master pieces. Then there were the women who stood with an entire arsenal of books in hand frantically flipping between the pages trying to find “just the right one.” Likewise, picking out their paint colors was, for these individuals, like filling out a 50 page application complete with blood and urine samples. Detailed and Antagonizing. By the time I reached the lady who was assisting us I seriously felt for her. I mean she looked spent! Stray hairs were springing out from her previously manicured doo and stress covered her face. She wasn’t even trying to smile as she motioned for me. I sucked in my breath and approached her. The colors were overwhelming and there were soooo many to choose only six!! Blank. Blank. Blank. I couldn’t think of what to choose. So I decided to explain the colors of my kitchen and what I was looking for in the salt n pepper shaker that I had chosen and had in hand….what I wanted them to do for me. Surely this detailed monolog would cause the colors to skip off the wall and into my palate, right? As I began my verbal decent I heard a familiar voice beside me echoing almost the exact same verbiage. I paused and looked behind me to see my MOTHER complete with dinner plate (also in hand) attempting to explain to the other exasperated lady what she expected to create from the dinner plate…what she wanted this plate to do for her. I paused and stood silently as the reality hit me. I was JUST like her! Much to the angst of the sales ladies we were blah, blah, blahing them to death! The entire group of Red Hatters had passed by the paint station and here we, of the same DNA were left in mirror image faltering worse than that of the detailed and antagonizing individuals! We were 100% indecisive. Oh, could it really be?
I quickly snapped out of my traumatizing realization by the “ahem” of the stressed-out paint girl. Leaving my mom in her verbose quagmire, I picked out some colors and went to work. Now should it surprise you that I was not able to finish my work of art by closing time and was subsequently kicked out? I was given the option to return another day and complete my masterpiece.
Mom, Grammy, my daughter and I called it a night. On the way home my mom decided to swing by Starbucks (she denied me earlier when I had a brain splitting headache) and get some Java. While we were waiting in line my Grammy began to “street talk” like a gangsta. It is our belief that the extended exposure to paint fumes may have been to much for her. Or, as my mom remarked “The Home Is Calling!”
Look out cuz world, here I come!
Ummm, yea…as you see two months have passed since my last post. I knew it would roll this way. Well, in-between hauling the kids around, school activities, homework and projects, sports, daily errands and serving as the household maid (thanks Sammy for peeing your bed last night!) there is little time to sit and “blog.” As it is now there is a million and one things I could and should be doing, like raunchy smelling pee laundry but instead I opt to sit here and sip on my coffee while the house is quiet. The kids are at school and I have about one hour before I have to pick Sammy up from pre-school. Speaking of Sammy…I can not believe how grown up four year old kids are today. While dropping him off at school today his classmate turned to me with a sly smile on his face as he said “Mrs. (teacher’s name) you’re a HOT MUTHUR!” I turned my head to hide my reaction, which is what he was after. The teacher, who was caught off guard, choked on her saliva and promptly told me how they were working with this child on respect and how to properly address teachers. What? A four year old boy calling out that his pre-school teacher is a HOT MUTHUR isn’t respectful? I can’t wait to see him in high school. Although I should not be too hard on the little guy considering Sammy has proudly added “nuts” and “balls” to his vocabulary (thanks older brother Josh) as well as sign language with the middle finger. He has also discovered that a swift hit to the male genitalia area can produce a rapid crippling effect providing him with a much needed advantage against his older brother, who towers over him. The sound of Sammy wailing, because he is not getting what he wants followed by a painful grunt and sometimes a falling thud to the ground from Josh is all to familiar in this household. But the absolute proudest parental moment comes when we’re out at a heavily populated store and Sammy loudly announces “Oww, that cart hurt my nuts!” or “I have to scratch my balls.” Or when we’re driving in the car and all of a sudden we hear roars of laughter erupt from the back. As oblivious parents we proudly assume that our children are engaging in sibling bonding because THAT is what we want to believe. However, we quickly (thanks to the disgusted glares from passing cars) discover that Sammy has given an innocent passenger/driver in another car “the bird.” Lovely. Needless to say, we are implementing corrective processes to deal with these recently added vocab words and finger action (like still pretending to be oblivious). However, it doesn’t help matters that his older siblings laugh hysterically when he uses such words or sign language. Realizing that he can obtain such a reaction causes him to continue with the slang. Although on the other end of the spectrum he also has quite the medical vocabulary for anatomical locations. Once he was heard referring to a bloody nose as “I’m bleeding from my nasal cavity!!” And when he gets cut he’ll often say “I have a laceration.” So if we can get the nuts and balls to somehow turn into vocabulary testicles we’d be in a less embarrassing situation right? One thing I’ve learned from parenthood is that embarrasing moments are a part of life. Embrace them. Live, Laugh Love!
Posted in The kids
- The approaching storm
I was outside experimenting with my new camera lens attempting to capture a massive storm (above) rolling in when the cries of my youngest pierced the calm, still air. I knew if it was anything serious he would hunt me down outside which is exactly what he did. I fully expected him to tell on his siblings for teasing him especially since his sister had a friend (Sami) over for the day. Like a pack of wild animals, the youngest is usually singled out…it’s just the way nature operates.
It's TERRIBLE MOMMY...Just TERRIBLE!!!
I stopped impersonating a National Geographic Photographer and gave him my “full” attention while, out of the corner of my eye I watched as prime photo opportunities passed by. “It’s terrible Mommy, just terrible!!” he wailed incoherently through sobs as tears streamed down his face. “You have to SAVE my brother…they going to KILL him and FEED him to the Coyotes.” He was clearly upset and began to frantically tug at my hand for me to follow him inside. I tried to hid the smile that was begining to form because, to him, something very bad was taking place but the image of his beloved brother being fed to Coyotes was unlikely and slighlty amusing. Although these girls are capable of a lot of things, including inflicting physical harm, I had my doubts as to the accuracy of my son’s report. He rapidly led me inside as if his brother’s very breath depended on his speed. As we began the decent downstairs I was met with the image of my older son hog tied with duct tape struggling on the ground.
Look what they did!
I can get free!!
It appears that this boy took the remote and hid it from the girls while they were watching TV. Refusing to give up its location he met the wrath of hormonal tweens with mega doses of estrogen coursing through their bodies. Before he knew it, he was over powered and rendered helpless. His head was covered in sweat showing proof of the struggle that occurred. Their plan was to take him outside and make a spectale out of him and so they proceed to haul him into the garage as his little bro screamed and wailed.
WAAA, they are taking him outside!!!
Despite my attempts to calm this frantic child down and inform him that his brother was fine and rather enjoying the adventure and attention, the sight of his older brother gagged and bound with duct tape was too much for him to bear even though everyone was smiling (including older bro through the duct tape).
Taking their prey outside - with fresh tears
In the end my older son gave up the location of the remote and the girls gave him a strong warning and released him back into the wild. The youngest eventually stopped wailing once he was able to check his brother out from head to toe making sure he was “really ok.”
An important lesson was learned today in our household and will always be remembered….Don’t mess with the Estrogen factor!!
Posted in The kids
OK, so my caffeine crazed daughter loves to “buzz” by Starbucks in the AM before school to get her bi-weekly (decaf) “buzz.” Her addiction is the iced white chocolate mocha usually in venti which she pleasurably sips, and savors with a few “ahhhhs” escaping in between her sips. Once in the building, she makes a quick dash to her locker where she keeps her Starbucks stash that she excitedly savors between classes. On occasion she will bring a friend an iced coffee as a pay back for borrowing lunch money. Once the aroma of Starbucks hits the school air it never fails that several frenzy induced students begin to steal sips from the locker dwelling beverages. Her teacher is aware of her fondness with Starbucks and simply shakes her head and laughs. Well last week she decided to a few of her friends in the decaf iced white chocolate mochas. She owed some of these friends money for lunch and they decided she would pay them back with Starbucks. So off she strode into the school with her coffee carrier laden down with drinks. She rapidly and stealth like (so as not to offend any of the other kids) distributed the drinks which the girls each placed in their lockers. One of the teachers caught sight of a student sipping on the iced coffee at her locker and immediately became rabid! She figured the drink came from my daughter and hunted her down like a poacher after Ivory tusks. When she found my female child she began to twitch and foam at the mouth as she hissed “Don’t you ever bring one of those drinks to my students again!!” drawing much attention to the previously unnoticed beverages. All of the drinks were rounded up and placed under quarantine. The other girls immediately gave up their goods but my female was not about to surrender her liquid gold so quickly. Only after she was promised that she would get the drink back and that it would be kept under refrigeration did she let go of her prized possession. The rabid teacher notified the principal and continued to hate on my daughter, who reminded her that the teacher herself drank coffee and approximately 27 Dr. Peppers a day during school. My daughter was jacked that she was getting reamed out for something that she has been doing all year and that her Starbucks was confiscated and deemed an illegal school beverage. Hmmmm, I predict to see Starbucks being added to future urine screens and k9 locker patrols. As the flair saying goes “They might as well call it crack!”
Grande, Grande, Venti!!!
I recently posted the episode concerning my soon to be 10yr old son, whipping out his Johnson and whizzing off the front walkway of our home. This action was, of course, performed in full view of neighbors outside enjoying the beautiful day, young children cloaked in innocence playing, cars passing by and the poor mail man who just happened to be doing his job of mail delivery and was therefore visually assaulted.
Yes, I was downstairs performing my dreaded duty of clothing care. I heard him ask our Chihuahua if she had to pee followed by the sound of the front door opening. Pride filled my heart at that very moment as I slaved away, determined to eradicate the existence of stains from our clothes. “Wow, I didn’t even have to ask or remind him to put the dog(s) out…he is showing such responsibility…what a great kid” were the thoughts that filled my mind as a smile beamed across my face. I decided to press pause on my laundry duties and check out the house breaking progress of the little rat assuring that she did not decide to bolt on my son once given the freedom of the great outdoors. Still beaming, I rounded the corner and bounced up the steps to the front door. Expecting to see a Chihuahua in the squat position, I carefully peaked out the door so as not to distract her. Horror filled my heart when instead of the dog relieving herself, I saw my son with his package fully exposed and streaming a forceful flow of urine high in the sky. He shielded the sun from his eyes with one hand as he tracked his urine rainbow in the sky. I stood frozen fearing my corrections would only attract more attention. Humans, humans and more humans were all around him. Some giggled while others turned their heads in either embarrassment or out of respect for his privacy that he seemed to care little about. Kids could be heard laughing and trying to suppress their giggles. The couple of cars that were passing by slowed dramatically once catching a glimpse of the urine rainbow that is, until they discovered its source. Then once identifying the origination of the beautiful translucent stream, they increased to almost light speed proportions and zoomed away. I sucked in my breath as I heard the familiar sound of the mail truck with its squeaky breaks coming to a stop directly in front of our home. The mailman unexpectedly gazed up as he usually does to offer a polite wave or nod, only this time his hello was met with blazen glory! My son waved and smiled a crooked smile of extreme relief and satisfaction as he “shook” his man friend and put it carefully away. The unprepared mailman shielded his eyes with the mail as he quickly placed it in the box and hurriedly left never once looking back.
He turned around and seeing me (still frozen) for the first time he nonchalantly replied “Oh hey mom, I took Sophie out to pee because I had to pee too…I couldn’t hold it so I just went and I was thinking that maybe it will help her smell the scent when she is out here.” Clever boy. Then true to the male nature he added with pride “…and man was my bladder loaded….I really shot that high!!” Scooping up Sophie, he hurried past me and retreated downstairs before I could snap out of my dazed stupor and bring correction because, of course it goes without saying but, he knows better!
Boys will be boys. I guess having a hose like plumbing apparatus comes with certain advantages that we females know nothing about. Never in a gazillion years will mankind witness females (of any age) popping a squat in the yard while in full view of all of creation and then proceed to brag about it later. Nope. Never. So Men, the world is your toilet in more ways than one…PEE RESPONSIBLY!
Posted in The kids
After visiting the Philippines in 2006 I was deeply effected by the living conditions that I saw along our travels. The images of children living on the street begging for life sustaining food and water will forever be with me. The most haunting of these images was that of the scattered bodies of sleeping children strewn over the sidewalks. After staying up throughout the most dangerous hours of the night they would sleep during the day on the warm sidewalks. A seemingly common sight to the inhabitants of the Philippines, they would step over these sleeping children during their morning commute to work. If I shut my eyes I can still see the little toddler girl curled protectively in the fetal position, her once white shorts now tattered and dingy. Her pink top was stained and ripped and her jet black hair was tangled as it lay across her little face shielding her eyes from the sun. As our taxi drove past her a huge lump formed in my throat and warm tears erupted from my eyes and flowed down my cheeks for all to see. Granted, I was missing my own toddler who we left with my parents but these feelings were more than just maternal longing. They were of one human feeling the suffering of another. I vowed at that moment not to forget the images that burned themselves into my eyes…and forget I have not. International Relief Missions (IRM) http://www.irm.dayspringharvest.org/ a ministry fueled by these images was developed by my friend and myself with the desire to send help and hope in boxes. Please check out our web site for more info. If we can give one person that little bit of hope to continue on we just may be able to reach a nation….one person at a time!