Posts Tagged ‘children’

Road trips with minions are never boring….hair-raising, loud, and stressful maybe, but never boring. The tallish minion and I have come up with a game. When we’re in the car for a long time, we work on our dream house.

Our dream house is entirely made up, and we decided that if we ever win the lottery, this is what we will build. Every trip we add rooms, colors, decorations, pets, and anything else we can come up with.

It’s going to be a rainbow of color, because we just can’t agree on anything. Since there are so many rooms, it is a sprawling structure with several wings. There will be a lime and black zebra wall, a turquoise wall, and an entirely mirrored wall, as well as sides of every other jewel-tone there is. Hot pink trim will grace the entire thing…which includes turrets.

Inside will be rooms to suit any taste, and we will rent them out like a hotel. When you book a room, you don’t book by a number, you book by style. Victorian Powder Room, anyone?

The minion has a few rooms added that will take some ingenuity. A treehouse room that has to be an actual treehouse is on the list. A treehouse with access to the rest of the house by slide, zipline, and rope ladder.

There will be two ballrooms. One of the traditional kind, for dancing, modeled (of course) after Beauty and the Beast, Disney version. Another will be a ballroom in the literal sense. No furniture, the entire room will be a ball pit. Plastic colored balls. With a disco ball chandelier, round mirrors on every wall, and port-hole windows. The walls in here will be yellow with pink polka-dots.

Of course there will be an indoor pool, shaped like a crescent moon, and a star-shaped hot-tub. The gym will have all the traditional equipment, except in neon colors. A ballet barre will line one wall, and a gymnastics mat will stretch through the center.

The playground room will be just like it sounds. Think McDonald’s, without the creepy clown and the hamburger dude.

I have (silently) decided on a fully stocked bar. A gameroom will probably go well with that.

The minions both voted for a movie theater.

The list of pets is almost as long as the list of rooms. There will be ferrets and flying squirrels, one naked cat, a team of huskies, fainting pygmy goats, and ponies. Outside there will be a small zoo with ring-tailed lemurs, a few monkeys, and a Zebra named Zed.

One wall of the kitchen will be the side of the salt-water aquarium with the dolphins. They will be trained to let the minions ride, and they won’t eat fish…that would be “soo friggin’ gross.”

The whole structure must be on stilts, since we took a trip to Corpus and the tallish minion became fascinated by the houses on sticks.

I’ve decided that this is all feasible. I just need to win the lottery a few times, get a fairy godmother, and find some magic beans.

It started with a simple desire to do a little cleaning while the tallish minion was in school, and the smallish one was on vacation with his dad. Nothing major, just a little Spring Cleaning without their input and hysterics when I tossed half of the 137 stuffies in the donation bag and threw out a few dozen Happy Meal boxes.

It ended with a destroyed kitchen, a pickup with the bed overflowing, and a storage room emptied and repurposed. Throw in a sprained knee, 9 new bruises, and a sore back. Add the help of two WONDERFUL friends.

The ultimate result was that the minions’ shared room became the tallish one’s room, and the storage room became the smallish one’s room. He finally has a room of his VERY OWN, and the video I have of him screaming I LOVE IT is completely worth the hassle.

I thought I was done for a while, except for the storage stuff purged into the kitchen and the poor truck that needed emptied.

I was wrong.

The first night gave me a new respect for nurses in nursing homes where each grumpy patient has a call button. One needed medicine, the other chocolate milk. While I was in the opposite room, Orange Kitty decided to somehow unplug the smallish one’s TV. Screaming ensues.

While I’m fixing the TV, the tallish one shrieks from her room. The medicine I’d just given her included some oil for an ear infection, complete with cotton ball. The panic was…”my cotton ball just got lost down my ear and is stuck in my throat.”

Ummm…

I fished the cotton ball out of her sheets, assured her that cotton balls will NOT travel from her ear to anywhere else inside her. This was about the time something touched the back of my knee.

I screamed, she screamed, and her little brother bolted, yelling “I just wanted night-night kisses!!!”

Sometime a couple hours past bedtime, I finally peeked in on two snoring minions, in their own beds, in their own rooms. It was a tough decision not to take a photo of each, because they were just too darn cute…I’m pretty sure the flash would have woken them up and worn out the cuteness real quick.

 

Travelling with minions is not for the weak. Murphey, or Newton, or whichever smart guy of the olden days said “whatever can go wrong, will,” nailed it.

I took a trip this past week to Corpus, with some friends and of course the tallish and smallish minions. They loved it, I loved it, I’m pretty sure I’ve dissuaded at least one friend from ever having kids…and I learned a few travelling lessons along the way.

Be sure you pack at least one backpack of “things to do” for each child. A shared bag of entertainment is unacceptable, and not nearly big enough. You need, at a minimum, gadgets with apps, chargers for said gadgets, coloring books and crayons, games, a digital camera, something that plays music…and be prepared to still have to give up your cell phone.

The trip WILL take twice as long as you plan. Takes 11 hours to get there (and you know this because you’ve done it more than once)? Nope. Better plan to get there in about 24, including camping out at a budget motel somewhere along the way, parked next to a pedophile van, trying to dissuade your friends from telling ghost stories about haunted motels.

Avoid pizza places. They ALL have games and money-sucker machines that are irresistible to minions.

Bring trash bags. You’ll discover a ton of different uses, besides the fact that 2 minions on a road trip can create more trash than a family of 4 in a week. It WILL rain, and you can put your luggage (suitcases and all) in big trash bags for the back of the pickup. Put extra pillows and blankets in one, because there will be some point on the trip that it will become necessary to create one giant pallet full of sleeping little ones in the back of the cab.

…wait. Everyone travels in a pickup, right?

Then, you should also brace yourself for the music. No matter that there are 2 tablets, an mp3 player, a couple of iPods, and 14 pairs of earphones floating around…you WILL be giving up radio rights. You WILL be listening to Kidz Bop for hours on end, and you WILL memorize the Gummy Bear song before you get home.

When you’re at your destination, driving around exploring and taking photos, the local police will pull you over for making a sudden uTurn for a shot of the Shrimp Crossing sign you just spotted. And when said cop hits his lights, your minions (who have memorized Despicable Me 2) will “be a siren” for him by yelling “beedo, beedo, beedo…” until you threaten them with jail time. Thankfully, lots of cops in touristy towns are pretty patient with tourists.

…or they feel sorry for the poor idiots hauling around the Beedo Kids.

You’ll also need snacks. 37 bags of chips, 20 suckers, a container of trail mix, some doughnuts, crackers, apples and bananas, and assorted cookies. You have to resist the temptation to mix sedatives into the snacks. It’s frowned upon…although I’m not sure I understand why.

I also don’t understand where this new gray hair suddenly came from…

It’s that time of year again. The time the tallish minion shows up waving around the much-anticipated Little League form. Time to bust out the Barbie bat and pink glove, locate a handful of the 137 practice balls that are floating around here somewhere, and get our big girl panties on…because “there’s NO CRYING in baseball.”
That’s my mantra through March and April every year…and by May, I give up because I’m usually crying by then, too. The minion thinks that baseball is the greatest sport ever for the first few practices and about the 3rd game. Then, someone gets stung by a bee, sunburns, or gets sore and tired of running, and suddenly it’s all my fault for signing her up for baseball yet again.
THIS YEAR though, it’s going to be a whole new ballgame. Pun intended.
The smallish minion has been telling me for two years that “Momma, I big enough to play batheball.”
This year, he is finally big enough for real. And a hand-me-down Barbie bat just ain’t gonna cut it. So, I am in search of a Batman bat, which I am pretty sure they don’t make, and a smaller than extra-small glove, because the smallish minion is tiny.
He also wants real baseball pants, which I am pretty sure don’t come in toddler sizes; and cleats, which I am pretty sure would land someone in the emergency room somehow. He has allowed that in the absence of cleats, his new (smooth-bottomed) cowboy boots shall work nicely.
I’m not sure who his coach will be this year, but I hope it’s someone with the patience of a saint. I coached the last two years…and I am now braving the world of single-parenting with an extra job and an EMT class. So when I was asked to coach again, I laughed and laughed. Then I ran.
So, whoever tackles the role that resembles herding Patriot-clad cats has my respect, and my sympathy. I guess I should warn them that my son is a leftie…
BW Set 5

My son has a radar…

There is apparently a silent alarm that goes off somewhere in his little head when the following happens:

  • Mommy sits at the computer
  • Mommy has a deadline looming in the very near future
  • Mommy thinks he is asleep and runs a bath
  • Mommy kisses daddy

This alarm sounds and immediately spurs him into action…it is suddenly time to either have a walleyed hissy fit or climb something. If the alarm sounds after bedtime, it is his cue to come running out of his room like a banshee on cocaine, careening across the hardwood driving a popcorn popper machine with an Easter bucket on his head.

This is what I deal with every minute of every day…even “at work.”

…an amazing occurrence, considering that both are hidden at least 5 feet from the floor every night as a part of the bedtime ritual. The bedtime ritual that includes 4 hugs, 3 “I lub you’s”, and 2 kisses on each cheek (ours and his).

The Deadline Radar is the worst, especially considering that my “office” is in the living room. Working from home is great in theory, and to those who argue that I “am so lucky” are right in that I don’t have to pay $45 a day for childcare. However, have you ever tried to complete a college-level essay on dental procedures with a two-year-old IN the chair behind you, drawing on your neck with a Sharpie and playing Angry Birds on your ringing cell phone?

It’s no wonder I’m crazy…

Any of you work from home? What are your coping mechanisms?

There are a few things that They forgot to tell me about having a kid in school. Now that my oldest minion is in first grade, the school supply list is apparently an important thing…and quite specific. They also neglected to mention that as fun as school supply shopping sounds, it’s not for the faint of heart.

By the way, They are the same They who forgot to send home my owner’s manual when I left the hospital with my newborn minions…

A few days ago, I took my daughter shopping for school supplies…realizing too late that I’d arrived at Wal-Mart at 5pm on a Friday, and not just any Friday but the last one of the month a week after school supply lists were released.

So I was in Wally World with a few thousand other people on the same mission I was. I stood in a knot of people vying for the last Batman Backpack, thanking the powers that be for giving me a girl…there was an abundance of Hello Kitty.

She was worried about being the only child in class without all the “right” stuff. It reminded me of a conversation I’d had with her midway through Pre-K, where she informed me that she needed some Sketchers. I’d replied that she had tons of shoes in every style imaginable.

“But MOM,” she wailed, “do you WANT me to have no friends!?”

I was catapulted back in time to somewhere in junior high to the day I realized I was the only one in class without the socially-required shiny new Trapper Keeper. She got the Sketchers, and I’ve wondered since why that particular Tween-angst vice had to start so early.

Couldn’t they wait until junior high or even high school to start worrying about these things??

Thanks to my own sympathy in the situation, we spent two hours in Wal-Mart last week, searching out the perfect supplies. Who knew that something as simple as a spiral notebook would require ten minutes of pondering what might be coolest this year?

I spent a couple minutes explaining to some clueless woman that the “2 8CT Crayons” on her list meant “two boxes of crayons that have 8 in EACH box” and not some special new-age Crayola 2.0 that the stores must have sold out of.

I dodged 6 children under the age of 4 (Where is your mother!?), and one Yorkie (Seriously, in Wal-Mart?).

There’s a bruise on my hip from the third shopping-cart hit-and-run.

Half my paycheck disappeared across a pile of supplies that I can’t imagine are absolutely necessary. I mean, come on…zip-lock bags have been on the list since Pre-K, and my child has come home with something in a baggie maybe twice. 20 or so kids in class, the boxes all contain around 20 bags, so what are these teachers doing with the 400 zip-lock bags each year???

I also learned an important lesson. When it was all over, and I was scrubbing my hands with Germ-X in the parking lot and wishing I had bought some aspirin, I looked over at my daughter’s beaming face and realized something…it was totally worth it.

 

Originally printed (by me!!!) in the Briscoe County News.

www.briscoecountynewsonline.com

My son’s shoes are broken. There are rocks in them.

The sippy cups? Broken…the lids are off and they are empty.

His hot chocolate (“chocky”)? Broken…it is too hot.

His sister? Broken…she dared to take Puss in Boots out of the DVD player and replace it with <gasp!> Cinderella.

No, I am not staying up late smoking crack, and there is no Red Bull in my coffee.

I am referring to my son’s newest (and new favorite) word, “broken.” Anything and everything that is not in its usual state of being is now “broken.”

Pudding on a shirt, a recliner with the footrest extended, a TV that changes channels (according to DVR presets), me when I’m on the phone and ignoring him…all broken.

I actually like the concept.

My house is no longer messy or cluttered…it’s just broken!!

It’s been a while, and I am sorry about that. For some reason my writing mojo went out the window for a while.

I couldn’t add winning search terms, because for some reason people who “found me” decided to have a month of being damn normal.

What did happen that I could’ve/might’ve/should’ve but didn’t blog about?

I couldn’t find much creative stimulation about my search terms results: “taking a toddler to basketball game” and “dslr camera blog.” What happened to all my crazies??? Surely you didn’t ALL get locked in a padded room sans internet access at the same time!

A Facebook dad kicked ass in Creative Parenting 306, and I shared a few thoughts and a thumbs-up, but by then the subject was (I’m sure) old news.

It snowed in Texas…that was somewhat newsworthy, but once I jotted out a Facebooks status update about it I realized I’d pretty much exhausted the subject.

I revamped my photography website with some fresh info, and opened an online portfolio that shows up well on my Kindle Fire (LOVE my new toy)…much easier to show people samples in person without lugging around $200 worth of prints.

I went crazy in Vistaprint. I have postcards with a senior special and pretty new business cards and flyers…but didn’t see anyone being especially interested in reading about it.

My son has taken to calling me “Baby,” if I don’t answer to Momma on the first attempt. The Guru calls me that when I’m in his good graces, and The Climber knows I’ll answer to it. It’s funny…but this is pretty much the whole story.

See, my life got too boring to blog about. Sad.

Then, tonight, in a shining moment of internet happy…

“aaa batteries shock pen albuquerque”

YESSS! My crazies have finally spoken! Yesterday, someone stumbled upon little old me in the vast world of “the net” just by using…

I have to type it again…

“aaa batteries shock pen albuquerque”

And there, in this simple nonsensical phrase, I found my mojo.

See ya soon.

~T

 

This video has been a hit all over Facebook and probably everywhere else on the web today. I had to share it because I think I found my new Parenting-Idol.

This man needed a way to get through to and make a point to his rebellious teenage daughter…something that would wake her up and maybe, just maybe, teach her a bit of respect.

He succeeded.

This is an awesome video…If you have a teenager, or an almost-teenager, tie them to the chair and make them watch this all the way through to the end.

I must say that I would never have thought of this approach, but when my kids are teenagers I will certainly leave this as a possibility.

While most comments I’ve read are from people who wildly approve, there are a few who think it was too extreme…

For those…

  • This man found a way to discipline his daughter without any form of abuse.
  • Grounding her and taking away said laptop apparently didn’t work…he tried less extreme avenues of getting through to her.
  • Teenagers are notoriously bull-headed and sometimes need a wake-up call. I know I did.
  • She publicly humiliated, berated, and disrespected her parents…the punishment should be equally public. I think this was fair and very “eye-for-an-eye.”
  • The girl deserved an ass-beating…this was mild. 😉

So, that said….Go Laptop-Shooting-Dad!

There were also some great comments and insights in a public interview on Super-Dad’s facebook page. He answers some questions about why he did this, what message he intended to send out, and other things. It’s also definitely worth reading…the interview was apparently done by the Toronto Star…

http://www.facebook.com/tommyjordaniii

The Climber found his own personal Utopia today in the form of a high school gym…

I got brave and took him and The Diva to a JV girls’ basketball game. I was actually intending to work, taking some kick-ass photos to send in for the paper I work for.

Turned out I was being a bit ambitious…my goal should have been to just have living breathing minions of which I knew an approximate location for by the last buzzer.

The Guru was busy, and I wanted to see my cousin (the minions’ beloved Aunt Koko) play ball. So I packed up the camera, some pull-ups and back-up pants, and the shortish ones, and off we went.

We joined some relatives and things went smoothly for about 4 minutes…until the Climber got bored with the folding seats that he discovered would swallow his narrow butt at will.

I’m still thanking The Man for the fact that it was a JV game, meaning there wasn’t a huge crowd, and that we were sitting near one end where the minions had a few empty bleachers to terrorize.

I am NOT thankful that Aunt Koko’s mother brought her video camera…

I’m pretty sure these snippets will surface on Facebook to haunt me for years to come…

  • A glance to the side that reveals an upside-down trashcan weaving along the second steps towards us seemingly propelled by two familiar little shoes.
  • Audio of my voice yelling “NO”, “Come back”, “I will SKIN your HIDE,” and my personal favorite…”This video surfaces and I will BEAT your ass.”
  • Me carrying the Climber back UP the stairs…about 17 times.
  • There is a barred barrier on the end of the bleachers (thank you God and coaches), and there is now a video of me shaking and leaning against every bar to make sure it could stand up to a possible attack of 23 pounds of fast-moving child.
  • the Climber making a great inchworm impression.
  • Him stealing a sip from someone’s unattended beverage. Sorry Sir.
  • Him waving and yelling “Bye-Bye” (and grinning oh-so-charmingly) to about twenty strangers.
  • At least one drop-to-the-ground-dying-slug impression when I stopped his umpteenth escape attempt.

All in all, I think I got about 4 decent photos of the game…and no, I don’t have a clue what the score was.