Archive for the ‘Cute Kids’ Category

I’ve been a mom now for 6 1/2 years.  I do not claim to be an expert by any stretch of the imagination.  That being said, I’ve made a list of some insights that let me know that I am actually a mom…

You know you’re a mom when:

1.  You have uttered the sentence, “Please do not wipe your booger next to your dinner plate.”

2.  You’ve spent 2 1/2 hours in urgent care only to be told that something is a virus and you should really go home and put your kid to bed.

3.  You open your purse and find a wet wipe, a half eaten candy cane, a hot wheels car, a used tissue, a crayon, and a dirty sock, but you can’t find a pen to save your life.

4.  You have put off grocery shopping in order to avoid an aisle 5 meltdown.

5.  You know the location of every public restroom in town, as well as which ones are the “good ones”.  You are also aware of which restrooms have automatic toilet flushers, and you avoid them like the plague because your kid is petrified of them.

6.  You have washed your kids clothes at someone else’s house because of an “accident”.

7.  You have wondered why on earth they wouldn’t just make all kids shoes with velcro.

8.  You turn your head whenever someone utters the word “mom”.

9.  You know all the restaurants that have “kids eat free” nights.

10.  You have spent 15 minutes or more in a public restroom waiting for someone to poop.

11.  You can quote Spongebob, Hannah Montana, and Kung Fu Panda.

12.  You have ordered a “Crabby Patty” in a restaurant because your kid will eat a “Crabby Patty”, but won’t touch a cheeseburger.

13.  You feel the tiniest bit of pride when your 6 year old corrects their friend’s grammar.  You feel a little bit more pride, when she corrects her friend’s mom’s grammar.  You feel like you will burst with pride when she corrects the grammar of a perfect stranger.

14.  You have smelled another human’s butt, fully anticipating there to be a horrible odor coming from it.  (For those who are not mom’s, this is a good way to see if a diaper needs changing!)

15.  You consider your annual Pap Smear “me time”.

16.  You can, quite literally, change a diaper in your sleep.

17.  You know just how far a container of baby powder will go when yielded by a 3 year old, and how hard it is to vacuum.

18.  You have picked your kid’s lollipop (or binky) up off the street, rinsed it off with orange juice, and handed it back to your kid, all the while telling strangers not to look.

19.  You consider cold cereal to be a perfectly acceptable dinner on nights when Daddy’s not home.

20.  You’ve gone to the store at 2 am for Orajel. Or whiskey.

21.  You’ve chased your kid through a store while wearing an unbuttoned shirt because they escaped from the fitting room.

22.  You’ve left the house looking like hell, meanwhile your kids are dressed to the nines…..because it’s picture day!

23.  You’ve been asked to leave a church service.

24.  Your child says a cuss word, and you know that it’s all your fault.  And you kinda think it’s funny but would  never admit it.

25.  You open your silverware drawer and realize that you have more silly straws than spoons.  And then you consider whether or not it would be wise to allow your kids to eat Jello with a silly straw.

Please add any others you can think of!


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That is the title of the story that The Girl started yesterday.  Here is the rest of it, and I have not edited it in any way (Remember, she’s only 6!):

Goerge Bush was before Brock-O-Boma.

Brock-O-Boma is Browned sKin.  A very good color for Presedent.

Long ago Brown Peaple where not alowd to vote or be Presedent Because white peaple used to Be dum and we didin’t know What was Different on the inside and outside.

I know that she did not word things quite right, but I get her point.  I am so proud that she would, on her own, decide that brown is a very good color for President.  In fact, I am also proud that, when I told her that “Brock-O-Bama” had won, and that it was a big deal because he was the first president ever who wasn’t white, she didn’t get it.  She didn’t understand why there had never before been a president who wasn’t white.  Why wouldn’t there be “brown skinned” presidents?  And Korean presidents for that matter (most of her friends here are Korean).  Made no sense to her.  And, while I understand the history, it makes no sense to me either.  I can’t wait to see what the future brings.  Maybe The Girl will be “Presedent” some day!

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To The Girl

Dear Girl,

A lot has happened in the past year. We moved to California. You have made friends, and lost frends. You lost a pet, and gained a new pet. You started a new school, and a new grade. You’ve auditioned for a commercial and got the part. You turned six. You were in a play. You have grown up so much this year. I want you to know that I am so proud of you.

Since this January, you have made me proud in a million ways. This past month, the month of November, though, has been amazing. There have been a few things that you have done that have made me want to burst with pride. They aren’t huge things. They aren’t earth shattering. But they are things that make me proud to be your mom and have shown me that you really are growing up.

Earlier this month, we went to the pet store, and you said that you wanted a mouse. I said that you could have a mouse, but that you would have to save up your money and buy it yourself. You, rather than protesting, agreed that this was fair, and asked how much money you would need. I told you $40.00, for the mouse and cage and food and everything. Then, when we went to the free movie night at the school, you did spend some of your money on snacks, but didn’t spend it all, because you wanted to save some for your mouse. Was that a huge thing? No, it wasn’t. But it showed that you understood the idea of saving up for something you really want, and that is a huge life lesson.

Another thing that happened this month was that you and I had several very candid conversations about Santa Clause. You told me that your friend told you that Santa does not exist, and you asked me if it was true. I told you that Santa Clause is the spirit of Christmas, and exists for all those who believe in him. You were very concerned about your friend’s Christmas fate, and wanted to be certain that she would still receive gifts. I assured you that her mom and dad would make sure she got gifts, even if Santa couldn’t. This made you feel a little better, but you were still sad that she didn’t believe in Santa. Why did this make me proud? Because you weren’t concerned about yourself, but about your friend.

In another Santa conversation, I explained to you that Santa won’t bring as many gifts this year because he knows that our apartment is smaller than our house in Michigan, and he would want to be sure that your new toys would fit. I also explained that, because you are older, your gifts might not be big things like you’ve gotten in the past, but rather more grown up items. You seemed to understand this, and even seemed excited. 🙂

Another conversation we had was when we talked about how we all need to pitch in around the house, and we need to work as a family. You were, in that moment, happy to help me with whatever chore we were doing (I think it was clearing and setting the table). I can only hope that I can help you understand that this applies to your room too!

The last thing that I want to tell you today is that I am so proud of how well you are doing in school. Last week, when you read four Junie B. Jones books in two short days, you reminded me so much of myself at your age. I hope that your love for reading follows you through your whole life, as my love for reading has. I was also so happy with your report card, and with all of the nice things that your teacher had to say about you at parent-teacher conferences. And the other day, when you sat down with your Bible and read the first chapter of Genesis on your own, I was amazed at your faith.

So, in this week before Thanksgiving, I want to tell you Thank You. Thank you for being a great kid. Thank you for being so thoughtful of others. Thank you for being so kind. And, most importantly, thank you for being my daughter.

I love you, Girl!


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Farms for City Folk

photo by Völundur Jónsson

The Girl’s class went on a field trip to a farm today. Now, mind you, we live in suburbia, which is just about 20 to 30 miles north of Los Angeles. Many of these kids probably haven’t ever seen a real working farm. My kids have, because we’re from Michigan, and there are farms all over the place, but I digress.

Part of the farm experience started before the field trip. The students were asked to do chores around the house to earn money ($6) for the trip. I thought this was a pretty good idea at the time, but now my kids ask me how much I’m going to pay them before they do any chore. I guess we’ll be starting allowances!

The field trip was today, and they got to feed animals and all of that farm stuff. They also got to pick vegetables. Now, when I heard they would be doing this, I got excited! I thought she’d bring home a few green beans, maybe some tomatoes or peppers, perhaps a carrot or two. A few items that most kids like, and that they might actually be willing to try since they picked it themselves.

Boy, was I wrong! She came home with a huge bag. Inside the bag was: An entire head of red leaf lettuce, a small thing of bok choy, some spinach leaves, 3 of the tiniest carrots I’ve ever seen, some parsley, 2 Japanese turnips (what???), and 2 beets. Of those things, the only things she’ll eat are the itty bitty carrots and the parsley…I know, weird. After a quick internet search, it seems the guinea pig can’t have the turnips or the beets. And I’m certainly not going to eat any of that stuff! So, I guess I’ll try to give it away…..

I wonder if anyone in a rural area ever took the farm kids to the city for a field trip….you know, to see how the other half lives…and maybe to pick up a hooker or some meth or something…. What? It’s only fair! The city kids got to bring stuff home!

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Jack o’ Lanterns

Originally uploaded by Teo

I took the kids out to a farm yesterday with The Girl’s friend’s family. It was so strange for me. Being from Michigan, going hunting for the perfect pumpkin always involved at least a jacket, but more often than not, we wore hats, gloves, winter coats, and boots. Yesterday, we wore shorts and t-shirts, and were still sweating. It had to have been 100 degrees out. And there were probably 1,000 people there! It was just craziness.

That being said, we had a good time. We had some caramel apples, pet some farm animals, and the kids played on a mountain of hay bales. The Boy felt a unique bond with a llama because of the spelling of its name (for those of you who do not know us, The Boy’s first name begins with 2 L’s. That’s right, 2 of ’em. LIke a llama). We only bought some tiny pumpkins because we aren’t carving one this year, because we see no point in doing so while living in an apartment…we don’t anticipate any trick-or-treaters, and we won’t be home anyway.

After we left, I took my 2 kids and The Girl’s friend out for some frozen yogurt (shh, they think it was ice cream!) to cool off. The girls bamboozled me into buying a bigger size than they would normally have, so no one ate dinner. It’s all good though. Sometimes it’s nice to have “ice cream” for a meal. 🙂

The best part of the day, though, was bedtime. The kids were all clean from their bath, snuggled in their beds, and were sound asleep in minutes. That’s when you know you’ve had a good day!

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photo by thegarnetgirl

Well, it was unexpected and unplanned, which is probably the best kind of sleepover.  The Girl’s friend is staying the night at our house tonight.  When we were in Michigan, we had sleepovers all the time, but this is the first one since we moved here 6 months ago.  The kids were so excited.  They are getting ready for bed now, and being so good.  I wasn’t sure that this was how I wanted to spend my evening, but I’m so glad I did.  I love sleepovers. 🙂

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Photo by sm4rtus

Talk may be action, but it’s cheap action. I talk a lot about how important life is: the life we lead, the life of others, the life of animals… and so on.

But, do my kids listen? Do they beleive me about how important all life is?

First of all, since moving to California the idea of conservation has steamrolled for us. It’s huge. While it was always important and we recycled (or tried) and tried to conserve water, our kids never reflected that. Until now. If I leave the water running while washing dishes, or brushing my teeth or filling the tub my kids, expecially the boy (three and a half) will tell me, “Dad! You’re wasting water!” I am rather proud of this. They actually ‘get it’. They may not fully understand the importance of conservation, but they get it.

My daughter (six) while at the beach in Venice was VERY concerned with all the trash she saw. Even prompting me to help her clean the beach. I explained that if we stopped and cleaned the beach, we wouldn’t be able to play, and we’d have to live there for weeks to clean it all. This only made her very sad. She explained that it wasn’t fair and it wasn’t nice for people to throw trash there. It was gross for others and it was dangerous to the animals. She also pointed out that it was dumb, since there were MANY trash ans all over the beach. I agreed and nodded at nearby beach goers who could hear her. I was so proud.

One last thing I would like to mention. One evening while on our family walk, we were looking at snails and other little creatures as we always do. My son, poor thing, didn’t see a tiny snail in front of him. But, there were so many snails he wanted to count and see the bigger ones ahead. With a step, a crunch sound was heard. He looked up at me, and it was clear he knew what had happened. He quickly moved his foot to see the snail underneath. Immediately he and the girl burst into tears. I mean, loud, screaming, crying tears. I asked to be sure, and they both said they were sad that it had died. We explained that it happens, it was an accident and the snail most likely didn’t feel any pain. They still cried but began to calm down. Eventually they stopped crying and enjoyed the walk and more snails and creatures. They both were much moer careful in their walking. Again, I was very proud. I think we must be doing something right for them to hold all life, and our surroundings with such high regard. I am so proud of my kids for having such a love for our world. And, I can’t help but feel proud of my wife and myself for helping teach them this important view.

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First up, we have the most beautiful kids EVER!

Then there is the kids and Daddy testing out the ocean, with the lovely pier in the background.

The last pic is of The Boy.  Trying to hide from the ocean.   Because it’s so scary.  Agreed, Son.  Agreed.

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Photo by LA Duck

The Moms went back to Michigan today. It was great having them, but I’m exhausted. And my house is a mess. I’m actually excited to clean…and you know that’s bad! So, what did we do this weekend? Let’s see…

On Friday, Brian’s mom and I went to the mall for a bit. Then we picked up The Girl from school, and then Brian and I went down to Irvine. We had dinner at a nice restaurant and then went to see Counting Crows and Maroon 5 in concert. I can die happy now, having seen Maroon 5 live. (Hey, Adam….. 😉 ) Honestly, though, it was a great concert, but the best part was being able to go out with Brian without having to worry about the babysitter. And having the opportunity to critique not only Adam Levine’s outfit and tattoos, but also the outfits of those around us. Then there was the guy next to us who kept getting beer spilled on him…but that’s another story.

Saturday, we took The Moms to Beverly Hills. That was a good time, though we didn’t see any famous people…The Girl was pretty upset with that, so I told her that the guy we saw in the Bentley was probably famous. That seemed to work. On Sunday, we went to Santa Monica. It was very cold and windy, and The Boy was pretty crabby, but it was still a good day. Then yesterday, we all just recouped from the weekend, and I took my mom to lunch.

My favorite line of the weekend was said by The Boy, as we walked back to the car from the beach. For those of you who do not know me, I have very curly hair, and it tends to get out of control. Here is how the conversation went:

Me: “How’s my hair look?”

The Boy: “No. (long pause) Not good.”

Gotta love the honesty!

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Photo by Lumase

The Boy wanted to go with me this morning when I walked The Girl to school. Because he was so cute, I let him. The way to the school is pretty easy…it’s all downhill. Which, of course, means that the way home is all uphill. As we started climbing the hill, The Boy (who, let me remind you, is only 3 years old) says to me, “It is so difficult to get up this hill!” I agreed with him, and asked if he wanted to take a rest, which he declined.

About halfway up the hill, he spotted a snail, who happened to be travelling in our direction…uphill. The Boy squatted down next to the “nice and friendly” snail, gave him a thumbs up, and said, “Thumbs up, Snail! Great job!”

This small action reminded me that, no matter how small you are, a little bit of encouragement can get you a long way. Even to the top of the hill.

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