Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Request. — Just To Be Rich.

An adorable strawberry blonde, freckle-nosed, one-dimpled Kindergartener walked into a classroom.

It wasn’t his classroom. Instead he made a stop off at a neighboring Kindergarten room, where the teacher happens to be one of my best friends.

He very confidently walked up to her and said, “Good Morning. Mrs. K.”

And then he followed up with his request. “Can I have a dollar?”

Completely unaware that this probably shocked my friend, 1) to see him there in her classroom and 2) because he was hitting her up for money so early in the morning.

He continued to explain that his Mother borrowed a dollar from him this summer (ahem, 3 months ago) and never paid him back. But he remembered (incorrectly)  that Mrs. K owed his Mom a dollar, so if she could just give it to him, that would be great.

I give him credit. It was a good idea. And in some universe, it could have worked.

Except Mrs. K. didn’t have a dollar. She only had a five dollar bill.

The five year old responded, “That will work.” As he held out is hand.

Sadly, Mrs. K. told him that she was surely sorry, but she wasn’t going to give him a five dollar bill, no matter his cuteness level or  how logical his argument.

Before he left the room, she stopped him to ask, “What did you need the money for?”

He smiled charmingly and replied, “Just to be rich.”

That’s my boy-child. My X.

Working the angles. Trying out the theory: “you never know unless you ask.”

We could all learn a little lesson here.

It’s worth a try.

Let’s all, Go. Do that.

Today’s Action Challenge: Is there something that you want, but are afraid to ask for? Is there something that you want to do, but are too scared to take a chance? Write it down. Then write the worst thing that could happen if you try. Then write down the best thing that could happen if you try. Ask yourself, even if you landed somewhere in the middle of those two options, is the risk worth the reward? If the answer is yes, then maybe you should go for it. You should ask. You should try.

Let’s all, Go. Do that.

Here's his own five dollar bill that he made to trick his sister. He took her five dollar bill and left this in its she would never know the difference!

Here’s his own five dollar bill that he made to trick his sister. He took her five dollar bill and left this in its place…so she would never know the difference! Cute and Clever!

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Leer. — Stop looking at me!

That is it!

I have had enough of this.

I used to think you were cute, but now I just can’t seem to get away from you.

You are always there.

Just standing there.


Seriously, a girl needs some privacy now and then.

Especially now. In this place.

Really. What are you doing here anyway?

It seems wildly inappropriate for you to be here.

The more time we spend together, the more I ponder your existence.

I do know that 1984 called and they would like their shorts back. Oh, wait. You are … 1984.

I want to know why the prop master on the photo shoot didn’t notice that you were holding the ball upside down.

Were there no good looking, fit, Olympic athletes available to pose?

I’m a fan of the Olympics like anyone other American girl who dreams of being Mary Lou Retton with a gold medal…

But …

Why must you be here…

In the bathroom?

The poster that hangs in a bathroom where I work. It was put up as a joke when we first moved in. It was funny. For a minute. Now it is just ... very, very awkward. True story.

The poster that hangs in a bathroom where I work. It was put up as a joke when we first moved in. It was funny. For a minute. Now it is just … very, very awkward. True story.

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Learn. — The Lesson Already

As she stumbled out the front door, failing miserably to pull the winter coat, a size too big, closed around her, she realized that the rain falling was actually turning to ice.  She reached back with one hand, trying to pull the hood up and over the hot roller curlers, that were still in her hair, all the while knowing that the rain was sure to ruin any chance of looking at all put together.  She looked around, pleading with the universe that no one would drive by and see her like this–traipsing through the field so early in the pouring rain.

She reached into her pocket to retrieve the cheese stick stowed away there and began to whistle and yell. Her boot hit the wooden bridge on the path and immediately lost any hopes of traction and down she went with a thud on her side. “Great. Just Great,” she muttered under her breath. She got to her feet and inspected the damage to her pants.

And for those of you who are waiting for this to turn out to be the trailer to  some Johnny Depp or Robert Downey, Jr. movie…you will be waiting until their next work of fiction comes out in theaters.

Because this, my MommyVerbs friends, this is a very real, pretty comical, description of …. How. I. Started. My. Day.

Yes. 🙂 It’s ok. Go back and read it again and picture it. I gift you this laugh…I’m sure that there were some who saw, I’m sure that they enjoyed a giggle, too. 

The backstory is this: I had asked the girl-child to take ‘the dog’ outside this morning to put him in the yard.  A few minutes later, she came up to tell me that he had gotten away from her and that it … yes. You know the line: “It wasn’t her fault.” At first, I thought she was trying to trick me since that is her new trick and she’s pretty good at it. When I examined the look on her face, I realized that this was true and then snapped that it was indeed her fault.

Ugh. So, Me. In my curlers. In Felix’s coat. Outside in the pouring freezing rain. Whistling and Yelling for a dog that runs into the one neighbor’s yard who hates dogs and is most likely to call the Animal Control (which at that point I probably would have welcomed!) And yes, the falling down part is absolutely true. So, is the cheese stick in my pocket. That was to lure ‘the dog’ back to me. Which took about 10 minutes. For the record, as I walked I did take the curlers out and put them in my pocket. Needless to say I had a bad hair day.

I did finally catch ‘the dog’ and walked him back to the house and put him in his version of time-out: the garage.

I went back upstairs and commented to Felix, “I do not understand what I have done to deserve this. I don’t understand what lesson I am supposed to be learning from this dog?!”

And this is why I love my Fix It Felix. He hugged me because I was still huggable at that time. And then he said, “Not everything is a lesson. Everything does not need to be analyzed and learned from. Some things are random. There is no reason. There is no lesson to be learned. It just is. He’s a dumb dog and he lives with us.  For now.”

I love that about him. I do.

But being me, I struggle. I want things to mean more. I want things to be meaningful.

Which is why I wonder, what this means or what do I need to learn or how do I need to grow from this?

I have told you about my uncle, Chris, who I think is pretty ah.may.zing. The last time we were on the left coast, he shared his good friend and writing partner with me, ‘Geo’. I loved ‘Geo’ from the first moment he welcomed us into his adorable apartment with his vintage red velvet couch. ‘Geo’ had some amazing energy–the kind of energy that draws you in, makes you want to pitch a tent, stay a while. I had the opportunity to connect with ‘Geo’ briefly, some from Chris, a little from ‘Geo’ himself.

He’s a writer, an artist, a performer. He believes in things I find interesting, but don’t wholly subscribe to.  He believes we write our own stories. We write these stories before we live, before our next lives. And we write with intention to make sure that we learn the lessons we need to learn in order to move on. To move on beyond ourselves.  He believes we know what we need to learn. We are given guides. We see our weaknesses, know our goals and therefore can write a story that will lead us to certain conclusions.

There’s a part of that I really like. It doesn’t match with what I believe in my religious/spiritual self. But I like that. Maybe because that version implies some control. We are not the feather floating in the wind. We have some choice and we have some influence on what comes from the choice. That seems almost comfortable. As a teacher, I also like the learning from mistakes and the planning what needs to be learned. That’s kind of what I do. Learn. Plan. Teach.

So, I find myself feeling a little like Forest Gump, wondering: “I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it’s both. Maybe both is happening at the same time.”


Maybe there are lessons to be learned from dogs that run away in the morning while I chase him offering cheese sticks in my curlers. Or maybe not. Maybe it is just random. Or maybe it is a story I wrote in another life, knowing that I needed to learn humility or patience.

Or maybe I just needed to learn to have a good freakin’ laugh at my own expense. 🙂


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Help. Wanted — MommyVerbs Job Openings

The girl-child has discovered The Brady Bunch. And as much as I am enjoying the opportunity to relive the nostalgia and 70s antics of Greg, Marsha, Peter, Jan, Bobby and Cindy… I can’t help but think…


I really need an Alice.

Seriously. How awesome is Alice? She’s ah.may.zing. in my book. She always just knew what was needed. Not only did she know…but she often knew before Mr. and Mrs. Brady even knew what they wanted. She anticipated needs. That, my MommyVerbs friends, is a beautiful thing.

The other morning, I came home from the gym at 7:00 a.m. and did what I do to start the coffee pot. Coffee was desperately needed that morning, even after a workout. I stood in the kitchen for what was probably a good 5-7 minutes. And thought, “Good Grief! Why isn’t that coffee going yet?”

At which point I looked over to see that I had never poured the water into the magic part that sucks up the water and makes me my coffee. Yes. The pot was sitting there. Full of water. Warming up, yes. Making coffee, no.

A couple of friends suggested that I need my own staff. Specifically, I need a personal barista. I’m telling you, I think I could get behind this idea. It would be nice to have someone make my coffee for me. Maybe even make some fancy coffee for me. It is not that it is really hard to do. There are just a lot of little steps and sometimes in the morning, I struggle to get them in the right order. (see story above) Considering that my current coffee pot has a broken top that lets coffee steam rise into the air, fogging up the cabinet windows. The handle keeps coming loose and I have to get the best friend/partner/hubby to fix it every couple of days. So, yeah, my own personal barista is a great idea.

Maybe if my coffee pot didn’t look like one of Y’s toy kitchen appliances or like it came from the dollar store, I could get more excited about making coffee. But I really just do the two obligatory cups and move on.

But this got me thinking. Why stop with a barista? What else do I not enjoy doing? What jobs would I be happy to turn over to my … ahem … staff?

pile-of-laundry-400x400My next hire, after the Personal Barista of course, would be a Laundry Officer. Yes. Now we are talking…a person whose sole job is to sort, fold and put away clothes. I don’t mind doing the washing and drying. I mean, come on, the machine really does that work, right. I can handle the laundry IN and laundry OUT … but after that, it doesn’t always make it out of the plastic baskets. (And not for the lack of good intentions of us all. Sometimes we are crazy around here and make announcements to meet in my bedroom for a “Fun Family Sorting Party!” ) That is where the Chief Laundry Officer would come into play. Yes, now they are the Chief. It is that important to me. Simply make the clothes get from the piles of clean clothes into drawers and closets. Beautiful. Then I might be able to sit on that little couch I have in my bedroom that I rarely see and sometimes forget is there and I wouldn’t lose hours of my life searching for socks (I gave up matching a long time ago)!

chefAfter that, I would advertise for a Family Chef. Yes. It is true, I do have a pretty awesome cook that lives with me. But I’m sure even he would get behind the idea of having someone else come in, with groceries in hand, to make a lovely, clean-eating, healthy meal. I would hope for a little menu, maybe 2-3 choices, lots of vegetables and lovelies. We could be so much more intentional with our Eat. Well. plan, giving us that much more time to Play. More. Then the absolute best part would be the sitting down to eat. Ok, now this is starting to feel a little dreamy like the dinners on the cruise that time. It is true, the best friend/partner/hubby and I often eat standing up in the kitchen. The kiddos are seated at the bar on one side and we are standing across from them. So, it is kind of like eating around a table. We just seem to find it a bit more efficient as inevitably we have to get up no less than 17 times to retrieve items. Might as well be standing.

So, the Family Chef would help with that. Of course, this person is welcome to bring an assistant with them to clean up afterwards. I’m totally down with that, too.

trash bagI would also like to offer a part time job for a Receptacle First Responder. Just someone to be on call to be the one responsible for putting the new trash bag into the trash can after the best friend/partner/hubby takes out the garbage. Of course, they will need to be at the ready at a moment’s notice to make it really worthwhile. I always seem to have an armload of garbage, usually drippy and yucky, in my hands, only to find that, while the garbage bag has been taken out (yeah!), there is no replacement bag in place. Which leads to some under the breath mumbling, the putting down of the armload of gross, and then the replacing of the bag. Seems like a little thing, but if a Receptacle First Responder could be there in a flash, I’d pay big bucks for not having to mumble under my breath and pick up the gross again. Like I said, part-time. Few benefits.

bathrromIt goes without saying that there would be a Loo Administrator, whose sole responsibility would be to obviously keep my bathrooms clean and tidy. The job title is negotiable.

I would also be interested in talking with someone who had particular skills in keeping cars clean and clear of debris and mess. Heck, actually, I would like a Transportation Executive, who is just in charge of getting me and my family from point A to point B safely, in a lovely, calming, environment. I have often said that I could get so much more accomplished during the day if I had a Driver, I mean Transportation Executive. (The red carpet would be bonus!)


What else don’t I like to do? 🙂

I’ll keep working on the list of job postings. I’m certain there are more opportunities around here.

Until then, I’ll get back to it — Momma on Duty. Just waiting on my three employees, I mean, family members, to wake up. There are things to do to get this day started right!

With or without Alice and the rest of my MommyVerbs staff.


Contrast. — X vs. Y and our new waterfront property.

(Please note: I know that I use the opposite letter to describe the chromosome of the boy child and girl child. It is intentional and on purpose. It is our secret code and makes it so much easier for the best friend/partner/hubby and I to text about the kiddos. I know it drives my intellectual type friends crazy…it keeps them on their toes…which makes me giggle just a little. I don’t usually explain this…but for this little ditty, it makes a difference.)

I have always wanted waterfront property. I realize the role that bodies of water play in my life and how … water…is just good for my soul. The ocean. The waves. The movement. The sounds. A boat on the lake. A tube on the river. A dock, a canoe and a paddle…these describe my favorite places and spaces. My refuge hideaways. My escapes.

The best friend/partner/hubby and I have often talked about making this happen. Buying a place on the lake or a rental property at the beach. We’ve looked at places. Made plans in our heads and dreamy places conversations.

Sigh. … Someday.

Who knew that someday would come so quickly?! Last night we took the plunge and realized our dream of waterfront property!

Ok. It was really a gift. Given to us by…

Mother Nature. Yeah, our front yard is seriously flooded. And not in a good, we live on a lake kind of way. But in a, “Oh My Goodness, Babe! You need to come and see this!!!” kind of way.

This is the river across our driveway…the picture really does not begin to describe this scene. Not at all. 

And not just flooded, but F.L.O.O.D.E.D. There is a lake, yes, but there is also a rushing river going across our driveway. That is what actually led to my discovery of this. I walked past the front door and it was the noise of the rushing water that caught my attention, that made me stop and look out the window. What is that? I looked outside to discover water about 20 feet from our front door and a R.I.V.E.R. rushing across our driveway.

Now, it is also important to this story to know that we live…no.where. … wait, one more time… NO. WHERE. … near any body of water. This is just the result of snow melt and rainfall that has run down the hills and into the low spot of our yard flowing into some drain pipes.

The best friend/partner/hubby responded to my call. We found some flashlights, the one umbrella we could find, got into our boats boots and headed out to investigate.

Each in our own way…

The best friend/partner/hubby couldn’t see all that he wanted to see, so he randomly hopped in his car, and crossed the “river runs through it” so he could shine his headlights in different places. He checked out the house to make sure things were working as they should. He marveled at the sheer amount of water and stood amazed watching it. He shared concern over his landscaping that he has worked so hard on, and said things like, “that is going to be a mess to clean up.” Overall, he was impressed, but not overly concerned, saying things like, “Well, there’s nothing we can really do.” I did notice that he checked a few times, I think convincing himself that it wouldn’t make it all the way to the house.

In comparison, X was beside himself with excitement. He ran outside, no coat, tennis shoes, too fast to stay under the umbrella and exclaimed over and over, “This is so cool! This is unbelievable! This is Un. Be. Leeeve. Able!” Did I mention over and over?! (He is loud on a regular basis…loud to the point that we have wondered out loud if we need to get his hearing checked…but then decided that he is just L.O.U.D., little and likes to be heard.) He jumped around outside, so excited and was desperate to ‘splash around’ in it. But even he was impressed with the movement of water and stayed to the edges.

He did egg me on to ‘triple dog dare’ him to put his finger in the water. With that, X “created a slight breach of etiquette by skipping the triple dare and going right for the throat!” But I obliged and he did indeed put his finger in what he was now calling ‘crocodile lake’ as he does with any random body of water. (Thanks to years of Dora the Explorer…it seems Dora and her buddies were always trying to get across crocodile-infested lakes! Sounds dangerous to this Momma!) X is pretty easy. Like his Daddy. Full of life and excitement, curiosity, little concern … just ready for (fill in the blank).

In contrast, I put on my boots, grabbed the flashlight and umbrella and walked up to the edge of the water. It was impressive to say the least. I walked around to the back of the house to see what kind of damage could be there… I checked out the entrance to the crawl space to see if water was collecting, less really about the water, more really about the things I keep stored in that little space–I admit, it was about the stuff on that one. I investigated the river and looked at the trees and bushes to see if they would make it in their new environmental conditions.

I recognized that my investigations were with less excitement and curiosity than the boys. Mine were with an eye for how could this go wrong? How bad could this get? What do I need to try to save? I would have been more concerned if the best friend/partner/hubby were more concerned, but after a while he didn’t seem to be, so I tried not to be.

Similarly..And then there was Y. My sweet Y. My girl child who is more like me than we would all like to admit. My fretter. My worrier. She obviously comes by that naturally. Unlike the younger boy-child, her first response was not one of excitement. Her first comment was, “are we going to be ok?! What do you mean, flash flood?!” I reassured her, of course, and made sure that I made light of the whole situation. I have to remember to be mindful not to let her hear any concern in my voice, as she projects any worry that she perceives that I might have. She did venture outside with me. We checked it out a little together. She wanted to stay under the umbrella; she was excited about it, but was much more reserved and a little more concerned than her younger brother.

Maybe it is because she is older. Maybe it is because she is more aware. Maybe it is because she pays attention to so much. Maybe it is because she’s a girl. I think it is because she is…just like her Momma.

It was a good reminder for me. Just how much like me she really is. How she sees the world. How her worries work. How her feelings are made or hurt. How the drama of a situation can be simply too much, self-created or not. How she frets and looks to others for comfort and reassurance.

I know how all of this feels. Just like me, she can’t help it. She can’t change her response to being tired, to being overwhelmed, to being worried, to being scared. That is just how it is, how she responds. Her DNA. And instead of getting frustrated with her, I need to remember this and give her what I know helps me. Because it will help her. Patience. Calm. Humor. Lightness.

For the record and no one really needs to know this, but I did get up several times last night just to make sure we weren’t going to need a boat, just in case. That’s what I do. I don’t think that will change anytime soon either. It has been 40 years in the making. It might just be my DNA, too.

Now, I’m just waiting for the sun to come up to make plans for where to build the dock.


Review. — The Worst Restaurant Experience Ever. With the Best Intentions.

I have passed by this little place a million times, but this morning, decided to venture in for some breakfast.

As I turned the corner into the main entrance, I knew right away that this could be a sketchy dining experience at best. The greeters were friendly enough, perhaps a little pushy in their approach and exuberance in welcoming their first customer of the day. A young girl in a little-too-short for my preferences, teal-colored dress met me at the doorway holding a small notebook. She asked for my name and told me that there would be a 10-minute wait for a table to be ready. I looked around and saw no other customers waiting and plenty of available seating, however, I am not usually one to argue, so I agreed to wait. I thought it was a little strange that the greeter set a timer for 10 minutes as if to make sure that I did, indeed, wait 10 minutes for my table to be ready.

I did request a cup of coffee while I waited, and I even offered to make it myself if need be. Oddly enough, I was granted permission to go into their kitchen to make get my cup of coffee. And because I thought coffee make might make this experience a little better, I helped myself.

There was also a young server there, who appeared to be in training, since the greeter seemed to be telling him what to do. I am not sure that this working relationship is going to work out really, because even in the 10 minutes that I was waiting, there were several arguments between the young girl and this young server. It seems that they did not see eye-to-eye on the order of things this morning.

I was directed to sit in one of two chairs while I waited out the rest of my seemingly obligatory 10 minutes. It must be the new ‘in’ thing.

Finally, a table opened up, ironically just as the timer went off, so I will give them credit that the estimated 10 minute wait…was exactly 10 minutes and not a second longer. I was led to my table which was decorated with a tablecloth. The seating was comfortable and the young server welcomed me with a lovely smile.

Again, there was an awkward tuft between the greeter/manager and the young server over the menu and whether or not I should have two copies. I intervened and requested to see both pieces of paper just in case I had any questions. Thankfully, they agreed and obliged my simple request. I did have to ask that they refrain from the yelling as it was making me lose my appetite. Really, I think they could both benefit from some ‘front of the house’ customer service training … soon.

The menu was light as far as options go, but I wasn’t expecting much more from such a small little place after all. I did appreciate the variety as there was the choice of french toast, omelette, eggs, toast and my choice of lemon or peppermint tea and/or coffee.

The young server was very excited about taking my order and I had to ask him to lower his voice just a little bit, as I was beginning to get a little overwhelmed so early in the morning. I called the manager (I had decided by this point that she might be the greeter/owner/manager and most likely the chef as well) and requested a 2nd cup of coffee. She made me a little nervous as she carried the coffee pot to me, but with very little assistance, the cup was full again.

I will say I was somewhat disappointed that I had to ask three different times for a little more stevia and coconut milk creamer before it was actually brought to me. I’m curious if they had to make a run out to a store or something for those items.

Anyway, I selected the toast and scrambled egg option. The young server yelled my order across the dining room, to the kitchen, which in my view, lost a few ‘classy dining’ points. Really…he could have written it down and taken it to the kitchen without the yelling.

I texted my friend who was supposed to join me for this meal. Finally, he arrived and was seated right away. No 10 minute wait for him, nevertheless, I was happy to have some company. He thought it was a little chilly and requested that the fireplace be turned on. The young server took care of that and we enjoyed a very romantic atmosphere that was created, which was nice.

My friend was a little concerned about the quality of the food at this place and raised some concerns about hygiene. The next time I saw the young server, I did inquire about their sanitation practices and was assured that they had indeed washed their hands before starting. At this point, I boldly asked the young server why he did not have any pants on and was certain that the health inspectors would not approve. He gave me a cute little dimpled grin and skipped away and amazingly I completely forgot what we had been discussing.

Even though I had requested peanut butter on my toast, the young server brought it with butter on one half, after arguing with me that I would like if I just tried it. I was hungry at this point and went ahead and tasted it. Not too bad. Unfortunately, the scrambled eggs arrived a good 5 minutes after the toast, and though they may have been just a little undercooked for my taste, they were still good. Again, I did have to ask twice for the salt and pepper to be brought out.

My friend’s omelette arrived about 10 minutes later, wrapped in a fajita. This was not quite what he had ordered and offered it to me, however, I was so full at the moment that I couldn’t help him as I had promised. I will say that the greeter/manager/owner/chef was quite insistent that he try the meal while she stood over him, watching his reaction. She seemed pleased after he paid a compliment to the chef and off she went back to the kitchen.

I inquired about the safety of the restaurant, and even asked about their cooking precautions like turning off burners and keeping things off of hot places. She seemed a bit insulted but let me know that she was, in fact, very careful in the kitchen. Lovely.

Sadly, I did have to clear my own dishes after the meal as the young server was no where in sight and no one offered to come and clean up our table. Fortunately though, no bill was sent to our table so we apparently got the meal for free. Or so I thought.

It would seem we paid for the meal by doing the dishes and cleaning up their kitchen afterwards. I would have gladly paid for our meals and had no idea that was part of the arrangement. I will say that they were not the neatest cooks I have ever met and it was quite the scene.

All in all, for a free meal (well, with labor in the kitchen), it was a lovely dining experience. The restaurant could have been picked up a little more, I prefer less clutter while I eat. The food was pretty good, nothing fancy, but homemade which is nice. I would suggest that the staff honor requests from the customers with a little more promptness and less arguing. I would also make recommendations about the noise levels and would suggest that the staff receive just a little more training in collaborative service. Overall, I found the staff to be kind and friendly and certainly full of very good intentions.

I will visit this restaurant again in the future and would recommend it to my friends. But please be prepared to stay after and clean up the kitchen afterwards. It seems to be the latest fad in restaurants these days.


Plan.– How to Escape the Tunnels at Chuck E. Cheese.

Chocolate Milk

Chocolate Milk (Photo credit: jlz)

Morning Musings over ‘Chockley’ Milk … with X.

When X wakes up, he tiptoes down the stairs and stumbles into the living room where he curls up on the couch, looking little and chilly. So, I dutifully cover him up with a blankie and he promptly asks for some ‘chockley’ milk, which I am usually already on my way to the kitchen to get for him.

Then, as he slowly wakes up, you might be privileged to hear a random X story–whatever he is thinking about–he always has something to say.

Here’s his story, word for word…The only thing missing here is his little voice and the way he says his ‘wowrds’ with r’s that sound a lot like w’s and th’s that have and extra ‘f’ or ‘s’ in there somewhere.

“One time when we went to Chuck E. Cheese and I fink I was like free and Z. was there and he was maybe 5. And we were playing and we were in the climbing tunnels and there was this girl. And I don’t fink she has ever washed her feet. They were really diurty and she made us smell them. And we both said, “Ewww.” And just for saying Ewww… she trwapped us. And we couldn’t get by.
But I have a plan for when we go again. In case that girl is there and in case she trwaps us again. I know we are not there now, but I want to tell you what my plan is.
So, if she is on the right, we can go to the left really fast. Or if she is on the left, we can go to the right really fast.
Or the other plan is  — if she traps us, Z. and I can split up and I can go one way and Z. can go the other way.  And then the girl can chase Z. and I can escape. I don’t know what will happen to Z. or if he will get out…but…hmmmm….”

Long Pause…..

Well, at least he has a  plan. Sorry, Z. I’m sure he will work on the part where he comes back for you, buddy. 🙂

250 px

250 px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Flavor. — Family Time @ Sweet Frog.

How do you flavor your day? 

sweet frog

This is a Tale of Sweet Frog–  Z-Fam Style. And for the record, I swear I do not work for Sweet Frog. Although some days, it does seem like a sweet job (pun intended.) Y has already declared that this will be her first job someday.

It goes a little something like this:

First, we say “Hello” to the big eyed frog.  We walk into a heavenly place of pink and green and white-cloud-globe lights.  Go  quickly by the lime green andirondack chairs. Skip the funky clear tables and chairs and head straight back to the cool tiled wall.

There is usually very little conversation—the excitement is too overwhelming — and we are all focused on the task at hand.

Choose a size. Know Momma doesn’t allow much choice here–one size only.

But then. Then. The world is your … flavor. (By the way, don’t worry, the proverbial ‘oyster’ is NOT a flavor choice.)

Standing before us is a wall…literally a wall of flavor. So many flavors. So many choices.

Ok, not all of these are available all the time, but this gives you an idea of the variety.

Pull the handle. Hold your cup carefully under the spout and fill it up.  The best friend/partner/hubby and I made the mistake —one time—- of not keeping a close eye on the boy child.  Just one time.  We turned around and before we knew it, his little bowl was filled to the rim! From then on, we monitor him very carefully.

X usually goes for the mix of vanilla and chocolate. T and I usually get the no sugar added cheesecake. (We are trying to be intentional in reducing sugar in our world.)

But Y. Y takes her Sweet Frog exploits very seriously. She is more adventurous.  She’s a little bit like Mikey. She’ll try anything.  She still says that Mango is one of her all-time favorites.  Go figure. And … she’ll mix it with stuff like… cake batter. Interesting? Yes.

Then comes the antithesis of the salad bar. It is a ‘salad’ bar of candy and semi-goodness. The first few choices do, in fact, include some fruit choices.  But it quickly turns to sugary nonsense with some random cereal and crackers and granola and just about anything you can imagine crumbled up, ready to be added to your bowl with a spoon.

The hard part is … this Momma set a limit of only two things.  So, choose wisely and carefully. And come on, X, choose quickly! We can’t be here all night. (To which Y declares, “Sure, we can!”)

There are also different kinds of syrups and other liquid additives to the frozen goodness, but that is where I draw the line. No. Move along. I have my dignity as a parent after all.

We take our little cups, add a green spoon and weigh the frozen treat.  Yes, we pay by the ounce.

And, I have to say, it is worth every penny. Not just because it is a yummy treat.  But because it has become a thing. A thing we do.  It has become a family treat.  A treat we do.  Something we enjoy together.

Which makes it all kind of priceless.

And as X says, “Yum!”


Battle.–X Tells a Tale from the Bath. Part 2.

Previously, on X Tales from the Tub, our superheroes were in major trouble and Buttman was about to be dropped into hot lava. Nobody was certain of what would happen next?

On this episode, Captain America arrived to try to save our Spiderman who were in peril last week, hung from a toothbrush.  (Ok, if you haven’t clicked on the link above to part one, you are really going to be lost.  You can’t get this kind of synopsis in your TV Guide!) Unfortunately, there is a new bad guy in town…Evil YoYo. Captain America was no match for him …. this time.

Iron Man’s plane met an unfortunate ending, crashing into the coffee table, tossing Iron Man out like a piece of garbage.

Thor and IronMan #2 were engaged in battle with the Evil YoYo, but had no idea what they were up against.

And it would seem that our superheroes were down for the count with their weapons…just. out. of. reach.

The Evil YoYo was wreaking havoc on the town, running amuck and tying up all the good guys at every turn. No one seemed able to stop him.

Fortunately, for Thor and Iron Man and all human and plastic kind alike, later that evening, the call was heard, “ASSEMBLE!” Superheroes came from near and far, (from birthdays past and recent Christmas presents) all to arrive in the throne room to prepare for an epic battle.


What will happen? Will these superheroes bring enough power to stop the Evil YoYo? No one knows for sure.

Well, only one person can tell this tale:

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Mix. — If John Hughes Made the Soundtrack for my Blog

Mix. MommyVerbs Style

There are some of the Daily Prompt Challenges that get stuck in my head and I can’t let them go. This was a Daily Prompt Challenge from at least a week ago…but hey, I’m a busy Momma and my days are overflowing to the point that I”m actually curbing my wine intake just so I can manage to stay awake a little longer and use the wee hours of the night, post tuck-ins, for my projects.  That, my few dear reader friends, is dedication.

So the challenge was to make a mix tape of your life.  I LOVE this. Come on Michelle of WordPress…how cool are you?!

I have always said that I wish life had a soundtrack and the perfect song for the scene would fade in at just the perfect moment and make it all just…perfect.  I’ve started my response to this a couple of times, but nothing seemed right.

And the beauty of the old school mix tape was just that. You could always start over. You could erase the last song and record over it.  You could decide that you never liked that boy anyway and now that he’s seeing someone else, you hate every single song on this stupid tape and his handwriting on the paper insert, too. (Sorry, flashback to 15.)

So, you start over. You have a new idea, a new theme, a new romance. You erase the old and you fall in love with different songs with new meanings and you start to hear the lyrics everywhere you go.  In your car. In your room. In your walkman. (If you are younger than 20, Google it.) 🙂

That’s what MommyVerbs is becoming for me. A new love. Certainly a terribly wonderful distraction and … so. much. fun. I’m seeing action words everywhere. The few lovely readers that I have in the real world are now, when I see them out and about,  suggesting topics for me to write about and then offering verbs to go with the story.

So, like a mix tape, don’t over think it—if MommyVerbs was a movie, then this is the mix tape soundtrack of my blog:

1. Define.  “Brand New Day” Van Morrison

2. Breathe.  “As If We Never Said Goodbye” from “Sunset Boulevard”

3. Play. “Forever Young” (while I love the Bob Dylan version) Rod Stewart

4. Engage. “Doing the Unstuck” The Cure

5. Want. “All I Really Want” Alanis Morissette

6. Argue. “Let It All Hang Out” The Hombres

7. Accept. “Let It Be” The Beatles

8. Declutter. “I Go Crazy” Flesh for Lulu

9. Explore. “Jack and Diane” John Mellancamp

10. Pretend. “Spiderwebs” No Doubt

11. Friend. “Strong Enough” Sheryl Crow

12. Move.  “A Little Less Conversation” Elvis Presley

13. See. “In Your Eyes” Peter Gabriel

14. Vote. “The Difference” Matchbox Twenty

15. Lose. “If You Were Here” Cary Brothers

16. Find. “Everywhere” Fleetwood Mac

17. Nod. “Sharona” The Knack

18. Wake. “These Are The Days” Keith Urban

19. Glean. “Diamond Road” Cheryl Crow

20. Blink. “Kid Fears” Indigo Girls

21. Grow. “Watching the Wheels” John Lennon

22. Color. “100 years” Five for Fighting

23. Tag. “Clarity” John Mayer

24. Party. “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) Green Day

25. Renew.  “Solsbury Hill” Peter Gabriel

26. Celebrate. “A Pirates Look at 40” by Jimmy Buffet

27. Mirror. “Your Song” Elton John

28. Check. “Last Chance” Maroon 5

29. Settle. “Crash Into Me” Dave Matthews Band

30. Please. “Three Little Birds” Bob Marley

31. Win! “I Feel Lucky” Mary Chapin Carpenter

32. Rock. “Learning to Fly” Tom Petty

33. Waffle. “Sugar High” Coyote Shivers

34. Bathe. “Imagine” John Lennon

35. Tie. “Beautiful Boy” John Lennon

36. Hold. “Say What You Mean to Say” by John Mayer


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