Tuesday, May 26, 2009


One thing I have never understood about kids is their resistance to taking a nap. I can always tell when my kids need a nap because they are unusually grouchy and no fun to be around. Harrison was having one of those days on Sunday. He complained about everything. Everybody was picking on him. Nothing suited. I finally told him that I would like him to go find something to do by himself until he felt better.

I hadn't heard from Harrison in some time so I figured he was following my suggestion to do something by himself. When I walked into the den I found out why he was being so quiet.

As I was taking the picture, Sullivan had to get in on the action.

Harrison was a much happier little boy when he woke up. Sometimes all it takes is a nap.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Baseball: The American Pasttime

Friday night David was a brave soul and took our three kids plus a friend to see the Charleston Riverdogs play. The kids had a great time as you can see.

Haley and her friend Kasey

David sent Haley and her friend Kasey with Harrison to get his
face painted and he returned looking like this.

Holden doesn't like to have his picture taken.

Riverdogs player

The field at twilight.

All pictures taken by Haley.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's a Bugs Life

Once upon a time there was a little boy who was a lover of creatures both big and small. One day this little boy brought home a pet from school. This was not your typical pet. It wasn't furry or cuddly. It didn't run and greet you at the door or chase a ball or fetch a newspaper or curl up in your lap. It wasn't something you would even call cute unless you were an entomologist.

The boy's mother, who was afraid not a lover of such small creatures, was adamant that this new pet would not live in the house. After much whining pleading, the mother caved so she wouldn't have to hear it anymore relented and let the boy keep it in his room as long as he promised not to let it run loose. The boy was happy. The mother was skeptical.

So the boy brought his pet to his room and made it comfortable, furnishing it's new condo with the finest things. Dirt rich in nutrients, decaying wood and water.

Although this pet had a nice home and a boy to call his own, he did not have a name. So the boy thought and thought and decided that his pet would be called Skittles.

Meet Skittles.

Skittles and the boy would play together every day.

Skittles was happy. He had his very own boy and all the wood he could munch on wood and lots of dirt to burrow in. But the boy thought Skittles looked lonely so he went off in the woods and found him a friend.

Meet Chocolate.

The boy told his mother that Skittles had a girlfriend. The mother who should have known to leave it alone asked the boy how he knew it was a girl. The boy admitted that he had discovered Skittles on top of Chocolate and therefore it must be a girl. The mother just smiled and walked away because she wasn't going to open that can of worms.

Skittles and Chocolate were living large in their bug condo enjoying each other's company, eating wood and burrowing in the dirt until one day Skittles (or maybe it was Chocolate, who can tell) made an escape. Apparently he was not so happy being confined to his bug condo and wanted to see the rest of the world. So he somehow lifted the top of the bug condo off, crawled down the shelf and headed off to see unchartered territory or perhaps more likely, is that the boys six year old brother just forgot to put Skittles away after playing with him. Either way, Skittles set off down the hall headed straight toward the mother's room. Luckily the father came upstairs at just about the time Skittles was crossing over into forbidden terrain.

The mother was horrified mildly upset about this turn of events. Her imagination played through several scenarios including the bug getting out and crawling on her in the middle of the night. Although this might seem unreasonable not likely to happen, the mother could not get it out of her mind.

So the day came that Skittles and Chocolate left their home for adventures unknown. The boy was sad to say goodbye but he understood that they were bugs and would survive. The mother, who was still afraid not a lover of such small creatures, was relieved.

Friday, May 15, 2009

On The Battery

One afternoon a couple of weeks ago, David and I got Harrison out of school early and took him downtown. We ate lunch at a little diner on King Street and then headed to The Battery Park to walk around. It was a beautiful Spring day.

The boats were out sailing in the harbor.

The sun was shining as we walked among the oaks in the park.

Harrison climbed on the cannons that were once used in the Civil War.

And mom enjoyed spending time with Harrison

And so did dad.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Turns out I am right after all

I have been telling my kids for years that I am a cool mom. Trying to convince them of that has not been easy but today I have re-enforcement. I took the quiz over at Juice Box Jungle and since we all know that everything you read on the web is accurate and true, you can rest assured that I am a 100% Type A Cool Cat Mom.

Here's what they have to say about me:

You are a complex Mama! You are organized, never run out of milk, and you book birthday parties 3 months ahead. But, you're able to let go: you're not an anal foodie, and you're not a strict disciplinarian. You do your best to get the kids a healthy meal but if pizza pops up three nights in a row, so be it. And if the Lion is the King of the Jungle, then you - Cool Cat that you are - must be Queen. As queens tend to be, you are more suited to expert supervision than down and dirty tussling with the cubs. You know how to involve them in important activities of course, but Mama's got to have her space! But watch out! With your laissez-faire discipline and hands-off play style your kids may think you are less interested in being a part of their play than you actually are. Or not. :)

Want to take the test yourself?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Thank you God for making me a mother. Thank you for blessing me with a six year old who is 110% boy but still cuddles with me and rubs my hand and loves to be with me. And thank you for the not so little nine year old boy with dimples who still holds my hand in public and gives me sloppy, wet kisses. And thank you for the teenage girl who doesn't think I am uncool (yet) and who makes a point of kissing me every morning and every night.

But also God, thank you for giving me a mother who has taught me so much and always loved me unconditionally and who has always supported me and believed in me.

I am truly blessed.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Time warped

It's funny how a child's sense of time is so different from reality. Monday night we were waiting for David to get home so we could go run an errand. Holden said he needed to run down the street for 2 minutes and he would be right back. I told him to hurry because his dad was turning into the neighborhood and as soon as he changed we were leaving.

David got home and changed and still no sign of Holden or Harrison. We waited a few minutes then my patient husband said we needed to ride around the neighborhood to find them. After several trips around the block, we spotted then walking down the street. The first thing we noticed was that Harrison had something on his head and it apparently kept falling over his eyes because he would stop every few feet to push it up. As we got closer, this is what we saw:

We knew they needed to be disciplined but it was hard to have a straight face when we had to look at him. I guess being cute does sometimes pay-off.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Another piece of useful information

When you think of May, you might think of Spring, Mother's Day, May Day or even Cinco De Mayo. But did you also know that May is National Vinegar Month? You didn't? Well where have you been? Okay, I must admit I had no clue that vinegar was even celebrated let alone given an entire month of recognition. But now thanks to Keeping the Kingdom First I am.

Vinegar is apparently quite versatile. When I googled Uses for Vinegar I came up with hundreds of websites containing useful tips.

Here are a few that I found most interesting and useful:

  1. Freshen wilted vegetables by soaking them in cold water containing a spoonful or two of white distilled vinegar.
  2. Freshen cut flowers. Add 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar for each quart of water.
  3. Kill weeds and grass growing in unwanted places by pouring full-strength white distilled vinegar on them. This works especially well in crevices and cracks of walkways and driveways.
  4. Make your own scouring cleanser by combining 1/4 cup baking soda with 1 tablespoon liquid detergent. Add just enough white distilled vinegar to give it a thick but creamy texture.
  5. Deodorize the garbage disposal by pouring in 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup hot white distilled vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes then run hot water down the disposal.
  6. For an economical and environmentally friendly floor cleaner, mix a solution of 3 drops dishwashing liquid to 1/3 part white distilled vinegar, 1/3 part alcohol, and 1/3 part water. Spray sparingly and mop for a fast clean-up.
  7. Get stained white socks and dingy dishcloths white again. Add 1 cup white distilled vinegar to a large pot of water, bring it to a rolling boil and drop in the articles. Let soak overnight.
  8. Forgot that you left wet laundry in the machine and it now smells moldy? Pour a few cups of white distilled vinegar in the machine and wash the clothes in hot water. Then run a normal cycle with detergent.
  9. Make nail polish last longer. Wipe fingernails with cotton balls dipped in white distilled vinegar before putting on nail polish.
  10. Relieve sunburn by lightly rubbing it with vinegar.
  11. Relieve itching by using a cotton ball to dab mosquito and other bug bites with vinegar straight from the bottle.
  12. Loosen chewing gum stuck to carpeting or upholstery by soaking it in white distilled vinegar.
  13. Keep dogs from scratching ears. Clean the inside of the ears with a soft cloth dipped in diluted vinegar.
  14. Deter ants. Spray vinegar around door and window frames, under appliances, and along other known ant trails.

So next time you are in Walmart, grab that industrial size bottle of vinegar. You won't be sorry!

Monday, May 4, 2009

What do you mean only 23 days?

I was at the school today and overheard a teacher remark (rather cheerfully) that they only had 23 more days of school. I got a panicky feeling in the pit of my stomach. I guess I knew it was coming but YIKES only 23 days?

I know the kids will be happy when school is out. I can remember the feeling of those first days of summer. It seemed that the days stretched before me with endless possibilities. I could sleep late, hang out with my friends all day, swim in the pool, ride my bike or just lay around and read.

As a mom, the thought of summer vacation brings mixed emotions. Yes, I am glad that we can sleep late and spend more time together. I am also glad that I have a break from homework and packing bookbags, lunches and snacks every night. I like not having a set schedule.

So why do I dread summer? It's because I know my house will stay a mess no matter how many times I fuss about keeping stuff picked up. I also know that by the second week, the kids will be bored if no one is home to play with (even though they have each other). And somewhere around late-June it will be so hot outside, that even the kids will want to play indoors (along with five friends). I also know that I will no longer have any "me" time since they will be staying up later. And perhaps the biggest thing is that they will start bickering with each other over every little thing because they will be spending a lot of time together.

Every year I go through this. And every year I tell myself I am going to plan things for us to do so that we aren't always at home and they won't be bored and my house will stay clean. And every year it sneaks up on me. But this year, I am determined to have a list by the end of school. It's a must to preserve my sanity.

So here's a start:

1. Do puzzles

2. Go to the matinee

3. play board games

4. go on a picture scavenger hunt

5. ride bikes

6. make homemade ice cream

7. go to the Farmer's market

8. cook together

9. go to the Nature Center

10. visit a farm

11. go to Bee City

12. play tourist downtown

13. visit the museum

14. play in the fountain downtown

15. go to the beach

16. go on a picnic

17. make a craft together

18. go to the library

19. read books together

20. star gaze on the beach

21. go on a picnic

22. play mini golf

23. play in the sprinkler

24. wash the car together

25. have a water gun fight

I think that's a pretty good start. I am feeling much better about the summer already. Now I just have to some up with a way to let the kids decide what to do without fighting with each other.