Monday, May 31, 2010

1985 Memorial Day Speech

Click HERE to read the most moving Memorial Day Tribute I've ever come across. Ever.

Friday, May 28, 2010

I Look Like Who????? Get.Out!!

One of the more unique blogs I like to visit is Treasures Found: Inspiration is Everywhere. Erin is a talented jewelry crafter and designer, and her posts are always intriguing. Multitalented, and beautiful, physically lovely, she is. ( Sorry, for some reason I speak like Yoda when totally impressed.)

Her blog post a few days ago told of a visit to a website that another fantastic blogger, Jenners, (yes, the fabulous, unpredictable Jenners) of Life with a little one...and more! had prompted her to visit. I'm sure you've heard of the site, it's called

Treasures Found had a celebrity collage made at, with her lovely face in the middle, surrounded by the hollywood celebs that most look like her: you know, Christy Turlington, Brooke Shields, Laura Flynn Boyle, knock-outs along that line. Quite a line up, you should go see her famous twins from Hollywood, all lined up around her pretty smiling happy face in the center of this collage.

I thought, WTH, what's the worst that can happen if I download this next to my picture, and see what the photo look alike roulette wheel spits out as to what Hollywood bombshell looks most like me. I mean, it wouldn't be Ernest Borgnine or some suffragette from the past, would it? This can ONLY boost my ego, right? So, I secretly prayed that no cross eyed match ups like Karen Black or Juliette Lewis would come back, I uploaded my photo, pushed "match" and Voila!

Well, my lovelies...THIS. THIS. is the celeb that I most look like, according to the "Look-a-Like Meter " at match:

You got that?

And, again, in case you don't see the resemblance that MyHeritage.face recognition sees in my face and my twin's Ashton's face:

My advice, ladies, is visit the site..., have a celebrity collage made up for you....LOADS of fun, but, lose the ponytail! Not even checking "female" helped me out of the mess that my mom-do got me into.

And, Demi? quit tweeting me, alright?

REMEMBER to link up with "It's &*^$% Friday Funny" at The Mayor of Crazy Town.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

GMS, Not To Be Confused with GPS

Dalia, from Generation X Mom, posted today at Lady Bloggers Society on a subject that weighs on me daily: GMS aka Guilty Mom Syndrome. As in, Computers and Guilty Mom Syndrome.

Her post brings so many things out in the light, with suggestions on how to handle blogging time and mothering time and work time and you time. She writes, "GMS and how to overcome it."

How do we balance it out, so we don't feel anyone is shortchanged? How do we balance it out so we still get the connections and fulfillment that blogging provides us with?

Please hop over and read her quick post, then let me know what suggestions you have on this subject of mothers and blogging.

My issue has been how to best and most efficiently acknowledge and thank the wonderful people who graciously comment on a post. Do we send out individual emails to each commenter with every comment made? Do we email, then visit their blog (if a new commenter) then leave a comment on their blog, also? Do we email one on one, visit the blog, comment there, then also comment on our post along with their comment?

Is a comment back on our blog kind enough? Do we acknowledge each new follower by thanking them, and then visit their site daily?

How do we pay visits to all the tremendous blogs we follow? Say you follow more than 100, and they're all food for your mind and soul and mental health? Do you follow each of their posts, or do you attempt at least a biweekly visit?

How much time do you spend on commenting back, thanking, and following your fave blogs?

Please let me know what works for you, and what you've learned along the way. What do you think of Dalia's post today?

You all are wonderful, and I don't know who in the world else that I could ask, that knows and understands and will nod in agreement....and will have GREAT suggestions.

I just know it.

I'd rather have the GPS than a case of GMS, at least the GPS tells you what to do....

Monday, May 24, 2010

If The Name Is Lame....

It's Monday, which has become Baby E's Post of the Week Day. He owns this. He speaks, I type, here we go:

Baby E:

Well, my dad was supposed to upload the picture of me in my new pajamas, but he said he ran out of time. But, I asked him a week ago, I think he could do it.

This is a picture of me about to score a goal. I scored 5 goals in my game on Sunday.

This is how I know how to get ready for the other team:

I look at the schedule, and look for the team's name. If the name is lame, like they're called "The Bananas" and they have yellow jerseys or something like that, then I know they'll be easy to beat. Sometimes, if their color jersey doesn't even match their team name, then I know they'll be even lamer. Like, if they're called "The Earthquakes" and their jerseys are neon green, then I know superlame. Because if your team is called "The Earthquakes" then the jerseys for your team should be brown or orange or red like an earthquake.

My team is called "Revolution" [oh yeah!] and we're purple. And,yeah, we're purple and it fits our team name. Like if I saw the schedule with a team called "Revolution" and then I saw they were purple, I know they'd be hard to beat.

If they're called something like "The Sharks" and their jersey's color matches their team name, like navy blue, then they'll be like superhard and cool and then I know I have to be ready to play extra hard and supergood. It'll be an extreme game.

Next week, I'm going to have my dad help me post a movie about me scoring goals and there will be a shot of me doing the impossiblest goal of all: a side shot! The way I did the side shot is I decided to boot it in because the goalie was way in the front, and I snuck behind all the action. And then it was clear, and I got it in. The other team was amazed at how I did that. And all of my teammates started high 5ing me and stuff like that.


Wii called me OBESE! This is what happened: I was doing Wii Fit, and not the Wii. And I checked my weight to see if I was healthy, by standing on the balance board, there's a bar that moves up and down on the screen, and you wait. And then it made this sound that went "wah wah waaaaaaah" like the sound a game makes when you are losing, and then the screen said OBESE in this red box. And the bar on OBESE went to the top, like you couldn't go anymore higher for more obese, that's how OBESE ("Mom, put in airquotes") but that's how OBESE (airquotes) it said I was. Mom, how much do I weigh? ("You weigh 62 lbs, honey").

My mom got mad and said, "you're not obese!" And then she said there's no way that she'd ever get on there because she says her butt is big and the Wii would probably explode.

Also: on Mondays, I get my superpowers at 11:11 each morning. They last only until 11:23. I can do anything super good in that time. So I run outside and kick the ball into the soccer net. Sometimes I count how many times I can run in one spot as fast as I can.

Mom. Hurry up. It's almost 11:11, right? Almost superpowers! I can tell when it's almost 11:11 because I have spidey sense and I just know it. My mom always says, "How do you know it's almost 11:11?" and I say I just do.

Bye. I have to get ready for 11:11.

Oh, wait! I have to say thank you to 2 ladies my mom knows who gave me awards. Oh yeah! My first blogger awards. I called my dad and told him.

The first lady is The Mombshelter. She gave me the Sunshine Award. Thank you.

The second lady is Cheryl@Deckside Thoughts. Thank you.

Friday, May 21, 2010

What It's Like Giving A Spelling Test To A Boy

SETTING: Kitchen table, typical homeschool morning. Baby E and I sitting together:.

ME: "Alright, Baby E, we need to get our review spelling test done first thing this morning...."

BABY E: "Noooooooooo......[groan groan] I want to do it later. Can I at least keep my Bumblebee costume on? It helps me think faster and better."

ME: "Yes. Yes. Keep it on. We're going to do the review first now, so that way it gets done, then we can do the fun stuff you like later."

BABY E: "Alright..."

ME: "OK, now, remember, I'll say your spelling word first, then you give me back the word using it in a sentence, to show me you know what it means. So, I'll say the word, then you repeat it and use it in a sentence, then the last step is to spell it. That way I know that you understand the meaning of it, and not just how it's spelled. Ready? Let's go..."

ME: "First word: COT."

BABY E: "COT. The kid was COT stealing candy. COT."

ME: " A small bed.."

ME: "Baby E, are you sure you studied?"

BABY E: "Uhhh...yeah, kinda..what do you mean by study?"

ME: "Never mind. Next word: CUFF.

BABY E: "CUFF. "Cuff 'em, guys" said the policeman."

ME: "OK *sigh* .. . alright, I'll take it. Next word: CUT."

BABY E: "Oh! Goody! "The man was all CUT and bleeding blood from trying to get out of the handCUFFS!" CUT. I used two of the words, mom!"

ME: "Hmmm...Ok, let's just keep word:.GAS."

BABY E: [titter titter teehee teehee *sighing*] " GAS!" [titter titter] "I have.... GAS!" [explosive laughter]

ME: "Oh, Baby e, what am I going to do?? Next word is GUM. And let's try real hard to give me a good sentence this time, alright?"

BABY E: [giggle giggle breathless chortle] "The man had nothing but GUMS left in his mouth cuz he ate only candy and his teeth ROTTED out!. GUMS."

ME: "Well, let's just finish with this. Now,  there's not much you can do to this next word. GIANT."

BABY E: [full blown hysteria]"The GIANT stepped on and smooshed and squished and splatted flat all the little people in the village till they were squished  flat! GIANT!"

And that's only one third of the words from his list, only one third. This is my life, people.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hoarders 911

BABY E: "Mom, can you find a place for all those pizza mixes you accidentally bought?"

ME: "I will, honey, I just have to clear out the cereal cabinet first."

BABY E: "If you don't do it soon, Mom, then you'll be a repulsive hoarder."

ME: "I think you mean an impulsive hoarder."

BABY E: "Yeah. They call that "serious." Like, you keep Christmas ornaments in the shower and stuff."

ME: "O.K., honey, I'll take care of it."

Hoarders is one of my guilty pleasures: I know I shouldn't watch, but I can't help it. Pictures from their photo gallery, like the one above, just make me feel better about my pizza mix situation. A & E counts on weak people like me. Perhaps Baby E shouldn't be sitting on my lap while I watch???

Monday, May 17, 2010

Why I Don't Wear My SpiderMans Anymore....

It's Monday. He's up, he's got his notes from the week, and we're ready to go.

Baby E., on his world this week. His speaks, I type, since I'm the one with the mad keyboard skills. (srsly) You should see my fingers fly.

So, let's go, it's kind of a long list this week. It'll take kinda like 10 seconds to go through.

First, I have to tell you about this picture. I do not like my Spidermans anymore. I liked them a lot when this picture was taken, but not now. When I found out why they were so bad. Well, they're kinda...well, this picture is from when I liked them and they're babyish now. My mom is sad I won't wear them. But, so, now she took me to get new pajamas. I'll show you next week. And guess what? The new pajamas I have now make me feel like a teenager. You'll see.

The next thing I wrote in my journal for ideas ( My mom says,"go get your diary" and I whisper back, "It's not a diary, it's a journal"). :

The next big story is about beetles. Asian beetles.

The invasion of the asian beetles.

These asian beetles were all over, we had to call my mom's friend, Jerry, the bug guy. They were incredibly bad, all over in my big brother's room. I have this big brother, and he couldn't even read in his room because they'd land on his lips and hair and he was starting to get really mad. But my dad didn't want to pay a bug guy to come to the house so my mom taped up my brother's windows with mailing tape to catch them cuz she read to do that.

It didn't work, and when the bug guy came and saw what she did, we were standing under the tape trap my mom made by the big windows and the bug guy pulled the tape off and holy cow! it was like rain. Really gross rain. And like 50,000 crunchy dried up old bugs landed on the carpet and I couldn't even walk around in there because it was like an asian beetle landmine.

I have like 4 more big stories: but my mom will only let me do one more. Which is too bad because the stories I have are really good. I'll do them next week, though.

My mom says I can't say ANY NAMES about this next story. So, I'll call it:

"When my mom made me go to this one kid's house.":

My mom always feels sorry for people, and just cuz she feels sorry for them, we're the ones that have to do the good stuff for them. Like, go over to their house. Which I did.

This one kid, he had no friends (you'll see why later) and my mom said, "Honey, you need to go over and be nice to him because he has no friends." So, I said, "No" because I know what that usually means. It usually means I find out why the kid has no friends.

So, she makes me go. I get there, the kid comes to the door with his mom and his mom is all smiley and "hi there" but the kid just runs and hides. So, I stay, and the mom makes the kid come out to play with me and the kid says, (and this was so weird ) "do you want to go to SeaWorld?" And, me, I feel mixed up and don't know what to say, so I say"uhhh....suuuuure (gulp)."

So, then, the kid runs to the bathroom and grabs a bucket from the bathtub, and I think "uh oh" and I follow him, and then he goes to his room AND THROWS THE BUCKET THAT'S FULL OF PLASTIC DOLPHINS AND WHALES on the floor! And then the kid's like "It's SeaWorld!" and I'm just like......... I wanted to ask the mom when I would go home but, then, I knew that wouldn't be very nice.

Then, he wanted to play "Aliens" and that's not the worst part. So, he grabbed like all these 20 dollar tubes (at Shopko they're 20 dollars, I don't know about Target) of MartianMatter and then the kid said, "grab a bottle!" but I didn't want to because I know how much that stuff costs, so I just let him do it , and he ran outside and squirted all the bottles at once on a big rock outside of his house and said "It's an Alien now!" and started to hit it with a stick. I really wanted to go home right away then.

The mom asked me to stay for a snack first. And then the kid wanted to make us soup! He filled a bucket full of water, and then began squirting in some Purell from this big Purell thing from Costco or something it was so big and then sticks and leaves and raspberries and grapes that he got from inside the house. And he even threw in some Cheerios. And then he spilled it down his slide on purpose.

Then I saw my mom come and I ran to the van. She started to laugh really hard when she saw me keep pulling on the van door and the door was still locked.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mommy The Explorer

I always begin my mornings with a visit to my very first blog love ever,; one of my favorite favorite blogs. When I saw this video here over there today, I knew I had to repost it here. When I asked Daphne about it, she said "repost away!" And so I have. "Daphne the Explorer" is my first bloggy friend Daphne Brogdon, her blog is coolmom. Daphne was my first friend on the internet, and she helped me through a tough year. She is beautiful, very funny, kind and down to earth.

Daphne is a stand up comedian, and also hosts TV Guide Channel's weekly series The Fashion Team. She is married to the fantastic Chef, Mark Peel. Mark is one of the chefs that L.A. takes pride in calling their own. He has appeared on Top Chef, and Good Bite. When Mark's latest cookbook, "New Classic Family Dinners" was released and I purchased it, he signed a copy for me. Mark is executive chef/owner of Campanile Restaurant in L.A and co-founder of La Brea Bakery.

I know you'll find this as funny as I did. Thanks, Daphne!!! You're my girl. And I truly do love this one!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

You gotta Swagger Wagon? Yo, check it out

Thank you to Beth, at The Confused Homemaker for the link and these early morning laughs. [Believe me, so worth the click over and the 2 minutes to watch.]

Sorry about the cut-off. Blogger has been doing that to me all morning. Everything looks perfect in "Preview" but gets all crazy in Publish. YouTube has a better video, the Sienna channel has all of them. Hilarious.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tomorrow......The World!!!!

I don't think I've ever met so many kind, and encouraging people in my life, as when I started this blog. After Baby E's debut post last week Wednesday, there were so many kind requests for more Baby E , that we decided to make Mondays his day.

Do you all know how to make a kid beam or what? And do I have to tell you how high he jumped? And how loud he yelled? Here he is, after I told him the news.

Yup. You'da thought it was Christmas or something. Here's his take on the latest from how he sees his world. It's his perception, and that's the one that counts to him, right?

And, sincerely, bless you all for how special you made this little guy feel. He's walking ten feet tall now. To quote him, "I feel like some superstar, from a movie or something."

As always, he speaks, I type:

"OK. Here we go: this is the stuff that happened since last week. First of all, I lost my tooth. Now, to the real business:

Wait. There's so many stories. There was Photo Friday Fight and then there was the Hoarder's Episode and brain is still dusty, but it'll get undusty in a couple of minutes.

Well, then I'll start with the Photo Friday. Photo Friday was preeeeeetttttty crazy.

OK, so we went to blankplace on Friday and we got some pictures taken of me cuz my mom likes to get pictures of us when we don't have any teeth in our mouths. So, we go to this place and went in and we had an appointment and then you won't believe what happened.

And then this crazy walk-in lady said a lie about having an appointment. She said, "I don't know what time my appointment was for, but I'm next." And then my mouth just dropped open. And so, my mind said, "whaaaa?" And they listened to her and said, "next." And she went in. Then, after like an hour, we were still waiting. Then there was a photo of a picture of a lady and the sign said, "we would love to hear of your visit, call us" so and then Mom saw it and said, "I'll let them know how my visit was" and she called and called and told them she was waiting for an hour. When it was finally our turn, my mom asked the lady, "is it better if we just walk in?" in her pretend nice voice, and then she said, "because just tell me, and I'll do that next time."

OK. Now we're going to "the Hoarder's Episode." This morning, Mom was complaining and throwing stuff around cuz there's like a gameboard on the floor in this room, and the coffee table has Legos on it, and she bought some pizza mixes, and ordered 12 boxes, but each box had 4 packs in them, so now we have 48 boxes of pizza mix and Mom said, "where am I going to put all this stuff?" and I was like "stick it under the desk here" and she said, "Under the desk?! Do you want us to be the next Hoarder's Episode?!" And I spit out my juice on my pants.

Bye. We're going now, to the store, to make a list of things the Tooth Fairy can leave me.

Mom, now, we're done. Don't go looking around at more stuff like you always do."

A Bit Dramatic, Yes, But You Get the Point

There was a young man loved a maid
Who taunted him,"Are you afraid,"
She asked, "to bring to me today
Your mother's heart upon a tray?"

He went and slew his mother dead
Tore from her breast her heart so red
Then towards his lady-love he raced
But tripped and fell in all his haste.

As the heart rolled on the ground
It gave forth a plaintive sound.
And it spoke, in accents mild:
"Did you hurt yourself, my child?"

Jean Richepin

A most wonderful Mother's Day to you all!!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Lost In Translation

The following early morning exchange occurred on a day when the world's surliest teenager woke up late for school. If this is your first trip to Angstworld or exposure to TeenSpeak, I have inserted translations below the actual dialogue. I have become well versed in "Angst" and am available for hire. [Fee: free, in the spirit of fellow commiseration.]

PARENT: "Hey, darling, you'll be late if you don't get up now."

15 YR OLD: "What time is it? Why'd you let me sleep so late? You NEVER wake me up in time for anything."

HE IS SAYING: "I am so tired, Mom. Can I sleep a bit longer?"

PARENT: "Sorry you'll have to rush, sweetie. I'll help you out. What do you need?"

15 YR OLD: "You still don't know what I need in the morning? How long have I been your son?"

HE IS SAYING: "I'm too tired to think, Mom. You always do it right. Can you do it for me, please?"

PARENT: "Here, I've got breakfast set. Come on down, I'll pack your lunch. Then you can wash up instead of a shower."

15 YR OLD: "No shower???!! Did you say No shower??!! Man, does everyone get gross like that when they get old? I'm taking a shower. You're the one that got me up late. Why do I have to be the one to go without a shower."

HE IS SAYING: "You know how important my appearance is at this age. Please figure out a way to make time stop so I can get in the shower."

PARENT: "All right. Sneak one in. Fast. I can get you to school on time. You're never late, it'll be all right."

15 YR OLD: "Nothing's ever all right at that place. They always find something wrong .. I hate having to get a tardy slip. Just get me there, on time, I can't be late."

HE IS SAYING: "I have a lot of pressures with being cool. Walking in with a tardy slip like a little kid is embarrassing. Please oh please, Mom, break some laws and get me to school on time."

PARENT: "It'll be fine. You'll just make it. Come on, honey. Everything's set, and I fixed you something so you can eat it in the car. Get dressed, and you'll make it with two minutes to spare. I'll be out in the car. Your backpack's already in there, too."

15 YR OLD: "Thanks, Mom."

HE IS SAYING: .................

BUT in his silence, he says this: Oh, Mom, Why am I like this? So angry all the time. I'm so sorry for the way I acted toward you. I spoke to you with disrespect, when all the time you just want to help me. I love you, Mom. Will you forgive me?

PARENT: "Of course I do."

15 YR OLD: "Whatcha say, Mom? I didn't say anything--who are you talking to? You're starting to talk to yourself like an old person."

PARENT: "Oh, nothing, honey. Just something I heard in my head. Lean over, you've got some Clearasil left on your face. There. Better. You're so handsome. I love you."

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

You Oughtta Know.....

Our youngest, Baby Emperor aka Baby E., has just put his foot down. For the past two months, ever since I began this blog, it seems that whenever he speaks I RUN and grab one of the blog tickler notebooks I have stashed all over the house, in anticipation of fodder. He has noticed this.

In my defense, the boy doles it out continuously. Today, finally, he has declared his limit. After an incident this morning, he saw me running for the notebook in the laundry room. I heard him shout after me, "Don't put that in your blog, either!"

So, in all fairness, it is his turn to turn the tables today. He speaks, he dishes out the dirt, he airs the dirty laundry. Here is all the scoop that Baby E finally gets to voice. It's His Turn....buckle your seatbelts and put up the lap tray...

I swear to type the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, as dictated to me by Baby E: I am his fingers.

"Mom has a crazy chocolate problem. I have to stop her from getting any in stores. Like The Chocolate Factory place here...she wanted to buy a little paper bag there for 6 dollars. She'd eat worms if they were covered in chocolate. She is crazy. Well, not really crazy, but pretty crazy.

She also likes coffee. Like another crazy problem. She always has it. 24/7. I have to stop her all the time from her friends inviting her. Well, she doesn't like tea, though. Yeah...not so crazy...but pretty crazy.

She always runs away from librarians. (whispering: Mom, can I tell the part about why?) OK. This is the part about why: cause she always has late fines cause she didn't finish the book on time and she has to finish. So she hides in the car and I have to go in the library for her. Well, see, for instance, yesterday I was walking out of the library and I happened to have a librarian walking out with me, and Mom practically stomped on the gas when she saw me walk out with the librarian. When I got in the car, I heard lots of deep breathing and like, so, ummm...she sends me in to do her dirty work.

She fights with people at the bank (whispering: can I tell the part about the bank thing?) OK. Here's the bank thing that happened yesterday. I was sitting down reading books at the bank, and all of a sudden I heard this, "Nuh-uh " "Yuh-huh" "But this is supposed to be a free bank!"

And I went over and heard mom say "what do you mean you won't put in a check cause it's from a different country??" and something like that.

She is awesome. She is funny. We laugh. She loves me. She makes me do school. I don't like the math part.

I'm done, mom. Can I please have lunch now? I really wanna have lunch now. Like really now. Like I need to...dying of starvation. dying. really dying this time. Don't make it late like you did yesterday, either."

Score. Tied.


Jessica Bern is one of the funniest woman in the world, she is NOT for the faint of heart. Or those averse to... well, don't have the kiddies around, that's for sure.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Your Minds are Mine Forever.....Bwaaahaahahaha

It's Teacher Appreciation Week, May 3-7. Let the special teacher/teachers in your children's lives know how much you appreciate the love and time they invest in your children. Yes, this includes you, my fellow homeschooling moms! You count!

Here's the festivities that I--er, I mean, we--have planned. For me. For today. Since we homeschool, I am our children's teacher and The.Awesomest.Teacher EV-ER!

The kiddies have been sent outside to collect flowers for me, The Teacher's Floral Bouquet special. Cost: priceless, of course. After said flowers are collected, they must assemble the assorted mix in a manner that is grouped according to the color wheel, and then by size congruence. Bingo. Just crossed art and spatial relationships off the list for today. Yes!

After flowers are artfully arranged and displayed, an accompanying card of heartfelt worship--um, of thanks--must be lettered, addressed, and delivered with a kiss to teacher. Yes! Check penmanship, check language arts. This day is flying by.

Weather is gratefully cooperating (Thank you, God) so recess shall be extended today (translation: teacher gets an extra half hour of coffee and emails). I hear no complaints.

Festivities shall end with a Thank You speech from Mom:

"Children, O Children: my life begins and ends with you. As I've confessed many a time before to you, I've always been mediocre at everything. But, at being your mother and teacher? Well, in that, I have excelled. Thank you for the privilege of having me be the one to teach you to read, the one to teach you the love of history, the one who brought the bible to life in your heart, the one..."

"Whaa?? Hey, mom, I thought you said you taught us to read so that when you're dead we'll burst into tears at the sight of a book cuz --waaaah--we'll be all like, "sob sob....'tis my dear mother that taught me to read.."

"Yeah, well, that, too.'"


And, oh children of mine, remember, with this morning's breakfast, I like my toast just slightly crunchy, and buttered to the ends.

Thank you for the gift of teaching you, getting to know you, and forever being the one who drifts in the background as you silently read to yourself. It's been a blast.

With Love, Teacher

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Flaming Skulls in the Sky

Setting: typical homeschooling morning. Kitchen table.

Baby E: "Mom, can we go to the park now?"

Me: "No. You know we have to finish math before we do anything at all today. Remember I told you that this morning?"

Baby E: "Can we do only half math? Can we have a light day of school? And then go to the park?"

Me: "No. We have to do a full day of school today. We had two field trips last week, and we have to get caught up. We don't, I don't, want to be doing school in June. Now, let's get this math going or else 6 PM will be here before we know it and we'll still be sitting here with this book open."

Baby E: "Can I have some skittles while I do my math?"

Me: "Absolutely no more sugar today. That's why you keep jumping in and out of your seat. Done. Sugar is done for today. No more sugar. And we have to eat lunch before we have any snacks, anyway. That's the rule."

Baby E: "Can you make pancakes for lunch?"

Me: " I already set up lunch for today, last night. We're all ready to eat as soon as you finish your math. No pancakes. Math, then lunch."

Baby E: "If I finish all my math, will you give me a prize?"

Me: "No. No--now, please, settle down, stay put, and let's get going on your math. And let's finish it."

Baby E: "Mom, can I just take a little break now? To get my wiggles out?"

Me: "Alright. Take a break ---but a quick one---and get your wiggles out. So that they're all out. Then, it's math. Math. And nothing but math. And I can hear you if you try to sneak into the skittles, so don't even try."

Sweet, sweet quiet ensues for the next 20 minutes.

Me: "Alright, honey. Time to get back at it..."

Baby E: "Mom. Look. I made a new comic strip. I'm using you as the model for the super villain. His name is Phantasmo, and he's the ruler of good mixed with evil. See, he's saying, "I must do what I must do..." His cape is a flaming skull and cross bones, like a pirate ship.

This is you coming...the flaming skull and cross bones that's on fire in the sky.

I'm drawing a moustache on you...I mean him."

Me: "You know what? I think skittles at the park sounds like a great idea right about now...let's go. We can double up on math tomorrow."


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