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Saturday, August 1, 2020

Through the Looking Glass

I have long been a fan of Disney World. I grew up going on a pretty regular basis and, as soon as they were old enough, my husband and I brought each of our children to Florida to be indoctrinated into all things magic and Mouse. Yet, I was firmly in the – “What?!? How could opening Disney World possibly be a good thing? We are in the middle of a pandemic!” - camp. I thought it was crazy that the parks were opening, and I thought that the people who would go must be equally crazy. Imagine my surprise, then, to find myself purchasing tickets and excitedly riding the monorail up to the gates of the Magic Kingdom.

It all started with a drive to Florida. Our family of five was going stir-crazy at home. My husband has been working from a make-shift office in the corner of our bedroom since school shut down in late March. He spends most of his waking and all of his sleeping hours within the same four walls. For my and our three kids’ parts, given that we were only socializing with others outside, and that Texas gets H-O-T in the summer, we, too, were tired of the same view and the same company. Lucky enough to be able to, we rented a friend’s vacation home in the Florida Keys and set out for a road trip. My husband would work in a different house for a change, and I would do laundry and cook in a different laundry room and kitchen. Sigh. The pool and change of scenery would be a welcome reprieve, though! As would a backyard pool.

Our route from Austin to Islamorada took us through Orlando, where we were taunted by Disney souvenir shops and billboards of Mickey Mouse beckoning us to join the fun. All of us bemoaned the fact that we were so close, yet so far. My husband I mused that it would be a long time before we’d see Disney World again. The pandemic would have to pass, so too the massive crowds that would surely follow that milestone.

Our time in the Keys was just the reprieve we needed. Relaxing by the pool, I read a local publication. In it were stories of people who had gone to Disney World and were sharing their experiences. No lines. No crowds. Strict safety measures. Reports of feeling safer in the Magic Kingdom than out in the real world. Could it be?

I shared the news with my husband, stating that after seeing the billboards and reading about the parks, it was killing me not to go. All it took was his reply, “Well, you know I love it, too…” His upcoming birthday provided the last excuse I needed to justify the whole crazy venture in my head. “We can go for your birthday!”

Disney has a new system in which you purchase your tickets and then make a park reservation, allowing them to keep the numbers of visitors to each park within a desired range. I found it easy to buy our tickets online, and to get a reservation for the Magic Kingdom for one day. The day before, we drove up to Orlando, stayed in a hotel near Disney Springs, Disney’s shopping/entertainment area, and masked-up to take a look around.

Disney Springs definitely had visitors, but the multiple empty parking spots showed just how many less there were than during a typical day. Masks were required, sanitizer was plentiful, and distancing was enforced in the shops, although we tried to spend as little time inside as possible. We did queue up, however, to purchase some cute Disney masks – even forcing the birthday boy to don a Goofy mask. Then, it was back to the hotel to rest up for our big day.

We planned to get to the park early, not knowing how long the new entrance procedures might take. We needn’t have worried. The parking lot held a few rows of cars, followed by seemingly endless amounts of empty asphalt. The ride over on the Monorail was equally different, yet not unwelcome. Used to being crammed in with several other excited families, we were the only family allowed into our car – after sanitizing, that is.

Next came the temperature check station, followed by a quick security check. After that, we were in! Where usually visitors congregate in front of the train station until the gates are officially opened, we discovered that the park had switched to a soft opening, likely so that crowds didn’t form. Park hours had been shortened from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., with no fireworks, but at 8:40 a.m., we were already making our way up Main Street.

“Making our way” was not the crush and rush of visits past. In fact, it was the first time we’d been able to see much of the ground on Main Street at all. There were huge pockets of emptiness and we giddily looked at each other to check that this was, in fact, true. 

Fantasyland with no lines! Truly a sign of the apocalypse...
From there we moved through the various lands – Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Adventureland, Frontierland, and Liberty Square with the same ease. With literally no lines to wait in, wearing a mask in the heat was extremely bearable. By the time we started to feel warm, we were under cover. Although still technically outside and walking through the series of twists and turns designed to keep massive crowds organized, we were cooled by the blasting air that Disney uses to keep people reasonably comfortable. Before you could say, “Go,” we would find ourselves hopping into our seats, lap bars being lowered, and the next escape from reality appearing before our eyes.

The scene was repeated over and over all throughout the day. Ninety-nine percent of the time it was incredible. The other one percent, our filter would imperceptibly shift, and either my husband or I would be struck by just how strange and surely wrong the world must be for this experience to be true. I actually stopped to take a picture when I saw that the wait time at Space Mountain was listed as zero minutes. Assuming he had cut in front of me, a man backtracked and apologized. When I explained that all was good, I had just stopped to take a picture because I never thought that wait time would be possible, he shook his head in understanding, “I know, it’s so weird, right?”


Surreal was the word that kept coming to mind. So surreal in fact that by noon my husband was saying things like, “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. When would we ever again get to do Disney like this?” It progressed into, “You know, I think I can move tomorrow’s meeting. Let’s try to go to one more park. I don’t think this will ever happen again.” And we did. Before mid-afternoon, we had purchased tickets online, made our reservation for Animal Kingdom, and extended our hotel stay by one night.

There were no fireworks, but because we had kept moving constantly all day, we didn’t mind the earlier closing time. We saw everything we wanted to and our feet, in true Disney World fashion, were killing us. In an effort to prevent crowds from gathering, there were also no parades, but floats would randomly appear. Having been before, though, and being so delighted to breeze through all of the “lines,” we were happy to trade the full parade away. Also missing, were character meet-and-greets and autograph signing. There, again, Disney had a solution. Characters would appear – socially distanced – at unscheduled times to interact with guests. After walking through Cinderella’s castle, my children were hailed by Cinderella’s wicked stepsisters, Anastasia and Drizella, who were standing at the railing of the castle balcony. There ensued a five-minute back-and-forth conversation between my three and the stepsisters. They talked about souvenirs, traded jokes, and shared names. None of that would have happened if, as in trips past, we needed to move along for the 30 children lined up behind mine.

And what about feeling safe? Truthfully, we did. Certainly more so than at various stops along the road home, when we’d see people with their mask down around their chin, or with no mask at all. Disney World is very strict about its safety requirements. Masks must be worn at all times, and must remain pulled up. At one point, I saw a woman pull her mask down from her nose and, within a mere 30 seconds, a staff member was politely asking her to pull it back up. Guests are allowed to remove their masks when eating or drinking. When Disney World realized that some people were doing so while walking, they tightened their guidelines to include the rule that you must remain seated when eating or drinking. For those that need a break from their masks, designated spots are set up around the parks to provide them a moment of respite.

Lines are clearly marked for social distancing, and visitors are regularly reminded not to move to the next line until the party in front of them has done so. There is sanitizer present to use before getting on a ride and after disembarking, as well as sanitizer visible at a plethora of spots around the park. Rides were periodically stopped to be sprayed down with sanitizing solution, then run through one rotation to allow the sanitizer to dry, before guests were loaded up again. 

Guests are also requested to make any food orders through the Disney World mobile app, and to approach the restaurant only once the food is flagged as ready. There are numerous outdoor seating areas, and, as with ride lines, Disney World’s propensity to air condition the outdoors made dining outside comfortable enough. Should you wish to sit inside, tables were clearly marked off to ensure proper distancing. The same was true of seats in shows, cars on rides, and lines for popcorn and Mickey Mouse head ice cream treats.

I never thought we would have gone to Disney World, and even felt hesitation sharing that we had, knowing that most would think as I did – What?! Are they crazy?!? Having done so, though, I will tell you that it was just the break from hard reality that my people and I needed. It is hard to focus on your troubles when cherubic-faced dolls are singing, “It’s a small world, after all” at you. Or, when your son actually kicks his heels up like a leprechaun when he realizes that, not only has he become tall enough to drive his own car at the Tomorrowland Speedway, but that he doesn’t have to wait 60 minutes to do so.

Right now, a bit of magic is what everyone needs, and we felt so lucky to have slipped through the looking glass to get a little for ourselves. We began the long drive home to Texas with hearts a little bit lighter, smiles a little bit bigger, and maybe a sparkly pair of Mickey ears or two.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Not So Nappy Naptime

I missed the magic window by only 30 minutes, but I managed to cross the line from sleepy, will nap babies to not ever going to happen, don't even think about it babies.

After 30 minutes of what felt like hostage negotiations - Yes, you need your good rest. Yes, I will rub your back. No, it is not scary, sleeptime is a happy time - I finally made it out of the room... only to be heckled by Sofia over the monitor:

Mom! Mom! I tying (crying) for you! 

Mom! Mom! I a liddle bit sad for you! I no yike (like) uh-duh napytime!

She finally got me back in with this one:

Mom! Mom! My gina is hurting! (I'll let you translate that one)

I headed back in there, sorted out the diaper wedgie, and got the heck out of Dodge. Only to have the heckling start from "Boy":

Mommy! Mommy! My gina hurting!

I think it's time to give my son an anatomy lesson...

Friday, August 9, 2013

We'd Get In A Ditch

My Banana is a worrier. Usually I don't mind talking her through things, but sometimes she can go on a bit too long.

Recently she learned more about tornadoes and that sparked a whole What If? discussion related to tornadoes. On our walk through my mother-in-law's neighborhood (keep in mind, much of the actual conversation has been deleted as to spare you the melting of your brain matter):

Ana: Dad, what would we do if a tornado came right now?

Scott: Don't worry, Honey. There isn't going to be a tornado.

Ana: Yeah, but what if?

Me: Then we would get inside Ging's house and go into a room on the bottom floor that doesn't have any windows. We would go in the closet where Ging keeps all of the blankets.

Ana: Yeah, but what if we couldn't get there in time?

Scott: Well, then you look for a ditch. The ground is lower there so it protects you.

Ana: Yeah, but what if we couldn't find a ditch?

Me: Honey, you can find a ditch or a room without windows pretty much anywhere. We would run to someone's house nearby and go in their closet.

Ana: Yeah, but what if there was no closet or ditch?

Scott: There would be.

Ana: But what if there wasn't.

Scott: Trust me, there would be.

Ana: Well, what if we were driving in the car?

Scott: We'd pull over and get in a ditch.

Ana: Well, what if we were at a park?

Me: We'd get in a ditch.

Ana: Well, what if we were...

Me: Let me stop you. Think of your question and then think to yourself - We'd get in a ditch.

Ana: Yeah, but can I ask you one more?

Scott: Is the answer - We'd get in a ditch? If so, I don't want to talk about it anymore.

Ana: Well, maybe not.

Me: Okay, last one.

Ana: What if I was outside with my BFF and we were playing with our (nonexistent) bunny, Twitchy?


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sanitizer, Anyone?

We are regulars at Rudy's - a BBQ chain here in Texas, and I believe other states as well. Saturday mornings all 5 of us can be found eating our various combinations of breakfast tacos: potato and bacon, bacon and egg, egg and potato, just tortillas... there's something for every Bogle.

A new item of interest at Rudy's is the automatic hand washer. Ana has been, and remains, petrified of it. I appreciate the fact that I don't have to do anything but put my hands into two rotating cylinders of water. Sofia likes the fact that she gets to Sofia-gallop across the dining room to check it out, and Mr. Reed loves to study it with his future engineer mind. A bonus for the little people is that you get a  "My Hands Are Clean!" sticker when you are done.

The Saturday routine then involves the running of various errands, followed by a return to home, diaper changes, and Saturday nap time for the Baby Bogles.

Imagine my surprise today when I pulled down Reed's shorts and unfastened his diaper to give him a fresh one - there on his Little Reed was a "My Hands Are Clean!" sticker.

No, my son, I am pretty sure that is proof right there that they are not.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

To Each Her Own...

Ana: Mom, how come Charlie's* eyes are so big?

Me: I guess God just made him that way.

Ana: Well, why does he cut his hair so short? He looks like a bald man!

Me: Hmmm... I guess he likes it that way. Maybe it feels cooler.

Pause from Ana. Meanwhile I am thinking about how I am going to address that it's not the way a person looks that determines their value. 

Ana: Mom? How come Charlie is so cutie wootie?

Leave it to my girl to throw me for a loop!

*The names of the big-eyed and bald are changed to protect the innocent

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dirty Mouth

Had a surreal experience yesterday. I was driving home from the grocery store and I decided to browse through the XM channels to see what I was missing by only listening to the same 3 or 4 stations. This is what I was missing (paraphrased for lack of perfect memory):

Oh, Martha! I can't believe I'm talking to Martha Stewart!

Hi. Thank you. What is your question for me today?

It's about pussy willows.


Yes. I got some pussy willows, but I don't think I took care of them right.

Were the pussies soft and gray?


And how did you take care of them?

Well, I tried to cut the shaft and put them in water, but they weren't green.

No. They wouldn't be. To keep the pussies soft like that, they cut them early and let them dry. There would be no use in cutting them and putting them in water.

Oh, so that's why the shaft was woody when I cut it?


I swear. I am not making this up. What blew my mind was that neither of these women sounded like they were laughing so hard they were peeing their pants. I also had no one in the car to sanity check this with.

Reed? Sofia? Are you getting this? was oddly unsatisfying...

Monday, March 4, 2013


Sofia talks a blue streak. The only problem is, her annunciation is not spectacular. As a result, the same sounding word could mean 3 or 4 different things. I usually have to check to see what she's looking at or pointing to to figure it out completely. Take the following words as example:

1. Da-dee
     a. Daddy, as in Scott
     b. Doggie, as in Cooper, dogs in books, dogs on our walk, etc.
     c. Any random man. All are Daddies.
     d. Dirty. As in my hands where I colored myself.
     e. Pen. Because I make my hands dirty when I color with pen. All pens in our house are     
                 now known as dirties.
     f. Dolly. 

2. Boy
     a. Boy, as in Reed. This is what he is called now. Fif has changed his name.
     b. Boy. All boys in public are pointed out as Boy. Unless of course there is more than 
                 one, then the plural of boy is boyo, boyo, boyo, boyo.
     c. Girl. All girls are also boys. This pisses off pretty much every 3 year old girl we come in 
                 contact with.
     d. Boogie. This one is said like this: Boy! Da-dee! (sign language for help), meaning - My 
                 boogies are getting out of control and I'm now getting dangerously dirty. Do     
                 something about this!

3. Huht
     a. Hurt. As in I am hurt from where Boy hit me over the head with a Da-dee (dolly).
     b. Heart. As in what all Valentine balloons were shaped like, which made shopping a 
                   challenge. Huht! Ba-oon! 
                   Yes, that's a heart balloon. 
                   Yes, that's another heart balloon. 
                   And so on, and so forth...

Thursday, February 28, 2013

My Little Mutts

When we get back from taking Ana to the bus, we unload from the stroller in the garage. We've been working on getting some things together for a big garage sale, so there are toys everywhere, which is of course very exciting to all of the small people in the house.

The other day I capitalized on the excitement and left Reed and Sofia in the garage to play while I got some things done in the kitchen. It was quiet. Too quiet.

In comes Sofia to the kitchen. Mouth full of something. Uh oh, she says around her mouthful of something.

Sofia? What's in your mouth? Get back here, you Stinker, and show Mommy!

The second I pried open her little jaws, I knew what it was. The smell of wet dog food hit my nostrils like a Mack truck. Trying not to gag, I pried the goopy, stinking mess out of her mouth, much to her dismay.

Given that I have two small messmakers and not just one, it was time to find out what the other half of the pair was up to.

Reed was still in the garage, in spasms of glee. He had pulled the lid off of the food and was  grabbing it by the fistful and flinging it across the garage floor. It was at this point that his sister, the doggie, would eat it off of the floor. Nice.

All I could think was... Man, I hope this stuff is dairy free...  My how my standards have changed!!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Should Have Been More Specific...

Ana, if you're done with your breakfast, go throw that bowl of sausage to Cooper and then clean up the rest of your dishes.

Where is he?

In the office. Just toss it over the gate. He'll love it.

5 seconds later...


Ana? I meant throw the sausage. Not the bowl.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Dirty, Dirty Girl

Sofia is a talker. Girl has lots to say. Just not lots of words to say it with.

In her defense, she actually has a lot of words for a 16 month old, an unusual amount, but she still struggles with saying all she wants to say. Her most recent strategy is to use a somewhat similar word to tell us what she wants.

Sofia. You have dirt on your hands. Let's wash you off.

Dirty! Dirty!

Sofia. Your diaper is dirty. Let's clean you up.

Dirty! Dirty!

Unh! Unh! Dirty! Dirty! (pointing to the kitchen counter)

What is it? Your hand's not dirty. Baby, there's no dirty on the counter. Do you want this banana? No? The raisins? No? The pen?

(nods head, takes pen, and colors on her hand) Dirty! Dirty!

Oh! Yes! When you color you get dirty! (feeling ridiculously proud for making the connection)

So now, in our house, we talk like this:

Hey Babe, I need you to sign this tax form tonight. I'm going to the accountant tomorrow.

Okay. Can you hand me a dirty?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tales From The Far Side

Yet another conversation I never thought I'd be a part of...

Scott in the kitchen, making chili: Hey, Babe?


Do you know where the colander is? I can't find it anywhere...

Oh. Yeah. It's in the van.

To his credit, he didn't even have to ask why.

For those of you that are wondering, Sofia *had* to have it and I *had* to have whatever would get her in her straps without a fight. There are two to strap down after all...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

If Only I Could...

We took Ana and a little buddy out to dinner Sunday night. Driving home past babies' bedtimes, the atmosphere was a little less than peaceful.

Ana: Mom, can you turn up the music?

Ana's Buddy: Yeah, and can you turn down the crying baby?

If only I could, little friend. If only I could...

Monday, February 11, 2013

He Sleeps

I held you while you slept
Curls damp against my cheek
Weight heavy on my chest

I rocked you and breathed in your baby breath
Your soon to be little boy breath
And I stilled

Time folded back and I remembered holding you before
In my belly, when you were the size of a wish
On my chest, when you were minutes old

I held you when you couldn't crawl
Then when you couldn't walk
Then when you couldn't run

You are so precious to me
So precious that I will go on holding you forever
First within, then in my arms, and when you are too big, as always, in my heart.

Monday, January 14, 2013


A request from Ana found us watching our wedding DVD. Upon seeing our officiant, she asked Who's that man in the black robe?

I replied that he was our priest, to which Scott pointed out that he wasn't called a priest because we weren't married in a Catholic Church. This led to me telling him that I knew that, but Ana was familiar with the word which was why I used it. And so it went...

Ana, tiring of our back and forth about nothing had a solution of her own:

Let's just go with old gray-haired man.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I Swear We're Not Racists

An Ana encounter on New Years Day started out fine, but quickly went bad. Very bad. It was all a misunderstanding (on Ana's part), but if you didn't know Ana's understanding of history coupled with her personal experiences, you would think that she - and therefore we - were a horribly racist family.

The Ana translation is included at the bottom of this post, and can be referenced when you come across an asterisk. Or, for the full effect of Scott's embarrassment, save the explanation until the end.

At a party, Scott is talking to a very nice Indian gentleman. Ana is walking around filming everyone with a little camera that she got for Christmas.

Ana: And here is my Daddy. And some stranger that I do not know.

Scott: Ana, let me teach you how to introduce yourself. Hold out your hand to shake and say, Hello, my name is Ana.

Ana: Hello, my name is Ana. Hey! You're Mexican! You're the enemy! (*#1)

Nice/Tolerant Man: My name is Robert. Actually, I'm not Mexican. I'm from India.

Ana: Then why is your skin brown?

Super Nice/ Super Tolerant Man: Well, that is because I am from India and skin is brown there.

Ana: You're an Indian?!? A real Indian?!? Well,... (*#2)

at this point, realizing that things could only get worse...

Scott: Ana! Go find your Momma!

*#1: This past summer we took a trip to San Antonio and toured the Alamo. Ana learned that AT THE TIME OF THE BATTLE OF THE ALAMO, Mexico was our enemy. She can't seem to understand that since WE ARE IN 2013, Mexico is no longer our enemy. Trust me, we have tried many, many times to explain this, but the romance of patriotism has swept her away and there's no getting her back. You're the enemy! was her misguided attempt to stick up for her land. Thankfully she's not our only defense.

*#2: In Kindergarten Ana learned about Native Americans. The cooperation between the first settlers and the Native Americans was stressed, but, again, the fighting is what stuck in Ana's head. Scott knew that Ana's next response would have been something like...

Well, where's your bow and arrow?
Well, can you really shoot a turkey?
Well, can you grow maize?
Well, do you live in a tepee

As none of these would have been endearing, given the previous skin color reference coupled with the label of enemy, he opted for the last ditch effort of Ana! Go find your Momma!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Son Is Not A Nut

Reed loves a big picture book of 100 words. It has pictures of familiar things - keys, pets, etc. - and he likes me to read all of them, making noises where appropriate. The other night, though, he became obsessed with the picture of the phone, pointing at it over and over and saying, uh oh! uh oh! uh oh!

We had no clue what he was doing or why he was doing it.

No, that's a phone. Can you say phone? The phone says, Brrring brrring.

No luck. The phone kept saying, uh oh! uh oh! uh oh!

I finally figured out why when Scott called this morning.

Phone rings. Not on the charger. Can't see it on top of a pile, must be under a pile.

Uh oh! Where's the phone?


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Imminent Demise

Ana had an adorable little friend over for a playdate yesterday afternoon. I found myself, 5 minutes before the bus came, rushing around picking up our insanely messy house. Then I realized that I was cleaning up for a 5 year old. And so I sat down. And watched 4 1/2 minutes of trash TV. It was a good 4 1/2 minutes.

I needn't have worried about the house at all because 20 minutes into the playdate, over a snack and a glass of milk, Ana's buddy declared the following:

Ana, I like your house. When your mommy dies, and when your daddy dies, and when you die, and when your babies die, and when your dog dies, I'm going to move in here.

I have to say, I appreciated the idea behind the words, if not the actual words themselves.

Shortly after, our little friend did come up with a more acceptable-to-the-Bogle-family-idea:

Hmmm.... or, if the people next door move, I could just move in there.

On another note, I have realized that I am not meant to be an overachiever. I did much better about posting when I said I would post every Monday, than when I decided I would go back to posting every day. So... in the spirit of doing things half-arsed and liking it, I will now be posting 1 or 2 times a week, not sure what day(s) yet. How's that for not pushing too hard? ;-)

Monday, December 3, 2012

And So We Go To Church...

The last time we were at church was when the babies were baptized at 6 months. They are now 14 months. That does not a stellar record make.

In our defense, after they got RSV, the doctor told us to stay out of church for the entire winter season so that we could avoid the flu. Then, predictable naps kicked in, the first being right during the usual service time. Yesterday, though, there was a 4:00 children's choir and handbell service.

Our people like music. Our people like children. Our people like Christmas trees and decorations. Sounded like a win-win way to dip our toes back into church attendance.

Apparently here is also what our people like:

1. Vocalizing approval of said music, very loudly, and often.
2. Making hand signs for "more" to start the music back up. When this did not immediately work, grunting was tried as an alternative.
3. Eating the donation envelope. It is possible for a full third of an envelope to be eaten before the parental unit notices.
4. Discussing how the choir does not sing like Justin Beiber, which led to a discussion of how Selena Gomez should be given to Goodwill because Ana will be marrying Justin Beiber someday.
5. Walking. Up the aisles, down the aisles, attempting to go to the front of the church because, after all, that's where the cool stairs are.
6. Writing a Christmas letter to Santa on the Prayer Request form. At this point, an actual prayer request for Mommy and Daddy would not have been unwelcome.
7. Begging for food.
8. Circumventing Mommy and Daddy who said they had no food, and asking the Reverend if he had a snack.
9. Later explaining that the snack the oldest child thought the Reverend would have was, "You know. That bit of bread. He's always giving out that bit of bread."
10. Freaking out about the concept that the bread represents Jesus' body and requesting tacos, rice, and beans instead.

The service started at 4:00. Not sure what time it ended because we left at 4:29. And went to go eat tacos, rice, and beans. Amen.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Nice Try, Kiddo

Being a Daddy's girl of the last year, and having said Daddy go out of town for work, caused lots of feelings to surface for Ana last night. Add to that two babies that missed their afternoon nap and therefore a Mommy with her arms very full.

Why did you have babies?

Because we wanted babies and God must have known they were right for our family and it was right for you to be a big sister.

I only wanted to see them, not keep them.

Yeah. It can be hard sometimes, huh?

Yeah! I miss Daddy! You're only holding babies!

I'm sorry it feels that way. Sometimes I feel like that too. It will get easier as they get bigger and then they won't need quite as much attention. And, when there's only a Mommy or a Daddy at home, it's a little harder, but we're going to have cuddle time at bedtime, just you and me.

No! I want cuddle time now! You don't love me anymore!

That must feel terrible. I'm sorry you feel that way. I try to show you how much I love you and that you'll always be my baby, but maybe there's something else you need. Is there another way that I could show you?


What, Baby?

You could buy me lots and lots of things. We could go to the toy store and I could get everything that I like. Then I would know you love me.

Needless to say, we did not go get in the car...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Caroling, Ana Style

Imagine this being sung in a jazzy sort of way... And, while you're at it, see if you can spot where it starts to go off track. Not minorly off track - I'm talking we move from the country road to the highway kind of off track. Still, everyone knows it's not Christmas without a unicorn...

In the meadow we can build a snowman
And pretend that he is nice and brown
He'll say are you married, man?
And we'll say no, man.
But you can get us married in our town.

Later on, we'll be tired
As we sit by the fire
We'll sing a song
As a bluebird goes along
Walking in a Winter Wonderland

In the meadow there will be a deer
And lots of snow and that bluebird
Then we'll see a bunny
And a unicorn
And he will have some candy on his horn

Oh, oh, oh
Happy Day
In a unicorn

Happy, happy day
Happy, happy day
Ho Ho Ho
Ho Ho Ho

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

So Not Helping...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Things You Do Not Want To Hear

Things you do not want to hear from the back of the van, driving down I-35 (in other words, not safe to pull over):

1. Do markers come off?

Why?!? What did you color on?

2. Well, do they come off of hands?

Yes, but stop coloring on your hands. You know they're for paper only.

3. Well, do they come off of faces? And lips? And eyelashes? And arms too?

Ana!!! Seriously. Stop. No more. We'll wash you off when we get home, but no more!

A few minutes later...

4. Don't worry, I'm washing all of the marker off myself with my water bottle. I want another shirt! My shirt is wet! I don't like a wet shirt!

Ana!!! Stop!!! It's making the markers run everywhere. Thank you for trying to help, but don't do anything else. We'll take care of it. Put the lid on your water and leave it closed. No more! And you'll have to have a wet shirt until we get home. We can't stop.

A few minutes later...

5. Mom, I'm making my face and hands soft with this Chapstick.

ANA!!! Seriously?!? What is going on back there?!? You know that is for your lips only!!

6. So not my hair either?


And this is what we saw when we got home...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Candy Pounding

Now we go home and I eat all of my candy!

Well, we'll talk about a good amount for you to eat.

But last year you let me eat as much as I wanted on Halloween night!

Yeah, that's true, but Mommy and Daddy didn't expect you to eat ALL of it. We thought that you would eat a lot of it, and then your tummy would be full or you wouldn't feel good so you would stop. But, you didn't. You pounded all of your candy. So, we're not going to do that again this year.


Don't worry, you'll get to eat a good amount.

Well, then I'm going in the house first and I'm gonna to pound on all of my candy before you can see me! I'm gonna pound it! (takes off running)

Not surprisingly, given that we were ten steps behind her, she did not manage to "pound on" all of her candy, but she did manage to go to sleep sufficiently sugar buzzed. It was a good night to be six...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

French Cuisine

Mom, at Daisies (the precursor to Brownies, which is the precursor to Girl Scouts), we learned about frogs and how you have to catch them carefully or you could hurt them. Some people keep them, but not Daisies. We let them go free to nature. We let them be.

Oh, that's nice! I like to hear that because that's how I feel about animals and little creatures - that you should just let them live how they are meant to live.

Yeah. We're not mean. We don't kill them. Why do people kill frogs?

Well, some people actually eat frogs.

They do?!?



Well, in France for example, some people like to eat frog legs. It tastes good to them.

Why do they think it tastes good?

Well, it's kind of like we eat chicken and think it tastes good. It's kind of like chicken to the people that eat frog legs.

Mom? Can we go to France someday.

Why? Do you want to try frog legs?

No! I want to tell the people there that it is not chicken. Someone should tell them.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Beating Down The Pearly Gates

Daddy, please don't take a big bite of my popsicle.

I promise, I won't. Did you know that my Daddy, your Papa, he used to take really big bites. It made me so mad, so I will always take little bites.

He did?

Yep. If I had that popsicle, he would eat half of it in one bite.

Half?!? This much?!?

Yep. It used to drive me crazy, so I will only take a little bite.

Did you tell him not to do that?

I'm sure I did. I don't remember.

Hey! I know something great! When you die you can tell Papa not to take such big bites! That will be great!

Yeah... I can't wait...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Outsmarting Six

Ana, eat your oatmeal. We're going to be late for the bus.

But I don't like this kind! This isn't the kind I usually have!

You're right. We're out of that kind so I put colored sprinkles on this kind to make it fun.

But I don't like it different. I don't like how it tastes.

You haven't tasted it! You like oatmeal, right?


You like colored sprinkles, right?


Then you will like both things together.


You want to be a princess, right?


Well, princesses have to go to other kingdoms for great feasts. They are served all kinds of things that they haven't tried before, somethings are even pretty gross, do you think they can sit there with the look that you have on your face?

Ohhhhhh, alright. I'll try it.

Tries the oatmeal

Yep. I didn't like it.

Now, who outsmarted whom?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Miss Clean

We have a distant relation to the bald cleaning spokesperson, Mr. Clean, living in our very own household. She is almost equally as bald, just not quite as big.

I couldn't figure out what on Earth was happening to my brushes, hair things, toothbrush, socks - basically anything that I needed right when I needed it. That was until I caught the little thief in the action.

Apparently my tiny girl child, who otherwise makes it her mission to completely wreck the house, has thought she would help out by putting some of our things into the bathroom trashcan for us. Given that trashcans in our house overflow until the cleaning person comes, it took me awhile to figure this out. Our lovely cleaning person must have thought I had a screw loose when she emptied the cans, but she was kind enough not to mention my odd clutter purging habits.

I busted the little nut because she just so happened to pull my hair clip out of my hair and crawl off with it. As she was so clearly on a mission, I followed her to see what was up. Straight to the bathroom door, pull it open, crawl over the shredded toilet paper on the floor (an earlier job of hers), and right up to the trashcan. Slam dunk.

In case this wasn't the first time she had made this treck, I emptied this particular round of trash and found:

my hair clip
one of Scott's socks
a spoon
Barbie's sister, Skipper

While I appreciated her efforts at tidying up, I did note that she did not throw away any of her belongings. Apparently she thinks that we are the ones with a hoarding problem. Her current Leggo collection disproves that theory, however. She and I just might have to have a chat...

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Letter To Our Cleaning Person

Must work on how to translate this one to Spanish...

Dear Cleaning Person,

Please know that I appreciate your thoroughness in cleaning our house. I never expected, however, that you would even clean out the cabinets under the bathroom sinks. I can see how, to you, the scraps and shreds of toilet paper under the sinks looked like trash, or at the very least a fire hazard, however, that is the toilet paper we must use.

You see, every roll that we put on the dispenser is dispensed within 2 minutes flat. And that is if no one saw us put it on. If we were observed during the loading, the time is more like 23 seconds. At first we just threw away the shredded wads of paper, but then we realized that 1) we would be responsible for killing a small forest and 2) we would be getting way too much cash back from Sams Club. So, now we just leave it on the floor and use it as needed, or we shove it under the sink before company comes, or in your case, when we are cleaning so that you can clean.

In the future, no need to throw it away, just close the cabinet and leave the mess in peace. In the meantime, anybody got a napkin I can use?

Thank you,


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hypochondriac Much?

The upside of being a hypochondriac is that you are often on top of illnesses as soon as they start. The downside is that you scare yourself needlessly with imagined health catastrophes.

Scott, God love him, is a minor league hypochondriac. He waited to propose to me while he had something checked out in case I said yes and then he found out he was dying. (He wasn't, by the way.)

There was also the legendary Thanksgiving of '09 when he spent Thanksgiving-Eve and Thanksgiving morning in the hospital. He was taken there by ambulance after suffering symptoms of a heart attack. Turns out it was the McDonalds cheeseburger he ate at Walmart while waiting for new tires to be put on the car. That would give anyone a heart attack!

I'm happy that he takes each time seriously because I don't want him ever to ignore symptoms should a real situation occur. He is also learning to question his immediate self-diagnosis and I think I need to work on that too...

(Scott comes downstairs from working in the office upstairs)

I thought I was having a stroke!


Yeah. I was looking at my computer screen and everything was fine. I looked down at my lap and when I looked back up, the sight in my left eye had gone blurry.

Seriously?!? Are you okay?

Yeah. Turns out one of my lenses fell out.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Issues of Hygiene

My oldest lady does not like to stop what she is doing to use the bathroom. Luckily I think she is part camel, so accidents are rare, but I guess even she couldn't stave off the inevitable one minute more. She made a mad dash to the bathroom and the sound of pottying could be heard.

Hey Mom?


I'm just making the sound of pee-pee in here.

Are you sure you're not actually pee-pee-ing? That sounds pretty real to me.

I'm sure. I'm just pretending.

Are you maybe telling me that so you don't have to take time to wash your hands?

Umm... yes?

Wash your hands.


Oh, and Ana?


Nice try.