More Play-Doh

The thunder rolled in with breakfast and the rain came down like pouring milk into a cereal bowl.

“It’s a rainy day, Bradley. What should we do today?”

“Play-Doh, Mom! Lets do Play-Doh again!”

But of course! Play-Doh, board games, and movies on rainy days.


Crunchy old Play-Doh pieces and smooshy new colors fresh from the can litter my kitchen floor; it is a rainbow mess. I watch all the little pieces embedding themself into the linoleum. I try to ignore the mess and enjoy the fun.

“Collin, you are doing such a good job,” and I truly am amazed. His chubby little two-year old hands roll small pieces into little snakes. His stubby fingers roll pieces into a ball, as if he was rolling a booger. I am impressed because he usually just throws it all on the floor and is more entertained with opening and closing the lids.

“Mom, I need a fatchula,” Bradley says. “This is really stuck.”

“I think we can find you a spatula,” and we dig through the kitchen gadget drawer.

Bradley is building a large something right on the spatula. I am making a duck and Mac and Cheese at the same time. I also have to remove the dog because he is trying to eat the Play-Doh. And also Collin is trying to feed it to him. That would be a lot of rainbow crap in the backyard. Gotta love multi-tasking.

Bradley decides to make a duck, too. I think he did a good job. It is amazing what you can do with two balls of Play-Doh for the body and head, and a few other small scraps for the accessories.

I have to say, Bradley and I should work for Play-Doh. Our creations rock.

To keep the girls busy I put the tub of Legos between them and they are busy little bees. It’s the little things that entertain my kids.


Funnies Floating in My Head

***I found this old post from March that I never put on my blog. I think I must have forgot about it. I love the pictures so I decided to post it. I can’t believe how long Collin’s hair was, before his dad gave him his first haircut.***

It sounds so cliche, but it’s true; I never get a moments peace, not even in the bathroom. Especially since Collin (19 months) learned to work door knobs. I really need a lock on that dang door. Collin barges in and is fascinated with the bathtub. It is a pretty amazing tub. It is an old fashioned tub and is really deep. He climbs onto the little step stool, “Collin, get down,” and next thing I see are little jammie feet sticking out from the top of the tub and he is just grunting…”ugh, ugh…” because he is stuck and can’t get out. I can’t help but laugh, even though my child is stuck upside in the bathtub (there was no water in it).

Here are some cute bathtub pics. One of our favorite things is to fill it full so they can “swim.” We also have all kinds of hair dos. Some of Bradley’s favorites include Tony Hawk hair, which is a tossled look. Dinosaur hair, which is spiky. Troll hair consists of two horns on the top of his head. We love making Collin a little Who from Dr. Seuss.

Zombie Hair

Who Hair

Old Man Beard

Another funny story:

Brad comes home and asks, “How did Collin get THAT bruise,” holding his hair off of his forehead. There seems to be a new one every day. “He fell into a laundry basket head first,” I tell him. He was all curled up in the fetal position, tring to move. The sides of the basket threatened to break with each little wail. When I think about it, I can’t help from cracking up. I so wanted to go grab my video camera and leave him stuck a little longer, but he started freaking out and the laundry basket was heaving at the sides so I rescued him.

I bought a pineapple at the grocery store. When I got home and put it on the counter Bradley was so excited he was jumping up and down and his eyes were as big as oranges. “MOM! That’s where SpongeBob lives.” It will be interesting to see how he reacts when we cut it open and eat it.

Bradley told me that only old men have beards and mustaches, like his dad. He said, “My dad is an old man,” and giggles with that silly grin. He knows he is funny.

He also told me that his dad needs a gun so he can shoot big alligators. I think that must be from a show they watch.

There are many more…I am going to try to keep a running tab.

TaTa for Now!


Rainy Day Play-Doh

It was a rainy Friday morning. I sat on the kitchen floor rolling Play-Doh into small coils; green, blue, yellow, and pink – for the stripes on our snake. Bradley was rolling the bright red/orange  into a body for our snake. 

He saw the pictures of different creations on the side of the box and really wanted to make them. So we started off with the snake, then made the frog, a flower, and a fish. He was so proud of his creations and so was I. We did a great job. Collin had fun, too. He mostly made a mess. He is really good at mixing all of the colors together. He did make something, too. And I was shocked. He copied off of Bradley’s fish and mostly had all the right parts. I gave him the dots for the body and smooshed it together. I don’t know if his creation was a coincidence or not, but I was impressed…and still am.

Check out our creations below:


And, next but not least, is Collin’s fish below.

Pretty impressive for an almost 2-year-old. It could have been a coincidence, or maybe he is just a little artist. He was copying the things we were doing. I will settle for a little artist.

We have more plans on new creations for the next rainy day. They will all be multi-colored because Collin managed to mix all the Play-Doh colors this time. 🙂


Baking a Birthday Cake

I read the back of the box of the cake mix. Awww, crap! I don’t have a mixer. So I climbed back up the step stool so I could see the top shelf, where I stash all of the stuff I intend to bake but barely get to, and grab a different cake mix. Oh, good. This one says beat at medium speed for 2 minutes or 450 strokes by hand. Guess I will have to do it the hard way. I stirred, and stirred some more… I counted until about 150 and gave up on the counting. I really wish I had a mixer.

I counted aloud to the kids. I did a little dance as I stirred. I thought about all the arm muscles I was working out.  Bradley was racing cars across the kitchen floor. Elsie was trying to eat one. Mallie was tugging on my skirt. “O.kay, kids. Mommy needs to concentrate and read the directions,” I say to them and continue reading the back of the cake box aloud. I have my doubts. I’m making two cakes just in case. I have my anxiety. I will feel horrible if there is no cake to eat. I really hope it turns out.

Why do I have this job anyway? Do you not know my credentials or cooking/baking background?

But I do like the idea of baking for the kids and that motherly kind of stuff. I’m just not good at the food part of it. I’m excellent at the making a mess part of it. I can do science experiments and arts and crafts, but for me to make pancakes can be a challenge. I can’t flip them. More ends up on the spatula. They are burnt on one side and barely browned on the other. They can be soggy in the middle. I try to blame it on the pans. I try to blame it on the electric stove because I rather have a gas one. But it is all the same. I’m just not a cookie baking mom. I’m a cereal mom. (Even though I can make some good jell-o and a mean meatloaf).

I called my mom, “Hey, I’m making Cedrik’s birthday cake.”

She immediately interrupts me, “Oh, by yourself?”

“Yes,” I say, trying not to laugh. See, even my own mother knows. She had to throw a cookie sheet away once because no matter how much scrubbing or scraping my Snickerdoodles were stuck like glue to the cookie sheet.

“Why didn’t you have Hannah (my 13 year old niece) help you?”

“I didn’t think of that,” I say.  “Well, it doesn’t matter because I made the first one, but I forgot the oil. Will it still turn out? I was making the second cake and after putting the oil in that one, I realized I didn’t do it for the first one,” I whined. “I’m making two, just in case one doesn’t turn out.”

“Well, I’m not sure,” mom says. “It might be kind of dry.”

“As long as it’s edible,” I say hopefully.

The house filled with a delicious smell, which usually only happens when I light a candle. I watched the clock so I wouldn’t burn them.

I pulled them out of the oven. They looked pretty. They didn’t collapse. AND they tasted good. Nobody complained, anyway.

Phew! Success!

I just need to practice more. 🙂


Last Vacation Post

Brad was tapping on the windows to wake everyone up way too early this morning. I vaguely remember peering through sleep blurred eyes out the window, the sun was barely up. I also barely remember him poking my shoulder, “Do you want eggs for breakfast?” I do remember hearing the kids clamber down from the two stories of bunk beds over top of me. Little feet and big feet coming down the ladders and padding outside onto the porch. Finally some peace and quiet and I rolled back over and buried my head under the blankets. It must not have lasted long because it seemed I just got back to sleep and then I heard Mallie giggling and Elsie screaming. Yep, she is taking her pacifier again. “I’m up. I’m up. I’m coming girls.” Let the day begin.

Breakfast is a blur of cups and paper plates. “Don’t forget to shut the cooler,” and “Did you brush your teeth?” Oh, and I can’t forget my favorite, “Quit leaving your clothes all over the floor!” The cabin is small, but manageable. It seems extra small with a playpen in the middle for the babies, but we do have a small walkway around it. It is hard when there are too many people in here up and around, we are bumping into each other like bumper cars and trying to get in and out of the door, with me reminding, “Hurry up and shut the door! I don’t want all the flies getting in!” The flies are horrible here, especially on our porch. I don’t know why. Maybe because of all the towels hanging on the front porch to dry. Maybe because of the smell of baby formula that must emit from the girls. Maybe because all of the other campers left and so they flew over here. They are bad. And they are biting today. It must be going to rain.

“So what are the plans today?” I ask Brad. If it were up to me, we would be going home. I am camped out. It is getting way too hot and the babies and I are mostly in the cabin because they can’t take the heat.  I would go home with the little ones, but we need both cars to fit everyone and everything. He doesn’t have any plans for the day. Not good. The kids have already ran around and played well together, now they are arguing over silly things and teasing each other. I’m getting cabin fever and need some peace.

“Why don’t you take the boys to the caves or go get fireworks? I know you had that planned for tomorrow, but if you do it today then we can head home at a decent time tomorrow and have more time to unpack,” I mentioned to Brad. “I will stay here with the girls.” Man, I come up with brilliant ideas. This will give me a little thinking time. A little quiet time. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the family time, but we are on day 4. I am getting tired of the close quarters, and like most families the end of vacation can be the most trying because everyone is getting tired (well, at least the adults…at least I am).

So now I am sitting here in the quiet cabin eating a Lunchable, everything but the meat – I think it is gross. I set the window air conditioner to 64 degrees, as low as it will go, and it is starting to feel like winter in here. The girls are bundled up and sleeping in their playpen. I am finally writing. It feels good.


I did alot of writing that day, most of which is on this blog. It was a great vacation. Lots of great memories. I will share some of my favorite pics and this will be my last vacation post. Then it will be back to the everyday…there is something to be said about routine. It can be nice, just like vacation get aways.

Thanks again for reading.





Butterflies and Fly Puke

A yellow monarch dances under the willow trees skinny swaying arms. There is a light breeze and I see a fish jump in the calm lake, almost as if it is a rock skipping in the water. It is Monday; all the other campers are gone, except for a few empty RV’s next to us and one other family further up the road. I sit in my green lawn chair, drinking my Mt. Chill (don’t you just love the names of generic pop?), and take deep cleansing breaths of nature. I’m really glad the wind is blowing the other direction; otherwise you smell the port-a-potties that are three cabins down. They have their advantages and disadvantages of being so close.

A cardinal, bright as an apple with a shiny beak, lands under the tree less than 3 feet away from me. I sit still and watch him hop on his strong bird legs. He cocks his head looking at me, as if he is asking me where everyone went. He jumps higher on the tent pole like an acrobat, scaling the side of the tent sideways. Man, I wish I had my camera. Then I remind myself just to enjoy the moment. I take a picture in my head.

It is almost perfect; the scenery, the weather, the quiet peacefulness. Then a fly buzzes my ear. I can count at least 20 of them on the porch rail, and that is only the ones standing still for a brief second to include them in the head count. I once heard that a fly pukes every time it lands. I imagine all the fly puke everywhere. If this is true, then our entire cabin and everything around it is saturated in fly puke. Oh nature, how I love you.

I am only a part-time nature lover. I can take it in short bursts.

Where do the flies go at night? Where are the mosquitoes during the day? And why do they feed on us? I have decided this is nature’s irony.

Zombie Bats and Flying Fish

The cool shower sprinkled over my sun burnt shoulders and down my back. I washed all of the day’s dirt and grime off of me; sunscreen, sweat, bug spray, sand, and lake water. It’s times like these when you really appreciate a shower, even if you have to pay twenty-five cents for the 6 minutes of heaven.

I gathered my belonging and loaded Collin in the stroller. It wasn’t dark when we got to the shower house, but it was pitch black as we headed out the door. I waited a second for my eyes to adjust. The moon was bright and white as a ghost, hanging in the sky three-quarters full and peeking at us through trees. “Okay, Collin. Here we go. I wish your stroller had headlights because Mommy forgot a flashlight.”

It’s times like these when I wish my imagination was not so vivid. I can make a story out of thin air and conjecture ghosts and spirits from the trees. The bugs were chirping and the frogs were honking. “Uh, oh,” Collin said. “It’s just the bugs, baby,” I told him, even though I have no clue what he was talking about.

As we descended down the dark hill I tried to make out any potholes or large rocks. Of course, I hit one. Good things strollers have seatbelts; otherwise Collin would have been sailing through the air. “Sorry, baby.”

“If I stick to the right hand side, Collin, I think we can stay on the road. It’s easier to see here. You keep your eye out for raccoons or skunks. We especially don’t want to run into the skunks.” Not that I have seen any, I just like to talk.

The lake was to our left and an owl hooted from somewhere up above. My mind started to wander. What if something happened to the water supply and it drove everyone mad? What if it started to melt the skin from their bodies and they turned into zombies? What if they started appearing out from the RV’s, coming to attack us? Could I get this stroller to roll like it had a Hemi?

What if the animals turned into zombie dogs, zombie raccoons, and there were zombie bats tearing down from trees trying to bite my ears? Fur and fins melting from their bodies, leaving a gooey trail behind them.

What if all of the scary movie villains came together to camp, and decided it was this day, at this campground, that they would hold their pow-wow? Would Freddy, Jason, Michael, and the long face guy from Scream come chasing us from one of the tents? I can just picture Freddy roasting marshmallows on his razor fingers and Jason doing front flips off the dock in the lake. The long faced guy from Scream hiding out in the port-a-potties because he ate too many hotdogs.

We were approaching the arcade. The beach sat behind it, lonely and moaning. I looked out at the water; I looked for a Pine Lakes Loch Ness Monster.  “Half way home, Collin.” I checked to see if he was asleep yet. But no, he sat there like a baby zombie, crystal blue eyes staring straight ahead. Music seeped through the screens of the arcade. I sure hope no zombie kids come running out of the arcade to chew on my ankles. Not to worry, we made it past.

It really wasn’t a scary walk. I knew my way back, it wasn’t that long of a walk. But the humidity clouded my brain and the fresh air invited it to wander through the crazy mazes of make-believe tales. I chuckled to myself; if I can do anything well, it is definitely entertaining myself. I probably should not have drunk that last Mt. Chill, the caffeine was buzzing me along with the mosquitoes and flies.

What if the mosquitoes had some sort of virus, and everyone they bit infected them? The virus would make them crave blood, also. If you were bit, your nose would grow longer and needle like, so you could puncture the skin of your victims for your nightly snack. Forget the s’mores. And the only way to kill your fellow mosquito vampire campers was to smash them really hard, like you do a mosquito…and it would leave a bloody mark on your skin.  

What if someone dumped something into the water and the fish started to fly and the frogs were like Michael Phelps out of water? Slimy flippers and fins smacking your face and getting tangled in your hair. Piranha like teeth dangling from your ear, like a new fashion statement.

It seems silly now, but I assure you it wasn’t when we were walking home in the dark. And no, I did not tell Collin my scary stories…I will wait until he is older. 😉

We rounded the corner and I could see our campfire. I could hear Bradley’s silly laugh cackling along with the crackling fire.

Sleep tight.


Beach Days

Our feet made prints in the thick coarse sand as we made our way down to the water’s edge. It felt like bath water. You had to swim around to find a cold spot, which would only last a minute. But there is nothing like plunging your head under the water on a hot and steamy day.

Bradley and Cedrik liked to go to the edge of the sand and run full blast into the water, the sand and water spraying like they were doing burn outs at top speed. I imagine this is why I had to spray Bradley off real good with the hose after we went swimming, he had sand everywhere, which I would imagine would be quite uncomfortable in the long run.

Collin waddled and waded into the water, following his brothers. He had no fear. He looked so cute with his big life jacket, pale spiky hair, and the bridge of his nose getting a little pink. My little swimmer baby. I really had to keep a hold of him, otherwise he ended up floating upside down with his life jacket. I’m sure he swallowed a little of that water, probably as much as he splashed and made a racket. He loved the water though.

Cedrik also entertained us with flips and cartwheels off the dock (the deep end, which I think was the only cold part of the lake), his long skinny limbs flying in every direction.

Crazy kids. They are so much fun.


Dishsoap & Dragonflies

Day 3

I went to our outside watering hole to wash my hands. The translucent wing of a young dragonfly was stuck like tape to the orange bottle of dishwashing soap. You could see the veins of the delicate wings sparkle in the morning sunlight, like a freshly spun spiderweb gleaming in the light. His thread thin legs clung to the wooden pole, as if trying to support himself and break free. I imagined it probably felt like hanging there from your hair, your scalp in pain, follicles screaming to break free, giant hands coming at you, please don’t smash me, please don’t hurt me! I meant to help him but my hands were wet and I went to dry them off, for fear I might further damage his wings, and got busy and forgot. It was like that all day, same story – just a different interruption. The dragonfly was still alive and hanging there in the evening, as the sun was setting. I finally set him free.