Pluggers and Pipers or Maybe a Penguin

Bradley’s eating lunch and he says, “Mom, when I grow up I want to be a plugger.”
Me: “What’s a plugger? What do they do?”
Bradley: “I forgot. Maybe they are called a piper. What is it called, Mom, a plugger or a piper?”
Me: “Well, I’m not sure I understand. What do they do?”
Bradley: “I know what they do. I don’t know how to say it.” And he is getting a little frustrated.
Me: “Do you mean a plumber? They fix pipes.” I thought that was a good guess.
Bradley: “No.”
Me: “What about an electrician? They fix plugs.”
Bradley: “No.”
Me: “Well, maybe if you tell me what kinds of things they do on the job, I will know if it is a plugger or a piper.”
And we are going around in circles and getting no where with this conversation because he just can’t find the words to express what he is thinking.
So I do what every good mom does, I say, “Ask your Dad.”
It was funny hearing them go back and forth; plugger piper plugger piper. Sounds like a riddle.
“What do they do?” we keep asking.
Bradley knows, he just can’t find the words to explain and seems very tired of having this conversation with his parents. I mean, geesh, we should know, we are the parents! 
And we are all still clueless. What’s a plugger? A piper?
I’ll just chalk this one up to one of those funny conversations and move on. But I can’t help but keep wondering what in the world he is trying to say. I mean, this is what he wants to be when he grows up, for now. Last week he wanted to be a penguin.

The Death of a Toy Soldier

I picked up a dark green plastic army guy from the floor. I rolled it around in my fingers. A leg was missing and half of a small arm. As I twirled it in my fingers another leg fell off. “We have a casualty,” I announced to Bradley. It seemed appropriate since we were watching a G.I. Joe cartoon. I got up to throw it away.

“We have an injury,” I announced again, loudly so he would pay attention.

Brad yelled from outside, “What’s wrong?!” I can’t believe he actually heard me, he just turned off the lawn mower. He assumed it was one of the kids. Injuries are sort of common occurences around here with all these little ones (namely Collin).

I couldn’t help but laugh. “No, hunny. I was talking about an army guy. But way to be on the ball!”

I went to throw away the plastic toy. Before I plopped him in the garbage can next to the left over crust from lunch and dried out vegetables I announced, “We have a fatality, Bradley. He’s gone. There’s no saving him now.”

Just before I laid his battered plastic body to rest in the plastic cemetery (aka garbage can), I gave him one last farewell. “You led a good fight, soldier. May you find peace.”

Poor army guy. We sure do go through them. I think the dog chewed on that one. Lucky he wasn’t swallowed and left in the yard in a pile of poop. Garbage is a much better place to rest.

And I couldn’t help thinking about those toy soldiers in “Toy Story,” one of my favorite kids movies, and I really felt bad for the stupid plastic toy.


Mistakes in Crayon, Lucky Number Two, and Other Bradley-isms

It’s always the little things that I want to remember, like the way he looks when he first wakes up, how he eats his cereal, the way he swings his bat, the conversations we have (and just about every little thing about all of my kids). But these little things are the easiest to forget. You might be amused by them at the time. I may tell the funny story to my family or friends, but it fades… and they get older and there are so many things added that I want to remember. So I write them down and take lots of pictures to hang on to what I can.

Here are some of my favorites from the last month:

“Mistakes in Crayon”

As Bradley was getting dressed, out of the blue he says, “It’s okay if you make mis-snakes, I mean mistakes, Mom. Everybody makes mistakes,” he explains to me. “Sometimes I make mistakes in crayon.”

“Yeah. Everybody makes mistakes sometimes,” I agree.

“Yeah,” he says. “I make mis-snakes, I mean mistakes, in crayon at school sometimes, like when I do my ABC’s. Sometimes the teacher lets you start over. Sometimes she don’t. You never know what the teacher will say,” he tells me.

And I am not sure where all of this is coming from or why he’s talking about it now, while he’s deciding which pair of Lego Batman underwear to wear. But I go along with it. “Sometimes I make mistakes, too. But’s it’s important that we learn from our mistakes.”

“Lucky Number 2”

Bradley held up two fingers. “Mom, the number two must be lucky,” he said. “We have two eyes and two ears. We have two arms and two legs. And we have two parts to our butt so we can poop,” he says, laughing like he just figured out a silly secret.

Nice. Leave it to a boy to look at it in that perspective. I had to laugh, too.


Bradley sat at the table examining the blue lines in his hands and wrists.

“Mom, what if one of these vines break?”

“Vines?” I asked, puzzled.

“Yeah, these blue vines.”

I started to pay attention to see what he was talking about. “Oh, you mean veins.”

“Yeah. What do they do?”

“They help put blood through all of your body.”

“Oh,” he said. Obviously not what he expected.


And if I could understand half of what Collin says, I’m sure I could have a whole book of crazy kid stories. And with Elsie and Mallie coming right up behind Collin, it will definitely be interesting.

I love to hear kid-isms. What are some of yours?


Dog Language

The sun had just set and the sky was a pretty purple color of dusk. The sliver of moon sat at the top of our backyard. Bradley and I were sitting on the back steps, we just saw our first lightning bug for the summer! It was a perfect ending to a busy day; sitting on the warm steps and spending quality time with my oldest son, a cool breeze cooling us off. 

Then Bradley turns to me and says, “Mom, I know how to kiss you in dog language.”

“What?” I ask him, not sure of what he actually said.

And then he sticks out his slobbery tongue and licks my arm!


I get it now.

I think I need to get Bradley some “human” friends.


Oh, the crazy things kids say…

Oh, the crazy things kids say…

We were watching “Fear Factor” this evening and Bradley was ready for bed in his pajamas, which I guess consisted of shorts and no shirt tonight. He comes up to me with an embarrassed grin and asks, “Mom, what are these called?” pointing to his nipple.

Where the hell did this come from all of a sudden?!  

Maybe because there was a swimming part on “Fear Factor” with guys and big muscles. That’s what I’m guessing anyway.

I am so unprepared but I answer anyway. “It is called a nipple.”

He giggles and covers his mouth like he is going to tell me a secret and asks, “What are they for?”

I’m alarmed. Caught off guard. I’m not really sure what to say. I am very unprepared. And I also just want to laugh my ass off, but I don’t.

So I tell him, “They don’t do anything.” At least his don’t anyway, I think to myself and just keep the laughter in my head.

“Do they help you get muscles?” he asks with a large smile, like he knows the truth and I am not telling him or something. “They make muscles, don’t they, Mom?”

Oh. I just can’t help but laugh a little.

“No. But if you exercise, eat healthy foods, and drink your milk you get muscles there.”

Oh! The things kids say…

What kind of crazy questions have your kids asked that caught you off guard? And how did you answer? I bet there are some funny stories.


Who is Your Valentine?

I was putting Bradley to bed and crashed on his top bunk next to him. “I love you so much,” I told him.

“Mom,” he says, “My favorite holiday is Valentine’s Day,” he said out of the blue.

“It is?” I asked. “Who is going to be your Valentine this year?”

“Ummmm…” he said, looking into the air for the answer with a sly grin.

“Who do you love lots and lots?” I asked, smiling and waiting for the obvious answer.

“Ummmm…” he grinned, knowing what he is supposed to say.

“Who do you love to the moon and back? Who loves you all the way to the stars?” I went on, “Who makes your breakfast? Who washes your clothes? Who gives you lots of kisses?” I asked, kissing his forehead.

He didn’t answer. He just sat there with a Cheshire grin.

“Ok. I will give you a hint,” I said. “Her name starts with an ‘M’ and ends with an ‘M’.” 

“MOM!” he shouts.

That’s my boy, even though I had to work for that one. Little stinker.

I gave him hugs and kisses. “Good night. I love you.”


I’m Going to Stick My Head in a Snow Bank Now

January 12, 2012 :  It’s chaos, I tell you. Mutiny. I am out numbered and the craziness ensues.

All day I have been chasing babies up the stairs, keeping Collin from taking rides around the living room on the ceiling fan, and yelling at the dog to shut up. Every time I turn around it is one or the other, and they know it. They give me a smile, a grin, a giggle, and boogie it up the stairs or climb the counters. They scatter in three different directions looking for trouble one way or the other. And I think they plan it because as soon as I turn my back the other is up to something and it is a never-ending circle and chase. I am one dizzy momma.

I’m not sure how they manage their plan of attack. It must be some sort of baby code that I don’t understand because none of them talk (well, Collin who is two sort of talks, he has his own language). They are obviously very good at communicating the best strategy to exhaust me because I never know which direction I am going or what I was doing.

In the kitchen you can find Exhibit A:

Tupperware as hats, lids as flying saucers, and plastic spoons as swords.



Yea, I definitely need some baby latches. I bought some and tried to install them, but I’m just not that handy and haven’t found anyone to help in that department. I should call dear old dad.

Exhibit B has got to be the bath tub. I put all three little ones in the tub this evening. They splashed, they rolled, the threw all the toys out, the wet wash cloth landed on the floor too many times; it’s amazing how much water puddles on the floor from a unwrung washcloth. I didn’t need a bath, but I got one anyway.

Stop. Sit down. Quit spitting. Stop pulling your sister’s hair. Quit splashing. Stay on your side of the tub. Quit pushing. Share that toy. Don’t do that. This isn’t a water slide. Quit! 

This is a different time when I threw all four in there. That was a tight squeeze and even more craziness.!

And the list goes on. They just laughed at me and egged each other on. I washed and scrubbed little arms, feet, and faces as fast as I could just to get done. At some point I figured they are in water, they are clean enough. WE ARE DONE!

I’m not sure what I was thinking putting them all three together. But it really doesn’t matter how I give baths. One at a time or in pairs, they are crazy no matter what. That’s why they get short baths. I can only take the craziness for so long…and for safety reasons. They are everywhere and the tub is not a water park.

Exhibit C:  Trying to get them ready for bed. The video explains it all. It is kind of longer, but you have to watch toward the end when Collin is making faces and yelling at the mirror. It is hilarious. Who the hell is this kid? And what is he thinking? Just plain weird, which I must say he probably gets it from his dad (of course he does, I’m not that strange).

And as the day is winding down I start thinking about this cartoon I saw on facebook.

Sometimes, you just have one of those days when this description fits.

Mommy doesn’t have any wine. I drank what was left last night.

So tonight…I think I will just go stick my head in snow bank.

Tomorrow has got to be a better day!

They are adorable, though…

The Never Ending Pile

It’s always there. Everybody has it. It accumulates. It grows larger and larger every day. It’s exasperating the way these piles grow. We even add to it everyday, usually two or three times a day!


I have piles of darks, whites, towels, and jeans on my basement floor. I even have a whole load of pink clothes (I never thought that would happen. I love having girls, too!).

I walk up my stairs and a pile awaits behind the closet door and a basket in every room. Towels cushion my bathroom floor, they need washed too.

It’s everywhere!

And I have stacks. Stacks of clean clothes sitting in baskets and on top of dressers that need to be folded or put away. There is a whole tub of mismatched socks waiting for their mate.

It’s also never-ending because of all the great help I have. I was hanging shirts in the boys’ closet and I looked down; there is Mallie pulling out all of the jeans from the bottom dresser drawer. Really?!  Great help, I tell you. At least they are cute!

Here are the girls in action helping me fold towels. Usually the floor is covered, but this time I left them only one.

And I remind myself daily not to stress out. “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”  Because laundry…well, it never goes away and it will always wait. And seriously, look at how much fun they are having!

As long as we have clean clothes to wear, it’s all good.


Checkers Maniac

New Year’s Eve.

Strobe lights and sweaty bodies dancing.

Empty beer bottles and smashed cigarettes.

A blaring band and crowded bar.

Nope…this wasn’t my New Year’s Eve, not this year any way. Actually, I haven’t had one like that in a long time…and probably wont for quite a while. It’s okay. I don’t really miss it. I have so much fun hanging out with the kids and watching the ball drop on tv and banging on pots and pans at midnight and waking up the neighbors.

One of my favorite parts of waiting for the new year is playing games. This year I taught Bradley how to play Checkers. He is addicted. He is a Checker’s maniac now. That’s all he wants to do. And if he can’t find anyone to play with him, he plays against himself.

He got a Lightening McQueen Checkers game this year. We lined up all the black and white pieces and put Lightening McQueen stickers on them to get started.

I briefly explained the rules.

“Okay. The first game I will help you so you get the hang of it,” I told him.

He got the hang of the game quickly. The second game he kicked my ass… and I was kind of trying.  

I have found my Checkers match.

“Okay, kid,” I said, taunting and teasing him. “I think you have the hang of this game. You kicked my butt! No breaks for you this time,” I told him.

I bragged to everyone how quick he caught on and how I have such a smart kid. It was amazing to see his six-year-old little brain planning strategies and ways to trap my guys.

“Mom, I don’t think. I just KNOW where to move them,” he said.

And yes, my six-year-old son kicked my butt AGAIN in Checkers. And I was really trying. I had no kings, wasn’t even close, and the little stinker double jumped me!

“It’s on!” I said. “Let’s play again.”

Of course he was up to it. He was in his glory.

This game I caught him. I surrounded him with kings. He knew any which way he moved I had him.

He laid his tired head on the table. It was only ten o’clock, but that is late for him. I kind of started feeling sorry for him, glossy blue eyes and big lashes pushing back tired and defeated tears.

But I couldn’t let him win every game. Isn’t that the point of playing games with your kids? It should be a learning experience.  You can’t always win them all and you have to be a good sport and play your best.

The board was set up in my favor, my kings awaiting his next move. He reluctantly moved his piece. I quietly jumped it. “Good game, hunny,” I told him.

He was obviously not happy.

He won the next and last game, I made sure of it without being too obvious. Building up confidence is good also.


She Can Walk! But Only When She Wants To.

I hold up her favorite toy across the room. “Come here, Elsie! Want your toy?” I say, shaking the toy and trying to coax her into walking across the room. (She is a baby, not a dog. That description kind of sounded like I was talking to a dog. Funny how those things can be similar. I mean think about it – the way people talk to a baby to get them all excited kind of sounds similar to how some people talk to their puppies. Gotta train ’em. The similarities are kind of funny, except I don’t make my kids pee oustide. But anyway, I’m just entertaining a silly thought, on with the story.)

She gets down, laughs and smiles at me, and walks across the room on her knees.

I have been waiting for Elsie to start walking any time now. I can’t wait for her to walk! If only you could see her poor little calloused knees you would understand.

I try to hold her hands so she will walk. Nope. She wont do it. She just keeps her knees up and refuses to even try. Little stinker.

Sometimes I think she thinks she is walking when she walks on her knees, which is her main way of getting around. But who really knows what these babies are thinking.

I guess she will walk when she is ready. But she has finally taken her first steps and I got it on video! She doesn’t even try to walk very often, so it is amazing I caught it on video.

Now…if she would only try it a little more often.

I guess when she is ready.