Sunday, January 6, 2019


It has been previously well-documented here (in the last post, in fact) how much Middle loves our cat, Kimo. This relationship is, actually, quite reciprocal; Middle is Kimo's chosen person, and far be it from anyone to come between them. Kimo goes up and sleeps with Middle at night, cooperates more for claw trimmings when Middle is present, and even does tricks that Middle has taught her.

But when Kimo isn't feeling like the company of the entire Triple Threat (TM), she will come seek me out. Sometimes, when she tires of hanging out in the girls' room after bedtime, she comes and nestles in the crook of my neck as I'm watching television late at night (not uncomfortable in the least). Or, like tonight, she'll settle on the pillow at the other end of my "office" loveseat in the living room and keep me company while I work.

Except she didn't choose so much the pillow tonight as she did my feet.

This had gone on long enough that I needed to both change positions (cranky ankle) and go move laundry over, so I got up, and she jumped to the floor. I was gone from the couch about ten minutes, maybe fifteen, between getting clothes out of the dryer and into the basket, out of the washer and into the dryer, and starting a new washer load.

And then I came back upstairs, expecting to continue work on the manuscript I've been plodding through second-round edits on. I found this instead.

"This is not your spot!" I exclaimed.

You can see how concerned she was about that.

I went downstairs to get myself a refill of Diet Dr Pepper and paused in the den, where Hubby and the girls are watching TV and folding laundry. I pointed at Middle. "Your cat!"


"Your cat! It wasn't enough that she sat on my feet while I edited!"

Middle grinned. "Awwwww!"

I wasn't done. "I went down to take care of the laundry, and I came back, and she took my spot!"


"I told her this was not her room. Then, she went right back to sleep!"

Middle hadn't stopped smiling. "Awwwwwww!"

Hubby laughed at me outright. "What made you think that you could come in here and get any sympathy from that?" He gestured towards our daughter.

I jabbed a finger at her. "Your cat!"

She giggled as I left the room.

Hear me roar.
Kimo had one eye open when I approached the love seat again.

"I'm going to have to evict you," I said as she gazed at me balefully through her open eye. I hefted her off the couch and sat down. "I still have work to do." (Of course, I'm writing this post instead.)

By the way, she didn't go off in a huff.

I think she wants my blankie.

Friday, December 28, 2018

It's MY Fault!

Just when I was thinking that nothing too crazy was going to happen during Christmas break, Middle bounced into the living room as I was on the phone with Waffle tonight. "Hey, Mom. Can I have two Thin Mints and a piece of fudge to squish between them?" She pointed double finger-guns at me and grinned.

I glanced at the lower right corner of my computer and checked the time 8:14 p.m. Bedtime in less than an hour. "No. Not tonight. It's too late, and that's too much sugar."

I got a full-body-yet-not-so-serious pout in return. "But that's not fair!"

"Nope. It's too much. The end."

"I'm going to change your mind!" Middle flounced away.

I guarantee you, she didn't go far.

In my own defense, my fudge recipe is really rich, and even when cut into small pieces has enough sugar to power most 12-year-olds for a good two hours.

"What did she want?" Waffle asked.

A chocoholic's delight
I explained my precocious middle child's request...just as she ping-ponged back into the room from the stairwell.

"You have to have changed your mind by now!" she asserted.


Middle flailed back dramatically while groaning her displeasure. Waffle snickered on the other end of the line.

I hollered back, "I'm your mother! I'm a cosmic killjoy!"

"Well, duh!" Middle fired back and kept going. I had no idea what she said because Waffle and I were both laughing so hard.

Waffle tried to compose herself. "Did she just say, 'Well, duh'?"

I nodded my head while muttering an affirmative and still chuckling. Knowing the situation was too far gone at this point for me to even be taken seriously, I leaned back and asked over my shoulder, "What did you say after 'Well, duh'?"

With the same amount of amused impudence as I'm sure she injected the first time, Middle repeated, "Can't you be a cool mom for once?"

"No!" I shouted as Waffle roared. I took a moment to glance at my child. "You can have it tomorrow."
Do not take intravenously

Middle slumped to the floor. "But I won't be pumped then."

I smiled. "I'm sure you can pump yourself back up."

She cocked her head at me. "I knew you'd say something like that. But I won't." She paused. "Can I have one Thin Mint and one piece of fudge?"


Waffle and I tried to recover from the serious case of the giggles we'd had throughout the conversation as Middle bopped downstairs.

"How do you have Thin Mints in December?" Waffle wanted to know.

"My mother," I explained. "She bought several boxes and froze them, then brought a couple to us."

A few minutes later, Middle returned to the living room, an accusatory finger raised in my direction. "You raised me too well! It's YOUR fault!"

"What?" I asked about the same time Waffle did through the phone.

"Youngest said she could go ask you for a Thin Mint, and then she could give it to me, and I could have what I want. But I couldn't do that!"

I speared her with a gimlet eye. "Because you'd be out all kinds of sweet goodness if you ever got caught."

"Exactly! It's YOUR fault! How dare you!" Then Middle turned around and saw her cat in the rocking chair behind her. "Kimo! If you tell Mom, she'll let me have what I want!"

"She's begging the cat to talk," I informed Waffle.

She laughed. "Your child is unhinged."

I couldn't stop giggling. "Is it any wonder? I'm her mother."

"Well, it builds character." I could almost hear her smirk. "I'm going to let you deal with that--" Middle was still begging Kimo to speak--"and I'll talk to you tomorrow."

Speak, Kimo!
What follows is a sample of Middle's cajoling of the cat to speak so I will allow her to have two Thin Mints and fudge...which went on for a good fifteen minutes before Middle gave up:

"You're just rusty. You can do it. Just say it and Mom will give me Thin Mints and fudge. You talk to me all the time. You're opening your mouth. Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay sooooooooooooooooooomething. And she yawns. Yes, you can do it, Kimo. I believe in you. I'm being patient. Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay soooooooooooooooooooomething. Oh! I know. I have to speak in your cat language, and then you'll do it. I don't know your language. Is it Catanian? Catish? Oh, you're such a good Kimo. You can speak! Just say something! You can do it, baby!"

I kid you not.

I only wish I'd videoed some of her monologue for the wedding reception.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Let Them Eat Cake

We have leftover cake tonight.

As Middle finished dinner, she asked, "Mom, can I have that piece of cake?"

Well, no. She can't have that piece of cake. That piece of cake was a full quarter of the cake, which I'd cut last night but hadn't divided into smaller pieces. Half of the cake was leftover, but had been cut into the two remaining quarters. No way was I giving her an entire quarter of a chocolate cake.

She giggled when she realized it wasn't a single slice.

"You can have cake once I slice it." I cut the quarters into six relatively even slices, and Middle immediately picked out the biggest one. "That's mine!"

Sometimes, it pays to be the parent. She didn't argue. I put a slice on her plate and she dug in, with gusto.

Being that it was a fend-for-yourself night around these parts, I collected the rest of my dinner and then came out to get my cake, not trusting that my chosen piece would remain until I was done eating everything else.

Middle scraped at the frosting caught in the fluted edges of her plate, pressing in the tines of her plastic fork. "That's right," I encouraged her. "Get it all."

I stepped back into the kitchen for something and returned to the dining room...where Middle was licking the plate. I smacked the top of her head.

 She lowered the plate and gave me a look that was both sheepish and completely unrepentant. "I'm just getting every last morsel, as you advised."

I really didn't know how to argue with that.

Adventures of Pua

Yesterday, these goobers turned twelve. Hard to believe, I know, because the day before that they were just five.

One of the things Youngest had specifically requested as either a birthday or Christmas gift was a stuffed version of the pet pig from Moana. Middle loves ducks, as any longtime reader of this blog knows, but Youngest has a love for piggies that is nearly as big as Middle's love of duckies. (In fact, Youngest is beginning to have a hard time eating bacon and ham if she thinks about it too much. But I digress.)

I had, to her great delight, found the pig in question, whose name is Pua. Not only that, I'd found a good-sized one, and managed to have it delivered in time.

Because we can't have a birthday for my girls without a pig and a duck for their respective persons. (Hubby agreed, despite his groaning about why are we bringing in more stuffies when we're trying to get rid of the over abundance we have.)


This morning, while I huddled in my jammies under a fleecy blanket and monitored the time, Youngest had taken several minutes to carefully swaddle Pua in several blankets downstairs on the (ugly) green hide-a-bed couch in the den before she left for school.

I went to work without knowing about this.

I came home and lugged groceries inside, and was met by a goofily grinning Hubby.

"Youngest left Pua wrapped up in blankets in the den this morning," he said. "And Pua was bad."

I followed him to the den.

The blankets that had once surrounded Pua had been recklessly undone. A pair of Hubby's reading glasses perched on Pua's nose. A sleeve of crackers was tucked in next to the pig, with (of all things) a foam football behind them. On the other side of the pig, a bowl of what appeared to have been mashed potatoes was left with the spoon in it. (Eating in the den is verboten.) Pua's front feet clutched the remote for the TV, while the Roku remote sat carelessly nearby.

Having masterminded a series of Duckie escapades in the past, I chuckled.

And then I got on board.

I finished almost all of my diet Dr Pepper that I'd taken to work with me and tucked it in next to Pua, the sneaky thief who stole one of Momma's sodas too, in addition to all the other "crimes."

And after Hubby left for work and I changed my clothes, I turned on the TV, tuned into Netflix, went back a number of episodes, and set Pua up to be watching The Flash when the kids came home.

It was great.

I sat up in the living room, watching M*A*S*H and having a snack, when the girls got home about 3:15, grinning like a fool to myself. It didn't take long before the twins popped into the living room.

"Mom! Did you see what Dad did to Pua?" Youngest grinned from ear to ear.

I smiled. "I helped."

I can't wait to tell Hubby how well it played out.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

In Which Mother is a Sucker

Not that this was an extra-special night or anything (that's tomorrow), but perhaps we were celebrating the twins' last day of being 11. Maybe I'll just go with that. I gave in, anyway, when the girls begged for McFlurries after dinner at McDonald's tonight.

The franchise location we were at in Cburg uses kiosks for ordering (yay for removal of people, which would have immediately solved one of the problems in our order in a lot less time, but I digress on my rant against cutting labor costs by using machines over personnel), so we marched to the kiosk for the second time, this time for treats.

I let Youngest choose first. She wanted an M&M McFlurry, and asked for hot fudge topping and regular whipped cream for customized toppings.

I will say this for the kiosks. They let you customize your ice cream treats, whereas the counter staff don't always give you these options.

Middle was next. She selected an Oreo McFlurry, with M&M topping and hot fudge, and regular whipped cream.

I should point out here that the whipped cream comes in three levels: light, regular, and extra. Light and regular runs you an additional 40 cents. Extra costs you a whopping 80 cents more.

I turned to Oldest for her order.

"And now to make you regret the day I was born." She giggled as I tapped the screen to customize her McFlurry (she wanted the Reese's Peanut Butter cup one, which I'd already selected). She grinned at me. "Everything."

I raised a brow. "Everything?"


The twins stood in surprise as I tapped each topping in turn. Caramel. Hot Fudge. Oreo. M&M. Whipped cream...extra.

Hers was the most expensive McFlurry of the lot.

I ordered mine last, a Reese's Peanut Butter cup McFlurry without anything fancy. Then we took our table tent tag back and sat down to wait.

We hadn't been seated long when a couple came over and asked if the girls would like to pet the teeny Chihuahua-Mini Pinscher mix emotional support dog the woman carried. Oldest and Middle enthusiastically agreed, cooing over the little guy, and I came over to say hello too, while Youngest stayed parked on her chair. We spent a few minutes chatting (and marveling over teeny Axl Rose's almost preternatural calm), and then they went on their way.

It was several minutes more before the girls noticed that our ice cream treats were being made, and then the manager came over to inform us she had no peanut butter cups with which to make Oldest's and mine. We both settled on Oreo and we waited some more. Another employee then quickly delivered the twins', followed by mine and Oldest's.

The employee looked hard at Oldest as she handed over the McFlurry, which filled up the entire clear cap with the toppings. "No missing school tomorrow because of an upset stomach, young lady," she said with mock sternness.

"Oh, I won't." Oldest's eyes gleamed like dark chocolate.

I'll say this. For being the one of my kids with the queasiest gyro, high-potency sweets have never seemed to rattle hers.

She's still fine.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


Youngest had counseling this afternoon, and since I saw no purpose in driving all the way down to Cburg with just Youngest for her session, then all the way home after, only to pack everyone up to drive all the way back to Cburg yet again in half an hour's time for church, I decided we were all going to Youngest's session. The rest of us would bring stuff and wait in the waiting room.

So we did.

Even if we were a little late because I totally lost track of time and it's a Wednesday and next week I have got to plan better.

I decided I would, since we had a little extra money, simply take all of us out for dinner after the session. (This news was greeted with rave reviews. But I'm getting ahead of myself.)

Youngest's counselor has been out on maternity leave and only just returned this week. So I spent a bit of time getting her caught up on Youngest's life, then joined the other two in the waiting room.

Middle had scribbled a series of numbers in her notebook, and was about to hand them off to Oldest. "Mom! Mom! Since you're here, I'm gonna show you the impossible!"

She gave me the book instead.

"You can do the math here." She gestured below the number string. "Figure it out...if you can."

I studied the numbers for a moment. It wasn't hard to figure out what she'd done, so I skipped to the end. I found I was tired enough still (I was sick over the weekend, and I'm not 100% yet) that I couldn't do the math in my head, so I scribbled the problem at the bottom, did most of the math there, and then wrote the answer underneath at the end.

"Here." I slung the notebook back at her. It hadn't taken me more than a couple of minutes.

"What?! You're done? Let me see!" Middle grabbed it from my hands and stared first at my answer and then at where I'd done my figuring. "That is the answer!"

She looked so put out I almost laughed. "You didn't think I knew about Fibonacci sequences?"

"No! I thought only my teachers knew!"

Sorry 'bout yer luck, kid. I watched way too much Square One Television. MathNet for the win.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Breaking Dad

Two Saturdays ago, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed after the girls had gone to bed. I had, some time ago, become Facebook friends with Miss Easel, the twins' fifth grade teacher, now that the girls were out of her class, and I noticed a cluster of pictures in which she'd been tagged.

Well, awwww. Miss Easel and her boyfriend, Mr. Clocktower, had gotten engaged, apparently right smack in the middle of one of the local Christmas parades. Since this was a just-happened-this-minute posting, it must have been the parade in Cburg, just south of where we live. (In an interesting turn of whimsy, Mr. Clocktower's parents are in our Sunday school class. But I'm getting ahead of myself here.)

I mentioned the engagement to Hubby when he got home. He'd seen the news on Facebook himself.

The fact that we were both aware of this news is important.

The next morning, as we drove to church, Hubby asked if I'd told the girls yet. To be honest, no. I hadn't. Sunday mornings are often hectic as we try to get out of the house at something of a frenetic pace, and then we stop for donuts, which we'd done by the time Hubby posed his inquiry.

Hubby flicked his eyes to the rearview mirror. "Girls, Miss Easel got engaged last night."

Middle asked, "To Mr. Clocktower?"


I peered over my shoulder at the backseat.

"They're getting married?" This came from Youngest.

Hubby chuckled. "That's what engagement means."

"How long were you engaged?"

"Sixteen months," I said, at the same time as Hubby said, "Too long." (We were both right.)

"It might've been different," I pointed out, "if we'd lived in the same zip code." We'd spent most of our 16-month engagement a good twelve hours and 600 miles apart.

Middle piped up again. "How long have Special Edition and Mr. Nurse been engaged?"

This sparked something of a debate between Hubby and myself, as I said almost three years and he said almost two. (I'm right, for the record.) We explained to the girls that Special Edition and Mr. Nurse are choosing to continue to be engaged because that's what suits them at this time. Middle and Youngest kind of thought it was ridiculous to be engaged so long and still not be married.

About then, Oldest mused, "When I get engaged, I only want to be engaged for 7 months. Or maybe 9 months. I don't want to be stuck with my man for that long like Special Edition."

I sat and quietly snickered over the thought that marriage leaves you stuck with your man a lot longer when Hubby elbowed me. I shifted to look at him as unobtrusively as possible. He appeared both shell-shocked and shattered, and his eyes had nearly popped out of their sockets.

Poor man.

I felt for him. Really, I did.

But a couple nights earlier, I had been sitting downstairs in the basement, sorting old clothes with the girls, stuff that needs to be sold or donated and gotten out of the house. Makaha hadn't liked the fact that it had been stored in plastic bags, and so he'd peed on some of it. As we'd sorted into piles that were stuff to be washed and the rest by sizes, the girls had freely talked about what they would name their future children. (So far, I will have at least five grandsons named Kemper, all by one daughter, identified numerically.) That was a mildly harrowing experience.

From the back seat now: "What?"

Hubby sat in silence.

"I just don't want a long engagement. I don't think that's a good idea," Oldest went on.

I'm pretty sure Hubby paled. My baby is talking about engagement. She's only 13. I could see it written all over his face. No, not yet! NOT YET!

"You weren't there the other night for their discussion on what they want to name their children," I told him.

"No, no. I don't need to know!"

I chuckled.

We got to the church and parked, and Hubby still hadn't quite returned to normal.

"Is Dad okay?" Middle asked.

"No, he's not okay," I told her.

"I broke Dad!" Oldest crowed from where she'd skipped ahead. "I broke Dad!"

To bring the story full circle for you, I saw Mr. Clocktower's parents in Sunday school, and his mother gushed over how delighted they all were (they love Miss Easel), and she happily showed me the video of the proposal. Everyone there, including Miss Easel's parents and a number of their friends, knew Mr. Clocktower was going to propose...except Miss Easel, who was delightfully surprised. And also delightfully amused when I told her all about the morning's episode of Breaking Dad.