Wednesday, August 19, 2015

"Are you gonna share that?"


It never fails. If I am busy or otherwise occupied, my name gets bellowed.


"I'm down here!"

Middle pounds down the steps to the basement level of our house, but stays out of my sight. "You want to see something funny?"


"Okay, get ready to really laugh! This is really funny!"

I chuckled quietly. "I'm ready."

Middle popped around the corner and into view. "Look! I'm a mommy, too!"

"Just like you!"
Well, she was right...

I laughed.

She grinned at me.

"What are those?"

"They're potato heads!"

That was when I really laughed and had her go get my phone.

"Are you going to put that picture on Facebook?" she wanted to know after she posed so nicely for me.

"Maybe, honey."


It'll be a lot of fun to just post it on Facebook without much explanation, I think.

Hee hee.


Today was the first day of school.

Special Edition had a nerve-wracking day, but came home having made a couple of friends. (I'm so proud of her that I could plotz. Today was a scary day.) She only needs to attend for the first quarter to complete the amount of credits required for graduation.

Oldest, who was all worried about having Mr. K as her teacher, came home and proclaimed her first day of 5th grade as "Awesome!"

Middle also had a fabulous day. She had Mr. S, who Oldest also had for 3rd grade (and was frightened of because he didn't smile much on the first day). She reported that Mr. S smiled A LOT, and she's already told him he's her favorite third-grade teacher ever.

Youngest was worried about having Miss H, because of what some kids said about her last year, but she also had an awesome day. Apparently Miss H was not as advertised. (Come to find out, Mitzy's mom graduated from the local university with Miss H. Time for a rousing chorus of "It's a Small World After All.")

All in all, a good day, it seems.

Let's hope tomorrow goes as well.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

New Residents

We have a couple of new family members I'd like to introduce to you.

This is Special Edition, and she is just that: special. She hails from far away, and came to us because of some pretty intolerable circumstances after she and Hubby met online during one of Hubby's roving, insomnia-driven youth-pastor-in-chat-room moments over a year and a half ago. (Long story.)

Isn't she cute?
Innyhoo, we are so glad to have her, even though it's interesting having an 18-year-old in addition to the 10-year-old and 8.5-year-olds. Poor Hubby is woefully outnumbered. He lives with five women, and that doesn't count the cats. She arrived in time to be able to go to Florida with us on our family vacation. (And to have emergency surgery five days after she came (she's much better now), in one of the craziest weeks I've ever had, and still feel well enough to travel with us ten days later.) She loves everything princess, so she fits in well, and was very tempted by this tiara we saw at Downtown Disney.

Our other new family member is of the four-legged variety. Yes, because we're nuts. But there's something about the sudden loss of a loved one, like Dad, that makes you crave the presence of young life. And, honestly, I needed something.

Enter the Little Dude.

Five weeks old and oh so tiny.
My dear friend Sunshine had come out to stay with us the day before Dad's service and to stay for a few days after, since I desperately needed her. While she was here, I learned about some little male buff-orange tiger kittens. Sunshine and I went out to meet these little guys. Five weeks old, much younger than I expected, not yet litter-trained or on solid food. I hadn't realized they would be so young. Had I not known for sure that Hubby would blow his stack, I would have taken all three of them. So cute, and little carbon copies of each other! This little guy was hiding under his brothers and trying to sleep. He's shy, and likes to cuddle up and sleep, we were told. After triple-checking that he's actually a he, I settled on him. He proved how not quiet he was when we had to wait out a rainstorm before I could drive to Petsmart and get him some kitten food.

Special Edition and Makaha, fiercely cute.
He's now almost 9 weeks old, and finally has a name: Makaha 'Auli'i. The two Hawai'ian words have a combined meaning of fierce and cute, so that makes him either fiercely cute or adorably fierce. "Makaha" is still a bit of a mouthful for such a small guy, but I figure he'll grow into it.

The reactions of the other felines were predictable: Koa didn't like him (still doesn't), Minou is sort of afraid of him (what else), Mika was tolerant (even when Makaha tried to nurse on him). Kimo was quite put out for the first 36 hours, having to give up the coveted place as the baby feline in the house. That lasted until Kimo discovered she could play with Makaha, and I had to watch the two of them carefully at the beginning, because Kimo was SO much bigger and hadn't clued in to the fact that Makaha was still a baby. Now that Makaha doesn't look like a fat fuzzy ball of buff-orange fluff, trying to bend his chubby belly in half to arch his back and puff out his fur to look bigger, and can tolerate horsing around, I don't worry so much. Makaha has already shown his name suits him!

On today's episode of "Can't Make This Up Theater"...

I'm watching FRIENDS with Special Edition while the kids are doing afternoon chores and chasing around the new kitten (oh, yeah, we have a new one of those, too), and doing some editing in the midst of all this. (I can multi-task.)

Middle walks in. "Mommy?"

Oh dear. I know that tone. "Yes?"

"I think I have a shell—you know, one of those really little ones?—stuck in my ear." Middle shook her head, looking for all the world like she was trying to knock water out of her ear.

Or a tiny shell.


Hubby's sister and brother-in-law had given the girls some necklaces made with teeny tiny shells several years ago. At least one of them had broken, so occasionally we find itty bitty shells kicking around the house.

"You stuck a shell in your ear," I said carefully.

"I don't know. I think so. I had it on my finger, and had to scratch my ear—"

Migraine salute, you're on deck. This one's gonna be a doozy.

"You didn't take it off first?" I guessed.

"I thought I did, but then I scratched my ear, and now it feels like there's something in there."

"Oookay." I heaved myself up off the couch. "Let's go check."

Several years ago, I found a "Doctor Mom" otoscope at Walmart and decided it was well worth the $25 or so I spent for it. With kids prone to ear infections, it seemed wise to have something that could help me rule out ear infections before having to go to the urgent care. It's turned into a very useful purchase.

So I strode into the kitchen and pulled out my otoscope. I clicked on the light, flipped the scope, and went to peer into her ear...

I didn't really need the scope.

That tiny shell was stuck right there, fairly obviously, and thankfully not so far in that this would require an ER trip.

I hoped.

I fetched a box of toothpicks from the pantry and fished one out. Maybe...just maybe...I could pop that thing out without requiring medical intervention. (I hadn't been so lucky with the popcorn kernel, but had been with the silly band.)

"Okay, hold still."

"A toothpick?" Middle said skeptically.

"Yes, I'm going to try to get the shell out without having to take you to the doctor." I carefully angled the toothpick between her ear and the shell.


"Sorry." I angled Middle's head and held it firmly, preparing for my next attempt.


The shell had pushed a little further into the ear, but I tamped down the panic. I could actually see a good spot to wedge the toothpick between shell and ear...and hopefully...

"Got it!" I announced as the tiny seed shell popped out of Middle's ear canal and stopped in her earlobe. From there, I was able to flick it into my hand.

Sticky, too.


"Please don't stick any more shells in your ears, okay?"

Middle nodded and picked up the shell.

I went back to the den, FRIENDS, and work, shaking my head.

You know, I thought we were past this stage of sticking foreign objects into body orifices.

Guess not.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

"Mom, can you babysit my duck?"

It's not the first time I've been asked to do so. I'm sure it won't be the last.

However, two things struck me as odd when Middle came in and asked me that a few minutes ago.

One, this is the duck that was missing last night and had her in tears as a result.

Two, it's 15 minutes until bedtime.


"Um, isn't he going to sleep with you? I mean, of course I'll babysit him, but..."

Middle, already trusting that my answer would be yes, was now at the bedroom door. "Yes, he's going to sleep with me. But he wanted to spend some time with you."


That was all I could come up with, but I guess my dopey smile made up for that, because Middle smiled sweetly in return and walked away.

And Duckie and I are cuddling.

I'll take it.

I've been trusted with the most important thing in Middle's life.