Frog caught your heart?

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My daughter, who grew up loving stuffed animal frogs, is now too old for them. {Brief moment of sad reflection.} And so it was time to rehome her amphibian friends.

This was the first to go:

“Rita” the Frog waiting for a ride in the laundry basket.

As I handed the giant frog to her new owner, who is, ironically, a teenage girl, I said, “She goes by Rita, but will respond to anything.”

The girl held the stuffed animal out in front of her and, with a gleam in her eye (the girl’s, not the frog’s), said, “You shall be called, ‘Rita’!”

Clearly, it seemed to me, this girl knew that the name fit.

I reported the happy news to my daughters: Not only had the frog gone to a new loving home, she would be able to retain her name! “Isn’t that wonderful?” I said.

I was met with blank stares. Didn’t my children personify animals the way I did?? Didn’t they care?!

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Altitude Adjustment

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Our family took a mini trip to a rented house in a quaint little mountain town known for its apple cider and apple pie. On the drive, as we got farther and farther from our city by the sea (and sea level), Husband warned the kids of several possibilities, due to the altitude:

Their ears might start to hurt, due to the altitude.

The air is thinner, so it might be harder to breathe, due to the altitude.

It’s much colder, due to the altitude.

These possible side effects were mentioned several times… due to the altitude.

At the house, one daughter said the water tasted different, “maybe due to the altitude.” (I suggested it was probably just the different fridge.)

As another daughter climbed into bed with socks on, I was shocked to see how filthy the bottom of her feet were.

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When spelling doesn’t cut it.

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When spelling doesn’t cut it.
Having the most challenging family member be preliterate is handy, since the rest of us know how to S-P-E-L-L.
Being able to communicate in a way that keeps our little Joe out of the loop is great when someone wants to sneak outside unencumbered by an enthusiastic tag-along.
The only problem is when that wannabe interloper is too smart for his own good. For instance, when Joe one day asked, “Can I go “o-u-t”?
This was our response, in cat form:

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Top Ten Parenting Tips

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Top Ten Parenting Tips

I had another* article published at Four Columns for a Balanced Life.

Read this in a loud, echoey voice — BEHOLD:

Did you hear an angelic choir singing, “Awwwwwwwwwwwww”?

Here’s one tip from the article:

Because parenting is hard, cruddy stuff is going to happen. It just comes with the territory. Taking a deep breath and moving on after an unfortunate incident will help you maintain a happier demeanor, inside and out, especially when it comes to things you have no control over. Some days your children are just going to be fussy like they’re taking turns or have it scheduled on a secret calendar. Keeping a sense of humor helps. Once I asked a friend how her kids were. She responded: “For sale.”

Little secret, though: I only combed through the first couple of chapters for these ten. I could get 10 or more “top” 10 articles out of this book. As one reviewer put it:

She was tipsy when she wrote this book. (It contains more tips than the apron of the prettiest bar maid at Oktoberfest.) It’s clear that she’s a happy, fun person (Betsy, not the bar maid), who followed the advice from her previous books

She shares her struggles and successes with a healthy dose of humility and humor. Well, maybe it’s more a gluttonous dose of humor.

(Here’s that review.)

I also got this text from my sister: “I CAN’T GET MY WORK DONE BECAUSE I CAN’T PUT YOUR BOOK DOWN.” She wrote that during her “I can’t figure out how to get rid of all caps on my phone” phase (though she would’ve written that in all caps).

Another person said, “I might have raised better kids if I had had your book a long time ago!”

And my favorite:

cover2 Read the rest of this entry

Expert customer service

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In the check-out line at Costco, a young employee asked with a completely straight face:

“The item at the top of your cart–will that be to purchase or for return?”

“I didn’t realize returns were an option on those,” I said.

Again, with nary a mouth twitch, he said, “If you have the original receipt.”

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No cold feet in this house.

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I’m going through my drafts folder, of which I have 22 potential posts. This was the oldest. The daughter I speak of is now 15! This was fun for me to read, as I didn’t remember any of it. So grateful for this blog to store these memories. I hope you enjoy this little tale.

My oldest daughter was two-years-old, I would regularly take a nap on the couch while she played quietly nearby. Yep, you read that correctly. I could nap without fear while my TWO-year-old played. She was certainly something special.

Usually I would sleep with a blanket on me. One day I laid down without first grabbing the blanket. My daughter noticed this and got my blanket for me, spreading it carefully across my body. Another time, the blanket had slipped off my feet, so she replaced it for me.

socks 1

Pic by tookapic of Pixabay.

Perhaps a year or two later, Read the rest of this entry

Stylish hair gel

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Isn’t my son so stylish with his new spikey hair gel look?

Cool kid.

Nope. It’s just Read the rest of this entry