Category Archives: Kid Stuff (i.e. products)

Character Confusion (alternate title: our apologies to the neglected Princess Leia!)

E (age 5), looking at a package of candy she received while trick-or-treating:  “Mom, what kind of candy is this?”

Me: “It’s a Starburst.  You’ll love it.”

E: “Oooohh!  Starburst!  I will love it!  All the boys in my class love it!  Some of them said they were going to dress up as different kinds of Starburst characters for Halloween!”

Me: “Um, I think they’re talking about Star Wars.  That’s a movie.  The candy is totally different.  Have a piece…”

(In our house, we are totally unaware that anything other than a Disney princess – or an add for candy – could occupy a movie screen.)

In case you were curious… (alternate title: my life in multiple choice)

Anyone curious about which of the following tasks is more difficult?

(A) Cleaning dog poop off a sparkly glitter shoe without removing all the glitter

(B) Changing a battery in our nursery’s smoke detector while standing on the baby’s glider

(C) Disposing of raw meat scraps (the icky trimmings that begin to smell grotesque after 1 hour in the garbage) while the disposal is broken

(D) Helping a one year old transition from 2 naps to 1 nap a day without disrupting the schedules of the other two children, or

(E) accomplishing anything at all on my actual “to do” list

The answer?  E.  Because (when I am not feeding, dressing, changing, driving, bathing, playing with, or hugging my children), things like A, B, C, and D seem to pop up unexpectedly and consume the majority of my day.

And, in case you were wondering about option ‘A’, you should know that even working with glittery poop is not glamorous.  Note to the general public:  the week before Halloween trick-or-treaters dance through your neighborhood in their favorite dress-up outfits and shoes is a particularly important time to scoop the poop…

Bye Bye, Butterfly! (alternate title: three year olds are not really known for their tact…)

E won’t wear her blue butterfly pajamas anymore because S told her it looks like there’s a piece of flying poop on the shirt.

I am sympathetic to E, who didn’t like hearing that at all.

At the same time, I’m not sure I can fault S.  I mean, I never would have noticed it before, but now that S has said that, take a look at the outfit…


and a close-up of the shirt…


At the age of 3, she might need to work on her tact a bit, but – heaven help me  – the child speaks the truth.

P.S.  Can you imagine the havoc S would wreak as a member of a manufacturer’s kiddie focus group?  I get tickled just thinking about it!

The Runaway Bunny, science edition

As we were leaving (five year old) E’s school building yesterday, she surprised me by yelling “I’m a magnet; I have to stay with things that are metal!” She then ran to the nearest pole, hugged it tightly, and announced it would be impossible for her to let go.

Trying to think quickly, I announced, “If you’re a magnet, then I’m the biggest piece of metal in the whole world.  Come give me a great big hug!”  E then leaped off the pole, ran across the sidewalk and let me swoop her up in the biggest bear hug I could give her.

It’s like The Runaway Bunny, science edition.


(I mean, can’t you just hear it:  “If you become a magnet and attach to randomly placed metal objects”, said the mother, “I will become a giant metal mama and you’ll be drawn in to hug me”.)

P.S.  Please tell me you’ve read this book, or – alternatively – are at least willing to click here so you’ll understand what I’m talking about…

P.P.S. This imaginary insertion into a kiddie-lit classic is absolutely dedicated to you, E.  Your mama loves you, your amazing imagination, and your wonderful hugs.

This totally makes up for the lobotomy

After seeing a tiny crib for baby dolls while out running errands, S decided she would make a “crib” for her baby.  One zillion points to S for (1) not begging for the store-bought version, (2) fantastic creativity, and (3) being such a great mommy to her doll.

Check out her favorite doll “Angie” in her new digs.


The bed was originally the box our garbage bags came in, and there is a flap you can close if Angie wants to sleep in the complete darkness.  The box was decorated by S and softened with a layer of fuzz (can you see the white stuff inside the box?  some of it came from a pillow in T’s room and some came out of the hole in the back of Angie’s head…).

And yes, you read that correctly.

There is a hole in the back of Angie’s head.

How else would we get the fuzz out of her?  And back into her?  And back out of her?  And back into her? And back out of her?

And without that soothing ritual, how would S get to sleep?

But that is a whole ‘nother blog post…  The point of this post is that now S and her baby are both sleeping comfortably.  (S at nighttime, while Angie is in her arms on soothing duty…and Angie during the day, in her new bed!)

Love you S.  Other than the nightly lobotomy you perform on your doll, you are an excellent mommy.  On behalf of Angie and everyone in our house who loves her (and we all do…Angie will get her own blog post soon…) thanks for the new, wonderful bed!

Tootie Fruitie

You may recall that this summer, in an effort to help the girls become more independent, we adjusted the location of several things around the house.  We installed a low towel hook in the main bathroom, moved their jackets from high hangers to low bins in the closet, and we relocated several food items from the elevated cabinets into a low drawer where they could serve themselves.

One of the items we lowered was a bag of our traditional post-breakfast treats.  If you eat all of your regular breakfast at our house (eggs and oatmeal preferred by E, sausage by S!) you can go help yourself to a handful of Tootie Fruities (the generic version of Fruit Loops).

Well, T is now big enough to reach the drawer that holds those Tootie Fruities, but still too little to understand the concept of waiting until after mealtime for his special treat.  As a result of this combo, about 100 times a day, he disappears into the kitchen and pretty soon, I see this coming at me…


That’s right.  Approximately 100 times a day, I am assaulted by a bag of Tootie Fruities with eyes, hair and feet.  He comes at me because he needs help opening the bag to get to his treats.

I did move the bag into a higher drawer for an hour, but poor T was so confused and broken hearted when he opened his drawer and peered into a fruitless void that I couldn’t help but move them back.

So of course, he came at me again…


My question at this point is not about his nutritional status or any dental damage that might result from my weakness and T’s latest obsession.

Instead, I am wondering how bad it would be to dress T as a bag of Tootie Fruities for Halloween.

I mean, he could just carry the bag around the neighborhood.  He would truly look like a bag of breakfast cereal with feet.

As a bonus, people could just drop any Halloween candy into the costume.  It’s designed to hold sugary substances.  (Hold your applause.  I know!  Brilliant.)

So, without taking my fairly low standards into consideration (ahem, this means closer to Halloween I will confess what I dressed T in last year for the holiday), I ask you to answer quite honestly…

…If you saw this guy sitting on your doorstep this Halloween,


wouldn’t you give him a treat?!

Note to self (re: navigational systems)

Note to self:

When the building you need is located on “Six Forks Road”, borrow your husband’s GPS.

Seriously.   Six Forks.   You’d think that would have been my first clue that I was in way over my head.

On the upside, I did find the building – and within it – a consignment sale where I struck gold by discovering, among other things, a pair of $1 ballet slippers for S (my budding ballerina) and an $8 Halloween costume for E (who is desperate to be Princess Jasmine this year).

So what if I spent approximately one-zillion-dollars on gas?!

If I quote Conrad, can I convince the library we would never check out a book about a Guinea Pig Fairy?

Since I have already disgusted you with the photo of the stoolagmite on our oven drawer (see previous post), I have decided to go all in and tell you that today, we spent the better part of an hour looking in the dusty hiding places of our house for two lost library books: Nate the Great and the Missing Key and Georgia the Guinea Pig Fairy.

End results:

(1)  still missing one library book (where are you Georgia?!)


(2)  wholly regretting the search

It is not a search you would have enjoyed either because it required us to look under every couch, between every couch cushion, under all the beds, and in all the nooks and crannies of the car (even under the floor mats).

To quote Conrad, “The Horror!  The Horror!”

Of course, some people might have viewed this as a wonderful opportunity to clean all those rarely accessed places, rendering the house and car pristine.

I am not one of those people, and if you are – don’t tell me – because I’m not sure we can be friends anymore.

(Unless you are one of those extreme cleaners who feels compelled to clean under the couches in other people’s homes too, in which case, It’s been too long!  Why don’t you come over?!)

But I’ve gotten off track.  My point is that while we did not find the books in any of those places, we did find lots of other things including 2 checkers, 5 markers, 10 hairbows, 50 crayons, a naked Ken doll, prince charming’s cape, a pretend brownie, a very large pretend ant (seriously…the pretend food we leave out is attracting pretend vermin), a sippy cup (don’t ask) and hairballs that we could sell as toupees.

(And, if you can believe this, not one penny of spare change.  I thought we would at least find enough of that to cover the late fee…oh well.)

Anyway, after all that, do you want to know where we found the one book we were able to locate?

That’s right.  On the bookshelf.  (I swear, it was the first place we looked.)

And the other book?

Well, I think the library is trying to scam us with that “your book is overdue” e-mail.  I don’t remember checking out “Georgia the Guinea Pig Fairy”.

We are all about fairies, but a guinea pig fairy?

Can a book with that title seriously exist?

Criminy.  I just googled it.  It does exist, and the cover does look familiar.

The fairy appears to be surrounded by guinea pig pellets.

Well, maybe Nate the Great (the detective whose story we just found on our bookshelf) can find it.

He’s going to have to, because after what I saw today (“The Horror!”  I mean, you should have smelled the inside of that sippy cup…)

Where was I?

Oh yes.

Nate the Great, boy detective, is going to have to take over the hunt for this lost fairy, because after the dusty, disgusting search I’ve been through today…

I think I’m out.

My life in photos (alternate title: “stoolagmite”)

I snapped this photo last Friday.


The coat rack is too high for the kids to reach, so I can only imagine that my husband helped the girls after they explained that a King had come for tea and needed to hang up his robe.

I love that my house so often looks this way.  The aftermath of imagination is everywhere. (I mean, we have at least one pretend princess visitor a day…)

But I don’t want to paint an unbalanced picture, so let me show you another picture I snapped in the kitchen the same day.   It is the image I saw when I opened the drawer under our oven…

I don't know what this is, but I am calling it a "stoolagmite", and unfortunately it is in my kitchen. To fully caption the photo: far left is the tan hardwood floor, centered is white upper edge of our oven drawer, and far right is our cookie sheet inside the drawer (By the way, I do clean the cookie sheet, but it still has those reddish stains on it. What is up with those? Oh well, at least no one will focus on them if a stoolagmite is also in the drawer...)

Um, seriously, what is that?

In our house, possible explanations include: poop, dinner drippings, old playdo, or a petrified mouse…

We’re going to go with “dinner drippings” on this one…

(though “stoolagmite” might be more accurate…my goodness, I hope not…)

I was so disgusted, I had to immediately close the drawer.

(I’m kidding…I poked it with a fork and when it didn’t try to bite me, I cleaned it off.  I took a picture of it so that the doctors would have something to go on if I later developed an unusual disease.)

Maybe we need to have the kings that visit bring some of their staff: a courtly chef, a royal exterminator, a princely pooper-scooper, seriously… something

It is the least they can do since I am tending to their tea and my husband is hanging their robe.

A taste vs. a tease

This spoon was in the kitchen of the beach house we stayed in last week.


Upon initial inspection (size, cute factor, my forgetting to pack any toddler-sized flatware, etc.), I decided it was the perfect spoon for feeding one year old T.

I was mistaken.

In fact, T, despite his inability to speak, has still managed to officially declare this the most confusing/frustrating spoon in America.

You see, T loves hot dogs.  Loves them.

This means that whenever we gave him this spoon, the poor guy would see his oatmeal on one end of the spoon and the hot dog on the other.  Quite understandably, he went for the hot dog approximately 100% of the time.

What a tease for T…

What a mess of oatmeal, falling off the other end of the spoon!

And for those who are concerned, please note that we did switch to a different spoon, since we never knowingly torture the children.  Still, once they have the idea that hot dogs are an option, no one is eating oatmeal.  Cue the spitting noise…


Thanks for the oatmeal shower, T.

Excuse me while I go get a wash cloth…

And while I’m getting that, could someone please boil this kid a hot dog?

Let’s give T a taste instead of a tease!