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Archive for 'Humor/Disconnected Miscellany'

A Chihuahua Named Ezra

Our new next-door-neighbor has a wonderful elderly Chihuahua named “Ezra,” and a delightful ten-month-old named Mary Grace.  It’s sad to admit, but my children are absolutely wild over the dog and a big tepid toward the baby since she can’t walk yet and just gently waves and drools.

The children are all like, “Here Ezra!  Come get a treat!  It’s my turn to see Ezra!  See how Ezra loves me better!  Isn’t Ezra the cutest dog you’ve ever seen besides our Sophie? Come over here Ezra and see the bug house I just built,” and similar dog-focused prattle.

Never mind the cherubic baby gurgling pleasantly in the neighbor’s arms…

I figured Mary Grace was about the right age for Little People, though, and casually asked the neighbor if she had any of those grand toys yet, since her baby is an only child and probably had no cast-offs from anyone else.  My neighbor was naturally thrilled at the prospect of one day owning a veritable menagerie of Little People zoos, villages, farms, train tracks, family homes, etc.

(Wait’ll she starts vacuuming them up, or Ezra chews on them creating sharp pointy spikers or they get inadvertently placed in the dishwasher where they fall below near the coils and melt, filling her kitchen with that pleasant burnt plastic smell.)

With all of their canine-focused activity I never dreamed that my children heard me offer the Little People toys to our neighbor.  I was curious, however, the next day when Sue had pulled out the before-ignored bins of Little People regalia and peppered her room with animals and people.

“My you’ve got so much going on here!” I exclaimed upon seeing her room.

“Yes, Mama, see I do still play with these toys.  I love them, and that baby next door will probably choke on the small parts.”

So lo and behold am I floored today when the boys begin racing the Little People school bus up home-made ramps…for like an hour!

Maybe I should offer their Latin books and handwriting practice tablets to the baby, too?

Posted on 16 June '10 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 10 Comments.

TSA Workers Panicked by Keychain at Reagan National and More Terrapin Updates

My husband almost never travels, therefore when he does, exciting events transpire such as the loss of a rather large terrapin in our home.

Below you see the exact spot where the terrapin was finally found, a mere 18 hours after he “went missing.”

Note the joyful facial expression:

Here you see him tempted by the wilted lettuce Edward had scattered about the home in hopes of sustaining the creature through the night:

And here the sweet taste of freedom as the dear terrapin is reluctantly released into the wild of our yard:

Lest you think that the good times only occur in our actual home, let me share a recent tale that occurred while H was traveling last week.

He was only in DC for one night so he didn’t have a gracious amount of time for souvenir-seeking, yet he spotted a Smithsonian Institute kiosk in the airport, and carefully chose crystal grow-kits for Sue and Edward, a nifty gyroscope for Joseph, and rather striking key chain for me that flashes my name every second or so.  He popped it all in the Smithsonian bag and headed for the gate.

He hurried through the scanning machine and began putting on his shoes.  His belongings, however, remained in the scanning area.  All of a sudden the scenario turned a bit frantic when a TSA worker shouted,

“Come here!  I ain’t ever seen anything like this?  What’s that?”

Shoeless folk began slowly backing up from the scanning area.

“It look like it’s pulsing!”

Several TSA workers are summoned, the conveyor built is abruptly halted, and H’s Smithsonian Institution bag is carefully prodded by a professional probe that H said looked remarkably like a car antenna.

I suppose the juxtaposition of the gyroscope next to the flashing keychain proved menacing to say the least.

Almost immediately the situation eased when the TSA professional drew her probe away from the bag and said with a loud, relieved laugh, “Awww!  That ain’t nothin’ but a solar key chain!”

Crisis averted!

Posted on 9 June '10 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 18 Comments.

Terrapin Station or “We lost a ten-inch turtle somewhere in our home.”

I blame my sister-in-law.

She showed up this morning with a smug look and a promise that there was an attractively large turtle languishing in our driveway.

Never mind the fact that she let Sue spend the night with the two nieces so we could take the boys to eat Mexican food since Sue cannot abide by Mexican food for some odd reason.

Why I didn’t take a photograph at the time, I will never know but we Googled the turtle, and just about definitively determined the creature to be a box turtle, although his or her feet appeared slightly webbed.

Let’s just pray s/he is not some sort of snapper.

How does such a thing happen?

Well, in the interest of science, I agreed to allow the creature come inside so the boys could embark upon some “research.” A bit later we find ourselves an hour into a great pool visit when I casually remark, “I’m sure one of you took the turtle outside, right?”


The boys look at one another.

“Well, he’s such a slow creature, I’m sure he’s still under the trampoline in the playroom where we left him,” assured Joseph.

I feel such comfort.

Several hours later, I assume the creature will still be huddled quietly in the playroom, potentially trying to siphon water from one of the dog’s slobbery chew toys or render a nest from the revolting shag carpet that graces this particular room.

Such is not the case.

Friends, we have looked everywhere for this terrapin to no avail.  The children are fearful of waking in the night and encountering the beast.

I’ve spread plastic plates of water, blueberries and an occasional errant lettuce leaf around the house in an effort to sustain the creature.

Joseph suggested we catch several crickets and beetles and let them loose since they are the turtle’s natural “prey.”

Let’s hope it does not come that.  Few things are worse than a deceased terrapin languishing in the home.


Posted on 4 June '10 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 11 Comments.

Clashing Worlds: Southern Homemaker in New York

I’ve been back from New York for several days now, and the abject disparity between the two places still finds me reeling.

Just like I described last year, this trip is like living someone else’s life, and in doing so I always gain a greater perspective on who I am, who I am not and who I would like to be, not necessarily in that order.

As I land in La Guardia, I always feel so small and anonymous while at the same time feeling a part of some important, whirling world.  It is sort of like stepping off the quiet sidewalk of my life into rushing traffic of people, sounds and smells so unfamiliar, yet so intoxicating.

My own life has its “busy-ness,” to be certain, but it is filled with a frenzy of food prep, hunting backpacks, calming the screaming, wiping noses, measuring supplements, juggling therapy schedules and shuttling van-loads of children back and forth between sporting activities and social skills groups.

In contrast, my week in New York is spent trying to hold down frighteningly rich lobster bisque in a rocketing taxicab after drinking one two many glasses of exceptionally nice cabernet.

And learning not to order giant prawns.

It is also spent attempting to tape large vinyl signs to concrete block, loading trade show furniture into a panel van and driving that from NJ to Manhattan, and trying to assemble said furniture without directions or proper tools.

This is my friend riding in the back of the van with multiple boxes.

Yes, we got stopped by New York’s finest, and yes we cried but got out of the ticket, miraculously.  Sadly, I have no photographs if that event but you can use your imagination, I’m sure.

Don’t you love how we employed the broom to mash down the double-sided tape?

The fun part of the week is spent chatting with stationery store owners, explaining trends in bridal and baby invitations, and encouraging buyers to try my friend’s line.

This was my fourth year to take this trip, and I have achieved a few minor milestones.  I no longer feel self-conscious hailing a cab, and I have perfected the proper, casual way to hold my hand while doing so.

I am no longer driven to don heels as I walk around the city in a vain attempt at disguising myself as a tourist.

I finally realized that most of the people wearing heels with jeans as they traipse about the city were the tourists.  Everyone else enjoys sensible flats, boots or flip flops.

I can walk purposefully down a busy sidewalk while clutching a Starbucks and talking on my phone.

I never make eye contact with anyone.  Never take a flier about an upcoming band or play performance from anyone, and never, ever acknowledge someone who furtively approaches with the promise of “Purses, Dolce, Rolex, Cartier, you buy!”

I still can’t stop myself, however, from lunging out toward the tiny toddlers running along the sidewalk parallel to whizzing taxis and buses.  I suppose these children grow up with this second sense of permanently remaining on the sidewalk no matter what, but if I ever took my three to this city, I’d have to strap them all to my body to keep them alive–especially Edward.

While I’m in New York I see myself as a sort of a lone catcher in the rye.

This was particularly hard for me this year because our apartment was located right next to Bleecker park!

The tiniest of tots would whiz by on their scooters or even tricycles and then abruptly stop right before the cross walk, their parents leisurely strolling several feet behind, often pushing a smart perambulator stuffed with an even tinier sibling.

Yet today, back in the South, as the screams and shrill whines of three walkie talkies in unison fill my brain and I watch dripping children streak about the house clutching over-filled water balloons and tracking up my once-clean floors, I am thankful to be home.

I think.

Posted on 1 June '10 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 7 Comments.

I did decide to go!

OK, I’m off to New York!  See you in a week!  And thanks so much for all the encouragement.  I promise to come back with many stories!

Have a blessed week!


Posted on 14 May '10 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 12 Comments.

Roof Tampons, Petrified Cotton Candy and Other Flood Tales

My town has received 16 inches of rain in the past 48 hours!  Here’s a house in my neighborhood.

We almost bought this house six months ago when we were house-hunting.  We even had a contract on it, but pulled out because of some inspection issues:

The sellers told us we wouldn’t need flood insurance…

We do have water running through the crawl space of our house, but thanks to our trench-digging a few months ago, it flows right through the space and into the yard.  Not ideal, but certainly workable!

Plus we got to run the fire place all weekend to keep the deluge of rain from spilling out into the floor.  Nothing like a fire when it’s 75 degrees!

Earlier today we noticed a seeping brown spot in the playroom ceiling.

H went up to the attic to check it out, but the spot was almost beyond his reach.  He called down and asked me to find a long stick and several tampons.

What was the point of questioning him?  I grabbed the tampons.

He stobbed a few “medium flows” on the end of the stick and jammed them in the leaky spots.

So far they are working like a charm!  It will be simple to change them out if the rain continues.

Please don’t think I am complaining because we are blessed to be safe and dry, but we have been confined to the home since Friday afternoon, and the children have resorted to some rather creative sources of entertainment.

Sue taped paper plates to her feet and scooted about the house.

H  finally just went to the grocery store because we were seriously out of most staples.

We even resorted to cleaning out the pantry in search of interesting vittles and found this:

Yes, it’s petrified cotton candy.

Here’s the bottled water aisle in our local grocery:

Oh, and of course school is canceled for tomorrow!  And nobody is talking about rabid skunks anymore either, although there was a news story about a man and his parrot who were rescued by jet ski.

Still, seriously the flooding in this area has been epic, and many people are in true trouble.  So many homes were not in flood plains and therefore did not have flood insurance.

It’s got the makings of a fascinating week…

Posted on 3 May '10 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 10 Comments.

Sensory Seeker + Concussion = Extreme Vigilance

It doesn’t take much time spent reading this blog to realize that my 8-year-old son, Edward, is a sensory seeker.  Running, bouncing, spinning, crashing–these movements and sensations are all a therapeutically necessary part of his everyday life.  These actions provide the proprioceptive input his body craves in order to maintain some sort of focus and order, and without them, he cannot sit still, concentrate or maintain his emotional composure for any length of time.

Edward takes sensory breaks during the school day during which he bounces on a mini (I shudder to utter the word) trampoline; his classroom is equipped with multiple bean bags and large pillows for crashing and smashing.  He pops over to the OT room for some intense spinning in a mesh swing, and thrills to careening all over the OT room on roller boards.

Edward spends almost ever afternoon after school outside in the back yard swinging, playing “tackle” football with his brother and rolling around in the grass.  We have devoted an entire storage closet in our new house to being a “crash room” outfitted with huge pillows, futons and mattresses.  Only after these activities is he focused enough to endure his social skills class or attempt handwriting practice.

So after Edward’s untimely tumble off an un-netted trampoline, (at a friend’s house), and subsequent ambulance ride, we leave the ER with this sage advice from the attending doctor: “His recovery should be fairly easy.  Just keep him calm and quiet for the next week or so…no running or jumping or rough-housing.”

My husband and I looked at each other and our shoulders kind of slumped.

The next day we wondered aloud why we hadn’t asked the doctor for a sedative…for all three of us.

We have made it through the one-week mark, and I have to say I am beginning to relax just a bit.  When he tripped over his sister’s huge box of crayons yesterday afternoon, my heart did stop for a moment, only to start beating again when he assured me, “That was my hip, Mom, not my head!”

Posted on 29 April '10 by , under Autism Spectrum/Sensory Processing, Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 9 Comments.

Childhood Expressions, Channel Style

First, let me say how glad I am to have met Dr. Barbara Boucher through the blogosphere.  She is an OT, PT and has an PhD in Human Development and Family Sciences.  I really wish she would move in next door to me because I need someone like her on an hourly basis, but at the very least I can encourage others to visit her blog which is full of all types of wisdom and insight!

This week Barbara is hosting a blog carnival where she encourages us to write about favorite childhood expressions.  Last week, I started this quasi-eloquent essay about a stuffed bear that has seen our family from tonsillectomies to MRIs, elbow casts to, now, concussions, but the essay has grown a life of its own and I need to think about it more.  In the interest of actually making a deadline, I have decided to write about some of the the quirky, odd expressions my children have come up with through the years.


I nursed all three of my children well into toddlerhood, and all three devised funny methods of asking to nurse.  Joseph crafted this this “Na Na Na” chant that served him well from about 8 months through 14 months when I found myself exhausted during a second trimester of pregnancy trying, unsuccessfully, to nurse a toddler.  To this day, if he has a question about that particular anatomy, he will refer to those “parts” as “Na Nas.”

Edward, often direct, did not devise a particular word, but would simply command, “Now,” and aim himself in the general direction of a “na na.”  He was also known to propel himself in the direction of strange “na nas” if a familiar one wasn’t in view.

(Not surprising, really.)

Sue crafted this new word “nernie” for nursing, and she, like Joseph, continues to use the word “nernie” to refer to a woman’s bosom, as in the question, “Look at that lady’s nernies!  Why are they so pointy?” and the encouraging and accurate, “Why are that lady’s nernies so much bigger than yours?”

I am well aware that one of the taboo subjects in any motherhood blog is potty training or potty-related writing, but I’ve been at this for almost three years and I just don’t care any more.


When Edward turned two, he declared/deduced that poo poo should actually be called “brown” (because most of the time it was brown).  He then proceeded to call it such in all situations.

We have had to explain this lexical confusion/genius? to teachers, babysitters, friends’ parents: “If he says he needs to ‘make brown,’ that means he needs to poo poo.”

Our entire family has embraced this terminology for the past six years—even grandparents and great-grandparents:  “No, we’ve got to hurry, hurry!  He said brown—brown do you hear me?”

This of course changes the meaning of seemingly innocuous comments like “Brown Head” or “He smells like brown.”  Or, “I think there is dog brown on my shoe.”  “What’s that on the carpet—it looks like brown!”

Or the ever-popular: “This casserole is yuck–it tastes like brown!”

So now, not to be outdone, Sue has labeled tee tee “fountain.”

And now we have conversations like this: “Is it brown or just fountain?”  “There’s a little bit of fountain on my princess potty.”  “Uh-oh…fountain in the car seat!”

(Fountain over brown any day, I say!)

I am not precisely sure this rather ridiculous post is what Barbara had in mind when she asked us to write about childhood expressions, but this is my quirky take and the best I can muster under the circumstances.  (Please remember I am spending every waking hour trying to keep my sensory-seeking-eight-year-old from running or jumping or bouncing or hopping or bopping or crashing or soaring because he has a mild concussion and can’t return to school until Wednesday and then it will only be for half-days.  Yep, I’m homeschooling again, at least for this week, and it feels sorta good!)

Please pop over to Barbara’s blog and join the carnival!

Posted on 26 April '10 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 10 Comments.

What the Heck? I Magnified My Eyes!

These wonderful sisters came up with this twist on Wordless Wednesday!  Please join them if you dare!

Posted on 21 April '10 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 11 Comments.

Random Tuesday Drivel, Plus A Chance to Win!

Thanks be to the Unmom for her ingenuity!


My disdain for Burger King’s Neopets may soon be usurped by McDonald’s dragon toys that come equipped with, you guessed it, a virtual online world.  Don’t get me wrong.  I thrilled to Cressida Cowell’s books after Tari turned my boys onto them…this was way before Ms. Cowell got so cool and became endorsed by McDonald’s and all.  Someone I don’t think this whole online avatar deal was her idea…she is far too creative and well-read.


I am pleased to report that the free “home warranty” that was part of my recent  home purchase is actually costing me money.  My dishwasher began leaking and, because we had the “warranty,” I called the sanctioned repair professional who happily pocketed my $50.00 deductible and then told me that all I needed was a $12.00 seal.  But alas, “seals and gaskets” are not covered in the “home warranty.”  So a stupid seal that would cost me $12.00 at Sears, and could have been installed by my 8-year-old, has now set me back $50.00.  Plus my hardwood floors are now beginning to buckle from the leak, although the sanctioned repair professional informed me that he was certain the buckling had nothing to do with the leak and must be related to some faulty hardwood floor installation.  So happy!


I have officially solved the problem of Fajita, the guinea pig’s, cage smelling up my pantry/office.  Mint hay has completely eradicated this issue.  Maybe I should fill bowls of mint guinea pig hay and place them in each bathroom?


I love Sue’s preschool teacher so very very much.  Not only did she take down a troubling painting of an elephant with an “evil eye” that was preventing Sue from using the bathroom during the 5-hour school day, but today she found out that Sue thrills to her brother’s leftover pirate costumes and declared this Thursday will be “Pirate Day.”  As she explained to me, “Everyone else will need to either find a costume or draw on a beard.  Sue has a costume so we’ll have an official day!”


I need a Monsignor.  First person to comment who knows what I’m talking about wins a bottle of “Twilight Woods” Bath and Body Works bubble bath!

Posted on 20 April '10 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 6 Comments.