mountain lion going to elementary school?

Okay, when you take your kids to schools these days you thing about risks. You think about the wacko pedifile that managed to get a job as a teacher, you think of kids bringing guns to school, you think of kids sharing their older brothers pills on the playground. How often do you think of the danger of mountain lions at school? More

Toddler knocks over tornado

“Mom, hurry the tornado fell!”

I rushed to my son’s bedroom and panicked to see his science project lying on the floor. I looked around for the culprit and saw my 20-month-old’s shifty eyes. I carefully picked up the tornado box, hoping nothing was broken, adjusted it into its place, shut the door and moved the kids to the other room.

A month ago my older son came home with his science project information. I thought that he and my husband could have some bonding time making a simple little project.  I was picturing my son impaling insects on cardboard and writing their Latin names underneath, or measuring how much rain had fallen in March in our town, or maybe planting seeds in different pots and researching the growing patterns of the plants, or if nothing else, throwing baking soda and something else in a jar and watching it bubble and change colors.

My son was thinking: rockets, solar-powered cars, robots and earthquakes. My husband and son finally agreed on tornadoes and making a tornado box. I was happy I wasn’t involved until my husband started talking about supplies. Oh, supplies–I’m thinking cardboard and something that spins. My husband is talking about Plexiglas, fans, dry ice, smoke, batteries;  I’m seeing dollar signs and my son lying on the floor electrocuted.

So, when my daughter told me the tornado had fallen, I had to dash into the room to rescue the Rolls-Royce of science projects. After all, my husband son has worked so hard on it.

Are kids playing anymore?

Do you remember what it was like to be a kid and play? Did you run around the neighborhood until your mom called you home for dinner? I used to play the hiding game or minute game (which was hide and seek but we were too old for that) all over our block. We would also skate, ride bikes, and every summer we would hunt down refrigerator cardboard boxes to use to make houses. We would cut out windows and even hang curtains.

Being a kid was fun, but now we don’t see kids playing as much as they used to. I know life is different now, you have to keep a closer eye on kids, you can’t let them roam the neighborhood like we might have been able to; but they don’t play enough even in their own backyards. I watch elementary kids leave schools with their cell phones, ipods, and other mp3s. I see kids jump in the car and start playing with their Game Boys and I think — what did I do in 4th grade? I went to school, did some homework, and then played until dinner time.

I’m not saying I think modern technology is evil, hey, I love my Internet connection, but have kids forgotten how to play? More

just jiving

I have a confession, sometimes I get my words mixed up. Well, if you ask my kids they’ll say I usually ask them to take off “their shoes and put them in the refrigerator”or ask them to “wash their feet” instead of “brush their teeth.” It’s not that I’m a complete idiot, I just tend to throw words out of my mouth like pieces of a puzzle for others to put together. 

When I started speaking Spanish regularly I messed up both languages and mixed Spanish metaphors with English ones and had my own version of Spanglish. I explained to my Spanish friends that I was an idiot in both languages since they thought I was only messing up their mother tongue.

I learned to laugh at my mixed-up speech (because I’m not famous and don’t have the media mocking me), but I still get frustrated when I discover that I have misused or mispronounced a word. I used to steep seep my tea More

simple things like kickballs and spring

It just sat perched up on a branch like it was monitoring the kids below. I don’t know why but I was fascinated by it. A lady gave me a strange look as she walked by wondering what had caught my attention. It was a green bouncy kickball that some elementary student had kicked with all his might high into the air, and it was now stuck on a barren branch high above the green grassy yard. I seemed to be the only one mesmerized by the bouncy ball. The kids had moved on to bouncing and skipping about with other red and green balls.

I’m not sure why I stared at it for so long. My mind went pensamiento.JPGto two thoughts. The first was when I was a child and how I liked to sit in trees and watch the world below. I always thought the best super power would be to be invisible. It’s quite strange given my personality — I usually liked to be the center of attention–the one trying her hardest to make everyone laugh. Yet at times, I just wanted to be, be like that little green kickball watching the kids savor every last minute of their recess.

The kickball also reminded me of a short video I watched before about a little kid and a kickball. My mind went to rows and rows of bouncy orange balls — the color of choice for the little boy. I thought of the delight the boy felt picking out his orange ball with his dad, and I wondered why life had to change so much when you grow up that you can’t enjoy something as simple as a bouncy kickball anymore.

I drove back home and soaked in the sunshine trying to enjoy the early spring weather. One of the many reasons I love California (one of which is NOT the price of real estate) is how soon winter ends and spring begins. I thought of all the freezing people in cold climates shoveling snow. I guess the snow is their simple thing to enjoy while I enjoy my early spring.

Have you entered mom’s amazing race?

Have you ever noticed that the grocery store at night is a different place after 8 pm than in the daytime? It’s filled with single men buying essentials like beer, deoderant and microwaveable buffalo wings; and single women buying diet coke, nail polish remover and salad. There are also the couples — not the ones who have been married for at least five years and come to the store with a purpose — the ones who are trying to get to know each other over aisles of noodle soup and potato chips. Do you know what I’m talking about? Have you seen these couples? They are obviously trying to relate as they point out their favorite soft drinks and tell stories about how their grandma makes the best blueberry-apple strudel.  

Last night, I was by myself getting a few items when I noticed a couple that was obviously grocery-dating because they were in no hurry to purchase anything. She would point out something like chocolate milk and he would stare lovingly in her eyes like she just read him a poem.  Then she would rant about an expensive price and they would laugh together. This is what you do at the grocery store in the early stages of the relationship –you carry around an empty, little basket and make cute comments as you stroll down the aisles. Or you point out the cereal you ate when you were a little kid — time is of no importance because you are together.

This changes a bit if you are a mother going to the store with your kids — then, you are in a relay race. You dart through the aisles throwing items in your cart as you furiously cross things off your list, pausing only to tell the kids to stop touching everything and to calm down. Once the kids are somewhat calmed and your shopping is in a good rhythm, your daughter says as loudly as she can “I have to go poo-poos.” You look frantically for a clean bathroom with enough room so you can help her and watch your other two kids and the cart brimming full of milk, pasta and fruit. Finally, you resort to begging her to just hold it until you get home. She says she will try and you go back to the race throwing items in your cart at breathtaking speed while saying, “No, you can’t have the frosted sugary-loopy-loops. They aren’t healthy.”

As you cross the final item off of your list, and make the turn for the finish line, you notice your son about to knock over poor Mrs. Vanderlay while he scores a touchdown with a bag of egg noodles. You apologize to Mrs. V and strongly encourage your son to apologize. You once again, focus in on the goal, the coveted check-out line, which had only one person in it until the noodle-football incident. However, now people from the entire neighborhood have appeared just to get in line in front of you and your hopes of getting out of the store before going insane have been dashed. After waiting for what feels like an hour in line, while trying to explain why the girl on the magazine shaved her head, you finally give all of your money to the cashier and pack your kids into the car to drive home to cook the egg-noodles that scored the winning touchdown at the expense of Mrs. V.

  

I keep forgetting Tuesday, my Ben & Jerry day

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If you didn’t remember, or never read my “Top 10 reasons you should read my blog” post then you don’t know that Tuesday is my all you can eat Ben & Jerry ice cream day. Yes, I let you eat all the Ben & Jerry’s you want today! What other blog offers you that?

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