Thursday, October 25, 2007


I wanted to add some recent pics of the kids for those who haven't seen them for awhile. I welcome comments, but please note that I am trying to keep the blog anonymous, so I am not using their real names.

Because we love nicknames, it was fun getting to choose some that fit just as well as their "real" names, if not even better! Here they are:

Drama Queen

Persnickety Pete


Despite the tongue-in-cheek names, I am truly blessed and am thankful for the unique personalities of my children! It's funny; most of the traits that earned them their names are those they got from me.

Drama Queen is passionate and enthusiastic about EVERYTHING. (She, too, enjoys enhancing her writing with bold fonts, all caps and LOTS of exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!)

In Persnickety Pete's world, everything must be just a certain way or he's bent out of shape.

Screech has her mama's temper! I'm also quite sure she is the child that my mother-in-law wished upon my husband; see yesterday's post,
For the "Someday I'll Look Back and Laugh" File.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

For the "Someday I'll Look Back and Laugh" File

The Joy of Toddlers
a play in one naughty act
by The (Almost) Amazing Mammarino

Cast of Characters

- A hardworking homeschooler who is sick, on medicine that makes her feel worse, and is generally having "one of those days"

Drama Queen
- Mom's oldest child, a girl, age 7

Persnickety Pete
- Mom's second child, a 5 year old boy

- Mom's youngest child, a high maintenance girl, age 21 months

Setting: A disheveled home with puzzle pieces dumped on the floor, papers strewn everywhere, and math manipulatives scattered in each room. Mom, half asleep, is in the kitchen slapping together some sandwiches for lunch. Drama Queen, Persnickety Pete, and Screech are not less than 6 feet away in the homeschool room, doing who knows what.

Mom: Drama Queen, what is Screech doing?

Drama Queen:
Disinterested. I dunno.

Persnickety Pete, what is Screech doing?

Persnickety Pete: She's just playing with something.

Mom: Suspicious. Playing with

Persnickety Pete
: Ummmm . . .

The mayo-encrusted knife clatters to the counter as Mom rushes to investigate.

Screech, wearing a brand new blouse and her best jumper, is surrounded by half-empty containers of Halloween makeup. Mom cries.

Not "The End"

(There's never an end when you have a toddler!!!!!)

Not wishing this blog entry to be entirely negative, I thought I'd give you a sneak peek into my prayer life today . . .

Father, thank you . . .

. . . that there were fresh batteries in my camera,
. . . that no makeup found its way onto our (very) white carpet,
. . . that I didn't say any naughty words,
. . . that the makeup came off easily with soap and water, and
. . . for my funny, sweet girl, who is a limitless source of blog material!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Brassiere Gear

My 21 month old loves to carry purses around. She will carry around anything that has a handle (or strip of material resembling a handle) and announce, "Go bye-bye!" Previous pseudo-purses have included bibs, hats, and articles of clothing. Her purse of choice today was one of my bras which she pilfered from the laundry basket. What disturbed me was that considering the size and depth of the cups, it actually could pass for a two-compartment carryall, albeit a peculiar one.

I used to dress up like a funny old country lady and read aloud the children's book, Possum Come a-Knockin' by Nancy Van Laan. It started out as a stunt for a Gong Show-style fundraiser for a Christian teen outreach ministry, then I later did it for schools, reading conferences, and even my sick sister in the hospital. The costume was hysterical. I found a garish floral blouse and wraparound skirt to clash at Goodwill, then added rolled-down knee high stockings (think Mama's Family) and workboots. I topped it all off with dangly, baubly jewelry, Halloween eyeglasses (the ones with pictures of eyes on the lenses), a battered baseball cap and my favorite, the Billy Bob teeth. What really completed the look, though, was the bra. I had bought the biggest one I could find at Wal-Mart and stuffed it with two large water balloons. Being 8 months pregnant with my first child at the time, you can imagine how outrageously funny this looked.

What depressed me, though, is that after I had my baby and started nursing, that bra fit perfectly! Sigh . . . and to think that once upon a time I got busted for stuffing my tiny training bra with Kleenex. Yep, those were the good ole days!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Climbing Mount Washmore

It's easy to get behind on laundry when you're homeschooling, but y'all, this is really bad. I am finally going through my mountain of special needs laundry: sweaters, frou-frou church dresses, and the worst - the dreaded stain pile. I don't mind doing laundry, but I DESPISE stain treating. (It doesn't help that I'm a perfectionist and will wash an item 67 times to get out a speck of mustard a millimeter in diameter.) Because of this, I conveniently get all the laundry done except the stained clothes. The pile kept growing and growing until it threatened to topple over and smother us all. Seeing that we enjoy breathing so much, I decided to chip away at the pile tonight. I've made some startling discoveries:

- I'm further behind than I had thought;

- There are several boy's outfits in the stain pile sized 24 months and smaller (my son currently wears a size 6); and

- I've discovered quite a few hand-me-downs that will fit my 21 month old little girl (my older daughter is in second grade).

Whoooooo boy. I just started a hearty washerful of "laundry soup" with some of the more salvageable clothing, two cups of Tide and 3 packets of Oxy Clean. I'm going to let it soak for awhile. (Maybe a month.)

The really bad stuff needs more drastic treatment. Enter the famous stain recipe (thanks to The Tightwad Gazette). When I had just one easy infant (and made my own baby food and baby wipes, stayed current on her scrapbook, and had this whole mommy thing down pat), I had a batch of this stuff going 24/7. Blowout? No prob. Just rinse, throw the vile garment in for a few days, stir every once in awhile, then wash as usual. POOF! No stain! Here it is:

Stain Recipe

1 cup Clorox II (no substitutions)
1 cup Cascade (no substitutions)
5 gallons of the hottest water to come from the faucet

Mix together in a large pail with tight-fitting lid (to keep out curious toddlers). Add colorfast items (learned this the hard way) and soak for as long as needed, stirring every day, then wash as usual. I usually soak until the stain is almost gone, spray with Shout or Spray & Wash, then wash as usual.

True story: On a trip to California when my firstborn was 6 months old, we traveled on a lonely stretch of highway for hours without finding any source for warm water to make a bottle. (She was one of those that HAD to have it at just the right temperature or she refused it.) The only other things I had to feed her were several jars of strained carrots. What a mess! The terry cloth bib she had been wearing got stuffed into her diaper bag and forgotten - for over 3 months. When I discovered the wretched thing, it could have passed for a Halloween accessory. The furry black mildew complimented the carrots just perfectly. Never one to throw anything away, I shrugged my shoulders and tossed it into the stain bucket. I left it in there for about four months, so it went through several changes of solution. By the time I washed it, it was as good as new - no trace of mildew or carrots! (Stubbornness CAN pay off sometimes!)