Nighttime Manners


The command came from Carter who was fast asleep in his tent.  (He has been indoor camping in the bedroom he shares with his brother for several weeks now in a pop-up tent.)

The loud command woke me up.  It was 3:00 a.m.  Ugh. 

I tossed and turned and had finally gotten to that heavy, almost sleep state, when his shout rang through the air.

“Thank you!”

Now I am up for good but at least I am proud of Carter for having good manners even in his dreams.

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Sixty Minutes vs. One Hour

Tonight during our dinner conversation, riveting as they always are, the topic of the t.v. show Sixty Minutes came up.  It is a news show that Husband and I both have fond childhood memories of.  (Apparently it flew by in Husband’s Twitter feed at some point in the day and those nostalgic feelings caused him to add a reminder to our shared calendar so we can start watching it again.)

Carter listened as we talked.  Then he pointed out that there were sixty minutes in an hour and that they could have named the show One Hour instead. 


He quickly followed his observation with another one, its wording accidently, yet humorously altered. 

“Sixty Minutes…  One Hour…  Well, One Hour just doesn’t have the same ringtone to it as Sixty Minutes does!” 

How right you are, Carter, it sure doesn’t.

As a side note, Husband pointed out that based upon my handiwork with the image above, no one will confuse me with a graphic design artist.  Ha!


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Simple Sunday – 80 Degrees and Boy Tooth Fairies

Eighty degrees on a Sunday morning.  Husband is gone on his yearly trip to the Reno air races.  The boys and I head off to the Desert Botanical Gardens, (admittedly, there was some grumbling for they wanted the Science Center which I have tired of due to the frequency of our visits).


The gardens were in full bloom and the boys commented on how many butterflies there were. 


This roadrunner thought he was part of the staff.  The boys thought it was most hilarious.  The bird was unable to produce a badge to show proof of employment and so he promptly scampered into the bushes.


We spied lots of bird nests, some just a jumble of twigs tucked into the arms of cactus.


There were several strategically placed groupings of chairs for lounging in the coveted pools of shade.  We tried out many of them, but much like the butterflies flitting from flower to flower, the boys did not stay in them for long.


Cody looks like a true Arizona boy in this picture.  Love…

In other news, Carter lost his first baby molar.  This is only his fifth tooth offering to the tooth fairy in his 9 years. 

I had previously overhead a nighttime conversation the boys had, where Carter declared to Cody that he felt that Santa could indeed be the parents. 

He did not, however think the same thing of the tooth fairy.

“Why would our parents give us all that money just for teeth!?” he asked Cody.

Good question.

And so last night, Carter asked me if there were boy tooth fairies.  Before I could take a breath to answer him, he answered his own question.  “Well, of course there has to be boy tooth fairies.  Otherwise, how would there continue to be more fairies?”

So he does know a little something about the birds and the bees (and fairies too).

His tooth was tucked under his pillows, carefully sealed in a small Tupperware container.  The next morning, the tooth had been replaced with a one dollar coin. Amazing!


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Defying the Laws of Physics

Every Friday night at Casa de Shoes on the Wrong Feet is Pizza and Movie Night.  This means just what it sounds like.  We cook pizza, typically frozen Costco pizza, and watch a movie together.  The decider of what movie we watch is on a rotation – first Cody, then Carter, then Momma and Poppa’s choice and around it goes again.  Last night it was our choice so we picked The Truman Show.  (We get tired of kid movies and are always thinking of kid-friendly movies we can watch.)

Also what typically happens on Pizza and Movie Night is that about half way through the movie, Husband falls asleep on the couch.  This has been happening for years.  It is just what Husband does.

Last night Husband did not fall asleep on the couch, I did.

This morning as I was making coffee, Cody brought this point up.  Just the fact that he found it important enough to bring up tells you how significant an event this truly was.

“Momma,” Cody declared “Poppa defied the laws of physics last night by not falling asleep during the movie.”

It gave me a good chuckle and so I thought since I have been absent from blogging, this would give me a quick post to share. 

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Simple Sunday – Honey Bun

Tomorrow is the first day back to school.  Last night I was talking to Husband about how I will once again make the shift from the title of “mom” to that of “Mrs. M…” as I step back into the classroom as a third grade teacher. 

Carter made the correction.

carter:  No momma.  In the morning you will be “momma”.  Then in the afternoon you will be “Mrs. M…” and in the evening you will be “momma” again.

me:  Carter, you are absolutely right!  I will always be “momma” and only sometimes be “Mrs. M…”

carter:  And for me it will be “Honey Bun” in the morning – because that is what you call me, – “Carter” in the afternoon, and “Honey Bun” in the evening when I am home.

You are so right, Carter.  So right.  Tomorrow we step forward into something else.  For them it is the grades six and four; for me it is the first day of my fourth year of teaching.

Wish us luck on an amazing start to the new school year. 

And in case you are wondering, yes, teachers have the nervous-excited stomach full of butterflies feeling on that first day of school too. 


Deep breath.  We’ve got this…

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Fist-pump for our Demise

The Dead Bird by Margaret Wise Brown started it.

I had not read the book, a library book picked out by Carter with many others on our last trip to the library.  I walked into the living room and saw Carter, a strange expression on his face, his backpack in hand, all packed up and ready for our family vacation.  We were moments from leaving for the airport.

I asked him what was wrong.  He proceeded to tell me about a book – the dead bird book.  There was a dead bird.  Some kids found it.  They buried it.  They brought flowers to its grave.  They were sad and they cried. 

Carter looked at the floor, his backpack drooped.  Carter is not one to get emotional.  He is rather stoic about his emotions so I knew what was to come was important.

I told him that the book sounded sad but nice, that death was a normal part of living, that everything dies.  I may have said something about how good it is that there are books written for children about death. 

“I know everyone dies,” he squeaked, and then proceeded to list off people and pets that have died.

“And you and poppa will die too!” he nervously stated.

Oh honey.

I told him that, yes, we would and asked him if he knew what would happen to him if we died and he was still living with us.

He shrugged and said no.

I then told him about the plans Husband and I put into place years ago, a living will (is that the correct term?) legally passing on Cody and Carter’s care into the hands of some good friends of ours – friends that the boys know and like.  Perhaps like too much.

For upon hearing this, Carter’s face lit up and he gave a great fist pump.

This came to mind:

Image result for meme little boy with fist

To curb his enthusiasm I asked him if he realized that both Husband and I would have to die for this to happen. His enthusiasm dampened. 

Although only slightly.  

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Ten days without kids.  Oh yes, this happened.

Our vacation started off as a family vacation. 

Family Travels

We flew up to my hometown to spend time with my mom.  It was a whirlwind tour of Washington and some the places and things we loved when we lived there just three short years ago. 

My childhood home:

Perhaps this is why I am drawn to photographing old barns.  This is the pasture just beyond the backyard.

Family Pasture

Ferry rides:



The ferry even had a button on the elevator to take you straight to the sun (or the sun deck if you are one of those more traditional people).

Hurricane Ridge:

Hurricane Ridge Collage

On our way to the ocean, we made a quick detour to explore Hurricane Ridge.  Beautiful wild lupines, snow in the shape of a heart, and trees.

Ocean’s edge:


With arms outstretched and in a full on run, Carter met the water’s edge and simply kept going.  My soul soared.


For years, my parents treated us to a couple nights in cabins on the edge of the ocean and it is to this place we returned.  So many memories.


Sunset.  It is as though the sun turned liquid and dripped down the canvas of sky to overflow tidal pools.


I took well over a hundred pictures and I still can’t capture the essence of the beach, of how our boys embraced it, of how the wet firm sand under bare feet can keep you walking and walking with no destination.  How it empties your mind and fills your soul.


Lavender Festival:

We missed the Sequim lavender festival by a week but that did not stop us from popping into our favorite lavender farm, Fat Cat Farms, on our way back from the ocean.


Friends and Seattle:

We spend our last night in Washington with friends in the Seattle area.


The next day Husband and I acted tourists, riding the Great Wheel of Seattle (Ha!  Does anyone actually call it that?)



Then Husband and I went home leaving Cody and Carter with their grandma.

And for ten days we had no kids. 

By day we worked, Husband out of his home office and me in my classroom getting set up for the new school year. 


But by night we went out.  We dined in restaurants without kids menus (gasp!).  We dined in bars.  We simply drank in bars without dining.  (We discovered a bar that has the most delicious chocolate-peanut butter brownies, that I happen to know to pair well with a nice rich stout).   And all this was done no matter the day of the week.


Today the travelers have returned.  This morning I tidied up their room, made up their beds with freshly washed sheets, vacuumed the house, and cleaned their bathroom.  None of this they noticed nor did I expect them to, but it was my mother way of welcoming them home. 


I am back to being yelled for from across the house – “Momma!  Can I….(fill in the blank with most anything, really).”

Laundry is going, and there are crumbs on the dining room table. 

Back to reality.  And it is good. 

(Although I will really miss having brownies and beer for dinner with Husband).

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Passing More than Just Gas

While cleaning out Carter’s school backpack to make it usable as a carry-on bag for our trip to Washington, I came upon this:


In case you need a translation: I passed a note Lol – cute, maybe cat, face.

I laughed.  Then I asked him who passed him the note.  He told me it was some girl who sat next to him.  I wondered aloud why she gave him the note.

Carter paused and then looked at me with a half smile.  “Well momma” he signed, “it started because I farted.”

“What?!”  I was confused.  How was one passing related to the other kind of passing.

He proceeded to tell me that in the first note she passed him was a request for him to stop farting.

I was shocked.  Was he purposely farting loudly in class?  Was he the class farter?  I could see him doing this at home but not at school where he tends to be a bit more reserved.

He stressed to me that it was a quiet fart, an accidental one. 

I asked him what he did with the first note and he told me that he just passed it back to her.  It was then that this second note arrived.  Apparently she was proud of herself for succeeding in passing notes in class.

The things one finds out when cleaning out their child’s backpack. 

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Wait! Weight?

So I have a weight problem. 

Although in the grand scheme of things, gaining 5 pounds may not seem like much of a problem at all, it makes me cringe and try on fifteen outfits before settling on one that walks that fine line between frumpy and, well, almost not frumpy.  Ugh.

You see, I am forty-something and I have never had issues with my weight.  My body size has been pretty constant.  So constant in fact, that when we were packing to move from Washington to Arizona a few years ago and I came across one of my old prom dresses – I could still fit into it.

How do I know this?  Well, standing there in the garage surrounded by moving boxes, I flung off my shorts and top (and bra – well it was a strapless dress!) and slithered into it.  When Unsuspecting Husband came strolling around the corner and was confronted with the sight of me in a late 80’s peach and lace poof, I took his complete silence as evidence that he was knocked breathless by my beauty.  Bam!

This “weight problem”, I’ve noticed, is reoccurring and seasonal, rearing its ugly head about two weeks into summer break.  And it is more than just my muffin top (I wrote about that in 2012, blaming it on the migrating porn-star sized breasts I gained from breastfeeding which I tried unsuccessfully to eliminate in a flurry of home workouts). 

I have started referring to my muffin top as my “water waist”, blaming it on the extra water I drink in the summers here in Arizona.  (Never you mind the extra margaritas, poolside beers, larger more bacon centric breakfasts, lunches consisting of more than a half a sandwich and a piece of fruit that I shove down my throat during my short teacher lunch, and the more numerous dining out dinners that take place during summer break.  No, that daily extra glass of water is clearly to blame).  But as I said, it is more than just the muffin top.  It is the thighs and tuckus too. 

The cause of the problem is multifaceted.  It is not just that extra 8 ounces of H2O (and maybe, to a lesser extent, the other summer consumptions listed above), but also the antiquity of my summer wardrobe .  My shorts are all at least five years old with ridiculous sizes of 2’s and 4’s.  I also do not meet my step goal during the summer days.  I do not rove around a classroom all day but instead hang out with my boys and sit in front of my computer screen lesson planning for next year. 

How did I “solve” this problem?  Well, about halfway through writing this post, I had to stop and take Cody and Carter shopping for long pants and lightweight jackets.  (These will be needed for out upcoming trip to Washington.)  I despise clothes shopping, regardless of whether the clothes are for me or not.  There was a sale.  Some of the shorts and dresses were cute.  We had to walk past them in order to get to the boys section.

I may have accidently bought myself some new clothes.  I realize this does not solve my weight gain but it makes me feel good.  The clothes actually feel good on me and I feel good in them. 

So, I will continue to drink that extra glass of water and perhaps I will drink one less margarita and eat one less piece of bacon (Ha, yeah right!), knowing that when school starts up again I will easily surpass my step goal just by walking around the classroom, my calorie count will decrease dramatically, I will stop drinking that extra water, and things will get back to normal.

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Someday People

Some people display pretty rocks and shells in a cute dish in their bathroom.

We are not some people.  We are someday people.


These rocks and shells were lovingly collected and put in a Ziploc bag by the boys the last time they visited their Grandma – almost a year ago.



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