A Doodle Conversation

Today a Netflx movie arrived in the mail. As always when the movie is not princess or pony oriented, I was forced to defend the arrival. This was made worse by the fact that the movie in question is Predators. Jonathan put it in the queue a while back and we’d forgotten about until the e-mail telling us it was coming. We like the Predator franchise (although we haven’t seen AVP:Requiem for several reasons) but try explaining it to a 3 year old. It went a little something like this:

mackerdoodle: What is it mama?

me: a grown up movie about aliens.

mackerdoodle: aliens don’t scare me. I can watch it wif you. Aliens aren’t scary. What to the aliens do?

me: they hunt.

mackerdoodle: i watch hunting shows wif daddy. I could watch it wif you. what do they hunt?

me (pushing it a little and knowing it) People.

There is a pause here as the mackerdoodle contemplates the implications of this.

mackerdoodle: if I could jump into that movie with daddy we would shoot those aliens DEAD!

cheesedoodle: uh-uh (shaking his head and pointing to himself.)

me: you want to shoot the aliens dead?

cheesedoodle gives big smile and big nod and points out the window.

mackerdoodle: there aren’t aliens in St. Louis, cheesedoodle. Just in movies and outer space.

cheesedoodle: uh-uh. (continues to point outside.)

me: you want to shoot the aliens dead outside?

cheesedoodle grinning and nodding and pointing to himself

me: with daddy.

cheesedoodle: uh-uh (points back to himself)

me: all by yourself?

cheesedoodle smiles happily and nods.

mackerdoodle: that’s just crazy. You need Daddy to help. You’re too little. I’m a big girl, and I would need Daddy to help me shoot the aliens dead.  (pause for thought) Daddy’s the best hunter EVER!

cheesedoodle: uh-uh (pointing to himself)

mackerdoodle to me: Now he’s just not telling the troof.

If I wrote a sit-com it would be panned as having unbelievable characters.


Different Responses to Sneezles and Wheezles

I don’t normally post on Sundays because I’m generally do church things and I wouldn’t really trade that for anything, but today I’ve got two kids with some sort of allergy to some sort of something that has taken to the air in St. Louis over the last few days.

They each have matching symptoms: runny, watery eyes, clear runny noses, sneezes and barky coughs.

But the reactions. Oh such a difference in my doodles’ personalities!

When the mackerdoodle wakes up coughing during the night, it is a full Shakespearean tragedy. Every cough is followed by wailing normally associated with middle-eastern funerals, or banshees. She says, “Nononononono! I don’t like it. I don’t like it.” then coughs again and begins the cycle over.

When the cheesedoodle wakes up coughing he sits straight up in the bed, and coughs with enthusiasm and gusto, flailing his limbs and shaking his head. Then he lies down again and goes back to sleep.

Sleep itself is a martial art to my son, which is unfortunate because when he’s feeling sick he wants to sleep wrapped around me with his head on my chin or cheek, or neck. When he’s sick, I wake up feeling like a victim of police brutality.

The mackerdoodle, on the other hand, doesn’t want to be touched when she’s sick. I don’t know when this happened, but if I ask if she wants to snuggle she says, “NOnonononono! I don’t like it. I don’t like it.”

And the noses.

You may already know that I have a bit of an aversion to things coming out of noses, so the last day has been a challenge for me. When the mackerdoodle sneezes significantly (and I think you know what I mean by that) or just has a runny moment, she says, “MAMA! My NOSE! It’s YUCKY!” and I say, “Go get some toilet paper and bring it to me.” We look after things and deposit the used paper in the closest trash.

In the same circumstance, the cheesedoodle trots purposefully to the nearest roll of toilet paper. He pulls off roughly 2 feet of paper and proceeds to smear his entire face enthusiastically, then takes the soggy paper, deposits it in the toilet and flushes as many times as he can get away with it before I can get myself from wherever I am to the bathroom. I then take a damp cloth and clean up the carnage on his face, much to his disgust and another round of martial arts.

So that’s what my day is looking like. Even sick days are an adventure when you’re the mama of the doodles.

In Which I Learn a Lesson

This is one of my children’s favorite toys:

It’s also a hit whenever guests come and play.  There’s enough room for one preschooler to lie down and read a book while her brother screams at her, or for two children to sit side by side.  Guess which happens most often in our house.  🙂

I bought it for $5 at a consignment sale before we left Georgia, and it had been well loved before it found its way into our play room, meaning those “flowers” in the “window box” that lie down instead of standing tall.  Another example would be

the large hole in the side where I can only surmise some sort of doorbell once existed.

Last week my mackerdoodle was playing with a set of lacing beads her Grandma and Grandpa had purchased for her third birthday.   Much to my surprise, she announced that she didn’t have enough for a necklace.  There should have been more than seventy large wooden beads in that kit which would be a gracious plenty for a three year old neck.  She had a total of 12 beads.

Where had the beads gone?

I had my answer moments later as the cheesedoodle wandered over to his sister, selected a bead from her collection, carried it over to the little house and placed it in the hole.  When it landed it did not rattle.  It made the “thud” of wood landing on more wood.  A lot of wood.

Why didn’t I see that one coming?  Really, what is wrong with my Mom brain?!?

I sat down to empty the large cavity of the wall accessible only through that one hole.  After pulling out almost all of the beads, I also discovered

Yes.  A basket full of dominoes (a lot more than pictured here, because the cheesedoodle kept taking them out of the basket and carrying them away.  Probably to somewhere with a hole), some more beads, a plastic knife, a plastic spoon and a toothbrush.  A toothbrush.  Seriously.

More than an hour after my bead discovery, I had cleared out everything but two dominoes.

And learned my lesson.

I give the cheesedoodle a week before he figures out he can peel off the duct tape.

In which I answer why my children’s toys smell like spray painted pickles and coffee.

For those of you who have never had the blessing of a Chick-Fil-A sandwich, let me tell you two things:  1.  YOU ARE MISSING OUT!  and 2.  every chicken sandwich at Chick-Fil-A has three pickles, unless specifically requested without (and to that, I ask, “WHY?  WHY WOULD YOU MESS WITH A GOOD THING?”)   You can imagine how many pickles a restaurant like the free standing unit at which Jonathan works, which sells upward of three to four thousand sandwiches in a day, consumes.  They literally buy them in five gallon pails.

Just before I left for Canada, I expressed a desire for large plastic containers in which to store toys.  When I got home there were five white pickle pails waiting for me.  Now remember, these are pails that had pickles and brine on the inside, and were stored in a restaurant that fries chicken in peanut oil 16 hours a day, so you can imagine what the inside smelled like, and the outside looked like.   I put them in my guest shower with some hot soapy water and a lot of elbow grease, and I scrubbed.  Last night I left them upside down on the porch to dry and this morning I spray painted them.  (Yes, I used spray paint for plastic.)

I quickly realized that spray paint was not the material for this purpose, but my front living room was ankle deep in small animals and little people of varying sizes and merchandising licenses (in fact, Anakin Skywalker was resting his head on Dora’s lap, the last I spotted them) and I was motivated to rectify the situation.  Once the paint (uneven and patchy as it was) had dried, I brought the pails in, labeled them with sticky foam letters, and filled one with animals, one with people and one with accessories (Dora’s ladder, the fences for the zoo, the beds and chairs for the tiny doll house . . . you get the idea.)

I was so proud.  I felt so accomplished.

Until the mackerdoodle, holding the fisher price zoo in one hand, looked at the pickle bucket, looked at me and said, “Mama, where the polar bear go?”

On to plan B.

I emptied the pickle buckets.  (It pained me to do so, but organization only works if it works.  If you know what I mean.)  I sorted the items into any specific groups that the mackerdoodle likes to keep together – the zoo animals, Dora and her entourage and the family and accessories for the little doll house – and put everything that didn’t fit into those categories back into the pickle buckets.  I then took a picture of each of the larger home for these three sets.  I printed each picture (YAY for digital cameras and color printers) and taped them over the labels of three Folgers Ground Coffee canisters.

With the mackerdoodle’s help this time, we transferred the toys into the matching canister.  Sadly this left Anakin in a pickle bucket and Dora in a coffee tin, but I don’t think he was a good influence on her anyway, so it’s probably for the best.

Once the new organizational system was established, the mackerdoodle looked at me, a lizard in one hand and a small doll in the other.  She said “mmmmmmm.  smells like pickle.”

Five Things Nana Will Miss When We Go Home, and Five Things She Won’t

Well, we’re at the halfway mark in our stay here in Cahnah, and I know that my mom is remembering why people celebrate empty nests.  Here are some things she’s NOT going to miss when we leave:

  1. Diapers in the trash.  Enough said, I think.
  2. Stepping in any combination of banana, carrot, cheerios and baby biscuit after every meal.
  3. Books and toys all over the floor and Franklin on the TV
  4. Having plans for every day of the week.
  5. Having to work those plans around a ninth month old’s nap times.

But here are some things I suspect she may miss when we go:

  1. “Hey Nana!” every morning first thing.
  2. Playing “peek-a-boo” around the table leg with the cheesedoodle.
  3. The giggles when the children play together
  4. Afternoon reading time
  5. Twinkle little star the mackerdoodle remix


While staying with my mom, the kids and I are sharing a room.  It is just so much easier for me to have them within reach and they seem to adjust better to new situations when we work it that way.  One of my favorite things right now is to creep into the room at night and see, in the light cast through the cracked open door, my two children sprawled out (they’re both bed hogs) across a great big bed, side by side, fast asleep.  Often their hands or feet are touching and when I move them over to create space for a mama sized lump, they wriggle in their sleep until they feel that contact again.

Sometimes a visit like this serves to remind me how far away we live from cousins and grandparents and aunts and uncles, but every night I’m reminded that even far from family, the Lord has given them each other.  I have often praised the Lord that He has given me children.  Seeing them together on this trip has made me praise the Lord that He has given them siblings.

Psalm 113

1 Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD!

2Blessed be the name of the LORD
from this time forth and forevermore!
3From the rising of the sun to its setting,
the name of the LORD is to be praised!

4The LORD is high above all nations,
and his glory above the heavens!
5Who is like the LORD our God,
who is seated on high,
6who looks far down
on the heavens and the earth?
7He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
8to make them sit with princes,
with the princes of his people.
9He gives the barren woman a home,
making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the LORD!