A glimpse into our family – the good, the bad, and, of course, the funny

Balloons and Dog Treats March 30, 2012

Filed under: children,family,humor,Max,parenting,Silly Situations — mandyholbert @ 6:29 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Ahhhh…Friday evening. The end of the work week. The beginning of the weekend. Time to relax and have fun. Kick back. Chill.

We thought we’d go out for pizza, a regular thing for us on Friday nights. It’s easy and the kids like it. Especially since the restaurant gives out balloons on Fridays. All the kids have to do to get a balloon of their choice is to behave and eat their dinner. Should be an easy task since dinner is pizza and fries and the atmosphere is relaxed and family oriented.

Well, let’s just say that Max was having a little trouble behaving tonight. Well, maybe more than a little trouble. He wiggled, threw things on the floor, and was otherwise unruly. At one point, he got up from hs chair to do a bizarre dance of some sort in which he ran in place while flailing his arms and shaking his head back and forth (of course with his tongue out). Sparing you the more embarrassing details of his (shall I say?) uncharacteristic behavior, let’s just say that he forfeited his balloon quite early in the meal. Not that we didn’t give him ample opportunity to redeem himself – I can’t even begin to count the number of times we said something to the effect of “Max, if you’ll sit there and be a good boy now, you can still get a balloon.” No such luck.

I don’t know about your kids, but mine are usually in cohorts with each other. If one is bad, they are both bad. If one is grumpy, they are both grumpy. You get the idea. But, there, at the other end of the table, sat Kendra eating her dinner with impeccable manners and perfect behavior. You see, she had her eye on a yellow balloon from the time we walked in the restaurant, and every breath she took, she took with that yellow balloon in mind. She couldn’t have been any better.

So, what were we to do? We had to let Kendra get her yellow balloon, and we certainly couldn’t go back on our word and let Max get one too. So, our little princess pranced out of the restaurant with her prize, and our little devil left empty-handed.

Everything was fine until we got to the truck and Max realized we were really leaving. Then, he had a slight meltdown. He kept saying, “Mom I a good boy! Dad I a good boy! I want a balloon! Go back Mom! I want a balloon!!”

That hurt. No matter how naughty he was, it still hurt to see him sad. Especially with Kendra sitting there enjoying her yellow balloon a little more than she would have if Max would have gotten one too.

Well, the crying finally subsided. Things were calm. This was good. Then, Kendra said she needed to spit out her bubblegum.

So, naturally, what did I do? What did wondermom do? Rolled down the window, of course. And, yep, out went the yellow balloon. I think time froze as Kendra’s face went from shocked to horrified to accusing to devastated in a matter of seconds. Time froze, that is, until her earth-shattering sobs started. That was not one of my finer moments as a mother.

Well, Ronnie stepped up and calmed the situation by suggesting a peace-offering for the next day. So things were good again. And we were finally home. Time to spend a little quality time with the pets before bed. I thought it would be fun to give the pets a treat, so Max gave one to Roxy and Kendra gave some to Sparkles.

I’ll never really know what goes on in that head of my son’s, but when I went to look for him after he fed Roxy, I found him in the garage squatting on the floor next to the box of dog treats.

“I bite one Mom. I eat a treat.”

One smell of his breath confirmed it. The boy ate a dog treat.

Okay, so obviously it was time to go in and get cleaned up and brush teeth and stuff. I apologized to Kendra for the sixty-seventh time and romped on the floor for a while with the kids. We decided it was time for bed when Kendra tried to flip off the couch as Max did a cannonball off the top of the furniture…

Not exactly the relaxing evening I had in mind. And just think. It’s only Friday. We still have the whole weekend ahead of us…


Thursday Reflections March 29, 2012

Filed under: family,food — mandyholbert @ 9:07 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

My middle sister who lives next door to me and owns a dog named Zeke – I’ll call her Vickie to maintain her anonymity – told me this was going to be a hard week *sigh* *mean face* *sigh* (she was kind of mad at me).  She was mad because we decided to move the dogs’ invisible fence Monday night, which she thought meant she would spend the whole week training Zeke on the new boundary.

Well, it’s Thursday, and it’s been a pretty darn good week.  The dogs are trained.  That allowed me to move the rabbits out to their new home in the garden without fear of the dogs eating them.  That in turn allowed me to get our new six baby chickens out of my kitchen and into the garage.  And I did all of this without our cat killing anyone involved!

I discovered a nest full of eggs in the bird house in the garden.  The blueberry bushes and grape vines have new growth.  The hostas have popped up and filled out.  The honeysuckle is blooming.  And I don’t have chickens in my kitchen.

It’s spring, and I can’t wait to get out there and get my hands dirty.  To grow vegetables and prune the flowers.  This week has me so looking forward to the next few months.  Months that will be spent outside with my family and our little farm we seem to have started.

I’m sure there’ll be stories about these chickens.  They pretty much freak me out.  But, until then, I’ll enjoy watching them like I enjoy watching our two little bunnies hop around.  Yep, it’s been a pretty good week.


Hello, my name is Mandy, and I’m a carb-oholic

Filed under: food,humor — mandyholbert @ 6:58 am
Tags: , , , , ,

It’s quite fashionable now to shun carbohydrates, so I thought I’d join the crowd and give up carbs for a week.  I guess I didn’t realize how addicted to them I really am.

Breakfast is okay.  I can eat an egg and some turkey bacon and not feel too deprived that I can’t put both (and a slice of cheese) on a warm and toasty English muffin.

Lunch is another story.  My usual lunch is a sandwich or a wrap.  Can’t do that.  I settled on a salad topped with delicious vegetables and fruits and proteins.  Pretty good.

Now, dinner…Macaroni and cheese sounds good.  Or maybe pizza.  A chicken sandwich.  Ooo…I know – a quesadilla.  Oatmeal.  Cereal.  Spaghetti.  Any pasta.  Anything bread-ish.  Something warm and comforting and yeasty.  Oh, dear.  This is not an easy.  I settled on (another) salad with chicken.

Wow, and I’m only on day two.

Hmmm…What’s the point of this again?


Waiter, I’ll have the French toast with a side of earplugs. March 27, 2012

Filed under: family,humor,parenting — mandyholbert @ 6:37 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

When a restaurant is promoting the most popular kids’ movie currently showing in theaters, it is safe to say it is a family restaurant.  Right?  So, when we go on a Sunday morning for a breakfast with our kids, we can expect a family atmosphere.

This didn’t happen last Sunday.

The table behind us had two girls and a guy who had apparently just worked a horrendous night at some other eatery.  They had choice words as they compared customers and co-workers.

The f-word is not okay in IHOP, is it?

I looked at the surrounding tables, all of which had kids seated at them.  Surely, I was not the only one who could hear the constant barrage of bad words coming from the guy and girls.  They weren’t even trying to be quiet.  Or considerate.

I thought about saying something.  I thought about nicely turning around and simply asking them to tone down the language in front of the kids.  But I didn’t.  And neither did anyone else.

To be perfectly honest, I was disappointed in myself and all the other parents sitting there.  It ruined my French toast and my conversation with my little family as I just could not manage to block the voices out behind me.  I should have said something.  It was IHOP, for crying out loud!

That’s why, when I was presented with a similar situation only days later, it was more than I could stand.

I was really trying to be on good behavior that day because Kendra had a friend along.  I was trying really hard.

When the girls went to the restroom, and Ronnie took Max, I was alone at the table.  Sitting next to us were two men chatting it up, rather loudly.  And pervertedly.  The sexual references and vulgarities were just out there for everyone to hear.

I’m sorry, I don’t mind a conversation about pirate booty, but my four-year-old son does not need to hear about a butt pirate in a bar-b-que restaurant.

At one point, one of the guys even told his friend to cool it a little and quiet down.  The goon just laughed it off and continued.  Thankfully, when their food arrived, their ribs occupied them enough to shut them up for a while.

I was just itching to say something.  I knew we had a friend along.  And I knew Ronnie wouldn’t want me to start something that he would likely have to finish.

But, I couldn’t help myself.

When we got up to leave, the guys got up too.  And the loudmouth stretched as he got up from the table, clearly showing his fly completely down and open.

I walked by him (thinking this was what people call karma – the perfect opportunity for me to embarrass him, thus getting him back for ruining my fried-green tomato BLT) and said (very loudly), “Your. Fly. Is. Down.”

I walked away, so satisfied with myself.

I didn’t understand why Ronnie was so mad when we got to the truck.  And we couldn’t talk because, you know, the friend was along.  So we rode home in silence.  He was seething.

Finally, after an eternal ride home with my squirming in my seat and shooting him puppy-dog eyes and nudging him apologetically, we got the chance to talk.

“What’s the big deal?  I actually helped him!  Imagine how embarrassed he would he would have been if he walked around like that all night!”

My husband looked at me.  “You didn’t hear what he said to you after that?”

Ummm…obviously not.

“What?” I asked, a little sheepishly.

“He said, ‘Oh, you noticed!’ I wanted to punch him in the face!”  That blood vessel in his forehead was still sticking out a little bit.

Well, that sure explained the angry ride home.

Next time, when the conversation isn’t kid friendly, I think we’ll just move tables.  I think we’ll all enjoy our meals more that way.


Versatile Blogger Award – Aw, Shucks! March 26, 2012

Filed under: humor — mandyholbert @ 9:13 pm
Tags: , ,

Yesterday marked one month since I started blogging.  I don’t even know if I’m doing well or not!  I don’t know how many hits is considered successful.  I don’t know about blogging awards.  I don’t know so many things!

Well, you know what they say: “Ignorance is bliss.”  Maybe I’m doing okay; maybe I’m not.  But it doesn’t matter.  I’m having so much fun!

The other day, ihatehiccups nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award.  Wow!  I still get excited to think that other real bloggers actually read my stuff, much less actually like it!  Thanks so much!

I had to look up this award, and I found the info here: Versatile Blogger Award.

As I’m already mentioned, I’m very new to this, and I know most of the blogs that I follow have been around for a while and have strong followings.  I’m going to nominate my favorites anyway!  You can never have too many awards!

Check these out:

1.  Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride

2.  Domesticated Dilettante

3.  Play 101

4.  Raising a Realist

5.  Free Range Kids

6.  Ziggy Short Crust

7.  Doodlemum

8.  Eggton

9.  Kathy’s Thoughts

10.  I’m the Boss of Me

11.  The Life and Times of Nathan Badley

12.  All That Makes You

Wow!  If you knew how long that just took me, you would know how much of an amateur I really am.  I think I need a nap now.

So, I’ll keep at this blogging thing.  I love it!  Maybe one day I’ll realize that in the grand scheme of things, I’m not doing all that great.  But I most likely won’t care.

Thanks for reading everyone!


Where Are the Plastic Hot Dog Buns? March 23, 2012

Filed under: children,family,parenting — mandyholbert @ 6:34 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I saw the saddest thing in the toy store last night.

Yes, in case you can’t tell, that is a set of plastic roasting sticks with plastic marshmallows and plastic hot dogs. How would you go about roasting these plastic campfire delicacies? Easy, with this, of course:

Yep. A plastic campfire. And where would you get the wood to burn in your plastic campfire? Oh, they’ve covered that, too. See?

What fun your children will have roasting their plastic marshmallows and plastic hot dogs over a plastic campfire for which they chopped plastic wood with a plastic ax!

Seriously?  By the time you purchase all these toys (at $19.99 each), you very  easily could have had a real campfire with your child for a fraction of the price.  And I daresay, a real campfire would be a much more memorable and engaging experience.

Really, how long can Junior sit in his bedroom holding a plastic frank on a stick over a fake fire pretending to roast it?  And how will he know when it’s done?  And when it’s done, how will he go about eating it?

I understand camping may be impractical for some families, but there is no excuse not to let your child enjoy the pure joy of a good old-fashioned campfire.  There’s just nothing like the smell of wood burning, the smoke saturating your clothes and hair, the kids gathering more sticks, the memorizing sight of the dancing flames and burning embers, and the sizzle of the hot dog drippings hitting the fire as the frank plumps and sweats on the end of the perfect roasting stick.

And don’t even get me started on S’mores!

The plastic toys didn’t only feel lazy and cheap to me.  They represent a child being robbed of an intrinsic part of growing up.  Robbed of sitting around the fire, telling stories, laughing, and bonding with family in a way that just can’t be done on the couch.  There’s just something about sitting under the stars and wondering what animals are just out of sight.  There’s something about biting into that S’more and all the gooey marshmallow oozing all over your face and fingers and your not caring because it’s dark outside anyway.

Kids need campfires.

You just can’t put them in a box and put a price on them.


Confession: I Have Lied

Filed under: children,Confessions,family,parenting,pets — mandyholbert @ 5:12 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Today was a sad day in my daughter’s life.  Today Kendra lost her dear pet Marshmallows.

When Ronnie and I went into Kendra’s bedroom and sat on her bed with her, we didn’t know what to expect her reaction to be.  She immediately burst into tears upon hearing the news.  This cry was different from her usual brands of tears – this one was heartbroken, devastated, mournful.  She seemed so young to me at that moment, yet strangely so grown-up too.  While she was crying over the loss of her fluffy pet, she was also experiencing loss for the first time in her life.  Our hearts hurt for her.

Max came in and upon hearing the news looked at his sister and with genuine sincerity offered to share his rabbit with her.  It was sweet.  He recognized the true pain his sister was experiencing.  He wanted to help.  He decided to go out with his daddy and help with the burial preparations.

Kendra and I made a gravestone.  I asked her what she wanted to put on it, and she burst into tears again.  “I just loved her so much,” she told me.  So, that’s what we decided she should write – “I love you Marshmallows.”

When we went outside for the burial, Kendra wanted to put something special in the grave.  She decided on a picture of herself.  She laid the picture so tenderly on the shoebox that contained her special pet.  Then Ronnie covered the grave with dirt.

Kendra ran in the house, still visibly upset.  She went to her room and got paper and a marker then went back outside to the grave.  She proceeded to write a beautiful letter to Marshmallows, a heartfelt eulogy in the words of a six-year-old.  She folded the letter and put it under the gravestone.  She needed to say goodbye in her own way.

My baby lost her first friend today, but in doing so, she showed us what a strong, sensitive, sweet young lady she is.

And that is why, when we found Max’s rabbit dead a few days later, I told Kendra that I accidentally left the rabbit hutch open and he got away.