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

It’s never too early for Max September 12, 2012

Filed under: children,family,humor,Max,parenting — mandyholbert @ 5:52 am
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Sometimes I get a nice warm bath ready for one of the kids before I wake them for school.  Yesterday, it was Max’s turn to be gathered from a warm cozy bed and be put straight into a soothing bubble bath.   Those early morning moments before they’re really awake are so sweet and special.  And who wouldn’t enjoy being pampered like that?  What a great way to start the day.

Three rubber ducks in foam bath

Three rubber ducks in foam bath (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was in the bathroom getting ready for work when Max stood up in the tub.

“Mommy, will you wash my back for me?” he sweetly asked in a still sleepy voice.

Will I wash his back?  Of course!  He’s starting to need me less and less as he’s becoming a big boy, a kindergarten boy, so I happily took the washcloth and lovingly started scrubbing his back.

He looked over his shoulder and smiled.  It was early.  I didn’t interpret the smile as anything but sweet.

“Mommy, will you just do my bum, too, since it’s right there?” he asked.

I smiled.  “Of course I will, honey.”

His timing was impeccable.  As soon as I had his little heinie covered with a sudsy washcloth, he blasted an exaggerated wet-cheeks fart and immediately started cackling.

I should have known better.  But, like I said, it was early.  Oh, dear.

Well, he woke me up, anyway.  I let him finish his bum himself.

somehow I don’t believe he’s only the 10th funniest boy in his class like he claims…


Maxilangelo Holbert, the next great name in art July 17, 2012

Filed under: children,family,humor,Max — mandyholbert @ 5:52 pm
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Everyone thinks her kid is the best – the smartest, the cutest, the most talented, etc.  Well, obviously, everyone’s kid is not the best – that’s not even logical.  Most kids are average (hence the word average), and there’s nothing wrong with that.  If everyone were exceptional, exceptional would become average, and that would throw everything out of whack.  So, most children are average, despite what their parents may believe, and a select few are exceptional.

Of course, my son is one of those exceptional few, as I will demonstrate by sharing his most recent artistic masterpiece.  Before I unveil the evidence of his artistic genius, however, I would like to elaborate on exactly how this particular work highlights a level of achievement far beyond his years.

Most artists take years to perfect replicating the human form.  And even then, it takes a mature artistic soul to take on a nude image.  My five-year-old prodigy not only doesn’t hesitate to tackle challenging subjects, but he also captures this subject matter with startling mastery.  He is clearly an exceptional artist.

Please ponder on the following image, and while considering the beauty of the work, remember it was produced by a mere five-year-old boy:

English: Michelangelo's David (original statue...

English: Michelangelo’s David (original statue) Deutsch: David von Michelangelo (Original aus der “Accademia” in Florenz) Nederlands: David van Michelangelo (het originele beeld) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oops!  Wrong one.  Here’s Maxwell’s equally impressive rendering of the male body:

Max handed this to us last night and said, “Here’s a random picture of me without underwear.” Very strange kid.

See?  I told you he was an exceptional child.  Don’t you wish your kid had art skills like that?


The People under the Stairs June 6, 2012

Filed under: children,Confessions,family,humor — mandyholbert @ 6:42 am
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I have an aunt who is younger than I am.  What can I say?  My mom had me when she was young.  She was the oldest child in her family, and her mother had her young, too.  My grandma just wasn’t finished having children even though she was already a grandmother.  So, I have an aunt, Sandy, who is younger than my middle sister Nickie.

The three of us grew up like sisters.  And you know what that means.  Yep.  The occasional argument.  Three is an odd number, after all, and having an odd number easily leads to problems with children (that, among many other reasons, is why Ronnie and I are stopping at two kids).  It was usually Nickie and Sandy against me or Nickie and me against Sandy.  I guess, looking back, Nickie must have been the smart one out of the crowd.  I never really realized that before now.  Hmm…

Anyway, I have to confess that when it was Nickie and me against Sandy, we were often sometimes occasionally a little cruel in our schemes.  I remember one time, a seemingly innocent game of hide-and-go-seek was actually the front for one of our most brilliant premeditated pranks.

We had a storage closet under the stairs where my dad kept his tools and things.  The knob on the door was broken and could only open from the outside.  On the inside, the knob would turn and turn and never open the door.  Theoretically, if a person were to be in the closet and the door were to be closed from the outside, that person would be locked in the closet until someone from the outside opened the door.  Can you see where this is headed?

When Sandy came over to play, Nickie suggested hide-and-go-seek and even volunteered to be “it” first.  I told Sandy I had the perfect spot, and I led her to the closet under the stairs.  We turned the light off and sat quietly while we listened to Nickie trying to find us.  Finally, Nickie gave up, and Sandy and I decided to leave the closet.

I let her try the knob.  Of course it didn’t work.  I was very shocked and tried it myself.   Then, I yelled for Nickie to let us out.  She jiggled the knob on the outside to make Sandy think it wouldn’t open that way either.  Sandy started panicking.

I remember being very dramatic about this, though I can’t exactly remember if I actually yelled through the door for Nickie to call 911. I know I yelled things about being stuck forever and we had no food or water and we were never going to get out.  Nickie played her part perfectly.  We must have been very convincing to poor little seven-year-old Sandy.

I say we were convincing because she started crying.  Nickie yelled at me to use some of Dad’s tools, so I grabbed a screwdriver and pretended to finagle the knob.  When I turned around, Sandy had grabbed the hammer, and she had it raised and ready to break the door down.  I yelled as she started swinging, and Nickie swiftly opened the door thus saving us from having to explain to my parents why Sandy would have beat the closet door with a hammer.

Sandy didn’t think this was funny.  And I was a little afraid of her still holding that hammer with that manic look in her eyes.  I guess it would have served us right if she broke that door down.

Like I said, we grew up just like sisters.


Stranger’s Baby’s Tantrum – the Prequel April 17, 2012

Filed under: family,humor,parenting,Silly Situations,Uncategorized — mandyholbert @ 8:22 pm
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I’ve alluded to the fact that posting that ugly face of myself for everyone to see is a little outside my comfort zone.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m silly – I’m just a little particular about who I normally let see that side of me.  After all, I’m a professional.  I have an image to maintain.

That’s why it took me very many practices to capture just the right expression that I would use to illustrate my post How to Stop a Stranger’s Baby’s Tantrum.  I had to find one that was hideous enough to shock a baby yet somehow not utterly humiliating for people who have never seen that side of me to see.

Yes, it took many attempts.

Little did I know, my husband was secretly filming those attempts.

Thanks, honey.

While I’m at it, I may as well show you the ones that didn’t make the cut.

Charming, I know.

I really don’t know why I’m posting this…


I’m really starting to feel a little bad about scaring that baby…


Why I am Late for Work – Excuse Number 103 April 2, 2012

Filed under: family,humor,Max,parenting,pets — mandyholbert @ 6:16 am
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Maybe I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a fear of frogs. Not just a casual “ew, gross, a slimy frog” kind of fear. It’s more like a my-heart-is-pounding-get-that-thing-away-from-me-before-I-have-a-heart-attack kind of fear. I know it’s irrational. I can’t help it. My friends used to torment me with it in high school. I remember several times frogs being placed on the hood of my Civic so I could not get in my car therefore could not drive anywhere.
Anyways, it’s dumb, I know, but like I said, I can’t help it. I’ve tried really hard not to let my fear influence how my kids feel about frogs. Kendra (the little angel that she is) understands the repugnance of them and hates them almost as much as I do. Max, on the other hand, catches them and plays with them.
The only benefit in this for me is that when I’m gardening and one jumps out at me (or just sits there, like they normally do, even though I’m screaming and dancing around like a fool) I can call him to rescue me.
This happened three times this weekend, resulting in his capturing three frogs, which he decided to keep as pets. (For those of you who care, I managed not to wet my pants even though I was pretty much on the brink of insanity when the third one tried to attack me.) I tried to encourage him in his amphibian-loving, so I had Ronnie get our aquarium from the attic so we could build a proper habitat for Max’s new pets.
And that’s what we did. We lined the bottom of the tank with mulch and mud and sand and leaves and sticks and rocks and grass. We put a bowl of water in it. We caught a nice variety of bugs to serve as prey for the frogs to hunt. Then, Max put his three new friends in their new home, and Ronnie and I went back to gardening.
When I checked on the frogs several hours later, one of them was rather conspicuously missing.
I asked Max about it, and he grinned and shrugged and altogether avoided answering my inquiries about the whereabouts of the frog in question.
At dinner, I asked again. After brushing me off several times, Max finally gave in and answered me: “I put the frog somewhere where you work a lot, so when you pick something up, it will jump out at you.”
Ronnie almost spewed his drink, and Kendra clutched me in fear.
“Max!! Where did you put that frog!?” I demanded.
“Somewhere where you work a lot,” he repeated.
“I KNOW THAT! Where is it?” I asked again. Ronnie was not helping. He had tears running down his beat red face at this point.
“Mom, I’m just kidding. April Fools!” Max said.
“Okay…very funny. So, where exactly is the frog then?”
“In your car,” he stated, very matter-of-factly.
Ronnie was doubled-over and about to fall out of the booth. I should say here that he would have deserved falling flat on his face – his idea of an April Fool’s joke was to pretend to pick up one of those frogs and chase me with it to put it down the back of my shirt.  Kendra gripped me even tighter as she thought about the ride to school in the morning.
“Maxwell Trenton! Did you really put that frog in my car?”
He ignored me.
I changed strategies. “I know you wouldn’t do that to your mommy. You love me, and you know I’m afraid of frogs. You didn’t really do that, did you, Max?”
He still ignored me.
“Max. Seriously. Where’s the frog?”
“Stop ignoring me.”
“I’m not getting in the car in the morning,” Kendra announced.
“Maxwell, answer me,” I begged.
“Ah, I was just kidding, Mom. April Fools,” he said, with an unsettling straight face.
“Hilarious,” I said, “so where is the frog?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess it just got away.”
And that is why I will be late for work Monday morning. That frog is somewhere. It’s either somewhere where I work a lot – the laundry hamper and kitchen sink immediately come to mind. Or, it’s in my car. I’ll look there as a last resort. First, I’m going to turn this house upside-down looking for that little beast.
Thanks, Max.


And Kendra February 25, 2012

Filed under: humor,Kendra,parenting — mandyholbert @ 6:54 am
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This one gives a pretty good picture of Kendra and of how the kids typically interact.

Jack and Jill

I don’t know why Kendra wanted to dress up Sunday afternoon to go outside and play, but she did.  She had on a frilly skirt with a matching shirt, dangly earrings, bracelets almost up to her elbows, make-up, and a funky hairstyle.  She looked adorably funky, which is her usual style of choice.  She was playing in the backyard with Max, and Ronnie and I were out front.  Everything seemed to be going well.  Until…

Kendra came running around front looking exactly like a wet cat, a fancy wet cat.  Max trailed closely behind her with a look of concern on his face.  Kendra was soaked – from the top of her pretty hairstyle all the way down to her tiered skirt.

“What happened?” I asked, though I already had a pretty good idea in my mind after noticing Max’s conspicuously dry clothing.

“Max just poured a whole cup of water on me!” she yelled quite indignantly.  Max remained uncharacteristically silent.

“Why did he do that?” I asked.

“I don’t know!  I asked him to get me a drink of water and he poured it all over me!”  Boy, was she mad.

“Why would he do that?  What exactly did you say to him?”  For some reason, I had a hunch that there had to be more to the story.

Kendra answered a little sheepishly.  “I asked him to fetch me a pail of water.”

I looked at Max, still standing silently with a faux-angelic look on his face.

“Max, what does ‘fetch a pail of water’ mean?”

He shrugged his shoulders and them made a motion of throwing a bucket of water all over Kendra.

I had to laugh.  He may not have known exactly what “fetch a pail of water” meant, but something tells me he knew it didn’t mean to throw water all over his dolled-up sister.

I gently suggested to Kendra that perhaps she should be a little less poetic when she requests things from her brother.  They are too funny!


Introducing Max

Filed under: humor,Max,parenting — mandyholbert @ 1:55 am
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I thought I’d repost a few old stories about the kids for anyone who hasn’t properly met them yet.  Here is one of my favorite Max incidents:

I am still breathing heavy and my heart is still pounding from my latest adventure with my son.  If my hands stop shaking enough, I’ll be able to write this down before I forget the intense emotion I just experienced.  Warning: this story is not for the faint of heart.
It all started this morning when Ronnie caught our cat Sparkles (don’t let the name fool you) with a baby rabbit pinned to the ground.  Ronnie rescued the bunny from the claws of our feline huntress and brought it to show to Max and me.  Well, being the loving, caring mother that I am, I didn’t want Kendra to miss out on the baby just because she was at school, so I put it in a plastic storage bin with some leaves and carrots and set it in the laundry room.  What a cute little thing it was looking at us with those big, round eyes.  Adorable.
Well, we all went on about our business, and mine happened to include leaving the house for about an hour.  I thought that innocent little babe would be fine just resting after the near-death experience with Sparkles, so I left it in the laundry room.  Imagine my horror when I returned home only to find the rabbit was gone!  That little beast was loose in my house!  It could have peed or pooped or nibbled on anything!
The first thing Max did was check on the cake I had cooling on a rack.  “Mom!  The bunny ate your cake!!”  I ran over to look, and of course it wasn’t true – he just couldn’t resist the chance to tease me.  I started frantically looking through the house, scared to death that when I put my face on the floor to check under the furniture, the little monster would pounce at me and bite my nose.  I actually had thoughts in my head of myself running through the house, arms flailing, with a baby rabbit latched on to the end of my nose.  I told Max to help me look and to call me if he found it.  “MOM!!” he promptly yelled.  “Did you find it already??”  I gushed – very relieved.  “No,” he chuckled.  UGH!!
I honestly considered for a moment who I should call to help me.  Ronnie was at the dentist and probably wouldn’t share my opinion that this was an emergency.  The fire department probably wouldn’t either.  My dad came last year and saved me when there was a snake in my yard…Nope.  A BR does not compare to a snake.  This was a mission I would have to accomplish with just myself and my highly amused two-year-old.
Well, I finally spotted the critter under my bed, so I closed the closet and bathroom doors and sat Max on a stool in my bedroom door to guard the only exit while I ran outside to get some heavy-duty commercial-grade cow-hide work gloves.  Then, once I had donned my protective gear, I entered the BR (that’s Baby Rabbit, of course) Zone.  I told Max to scare him out so I could catch him, and that resulted in one of the most comical scenes I have ever played a part in.
Let me just say, I don’t really like animals that much (in case you couldn’t tell), but I try hard not to show it around my kids because I don’t want to influence their feelings towards animals.  I failed today.  I screamed my head off and actually ran away from a baby rabbit at one point – in my own bedroom at that.  Max was screaming.  I was shrieking.  We were both laughing hysterically, and the poor rabbit was so scared that it was literally trying to jump through the walls.
My mind, in the midst of the chaos, thought about the time when I was a little girl that a lizard got into our house and my mom sucked it up with the vacuum cleaner hose.  I thought about the time a tree frog got into the house and my mom screamed that it was on my head (it wasn’t).  I thought about a good friend of mine who had a snake loose in her walls somewhere, and how a BR paled in comparison. I thought about how stupid I was acting and how ashamed I would be for anyone to see me running and screaming like I had a Tasmanian devil in my bedroom instead of a traumatized infant bunny.
None of it helped.  Max and I laughed and screamed and yelled until the rabbit apparently was just exhausted.  I cornered it, picked it up (thus, the reason for the gloves), and put it back in the storage bin for Kendra to see.  This time, though, I put a screen on the top to prevent further escapes.
Max is now in his bed for his afternoon nap.  And here I sit.  Rather embarrassed.  Feeling silly.  And wondering if that nappy little creature really did pee in my house somewhere.
We’re taking the kids to the zoo tomorrow.  I may need to consider some medication before that trip.