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

Hugs make the world go ’round October 3, 2012

Filed under: children,family,humor,Kendra,Max,parenting — mandyholbert @ 8:01 pm
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Well, maybe not this kind of hug.  I think more sincere hugs actually make the world go ’round.

The kids were arguing so badly in my back seat.  I yelled, threatened, swerved, and otherwise acted like a complete fool to try to get them to stop.  I find bickering children very distracting.

Then I had a moment of genius.  I remembered one of the most dreaded punishments inflicted on me as a child.  The old sit-on-the-couch-and-hug-each-other, used by my parents when Nickie and I annoyed them too badly by arguing.

I remember sitting on the couch with my arms wrapped around her and I was completely miserable.  There was probably no one on Earth I would have wanted to hug less than her.  Sitting there embracing my twerp of a sister who whined so much that it got us in trouble just like she always did made me want to do anything in the world to be able to get up and play – including getting along with her if necessary.

So, I made the kids hug each other.

I snapped a picture.


Look how unhappy they were.  It was perfect.

I made them stay like that long enough for them to get the point.

They got along very well for the rest of the evening.

Maybe we should implement this practice in the real world.  Especially during election season.  It might be really helpful for President Obama and Mitt Romney to sit on the couch and hug for a spell…

…at least it would make for much more uplifting commercials.


My son’s new label. I’m mad. June 16, 2012

I’m a little peeved.  I’ve tried to get over it, shake it off, but I can’t.  Not many things bother me this much.  Most of the time when I get mad about something, it’s short-lived.  But I just can’t get this off my mind.  I’m trying hard to keep myself in check – not to overreact – but it’s proving very difficult.

The pediatrician called my son fat.

Well, I guess she didn’t say fat, but in my mind, overweight is the same thing.

here’s the paperwork I have to give to the school to register my son for kindergarten. he’ll start school with a label.

She suggested that I should watch what he eats and make sure he exercises.  Make sure he exercises!!

My son who just beat his older sister in the one-mile mud run,

who’s number one!?

plays outside hours a day,

he spent this day catching frogs

loves camping, swimming, canoeing, climbing, building, running, riding his bicycle, working with his animals, jumping on the trampoline, playing American Ninja Warrior, and going on adventures….

hmm…I just don’t see it…

…is overweight.


I felt like telling the doctor all of this.  I felt like telling her she was wrong!  Max is healthy, strong, athletic, vibrant, and perfect just the way he is.  He eats well.  He exercises more than adequately.  He is active.  He is NOT FAT!!  I felt like arguing with her until she got the point!

But, the numbers don’t leave room for negotiation.  She calculated Max’s BMI, and the answer to the equation equaled fat kid.

he’s been big ever since he was born

I’m mad that I’m even sitting here defending my son against such a ridiculous claim.  This country is filled with obese people, we all know that.  And we all know what they look like.  And we all know what habits and lifestyles lead to it.  My son is not obese, overweight, or fat.

I will not change his diet, try to make him exercise more, or in any other way try to manipulate his weight.  And I’ll never tell him what the doctor said.

don’t mess with a mom about her kid!

Oh, that doctor!  She expected me to be defensive, so talking to her was impossible.  I was speaking perfectly calmly and matter-of-factly, but no matter what I said, she acted like she was talking me down.  It was so frustrating!

Then, to top it off, she said he’s obviously just a big kid.  “After all,” she looked at me and said, “you’re rather big, too.”

Wow, Doc.  Thanks a lot.  That really made things a lot better.  Yep.  Thanks.

here’s a good one of us lounging on the couch watching television while eating a tub of cheese balls. oh, wait. wrong picture. oh yeah, we were exercising in this one. oops.


Roxy the Wonder Dog March 2, 2012

Filed under: family,humor,parenting — mandyholbert @ 5:40 am
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One would think it only fair at least to have a well-behaved dog when blessed with a child that could star in his own comic strip and at age two already give Dennis the Menace a run for his money.  But, no.  I do not have a well-behaved dog.

Well, I used to think I did.

I had sent Kendra to sell cookie dough to the neighbors for her school fundraiser and I gazed out the window and smiled as I watched her walking home down the long picturesque driveway littered with fallen leaves on the beautiful autumn day that is today.  I was cheesing it pretty hard, sitting there thinking how perfect for my kids to be growing up in the country with their trusty dog always following them to watch over and protect them.  I thought of the many memories they would have of traipsing through the woods, shooting things with a sling shot, always followed by their best friend, the dog.  La, la, la, la, and fiddle-dee-dee, what a perfect (almost poetic) moment I was enjoying sitting there looking out my window letting my imagination run wild.

When Kendra got home, I met her at the door and greeted her and Roxy cheerfully.  Did you sell any cookie dough?  “Mom!”  she answered,  “I am so mad!  That dog will never learn.  She disappointed me so much!  She will never learn to stop following me!”  And with that, she burst into tears.

Well, this is certainly not what I had been imagining only moments before.  What’s wrong honey?  What did Roxy do?

Kendra finally managed to tell me in between sobs that when she knocked on our dear neighbor’s door, he opened it, and in ran Roxy, the filthy, stinky, muddy puppy that she is.  Kendra felt it was all her fault.  She was embarrassed and very upset.  I can only imagine what that dumb dog looked like running around my neighbor’s living room with Kendra standing there watching in horror.

I sat calming her telling her Roxy’s just a puppy and will naturally do wrong things; it’s not anyone’s fault, when Ronnie came barrelling in the back door, a teensy bit on the mad side.

“We’re getting rid of that dog!!  Get her locked up right now!  I mean right now!  That stupid dog has trash all over the yard!  She ate Johnny’s cigarettes (Johnny happens to be our kind neighbor who was giving up his Saturday to help Ronnie clear and burn the brush in our woods) and his water bottle!  We are getting rid of her!!”  I nonchalantly tried to ignore the veins pulsing out in his temples and the unusual red hue of his face.

I didn’t think it a good time to tell him why Kendra was crying.

I went outside, locked Roxy up, and cleaned up what remained of the cigarettes, my Crocs, our car-washing mitt, a two-liter bottle, some shredded paper plates, a turtle shell, and other miscellenous items in varying stages of destruction.

I’m sure Roxy was just having an off day.  After all, she’s normally sweet and generally laid back.  Today was no such day.  I don’t really think we’ll have to get rid of her – Ronnie was just a little angry when he said that.

I’m just thankful it was me, and not him, who was barefooted the other morning when she stepped in a fresh pile of dog mess IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DRIVEWAY!!