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

That’s all I need! And this remote control…and this lamp. That’s all I need! September 9, 2012

Remember that scene from The Jerk– the “That’s All I Need” scene?  Steven Martin is leaving his fancy house and his fancy life, and he doesn’t need to take anything with him, except an ashtray.  And a paddle-ball game.  And a remote control.  Then a lamp. A chair.  His dog?  Each time he added another item, he declared it was all he needed.

Cover of "The Jerk (26th Anniversary Edit...

Cover of The Jerk (26th Anniversary Edition)

Ronnie and I cleaned the garage yesterday.  It was a mess.  A big mess.  We did it, but he reminded me of Steven Martin the whole time, grasping on to junk like he somehow needed it.  I don’t even think he can explain why half of the stuff in there is even there at all.

Seems to me he could be dealing with some hoarding tendencies, and he of course is in denial, so I took the liberty of finding a diagnostic test and taking it on his behalf.  This will, naturally, be scientifically accurate and utterly indisputable.

0                  1                                    2                                       3                             4
Never  Rarely   Sometimes/Occasionally  Frequently/Often Very Often
1. How often do you avoid trying to discard possessions
because it is too stressful or time consuming?

We put off cleaning the garage for several months because of all the stuff.  We knew it was going to be an all-day ordeal, which it was.  3
2. How often do you feel compelled to acquire something
you see? e.g., when shopping or offered free things?

All I can say about this is that I found lots of merchandise still in the bag from the store that he bought for projects that he plans on getting to one day.  3
3. How often do you decide to keep things you do not
need and have little space for?

me – Ronnie, why do you have this kitchen sink faucet?

Ronnie – Because it’s a perfectly good faucet.

me – Then why did you replace it in the first place?

Ronnie – Because it’s a piece of junk.

me – Hmm…3
4. How frequently does clutter in your home prevent you
from inviting people to visit?

Our clutter problem is restricted to the garage, but we have had the strict rule for the past couple of months to have the garage door closed when people are over. 3
5. How often do you actually buy (or acquire for free) things
for which you have no immediate use or need?

see number 2; 3
6. To what extent does the clutter in your home prevent
you from using parts of your home for their intended
purpose? For example, cooking, using furniture, washing
dishes, cleaning, etc.

You mean to tell me that some people can actually park their cars in their garage!? 3
7. How often are you unable to discard a possession you
would like to get rid of?

me – Ronnie, what should I do with all of this stuff?  I don’t even know what it is!

Ronnie – Just throw it away.

me – Okay.

Ronnie – Wait!  Just let me look at everything before you throw it away. 3

I think it’s safe to say that he could have a proclivity towards hoarding.  Thank goodness he isn’t too far gone and we were able to haul a bunch of junk away yesterday.

Our garage is clean as can be!  He only kept what he needed.

“This gas can, this wrench, this watering can, this boat oar, and my dog.  That’s all I need!”

Disclaimer: This post is intended to be tongue-in-cheek.  Ronnie is not really a hoarder.  He is a very hard-working man who puts in long hours and understands that the little free time he does have is better spent with his family than separating the 42,000 different screws in the garage.  All four of us contributed to the mess in the garage, and all four of us cleaned it up.  But, he is a pack-rat, and I did enjoy teasing him about it when I found some of his odder stashes of junk.


Mommy is Sorry, Max July 30, 2012

Lakewood Camping Resort is like its own little city.  They have everything you could possibly need while on vacation – stores, restaurants, coffee shop, mail service, laundromat, and tons of fun things to do – pools, slides, sports, mini golf, boating, and, of course, the beach.  Once inside, you can get around by walking or riding a bicycle, but most people opt to rent a golf cart.  It makes lugging coolers and chairs to the beach much easier.  Plus, driving a golf cart around for a week is just plain fun.


2007_0801SouthCarolina0009 (Photo credit: j-rod89)

We rented one for the week.  The golf carts are electric, so they don’t go too fast, and the campground has the necessary rules governing the use of them, so overall, even though there are hundreds of them driving around, it’s pretty safe.

I guess that’s why I didn’t consider the possibility of someone getting hurt.  I should have learned my lesson when we went last year, and Ronnie managed to back into my shins not once, but twice.  I’m surprised my bruised shins didn’t make more of an impression on me, but this year, I had forgotten about accidents, and I wasn’t careful at all.

Max and Kendra on the golf cart waiting to ride from our campsite to the beach.

Max and Kendra were sitting on the back seat, and I backed the golf cart out of our campsite.  I halfway noticed as I looked over my shoulder to back up that Max was lying down instead of sitting properly, so I told him to straighten up.  I didn’t, however, wait for him to sit up as I instructed, and when I put the golf cart from reverse to forward, I threw him off.  He screamed and rolled on the pavement.

I jumped off and ran to him, looking around to see who all had noticed what a bad mom I was that morning.  I checked him out, and he seemed okay, but he wouldn’t stop wailing – I think he was more mad at me than anything else.  He was making the most of this opportunity to get back at me for throwing him off.  He really made quite the scene, so I told him to go back in the camper.

Even though I was embarrassed and mad at myself, when it finally sank in that I had thrown my five-year-old son off a moving vehicle onto hot asphalt while he was wearing only swimming trunks, I started feeling really, really bad.  I couldn’t shake it off.  I apologized to him so many times.  I asked him if he was mad.  I begged him to forgive me.  I told him it was an accident.  I just couldn’t shake it off all day long.

Finally, that evening, all four of us decided to go for a golf cart ride around the campground.  Max joked a few times as we drove around and told random people how his mom threw him off the golf cart.  Funny boy.  We were laughing and having a great time, really making up for my earlier incident of bad parenting.  We even played some music and sang together.  It was really fun.

All of a sudden, Ronnie, who had his feet propped up on the dash, hit the switch with his foot and the golf cart stopped in the middle of the road.  I panicked just a little and jerked to a start without checking on the kids who were sitting on the back seat…

…well, I thought they were both sitting.  Max was actually standing up, and when I started the golf cart – yep, you guessed it – I threw him off again.  Does road rash scar?  I sure hope not…

Scène from the Police Academy Stunt Show

Scène from the Police Academy Stunt Show (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Shopping with Max May 7, 2012

Filed under: children,family,gardening,humor,Max,parenting — mandyholbert @ 5:44 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Since we decided to add goats to our family mini-farm, we needed to go to Tractor Supply and Lowe’s to purchase a few supplies.  We’re picking up the goats next weekend, so the most important thing is to have a place to put them.

A day of shopping at these particular stores is not high on the kids’ list of fun things to do, so we usually try to make it at least a little bit fun for them.  At Tractor Supply, we let them each pick out one thing to buy.  Kendra picked a book about training and caring for pet rabbits.  A very sensible choice.

Max searched the store high and low.  He wanted a finch feeder for his stuffed animals.  I said no (that just didn’t make sense).  He wanted a hard hat.  I said no (it was too big for him).  He wanted a die-cast car.  I said no (it was outside of the price range).  Finally, he found a vibrating ball that we both agreed on, so we bought it.

At Lowe’s, we ran into some friends of ours so we stopped to talk for a while.  We were pretty close to the restrooms, so when the kids asked if they could go, we let them as long as they promised to stay together.

Several minutes later, a rather guilty looking Max came running back to us.

“Where is your sister?” I demanded.  “I told you two to stay together!”

We went to look for Kendra, and when she emerged from the restroom, she was indignant.

“What happened?” I asked as Max buried his head in my leg and wailed, “I’m sorry!”

Kendra was hot.  Max started fake crying.

“When I was using the bathroom, Max went in all the stalls and locked them and then crawled out.  I was telling him not to!  But he wouldn’t listen!  Then he left and I had to crawl under all the doors so I could unlock them!!”

We looked at Max.

“Why did you do that?”

He shrugged.

We thanked Kendra for undoing his naughtiness.  Then we went to the garden center to finish our shopping.


What’s for Dinner? March 19, 2012

Filed under: children,family,humor,parenting — mandyholbert @ 7:02 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Here’s another recycled incident from when the kids were a little younger…

My children are truly wonderful and well-behaved. They are clever, funny, and sweet. They constantly surprise me with things they know, say, and do. I am about as proud as a mother can be without positively bursting at the seams. I love them and my family is my world.
But, let’s be honest. Who wants to read a mother’s gushings about her little angels? I mean, really!
So, with that in mind (you know, the fact that they really are good kids), I just have to get this off my chest.
I picked Kendra up from her second day of kindergarten today then went and picked up Maxwell. Things were going well, so I thought we’d stop by Ingles on the way home to pick up a few things for dinner and tomorrow’s lunch.
When I pulled in the parking lot and saw the front “mothers with children” parking slot vacant, I thought it was going to be a fantastic trip to the market.

I got out of the car and went to the passenger’s side to get the kids.
Those of you who know Ingles, know that it is a rare occurance for that valued front space to be open, and that it would only be open if the parking lot were relatively empty. Such was the case today. Parking spaces galore.
That didn’t stop an old bat driving a classy oversized luxury car from wanting the slot adjacent to mine, even though I was clearly standing there with the doors open trying to put my daughter’s sneakers on her feet.
She inched her way into the slot, eyeballing me the whole time, so I courteously closed the door enough for her to park.
The lady could clearly see what I was doing. Last time I checked, it only takes a matter of minutes to put shoes on a child. She obviously didn’t have a minute because she threw her car in park and immediately tried to open her door though my door was blocking the way.
I was courteous once. This was too much. I gathered my kids, and quickly zapped the impatient lady with my laser-vision-I-reserve-for-the-most-annoying-of-individuals and walked my children into the store.
Little did I know, my problems would not end there.
I got a buggy to put my purchases in and Max immediately jumped on the prime spot on the front so he wouldn’t have to walk through the store. Kendra (who I feel compelled to say is very overtired both physically and emotionally from starting school this week), instantly broke down crying and whining/screaming that it was not fair for Max to get to ride. Her feet hurt. Sneakers make her feet hot. Blah, blah, blah, wah, wah, wah. You get the idea.
Well, in the process of trying to stop her from shattering the glass windows in Ingles with her shrill, piercing screams, I guess I may have maneuvered that buggy a bit too enthusiatically and, well, I threw my son off.
He landed on the floor and of course screamed louder than his older sister was.
Once again, those of you who know my son, know his unique talent of being able to vomit on command. Since Kendra’s screams were still louder than his, he pulled out the big guns and barfed all over me and himself.
I took those two little buggers to the restroom, cleaned them up, chewed them out a bit, then gave up on the whole grocery shopping endeavor for the night.
When we were leaving the store, Max shirtless and both of them afriad to cry anymore, I had to step over an ever-so-small spot of vomit in the deli department (and that, incidentally, is why you should never eat off the floor in public places). I sincerely hoped that my new dear friend from the parking lot wouldn’t be so unfortunate as to step in it.
We got in the car, with no incident this time, and left.
I still don’t know what we are going to eat for dinner.


How to Stop a Stranger’s Baby’s Tantrum March 16, 2012

Filed under: children,family,humor,parenting — mandyholbert @ 5:21 am
Tags: , , , , ,

We were in Target the other day, and there was a baby crying, more like wailing, at the top of his lungs. He was buckled into the seat in his mother’s shopping cart, and she was totally ignoring his screams.

We were simply trying to do some shopping.

It was the kind of crying that could be heard aisles and departments away. The kind that made you wonder what’s wrong with that kid? I hope he’s not hurt.

I have kids. I’m not insensitive to the challenges children present when taking them out in public. Let’s see, Max has embarrassed me in both good ways and bad. I remember distinctly a few episodes.

There was the time I had him strapped in the buggy at the grocery store. We were in the cereal aisle. I turned my head while pushing the cart, and he stretched his arm out, held it rigid, and swept all the boxes of cereal off the shelf. He has thrown up in the bakery department (of course he has). He has flipped a shopping cart over on himself (that one made me feel like a very inadequate mother). And he, at two years old, sang Beyonce’s Single Ladies at the top of his lungs the whole time we were in Target. There were, of course, the usual tantrums every parents deals with at one time or another as well.

Anyways, the kid in Target would. not. stop. crying.

We had to walk right past his cart. His mother had her back turned looking for a birthday card. Really, I couldn’t imagine having the patience to read greeting cards while my kid was screaming his head off. She must have had nerves of steel.

We walked past the cart, and the kid abruptly stopped crying. The tantrum that had been going on for at least ten minutes ended as soon as that tot and I made eye contact.

“Huh, he stopped crying,” I said to Ronnie, with a mischievous and rather triumphant grin on my face.

“What did you do?”

“Oh, I just helped that mother out. He’s not crying any more. Isn’t that nice of me? I just have a way with kids.” I was laughing really hard.

“Mandy, what did you do?”

“I just looked at him. Like this.” I contorted my face into one of the ugliest expressions I could muster. That kid stopped crying because he was shocked. How dare some strange lady make an ugly face instead of avoiding him or coddling him?

Ronnie shook his head in disbelief. Well, not really. I think he has finally come to expect such things of me. Now everyone in the store could shop in peace.

And, hey, at least it wasn’t our kid making the scene this time!