Bedtime stories for my daughter: Belly Button

My second child and favorite daughter graduated high school in May and is away at college.

The other night I asked her if she wanted me to read her a bedtime story. I was not shocked or dismayed when she declined my offer. I told her I would use my blog to write stories for her to read when she’s awake during vampire hours rather than sleeping.

Once upon a time, there were two little boys whose ages were three and one. They were living their best toddler lives when their mom suddenly disappeared. Where is momma!? They were distraught and confused. She hardly ever left them.

Their grandmother made multiple attempt to console them. Nothing seemed to work. They cried and whined until she finally had enough. She bathed them, gave them warm milk and put them to bed. (Side note, this was a black household back in the sixties so they probably got a spanking or at least were told to be quiet but in this post corporal punishment world, we will go with warm milk and a bath.)

After a few days, their mom came back home. The boys were so excited to see her. What they were to young to understand was, their mom went to the hospital to have another baby.

The mom removed the blankets that covered the newest edition to the family. The baby girl was introduced to her brothers.

The brothers looked upon their sister with amazement and curiosity. They inspected her from head to toe. The one year noticed something protruding from her belly button. What could it be? Being the curious fellow that he was, he pulled it off.

The curious brother was confused when the baby started crying. His mom was upset. But why? Momma ran out of the door with the baby. Momma!!! Momma! He was inconsolable.

He unknowingly pulled of his sisters umbilical cord causing his mom to rush his newly born sister back to the hospital. She survived the ordeal. This story became part of the family oral history. Now it’s yours to share.

I may be taking a leap here but I think this story was the inspiration for this Silly Song. Veggie Tales: Bellybutton

Night night Punkin…

When I was a little girl (1)

When I was a little girl I loved to read. I was always checking out books from the school library. Sometimes I read several books a week. I didn’t spend all of my time watching the few channels we had on tv. I spent my days and evenings exploring a variety of places and living different experiences along side the characters in the books.

Then summer came along and I no longer had access to a library.

My neighborhood didn’t have libraries or bookstores. We could buy books or magazines from Eckerd Drug store or Tom Thumb but the selection was limited and I didn’t have any spare change.

I looked for libraries in the yellow pages and could not find any within walking distance. Waking distance back then was a few miles, not across the street or around the block. In the end, I road a city bus and walked a mile or so to get to the closest library and check out as many books as I was allowed at one time.

As I grew up and moved to the suburbs, I realized that libraries could be within walking distance of your home. I took my children to reading time at the library and they participated in summer reading programs.

It has been proven that reading has a very positive effect on children and adults. Why don’t all neighborhoods have libraries within a certain mile radius? Why isn’t that a priority? If we invest now, we pay less later.

Happy Birthday to You

Dear Melody,

You were planted in my dreams before you became a reality. I loved the thought of you from the beginning.

Did I ever tell you that I always wanted a daughter? I wanted to experience the mother daughter bond. You are everything I hoped for. Although it would have been nice if you would have tolerated bows and tiaras.

I want you to know that I’m proud of you. I love who you have become as well as the thought of who you will be.

When you go to college in the fall I’m going to miss you. I’ll miss the moody mornings. I will miss you staying in your room until after five pm. I’ll miss seeing your developing coffee obsession. I’ll miss your quiet judgment as we sing karaoke. I’ll miss your laughter and quick wit. I will miss you bouncing and almost stumbling downstairs to tell me a tale of the latest happenings. I’ll miss our quiet evenings sitting together on the sofa.

Happy 18th Birthday to you!

Love, mom

Five Second Delay

I am a huge proponent of organized sports. I believe in the team work, losing and winning, developing skills, exercise and learning how to deal with people in general. All of the kids played a sport early on.

The daughter stopped after an unfortunate soccer season. For some reason she was hit in the head with a soccer ball every single game. I’m not exaggerating. Every game. The coach gave her an award at the end of the season for that accomplishment.

My youngest is a good athlete. He’s competitive. He’s coachable. He’s going to give his best.

He’s also fast.

Usually during baseball practice I would take the opportunity to walk around the complex or run errands. One day I arrived just in time to see the boys run from home base to the back fence. I also noticed my son still at the home plate while everyone else took off running. I asked him about it after practice.

The coach imposed a five second delay on him because he kept beating all the other boys during the race.

I could have played the race card here since my son was the only brown kid on the team. I could have gone to the coach and complained. But instead I told my son to beat them every single time. Show them that they can set you up to lose but they still won’t win. Show all the boys and coaches that you are a force to be reckoned with. And he did.

I don’t believe in leveling the playing field in competitive sports. I don’t believe in holding people back to make someone else feel better about themselves. Teach the others to try harder.

Nashville Carpet?

Apparently #nashvillecarpet is trending on Instagram. I just so happen to have a quick stop in Nashville on my way to NY and decided to give you a glimpse of what you’re missing.

While we are chatting, can we talk about the number of people who take up seats in the waiting area with bags and stuffed animals?

Ants and Coconut Oil

No, I’m not here to tell you consuming ants dipped in organic coconut oil will extend your life by 12 years. I am here to tell you the tale of how I discovered ants in my- unsealed but what I thought was a tightly closed- jar of coconut oil.

My youngest, Shawn, and I were cleaning out the pantry after seeing ants marching in a single file line into and out of my pantry. I battle ants every single summer. They vary in size but they always show up. Each year I try to find the least toxic way to discourage the ants from taking over my pantry.

As we pulled every item from the pantry and I sprayed a non-toxic concoction containing peppermint oil (insects supposedly hate peppermint). Remind me to tell you about the time I kept finding peppermint candies in random places around the kitchen because I mentioned the repelling nature of peppermint to insects to the kiddos. Never mind, that’s basically the story.

As I cleaned the higher shelves Shawn discovered something on the lower shelf. The majority of the ants were congregating around the jar of coconut oil. Upon further inspections, I found what must have been hundreds of dead ants inside the jar. At this point I didn’t see any reason to make the ants work harder so I removed the lid and let them have at it.

The ants are the reddish brown color you see.

For about seven days we watched as the ants marched to that jar. They must have told their friends, cousins and coworkers because the number of ants steadily increased. Not all of them made it out of the jar. I wonder if those that left kept their mission in the forefront of their minds while the others were overcome with glutton and decided to stay and engorge themselves with the oil which led to their demise.

Eventually the line of ants grew thinner. The corner of my pantry was less crowded. Finally! Then it ended all together. They must have killed the queen. We had been successful. We were ant free for a few weeks. When they returned, I put a bit of coconut oil on the path they used to get to the pantry. Yes, I tried sealing the hole but they got through. However, they stopped at the toothpick, ate and left. I’m happy to say they moved on. Next summer I will have a jar of non-organic off brand, not extra virgin, inexpensive coconut oil waiting on them.

I’m back

It’s been a while since I’ve posted but I’m here. I’m dusting off my blog.

Look for lots of random posts about any and everything. In the coming days I’ll share with you an accidental discovery on what to use to kill the ants in your house. I can’t wait to share with you my concerns about butter. I’ll also write some short stories.

I’ve missed writing so very much. I’ve been busy but also just putting it off. Now it’s time to get all of these stories out of my head and onto my blog.

Oh hey! Look for videos as I review products and whatever else. It should be fun. I’m going to let my 12 year old, aka Stud Muffin, edit my videos. That should interesting.

What have you been up to?