Friday, September 28, 2012

Write Right Now

While my mom claims that I've always been a writer, citing childhood tall tales and storytelling at slumber parties, I still tentatively call myself a writer.

"What do you do?"

"Me?  Oh, I'm a mom.  I get to stay at home with my kids, which I love.  And, uh ... I write."

I almost apologize for that addition to my job title.  Mom and, er, mumble, writer, mumble, mumble.  But in finding my feet over the past two years while blogging, I have discovered that I am indeed a writer and a storyteller and that people enjoy the tales I tell.  (Insert surprised and astonished face here.)

While blogging has been the kiddie pool in which I have splashed and played, I have begun to feel that maybe it is time to be more intentional about writing and to actually jump into the deep end with a  commitment to a larger project.  (Insert wide eyes and trembling chin here.)

Life is busy and I'm not quite certain how it will all come together, but I do know that I will never take the leap if I don't make the commitment to be intentional about my writing.  And so, I have decided to set aside the month of October and participate in a 31 Day Challenge to write a novella.  (Insert quaking and nail biting here.)

I wrote the opening scene a few months ago and the story has continued to marinate and ruminate in my head.  Little bits of dialogue or snippets of scenery descriptions tip-toeing throughout my day and heart-felt insights into my characters catching me by surprise.  It's time to watch the story come together and see it through to the end.

I'm off to write right now.  (Insert tentative smile and hopeful thumbs-up here.)


Linking up with The Red Dress Club.  This week's prompt:  300 words to share writing goals.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Time-Traveling Smell

A few weeks ago I finally broke down and mopped my kitchen floor.  I had put it off for quite some time citing that drippy, summer popsicles and juicy, slurp-worthy peaches made mopping the floor a moot point.  But soon it became obvious that spot-cleaning wasn't doing the job and the patch beneath our overly generous water dispenser in the fridge was noticeably sparkly and clean.  Hence the need to mop.

I pulled out my bucket and rummaged under the kitchen sink for my bottle of lemon-scented floor cleaner.  As hot water poured into the mop bucket, I unscrewed the cap of the floor cleaner and I was instantaneously transported back to my childhood.

Suddenly I am nine years old standing in the locker room at the Ouray Hot Springs Pool, shivering from head to toe as I fumble with my locker.  I stand on the cold concrete floor in front of row upon row of metal cubicles, dripping in spite of my towel haphazardly draped across my shoulders.  My fingers and toes are wrinkly and puckered and my arms and legs are covered in goosebumps.  A puddle is forming at my feet, water running down my legs from my soggy Speedo.  I hear the clang of other locker doors slamming shut, the giggle of fellow swimmers and the steady shhhshing of the showers.

And I smell the lemon-scented cleaner the pool staff uses to sterilize the floors of the locker room.  Pungent, powerfully strong and lemony-clean.  Apparently the same cleaner I use on my kitchen floor.

It's astonishing how one little whiff can wash away 28 years and send me back to a pool filled with swim team memories.  Complete with goosebumps.

My sissy and I ... in our pre-swim team years.
I used to be taller than my sister.

#1 - Describe a smell that brings back memories.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


My sweet Lydia has become quite the conversationalist.  She loves to chat, sitting at the table with her cute, dimpled chin in her pudgy little hand, sharing with me about all the bests and leasts of her day.  And as if that isn't all adorable enough, she sprinkles her conversations with all sorts of garbly-gook.

She has a wide vocabulary of almost-right words.  Words that are close to what she means, but not quite.  Here are a few that come to mind:

We have all had the sniffles for the past several weeks.  Not a cold that really slows you down, but an annoyingly drippy nose that keeps us close to the kleenex box.  Lydia frequently runs to the kitchen, grabs a tissue and declares, "My nose is coming out!"

Lydia is slowly fazing out of napping in the afternoon.  Sometimes she falls asleep, but usually she lays and reads in her bed and then gets up and plays quietly.  (No problem here ... I still get my mommy-time!)  A few days ago I asked her if she had slept to which she replied, "Yes.  I close my eyes and I open my eyes and I close my eyes and I open my eyes."  Ah-ha.  Kinda like blinking slowly.  And, no, that's not really sleeping.

My baby girl is infatuated with Shaun the Sheep.  Or, "Saun da Seep" as she likes to call him.  She has one episode in particular that she loves where the sheep sell all of the farmer's belongings in a yard sale.  "Everything must go" ... and all of it went.  Unfortunately, it took poor Lydia about three minutes of constant repeating, "Seep sellet, seep sellet, seep sellet" for me to understand what she wanted to watch.

And then yesterday, Lydia had her second ever dentist appointment.  Her first visit was a teary and sad affair and so she was a little anxious upon our arrival at the office.  She summoned up her courage and bravely climbed into the moving chair alongside Ashley and Aaron.  At one point, the hygienist was dabbing her eyes with a tissue and Liddy was wearing her "I'm trying to be brave, but my chin won't quit quivering" face.  I let the hygienist comfort her and before long her checkup was finished and she proudly strutted over to me with her new toothbrush and bag of goodies.  I told how proud I was of her and how brave she was to which she responded, "I didn't cry, but my eyes drooled a little bit."  Oh.  I hate it when that happens.

Someday she'll have all the right words ... until then, I'll enjoy deciphering her Liddy-isms.

a self-portrait

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Blue Angels

This past weekend was the Grand Junction air show.  It all started Thursday and Friday when the planes began practicing their acrobatic flights.  We had several opportunities to enjoy watching the jets each afternoon looping and spiraling all over the valley.

On our return trip from Montrose on Sunday, we decided to head over toward Brett's work which is located just south of the airport.  The Blue Angels were scheduled to fly about 3:30 and while we didn't want to go into the actual air show, we were figured that we could see them just fine from there.  After parking the van, we trudged up the bank of the irrigation canal and laid out our picnic blanket there in the midst of several other folks with the same idea.  And then we proceeded to wait.

I have to say that this was the most curious episode with my kids ever.  The girls were in their leotards and everybody was in the dirt.  They picked at rocks, shuffled clumps of dried mud and ground the silt with their hands, feet and sometimes hinnies.  Brett and I gave up asking them not to get dirty or dusty, we were just glad that they were not whining or moaning to loudly.  They were impatient and grumbly, but we knew that the wait would pay off.  Several times Brett and I reiterated, "You will be impressed by the planes and your patience will be worth it."  To which they would mumble and moan.

And then the Blue Angels took off and they started "wowing" and "zowing"!  It was an incredible show - loud, exciting and awe-inspiring.  They clapped and cheered as the planes flew over us in tight formation.  And I marveled again at close their wing tips were.  I can't even ride on a bike that close to anybody else!

As anticipated, the Blue Angels were the "bests" of each of their days and the dusty wait was forgotten.

This wasn't the first time we'd seen the Blue Angels in action ...

Prior to moving to the house we currently live in, we had lived closer to the airport and consequently, we had the opportunity to see up close the acrobatics of the Blue Angel jets.  I remember vividly sitting on our front porch with little Aaron and Norah as they tried to point at the jets and keep their ears covered with their pudgy little hands at the same time.

A few years passed and the weekend for the air show rolled around again.  We had since moved across town and I figured we wouldn't see much from our new neighborhood.  One particular afternoon the Blue Angels were once again practicing their maneuvers and we could see the loops and lines of the jet streams in the blue sky as the pilots performed their acrobatics, but it was difficult to see the actual planes.  Ashley and I were sitting out in the front lawn trying to catch sight of the jets as they shot overhead and Ashley was asking questions about the mysterious roaring she was hearing.

Drawing from my non-military expertise, I tried to describe the jets and how they would fly side-by-side in formation, making loops and spirals in the air.  She sucked her thumb and nodded, but she still did not have the context for what I was describing for her.  To her three-year old mind, a plane was a big thing that people rode on to get to Grandma's house.

And then suddenly it was all perfectly clear for her.

We felt the rumbling first, a persistent vibration in the concrete step we were perched on.  Then the roar grew and suddenly right over our culdesac flew a jet!  He was so low we could have waved to him and seen him wave back.  Time seemed to freeze as we watched him fly by.  All Ashley and I could do was sit their with our jaws slack staring up at the belly of the plane as he cruised over.  Then we yelled and cheered and clapped our hands ... for our own personal air show!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Parking Panache

My husband has a special ability, a gift that was passed down from his father, I think.

We call it, "The Kellum Parking Gene."

Without fail, no matter how busy or full a parking lot might be, Brett will undoubtedly find a space right by the front door.  We might be headed to Target on the Saturday afternoon before school starts and on the second pass through the parking aisles, he will come up on a spot that just opened up.  For him.  We might be needing to make a quick stop at Wal-Mart and while other cars are circling and circumnavigating the parking lot, Brett zips into the spot at the front that just became available.  For him.

This happens with such regularity that my mom and sister have been known to comment on his parking panache.  Countless times as we ladies have been out shopping together, we have mentioned how much closer we would have parked if Brett were along.  He's just that dependable.

Several weeks ago, the two big girls and I were headed to Kohl's for some shopping.  It was a Sunday afternoon and the store was busy.  Even as we pulled into the parking lot, we could see that half of town had showed up to take advantage of the 20% off sale.  I started my typical parking lot meandering, driving up and down the aisles looking for an available space.  A few times the girls hollered out that we had just missed someone pulling out of a space or they groaned as we arrived too late to a recently available and then unavailable spot.  Eventually, I resigned myself to parking in the boonies and headed to the far end of the lot.  As we pulled into the parking space, Ashley quipped from the back, "Too bad we don't have Dad's parking spirit in the car with us.  Now we have to walk."

I chuckled, but at the same time I was struck by the spiritual lesson "parked" in the midst of that comment.  In reality, Brett does not have the spiritual gift of parking.  He just has terrific timing and a whole lotta luck.

But as Christians, we do have the joy and privilege of having God's Holy Spirit with us every minute of every day.  One of my favorite names in the Bible for Jesus is Emmanuel, "God with us."  We can settle into His presence and enjoy His comfort, guidance and counsel on a moment by moment basis no matter where we are or what we are doing.

He promises to be with us ... whether we're working or playing.  Or searching for a parking space.

Happy birthday to Brett ... I love you.  And not just for your parking gene!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Get a Clue

Maggie added cream to her mug and slowly stirred the caramel-colored coffee.   She put down the spoon and absently began to twist one unruly curl around her finger.  She twiddled with her pencil, bouncing the eraser off the table top.  Her mind obviously elsewhere.

"Hmmm.  Do the 49ers play at Candlestick Park?"


She filled each square, carefully writing in capital letters and went back to her stirring her coffee.

She yawned and stretched, a cool breeze drifted through the patio screen door.  Maggie sighed, settled back into her chair and kicked off her slippers.  She propped her chin on her hand and rested her elbow on the table.

Three Down - Library classification system.

She tapped her pencil on her chin and counted the available blocks.  Carefully she printed, "D-E-W-E-Y".

"I think I need more coffee," she said with a laugh.  "Apparently my brain's still asleep."

Maggie blew on her mug and took a sip, the perfect mixture of coffee and cream.  She picked up the bagel on her plate and took a bite.  Licking cream cheese off her fingertips, she picked up her pencil again and tapped it against her chin.

"Eight down is, 'One of six original Clue characters.'  Seven letters, ends in 'T'."

"I'd say, Scarlet.  Did you play that game as a kid?  My brother was ruthless.  Are you finished with the business section?"

Maggie passed the newspaper to her husband.  "Can I warm up your coffee, Love?"


Linking up with The Red Dress Club.  This week's prompt:  250 words honoring the game of Clue - three of which have to be candlestick, library and scarlet.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

What Are You Waiting For?

Be intentional ... pray, write, submit.  Repeat.


#1 - Six-word Memoir

Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Weeda Mae

Raw Christian

Ten minutes to share a funny story ... here goes!

Our baby's name is Lydia Rachel.  So why is it that she also answers to Weeda Mae?  That's a good question.

One day, back when she was just a wee one, the kids and I were running errands around town.  Poor Lydia was beyond done and had resorted to whimpers and wails from the middle of the van.  Our third born was strapped into her car seat next to Lydia and in her sweet two-year old bigness, she was attempting to console and comfort her baby sister.

"It's okay Weeda Mae.  It's okay," she sang sweetly.  She shhhed and patted her little sissy and repeated her little mantra.

I hated to interrupt her loving response to Lydia's distress, but I felt it was important that she was clear about everybody's name.

"Sweetie, you are such a big sister.  But, your middle name is Mae.  Ashley Mae.  Lydia's middle name is Rachel.  Her name is Lydia Rachel."

Silence from the back ... except for Lydia's persistent crying ... and then:

"It's okay, Weeda Mae Wachow, it's okay."

I guess that's what you get when give your baby a name with r's and l's ... two letters your other kiddo can't pronounce.  We eventually taught Ashley how to say her sissy's name, but we didn't have to teach her how to love her sissy.  She's always had that down pat.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

small things {glue guns}

small things #71 ... glue guns

I love my glue gun.  My rusty, trusty, trigger-happy, turquoise glue gun.

This morning I blew away a pile of odds and ends in need of some fixing ...

Lydia's poor, dismembered pencil-topper monkey - Ka-pow!

Norah's cutie-patootie magnet face - Poom!

Ashley's dusty foam frame (complete with cobwebs!) - Blam!

Three out of the four wings on my decrepit dragonfly napkin ring - 

The unintentional floppy parts of Aaron's wannabe Teva sandals - 
Pow! and Phuwp!

Ma and her glue gun ... the Fixin'est Gun in the West!

Glue guns ... my crafty way of keeping my house together.  
One splootch at a time.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Filthy 5K

This past Saturday I ran my first ever 5k and it was filthy!  But I encountered several other adjectives along the trail ...

Astonishing ~ I was amazed at the obstacles I was able to tackle.  From scrambling over a 10-foot pile of jumbled-up tractor tires to scaling a stack of three ginormous hay bales to sliding down the hatchback of a car I had just shimmied over, I was astonished at myself as I reached the other side.

Encouraging ~ Whether it was the camaraderie of fellow runners, the "atta girl's" from my brother, the cheers from the race course attendants or the enthusiasm of my family as I slogged through the final mud bog, I was buoyed by the generous encouragement.

Nauseating ~ I suffered an intense episode of "nervous nelly-belly" for about an hour prior to the 9 o'clock start.  Too many unknowns and wavering self-confidence kept me pacing and chewing on my lip.  Then as I shuffled up to the finish line, muddy, tired and spent, my nausea returned ... this time as a result of exhaustion.  Gratefully, a little water and a little more walking settled down my stomach and then I could enjoy my finish.

Parched ~  The trail was rutted and rough across the stretch of desert.  Dry and dusty hills to trot down and dry and dusty hills to climb back up.  While we did tromp through several muddy streams, I was never so grateful for my first glimpse of the water station.  As I wobbled my way across the log bridges, I kept my balance by focusing on those precious cups of water.  Then as we headed down the final stretch toward the finish, trudging along the dusty path, I was motivated by the knowledge that a bottle of cold water awaited my parched throat!

Challenging ~ I wasn't sure what to anticipate and so I could only focus on one stretch of trail and one challenging obstacle at a time.  That was good for me as I would probably have been overwhelmed by the big picture, while I could tackle one hurdle at a time.  My goal was to simply finish with a smile on my face and I think I was successful because I managed to handle every tree trunk, every section of fence, every concrete culvert, every muddy quagmire and every thought of "you can't do this" with determination.  And a prayer for Jesus to help me up, over and through!

Empowering ~ I felt a few inches taller at the end of the race and not just because of the amount of mud I'd accumulated on my shoes!  There is something incredible about accomplishing something that you never thought you would ever do.  Ever.  And it's even more incredible when you realize you'd do it again!

Pre-Race Hugs 

Waiting for the Start ... with a Penguin

Final Stretch

Mud Bog Finish

We Survived ... and We're Still Smiling!

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Turquoise Umbrella

Ella leaned against the sink, scrubbing glued-on scrambled eggs from plastic plates.  It was two o'clock in the afternoon and the fact that she was just now tackling the morning dishes gives you an idea of the day she'd had.  Frustration fueled her scouring.

Over the gurgle of the running water, Ella thought she heard a knock.  She turned off the faucet and paused to listen.  Silence.  Grabbing two more eggy plates, she flicked the stream of hot water on and went back to work.  Knock, knock.  There it was again.

Ella turned off the water, listening.  Nothing except the gurgling of the rain gutters.  She looked over the back fence and watched the rain streaming from the ceiling of grey clouds.  "To have a few moments outside to enjoy this rain," she thought.  She eyed the slimy dishes and the crusted pan and sighed.  

Then she heard it again.  A faint knocking sound.  She grabbed a towel and tripped over a jumble of toys on her way to the front door.

"Who's there?"

A turquoise umbrella floated in mid-air and bumped against her screen door.  Perplexed, Ella looked toward the street wondering to whom this mysterious umbrella might belong.  She saw no one and nervously dried her hands.  She rocked on her feet a moment before deciding to investigate.

As she pushed open the screen door, the umbrella floated back a few feet and then stopped, bobbing under the covered porch.  Was this a trick?  A joke?  Where were the wires?  And the hidden camera?  Ella smiled, just in case, and reached out toward the wooden handle of the umbrella.  She half expected it to fly away, but it didn't.  In fact, the umbrella, seeming to sense her hesitancy, wafted toward her, slipping into her trembling hand.  

Immediately, Ella felt the heels of her slippers raise off the porch step.  Feeling just her toes on the ground, she gasped and let go of the umbrella.  She stepped back clumsily and reached for the doorjamb.  The turquoise umbrella bobbed, but stayed under the eaves of the porch.  Ella worried her lip and considered going back in the house, until she spotted something on the handle - a phrase etched into the wooden grip.  She took a deep breath and reached one hand toward the umbrella while squeezing the doorjamb with her other hand.

She pulled the umbrella toward her and read the carved letters:

A Heavenly Perspective.

Her heart skipped a beat as she loosened her grip on the doorjamb and grasped the turquoise umbrella.  She felt utterly weightless as she glided toward the street.  The falling rain cascaded around her, but she was protected under the canopy.  

She spotted several other colorful umbrellas hovering around nearby houses.  A yellow one drifted near the door of her neighbor.  Ella laughed at the look of surprise on the other young mother's face.  She waved as she ascended over the maple tree, soaring toward a patch of blue sky.


To moms who ache to fly away ... and who hunger for the encouraging reminder that mothering matters.

Linking up with The Red Dress Club.  This week's prompt:  500 words inspired by a photograph of a sea of umbrellas.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

small things {noises}

small things #70 ... noises

I recently read The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Phillip Sendker and I don't think my ears will ever be the same.  

Besides being a powerful love story and an epic tale of loyalty, Sendker vividly paints for us the lives of his characters with beautiful storytelling using all of our senses, but speaking boldly to our ears.

As his main character, Tin Win, is struck deaf at a young age, he learns to discover his world again through the use of his hands and feet, but mainly his ears.  And Sendker leads us on a journey of discovering our own world again in the sounds that our ears capture in our own lives.

In the midst of this novel, I found myself pausing and hearing my morning and afternoons with fresh ears.  And marveling at the abundance of squeaks, taps and ticks in my own little world.

I decided to sit quietly for ten minutes and take note of what I heard.  

... the tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock of the clock overhead; marking time,
... the clicking of Gimli's nails on the tile and the jingle-jangle of the tags on his collar,
... crickets chirruping in the warm air; rhythmic and repetitive,
... a large truck rumbling by on the parkway; maybe in need of a muffler,
... a steady stream of cars driving by; a bubbling stream of traffic,
... the sliding of gears and chimes as the clock prepares to mark the hour,
... two bells as the clock strikes two o'clock; bing-bong, bing-bong,
... the tick and click of the couch as I lean back and prop up my feet on the ottoman,
... the bump and bang from Rosie, the fluffy white dog, on the neighbors back deck; nosing around for crumbs,
... hisssssing from the dishwasher as water runs, accompanied by the quiet grumble of the motor,
... tweets and warbles from an unseen sparrow,
... the tick and bong-bong of our second clock chiming an new hour,
... faint murmurs from the swamp cooler; crisp air blowing down the stairs,
... the whine and click-clack of the Rosie dog slipping through the doggy door,
... another loud engine revving on the road; an oversized truck or an oversized motor,
... low and distant roar of a jet overhead,
... the chip-cheep-chirp of birds chatting outside,
... the faint yip-yapping of a dog somewhere in the neighborhood.

Apparently silence is not silent.

Of course, this two o'clock hour is missing the rumble and tumble of my kids, the slamming and bamming of doors and the "Hey" and "Hi" choruses of many voices.  This time of the day is without the whining and "that's mine-ing", the raucous giggles and noisy wiggles and the thumps and bumps of cartwheels and missed stairs.  And as much as I love the precious quietness of my afternoons ... I'll be glad for the stomps and whomps of feet and backpacks, the clinks and clanks of snack-time and the steady hubbub that is the heartbeat of our home.

Noises ... the pulsing, pounding, pittering and pattering pandemonium of our lives.  Perfect.


#2 - Listen to the sounds of your house ... what do you hear?

Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Cost


A ten-minute challenge to write about the cost of loving Jesus.  Here goes!

Is the end of another full day.  Full of kids.  Full of laundry.  Full of dishes.  Full of food.  Full of training.  Full of playing.  Full of going and doing and being.

Like many moms, I often get to the end of my day and think, "That was a doozy.  But what actually happened?  What did I get done?"  And often my response is, "Huh.  Not as much as I thought, but still a ton, considering the circumstances!"

I may have abundant loads of whites and darks, a sink full of never-ending sticky dishes and an eternal job of raising my brood, but I seem to be very, very short on one important commodity.


Limited hours and minutes to my day has forced me to be very intentional about how I use my time:  waking up in the dark for me to exercise, coordinating my trips up and downstairs to stay efficient, preparing meals ahead of time and steering clear of the computer if I need extra time (nothing like getting sucked into Facebook to drain a precious hour!).

So what happens when I find myself with a few minutes to spare?  What do I do when I discover nap-time and my-time intersect?  I want to plop down and read.  I want to challenge somebody on DrawSomething.  I want to veg-out.  Or I want to knock out a chore or two without any "helpers."

But I hear Jesus wooing me to sit with Him, to stop and spend some time reading my Bible and praying.  This time with Jesus cuts into my free time and I want to resist, but my heart needs it.  And so I sit and I read and I pray ...

And Jesus is faithful to make my time worth it.  He makes these moments valuable ... and my time doesn't seem so costly then.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

small things {progress}

small things #69 ... progress

Date:  April, 2012
Location:  MOPS meeting (correction:  on the way to MOPS meeting)

"Mommy?  Where we going?  Where kids going?"

"The big kids are off to school.  Say, bye-bye!  And we are off to MOPS."

... silence from the back seat ...

"Are you all buckled up?  Here we go."

"Mommy?  I, I, I don't want, want to go to MOPS!"  Her explosive sobbing makes her stutter.

"I know, Honey.  But you are going to have a great time, okay?  You get to play with Nancy and the other kids ..."

"I. Don't. Want. To. Go. MOPS!  I stay with you.  I stay with you, Mommy!"

We pull into the parking lot of the church.  Lydia's passionate sobs have progressed into hopeless sniffles.  Her protests have a touch of resignation to them.

"Mommy?  You stay with me?  I go to big church with you?"

"You can come with me for a little bit while I put my purse at my seat and then we'll go to your class.  Got it?"

Liddy blows her nose, grips my hand and shuffles to the church.  A few minutes later, her grip tightens as I check her into her four-year old class.

"I'll be back in just a bit.  You're going to have so much fun.  Look!  They have puzzles!  You are a good puzzler.  Here ... I'll get you started and then you can finish it."

"Mommy ..."

smooch ... "I love you!  Have fun!"

I successfully disentangle myself, but her pouty lower lip breaks my heart.

Fast forward six months ...

Date:  September, 2012
Location:  Kayla's House (correction:  Kayla's driveway)

"You are going to have such fun with Kayla!  I think you girls are going to go to the park."

"You no have to come in Mommy.  I go in myself."

"Uh.  I think I will get out with you and say hi to Miss Kim."

"I don't need your help.  I'm big."

She hops out of the van, grabs her water bottle and giggles with Kayla all the way to the garage.

"I love you ... have fun."

She didn't even turn around.

Progress ... the bittersweet and inevitable journey our babies make from "Don't go, Mommy!" to "See ya."

Monday, September 10, 2012

small things {hullabalooga}

small things #68 ... hullabalooga

"Welcome to Cranium Hullabaloo!"

The electronic MC announces the rules and Lydia heads to a purple Cranium pad.  Her goofy smile and bouncy feet tell me she's excited.

"Mommy!  You have to get on a purple guy.  You can stand with me!"

I step over to "Creative Cat" (and over the baby) and wait for the directions.

"Move over to a yellow."

I step over to the yellow triangle while Lydia dances over to the yellow circle.

"Fly to a square."

We flap our wings and head to the blue square.  Lydia dodges Baby S and her sorter box.

"Ha!  We sharing!"

"Crawl to an animal."

Lydia scurries on all fours to the elephant.  I stoop over and pretend to crawl to the monkey.

"Freeze!  Is anyone standing on the elephant?  If you are, you're the winner!  Winner?  Take a bow!"

Lydia claps for herself and bows deeply and dramatically.  One sweeping arm barely misses Baby S's noggin.

"I won!  I da winner!"

We step back on the purple pads.

"Samantha, no!  Mommy, Samantha has the elephant."

"That's okay.  I'll trade her this toy for the pad.  You get on a red pad."

"Slither to a musical instrument."

Baby S walks by with the piano.

"Get on a blue."

Lydia grabs Baby S by the hand and "helps" her find a blue.

"Hop to a triangle."

Lydia hops around Baby S and lands next to me on the red triangle.

"Freeze!  Is anyone standing on the red triangle?  If you are, you're the winner!  Winner?  Do a funky monkey dance!"

Lydia be-bops around the room, arms flailing and feet kicking, narrowly missing Baby S, who is also frenetically boogying.  I do my own rendition of John Travolta's "Stayin' Alive", much to Lydia's delight.

As we head back to our purple pads, Lydia protests that Baby S is putting the pads away.  Sure enough the baby has gathered up three pads and is walking back to the box.  I rescue the pads and redistribute them around the floor.  Frustrated, Baby S flaps her arms and plops herself down on the blue circle.

"Try this Hullabaloo move!  Put your knee on a circle.  Annnd ... touch your foot to a green.  Annnd ... put your nose on a food." ... annnd balance over the baby who is crawling under your belly.

We stretch and pretzel ourselves to reach the three pads and I fear I might not get back off the floor.

"Everybody stand up!  Walk on your tip-toes to a green."

We tip-toe to the spaghetti pad and Lydia hangs from my leg.

"Freeze!  Is anyone standing on the frog?  If you are, you're the winner!  Winner?  Do a victory jump!"

We look around.  Baby S is sucking on the frog.

"Samantha!  You da winner!  Jump!  Jump!  Jump!"

Baby S cries as she gets jumped and bumped to the floor.

"Want to play again?  Get on a purple Cranium pad to start."

Whew!  I'm about Hullabalooga-ed out!

Hullabalooga ...  Ashley changed the name and Baby S changed the rules.  It's a lively game where anything goes and everybody wins!