Once Upon A Monday

Once upon a Monday, a lady was going to do things.

They were going to be real, adult things that involved leaving the house and seeing people.

Ivy and Clara butterfly faces and "planies"

Once upon a Monday a lady was stuck at home. So she went into her garden to admire her flowers…

There were plans.

It was exciting.

Ivy and Clara butterfly faces

There she found two butterflies flitting about…

Then the reality of life with three young girls came and smacked her upside the head and she instead played Barbies at a car repair center.

Butterfly face hugs

They were remarkably cute and well behaved and so the lady spent an enjoyable afternoon following them from flower to flower while taking pictures.


The End.

Perfection Pending

Santa Eyes

I was contentedly driving down the road when from the backseat Ivy asked a question about another car’s blinker.  A lovely, educational conversation ensued about blinkers, how they work and why we use them. Then, as the topic was wrapping up, Ivy asked why it was still blinking after the car turned and kept driving.

I explained how blinkers usually turn themselves off after you turn or that you turn them off so you don’t confuse people and that even if it looked like it was still blinking as it went around the corner it was probably turned back off by now.

Ivy insisted she could see that the car still had it’s blinker on.

Now by this point we had driven close to a mile away from where we had seen the car with the blinker turn and that car was going in the opposite direction. The girl could not possibly still see the car much less check on it’s blinker status. This would also be the point where a smarter mother would have realized her daughter was just looking to disagree and let it slide. But my mothering skills are a work in progress so I foolishly pointed out that she didn’t know if the blinker on the car was still on because she couldn’t see it any more.

Wrong answer Mom.

Yes, she could still see it and it’s blinker was still on. Why was it STILL on?!

Slightly irritated my response contained facts about the impossibility of her seeing the other vehicle as well as the reasoning behind the high probability that the cars blinker was off.

My mothering needed much help that day.

 “MOM, I CAN SEE IT! I’ve told you a million times, I have Santa eyes!”

Ivy on bike

Her eyes see everything!

Finally napping mothering skills kicked in and I realized that I had been goaded into  a pointless, losing argument by my six year old.

The only way out would be sudden distraction or acquiescence.

Look Ivy!


The Expedition

Once upon a time a family friend asked if we wanted to buy their Expedition from them.

I said, no that’s silly.

I said, we have the Explorer and even though it is missing things like a parking break, air conditioner, fifth gear and it has seven million gazillion miles on it, (I’m just approximating here, the odometer was broken and it was on it’s second engine) we just got new tires for it and it works fine.

I said, besides, when we go on trips we can always put the two kids, the two dogs (one of whom is a Great Dane) and the two of us in the Taurus.

I said we are FINE.

I realize this all looks like sarcasm but let me assure you that this was truly what I said- apparently I suffer from bouts of insanity. John was not suffering from insanity and said something along the lines of – “You are nuts, they are giving us a really great deal, go look at the truck.”

So I looked at it.

I said, it is too big.

I asked, why do we need so much room?

I said, the space is weird head space that is no good for packing things in.

I said, I’d rather save my money and save up for a giant pick-up truck.

The non-insane member of the household won the debate – we bought the Expedition.

Fast forward two years and here is the inside view of the truck on the way home from a family gathering last weekend:

John and I are in the front, the floor by my feet is full of stuff. The girls now take up the entire back seat and the floor by their feet is full of stuff. The back has the two dogs in their kennels around which is the rest of the stuff that didn’t fit by the girls feet and way up on top of it all is a pet carrier with a little hen chicken with her nine chicks.  Amazingly we could still see out the back window, which was handy since we were also pulling a trailer.

I admit it, I was wrong, the truck is great. It’s a perfect size for a family of five, plus two dogs and assorted livestock to travel in. John can “I told you so” until the cows come home on this one. Of course if we had a diesel, crew cab, pick up with a manual transmission and eight foot bed (and while we are dreaming let’s make it red) we’d have lots of room AND it wouldn’t smell like the inside of a chicken coop all the way home. This is a fact that makes John grumble about money and responsible spending and Ivy look at me like I’m the crazy person that I briefly was when I didn’t want the Expedition.

One day as we were driving Ivy was looking out the window and telling me which cars she wished we had and what colors she wished they would be. Then she asked me what kind of car I wished I had,  I responded that I didn’t want any kind of car that I wanted a giant truck like Uncle Tyler. Ivy looked at me in the review mirror with astonishment and asked, “WHY???” So I excitedly told her all the reasons I wanted a big pick up truck. All the great things we would be able to do with it, the places we’d be able to go, all the people, dogs, livestock and stuff we would be able to haul with it, and what did my girl do? She looked out the window pointed to one of the new smart cars, (you know. the two seaters about the size of a giant soda can,) going down the road told me that was the kind of car she wanted.

It’s funny, I remember giving birth to her, and yet there are times when I just can’t believe she’s mine…

Ivy and I will have to save up our pennies – lots and lots of pennies- for our dream vehicles. Maybe one day she can call her Mom when her soda can (I mean car) breaks down and I can bring it home in the bed of my truck for her. But until then we’ll drive our Expedition because, bouts of insanity aside, it’s just about perfect for right now.

For Rent

Do you have a long solo car trip coming up? Feeling kind of tired? Thinking you should cut back on the caffeinated beverages? Look no further, we have the solution to your problems.

For Rent:  Two young girls to ride in the car and keep you awake on your long car trips.

Rent them separately!


Clara will talk to you non-stop, but that’s not all!  To keep you awake and make sure you are paying attention she requires a response, a real response, to everything.  Keep your brain working by puzzling our her mispronounced and unclear phrases. Can’t figure out what she’s saying or getting to sleepy to respond with more than a mumbled “mmmmhhhmmm” to her query of “See Cow?”

She’ll wake you right up with:

“See cow?”

“See cow?”

“See cow?”

Until you finally say: “Yes I saw the cow!”

getting a response of :


that’ll shake any cobwebs that might have been in your brain right back out again.

Or Ivy:

Ivy will also talk, and talk and talk.  She requires less responses for more talk time but you never know what you’ll get. It could be a discussion of her Disney princess friends and their pet lemurs. It could be a recital of the last story/movie/book/thing she saw. Or it could require a little more participation. For example a conversation could go like this:

“Mom, tell me about deer.”

“What would you like to know?”

“I want to know what they like to eat and what they like to do.”

Clearly there is no nodding off behind the wheel when you are racking your brains for any and all deer facts you’ve ever heard.

Just in case that isn’t enough Ivy comes with one more special feature to keep any driver awake.

Imagine quietly driving down the road and all of a sudden…




or her personal favorite and one I guarantee to keep any driver awake:


Think that’s not enough for you? Worried that one girl might fall asleep jeopardizing your ability to stay awake? Don’t worry if you rent one you can rent the second for half price!

On your road trip with both girls you can enjoy the benefits of each individuals keep-the-driver-awake-techniques, often at the same time!  With both girls along if that’s not enough you can always resort to the oldest, most surefire technique. Get one new toy and throw it between them.

Say good bye to energy drinks and hello to your new backseat driving friends.

Serious inquiries only.

Not responsible for: Tickets incurred while swerving to pick up toys off the floor, hearing loss, potty breaks or temporary insanity.

Days That Make You Go…

Remember last years  post about the fun of the Long Lake Lager Fest?

Remember the car trouble on the way home?

The Third Annual Long Lake Lager Fest was again a great time with friends – an excellent tradition in the making.

And again we had car trouble on the way home, except worse – not such an excellent tradition.

Today was the day the report from the mechanic came in.

Some days just make you go:

I’m thinking of hitching a ride for the Fourth Annual Long Lake Lager Fest, I wouldn’t want to miss out on the fun but I’m not sure we can afford the drive home!


Today Ivy, Clara and I spent 4 1/2 hours in the car.

Today I heard somone say “MOM” from the backseat for the 5 millionth time.

Today I said “What Ivy?” for the 6 trillionth time.

Today I had no response.

Today I looked in the back seat and saw Ivy was sleeping.

Today Clara said “MOM” 37 times.

Today I think Clara was imitating her older sister…but it’s got me worried about tommorow!

Don’t Forget to Pack Your Straw!

This past weekend we went up to the Superior area for a long weekend full of: train rides, birthdays, fathers day, swimming, fishing, boating and friends.

We’d love to visit the area more often except for the tiny problem of the 6 hour drive. And that is only the driving.  Peeing, eating, diaper changes, leg stretching, and waiting out a large thunderstorm with lots of tornadoes that just happens to be hanging out over the road you need to follow to get home, are all extra.  Once we added those in our drive home was about nine hours!

Now before someone says, how its not so bad , “just jump in the car pop a movie in and you’ll be set,” lets just set something straight.

We do not have a TV in our home.

We do not have a DVD player or anything like it in our car.

It is likely to stay that way indefinitely.

I like to think this is a good thing.  I might be wrong, it may be unreasonable, but I’ve been known to cling stubbornly to unreasonable ideas before. I have kept up my own personal ban of the Harry Potter movies for many years now, and lived most of my life in a TV-less environment.  I think I can swing keeping movies out of my vehicles.

For now both of our girls are very good in the car, and really the only problem is I keep forgetting to pack my earplugs…

Have I ever mentioned my oldest daughter’s ability to talk?

Have I mentioned that she LOVES the captive audience a car creates?

So, knowing that we had a big car ride, and that if a certain someone uttered the phrases “What?” or “What kind of…” or “Hold it on it’s BACK Mom!”  too many times I’d lose the last of the sanity I had remaining after a frantic day of packing, I tried to be well prepared.

We  had a bag of toys:

We had a pile of books:

And then we had the most sought after item, the most played with item, the item that literally kept Ivy busy for two hours, the item that made all the rest of the things I brought along pale in comparison….

the straw.

Who needs a princess movie when you can play the trumpet with a McDonald’s straw?