“Games” my 2-year-old plays

I want to begin this post with the fact that I love my 2-year-old (Lottie May). She is bright and sweet and fun, but I would be outright lying if I didn’t say that sometimes she’s also a flat out jerk that makes me want to pull out my own hair.

Here are some current “games” that Lottie likes to play that are totally ruining my life awesome.

“Everything is mine”

The other day I was walking around the house when Lottie started pointing at the socks I was wearing and yelling, “Mine! MINE!” She then proceeded to try and pull one of them off my foot and had a total meltdown when I told her it was NOT her sock, it was in fact MY sock, which was why it was on MY foot. Everything is hers and when she gets her sticky, freakishly strong little fingers around whatever it is that she insists is hers, good LUCK getting it back in one piece. GOOD LUCK.

“I do it myself”

We have entered the realm of independence where Lottie wants to do everything herself, like dress herself, change her own diaper, or pour her own juice. I want her to exercise her independence, but this usually means I’m going to wind up with juice spilled all over the floor, poop smeared all over the bedroom rug, and a kid wailing with her head stuck in the arm hole of her shirt and insisting it’s my fault.

“Car is on, shoes are off.”

My oldest played this game. It was pretty simple: if I put her in the car, she took her shoes off and threw them in the floor. I admit, it was super irritating when EVERY TIME WE STOPPED I had to put her shoes back on. It was even more infuriating when I was in a hurry, if we were running late and I was having to hunt shoes and socks and put them on her feet when I was ready to get her out of the car. However, my youngest child takes this game to a new level. What she does is take off her socks and shoes, throws them in the floor and them proceeds to have an ABSOLUTE MELTDOWN about it. She screams like she is being murdered, to the point that I think my ear drums are going to explode or that I am just going to lose my %$!#* mind. What remedies this problem? If I pull over and put her shoes back on. But within 5 minutes, guess what happens? Go ahead. Just guess.

“This little piggy”

Lottie loves to play “This Little Piggy” over and over and over and over and over again. On Saturday morning it’s pretty common place for her to climb into our bed and slam her bare foot into my face, just about breaking my nose, and declare “PIGGY!” She also does this in the car when she is having her “I want you to pull over and put my shoes back on meltdown.” She sticks that foot up in the air a

This is Lottie's foot in my face this morning as she demanded to play "Piggy".

This is Lottie’s foot in my face this morning as she demanded to play “Piggy”.

nd shrieks “PIGGY! PIGGY! PIGGYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!” It doesn’t occur to her that Mommy can’t play “Piggy” because Mommy is operating a motor vehicle and trying to keep everyone alive, oh no. And when my 6 year old tries to help and play “Piggy” with her, Lottie sticks her finger out and says “NO BELLA! NO!!!!” Mommy is the only one that is allowed to play Piggy. The. Only. One.

“I don’t act like this with Daddy.”

One evening my husband spent two hours outdoors doing yard work and Lottie happily played on her own, sitting in the grass digging around in dirt or picking flowers or playfully trotting along behind him. I stood at the window and looked out there in amazement. Had it been me out there that kid would have been latched onto my legs, screaming, begging to be picked up, whining for a snack, whimpering to go inside. She would have climbed me like a tree and screamed as if everything in the world was wrong. That child acts like if it were possible for her to climb right back into my womb and curl up in the fetal position she totally would. If she could put me on and wear me around like a jacket, she absolutely would. As I pondered this, she turned around and looked toward the window I was looking out of and I jumped and hid behind the curtain. Out of sight, out of mind.

To sum this up, 2 year olds are delightful and not at all like tiny little dictators. Not at all.

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Car rides with kids.

If you’ve ever wondered what it sounds like in my car on the way home from work/school/day care in the evenings, here’s a glimpse.

This was yesterday, after picking Bella up from school.

Bella: “Mom, when I have a daughter, do you know what I’m going to name her?”

Me: “No, baby, what?”

Bella: “Chickamauga Dam.”

Me: “…….why?”

Bella: “I like the way it sounds. Chickamauga. Chickamauga. Chickamauga. Dam.”

 

Later, we picked my youngest child up from day care and after about 10 minutes in the car on the way home, Bella said:

Bella: “I think we got the wrong Lottie. I think this is someone else’s Lottie.”

Me: “Well who is this one, what’s her name?”

Bella: “Well it’s still a Lottie. It’s just the wrong one.”

Me: “Well what do we call this one?”

Bella: “Lottie. But we will just have to turn this one back in tomorrow for the right one.”

It’s like she thinks all the kids at Lottie’s day care are interchangeable. Like they’re just a litter of shih tzu puppies where you can pick up the wrong one by accident because they’re all pretty much the same thing.

 

And finally, this is what a game of “I spy” in our car sounds like.

Me: “I spy something that begins with the letter ‘C’.”

Bella: “COW! CHICKEN! CAT! CATERPILLAR! I HAVE TO PEE! CLOUDS! CROWS!”

Lottie: “Meow meow? Juice? Blankie?”

I’m not sure if Lottie is actually attempting to play or if she thinks this is a game of just saying the all words she knows.

I can’t deny that they keep things interesting. Loud, weird, funny, and interesting.

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One Eyed Speedy Gonzales

Several months ago I wound up with a spare cat. He was my neighbor’s outdoor cat that just kind of migrated over to our house. He got an eye injury and I (okay, more like my mom) ended up taking care of it and saving his life.

The cat now has one eye and lives with us. He is not my favorite creature, but we tolerate each other.

His name is Speedy Gonzales, and this is what life with Speedy is like:

The Sunday before last my husband was working and I was trying to get a lot done. I was attempting to clean house, pack up any left over Christmas decorations that I missed in the first go-round, and get the girls ready to get out of the house. I had intentions of taking them somewhere fun, like the Creative Discovery Museum, (spoiler- we didn’t make it) and then to run my usual Sunday errands.

My almost 2 year old, Lottie, was in need of a bath that morning, so I put her in the tub. About 10 minutes into her tubby, she pooped in it. I don’t know what it is with this kid, but this is the third time she has done this recently and I’m totally over it.

I got her out of the tub, got her dressed and plopped her in the living room to play with her sister while I cleaned up her excrement. Mom life is fancy, y’all.

While I was dousing the tub with bleach and boiling water, Speedy the One Eyed Jerk attacked Lottie and she started wailing.  He’s prone to pouncing on her, I think because she’s the smallest and he thinks he can take her in a battle. He can, of course, because all he has to do is look at her and she starts freaking out. I grabbed him to put him outside but he had it in his head that he DID NOT want to go outside, so he latched onto my rib cage with one of his claws. I had to pry him off and ended up wounded and bruised and convinced I would end up with cat scratch fever or some other feline related illness and die.

Later, after the tub was clean and I got the girls dressed, I went out to the garage to clean out my car and start loading it with the things I needed for the day (diaper bag, snacks, jackets, books for Bella to read in the car, etc). While I was loading and unloading the car, Speedy jumped in and pooped on my passenger side floor mat.

There is a litter box in the garage and the garage was also open. He had plenty of other places to go. He went in my car because he was mad at me. The end.

Later (after cleaning up the cat crap AFTER cleaning up the Lottie crap) I got the girls in the car and ready to go. Speedy was sitting on top of my car, right smack in the center of the roof, where I couldn’t reach him with my arms. So I pulled out of the driveway thinking he would hop off when the car started moving.

He didn’t.

I drove round and round the cul-de-sac waiting for him to jump off. Nothing. I finally stopped the car and made Bella take off her one of her boots so I could smack at him and get him off.

When I got home from running errands (and not taking the kids to the Creative Discovery Museum) I let Speedy back inside and this is where he went as soon as he got indoors. My bed.

This mai bed. I rulez this house.

Dis mai bed. I rulez dis house.

So. If anyone is in need of a one eyed black cat, let me know. I can totally hook you up.

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Advent Calendar Denial

My daughters have Advent calendars and they have become the bane of my existence.

“Mom, I need to stick my sticker on day 15,” I hear my 5 year old call down the hall.

I hid that day 15 sticker. With each day she ticks off that thing I become more aware of how much I still have to do in such a short amount of time.

So I hid that day 15 sticker. We will do day 15 tomorrow. And 16 at the same time. Unless I also hid 16.

Denial? I don’t know what you are talking about.

If the day isn’t marked off on the advent calendar, it didn’t happen yet. And that’s that.

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10 things I meant to do during naptime…and what I really did instead.

I always have grand plans for nap time or when the kids go to bed. It doesn’t always turn out as expected. Here are 10 things I meant to do during nap time, and what I did instead.

 

Plan: Clean.

Reality: I folded one load of laundry while binge watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix. I didn’t even put the laundry away. I just folded it and put in the basket and it just sat there next to me on the couch the entire time.

 

Plan: Meal plan.

Reality: I pinned a bunch of stuff on Pinterest that I’ll never get around to making and didn’t even make a shopping list.

 

Plan: Read a book.

Reality: I read a page and a half and fell asleep.

 

Plan: Catch up on email.

Reality: Spent most of the time stalking people on Facebook.

 

Plan: Craft project.

Reality: I spilled glitter everywhere and then I glued my thumbs together with superglue. I ended up tossing the entire project in the trash and watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

 

Plan: Work out.

Reality: I made margaritas.

 

Plan: Clean out my car.

Reality: I vacuumed the driver’s side and said “Meh, that’s good enough.” Then I left the vacuum in the garage. I’ll get it tomorrow.

 

Plan: Garden.

Reality: It was hot. And dirty. And there was a lizard. I’m just gonna fill the flower beds with gravel. It’ll be great.

 

Plan: Work on my novel.

Reality: Wrote this list instead. What? I wrote SOMETHING alright?

 

Plan: Organize the kitchen cabinets.

Reality: I did! I did one! I organized one cabinet! And the stuff that didn’t fit or that I don’t want anymore is on the counters and the floor but I will deal with that later. I am SO PRODUCTIVE.

 

OK, so maybe I fail at nap time productivity, but is it so bad if I need spend an hour or two doing nothing in order to maintain my sanity? I’m a much better mom, playmate, and wife when I take some time to relax instead of working myself into a frenzy every time the house is quiet. And frankly, productivity is relative. Those margaritas ain’t going to make themselves, you know.

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Books for Tots: Moose, Nancy and Scary Pants

Over year ago I wrote a post about some of my favorite books that I like to read to my daughter. They are also some of her favorite books, which is important. There happen to be a few books that she enjoys that I do not, and vice versa. There might also be times that I hide certain books from her. Maybe.

Anyway, when I wrote the original post, I meant to make it an ongoing thing, but then life happened and I got busy and forgot about it, you know, for a year. So, this is me, giving it another go.

Round two: three more of our favorite books.

photo-5

The Useful Moose

My daughter is a fan of moose. Her favorite stuffed animal is a moose named Moosey that she received for her first Christmas. I think he’s really a reindeer, but “Moosey” just kind of stuck.  Is there a difference between moose and reindeer? I don’t know and I don’t care to Google it. Maybe later.

Anyway, ever since Bella took a liking to Moosey she has collected several other moose stuffed animals and a couple of moose books.

This book is about a little girl who loves moose so much that her family plans an Alaskan vacation so she can see some moose in person. However, when she arrives in Alaska, she can’t find any moose and finds out, from a goose, that they have all gone to the city on vacation. When she returns to her hometown, she finds hundreds of moose vacationing in her own city. Three of them end up as house guests in her home for awhile and her family discovers that they are great housekeepers. I wish I could find a couple of moose to mop my floors and fold laundry.

This book is particularly appealing to Bella because she’s a moose fan, but overall,  it’s a cute book even if your kid is not a moose lover.

photo-7

Fancy Nancy

We have had some Fancy Nancy books forever but just recently started reading them. I don’t know why it took us so long to finally pick one up, something about the illustrations just wasn’t appealing to us. The covers of these books often seem quite busy and to be honest, I don’t think they look as enjoyable as they actually are. I think the whole “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” idiom applies here. No hate to Nancy’s illustrators or anything.

Anyway, now that we have started reading these books, Bella loves them and so do I. They teach children, through Nancy’s shenanigans, to expand their vocabulary by introducing “fancier” words than the ones they probably already know; like “celebrity” instead of “famous person” and “delectable” instead of “delicious”. I just purchased a few more of these books for Bella’s Easter basket this year and she was thrilled.

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What Was I Scared Of?

I was a big fan of Dr. Seuss as a child but I never read this particular book until I had children. When Bella was younger she used to call this the “Scary Pants” book because the main character is afraid of a pair of empty pants. It’s silly (what Dr. Seuss book isn’t?) but it’s a lot of fun. Additionally, it’s not one of those Dr. Seuss books that goes on and on and on and you find yourself tripping over nonsense and skipping pages just to get it over with. Seriously, I really do love Dr. Seuss, but you HAVE to know what I am talking about if you’re a parent trying to read your kid a book at the end of a long day.

The particular version that we own glows in the dark, I don’t know if all of them do.  We often read it in the dark with a flash light. Bella and I can both recite this one by heart.

Hopefully next week I’ll be back with three more books we love, we already have them picked out.

See, I’m totally on top of making this an ongoing series…until we run out of books that we like. 😉

 

 

 

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Motherhood: You are enough.

A recap from a night last week:

I got home at 5pm, just as my husband was heading out the door to work. My 5 year old, Bella, had been spending the afternoon at my mom’s house. So, I packed my 1 year old, Lottie, up in the car to go pick up big sister.

First, Lottie and I ran by a RedBox to return a movie we had watched the night before. Then we went to my mom’s, visited for a little bit, and then I loaded both kids in the car. From there we went to Target to pick up some items for a classroom basket for a silent auction at Bella’s preschool.

After Target, we went to the bank so I could drop some cash in the night deposit because I was tired of carrying it around for fear of losing it. I have become a complete scatterbrain since having my second child and I’m trying to keep it in check. Once we were done at the bank, we stopped by the playground.

Our playground excursion was short lived, we only stayed about 20 minutes. Truth be told, I was pretty much ready to go at that point anyway. Now that Bella is 5, she’s pretty manageable at the playground. Lottie is a different story. I spend my time watching Lottie like a hawk and chasing her around like a crazy person. I have to make sure she doesn’t step in front of a moving swing and get her teeth knocked out. She might stick something in her mouth that she will choke on because everything goes in that kid’s mouth. She might wander into the parking lot or into the ditch that runs alongside the playground. It’s exhausting having to chase her around, pick her up when she gets too close to the ditch, drag her away from the ditch, only to chase her right back over there again, and again, and again. The heart wants what it wants. Lottie’s heart wanted to be in that ditch. Ditch 4-eva.

Meanwhile, even though I’m chasing my 1 year old around, I still need to keep somewhat of an eye on my 5 year old because she still manages to get into trouble. She might be throwing rocks at some other kid or playing too rough with a smaller child. Plus I worry about her getting snatched up by a stranger because I watch the news (and probably too many crime shows). My point is, I have to be “on” all the time.

So anyway, I was chasing my ditch loving, rock eating 1 year old around and all of a sudden, there was Bella, racing across the grass to tell me that she just fell down in the mud. The ground was all soggy and muddy because it had been raining for a million years, or since Monday, whichever, same difference.

Anyway, so there she was, leaping through the grass to tell me she fell down in the mud (which was already obvious the second I looked at her) and she proceeded to slip and fall down in the mud, not one, not two, but three more times.

I cannot even describe how filthy she was. Luckily I had some baby wipes and a towel in the car but that wasn’t enough to get her clean. And wouldn’t you know it, I had just used her extra outfit that I keep in the trunk of my car and hadn’t replaced it, because of course. So there I was, the queen of mess-hating, with this mud covered kid in mud covered clothes. So I stripped off her clothes and put them in a plastic bag, wrapped her in the towel, and put her in her car seat.

By this time, Lottie was screaming because I had been focusing all my attention on Bella and she was ticked off about it. I drove both kids home, got them into the house, and immediately put Bella in the bath. In an attempt to keep Lottie out of the bathroom while I tried to get Bella clean, I distracted her with a snack. That snack happened to be blackberries because I’m trying to give them healthy snacks, yo, be a good mom and all that. What that meant was after about 5 minutes she was totally covered in blackberry juice. It was on her hands, her face, her neck, her hair, in her ears, everywhere. I ended up having to bathe both of them.

Then I got them both out of the tub and dried and lotioned and in their PJs and you would think it was like 10pm or something right? RIGHT? It was 7 freaking 30 and we hadn’t even had dinner yet. This is the point where I have to say: PROPS TO YOU STAY AT HOME MOMS, because I was done. I wasn’t frustrated, because overall, this wasn’t even a bad night. I’ve had bad nights and this wasn’t one of them. I was just exhausted.

So, I made dinner and fed them. Then I set Bella up to work on a teacher appreciation project for school. While Bella worked on that, I played with Lottie, read to Lottie, took Lottie’s 12 month picture (nevermind that she is 13 1/2 months old, okay? I got it done.)

I hate you, mom.

I hate you, mom.

Also, part of the reason that this picture is so late is because I couldn’t find the 12 month sticker. It would make sense that I was able to keep up with them all year until the very last month. I had pretty much decided to just use a sheet of notebook paper, tape, and a Sharpie when my husband found the sticker for me. Yaaaaay, husband.

Then I rocked Lottie, brushed her teeth, and put her down to bed, which took a couple of tries.  After that, I packed up Bella’s teacher appreciation projects and went through tracing her alphabet with her. Then I had Bella brush her teeth, read her a story, and put her to bed.

At the end of the day, I just collapsed into bed. This is more or less how I feel at the end of every day. My back hurts. My eyes are heavy. My hair is a wreck. I’m covered in whatever my kids have wiped all over me. Boogers. Food. Paint. Mud.  If I thought I knew tired before kids, I was crazy, because I DID NOT KNOW TIRED. Every evening it’s as if my body is like, “Okay, so we’re done here right? They’re done? 1 and 5 are perfectly acceptable ages to send them out into the world, right? They can like, go get jobs and stuff now, don’t you think?”

Wrong, body. So wrong. We are still just starting out here. There’s so much more to go. Luckily, in the morning, I’m ready for a new day, well, for the most part. It depends on how they slept, because how my children sleep determines how I sleep. Throughout the week, they may wake up for a variety of reasons like: wetting the bed, nightmares, thirsty, hungry, needing me to turn on the bathroom light so they can go pee, or just because. THEY WAKE UP JUST BECAUSE. Then one of them might wind up in my bed, and be all sweaty and kicky and snore-y. I don’t understand people who want to sleep with their children in the bed. I don’t even want my husband in the bed half the time.

So, there I was: tired, dirty, still kind of hungry because I didn’t fully eat my meal while the kids were eating, which is typical. I laid down in bed and opened my Facebook app and there was a sweet message from a friend, a stay at home mom of one. She was saying she didn’t know how I did it. She didn’t know how I went to work all day and still managed to come home, take care of kids and interact with them, and keep house and cook meals. It was funny timing, because all night long, I had been wondering how in the world stay at home moms did it.

First of all, I really needed to hear those kind words. So, mamas, reach out to your friends and say kind words. You never know when you might be saving them and helping them through a rough night or a hard time.

Second of all, the truth is, we’re all working hard. Parenting is hard and you can’t truly understand it until you do it and are completely responsible for another human being. I’m not just talking about the whole “keeping them alive” part, but providing for them and being responsible for teaching them and disciplining them and molding them into the people they are going to become. It’s exhausting and a tremendous amount of pressure.

Sometimes, the grass is going to seem greener on the other side. Sometimes my stay at home mom friend wishes she could go to work and be with adults and get away. (For the record stay at home mamas, you do need to get away sometimes. You need to have someone else watch your kiddos and do something for you and only you. Go get a pedicure, go for a run, or get some coffee with a friend, and don’t feel guilty about it. You’re still a person, you still have needs, your life is still yours. You give so much of yourself to you children, you need some “you” time to maintain your sanity.) Sometimes I wish I could stay home.

Sometimes I think so many other moms are doing this better than me: stay at home moms, moms of multiples, moms that have more kids than me in general, moms of a child (or children) with a disability. Their jobs as mothers seem so much harder than mine, but they’re obviously pulling it off. Who am I to feel so exhausted or at my limit sometimes? I question myself. Am I doing enough? Am I here enough? Am I patient enough? Am I enough?

The answer is yes. If you care enough to be asking yourself these questions, then yes. If you’re trying your best, then yes. If you love your kids, then YES. You are enough.

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My favorite Christmas gifts

For Christmas I got several things I am in love with and I thought I would share them with you.

 

Lotti Dottie Jewelry

Okay. First of all I like this stuff because my daughter’s name is Lottie and I happen to call her Lottie Dottie. But I really like this jewelry because of the interchangeable charms. I love stuff that I can change or add to. You’re going to see more items like this later in the post. I love my Origami Owl locket and my Pandora charm bracelet, both of which you can add charms to. I like to get something that I feel like isn’t complete, or that I can make my own by making choices of what I add to it.

Lotti Dottie jewelry is a collection of magnetic charms. You get a little key with your jewelry purchase that allows you to pop the magnetic charm out and replace it with another.

 

World’s Softest Socks

My cousin works for this company but I’m a bad cousin and I had never tried them. I finally requested some and my husband got me some and OH MY. Yeah. I think these are the only socks I’m going to wear from now on. Seriously.

 

Nora Fleming Platter

I had never heard of these. I acquired a bread platter in a Dirty Santa exchange and I am in love. The concept is that you only get one set of serving dishes (mostly for entertaining) and you interchange their accessories (called Minis) to make them fit any occasion imaginable. I am now on a mission to get a complete set of dishes from Nora Fleming and start my Minis collection.

 

Ginger Snaps

These are similar to the Lotti Dottie jewelry but instead of magnets, the charms snap into place. I just love stuff like this (obviously) so having several different kinds of them is absolutely okay with me.

 

What were you favorite Christmas gifts? Please share, I love hearing about new stuff so I can become addicted to it…

 

 

 

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Late night thoughts on motherhood.

When my kids are grown and don’t come into my room before dawn and crawl into bed with me, will I miss it? Will I miss those tiny little bodies snuggled against me under the covers on a cold winter morning before the sun rises? My answer right now may change by 5AM tomorrow morning. 

Sometimes I struggle to get out of the house because my oldest daughter insists on a kiss and a hug no less than five times. “Mama,” she will say, “Another hug?” A few minutes later: “Wait! Another kiss, too?” This morning I found myself saying, “Bella, how many times are we going to do this?”

Why? Why did I say that? How many times are we going to do this, indeed. These requests will be short lived, I’m sure. One day she will be a dreaded teenager saying, “Don’t TOUCH me,” and then what? All I will have left are these memories, these memories of when she was so small, and so sweet and demanded hugs and kiss constantly. I have to remind myself of this frequently, specifically when she is climbing me like a tree and acting like she would like to wear me like an article of clothing. I think my children would climb right back into my womb if they were given the opportunity.

So many times, I find myself just counting down the minutes to bedtime. Can I put them down 15 minutes early? Will they notice? The screaming. The needing. The wanting. Mama! Mama! Mama! They test my patience more than I thought they would. The exhaust me more than I thought they would. My life is not my own, it’s theirs. Worrying. Planning. Making. Doing. Rocking. Feeding. Bathing. Wiping. Crying- sometimes them, sometimes me. Motherhood isn’t always pretty. It’s often emotional, exhausting, lonely, and sometimes very ugly. It’s the most selfless thing I have ever done, to give so much of myself to these two tiny humans.

Sometimes I feel so needed that I wish I could just press a pause button and take a few minutes. No one saying my name. No one crying. No one asking questions. No one touching me.

But one day, when I am not so needed, will I miss it? I imagine I will.

 

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The Little Dog and the Witch

Bella has started to draw pictures, and then she will dictate a story to me about her picture and ask me to write it on the back. In case you are interested, here is one of her recent stories, along with its picture:

 

Bella calls this one "The Little Dog and the Witch".

I find it curious that this story is calling “The Little Dog and the Witch,” but yet I see no dog.

 

The story:

The Little Dog and the Witch

A long time ago, one little dog was in the forest and his mom told him it was time for bed, but he thought she said he could have a few more minutes. He tried to find his mom, but she turned into a witch, so he ran away, but Frosty the Snowman came and he turned his mom, the witch, into snow. Then, the puppy went home and found his real mom. The witch was a fake mom. And the puppy told Frosty the Snowman thank you. The end.

 

Clearly, this is a future bestseller.

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