Fun is as fun does

I signed Billy and Katie up for a Junior Ranger camp this week. It’s a good thing. Four very busy hours every day, and they’ve been going to bed at night with no complaints. Billy did get a little teary yesterday afternoon; he misses his brother so much. That’s why I’m trying to keep him occupied.

I’ve been carpooling, so I didn’t drive Monday or Tuesday. Today and tomorrow are my days. When I picked them up today, the young man at the sign in/out desk said, “Just sign here and they’re all yours.”

“You seem excited at the prospect of being rid of them,” I replied with a knowing smile. No way would you catch me doing a camp with a hundred adolescents.

“Oh, yes,” he agreed wearily. Just then, Billy came up and showed me something he had made. Now connecting me with a particular child, the young man added, Your son is a pleasure.”

“Oh?” I said.

“He listens and does what he’s told.”

“That’s good,” I said as we walked off. I’m pretty sure my daughter and the other girls in the camp are not quite as cooperative. Not bad, I mean, just too busy chit-chatting to even notice that the party is moving on to other things. Billy, though, knows that the fun is in the doing, not in the talking.

Although, talking is fun too…(can’t help it…I’m a girl…)

The Preamble (according to Katie)

We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the General Washington, and secure the blessings of liberty…

That’s right, it’s all about promoting Georgie to President…forget what you may have heard about his humility, Katie knows the truth about him gunning for Commander in Chief. It’s right there, in the Constitution.

Unless the house is on fire

What time was it? Perhaps 4 am.

I am vaguely aware of my bedroom door opening. I hear, “Mommy?” It’s Katie. I am so far down in the depths of slumber that I don’t answer.

Again, “Mommy?” She doesn’t sound hurt, frightened, sick. I know what she wants. I’m still silent, but I am also more awake now.

A third time, “Mommy?” I realize she just won’t go away without a response. I manage to garble out a muffled, “Huh?”

“I had a bad dream. Can I sleep on your floor?” Years ago, she would repeat this request every.single.night. We finally told her she always had permission to sleep on our floor, using our decorative shams as pillows, as long as she came in without waking us up. And so she did, often bringing Jenny in tow. But sometime, I don’t know when exactly – 6 months ago perhaps – her nighttime game of musical beds tapered off and stopped.

Since Bill left, I expected her to start up again, but she held off until the last week or two. Apparently, she has forgotten the do not disturb rule.

It amuses me when people ask about how old babies are before they sleep through the night. In the last 3 months, each of my children, except for Billy, has disturbed me at least once in the middle of the night.

This is probably another one of those things that people with grown children assure me I will miss one day. I’m not buying it.

If you loved me, you would JUST STAY IN BED

Right now, my stock punishment for the kids is to copy a Hail Mary.

I happened to have written the Hail Mary on a piece of paper to try and help Jenny remember how to say it. When it’s her turn to lead a decade of the family rosary, this is what transpires:

Jenny: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed is the fruit –

Me: Blessed art thou.

Jenny: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

The next Hail Mary repeats exactly like this. Ten times I correct her for missing the middle part. She hears it the right way 43 other times. Makes no difference.

And we repeat this night after night.

So, I wrote down the Hail Mary for her to follow along and get it right.

But she can’t read yet. I don’t know what I was thinking.

Then along came a misbehaving child, and voilĂ  – instant punishment. I keep old spiral notebooks from last school year around, open to a blank page, sit a child down, and make them copy the prayer.

Katie has been given this assignment many times over the last week. Her most common infraction is not staying in bed quietly after “goodnight.” Before she even has a chance to finish complaining about her sister and roommate, she is seated and handed pen and paper.

Every single time she does it, she finishes with “I love Mom.” It’s so sweet. But I just wish she’d tell me that at goodnight.

Katie’s Birthday

Katie’s birthday was…quite a while ago (two Fridays ago). I’m just not getting to the computer much these days.

Oh, actually, I was waiting for my in-laws to come down with their presents so I could just do one birthday post…yeah…

Since Jenny’s birthday is only a few weeks away, Nana thought it best to just give both girls their presents at once. They already own the dolls but they got the desks and school supplies and school clothes for their birthday. Very appropriate for this time of year. They love the gifts, of course.

Katie took birthday money from my parents and bought this stuffed dog. Because she needed another stuffed animal. Of course. Every girl needs another stuffed animal.
She was thrilled when the delivery man arrived with her present from Daddy. Bill has decided to make himself a tough act to follow. Imagine her in ten years: “What? You didn’t get me flowers? My daddy always gets me flowers! You obviously don’t love me.”
It was difficult to beat the smiles generated by that present, but at least my gift is a bit longer lasting. We’re moving into the big girl years with pierced ears. Next, it’ll be high heels and make up…

Lost his head

It’s a good thing I knew that Katie wanted a picture of her daddy for an inexpensive heart-shaped locket she owned. She abandoned her work, I suppose to retrieve the locket, and I happened upon this disturbing scene:


Sweet Little Old Lady – not.

Katie: Mommy, how old do you have to be to get a credit card?

Me: Old enough to have a job to pay for it.

Katie: Do YOU have a job?

My 1st thought: Grrrrrrrr……

My 2nd thought: No, I have a Sugar Daddy.

One day, when my kids are adults, I’m going to actually say some of these things I think. They may go into shock, since I’ll have spent 20 years or more blandly answering their questions. Maybe they’ll blog about their crazy old mom. They’ll claim mental degeneration, but we’ll know it’s just my true colors finally coming through.

Katie’s First Holy Communion

This was two Saturdays ago, but I’m finally getting around to putting up pictures. (Forgive me, Katie, I’ve been a wee bit busy.)

Katie and her friend Eva.
Katie and her Godparents, Uncle Glenn and Nana.
Katie. I made her dress, originally for my niece, Morgan. It was lovely not having to worry about sewing my own daughter one. I did contemplate making her a veil, but after considering my long list of to-dos, and after a brief look at the inexpensive, but quite beautiful, options on eBay, I wisely delegated that task to a third party.