Zooful Impressions – WW

I think one of my favorite parts of going to the zoo is watching my kids.

It’s almost like they’re meeting their long-lost relatives.

Baby did not disappoint on our trip to the Nashville Zoo a few weeks ago.

First she sees this fella

2Nashville zoo 5
(Please don’t ask me what it’s called…I couldn’t remember it at all!)

And she needed to demonstrate for me the horns…

2Nashville zoo 6

Then we moved onto the Elephants…

2Nashville Zoo9

And we got to see her version of a trunk…

2Nashville zoo 3

And then there were the flamingos

2Nashville zoo 4

These are Baby’s FAVORITE animals! As can be demonstrated by the her fabulous impression of them!

2Nashville zoo 7

And then there was the impression I was not expecting…

2Nashville zoo 1

“Hey, Mama! Do I look just like Ariel? Like a mermaid? This is just like a mermaid rock!”

Today I’m participating in Wordless / Wordful Wednesday with

parenting BY dummies


Live and Love...Out Loud

among other people / blogs


Not Tootin’ My Own Horn – WW

Life is getting difficult.

Big is getting bigger.

Is it just me, or do those two things kinda go together?

I mean really, she IS 11 now.

She is getting picky about her clothes.

Not too much, but enough that it is throwing me for a loop.

In the past I could just hand her clothes, she puts them on and we go along our merry way!

She’s starting to develop her own style, and I’m okay with that!


This is Spirit Week at her school.

Monday was college colors day.

We just couldn’t get her into the colors of ANY university / college her parents attended…we HAD those colors – Sorry WAZZU, Whatcom, Western, Clarion, and IUP!

Dude! I went to four colleges / universities! Dang!

She chose Pitt at least it wasn’t Penn State

She decided to wear a yellow T-shirt and blue jeans.


Tuesday was Tie-Dye Day and she wore a Tie-Dyed T-shirt.


Today is Years Day.

She was supposed to wear an outfit that represented a decade of the 20th century.

Initially she wanted a Poodle skirt.

I could have made that, but she would never wear it again.

I nixed that one.

I thought she should be from the 1970’s or 80’s.

I went and got her a pair of jeans from the Salvy (my favorite costume shop).

I got a patch from Wally’s.

September 2011 025

And a T-shirt from my Mama direct from the 1970’s!

Big was disappointed.

EVERYONE else was being a 1970’s girl.

So, that is why I found myself back at Wally’s at 9 p.m. desperately searching for a pair of black pants.

Big decided to be from the 1930’s…

Years Day 7 - revised

a Jazz musician from the 1930’s.

Years Day 3 - revised

She got a button down from the closet.

She got a vest from Baby’s costume box.

And asked me for black slacks.

We didn’t have any.

I went to Wally’s.

Because I realized how I had goofed up, I decided to make it up by throwing in a cool hat!

So, she’s a Jazz musician with a cool hat, black slacks, button down shirt, vest…

Years Day 10 - revised

and trumpet!

Years Day 2 - retouched

Today I have been participating in Wordful Wednesday with
parenting BY dummies

The Difference a Year Makes – WW

We had some visitors over Labor Day weekend and it just happened to coincide with Big’s Birthday. I was watching Big and her BFF and couldn’t help but flash back to one of my favorite photos EVER

Friends 2011 - retouch

This photo is of Big and her BFF taken almost a year ago. It was taken on a trip to a DelGrosso’s Amusement Park (aka Bland’s Park) in PA just before we moved to TN. It was snapped as we were leaving the park, all thoughts of the big move had been pushed out of their heads by roller coasters, flying ships and funnel cakes. They were laughing as we walked back to the car, giggling and relishing in being 10.

This was the last HURRAH! so to speak.

Over the last year Big and her BFF have kept in touch.

They write letters to each other.

The real kind of letters that have envelopes and stamps and everything! For her birthday last year the BFF received a web camera so they can SKYPE. (Now there’s a sight to behold for reasons I’ll share another time).

Lucky for Big, her BFF is the daughter of my PiC (Partner in Crime).

And, when I wasn’t able to get back to PA, PA came to us.

So, here we are a year later, and Big and her BFF were together again.



Relishing being 11.

Friends 2011 - redo

Today I am participating in Wordless / Wordful Wednesday with
parenting BY dummies



If You Give a Big a Camera – WW

This past weekend the family and I decided to do a bit more exploring of Tennessee.

We packed a picnic lunch (Baby was a bit miffed that I wouldn’t throw in a blanket ’cause you KNOW that a blanket is a necessity in picnicing), sprayed down everyone with bug repellant, grabbed sturdy shoes (a story unto itself), a camera and headed out to explore – destination New Johnsonville!

Now, New Johnsonville itself wasn’t the destination; rather the New Johnsonville State Park.

It was here that I handed Big her camera and told her to go to town.

So, todays Wordful / Wordless Wednesday photos are courtesy of her and her camera (with the exception of one or two pictures).

I’m not sure what it is about kids and cameras, but for some reason they seem to find the posterior of any person in the vicinity and with a shriek of giggles they run from one person to the next gleefully snapping pictures of people bottoms.

Now when I was growing up I thought the word BUTT was a swearword (seriously). My children don’t have that problem.

First, *WARNING* Wide Screen May Be Needed. This is the end of your public service announcement. You may now return to reading this post.

But(t) pictures 1

“Mama! I just took a picture of your butt!”

“Hey, Dadddy! Come here and look at this!” and while the poor man is taking in the glorious scenery, CLICK! *Giggles* *Hysterical laughter*

But(t) pictures 4

“Mama” *snicker* *giggle* *snort* *whisper* “I just took a picture of Daddy’s butt! Now, take a picture of mine, okay?”

But(t) pictures 3

And, Baby, who couldn’t possibly be left out just HAD to have a picture taken of her butt!

But(t) pictures 2

Over the years it seems that my family has taken hundreds of butt pictures. I recall photos from a trip to Disneyland when I was around 13 when all the pictures seemed to be of people walking away. So, I guess I learned from the best and, now, here I am passing down the tradition of the butt picture to Big. Of course, she needs to work on it a little, but(t) I think it will come in time.

Butt picture 5

I think I’ve gotten better at it.

Today I have been participating in Wordless / Wordful Wednesday with Parenting By Dummies
parenting BY dummies
and Live and Love Outloud
Live and Love...Out Loud

A Girl, A Grand and a Nook – WW

Today I am participating in Wordless / Wordful Wednesday with Parenting BY Dummies and several other fabulous blogging ladies

The title of this post is not quite what you think…
This Grand does not equal $1,000 and this Nook is not an e-Reader.
This post is about what happens when My Mama (the GRANDma) and My Daddy (the GRANDpa) came to town for a few WEEKS.

Girls & Grands

When we moved into our new house in TN, we purposely bought a house we could just vaccuum and move into – i.e. NO painting and NO renovations needed. The only change I have wanted to make was to turn Big’s closet into a Reading Nook.

See, Big has never had a closet in her room. We’ve always lived in old houses (I’m talking 80-100 years) and back in the day, most average houses did not have closets, they used wardrobes or pegs to hand their clothes.

We’ve never had to deal with the idea that there was something making creepy noises in the closet.

Until now.

Big is nearly 11 and we are just now dealing with the whole spooky closet thing. The closet hasn’t even been opened except to shove another box or two into it!

The closet was a semi-walk-in with double doors AND no pole.

I had a SCATHINGLY BRILLIANT IDEA (for reference these ideas are usually met with looks of dread from the Ranger, ’cause they typically are better ideas in the mind than in actuality) we would incorporate the closet into the room and give Big somewhere to store her books!

I told My Mama this idea and she agreed that it was brilliant! (I get my propensity for SCATHINGLY BRILLIANT IDEAS from My Mama, My Daddy gets that same look of dread as the Ranger).

Big thought it was a pretty great idea too! (Her future husband will most likely learn to dread those ideas too).

So, the Grands came to visit and by the time they left an unuseable space had become a haven for a pre-teen.

Nook in progress

became this
the finished nook

the nook finished

FYI – My child takes after her parents and her books are organized into Fiction and Non-Fiction and subject matter. Makes me proud! I guess this is what happens when your Mama is a librarian.

And this young girl
Painting the nook

became this pre-teen
stocking the nook

There wasn’t enough room for all her books in the Nook, so these got added in the hallway
the bookcase
(There are still two more boxes of books that need to be shelved).

And, since you can’t put Baby in a corner, Baby got to get her paint on too and splash some in her room!
Baby's mirror

We also found this really cool mirror in the attic that some past residents left behind and decided to add it to her room. It was probably a mistake though, it takes her much, MUCH longer to get dressed in the morning.

The Nook is FABULOUS! Big spends a lot of time there and it is not unusual for her to have to evict Baby from her bench so that she can have it to herself.

the nook bench

At some point we might have to put the doors back on the closet and use it for her clothes, but for now when I can’t find my older child I just peek my head in and there she is curled up with a book.

How to Survive a Heat Wave in TN

Today I am participating in Wordful Wednesday with ParentingByDummies and Seven Clown Circus.

I’ve been to areas where hot weather is the norm.
I’ve headed out the door at 5 a.m. in New Orleans only to wilt away in the 90+ heat index on my way to catch an airplane to the blessedly cooler mountains in Pennsylvania.

I’ve lived in areas where I thought I knew heat, after all Southwestern PA is not exactly cool all summer (unless you have air conditioning).
Well, I’m here to tell ya that I knew NUTHIN!

It’s still the end of May and at 9 a.m. this morning it was 90 degrees.

At 2 p.m. it was 100 degrees! By Friday it should be around 105 degrees with the actual heat index. I am sooooooo not looking forward to that one!

This Mama just looked at the thermometer and wanted to back slowly into the kitchen where she had some air conditioning.

So, how do you do HOT in TN when it’s not even summer yet?

Well, if you’re me (and why not, ’cause I’m fabulous!) you can try these tricks.

  1. Go to the pool with everyone else, their granny and their cousin Mertyl.

    I felt kinda sorry for some of those kids…there’s little more traumatizing to a child than to see their teacher (even if she is just a substitute) in a swimsuit and a glaring white non-tan! I’m so pale, I make my kids look tanned!

  2. Enjoy watching television inside under the fan. This is a great idea if you want to be sure to get your kids into a nice vegetative state! Really, my kids don’t do this all day…sometimes they play their DS’s instead!

    In case you were wondering, the girls are watching a portable DVD player, we only own one television and for some reason it does not play Mario Bros. cartoons or Barney.

  3. Drink lots of fluids! Alcohol doesn’t count unless you have LOTS of ice or Kool-Aid in it. I’m talking to the adults here! Kids should have their Kool-Aid sans alcohol anyways! You know who I’m talking to here… Geez…
  4. Set up an entire city in your living room so you can make the little people run your errands for you!

5. Count to 1,000 on paper…after you make the counting blocks…while enjoying the feel of a fan and air conditioning!

6. Find the closest body of water that is FREE and section off an area of the beach with crime scene tape so that it remains open just to you. When you hit the beach just lay flat on your back with your arms splayed out and pretend you are dead. To make it look more real, give your kids a bottle of cheap white sunscreen and have them outline you with it…it’s white, it could work! I bet you could get a whole beach to yourself doing that!

7. Go to the library! This is not just the librarian in me speaking. There is air conditioning at the library, and it is FREE! All you have to do is make sure you get your books returned on time! They have books, newspapers, computers, magazines and ours even has a television! Oooohhhhhh…..Aaaaaaahhhhhh….OOOOOOoooooooo!! (Seriously, I think it’s kinda cool to be able to sit on a couch and watch the news in the library).

8. Read a book. You don’t have to buy these (refer to trick #4). You can do a lot of reading over the summer from the coolness of the interior of your house, from by a swimming pool and even from the porch steps in the twilight.

9. Ice cream. No explanation needed.

10. If all else fails, sit on a block of ice.

Smile for G-Ma!

Today I am participating in Wordful / Wordless Wednesday with Parenting BY Dummies and Seven Clown Circus.

My Mother-in-Law loves to have pictures of her grandchildren. They are so very spread out in age that it is getting harder and harder to get everyone together, so when they are all in one place the cameras come out!

The older cousins have the capability of taking a serious picture, but they are usually too busy trying to wrangle the younger cousins. There is nothing easy about trying to get 4 teenagers and 3 small children to all look at the camera at the same time.

So, sometimes it’s better just to go with fun. This is my all time FAVORITE picture of my children with their cousins!

Several years have passed, the older cousins are no longer kids, but they still get directed to stand together so we can get a picture for G-ma. And, the older ones are still trying to get the younger ones in place. Ironically, the window behind them reads, “Why must you persecute me?”.

But, these little chicks know exactly where the camera is…

They’d just rather have fun!