Embarrassing Kid Moment #247,023

child commentsThe following event occurred yesterday morning whilst I was in the store grabbing a pack of diapers for Big Trouble (who is obviously still determined to break me in the potty training department since we were getting yet another pack of diapers, not underwear).

The Setting:

Big Trouble was being quite the little gentleman and this trip to the store had me beaming at the people passing by as I showed off how well my little boy was behaving.  Yep; pat on the back for being an awesome mom;  isn’t he just the cutest little thing?!  I made him.

The Incident:

Then he opened his mouth and SHOUTED a question that no one ever wants to be asked loudly in public:  “MOM, DO YOU NEED TO POOP IN THE POTTY?”

Shh!  No honey, Mommy’s just fine right now, thank you.

He wasn’t satisfied so there was a follow-up question:  “NEED TO PEE-PEE?”  (people are now staring and snickering)

No baby, Mommy already went to the potty.  Do you need to go?


Good Lord, NO!  There are no bodily functions going on right now so please stop shouting!


Oh my Lord, please just come with me to the self-checkout so I don’t have to face a real cashier!…..

End of Scene.

Needless to say, I was quite embarrassed by this happy outburst.  I assume it was payback for my constant barrage of questions concerning his potty training process and lack of progress, but who can say?

I know I can’t be the only one with crazy kids who say things like this, right?!

Turns out, I’m not.  So, here’s a few more fun things that other kids have said!  I would love to hear your stories, too!  Misery loves company! 🙂


Fun At The Jelly Belly Factory


by the official Jelly Belly van

While we were in the San Francisco area a few weeks ago, we decided to take the kids for a tour of the Jelly Belly factory.  Now, I must confess that I am not a huge fan of jelly beans in general.  I find the consistency kind of gross and the flavors usually remind me of cough syrup and for those reasons I tend to steer clear of them.  However, sampling all of the flavors at the Jelly Belly factory has changed my mind!

entering the factory/store

entering the factory/store

We got there right when it opened and only had to wait in line a few minute before our tour began.

Ready for the tour

Ready for the tour

They offered us all little hats to wear and even Big Trouble kept his on most of the time (except for when we took a family picture with the giant jelly bean, naturally).

He couldn't be bothered with his hat during the photo op

He couldn’t be bothered with his hat during the photo-op

We got to see each stage of the jelly bean making process (sadly, couldn’t take pictures) and taste a new flavor of jelly beans at each little stop.  The first we tasted was cantaloupe and it tasted EXACTLY like cantaloupe!  I was floored at how accurate the flavor was!  We also got to taste plum and marshmallow, as well as 3 more flavors of our choice.  I have to say, they were all pretty tasty, but my favorite was the buttered popcorn!  YUMMY!

Of course, they mentioned that not all of their flavor attempts turn out, but they save these anyway and rename them nasty names and sell them for “fun” (I’m guessing this was inspired by the Harry Potter ‘every flavor beans’ but you know they won’t admit that).  I was not up for trying any gross flavors, but Big Trouble will eat just about anything so he got to try booger, pencil shavings and moldy cheese!  He did not spit them out.  (insert a semi-guilty mom-conscience for allowing him to be the guinea pig for nasty jelly beans, but it was pretty funny)

check out some of the reject flavors

check out some of the reject flavors

Along the way, we also saw some of the cool jelly bean mosaics that have been created over time as the Jelly Belly corporation grew.

hall of presidents

hall of presidents

Ronald Reagan - champion of jelly beans

with Ronald Reagan – champion of jelly beans

We also got to sample some spectacular fudge (who knew they made that too?) and we each received a sampler bag of their most popular flavors, which we shared with other family members.  Might I mention that this entire ordeal was completely FREE?!  Yes, you read that right; it was totally free!

what a great trip!

one more fun shot before we left

I have officially been converted to a fan of Jelly Belly’s and I foresee me purchasing some more of those buttered popcorn jelly beans in the very near future! I will steer clear of the moldy cheese and booger flavored ones though. 🙂

How To Tote a Car Seat Through An Airport Without Losing Your Mind (Or Spending A Fortune)

airplaneI’m the first to admit that the scariest part about flying cross-country with our three young children was thinking about how in the world we were going to get our 2-year-old (Big Trouble) to sit still on the flights.  I mean, he doesn’t sit still at home or nearly anywhere else, so why would I even think he would stay in an easily escapable plane seat?  Even though I have never used a car seat on a flight before, I knew I really didn’t have any other options if I didn’t want our flight crew to kick us off the plane.  My tiny “angel” had to be strapped in.

I started asking around and getting ideas from various people and friends and family and while the consensus was that it is a pain to use a car seat on an airplane (yes, it is, when you factor in the narrow aisles and even smaller areas for leg room between the seats while you are trying to set everything up), there are things you can use to get it around the airport without a lot of trouble; everything from specialty bags with wheels, to collapsable luggage carts, to specialized straps that you can buy to attach the seat to a rolling luggage.  The prices ranged from $19.95 to over $100.

Well, there was no way I was going to spend a ton of money when we hardly ever fly, not to mention that a lot of these products had to be ordered well in advance and had numerous reviews citing that they are not as easy to use as they appear so I would need to practice so that I don’t hold up the line at security and getting on and off the plane.  Um, no; having to practice something hardly makes it easy.  But, we had a TON of luggage that would be going with us and there was no way anyone could carry the car seat through the airport.  So, I looked around for an alternative and, guess what?  I found it very easily for $1.50 at The Home Depot.

all of our junk on the "helpful" luggage cart (this did not include the car seat or our three kids so you can imagine the struggles)

all of our junk on the “helpful” luggage cart (this did not include the car seat or our three kids so you can imagine the struggles)

The mystery item that was the secret to my success?  A bungee cord with plastic hooks.  Seriously.  That’s it.  It is an adjustable cord that allows it to go from 24″ to 42″ so it will fit any size car seat and rolling carry-on luggage (no, it was not created especially for this purpose but I had no idea what size I would need so the adjustable worked beautifully).  And, it literally took me about 10 seconds to strap together and less than that to take it apart.  Every time.  Absolute life saver in my book.



Just flip the seat upside down, place it on top of the luggage and strap on.  Never had an issue with it sliding or falling off or not wheeling correctly, etc.  And, the cord doesn’t have metal so it’s safe for you, security doesn’t think you are going to use it as a weapon on anyone else, and it’s easily stored in a back pack or the rolling carry-on until the next use.

The car seat worked well for us and Big Trouble was renamed “Just a Little Trouble Because We’re Flying At Awful Times” for the duration of our flights to the West Coast and back home again.


Strapped in and ready for Take Off!

Seriously, if you are flying and need to bring a car seat, even if you just check it at the gate so that there’s no fear of losing it along the way, this is the way to go!!!  Now, if only I could have figured out how to strap Big Trouble to the bigger luggage…..

I May Be Missing

Today started my first of 2 weeks teaching art at a Summer Camp.  All 3 of my own children are there, including my little beast who has never really been in a setting like this before.  This has proven to already be more difficult than I anticipated.  As such, I foresee many early-to-bed nights in this household with no brain power for blogging.  If I go missing a little over the next few weeks, don’t fear.  I’m still going to keep up with my reading of your lovely blogs and will do my best to catch up with writing as soon as I check out of the “psych ward”.

The good news is that I am collecting some really cute and easy craft ideas to share once everything calms down around here.  And, most of it can be done with things you have around the house so also earth friendly and cheap!

See you in 2 weeks or so (unless I get a sudden burst of energy – I have no idea where that might come from, but crazier things have happened).

Painting With A Highwayman

A few weekends ago, my older son was invited to attend a special painting session with Aletha Butler, a second generation Florida “Highwayman” artist.  If you are not familiar with this famous group of artists, here’s a little snippet on their history.

The Florida Highwaymen, a group of 26 African-Americans, broke convention to paint beautiful iconic landscapes. Originating in the mid 1950’s, an era marked by racism and poverty, these self-taught entrepreneurs mentored each other while they painted on basic materials like Upson board for canvasses, and crown molding for frames. Local galleries shunned their work, so they peddled their art from car trunks along area roadways, hence their name. Their art freed them from work in citrus groves and labor camps, and they created a body of work that has become not only a timeless collection of a natural environment, but a symbol of determination and belief in oneself.   The surviving Highwaymen, now in their sixties and seventies, are an important chapter in America’s culture and history, indeed, a National Treasure. Their self-determination in the face of adversity remains an important story of perseverance, inspiration and creativity.

We were very excited to learn that siblings were welcome to attend this outing as well so I left Big Trouble with Daddy (can you imagine him with an abundance of paint and a huge landscape to destroy?!) and headed over to Mission San Luis to meet the artist and learn more about her painting style.

introduction to the Butler family

introduction to the Butler family

The day couldn’t have been more perfect for the outdoor session; it was sunny, in the low 70’s, with a calm, cool breeze.  The group of children who attended was small enough that Ms. Butler was able to interact with everyone easily.  We were delighted to learn that she had brought her mother and father, Robert Butler, an original member of the Highwaymen, along to the session as well.  The trio of Butlers proved to be lovely people; extremely accommodating and friendly to all of the children.

Now, my mother’s paternal side of the family are all very artistic.  My great-grandmother was an artist, as was my great-uncle, and most of the distant relations have some sort of artistic ability.  As much I as wanted to inherit this ability like my mom and brother and sister, it was not in the cards for me.  I am a very creative person, but artistic? Not so much.  My older son is very much like me in that he desperately longs to be artistic, but his strength lies in the “art” of writing vs. the visual arts.  We knew this heading into the session, so I was interested to see what both he and my daughter (who shows a little more promise in the arts, at least when she takes her time) would come up with.

watching the demonstration

watching the demonstration

The kids watched Ms. Butler explain how she starts by using shapes and mixing colors and it was amazing to watch her make it look so simple (it definitely is not simple).  My daughter started off trying to paint the landscape like Ms. Butler did, and it looked really good until she discovered that mixing the colors and just spreading them across the canvas was more fun – she was “exspearminting”.  The flower she had been working on was quickly covered by randomness.

notice how calm and normal the pictures started off

notice how calm and normal the pictures started off

the mess that it turned into when she started mixing colors

the mess that it turned into when she started mixing colors

I did no painting and somehow I was still covered in paint....

I did no painting and somehow I was still covered in paint thanks to her “experiments”….

My son chose a different route and tried to paint a copy of an amazing painting Ms. Butler had done of a frog on a leaf.

Ms. Butler's painting

Ms. Butler’s painting

the beginning of a frog

the beginning of his copy

I could tell what he was going for, but the colors kind of just started blending into each other and he started getting a little frustrated when no one else could tell what he was painting.  At that point, Mr. Butler came over and started talking to my son about his painting.  He had just finished painting a picture with another student, so my son bravely asked if he would mind painting with him.  I thought he might have been tired from making the rounds earlier, but he sat right down with my son and gave him a one-on-one lesson about how he creates paintings.

discussing painting with Robert Butler

discussing painting with Robert Butler and a friend

He used the weird colors that my son had used and placed them in the same parts of the canvas that my son had, but reinterpreted it to create a landscape.

starting his copy of my son's picture

starting his copy of my son’s picture, using just the colors and placement

a little more added to the canvas

a little more added to the canvas

things are starting to look like actual objects with just simple strokes of the brush

things are starting to look like actual objects with just simple strokes of the brush

adding the finishing touches

adding the finishing touches

pointing out the similarities and differences because every artist has a different point of view

pointing out the similarities and differences because every artist has a different point of view

IT WAS AMAZING.  And it only took him about 15 minutes to complete his painting.  He even signed it and gave it to my son to keep, while sweetly asking my son to send him a signed piece when he gets older in exchange.

The two paintings side by side

The two paintings side by side (it’s hard to tell from this picture, but up close, the details in Mr. Butler’s painting are so vivid and create a simplistically beautiful portrait of a small pond within a bright, wooded area – and that all came from just glancing at my son’s color scheme!)

I know my 7-year-old doesn’t fully comprehend how special that moment (or the gift of the picture) was, but I sure do.  I am going to frame both pictures and hang them in his room so that we can remember this experience.

Both Robert and Aletha Butler, as well as many of the other Butler children, still work as artists and sell their beautiful paintings, so if you are in the market for a beautiful landscape painting, please check this extraordinary family out.  You won’t be disappointed.

**If you are in the Tallahassee area, Ms. Butler’s work will be on display at the FSU Fine Arts Museum from May-July as part of the Generations exhibit.  My son will also have a piece there too as part of a class legacy project!**

Finally Sitting Still (But Not Until After We Wrestled In Public)

It’s no secret that my 2-year-old is quite a handful; there is a reason that I refer to him as Big Trouble.  Most of my blogs these days end up being about crazy adventures that I have had with him (and this one will be no exception), but the last few days or so, I have noticed a change in him that I hope is a sign of great things to come.

So, before I tell you another highly entertaining story (at least for those of you that didn’t have to live through it), I must first tell you that not only did my husband and I get to go out to lunch with him for the first time in a year this weekend (MIRACLE OF MIRACLES), he also went to the park and to get ice cream one on one with me and he was calm and marvelous!  Who knew he had it in him?!  Let’s pray it continues instead of me having more moments like the following (which occurred just last week):

My little guy had been complaining of his chin hurting (well he was pointing to his chin and saying “hurts” so I assumed that’s what it was) and he had a slight fever for a few days.  It never got really high, just slightly higher than normal, but then he just wanted to be snuggled for several hours and he wouldn’t get off of the couch.  Something was definitely wrong because you usually cannot get him to sit down for 2 seconds.  So, after a weekend of sitting still (which actually made me miss his usual craziness, if you can believe that), I made an appointment with our pediatrician to get him checked out, thinking maybe it was an ear infection.

Of course the minute we walked into the office, he was back to his usual self with no sign of sickness to be found.  Somehow it always works that way for me.  But, we were there and I decided better to be safe than sorry.  Good thing because it turned out that he had strep and had been trying to point to his throat but mistakenly pointed to his chin.  Lovely!  The pediatrician said to get him on antibiotics immediately before it spread to the rest of the family (he knows how much we like to share germs with each other).

Seeing as though the medicine he prescribed was free at our local grocery store (and we needed a few grocery items anyway), I decided to take the prescription there instead of going to our usual drive-thru pharmacy.  This turned out to be a mistake of epic proportion.  I stepped up to the drop-off counter and handed the prescription to the pharmacist who told me it would be about 15 minutes.  Not too bad, I thought to myself.  We’ll just go and pick up what we need and pay for them and then walk back over to the pharmacy on our way out (at this point I had convinced Big Trouble to sit in the cart).

About 10 seconds down the first aisle, he demanded to walk and began screaming the word, “walk” as though he had absolutely no pain in his throat at all.  Fine, fine, just HUSH and hold my hand. One hand now holding his and the other pushing the ridiculous cart with the steering wheel, we walked around the store looking for the few things we needed at home.  Then we got to the medicine aisle where I wanted to pick up some more Tylenol.  I started combing the shelf for the infant kind because the dropper is so much easier to deal with in the middle of the night, while Big Trouble let go of my hand.  He didn’t go far, so I let him wander back and forth a little while I found the right box of medicine.  I called for him to come back and as he turned around, I noticed that he was thoughtfully bringing me some Beano and a bottle of Immodium from his section.   An old man walking by started laughing as B.T. placed the items he had chosen in our cart.  Fantastic.  Now everyone at the store must think I have some kind of serious digestive issues when even my 2-year-old has the courtesy to pick up these products for me.  I have got to get out of here before he finds condoms or Monistat!   Back to the shelf those products quickly went (I apologize to the stockers who will find these products located by the Motrin – I was too embarrassed to look for the correct spot).

We made our way to the checkout line and paid for our products without so much as an incident (which is kind of a miracle since he was still not in the cart).  Then we headed back to the pharmacy.  I glanced at my phone and saw that we had spent about 13 minutes so I was prepared to wait another minute or two but surely the pharmacist saw that I had a crazy baby with me and would have put a rush on this very common drug that they have plenty of.  No such luck.

We stepped up to the pick up counter and the assistant told me that they were just now mixing up the antibiotics.  Lovely.  I tried to get B.T. to sit in one of the chairs and wait patiently with me, but I think you all know how well that went over.  He couldn’t be bothered with the chairs when there was a display of decorative canes nearby.  He kept calling them bats and trying to take them out of the stand so that he could play baseball.  There were screeches involved as I pulled him away repeatedly, begging for him to notice the chairs (again, the screams of an annoying toddler usually hurries people up just to get rid of them but I assume the pharmacist was slightly deaf because he was still going as slow as molasses).



Then he spotted IT; a rogue mylar balloon that someone had left in a corner.  He had to have it so off he ran to grab it.  At this point, I was annoyed by the ‘way past 15 minutes’ it had taken to fill this prescription so I broke down and just let him beat up that poor balloon (I generally discourage this kind of behavior, but I was exhausted; at least I didn’t let him do it with one of the canes).  He had fun with this for another 5 minutes before he finally noticed the chairs and took the opportunity to try to use them as hurdles WITH THE BALLOON STILL IN TOW, practically strangling himself.  Finally, nearly 30 minutes later, the prescription was ready.  I signed the form and grabbed the medicine while giving the pharmacist the evil eye (the guy was on the phone laughing so he totally deserved it – plus it was much better than the scenario in my head where I grabbed a cane and poked him in the eye).

It was finally time to get the heck out of there, but Big Trouble still had the balloon and I had no intention of waiting in yet another line to buy the $4 punching bag.  So, I tried to take it away.  Um, yeah, he wasn’t going to let that thing go without a fight.  He had a kung fu grip on that flimsy string and I was trying desperately not to break it.  Then he had the grand idea of running in circles around me so that I couldn’t get it.  As I tried to catch him, we both got caught up in the string and tumbled to the ground, a la a bad fight on girls gone wild.  So, there I was, literally caught in a balloon string wrestling match on the floor of the grocery store.  Nevermind the fact that it’s disgusting to be on a public floor, I couldn’t get up until I figured out how to unravel us from the string.  People at the bakery were staring; people walking by were staring; people checking out were staring; that *#&%#*^% pharmacist was staring.  It was fantastic.

approximation of how it went down (minus the spandex)

approximation of how it went down (minus the spandex)

Meanwhile, Big Trouble thought I had planned this fun on purpose so he was laughing hysterically.  I finally managed to get us out of the death trap and I punched the balloon directly at the face of the pharmacist (sadly, the helium didn’t let it travel far enough to do any damage).  I picked up B.T. and our grocery items and hobbled out of the store, shaken and filthy, but with my head held high because I had won the battle of the balloon.

Needless to say, it was not one of my finer moments of motherhood and I am lucky that I had kids before I was older and got osteoporosis because I really could have broken a hip.  However, the next few days went by without incident and (as previously mentioned) when the weekend finally rolled around, we got to go out to eat for the first time in a year and he sat there like an angelic child.  I also was able to take him for ice cream while the big kids had a fun day with daddy and he didn’t even make a huge mess (nor did he try to Superman off of the highest point of the playground when we went to play = success)!

I guess the lesson I need to take from this is, for the love of God, “NO BALLOONS”, give him food, and no more using that pharmacy, even if it is free.  I am hoping that his recent calm behavior will continue because God feels as though I have been embarrassed enough for this year.  I must tell you, it is so much nicer sharing a brownie sundae with Mr. Trouble than rolling around on the floor of the grocery store, bless his heart.

My sweet boy sharing a treat with me AT A PUBLIC VENUE!

My sweet boy sharing a treat with me AT A PUBLIC VENUE!

A Little High Maintenance, But Definitely Worth It

Instead of buying her yet another toy, my husband and I decided to plan a few activities for my daughter’s actual birthday (her birthday party having taken place the Saturday before so that her friends could come before they left for Spring Break).  It was a much better use of money and it allowed us to spend some quality time together!

Now, please remember that 2 of the 3 things we did are definitely not every day occasions, but for purposes of a “big girl’s” 6th birthday, they were perfect choices.

The kids started off the day by going to see The Croods with daddy.  We would have all gone together, but Big Trouble doesn’t do movies – SHOCKING, right?croods croods2

Then, compliments of Grandma, I got to take her to her first mani/pedi.

holding very still!

holding very still!

getting a special design on her toes, compliments of the nice nail stylist

getting a special design on her toes, compliments of the nice nail stylist

She was so excited and told everyone there that it was her birthday and she was a big girl.  They didn’t seem to mind that she took 10 minutes to pick out 2 colors (because she couldn’t just have matching fingers and toes).

fancy flower toes

fancy flower toes

nails done

she thought she was so big, especially when they brought her an apple juice to sip on during the process 🙂

Then we went to the Melting Pot for a fondue dinner.  They loved how stringy the cheese was when they dipped the bread in and REALLY loved the yummy chocolate dessert.



It was an exhausting day, but a fun one for everyone, even B.T. who got to eat the leftovers we brought home from dinner.  I hope it was as special for my big girl as it was for me and I hope this will be something that we can replicate over the coming years with her and with our boys. 🙂