Huckleberry Solofinn

Here's the deal, I don't always do things like normal people. I know, shocking. And while I give my kids a hard time about forgetting things I tell them, and doing things in ways that make absolutely no sense at all, they come by it very honestly. You see, being a very physical, hands-on learner, I find that if something doesn't literally hit me in the head, I will either not learn it at all, or at the very least, forget about it entirely. (And hit me in the head hard enough and all is lost too I assure you....it's called a fine line guys.)

So when dealing with Solly's preschool, I find it best if I just skirt around the edge, tiptoeing in and out, trying to stay under the radar because I know that I have probably forgotten the snack that day or the field trip last week or someone's (I dunno, perhaps my own kid's) birthday because none of those things jumped out and hit me in the head. (Calendars are so overrated.) And if you don't believe me, ask me what this random soccer mom and I talked about for an hour on Monday night.....I remember as clear as day because her oldest daughter accidentally hit me in the nose with a ping pong ball right in the middle of the conversation and while the other mom was mortified, I thought, "Oh Thank God, it isn't just MY kids!"....ok, ok, I also remember because we talked about how she wanted to move to a farm and raise goats and Alpacas and so obviously I loved her instantly!

But, I digress.....in all fairness, though, I feel I have earned the right to be apathetic about preschool having four kids who have survived to tell about it and done just fine without me drilling them with flashcards.....those moms who are freaking out about whether little Betty Sue is mastering her letters or Johnny can write his name legibly in four languages, well, they only have one kid, maybe two, so they probably should be worried (seriously, what is WRONG with their kids.....don't know their numbers to 100 yet?! Sheesh!) Quite honestly, I am just happy when Solomon doesn't smell like urine when I drop him off late in yesterday's clothes. (You gotta pick your battles people!) And the teachers know it, too. And since I know that they know I don't care, I avoid them like the plague. Kurt asked just the other day if I was at all curious to find out about Solomon's issues with "Fwanky" and I had to explain to him that I don't choose to talk to the teachers unless I absolutely have to since they already think I am a nut. He didn't even try to assure me that they don't, because apparently he is finally catching on. And that was disappointing because I was all prepared with my latest "teacher interaction" story, the one that went like this:

Me (upon dropping off Solly and our neighbor, Cody): Hi, Miss Nolan. Cody's mom told me to tell you that she......(I pause, because it was at this moment I realized I could not remember what Cody's mom had told me to tell them, like seven minutes earlier....didn't hit me in the head!)

Teacher (staring at me with what I am guessing was not amusement): Yes?

Me: Um, she told me to tell you that she will drop off the thing that she has at their house.....I just can't currently recall what that thing is. I think she said she had to wash it?

Teacher, with complete condescension: You mean the class dog?

Me, all excited: Is his name Oreo? Then yes! That's it! She said she would drop him off after she washed him. Something about Cody being sick and her wanting to make sure the dog was clean....

Teacher: Ok, then. Great. Thanks for that....Nut Job. (No, she did not call me a nut job, not out loud at least.)

At any rate, and forgive me when I get off track even more here, when Solly announces that, "I made good choices in school today," I know he means it and what he also means is that usually he doesn't make such great choices but today was so, incredibly different that his teachers actually commented to him that he had behaved well. (Good job, kid. Way to meet the average expectations for your age group....once.) Madeline and Lily have quite accurately compared him to little Davy in the Anne of Green Gables series while Kurt says he is more like Huck Finn and needs a swift lesson in being civilized. I am fairly certain that we will have to outsource the civilization of Huckleberry Solofinn if it is to happen at all. This kid is not like the others. Seriously.

Just yesterday we were watching Aidan's swim practice (and by watching, I mean I was watching while listening for the sounds of Solofinn playing with some large, detached metal piece of the bleachers underneath me.....hey, at least I knew where he was....) when I realized I could no longer hear him (scratch that part about knowing where he was!) I immediately went searching and found him in front of the fire extinguisher box, banging on the extinguisher with the handle he had broken off the door, presumably about to douse the place in fire retardant. I grabbed him, Liam and our stuff and we went to wait in the car. (Aidan should be thanking me for not allowing Solomon the chance to make a big scene. Happy Birthday, Aidan! And you're welcome!)

He's just not like the other kids, this one. He comes in this cute little bundle of love so it is hard to get too mad but on the flip side he is wrapped in destruction.....it's like a sweet little puppy coming in for a hug....but with a machete tail. Who doesn't love a puppy wagging a machete behind them?

But, try as I might, I can't get mad at him. Yesterday, entirely exasperated at the little boys hanging on me, and completely ready to call it quits, I yelled out: "Why?! Why must you always crawl into my lap and hang from me when I am trying to work? Why?!"

To which Solly sweetly answered: "Because I LOVE YOU!"

And that, dear readers, is how he has managed to stay alive for four, very, very long years. I just have to remind myself to be careful when he turns around.....that tail is a b!%@h!


Car Talk with Solly

Driving with Solomon in the back of the car is always an interesting experience. If he isn't belting out the words to various Rock-n-Roll songs, he comes up with some great conversation starters. Here are a few recent Solomon conversations from the car:

Solomon gave a little cough the other day before casually stating: "Mom, you need to check me when we get home."
"Why's that, Solly?" I asked.
"Um, because there's a penny in my throat.....I think it's going to my tummy."

Ah, yes, the good appetizer penny. What's that about a penny saved? Whomever said it is welcome to save this one because I think I will pass.....and just hope that the penny does, too.


"Mom, Franky is in my class." (Well, that's what he tried to say but his "R" isn't so clear yet so it sounds more like Fwanky.)
"Oh, that's nice." I replied.
"I don't like her," he stated firmly.
"Oh....why's that?" I asked.
"She never calls my name........ So I don't like her and sometimes, well, I just call her Fwanka."

Then later in the week, as we were driving to school, Solomon announced: "I don't want to go to school today!"
"Well, I'm sorry to hear that but you have to go," I told him.
"Noo! I HATE school!" he exclaimed.
"You're four," I said calmly. "You are not allowed to hate school."
"But Fwanky is there....and I don't like Fwanky! That Fwanka!"

I swear he thinks he is calling her a bad name. Good ol' Franka. While I believe we have already covered this, I have to say, I feel sorry for this Franky kid....I don't know how long Solly will go before channeling his inner Lily or um, Mr. T (I pity the fool who....) and go take her out in some fashion. I should probably warn the teachers but they already think I'm a nut (and rightly so) so I doubt they'd believe me. Next thing you know though, he will be spiking her apple juice with his spit and wiping boogers in her hair the moment before he gives her ponytail a good yank. Just saying. Fwanka, be warned!

Have a great day, y'all!


Egg-Laying Machines and Other Assorted Monsters


Ten is how many dozen eggs I currently have sitting in my house right now. And that is AFTER giving a dozen away this morning. So much for winter causing hens to lay less. I am apparently raising egg laying machines!

If you ask Solomon, he would probably tell you they are egg laying monsters. And he will gladly punch them in the beak for you if you so ask.

Speaking of monsters, Solomon has developed into quite the little character. The other day, he wanted to play on my phone. This was our conversation:

Solly: Mommy, may I play on your phone please? (Ok, ok….that was what he was required to say three times after his actual request which was: "I want to play Minecraft; where's your phone?")

Me: Solly, you can play on my phone but first you have to pick up your room.

Solly: Nooooooo! I can't pick up my room!

Me: Sure you can.

Solly: I can't pick it up all by myself.

Me: Why not, Solomon?

Solly: Because it is too heavy! But I can pick up the toys maybe…..

And so it begins…..

Have a great week y'all…. oh, and anyone local want some eggs??


I Dream of Jeannie

Actually, to be more specific, I dream of being Jeannie…..ok Women's Studies professors (and maybe most of my "liberated" family members) please do us all a favor and stop reading now. It's not that I want to be secluded to a bottle only coming out to do my master's bidding, but I admit, having a very quiet, solitary place all my own, that I could just disappear to at the wink of an eye, doesn't sound half bad. (No Kurt, the little claustrophobic inducing junk filled closet that is all mine upstairs really doesn't count…..no, the chicken coop doesn't either…..)

But right now, this very moment, I look at my post-Christmas, post-weekend house and think, if only I were Jeannie…..one little nod and everything would be in its place: the floors would be mopped, the dishes done, toilets scrubbed, furniture dusted, carpets vacuumed, and dinner would just appear suddenly on a nicely set table. Perhaps I would even nod the kids into their bedrooms to get ready for bed before zapping myself back into my bottle to enjoy some extra relaxation time. And let's not leave out the part that excludes running a hundred miles or lifting those gosh darn weights to keep in shape because, well, seriously, you remember what she looks like right?

So, tonight, I'm wishing I were Jeannie (while making the kids do all the work). Tomorrow, it's back to being me and doing all the things that I wouldn't have to do if I were Jeannie…..

(For the record, I am pretty certain Kurt wouldn't mind if I were Jeannie either…..I'm just saying.)

Argh, the kids are calling…...*Wink-Nod*…...

Darn, it didn't work!

Have a great week, friends!


Top 10 Warning Signs…..

Top Ten Warning Signs That Your Chicken Obsession Has Gone Too Far:

1. When someone asks your three year old what says, "Bak bak, bak bak, bak bak," he points to you.

2. Your spouse tells you that you are starting to kiss like a chicken….so you peck him on the cheek and waddle off.

3. Anytime you see something move in the grass, you quickly stop and scratch at the ground with your foot to see if you should catch it, you know, for the chickens….

4. You consider naming the store bought chicken you bring home because, 'that chicken was a somebody at some point too ya know!'

5. You talk to your hens as if they could understand you or would actually give a hoot even if they could. (And then get mad when they ignore your requests…..)

6. You tell your six year old son to go wake up his brother. He runs upstairs and you hear him crow: "Cock-a-doodle doooooo!" (Presumably right in his brother's ear….)

7.When your neighbor gets all giddy because he "got you some chicken poop" you know exactly what he means and you get totally excited too because you have never had the chance to actually use the Chicken Poop (chapstick) that you had blogged about years before. (I can now confirm it is better than the real thing….hee hee.) Thanks, Big E!

8. It takes you a week to get the lights on your Christmas Chicken Coop just right (including taking down the first batch because you are pretty sure the hens don't like the chintzy looking multi-colored lights that match the lights at the chicken-hating neighbor's house……because every time they, the hens, not the neighbors, are out they try to peck at the blue ones…..) And even after settling for red lights with a white star on top, you are already plotting in your head how you might do them differently next year.

9. and 10. (Yes, this one really deserves at least two places….) You are happily making your typical old Christmas cookies when you notice that your "harp" cookie cutter produces cookies that look just like little chickens! After several dozen little chicken cookies later (and irritating two little girls in the process, both of whom work very hard sneaking in a bell and a tree and a heart whenever they can) you vaguely remember the great big metal chicken form (wall decor maybe?) that someone gave you as part of a gift basket last year so you ecstatically send your kid up to grab it while you make another two batches of dough so that instead of making little trees, bells, ornaments and snowmen you make this:

The World's Most Gigantic Christmas Chicken Cookie

Or perhaps the World's Only Gigantic Christmas Chicken Cookie….
you know, not including the FIVE FOUR OTHERS you made (the first one took a dive for the worst as we got the hang of maneuvering these Gigantic Roos from parchment paper to baking sheet.)

It really puts a new spin on "baked chicken" doesn't it?
And then, as you are merrily baking, you begin telling your children the REAL story behind the Wise Men….you know, the one where it was actually the Christmas Chicken that lead the Wise Men to the stable….. it was dinner time, after all, and those Christmas Chickens were TERRIBLY hungry. Thank goodness for the Great Christmas Chicken or else poor little Jesus's birth might have been completely overlooked, he'd have gone totally unadorned, the Wise Men wouldn't have delivered any gifts and we'd be out a Christmas carol or two, at least. And THEN, as if that weren't bad enough, Santa would not have thought to start bringing presents to all the little girls and boys and Christmas as we know it would not even exist! (And all us modern parents would sing praises of joy!) So YOU'D BETTER BE THANKFUL FOR THE GREAT CHRISTMAS CHICKEN!!!!

My kids didn't buy it either. Whatever. These little cluckers are gonna rock as Christmas gifts for my neighbors though. They will be iced and decorated and wrapped with a little tag that simply says: 

Merry Clucking Christmas.

And the best part, if you receive one of these as a gift, you know you are either one of my very favorite people ever, or one of my least favorite…..it's like a clucking Christmas mystery. And if you just don't care one way or the other, simply bite the little pecker's head off and forget it ever happened. 

Best. Christmas. Cookies. EVER!

Thank you, O' Great Christmas Chicken!*

*Keep shaking your head Kurt….it only gets better from here!


My Kids Have Issues (But Would You Expect Anything Less?)


Solly: Mom, how do you spell naked?
Me: N…..A……wait, what?
Solly: No, I mean, can you write the word naked on my picture? (He hands me the picture he has scribbled and I write "naked" across the top.)….. Now can you write the word "teacher"?
Me: Um, no, absolutely not. 


I sang to the boys the other night. It was the first time in years….Twinkle, Irish Lullaby, Little Bunny Foo Foo, Hush a Bye Baby (which somehow included "if that diamond ring don't shine, papa's gonna buy you a porcupine….if that porcupine's no fun, papa's gonna buy you an air soft gun….." it was all smooth sailing from there…) Then I took requests, Baby Beluga, The Star Spangled Banner, Take me Out to the Ball Game, and when I said, "Ok, one more," Liam requested I Drive Your Truck and Solly insisted, "No, let's do Ten Rounds of Jose Cuervo!"

Oh, if only they would..bedtime would become a piece of cake. 


So, a friend posted on Facebook a link to watch James Taylor playing Christmas music on the guitar. It was delightful, as JT tends to be. Aidan was watching over my shoulder and at the end he says:

"Wow, if that guy could only sing he'd probably be famous."

really don't think he is mine actually. So, I sent him to bed hungry and told him he couldn't come back out until he could play or sing even half as well as JT. 

I'm gonna miss that kid……maybe.  


Me (after running my fingers through 3 year old Solly's freshly washed hair): Solly, what is that in your hair???
Solly: Ah, it's jus' some ticks. (I swear I heard a country twang.)
Me: Um, if you have ticks on your head we should probably remove them.
Solly: Nah. I like 'em there. Ticks belong in the hair.
Apparently I'm raisin' me up some hillbillies folks! Next thing you know, he'll be out there punching the chickens to keep them in their place…..oh wait, he already does that, too. 

…Kids these days, I tell you what…..