Friday, May 30, 2008


Tonight was the 81st Annual National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. (Yes, I watched it... it's the teacher in me.) What an impressive competition!

My coaching tip #1: PLAY DETECTIVE
May I have the definition, please?
May I have the etymology, please?
Are there any alternate pronunciations?
Could you please use it in a sentence?
May I have the language of origin?
Am I pronouncing the word correctly?
What is the part of speech?
Can I have anymore help?
Is there any other information you can give me?

Tonight on the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Jahnavi Iyer, 14 years old, an eigth grader at Eagleview Middle School in Enola, Pa., was given the word P-A-R-F-L-E-C-H-E. (Definition: A rawhide that has been dried after having it soaked in a lye solution to remove the hair.) Intimidated by the word... Time was running down. Clock read: 1: 48 seconds. Time keeper asked, "Jahnavi... do you see the clock?" In a subdued voice, she replied calmly, "Yea, um... It's a VERY pretty clock." Funny!

And the winner is? Sameer Mishra of West Lafayette, Ind., He aced the word G-U-E-R-D-O-N and won the 2008 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., tonight. The word appropriately means
"something that one has earned or gained."

This is a must see video of the winner! He brought a little much needed humor to the somewhat tense National Spelling Bee when he was asked to spell the word
N-U-M-N-A-H, but mistakenly thought he was told to spell
N-U-M-N-U-T-S. Hilarious!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Potty Talk

Yesterday, I published our blog, PG-3 bathroom humor from Miss Kennedy. Today, I read this excerpt. Ironic? I love this kind of writing... "in the raw." Another laugh out loud, hilarious reading.

(3-year-old tells all from his mother's public restroom stall)
by Shannon Popkin

My little guy, Cade, is quite a talker. People often comment on how clearly he speaks for a just turned 3-year-old. And you never have to ask him to turn up the volume. It's always fully cranked. There've been several embarrassing times that I've wished the meaning of his words would have been masked by a not so audible voice, but never have I wished this more than last week at Costco.

Halfway through our shopping trip, nature called, so I took Cade with me into the restroom. If you'd been one of the ladies in the restroom that evening, this is what you would have heard coming from the second to the last stall:

'Mommy, are you gonna go potty? Oh! Why are you putting toiwet paper on the potty, Mommy? Oh! You gonna sit down on da toiwet paper now? Mommy, what are you doing? Mommy, are you gonna go stinkies on the potty?'

At this point I started mentally counting how many women had been in the bathroom when I walked in. Several stalls were full ... 4? 5? Maybe we could wait until they all left before I had to make my debut out of this stall and reveal my identity.

Cade continued, 'Mommy, you ARE going stinkies aren't you? Oh, dats a good girl, Mommy! Are you gonna get some candy for going stinkies on the potty? Let me see doze stinkies, Mommy! Oh ... Mommy! I'm trying to see in dere. Oh! I see dem. Dat is a very good girl, Mommy. You are gonna get some candy!"

I heard a few faint chuckles coming from the stalls on either side of me. Where is a screaming new born when you need her? Good grief. This was really getting embarrassing. I was definitely waiting a long time before exiting.

Trying to divert him, I said, 'Why don 't you look in Mommy's purse and see if you can find some candy. We'll both have some!' 'No, I'm trying to see doze more stinkies. Oh! Mommy!' He started to gag at this point. 'Uh oh, Mommy. I fink I'm gonna frow up. Mommy, doze stinkies are making me frow up!! Dat is so gross!!' As the gags became louder, so did the chuckles outside my stall. I quickly flushed the toilet in hopes of changing the subject. I began to reason with myself: OK. There are four other toilets. If I count four flushes, I can be reasonably assured that those who overheard this embarrassing monologue will be long gone.

'Mommy! Would you get off the potty, now? I want you to be done going stinkies! Get up! Get up!' He grunted as he tried to pull me off. Now I could hear full-blown laughter. I bent down to count the feet outside my door. 'Oh, are you wooking under dere, Mommy? You wooking under da door? What were you wooking at, Mommy? You wooking at the wady's feet?' More laughter. I stood inside the locked door and tried to assess the situation. 'Mommy, it's time to wash our hands, now. We have to go out now, Mommy.' He started pounding on the door. 'Mommy, don't you want to wash your hands? I want to go out!!' I saw that my 'wait 'em out' plan was unraveling.

I sheepishly opened the door, and found standing outside my stall, twenty to thirty ladies crowded around the stall, all smiling and starting to applaud. My first thought was complete embarrassment, then I thought, 'Where's the fine print on the motherhood contract' where I signed away every bit of my dignity and privacy?' But as my little boy gave me a big, cheeky grin while he rubbed bubbly soap between his chubby little hands, I thought, I'd sign it all away again, just to be known as Mommy to this little fellow.

*(Shannon Popkin is a freelance writer and mother of three. She lives with her family in Grand Rapids, Michigan , where she no longer uses public restrooms.)

Friday, May 23, 2008

PG-3 Bathroom Humor from Miss Kennedy...

By request to publish... Girls night out table talk turned into laughing out loud! (Warning: This may be a little more information than you may want to know, let alone read. So proceed with caution.)

I would like to start out by explaining my dear ol' husband's taste in classical movies. No, I am not talking about Casablanca, Gone With The Wind, or Das Boot. We are talking more like Tombstone, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and undoubtably, Caddyshack. Have you ever indulged yourself in the "Caddyshack" experience? (The 1980 comedy starring Rodney Dangerfield, Chevy Chase, Ted Knight, and Bill Murray just to name a few.) I, myself, am NOT a huge fan of riotious, loudmouth, slap stick comedy. Byron, on the other hand, rates this hysterical farce in his top five of unforgetable quotable favorites.

(Continue reading at your own risk... Curious, aren't yas? There is no turning back now. )

Setting: Bath time in the kids' bathroom.
(Byron's giving Tiegan a bath while I am blow drying Kennedy's hair after her bath.)

Daddy: It smells in here.
Mommy: Well, you are in the bathroom, sitting near the toilet... maybe one of the girls went to the bathroom before getting into the tub. Check the toilet. And I'll check Braden's bum.
Daddy: (Nothing... all clear.) And I just cleaned the bathrooms today.
Mommy: (Nonchalantly) Maybe someone "putt putted?" (That's the "term" we use in our house.) (What word do you use in your household?)
Daddy: (Leaning over the tub...) Tiegan, did you putt-putt?
Tiegan: Nope, not me.
Kennedy: (Overhearing the conversation and saying rather loudly) I DIDN'T SIT ON A DUCK!
Mommy: (Confused) Kennedy what did you say?
Kennedy: (Grimacing) I didn't sit on a duck.
Mommy: (Asking Byron) Why is our daughter talking about sitting on a duck?
Daddy: (Hyterically laughing) Did she say what I think she said?
Mommy: I have no idea... she is saying something about a DUCK.
Daddy, Tiegan, and Kennedy: (LAUGHING OUT LOUD!!!)
Daddy: She said that she didn't sit on a duck.
Mommy: I know what she said... why is she saying that and what does it mean?
Daddy: (Still ridiculously laughing) But proceeded to let me in on this new found humor.

Byron was SO PROUD in that moment. Do you see what he is teaching our kids? Our three year old daughter is now quoting classical movies and using it in the right context. (Thanks, Rodney.) Now, anytime anyone of them putt-putts... the words, "Did someone sit on a duck?" follow. I guess it could be worse? (If you would like to view the clip from Caddyshack yourself, then you can type in 'Somebody step on a duck?' on youtube.)

Just when you think no one is really listening... Out of the mouth of a three year old...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Is SUMMER here already?

Loves the water already! Splash...splash...splash...
Braden water floating fire engine...
JUMP, Tiegan... Daddy will catch you...
Sisters playing at the water park...
Uncle Tim swimming with Miss Riley...
Auntie Lisa, Riley and Little Man, Brady...
Cousin Caitlyn and Tieg...
The Ramsey Family...
Tieg floating around the pool...
Papa Frank and Kennedy...
Nana Anna and Kennedy swimming with Braden...
Kennedy trying to swim away from Daddy...
Daddy taking the girls for a ride in the fire engine...
Sweet Angel Boy...
Day in the sun... (Look! See my toofies?)
How do you stay "cool" in 102 degree weather?
Our answer: swim, swim, swim.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Snoring parody

(Byron posting.)

Because some people snore when they sleep, I have written a parody of Edwin McCain's song "I Could Not Ask For More."

Lying here with you....I'm snoozin' away
Trying to sleep all through....the night while you're awake
And these are the say the couch should be all mine
And these are the wake and roll me on my side
Cause I've heard it all wish I didn't snore
Look into your eyes....seeing you just can't sleep
Half way through the night....and still you're counting sheep
And these are the moments....I could use a nasal strip
And these are the take your foot and give me kicks
Push me off onto the floor....
Cause you wish I didn't snore
I would not have to snore if our bed were bigger
I would not have to snore if it wasn't you
That took up five feet of mattress
And you left me only two
If my sinuses were open I wouldn't snore and I woudn't be
Waking you waking me

Can you somewhat relate to this topic?

Wouldn't trade it for the world...

Byron posting here tonight:

In the beginning, it was just my dog and me. After April 6, 2001, life as I once knew it, changed.

I've found humor in a few things that I've learned about being married and having children.

When Sharleen and I met, I proudly owned a house in Sacramento. I put considerable thought into what colors I wanted to paint the interior rooms of the house. Apparently, having a deep, red, kitchen and olive, green, living room weren't necessarily the first, choice colors for her. Among my bachelor "had to haves," was a regularly played slate pool table. Boy, it sure didn't take long before it was turned into a convenient, or rather, more practical laundry table.

Then the day came (December of 2002) when it was confirmed that we were pregnant with our first child. We were both so happy and excited. Little did we know what was to come. I learned very quickly about the roller coaster ride of emotions and "ALL DAY, morning sickness" associated with my wife's pregnancy. (We can laugh about this now, but at the time, it was definitely no laughing matter.) I remember this one particular day early on in her pregnancy. Upon returning home from work, my lovely wife would request something specific for dinner. (Something that sounded good only at that exact moment, mind you.) Keeping foods down was a huge burden and task for her on most days. Wanting to help make things easier, I would attempt to make "that" for her; whatever "that" was. Minutes later, something else appealled to her. Without saying a word, off to the store I went. Upon returning I would begin to cook again. The smell was overwhelmingly nauseating, so nix that dinner menu too. By the time I ran around "like a chicken with my head cut off" and/or tried to make something to eat, Sharleen would instantly, without hesitation, decide she was just going to bed. "What?" Oh yea, and I was strongly encouraged not to wear any cologne or use any soap that had any type of fragrance to it. What's a man to do?

My wife is also learning how men wear their wardrobe. When clothes are lying on the floor in the bedroom, it means that "we" are still going to wear them. When clothes are lying near the hamper, it means that there are two days left of wear in those clothes. When they are on top of the hamper, it means that there is one possible last day to wear that item again. My wife puts my clothes in the laundry, as soon as they come off my body. Sometimes, I would come home with a new pair of pants, lay them on the edge of the bed intending to remove the tags, and before I turned around, they are in the laundry.

These days, I even find it a challenge to take a simple shower. We have approximately 37 types of shampoo and conditioner bottles in our shower. I have to stand perfectly still. If I bend an elbow or knee while washing I'm liable to bump into the bottles and they come crashing to the floor. Then my wife will come in and ask me if I could try and be little quieter so I don't wake the baby or the girls. No kidding. When I am finally able to apply shampoo to my hair, I have 37 different bottles to choose from. I pick up one and it is for permed and colored treated hair. The next one is for managing frizzy or tangly hair, or some other special type of conditioner. "Where is JUST shampoo?" By now the water is growing cold and it is time for me to get out of the shower.

Now on to our beautiful children. I am currently and constantly working on character building in our household. Sometimes, in the evenings, my wife will put two of the children to bed before she leaves the house for the gym. The only thing required of me, is to put the last one to bed within the next half hour. Well, needless to say, the baby makes a little "peep" and I want to get him up to play. Then the oldest one needs something so I let her get up as well. And I still have not put our third child to bed yet. After about an hour, give or take, Sharleen returns home from the gym. And what does she see? Nothing less than ALL of the kids awake and running around having a GOOD time. I try to avoid any eye contact with her as I'm sure the "I love you, good job honey" look will not help us get the kids back to bed any sooner. There's tomorrow, right?

And guess what? I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Monday, May 12, 2008


Our sixth family member has officially turned 14 years old. He is such a good boy. In Byron's eyes, Celtic is the most odebient dog in the world. (And he is: wink wink.) Whatever you tell him to do, he'll obey. Judge for yourself. Here is how it usually goes:

Byron: Sit, Celtic.

Celtic: (Still standing)

Byron: Celtic, SIT.

Celtic: (Tongue hanging out of his mouth, licking his lips)


Celtic: (Slowly walks away)

Byron: Come, Celtic... shake.

Celtic: (He starts to come towards him)

Byron: Shake, Celtic.

Celtic: (Sits in front of him)

Bryon: SHAKE, boy.

Celtic: (Still sitting)

Byron: SHAKE.

Celtic: (Lays down)

Sharleen: I just smile and say good job, honey. We'll try again tomorrow. And then I quickly follow with... I hope you give the kids as many chances to listen when you ask them to do something.

Byron: (Grinning) He usually does what I ask him to do.

Sharleen: (Sarcastically) Oh, I know he does. He's a good boy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Today was a BEAUTIFUL day...

This year we chose to spend Mother’s Day at Whitney Ranch Park, right here in Rocklin. The weather was perfect. Being outdoors, with a slight breeze, was refreshing. Setting up awnings was a team effort, not to mention, hilarious. A sea of mother’s smearing SPF on their children was epidemic. Hearing the girls enjoying themselves at the playground was music to our ears. Playing at the water park until they were water logged, was pure happiness. Seeing Braden experience his Gerber finger biter biscuit was more like face painting. Conversation was good! The B-B-Q was DELICIOUS. What more could I ask for? Making lasting memories with family and seeing the smiles on Tiegan, Kennedy, and Braden’s faces made my Mother’s Day absolutely perfect! Today was a BEAUTIFUL day!

To my sweet children:
I'll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

A mother held her new baby and very slowly rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she held him, she sang:
“I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be.”
The baby grew. He grew and he grew and he grew. He grew until he was two years old, and he ran all around the house. He pulled all the books off the shelves. He pulled all the food out of the refrigerator and he took his mother's watch and flushed it down the toilet. Sometimes his mother would say, "This kid is driving me CRAZY!" But at night time, when that two-year-old was quiet, she opened the door to his room, crawled across the floor, looked up over the side of his bed, and if he was really asleep she picked him up and rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. While she rocked him she sang:
"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be.”
The little boy grew. He grew and he grew and he grew. He grew until he was nine years old. And he never wanted to come in for dinner, he never wanted to take a bath, and when grandma visited he always said bad words. Sometimes his mother wanted to sell him to the zoo! But at night time, when he was asleep, the mother quietly opened the door to his room, crawled across the floor and looked up over the side of the bed. If he was really asleep, she picked up that nine-year-old boy and rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she rocked him she sang:
“I’ll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be.”
The boy grew. He grew and he grew and he grew. He grew until he was a teenager. He had strange friends and he wore strange clothes and he listened to strange music. Sometimes the mother felt like she was in a zoo! But at night time, when that teenager was asleep, the mother opened the door to his room, crawled across the floor and looked up over the side of the bed. If he was really asleep she picked up that great big boy and rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. While she rocked him she sang:
“I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be.”
That teenager grew. He grew and he grew and he grew. He grew until he was a grown-up man. He left home and got a house across town. But sometimes on dark nights the mother got into her car and drove across town. If all the lights in her son's house were out, she opened his bedroom window, crawled across the floor, and looked up over the side of his bed. If that great big man was really asleep she picked him up and rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she rocked him she sang:
“I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be.”
Well, that mother, she got older. She got older and older and older. One day she called up her son and said, "You better come see because I'm very old and sick." So her son came to see her. When he came in the door she tried to sing the song. She sang:
"I’ll love you forever, I'll like you for always...”
But she couldn't finish because she was too old and sick.
The son went to his mother. He picked her up and rocked her back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And he sang this song:
“I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my Mommy you'll be.”
When the son came home that night, he stood for a long time at the top of the stairs. Then he went into the room where his very new baby daughter was sleeping. He picked her up in his arms and very slowly rocked her back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while he rocked her he sang:
“I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be.”

*Many of you may have read this book at some point in your life. Whether you have a "fractious 2-year-old, a slovenly 9-year-old, or a raucous teen," we mothers have an instant bond and unconditional love for our children. This story says "it" perfect for me as I reflect on motherhood today.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Ode to M-O-T-H-E-R-S...

Mother's Day is quickly approaching. This is dedicated to all our family and friends who are M-O-T-H-E-R-S. This 2 minute and 55 second, hilarious, momsense, video by the talented Anita Renfroe has crossed our path several times in the past year. She has condensed what a "MOM" would say in a 24 hour day. We thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share it once more with all of you. No matter what generation you mothered or are mothering, Mom 101 humor, still hits home for a good laugh. Happy Mother's Day, Sunday, May 11th!