Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Listen to Your Mother

"Do you need me to go with you?" Mama asked.

Um. No. My facial expression was likely reminiscent of my teenage years.

"Don't look at me like that.  Your dad is worried. Everyone knows you get lost."

True. But I'm not incompetent. I'm a reasonably intelligent, somewhat independent wife and mother-of-two.

And I'd made a call back for Listen to Your Mother! Oh, yeah.

I could drive to a simple audition by myself.  Probably.

I'd leave early.

If I drove alone to the audition for Listen to Your Mother--Northwest Arkansas, I'd get about three hours BY MYSELF. My fantasy life took hold and I dreamed: No crying. No food fights. No one needing me at all.  I'd go to my son's soccer game, drive the windy, crooked road through the foothills of the Ozarks,  audition for the NW Arkansas show Listen to Your Mother, and return in time to take the kids to a Hot Wheels party.

Yep. This mama was going places.

Giddiness prevailed until I received another email. It was a callback for the inaugural show of Listen to Your Mother--Oklahoma City. My home state.  Good news. But my heart fell when I read one little line in the email.  I would not be able to audition if I made the NW Arkansas show.

And that made me anxious.

I liked my essay for NW Arkansas.  But the piece for Oklahoma City... was my story.  I didn't realize how important it was to me until that email told me I might not get the opportunity to share it.

When I saw the amazing cast list for Arkansas, relief flooded me. My name wasn't on it.

I got to tell my story!  It might be only once in front of the captive audience of directors and producer, but I. Would. Share. My. Story.

And that made me nervous. Because I wanted to tell everyone.

So, when my mother said, "Do you need me to go with you?" I said, "No."

I didn't need her to go. But it might be nice. "But if you want to spend the day together, I'd love to have you along."

"I'll drive," she said, "so you can practice."

Half an hour into our drive, I read the piece.  Only a few lines in, her hand flew off the steering wheel to get my attention. "Stop."

She offered advice. Good advice. Before the audition, I read the piece for her three or four times. She commented and critiqued. The rhythm was familiar--reminding us both of when I was in high school and she'd help me run lines for a show or a competition.

When I walked inside the building for my audition, I didn't feel like a child who'd been driven by her mother.  I felt like a woman with a story to tell.

And, boy, I was a wreck.  All heart palpitations and nervous chatter. The directors and producers were kind women, willing me to do my best.  They wanted to hear my story as much as I wanted to tell it.

Afterward, my mom and I ate, shopped, and headed home. We laughed and talked without life interrupting us until my phone rang.  I didn't recognize the number.


It was Heather. One of the directors. She claimed she wanted me to get some sleep and informed me I made the show!

I babbled a response, my emotions busy tumbling over each other for attention. Happiness. Relief.  Excitement.

When I hung up the phone, I could tell by the look on my mom's face that she knew.

Sometimes you need to listen to your gut.

Sometimes it's best to listen to your mother.

Come see our show on May 5 at the Will Rogers Theater in Oklahoma City. Tickets are available here. Listen to Your Mother OKC benefits Infant Crisis Services.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Mommy Monday: Camping In

First of all, let me clarify that I have no delusions of SuperMomness. Quite the opposite. While other children enjoyed fun day trips and getaways for Spring Break, our little people were stuck at home with me.

Poor little things.

So, since Max had been wanting to camp out for over a year--see, we procrastinate around here--I planned a camp in.

No leaky tents. No bugs. No dirt. No bugs. No bugs.

My kind of camping trip.

I found some great ideas on the blog Rainbows Within Reach.

While the kids slept, Garrett and I set up the campground. We posted these signs and set up a campfire from Oriental Trading.  We pitched a Cars and Fairy tent in the formal living room. The hallway became the hiking path. We made the den into a pond.

 We raided the toy room and put their stuffed animals all over the house.  (I swear those things multiply when we're not looking.)
They caught a lot of frogs with that net. Max caught Alexandra a time or two as well.
The area by the piano became the bear cave. Shhh! They're hibernating!
I set out National Geographic magazines and books on animals in a weak attempt to make it seem more like nature. We used the iPhone app White Noise to have water, cricket, and frog sounds.

Grandma Celeste--my ninety-two-year old grandmother--joined us in fishing for snacks.

Dip pretzel "fishing pole" in Nutella or peanut butter and then "catch" the goldfish!
Then they built a campfire...with their own hands!

We read Going on a Bear Hunt before the kids went out into the wilderness and reported back what they saw by acting like the animals.

Max and I made Playdoh insects.  Alexandra mostly rolled it into balls and tried to show us that Playdoh balls don't bounce very well.

We talked about the difference between what happens at day and night.
When dad got home, they grilled hotdogs. Then, the kids put on their backpacks. We gathered up their science journals that we'd made and went on a hike.  The kids pointed out all the animals they saw on our journey, and Garrett and I drew and wrote them into their journals.  
We rested at the pond and looked through our list of animals. Then we played charades.  Max told Garrett to be a bird.  We had great fun watching Garrett fly around and caw like a crow while I pretended not to know what he was.

All that hiking and playing works up an appetite, so we made smores.
They were soooo messy but sooooo yummy!
Alexandra doesn't quite know what to think of her family.
The kids took a swim in Lake Bathtub before we hung out in Max's room for a while and looked up at the (glow-in-the-dark) stars (on his ceiling).
Now, that's one happy camper.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Big Leprechaun: Oh, wait, it's just her.
Little Leprechaun: Will she take our treasure?
Big Leprechaun: Don't get your rainbow in a wrinkle. No, the iPhone is safe. If you cry really loud when she tries to take it from you, you can keep it for life.
Little Leprechaun: That's my plan.
Big Leprechaun: I'll scare her away. Grrr!
Little Leprechaun: She's still here. Pinch her. She'll go away.

Big Leprechaun: Can't do that. She's wearing green. Let me scare her again. Grrr! Grrr!

Big Leprechaun: It's not working. Wait, what? (listens carefully) She says she's here to take a picture of us because of a holiday.
Little Leprechaun: Holiday? We forgot a holiday?
Both: Well, why didn't you say so?

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mommy Math

I need an ice cream cone.

Or a glass of whine wine.

Don't believe me?

Do the math:

toddler changing from two naps to one nap + Daylight Savings Time = preschooler raising eyebrows and saying with a grin, You're a funny mommy = (screaming + crying)baby/going for drive

Who needs a crib?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Listen to Your Mother

Last year I heard a lot of buzz about a show called Listen to Your Mother.  Some of my favorite bloggers participated in "giving Mother's Day a microphone." I didn't attend, but I checked out performance after performance online.

I submitted this year. It sounded so cool that I submitted two different essays to two different cities.  I haven't heard about the Oklahoma City show yet, but...

Guess who has a callback to the NW Arkansas show on Saturday? 

That's right.


I'm so excited to make the first cut.  It seems like a great opportunity to grab your favorite ladies and enjoy a night out.

Check out the website for a show near you.

Or in stolen moments, check out past performances here

Hopefully, I'll be able to share my story, too.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Who keeps you up at night?

Oh, Jane.  You did it again.

I remember our first time.

Mr. Darcy and I stayed up all night and watched the sun rise together.  My husband woke up once, told me I was crazy, and went back to sleep.

Others are also guilty of my sleep deprivation, too.

But get me almost every time.

It's not just your books. It's also the movie adaptations.

Most recently, I watched Emma, the miniseries with Johnny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley.


Mr. Knightley and I did not watch the sun rise, but we did flip the calendar since I watched the entire miniseries after the kids and my hubby were in bed.

I could say I regret those nights Jane took from me.

But I don't.

What about you?  What authors/stories/movies/characters have you willingly skipped sleep for?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday Favorite: Dr. Seuss Week

Why can't every week be Dr. Seuss Week?

Max's Super Teachers planned an entire week of fun with the kids.

They even had a party.
I need one of these streamers in my house
 Guess who arrived in time to GET TO READ  Green Eggs and Ham to the class? 
Me. That's right. I did!

Reading to kids is one of my favorite things to do.

I still haven't calmed down from the adrenalin rush.

Max helps his grandparents with their chickens, so my clever mom sent green eggs to school for his teachers.  Some of their hens actually lay GREEN EGGS.

Green eggs to go with our little ham
The Super Teachers showed the kids the green eggs and had them guess if they'd be green inside or not.  (Max kind of ruined the surprise on that one. ) Then, each child cracked his or her own egg and added food coloring and they cooked it right there.
Max making green eggs with Super Teacher 1 and Super Teacher 2
The kids had a feast fit for Whoville with bright red strawberries, green eggs and ham, and a goldfish bowl filled with colored Goldfish--complete with a fish net for scooping!

I'm at the Target Dollar Spot so often my ghost will probably haunt it. I had a stash of Seuss stuff just waiting to be used, and Max's Super Teachers gave us the perfect opportunity to gift them.  We filled them with buttons, markers, and pads.  Each child should have had something representing at least four different books. 


Why am I such a Seuss nut?

The public library of my childhood was a beautiful old building with a stained glass skylight and strong wooden tables.  I can still smell its wonderful combination of mustiness and books. A sturdy oak bench lined the edge of the children's section.  I knew that area well.  It was where I first realized I could read.

Sitting cross-legged on the edge of the rug in front of the collection of Dr. Seuss books, I realized I was reading the words--not reciting them from memory. I flipped the pages back and forth and mixed it up to be sure.

The moment was magical.

Which is why I love Dr. Seuss and think it is appropriate that schools dedicate a day or entire week to the author and his books.

If you're looking for some easy activities and snacks to enjoy with your little Whos with stuff you probably already have at home, check out my mini Seuss roundup of ideas.

The Cat in the Hat
Snack: Fruity Thing One and Thing Two
Activity: Clean room before Mom comes home.  (Yeah, like that's going to happen.)
For real activity: Check out the hand print art from above. I'm going to try it with Little Sister and frame my Thing 1 and Thing 2 to put in our Seuss playroom.

Green Eggs and Ham
Snack: The most simple snack is use food coloring to dye a scrambled egg or deviled eggs with a ham sandwich, but a sweeter idea is From Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives: Green Pudding and Vanilla Wafer make an "egg"
Activity: Try something new. Anything!

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
Snack: Colored goldfish.
Activity: From Oopsey Daisey: Count and sort before eating them. If you want to get fancy, print off these chart.

The Foot Book
Snack: Try a Fruit by the Foot snack from the grocery store.
Activity: From Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas; Trace or paint your child's feet.  Label left and right. Play games like Hokey Pokey and Twister so kiddo can practice left and right.

The Sneetches
Snack: Make sandwiches or cheese slices and cut a star out of the center. Cut up pineapple or cheese in star shapes.
Activity: Also from Oopsey Daisey: Play Musical Chairs but have students stand on stars. Make one a different color. Whoever lands on it, is out. or you can cut out stars and from I Can Teach My Child: Play a variation on Simon Says.

This link has a whole bunch of Seuss Videos to watch. 

And, of course, Pinterest has a smorgasbord of ideas for anyone who wants to put in a bit more effort or just peruse the eye candy of all that is Seussical. Click here for a link to Seuss boards on Pinterest.

And after you do these activities and the week has gone by, remember the good doctor's own words:
"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."