Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Post Office

I know you guys are already familiar with Popeye (5) and Juju (almost 4).  Moving forward you will probably start hearing a lot of stories about their little sister, Gus (18 months).

We have to go to the post office more often than I would like.  It seems we are always sending something somewhere.  I avoid it when I can.  It is always chaotic.  Somebody tries to escape.  A few end up crying.  Boxes are pulled down.  It is a good day if I can keep Gus from the card rack.  I hate, hate, HATE going to the post office.  Here are two exchanges from today's venture.

Background information for the first tidbit: Gus responds to questions in one of four ways.  Her responses are always, "pizza," "Popeye, Juju," "thank you," or "no."  If she means yes, she still says no.

Me: Okay guys.  Remember what we talked about?  We are going to be patient and well-behaved in the post office. You have notebooks to color in so this should be easy.  Gus, are you going to be good?

Gus: No.

Popeye: Oh my goodness!  She told the truth!  Gus, we are so proud of you for being honest even when it is hard!  Good job!

Juju:  I knew you could do hard things, Gus!

Gus: (Big, confused smile) Thank you!

The kids showered Gus with hugs and kisses.  The baby's honesty did not impress me as much as it impressed the other girls.


Juju struggled while I addressed boxes because "the floor is dirty and there is nowhere to sit."

Postmaster: Hello, young lady.  Would you like a sticker?  You are being so good!

Juju: Sure.  You have a very nice beard, but maybe you should get some benches in here for next time.

Postmaster: Haha!  Do you not have a place to sit?

Juju: No, but I still like your beard, though, and I hope you have a nice day.  And I accidentally colored on the counter.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ninja Dad

Chris and I were able to have a wonderful vacation in Florida (maybe more on that later), followed by a beautiful week with our girls at my in-law's in Utah.  It was perfection.

That isn't really what this post is about, though.  This post is about the girls' adoration of their father and their belief that he is the greatest, strongest, most handsome guy in the entire world.  The girls cannot fathom that there could ever be anybody stronger or more impressive than their dad.  

For example, Chris was carrying a giant container full of water.  His friend was there.  Chris put the water down and bragged to KJ (Chris' friend) that her dad was strong enough to lift the heavy water.  KJ said, "Oh, like this?"  He then proceeded to lift the water, just as Chris had done.  Juj was quick to defend her father's honor and said, "Yeah?  Well, my dad can throw us in the air, so hmph!"

Anyway, like I said, they think he is awesome. And I love it.  They cannot accept that there may be some things that he just can't do.

One morning Popeye woke up early and Grandma was able to show her pictures of Chris from when he was a kid.  Pops saw this picture and was impressed, to say the least.

She said, "That's when my dad was a ninja!  He kicked that whole tree down!"  The girls went on and on about their ninja dad and his superhuman strength. 

Chris woke up later in the morning.  He had been up most of the night with the baby (and I thank him for the extra sleep).  When he came downstairs he made it into the living room, where he promptly collapsed from exhaustion and he laid face down on the carpet, hoping if he could be still enough, he might be able to squeeze in a few more minutes of sleep before the troops attacked.  No such luck.  

The girls were quick to climb on him.  In less that a minute, he had been smothered with hugs and kisses and the girls had climbed on his back, ready for their trusty steed to take them for a ride.  Chris just laid there, motionless.

Popeye: Come on, Dad!  Give us a ride!  You can do it!

Chris: Pops, I'm too tired.  I don't have the strength!

Popeye:  Sure, you do!  If you can knock down a tree, then you can lift three men!  Now go!

And he did.  And we all love him for it.

So grateful that the kids think their dad is as great as I do!  We are lucky to have him as part of the ranks.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I spy two kids who should not play this game.

The kids and I like playing games.  My kids especially like to play I Spy; not so much the book version, but the version where you actually look around and find something in the room and get the other people to guess.  My kids adore this game.  

My kids are also very, very bad at this game.  And it is adorable.

Juj is very specific.  She will say, "I spy with my little eye something....that plays DVDs!"  When I guess correctly on my first try that it is the DVD player, Juj is stunned.  She thinks I have magic guessing powers.  She can't figure out how I get it on the first try every time.  She loves that she can't seem to stump me.  She loves that I can read her mind.  Other gems from Juj:
I spy something that...hangs on the wall (in a room that has one picture hanging on the wall).
I spy something on the wall that you can look out of to see outside.
I spy something that makes toast.
I spy something that tastes like a peanut butter sandwich (yeah.  the answer was "the peanut butter sandwich you are eating."  Kid. Was. Amazed.  We sometimes worry about her.)

Popeye is different, though.  Here's how she plays.

Pops: I spy with my little eye!

Me: The picture frame?

Pops: No!

Me: The remote control?

Pops: No!

(Insert 10 more incorrect guesses, followed by a satisfied smile from P.)

Me: Pops, I just listed every black thing in here!  I don't see anything else that is black!

Pops: (Beaming) You give up?

Me: Yes.

Pops: Juju's shoes!

Me: What?  I thought you said black?

Pops: I did!

Me: Pops!  Her shoes are all white!

Pops: (Annoyed that she has to explain herself) Well, I couldn't tell you the right color.  It is too easy of a clue and I didn't want you to be able to guess it too quickly!

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Juj is quickly catching up to Peyton with her shenanigans.

I found a mysterious pile of clothes in the middle of the living room floor.  I started putting the clothes away and when I got to the bottom of the pile I found a pair of scissors and a long lock of hair.

Me: Juj! Why did you cut your hair?

Juj: I had split ends. (Confused by my frustration) Umm...I thought you'd be happy.

Me: If you thought I'd be happy why did you hide it?

Juj: For a surprise for you to find!


In the car...

Me: Pops, what do you want to be when you grow up?

Pops: Either a Native American or a mom.

Juj: I want to be a dad!

Me: A dad, huh?  What's the difference between a mom and a dad?

Juj:'s fun?

Me: Juj! ....Which one is fun?

Pops: (Leaning over toward Juj, in a loud whisper) Don't tell her, Juj.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Once upon a time there was a princess named Juj...

Juj loves to tell stories.  They vary in length and plot but they have one common theme.  I am the villain.   Every time. Example from last week:

Juj: Mom, I'm gonna tell you a story, okay?

Me: I don't know if I want to hear any more of your stories.  You always make me a bad guy who dies or tries to hurt people!

Juj: This one is different!  Once there was a princess named Juj and a hero named Popeye.  And there was a wicked witch.  Named Mommy.

Me: See!?  I don't want to hear this story!

Juj: It is different!  You won't die or hurt anybody!  The end is a surprise!

Me: (Relieved) Oh.   Okay.  A surprise ending sounds nice.

Juj: Princess Juj and Hero Popeye were friends with the witch (Looks to me for approval.  I nod, satisfied.  Juj smiles.) But then the witch tried to turn everyone to dragons!  Princess Juj and Hero Popeye tried to save everybody but the witch wouldn't let them!  (Speaking faster)  They had a dragon eat her up and she died!

Me: JUJ!  That was a mean story!  You said it would be a surprise ending!

Juj: (Confused by my disappointment) But...I said you wouldn't die but then you did so it is still a surprise!

Now, I don't think that these stories are the kids' way of saying they don't like me, although, sometimes they probably do it to make a point.  I think it has more to do with the fact that they like telling stories about people they know and somebody has to be the villain, ya know?  It can't be their sister because they are best friends.  There is only one other person home so I am the villain by default.  Here is some supporting evidence.

Yesterday was my birthday.

Juj: Mom!  I'm going to tell you a birthday story!  Since it is your birthday, you don't have to be the bad guy!  You can be the hero, I will be the hero princess, and Pops can be the witch!

Me: Thank you!

Popeye: Hey!  I don't want to be the witch!

Juj: Please, Pops?

Popeye: I really don't want to be the witch.

Juj: (Letting out a frustrated sigh) Okay.  Sorry, Mom.  Popeye is not choosing the right and she won't be the bad guy!  You have to be the bad guy witch again.

Sigh.  Fine.  I'll be the witch, as long as we all understand that I'm doing it out of the goodness of my good heart.  Because I'm a good guy.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Sometimes a girl just needs some butter.

Image result for pictures of butter

Me: What would you ladies like for lunch?

Pops: Something with butter on it.

Me: ...Something with butter on it?

Pops: Yes, like popcorn or toast. With butter.

Me: With what else?

Pops: Just something with butter.

Juj: Is that healthy?

Me: I wouldn't exactly call it well-balanced or nutritious.

Pops:  Sometimes I want to eat healthy and sometimes I just want things with butter.  (Big sigh)  It's been a big morning.  I had to share all my things with Juj.  Can I please have it?  Mom, don't you understand?

Frankly, I don't think I have ever understood her more clearly.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"But my underwear is CLEAN!"

Juju hates pants with an intensity that is unmatched by anyone else on the planet.  She did not take it well when she learned that pants were just a part of life.

Me: Juj, you cannot wear that outside. You need to put pants on.
Juj: But, I don't like wearing pants! You made me wear pants yesterday and the day before. I don't like pants and shorts and skirts. I like wearing no pants. Do I have to wear pants tomorrow?
Me: Yes. You have to wear pants every day.
Juj: Every day!? (Collapses and starts crying) I have to wear pants for my whole life? (Loud sob) This is the worst day, Mom! (More sobbing) I just hate pants.

She really doesn't like them.  Today Juju and Popeye got in an argument.  Pops said, "If you don't knock it off, Santa is going to give you pants for Christmas!"  Juj came unglued.

Here are some of Juju's responses to being told she needs to put on pants.

Juj: But Mom, pants give me a headache!

Juj: If you make me wear pants, I can't have freedom!

Juj: If I eat my vegetables do I still have to wear pants?

Juj: But Prince Hans wore pants!  He was so bad!  And selfish. ...Do you want me to turn selfish?

Juj: Pants will ruin my day!

Juj: Pants ruin my LIFE!

Juj: Pants will take too long to pull up after I go potty!  I'll miss everything!

Juj: But my underwear is CLEAN!  And they are on the right way!

Juj: But Mom, cold never bothered me, anyway!

Juj: But Mom, wearing pants makes me think of putting all of your candy in my pants and if I think about it then I have to do it!  I DON'T WANT MELTED CANDY IN MY PANTS, AGAIN!

Juj: But the library doesn't care if you wear pants!

Juj: Fine!  Then I'm going to have a baby and I will name him Oh, David and I will NEVER make him wear pants for his whole life!

Juj: If I'm good at the store can I take my pants off when we get home?

I still make Juju wear pants.  Honestly, though, I feel like we are kindred spirits.  I have finally found somebody who likes pants as little as I do.  She might even dislike them a little more.  I still think vegetables are worse than pants.