Munchkin #2 Presents: “Mimi Cheesey Goes to the Hospital”


Something terrifying occurred to me today. We here in the Midwest are into summer break now one month.


Do you know what that means? I still have nine weeks of not knowing what on earth to do to keep my kids entertained. You would think after several years, I’d have a clue how to figure these things out. But I’m not a planner. I don’t have a full calendar of events scheduled. Usually, I’m not even sure what I’m supposed to do after my coffee.

God bless those overachieving moms who get ‘er done! Even though I’m quite certain they have to be on the edge of a nervous breakdown or will go postal by the time their kids are in high school. They color code their calendar-o-fun for their kids to drool over – anticipating the Thursday when they get to hand wash the minivan and then create a hand squeezed, organic lemonade stand that is FDA approved and GMO free.

I have chin hairs to constantly pluck, touching up my grey hairs, cleaning up and/or delegating the troops to the pick up the constant messes. It’s a full time job! Believe me, I have no time or energy to be a neat freak. If my important piles end up not teetering to the left and there is no visible mold in the house, my house is sparkling fine!

Plus, there is the whole work thing. I know that SAHM’s have it rough. Their job is under appreciated and under paid. As moms we all have it rough, but how many of you would get a anything done with your kids in your office for months on end?


For some reason my munchkins tend to distract me a smidge.


Huh, what were we talking about?

During the school year, my adorable munchkins are…at school. It’s handy that way. Homeschooling families, I’m sure your kids are well behaved, quiet and studious with you in charge; but that isn’t happening in my home. Plus, the public schools are fabulous in my neck of the woods, so why not take them up on the free babysitting education.

Fast forward to dreamland: If I took time to plan out our week, (aka get my Pinterest on) my kids might not be asking every 15 minutes what to do. Or the worst phrase ever – “I’m bored!” The first week of summer, I put a kibosh on the phrase, which bores holes through my eardrums and burrows into the deep, dark recesses of my brain.

“Did you know munchkins, that people who say ‘I’m bored!’ are too dumb to come up with their own clever ideas. I feel sorry for those people. So glad you both are so smart and don’t have that problem!”

I’ll let you know if it stops working.

So today was a typical day: the girls had swim lessons, then there was the usual feeding, watering and bathing cycle which constantly repeats 24/7. In between my ferris wheel ride called my life, I tried to sneak in some writing, because I felt like my inbox was out of control.

Munchkin #1 was reading, or cleaning, or playing video games. OK fine, I haven’t a clue what she was doing, but she was quiet. Hallelujah!! How much trouble could a silent 8 year old be? Munchkin #2, who is 7, approached my office with the tact of a toddler barging into the bathroom when you are trying to pee alone.

“Mama, you said you would play with me,” she moaned in a long drawn out sentence.

“Where is your sister?” I asked. Why else do people have more than one child? To keep the other siblings entertained! It’s a no brainer, right?

Munchkin #2 whined, “She doesn’t want to play with me!”


“And you promised you would play with me…”

Yeah, she’s good. Real good.

Since I was thinking of a storyline at the time, I suggested we write a story together. Well, you would think I asked her to be my maid of honor. She jumped up and down, screaming and clapping and said, “Will it be on the blog?”

“Honey, you don’t have a blog,” I said.

“Mom-my! Your blog!!”

This is when my stomach started flipping, my blood pressure elevated, and hot flashes appeared on every surface of my body.

I don’t commonly use guest bloggers. Not even family. But how could I turn this down?

I pulled up a chair and together we crafted a story. Teaching punctation, grammar and plot along the way. I figure it’s never too early to start teaching kids to write.

She of course took a topic (phrase) that she has been singing every chance she gets for the past few months. “Mimi Cheesey.” Don’t worry, it has no meaning. She just likes the way it rolls out of her mouth and the silliness which ensues afterwards. This is the first time she has written about Mimi Cheese.

So without further ado, I introduce my budding and silly writer…

by Munchkin #2

Mimi Cheesey was a little boy piece of cheese. He got eaten by Tom the cat. Mimi Cheesey started to cry. His parents rushed into the room and rushed him to the hospital.

He had to get a cast on his head because he needed that part of his head back. So they replaced it with a cast.

His parents said, “He needs stitches!”

Mimi Cheesey sighed, “Dad, can I have some cheese?”

“NO!!” his father replied.

Mimi Cheesey said, “Yogurt?”

“NO!!!!!!!!!!!!” he replied again.


“No food in the hospital! Not even a grain of wheat,” said Dad.

“How about root beer?”

“You can have that,” said Father. “You’re a good boy. Now the stitches are going to hurt. They are going to stick it all the way into your cheesies.”

So he got his cast off five minutes after the stitches because it was only a little nibble.

Then the parents and Mimi Cheesey all went to get some Pepperjack from the Hatton’s Deli and Bar because they were thirsty.


I think after our writing bonding experience, I should try to up my game. Summer is the only time when we aren’t inundated by homework, extra-curricular events and Daylights Savings.

Maybe I’ll try to schedule some adventures for us. I might even put it in my planner if I could find it under my pile of stuff. However, if I ever hear the words, “I’m bored!” the next adventure with the kids will be learning about how to properly wash, fold and put away the laundry. Never too early to do that too!

Am I the only one who feels this way? Where do you find things to do with your kids? Or what were your tricks when you had kids at home?

Posted in Funny Stories, Motherhood | Leave a comment

The Plight of the Dangler

little girl in an office chair black on a white background
I come from a long line of danglers.

Both my grandmothers dangled, my great-grandmother who only ate cottage cheese and carrot sticks was a dangler. And having two girls of my own, the probability of one of them dangling is dang good.

What is a dangler, you ask? If you were sitting in the bathroom stall next to mine, it would be quite obvious what problem I struggle with (other than dangling prepositions).

I am short. My feet can’t reach the floor in any adult-sized chair. Parent/teacher conferences at the grade school…no problem! But as the French like to say, I’m vertically challenged, no? (You could hear my accent, couldn’t you?!)

Unfortunately, this is not a new issue for me. When the kids on the playground would taunt me, calling out “Shorty Pants,” I would smartly retort, “Good one, Mr. Tall-ey Pants!” Apparently, I am better on paper with a few edits.

Then I grew older and stronger. During my preteens, the Academy Award winning music composer, Randy Newman, wrote the supposed “satire” song Short People: the lyrics where he waxed poetic with “short people got no reason to live.” Such a charmer. I bet Mr. Newman never experienced his early adolescence bombarded by bullies singing grammatically lame lyrics at him every chance they had. As you can see, I’m over it!


But time does heal wounds, for I’ve had plenty of it to develop a thick skin when it comes to people giving me grief about my height. Being short does have some perks. I always had a prom date who was taller than me. You have to feel sorry for those sleek, towering-high girls who had to slow dance with boys whose heads struggled to rest on their date’s plunging sweetheart neckline – never a dangler’s issue.

"Lay your head on my..."

“Lay your head on my…”

And as an adult, I have become more of an extrovert due to my height disability in the supermarket. I easily befriend persons with hereditarily stretched gene pools. Whenever I cannot reach a top shelf item gather up my courage to ask complete strangers to reach for the Bran Flakes. This is a double-fold embarrassment: one, they realize you can’t survive without their help; and two, you must REALLY need some bran or you wouldn’t have asked a stranger to grab it! Although I will confess, I have been known to scale the shelving units when no one is coming around to assist. Shh, don’t tell anyone!

Even though I have never purchased pants which didn’t need to be hemmed a good 6 inches, the spring always comes around once a year, and I can count on my favorites – the Capri pant! Grabbing my 30% Kohl’s coupon and wildly charging on, I joyously announce from the dressing room, “BINGO! No hemming for this gal until the fall!” Of course for every Capri purchase, you have to grab a pair of dangling earrings to match…

The one thing that has made me appreciate my 60 inches of vertical stretch more than anything are my kids. I remember the first time Munchkin #1 looked UP at me and said, “Mama, will I be as tall as you some day?” It took everything in my power to not say, “Let’s pray for a miracle you won’t.” But to her I am a giant…a tower of strength and security. I love motherhood. My children make this sapling feel like a Sequoia!

So I’m signing off. I’ve been dangling at the computer too long and I no longer have feeling in my legs.

Did you get picked on because of a physical trait or a difference? What did you do to get over it?

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Grass is Always Greener on the Golf Course

Landscape of a beautiful green golf course with sky(This post is sponsored by The Blogger Collective.)

When I moved out of the house into the dormitory freshman year of college, my folks decided it was time to start a new chapter of their lives. They bought a beautiful home on one of our town’s golf courses and then conveniently forgot to give me a key.

True story. Only a little bitter now.

Sometime during my first or second year, they gave up a copy of their house key – but it probably was when they needed me to feed the cats while they were off playing golf at some fancy course.

I’m not saying they didn’t love me. They just were ready for some privacy. And after becoming a parent, NOW I get it!

When my parents looked at new homes, neither of them knew how to play golf. My father claimed that people do this all the time, but as a college student I thought that was just my parents being quirky.

Mom liked the neighborhood.

Dad liked the view from the back porch. And after sitting out with my father many a night, I came to agree with my father that having a house backed up to a golf course makes your yard seem as if it’s perfectly manicured and goes on forever.

Plus, we had an instant pond equipped with singing toads and the entertainment when ticked off golfers would throw tantrums and heave their clubs into it. Truly enjoyable, especially when they noticed you were watching and then you gave them the neighborly wave.

It didn’t take long for both of my parents to take up the sport. I believe my father did so first, and then my mother thought she might as well join a ladies group so she had something to talk to my Dad about other than laundry and “what’s for dinner?”

Ironically, over the years my Dad’s love of the sport began to sour and then to disdain. He still loved the view, but really didn’t enjoy playing the sport. He would rather spend five hours of his day doing something he enjoyed and that he wouldn’t mentally beat himself up over. Smart man.

My mom, who didn’t want to play golf in the first place, but thought maybe she could get some beautiful vacations out of it, improved her golfing skills every year. Plus, she found a great group of gals to play with.

But my dad was firm in his stance to retire from golf, which left my mom only dreaming of their golf vacations to beautiful resorts around the country.

No Lake of the Ozarks Tan-tar-a Resort and Golf Club. No Verandah in Ft Myers area and no time spent in Desert Princess Palm Springs Golf Resort. Plus, any future plans of touring
SW Florida golfing spots was out of the question.

Luckily, with all the extra time my father had not playing golf, has given him time to discover what he truly loves and excels at. He has become a top-rate cook and hosts dinner parties almost more often than my kids take showers in the summer.

Also, he just finished writing a fascinating non-fiction book on his grandfather who had only a grammar school education but became a silent force behind the Natural History Museum at the University of Kansas in the first half of the 20th century.

So to all of you golfers out there, I get it. The beauty of the outdoors, the camaraderie… the beer!! But I think I’m more like my dad – I’d rather buy a house on a golf course and have my office window facing the view so I could create my literary masterpiece.

Not that THAT’S going to happen, but the grass is always greener on the golf course – and the view sure would be nice!

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Baby Staying Safe in the Summer Sun: Understanding SPF


Do you miss the sun throughout the winter but in the summer months feel like you should live in a cave to protect your infant’s delicate skin from the sun? You are not alone in your frustration. A cave may not be necessary, but the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) says that sun protection should begin in infancy and continue throughout life.

However, the AAD warns, “It may only take 15 minutes of midday summer sun to burn a fair-skinned (child).” Dr. Aundria Speropoulos, a pediatrician at Child Care Limited in Kansas City, MO, also warns parents, “Infant skin is more likely to burn in a short time. I have seen infants with second-degree burns (blisters) to their faces because the parent thought the baby would be safe on a cloudy day at a sibling’s soccer game.”

Consider these American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Recommendations:

Younger than 6 months
Try to keep out of the sun. If complete shade is unavailable, use sunscreen on small areas of the body, such as the face and back the hands. (Light colored clothing that is tightly woven, covered strollers and sun umbrellas are also recommended.)

Older than 6 months
Apply (sunscreen) to all areas of the body, but be careful around the eyes.

What is SPF?

Dr. Trisha Prossick, a Shawnee Mission, KS dermatologist with American Dermatology Associates, says, “Sun protection factor (SPF) is a measure of protection against only UVB rays. It does not reflect protection against UVA; but both UVA and UVB are damaging to the skin.”

How Much Protection Is Enough?

“Most baby products on the market have an SPF greater than 30: The higher the SPF, the higher the UVB ray protection,” Speropoulos says. “Parents need to buy a product with ‘broad spectrum’ coverage, which means UVA and UVB ray protection. Products with a physical barrier such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide offer even greater safety from the sun.”

Five young friends in swimming pool smilingApply and Reapply Sunscreen

Prossick suggests, “Sunscreens should be applied 20 to 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and should be reapplied after 2 hours or after any swimming. Even water resistant sunscreens lose efficacy in the water after 40 minutes and should be reapplied.”

Treatment for Sunburn

“Once you get the sunburn, you have done the damage, and there is not much to do other than alleviate the symptoms,” Prossick says. “Therefore, prevention is the best medicine. Tylenol or ibuprofen can help with the pain or discomfort.”

NOTE: Make sure to check with your medical provider for correct dosing and use the appropriate measuring device (i.e. manufacturer’s provided measuring cup or a medication syringe from the pharmacy).

Prossick also says, “Cool water or whole milk compresses can be applied for 20 minutes at a time to provide a cooling and soothing effect. If you choose to do the milk compresses, please wash it off afterwards. Moisturizers with or without aloe and over the counter hydrocortisone can also provide some relief.”

Recommended Products for Sensitive Skin

Speropoulos tells parents to look for “hypo-allergenic, fragrance and dye-free sunscreen. There are so many good choices these days, but I like Neutrogena baby, California baby or Aveeno baby.”

Are Darker Skin Tones Safe?

According to Mayo Clinic, “You need to use sunscreen even if you have darker skin pigment, tan easily and can tolerate longer periods of sun exposure without burning. The sun’s energy damages DNA of skin cells.”

The hardest part of protecting your child is remembering to get the sunscreen on the child and then reapplying at the correct time. A sunburn can take up to 24 hours to fully develop, so don’t think if you don’t see a pink tinge on your child, she is safe.

Finally, before you leave for your sun outing, don’t forget to check expiration dates on your sunscreens. They lose potency after expiration and will be ineffective for proper sun protection.

(previously posted on 6/16/10)

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Getting off my Bucket: I Spy Ladies Who Laser Tag

lasertagI’ve been afraid of guns for decades. Ever since a tragic accident killed a beloved young boy a few blocks from my childhood home, I’ve steered clear of all firing arms.

While recently constructing my Bucket List, shooting activities never crossed my mind. Why would I need to fire a firearm before I die? Sounded like a bad miniseries just waiting to happen.

But how would I live out my Charlie’s Angels fantasy without fashioning a weapon? No gun ranges for this mom and Paint Ball seemed aggressive. And according to my Ladies-Night-Out group, Paint Ball hurts, so that one was nixed.

I know what you’re thinking and this isn’t your stereotypical Y-chromosome fantasy, but a reenactment of a secret life I’ve desired…the life of a spy.

When I was young, lithe, and devoid of stretch marks, Charlie’s Angels was hot on television. My friends and I ran through the neighborhood drinking Tab cola, in silk blouses, church slacks and feathered hair. And stopped periodically to freeze-frame into that famous silhouetted photo.

Paper. Rock. Scissors. Yeah! I’m Farrah two days in a row.

So when I scheduled an afternoon of Laser Tag for my ladies group, we were pumped. Six friends dressed the part and morphed into the Real JOCO Housewives of Advanced Laser Tag, while our kids were in school.

Dressed in black from head to toe we transformed into stealth machines and got to right to business.

Our photo shoot.

Don't mess with the grade school Mamas, yo!

Don’t mess with the grade school Mamas, yo!

Our hair and makeup had to look smoking hot, and knew after several games of tag, we might appear less than camera ready.

Jason, the manager, took us into a dark room to choose our armor and guns.lf060261

“We don’t call them guns. Would scare the kids, so we say phasers,” corrected our fearless and entertaining leader.

So I seized my non-gun-with-a-trigger, and strapped on a bulky hard-shelled vest, which glowed like a crab that lived too close to a nuclear test site. And gazing down at my blazing chest was the name “Buzz.”

I didn’t know the names were on the vests! I wanted to choose “Maverick,” “Striker” or… wait, you got “Itchy?”

The last time I desired “Itchy” so bad was… OK, maybe that was a first. But I was green-eyed with laser envy.

I bellowed to the world, “I’m going to Walgreens to pick up something to exterminate you, Itchy! You’re going down!!”

Unfortunately, the first round of tag didn’t fare well for my team. It was three against three. Red vs. blue. Our competitiveness shone in our eyes – or it could have been the glare from the vests.

But tragically my red team couldn’t hear the instructions where the big-point target signs were located. Thank goodness we were able to destroy all the exit signs with great precision. Unfortunately, those didn’t bring us any points.

Blue team = one.

Red team = nearly asked to leave, but unable to find the exits.

The next game improved. My team was reeducated on the rules; and at times were manually led by staff to the target signs. I think we definitely were the “Farrah” team. Not a lot of skills, but we looked good!

Through the dark, we darted in and out of bunkers, charged up ramps to the balcony shooting below and nimbly spun out of shadows to surprise other players. Repeated high-pitched girl screams echoed.

This was while I hid in the corner waiting for my vest light to come back on. I got deactivated so often, I felt as if I were sitting in an eternal time-out for the first few games. Paybacks from my children?

Overall, the JOCO Housewives laughed like schoolgirls and decompressed for the impending summer break the next week. We even decided to bring our husbands another time to challenge them. Especially, since next year Advanced Laser Tag is expanding into a full family entertainment center with a café.

So for any Star Trek or Star Wars bucket listers out there, I would highly recommend this experience. It’s out of this world!

Just remember to first check your vest because you will never live it down if you’re a Trekkie AND named Itchy.

Namaste, Angels! Namaste.

Namaste, Angels! Namaste.

Contact Advanced Laser Tag for scheduling events at

(I did not receive compensation or any fancy schtuff for this article. All opinions as always are my own, albeit odd and always exaggerated.)

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