Fly on the Wall: Smart Kids

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 6 bloggers are inviting you to catch a Fly on the Wall Postglimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Here’s who you’ll be hearing from in my house:

  • Me, Mama O.
  • Daddy O.
  • Big Sister, age 8
  • Little Brother, age 6

Since I have been writing these blog posts since 2014, I have my own Fly Post Page.  Check it out if you want to hear more craziness from my house.

The first day back to school after the holidays and I ask the kids how their day was.

Big Sister: Good

Little Brother: Annoying!

I could tell Little Brother was grumpy and tired, so I said later, “Well, maybe you should go to bed early. Sometimes after a bad day, a good night’s rest will make you feel better.”

Little Brother replied, “I didn’t say I had a bad day. It was a miserable day.”

Okay then…

Just Between Siblings

I can’t remember the exact context, but I heard the kids talking:

Little Brother: Me thinking only of myself.

Big Sister: If you do that, then you can’t be a Jedi.

Daddy O. has them well-trained on Star Wars.

Two Cute One-liners from Smart Kids

Big Sister’s friend said, “Don’t yuck someone else’s yum.”

Little Brother declared (as he asked me to read him a story), “A story will make a good snuggle even better.”

Future Blogger?

Little Brother brought home some journal entries from his kindergarten class, and they really are great. It’s adorable to see what stands out in his mind and what he chooses to draw and share. I think he could be a future blogger.

Journal Thing a ma bob

I played with my little blue thing a ma bob this morning.

Journal Kicked my Heel

I accidentally kicked my heel yesterday.

Riveting, right?!

Journal Beer Garden

I went to the beer gardens.

YES, this is true.  We DID take the kids to a beer garden in town.  There IS a playground and slide there, so it IS family-friendly.  No, this isn’t a weekly thing. Of course, he writes about this in kindergarten!!

Grandma’s Got a New Job

My mom recently retired, and her schedule has been quite full. I was telling Daddy O., “Grandma is working the polls.”

And then I realized that it could be interpreted as “poles.” We just cracked up.

Grandma will be working as part of the primary election staff just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

The BEST for Last!

Big Sister: Mom is smart.  She is raising two kids.

Amen, sister!

Now go read those other fantastic blogs for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado        

Menopausal Mother           

Never Ever Give Up Hope  

Bookworm in the Kitchen   

Spatulas on Parade         


Best Toy Ever: YEARS of Building Fun

As many parents know, some toys just remain a hit year after year, while others have come and gone.

This one has been a clear favorite since they first arrived in 2013.  (Thanks, Amazon purchase history!) It’s the Magna Tiles Clear Colors 100 Piece Set. 

No, this is not a sponsored post either, just an unsolicited review from a happy mom.

We bought these when my son was two years old.  He looked like this then:


2 year old big boy

Now he’s six years old, and he is still building and creating with these Magna Tiles.  His cousin and eight-year-old sister were playing with them over the weekend.  Inventing who know’s what and having a blast.

Go Mama O. Magna Tiles Tower

2018 and this toy is still going strong

After building and toppling countless towers, he knows now to add “stabilizers” to the bottom. When he runs out of squares, he puts two triangles together to make a square.  He’s learning and playing all at the same time.  Genius! They’ve routinely made a bowling ally (kind of like a maze with a bouncy ball) and many other creations.  These Magna Tiles have withstood much use and abuse through the years, and I can’t recall ever having to throw one piece away! Just last week, I found a stack of them in my eight-year-old daughter’s closet.

I remember buying these Magna Tiles years ago with Christmas money from Great Grandma, and yes, it was a lot of money to spend on one toy.  We’ve also added a building pack, so the kids could create vehicles, which have been mostly trains in our house! (I’ve written about cardboard trains and the Illinois Railroad Museum)

And yeah, we really loved trains – especially here in April 2014:

Little Brother watching trains

My Little Railroader

As I look back on these pictures and blog posts, it IS nice to see that my kids will still play with toys and, in fact, are still little kids (despite their growing size).  I can’t freeze time, as much as I’d like to, and while I want my kids to stay little, stay sweet, I can be more mindful of times that I catch them “being little” and playing intently with toys. Take a picture (as my son requested this morning even though we were busy getting ready for school), and enjoy the moment.

While my kiddos are much too big for the term “babies don’t keep,” I have experienced that time flies when your kids are in school full-time. There will be a time that these toys aren’t as appealing as sports and activities win out over playing at home.

Until then, we’ll gladly embrace the Magna Tile towers and messes that may come along with them.



Fly on the Wall: Kid’s Defense

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 8 bloggers are inviting you to catch a Fly on the Wall Postglimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Here’s who you’ll be hearing from in my house:

  • Me, Mama O.
  • Daddy O.
  • Big Sister, age 8
  • Little Brother, age 6

A Snuggly Keychain?

Little Brother has started collecting keychains and adding them to his backpack.  With some birthday money, he purchased this fluffy keychain.


After attaching it to his backpack, he said, “Anyone want to snuggle my keychain?”

Me: No, thanks, I prefer to snuggle humans or stuffed animals – not keychains.

Dinnertime Favorites

The crazy talk seems to come out most often at dinnertime in our house! Here’s a few things we have overheard:

Little Brother: I hate potato sauce (means tomato). YUCK! Mom, wipe it off the pasta!

Me: No, sorry!

Big Sister: I ate the chicken soup even though it looked like puke.

Daddy O: Let’s not talk about food like that when we’re eating.

I asked Big Sister what she had for hot lunch at school.  Her reply, “I wanted to try the Asian Chicken, but my mouth said hot dog.”  Cute, right?

Daddy O: “My wife said it couldn’t be done. So then I had to prove her wrong…some candles, the small marshmallows, Nutella on Graham crackers, and voila! indoor ‘smores!”


indoor smores

S’mores over candlelight. I was just glad nothing caught on fire!


Maybe I’m a strict parent?

Nothing says good Monday morning like a little voice saying at 3am, “Mom, I puked in my bed.”

That’s what I wrote on my Facebook status prior to Thanksgiving. Poor, Little Brother.

While he was hanging his head over the toilet, he said to me, “I suppose you’re going to make me go to school.”

Wow! Am I that strict about school attendance?

“No way, buddy. You are staying home with me to make sure you’re okay before you go back to school.”

Little Brother Highlights

After pumpkin carving, he asked, “Does my pumpkin look greedy?”

greedy pumpkin

Kid’s defense is farts and burps.

Gross – and you’re only six.  I assume this will only continue for years to come.

Dad said my nails were so long that I was growing wolf claws!

I know that Christmas is not just about presents. It’s about family. (YES!!)

Can’t you Smile?

Big Sister received a collection of awesome Shel Silverstein books for her birthday. When they saw his picture on the back of one of the books, they kept saying, “He looks creepy!”


Shel Silverstein back of book pic

Shel Silverstein headshot

C’mon, Shel, can’t you give the camera a smile?  For all the creativity and fun in his books, this headshot just doesn’t seem to fit!

Don’t Take me Literally!

Me: Okay kids, time to hop in the shower.

Big Sister: Mom, that’s dangerous. We can’t hop while we’re in the shower.

Tooth Fairy Troubles

Little Brother lost his first tooth and was super excited for the tooth fairy to come.  Unfortunately, the Tooth Fairy didn’t come right away.

Me: Maybe the Tooth Fairy was on vacation?

Daddy O: No, the Tooth Fairy couldn’t come because we had a fire in the fireplace last night.

The next morning comes, and still, nothing has arrived from the Tooth Fairy. Daddy O. acted quickly while Little Brother was out of the room, and I said, “Oops, see if it fell out of the tooth pouch.”

Little Brother: Maybe I missed it the first time.


Big Sister added that morning at breakfast, “I think the tooth fairy makes a castle out of teeth.”


Our Cat, Sumo

Sumo Kitty

Kids: She looks annoyed.

Me: Annoyed is her normal.

Tis the Season

During the first snowfall, Big Sister exclaimed, “It looks like we’re in a snowglobe!”

snow globe.jpg

Pretty, big snowflakes. We hope we’ll have a White Christmas!

Daddy, Mama O, our kids cutting down our tree

Cutting down our tree on a 50-degree day in Wisconsin! We named our tree Chris.

Enjoy the fun festivities of the season! Cheers!

Now go read those other fantastic blogs for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado        

Menopausal Mother          

Searching for Sanity         

Spatulas on Parade          

Never Ever Give Up Hope   

Bookworm in the Kitchen   

The Blogging 911              





Signs your Kids are Growing Up

I’ve been feeling like I’m an “old” or “older” parent this school year, especially with both of my kids in school full days now (kindergarten and 2nd grade).

This IS a big deal for our family.

Some may say it’s even life changing! And it is in so many ways, but that’s for another blog post.

One sign that the kids are growing up is the gear (or lack of baby gear) in our home. One of the last “baby items” that remains is our bike trailer.  About five years ago it actually transported our little kids.  It has been stored in our garage for some time, but over summer it was dusted off and used for this:

bike trailer contents

New use for an old bike trailer

We rode bikes to a cookout and brought our food along! On another occasion it’s carried beer!  My hubs rode his bike to the grocery store and hauled home our groceries in it.

Forget a bike basket – we have a whole trailer!! 🙂