Sunday, September 30, 2012

Back Seat Driver

Our car is on a ship somewhere in the Pacific.  While some friends were on vacation, they loaned us their car.  Schatz was determined to take good care of it.

Schatz: Daddy?

Roger: Yes.

Schatz:  I am going to be your helper while you drive this car because this is not our car.  This is Miss Erin's car.

Roger:  So you are going to help me drive, huh?

Schatz:  Yes. We will drive it together.  I will tell you if a car is coming and you are going to crash into it.

Roger:  Thanks.  I appreciate your help.

Schatz:  You are very welcome.  Besides, I don't think Miss Erin wants you to crash her car.

Husband Hunting

We made some new friends at a party a few weeks ago.  After a fun play date at the Araluen Playground (pronounced Air-a-loo-en) followed by grilled cheese sandwiches and some Scooby Doo at home; it was time for Dennis to go home.

Schatz (later that afternoon):  Did you know that Dennis is my boyfriend?  I'm going to marry him when I grow up.

Me:  Okay.  Well. You are not allowed to have any boyfriends until you are sixteen.  So. You are going to have to break up with him and just be friends for now.

Schatz:  I can't exactly break up with him, yet.

Me:  Why not.

Schatz:  Well, I haven't exactly told him that he's my boyfriend.

Me: Have you told him you are going to marry him or are you just going to spring it on him at the wedding?

Schatz:  I don't know.  Yet.

Monday, September 24, 2012

My Niece Willow (age 3) Needs a NRA Membership

While watching Bambi and hearing the first gun shot...

Willow (high fives her mama): Alright! A deer sandwich!"

Friday, September 21, 2012


This is actual email correspondence between myself and Maura's new teacher.  It hit my funny bone because I didn't think there was anything particularly uptight about my email.  I thought it was a friendly inquiry.  This is Maura's first time attending a foreign school.  I was told by one of Maura's classmate's parents that this was the typical "Australian" response to a typical "American" parent.  I found it an amusing illustration of how Americans are perceived overseas.

Dear Mr. D---

I just wanted to touch base with you.  Maura has been in your class for about two weeks now.  How is she doing?  Please let me know if there is anything that I can be doing with her at home to help her succeed in your class.

I really enjoyed the Greek plays this morning.  The kids did a great job!

Jamie D---

His response:

Hi Jamie,
Relax. Maura is doing well in class, she has made some good friends already and she is not afraid to have a go which is good to see.
Marcus D---


Thursday, September 20, 2012

That's my Girl!!

I took Schatz to the APO to check the mail.

Me: Is there any mail in our box?

Schatz (looking in the little window): YES!

I opened the box. There was a little yellow card indicating that we have a package.

Me:  Go get your stool and give this to Joe.

Schatz likes to give Joe the yellow cards.  This is her job when we go to the APO.

Me:  Is it anything good?

Schatz (looking at the logo on the box):  It's from Amazon; so it MUST be good!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bad Words and the School Bus

To put the conversation into context.  Maura is currently going to a Protestant Private School.  I know I know, yes, we're Catholic, but the Catholic school in town has a reputation for being rough. 

While walking home from the bus stop...

Maura:  You know, Mom, for a school that's all about God, the students sure say a lot of bad words.

Me:  Yeah?  I think you are going to find that people still do bad things even when they believe in God.

Maura:  The older girls on the bus were saying LOTS of bad words.

Me (dryly): So you are learning a load of new bad words, huh?

Maura:  No.  They aren't new ones.  Just the same old ones...the B word...the S words.

Me:  The S words?  I can only think of one S word.

Maura:  Oh, no, there are three of them,  you know? Ummmm. The opposite of the nice way to say "be quiet".

Me:  Okay.  I  know that one.

Maura:  The dog poop one.

Me: Okay, that's two.

Maura:  And not being very smart?

Me: Okay so I know all three of those.  I hope you know, you don't have to talk like that...even if your friends are.

Maura:  I know. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Just a Silly Married Moment

I was laying in bed last night, too tired to get out of bed and get my nightly meds. (Bleh, I sound old!)

Roger: What's wrong?

Me (tired, but not too tired to be a nerd): I forgot to take my medicine and I don't feel like getting out of bed. I'm using an old Jedi Mind trick to get them to come to me.

Roger (chuckling at me):  Or you can just ask.  I'll get your medicine for you.

Roger brings me my medicine and a glass of water to wash it down.

Me: Thanks, Rog. I could ask, but instead I used my Jedi powers and my meds came to me.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Early Childhood Development

Schatz:  Did you put a sandwich in my lunch?

Me: Yes.

Schatz:  Good. Do you know what I learned in preschool last week?

Me: What did you learn?

Schatz: You have to eat the sandwich before you can eat any of the nice things.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Dollars and Sense

When Roger works late, I usually make a simple dinner.  Sandwiches or soup or leftovers, you know, something quick.  Roger worked late quite a few nights last week.  One night, I fried some eggs and served them over toast. (Also, I think we're commenting too often on how much more expensive things are here.)

Maura (looking sadly at her egg and then looking at me):  Are we poor, Mom?  Is that why we can't eat a real dinner?

Me: No, honey we're not poor.  We're just eating something quick and easy to clean up since dad isn't here for dinner.

Maura (looking back down at her plate):  But you would tell me, wouldn't you?  If we were too poor to buy real food?

Friday, September 14, 2012

FREE On The Side of The Road: One Thorny Devil

We were walking to the butcher to pick out something for dinner.  We passed a house where an Australian man was cleaning out a recently vacated house.  He was piling stuff beside the road with a big "FREE" sign.

Me: Should we take those (plastic lawn) chairs home?

Schatz (solemnly): No, Mommy. That's stealing.

Me: It's not stealing.  He's giving them away.

While I was showing Schatz the sign, the Aussie brought out another load of stuff.

Schatz:  Excuse me, sir.  Who do we pay for these chairs?

The Aussie:  You don't need to pay, Luv.  It's all free.

Schatz: Is that okay if we bring these chairs to my house for my Papa?

The Aussie: Take whatever you like.

We went to pile up the chairs where Schatz found a huge framed photograph of a Thorny Devil. It's a lizard that is indigenous to Australia.  It became Schatz's favorite animal about a month ago after reading a book a girlfriend gave the girls when we left Colorado.

Schatz (shocked): MOM!  Is he giving THIS away, too!?!

Me: Yes, do you think we need that, too?

Schatz (softly) Oh, yes, Mom.  I need this.

Me: Okay.  We'll take it home and clean it up.  Maybe Dad will hang it on your wall.

Schatz: How can he be JUST GIVING THIS AWAY?  Is he CRAZY!?! 

Me:  I don't think so.

We walked home with our stuff.  Every once in awhile Schatz would comment on her luck.

Schatz (referring to the thorny devil): Oh, mom.  She's beautiful!  We are so LUCKY!!

                                                      a block later

Schatz (spontaneously giggling):  I just can't even believe it!!  This is so AWESOME!

                                                     arriving home

Schatz:  He was just going to throw away this TREASURE!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

At the APO*

Schatz:  Is that for me?

Me (flipping through the mail): No, this one's not for you.

Schatz: How about that one?

Me: Nope.  Oh!  (handing an envelope to Schatz) This one's for you.

Schatz: Who's it from?

Me: It's from the bank.  We'll open it when we get home.

I went to the counter to claim a package.  Schatz went to the window and opened her letter. A few minutes later...

Schatz (handing the letter back to me):  Here, Mom.  I don't want it anymore.  I forgot. I can't read yet.

*The APO is the Army Post Office.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Schatz's Self Control (or "Ship" Round Three)

We were having lunch at the Gillen Club yesterday.  The kids were playing on the playground while the adults were visiting.   The television over here isn't censored at all. I've been told that, as a result, the kids here swear like sailors. While we were leaving I overheard this conversation with her dad...

Schatz:  I was fighting with a boy while we were playing, Daddy.  He was saying lots of bad words, but I didn't say any of them back.

Dad: I'm so glad you didn't say any bad words.

Schatz (walking ahead of her dad):  He was even saying "shit" but I didn't.  I didn't even say "ship" either...and I could have, Daddy.  You wouldn't have heard me, but I didn't even say "ship".

Famous Last Words...

Our second day in Sydney:  Here are the 4 pm....shortly after having this conversation...

Mom:  Let's just lay down and have some quiet's been a long day and we woke up super early.

Schatz:  But Mom...I promise. I'm not jet-lagged at all!

Old Black and White Movies

We were spending some time in Idaho before moving overseas...

Aunt Teresa:  Let's watch "Girls Just Want to Have Fun".  That was our favorite when your Mom and I were kids.

Maura:  Okay.  Is it.  Like.  In black and white?

Aunt Teresa starts laughing.

Maura (smoothing things over):  That's okay if it is.  I like black and white movies, too.