At the invitation of a good friend (Ad, you know who you are!), I have decided to participate in a Mindful Writing Challenge, which can be found if you click on link. It’s a good way for me to practice my writing, but also to keep things afloat here (which is kind of unofficially my goal for 2013….). My only problem is the concept of Small Stones….I tend to write semi-large boulders when I set out to write something small. I guess I’m too wordy. But I’ll attempt to make them a bit smaller as time wears on. Really. I will….I’ll try. But I won’t resolve, because I don’t believe in resolutions (you can see why here, if you’re so inclined…). But as for the task at hand, my very first not-so-small stone.


She sat at the breakfast table, digging around in her bowl to find each technicolor tidbit, only to quickly deposit it onto the table. As I sat and watched, the small mound of marshmallows grew, turning into a multicolored mountain next to her bowl. Over and over, she sifted through her bowl, like someone panning for gold, looking at each bit of cereal carefully before either dropping it back into the bowl, or carefully placing it among the colorful chosen. After careful scrutiny, and more sifting, she finally brought forth the deluge of milk, drowning the chaff within the bowl. After a quick stir of her spoon, the undesirables were consumed, spoonful by spoonful, until the bowl was empty of oat cereal entirely. But this was not the end of her mass cerealicide… apparently the salvation of the marshmallows was to be short-lived. She gathered them all up in one scoop and dropped them into the milky remnants within the bowl. In less than a minute, the once Chosen Few were gone, down into the depths of my hungry daughter’s stomach. She then smiled broadly, and I believe I heard her utter “yummy” under her breath. I just rolled my eyes, and took another drink of my coffee.

You see, this is Victoria’s ritual whenever she eats Lucky Charms (or the store brand equivalent). I find it interesting, if not a bit horrifying. Why take the time to segregate one part of the population, and force them to participate in what will invariably mean their destruction, leaving the other portion to the side, and giving them false hope because you’re going to do the same to them very soon? It seems rather cruel — giving such hope only to take it away in one fell swoop. I hope she doesn’t end up becoming President someday; goodness knows how she’ll treat her citizens. But then again, this is only cereal…

The funny thing is, as I wondered about her behavior, I remembered that I had done much the same thing when I was her age. I’d eat the oat cereal, saving the marshmallows for last. I just didn’t take them out of my bowl, making them think they were somehow saved from the massacre. Yeah, yeah…cereal. I know. Even now, when I have canned soup with the little meatballs in it, I always save the meatballs for last (just ask the Izzlets…they always ask if they can have them. The fools. Of course I’m not going to give them away!). I’m not sure why I do this. I guess I like them the best. Or maybe I’m still just a kid deep down in the recesses of my soul. Maybe it’s a bit of both. Toria probably has her own reasons for saving her marshmallows. One day, I’ll ask her. But for now, I’ll keep watching her in her quest for what she feels is the awesomeest way to eat her breakfast, letting her eat it the way she wants. Because it makes her happy. And that makes me happy.


I sometimes wonder where on earth my children get things. The things they say! I find myself on many occasions just looking at them, shaking my head in disbelief. Not that what they say is bad per se…it’s just odd, especially when it’s coming from their mouths. Take today for example.

I was sitting at the dinner table, minding my own business, and eating my dinner. All of a sudden, Éamon, who happens to sit right next to me, asks rather urgently “Can I have a drink?” Pause for a second here…had this been one of the older children, I would have first corrected them on their poor grammar (a pet peeve of mine) and then said no until they can ask nicely…given it’s Éamon, and he’s not quite 3, I let it go. Just thought I’d put that in there. So he asks his urgent question, then, without giving me a chance to respond, asks again “Can I PLEASE have a drink?”…ahhh! There’s the please! ;)…I turn to look at him, and as I do, he says “If you give me a drink, I give you three dollars!” I was a bit taken aback. Where on earth…? But it was humourous, I must admit, so I get him his drink, set it in front of him, and then hold out my hand. He gets all wide eyed, touches my hand for a second, and then says “I have no moneys!” At this I started to laugh. It was just too darn cute for words. My laughing, of course, gets him going, and we both had a hearty laugh over the events, although I’m fairly certain he had no idea why we were laughing.

This is one of the cool things about kids. Even when you’re having a bad day and things just aren’t looking all that great, they are good for a laugh or two. It’s either something they say, or something they do, or sometimes even something they don’t do. But there it is…you laugh in spite of yourself. And, at least for me, your day brightens immediately, and the woes of the world that you are having to deal with don’t seem nearly as woeful as they had. Maybe that’s why I have so darn many of them. I love to laugh, and they make sure I do on a daily basis. 🙂

Catechism 101…Izzlet style!

Me, to the littles: “Does anyone know what the 8th Commandment is?”

Several hands go up (although I’m smart enough to know that not all
of them know the answer)…picking one out of the sea of hands:

Me: “Alright, tell me”

Unnamed Izzlet: “Thou shalt not….ummmmm…..wait! I do know
it…..ummmm….oh YEAH!!! Thou shalt not bear false witness against
thy neighbor’s wife!!!” (with a very pleased look upon their face, I
might add).

So there you have it. You can lie, so long as you don’t lie to your neighbour’s wife. And remember, you heard it here first! 😉

The last few weeks or so have been crazy. You see, we’ve had visitors coming and going, and going and coming almost as if I were running a country Inn or fancy hotel (without seeing the profits of said ventures, of course). Everyday, someone new happens into the family, and everyday their appearance is wholly unexpected. Maybe I should start asking if they intend to pay for their lodgings…

The whole phenomenon seemed to begin sometime around International Talk Like a Pirate Day (arrrrr….!). For days after, we had various pirates visiting…some with eyepatches, others with peglegs…sitting down at the dinner table like they lived here without even asking permission. And the weird thing was no one seemed to care too much (except for me, apparently), for no one said a word or seemed to even take a bit of notice. Furthermore, our already overcrowded dinner table was still only as overcrowded as it is usually, despite the daily additions. Strange…

Finally, after what seemed like forever, the pirates made their way back to the harbour and out to sea, and along with them went the constant “Arrrr matey”s and forceful requests for me to “swab the deck.” I must admit I was a bit relieved. Attempting to entertain a band of buccaneers isn’t always an easy task. You never seem to have enough rum to appease them, and your larger kitchen knives seem to disappear, only to resurface between the teeth of a particularly large picaroon. But even as their appearances dwindled to nothing, our adventures were far from over.

A few days after the exit of the pirates, in walked in the Superheroes. I thought the pirates were weird…these guys were way worse. At the most inopportune times, Superman would fly through my kitchen or Spiderman would swing through the living room. And the main topic of conversation seemed to always revolve around who was more “super strong” or who had the coolest powers (“NO! Web slinging is by far the best!!” “No way!! Heat Vision is way cooler!”). And you know, I really thought they would have been much taller than 3 ft. something. Anyway…

The Superheroes ate with us, watched movies with us, played football with us. It’s really funny how well they fit in despite their super human powers…almost like they’d always been part of the family. But they too had to go on their merry way at last…off to fight crime in some distant city, more than likely named something like Metropolis or something similar. Now that they’re gone, however, I find myself missing their super human antics. And the little secrets I found out about them as well…they were well worth the fly bys. Never once did they allow their secret identities be known (and I never was able to guess, despite my constant efforts), but here and there they did slip up, and I was able to find out a few key things about them because of it. For example, Superman gets extremely cranky by 1pm and really has to take a nap (you know…so does Éamon. Small world!). So, everyday like clockwork, he would crawl into my bed, with a cup of milk, and fall fast aslepp until about 3, when he woke up expecting a snack (hmmmm….Éamon does that too. I wonder…). I even have a picture to prove it, just don’t tell him that I’ve shown it to you all. He may not like that and I’ll have to call Spiderman and have him come to prove who really is the “super strongest”. You know…he really does look familiar in this picture…like I really should know who he is….


Someone sent this through an email list I am on…actually the only email list I’m on…and I thought it was funny enough to put on the blog. It’s a different spin on the If You Give A Mouse a Cookie book by Laura Joffe Numeroff: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.
This one, as the title indicates, is about a mom rather than the proverbial mouse in Ms. Numeroff’s book, but it’s perfect. Whether you have 2 kids or my 11, I think you might get a chuckle out of this.

If you give a mom a muffin She’ll want a strong cup of coffee to go with it, She’ll make herself some.

Her three-year-old will spill the coffee She’ll wipe it up.

While wiping the floor she’ll find dirty socks. She’ll remember she has to do laundry.

When she puts the laundry in the washer, she’ll trip over boots and bump into the box of Goodwill items. Bumping into the Goodwill items will remind her that she has to get these boxes out of her basement and into the car.

When she puts the boxes in the car, she’ll find a bag of groceries and this will remind her she has to cook dinner. She will get out the chicken defrosting in the fridge. She’ll look for her cookbook, “101 Things To Do With Chicken”

The cookbook will be sitting under a pile of mail. She will see the Netflix movie she’s meant to send back and the phone bill, which is due tomorrow.

The checkbook will be in her purse that is being dumped out by her one-year-old. As she bends down to rescue her purse, she’ll smell something funny. She’ll change the baby’s diaper.

While she is throwing away the diaper and searching for the hand sanitizer, the phone will ring. Her three-year-old will answer and hang up. She’ll remember she wants to call a friend – not for coffee, but for a very strong drink.

Thinking of drinking will remind her that she was going to have a cup of coffee in order to stay awake for the rest of the day. And chances are…. If she finds her cup of coffee (which she has to reheat by now), Her children will have eaten the muffin that goes with it.

Today, the pirates be runnin’ amok as the good ship Izz sets course to set sail for the open seas! Arrrrr! Swab the deck, ye scurvy dog! We be preparing fer departure!

What am I going on about? Today is 19 September, otherwise known to us pirate types as International Talk Like a Pirate Day. It’s the day to let your inner pirate loose and order those you are not fond of to walk the plank. Here at Casa Izz, we take this international holiday quite seriously…we only speak in Pirate, the kids are all dressed up, and even Éamon is getting into it as he greets everyone he sees with an “Arrrr, Matey!” I, of course, get to be Capn’ Izz (or Capn’ Mom…depending upon who you are talking to), me bein’ the lucky Pirate that I be. And iff’n anyone be actin’ like a bilge rat, they be walkin’ the plank, they be! Right into Davy Jones’ locker!

So go get some bandanas, maybe an eyepatch or two, and play pirates today. Your kids will love you for it. Your co-workers may not be quite as enthusiastic, but at least ye’ll have a grand time tellin’ em to swab the deck! ARRRRRRR!!!!!

And for a bit of fun…what be your Pirate name?

Mine is, very appropriately:

First Mate Maria Lindsey the Pegleg Heart

If you feel like it, respond here and tell us all what your Pirate name is! Happy Pirating!

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

It’s been a glorious day here today. Since we’re still not feeling all that great anyway, school was kind of more laid back and more outside rather than in. I am of the opinion that if you’re feeling under the weather, being outside in the sunshine is always a good thing. One of the activities we did was decided upon by the little guys in the house. Éamon was playing “Feetball” as he calls it….Football, or Soccer here in the US. He was trying to dribble the ball around the yard (he’s actually pretty good for an almost 2 year old), and it was so cute that I decided to get out the digital camera. Unfortunately, by the time I got the camera up and running (this takes me some time because I am photographically inept) he was too tired to play anymore, opting instead to go into the house for a drink. Oh well…Finbar and Séamus were still more than willing to play around, so I got a few shots in of them, which I think I’ll share here. Consider it a first…I don’t usually put forth my photographic endeavours in a public place. When I do, they are few and far between. I just can’t take a picture to save my life. So my first post with pictures of the kids that I, myself, took. Yay me!

So…without further ado, on with the show!

Here is Séamus…he’s looking at the ball like he’s not sure what to do with it.

Here is Fin, who seems to have a firm grasp on what exactly to do with it.

And Séamus again, who seems to have gotten the idea…but there is a slight problem with his pants falling down….seamuspants.jpg

Lastly, here is my picture du jour. It came out very cool, in my opinion. Joseph had decided to kick the ball to me, as I was trying to take a picture of him in action. The effect was neat. joeoops.jpg

There you go. Our day…or at least some of it, in pictures! Happy Footballing! 😉

Next Page »