We took our children with us to cover a tornado’s aftermath

This is (kind of) my Wordless Wednesday contribution.

Twice now, Hubs, a news photographer, and I, reporter, have taken our kids, ages 7 and 5, to the scene of tornado devastation.

And I’ve never had any qualms about it.

We answer their questions honestly and point out all the volunteers who arrive — every time — with water, clothing, equipment and offers to help clear the rubble.

I want my children to have a realistic view of the world, especially when it comes to natural and man-made disasters. We can’t shield them forever. (That said, I limit — rigidly — what they watch on television. Maybe it’s because of what I do, but a lot of the gratuitous crap turns my stomach.)


I think it’s important for my kids to understand two things:

Bad things happen, yes. But good people step in to help.

Yes, Tootie is in her too-short jammies. We left really, really early for Scotland, Ark.

Easter 2010

Hubs had to work on Easter, but managed to swing by several  times to take photos, hide eggs and take yet more photos. He also met us for lunch at the Dixie Cafe for a carby-yummy feast.

Getting pictures before church was a little difficult. Hubs always says that he can photograph anybody’s kids EXCEPT for his own. Let’s just say the E-man isn’t the most cooperative of subjects. For a perfect example, go here.

Anyway —

One looks bored. The other is grimacing.

Mommy has cooties.

"I know! Let's put Mommy in a headlock!"

Attack of the E-man

Methodical. Like Daddy.

Impulsive. Like Mommy.

Methodical equals success.

So does impulsive.

And now … back to the children’s Easter baskets. Yum.

Lord of the flies (or not)

Reposted from April of 2008. I read this now and laugh. Back then, however, it wasn’t quite so hilarious. I’m happy to report the E-man is no longer afraid of flies. Moths, on the other hand …

My toddler is terrified of flies.


So this evening, when I heard the Scream of Terror, I knew — a fly must have gotten in.

The only other thing that elicits that kind of scream is a cat. The E-man had a few bad experiences with kitties in earlier years and hasn’t ever recovered. I’m not really a cat person, either, however, so I totally get this particular fear. I compare cats to premenstrual women — one minute they’re adoring and slathering in their affection and the next minute they’re swiping you with newly unsheathed claws. I have no patience for that. Only one PMSing creature per household, and that is ME, thankyouverymuch.

So — back to the flies.

The scream traveled from the living room to the kitchen, where I was cooking dinner. And then the E-man hurtled toward me. “Mommmmmmeeeeeee! A flyyyyyyyyy!”

Thus followed 30 minutes of sobbing. Each time he subsided, the fly would buzz by and the screaming started all over again. Finally, out of desperation — the kid wouldn’t touch his dinner — I pretended to kill the fly and dispose of its freaking carcass.

I am so diabolically clever.

Five minutes later, as a forkful of noodles was headed toward the E-man’s mouth, the fly rose from behind the couch with a loud buzz.


Again, I chased it around the living room, thwacking my library book against walls and windows. I smashed the darn thing umpteen times. But. It. Would. Not. Die. At last, after much cussing and flailing, I killed it.

“Look, E.,” I said, holding out the paper towel. “It’s dead. No more fly.”

“Let me see,” his sister said, pushing forward.

After she peered into the folded paper towel, I headed toward the trash. Just as I approached — I kid you not — that freaking fly miraculously came back to life and buzzed upward.

I flew at it again, book still in hand, and this time, I flattened the little effer into nothingness.

By this point, however, the E-man was so distraught, he wouldn’t eat his dinner. So my efforts were in vain.

In other words, the fly won. Even in death.

Arkie Mama: Help me

Am cowering in a closet, listening to loud banging noises coming from one of the children’s bedrooms, where they are busily constructing a weapon of mass destruction.

Really, though, I can’t imagine what’s left to destroy. The living room looks like a toy bomb went off in it. Our long hallway has been elaborately boobytrapped, with scores of plastic GIs waiting to puncture my feet.And Tootie’s room? We will not speak of its condition. It is simply too terrifying.

Now on our second snow day, the children are bored. They are stalking me.

One keeps yelling, “Let’s do the Bobblehead!” before vigorously shaking my head back and forth. The other wants me to help her find a teensy stuffed animal that she thinks was most recently under the tent she made in the living room. Am convinced she wants me to enter the tent, where further torture awaits. By an impressive array of armed and dangerous Pet Shops.

Awhile ago, I called a fellow mama and told her my children were out to get me. She told me that her son’s ADHD medicine ran out right before the snow fell.

My back is still killing me. The children sense my weakness. The only safe place in the house is the coat closet, which is where Hubs will find me upon his return, huddled among the jackets and his musty-smelling hunting gear. If he does not have Chocovine for me, I will tell him he is responsible for catching the children and wrangling them into the bathtub and bed. Must now send out a plea for help on Facebook.

Arkie Mama: One party down, two to go!

Today we celebrated Tootie’s birthday a little early. She invited three girlfriends to go out for pizza. Then we returned to the house — which was adorably decorated by my friend Amy Upshaw — where we ate cake, opened presents, etc…

Hubs hasn’t toned the photos yet, so the colors are a little off, but you get the idea …

Cute party sign by Amy

Amy decorated while we were eating pizza. (Banner is her design.) Tootie was quite surprised upon our return.

Cake by Tracie Rich. Yum.

From left: E-man, Tootie, Jada, Rebecca, Olivia

Birthday girl.

BFF Olivia

Moody Mom's Bear, aka Rebecca

And here's Jada, who celebrated 7 in November

The E-man was perhaps a tad too muc into the present-opening.

Pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey princess/diva style.

After three perfect tail-pinnings, we realized the girls were peeking!

We had such a good time. The girls played, the E-man made the most of being a pesky little brother and the mamas had some much-needed girls-afternoon-out time.

And many, many thanks to Amy for such darling decorations. Tootie wore her hat well into the evening and is already insisting that Amy “do” her party next year.

Next up: The E-man turns 5. Then I turn 40. (Not sure whether those pictures will be fit to publish. Heh.)

And now, back to my Chocovine.

Arkie Mama: Snow & ice

The little people in this household have had a glorious few days.

Day One: Yay! Snow!!

Bulldozing a trail


Deciding on their next victim.

Deciding on their next victim.

Sledding, redneck-style.

Why, hello, Randy! Where's Chevy?

Of course, not everyone was so pleased to see the white stuff.

The Very Reluctant Snow Shepherd

I am not leaving my doggie bed for the not-so-great outdoors. You cannot budge me.


Arkie Mama: Daddy/Mama dancing for Wordless Wednesday

This year, Hubs and I are participating in the father/daughter and mother/daughter routines for Tootie’s dance recital. And so are Moody Mom and her hubby.

First, I have to say that Hubs is a marvelous dancer, so his routine has been moving along nicely. As for me? Well, I can dance by myself, but I’m finding it difficult to lead my daughter, especially when it comes to twirling her.

Here’s a sampling from last Saturday. The men’s dance is “My Girl” and the women’s is “Respect.”

Music starts. Hubs is the guy in the black shirt.

Music begins. Hubs is in the black shirt.

Men walk along in jivey fashion, snapping their fingers.

Now the men walk out, snapping their fingers and veering left and right.

Little girls scamper out to join their daddies.

The girls scamper out to join their daddies.

The dip.

The dip.

A twirl.

A twirl.

The kiss. Each time they did this, the E-man yelled, "BLECH!"

The kiss. Which prompted the E-man to yell, "BLECH!"

Fancy stepping.

Fancy footwork.

Another dip. If he tried this with me, I would either fall or otherwise incapacitate myself.

Another dip.

Finishing with flair.

Finishing with flair.

OK, moving on. You’ll note that Moody Mom and I had a bit more trouble mastering our dance. By the end, we were laughing so hard it’s a wonder we didn’t trip over our children.

Note my concentration and Tootie's uncertainty.

Note my focus and Tootie's skepticism.

Moody Mom and I attempt the footwork.

This isn't too bad.

The E-man finally stopped yelling, "Blech!"

The E-man finally quit yelling, "Blech!"

I have absolutetly no idea what the child is doing. His father was supposed to be watching him.

Oh, look, somebody's child isn't behaving.

Trying to dance while your other child is writhing around on the floor is quite difficult.

I wonder who he belongs to?

This is the part where the daughters are supposed to look like teenagers while we shake our fingers and pop our hips.

Here's the part where we all show "attitude."



Something went awry here.

Something clearly went awry here.

Moody Mom and I cannot stop laughing.

Meanwhile, our children beg for mercy.

For more entertainment (and photos) drop by Moody Mom’s. Note she did not include any pictures of herself!

For more Wordless Wednesday posts from our other Little Rock Mamas, go here:

Family Way

Baby & the Beasts

Blessed Mom

Hugs & Kisses

Mom on a Wire