Friday, July 31, 2009


Warning: this post uses biologically correct terminology. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

At the Four Bears Den, we've always tried to use the biologically correct terms when it comes to body parts. We don't go throwing the words around loosely, mind you, but when needed we aren't afraid to call things what the dictionary (and the doctors) call them.

So Big Brother has always know the correct terms for his own body parts. And once Sugar Bear was in the works, he began a lengthy education on the correct terms for female body parts. In fact, anyone who asked him, "are you excited about the bear cub in your Mama Bear's belly?" would be treated to the response, "it's not in my Mama Bear's belly. It's in her uterus."

In addition to the six-month-older Cousin Bear previously mentioned, Brother Bear has a newly 14 year old Cousin Bear. Totally precious, gorgeous, sweet and kind. Every Mama Bear's dream kid. Big Cousin Bear is fabulous with her little sister cub and Brother Bear. While in the Land of the Bears, she would often play with them in the river or on the deck. Brother Bear adores her.

So, one day, the 3 Cousin Bears were having fun and Big Cousin Bear decided to come inside. Brother Bear wasn't quite finished playing, so he followed her inside and swatted her on her bottom. Big Cousin bear (in her ever-so-patient and sweet voice) said, "Please don't touch my bottom."

In an attempt to teach Brother Bear about respecting other people's bodies, I then told him that it is not nice to touch other people's bottoms. I then asked him to apologize to Big Cousin Bear.

Big Brother Bear walked over to Big Cousin Bear and said, "I'm sorry, Big Cousin Bear, for touching your vagina."


Big Cousin Bear covered her mouth, started giggling like a school girl, and ran out of the room. My Brother Bear literally choked on his coffee. I narrowly escaped wetting myself.

I guess that whole correct terminology thing backfired on me, huh?

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Devil is in the details

Below is an actual conversation overheard between Brother Bear and his cousin bear who is six months older (and clearly, wiser).

Brother Bear: Mama Bear! It worked! My prayers finally worked! I prayed
and asked God to get the gnats to stop bothering me. And it
worked! They aren't bothering me any more!

Cousin Bear: God didn't make the gnats go away Brother Bear!
It was the bug spray!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Miss me?

I'd like to say I missed you all too. But, um, I was too busy relaxing. I actually thought about posting some of our happenings while away, but then the idea of climbing up the stairs to the computer seemed like too much work. Instead, I chose to read (all three on my list!), nap, play, and visit with family. Ahhhhhh....

More posts coming soon on the fun we had while away.

We're back and settled just in time to leave tonight on a road trip to Papa Bear's Family Reunion. In hindsight, I might have been a wee bit crazy when I planned such a quick turnaround. Oh well!

In other news, I've been diagnosed with P.V.S.D.

What's that you say?

Post Vacation Stress Disorder.

It really is a true disorder. I promise. Seriously.

I returned home to the Four Bears Den to find that I had to cook meals, do laundry, run errands and entertain the bear cubs all by myself. Sugar Bear decided that napping was optional, and Brother Bear felt the same about obeying.

And the worst offense? I had to make my own cup of coffee. In the Land of the Bears, I would sit down to nurse Sugar Bear and My Mother Bear would deliver a steaming cup of joe like a fabulous coffee fairy.

Sigh. You see why I've been diagnosed with P.V.S.D? Some people call it a whopping slap of reality, but I like my diagnosis better. With such an official title it almost makes you feel sorry for me too, doesn't it? My understanding is that there is only one experimental treatment for this disorder.

More Vacation.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


How do you spell sore loser?

M-A-M-A B-E-A-R.

While in the Land of the Bears, we try to enjoy a multitude of games after the bear cubs are hibernating. My Mother Bear and Daddy Bear have just about any game one might want to play.

We played an especially close game of Scrabble the other night. It was neck and neck between myself and Papa Bear. He spelled the word, "heated" which put him in the lead. Then My Mother Bear stole my next placement (that would have put me in the lead), so I spelled something easy (read: not particulary point-worthy).

Then, with a final twist of cruel irony, Papa Bear laid his last tile. It was a "C", which added to his previous word spelled, "Cheated".

Does anyone beside me smell a conspiracy? No one should be allowed to win with the word cheated.

I demand a recount.

Then, last night, we played Rummikub. I was mortified that I never won a single set. Despite My Daddy Bear's protestations that he was the official loser, I lost by something like 100 points.

Did I mention that I'm not a good loser?

I'm planning on challenging Brother Bear to a fierce game of Go Fish tomorrow. I need an ego boost.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Growth Spurt

It seems that Sugar Bear has really taken to the mountain air and is having a particularly impressive growth spurt. Either that, or she has a tape-worm. Only time will tell.

Let me expound by telling you what all this 10 month old bear cub consumed for dinner tonight (no judgement on what she actually ate, please. I'm on vacation. Just note the amount):
  • 3 mini cheese quesadillas
  • several green beans
  • 1 banana
  • 3 slices of watermelon
  • Brother Bear's leftover chicken from his dinner (which, by the way, was 1.5 chicken nuggets and a slice of watermelon. sigh.)
  • 1 serving of Yo-Baby Yogurt

She was still crying and giving me the sign for "more", but I was certain that her stomach might actually explode so I cut her off. Plus, we're 1 hour from a grocery store so we must conserver our resources.

The bear cub must have a hollow leg.

Here's hoping she gets her Papa Bear's metabolism. Because she certainly inherited her Mama Bear's disdain for portion control.

Friday, July 3, 2009

To The Land of the Bears, and why we go..

Weeeee're OFF!

That's right, Cyber Bears. The Four Bears Family is off to the Wilderness! As of 10:30 a.m. CST (assuming no delays!), we will be on our way for 17 glorious days galavanting around The REAL Land of the Bears. While we will not have access to cell phone service (boo {cough} hoo {cough} hoo {cough}!), we will have access to the internet. So, don't fret. I intend to occasionally updated you on the happenings of the Four Bears Family whilst in their natural bear habitat.

But while we are traveling and settling in, I thought I would fill you in a bit as to why I make it a point to travel half way across the country to the mountains, and then spend 3 whole weeks there. And, no, the answer does not begin with "because I'm crazy".

My earliest bear cub memories start with fun in the woods with my neighborhood pals ("The Three Musketeers" we were called). The woodsy area behind our houses was our playground and we could often be found catching tadpoles and lightning bugs and creating our own universe with fallen branches and brush.

We then moved to (what used to be) "the country" on a tar road with only a few houses. We were introduced to even more outdoors there. We road horses, played in hay barns, drove 3 wheelers, and (believe it or not) antagonized Brahman calves (and, subsequently, their mamas). While we had all the conveniences of modern life, the outdoors was our oyster and we ate it up. I knew which wildflower was okay to pick, and which one wasn't. By summer's end, my face was extra freckled from the sun, my feet were full of stickle-burs and splinters from running barefoot, and my legs and arms polka-dotted with calamine lotion in an attempt to cure a host of chigger and mosquito bites.

Now I'm a "grown up" Mama Bear, who lives in the city. The concrete jungle. And while I love the life we have created here, the one regret I have is that my bear cubs won't roam about like I did as a bear cub. So, just one of the reasons why we make this trip is to introduce our bear cubs to the woods - their natural habitat (even if they don't know it). Brother Bear has already learned basic rafting skills (stay in the boat, please), how to slide down a waterfall, the fine art of blackberry picking and trout fishing, and - alas - the joy of a roasting (and eating) marshmallows over a fire. Not to mention trying to spot bears (and 'coons, and deer, etc) at night with the spotlight! I cannot make my bear cubs love the outdoors, but I can certainly teach them to know the outdoors with these trips.

Another reason why I make this trip is to slow us down. I am the worst in the family for biting off more than I can chew, and this trip is a great way to slow down our manic family pace and remind my bear cubs (and myself) about rest. It is so wonderful to escape - even for a little while - the hustle and bustle. And where we go, let me tell you, there is no hustle and bustle! Who can't resist a place where there are 6 porch swings, weekend "pick & grins" on the courthouse square, and the biggest worry is ticks? This place practically begs you to rest. You walk inside, times stands still, and your worries just melt into oblivion.

If I haven't already given you enough reasons, let me give you another: My Daddy Bear. This is truly his stompin' grounds. His Daddy & Mama Bear brought him here when he was just a bear cub. He made memories with his family as well as with his Bear Cub Scouts that we've heard retold for ages. And now, I have the opportunity to let him share those memories with my bear cubs. The gleam in his eye as he goes floating down the river with Brother Bear or lets him pull in that 3 pound trout "all by himself", or passes along sacred fire building tips are worth more than gold to me. These are the moments that I treasure now, and my bear cubs will cherish even more later.

And finally, we make this trip because we have the amazing opportunity - which I do not overlook. My Daddy and Mother Bear worked hard for this place, and they share it more generously than we deserve. They give this Mama Bear a much needed break from the daily grind of bear cub raising by entertaining the grand-bear cubs as well as myself. My Mother Bear kills the proverbial fatted calf so that we don't have to worry about meal planning. Word is, she'll have the place stocked with home made blackberry jelly and peach preserves when we arrive. They even drove our family pet ahead with them so that we didn't have to board him while we are gone. Am I one lucky Mama Bear, or what?

So, come sundown tonight I will be in my natural habitat. I might be enjoying a good read on a swing, or re-hearing a great old story from My Daddy Bear, or maybe (if I'm lucky) winning a game of chicken foot. But you can rest assured - whatever I'm doing - I'll sure as heck be enjoying myself.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Final list...I think!

We leave in the morning, and I should be packing. Instead, I'm putting together my awesome reading list from your suggestions. Here's what I plan to read on my vacation:
There are several other good choices, but they weren't on Kindle (and I ran out of time to get to the Library). I'll read those when I return.

Thanks for playing along. Be looking for a new post early tomorrow a.m!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


If you don't already know, you'll learn soon enough: I love National Public Radio. Love it.

So, I'm listening to the Diane Rehm Show the other day (which, coincidentally, is my least favorite NPR show) and she announced to the audience that if they couldn't get in via phone, to remember that she is on both Facebook and Twitter.

Is anyone else besides me a little unnerved that Diane Rehm is on Facebook and Twitter?

I'm just saying.

On another note, how are you Cyber Bears doing on my summer reading list? Remember, you only have until TOMORROW NIGHT!! I won't have anything to read without your help!