Monday, September 28, 2009


Warning: if you are eating lunch, please do not read this post. You have been warned.

Also: this post is probably one of those posts that will land me in therapy with Brother Bear later in life...

The other day Brother Bear asked me why it necessary to wipe our bottoms.


Well, I tried to kindly explain to him that it is sanitary, that it keeps us clean, etc., etc., etc. Unfortunately, this did not answer Brother Bear's real question. It seems that what he really wanted to know was what happens in the process that then makes wiping our bottoms necessary.

Double gulp.

I tried my best to explain this topic on my own (although I did seriously consider a quick call to my Biology Professor Big Sister Bear). I soon realized that I would be unable to solely communicate this answer without the use of a visual aid of some sort.

So, the next words out of my mouth were, "Here, let me show you." With those (what seemed like) simple 5 words, I created extreme family pandemonium.

Apparently, I was the only bear in the den that knew I needn't drop my drawers in order to "show" the visual aid.

I am so misunderstood.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Red light, Green Light

One of the highlights (or low lights, depending on the bear cub) for all kindergarten bears is the school behavior/conduct system. Brother Bear is enthralled with it.

The system is based off of the traffic light system: green = good; yellow = warning; orange = time out; red = visit to the principal & call to parents. (Yes, I know that most traffic lights don't have orange. The school system, unlike the police, offers a little grace) Each bear cub has a clothespin with their name on it. Every day, they begin with their personal "clip" on green. Then, depending on their behavior, the clip moves accordingly. The final color is reported to the Mama and Papa Bears in the bear cub's Daily Folder. (BTW, have you noticed that The Department of Homeland Security's Threat Level is eerily similar? Just an observation....)

Did I mention that Brother Bear is enthralled with this system? Each day, we have to report not only our own behavior but the behavior of all of our peers. He is also very concerned with keeping his clip on green. Which means he's concerned about behaving appropriately. OH. MY. GOSH. WHY DIDN'T I HAVE THIS SYSTEM THREE YEARS AGO?? If I had know that this simple program would make my child a law abiding bear-citizen, I SO would have implemented it years ago!!

Fortunately for me, my industrious bear cub was kind enough to create one of these handy-dandy clip systems for our household. How kind. Here's a look at his creation:
He gets an "A" for effort at least!?!

Well. It seems that this household clip chart was not created to oversee the behavior of our eldest bear cub. Instead, this clip chart was created to keep track of Mama and Papa Bear and all injustices poured out upon Brother Bear. For example: having the audacity to serve him round pizza (read: homemade english muffin pizzas) instead of triangular pizza (read: bought at the pizza shop pizza) warranted me a clip move to Yellow. Whoops. Who would have known?

So, the other night, Papa Bear was putting Brother Bear to bed and was having a more-difficult-than-normal-time getting Brother Bear to pick up and put away his toys. After multiple threats, Papa Bear finally had to revoke privileges. Oh lordy. The weeping and nashing of teeth that ensued was monumental. Then, Brother Bear marched to the "clip system" and proceeded to communicate in no uncertain terms that Papa Bear's clip was moving to RED! Let's just say that Papa Bear wasn't fazed by the clip move.

After the skirmish was over, Papa Bear came into the room and I mockingly said, "Ooooh, you got moved to RED. I've never gotten a RED before." Do you know what Papa Bear's response was?

He said, "Hey, I'm an overachiever, baby!"

Overachiever indeed!

Oh. And, in case you are wondering, after that last "clip incident", the home clip chart has "mysteriously" disappeared....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Happy 6th Birthday, Brother Bear!

Six years ago, I couldn't imagine life with you

Now I can't imagine it without you!

You may not be my only

but you'll always be my first.

I love the zest you have for life

(even if it wears me out sometimes).

Your curiosity is amazing

and your confidence is overwhelming.

I sometimes wonder if I'm up for the tall order

of being your Mama Bear.

I love your "huggles"

I treasure how you find that perfect cuddle when we read a book.

I'm thankful for every day we've spent together

(even when they were spent in time out).

You are a shining star

Shine on Brother Bear,


Friday, September 18, 2009

Line in the sand?

I just read this article in Newsweek Magazine (Kindle Subscription, of course!). It got me to thinking...

Where is my line in the sand with this blog? I started this blog as a way to further communicate the funny stories and life I experience in my daily life as a stay-at-home-Mama Bear. But in the process, I am sharing potentially embarrassing stories of Brother Bear and Sugar Bear without their permission. Is this wrong?

As you noticed right away, everyone involved in the blog has a bear-able pseudonym (har har har). My attempt at humor AND privacy. You'll also notice that the few pictures of my bear cubs never include a full view, or their eyes. I just couldn't face the idea of some weird-o happening upon my blog and oogling my children. So, I did make some choices in advance regarding what I would and would not share with you cyber bears.

But how far is too far? What story is too much? I have my own ideas, but I'd love to hear YOURS.

So, Cyber Bears, in this age of technology and blogging, what is your "line in the sand" regarding children and blogging? How much is too much? How do I have a blog, and avoid millions of dollars in therapy sessions with my bear cubs later?

I really want to know.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Catch a Tiger by the Tail

What do you do when Papa Bear says (one too many times) that Sugar Bear is growing a mullet and needs a haircut?

You catch that mullet by the pig-tail....

Friday, September 11, 2009

Crash Landing on Planet Mom

Busy as a bee! That has been me this week! Today we kick-off our fall semester of MOPS and I'll be co-leading the group this year. I'm thrilled to be on a team with such great mama bears that are as passionate as I am about ministering to other mama bears.

Because I've been so busy (and that last post wore me out!), I've neglected the cyber den. I hope you'll forgive me!

Below is a piece I wrote for our MOPS newsletter. I wanted you Cyber Bears to get a peek into why I love this organization with such an awful name. Oh, and for those of you don't know, the MOPS International Theme this year is Life on Planet Mom (this will help explain my writing below!).

And if you just happen to be (or happen to know) a mama bear out there that feels right now how I felt back then - please, please, please find a MOPS group. I guarantee you'll be glad you did.

Crash Landing on Planet Mom...

A little under 6 years ago, I “crash landed” on Planet Mom when my first child was born. Literally, “crash landed.” Nothing went right. The birth and subsequent first weeks of motherhood were not at all what I had planned.

Then I changed my plan and didn’t go back to work. My closest friend either hadn’t yet had children, or went back to work. I very quickly found myself alone with no earthly idea what to do. I felt like I was on a whole other planet.

I decided to visit a MOPS meeting. I was so clueless, that when it was time to split up for discussion time, I thought the meeting was over. I went to get my child and didn’t realize my mistake until I was in the parking lot!

But what I did attend of that meeting was fantastic. I found a community of women who knew what I was going through and loved me for the crazy alien woman I had become. I made instant friends, and had a support network that I could always trust whether it was a family crisis or the birth of my second child.

It has now become my mission to make other moms feel welcome, included, and comfortable with their role as a mother – even if they don’t do it just like me.

I hope that this year, you get the opportunity to see how YOU are an integral part of Planet Mom. I hope that in our meetings you truly feel our theme verse: “For where two or three come together…there I am with them” (Matthew 18:20).

We are here. He is here.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Shock and Awe

I originally began writing this post last week. At the time I was terribly angry, so much that I could feel my heart rate increase while typing. I decided that - even though this is my blog and I can say whatever I feel - perhaps I needed to hit "save" vs. "publish" and let my thoughts rest.

I gave it 2 more days and a few more edits, but still didn't publish. I still felt that I was writing the post out of anger, and my anger wasn't the message I wanted to convey.

So, 2 more days (and a really great sermon) later, here is the post. Edited, edited, humbled, and edited some more.

You still may not enjoy what I have to say. And I'm okay with that. But I still need to say it.

Here goes.

Last week, I received the following document in Brother Bear's "take home" paperwork (note: to protect the privacy of my bear cub and his school, all dates and other identifying information have been deleted. No other information in this document was changed):

That same morning, I just happened to stumble on the following newspaper article.


It seems that some Mama and Papa Bears are extremely riled up that The President of the United States plans to address the nation's students. So much so, that our particular school district has deemed the speech "optional", will tape it and play it the next day, and show it only to those with signed parental consent.

Please, someone tell me what is wrong with this speech?

I've read the speech several times now, and can't seem to understand what is wrong with The President of the United States encouraging my bear cub that he has talent, and should stay in school and work hard. I just don't get it.

By the way, have any of those complaining realized that this president, this president, AND this president ALL addressed the nation's school children during their tenure?

Why am I so upset over this? First off, let me tell you it's NOT because I voted for the guy and I'm trying to protect him and his policies. It's not because I'm a left winged democrat bear and I want all bears to believe just like me. Believe me, if this happened eight years ago (and I had a bear cub and a blog back then) I would be saying the same thing (but if you don't believe me, hear it from someone who didn't vote for him here).

Nope. I'm upset because of the lack of respect we are showing for the elected leader of our nation. Like it or lump it, one of the the many roles of President of the United States is to be an example and leader to the students of this nation. And if he (like his predecessors) feels that it is important to speak to all of the students of this great nation, then by gosh, by golly, I think those bear cubs should all be sitting on their furry little bottoms listening attentively and giving respect to the Office of President of the United States and what he has to say.

No matter what we believe politically, we all must teach our bear cubs to respect authority. And, while I would love for my bear cubs to follow in my particular political persuasion, my job as their Mama Bear is simply to educate them on all political opinions/views and then allow them to develop their own opinions as they mature. Even if it ends up being different than mine.

If I told Brother Bear he wasn't allowed to watch the Presidential Address because we disagreed with the President's political views he would immediately form an opinion based solely on my thoughts and feelings. I want no part of that.

Instead, I choose to give my bear cub the opportunity to respect the Office of President of the United States - no matter who it is or how I cast my vote. I want open and honest dialogue and free thinking in my bear den.

So I explained to Brother Bear that The President of the United States wanted to talk to all of the students in America about education. You know what he said in reply? He told me, "Mama Bear, I have to see that. It is important to hear what he has to say because he's in charge of America!".

Republican or Democrat, Liberal or Conservative. He couldn't have put it any better.

Friday, September 4, 2009

This and That

Two weeks of Kindergarten down. Am I the only one that feels like this? (Thanks to my Big Sister Bear for the reminder of this commercial)

Seriously, I'm exhausted. I went to bed at NINE O'CLOCK the other night. Good Grief! Everyone told me the "kindergarten transition" would be hard. THEY JUST DIDN'T WARN ME IT WOULD BE ME WITH THE TRANSITION PROBLEM!!

As Papa Bear has been livin' it up (uh, I mean working very hard) again this week in a Land Far Far Away, I've been doing very little other than simply surviving. Good thing I have a great neigh-bear who offered to take Brother Bear to school every morning this week.

Happy Friday Cyber Bears.



Guess our life has now transitioned to this.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Heavenly Happy Hour

I love my church.

I really do.

One of the things I love about it is that during the Sunday 11:00 worship hour, I conduct a "Story Time" with the 3 and 4 year olds bear cubs while their parents attend the service. Basically, I take some time to reinforce the lesson they learned in Sunday School, and then read a book. Simple, fun and educational. My favorite combination.

Some may think I'm crazy for doing this (and enjoying it). But I love these bear cubs. The age is fabulous, and they always say the darndest things. For instance:

This Sunday, the bear cubs learned about the Lord's Supper. The basics that they learned were that Jesus asked Peter and John to go and put together a meal. Peter and John followed Jesus' request, and after the meal, Jesus said that this meal was to serve as a reminder of him.

As I always do, I asked the bear cubs what they talked about in Sunday School. After peppering them with a few other questions (so that we could drill down a little past the always present "Jesus" answer), I asked the cubs what Jesus and his friends ate at the supper. They all chimed in with a rousing "BREAD!!!".

What good little listeners they are.

I then posed the question, "What did Jesus and his friends drink at the dinner?"

One sweet little bear cub quickly piped with the best answer ever:


Oh. My. Gosh.

Normally, I can hold it together no matter what gets thrown my way. But for some reason, I got a serious case of the giggles (it had nothing to do with the other giggling deacons, I assure you.)

I had barely recovered before several of the other cubs piped in about how their Mama and Papa Bears love beer too.

I love my church.

I really, really do.

(oh - and for those of you Local Bears with bear cubs in Story Time - if you think I'm telling you which bear cub said what...forget it. What happens in Story Time, STAYS in Story Time.)