The Queen of Random (a Friday Funnies post)


Christian, at bedtime: Hello, Miss Horse Woman.

Julianna: Stop that.

Christian: Why do you want me to stop?

Julianna: Because you are old.

Parenting requires a  serious sense of humor. That’s all.

With my husband going out of town for a conference, I’m giving myself permission to take a Spring Break from blogging. See you all in April!


Mr. Strong-y Smash Man and Other Adorable Michael Moments







The youngest child is always the funniest one. It’s a rule. While I was gone for Liturgical Composers Forum, the two women who had morning duty both sent me messages to tell me things about my youngest child.

Exhibit A: 


Uh-huh. Star Wars. Avengers. Hark the Herald Angels. Oddwalk’s Gorilla song. Frosty. Rudolph. Songs of his own making. And every one of them sung


(Why yes, in fact, I am shouting. Actually, that’s not true, because currently I have no voice at all and my head feels woozy like I have a fever. I’m shouting internally.)

Exhibit B:

(An email received mid-week):

I know you keep track of funny things the kids say so I thought I’d share one I got from Michael this morning. 🙂  He was a little impatient about how long it took us to get back to my house (10 minutes) and asked a few times how many miles we had left.  A mile out from the house we came up behind a school bus that was driving pretty slowly.  He asked again how much farther.  I told him we were less than a mile from the house but we were going to have to go as slow as the school bus in front of us.  He suggested passing it but I pointed out that it wasn’t really a safe place to pass and we were only a mile out so we would just be patient.  He told me that sometimes school buses were driven by girls and he was pretty sure this one was being driven by a girl.  Presumably because they were going slowly. 🙂

Oh, Michael, Michael. Where, oh where did I go wrong?

Michael’s life philosophy seems to be threefold:

  1. Why walk when you can run?
  2. Why run when you can jump?
  3. Why hug when you can tackle?

Hence, I generally open my arms and not only brace, but wince in advance. I’m telling you, this child is going to grow up to be a stunt man in Hollywood.

To round out this week’s portrait of a preschooler who reeeeeeeaaaaallly needs to be in kindergarten, I give you: Michael’s brand new collection of superhero characters:

First there is Mr. Strong-y Smash Man (hard G. Very important.):


This is the best picture I can give you, because by the time he finished drawing all of Mr. Strong-y Smash Man’s elevators (he seems to be mostly comprised of elevators, as best I could tell), you could no longer see anything but scribbles.

Then there was Mr. Magic, who he never drew.

Mr. Magic’s friends, however, I can share with you. The explanatory writing is faithfully transcribed from Michael’s own words:


There are times when I simply can’t help grabbing up this child and trying to chew him to pieces.


Kate’s Universal Laws Of Parenting

Boys Pinnacles

Give them rocks to climb and they won’t fight. Oh wait. They had that fight over the walking stick, didn’t they? Never mind…

  1. Ear infections always and only come up after the doctor’s office has closed for the night.
  2. Or during a 20-inch snow storm.
  3. The child who gets chronic ear infections is inevitably the one who’s also allergic to penicillin.
  4. Paperwork is evil.
  5. Where children, there noise.
  6. If no noise, beware.
  7. Just because they don’t react doesn’t mean they didn’t hear you.
  8. Paperwork is evil.
  9. Boys are just different.
  10. 1 boy= destruction. 2 boys = mayhem. 3 boys = total annihilation.
  11. Did I mention paperwork is evil?


How To Make A Snow Day, According to Kindergarten and Second Grade


Photo by kylesteed, via Flickr

“Mrs. Basi!” yells Kindergarten Carpool child, upon leaping into the van after school. “Do you want to have a SNOW DAY tomorrow???!!!!”

“No, I do not,” I reply.

Undeterred, he shouts, “You have to put an ICE CUBE in the TOILET and let it melt! And then you flush it!”


Nicholas leaps into the van, spread-eagled with enthusiasm. “Mom, mom, you know how to make a snow day??????????????!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Nope, how?”

“You put your TOOTHBRUSH under your PILLOW!”

“No, you don’t, you put your SPOON under your pillow!” shouts Kindergarten Carpool.

“My teacher told me TOOTHBRUSH!” yells Nicholas.

“Well, the REAL way is a SPOON. And you know what else? You put an ice cube in the toilet and wait for it to melt! And then you flush it. But if you don’t flush it, your toilet will overflow!”

“So if we want a BIG snow day, we should dump our whole BUCKET of ice from the freezer in the toilet!”Nicholas is problem-solving hard now. “Mom, can we put our whole bucket in? We can always make more!”

Methinks the elementary teachers are having fun with the kidlets. 🙂 As I’m going to have fun with you now, because seriously, a photo like this has to be used, even if it has nothing to do with, well, anything at all.


“These are not the solutions you are…” oh, never mind.


Friday Funnies, 2nd ed.




I don’t know what this is. But it’s hysterical.


For three days, I forgot to pay the monthly rental for Alex’s horn. I told him to stick his horn case on the computer chair so I wouldn’t forget again. He did this, too. Oh, wait, do you need a closeup?



I don’t know what this is, either. Is there something wired wrong in there, I wonder? 😉


In Which I Win “THE VOICE”: Van edition (and other Friday Funnies)


fridayfunniesMichael, holding a paper back mouse with whiskers on one side:

“I’m naming my mouse!”

Me: “I’m definitely raising 21st century children.”

Julianna, holding a baby doll:

“Mom, my baby name, is, Dzustin…Bieber!”

Me: speechless.

Nicholas, at prayer time following an ice storm:

“I pray for good roads and a lot of snow.”

Me: “You do realize those two prayers are completely at odds with each other.”

Alex: “No they aren’t! I don’t want ice, I just want a lot of…well…I don’t care if it’s on the SIDEWALKS, I just want it not on the STREET!”

Christian: “Alex wants twenty inches of snow to fall only on the yard.”

Our Advent season car soundtrack:


Nicholas and Julianna: “You’re a grand old flag! If you like to talk to tomatoes….Veggie ta-a-ales, veggie ta-a-ales, there’s never ever ever ever (ever ever…ever…ever) been a show like…”


Nicholas and Julianna: “Fine. O SAY CAN YOU SEE?”

Alex: “Aaagh!”

Me: “Alex, you should start singing the theme to the Flash. You’ve got to fight back!”

Alex: “But they LIKE the theme to the flash.”

Me: “You’re thinking about this all wrong. You’re not trying to find something they don’t like. You’re trying to find something YOU DO. Like…like this.”


In the car:

Dead silence.

Ha-ha! I won!


“Kids in Church,” Part 1


We’re going to do something a bit different today: it’s your turn to talk! A few weeks ago, I asked my Facebook community to share their best “kids in church” stories: the good, the bad, the ugly. I got twice as much as I could use for a single post; hence the “part 1” in the title. If you have stories to add, chime in. Use the combox or send me an email at kathleenbasi (at) gmail (dot) com, and I’ll add them to the queue. Who knows? Maybe we can make this a regular feature.

Without further ado, I present:

Kids in church stories, Part 1


Photo by Alex Sansão, via Flickr

Lauren F:

A. has recently become very fascinated with being nude. And we just happened to call her “naked butt” while she was running around without clothes one day. Well, she has an incredible memory and continues to call herself that. At Mass one Sunday, she noticed the Crucifix. Joe pointed out that it was Jesus. She yelled out “Naked Butt Jesus!”

Laura F:

7pm Mass, “Teddy” was maybe two, I’m in front doing music. The lector hadn’t shown up that night so Fr. Henry (all 6’7″ of him) is at the ambo, just finished the petitions and there’s that moment of silence after the prayer before he walks back to his chair and I announce the offertory. “Teddy” is sitting with Grandma and Grandpa, far side of the church, 3rd window back, per usual. In that moment of silence his voice rings out, very sing song-y….”Mooooommmy! I poooopy! Come chaaaange me!” Fr. Henry looks at me, I look at him, and say….”Our offertory song is….” (Hey, daddy can deal, right?)

Brian K:

The minister asked a rhetorical question, and S. tried to answer.

Michelle B:

I carried I. up to communion when he was two and as soon as I stepped away from the priest, he started wailing (at the top of his lungs) “I want a snack too!!”

Ruth C.:

One year when my big ones were little we sang Away in a Manger every night during Advent, as part of our Advent Wreath/nightly prayers routine. I taught them hand motions. On Christmas Eve we were stuck on chairs in the back of church and the Offertory was Away in a Manger. They both stood up and started singing and doing the hand motions.

Catherine M:

When my brother was young he thought the priest was Jesus. One day the Bishop officiated the mass and processed down in all his glory and he proclaimed loudly “wow! That must be Jesus in heaven!”

Emily R:

When I was very little, we were all seated in a pew. I was watching everyone walk in before mass. A little old lady walked in with freshly done hair. And you know how it can sometimes get a blue-purple tint when it’s white and freshly permed? Well, I stood up on the pew, pointed and my mouth opened. Mom said she could see the wheels turning. She clamped her hand over my mouth and pulled me down before I could ask why her hair was purple. Mom was mortified!

Carrie E.:

W. was born on December 23. I threw a fit to get out of the hospital for 10:30 (Christmas Eve) Mass. We walked in during the second verse of Silent Night. Fr. John just about fell off the altar (I was due 1/7). At the end of Mass, he came back, blessed us, & carried W. around the church held high like the Lion King. After 18 years, people still tell me how special that was to them.

And finally, today’s winner…

Amy W: My fave is from when T. was about 4, and we saw our pastor (by chance) in Costco. Instead of a greeting, he pointed and yelled in alarm, “Mom! They let that guy out of our church!” Without missing a beat, the pastor answered, “Only to stock up on food.”

Old McDonald’s and other Kid Antics (a 7QT post)



You know how you can say one thing one time and suddenly everybody has to repeat it every single time they see the object in question? There’s this house, on the corner of this one street, about which Alex said one day, “That’s a 1980s house.”

“More like a 1950s house,” I said, offhand.

And now we cannot pass this house—which lies along the route to Jazzercise—without Michael yelling, “There’s the 1950s house!”

I feel like saying, “I have no idea if it’s 1950s or 1940s or 1960s! It was just a throwaway comment!”


Photo by JeepersMedia, via Flickr

I’m sure we’re not the only family whose kids see golden arches and scream, “Old McDonald’s!” and burst into moo moos and baa baas. (Right? Please?)


Christmas songs offer a symphony of possibility for musically creative kids. (You do remember “Percy Jackson Ro-ocks”/”Let it blow”, right?) Well, this is the singing exchange I was treated to earlier this week:

“Grandma got run over by a reindeer, coming home from…”

“No, no, Nicholas got run over by a Reindeer!”

“ALEX got run over by a reindeer!”

“No, no, Nicholas got run over by Alex!”

At which point I hollered that they’d better all stop running over people and get their pajamas on, RIGHT NOW. After a scant few seconds’ quiet, Nicholas started up again: “Michael got run over by a toilet!”

Sometimes my life is like the “good night chorus” on the Waltons…only less friendly.


Photo by Rooners Toy Photography, via Flickr

Speaking of cultural phenomena, my kids are all in love with the Hulk. I find this puzzling. I mean, Mark Ruffalo = what’s not to like? But the Hulk in general? I don’t get it.

It’s a good thing I have an adult XY to explain it to me.

“He’s big, he’s strong, and he breaks things,” he said. “He’s a role model.”

I think I am doomed.


Last Friday we went to Christian’s office party. We were the first to arrive, and when the next guest walked in—a grad student—Julianna greeted her with, “Where are your people?” This was a matter of great hilarity the entire evening, and apparently it’s become the standing office joke this week.


Rocking new-to-her polka dots

Rocking new-to-her polka dots

Speaking of Julianna: I finally figured something out today. You can’t trust any answer she gives you to be true; e.g., “Did you use the toilet? Did you hit your brother?” I finally realized that this is a stunning example of EQ versus IQ. See, Julianna can instinctively understand what is the right answer to such questions, even if she doesn’t know the actual answer. So when you ask Julianna a question, you will ALWAYS get the right answer.

“Did you use the toilet?”


“Did you hit your brother?”


“Do you understand me?”


But it’s just as likely that the answers are no, yes, and no, respectively. Unless it has to do with food, of course. Julianna’s food IQ handles food questions just fine. (Tell me again how she is so skinny that she can WEAR HER UNDERWEAR SIDEWAYS????)


But back to the office party. We hold our kids to pretty high behavior standards—in general, but for this event in particular—and they did a beautiful job that night, even by our measure. We sent them out to the van while we said our goodbyes. “I can’t believe how well behaved your kids were!” Christian’s boss gushed. “Where’d they go, anyway?” She glanced out the door and said, “Oh. They’re running around in the street.”

Yup, that sounds about right.

-Bonus 1-

Because I can’t stop myself…my favorite Advent moment so far? Michael asking when it’s going to snow, me saying I didn’t know, and him chiming in, “Maybe it’s in the Advent calendar!”

-Bonus 2-

And just to prove that I can tell stories at my own expense…

Sunday afternoon we trekked out to Bass Pro to visit the Big Red Guy. It was raining hard, and my kids had been standing still complaining about getting wet instead of, yanno, walking to shelter. By the time we got inside I was in full German Shepherd mode. (Nobody can German Shepherd like a German mommy.) I was putting hands on the back of one child and the next and the next, going, “Move it, move it, move it, let’s go let’s go let’s go!” And I couldn’t figure out why this one kid WOULD NOT MOVE. Until I glanced down and realized IT WASN’T MY KID.

Now you all feel better about your own parenting skills. You’re welcome. Happy 4th Advent.

Boy Moments

Unlike his mother, Michael does not suffer from insomnia.

Unlike his mother, Michael does not suffer from insomnia.

Item 1: Michael

Michael and I went to the park. He ran right for the 7-foot chunky tire sunk in the ground, where he was greeted by another little boy shooting spider webs at him, including appropriate sound effects. (Think “p-chew! p-chew!”)

Recognizing a kindred spirit, Michael’s eyes lit up. He held up his hands and started Iron-Man blasting his new friend, also with sound effects. (“Fwoh! Fwoh!”)

Alex 10 birthday


Item 2: Alex

Alex, in the car, says, “You know, this isn’t a criticism, but the Disney people really don’t know much about Star Wars.”

“Oh?” says I. “Why do you say that?”

“Well, in that Star Wars ride at Disney world, (classmate) said sometimes it’s Darth Vader who stops you, and sometimes it’s Darth Maul.”

“Yeah…” I’m not getting the problem.

“But you’re always starting at a rebel base,” he says patiently. “So it can only be Darth Vader. See?”

Point taken, Alex. Point taken.

Don't ask me. I'm just the photographer. When I see funny moments, I start clicking.

Don’t ask me. I’m just the photographer.


Item 3: Nicholas

Nicholas carpooled home from baseball last night with a friend of the family. When she brought him to the door, she said, “We brought the snacks tonight, and Nicholas told us, ‘These aren’t very healthy. You need to do better next time. MY Mom says SHE is going to bring HEALTHY snacks when it’s her turn.”

Face palm. And proof that you just never know what your kids are going to latch onto in what you say and turn it into a REALLY EMBARRASSING MOMENT.

Michael and other Quick Takes



Run and hugMichael’s newest word: “baby doll.” He also, abruptly and without prompting, switched from a singsong “Ma-ma!” to “mommeeee!” at bedtime one night last week.


Michael’s speech therapist thinks he has apraxia, which basically means he has trouble making the mouth muscles cooperate. And I can see that. He’s fully 30 months now and his cognition is all there. When you ask him to say something, his mouth opens, he pauses, he thinks, he works around a bit, but he cannot get his muscles to do what he wants them to.


This, naturally, leads to frustration. My creative-Mommy-problem-solving muscles are getting stretched again as he flings himself into the realm of tantrums. It usually helps if I bend down and get right at his level and ask him “Do you want….”? I almost always know what he wants; he’s just frustrated because he can’t say it and he doesn’t realize I know. It doesn’t dispel the tantrums but I can sense a lessening of the power when he realizes I understand, even the answer is still “No”.


street visual

The shape of our street

He doesn’t realize he’s a toddler, though. He thinks he’s one of the big boys. When they built our street, they built a cul de sac. A couple of years later they built the street on around a corner. So we live on a curved street with a cul de sac at the bend. The neighborhood kids play in the cul de sac all the time, but it’s hard to convince a toddler that that black seam in the pavement is any kind of barrier to inhibit his tricycle run. There’s so much street beyond it! Besides, Big Brother and Neighbor Boy are riding bikes out into the street and up into our driveway, then cycling back down the sidewalk to do it all again. Clearly, he has just as much right as they do!


One last Michael story. Well, Michael and Christian. At the last baseball game of the season, we brought food out to keep the littles entertained. Christian had bought a Payday bar for a treat, and of course Michael decided he had to have a bite of that. Christian’s a big softie, so of course, he let him have it. (Mommy would’ve said no, and dealt with the fallout. But then, Mommy’s very grabby about her food.)

Anyway, Michael took a big honkin’ bite of that Payday and walked off. Because that’s what he does. He eats and walks.

Christian grabbed a handful of popcorn and was holding it in one hand, munching on a kernel or two at a time, when Michael came back with a look of supreme desperation on his face, and spit the Payday out on top of the remaining popcorn.

Christian yelled, “Ewwwww!” Then he stared at the not-exactly-chewed bite in his hand, sighed, and popped the whole works in his mouth: Payday, popcorn, and all.

And I yelled, “Ewwwwww!”

You know how there are certain family stories that can be summed up in a single word? We just had one of those. “Payday.”


Here’s a column I read in my diocesan paper. It addresses so much of what people criticize about faith and its relationship to reason, I just had to share it.



A few years back, I discovered the miracle that was cleaning with baking soda and vinegar.

Well, now I have a new reason to love baking soda:

Why baking soda is a great deodorant

I loved the idea but I was worried about the delivery method. How do you apply it without making a huge mess? Well–two fingers dipped in the box, and the excess shaken off, does very nicely. It works many, many times better than the crystal salts I’ve been using for the past decade or so–in fact, it works as well as the store-bought stick deodorants I used in high school and college. And it doesn’t leave that gross residue.

Happy Fourth of July!

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes about clearing churches out of food, admitting that I cant figure out podcasts, and moving our couch RIGHT in front of the TV for the World Cup