Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Pretty Purse

My four-year-old cousin is visiting me here in the sunshine state from chilly Canada! Not only is he adorable, but he serves as a huge ego boost as he has dubbed me "the best cousin ever!" And apparently Renée is a great name for a cousin. I'm pretty sure that's what my parents were thinking when they brainstormed baby names.

My little cousin also likes my purse, which I often get compliments on from kids (Thank you, Vera Bradley! You should start making pink quilts with white swirls for children. Cha-ching!?). Naturally, though, he had to compare it to his mom's purse, which he described as "just brown." Unfortunately she won't let him ad stickers to it like he wants. A sticker collection that you can show off on a purse: Are you listening, Vera? There's a market for that too! 

Sunday, December 23, 2012


The innocence of children is an honesty that amazes me everyday. Sometimes it makes me laugh, sometime it makes me cry. Sometimes it makes me blush, and sometimes it makes me stop in my tracks. And sometimes the innocence of children reminds me of the simple beauty in the world and it reminds me that nothing is more important than love.

That's how I felt last Monday after a weekend of sobbing at the TV and then finally seeing the two children that I babysit. We walked to the park, just like every other Monday. But this time my observant five-year-old friend looked at the flag in his neighbor's yard and asked, "Ms. Renee, why is that flag more downer?"

Why? That's a question I've been asking myself for over a week now after hearing about the events that unfolded in Connecticut and the sweet, innocent lives that were taken. Why are flags only half way to the sky while Christmas lights twinkle behind them? Why are some mourning death while others are celebrating eternal life? Hearing his sincere question left me asking why again. I told him that sometimes people want to show extra support for their country, so they fly the flag at half mast. The answer satisfied him, but not me.

I beamed at those sweet ones the rest of the day. All they know is good in the world. To a two-year-old and a five-year-old, evil is Captain Hook. A bad guy is someone who litters, and guns shoot rubber darts. I want to protect them from what's really out there. I want them to have faith in the world and in each other. I want them to love everyone they encounter and I want everyone else to love them. That's my Christmas wish this year. I want the world to be filled with souls who love others even more than themselves. I'm working on it, little by little, but we must start with the little ones, raising them to know that there is good in everyone who chooses to see the light in the world.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Random Proclamation of a Five-Year-Old

"You can see my masculine jaw."

Don't ya ever wonder how kids come up with this stuff? Who did they overhear talking, or what have they been seeing when they go out? Well, wherever it comes from, Im glad it happens because it cracks me up every time!

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Best Candidate

My five-year-old friend is pretty intuitive. He surprises me all the time with his deep social insights, like proclaiming that "those children are wild," as we walk by a group of school-aged kids on holidays, or his most recent observation: Political signs.

"I keep seeing that sign everywhere, Ms. Renee," He said on our daily walk to the park. "Omney Ryan. (Hey, the stylized R is tricky for new readers, right?) Even my aunt has it on her car."

I thought I'd use his keen eye as an opportunity to discuss the nuances of our political system here in the good ol' USofA, so I explained how, in our country, we get to choose our president to run the government. He totally got it because he quickly exclaimed, "Well, I choose chocolate."

Me too, my friend. Me too. The world would be such a better place.

On a side note, he also asked me who Crock Olama is later on in the day. I think he meant Barack Obama, but you never know.

What funny Kidism has the election sparked in your home?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Mimicry is the Greatest Form of Flattery, Right?

I meet and teach a lot of adorable kids at work at a local zoological park. Sometimes I teach kids about animals, other times it's English. After showing a little girl a sea turtle shell, I waved goodbye and said, "Bye, Sweetie!" She started to walk away and waved back at me and smiled, "Bye Bye Sweet-tee." 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Coloring and Singing Don't Mix

I like to sing. Randomly. Especially when babysitting. So, whenever the kids mention a word or phrase that reminds me of a song, they get to learn a new chorus! Yesterday they had the joy or learning Rodger and Hammerstein's "Impossible." I figured it really related to the challenges of coloring, since that's what we were doing, to remind the kids that they could color anything their little hearts imaged...or something like that. It worked for one of them. But while I belted out the long notes with my five-year-old friend, his two-year-old brother blurted out, "SHHHH! Guys, I'm consenating!"

I guess you can't really consenate on coloring while Ms. Renée's singing one of her songs. Sorry.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


During my North Carolina trip, I was able to catch up with a lot of my extended family, including my cousin's 9-year-old son. Their family lived in Nashville, Tennessee for about a year a while back and as we drove past corn fields on the way to his house, I asked if he'd ever like to live there again. Our conversation went a little something like this:

Me: So, would you ever like to go back to Tennessee?

Him: (in adorable Southern accent) Yeah, I'd like to visit.

Me: Like vacation or something?

Him: Maybe for about a year.

Me: Wow! That's a long visit. Maybe you could go to college in Tennessee then.

Him: (without hesitation) Nope! Ain't gonna happen! WOLFPACK! AWOOOOO!

Now, I don't know much about college sports, but apparently this means he is a fan of NC State. And there's no question about that.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Country Moments

My Grandmother's House in North Carolina

I spent the past week and half visiting family in Georgia and North Carolina, which meant a huge cousin reunion and so many adorable kidisms that I'm slightly overwhelmed! My mom, younger brother, older brother and his family and I all drove up to North Carolina for a mega birthday party/reunion for my Grandma. My brother has three boys and a daughter and my cousin in North Carolina has a son and daughter whose ages match up perfectly with their cousins, or first cousins once removed, I think... But since I don't have kids and my other brother is only 16, they aren't going to have any real cousins anytime soon, so it works. But, anyways...

My family in North Carolina live in a very rural area. I've had several instances of culture shock over the years, especially going to the stores and having random people I've never met come up to me and recount personal details of my life, which happened this time. But the best part of it all is the space and seeing the kids run in and out of the old screen door of my grandma's house and experience the joy of a late country summer. They play next to soy bean fields and dance around ant hills, and in between those sweet cousin-filled memories, they stop by me and say, "I love you, Nay."

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Yesterday I arrived home to good ol' Georgia (not the Honey Boo Georgia, or the Real Housewives Georgia. More like the "Georgia on my Mind" Georgia). My sister-in-law braved Atlanta traffic and the confusion of the the airport to pick me up. After a few wrong turns and one seriously confused GPS, we were on our way to get my nephews from school. She had told them that she had a huge surprise for them and they had been left guessing for days. The boys asked if they'd have to share it with their younger siblings (the "babies," aged three and four) and were informed that they would. They finally resolved that the surprise must be cake, and I prayed that I wouldn't be a disappointment, because, after all, I'd probably choose cake over myself too and it's much more sharable.

We drove up to the school and waited for a fifth grader and third grader to walk out the door. I jumped out of the car and saw them beam beneath their recently grown-out surfer locks as they ran towards me. Now that is one amazing feeling! After we all settled in into the car, my third grade nephew smiled and announced that this was the best surprise ever!

I couldn't be happier to be home!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Enlightenment of the Ice Blocks

Pinterest is my lifesaver when it comes to finding ideas for the kids that I nanny. I recently saw a great idea for using ice cubes to build igloos with kids (Hello? Why didn't I think of this first?!? Kids love blocks, so making them from ice on a hot day is such a great time-killer!). Here's the blog post it's linked up to, in case you were wondering.

Well, igloo building with a five and two-year-old quickly turned into an ice slamming competition until all the blocks were gone...Or so they thought. My five-year-old friend saw a glimmering piece of green ice behind my leg and dodged for it. He held it close to his cheek and whispered "Hallowed be thy name," to the ice cube as if he had discovered gold. If only you had heard him say it!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Smells Magical!

While passing a large truck on the side of the street, my conversation with a five-year-old goes a little something like this:

Him: Ms. Renee, what's that smell?

Me: It's just exhaust from that truck.

Him: Oh. Sometimes that smell is at Disney.

Maybe he was talking about the car show at Hollywood Studios? Let's hope.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Gluing is Such Hard Work

While working on gluing construction paper onto a box to create a spaceship with a five-year-old, he flips the bottle of Elmer's glue over in his hand and says, "Ms Renee, I don't want to glue anymore. It's retirement."

Good thing you live in Florida, my friend.