Things That Make Me a Bad Parent (Part II)

26 10 2012

A year ago, I posted Things That Make Me a Bad Parent.  After a discussion with some of my students today, I realized I needed to update my list.

  1. I laughed out loud when I saw Jason’s first yearbook photo.  It was taken seconds before a full-blown meltdown.  His face was contorted, his eyes red and puffy, his hair disheveled.  I still laugh whenever I look at it.
  2. I will save the photo from item #1 for his senior yearbook ad in 14 years.  I may also use a photo taken last year of an epic sneeze that ended with snot from both nostrils hanging down to his belly button.
  3. I often tell Jason I can’t read him a bedtime story because my throat hurts.  This is usually a lie.  I just don’t like reading out loud.  I will, however, sing to him and pray with him before bed.  Daddy gets story time.
  4. If Caleb complains about a meal, his punishment for the next day is to consume nothing but bread and water.  Yes, we really have done this.  Yes, it’s quite effective.  However, if we have Publix bakery bread or any of Matthew’s homemade bread products in the house, it’s really not a punishment.
  5. My kids can quote any Star Wars movie.  The entire script.  They will kick your butt at Star Wars trivia.  Did I mention Jason is only four?  Yes, he’s seen all six Star Wars movies at least 500 times each.
  6. Jason knows most of the lyrics to Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog.  Hilarious, but not really age-appropriate.  Thankfully, they don’t get most of the grown-up jokes.
  7. I cuss in front of my kids.  Darn it!
  8. I throw away 99% of their art projects from church and school.
  9. New iPad?  Kids . . . what kids?
  10. I will undoubtedly eat at least half of their Halloween candy but claim that I gave it to the school counselor for the candy jar in her office.

I still do plenty of things right.  Jason brings me rocks from the playground on a regular basis, and I now have “Mommy’s Rock Garden” on the ledge of the whiteboard in my room.  I play light sabers and legos.  We collect leaves and poke at bugs together.  Jason and I still snuggle at nap time, and I encourage Caleb to practice his recorder in the van on the way to school—30 minutes of “Hot Cross Buns” anyone?  We pray a lot, we laugh a lot, we hug a lot, we love a lot.


Truth or Lie?

10 09 2012

This is mainly for the benefit of my Digital Media students who are required to read my blog, among others, each week and comment on them.  I hope you find this enlightening and entertaining.

Half of the list below is true; the other half not.  In your comments, let me know which ones you think are true or false.

  1. I have had my motorcycle operator’s license for longer than any of you have been alive.
  2. I have a tattoo.
  3. My childhood Barbie dolls were the Royal Family:  Princess Diana, Prince Charles, and the Queen Mum.
  4. I apparently ate dog poop once as a toddler.
  5. I have sung in concert before two living presidents.
  6. I received my first and only C in 8th grade typing class.
  7. I forged my mother’s signature on a negative progress report from my 10th grade history teacher.
  8. I pretended to be blind during my first day of math class in seventh grade after moving to a new city (and school) mid-way through the school year.
  9. I won a ballroom dancing contest, doing the Viennese Waltz, during a PE dance class in college.
  10. I had dreams of being an actuary in third grade.
  11. I am more afraid of sky diving than scuba diving.
  12. If Jason were a girl, his name would have been Ariel.
  13. If Caleb were a girl, his name would have been Jasmine.
  14. I wanted to be Laura Ingalls-Wilder when I was a little girl.
  15. Around the age of two, I fell out of a moving vehicle on a busy street and survived uninjured.
  16. I was caught cheating on a fifth grade history quiz and was sent to the principal’s office.
  17. I failed my driver’s test three times before finally getting my license.
  18. I am almost 40 years old, and I can still do perfect 180° right and left leg splits.
  19. My childhood crushes included Ricky Schroeder and Ralph Macchio.
  20. I once convinced a new classmate that I didn’t really know when my birthday was because my adopted parents celebrated my birthday on a different day each year.

Halloween 2011

2 11 2011
Halloween is taken very seriously in the Huddleston home.  (Read my post on Halloween 2010.)  Candy, parties, candy, races, candy, pumpkin carving contests, candy, costumes, and more candy are our focus.  Did I mention candy?

My Halloween season started on October 14 with a Halloween 5K downtown.  I ran in my “running refrigerator” costume.  I didn’t win first place, but I received a nice gift certificate consolation prize anyway.

running refrigerator

running refrigerator - iRun for the Party 5K Oct. 15

inside the running refrigerator

inside the running refrigerator - iRun for the Party 5K, Oct. 15


On October 29, I ran a 5 mile race with a group of friends.  Three of dressed up as the “Three Musketeers” candy bars.  My good friend and artist extraordinaire, Devon (Simply Artistic Design), created our costumes.  We didn’t win—we didn’t even make the second round of finalists.  We definitely felt jipped as much less creative, store bought costumes won.

Three Musketeers

Three Musketeers, Halloween Hunt 5 miler, Oc. 29

Due to the chilly weather on the night of October 29 at our annual home church fall party, not too many people bothered with pumpkin carving.  Matthew’s creation, “Jack-in-the-box” pumpkin and Caleb’s “Death Star blowing up Alderaan” won by default.  Our prize?  A bucketful of candy, most of which was chocolate.

Jack-o-Lantern pumpkin

Jack-o-Lantern pumpkin

We capped the festivities off with trunk-or-treating at FRA and later with trick-or-treating in our neighborhood with friends.

FRA's trunk-or-treat

FRA's trunk-or-treat with some of my favorite students

time out at trunk-or-treat

time out at trunk-or-treat (Jason had a melt-down when we told him he couldn't have only candy for dinner)


trick-or-treating with friends (Jason was Thomas the Train and Caleb was Boba Fett from Star Wars)

How did you celebrate Halloween?

Irrational Fears (and other things that just freak me out)

25 10 2011

Besides my more typical fears of drowning, being in a serious car accident, something horrible happening to my children, my house burning down, etc., I have a few really unusual, weird, and downright inane fears.  You will either relate, or you will chuckle to yourself at my irrationality.

clown from "Poltergeist"

clown from "Poltergeist"

  1. The clown under the bed.  If you’ve seen the first Poltergeist movie, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  I first saw this movie almost 30 years ago, but I still sometimes wonder if that freaky little clown is hiding under my bed waiting to attack me.
  2. Fish biting me while I’m swimming in a lake, river, ocean or any body of water.
  3. Sharks attacking me while wading in the ocean.  I freak out if I go out so far that the water is above my knees.
  4. Snorkeling.  I hyperventilate when attempting to breathe under water even while using a snorkeling tube.
  5. Scuba diving.  See numbers 2-4.
  6. Swimming with my head under the water, even in a pool void of fish and sharks.  (At this point, you may wonder how on earth I ever completed a triathlon that requires swimming.  Very, very slowly and inefficiently as I do not swim with my head under the water.  I prefer the side stroke and back stroke—strokes that do not require head submersion.)
  7. The squirrels at Long Hunter State Park, especially when I’m running there.  (Don’t ask.)
  8. Giving guests food poisoning with anything I cook or bake.  (This has never happened, but I always wonder if this next banana bread/casserole/soup/ will be the one.)
  9. A burglar hiding in my closet or shower.
  10. Centipedes.  I can handle spiders, cockroaches, and other such bugs.  Centipedes are another story.

Share with me what’s on your list.

Things That Make Me a Bad Parent

17 10 2011

A friend recently started blogging (Painter’s Canvas), and her first post was a list of things she does that show her imperfections as a mother, a wife, and a child of God.  It was brilliant!  I laughed many a time, mainly because so many of her thoughts resonated with me and my struggles.

So thank you, Annette, for the idea for my blog post this week:  Things That Make Me a Bad Parent.

We have two boys; Jason is 3.5 and Caleb is almost 9.  Perhaps you can relate to some of these?  In no particular order:

  1. We let our sons watch The Simpsons and King of the Hill.  Caleb could hum the theme song to The Simpsons around age 3, and Jason gets very excited when he hears the King of the Hill theme song because he knows “Bobby is on.”
  2. Our boys might go several days without bathing.  We do sniff them on a regular basis.
  3. Oral hygiene?  Even less regular than bathing.  Caleb is pretty good about brushing his teeth on a daily basis.  Jason is another story.  Some days, he’ll even ask me to brush his teeth, and I’ll say no.
  4. We sometimes count popcorn as a veggie at meal times.
  5. I despise Sesame Street, The Electric Company, Teletubbies, PooBah, and the Wiggles.
  6. I can’t stand reading “The Little Engine That Could,” one of Jason’s favorites.  If Jason picks that story at bedtime, I’ll tell him to have Daddy read it, and I’ll pick a different, usually shorter, story that I will read.
  7. I take pictures of Jason’s sneezes because they are so incredibly epic.  People don’t believe me when I describe them.  Now I have proof.
  8. New iPhones arrive?  Children . . . what children?
  9. Arts and crafts?  Forget it.  I hate play-do, glitter, stamps, ink, markers, and paint.  I can handle stickers.
  10. If you are having a birthday party that involves catered food, bouncy play things, pony rides, climbing walls, or anything else that is going to make my child walk away saying, “I want hot air balloon rides at my next party,” we’re not coming, and I will make up some excuse about a prior commitment.  Thank you for setting unattainable and ridiculously expensive expectations that we cannot reach.
  11. I loathe the idea of goodie bags.  I grew up with the impression that the birthday boy or girl was supposed to be the only one getting goodies on his or her special day.
  12. I detest the practice of giving children ribbons when they finish in 32nd place, or anything past third. 
  13. I find it ridiculous that Caleb will receive a trophy for selling popcorn for a cub scout fundraiser. 
  14. If a playground has sand, I will make up a pathetic excuse why we can’t play there.
  15. On Mother’s Day, my favorite gift—which I will never ask for—is a day to myself, away from my kids, or at least not having to take care of them.  At. All.

I do plenty of things right as well.  I play with my kids.  I pray with my kids many times a day.  I read to them and sing to them and tell them made up stories about the troll who lives in the woods behind our house who guards the golden egg that their friend, the baby dragon, needs to get better.  I teach them about God and Jesus, forgiveness, and how to be kind to one another.  I let them know as often as I can that they are adored and cherished and loved very deeply.  I tell them how special they are to me, what blessings they are to me, and I thank God for them every day.

English Gone Bad

16 09 2010

Last week I showcased “Chinglish” signs.  To be fair and impartial, I will now showcase the best American signage has to offer. 

Special thanks to for their “Teabonics” coverage. 

English Gone Bad

Note to Fox: Please inform your viewers, not infrom them no matter how much they thank you.

English Gone Bad

I wonder what language "lanoguage" is? I'm pretty sure it's not English.

English Gone Bad

And you're clueless.

English Gone Bad

How in the heck do you impeah someone?

English Gone Bad

But "you're" not smarter than a 5th grader.


English Gone Bad

Lier, lier, pants on fier


English Gone Bad

Only alliens spell aliens that way


English Gone Bad

Double-whammy! Bad punctuation and spelling.


English Gone Bad

Do they want us to keep boarders from crossing our borders?


English Gone Bad

You also didn't get the apostrophe in the correct place.


English Gone Bad

Poor Hugh. How do you think he felt when he found out he was a mistake?


English Gone Bad

Were you asleep when you made the sign? That would explain why you misspelled Constitution.


English Gone Bad

I don't know what an "offical" language is, but I do know what an "official" language is.


English Gone Bad

Maybe someone needs to wrok a little harder on spelling.


English Gone Bad

Respect our country by learning the difference between "are" and "our."


English Gone Bad

Teachers Against People Who Can't Use An Apostrophe Correctly!

English Gone Bad

If people took some time to just sound out what they write, they'd discover some of these mistakes before being viewed by thousands of more intelligent people around the world.

English Gone Bad

Repeal, maybe. Repeel, is that even possible? Once it's peeled, can it be peeled again?

English Gone Bad

Say no to ugly t-shirts with incorrect spelling!

English Gone Bad

Too irresisable not to post.

Spell check!  Enuf sed.

Lost in Translation

9 09 2010

Matthew and I visited China in 2007.  While there, we discovered why using Google Translator as your sole translation source is not a good idea.  Click on each picture to view a larger version.


This was in the back of an in-flight magazine from Shanghai to Xi'an where they list the songs played on the various channels. I can't decide if "Harmonious Conjugality" or "Hauling Camel" is my favorite.


This was found in the Beijing airport.


I think this was found at the Terra Cotta Warrior Museum outside of Xi'an. I wish I knew what an "areaturnover" line was. I think I would really like to walk it someday.


Sadly, I know too many native-English speaking people who confuse the correct usage of to, too, and two.


Conserve happens!


You may walk. You may run. You may wander. You may stroll. You may saunter. You may stumble. You may even crash. But by all means, do not stride!

I would love for my readers to share your favorite examples of Chinglish, Spanglish, Frenglish, or any other examples of “lost in translation.”