Thursday, November 3, 2011

the power of twelve

All the kids here understand somehow that age has its privileges...    
when you are two you get to use the potty, when you are three you get to have gum in the car, when you are four you get to play with bobbie's cell phone SOMETIMES...
an example follws in the form of a recent conversation:

Jack (7): Bobbie-- is that an ipad? (pointing to my ipad)
Bobbie: no (white lie?)
Van (4): Yes it is...
Jack: Can i play with it? (keep in mind at this point that at home, Jack IS allowed to play with their ipad)
Bobbie: No
Nell (also 4) Then how come Hannah was allowed to play with it?
Bobbie: Cuz Hanah is TWELVE.
Nell: Oh...

and that was the end of it...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ella the dog trainer

We got Maggie when Ella was 4 years old. Now Maggie is 3 and Ella is 7.
After we had had Maggie a few months, she began learning some tricks. After the usual sit, lay down, and stay, Ella decided Maggie should learn how to "crawl", since she was a baby dog. Never mind that Maggie ran like the wind, fast as Ella. One of their favorite games being Ella running around the backyard yelling "Maggie chase me!", which Maggie gladly obliged.
After many tries and a few days later, Ella had taught Maggie how to crawl. It starts like "lay down" and then the dog crawls. Amazing. She has also taught her "paw" and "other paw" which is pretty self-explanitory.
The most recent accomplishment is called "Find it". Ella tells Maggie to sit and "wait" which Maggie does while Ella goes in the other room and hides a dog treat. After about 5 seconds, Ella comes back and yells "find it!". Then Maggs goes tearing into the other room, and finds the treat. It amazes me that a little kid can "speak dog" so well, but then, she is a remarkable kid!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

sporty spice

The other day, Mason walked in the door with a blue bowling ball. One might think this unusual, but not for Mason.

If there were spice girls that were boys, and they were two year olds, Mason would definitely be "sporty spice". He is 100% boy in the classic definition.
He loves football ("go mountaineers" or "go wavens", depending on which jersey he is wearing)
    loves baggetball (basketball),
    loves bayball (baseball-called my son Sean "bayball" instead of "Sean" when he was first learning to talk)
    loves fishing (which he likes to pretend using dog leashes and the ottoman use your imagination)
    loves fwimmin' (his Mom says he is fearless in the "wah-wu")
Almost every day last week, he brought along a different BALL. One day, football, then a basketball, wednesday was a tennis racket and tennis ball. Maggie immediately claimed the tennis ball, much to Mason's dismay.... He retaliated by using his tennis racket all day long to hit all Maggie's dog toys all around the house. Which Maggie didn't care, such a good dog! He hit the balls like golf balls since i would not let him hit the balls in the air. So it is a new sport right, tennis--golf?
Probably the most random thing Mason has toted over was two ping pong paddles and a ping pong ball. We are pretty sure Maggie totally ate that ping pong ball. Mason and Nell and Van were playing in the other room with it when the ball disappeared. They got flashlights and turned looking for the ping pong ball into a search for "buried treasure" under all the furniture. Which was rewarding on its own and the lost ping pong ball forgotten... ahh... the power of distraction....

Saturday, October 1, 2011

re-inventing the camera

So last week, Van brought a little red top to Bobbie's house. The kind that spins when you voop it the right way with your fingers. It was about an inch or two tall. He was really good at vooping it. When it was time to go to carpool, he took it along. When we got back, he realized he had lost it. After searching the van several times in the next few hours, Van decided to make a camera. We were having craft time, seeing what we could make with pipe cleaners, feathers, clothespins and glue. Oh, and googley eyes. Van puts together some stuff and declares it is a camera. He was going to put it in the van, then when its nighttime and the top comes out of its hiding place, it will take a picture and then he would know where the top went. Oh and he would need a flashlight....

Friday, September 16, 2011

pink kitten?

so little katie is now a three year old in the prime of being three. she is funny and serious and sweet and learning everything at the speed of light. she loves the color pink, wears it EVERY day, even if that is just a pink hairbow with her navy blue school school uniform... anyway,  her family got a KITTEN last weekend.

very exciting! i was asking her about the new kitty. she told me her name was "gloria" and her mom told me how old she was and how big she was. we decided we would make toys for her during craft time later in the morning. after mom left, i wanted to know more about the kitten. i asked katie what color she was. "well," said katie very thoughtfully,  "she's not a very pretty color..." i said "really?" "no", said katie, "not a very pretty color like pink, or purple. she is white and black."
hard not to giggle at the thought of a pink or purple kitten.... so i suggested we make her some pink or purple cat toys, which we did. gloria loved them, but maybe not as much as katie loves gloria!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Blue Angels

One of the annual events at Bobbie's house is going to see the Blue Angels perform for NAVY graduation. We go most years, gathering teenagers, college kids, parents and the littles in a giant stroller parade down to the Naval Academy for the show. It is a bit of a walk, but worth it when we get there. Sunny day by the water, plenty of room to run around, and bottles of bubbles round out the waiting until the show starts. The kids think the jets are great, but very loud.... A few years ago, we started packing my husbands hearing protectors he uses with his power tools in the workshop. They look big and funny on him and they look HUGE and HILARIOUS on two and three year olds. But it works, they are happy and that's what counts. When Jenny was a baby, she fell asleep on her Daddy's lap during the show. When Van and Nell were one, one of them fell asleep on the way there and slept thru most of it. When Leah was 2, she decided after the first fly over that it was too loud and she was done. So she climbed in her stroller to wait it out.

Friday, July 29, 2011


This morning Maggie was outside with me playing ball. Suddenly she turned and stated chasing something else which turned out to be a butterfly. It reminded me of Rhiannon, among others, who was forever entertained by looking for and chasing butterflies. Rhiannon is not her real name, but a name I love. (Katie and Jenny are "lucky" I got over my Stevie Nicks obsession before they were born.) Anyway, this little girl, who was two and then three at time would run all around the yard, or if we were up at the playground, all around the field chasing butterflies. So cute. Other flying objects that provide free entertainment are moths, cicadas, helicopters and airplanes and jets, including the Blue Angels which will have their own upcoming blog. Everyone needs something to look forward to!

Friday, July 15, 2011


One of my favorite things about summertime is that there are rarely ever tons of kids at Bobbie's house. After such busy-ness during the school year, it is nice to slow down, catch-up and recharge. Most of the kids I have taken care of are teachers kids, so summers are, in a word, great.
When I do have "drop-ins" during the summer, the days are very relaxed. We have a smaller group, sometimes just one family of two or three kids. One favored activity is taking Maggie down the the creek down the street. The kids stand on the teeny sandy dirt beach and throw sticks or take turns throwing Maggie's floating toy for her to go and get. It is a lot of fun watching the dog in the water. There are also usually fun things to see like teeny fish, and occasionally, ducks or teeny crabs. After that comes the "long" walk home, giving Maggie a bath in the backyard and finally, a freezie pop!

Playing School

One thing I think is funny is how the kids LOVE to play school when they have time off from school. The best is when teachers give the kids old worksheets toward the end of the school year. Katie especially used to love to help her teachers clean out their rooms and would come home with reams worth of old papers! She is still a bit like that, check out her blog, Anyway, Hannah loved to be the teacher, she is a natural born leader I would say...instigator, others might say... Even as old as fifth grade, Alice and Hannah were still playing school When Alice got tired of it, she would just start being silly and Hannah would send her to the principal (Bobbie). There was a phase when Leah was the oldest one here that she was the teacher. Everyday. I would have to "drive" Nell and Van to school, from the couch in the TV room. She would come get them from "carpool" and walk them into "school" which was the living room. They would have to stay "buckled" until she can and got them. When Mason was paying attention, he got to ride along, but being two years younger, had to stay with Bobbie and couldn't go to school. Mason would be in charge of the keys though (upcoming blog about key obsessions) and Van would make sure i knew which couch cushion to plug the keys into. Leah would play school all day if she could, Nell was the best stunt as long as Leah gave her papers to color. Van was always ready to get picked back up from carpool and go "home" to the other room and tell me all about his day at "school".

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Family Ties

This one is actually a follow-up to last week. There are many families who have had more than one child here at Bobbie's house. Which is a lot of fun to see them grow and see the school age kids come back. My sibling families are:
Pookie and Johnny
Hannah, Ella and Leah
Alice and Vada
Jack, Van and Nell
Chloe and Mason
Cooper and the newest one, Avery
One of my favorite times is "Camp Bobbie" in the summer, one week where it is only big kids, no babies, no diapers and no having to run your day around naptime...though i DO love naptime...which was a whole other blog. Not sure what this blog is about other than the sibling thing.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

letting go

My Dad once asked me how I managed to"let go" of these kiddos once they started kindergarten and left "Bobbie's House". It occured to me that it IS a bit sad, that they grow up and get to go to school all day instead of being here with me.  But at the same time, I am in denial about them leaving. It's like they are not ever really gone. I really don't often say "goodbye" to the littles. They just grow and become "big kids" in middle school and high school with cell phones  that they text me on at least once a week. They come back every summer for a couple weeks, they come to Christmukkah, they come to family celebrations, like graduation parties. So, though they are not here every day, they stay in my heart. So when they come back, or I run into them around town, the goodness is still there. So Dad, there is your answer, I love them too much to ever let them go completely. Just ask my own kids! I live in denial-- Katie was not out of the country for three years, Sean did not just graduate from college and Jenny doesnot live in Philly! They just are not home right now--

Friday, April 22, 2011

Going to the Zoo

One of my favorite field trips is going to the Zoo. Partly cuz there is that really cute and annoying song about "going to the zoo-zoo-zoo, how about you-you-you" and partly cuz the kids have so much fun. One of my favorite zoo stories is when Ella was about 2 and a half. We were all at the zoo, Jenny and I took Hannah, Alice, Ella & Vada. We were over by the lions and tigers and next to them are the giraffes. After an eventful observation of the lion, who roared really loud at us, we went around to see the giraffes. (my personal favorites, not sure why, other than they don't eat other animals and they are really tall and i always wanted to be tall) So we are watching the giraffes and the lion starts roaring again. I told Ella that he was roaring cuz he wondered where she had gone. I told her she better "roar" back. So she did, a very load sound from such a tiny person. Then the lion roared again and Ella roared again. Then here comes one of the giraffes, right over to Ella. It got very close, pulling its head down toward here, like it was trying to figure out where that really load sound was coming from. It was a great photo op, which i missed, but a great memory!

Friday, April 1, 2011


We sing this song, "friends, friends, one-two- three, all my friends are here with me" and then we name everyone in the house, including the pets..."Maggie's my friend, Jack's my friend, Nell's my friend, Mason's my friend, Bobbie's my friend..." you get the idea.

But where do we go and what do we do when our friends don't act like our friends? Well, we cry, pout, tattle, grunt, yell, AND the all time most horrible response anyone can give...


That is the most terrifying thing that can happen, that someone does not get to come to their friends birthday. Some kids use this threat daily to get their way, with other kids it pops up once in a great while....
SO--- to give a funny example, Van was yelling about something I was doing that was annoying him (like I don't even remember what, maybe I told him the sky was blue) and he whipped out the "YOU can't come to MY birthday". Well, I decided to tell him that was fine cuz HE can't come to MY BIRHTDAY. "Well", Van said, "you don't have birthdays cuz you're old-- you're a grandma" (which I am OLD, but most certainly AM NOT a grandma....)

Anyway, i guess i "got told"

Sunday, March 27, 2011


I have observed there are quintessential characters that exist in the kid world. I would like to talk about some of the kinds of kids that have come thru Bobbie's house to fill these roles....

First one that comes to mind are THE DUMPERS. No, this has nothing to do with diapers, but yes, there are those occasionally too. The Dumpers are the kids that come into the house, find the nicely organized baskets of toys (thanks Katie!) and then they dump. They don't play with anything, just dump, walk away and dump some more....not naming any names....
THE MOUTH are the ones that can't stop talking. EVER. Sometimes I just sit and watch their mouths move and think, when will they take a breath? sorry, again, nameless...
THE WHINER, THE FIGHTER and THE BOSS need no elaboration. rarely the same person at the same moment which is a good thing...
THE PARROT is adorable, says anything you say, on cue...Mason.... and then there is Alice who knew all her animal sounds before she knew any words which was oh so cute!
THE HUGGER is also nice to have, some babies just cling right into your side and love being held.  often these turn into huggers who brighten every day...Ella!
THE MOM can change diapers at the age of two before she herself is potty trained, loves to play babies all day everyday...Leah...
THE SHOW GIRL loves to sing into the microphone and her sidekick THE DANCER is right there with her...Hannah and Alice...

and last but not least, at least for today's list...THE DOCTOR DOOLITTLE...loves the pets, all the pets. Feeds the fish half a jar of fish food...Pookie....Feeds Maggie dinner at 4 p.m. when i am not looking...Nell...Carries her new kittens around at the age of 1 until her arms are scratched raw...Ella...Picks up bugs, any time, any day, Van, Jack, Alice...Taught Maggie how to "crawl"...Ella...knows all there is to know about dolphins, penguins and most sea creatures...Jack...Knew how many of which pills Luke dog got every day for breakfast...Leah...(when she was 3)

OK commenters, any ones i missed?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mealtime at Bobbie's

Odd things about lunch at Bobbie's House:

Hannah and Alice invented eating chicken nuggets with a chopstick (one chopstick-- like a spear)
They also invented eating frozen chicken nuggets (ewww)
And eating chicken nuggets with ranch dip. and applesauce (Mason invented that one)

some kids just eat dip (Vada) and just ketchup (Chloe)

Every time Alice, Vada, Hannah, Ella and Leah are here, we have macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets for lunch. Every time, without fail...seriously...for years... they are 11, 11, 8, 7 and 5 now!!

Leah invented colorful omelets to match her outfit that day. and coloring the applesauce at lunch too.
Ella still talks about when she was 4 and I made pancakes that looked like snowmen. 

When Nell was 2, all she would eat for lunch were hot dogs, which her Mom called "noonie-dogs". As  a graduate of first aid about 7 times, I would cut her hot dogs into teeny little pieces, to avoid any "airway obstructions"... SO, of course, then Ella, Leah, Chloe, Van and Jack all had to have their "noonie-dogs" cut up like that too. After a few months of that, Chloe decided she didn't like hot dogs, Van and Jack decided to eat them "big" and that left me only cutting up 3 "noonie-dogs" daily.

Vata and Ella like to eat bisquick. just the powder stuff. ewwww.

Nell and Van like to pick cherry tomatoes off the plant and eat them. Now that one is not so ewwww-ey, but that they will eat "spinny cheese" (the kind that comes out of a can) on fruit snacks is ewwww!

Always interesting at Bobbie's House!

Friday, March 11, 2011


One of the nicest things that happens some days is that EVERYONE at Bobbie's House naps at the same time. Except Bobbie, of course! We have our routines we follow, and one of them is the older kids helping me put the younger kids down for naps. On Delaney's second day here, EVERYONE decided to put her down for her nap. Mind you, Delaney is 7 months old and this is her SECOND day here, which means she is firmly entrenched into transitioning. So here, we go, Van and Nell, age 3 and 1/2, Kate, age 2 and 1/2, Mason, age 2 and Cooper crawling along behind. Cooper just turned one and crawls 90 mph, but doesn't walk yet. Oh, and Maggie too, who runs in and jumps on the bed to get a better view of little Delaney. So we pop Delaney into bed and everyone says nite-nite to her. Amazingly, she fussed less then a minute and went right to sleep. Some babies take a lot longer to adjust, but not her!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


i am a fan of nicknames, and everyone who has come thru child care has earned their own nickname, or names, as the case may be. even some of the grown-ups have nicknames... here is a list for you--please post ones i have forgotten in the comments:
Katie--- "Pookie"
Katie---my daughter Katie--- "Big Katie" (to pookie's "little Katie")  "Kay-kee"
Johnny--- "Yah-yah", "Taco Boy"
Sean-- Johnny used to call him "Ga-gee"
Hannah--- "Hannah-Banana",  "Hannah-Montana"
Ella--- "Ella-bella-bing-bong"
Leah--- "Lee-lee-bada-bing" "Leah-bo-beah"
Jack--- "Jack-jack"
Van--- "Vannie" "Van-man" "Fireman Van" "Policeman Van"
Nell--- "Noonie" (a nickname from home we adopted) "Noonie balloonie" "Nell-Belle"
Anne--- "mamma-jamma"
Chloe-- "Chloers"  "Chloe-DIYanne"
Mason--- "May-may" "Buddy-bud"
Kimmie--- "Kimmers" "Timmers"
Luke-- "Lukers" "Mr Lukers" "lukey-duke"
Jenny--- "Gee-gee"
Gideon--- "Piddy-in-the-peent-milt" "Geh-din-din"
Marisa-- "Miss-misa"
Bess--- "Bessie-boo-boo"
Sean--- again--- "bay-ball" (mason went thru a phase where he would only call sean "bay-ball")
Becca--- "beeeeeka"
Cooper--- "Coop" "Coop-a-doop" "Cooper duper"
Kate--- "Katie K"
Delaney--- "Lanie"  "Winnie" 

other kids who i do not have permission to name by name have been called "-----Bulia" "Grace" "Charlie"
 "-----bo-berra-peanut" "-----bo-berra-peanut-butter-and-jelly" "Frank" "Wibiss" "Day-day"

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Another translating story

As a child care provider, I attend a lot of birthday parties for the kids in my care, current and alumni. A few weeks ago, I was at Mason's second birthday party. He is bopping around, like Mason does, good-natured and busy boy. At one point, Grammy was holding him and talking to Mason's Daddy over near the pile of gifts. Mason said "Ah wah opa penneh". They didn't get it, so he said it a few more times. Finally, Grammy brought him over to me. She told me Mason wants SOMETHING but they could not figure it out. So I asked him to tell me. Mason said "AH wan ope penneh". I told them he wanted to open another present. Almost a story you had to be there to appreciate but anyway, there you go.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Outta the mouths of babes

So one thing that is just so funny is not only what they say, but how they say it. When is was in college, i majored in french for a year. thought I would be a translator. Well, I changed my major, but here I am, a translator, of sorts. The "Word of the week" will highlight some interesting takes on the english language.
In one conversation this week, Van says to me, "Bobbie, you know who I love more than you?" I am thinking, this is gonna be good. i said, "No, Van, who do you  love more than me?" Van says, "Maggie. She is my best dog." Van plays a lot with Maggie, our two year old yellow Lab. Maggie is "Pirate Van's Pirate Dog", or "Policeman Van's Police-dog" or "Fireman Van's Dalamation" (pronounced "dal-a-may-shun") Sometimes, he just uses her for a pillow or horsey rides. Horsey rides once got him into trouble--two stitches in the temple trouble, and Bobbie's House first trip to the ER. (Momma took him, not me, thank goodness!)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Welcome to Bobbie's House

I started into the childcare biz as a favor to a really good friend. She said, "Your youngest is going to kindergarten, what are you going to do with your free time? Would you like to watch my new baby?" As a longtime fan of babies and kids in general, i said "sure"!. Their family became my first clients. When this new baby was learning to talk, she started calling me "bah". That progressed into "bah-bah"-  her interpretation of "Pammy" which is what her momma called me. So THEN, "bah-bah" became "bob-eee" and so here is am, 16 years, 15 families and 22 kids  later...."BOBBIE"

My youngest is now graduating from college, and i am still watching kids and helping families. We have a lot of memories of all these little kids over the years. My daughter  has been urging me to write a book, there are just so many funny stories! So the blog idea came as a fun way to start to get all the words out.