Guest blogger: Kelley Ayres, “The bird”

I don’t mean “the bird,” like what Cooper shows me with his middle finger, ALL the time. No, he doesn’t know he’s doing it, but he likes to point things out that way. He also shows me “the bird” when he is counting in that awkward way 4-year olds do.

Cooper loves to make up stories. The problem is, he doesn’t give his audience the genre. There is no warning of the ficticious nature of his stories. In fact, most of this child’s creativity is channeled through these stories, highly embellished with varying integrated elements that I am sure the “average child” could not create, ever!

So, it is late in the afternoon on New Year’s Day. I am cleaning up the kitchen (for the 5th or 6th time since breakfast). I am pretty sure I had been through 6 dog-pee towels and 3 brooms to the floor. I had done at least 2 loads of laundry, washing all sheets and pillows since Wyatt woke up sick on New Year’s Eve. Chris has left for the night to go watch the Baylor Bowl game with his friend, Craig. Craig is a story for later. Let’s just say . . . my kids love him!

I hear Cooper yell, “There’s a bird in the house!”

I continue to scrub the dried egg on the stove. I’m thinking, “Oh, yay, I’m about to get a fun story!”

“There it is again!” Coop says.

Come on Coop, make this one good! Is it Batman or Superman. I mean, make it mystical and fun. Maybe it’s a Toucan or a Flamingo. But, sadly, nothing more.

Time passed. About 30-minutes later, out of the corner of my eye, I catch what appears to be a bird a bird flying across the family room! “There IS a bird in our house!”

Very matter-of-factly Cooper says, “I said there was a bird in the house.” Well, sweet boy, 75% of what you say is make-believe! So, it is confirmed that Cooper does sometimes tell the truth.

Wyatt, sick and so tired, flips out. I open all of the back doors and send Wyatt to the shower. Cooper and I follow the bird, as it soars across the room. He is determined to get the bird, chasing it around in complete hysterics. I text Chris that there is a bird in the house. I’ve always known that he is the world’s best problem solver. However, his brilliant reply is, “open some windows.” I do believe my reply said, “Duh!”

The bird goes up the stairs. After slamming the doors to the boys rooms, I turn on the playroom light, but hit the fan button. The bird, on one of the blades, enjoys a nice merry-go-round. It finally falls of the fan and flutters back down stairs.

Realizing how long Wyatt has been in the shower, I go check on him. Before I leave, I tell Cooper, “the bird is right there on the middle pendant. See it? Follow it with your eyes. If it flies out one of the doors, close all of the doors so it won’t come back in.”

“Got it, I’m the bird watcher.”

I head back to help Wyatt get toweled off. As he sits on my bathroom floor in tears, we both hear:


I run back to the family room, only to see Cooper with his arms out wide like only a hero would celebrate! “The bird flew out and so I made the doors go BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!” So proud.

Til next time . . . attempting a lesson on beginning our “made-up” stories with “once upon a time . . . .”

Guest blogger: Kelley Ayres, “A Typical Day in the Life of a Mother of Two Boys”

I’m really pleased to offer you a great blog post from my talented sister-in-law, Kelley Ayres. I thoroughly enjoy her descriptions of everyday life experiences, she has a wonderful way with words. This was particularly entertaining. Thanks for sharing it with my readers, Kel Kel. Enjoy!

Bit of back story for non-Dallasites: “Gaylord” in Grapevine is a huge Oprylandesque structure and Kel was taking her little, sick-as-dogs guys to enjoy some post-Christmas fun as a getaway treat.


Our Gaylord Experience!  So far . . .

So, we head out of our neighborhood and I pull into Preston/Royal for green tea for the road.
Cooper says, “Mom, I forgot my ipad (Leapfrog).”
Wyatt replies, “Well, that doesn’t concern me. Does it concern you, mom?”

We head out to get on LBJ. You got it, totally backed up. The boys don’t understand why the traffic jam does not appear on navigation.
Wyatt, “Why are all these trucks on this road. We’d go a lot faster if they weren’t.”

We’re almost to our turn-off toward Grapevine, when I see two very low airplanes and point them out to the boys.
I say, “Where do you think they came from?”
Cooper, “Half-America!” (You can imagine the enthusiasm)
I reply, “South America?”
“Yes! Half-America!” (More enthusiasm)
(While hibernating in the germ-infested land of hacking, sneezing, and a whole lot of laundry, Wyatt ventured out into the world of “menu” on the car TV. He found some sort of nature landscapes that featured South America. To my complete satisfaction, they were fascinated and I was incredibly thankful for a break from Batman, Angry Birds, Injustice, Clash of Clans and Minecraft.)

So, we turn off onto Gaylord Road and as we approach the monstrosity of what is the Gaylord Hotel, Cooper says, “Mom, it’s bigger than me, Wyatt and YOU!”

We pull through valet, start to unload the back. I tell the boys how big they are and that they can carry their own bags (leaving me, still, with more than I can handle). The lady behind us shows Cooper how to wrap the straps around his neck to make it easier to carry! What?!?!

We walk through the lobby to find a swarm of orange and black OK State fans and I start to have an anxiety attack. They are waiting for their rooms, which are not ready. What craziness are we in for?

We get our room, which is ready, and we walk about 5 miles to get to it. I start to get a little upset when I realize what a good thing it is to be at the end of the hallway on the far end of the whole place. The fans will be trickling in past midnight and not bothering us! Phew!

We get situated and all the boys want to do is bound from bed to bed. We could have done this at home. At this point, I also realize that I forgot shoes, other than the snow boots I wore here.

After purchasing ICE tickets and Snow tickets at $100, we head that direction. I find a store with some cute flats, purchase them and wear them out, only to enter the world of FREEZING cold! At which point, I put my snow boots back on. Wyatt jumps on board for snow-tubing, Cooper follows but freaks out last-minute. I go up with him with a double-tube, sit on the freakin’ wet, cold fabric for this child and he decides he won’t do it. I say, “I’ll get you ice cream after dinner.” Guess what? Yup. The entire staff is cracking up.

We all put on massive blue coats like total champs and head into what must be 15-degree temperature! Wyatt about throws a fit, after being cold anyway and we scurry through in no more than 4-minutes flat! That was money well-spent!

Outside of ICE is a little stand with hot chocolate and Gigi’s cupcakes. I get the boys hot chocolate. Cooper takes a sip and spits it all over me. “I don’t like it!” I ask what on earth in a nice way and Cooper replies, “Sorry, Little Lady.” I clean up the best I can and we head back to the lobby to find seats by the fire in the lobby. Finally, we’re all happy and relaxed and could hang until dinner.

Wyatt is hungry well before dinner time so I go around the corner and grab some pretzels and use the restroom, at which point I realize I have been sporting a beautiful hot chocolate mole on my nose for at least an hour.

We look at four menus and Wyatt will only have pizza, so we go to the Italian restaurant and sit at a wonderful table by the fire. It is still pretty cold and so I ask Wyatt if he wants my sweater. “Yes!” Leaves me with a thin blouse to shiver through.

After being sick for 4 days, I think to myself how hard a glass of wine could hit me . . . so I opt out (I know most of you don’t believe me!)
You also won’t believe that I ordered a filet. I didn’t eat much of it but justified it based on the book I just read about genotypes. Beef is a superfood for mine! Yippee! I’m a hunter! Roar!

So, here we are. So happy to be in pj’s, cuddled in bed with ice cream, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and a cup of medicine Wyatt needs but won’t take. Cooper is still bouncing of the walls (with a chocolate ice cream mustache, like maybe he face-planted in a pile of mud)

The truth be told, this has been a blast! These boys crack me up. We have one “go with the flow” and one with very particular thoughts and expectations. It works out pretty well. If Cooper winds down, we will have a good night’s sleep and have some more fun in the morning.

They are arguing over who gets me in their bed. It really boils down to who’s kick hurts less and who’s nighttime behavior is less annoying. I’ll be sleeping with Cooper . . .

Stay tuned . . .