What’s That Smell?

January 27, 2011

Ethan came up to me the other night and asked, “Wanna smell my armpit?” I gracefully declined but he persisted and said, “C’mon Mom … it smells really good! I used some of that stuff Drew puts on his armpits to make them smell better.”  I chuckled and then said, “OK … come here and let me smell.”  I took whiff and told him he smelled great. “Yep”, Ethan said proudly. “Now I smell just like Drew!”

When Drew was a toddler his favorite show to watch was Jim Henson’s “Bear in the Big Blue House”. He watched it on TV and also had videos (VHS tapes at that time) and books so that he could visit Bears Big Blue House and hang out with Ojo, Tutter, Treelo, Bear and Luna whenever he wanted.  One of my favorite songs from that show was “What’s That Smell?”  The main character, Bear, would bring his big, brown fuzzy nose up to the screen , sniff and say “Do you smell that?” and then break into song.  “What’s that smell? Smells like cornflakes, or maybe pancakes, a glass of milk and something swell. What’s that smell? Smells like clean clothes, tickling my nose, warm pajamas and soap as well.” 

The song had a catchy tune but it also made me think of how smells remind us of certain people, places or times in our lives.  We may catch a whiff of a cologne or perfume that reminds us of a loved one or maybe we smell a food that reminds us of a memory from our childhood.  Some smells that bring back memories for me are the smells like the heavy chlorine from an indoor pool that reminds me of my days on the swim team in high school. Or the smell of Desitin that reminds me of when my kids were babies and I spent most of my days smelling of Desitin and spit up.  Then there are those smells that are just relaxing and calming, like the smell of fresh rain or the ocean breeze. Speaking of relaxing smells, when our kids are sick or they are having trouble sleeping I have found that if I give them one of my pillows it helps them to relax because, as they say, “It smells like Mommy!” 

Last Spring Emma and Ethan had a field day at school where they participated in lots of fun outdoor games and events.  They were, of course, very dirty and smelly when they got home so I gave them baths before bed.  Emma was in the bath to wash off all the sweat and sunscreen when she looked up at me, smiled and said, “I smell just like vacation!”

California Dreaming

January 4, 2011

  It’s been almost 2 years since our trip to California.  My Mom and Dad along with my brother and sister and I and our spouses and children (17 of us in all) took an trip to visit my Grandparents in Bakersfield, CA where I grew up. It was my Grandfathers 90th birthday and we all wanted to be there to help  him celebrate.  Also, our children had never been to California or to the beach and we knew it would be a great experience for them.

It was February when we visited so it was a little cooler than we expected, but still very warm compared to the weather back home in Indiana.  The cool temperatures didn’t stop the kids from enjoying the ocean … they were so excited by the waves and the sand that they wanted to spend as much time as possible at the beach. Since the temperatures were a little chilly after we were done at the beach we would all go back to the hotel, pile in the hot tub and warm up.  Seventeen people makes for one full hot tub but it was a relaxing way to end each day.

The memories we had on this vacation were priceless. I was so glad that our entire family got to enjoy this experience together because it’s been a trip we have talked about ever since we got back.  We love looking through the photos and talking about all the fun times and memories made on our vacation to California.  Of all the photos there is one in particular that makes me smile. It’s a photo of Caleb, Ethan and Emma with their little toes in the ocean water as the tide came in.   Everytime I look at this picuture I am reminded of the joy and laughter of one of the most memorable vacations of my life.

Of course for every story there is a cute quote, right ? Well the one from this vacation was when we returned home and Emma and Ethan were just about to start a swimming unit in gym class. Emma came home from school and said that she had asked her teacher  “Will there be a hot tub at the pool we will be swimming at?”  to which her teacher answered “no”. Emma was a bit disappointed and told me that she guessed she’d still have fun but she really thought the school should think about adding a hot tub like the one at our hotel in California.