Friday, December 31, 2010

Five Question Friday

Questions for Friday, December 31st: (Special thanks to Sharayha, Sandy, Pam,@Simply_BC, @gasfamily for their question suggestions! If you would like to be linked in a future Five Question Friday, just shout out your question suggestions to me in my communityor via twitter (@5crookedhalos)!

1. How long does your Christmas tree stay up? I'd like to say that I have a method to my madness and a schedule but honestly, it's up until I have time and help to take it down. It is down by the end of January but I just love how decorated the house is with all our Christmas "cheer" and it feels like... kind of sad to take it out and pack it away.

2. Do you have plans for New Year's Eve? Yes, I intend to eat something, wear my fuzzy pj's and go to bed early. I know, I'm such a party animal but I'm also a mom to a 9 month old. It won't be like this next year so this is just the season of life I'm in right now and that's perfectly okay.

3. Do you have any New Year's resolutions? To NOT have resolutions. :)

4. How did you spend New Year's Eve when you were younger? I don't really recall doing anyting spectatcular. I know I was with my grandmother a few times and we'd have noisemakers and eat snacks. I've been with my ex's family and we'd do the same old movies and the ball drop in Time Square.

5. What was the best way you've ever spent New Year's Eve? I've danced the night away at a party at the Hotel Intercontinental in Dallas. That was really a LOT of fun and probably my favorite New Years ever. The food was amazing, the drinks were free, the room was included, the music was rockin' and the company at the table was lots of fun.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday Wickedness with Mark Twain

I have a few Wednesday Wickednesses saved in drafts in my Blog that I haven't finished because Captain Pampers wasn't feeling the love that day so until those are published, you'll have to settle with today! Today they chose one of the most brilliant authors whom I dearly love --Mark Twain. Welcome to Wednesday Wickedness!

1. A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.
Do you let yourself off the hook easily? It totally depends on what it's for. Generally speaking I'm a horrible liar and so if I need to confess about a wrong-doing, I'm the first do to so. However, I certainly don't sweat the small stuff. Life's much too short for that.

2. A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.
Do you think everyone lies? To quote my mom, "Does a one legged duck swim in a circle?" In other words, absolutely!

3. A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
What was the last thing that you had to learn the hard way? Some things are worth waiting for...

4. A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read.
What types of things do you read? I read mostly parenting books... self-help books... scrapbooking books... magazines like Family Circle and Southern Living... however, when I pick up a book it's Poe, Hawthorne, Twain, Barrett-Browning, Hemmingway. Those are my favorites.

5. A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.
Have you ever thought about something that did not exist and later it was invented? You know, I don't know. I had an idea for a chair like the Bumbo when Josh was about 3 months old but that was 11 years ago... Guess I'd be rich now, huh?

6. Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.
How well do you think that you observe people? Very well. My mom was a police officer and taught me to look for all kinds of miscellaneous details because you never know when you may need to remember them.

7. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.
Have you ever used humor to diffuse a difficult situation? What are you talking about? Humor IS my defense mechanism. I am always using humor to diffuse things... along the same lines, life's too short to not laugh at almost everything.

8. Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
How important is your age to you? Do you ever lie about it or refuse to reveal it? I'm 38. I don't care who knows it. I think people who lie about their age are stupid and pathetic. And, if they're a parent teaching their children not to lie -- they're hypocrites. I loathe hypocrites. A lie is a lie is a lie. You either lie or you don't lie. It's not a matter of a little lie or a big lie. A lie is a lie. The way I like to look at it is this way.... if I made a batch of cookies and I put a little dog shit in it... does it matter that it's JUST a little or would it matter that it's a lot? Same difference. Shit is shit. A lie is a lie no matter how you dress it up. So, it's only important to BE your age, no one says you have to ACT it!

9. All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure.
How important do you think confidence is? Are you confident? I think confidence is sexy. There is nothing sexier than a person who is confident in their word and deed. I am confident in general. I'm not confident in talking about something like astro-physics but I'd be a great listener (if I could stay awake.)

10. Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
Do you do everything you should to be healthy? Of course not, I have children. Ha! There must be cookies every now and then. We eat at McDonald's on occasion. I don't have a largely plant based diet but I try to do my best and live by the "everything in moderation" rule of thumb. I mean, look at it this way... even those people who are health nuts are going to die just like me... so I am not going to be so stupid strict that I don't allow myself to enjoy life a little.

Film fatalities

Drew has been missing having his big brother to chum around with the past few days. He called up his Paw Paw yesterday to see if he wanted to do something, "Just the two of us."

Dad picked him up a little after 11 o'clock to go see Gulliver with Jack Black. They got their tickets. They got their popcorn and drinks. They sat down and were there waiting. The lights dimmed, it started but there was only sound, no picture. After about thirty minutes, they came on to tell them that they couldn't get it fixed. Film fatality.

Dad was reimbursed for everything (including the popcorn and drinks) and even received two free movie tickets. Drew was majorly bummed but, now he's across the street playing with his buddy, Hunter.

Better luck next time, huh?

That's not the first time I've had someone fall victim to a film fatality!

I remember being at the theater when "Saving Private Ryan" was out. It was the battle scene at the bridge... you know the one toward the end of the movie. You're so sucked into the movie at that point that there's no way you'll leave even to pee. You've been sitting in your seat for a couple of hours at least... it's just that good. Then, all of a sudden, the screen goes completely white. The film shot off the reel and was streaming onto the floor of the photo booth upstairs (per the manager). There was no way they'd be able to fix it in time for us to see it.


We were all like, "You have GOT to be kidding me!"

Less than thirty minutes to the end of the movie and they flub it up!?! Yeah! Talk about a major disappointment... but they'll give us free movie passes to come back and catch it again another day. Who has three hours to just piss away twice in a week? No one I know! I was so disappointed. We went the next day or so and told the manager who we were and what had happened. He let us sneak in the last 30 minutes of another show that was already in progress just to have some CLOSURE for that movie.

That's not a movie you want to screw up the ending. Honestly, it was hard to have that emotional attachment again since we'd missed all the beginning of the movie that second time but man, it was still majorly emotional.

Just proves that when there are humans involved, there will be film fatalities... and we're not even talking about the fatalities on the film!

The beginning of the end...

It's a big day in my house today....

No. I didn't win the lottery.

No. Drew hasn't lost any fangs.

No. Josh hasn't come home with all A's on his report card.

Ok... would you just let me finish?

Today is the day I've declared that we will START weaning Ben. I am not doing this willingly, however. It's a matter of necessity if I want to keep my nipples attached to my body. YOu see, little man Ben, he likes to bite. He's quite proud of those two little chompers.

Our nursing sessions typically go like this... suck, suck, suck, waiting for milk to let down, suck, suck, suck, suck... where is the milk -- I'm STARVING... NIP. Not "nip" as in "nipple" but "nip" as in--I think I'm going to bite mom to let her know that I really am hungry because she obviously doesn't know--nip. Every.Single.Time. It ends in a nip. Well, today, it was a full on bite. I've taken this every day for the last couple of weeks and nothing is working so... simply stated, I'm done. I don't want him to draw blood and I'm at the point now that I am so apprehensive about nursing him because I'm just wondering when, not if he's going to bite me each time. How fun is that? Little toot. So, we made it nine months. I'd like to have made it a full year just because it'd be a much easier transition but what's a mom to do?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Resolutions Schmezolutions

I can guarantee you one thing, I will NOT be making any New Years resolutions this year, or any other year. Why? I think to myself, "Self, don't set yourself up for failure! Just don't do it." And by keeping the resolution to not make resolutions, I've succeeded!

Others however vow to eat healthy, exercise, quit drinking, quit smoking, etc., I know that those things will come when I'm ready to make a commitment to doing them. Well, except for the drinking and smoking part because I don't do those it'd be a little hard to stop doing them. Hee hee hee...

The thing I try to do instead of finding things to try to do is to find a word... one word... that I can help to resonate throughout the year in all I do. I'm trying to find my word for this year... A word that I can hang onto during good times and those not so good... a word that can be a guiding light and provide glory and honor to God. I have thought long and hard about this --as I do each year when I try to find MY word --and four words have come to me: peace, joy, contentment, charity.

I think that my word for the year will be....

wait for it...






the anticipation is killing you isn't it?




My word for 2011 will be "joy."

The dictionary defines "joy" as: the emotion evoked by well-being, success or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires; the expression or exhibition of such emotion; a state of happiness or felicity; a source or cause of delight.

I want to find joy in the moment. I want my children to see my joy in life and for that to be contagious. I want to be one that experiences good fortune this year by not letting life or it's little hang-ups get me down, but by keeping my countenance turned skyward, looking to the Spirit to fill me and my heart with great JOY!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Nine months

He was nine months in the making (well, technically speaking, in actuality he was eight months in the making since he actually came a month early, but it doesn't sound as nice) and now he's nine months old. What an amazing way our world was turned upside down and how we are so continually blessed with having Benjamin in our lives.

His first Christmas went as we anticipated... more interest in the boxes and tissue paper than the gifts but Santa came and blessed him with some new gadgets and gizmos just to keep his interest. He spent the morning with his dad while I took Josh to the airport to head to Iowa (and the extreme frigid cold -- the low today is 1. As in UNO... O-N-E... can you say, "Brrrrrrr?").

He's had a great day so far celebrating his 9 months on this earth. So far he:
  • woke
  • smiled
  • nursed
  • played in his playpen
  • ate some bananas, pears and graham crackers
  • played with Daddy
  • slept in his swing
  • crawled
  • played with his new toys

I mean, can it get any better than that? What a life!

9 Month statistics - he hasn't had his check up yet, obviously, but for now here's what we know:

Diaper - Size 3

Clothes - 9 month

Says "Mmm mmm mmm" and "ma ma ma" and "da da da" and just started "naa naa naa" the past couple of days

He still tends to "Army crawl" around but has started in the past couple weeks actually doing what looks like a real crawl.

He loves to pull himself up on ANYTHING he can get his hands on. He will stand there and can actually scoot his hands and follow them to wherever he wants to go. He will briefly let go at times and plop down on his bottom. Though, sometimes his landing is a little harder than he likes.

He loves to eat pears and peaches. He tries apples but hasn't really taken to them yet... or any veggies. I see the fact that he didn't like baby food AT ALL a hindrance in this arena since he hasn't learned to like those flavors. He will eat his Mum mums, too. He's snacked on samples of toast with a bit of apple butter and sometimes lets me try to feed him some oatmeal with cinnamon applesauce mixed in.

He still sleeps snuggled up next to me and while this is a pain at times... waking up to that little face is one of the highlights of my day. Plus, I get the benefit of it being nice and quiet at night.

His two bottom teeth show clearly now so there are no more gummy grins for us to see. Clearly signs that you can't stop them from growing up, no matter how much you want them to stay little.

He, of course, prefers me to just about anyone as is customary for this age, but he loves to see his PawPaw and generally goes to him with no fuss whatsoever. He loved playing with Grandma on the floor on Christmas. His Pop sees him somewhat regularly and, unless he's fussy or tired already, he hasn't given any problems with going to him either. He went to Becky (Drew's friend Joshua's mom) at the Kindergarten Christmas party without incident, either. Hopefully, we'll be okay. I remember the days of Drew having screaming meltdowns just pulling up to his Mimi and Pop's house. Insane the separation anxiety was, but what can you do?

He sleeps through the night 99.9% of the time and prefers to go to bed anywhere from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Any later and he is generally letting you know that it's his time for bed. He "sleep crawls" sometimes. He will lose his "binkie" (pacifier) in his sleep and then just head up and crawl straight ahead resulting in a bump on the head on the headboard. This greatly confuses him and he whimpers and I give him back his binkie and scoot him down, cover him up and he's right back to sleep. It's rather funny.

It's still an amazing journey watching him grow and I just adore him and my husband for giving me the opportunity to stay home to take care of my flock.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Adventures in Advent - Day 25 - It's a Wrap

Merry Christmas!

We made it to Christmas and while we didn't get to every activity on every day, at least it was planned so that we had opportunities to have fun. The boys really looked forward to going through their bag every day to see what little candy was inside. They took turns reading the cards and really enjoyed the little crafts I threw in just to add a little extra "fun" element to do.

What helped me most this year was printing out a blank December calendar and putting the more labor intensive activities on Fridays, Saturdays and the week before Christmas. I saved the less involved activities for days when the boys were still in school.

Next year, what I intend to do is purchase a large paper mache box and wrap it as if it were a Christmas gift and set it beneath their advent tree. Each day that they open their advent calendar bag, if there is something else they need to do (say, tape, scissors and paper to make paper snowflakes) the supplies will already be gathered and ready for them to roll. Live and learn.

I loved having the opportunity to have the movies planned out.

Next year, too, we will be doing a book of the day that will coincide with a bible verse or a theme or something. While we did read some Christmas books, we didn't read enough of them and I got some more great ones from I've seen one idea to wrap up a book and number it for each day since books are really a great gift to us to use our imaginations! I will probably do that along with the Advent.

Next year, I will also have them open their Advent bags the MINUTE they walk in from school or early in the morning so they know what fun they have to look forward to right then!

Next year, too, one of our activities will be to make snowman ornaments from balls and white paint.... maybe go Christmas caroling.... make hot chocolate from scratch... partake in a Jessie Tree... and make the ornaments to go along with it.

I hope maybe my Advent will give you inspiration to try to make one on your own next year! I PROMISE ... ANYTHING will be better than those little chocolate ones that have no meaning behind them!

But more importantly, I hope you have a Merry CHRISTmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday Wickedness with It's A Wonderful Life!

Today we picked a movie instead of a person! We picked quotes from the movie It's a Wonderful Life in honor of the holiday season. Here's Wednesday Wickedness!

1. George Bailey: [the staff celebrates closing the building and loan company with only two dollars remaining, to stay in business] Get a tray for these two great big important simoleans here.
Uncle Billy: We'll save 'em for seed.
George Bailey: A toast! A toast! A toast to Mama Dollar and to Papa Dollar, and if you want to keep this old Building and Loan in business, you better have a family real quick.
Cousin Tilly: I wish they were rabbits.
Have you ever had a pet rabbit? What's the most unusual pet that you've had? I have. I've had three rabbits actually. At first I had two adorable lop-eared rabbits. I was told they were male/female. One was solid black and kind of mean and stand-offish. The other was white with black spots and was so sweet. That one would hop to the front of the cage when you were there and want to be picked up and it would lick your finger and loved being carried around. Sweet little bunny. One day when I was at my grandmother's my mom (or sister) went out to discover that the black one had killed the white one. Turns out that they were BOTH male. I hated the black one and gave it away after that. Then my boyfriend thought I was sad over my rabbit being dead so he bought me ANOTHER one who was WORSE than the OTHER black one. This one was named Jasper and he was a REAL piece of work. He finally found a new home, too. No more bunnies for me thankyouverymuch.

2. George Bailey: Mary Hatch, why in the world did you ever marry a guy like me?
Mary: To keep from being an old maid!
George Bailey: You could have married Sam Wainright, or anybody else in town...
Mary: I didn't want to marry anybody else in town. I want my baby to look like you.
George Bailey: You didn't even have a honeymoon. I promised you...
George Bailey: Your what?
Mary: My baby!
George Bailey: [stuttering] Your, your, your, ba- Mary, you on the nest?
Mary: George Baily Lassos Stork!
George Bailey: [still stuttering] Lassos a stork?
[Mary nods]
George Bailey: What're'ya... You mean you're... What is it, a boy or a girl?
Mary: [nods enthusiasticly] Mmmm-hmmm!
Tell us about you finding out that you were pregnant, or of someone close to you. With Josh I had taken six tests over a period of about six weeks and they were ALL negative so I just knew something was wrong with me. I went to the doctor and brought along the hubs for moral support because I was sure it was bad news. The doctor said, "Oh, you're just fine. It's nothing that won't resolve itself in ... oh... about nine months." I just sat there kind of in shock. So that was the first one. With Ben, the last one, I had an idea but I wasn't sure. I took a test and it was a faint line and then it faded away quickly within about two minutes so I figured it was a negative. I waited a week or two and took another one and it was positive.

3. [yelling at Uncle Billy] Where's that money, you silly stupid old fool? Where's that money? Do you realize what this means? It means bankruptcy and scandal and prison. That's what it means. One of us is going to jail - well, it's not gonna be me.
Have you ever gone through a tough time financially? Hasn't everyone?

4. [George has discovered his brother Harry's tombstone]
Clarence: [explaining] Your brother, Harry Bailey, broke through the ice and was drowned at the age of nine.
George Bailey: That's a lie! Harry Bailey went to war - he got the Congressional Medal of Honor, he saved the lives of every man on that transport.
Clarence: Every man on that transport died! Harry wasn't there to save them, because you weren't there to save Harry.
Have you ever saved someone's life? If not, do you know anyone that has? I helped orchestrate a save of a girl that was trapped in her car in a blizzard in Colorado. I was working (and was snowed in) at the Sheriff's Office at the time. Kristin, I believe, was her name. She basically had prepared herself to die in her car but they found her in time. There were a lot of people that lost their lives that we weren't able to get to that storm... God rest their souls.

5. George Bailey: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary.
Mary: I'll take it. Then what?
George Bailey: Well, then you can swallow it, and it'll all dissolve, see... and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair... am I talking too much?
What's the best line that someone has used on you in a romantic setting? I don't remember lines. I remember the funny ones from movies but not silly ones guys use.

6. Man on Porch: Why don't you kiss her instead of talking her to death?
George Bailey: You want me to kiss her, huh?
Man on Porch: Ah, youth is wasted on the wrong people.
What is one thing that you would do differently if you were young again? Finish school first.

7. Mrs. Hatch: Who is down there with you, Mary?
Mary: It's George Bailey, mother.
Mrs. Hatch: George Bailey? What does he want?
Mary: I don't know!
[to George]
Mary: What do you want?
George Bailey: Me? Nothing! I just came in to get warm, is all.
Mary: [pause] He's making violent love to me, mother!
Did you ever tease your parents that you were doing something wrong when you were growing up? Yes, my mother was a police officer in the Youth Services division. She dealt with any crimes involving children. When the little derelicts wound up in her office, they'd see my picture and, of course, pull me into their crimes so as to make themselves not look so bad. I was getting stoned after school, breaking into cars, drinking at parties... you name it, I was doing it. I used to laugh when my mom would come home telling me all the stuff I was doing then because she knew that I wasn't either.

8. Ma Bailey: [speaking of Mary Hatch] Why, she lights up like a firefly whenever you are around. Besides, Sam Wainright is off in New York, and you're here in Bedford Falls...
George Bailey: And all's fair in love and war, right?
Ma Bailey: [fixing his collar] Well, I don't know about war...
How do you feel about war? War sucks

9. George Bailey: Just remember this, Mr. Potter: that this rabble you're talking about, they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath?
Do you think that you get paid enough for the work you and your family do? I get paid in hugs, smiles and kisses.

10. Mary Hatch: [trapped naked in a bush] Shame on you! I'll tell your mother!
George Bailey: [thoughtfully] My mother's way up on the corner there.
Mary Hatch: I'll call the police.
George Bailey: They're way downtown. Anyway, they'd be on my side.
When was the last time that you dealt with the police? I talk to my mom almost every day...she's retired PD and I saw my dad today. He's retired PD.

Thanks for checking out our Wednesday craziness. We hope you join us again. Please visit our other player's posts and make a comment. Join us next week for our next meme

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Rise and Shine

We had a fantastic feast for my birthday. Andy grilled steaks that I bought today from Central Market. I made some of the most flavorful sauteed mushrooms I think I've ever tasted. Throw in some grilled asparagus, and some loaded baked potatoes and you've got yourself a birthday meal fit for a king (or a queen, in my case!)

Since I didn't pick up a cake mix, I searched for a suitable "from scratch" white cake mix and threw that together with some homemade icing/frosting (whatever you want to call it). So, yes, I made my own birthday cake. The cake itself wasn't as light and fluffy as I like so I'll keep trying to find a from scratch white cake that I can make that is as moist as Betty Crocker's version.

After dinner, since the weather was beyond beautiful, the boys decided that they were going to have a camp-out. So, on December 20, in Texas my boys were camping in the back yard! Whoda thunk it!?!

I went to bed extremely restless and unable to sleep. I felt like a neon sign was over my back porch with a huge arrow pointing to their tent just inviting some psychopath to come steal my children. Call me crazy, but that's just the society we live in now. I got up all througout the night to check on them. I cracked my window so that I could hear everything in the back yard.

Josh did have his phone with him and the next morning he sent me these cute photos.



My little birthday campers. It was truly a birthday gift that they are becoming such great friends (most of the time... I mean, after all, they ARE brothers!)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Birthday to me

Today was the day of my birth 38 years ago at Baylor Hospital of Dallas. I have inquired as to my birth story from my mom because while I'm sure I've asked over the years, I have never taken the time to write it down. You know the whole, "Oh, I'll remember THAT." Only to realize later that you've long forgotten what THAT was!

I asked my dad not too long ago how they chose my name and he said that he just kind of liked it. I like that answer. Short and sweet. Kinda like me - ha!

So far the day started well... Josh's dog, Sadie, stretched a little too much when she was waking up, got tangled up in the covers and fell out of the bed taking the monitor and the telephone with her. I was laughing so hard, I woke up Ben. It was just the sort of moment that seems to fill my life. And a constant reminder why I must laugh often... since these silly moments seem to be ever-present. To get upset with a drowsy dog who made me laugh would just be pretty pathetic, don'tcha think?

Typically, as a family we go out to dinner with parents and "celebrate" (so to speak) this day but tonight, I think I'm going to stay home... I like home. I'll have Andy grill some steaks and I'll make a big salad, some twice baked potatoes and asparagus.

I think, too, I'll make a cake and let the boys decorate it for me because... on your birthday, you have gotta have cake! It's a rule!

Right now it's peaceful in our abode. Ben is snoozing in the swing. Josh and Drew are decorating mini gingerbread houses and I'm coughing. Yeah, nothing like a little bronchitis for your birthday, huh? (It's not bronchitis, but it's enough of a cough to give our bladder a test!)

I logged into Facebook this morning and had so many greetings from my friends -- past and present. It's nice to know that people appreciate that you were placed on this planet... and it's a genuine sign of many lives you've (hopefully positively) impacted. I'm thankful for the gift of friendship so many have bestowed upon me.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I'm quick on the keyboard

It's a blessing and a curse that I type so fast. I can type between 90-100 words per minute on the keyboard.

It's a blessing in that I can get great amounts of information OUT before I forget them! Ha! It's a curse because others know this as well.

Take Drew for instance. Tonight, he picked up the Dr. Seuss book "One Fish, Two Fish..." and asked me to ... "just type it in for me. The whole thing."

He wanted me to type in a whole book for him?

"Why?" I asked. "You have it all printed out and illustrated in the book."

Apparently, he just thought he needed it.

No, I didn't type it. I have a lot of things I'll do for my kids but that just seemed silly.

Mama Bear

Josh decided to have one of his best friends from school sleep-over since they were on Christmas break. His friend, Blake, arrived around 1:30 p.m. and then it was a race to see if they could have the most fun ever had in a day. They went upstairs, they went downstairs. They were inside, they were outside. They asked permission to go down the road to the elementary school to play on the playground. I said, yes, so long as Josh had his phone.

The home phone rings, but I can't find the phone. Andy is in the playroom with Benjamin and then he gets a call on his phone and says that Josh had tried to call. I find the home phone back and call Josh on the other line. Andy is reading a text Josh started to send when I didn't answer and he starts to get up to get his keys to go get him "boys stalking..."

While I was talking to Josh I just got the information that he and Blake were accosted by a group of 4-5 other boys. Then he just said, "Can you come up here. There's a group of boys stalking us talking about being gay and that they were going to scoop us or something." So, like I said, Andy was about to leave and I grabbed his keys and said, "No, I'm going." (You know that pent up Mommy frustration... I now had an outlet for it.)

And that was that. Just prior to leaving, I clarified a few points with Josh.

Once at the school, I drove around back to see if I could find said perpetrators and when I realized they were GOA (gone on arrival), I circled back around to the front of the school to see Josh and Blake waiting for me. It was then that I got the full story.

Josh and Blake were just hanging out and someone from the group yells, "HEY KID IN THE RED SHIRT" -- that would be Josh. They all run to where Josh and Blake are and kind of circle them. These boys proceed by telling Josh and Blake that they are gay (not Josh and Blake) and that they're going to "scoop" them and "swipe" them and called them "lesbians" (Blake didn't even know what that word meant) and, to be quite honest, I don't know what it means to "scoop" or to "swipe" someone. Josh told them to leave them alone and to go away. They didn't. Josh and Blake tried to leave and these kids wouldn't let them. Then they said that one of them tried to touch Blake in the chest and that was all I needed to hear. I got vague descriptions of 4 of the boys from Josh and Blake and tucked that away. I'm very thankful Josh pays attention to detail.

One was in a cammo shirt, one was a short kid who didn't do anything just be there, one was wearing a red Eagles jersey and the other wearing black with brown hair. Apparently the one in the red jersey was the one that was instigating, the leader of the "pack" if you will. He was the one running his mouth and HE was the one that tried to touch Blake on the chest.

"Where did they go?"

"They went through that gate in the fence right there." He points to a gate that opens up to the side of the elementary school.

So where did I go? You bet your a$$ -- I went right through that gate in the fence and marched right around to the front door.


A mom on the phone answers and I ask if she has a son about "these boys' age" (that matched one of the descriptions I gave her) who was recently out with a few other boys. She asks why and when I proceed to tell her she gets off the telephone quickly and she yells for her son.

"Yes, ma'am?"

"Do you know these boys?"

"Yes ma'am. I mean, I don't know them but I saw them earlier."

"Care to tell me what happened?"

I confirmed with Josh that he was one of the boys but that he wasn't the one doing the harassing. She told me where the other two lived -- at the end of their street on either corner. I asked permission to go back through their back yard and I loaded Josh and Blake up in the car and into the neighborhood we went.


I talked to another mom. She was appalled and yelled for HER son. Her son came to the door - he was wearing a cammo shirt and looked a little shocked to see ME standing there with the two kids he was picking on earlier but he knew what to do... point the finger at the other boy across the street.

I went there... DING DONG... and finally a DAD answered the door. I told him what happened and his wife was in the background. She was beyond a little pissed off and yelled for him to get over there (he was across the street with the little short kid and another one)... and guess what he was wearing -- a red Eagles jersey.

"COLE... what's this lady talking about you being gay and calling these boys lesbians and not letting them leave?"

"IT WASN'T ME I SWEAR. IT WAS______!" (The other boy across the street.)

She walks across the street to the other house and knocks on the door and talks to the boy there.... comes back yelling at her son, "EVEN ______ SAYS YOU DID IT."

I just looked at the dad and said, "My work here is done... I just wanted to make sure you were aware." He assured me that it would be taken care of and we all walked away.

Now, you have to know that I understand the whole "boys will be boys" but this wasn't even remotely a fair fight... five on two. Not fair. And name calling, I could really care less--sticks and stones... but I certainly didn't want these two to even assume it was okay to act like this so -- in my mind, I got involved because --as a mother -- I would want to know if my son was behaving in such a way. If my son was being a little twerp, I need to know. Sometimes you just have to let kids know who is boss and what is and what isn't acceptable.

The entire time this is going on... Josh's phone is blowing up with phone calls and text messages from Sadie (his friend Nick's current or possibly ex-girlfriend) and his friend Adam. I open his phone to just get it to shut up and I see Sadie's text message.

The first one said, "What the hell?"

The one immediately below it said, "You're a dick!"

This is from a 10 year old girl.


The only reason she HAS Josh's number is because Nick spent the night over here and since Josh has a phone and Nick does not -- it was a way for Nick to talk to his girlfriend. Josh has learned the hard way a) that's a no no and b) Mommy calls the shots on who can have his number. I'm very proud of him for not texting back such filth but told him not to engage in any sort of text war of the words with ANYONE that talking to someone face to face or on the phone (as a last resort) is the only way to communicate. I want to make sure that even though he's in the age of texting and electronic media -- he understands the concept of personal communication and that you can't hide behind the electronics....

So, I had Josh point out Sadie's house to me. With Josh's phone in hand, I pull up her two messages and walk to the front door. A nice looking very tall man answers the door.

"Are you Sadie's father?"

"Yes?" He looks quite concerned now.

I hold up Josh's phone so he can see what she texted. "Would you please have her remove Joshua's number from her telephone as she is not allowed to exchange text messages with him any longer. I've handled things on my end."

He looked at the message and with a look of surprise turned to his daughter who was, no doubt, standing right there since she heard her name and was immediately full of excuses. "...but, but, but HE started it. He was texting me FIRST."

I looked at all the messages. He did not.

On the way home I got to have a good "life lesson" talk to both Josh and Blake about several things. The first thing was that if you're guilty, admit it, be a man, accept the consequences / punishment, learn from it and move on. Pointing the finger at everyone else makes you a liar and a coward. They realized they wouldn't want friends who would implicate them if they were caught doing something. I also explained the importance of realizing that everything you say can come back to haunt you... somehow when you least expect it. Sadie didn't realize that I'm a diligent mom and I see my son's phone messages.

Andy said that I shouldn't have gotten involved but I beg to differ. #1, Josh is only 11 years old. #2, Josh and Blake did what they were supposed to... they asked them to leave, they tried to leave and they weren't able to #3, I want Josh to know that he is PROTECTED by us here and that he can call ANYTIME He is afraid or feels threatened and that we will make things okay. Secondly, these guys were talking about sexual acts and making lewd remarks. That's not okay. It's just not. If you even TALK about sexually assaulting my child... I don't care WHO you are or how old you are -- I WILL HURT YOU if I don't kill you first! I'll just put it out there because that's the truth. You do NOT want to mess with this woman. No. No, you do not.

I remember walking home from school and being called a "bitch" by Ian Scott. I remember being bullied by him and having him spit a snot wad in my hair! I remember being afraid to walk home after that.

I understand the need for Josh to "fight his own fights" but at this point in time, he's eleven. He's in fifth grade. He may have a leg out but for now, he's still firmly under my wing and that's where he will stay until he is confident to handle things on his own. Andy is from a different time where you could just kick someone's butt on the playground and it be over. You can't just do that anymore. Does it mean we're going to have a society of wimps? I doubt it... maybe, however, we'll have a few more level headed sweeties to take care of things in a more civilized manner. Until that time, I'm quite comfortable in my role of Mama Bear!

And to have both boys tell me "thanks" on the way home was all I needed to know that I did do the right thing -- at least in their eyes. And who isn't okay with being a superhero for a while? I mean, we all know in about 5 years you go from hero to zero in the eyes of your kids when they think they know it all. So, while I can still be a superhero in his eyes, you bet your sweet bippy this Mama Bear will do whatever it takes!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins


This week, I'm going to give you a choice of fill-ins OR a different kind of fill-in (or both). A friend emailed me a list where you have to identify Christmas songs by the initials of the first words of the first line of each song. Each Friday until Christmas Eve I'll post 9 more of these songs and if you'd like to play along, great! we go!

1. What in the world happened to parents being parents instead of suing companies -- like McDonalds -- becuase THEY don't possess the power to say, "No," to their children. Give me a freakin' break! I hope the lawsuit is thrown out. The courts can't tell a company what they can or can't do with their children's meals. That's ridiculous. It's not the court's job to save parents from being spinless, pathetic imps!

2. Too many American children are obviously well fed since they are facing an obesity epidemic of epic proportions.

3. Go away, you bother me!

4. I haven't sent out my Christmas cards yet.

5. I keep telling myself I need to send them out, I just find other things that are more important. Perhaps I'll skip them this year.

6. I really don't know if I will send them out or not.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to nothing, tomorrow my plans include nothing and Sunday, I want to relax!

AND/OR (I'll keep working on these!)

21. IBTLALLC: It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas
22. OLTOBHSWSTL: Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie
24. IBHFC: I'll be home for Christmas
25. WWYAMCWWYAMC: We wish you a Merry Christmas, We Wish You A Merry Christmas
26. IHTBOCD: I heard the bells on Christmas day.

Five Question Friday

1. Do you regift...and if so, do you have a regifting horror story? If I receive something that I know I won't be able to utilize or wear, yes, I will regift but only to someone I think may appreciate it or I give it to someone that needs it. I have no regifting horror stories, sorry. I'm a bore, huh?

2. Do you know what you are getting for Christmas this year? No, but I HOPE I'm getting The Pioneer Woman's cookbook and a plain white gold wedding band -- oh, and some pajamas.

3. Who brings the most gifts in your family, you or Santa? I think it's about 50/50. The more Santa brings, the more I get a chance to wake up!

4. What store do you love to by jeans from? When I can get IN THEM... grrr.... The Gap. Right now, however, it's Old Navy since these are "transition" jeans until I can get back into my regular ones.

5. Christmas meal: Big, All Out Meal or Snacks and Apps? We are generally at my mother-in-laws but since that isn't going to be tradition anymore, I'll have to figure something out this year. I haven't a clue, yet.

When it rains...

Josh didn't feel good this morning. He went to the bathroom three times that I know of between 7 and 7:30 before school. I asked him if he wanted to lay down and go to school when he felt better (if at all).

Today was a big day...
  • it was his last day before vacation
  • it was his class party
  • it was his first class party in several years (since we homeschooled 3rd and 4th grades)
  • it was a free dress day and he had on his new Christmas shirt
  • it was our annual visit to the Riverwalk Cafe at the Gaylord Texan for a family celebration of my birthday
  • it was our chance to see ICE! at the Gaylord
Andy gave him the "mental toughness" pep talk and basically guilted him into going to school anyway. I gave him a hug and told him if he felt bad to just go to the nurse. Seriously, though, he didn't look well. Not at all. I thought he was going to tough it out though.

So, when they left, I took care of the little guy. I fed him and was getting ready to put him down for a nap foolishly assuming that I had from 8ish to 11:15 a.m. to finish putting the boys' teachers gifts together, make and decorate 2 pans of brownies into reindeer for Josh's class party that I was going to be joining him for. I thought that I would just be done with everything in that time and be ready to enjoy our time off together. Josh's party was 11:30 - 12 and Drew got out of school at 11:45 so it would all just work out like a finely tuned machine, right?

But you know what happens when you ASSuME, right? Yeah... the ole Murphy's Law gut check comes back like Montezuma's revenge!

The phone rings at 8:35 a.m.


"Hello, Mrs. Driggers?"


"This is Mrs. Worsham, the school nurse. Joshua is in my office having just thrown up. He doesn't look good at all. His face has no color and he is just pretty miserable."

"Let me get changed and I'll be on my way."

Ben had been asleep all of 2 1/2 minutes. There goes the morning nap. Grrrr. I load him in the car, grab the gifts I'd made for the special area teachers and faculty and get on the road. He doesn't sleep on the way. Of COURSE not, that'd at least get him a nap in. Once I pulled into the drive at the school, I scoop him up and walk into the office and get "the look."


You know what look! The "bless your heart" look. Why? Because they know all too well what it's like taking care of a sick child on a day like today. Yes, I got the "bless your heart" look so at least I knew someone out there was feelin' my pain!

While we were at the school, I went ahead and delivered the special area teacher gifts I made (computer, Spanish, PE, art, etc.) The gifts came out quite cute, I must admit! I bought a dozen pint size jelly jars at Wal-Mart, a red velvet cake mix, some cream cheese icing and some Christmas fabric. What'd I make? A cupcake-in-a-jar! You squish in a cupcake, pipe in some frosting, squish in another cupcake and top with more frosting and then pop on the rim, then a piece of fabric, then screw on the lid. I attached a plastic spoon with a Christmas ribbon and it's a ready-to-eat treat that was a beautiful presentation! The red velvet really made it Christmas-y!

Once those were all delivered, we headed home. I had Josh sitting in the passenger seat so that I could keep an eye on him. Initially, he said that he felt lots better and was laughing about how he was in the bathroom in school and told his friend, "I'm about to get sick and if you don't want to hear, I suggest you leave." So, I was thinking maybe it was just something he ate. However, the further from school we got, he really didn't look that well. Call it a mother's intuition -- I reached into the diaper bag behind his seat and pulled out one of those disposable bags that you put dirty diapers in so that they don't stink up the place should you happen to change one when you're not near a trash can. He was like, "What's this for?" I said, "Just keep it in case you need it." I unlock the windows and roll his window down a little to give him some cool air on his face.

Now, since I hadn't eaten (although I had gotten up to make breakfast for everyone else) I decided to stop at Sonic for something to eat since it was on the way home. He wanted a drink, I got a breakfast sandwich and a Route 44 unsweetened peach tea (my favorite!)

We pull out of Sonic and are back on the road home. He shifts a little in his chair. I get on the phone to call to let people know that we're going to cancel our plans for the evening... the Gaylord was off. I'm bummed, indeed.

I get on one phone call and what happens? Yeah, you guessed it. He starts to puke again and again. I laugh and think "maybe the smell of Sonic IS bad for you."

I just keep thinking to myself, "Thank God I gave him that bag!"

We get home and he hold up the bag of barf and says, "That's ALL? I thought I puked more than that."


"So, what do I do with it?"

"Dump it in the toilet, roll up the bag and place it in the garage in a trash can."


I come home with a sleepy cranky 8 month old, a sick 11 year old, unfinished teacher gifts on the counter, two pans of brownies to finish and now the timing of it all SUCKS! While I switch into panic mode, Josh settles on the couch for some serious vegging out and pops in Despicable Me. He sleeps off and on for the next four to five hours... followed by a trip or two to the bathroom to refund whatever it was that was in his stomach.

Poor kid.

However, he must have felt better because while I was in the kitchen after the movie was over, he was watching reruns of "Sanford & Son." I can hear that stupid jingle now. Boy that was a dumb show... funny... but dumb. Shows like that would never make it now adays.

The brownies are finished, cut, decorated. Sixteen little reindeer friends all staring at me on a platter. I feverishly attempt to package the teacher's gifts but I realize that there is just no way. There is no way. I call Josh's room mom, tell her I'm on the way and ask her to meet me outside to bring the tray to the party. She does. I drop off the brownies at 11:25 and then head to the pick up line to get Drew from school at 11:45. Thankfully, Ben sleeps the entire time. That was his 20 minute nap of the morning (it's usually over two hours) -- yeah, I see where my night is headed. I scoop up Drew, grab him some lunch and head home... immediately e-mailing the teachers trying to explain how my Friday didn't pan out the way it was supposed to.

Drew gets home and tells me his ear hurts. His EAR HURTS? SERENITY NOW!! I call Andy and tell him that he has to help out today. I've got the big one sick, I don't want to take the little one to the doctor's office.... NO WAY! Luckily, my father in law comes to take Drew to the doctor's office for a 3 o'clock appointment. They come back around 4:40 pm with a prescription that was called in - just in case - because while it looked a little pink, it wasn't infected. However, to be sure, over the weekend if it became painful, we had a prescription waiting on us. Finally, some good news!

It was a doozy of a day indeed. I was truly bummed out about our evening together at the Gaylord being canceled as we'd all been really looking forward to it. I wasn't going to let Josh know that I was so bummed out because it's not his fault he was sick. But after Ben's missed morning nap... he was a real piece of work. In face, he and I BOTH went to sleep at SEVEN o'clock. Yeah, he wouldn't have lasted there a minute.

Perhaps this was all just supposed to happen this way to save us from great disappointment. Why? Because when I called the Gaylord to cancel our reservations, they told me that the Riverwalk Cafe IS NOT the Riverwalk Cafe anymore but is the Riverwalk Cantina and it's a Mexican restaurant now. There is no buffet any longer! WHAT THE ???? I'd booked that reservation SIX WEEKS IN ADVANCE and was going on and on about how that's our family tradition for my birthday and the boys just loved the chocolate fountain and blah blah blah. Not once did anyone mention that it wasn't a buffet or that it wasn't even called the same thing. Nothing! I would have been extremely disappointed to have Mexican food when I was wanting something SPECIAL!

So, yes, I think that saved me some great disappointment in the end. We had Chinese take-out. Bah humbug!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday Mayhem - Annoyances of the Season

Join Us for Monday Mayhem

By now many of the happy feelings about the holiday season have turned to annoyances for some of us. Here is your chance to express yourself. Have fun!

1. What annoys you about the holiday music? Nothing really. I mean, there are songs that I don't particularly like so when they come on, I change them. But, holiday music-in general-is quite nice.

2. What annoys you the most about holiday shopping? I dislike shopping altogether so the idea of holiday shopping is grouped right on in with the rest of it. I like shopping when I have one specific item to get and I can find it online... on sale... with free shipping.

3. Tell us about someone you know who is annoying you right now. That wouldn't be very nice... now would it?

4. What is annoying you online this week? Nothing online because the week just started! Ha! Actually, it IS annoying getting twenty six thousand sales alert e-mails. It makes me want to unsubscribe from everyone!

5. Is there something that people say or do this time of year that annoys you? Argue about what this season and time of year and holiday is really about. It's Christmas season, not "winterfest."

CHRISTians celebrate CHRISTmas and to make it anything OTHER than that... unless you're Jewish celebrating Hanukkah, then SHUT UP!

No one forces you to buy gifts, put up a tree, hang a stocking and wrap presents... it's to celebrate Christmas and the GIFT of the LORD to humankind. IF you can't get that through your thick skull, MOVE SOMEWHERE ELSE --and take the ACLU with you!

It's ABOUT CHRISTMAS!!!! It's a CHRISTMAS break from school. IF it were a WINTER break, they would do it in JANUARY!

Wait...what was the question again?

6. What is the most annoying behavior anyone can have this time of year? Greed. Or anyone who says Happy Holidays as per #5 above.

7. What is more annoying when you are shopping- screaming kids or people who cut you off in the stores or at the mall? Neither. I won't go to the mall and I have screaming kids regardless of what time of year it is so I'm used to that.

8. What is the one thing that does not annoy you this holiday season? Well, seeing that there really isn't a lot that DOES annoy me... I think that'd be a shorter list than what doesn't.

Family Time

Being from a divorced home, growing up we traditionally spent Christmas Eve with my dad and his side of the family. Christmas was always at home with mom. It wasn't really anything we thought about, it was just how it was. My parents always lived relatively close so it wasn't an issue.

Christmas Eve was always something we all looked forward to. I don't know it was just because it was so much fun seeing what a wonderful Godly example my Aunt Bobbie and Uncle Norman were or because the food was so good or because I just love my Cousin Laura as if she were my best friend or because it was more about family and fellowship and fun than about stuff.

The Wesson Christmas Eve get togethers are definitely something that I treasure to this day... and from all the Christmases past.

However, with having young ones... (my cousin Laura has a baby girl named Jillian that is 3 months younger than Ben)... I'm a realist. I realize that it is really, really hard to get together on a night like Christmas Eve when you have little ones. Laura and her family live an hour and a half from me so to have it at her house means a long drive for us. To have it at my house is a long drive for her. So, what shall we do? We meet half way!

We met at Aunt Bobbie's and Uncle Norman's AND we did it early! You have to realize that it's not about the day -- it's about the people!

And for the firs time, I wasn't the only one late! THANK YOU, LAURA! Ha! With as much of a "don't be late" kind of person I am... why we are always late to everything really, REALLY bugs the ever-lovin' crap out of me! I think it boils down to I need to ask for help more.

Ben got a fairly healthy nap that morning and we were off. He did, however, fall asleep in the car on the way there -- about ten minutes before we arrived. Ugh! We ate some honey ham and snacky foods and then settled in for a mean game of Pictionary! It was fun getting our kids together to play. Aunt Bobbie made us all look bad when she threw on a jacket and gloves and went out front to play ball with the boys! Laura and I were like -- It's freezing out there! And she's right out there in the thick of it! What a great Oma! We get to share great memories of our kids playing together just like we did when we were kids. Drew and Gabe had a great time drawing crazy pictures for each other to guess... Gabe with his fat frosty with big boobs and Drew with his cowboy scarecrow that only Aunt Bobbie could have guessed.

There were a few faces missing - Bert, Mindi and Paxton and obviously, my sister and her family (who lives in Hawaii) so it would have been much more fun having them around but... maybe one day the whole gang will be complete again. Until then, it was still so fun and it makes you wonder why you wait so long between visits in the first place. Then your little one starts screaming and won't stop because he's in a foreign place without his high chair or swing or the capability to relax in this weird place to take a much needed nap and THEN you remember. It's just the season of life at this time... so even though it was a short time... we're still making memories that will last a lifetime! Family time--it's the best!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Stealing

Today we ripped this meme off a blogger named CV Rick blog named Ninja Writer. It's 50 questions so we will do it in two parts. He stated that he grabbed it from Wry Catcher. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

Sunday Stealing: The Ninja Meme, Part One

1. What do you add to your coffee? Nothing, I don't drink coffee. Eons ago I have partaken in a cup here and there but it was more along the lines of coffee flavored sugar milk. I needed about ten sugars and half cream to make it drinkable. After that I had a sugar high like nobody's business and it made me ridiculously jittery so I just opted to stay away from it. A drink requiring that much effort wasn't worth it.

2. What are you reading now? This meme on my computer screen, duh.

3. Do you own a gun? I used to. My ex took it in the divorce. It was a cool little .22 pistol that looked like a P-32 Space Modulator. (Say that in your best Marvin the Martian voice.)

4. Are you registered to vote? You better believe it! Someone has to get these morons out of office.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Depends on what I'm there for.

6. What do you think of hot dogs? I've worked in the meat industry before so I know they're not full of hooves and a--holes like everyone seems to think. It's not high grade meat but it's meat...and fillers. I like a hot dog once in a while but for the most part, I don't eat them.

7. Favorite Christmas Song? I don't "do" favorites. There are too many greats of everything to limit yourself to just ONE. I will say that I love Blue Christmas by Elvis... but he also sings a mean Santa Claus is Back in Town... I love the traditional church-y Christmas carols and I even love "Santa Baby... put a sable under the tree, for me."

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? 2 cups of fat free milk with one package of Sugar-free Carnation Instant Breakfast - Milk Chocolate flavored mix. Followed shortly by a Diet Big Red. Breakfast then caffeine.

9. Can you do push ups? Girlie ones...

10. What was the name of your first boyfriend/girlfriend? Robert Antonetti

11. What’s your favorite piece of jewelery? My favorite piece of jewelry is still my wedding ring although it's been gone for a couple of years -- it's still my favorite.

12. Favorite hobby? Again with the favorites.... I like cooking, planning events, photography, scrapbooking, reading.

13. Do you work with people who idolize you? Of course... my children think I'm a freakin' rock star!

14. Do you have ADD? Only during moments when I can't sit still or concentrate...

15. What’s one trait that you hate about yourself? I don't hate any traits about myself. I kinda like me and think I'm pretty cool.

16. What’s your Middle name? Puddin-tang. Ask me again and I'll tell ya the same. Ha ha... my grandpa used to say that. Seriously, though, it's Rene.

17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment. My feet are cold even with slippers on. I wonder how long it will take me to make deviled eggs. Where can we get some good cup cakes on the way to Aunt Bobbie's.

18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday. An All Terrain Armored Transport vehicle - otherwise known as an AT-AT (Star Wars), Star Wars sticker book and a Paper Jamz guitar (for Drew for Christmas).

19. Name 3 beverages you regularly drink. Water, milk, Diet Big Red, and sweet tea.

20. Current worry right now? That I need to take a shower and run to pick up a bundt pan from someone from Freecycle before she thinks I no-showed.

21. What side do you dress to? casual, comfortable. I hate trendy.

22. Favorite place to be? Colorado or with my family.

23. How did you bring in the New Year? Last year? I was in bed (I think) watching something with Josh... we were both dozing off (I go to bed early) and we watched the ball drop and I was like... ok, good, night. Very anti-climactic. I don't see why it's such a big hoopla...

24. Where would you like to go? the mountains...

25. Name three people who will see today. My dad and cousins Laura and Robert and their families... and I get to meet Laura's new baby girl, Jillian! I can't wait.

Parenting is heart work

Parenting is such a personal thing.

Some parents choose to have children and then spoil them rotten with all the things they never received as a kid as if material items really mattered.

Some parents feel spanking children is wrong and others swear by a swift swat to the hiney to bring about an attitude adjustment.

Some parents feel the need to schedule every moment of their children's lives while others feel that free time -- even time to be bored -- is critical in their development.

Some parents feel like you should dictate your baby's schedule and others say let the baby dictate the schedule since they can't truly adhere to a schedule.

Some parents think telling their children the truth about Santa is preventing them from heartbreak and some parents would be heartbroken to not have that fantasy alive in their own homes.

Some parents are more worried about being friends with their children rather than being their parent.

Some parents feel like babies belong in the crib from day one and anything else is just a tragedy while others feel like bonding with their children, even co-sleeping is a way to stay close.

Where are you? Where am I? I'm somewhere in between all of those. We are all "that" parent because there isn't anyone other than us that will feel the way we do about those issues. It's a blessing we're not all the same because that would be rather boring, don't you think?

Take sleeping...

With Joshua, I nursed him and his room was literally a door away from mine so it wasn't a big deal for him to be in a crib. We made the mistake of rocking him to sleep in a glider so he felt like he needed movement to fall asleep and if you woke him before you got him down in the crib... Lord have mercy, you get to start all over again. He would cry so badly if you tried to let him cry it out (again, what some people swear by) that he'd throw up all over himself, the bed, bedding and carpet. So it was a quick bath, laundry ... frankly, it wasn't worth it.

Drew. Drew and I co-slept. Andy didn't sleep in the bedroom with us because a) he snores b) I'm a VERY light sleeper c) he felt like if Drew was in the bed he'd roll over on him and thus he couldn't sleep comfortably and d) it was just easier on everyone but by the 5th or 6th month, we moved him to a crib and we did let him cry it out for a couple of nights and let me tell you that is the absolute hardest time I've ever had. It is absolutely gut wrenching to let your little baby scream for you and you not come answer their cries. I stood outside his door sobbing. Is that really the way it's SUPPOSED to be?

Now there is Ben. And, again, I co-sleep. Why? Because I love the moments that I would miss if he were in a crib. I love that he wakes up next to me and pats my arm... I love in the darkness after my eyes have adjusted that I can lay back and watch him play with his hands in the air... how I can hold my hand up there and he will grab the pinkie and a finger and hold on tight as if everything is okay because he KNOWS that I'm right there. When he gets a little chilly, he scootches all the way over and lays right next to me... snuggling is an instinct. If he were in a crib, what would he snuggle with? I would miss this moment of him needing me and me being there to provide whatever it is for him. There are things I"m sacrificing to do this and I totally understand it -- more importantly, so does my husband. And he supports me.

This is my last child and these moments I want to savor forever. I don't expect to have a three year old in bed with me (well, unless there's a scary thunderstorm and his brothers won't let him in theirs) but I know these moments are fleeting and I just want to be here to take it all in. Not get him down so that I can do whatever else i need to do that just can't be done with him around.

I have a friend that is like, "Oh get that baby in his crib," or, "You need to get out." And, I get where she's coming from but for me, this is the season that I'm in. She is not so for me to expect her to get where I am right now, I can't. I've done this with my other ones and they didn't turn out rotten... and nothing bad came of it. It was just a season in life that I embraced because being a mother to my children was what I needed to do for me at that time. And, I'm in "that season" right now with another one.

I know too soon he WILL be in his crib and all these little moments that we share will be long gone and that makes me so sad. I mean, he sleeps through the night already so it's not like I need to be thee to nurse him... it's just these quiet moments that he and I share together in the glow of a dimming computer screen... I get to listen to the gurgles...and to him sing (reminds me of Gizmo on The Gremlins)... and I get to listen to his little mmm mmm mmm mmm's as he soothes himself to sleep. These moments are priceless. Too soon, he'll be off to the playground with his friends and not wanting a thing to do with his mom so why wouldn't I want to cherish these moments now?

So, before you judge another mom or just have an adverse opinion to say to someone about their parenting style-- unless it's blatantly obvious they're doing something detrimental to that kiddo's physical or mental health or their own, consider it just may be a season in their life that they're choosing to embrace differently than your own.

Parenting is truly heart work. Some people's hearts are just in a different place than yours at the time... but that doesn't make it wrong.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Five Question Friday

1. Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? It depends really. Joshua is only with me every other Christmas. He is HERE this Christmas so we will open ONE gift on Christmas Eve (new pj's) and then the rest on Christmas morning after we have Santa and breakfast.

2. What is your favorite Christmas cookie (or candy)? My favorite Christmas cookie definitely has to be iced sugar cookies. I like the kind that aren't crispy... with a bit of softness and thickness to them and a glazed frosting on them that has a hint of almond.... mmmmmm

3. What's the worst Christmas gift you've ever received? A package of "granny panties" when I was a freshman or junior in high school probably. They were from an 80+ year old woman so she probably didn't know any better.

4. Christmas song that you love? Blue Christmas by Elvis or Santa Claus is Back in Town... again, of course, by Elvis.

5. How many trees do you put up? I put up one but the boys each have a tree in their rooms and then there is a spinning, multi-colored tree in the playroom that is usually upstairs but isn't because there's a baby swing in its place.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Rock N Roll Fridays with Simon and Garfunkel

Today they picked Simon and Garfunkel. And I just have to laugh.... Garfunkel... what a name!

1. A HAZY SHADE OF WINTER But look around, the leaves are brown, And the sky is a hazy shade of winter. Oh, seasons change with scenery, weaving time in a tapestry, Won't you stop and remember me?
Do you think of someone special during Winter? Wintertime makes me think of my grandmother because my birthday falls in December and she always used to bake me a cake for my birthday. And, I love this song as done by The Bangles! I never knew it was a remake of a S&G song! I learn something every day!

2. BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER When you're down and out, When you're on the street, When evening falls so hard I will comfort you. I'll take your part.
What cheers you up? Alcohol. Ha! Just kidding. Um... generally, trying to do something nice for someone else is what cheers me up. My dog cheers me up. Ben smiling at me cheers me up. Hugs from those I love always does the trick too.

3. EL CONDOR PASA I'd rather be a forest than a street. Yes I would. If I could, I surely would. I'd rather feel the earth beneath my feet.
When was the last time you went barefoot in the grass? Yesterday, when I went to check for the mail.

4. AMERICA Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike, They've all come to look for America…
How do you entertain yourself during a traffic jam? I sing with the radio, CD or whatever else is on. I have been known to dance in my seat in the car. Or, I do like everyone else -- call someone!

5. SOUNDS OF SILENCE When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night And touched the sound of silence
What words would flash on your ideal neon sign? Money trees are NOW IN BLOOM! Get yours FREE!

6. 59th STREET BRIDGE SONG Got no deeds to do, No promises to keep. I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep. Let the morning time drop all its petals on me. Life, I love you, All is groovy.
What was the last event that made you feel groovy? Hearing Elvis sing "Santa Claus Is Back In Town." You can't NOT hear that song and have a bit of swaggar in your groove thang!

7. RICHARD CORY The papers print his picture almost everywhere he goes: Richard Cory at the opera, Richard Cory at a show. And the rumor of his parties and the orgies on his yacht! Oh, he surely must be happy with everything he's got.
Do you make enough money to keep you happy? I stay at home with my three children so I don't make any money.

8. THE BOXER In the clearing stands a boxer, And a fighter by his trade And he carries the reminders Of ev'ry glove that laid him down
How do you feel about boxing as a sport? I think it's stupid. Let's train to get in a ring and punch someone. What fun. Yes, the guys are physically trained... but it seems their skills could be better used elsewhere. It's kind of like the UFC fighters... I think they're stupid. Don't get me wrong, they're bad-asses and I'd never want to tangle with one but it just seems stupid. However, if there's an audience, there will continue to be fights.

9. MRS ROBINSON Hide in the hiding place where no one ever goes. Put it in your pantry with your cupcakes. It's a little secret just the Robinsons' affair. Most of all you've got to hide it from the kids.
What was the last thing you hid from the kids or significant other in your home? Christmas presents!

10. I AM A ROCK I have my books And my poetry to protect me; I am shielded in my armor,
What item protects you? My faith, locks on the doors, my Spidey senses!

11. KATHY’S SONG I hear the drizzle of the rain Like a memory it falls Soft and warm continuing Tapping on my roof and walls.
What is your least favorite thing about rain? That my dogs won't go outside to go to the bathroom without being harassed by me to do it!

12. HOMEWARD BOUND Home where my thoughts escaping, Home where my music's playing, Home where my love lies waiting Silently for me.
What’s your favorite thing about your home? That my four favorite two-legged, and two favorite four-legged family members are there.

13. FIFTY WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR LOVER The problem is all inside your head, she said to me The answer is easy if you take it logically I'd like to help you in your struggle to be free There must be fifty ways to leave your lover
What was the worst way you ever left a lover? A lover... that's sounds so ... odd, to me, because that's not a word I use... like... ever. Sounds so scandalous. And, I don't rehash incidents like that up on the ole bloggidy-blog-blog. Move forward... don't look back.


I was reading an article called "Is Your Soap Making You Sick?" by Gina Roberts-Grey in the recent Nu Image magazine I received in the mail yesterday. Normally, I don't read these because they're full of spat treatments, plastic surgery, botox, tanning, microdermabrasion and things that I don't do. Why waste my time? Right?

Today I chose to thumb through while I'm supposed to be online Christmas shopping becuase Ben is napping in his swing... and the article caused me some concern.

It talks about how cosmetic products like soaps and shampoos contain ingredients with either diethanolamine (DEA) or triethanolamine (TEA) based compounds. These cause the foaming "cleansing" action we're all used to...

It speaks of how these types of products are banned in Europe because of their known carcinogenic effects! Then why are we still letting people put these items ON THEIR SKIN IF WE KNOW THEY CAUSE CANCER? Geez louise!

The article is disturbing at best but I'm really glad I read it. It suggested, although expensive, to buy CERTIFIED ORGANIC cleansers because they will NOT contain these compounds.

There was a sidebar that listed "Shopping for Children's Soaps and Shampoos".... and then listed ones that CARRY these kinds of toxins in them -- Baby Magic Laugh & Splash, Looney Tunes Finger Paint Bubble Bath, Phisoderm Gentle BAby Skin Cleanser... among others. Scary, huh?

It gave a list that I'm going to copy verbatim that gives common ingredients that MAY contain DEA or TEA:

Cocamide DEA
Cocamide MEA
DEA-Cetyl Phosphate
DEA Oleth-3 Phosphate
Lauramide DEA
Linoleamide MEA
Myristamide DEA
Oleamide DEA
Stearamide MEA
TEA-Lauryl Sulfate

Scary, we tend to just think of ourselves with make-up, moisturizers and the like. Could you imagine what a lifetime of these bad products seeping into a baby's, toddler, child, teen's system could then cause?

Our world scares me sometimes...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Getting to Know Your Friends

Welcome to the 2010 holiday edition of “Getting to Know Your Friends”! You know the drill. Highlight, copy, and paste into your own blog, and change my answers to your answers.

  1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate for sure. However, I can’t say I’ve ever had egg nog. I mean, I am sure I did as a child but it was probably forced upon me. I can’t say that I’d willingly consume anything with “nog” in the title. That doesn’t sound remotely palatable. The very name seems reminiscent of “egg juice” and frankly, that sounds gross. What is a “nog” anyway? Hmm.... to research. I'm back. Ok, according to Wikipedia, it seems that "nog" may stem from the word "noggin" which is a Middle Eastern word used to describe a small, wooden, carved mug used to serve alcohol. I always assumed (and was told) it was made with raw eggs which screamed "EWWW GROSS" to me so I guess that's why I never bought it. However, I found a recipe on and have decided that it DOES sound like an extremely indulgent, creamy caloriefest that I must try. Shucks. Here's the yummy recipe. If you make it before I do, let me know how it turns out!

  2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Santa just sets presents under the tree. There will be no wrapping of the Santa presents.

  3. Colored or white lights on tree/house? Blinking, or not? On the house, I have no lights.... sniff, sniff. We don't have any electrical outlets in the soffets of the house which you really would need in order to be able to HAVE Christmas lights on a house this size. Otherwise, you're stringing too many lights together and those tiny little fuses short out. It's beyond annoying. Next year, we WILL have lights on the house. Period! They will be green and blue lights because I like being different. White is boring. On the Christmas tree I have all white lights but next year, I'd like to have a tree with red and white lights. On the tree, I don't want lights that blink. I want lights that twinkle! I actually have gobs of lights on the tree and some stay on all the time and the rest twinkle. I like variety--what can I say?

  4. When do you put your decorations up? TYPICALLY, as soon as I can get them up after Thanksgiving. It may be that Saturday, Sunday or the next week. This year, I finished the tree TODAY. Hey, there's only so much you can do in a day when you've got a baby!

  5. What is your favorite holiday dish? (excluding dessert) Why can't dessert be my favorite? We've never had anything "traditional" on Christmas Eve or anything so I don't have a favorite holiday dish. Hmmm... wonder what we should do this year. Does everyone else do something traditional?

  6. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? My birthday is 12/20 so this is more of a holiday birthday memory rather than a holiday "Christmas" memory. The first year I lived in Colorado was the first time I was away from my grandma (Mawmaw) for my birthday and Christmas. It was hard and I was really sad. She couldn't travel because of her health. One of my favorite things about her was that every year, no matter what and without fail, she made me a birthday cake and frosted it with homemade icing. It was THE most delicious cake... every time. That was the first year I didn't get a birthday cake from my grandma and I was sad. Then, I got a knock on the door and the most gigantic poinsettia plant with balloons was all I could see between some delivery guy and me. It was from her! The card was something to the effect that... "This isn't a cake but I sure hope it will do." And it was the best gift ever... I really have been missing her a lot this year. I don't know why... but I have been thinking of her at least four to five times a day. If she had such an impact on me... makes me wonder if my dad thinks of her more than that this time of year because it was his mom. Cancer sucks.

  7. When did you learn that there was no Santa? WHAT… WHAT DO YOU MEAN THERE IS NO SANTA? It's not nice to spread such filth around. Grinch!

  8. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? I always let the boys open a gift early each Christmas Eve. It's our annual tradition -- pajamas. Last year was a hoot because Drew opened his gift ... excited to just be opening a gift. When he realized it was clothes he quickly threw the box to the side and thought he picked up the wrong gift to open because surely it should have been a toy! He cried. I was annoyed. He wore them anyway (because I said he had to). I can't wait to see him do the same thing this year. Josh actually "gets it" and has for several years that those ARE the Christmas Eve gift and that's what you're going to get and he's excited about it. I love having him home for Christmas!

  9. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? I have one "big" tree that has white lights and ribbons and strands of pearls and gold and crystal garland, covered with burgundy, pearl, clear, glass and gold balls. There are a few other ornaments on that tree that are very special but the bulk of the different kind of ornaments go on the boy's tree. It spins around and has flashing colored lights, silver beads and multi-colored ribbon for garland.

  10. Snow..Love it or Dread it? I'm going to have to echo my friend Elaine's sentiment-LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! :) The more the merrier (as long as I'm not needing anything from the store!)

  11. Can you ice skate? I suppose I still can. I haven't been in years but I doubt I'd have trouble doing it again. ...kind of like a bike I'm guessing. You don't "unlearn" how to do something.

  12. Do you remember your favorite gift? Not really... the memories of sharing time with family is what I really remember the most. I love watching the boys get lost in a sea of paper and ribbons and bows. I love watching them get excited and then having the grandpas there to help with the batteries and such. Watching the kids get excited about Santa's visit is my best gift.

  13. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? The holidays are truly a time to focus on the reason you're celebrating in the first place. Christ is the reason for the season. It's a time to let bygones be bygones and embrace the gift of the present because the present is a gift.

  14. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Oh man... all kinds of stuff! I love making things as simple as sugar/cinnamon roasted pecans to chocolate drizzled pretzel rods to pecan pie or even the birthday cake we make for Jesus. I made my all time, most favorite sugar cookies today for a playgroup and this weekend, we'll make another kind to decorate and share.

  15. What is your favorite holiday tradition? We started a tradition last year where we have the neighbors (and a few friends) over for Christmas eve and everyone just brings a small dish to share for brunch. I have a craft table set up for the kids to do some keepsake and then SANTA COMES! We hire a Santa to come. It's so fun for the kids to get excited about seeing the big guy come.

  16. What tops your tree? At the present time, nothing. I can't find it! Generally, however, it's a bow! I have had an angel but the thought of a tree branch up an angel's gown kinda oogies me out so I think I'd prefer a bow or a star.

  17. Which do you prefer? Giving or Receiving? Giving for sure. I always feel really awkward opening gifts in front of people. I mean, I like getting stuff, but it's always weird to me to open stuff in front of people. Will I have the right reaction? Will it even be the right size? (I know... isn't that horrible of me to be concerned I'll love something and then it won't fit!)

  18. What is your favorite Christmas Song? I just did a post on this the other day. I would like to say that it's probably "Blue Christmas" by Elvis (well, any Elvis song, really) but truly the songs about the Savior's birth move me... sometimes to tears. "Away in a Manger" or "Silent Night" are just beautiful songs that make you think. And, when a piece of music really makes you think it has to be on up there on the ole list. I just love Christmas music, though so, it's hard to pick just one!

  19. Candy Canes..yuck or yummy? Anything minty is yummy for the most part. However, I don't buy any to eat. I like to use them as decor on gingerbread houses, or tied to gifts. I mean, if I have onion breath, I'll be the first one to grab one to kill the odor, but generally I just save them for the kids.

  20. Favorite Christmas Movie or Play? Oh man, again with the favorites! I love Christmas movies! I love Elf (the burp scene just kills me every time!) I also love National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Anyone that's ever had a relative pull a "Cousin Eddie" on them can relate -- I assure you! I also love the old traditional stop-action classics like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus is Coming To Town. I love Jingle all the Way with AAAAaaahnold and animated ones like Frosty the Snowman, A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas! How can you pick just one?