Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: The Meme About Me, Myself and I

1. What inspires you to blog? Primarily, just wanting to record snapshots of life from my point of view for my children and my scrapbooks. I want to be able to vividly relive moments we share. The good, the bad, the precious, the funny and the sad.

2. What’s the best thing about blogging, for you? Not having to rely on my memory to record specific details of events. I love being able to purge my heart through my writing. It's my therapy. I love to be able to touch people with words.

3. What is your favourite book of all time? I don't really guess I have one. I mean... I love tons of books. I'm not good at selecting favorites of ..well... of just about anything.

4. It’s 9pm and for some reason you’ve been hungry all day, despite the three square meals. What do you rustle up? ...probably a bowl of cereal.

5. Who are three of your style icons? Have you SEEN my wardrobe? I don't have a style icon. Hell, I don't even know what a style icon is? I don't have ANY icons. I just want to be me. I'm not stylish. I've come to accept that. I don't like having to deal with matching shoes and bags and belts. I don't like changing purses to match outfits. I don't like 15,000 accessories to choose from. I like timeless, simple and classic pieces that look good day in and day out.

6. What’s your current favourite song/piece of music? I listen to CDs and older music on SIRIUS radio on the tv so there are no "current" songs in my playlist. Sorry boutcha luck, Chuck.

7. What is the last book you read? It was a parenting book... something like "Have a New Child by Friday." Good book.

8. What is your current favourite recipe? Am I picking for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert? Again with the specifics. Stop it!

9. Who or what first inspired you to set up your own blog? No one, really. I just wanted to do it to record blurbs of events for my scrapbooks.

10. What object could you not live without? Object... hmmm... my cell phone? No. I can totally do without that. Object... object.... hmmm... I don't guess there's really anything I "can't" do without, but I mean there are lots of things I wouldn't want to HAVE to do without.

11. Where do you see yourself in ten years? Ten years I'll be 48 (yikes -- don't say that out loud!) I will be a mom of a 21 year old in college, a 16 year old with a new license and a 10 year old... I will still be doing the same thing I am now...loving all my boys!

12. Who or what made you into the person you are today? Life's experiences and lots of love from my inner circle.

13. What have your learned from blogging? I have learned who I am blogging for and what my purpose is. I blog for me. The purposes I explained above. However, since the blog is a public one, others can read and comment on if they are so inclined. The fact that it's published means that there IS an audience other than myself -- even though I do only write FOR ME. Knowing that there is an audience will not cause me to temper my emotions, word choice or honesty in my writing because I write for me. If I start writing for YOU, I've become less than my authentic self and that is not okay. I may choose a topic that is uncomfortable and I have to understand that it may make some readers uncomfortable... and that is okay. Why? Because these are MY thoughts... MY words... MY memories and MY experiences...

14. Knowing what you know now, what knowledge would you pass on to your past self? Continue to stay true to yourself, your family and your moral code.

15. Sunday roasts - lunchtime or evening meal? Depends on what's on the agenda. I'd say either.

16. What has been your best blogging-related experience so far? I haven't had a single best experience... I have loved being able to go back and relive certain memories that I'd already forgotten. Things that are just ordinary... but important. If all you talk about are the BIG things... you've forgotten that life is made up of all the little things. How sad that it'd all go unnoticed and not remembered.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins

1. While the cat's away the stealthy ninja mice shall sneak in and set up booby traps.

2. Sometimes dinner is so great, you just have to exclaim, "Fabuloso!"

3. Children have much to teach us about ourselves.

4. The general excuse to the question of "when" is when I get home from work or shopping or what have you.

5. This may seem odd, but I don't really like chocolate.

6. My heart tells me to give my troubles to God and that seems like a fine idea to me!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to finishing laundry (okay, so I'm not "looking forward" to it but it will be nice to get it done, tomorrow my plans include working with my mom to purge the house and going to Josh's football game and Sunday, I want to enjoy Halloween with my boys while Andy goes to watch the Rangers catch up in the World Series!

Rock 'n Roll Fridays - Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson

And we're back with Rock N Roll Fridays! I LOVE music and, well, I LOVE memes! Put them together and you've got perfection in my book! So... here's the info... rock on!

Welcome to Rock 'n Roll Fridays. We are like other memes in that we will ask you thirteen questions each and every Friday. But our little "twist" is that each week we will pick a singer, band, era or category and pick thirteen of their lyrics. Each of our questions will be based on the lyrics. Got it? Great! Let's begin this week's meme!

Today we picked A Halloween Treat: Alice Cooper & Marilyn Manson. The song's lyrics are in bold.


1. SCHOOL’S OUT : “School’s out for summer. School’s out forever…”
What was your best summer vacation memory as a child? Wow, that's a tough question seeing that my memory really sucks past... oh... 10 years back. I don't really have a vacation memory that is specific... I just remember the summer nights spent playing freeze tag and hide-and-seek in the neighborhood. Days waiting for the ice cream truck outside our house. Riding flying turtles down the driveway. Riding my bicycle to Lori's house. Having sleepovers with Shannon. Just generic (yet, very special) memories of summer itself, nothing specific, however.

2. BILLION DOLLAR BABIES : “Billion dollar baby, I got you in a dimestore
No other little girl could ever Hold you any tighter, any tighter than me baby

What was the last thing you remember buying in a dimestore? Candy. I had a serious sweet tooth--and the cavities to prove it.

3. WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE : “Welcome to my breakdown,
I hope I didn't scare you. That's just the way we are, When you come down!
We sweat laugh and scream here, Cause laugh is just a dream here…”
Can you tell us about a nightmare you have had recently? I can generally remember them when I wake up but who wants to focus on remembering bad things? But yes, I generally have them ... gosh, at least once a week and it's usually involving my children. Ugh! Who would WANT to remember that? I'm living a nightmare right now, however, with the situation with my mother-in-law.

4. ELECTED : “We're gonna win this one, take the country by storm
We're gonna be elected, You and me together, young and strong”
Democrats, Republicans or Tea Party? Who will sweep the elections? Hopefully the Tea Party so that the conservative-minded, small-government seeking individuals will be elected.

5. NO MORE MISTER NICE GUY : “My dog bit me on the leg today
My cat clawed my eye, Mom's been thrown out of the social circles, And dad has to hide…”
Have you ever done something that embarrassed your family? Hasn't everyone? For real...being a kid is all about doing stupid crap that embarrasses your family.

6. SICK THINGS : “Sick things, in cars, rotate round. My stars. Sick things. Pretty things…”
Have you ever been motion sick? Was it in a car, on a plane, or on a boat? I have felt nauseated due to motion but never actually got "sick" because of it. Typically it's in a car -- I can't read in cars. I get severe headaches. I was sick on my honeymoon when we went on an ocean cruise on a catamaran (I think)... but I was already ill. So, having an already sick stomach and then going on a boat wasn't the smartest thing to do.

7. I LOVE THE DEAD : “I love the dead before they’re cold, their blueing flesh for me to hold. Cadaver eyes upon me see nothing. I love the dead before they rise, No farewells, no goodbyes…”
What celebrity death really bothered you? None of them. I don't personally know these people... they're just personalities created by the media. As such, I'm not going to attach feelings to something that isn't "real."

8. SCIENCE FICTION : “Forever I’ll enjoy your under-achievement, I gonna see you every day now if I can, Why then don't the night show really matters, I still wake on the fields of regret”
What is your favorite science fiction movie? Science fiction... hands down -- Lord of the Rings. But, is that Science Fiction? Or is that just fiction? Star Wars? Heck? What IS Science Fiction... I liked the movie Stargate and I like, too, the movie with Bruce Willis where he's guarding Mila Jovavich (though the name escapes me right now). I even liked Minority Report with the freak-of-nature Tom Cruise.


9. WHITE KNUCKLES : Fistfuls of you… You pulled me through with white knuckles… Fistfuls of you”
Has someone ever grabbed you to save you from a dangerous situation? Not that I'm aware of.

10. THIS IS HALLOWEEN : “I am the clown with the tear-away face. Here in a flash and gone without a trace. I am the "who" when you call, "Who's there?" I am the wind blowing through your hair. I am the shadow on the moon at night. Filling your dreams to the brim with fright”
What is the oddest thing you ever did on Halloween? I should say that dressing up and going door to door begging for candy is pretty odd if you think about it. Otherwise, I've done nothing. My parents were police officers. There was no misbehavin'.

11. THE WOW : “I’m worse than what you think you’d catch from me. Complicated’s understated. Did you stop and take a look at who you fell in love with?”
Have you ever been through a divorce? Yes.

12. THE FOOD PYRAMID : “Everybody! My body is a pyramid that's made of healthy food so do what we say (yeah) eat right every day (food) I love you.”
What does your food pyramid look like? I'll say that it looks pretty close to the ideal pyramid. Yeah, I need to mix in a few more salads--who doesn't.

13. THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE : “Hey you, what do you see?
Something beautiful, something free? Hey you, why you trying to be mean?
You live with apes man, it's hard to be clean”
What makes a person beautiful? Lots of qualities make a person beautiful... loyalty, authenticity, generosity, compassion, love, understanding...

Five Question Friday

Rules for Five Question Friday: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning! Feel free to answer in the comments if you don't have a blog or already wrote a post (although, for the record, I leave the linky open until Sunday, so you have plenty of time!!) ;)

Questions for Friday, October 29th: (Special thanks to Bethany, Sandy, Pam, Jesslyn, and Jill for their question suggestions! If YOU would like to be linked in a future Five Question Friday, c'mon over to my community and offer up your best question suggestions!)

1. If you could be a fly on any wall, which would you choose? You know, I really don't know. I'm not real hip on eavesdropping or butting in on other people's business. Now, if I'm drug into it, then yeah, but otherwise, no. Probably something to do in the White House...

2. Do you budget your Christmas shopping or just get it done without budgeting? I just get it done. I'd like to have a budget but... you just never know, man.

3. What is the craziest fad diet you have ever done? Geez, I'm boring today. I don't do fad diets.

4. Is there a TV show that you have seen every episode/season of? Seinfeld. That is/was THE best comedy -- ever. I mean... EVE-UH!

5. What one song always pulls at your heart? Music is a big part of my life and who I am. I love it that much. There are several songs that pull at the ole heart strings. Probably one of the first that comes to mind is "Angels Among Us" by Alabama as it was selected by me to play at my grandmother's funeral. Along the same lines, "I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me. Ugh! Or, "Don't Laugh At Me" by Mark Wills because it captures the very essence of what people do in general -- speculate before knowing the truth or even wanting to take the time to invest in another person.

How about, "Return to Pooh Corner" by Kenny Loggins? It always just brings me to tears...

Here are the lyrics... see if you have children and can even READ them without getting teary eyed and reminiscing about your little ones...and how fast and fleeting these days are with them.

Christopher Robin and I walked along
Under branches lit up by the moon
Posing our questions to Owl and Eeyore
As our days disappeared all too soon
But I've wandered much further today than I should
And I can't seem to find my way back to the Wood

So help me if you can
I've got to get back
To the House at Pooh Corner by one
You'd be surprised
There's so much to be done
Count all the bees in the hive
Chase all the clouds from the sky
Back to the days of Christopher Robin and Pooh

Winnie the Pooh doesn't know what to do
Got a honey jar stuck on his nose
He came to me asking help and advice
And from here no one knows where he goes
So I sent him to ask of the Owl if he's there
How to loosen a jar from the nose of a bear

It's hard to explain how a few precious things
Seem to follow throughout all our lives
After all's said and done I was watching my son
Sleeping there with my bear by his side
So I tucked him in, I kissed him and as I was going
I swear that the old bear whispered
"Boy welcome home"

Believe me if you can I've finally come back
To the House at Pooh Corner by one
What do you know
There's so much to be done
Count all the bees in the hive
Chase all the clouds from the sky
Back to the days of Christopher Robin
Back to the ways of Christopher Robin
Back to the days of Pooh

Click here to see the video of Kenny Loggins singing it on You Tube

Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then link up to My Little Life! Come join the fun each Friday at My Little Life

Thursday, October 28, 2010

He wept...

I've contemplated not putting this out there as "published" for the sake of privacy but this blog is my documentation for my scrapbooks on my journey through life. It's not always all sun shine and rainbows. Sometimes even blue skies turn grey and leave you at a loss for much of anything than holding your arms outstretched to God asking, no begging him for a miracle.

We've been busy this year making lots of plans. Early this year we were making plans for a new arrival to our family. He came and then we were planning birthday parties and play dates. Soon we were planning weekly menus and school agendas. Then, we have been planning a cruise which left me planning to lose weight... planning to get pass ports... planning for some beautiful family memories. Funny how all your plans change in the blink of an eye.

Tuesday I dropped Drew off (at his request) at his Mimi and Pop's house for his special time at his favorite place. At that time, Josh discussed with his Mimi plans for redecorating his bedroom (his Christmas gift this year) and she showed him what she'd purchased for it thus far. Nothing unusual or out of the blue.

Unbeknownst to me, earlier that day Andy's brother received communication that my mother and father-in-law wouldn't be joining us on the "family" cruise after all. After talking with his dad about it, he called Andy who had been home from work all of about ten minutes. Andy grabbed his keys and wallet and said his brother was muttering something about his parents separating. I was sure it was some stupid misunderstanding.

A short time later in walk Andy and Drew. I make eye contact with Andy and all he can do is raise his eyebrows and shake his head "yes." At that moment, life as we have known it ceased to exist.

After 45 years of marriage, Mrs. Driggers didn't want to be Mrs. Driggers anymore because she was sick of spending her life making everyone else happy and not herself... it was time for her to be happy now.... by alienating herself from everyone in her entire family that loves her and being alone. MMmm kay.

I've watched my husband, a strong man, a man that doesn't cry go from being at a complete loss for words and unable to retain his composure to being so angry that I can see his ears turn red. The mountains of prayers that we've all been requesting and sending to our Lord is immense. The foundation of our family is broken and only God can fix this.

A gut check on life and priorities -- definitely! I think to myself... kind of along the same lines that people thought when Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt separated -- if they can't make it with all they have going for them, then how in the HELL can I? That kind of ridiculous logic vacillates in and out of my thoughts as I try to process this single act of lunacy. If these two most Godly people can't be happy and "make it," how can we?

I tell you, if nothing else, this one act has made the bonds of my marriage so Gorilla Glue strong, not even death shall make us part...

I don't understand how someone who has everything she could possibly want or need would be compelled to move forward with such an illogical thought process. I am not happy so I want to be alone so I can be happy. I want to say and do things that will make no one but me happy. I want to focus on ME ME ME. Sounds like the Grinch... or some narcissist... or something else I'm not even going to say because nice girls don't talk like that. It doesn't sound like the words of a mother. Moms don't quit. But, she just quit the family.

With all that's been going on since Tuesday because of this, Josh, being the keen child that he is, has noticed that something is up. He's asked and I've tried to shield him until someone had some clarity as to what is going on. I fear we may never know and if I were him, I certainly wouldn't want to live in a perpetual state of "what's going on with everyone?" So, after football practice tonight, I talked to Andy and we decided he should know. I told him.

I looked up on websites how to tell your children that their grandparents are divorcing. Most websites I saw were allowing the grandparents to do the speaking. Ummm... not going to happen here. I was reading just in general of how to talk to children about divorce. I mean, Josh is from a divorced home but he was so young at the time, he doesn't know anything different. And that situation is 100% different from this one...

I brought the dogs for moral support as I knew it was best to tell Josh what was going on when he had the veil of darkness on his side. He hates to cry in front of people.

As Josh loaded his pads in the back of the van he told me about his practice... he was awarded a sticker for being the player of the game for Saturday's game. He's extremely proud about that and I'm so glad to see him gaining confidence within his skills and abilities. We drove a little ways down the road and I turned the radio down and said that I needed to talk to him about something rather serious since Drew wasn't in the car with us. He asked, "Is it about Dad?"

On Wednesday morning I had told Josh that if Dad was snippy or anything to just let it go that he had a lot on his plate and his mind...and to just say, "Yes, Sir," and to steer clear of him until things had settled down some. Josh knew something was up.

I made my way to the stop sign at Johnson Road. The only sound in my car was the "click" "click" "click" of my turn signal. At that moment, I took a deep breath and proceeded to tell Josh what I knew no one wanted to hear.

"Josh, Dad is upset because Mimi has decided that after 45 years of marriage she's tired of doing things to make everyone else happy and she thinks she'll be happier not married to Pop. She wants to be divorced and on her own."

His eyes widened and his jaw dropped.

I wanted the opportunity to tell him on MY terms without anyone else's input. Josh knows me. He knows I don't lie and I don't sugarcoat. Sometimes life just flat out sucks. This was one of those times.

We drove a little further and I told him that until we know what is going on, there will be no visits to Mimi and Pop's house as they will undoubtedly be selling it. His eyes were growing red...

There will also be NO one-on-one time with Mimi as I don't feel she's "right" in the head. This meant that your room redo... it's probably not going to happen.

There will be no playdates there for you or Drew because I don't want her using any one-on-one time to try to convince either of the boys that this is either okay, wanted or mutually agreeable between her and Pop. The information my children receive on this nightmare will only come from me and their father. We're the parents. We filter the information. Period. I don't trust that it would be that way should there be one-on-one time so we have to do what is best for our kids in this situation.

He started to think and then realized that by her doing his room, it was her doing something nice for someone else to make them happy and he now doesn't even want her doing his room.

I told him that Mimi was under the illusion that nothing would really change... when in fact everything has changed already. The holidays, the traditions, the family, the gathering place, the photos. Everything.

Then it hit him... no more Mimi and Pop...

and he wept...

and he bowed his head...

and he sobbed...

and all I could do was rub the back of his neck and apologize for the wickedness that has entered the heart of the woman he held in the highest regard and ripped apart his family. It was at that moment that I hated her for doing this to my son. She broke his heart.

He grew silent.

We arrived home.

He removed his pads from the back of the car and with the wind knocked out of his sails... he entered the house. I sat the carseat down and removed Ben from the seat and placed him belly-down on the floor. He started to reach for a toy and looked up at Josh and smiled that little gummy, innocent grin.

Josh leaned back on a far wall and just stared at Ben...

It was at that moment, his heart ... the tremendous size of it shown through in his words...

"Poor Ben... he'll never know... he'll never know anything about our Mimi and Pop... no Easter egg hunts.... " he couldn't even finish his words. My son wasn't even concerned about what he was going to miss out on... he is now weeping for the Mimi and Pop that his baby brother will never get to know. He's mourning the experiences and genuine love and joy from the family traditions we all shared together... with Mimi and Pop.... that will be nevermore.

And, again. He wept.

Yeah, nothing will change. My ass.

So, as I sit here with the pieces of one child's broken heart on my mind... knowing that it will only be worse with the younger one... I weep.

Thankful Thursday

Although we received news that has shaken our family's foundation to the core on Tuesday... I still want to focus on what there is in life to be thankful for. So, with that, I give you Thankful Thursday.

I am thankful for:
  • chilly fall nights where you can leave the windows cracked and enjoy the air.
  • fireplaces to roast marshmallows.
  • hot chocolate.
  • camping
  • good friends
  • the love of family
  • the gift of photography
  • having a serving, giving heart that wants nothing more than to help and provide for people.
  • for three beautiful, healthy children that are the joy in my heart.
  • stretchy, capri pants
  • a handsome, loving, forgiving husband to be with me through life's journey.
  • toothpaste... seriously, could you not do without that minty fresh feeling?
  • a sweet, nutty Boston Terrier I call "Lola" to snuggle with at night.
  • Paula Deen -- love her!
  • mercy
  • iGoogle Reader -- gotta have my blog addiction filled daily!
  • grace
  • Amazing blog writers all in the blogosphere!
  • You -- those that choose to fill me with pithy comments and walk this road of life alongside me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday Wickedness with Stephen King

Hi and welcome to Wednesday Wickedness! We are like other memes in that we will ask you ten questions each and every Wednesday. But our little "twist" is that each week we will pick a famous person and pick ten of their quotes. Each of our questions will be based on the quotes. The quotes are in bold. Got it? Great! Let's begin this week's meme!

Today we picked Stephen King. Here's Wednesday Wickedness!

1. “I tend to scare myself…”
When was the last time you scared yourself? I scare myself every night when I hear noises and stupid stuff like that. I saw the movie Paranormal Activity and, truth be known, it has freaked me out ever since. Not because I fear my house is haunted (though Josh DID tell me this morning that his door seems to open and close on it's own -- OK -- just got chills thinking about that -- so I'll obviously have to figure out what he meant by that to see if it's just changing air pressure or if I need to freak out!)

2. “Time heals all wounds…”
What was the longest it took you to recover from an illness, injury or surgery? The only thing I've ever had a long recovery from was delivering Drew. He was nearly 10 pounds and... let's just say that it took a LOT of time to be anywhere remotely back to normal with that kid!

3. “Your first impulse is to share good news. Your second is to club someone over the head with it…”
What was the last good news you had to share? I have good news every day! There is always something blessed and worthy of sharing with someone you care about.

4. “When it comes to the past, we all stack the deck…”
Is there something in your past you speak highly of that was not so great while you were going through it? Nope, I don't sugar coat much of anything... if it sucked, by golly, I just say, "It sucked!"

5. “Do you drink? Of course! I just said I was a writer!..”
What do you need to drink to do? Live! (Water, that is.) I am nursing my son so I don't drink -- not that there's anything wrong with having A glass of something every now and then, I just don't see the need for it.

6. “If you liked being a teenager, then there’s something really wrong with you…”
What did you like about being a teenager? Not much. The excitement of finally getting my license was pretty cool but not much else. It kind of sucks... you feel old enough to be "grown" but everyone knows the reality of it (you're still pretty stupid as to the ways of the world).

7. “Nobody likes a clown at midnight…”
What do you like at midnight? A big fluffy pillow, a darkened and chilly room, flannel pajamas and a snuggle buddy.

8. “It is the tale, not he who told it…”
Who is your favorite teller of tales or jokes? My kids tell the craziest tall tales and jokes. Just yesterday Drew was showing us his jokes. Yes, I said "showing" us. He drew out his jokes on paper and said, "Why did the man sit on the pointy thing?" "I don't know. Why DID the man sit on the pointy thing?" "So he could fly into outer space and he forgot his broccoli." I mean, it doesn't get much better than that does it?

9. “The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool…”
Were you ever conned or fooled into a scam? It depends on what you mean by "scam." I mean, a relationship can be a scam, too, if the BS lines given you by your suitor aren't genuine. If so, yes. I have been conned. Otherwise, no. I love people and for the most part am a trusting soul but if I get weird vibes... I let my head speak for me -- not my heart.

10. “If fear cannot be articulated, then it can’t be conquered…”
What do you fear? I fear not being afforded the opportunity to live a full life and see my children grown and successful. I fear something happening to me that would leave my children to grow up without a mother. I know that they would be taken care of and provided for but I want them to have homemade foods, well packed lunches when they choose to take their lunches, people present at their classroom parties, someone to get excited over their small achievements, someone to take pictures and document their journey in life, someone to "mother" them.... I brought them into the world to be that person for them... and I neither take that job lightly nor want someone else to do that for me. I want to be that person for them so my greatest fear is not being able to fulfill my destiny -- to be the best mother for my kids.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Mayhem - Ticked off

Join Us for Monday Mayhem

Welcome to yet another week of Monday Mayhem. This week's meme is the ticked off meme. For each of the prompts below, simple mention what ticked you off within the past week. If you can't think of anything from the past week that did tick you off, mention what would have ticked you off. Got it?

Have fun!

1. What ticked you off last week while you were on your way somewhere? Getting behind someone that's going either slower than the speed limit or swerving all over the road because they're texting.

2. Who in your house really ticked you off and how did they do it? My children are ticking me off lately because as soon as they're finished with something, they don't put it away -- it just gets left sitting in the last spot they used it. For ME to pick up. Isn't that sweet they think I have nothing else to do?

3. What politician or political event really ticked you off last week? Politicians always tick me off. It ticks me off that the President isn't doing his job as President but flying around the country campaigning for the Democratic party. I don't think he should be doing this unless the Democratic party is footing the darn bill.

4. Tell us what ticked you off on TV last week. I don't watch television so nothing can tick me off on there.

5. What ticked you off online last week? Reading the news ticks me off... how people that hurt children, animals and the elderly get away with it... how people are allowed to plea bargain for lesser sentences...

6. What celebrity ticked you off last week and how? Celebrities don't have any power over my emotions to be able to tick me off. They're insecure peons with too much money.

7. Tell us something food related that really ticked you off. It ticks me off that I can't find any Sugar Free Carnation Instant Breakfast mixes at Wal-Mart... or that Wal-Mart took out the coffee grinder... so you can buy whole coffee beans but not grind them at the store. Yeah, that's helpful -- NOT!

Thanks for playing!
Try NOT to have a ticked off day :)

The politics of youth sports

Have you ever had your children engaged in children's sports? If you have and it's been a wonderful experience, consider yourself not only lucky but blessed.

Youth sports in Texas is ... beyond ridiculous. Seriously, it's sad that it's all about the parents and not about the kids.

Drew was involved in a team through the youth organization in our town since he was ... Gosh 3 1/2 or 4. He's played for the same coach and on the same team in various positions. He enjoys baseball. And darn it, he's so cute with his little white pants and big ole helmet head. I just love him in his little baseball uniform.

Well, unfortunately the politics of that organization got the best of our coach and he decided not to be with that organization any longer. He chose to go to a neighboring town where he coaches select for his older son. We all pulled our registrations for our kids from the one organization and went to the other initially thinking we were going as a team only to find out they were splitting the team up in two. That's actually a good thing (although I didn't really like it at the time) because the boys that needed a little more work would get more key playing time in critical positions. But, we lose the coach that we really have grown to appreciate. His goal is really to teach the the fundamentals of the game, make sure they have fun and... honestly, he is just a really nice guy.

So, we switch organization and teams and now coaches.

With the new team, Andy is an assistant coach.

I have my reservations about this husband/wife duo. Not for any other reason ... than they're not what I'm used to. That and, you know how you just get a "vibe" about someone... I got that vibe. I try to help her by setting up a team website so we can put in the snack list, practices, notices, game information, upload photos, etc. Apparently, I stepped over the line trying to help so I deleted it. Who cares. But she was no longer friendly to me WHATSOEVER after that. No eye contact, no nothing. Oh well, she doesn't have to like me -- although -- to be honest, it really does bother me when someone doesn't like me. I feel like I'm a likeable person.

Tonight, however, the coach stepped over the line...and momma's not happy.

The game time was at 6pm. He asked the boys to be there around 5 pm which means we ate dinner at 4pm and were in the car at 4:30 to be there on time. They warm up for an hour. They play their game. They're winning going into the last batting round and they only need 2 runs to win. Ben is hungry so I start heading for the car. We load up and away we go. I think that I see the glow of my phone in the console so I have Josh check it to see if it's ringing. I've got 4 missed calls from Andy. I'm thinking EMERGENCY so I call him back immediately.

He's pissed.

They're about to start another game. ANOTHER GAME? Are you freakin' kidding me? Seriously, it's 7:20 p.m. on a school night with a group of FIVE AND SIX YEAR OLDS that haven't eaten dinner yet.

Apparently, our old team was there to play the R's. But, our old team didn't have enough players show up so they were going to have to forfeit. We were scheduled to play the winner of that game tomorrow but since our old team was forfeiting, we knew who the winners were. And, apparently they assumed that since they were all there, why not play now? It makes sense on paper or maybe when the kids are older but these are tired 5 and 6 year olds. Most of them are just 5. AND, tonight was the COWBOY GAME on Monday Night Football. Are you smokin' crack Mr. Coach-man?

So, I'm being a momma bear and am concerned, do I need to stop and buy the boys a hot dog from Sonic? Are they hungry? Are they thirsty? Do we need anything? Andy is SO mad.

Then he tells me what else happened. Mr. Jerk-of-a-Coach pulled a power-play. Andy was in the dugout and asks him if (for the start of this new game) if Drew can bat first since he was supposed to be next at bat in the game that just ended. (He continually places Drew at the back of the line-up. He's a good hitter, too. Jerk!) Anyway, the coach started to walk off and then turned around and made a freakin' scene at Andy. How dare Andy question his coaching. When he agreed to coach, he was going to coach it as he saw fit. GIVE ME A FREAKIN BREAK.

Dude, apparently you didn't get the memo--you're a coach of a group of FIVE AND SIX YEAR OLDS -- not the TEXAS RANGERS -- YOU JERK@!

I asked Andy what he said to that.

His reply?



Nope. Nothing. My husband has that much class. I, obviously, don't because I would have said a few choice words like... telling him where to go... what to kiss... and I would have gathered my child, his supplies and I'd have shown him that he was number one as I walked away. But no, my husband has that much class. I'm beyond impressed.


I am.

When people irritate me, I tend to gather my thoughts and go all Julia Sugarbaker on them with this berating monologue that leaves them in a puddle of wit, sarcasm and irrefutable facts that leave them emotionally attacked so that they want to assume the fetal position and suck their thumb while crying for their mama. I'm heartless.

The only thing he did say was that he can assure me that we won't be back with them next year. I'm glad. For more than a few reasons (one of which is that I won't really have to fear fist fights behind my minivan as I'm trying to leave the parking lot -- yeah THAT was fun.)

I just don't understand the politics behind this... seriously. You're not running a fortune 500 company. You're a coach of a 5 year old t-ball team. You're not some big shot running a city. You're trying to teach a kid to swing a bat and run a base. It's not rocket science. Quit acting like a pompous ass. Really, you don't wear that look very well. It's clashing with your nail polish. Jerk!

The thing that I really, really don't understand when dealing with the politics of children is how so many people get into volunteer programs that are FOR and ABOUT children and then turn them into something that's NOT. His behavior was NOT about the kids. It was all about me... let ME make a scene and make someone who asked a question look bad and make ME look big and important. You know people that have to question everyone else's motives, make them look bad, talk down to them or belittle them in front of others.... they're obviously insecure to the point that they know how little of a man they really are! Real men don't have to act like that.

Furthermore, it was just a FREAKIN QUESTION. What in the WORLD would it have hurt to just kept the batting lineup going like it was and picking up where you left off? Would you really be THAT confused to have to start in the BACK of the list rather than at the top again? Certainly, even YOU (oh Ye of Little Brain) can figure out how to do that?

I just DARE HIM TO TRY TO SAY SOMETHING WHEN I AM PRESENT BECAUSE I ASSURE YOU I WILL NOT KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT! :) I had to put that in all caps... why? Because I can...and this blog.. it's all about me and not the kids so I can talk about how I'd secretly like to take one of those base balls and just tag him right between the eyes. :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Oh to be Drew...

Drew has stated on multiple occasions lately how he'd like to be grown up... or a baby... or this or that. Each time after a brief discussion about his current state of desire, logic generally sinks in and he realizes that he's got it pretty darn good just where he is --right there in the middle of it all.

He's average height for his age but the kid is a BEANPOLE! I wish I that problem (well, to some degree). He is 47 inches tall and is 47 pounds. I wonder if that will ever happen again like that for his measurements. He has these beautiful grey eyes and dirty blonde hair. He tans well (I know he didn't get that from me) and is pigeon-toed.

At his 5 year check-up, his Pediatrician showed me his knees. If you held his thigh in place, you could physically wiggle his lower leg left to right. It was kind of creepy. He hadn't grown into his joints yet. Doc said that if the little guy ever complained about his legs hurting, they probably did and let him sit and rest. He's wanted to play soccer for a year or so but we just thought ... you only get one set of knees, let's take care of these that we've got as there's plenty of time to play soccer in a few years if he's still interested. So, instead of soccer, we opted for baseball. (It's more fun anyway!) He plays baseball for the Red Sox this year and is doing pretty good as a second baseman. His number is still 7 from when he played with the Yankees.

He is excited about school, loves his teacher and enjoys library time and Spanish. He comes home singing new songs he learns at chapel on a regular basis, too. His favorite "go to" song when he gets the need to break out in chorus? "Eye of the Tiger" Yep - Rock Band has warped the kid. It's that or "Hungry Like The Wolf" by Duran Duran. Thing is, on Rock Band, you don't have to sing the right words -- you just have to sing them in tune so the kid has his own set of lyrics for each song.

Drew still speaks with a bit of a lisp with his "s" sounds and his "th" but I am hoping that in the next few months we outgrow that or I'll put him back in speech therapy over the summer. He's getting better. We will see. We work on reading daily and he's on a 2nd grade level reading Magic School Bus books. He really likes to read and because of his phonics base reading introduction, he has done so well so far.

He loves to help and generally will do any task I assign him without eye rolling, heavy sighs or complaining. He has a very giving heart. I remember on one occasion when he was getting the "idea" of Christmas and how good it felt TO give... he got a gift bag and went around gathering up his favorite toys to give to his friends. When I explained that sometimes friendship is gift enough, that simply wasn't good enough for him -- he had to do more. I love his heart.

He likes things to be fair. For instance, I've drug out Josh's new clothes from the attic so we can retire his size mediums for a size large. Drew knows he's groing out of his 5's and he wants his 6's. I told him there's only so much laundry I'm prepared to do in a day and he's just going to have to wait. I'm still trying to get Josh's closet organized. Ugh!

This child is in LOVE with his baby brother. He wants so much for Ben to love him back. I'm so glad that Ben will have such a great, loving, doting brother to look after him. When I put Ben on the floor to do anything and Drew knows he's there, it's like a moth to a flame. The kid is right in there. Just today he was playing hide and seek with Ben. I tried to explain that Ben doesn't know anything of hide-and-seek yet but that didn't stop Drew. He'd hide and then make a noise so Ben would look that way and then he'd proclaim, "You found me! You're so good! You're a good seeker!"

Drew has a silly side, too, that only comes out when he's in one of his silly moods. Because when that child is tired, he'd give even a PMS'ing teenager a run for the title of "Drama Queen" -- that boy can turn on the drama and water works to the point I thought I had a daughter in the house!

His imagination is AMAZING! He is SO imaginative. He creates all these little battles with his Lego guys and army men. Or with the Star Wars battle scenes he draws. I'm in awe of this. I fully intend to save all of the Star Wars drawings he's covered his room with. Andy said he did the same when he was a child (as far as the battles), so that must make him feel pretty good. I can honestly say that I did not have battles with my Barbies when I was young. Just for the record.

And some of the things that come out of his mouth... they're just plain crazy! He really makes me laugh. For instance, tonight while I'm changing a diaper on Ben, Drew walks in and says, "I wish I could wear this to school."

I turn a quick head and notice what he's wearing -- a pajama shirt and red boxer briefs that are a very obvious size too big so much so that they're more like shorts.

I say, "What? Your underwear?"

The reply is a very enthusiastic yet matter-of-fact, "Yes!"

Oh to be inside that little brain for one day... on second thought, maybe I'll pass. It might be a little scary for an old momma.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Whoop Whoop Rangers!

I have vivid memories as a little girl spending the night at my paternal grandmother's house. I lay in the guest bedroom just down the hall from the kitchen -- unless she let me make a pallet on the couch -- boy was that a treat. I loved sleeping on the couch! I loved the heavy down pillows she had, too. They always seemed to mold perfectly to my head and make my rest ever so peaceful. I generally had some pink and white striped sheets that I hand-picked from the linen closet. Those were generally topped with one of her crocheted afghans. How I admired her prowess with a crochet needle! She tried to teach me to crochet many times but I was either too young or too wiggly to learn to do much more than make a huge chain. I did make the best chains known to man, however.

The nights I stayed in the guest bedroom there's also another memory that anyone in my family can attest to -- if the Texas Rangers were playing baseball my Pawpaw would be watching it. And, if he couldn't watch it, he would listen to it. On the nights when the latter took place, Pawpaw would be laying in his bed down the hall listening to them on his old alarm clock-radio. The announcers voice would almost echo off the hardwood floors and empty walls. The house was small in size (about 1100 square feet so you really couldn't hide what you were listening to, anyway.) It was an AM station so it was crackly. I know he was tired or he wouldn't have turned it so loud as to try to keep the neighbors awake. I heard every pop fly, double and triple play until I dozed off. So, I guess everyone in that house shared a special connection with the Texas Rangers because of him.

I remember as a little girl him taking me to the games. The man lived for the Rangers' games. I remember the old ball park where we'd sit in the outfield. You could bring your own snacks in at the time... sometimes he'd bring a big bag of popcorn. Others he'd bring his own cooler of drinks. Regardless, we were fed and we had a great time.

On one occasion when he had a big bag of popcorn a hit was made out to the outfields... HOME RUN RANGERS! There were kids scurrying all around his feet looking for the ball. The gentleman behind Pawpaw tapped him on the shoulder to notify him that the ball -- it was in his bag of popcorn! Pawpaw reached in and there it was! He proudly displayed all the balls he got from Rangers games in the trophy shelving that hung in their living room. Good times. Good times.

Well, last night the Rangers did something they have never done before. The Texas Rangers made their way into the World Series. I think my Pawpaw would have been pleased. I'm just sad that he wasn't here to enjoy it. I would have loved taking him to one of the World Series games.

So, I dedicate this post to my Pawpaw--J.C. Wesson, a sometimes cantankerous old koot with a heart for the Texas Rangers baseball club. I know in my heart that he knows they made it to the World Series. I know, too, he had the best view in the stadium. Pawpaw, I hope you enjoyed the game! Miss you!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Rock 'n Roll Fridays - Hits of the 50s

I can't even begin to tell you how freakin' excited I was to find this meme! Rock N Roll Fridays! I LOVE music and, well, I LOVE memes! PUt them together and you've got perfection in my book! So... here's the info... rock on!

Welcome to Rock 'n Roll Fridays. We are like other memes in that we will ask you thirteen questions each and every Friday. But our little "twist" is that each week we will pick a singer, band, era or category and pick thirteen of their lyrics. Each of our questions will be based on the lyrics. Got it? Great! Let's begin this week's meme!

Today we picked Hits of the 50s. The song's lyrics are in italics.

1. Rock Around The Clock - Bill Haley & His Comets
“Put your glad rags on and join me hon', We'll have some fun when the clock strikes one. We're gonna rock around the clock tonight, We're gonna rock, rock, rock till broad daylight.”
What artist was the last live concert you went to see?
Rick Springfield! He's been the last one I saw live... at Billy Bob's in Fort Worth--twice! Love him!

2. Tutti-Frutti - Little Richard
“Got a girl named Sue. She knows just what to do. She rocks to the East, she rocks to the West, But she’s the girl that I know best!”
If you had to live on the East Coast or the West Coast, which would you chose?
You know, I don't think I'd prefer to live in any coast as I'm just not a "beachy" type person. I prefer MORE clothes rather than less. I don't tan, you see. I don't like sand in places that sand doesn't belong. However, if I must choose, I think it would (again) depend on if I COULD choose WHERE on the coast I lived. For instance, I would prefer the NORTHERN portion of the west coast (think Oregon or Washington) or the middle portion of the east coast

3. Summertime Blues - Eddie Cochran
“I'm gonna take my problem to the United Nations, Well I called my congressman and he said Quote: "I'd like to help you son but you're too young to vote"”
Have you decided who to elect for the Senate in your local elections?
I hate politics and all politicians are, generally speaking, corrupt. I believe they go in there with the best of intentions but they all wind up like the rest. Plus, I want to know any job anywhere else where you can serve ONE term and get paid your salary for life? Talk about a burden to the American people? Someone with real intent would realize that this policy is corrupt and change it for the benefit of AMERICA. But, to get off my soap box about politics.... I have not yet decided for whom I will vote in the elections.

4. Great Balls Of Fire - Jerry Lee Lewis
“I chew my nails and then I twiddle my thumbs, I'm real nervous, but it sure is fun, C´mon baby, you're drivin' my crazy”
When was the last time you chewed your nails and twiddled your thumbs?
I do not chew my nails. I don't have nervous habits. I think it's a disgusting habit. It's one thing if you have a hangnail and no clippers, it's another to sit around like a mental patient eating your hand. As far as twiddling my thumbs... never.

5. Earth Angel – Penguins
“I fell for you and I knew, The vision of your loveliness, I hope and pray I'll be the vision of your happiness”
Did you fall in love quickly with your significant other?
No, I tried to deny the fact that I cared for him as deeply as I did. I had pretty much sworn off relationships and refused to believe the any of the lines of BS that came from their mouths... regardless of how cute they were.

6. Roll Over Beethoven - Chuck Berry
“Hey diddle diddle, I am playin' my fiddle,ain't got nothin' to lose Roll Over Beethoven and tell Tschaikowsky the news”
What is your favorite classical music selection?
As if I know the names of any of them... I liked most of the selections chosen by Disney's The Little Einsteins! Ha!

7. Blueberry Hill - Fats Domino
“I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill”
Where did you find YOUR thrill?
I find my thrill in lots of places... my family... my hobbies... cooking... filling my spiritual tank with the Word.

8. The Great Pretender – Platters
“Oh yes, I'm the great pretender, Pretending I'm doing well, My need is such
I pretend too much, I'm lonely but no one can tell”
Do you pretend that everything is fine when on the phone with your family /friends so not to reveal your true situation if it is not so rosy?
I have in the past which led them to all be in disbelief when I filed for divorce. Not anymore because I refuse to live a lie.

9. Charlie Brown – Coasters
“Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown, He's a clown, that Charlie Brown”
Who is your favorite PEANUTS character and why?
I love Peanuts so it's hard to pick just one character. I adore Snoopy. I recall having a plush Snoopy as a child that was a lot like the Build-A-Bear type creatures where you can buy clothes for it and such. I remember having a pair of denim jeans with a little hole cut out the back for his tail. I thought those were SO COOL! I love Charlie Brown, too. I feel a lot like him sometimes. Not a big fan of Lucy, she reminded me of my older sister. Woodstock was cute. Linus and his piano playing was obviously cool. I guess it'd be the Snoopster or C-Brown.

10. Poison Ivy – Coasters
“Measles make you bumpy and mumps’ll make you lumpy, And chicken pox’ll make you jump and twitch, A common cold’ll cool you but whooping cough’ll fool you, But poison ivy’s gonna make you itch”
Do you have any allergies? If not, did you get a Flu shot this year?
No allergies and no flu shot.

11. Love Potion No. 9 – Clovers
“ She bent down and turned around and gave me a wink
She said "I'm gonna make it up right here in the sink"
It smelled like turpentine, it looked like Indian ink
I held my nose, I closed my eyes, I took a drink”
What is the worst thing you ever drank?
I'd say it's have to be some sort of mixed drink with a foul name. I think most of those are just created on a dare anyway.

12. Get A Job – Silhouettes
“After breakfast, everyday, she throws the want ads right my way, And never fails to say, Get a job Sha na na na, sha na na na na”
Have you ever been unemployed? If so, how did you find a job?
Yes. It sucked. I used a headhunter in the legal industry and networked to find my next job.

13. Sixteen Candles – Crests
“You're only sixteen (sixteen) But you're my teenage queen (you're my queen) You're the prettiest, loveliest girl I've ever seen”
How did you celebrate your 16th birthday?
I don't even remember so that's a sign that my memory sucks, huh?

Friday Fill-Ins we go!

1. One of my strongest beliefs is that karma will get you in the end. You know, the whole "what goes around comes around" theory. Yeah, that one. And, you know, it just better because man, I've missed out on TONS of retaliation just because of that 5-letter word.

2. The price tag on the camera, lens and processing software I desire is amazingly huge!

3. The sky is cloudy with a threat of rain and wind and cold, so let's stay inside and have movie night! I'll make some nachos; you grab the blankets.

4. Silence is comforting to me.

5. I always thought I'd be a teacher... Okay, let me rephrase. I always thought I'd be an educator in the school system. I never realized that being a mom IS the greatest teacher a child could ever have.

6. Josh came in from football practice talking about the moon and wanted to grab his telescope. He went and then I went outside to look at the full moon with him.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to the Fort Worth Christian football game because Josh is in the half-time "Kick, Pass and Punt" contest (currently in first place!), tomorrow my plans include a t-ball game for Drew, a football game for Josh (which means I'm taking pictures) and Sunday, I want to take Drew to the Spooky Kooky Castle at the local park here in Keller, get my week planned, my Christmas notebook finished, my menu complete, my grocery list done, my Scout's next two meetings finalized and bake come cookies!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Five Question Friday

Rules for Five Question Friday: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then link up to My Little Life (below)!:

Questions for Friday, October 22: (Special thanks to Pam, Bethany [wowza, Bethany!! you came up with so many good ones, I had a hard time choosing!! Thank you!], Sandy, Katie, and [inspiration from] Wombat for their question suggestions! Do YOU want to be linked in a future 5QF? Do you have any burning questions? C'mon over to my community and offer them up!!)

1. Who is the better cook, you or your spouse? Certainly this is a joke, right? I am, hands-down, THE best cook in our home. Before we married Andy proclaimed he was able to make something (it's been so long that I don't even recall what exactly it was) but whatever "it" was, he has yet to make "it" and I don't think I'll ever see "it" regardless of what "it" is.

2. How often do you talk to your mom? Although we haven't always been terribly close, we are now (to a degree) and generally we speak every day. If not every day, at least every OTHER day.

3. Are you adventurous in the kitchen or stick to the recipe? It really depends on the recipe. If it's something I'm unfamiliar with and I'm TRYING a new recipe, I at least want to give the original a shot before I go tinkering with it. However, once I get something down, I have no problems adding or taking away as I see fit to make it "mine," so to speak. Other times, too, when I am being adventurous and I find that I'm missing an ingredient, I find it an opportune time to just make up whatever will work with what I have. I'm kinda McGuyver like that.

4. Is your second toe longer than your big toe? Nope. The "captain of the toes" is my big toe, not the first mate. (Only a true Seinfeld fan will even remotely understand that reference.)

5. Do you dress up for Halloween? (Bonus question: What will you be this year?) No. The last time I dressed up was when I was having a Halloween party for Josh. Plus, since I'm typically taking the kids around the neighborhood trick-or-treating, I see no reason to wear something costly, cumbersome or otherwise just for the purposes of escorting my children door to door begging for candy.

Don't get me wrong, I DO like the idea of dressing up but only if it's not at great expense. I see no reason to spend tons of money for the purposes of one night. Wait, isn't a wedding dress is the same type of thing. Oh, it's different, right? HA! Nope, SAME THING! I just can't stand how costly these cheaply made costumes are. It's ridiculous. I like the well-thought-out, homemade ones. Those are always the best!

We are invited every year to a costume party on the street but I have yet to make it for the simple fact that a) I don't own a costume and b) we've always had something going on. This year we don't have anything going on BUT since Ben won't go with anyone but me... can't really leave him here and I don't want to go to a costume party by myself.

Come join the fun each Friday at My Little Life

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 least

It was an okay day today. I have a lot of those... "at least..." type of statements which means that SOME progress was made in SOME parts of my life. Others, not so much. least I woke up on time to make some great toaster sandwiches for breakfast... even though the thick sliced bacon took ten minutes longer to cook than the regular ones. least I got most of the clothes done. There are 3 loads still needing to be finished and are in the floor but the mountains of piles of clothes (seriously, folks, there are MOUNTAINS of clothes everywhere!) are clean now instead of dirty. I'm in the process of moving Drew's 5's to the attic and moving IN the 6's. Josh is getting rid of his 10s and 12s and moving into 14s. Ben is moving out of his 0-6 months and into the 6-9 month clothing. least Ben was happy enough that I was able to get a shower...

... at least I made it to Hobby Lobby to get the cellophane wrap so that I can take the kids to school tomorrow and turn it into the auction committee and get it out of my hair. Unfortunately, we can't make the auction due to a football game but I hope our basket does well. It's a "Breakfast in Bed" theme and looks positively wonderful. least I got to school on time to pick up the kids even though there was already a line into the street even though I was there almost 25 minutes early.

I took our little carpooling friend home and then we went to the house. Josh started his homework and Drew started pestering JOsh. I tried and tried to get Ben to sleep. Finally about 4:30 p.m. he dozed off.

Our plans for the day? Leave about 5:15 p.m. with my neighbor across the street to take photos of all 4 boys at a great little location nearby and have dinner at Chipotle.

Well, we were planning on leaving to go take pictures around 5 to 5:15 p.m. but when I let Lola in and was petting her when I noticed an odd bump on her. Then another... and another. My dog was apparently attacked and bitten repeatedly by some insect and was having a bad allergic reaction to it. I called the vet that is right outside our neighborhood -- answering machine. So, I called the other one and they got me in immediately. The appointment time? 5pm.

I knew I was going to be fighting daylight to now get to the vet, get home, eat, and get to our photo location. They gave her a steroid shot and a shot of Benadryl. Poor dog. She was shaking and scared and in pain and uncomfortable. It was amazing how ... lumpy her legs and back and rear were from all these bites. So sad.

We load up, get home and meet up with my friend, Kelly. We drive to Chipotle and, unfortunately, the sun was JUST about perfect when we were there. Seriously, we were fighting daylight. We got to the location and you could just tell that the light was NOT going to wait for us. I was bummed. I hate wasting my time. I hate wasting other people's time.... but trying to put a positive spin on it... at least we got to spend some time with our favorite friends at one of our favorite eateries. And, at least she now knows a great place to go shoot some pictures.

I get home and help Josh with his vocabulary homework. He finishes up his math homework and goes upstairs to read and I come try to focus on little Ben. I really feel like between Josh's homework and Ben that Drew is getting a little bit of "the shaft" so I want to find some projects that are just me and Drew. I mean, Ben will obviously BE THERE but maybe while he's asleep or something. Hmm.. we'll have to see.

I guess the only way to end this one is ... at least it's night time and I can go to bed.

Monday, October 18, 2010


After the amazing photo shoot with Amanda at Mulberry Lane Studios, I didn't accomplish much else for the day (now there's a shocker). I did manage to get my weekly menu made and therefore my grocery list finalized. Since Captain Pampers was crashed, I just figured I'd go grocery shopping later in the afternoon or early in the evening.

Ben woke up from his nap and I nursed him. Andy was home but the Rangers / Yankees playoff game was on so I knew he really didn't want to be playing Mr. Mom so I thought -- you know, self, he is rested. He is fed. He is happy. Why not call my mother-in-law to see if she'd like to watch him since he'll be good for a while and the list is a short one that shouldn't take all that long. She was more than happy to. Into the car we piled.

I took Ben to my MIL's and immediately showed her the cute photos of Ben. I dropped his diaper bag at the door and then contemplated saying bye but opted to just leave while he was distracted so that he could just BE distracted and relax. I thought I'd be in and out of Wal-Mart in 30 minutes. MAYBE 45 if the lines were long so this will be a piece of cake no doubt! What a great chance for them to bond.

So, we leave (Josh and I). We arrive about 3 minutes later at Wal-Mart. Grab the buggy and head down the dairy aisle. No sooner do we grab a package of bacon and turn to head down the cereal aisle does my phone ring.

It's the call I dreaded.

It's her.

It's him.

He's in such a state of separation-anxiety-terror, he can't even catch his breath. Then I know, it's started. Separation anxiety hell.

I tell Josh our trip is over. Give a big sigh and push my nearly empty cart to the front of the store.

However, before we departed the cereal aisle, I did have enough mind to grab the boxes of the cereal that we needed before we made our way to the self-check out counter. I didn't want to wait on anyone. We load up and were immediately on the road.

We pull up and immediately disembark. Josh leans in and places his ear near the door to see if he could hear him. I wasn't even to the door yet and man alive you could hear him screaming from outside. I come in and rescue him from this terrible woman that wants nothing more than to love, hold, cuddle, feed, swaddle, snuggle and pamper! As if! How dare she!

Ben is crying so hard he simply can't calm down.

It was so sad...

It was sad for me because now I know that I won't have a sitter for a date night or a vacation with my hubs or a birthday meal or a shopping run or .... or anything until he realizes that his Mimi is A-OK and fun to be around.

It was sad for Ben because, well, he was so scared.

It was sad for my family because we had no food and have to eat cereal not only for dinner but also for breakfast tomorrow morning.

It is sad for my Mother in Law because she just wants so badly to have that little guy love and snuggle and want to be with her.

I am thankful, however, that she knows it's just a phase.

So, yes, it has begun. Separation anxiety. My little snuggle bug doesn't want to leave my side. I'm his "safe" place. I'm his. He's mine. Well, gee, when you put it that way it sure doesn't sound all that bad. I guess that I just have to be there to remind him to breathe!


Is that even a word? Well, regardless, who cares!

My day started off a little rocky. I was up early with a somewhat restless little man (makes for a long night). I got the homemade waffles made and plated, woke up the little men and went to feed the baby. I then made sure we had our belongings and they were out the door on time. Come in, get the little man back down and I dozed off (like I said, long night).

So, I wake up and get ready to take little guy to his 6 month photo shoot with the amazingly wonderful Amanda Dykan.

Put little mand in the floor of the playroom while I was loading the car. When I walked to get him, he'd craped... everywhere! Serious diaper blow-out! Only me.

So, quick change for him.

Wet the curls (gotta have the curls!) I then went to wash my hands. Running water. Geez, now I had to go! Ugh! I scoop him up and we're out the door. Almost. He kept turning his head to nurse. Great. I had to nurse him otherwise I'd have had a grumpy whiny, red eyed fussy baby. That does not a good picture make. Sit down to nurse and text Amanda that we'll get there soon!

And, thankfully we did. What do you think? These are the three she'd edited thus far.

Oh, and if you're wondering -- the hats -- her friend Paula makes and sells those! I you need one, let me know!

I bought two hats from her. One that resembles Elmo and has cute little braids that hang down the side and I bought the pumpkin hat for Ben. He's a little pumpkin farmer for Halloween (the costume I'd intended for him to wear really doesn't fit and I'm not about throwing $40 or so at a costume for an infant. Sorry, I'm just a little too practical for that. I know, I know. It's his first Halloween. Trust me, he'll make up for it later when he's wanting all the Star Wars stuff like Drew!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cold chicken

Today was an average day.

Josh had guitar practice before school which means that I had to leave by 7am (instead of the usual 7:30am) to get him there on time. Only today, I didn't just have Josh to contend with -- I had Drew because Andy had to take his car into the shop (yet again).

Drew is my kiddo that is hard to wake up. He has no problem waking up before everyone else, but wake him up before he is ready to get up and you're in for a battle. I'm generally concerned he's going to tumble down the stairs as he tends to just fall out of bed and stumble to the stairs in a half-awake stupor. I try to make sure I wake Joshua before Drew so that I can walk down the stairs with him and hold his hand -- just to be sure of him.

We carpool with a neighbor so she was gracious enough to agree to keep Drew from 7am to 7:30am when they were leaving for school while I took Joshua and then went to pick up Andy from the service department at the dealership and run him to work. Doing all this threw Ben's little schedule (and therefore my attempt at sanity) completely out of whack.

We get home and Ben, obviously, isn't tired since he's been sacked out in the car seat for our little errand filled morning. So, we play. We bounce in the Jump-a-Roo. We play under the play mat. We scootch around the floor in the playroom. We crumble up paper. We bang blocks. I lay on the floor next to him and start to doze off. He starts to whine. I am almost grateful as that means I can go get a nap too. Off to the bedroom. We nap until noon.

Whoops. I remember Andy saying something about wanting to go meet the boys for lunch at school and take my car for a car wash. Yeah, forget all that. It's noon. I jump up, feed Ben and grab a shower while he's in the bouncy chair smiling at me.

I remember the other three errands I needed to do: pick up a costume that had been Freecycled, drop off a check to my MOPS friend Taryn for some Butter Braid Bread and stop by the attorney's office to sign some papers. Then I thought of Andy and him not having a car so I called. "Have you eaten?" "Not yet." "Want me to come take you to lunch?" His office was on the same side of town as two of my errands so it was only convenient for me to think of him. I ran one errand and then picked us both up some Arby's. I love their Market Fresh Ham & Swiss sandwiches. It's made with mayo and spicy Dijon mustard along with green leave lettuce, purple onions and tomatoes (and obviously, ham and Swiss, duh). The bread is SO GOOD! I'm sure it's equally fattening but at this point, I'm okay with it. I was hungry. It was there. It was good.

So, I run my last two errands and soon the boys will be getting home from school. Ben has been in various states of sleep/awake during this journey. His day and nap schedule was all messed up. Poor kid.

The boys come home... we go through backpacks. We look at their Friday folders. We talk about their day. I start thinking toward dinner. Andy comes home. It's the first night of the playoffs with the Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees. First time in franchise history they've made it this far. Andy, obviously wants to watch the game. I had set out chicken to cook on the grill. Silly me.

He goes and get the chicken going. We raid the freezer for quick to prepare, steamable sides (brown rice, broccoli and a bag of mixed veggies--my favorite). I get our dinners plated up. We sit at the table. Ben is placed in his high chair and given an apple to chew on. I eat my broccoli. He starts to whine. I eat a few bites of my mixed veggies. He starts to fuss. I take one bite of rice. He starts to cry. I realize at that point... he's beyond saving. It's time. I push my plate up some and scoop up the little guy and head to the closet. It was bath time.

There are lots of books that suggest that you not heed to what the baby's want rather, you make them adapt to your schedule. While this may sound good -- in theory -- the reality is that it's really hard to enjoy your meal when your child who has had his whole schedule turned upside down with errands, having only one good nap, lots of noise and little else... wasn't going to make it pleasant for anyone at all. I appreciate the input of these so called "experts" but each child is different. Each little tummy is different. Everyone doesn't fit into the same utopian mold that they tend to think exists.

So, we run a bath, he splashes and plays and this lasts a good ten minutes. I hear water running in the kitchen. I know dinnertime is over for the boys and the clean-up has begun. I hope that they don't just assume I'm finished and clean my plate because I haven't made a trip to the store to get myself anything else to really snack on and fill up if my dinner is trashed.

I towel him off...
I watch his little smiles as the terrycloth tickles his legs and toes...
I diaper him... Size 3... Elmo is on the front...
I dress him in the cutest pair of fitted, snap up Gymboree jammies covered with earth toned jungle animals.
He starts the "mmmm.... mmmm.... mmmmm" noises that means he's needing something.
I carry him to the wall. Press the light switch. In a slight click, it is dark.
We lay on the bed... he is placed closer to "my" side so that if he were to roll.. he rolls into his co-sleeper. I prefer him next to me, however.
I pop in a "mute button" and his eyes immediately close as he turns to the right with his back facing me and falls asleep.
It happens that fast.
I lay there for about 15-20 minutes to make sure he's good and out and then get up to find the big boys in the playroom watching "The Game" and my dinner, now cold, still sitting where I left it.

I pick it up and head to the computer to read a few blog entries of my friends while I enjoy the few bites of dinner I had left.

Then it hit me... although it can be rather annoying that I'm generally the one who misses out on warm meals simply because I know these cues that my babies exhibit. It's a blessing and a gift that God has given me to know these cues.

When you know that you're able to recognize these signals and KNOW what they mean you've evolved. Even though, sometimes you have to realize, you'll be eating cold chicken for dinner.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Five Question Friday

Rules for Five Question Friday: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then link up to My Little Life (below)!:

Questions for Friday, October 15th: (Special thanks to Jill, Twitter inspiration from Kate,Bethany, Dianne [no blog], and one from the handy deck of random question cards, for their question suggestions! If YOU would like to be linked in a future 5QF, c'mon over to my community and offer up your best question suggestions!)

1. What is your favorite Halloween candy? I think I've spoke before about how it seems each major holiday seems to have its own candy stamp in my brain. Christmas has the taffy-like peppermints that have the little Christmas tree in the middle and burgundy stripes around the edges. Valentine's Day -- box of hearts! Easter - Cadbury eggs. Halloween -- Brach's melocreme pumpkins. They're candy corn flavored pumpkins. I love 'em. I don't typically have a problem with walking by the Halloween candy bucket without grabbing something. I tend to go after the "candy" and Andy goes after the chocolate. His favorite -- Snickers.

2. Do you fold your socks? As a matter of fact, no, I don't. I DO match and ball up the boy's socks. I got sick of so many orphaned socks in their drawers, I won't even send a pair up to their rooms to be put away if it hasn't a mate. I keep a plastic "orphaned sock box" on the laundry room counter. It's overflowing.

3. What is something that you wish you had been warned about? Hmmm... depends on when in my life. I mean, I wish I'd been warned about a lot of things but then if you think about it -- if you'd been warned, you'd have changed something and then life wouldn't have been the way it is now. It all kind of works out in the wash. Yes, I over-think things. :)

4. What is the most significant difference between you and your significant other? He has a penis and I do not. Bwa ha ha ha... OK. Sorry.... It's really funny as I'm NOT a grudge holder and don't feel the need to get even with people because I figure they have to answer to God just like I do but he can and does -- both. However, when it comes to disciplining the boys, he has been given a graceful touch. He is level headed and calm and lets them know they're still loved.... talks about what they've done, etc. I just tell them I'm ready to sell them to the gypsies and to leave the room before I beat them to death and tell God they died. :)

5. What are three words you would use to describe yourself? (And, just for fun...if your significant other is around, ask him/her what 3 words they would use to describe you!!)
Me - busy. I'm always doing something. I find it hard to sit and be idle. Caring - I go out of my way to care for others' needs and wants. I care for my children. I care for the children in my care. I care for the animals, the environment, the teachers at the school. I care. Goofy -- I'm just a dork. LOL. There's no way around it. I'm a big goof ball.

I will edit with the Mr.'s answers when I get them from him.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Most Important Meal of the Day

I'm a cook. It's one of the things I really enjoy doing. I love to select the fresh ingredients. I love pouring over recipe sites, cook books or just experimenting on my own to create the perfect dish. I like creating a repertoire of menu items that I can duplicate without thought to feed my hungry brood. I have, however, struggled with breakfast. You know, breakfast -- the most important meal of the day. That's what they say, isn't it? Whoever they are, they say that. So, with that bit of knowledge I take that as my challenge to create delicious, healthy, savory and sweet meals for breakfast since it's so important.

I have several dishes in my rotation. Drew's favorites are generally bread based -- my little carb lover. He enjoys things like homemade waffles (we don't buy Eggo's here), pancakes (again, homemade), and French toast (to die for!) Josh enjoys a variety of breakfast items and generally never complains about anything. He likes biscuits with gravy (homemade, of course), bird's nest (toast with fried egg in the center), any kind of my assortment of breakfast sandwiches and, well, generally anything egg based. The child loves eggs.

Andy, he's so wonderful and is always just thankful and gracious to have a breakfast plate prepared for him...whatever it is. I don't know for sure what he really likes best. Perhaps I should ask. I know he likes omelets but I truly suck at those so I don't even try. Burned eggs stink. And frankly, aren't omelets just like an open-faced, smothered and covered dish of scrambled eggs. The only difference is that they're not in a cute little wrapped up little egg burrito. I'd feel bad wasting those chickens' hard work on burned omelets.

I don't suppose I have a favorite breakfast meal either. I mean, I enjoy breakfast but I'm fond of simple things like plain waffles topped with warm berries (because when you nuke them to defrost them (I buy the frozen combo bag) they create this delicious natural syrup so you don't need any maple syrup on it at all (less calories! Bonus!)) I like really GOOD granola and plain vanilla no-fat yogurt topped with a sliced banana. I crave strawberry-banana smoothies (no fat here either!) and I love the sugar-free Carnation Instant Breakfast chocolate shake mixes...and toast. Toast. Toooooast.

Other dishes in the rotation are more simple, others are a tad more complex. Regardless the skill level, I look forward and take time each Sunday to plan out what we'll be having so that I'm prepared.

Rarely do I ever use any kind of pre-packaged, canned items because after starting to read labels, it's scary all the "stuff" they put into our foods that we just blindly consume. Have you ever SEEN the labels of your food? Can you even pronounce half that crap? Yeah, me either!

However, items like cinnamon rolls are still canned because I haven't figured out how to make them in advance so that we can still enjoy them hot and fresh and me NOT have to get up at 3am to make them (so they have time to rise). If you HAVE a recipe that is freezeable or even make-ahead and store in the refrigerator, do let me know!

I also make a mean Aztec quiche. This is a new one to the rotation as Andy told me he didn't eat quiche. Actually I think he didn't want to eat anything that was named "quiche" but trust me, he eats it! Can you be a manly man and still enjoy quiche? I guess that's the question of the day.

Generally speaking I try to make a hot breakfast at least 5 days a week. Since school started, however, Fridays are cold cereal days because Josh has to leave for school at 7am (guitar lessons) which means madness for me if I had to prepare a hot breakfast and get people down to eat it while it was still hot. I think I may, however, start making breakfast in the crock pot the night before so that we may have a hot breakfast on Fridays, too.

Saturdays here are usually home cooked and we're in a (horrible) tradition of buying donuts on Sundays. I think I'm going to change that rule and have us only buy donuts two weekend a month. They're hell on my diet! Seriously! Ungh!

The funny thing, however, is how seriously I take my "job" as a mom and provider of morning fuel and nutrition for my boys... when I can't ever remember eating breakfast as a kid during the week (unless I was at my grandma's.) If I had stayed the night at Mawmaw's she'd wake me up and what I wanted for breakfast. I'd answer, "I don't know," and she'd reply, "Well, I'm all out of that." It was a silly little breakfast banter we did just about every day. However, the conversation usually resulted in either biscuits and gravy with Jimmy Dean sausage, or "belly button" (over-easy) eggs and toast.

So, at Mawmaw's we ate breakfast but during the week at my house we just slept as long as possible. However, Saturdays mom went ALL out at breakfast. We had fried potatoes, eggs, bacon, toast -- the works. During the week -- not so much.

I just think of how many things have changed since I was a child. I don't ever recall hearing how important it was to feed your kids breakfast before school. I don't even know if any of my friends had breakfast either. I'm sure some did but I know lots that don't.

I remember a few times eating breakfast AT school and how cool I thought that was. I loved school but I hated going to school early and going into the cafeteria to wait at the red and blue tables for the bell to ring... and having to suffer... sitting there... smelling the toast they'd made. Oh the glorious toast they had at Townley Elementary! Perfectly crisp on both sides, thick and buttery. They had great toast. Great toast. Toast is one of those childhood memories that I hold very near and dear to my heart...

Toast? Yes, toast. That simple act of baking a slice of bread... and sharing it with someone you love just takes me back...back to my MawMaw's kitchen table (my dad's mom and my favorite grandma). Lots of times at night, before bed when she needed to take some medication, she'd take one of her round silver cake pans and she'd slice a roll or two and toast them in the oven for the both of us. If we didn't have rolls, we'd even used hot dog buns.... any kind of bread toasts up just fine. Simplicity at its finest. We'd have a small glass of milk and a nice piece of toast slathered with real butter -- none of that sissy stuff! We'd share some great conversation. I'm sure it was full of the most important topics of the day. It was a great memory and a great tradition I shared with her. I loved that one on one time with her.

The other day I got to share this memory with my boys... about how I love toast. Monday morning was a little chilly so I made some oatmeal for the boys for breakfast. I had sliced up some fresh strawberries and had those in little bowls next to their oatmeal. As they found their way to the table, I was bringing them some toast. Josh received the first two slices from our four-slot toaster. He likes his bread buttered, just like me. Drew is a little different -- he's not a fan of butter. His toast he eats dry. (Yuck!) Since Drew only wanted one slice I was left with the dilemma -- do I let this piece get cold, butter it and wait for Andy to come down or heck, should I eat it? I chose the only knowledgeable thing to do of course -- I ate it! I smeared a little pat of butter on the toast and then took one crunchy bite and instantly was taken back to my grandmother's oval cherry-wood kitchen table that was covered with some seasonal vinyl table cloth that had been purchased at K-Mart or Gibson's.

It was then that I professed to my children that, "I love toast." Then, I shared with them why. They both just smiled and took it in.

I hope they are building some kind of fond memories from the kitchen with their grandmothers... even if it's not over breakfast... but over some other meal. I think when you're creating a tradition and a memory with your children and/or grandchildren THAT BECOMES the most important meal of the day. Don't you agree?