Friday, April 30, 2010

Here's to hoping for big big winds

Yeah- that's my tree......................
And yeah, that's a baseball mitt....................
and a helmet.

What's it to ya?

Miss Emily Sue

I think that if I were introducing my emily to someone, these are the pictures I would use.  She is gentle (unless preterbed and then she can be a little fire ball), patient, independent and puts every little ounce of her being into everything she does.

And this is a very big week for her.  Not only is today the big Q & U wedding (the letters Mary- get it, q and u are always together so they are getting hitched?) but it is also her big day in the readers chair.

Don't even think she has not taken this VERY seriously.
Everyone in this house has heard her read this book- more than once.
In fact, anyone who would sit still has heard her read this book- including the frog that is in that box.

And I am positive she will knock it out of the park.  And you better believe that every single one of her classmates better be paying full attention and look at every single picture.
Or Emily will get onto you- I speak from experience.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What's a mother to do?

I am in need of help.

No, I don't need you to confirm if M&M's and chocolate milk are an acceptable breakfast or not.  I already know the answer to that one.  And it's not what color wine to serve with pork- cause we all know I'm not a wine snob and with Dan on nights, you already know we're over here eating pizza rolls (which can accomodate red or white by the way).  It's other important parenting issues.  (names have been omitted to protect the innocent).

I have consulted my parenting book- What to expect the Toddler Years- and it doesn't address anything that is of any importance in this home anymore like poor attitudes, laziness, bad choices, and peeing all over the neighborhood.  So I am throwing it here.  Take my little quiz- will ya please?

1.  Let's say your 10 year old girl child chased down your 4 year old boy child and sprayed him with perfume because he wouldn't get out of her room (and she did warn him ahead of time that this was her next plan of action- just for the record).  Would you:
a. Tell son to listen better next time, after all he was warned.
b. Immediately take all bottles of perfume and chuck them in the trash while trying to act like you are a calm rational adult while muttering things like 'responsibility' and 'potential blindness'.
c. Explain there are consequences to actions and she will now loose her treasured perfumes for a period of time.
d. Scream at them from the sofa while eating bon bons.

2. Now- pretend your 6 year old girl child has gotten into kindergarten trouble (aka- loosing a sacred cube) this week for arguing loudly (kind of like screaming) at another student.  Then, same week, said child got into a horrible anger fit at a neighbors home with another child.  And then last night you witnessed her trying to kick another child for 'stealing' the basketball in a game and then she burst into a screaming anger fit while flailing all over the house just trying to explain why she was angry.  Would you:
a.  Realize she is having significant issues controlling her emotions and give her an alternate way to express them.
b.  Send all children home and ground her little behind for weeks on end.
c.  Send her to her room until she has regained composure.
d.  Scream at her from the sofa while eating bon bons.

3. Your 10 year old daughter, who has expressed displeasement (and by expressed displeasement I mean cried and yelled each and every week since October) with having to take piano lessons.  Her teacher, who is a kind and gentle, loving woman, has tried to encourage you to stick with it and 'be the mom' and 'give her this gift'.  And you have.  Until this week.  This week it all piled up a little too deep and so you asked said teacher if your child could take a little vacation for 4-6 weeks from lessons- meanwhile the teacher would still be compensated for holding the spot for her return.  Teacher, who is always so kind and gentle, gets a little preturbed and says she can't understand this 'vacation'- her mother was strong and would not have allowed that.  But she finally gives in to a four week break- but is outwardly displeased.  Then- your child comes out of the home after her lesson crying because 'Mrs. Piano Teacher was so mean today.  She just kept counting faster and faster and faster and wouldn't explain my questions or listen.  She was angry'.  (Typically you stay inside during the lesson to listen- but your husband works nights now and your two other children are kind of loud so you play in the driveway with them instead or take a while until the lesson is over) Would you:
a. Explain to your child that even adults can be big giant babies and she'll get over it.
b. Confront Mrs. Piano Teacher and tell her she acted like a big giant baby and return to lessons in 4 weeks as planned.
c.  Quit piano lessons all together- obviously your child doesn't want to do it so who cares anyway?  Spend weekly saved piano lesson cash on fancy martini's.
d.  Scream at her from the sofa while eating bon bons.

4.  Let's just say you have a pre-teen girl who is around 10 and she is showing less than, well, any desire to do her household responsibilities.  Frankly, you are tired of asking her to put her clothes IN the clothes basket, close her dresser drawers, load her dirty dishes into the washer, put away her clean laundry and make her bed.  On most given days you are so worn that you just do it because it takes far less energy than having yet another conversation with her about it.  But you constantly are picturing her in your head as an adult, with you still going to her home to do her work for her or her featured on the show Hoarders.  You are even still having to remind her about personal hygiene issues like deodorant and teeth brushing.  Something has to change.  Do you:
a. Continue on- knowing that someday she will begin to do it for herself
b. Pack up every single thing the kid owns leaving her with 3 pants and 3 shirts and explain she will earn back her stuff as she shows responsibility.
c. Make a chart and encourage her to fend for herself and offer a reward (cash works nicely- tie it in with allowance?) for following through.
d.  Scream like a lunatic while saying things like 'slob' and 'lazy' until both of you end up in tears.
e.  Just sit on the sofa and eat bon bons until your mom arrives to tidy your home.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I'm on to them..........

I don't want to spoil it for everyone- but I think the truth needs to be heard.

Since we have embarked upon this super softball mania that is having three kids playing the same dag gone the exact same two different areas of town...............with just one mother to get everyone everywhere, I have discovered a few things that I think everyone should be aware of.

1.  There is not a Starbucks between my house and either softball field- nor do they serve it at the ball diamonds.

2. The only pizzaria in the little hole of Fortville is for carry out only............which translates don't 'plan ahead' by leaving early thinking you can make your night easier by stopping and sharing a pizza with your kids because you will get robbed and have to eat dinner at the other restaurant in said town- the dairy queen.  Although their ice cream rocks- I'm no fan of their dinner selection.  Apparently I am going to have to actually feed them dinner prior to leaving the house.

3.  When you sign up and you are told 'all you need to provide is a glove' what they actually mean is but every child will be wearing cleats, buy your own helmet cause you don't want lice- but buy the expensive face guard too because it's required, batting gloves really do help, probably aught to get a bat unless you want them to actually use the one provided by the team (and no one apparently does that)- oh- and get three different ones since all of your kids are different ages, and be sure to tank up the old car every other day because your practices are all over the city and each child has two a week.  Be sure to put all your items in a fancy bat bag too, just like all the other kids. Oh- and sliding pants- apparently the older kids need sliding pants.  Just a glove my behind.

4.  Other mothers will bring team snacks like apples and water.  They will give you bad looks and scoot away from you on the bleachers when you even think about making cookies that look like softballs.  They will not even care that you actually homemade them- that is still apparently not considered a healthy snack.  Whatev.

5.  Even though it is a ball game, at a ball field, Little League apparently does not endorse the beer people who come to the stands.  And, brace yourself for this, they don't even sell it at the concession stand.  Forget the tupperware fundraisers (which- again why are we raising funds when I wrote you dang near a mortgage payment last month and all of the coaches are volunteers????)- start a martini cart behind the concession stand.  We could earn enough to fund a small nation, if I were guessing.  We could even serve them in coffee cups so that no one would be the wiser.  Think outside the box baseball people, think!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ode to Ikea...............

Ikea, Ikea, how I am in love with you.........
and my new $3 corkscrew.

You make the most fabulous cheap tupperware.........
and didn't even judge me when I didn't do my hair.

My love of your lamps is nothing that passes quickly.........
your lines are trendy and your cactuses prickly.

Cheap plastic furniture is all of the rave...........
throw in a magnetic kitchen gadget and my heart begins to cave.

It does not matter that I can not pronounce your provocative sweedish names..........
for all your cheap ikea picture frames.

Language is no barrier, you speak to my heart.........
your style, your lines- your toilet brush art.

Eco bathrooms, cheap breakfast, recycling bins galore.........
I'm nothing if not an ikea whore  woman.

I could live on your sofas, nourish my soul with your blinds............
you give and give and give to me, Ikea you are so kind.

Only space separates us, only miles between the time.........
when I can walk back in your doors- until then I will see you online.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I will see the good...........

I had an experience at work last week that made me realize that I am absolutely the worst judge of character.  I am not good at picking out good people.  I trust.  I believe.  I see the good.  When it does not always come forward, I realize that I suck at reading people.  Really bad.

I promised myself that day that I would no longer trust that people are good.  And I won't trust my judgement when it comes to picking out sincerely good people. Trust no one- my new motto.

Today- after my second trip to Meijer for yet more mulch- I was anxious to get home and get it spread before the rain came.  While loading it, I noticed one more bag of big path chunks I needed.  So I loaded it up with the stuff I had already paid for.

When I drove back around to the nursery area, there were like 14 people in line.  My back was aching, my feet were tired and for crying out loud, I had already waited in that line- twice- today.

So I ran up to the next person in line and I extended $3 to her and asked that she throw another bag of path mulch on her order and she could keep the change.  Win Win- right?  She gave me the meanest smile- looked me right in my eyes- shook her head no and then said it too.  She was a mean woman. 

I cried.

She must have encountered so many people who have ripped her off, wronged her and lied that she trusts no one- and for her I hate that because it must be an aweful way to live.  Just aweful.  We live in such a fallen world.  I hate our stupid, non trusting, mean spirited fallen world sometimes.

Either that or I looked like a maniac sweaty mess of a woman who was running around waving dollar bills.  Either way- why be a big meanie?

I cried the entire time I was spreading all that stupid mulch.  What a mean woman.  I wanted to flip her off.  I really did.  But instead, I have tried to pray for her.  (I prayed that she'd feel bad for making me feel bad-just being honest)

Fallen world.  Stupid fallen world.

I decided today that I will still trust people to be good.  That is not a flaw in my character.  And I can not possibly live a life like that old bat at Meijer- I just can't.

Steal my purse, hack into my bank account, door knock my car in the parking lot.  I still believe people are fundamentally good.  I really do.

Tomorrow- no church (again) for me- we are heading to Grandma & Grandpa's, dropping the kids and Dan and Mamaw, me and possibly Ally are heading to IKEA!  Yeah IKEA! Yeah Me!  Speaking of being fundamentally good- I sure hope God isn't taking attendance at church- we've been huge slackers lately!

We still got your back God!  Even if we have it at IKEA! 

Friday, April 23, 2010

I am woman- hear me roar.........................or completely loose it- whatever

So for whatever strange reason we had NOTHING on the old calendar yesterday.

No t-ball, softball, rehearsal, lesson, no nothing.  It was A to the WESOME!

We completely stayed home last night.  As the kids were playing outside, I decided it was the perfect time to mow the grass.  If you saw the picture last week, you can imagine how it looked now once that sea of yellow dandelions had transformed into white 'blowies'.


So I run my bad self out to the barn to get out the old lawn mower.  Done it before, no biggie.  For fear of tipping in over on top of myself, I am not willing to start it and drive it out of the barn.  So I always just pull it down the ramp into the yard.  I'm like freakin' sheera man.

Only last night, the dag gone thing was like locked or something.  The wheels would.not.turn.  After cussing around with the stupid thing for a while I decide to go pester my neighbor and see if they would be willing to help me get it out.  I'm way to stubborn to abort this mowing mission.

So I run next door and as the words exit my mouth to my 19 year old neighbor boy, I could hear the shakiness in my voice.  Before I completed my entire sentence to him, I kid you not, I was sobbing.  It wasn't my plan.  Nor my intention.  But it just happened.

He looked like he had been struck by lightening.  Terrified.  And his momma, my good friend and neighbor, just stood there staring at me like I was the freak of the week.

As I wiped tears and apologized profusely all the while trying to answer my interupting children and continue to explain my plea for help- she began to smile the sweetest smile, almost like she knew.

Regardless, my breakdown must have worked because Ryan hightailed it to my barn and within seconds he had successfully backed the tractor out without rolling it over onto himself and I was ready for action.

See- I mow alone.  A L O N E.  I am a one man band.  Daddy is the one who is willing to pack around children to help him steer.  Not me.  Scares me.  Also creaps into my 'me' thinkin' time.  But since I was trying to do this mowing thing while supervising the children too- I gave in and let Sam aboard.

It was a pretty evening- my neighbors all seemed to be out on their front porches.  Lucky me.

Sam and I tear off into the yard and instantly it is like a tornado of blowies.  It looked like it was snowing.  I kid not.  We were batting them off of our faces and choking to death on them- all the while trying to continue mowing down our forest of weeds.

That's when the mower started sputtering, just as we drove down off the curb into the court.  And there, right in the middle of the street- with all the neighbors watching our dag gone traveling circus- the mower ran out of gas.

With my mad skilz, I was able to refuel and whip out the rest of the yard while only inhaling a small portion of white seedlings and in just under an hour and a half our yard was mowed (and the plastic sand shovel was blown to bits- how many times can one possibly tell the children to put their toys back in the sandbox!)

And just think about all of the planting we were able accomplish- just imagine all of the beautiful yellow flowers we shared with the neighborhood once those 30,000 little puppies became airborn!

I would not be the least bit surprised if one of our neighbors puts our house up for sale. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

And the two shall become one..............until one gets put on nights and is never home again

There is this tree in our neighborhood.  Any other time of the year, it looks like one tree.  But during the Spring, it becomes obvious that it is two trees planted really really close together.

Half blooms pink, half blooms white.  It is something I look forward to seeing every year.  It is so pretty to me.

It reminds me of marriage.  At a glance, you appear to be one- but if you look closely you can still see the differences.  Clearly each of these trees has its own root system, nourishes itself- but from the same soil as the other.  And they depend on each other, they lean on each other and grow together.  They soak up the same sunshine, and weather the same wind and storms.  Together, but still two trees.

With Dan gone all of the time now, I feel like I have lost half of my tree- like I have nothing left to lean on and I am holding myself up all alone.  When he's home in the morning he's sleeping.  When he's awake I'm at work.  When I get home he leaves.  I don't think I have ever in my entire life felt so very alone.  I want to be strong- especially for him and the kids- but it really is wearing on me.  And this morning I just had to dump it out here, my virtual lawn of sorts.

We are still one unit- we are still strong.  Half of us has just been transplanted to the other side of the city for a while, that's all.  (Thank you God that he still has a job.........any chance you could move him back to a more normal shift?)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Necessity is the mother of invention..................

As I looked out on the back deck this morning, this is what I saw.

Instantly I worried about his focus.  He must have been in the middle of peeing in the back yard (which is not all that uncommon apparently) and decided to blow some bubbles.  How on earth is this child going to be able to function in life if he has the attention span of a fruit fly?

What actually happened was he ran out of bubble soap, so he decided to pee in it to make more.
At least I can rest easy now that he might be able to grow into a fully functioning adult.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hooked on Emily

Big things are happening in this little girls world.


She has learned that when you put letters together, they become words.  And she is spending ALL of her spare time learning to read and write them.  It won't be long before she'll be starting her own blog.  I'm just guessing.

I have no idea how teachers do this.............but I am grateful they do.  Because there is no way on earth I could try and explain or teach something like this to someone as little as Emily and her gang.

(irritates- in case you were wondering)

She got to write a sentence about anything.  Anything at all.  Just had to describe how something made her feel.  Happy, sad, excited, confused.  Poor Emi with that irritating brother Sam.

In other exciting Kindergarten news- there is a wedding coming up.

I sent in some cash for the wedding cake.

Hope for good weather for good old Mr. and Mrs. Qu.

I better go wake the sleeping chitlins.  Today is Allyson's Pioneer Day (which in turn has nothing to do with the pioneer woman and all that fabulous butter she uses in her recipes) and Emily has a field trip.  Big day for these little people!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Branson, part deux..............

When we last left our vacationing family, they had just finished up a duck boat ride.

And then life got all up in my grill and I have not felt the urge to finish up our vacation story.

So today- I decided I better get the rest of our vacation photos on here.........I mean I know you are just dyin' to know the rest.................hello?...............hello?.....................well- you are getting them anyhow.
Branson is like the Orlando of the midwest, without the super cool mouse.  And the ocean. Regardless.  Every hotel, gas station, shop, restaurant and corner has racks and racks and racks of brochures about stuff to do.  Personally, I loved the racks as the kids felt like they were actually getting something.  Every rack- 'can we get some mom?'  And when I would say yes- it was like they hit the lottery.  Me too, like the free make your kids happy lottery.

Until they would look at the brochures and ask to do it all.  Which is not possible in 3 days or on our budget.

But we did get to do some pretty cool stuff.

There is this place (oh- if only we had found it sooner- they had fabulous shopping and phenomenal restaurants).  I forget what it is called, but it was awesome.  And every hour, they have this fountain show set to music.  We never did catch the actual show, but the regular fountain display was pretty cool.  And none of my children fell in the fountain.  bonus points.

It was like a large outdoor mall with hotels and restaurants.  Sam was happy to find a Ride Makerz.  Grandma had sent him with some cash for a souvenir- and this was what he wanted to do!
We got to spend an entire afternoon checking out the 5 super awesome go cart tracks.
We had only planned to do one- but Emily and Dan managed to get creamed by another car which ended with Emily crying and her back hurting her pretty badly.  The manager felt so bad that he gave us 10 more ride tickets.  Good parents would have said 'this is dangerous, we aren't doing it anymore'- but Dan and I decided to let the kids decide so we went to another track and burned em up dude! (Thanks Emily?)

Us girls decided to take an hour for ourselves and get pedicures (and the girls got manicures too).  I must admit- it was so much fun to do something so girly and to see them get pampered.
The girls even got little flowers with diamonds painted on their nails.  Faaaaanceeeee!
That night- out for a show.  We chose a variety show with comedy, juggling, magic, and vantriliquism.  We all thought it was awesome.  Except Sam.  He managed to fall sound asleep on my lap less than half way through.  Which made the show even better for me, getting to snuggle him up for almost an hour.
The worlds largest bango (with Allyson juggling in front of it).
Emily could not wait to see this thing.  She is so funny.  Just for good measure, I snapped a picture of this huge violin as well.
Our last night, we switched hotels and moved to one with an indoor water park.  Major good decision, it was a blast.
The kids favorite part was the lazy river.  Let me tell you, there is nothing lazy about that river when you are swimming your heart out for 126 laps trying to keep up with small children so they won't drown.  No floating around on a tube here- they liked running in the water with the current- which meant I was swimming violently behind them with my knees scraping the bottom of the pool.  I must admit- we had a great time, I just wish I could have kept some skin on the tops of my knees.

Of course, I didn't care so much about that discomfort once I managed to wipe out inside of a water slide and bang my head (major goose egg) and smash my knee into the wall.  I kid you not- I was crying like a baby it hurt so bad.  Good news, apparently no major damage to my knee as I can almost not feel the pain anymore.

We ended up in Branson on a time share tour deal.  It was a win win.  We couldn't decide where to go, they offered us a REALLY good deal that included accomodations.  We had to attend a three hour painful process 90 minute tour- but who cares right.

We were there on their dime- and they booked all our accomodations for us.

Accomodations at a hotel we probably wouldn't have picked, but was clean and newly renovated.

I would have taken a picture of our room, but there wasn't room for my camera with all five of us in there.

I kid you not, I have never seen a hotel room so so so small.  You had to stand on the toilet to shut the bathroom door.

And we had to scootch the bed to make room for sam's twin size airmattress.

And we left our luggage in the hallway.

I'm just kidding about the luggage- but we considered it.

The beds were even little.  I  fell out of it one night.  Sound asleep- rolled right out of bed, hit my head on the side table and banged into the kids bed on my way down.  Fortunantly I didn't wake anyone up.  I just laid there until I regained conciousness and everything quit being fuzzy and drug myself back into that tiny bed.

So when we moved our last night to the 'new' hotel, it was like we were in paradise.  The kids had their own room with bunk beds- the window didn't look out onto a giant concrete retaining wall- you could take a shower without touching the toilet- there was room to consume pizzas in our room, at an actual table, after playing in the water all day- we could spread out and relax. 

And we did.

Our last morning- back to that great outdoor mall.  We got to ride this great trolly thing and hang out for a while as Dan went to that big fishing hunting store I can't remember the name of.

The kids in a hurricane simulator.  They probably don't have these in Florida.
And our last stop- a big old fashioned candy store.  I let each of the kids pick out a really small amount of candy (you can kind of see their bags in this way too overexposed picture).  The lady told me my total was over $12.  I laughed, outloud.  She was not kidding.  Holy cow.

So Branson was fun.  We probably won't go back there though.  One trip was good.  Two- eh. Unless that silver dollar city amusement park thing were to be open on a return visit.  That might convince me to go back.  And next time, we're going to that dolly parton dinner show where they ride the horses.  So maybe we will go back.......someday.  Most generally, we attend a dinner show every night anyway- we don't have to go on vacation for that.  My kids are not at all calm or quiet at the dinner table, if you catch my drift.  And if we try to eat out in an actual restaurant, well then we are like a traveling show and could probably charge admission.  I'll just leave that alone right there.  

The kids actually loved it in Branson.  A bit too commercial for me, too much to do

I'm more of a lay at the pool kind of gal.  If only I had more of a lay at the pool kind of body.

I'll spare you the photo.