Monday, March 31, 2008

My Baby Boy

My baby, Rhett, is growing up too fast. He's going to be 11 months old in a few days. That's only a month away from a year old! I can't imagine how he's that old already. Knowing that he's our last baby makes it even harder. I don't know what makes me the saddest - Rhett turning a year old or Avery turning 5. They are having a "combo" birthday party in May and I'm just positive I'll spend the entire time crying my eyes out. At any rate, I'm in a mood over my baby boy getting so big...I thought I'd share a few pictures of his latest "bigness!"

Look at him...he has friends.

He is standing up by only lasts a few seconds, but he's well on his way to walking. (sob)

Here he is after finding his sister's Rice Krispie treat. He loves it when his sisters leave their treats lying around.

He'll eat grass if he can't find anything yummier...he's not picky.

He's growing up, but he'll never be too big to snuggle with his Mommy. (Ok, maybe when he's 15 he'll be too big, but I'm not going to think about that now.)

Friday, March 28, 2008

New Patio

We just had 180 sq. feet of concrete added to our existing "patio." The builders called it a patio, when in truth, it was a 10x10 slab. It felt like we were packed in like sardines when we tried to sit out there on the patio furniture. The cooker was on there too and if Aaron was cooking out, you'd be sweating profusely, worried your hair, eyelashes or eyebrows were about to be singed off. No fun. So we extended it. I love having the extra's amazing what two slabs put together does to make it feel like a real patio. Is it weird that this is my very favorite part of the whole thing?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Video? Can I do it?

I'm testing something here. I just figured out how to shoot video using my digital camera. It seems to be downloading ok, so I thought I'd share this with you. I hope you don't think I'm too mean for filming my sleepy boy, but before I got the camera, he was eating with his eyes closed. He would NOT give up the Cheerios for anything. It was precious. I was able to catch the tail end of it, but he was pretty sleepy by then and beginning to choose sleep over food! I'm using this as my test video.

Ok, so I couldn't get it to work. Not sure if it's my computer, this website, or just me. At any rate, I know my sister and my mom would love this, so if you are one of them or just someone who has some time on their hands, I put it on's the address:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What a Day!

I had some cute little pictures of Rhett I was going to post this morning, but when I tried to log in, I realized my internet was down. Normally, this would send me into a frenzy of phone calls to husband, internet provider and any friend who might be trying to send me at email right this second and was wondering why I hadn't responded for so long! But today wasn't like most days. I was so busy, I didn't really have a chance to even worry much about the computer. I decided that, since I had such a crazy (not bad crazy, just crazy) day, I'd make you read a play-by-play of it. If you decide to stop reading now, I'll understand. I just like to vent...and make my day sound busier and more important than anyone else's, so bear with me.

7:00 - Get out of bed. Finally. Alarm has been going off since 6:00 because I was supposed to run 3 miles. Didn't feel like it. I'll run tonight.

7:00-7:45 - Sort laundry, drink Spark, and enjoy the quiet. Check email and plan today's blog.

7:45 - Reese gets up. Get her juice, get Avery's clothes for school (Don't forget belt...she HAS to wear a belt today!) and dress Reese. Fix breakfast for the girls and go try to wake Avery.

7:50 - Avery's not budging, so I wake Rhett. He's always ready to get up if it means food is waiting for him.

8:03 - Avery gets up. I dress Rhett, fix Avery juice, and give her her breakfast. Remember she needs a lunch. (Last week was Spring Break and I'm out of the groove.) Still haven't fixed Rhett anything.

8:10 - Give Rhett a bottle because it's not looking good for bananas and cereal, as we have to leave in 20 minutes and Avery still isn't dressed and her hair needs to be fixed.

8:15 - Realize I'm not even dressed yet. Fix a quick bowl of oatmeal and eat it while washing face, fixing hair and getting dressed. Babysitting for a friend today, so no need to look good (as I would ordinarily look fabulous. Avery's teacher probably thinks we're homeless, the way I go up there sometimes.)

8:30 - Begin yelling at Avery to move it...fix her hair, throw Rhett and Reese in car seats, come back in and find shoes for everyone. Friend calls to make sure I'm still babysitting today and wants to know where to park her car. Remember that cement guys are coming today to extend our patio...have to move car and trash cans.

8:45 - On the road to school. Reese and Avery are fighting, but everyone is dressed and buckled. Look in the rearview and realize Avery has syrup and pancakes all over her face. Dangit. Forgot to brush her teeth. Again. Find spare wipes under the seat and clean her face.

9:15 - Back home again. Pull up front to see friend and three children waiting for us. She brings the kids in. (These aren't her kids...she keeps them in her home every day. There are two two-year-old boys and a 4 month old girl.)

9:30 - Panicked. My friend has just gone over the instructions for keeping the three kids. The two boys? No biggie. The sweet baby girl? Just diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and on medication that has to be given. I must open capsule, and pour into half a teaspoon of applesauce every feeding. Friend says this is no biggie, she does it several times a day and besides, it's all written down, so what could possibly go wrong?

9:35-10-ish - Relatively quiet. Toddlers are outside playing and baby is sleeping. Cement guys show up, so I have to bring kids in. I cheerfully take glasses of water to the cement guys and offer them anything they need while they are out there.

10:05 - Baby wakes up. Supposed to have bottle at 10:30, so I guess it's a good time for medicine. Gulp.

10:10 - Baby is screaming. Mouth is full of applesauce and water...she will not swallow. Some of the medicine didn't stick to the applesauce and thus, fell off the spoon. I am busy finding every single granule that fell off the applesauce, fearing that I have done something so horribly wrong and that I should call my friend to have her come get the baby. Taking care of a baby who is sick is a big responsibility and I fear I have just screwed up the one thing I had to do to keep her healthy.

10:15 - I think I've found every teeny tiny speck of medicine and forced it into her mouth. I fix baby a bottle and she refuses it. I hold her and she screams herself to sleep.

10:30 - Realize I forgot to give the boys their snack and this must be why they are circling me like hawks in the kitchen. Promise to feed them lunch at 11.

11:00 - Fix lunch for Rhett. He eats heartily, never complaining.

11:10 - Fix turkey sandwiches and baked Doritos for toddlers. Stupid move. Should have given them the sandwich first. No one eats anything but the chips. Everyone is mad that I am trying to force them to eat. My own toddler removes her jeans and stands on her chair, half naked, yelling for cookies. The other two start to ask (less loudly) for cookies. I say not until we finish eating and they are all mad again.

11:30 - Give them some grapes and give up. No cookies, but at least they had some nutrients.

12:00 - Kitchen is cleaned up and it's time for naps. Spend 45 minutes trying to get three 2-year-olds to lie down. Put on Barney and this revs them up more. Cement guys are out of water.

12:55 - One is sleeping on the couch, one is in the pack and play and Reese is banished to her bed for jumping on the couch while others are trying to sleep. I sit and feed the baby, who is now accepting that the only way she will eat is if she lets me feed her. She has given in. She is so tiny and so precious. I miss having a newborn.

1:30 - Friend comes to get the kids so I can go get Avery. Notice that the one on the couch has wet his pants. :(

2:15 - Back from picking up Avery. Cement guys are ready for me to put kids' handprints into the patio. I've been dying to do this ever since we decided to lay the patio. It takes four tries because Reese refuses to keep still, but the guys are patient and smooth it over for me so I can re-do it.

2:30 - Strip couch of pee-pee cushions and throw in washing machine. Thank God we decided on a denim sofa.

2:35 - My friend, Jennifer brings her baby. He's the only one who is supposed to be here today...besides my own of course. The others came today because I prayed for a way to make some money and the calls came pouring in. (Thank you, God. No complaints, here.)

2:50- Baby is in bed, my kids are watching TV, and all is calm.

3:10- Two older kids, who I occasionally watch after school, show up. They stay until 5:30-6 most days, but they are easy. I sit down to clip coupons.

4:00 - Aaron comes home early so he can get ready for Mavs game (I won't get to run after all, as this is a last minute invite for him). We admire patio. I go back to organizing coupons.

4:10 - Aaron brings me wet jeans from the girls' room. Reese is again nude, so she is obviously the culprit.

5:00 - Aaron and Avery leave for the game. Friend picks up baby and leaves. It's just Reese, Rhett and I.

6:00 - The three of us are eating dinner. I remember cushions in the washer. Fold clothes in dryer and switch cushions over. Take clothes into girls' room. Hear something.....Bathroom door is closed. Light is on. Uh oh.

6:05 - Softly say "HOLY SHIT" because someone has closed the sink drain, yet left the water running and the floor is COVERED with water. It could have been anyone, so I decide against calling the parents of every child who was here today to force them to come clean it themselves. I just get busy cleaning.

6:15 - Back to eating. Delicious healthy salad. I feel like I could use a beer. I eat 5 Reese's eggs instead.

6:30 - Remember Aaron got Internet working again. and log on. Check for poker money. Nope. Oh well, I can still waste time.

7:30 - Still on computer. Haven't cared for a child, cleaned a speck or folded an item of clothing in almost an hour. Aaaahhhhhh, sweet escape.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Oops

I don't normally go out and buy new clothes for Easter and I certainly don't worry about them matching or looking perfect. Clean is usually my main concern when dressing my children for church at any time. But this year, they already had their matching outfits from Pa Pa's wedding and I was excited to get pictures of them. Don't they look adorable? (I think Rhett looks like a retired golfer)

This was taken just before we left for church. Surprisingly, everyone stayed clean and dry all the way to church. Even into their classrooms. Even in the car on the way to my brother-in-law's for Easter lunch. For the first time in, like, forever, they looked adorable at the same time and stayed that way.

Here they are in the kitchen of Audie's house.

Do you notice anything funny about them? Does Avery seem to be wearing a semi-short little spring dress, while Reese's appears as if it's almost floor length. Yep. That's right. I took my children to church on Easter wearing opposite dresses.
Hope your Easter was as perfect as ours! :)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday Funnies

Ok, maybe these won't be funny to you. I'm sure not all of them will tickle your funny bone, but I don't have much to write about (but we're going to watch the elephants set up the circus tent this morning and we're having a patio poured next week so get ready!) and I've been laughing out loud at some members of my family. Sometimes they are funny without even trying! Here are just a few of the conversations that had me giggling....

Husband: Honey, were there Tic Tacs in the banana sack?
Me: What?
Husband: Were there Tic Tacs in the banana sack?
Me: (giggling) I have no idea what you mean.

Husband: (Slightly irritated and baffled as to why I'm laughing.) Was there a box of Tic Tacs in the sack with the bananas that I brought home today?
Me: (Laughing out loud) Oh my gosh. I had no idea what you were trying to say. I thought you were talking about something dirty.
Husband: You are very weird. And sick. (Sadly, he is so right.)

Note: I will try to work "Tic Tacs in a banana sack" into my daily conversations. It rolls right off the tongue...and it could be dirty, which makes it funny.

Background info for this one: My friend, Erin and I have had our run of bad luck in the herpes department lately. She has had one cold sore after another and I've had weird sores on my tongue and gums. I believe they are completely unrelated, but we were discussing it and it reminded me of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine wanted "The Sidler" to chew gum or something. He said "Can't. Burns my cankers," and I find that hysterical. So, when Erin comes over, we like to say things about certain foods or drink burning the cankers, mocking "The Sidler." Little ears are always listening....

Avery: Mom, I have a cranker in my mouth.
Me: What's a cranker?
Avery: You know, a cranker. In my mouth.
Me: I'm not sure what you mean.
Avery: I have a cranker like you and Erin always have. You know, when you can't eat stuff because it burns your crankers?

Note: If my sweet friend does, in fact, move to Boulder as planned, at least Avery and I will always have "crankers" to remember her by.

Conversations with Reese:
Me: Reese, get back in the kitchen with those crackers.
Reese: I don't like you either! (this is always said in a surprisingly hateful tone for someone so small and cute.)
Me: Reese Olivia, get yourself back into the kitchen and don't you dare talk to me that way.
Reese: I don't like you either!
Me: Hand me the crackers. You are going to time out. That is so ugly to talk that way.
Reese: (from the time out spot, crying) I don't like you either.
Me: Go to your room. Not another word from you until you can be a sweet girl.
Reese: Sorry, Momma.
Me: Thank you. Now go to your room and think about how you need to talk like a sweet girl.
Reese: I don't like you either!

Reese: Momma, can I have snack?
Me: No, baby, Momma's making dinner.

Reese: (a bit louder) Momma, can I have a snack?
Me: No, Honey, you can have something after dinner though.


Avery: (toots loudly) Mom, I tooted.
Me: I noticed. Did you say excuse me?
Avery: It's just me and you here.

Me: Yeah, but if you toot in front of someone you need to say excuse me.
Avery: Ok. Mom? Can you feel it when you toot?
Me: You mean, do I feel it when you toot? Only if you're on my lap.
Avery: NO, MOM! Can you feel it when YOU let toots?

Me: Well...sure. I mean, yeah, I think everyone can.
Avery: That's pretty funny, huh, Mom?
Me: Yeah, I guess so. God has a good sense of humor.

Avery: Yeah. Totally. God is funny about toots.

I think this is what Eckhart Tolle (Author of A New Earth) had in mind when he talks about living in the moment. Enjoy the little things...even toots.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Night and Day

My two girls couldn't be more different. Avery is the oldest and is a bit more serious. She is competetive and tough and way into "boy stuff." She despises anything pink. She takes her schoolwork and all things athletic very seriously. Reese is a bit more quiet in front of strangers but is a total ham at home. She wants to make people laugh, she wants everyone to say she's pretty and she loves girl stuff. She follows her sister around constantly, copies everything she says, and tries to act just like her sometimes, but her true self cries out for pretty dresses, jewelry and high heels. She's the one who constantly gets into my makeup drawer. She goes for the same thing every time. Goldie lip gloss in "Baby." She's my girly girl.
Never was this so apparent as this morning. The three of us girls watched "Enchanted" last night. Throughout the entire movie, Reese kept saying "I pincess, Momma." She asked if she could be a princess, wanted me to call her Princess Reese, and asked about 400 times if she could wear a crown.
This morning, we got out all the dress up stuff so Reese could be a "pincess." Avery said, in her deep "boy" voice, "I'm just gonna be the prince." Of course.

Look at the pictures...the differences between the two are captured perfectly.

Here is Princess Reese:

And Prince Avery: (I've never actually seen a prince dress this way, but hey, it works for her.)

And then there's Rhett. We aren't sure what he likes yet, except food. He just goes with the flow.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Action Shots from T-Ball and the Park Saturday. Enjoy!


Rhett, loving the swing.

It's bright out here!

Trying to be brave enough to let go of the never happened, but I'm sure it will sooner than I'm ready for it!

"Oooh! Good shot, Avery!"

On your mark!

Get set!


Friday, March 14, 2008

Have You Ever....

....been convinced there was someone in your house? You hear a noise that could only be made by a lurking rapist, mass murderer or, at best, a thief?
It used to happen to me quite a bit when I lived alone, but since I've gotten married, I rarely think about it. I have my big, strong husband to protect my children and I. But last night, he was out of town. And the kids and I went to visit friends and didn't get home until right after dark. I hate getting home after dark when no one else is here.
So last night, the kids and I were in the kitchen, snacking and talking when I heard it. The noise. I tried to be cool. I didn't want to startle the children. So I stood up from the table and walked toward the front of the house, which was completely dark. I was going to walk into all the bedrooms, turning on all the lights, but I didn't want to be that girl. You know, the high-heeled idiot in the scary movie who goes right toward the bad guy and as you watch her get closer, you are like "GO BACK, YOU IDIOT! WHY ARE YOU WALKING RIGHT TOWARD HIM???? RUN!!!"
So I came back. And debated. Do I get a butcher knife, tell Avery to dial 911 if she hears anything, or just act as if nothing is wrong? I decide not to scar my children and just sit down and be cool. But then I hear it again. And I say, very calmly, ", be quiet for a second."
Avery says, "Why, Mom? Did you hear something?"
Reese immediately begins sucking her fingers, and says "I scared, Momma." So much for being cool.
I tell them it's fine, but honestly, I'm scared. I am alone with three children, one of whom can't walk or speak, one of whom won't do a dadgum thing I tell her to and one who knows everything and isn't scared of anything.
I decide that we will all three sleep in my bed. I will take the phone and I will lock the bedroom door and we won't come out until morning. But how do I get this across without sounding panicky? I say "Hey, wouldn't it be fun to have a slumber party in my big bed since Daddy is gone?" "YEAH!" they yell! And before I can say a word, Avery runs into her bedroom (where the bad guy is probably waiting) and comes back with her stuffed puppy. I breathe a sigh of relief and then think "What a loser mom I am...letting my child go back where the devil is. I'm a deadbeat."
I say, "Ave, let's all go get in Mommy's bed. It will be so fun."
We go in the bedroom. I leave all the kitchen and living room lights on. I want the bad guy to think I'm up all night, waiting for him. After the kids are all in the bedroom, I come out and say quietly to the dark, silent, front of the house, "I have two phones and a gun. If you come get us, you will either get caught or shot, so don't even try to mess with my kids or me."
I go back to the bedroom, certain I've either angered or scared the intruder. As I walk in, Avery pops up from behind a chair with a "RRRRAAAAARRRRR!" "Ha ha, Momma. You thought I was the monster that's in my room!" Real funny you little toot. You won't be laughing when I have to single-handledly disarm, capture and torture the boogey-man all to save your smarty little bottom.
I begin removing makeup. I hear a door slam. I look up and it's Avery. She has just left the bedroom, gone back to her room to get Reese's puppy and come back. Good Lord, how many times are we going to tempt this perverted murderer before he finally comes rushing in with a knife, gun, brass knuckles and Chinese throwing star?
I lock the bedroom door and we all get in bed. I lay on Aaron's side so I can see the door. I stare relentlessly at the bottom of the door, waiting to see the shadow of two feet so I can call the cops. We are watching Barnyard and it's loud. I am glad because he'll think that we aren't paying attention and that's when he'll strike. After an hour of vigilant security work, I begin to be exhausted. I don't know how much longer I can wait on this dude to do his worst. The kids are all asleep now. Avery raises her head sleepily and says, "Mom, can you please turn off the TV?"
I turn off the TV, sure he'll strike now that he thinks we're asleep. I watch the door for at least 30 more minutes and he never shows. I'm not sure how or when I ever fell asleep, but we woke up this morning, safe and sound.
Can you imagine a bigger idiot than me?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Roto Rooter

You know it's going to be a great day when you get up first thing to use the bathroom and see this:

A note from my husband. It made me smile a little bit that he wrote "Reese's friend didn't leave." He's speaking of the Little People boat driver who was flushed yesterday afternoon. I was worried that it would mess things up, but it didn't seem to yesterday. We all used the bathroom several times yesterday evening and even in the middle of the night and it all seemed fine. I guess my poor husband was the lucky bathroom go-er who got to figure out that Little People don't, in fact, flush too well.
The downside to this, besides the fact that I keep forgetting that my bathroom is out of order, (which is only a problem when you've given birth to three children, forget to do your Kegel exercises regularly, and therefore don't have a tremendous amount of bladder control) is that I have to wait on the plumber this morning and miss my favorite Pilates class at the gym. (I know, boo hoo, poor me.)
The upside is this: I got to call Roto-Rooter. Aaron left me a list of three plumbers to call and Roto-Rooter was last on the list. I called them first. I've been hearing the Roto-Rooter song since I was a child. "Roto-Rooter, that's the name, and we send your troubles down the drain," or something like that. Anyway, I've always wanted to call Roto-Rooter. I love the name. In fact, I plan to say, as often as possible, "I had to call Roto-Rooter." "The Roto-Rooter guy is at our house." "We had Roto-Rooter come out and fix our toilet."
So what if I'm weird? At least I can find the silver lining instead of whining about wetting my pants 40 times this morning and having to skip gym class, where I'd probably just wet my pants 22 more times. It's called positive thinking, people.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Embarrassing Moment

A couple of weeks ago, we were hanging out with some new friends and the husband asked me what my most embarrassing moment was. I honestly couldn't come up with one. Oh sure, I have times when I've wanted the Earth to swallow me whole, but I don't guess I have one moment that stands out above all others. First of all, I'm not that easily embarrassed, and second, I was teased and humiliated so much when I was young, that I have developed a defense mechanism which includes me embarrassing myself before anyone else can do it for me.
But my friend's husband's question must have stayed in the back of my mind because a really stupid embarrassing moment hit me last night as I lay in bed, just before I fell asleep. It's really stupid, but since his wife reads this blog, I thought she could pass it along for me...

I was about 9 or 10 at church camp. I hated church camp. Not because I'm an atheist or anything, but mainly because I hated any situation in which I would have to introduce myself to knew people. I didn't have a great situation going on at school and my name seemed to be an easy target for kids who wanted to torment me. I swear (I'm probably exaggerating here), but every time I had to introduce myself to a class or new person, someone always made a comment about my name. Either they didn't understand it or they rhymed it with Grody, or changed it to Dodo or Doo Doo. All of which, to this day, make me fight back tears. Honestly, people...don't make fun of my name unless you want me to hold a grudge against you that will last a lifetime. I can still remember every person in my life who has laughed at my name, including a Kindergartner. And I was kidding about the grudge, but not about remembering it. I'm an elephant when it come to laughing at my name...don't go there.
ANYWAY, (deep seated issue, anyone?) I was at church camp. About to introduce myself to the group. Petrified, not wanting to utter a word. I was sucking on a watermelon Jolly Rancher at the time and about to choke on my watermelon-flavored spit, I was so nervous. But, not wanting to call more attention to myself by not standing up like everyone else, I stood. I said "Hi, I'm Dodi ______ from the Church of Christ in ___________, Oklahoma." But somehow, when I said "Dodi," the Jolly Rancher was stuck to the roof of my mouth and it came out "Jody." The group leader said "Hello, Jody, thank you for joining us here at Osage Hills." I didn't correct him. I've done this countless times in my life and I only started correcting people a few years ago. Jody never got made fun of. Dodi was teased mercilessly. So, I would just keep my mouth shut. Usually, it was an introduction that was made in passing and didn't really matter. But, since this was the first day of camp and the main introduction to all the other campers in my group, it kind of mattered. So for about two full days, I was Jody. I answered to it, I let others introduce me as Jody, the counselors called me Jody. And no one teased me even once. It was pure bliss.
And then I wore my monogrammed Calvin Klein jeans. First of all, I know it's lame to have monogrammed jeans. I don't know if that was popular back then, but my Nana bought me two pair at the Prairie Flower and I loved them. I had a khaki pair with burgundy monogramming and a denim pair with light blue monogramming. And of course, I brought both pair to church camp. (Church of Christ camps wouldn't allow shorts...they are too sexy.) And wore the khaki first. The burgundy stood out fairly well against the khaki, but it never really occurred to me. You know where this is going, right? We were actually at some outdoor activity, when an older boy, a counselor I think, said "Hey, Jody, why do your pants have a D A A?"
Holy crap (yeah, I thought naughty words at church camp.)
"What do you mean?" I said casually?
"I mean, if your name is Jody, how are your initials D A A?" he responded, logically.
Oh my God, if you love me at all, let me die right now.
"My name isn't Jody. It's Dodi. I never said it was Jody." I said, acting as if he was a complete idiot for calling me by the wrong name.
"You told everyone it was Jody. Everyone has been calling you Jody." he said. He wasn't acting mean, but I hated his guts at that moment.
"OH, are they? I hadn't noticed." I said, trying to be cool, but obviously lying.
He then announced to anyone within ear shot my real name, laughing because he was such a dope and had been saying it wrong. I was totally humiliated. I stood there, cringing, as I heard the same old jokes from P-town. "Where did you get a name like that?" "Hey, Dodo, what's happening?" The same people who had been friendly and nice to me for the past two days, suddenly turned on me. I was weird again, different. And Lord knows, being different in the 3rd grade is a curse. The week was ruined.
So, there you have it, B. An extremely embarrassing moment that causes me to sweat and shake even now, as I write about it. I hope you're happy!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My Dad Got Married

My dad got married Saturday. It's almost surreal. I now have a step-mom and three step-siblings. Do you even say that when you are an adult? It's a bit difficult for me to wrap my brain around the whole thing, so I don't try. I just say "Hey, Dad's happy" and move on.

I enjoyed the wedding and I do like the new step-family, so that's a plus.

I don't know if Dad and his new wife would agree, but my favorite part of the wedding was the kids. They were all dressed alike, and after looking at the pictures (there are no pictures where all of the kids are looking at the camera at the same time), I wonder why I don't dress my kids alike more often. It's just so precious. I should do it now while they are too little to protest!

These are just my dad's grandkids. There were three other kids, dressed just like this, at the wedding. They were adorable.
P.S. Look how JD is looking at that pot of dirt. You know he's just dying to get his hands in there!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Snow Day!!!

Don't you just love snow days? You don't even have to be a kid to appreciate that cozy, safe feeling you get when the weather outside is frightful and the fire is so delightful...sorry. Got away from myself for a second.

Yesterday was the first big, snowman-making snow we've had in in a loooooooong time. We are in the northern part of Texas and we usually end up with sleet and some slushy ice. But yesterday was perfect. We had those huge, fat, white snowflakes pouring down. It came down so fast that there was tons of snow within hours. The kids, who have only seen snow a couple of times and usually have to be at Grammy's in Northern Oklahoma to see any worth rolling, throwing or building with. So you can imagine their excitement yesterday when they got to get all bundled up and play outside.

Remember catching snowflakes with your tongue? Reese had never experienced that before. When I asked the girls what it tasted like, Avery played along and said "Chocolate" or "Strawberries" but not Reese. She's way too literal. She kept saying "No choc-ate, Mommy. It just 'no!!!"

Rhett was dying to be outside with his big sisters. Honestly, I was dying to be out there too. I love to play in the snow. I knew it would be cold, but I decided to try anyway.

This is why we came in immediately. Rhett doesn't like cold. And he definitely doesn't like to wear a hat and coat. He was stuck watching from the window. I stayed in with him and made hot chocolate for their "breaks." You know, the breaks they take every 10 minutes where they remove every piece of warm clothing because it's wet and cold and then after about 6 minutes of hot chocolate in front of the fire, they are ready to put it all on again and go back out? And you can't say no because it never snows in Texas and this may be the last time in a long time they get to do this.

Avery went back and forth lots of times. I finally quit taking her coat and boots off and just let her warm up for a while and go back out.
Reese didn't want to come in as much. Every time Avery would come in, I'd ask Reese if she wanted to come in. She would respond with "No Momma, I play in snow...I like it!"
When she finally did come in, her entire body was shaking. She was so cold, her feet were aching when I put her in the tub. But boy, did she have fun.

Then Daddy came home from work and the fun started all over again. They decided to build a snowman? Why isn't Reese wearing her coat? "Because we can't find it" was the response I got. Sheesh, Moms have to do everything.

Here's the masterpiece. All I can do is grin at this.

And Dad being, well, Dad, wasn't satisfied with just a snowman. He decided they would build an igloo. I thought this was a huge undertaking, but didn't voice my opinion. I wondered when he would give up. Here he is out here, alone, while the girls are inside in front of the fire, totally ignoring him. Avery keeps saying "Is Dad almost done with the egg-gloo?" but she has no interest in going out. He finally did give up on the free-standing igloo idea, but what he ended up with is much cooler, in my opinion.
He packed the snow on the outside of the Little Tykes firehouse. He always comes up with something!
The snow has already melted quite a bit and by tomorrow, it will probably be impossible to tell that there ever was snow. But like Avery said, "We'll never ever forget that snowman, even though he melted because we had a great time out there!"

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Pollyanna Alert

At the risk of sounding like a "life-is-so-perfect" Pollyanna, I had to use this blog for one purpose only today: to brag about my husband.
He has made my life so much easier today, that I have to give him the credit he deserves and I wanted everyone to know just how wonderful he is. Not to boast (my husband is better than your husband!), but to balance out the general "Husbands are jerks/big babies/idiots" attitude that seems to prevail much of the time.
Our baby, Rhett, had a rough night last night. Really rough. He went to bed around 8:15, as usual, but was up at 10, 11, and 12. At 12 a.m., my husband went to sleep with the girls because we were waking up the entire house in the living room. Rhett was apparently, really uncomfortable and very unhappy because he screamed more than I've heard him scream in a long, long time. It just never stopped. At about 12:30, I think we fell asleep, because I don't remember seeing the clock between 12:30 and 2-ish. But after about 2 am, we were awake the entire night. He had fever at one point, according to the Mommy's Forehead Thermometer. It went away on it's own...thank God, because I was so exhausted, I just lay there thinking "Could the Tylenol somehow find it's way to me so I don't have to get up and get it?" At 5:30, Aaron's usual waking time, he came in to find us exactly as he left us. Me, with my eyes held open by toothpicks, and Rhett struggling against sleep and fussing continuously. Aaron took his shower and got ready for work and then came in around 6 and said "Are you guys going to be ok?"
I honestly didn't know at that point. I haven't been that sleep deprived in months. I was miserable. And do you know what my sweet husband did? He left the room.
But then he came back and said "I just checked my schedule and I don't have anything until my 2:00 meeting, so I'll hang out here this morning and take Avery to school and you can rest." He took Rhett into the living room and I got a solid two hours of sleep before Reese got up. It was Heaven. And it's not that I am so happy that I slept. I could still use a nap, for sure. It's that my sweet husband would take the morning off of work, when he probably needs to get things ready for his meeting, just so I could get a couple of hours of sleep. It's things like that that honestly make me fall in love with him all over again.
So, for those of you who have to endure my griping when he doesn't do things perfectly, please refer me back to these moments because he really is the kindest, sweetest, most wonderful man in the world. this really me talking? That Oprah book must be screwing with my mind. I've been brainwashed to be happy and appreciate what I have. GASP!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Road Rage

Have you ever been a victim of road rage? I've had the occaisional tailgater, or honker, or flipper-offer, but if I'm being honest, I've done the same to others at times, so I don't consider myself a victim in any way. And I've never really had to deal with any personal encounter while driving. Until today.
Wait. Is it called road rage if it happened in a parking lot? I'll let you decide.
I was going to Target with the kids. They had just been to the dentist and we were already out and about so I thought I'd pick up a few things while we were out. I pulled into the parking lot and headed toward an aisle that was a bit of a distance from the front doors. I always think those are the best places because there are usually lots of spots and not lots of traffic. That's what I used to think.
I drove down the aisle just a little ways and saw three or four open parking spots on either side. The cart guy (is that what he wants to be called) was lining up carts on the left side, so I drove into one of the spots on the right. Just as I turned in, I heard a long, loud HONK! Startled, and afraid I was about to hit something, I slammed on my brakes. I turned to see where the honking was coming from and there was a car behind Cart Guy. He had his blinker on, and apparently had been waiting for the very spot I had just pulled into. Now, if there hadn't been about 7 open spots all within the vicinity of my spot, I would have kindly backed out and moved. But considering there was a spot on the left side that was even closer to the store, not to mention two right next to me, I didn't see the big deal. I continued into the spot and parked. I forgot the honker and set about getting the kids out of the car. As I pulled Rhett out of his seat and held the door open for the girls, I heard a loud male voice yell, "Why don't you get off your f-ing phone and pay attention!" Did I mention I was on the phone? Oh yeah, I was talking to my husband. About important dental business. And I was paying attention. Really.
I thought of ignoring him, but was kind of scared he would approach me if I didn't at least acknowledge him. So I responded, very cheerfully, "I'm sorry. Did I take your spot?"
"You know you took my damn spot. I had been sitting there waiting!" he yelled.
I said "I'm so sorry. There were lots of open spots. I wouldn't have minded moving if I had known it was a big deal. I apologize."
"Yeah, well, you didn't move!"
I chose to let it go at that point. Lucky for me, I'm more than halfway through my book, A New Earth, so I was able to see that he was responding from his ego, not from his true self. And that if I reacted negatively or argued with him, I would be responding from my own ego and would then feed both of our pain-bodies, which would lead to a much worse argument. Now, if I had already finished the book and was completely conscious, I wouldn't be writing about it now. It would be left in the past, where it belongs...but I love telling a story (I'm sure that's my ego) and writing purges my soul.
I was rather proud of the way I handled myself. I was very calm, very polite, and very apologetic. I didn't say or do anything I'm embarrassed of. I walked into Target, ran into him about 5 minutes into my trip and was able to hold my head high. And as I watched him glare at me, all I could think of was his poor little daughter, whose sweet little blonde head lay on his shoulder. She stared at me, looked at my girls, walking beside me, and then looked away. He continued to glare and I gave the girl a look that probably meant nothing to her, but was intended to mean "I'm so sorry. Not because I took your father's parking space, but because he shouted the f word at a stranger over a stretch of cement."
And I was so glad that I didn't let my angry feeling get the better of me. I would have been mortified and ashamed if I had argued with this man and been ugly in front of my children. I can't imagine what that man is like at home.
Speaking of his home...I wish I knew where it was so I could toilet paper it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Zoo

What kind of self-respecting mother/blogger goes to the zoo and forgets her camera? Yep, you guessed it! ME! We took the whole family to the zoo on Aaron's birthday Saturday and I forgot pictures! I was so disappointed, I bought a disposable Fuji camera. I am so used to being able to take any picture I want without running out of film, that I ran out of exposures an hour into the trip. I'm really bummed that I can't share the cute pictures of the kids with you, but I can share a funny little story from that day. Pictures aren't necessary for you to grin. (I hope!)

We were at the Dallas Zoo. In each of the different zones/areas/whatever of the zoo, there are footprints from that type of animal. For example, on your way up to the elephant habitat, there are huge elephant footprints in the cement walkway. The girls found this extremely exciting. Avery would ask, "What kind of animal made this?" and then walk in it to see if its footprints were bigger than hers. She was obsessed with going to see the gorillas, so the monkey area was our first destination. As we walked along the cement path, she would say "Mom, look at these Chinese footprints!" I'm like, "What? Chinese footprints?" And then I would look around, hoping that there were no Chinese people around to question why in the world my daughter would assume that Chinese people were a zoo exhibit. I can assure you, we are much more worldly than that. First of all, we don't think people who are different in us belong in a zoo. Second of all, Avery knows all about Chinese people because we have neighbors who are from China and who visit there every year and bring us homemade Chinese food. So you can imagine why I was horrified that she would assume Chinese people were so amazingly different that they would be on exhibit.
Anyway, every time she saw a footprint on the way to see the gorillas, she yelled it. "Look! More Chinese footprints!" I was beginning to get a bit irritated (I don't like for other people to embarrass me. I like to be the one in control of embarrassing myself.) I said "Avery, those are not Chinese footprints! These are all animal footprints! Only animals belong in the zoo. Please quit saying that!" She looked at me as if I had two heads, then simply shrugged and walked on. She didn't say much more. Until we got to the chimpanzee cage. And I said "Look, Avery, there are chimpanzees!" She said, in a whisper so I wouldn't get onto her for saying it again, "Did they make the Chinese footprints on the sidewalk?"
All of a sudden, I understand. Chinese is her word for chimpanzee. DUH.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Deep Thinking

You know how I said I was all shallow and into makeup and hair and junk? Well, I'm going to try some serious deep thinking and I'm inviting the world (all 29 of you) to join me!
If you watch Oprah regularly, you've probably heard her talk about Eckhart Tolle's books- specifically, his most recent, titled A New Earth - Awakening to Your Life's Purpose.
So, you may or may not know that she and Eckhart Tolle (and I thought my name was different!) are going to start a weekly class in order to discuss the book and encourage people to read and engage with others. You have to sign up for the class online, but it is free.
I haven't read the book. In fact, I just went to buy it today and am going to try to read it today, tonight and tomorrow so I can be ready for the first class, which is tomorrow night. Hey, I'm not feeling well today, so what else have I got to do?
So anyway, if you want to try to be happier or live "in the moment" a little more, or to just maybe become more aware of your place in the world, join me. If you live in my neighborhood, here's a little extra incentive: I just bought three bottles of wine, none of which cost less than $5 (my usual wine-purchasing criteria.) and I'll share them with you while we discuss our newfound enlightenment.
Seriously, folks, maybe this isn't for you. Maybe it is, who knows? It might be too deep or too weird, but I think it's at least worth a shot. What have you got to lose????
For more information, check out

Disclaimer: Oprah did not ask me to promote this (even thought we are super great friends). Neither did Eckhart. But if they did, wouldn't that be a funny book club? Oprah, Dodi and Eckhart. Our parents must have all smoked from the same pipe! (sorry Mom)