Saturday, August 29, 2009

Two Years Running

So, this is the 2nd year in a row that my dad has forgotten my birthday. I'm starting to think that maybe August 28, 1972 wasn't the best day of his life. Nah, that can't be it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

My Bucket is Full

First, let me say something. I am NOT bragging. My child is not perfect (as I made clear in the previous post) but every once in a while, she says or does something that stops me in my tracks and makes me so proud, I feel as if my heart will burst.
Today, as she came out of school, she saw me and said "Hey, Mom, how was your day?" I must say, that was unexpected. It is my birthday today, and so far, she's mostly been concerned with what kind of celebration this would mean for HER, so I was pleasantly surprised to hear her ask how my day was.
She was also wearing a plastic soccer ball ring. She seemed extremely proud of it, which was why I was surprised to hear her offer it to Reese when we walked in the door. She said "Here, Reese. I'm filling up your bucket."
I wasn't exactly sure what that meant, so I asked her what the bucket statement meant. She explained, "When you say nice things and do nice things, it fills up other people's buckets. And if you do mean things or say mean things, it takes away a little bit of their happiness. I'm filling Reese's bucket. 'Member when I said how your day was? That was filling up your bucket." (Note: She learned this today from her teacher at school. Possibly one of the most awesome things she has learned to date.)
So, I'm melting. Literally. I feel I won't be able to breathe if she doesn't stop with the cuteness.
The night went on and sadly, she didn't spend all her time filling up people's buckets. There was the usual arguing, fussing and tormenting among siblings. I thought maybe the bucket filling was over.
It wasn't. Around 8:00, we headed to the bath. All three of them get in together and it's usually a fuss-fest over the bath toys, hair washing, etc. But tonight, Rhett wanted a toy and instead of taking it from him or throwing it out of the tub, Avery handed it to him. I said "Avery, that was so nice. You filled up his bucket, didn't you?"
Her response was so precious and so profound that I had to run in here and write it down so that it would never be forgotten:
"Yeah, Mom. That's just who I am. I fill up people's buckets."

I know it will end, but Good Lord, it's almost too much for a mother's heart to take.
Happy Birthday to me.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's Starting

The moment I have most dreaded about having children is slowly, but surely, rearing it's ugly head: My children are becoming annoyed with me. I don't know why, but I thought it would be later. Avery's only a first grader, after all. What in the world could a first grader find to be annoyed about? Plenty, it turns out.
Take this morning for example. She got to ride her bike to school for the first time in history. Her dad even stopped at Target on the way home from work last night to get her a lock for the bike. She did nothing but lock and unlock it all night long. It's all she could talk about last night. It was the first thing she mentioned this morning. She stumbled out of bed, hair covering her sleep-filled eyes and said "Hey Mom, bike today, remember?" How could I forget? She was mumbling the combination in her sleep last night.
So I'm expecting her to be nothing but elated this morning. And for part of the morning, she was. But suddenly, on the way to school, she stops speaking to me. And then, she starts riding faster. I didn't mind until I realized she was trying to get away from me. She was ignoring me as I said her name and I knew she could hear me because she would turn her head ever so slightly and then look straight ahead without ever looking at me. I finally yelled pretty stinking loud because, you see, there is a rule that you aren't allowed to ride your bike on the school campus. You have to walk it. And we were only a few yards from the street next to the campus. So I had to tell her, but she was way ahead of me (pushing 70 pounds in a double stroller can slow a person down) and I yelled. "AVERY!" She stopped abruptly and I could tell by her posture that she was exasperated with me. Then, the worst happened. A bigger kid on his bike didn't see her stopping and ran into her. She stayed still so he could move on and then she waited until I caught up. I think she waited just so I could see the horrid, Mom-you're-the-worst-human-I've-ever-met look on her face. I said "Ave, I just wanted to tell you that you have to walk your bike once we cross the next street." Her response, and I swear her teeth were gritted, was "Mom. I know that. Is that all?" I said "Um, Avery are you acting irritated with me?" She responded pointedly, through still-gritted teeth, "My leg hurts because I got hit by someone on their bike."
Enough said. That may have been all she said but I knew what she was thinking and it goes something like this: "Listen mo-THER, I am six freakin' years old and I think I can ride a dadgum bike to school without you screeching at me all the freakin' way. And because of you and that loud dadgum mouth, I had to stop in the middle of the sidewalk like an idiot and got hit by a bigger kid, whose mother lets him ride to school ALONE, and now my leg hurts and it's all your fault and if I could kick you without being grounded for life, I would do it. So back off and go home, Fatty."
Ok, I don't think she would call me Fatty, but you get the picture. And so did I. Her attitude didn't improve much, even when I helped her lock her bike and fix her hair. When I said, "Do you want us to walk you in or do you want to go alone?" she said, still irritated and not sweetly at all, "Go with me." She never smiled at me or touched me or even spoke to me in a friendly manner but she wanted me there. When I told her good-bye, I called her "Doodlebug" and she grinned slightly. A little half smile and the tiniest wave ever. My heart broke just a little bit as I left her standing in her big-kid classroom with all her big-kid classmates.
She seemed better after school, but the worst part of all of it is that her brother and sister seem to be following suit on the whole "Mom sucks" thing.
I was helping Reese on the computer and she said "Oh my gosh, Mom. Your breath is so horrible I can't even stand it anymore." I said "Reese, that's rude!" She said, very sweetly, actually, "Well, what do I tell you to make you stop breathing at me?" Sigh.
Then, when helping Rhett out of his high chair, he said "I DO IT, MOMMA!' I helped him anyway, so he wouldn't hit his head on the table and what did he do? Stared at me with complete disgust and climbed back up in the chair, climbed right back down by himself and said "I DO IT, MOMMA!"
Just for all that, I made Mediterranean Couscous and broccoli for dinner. That'll teach 'em to treat me like dirt.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Today was the first day of first grade for my firstborn. A big day, for sure. Probably not as big as the first day of Kindergarten, but still...another milestone. She took it all in stride, only getting very quiet as we walked into school and looking very shy when the teacher showed her the backpack hook. I know she is excited, especially because they have homework in first grade.

I am not terribly thrilled that she's growing up so fast, but I was terribly thrilled when she wanted to wear a pink shirt on the first day of school! (Thank you to Old Navy for making girl shirts with superheroes!)

Another thing to note is the backpack:

Over the summer, Bo and April came for an overnight visit. They came bearing gifts, one of which was this Javelina backpack. Apparently, the softball coach gave it to Bo and April, so they gave it to Avery. At any rate, it's an official college softball team backpack (The yellow writing says "Javelinas" and the number 2) and she loves it. This was the backpack she insisted on carrying to first grade. It's huge and heavy and has more compartments than she will ever need, but Uncle Bo and Aunt April gave it to her and that's all she needs to know it's the perfect backpack for the first day of first grade.
P.S. I got up at 6 this morning so I could have myself ready before I got them up. I actually dressed in matching clothes and put on makeup because I was having friends over for coffee and mimosas to celebrate the first day of school. I also knew that I would be walking Avery inside today and seeing other parents and teachers in the process. What I didn't know was that my shirt was on wrong side out the entire time. That'll teach me to get up extra early just to try to look cute. It's sweats and ball caps for the rest of the year. (It was probably going to be anyway, but at least now I have an excuse.)

Monday, August 17, 2009

My Baby Boy

The last couple of days have been a bit rough on my heart. First, Aaron took the side of Rhett's crib off and converted it to a toddler bed. If I had known what it would do to my insides, I would have begged him to hold off another couple of months.

He loves it. He doesn't want to sleep in it at night, but he spends a lot of time playing in it during the day. In fact, he wants to be in it just about all the time...except to sleep. In fact, he hasn't really been sleeping in his crib much lately anyway. He usually ends up in bed with his sisters and they all seem satisfied with that. So really, the removal of the side of the crib was a mere formality. But it still kills me. This means he's officially a toddler. I mean, he's in a toddler bed, so I can't even fool myself anymore.
And just like his sisters before him, he does not care about my pain and anguish at his lightning-speed growth.

As if the baby bed fiasco wasn't enough of a blow to my Mommy Heart, I chose today of all days to clean out the kids' closets. I need to get Avery ready for First Grade (sob!) and one thing led to another and I ended up cleaning all three kids' clothes and drawers. I should have stayed out of Rhett's room. Half of his closet is bare and two drawers are completely empty now. You want to know why? Because everything that was in those drawers and on those hangers was a size 2T or 24 mo. And Big Tuna can't fit into a 2T anymore. (Big Tuna has a Big Tushie) Which means he will no longer own an article of clothing that ends in "months." He's a full blown toddler and I can't take it. Do you hear me? I CAN'T TAKE IT!!! I am not ready to be the mom to a bunch of "kids." I like having little ones. I don't want them to grow up and leave me!

I wonder if this is a good time to address the subject of a reverse vasectomy with my husband?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Fashion Statements

Layering necklaces is so "in"....

Hair brushing, apparently, is not.

The Table That Jack(son) Built

Aaron wanted a project recently...and he got one! He wanted to encourage Avery's newfound love for Legos, so he created a setup no kid can resist.

They are surprisingly great about keeping all the pieces on/in the table and they love it so much that it doesn't even bother me that it clashes severely with the decor of the house.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Is This Me?

Reese ran in the other day, wearing this outfit, exclaiming to anyone who would listen, "I'm dressed like Mom. Look at me, I'm Mom!"

I don't know about you, but I can't find one thing in this picture that looks like me. To my knowledge, I've never owned a pair of denim shorts with flamingos all over them. I also stay as far away from spaghetti straps as possible. In fact, if you've ever seen me in person, you know that people of my, um, size, look extremely vulgar and inappropriate wearing spaghetti straps. (Sidenote: I don't mind having vulgar or inappropriate conversations at times, but I don't want to look that way. Got it? Ok.)
So what, do you think she meant? She's holding food, which is totally me. She also has a purse, which is something I carry, even though mine doesn't have a cartoon Tinkerbell on the side. But still, I'm puzzled. She says it's what she's wearing, although she can't explain it either. I said, "Reese, what do you think looks like Mommy?" She spread her arms out and said "This, Momma."
I don't get it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


You know those cup holders they have on most treadmills? I've always used them to hold my water and I've seen other people do this too. However, I discovered yesterday that they should not be used for this purpose. I'm not sure what I'm going to put in there from now on, but you can bet it won't be water. Here's why.
The baby I keep was napping so just my kids and two older ones (I watch every once in a while) were hanging out. I decided to get on the treadmill. The oldest of all of them, Rachel, followed me upstairs, I guess just to watch me run.
So, I'm about 15 minutes into a pretty good run. I have a good sweat going and am feeling great. I slow down to a walk to get a drink of water. Then it happens.
Apparently, some of the water spilled, although I didn't know it. In a split second, I slipped on the treadmill belt and began falling. The treadmilly, thankfully, is near a wall and I was able to grab the wall to hang on. The water went flying, onto the wall, down the stairs on the other side of this wall and all over me. My shin was scraping against the belt of the treadmill. I yelled "SHIT" out of fear and pain. I was able to somehow hang on to the wall and press the stop button at the same time. I looked over and Rachel seriously looked like she had just seen a ghost. She was about to cry. I immediately apologized for the cussing and told her I felt terrible about it, I was just scared and hurt. She said "I don't care about that. But it looked so scary. Are you sure you are ok?"
I wasn't 100% sure I was ok. Not because of my physical injuries - I pulled my right hamstring (for the 100th time in my life) and burned a spot on my shin, which later blistered and now hurts any time something touches it. No, the thing I was so unsure about was the fact that I had 6 children in the house and I had just about gone down like a bad Goodyear. I kind of had a small panic attack, thinking of what would have happened if I had hit the wall instead of hung on and passed out or was bleeding. I guess Rachel would have known what to do. I spent a few minutes talking to everyone about what they would do if I was to fall and pass out or hurt myself too badly to walk.
When it seemed like everyone was over the incident and understood what to do if I ever got my fat ass on the treadmill again (not this week), I started to laugh. And thanked the Lord above for two things:
1. That I wasn't hurt badly; and
2. That no one had a camera. I could have been the next You Tube sensation.