Friday, October 30, 2009

Having trouble keeping track of your pumpkin?

(Is this what happens when you refuse to get your kids a pet? They'll just start putting a leash on anything?)

Thursday, October 29, 2009


So, I took the kids to the playground yesterday after school. We went to the one across the field from the school because it has swings, so it wasn't too crowded. There were just a few little girls there, all around Avery's age. We hadn't been there 10 minutes when one of the girls walked up to Avery and said, "Are those real Uggs?" I learned later that she also said "How much did those cost?"
May I remind all of you that Avery is a first grader? She, for one, had no idea what Uggs are and whether hers were real or not. For the record, they are, but let me explain: My mom, her Grammy, saw them at Dillard's after Christmas about 3 years ago. They were on sale for, like, $25. Mom thought they were just too cute to pass up even though they wouldn't fit anyone at the time. They just now fit Avery and the reason she likes them is because the "fur feels good" and because "Grammy bought them."
What I want to know is, how in the world does a first or second grader know anything about "real" Uggs? More importantly, WHY does she know? I already know that answer and, if I had met that child's mother, I would probably not be surprised to see her look me up and down in my Target t shirt.
It's none of my business what values (or the lack thereof) any other parent teaches their child, but I felt a bit disheartened that the materialistic cattiness is starting so early. I didn't expect it until at least the ripe old age of about 9. Ah, girls.

And speaking of girls and Uggs, I caught Reese talking to Avery in a southern accent last night...she was imitating a country girl from our Wii bowling game who says "Aw, shucks" in a very womanly, sexy southern drawl. But Reese wasn't saying "Aw, shucks." She was saying, "Aw, shugs." She was batting her eyes and flipping her hand in that dismissive fashion that all southern ladies do when they are professing disappointment. She said it over and over. "Aw, shugs," and "Well, shugs."
Ok, this has nothing to do with Uggs except that shugs rhymes with Uggs. And I thought it was funny. And my heartache over catty little girls melted away into laughter at my little 4 year old goofball.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Sweet Reesie!

Good morning, Birthday Girl!

It's hard for me to believe that it was four years ago today that I first met this sweet little baby girl. My heart still swells when I see this shiny little face grinning at me first thing each morning.

Maybe it's because she had such a tough time getting here that day four years ago, maybe it's because she's the middle child and gets overshadowed so much of the time, but I wanted to make her day as special as we could. She doesn't go to school and isn't in any activities (we've tried) so she doesn't really have any little girls her own age to invite to a birthday party (bless her little heart), so we just decided to make it a special party weekend! Her actual birthday is today, but we celebrated with my mom, Grammy, Saturday. She chose bowling as her official party. Here she is with Grammy at the bowling alley:

She had her cake and presents on Saturday and I was kind of worried that today would be somewhat anticlimactic, but my sweet friends agreed to do a special playgroup today, in honor of Reese. Jennifer hosted and turned playgroup into a little surprise party. Reese couldn't have been more proud to be the guest of honor.
(Before we got to Jennifer's, I said "Are you going to go in and tell everyone it was your birthday?" and she said "No. They will just know because I am four now." Remember the days when you thought you would somehow be bigger on your birthday?)

She may not be any bigger, at least not that I can tell, but I still think it turned out to be one of the best birthdays ever, even if there wasn't a "real" party to speak of - we partied for three days with our closest family and friends. You can't beat that!

My favorite thing about today? This morning, soon after Reese got out of bed and walked into the kitchen to see it decorated for her birthday. She said "I'm four today!?" almost as a question. I said "I know it, can you believe it?" She said "I'm a big girl now!" I responded with "I know have to stop growing up!" She looked at me, then ran into her room and came back with her "tippy taps" that Grammy gave her Saturday.

She ran into the kitchen, holding the tippy taps and started to put them on. She seemed somewhat distressed. She said "I hope they still fit since I'm four now!" After trying them on, she yelled, excitedly 'Mom, they still fit me even though I'm already four!" Whew.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mood Swings

I always find it amazing how roller coaster-ish parenthood is. Actually, I believe that very statement, or something similar, was made in the movie, Parenthood. Children have a way of worming their way into your heart and soul. You love them to distraction and sometimes, the things they do and say can leave you speechless - for better or for worse. Only a mother (or father) knows that you can be so joyful you think your heart will burst when your child makes you a card for Mother's Day when no one told them to, and then so angry you could scream when they kick a soccer ball in the house and it bends the blinds and breaks a plant in the kitchen. I think most parents would agree that, when it comes to kids, it's a crap shoot. You have a 50/50 shot of wanting to either hug them or smack them.
And I realized this morning that I think kids feel the same way. Here are two recent conversations between Avery and I to help support my argument:

Last week:
Avery: Mom, can I ride my bike to school?
Me: Sure. I don't think it's supposed to rain today, so we should be safe this afternoon too.

Because I think my house has been swept up in a tornado and, instead of Oz, has landed in Seattle, we're never safe from rain lately. And of course, we walk out the door and it's drizzling. Reese starts to whine because she doesn't want to be wet and cold, so I say "You know what? Let's just take the car. I don't want to walk all the way there and back with Reese whining, plus, if it's raining now, it may be raining after school and I'll have to load your bike up in the car."
Now, Avery is more than a little disappointed. She's already on her bike and wearing her helmet. I knew she would be irritated and with good reason. There's been too much car riding to and from school lately. She says "I thought you said it wasn't supposed to rain today."
Me: I didn't think it was. The weather says there is only a 10% chance and I heard them say it wasn't likely. I guess they were wrong."

We get in the car and head toward the school, where we see a gazillion cars lined up from the drop off point to the stop sign at the main intersection. I say, "Wow, looks like nobody wanted to walk today."
And Avery responds, in the most smart-ass voice I've ever heard her use,
"Wow. I wonder how come their moms knew it was raining and you didn't." Gasp. Gulp. Gasp.

I responded with something about how that was really mean and if we weren't going to school, she'd be in her room alone for an eternity and that she needed to just stop talking if she was going to be ugly. She apologized and I dropped her off, giving her a hug and a kiss as usual, but still kind of smarting from the sting of her remark.

Then, last night, I went in to lay with her. Hanging from her top bunk was a letter I had written her at parent/teacher conferences and left in her desk. It just says something about having a great day and we miss her when she's gone and she's the coolest first grader I know. And she hung it up. Went to the trouble to find tape, go in her room and find a spot for it.
When I saw it last night, I said "Hey, what's that?" She said, "It's my letter from you. I hang it there so I can see it every night." I actually had to bite my lip and hold my breath for a minute to keep from crying. My heart was as big as the helium balloon that flew away without a kid in it. I told her I thought it was so sweet of her and that I almost wanted to cry and she goes, "Hey, it helps me read and it makes me feel happy."

God, I love that kid. And she drives me crazy sometimes. But mostly I love her.
There isn't enough Prozac, Midol or booze to control these emotional mood swings. I guess, as they say in the movie, we have to just buckle up and enjoy the ride. I'm already feeling dizzy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I did NOT make them do this....

(I just made them do it again, for the camera.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Back to Normal

Finally! We are back to normal around here. Well, normal is a relative term, but my computer is fixed and my camera hardware and software has been reconnected. We are back in business.
And speaking of business, Rhett has been giving me the business on a regular basis lately. He is very two-and-a-half, very much a boy and very good at what he does.
First of all, he ends just about every sentence with some variation of a potty word. Example: I ask him to bring me his shoes. He responds with, "Okay, Pootie," or "No way, Pootah!" He knows he'll get in trouble for saying "poop"so he says a combination of "poop" and "tootie." Sometimes it's funny, but mostly it's exasperating.
He also makes a mess of everything. Everyone told me boys were different but I had no idea. Really, he wants to hit everything-people, furniture, walls, toys, etc. And take everything apart. And hit. And laugh and toot and say potty words. And hit. I can't even explain it, but if you have boys, you get it. It's just a lot. That's all. Not bad, just a lot. All the time. Except when he's sleeping...which is rare these days.
He's very aware that not doing what I say gets a big reaction. And Lord Almighty, is he getting reactions. Here he is, before he realizes that I'm taking his picture:
I wanted to take a picture of what he did to his left arm when he got a hold of a Sharpie. I caught him off guard and he yelled "Cheese!" before he knew what was happening. Ah, but then he remembered that his goal in life right now is to drive Mommy nuts and not posing for the camera is an easy way to do just that without getting in much trouble at all. So here he is...
You want to know what I said to him when he covered his face? I must admit, it wasn't one of my finer moments. I looked him in the face and, in all seriousness, I said to my two year old child, "Ha ha, I already got a good one!"

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Computer Died

Not that I've had any complaints about the lack of posts recently, but just in case any of you were wondering: Yes, I'm still alive. Sadly, my computer is not. I've been having trouble with it for quite a while...actually, since the Great Water Spill, it hasn't been the same. But in the past couple of weeks, there were times I couldn't even get it to turn on. And Sunday, it finally quit completely. There was nothing I could do to get it to boot up. My first and only thought was "MY PICTURES!" I had not backed any pictures up (the backup program slows things down, so we turned it off) since May. SINCE MAY! Do you know how many precious memories I have photographed since May???? I felt like I had been punched in the chest. How can they be gone? I know people whose homes burn down lose their pictures, but my house didn't burn. Nothing bad has happened and yet, my pictures are just gone????
I was a little more than slightly distraught yesterday morning, as I considered all of the things I have photographed in the last 6 months or so. I called my husband to commiserate and he said, "Well, I think I can fix it. Don't get your hopes up, but I've been talking to some guys here at work and I have an idea." And God bless that man if he didn't spend his lunch hour searching for the right part and then spend another hour figuring out that they gave him the wrong part; another thirty minutes was spent going to the store and getting the right part. (In the meantime, we contacted our friends, Bob and Kealey, who had had similar trouble. Bob offered to go to the store with Aaron to make sure he got the right thing this time. How sweet is that???)
And would you believe that they did it? They got the right part and then my darling, wonderful, computer-nerd of a husband spent about 3 more hours recovering all of my information from my hard drive and putting it on his. God love him. Seriously, I would have either tossed the laptop in the trash and cried for a solid month, or taken the computer to Best Buy and spent $4,000 letting them recover the pictures. Thank God for husbands (today, anyway)!
I am sooooo grateful to Aaron, his work friends and our friend Bob for all the help. It really does mean the world to me that we have some of our memories back. Just look at what we would have missed: