Sunday, December 9, 2007


Well, here I am again with a lot of time gone by between posts. So, I will give you a quick catch-up of what is up with us!!

1. C has lost two teeth! He lost the first the beginning of October. We were all super excited, although I was a little nostalgic (big surprise). Then, three weeks later, he lost the one next to it! The new ones are almost in. Such a big kid.

2. C is now 6! He had a huge pirate party in November. It was all-boy and so much fun - obstacle courses including football dummies, a cannonball fight with a real boat and a search for hidden treasure.

3. We had my family here for Thanksgiving - my parents, my sister and her family. It was such a special time - the dinner table set for 13! It was so hard to see everyone go home. After my parents left, C and R saw me crying. C asked if I had begged them to stay longer (I had). R asked who was going to play games with him now? ( I do).

4. R had his last day of preschool this year on Thursday. They had pajamma day at school and Santa came to visit. R is so excited about Santa this year. He LOVES him!

5. P went hunting in early November and got a 12-point buck. He is having the head mounted, and it should look great in either the garage or his office.

6. The University had a special Christmas open house on Thursday night. It was cold, there were Christmas songs playing and horse and carriage rides through the campus to see the lights (they are truly magnificent - rival the Opry Land Hotel). It was so magical and really got us all in the holiday spirit.

7. I took the boys to Breakfast with Santa on Saturday morning. When it was their turn to sit on Santa's lap, they were having a super long conversation with him. C eventually moved on, but R stood up and continued talking, making big gestures. I asked R what he was telling Santa - he would like a basketball goal. I hope Santa got all the specifications.

8. I was lucky enough to get to go to Memphis with some girls yesterday and watch White Christmas at the Orpheum Theater! The show was unmatched. My favorite Christmas movie performed live at the beautiful historic theater. Snow came down from the ceiling at the end!

I am trying to get things ready for Christmas! I got my cards done early this year and they've been sitting at my desk for 3 weeks waiting to be addressed. They will be addressed within the week!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Friday, October 5, 2007

So glad they love Bible class

While driving in the car:

C: Are there any bad guys here, Mommy?

Me: Well, there could be some people who are not good, but you don't need to be scared - you have lots of people to protect you.

C: Like who?

Me: Like, Daddy and me, police officers, our friends,

R: And God

Me: Yes, R!!! That's right! God will protect us!

C: And Jesus!

Me: Yes. Definately Jesus.

R: And Noah!

Me: Ummn. Possibly Noah.


When I think about significant milestones in my boys' lives, there are certain ages that stand out beside the obvious ones. 18 months - when my boys turned this age, I was able to breathe deeply and think I can do this!!! I gained more confidence, the boys had more independence. Gone were most of the sleepless nights, they could communicate their wants and needs. They were able to walk by themselves and understand instruction. That age was significant. (This is also the age C was when we conceived R, so I must have really felt confident!)

3 years. At this point, my boys were potty trained (for the most part). They seemed so much more independent and could do so much by themselves. Just becoming liberated from a diaper bag was huge. They started preschool and began socializing more.

Now, I am taking notice that 5 is a big year. C will be 6 in less than two months, but 5 is huge. He started kindergarten, which is such a big deal. I feel like he has matured tremendously since the start of school. He is gone five days a week, for the better part of the day, which makes my heart hurt! I still miss him so much! Like Shelley, I understand the urge to home school for a few years. He is responsible and is able to think things through and make decisions. He has a love for learning and a desire to be his personal best. I am so proud of him.

He lost his first tooth this week. On Wednesday night, after three or four days of wiggling, he let me pull it out and the tooth fairy came to visit him that night. Long after he went to bed, I was watching some show and the kids were graduating from high school and leaving their parents to go to college. One dad said 18 years went by pretty quickly, didn't it? Oh my goodness. I totally lost it. I finally get it. Now I know why it was so hard for my parents to leave me at college that August day some years ago. It's because our children grow up way too quickly! The preschool years are fleeting! Once they start school, I believe a piece of them is lost to us that grows larger every year. They start growing independently of us. I cried and cried for those poor parents whose children are leaving for college and the hole in their parents hearts they will leave as the parents try to figure out how to move forward. I cried knowing that P and I will be in those shoes in 14 years.

I am praying that I will be intentional and live in the moment, not worrying about tomorrow's soccer game, the fundraiser, the birthday party, but sit down and love my boys today.


Boxcar Derby

Today was the annual kindergarten boxcar derby. Since open house, we have been hearing about this event. This is a really big deal. The children and their parents are to make a race car out of a cardboard box. It must be at least six inches tall on each side. Those are the only requirements. We have been working on our car for over a week. It was so cool. It was painted blue with yellow "5"s on the side and C's name painted on the back. We had real lights in the front and reflectors on the back, real windows on the side and a windshield on the front. The race was scheduled for 9am this morning. The local newspaper was there, as well as the local radio station interviewing racers. One of the local banks set up a tent with donuts and coffee for the fans, which probably numbered in the hundreds. The entire school came out to cheer on the racers.

C had quite a cheering section. Besides me, P and R, Mammaw and Pappaw were there, our dear neighbors JuJu and HeyDad, Coach Brent and Miss Mary all came to root C on. The racetrack was the soccer field, set up for the runners to go twice around, with three pit stops. One to clean the windshield (wipe their faces), check their tires (check to make sure shoes are tied), and a water stop.

Each of the six kindergarten classes ran in 3 heats of five or six students. In C's first heat, he was neck and neck for first place. At the water stop, he drank all his water and kindly placed the cup back on the stand. The other kid threw his cup down. C caught up, but at the finish line, tied for second place. First and second place for each heat ran in the next heat to compete for classroom winner. C had the lead and won the race! He won for his whole class! Then, two minutes later it was time for the championship and he was just so tired. He did great, won a trophy and his picture will be in the paper!! We are so proud! He won for Mrs. W's class!

R was dying to get out there and run. It was killing him to just watch. I guess now we have game film for him to study over the next two years!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Loving Every Minute of It

September 17th - really??? Where have I been for blogworld in the last twenty-odd days? Well, probably...

taking C to school - making lunches - taking R to preschool - sorting through all the paperwork in the backpack - finding show and tell items at the eleventh hour because we changed our mind - soccer pictures - haircuts for the boys - cooking dinner - taking R to musicplay class - soccer practice - helping C's teacher - fieldtrips - driving to swim lessons - soccer games - lunch at school with C - memorizing aerobic routines

Whew! On Friday evenings, I collapse and think, what an incredibly busy week. I've been hanging on for the ride. Good thing there isn't that much on the schedule for next week. Ha. Ha. Ha. It is amazing that every week fills up so quickly. I remember my Mom telling me when the boys were babies that once they reach school, the time truly flies by. I am beginning to understand. Before I know it, it will be Christmas, then summer, then I'll be sitting at a high school baseball game cheering on my boys wondering how on earth I got there.

I must say that as busy as it is, I LOVE it. When I remember back to the dreams I had as a girl about what my life would be like when I grew up, this is exactly what I dreamed of. Of course, I thought I'd be living in a suburb of a large city with Target, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom, etc at my convenience, but that is stating the obvious. I have a wonderful husband who provides for my family, loves us so much and loves the time he spends with us. I love the privilege I have of staying at home with my family, being able to help out at school and be present and involved in the lives of my children. I am truly blessed beyond measure.

I just hope that I have the energy to enjoy all of it.

PS - Since I am a non-commenter, this is a shout out for some of you. Janelle - I am right there with you - hence the infrequency of posting. Alana - the multitude of paperwork in kindergarten - oh my goodness! I, too, am paralyzed by it. I am creating a 3-ring binder of C's work. Jen - I will never, ever forget Janelle's comment at C's birthday party! That memory is etched in our brains forever! The local magazine just ran an article on C's bug birthday party - I will try to remember to send you a copy - there are great pics of all your big kids. You all know that we would absolutely love if you came again. Can we coordinate our crazy schedules and plan a big kid and mommy sleepover? Love you all! And to Big Mama - I have to agree about the 7 for All Mankind jeans - my favorite pair EVER. Unfortunately, I wore a hole in the right knee. I am on the hunt for a replacement pair, although I have heard from a dear friend that Rock and Republic jeans are also great. Jennifer - love that Campbell is doing so well in soccer - maybe we'll play at adjacent fields some Saturday - would love to see you grab Warner running down the field - much like me grabbing R last year. How did Ace Hardware's team get such a great sponsor? Sports bags for the whole team? I am so jealous!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

We love Kindergarten

Well, the first week of kindergarten is behind us. And it was a huge success! C absolutely loves school. Let me break down our week for you.

The first day was quite emotional for me. We had everything laid out the night before. When I woke C up, I started tearing up just looking at him asleep in his bed, realizing that his whole world was about to change. At breakfast, I could not stop looking at and kissing on my big boy! He put his tennis shoes on (can you believe that for the first day, he was scheduled for P.E., so he had to wear tennis shoes!! A great first day outfit and he couldn't wear the cool flip flops), tied them up, took some pics and hopped in the car. We walked him in and he sat right down at his table and was ready to go. I had to keep going over to him and asking Do you remember where your snack is? I put your nap mat in your cubbie. Do you know how much I love you? He was excited and ready to get this school thing started, so I kissed him and walked out the door. P was a rock during all of this. Nostalgic, but holding strong. I seemed to hold it together pretty well until I went to a First Morning Coffee at church and our children's minister prayed for our kindergarteners. He asked that the Lord would walk with our children and keep them close to Him. That did me in. I just thought of our Almighty Lord holding my C in the palm of His hand, loving and protecting him on this first day of school and knowing that the all-powerful King of Kings loves my child like He does touched me to the core.

I picked C up, waiting in the school patiently for the bell to ring, and he had had a great day, although he looked so tired to me. What a long day. He had friends to eat lunch with and play with at recess. The rest of the week was great as well. He loves his teacher, loves his time on the computers, loves recess, library, music (shout out to Alana and Kindermusik), and art. Every day when I picked him up from school, he was happy and had stories to tell. R and I had a great week together, although he so missed his brother! When we picked him up from school, R would jump into a monologue describing everything we did that day. He was always excited to pick C up from school - Me can't wait to see C!

C had to take a family picture in to school on Wednesday. I asked him after school what they had to do with the pictures.

C: We had to talk into a microphone.
Me: How cool is that? What did you say?
C: I told them that daddy was a baseball coach. And that he is a professional baseball player.
P: Wow!
Me: What did you tell them about me?
C: I told them that you don't have any work and that you used to work in a bank. And guess what? That makes 5 mommies - 4 plus you is 5 that work in a bank!

This made us laugh so hard. The week before, we went to the bank and he deposited his piggy bank money into his own savings account. We were looking at the vault and I was explaining what it was. I told him that I had been in a vault, that when I was an auditor, in my early staff days, I had some banks as clients and I had to go into the vault and count some of the money. I've never actually worked at a bank.

Speaking of not having any work, my teaching aerobics at the university went great. I lectured this week and we'll start working out in another week. The girls in my classes seem great - very excited and fun. Turns out I like to lecture. Who knew? Maybe I won't be out of work for long.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ready to Go

This is it. We are ready. Kindergarten, here we come. We have all our supplies, and I have labeled each crayon, marker, glue stick, etc with C's name as instructed. We have our school clothes, we have a new backpack and lunch bag with C's name embroidered on. We know our teacher is Mrs. Wood. C can read and tie his shoes. He can count to 100 by ones, twos, fives, or tens. P shared a special day of fishing with C yesterday. They discussed character, making good choices and being a leader. A real man-to-man talk. School starts on Monday and we are ready to go.

Except maybe I'm not. I am trying to be ready. I know he will absolutely love kindergarten. But, I will miss him. I have spent more time with C during the last 5 1/2 years than anyone else. And I like to be with him.

We went to open house tonight. Our prayers have been answered. C's teacher seems wonderful. I loved her classroom. C is at a table with another boy and two girls. He already knows three children in his class. His teacher welcomes parents helping in the class, which I have always looked forward to. After the open house, we walked to the playground for a few minutes. Kid were calling his name right and left. Kids from baseball camp, basketball camp, preschool.

When we got in the car to go home, C stated I want kindergarten to start right now.

He's ready.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Possible Friends

Ok. Ever since my friend, Alana introduced me to Big Mama, her postings have become some of my daily readings. I have to admit, it was easy to get hooked. I wouldn't say that I consider her a celebrity or anything, and I do not feel I am star struck, but Big Mama is funny. And relevant. And I have felt that on more than one occasion, I can relate.

Well, I do not want to be a stalker, but I am feeling like the more I get to know Big Mama (well, the persona she provides on her blog), the more I feel like we could be friends. We have a lot in common. For instance,

  1. Her husband is named "P". So is mine.
  2. Her childhood home is very similar to mine. Including pretty much the same floorplan.
  3. We both saw our ob/gyn on the same day for our annual exams.
  4. She was reluctant to tell acquaintances she sees on a regular basis about her blog. I have to admit, I felt the same hesitancy.
  5. She cried after leaving the hospital after having her baby. Janelle can vouch for me on this. I drove by the hospital en route to the pediatrician for R's 2 day check up and started to feel sad looking at the window of the room that was R's first home. I still remember which windows were my rooms for both boys and the room numbers.
  6. Her husband loves shark week. P LOVES shark week. It is always a big deal in our house. Now, since C is the future biologist and knows all the animals, he gets right in on it. This boy knows his sharks. In fact, at the lakehouse, that was one of the games the boys and I played:

Me: Oh no - here comes a shark!

C: What kind is it, Mommy?

Me: Um. A hammerhead.

C: No. You already said that one. It is a thresher or zambizi shark (as the boys all run to shore).

I hate to spark your interest in Big Mama in case upon reading her blog, you realize how little entertainment value my blog holds. But, I am confident that my readers are here because they love and miss me and want to stay updated on our lives.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Dinner for four at Firehouse Subs - $25
Shopping trip to Target - $50 (less a return of $16)
Tickets to baseball game at new stadium - $24 (actually free to us because we had a connection)

Watching the man you love watch baseball with his son - priceless

During our baseball season this spring, C caught on. He knew the calls and sometimes called them before the umpire did. He was hooked. Watching him play T-ball this summer, I realized that he was one of the only boys on his team that played defense. He would get the ball and throw it home, or run to home plate to catch the ball before the runner got there. He is developing a love of his daddy's sport. Tonight, he was watching the game intensely, talking about it with his daddy. I ate it up.

And R had a good time, too. We went to the potty several times. Went to get a balloon. Tried to track down the mascot (I think he might be an illusion). We snacked, we danced, we watched people, we chatted with the trash guy.

It was a great ending to a fun, relaxing, kid-friendly week. I am determined to enjoy every minute until school starts and the craziness surrounds us again. Only three more weeks. If they fly by like this week did, it will be here before I unpack my Target sale items.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sweet Summertime

Today felt like summer. Finally. We slept in. The boys swam and played outside. We had lunch al fresco. We played games, we played trains. We made treats. It was fun, unstructured and unscheduled. It was summer.

Tonight after the boys' bath, I was waiting for R to get out of the tub, holding his towel for him. He greeted me with Hello, what is your name? I told him mommy and asked about his. He said his name and then told me all about himself. He has a sister named Courtney (not a true statement), and brother named C (true) and another brother named Potty (not true). He also remembered another sister named Window (not true). With the exception of C, all the siblings are younger than R. There are 14 beds in his room and he gave me the tour of his room with the 14 beds. He then told me that in C's room, there are 15 beds. Apparently we are living in a much larger house than I have perceived. It is no wonder I needed a vacation. I have been taking care of 3 additional children under age 3 that I didn't even realize were here. I guess it's easy to lose a few in the large bedrooms with 14-15 beds.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

On the Road

I just realized that my last post was June 28th. Just slipped this in before I went an entire month without posting. My goal is to treat my readers to quality posts, rather than quantity posts. In reality, I would love to post more frequently - I just haven't been able to work it into my regular routine. Not that we have one of those in the summer, but anyway.

I love vacation! I always forget how wonderful it truly is until I am in the middle of it. We started by going to my sister's house in Illinois. She and her husband have a 20-month old daughter. She is the sweetest! I have fallen in love with her. She has the most beautiful red hair and big, bright blue eyes. She thought the boys were the best and especially took to C. The boys were like big brothers to her. They were very patient and loving to her. My sister's city has an amazing community pool. I was so envious. It had a baby pool area with slides and fountains, then a huge family pool with buckets and sprinklers and slides for the little ones connected to a huge pool with lanes. Then, walk around the corner and there is a huge lazy river with another pool and two water slides. We had such a great time. One time, I was going down the blue slide with R in a double tube and at the end, he totally fell off and went under water. I got him up quick and the lifguard was there within a second. R was fine and wanted to go again immediately. I love his willingness to try it again. The boys (and their parents) had a fantastic day at the pool. The next day we all headed to Michigan. We had rented a lakehouse with all my family - my parents, my brother and his family from Malibu, and my sister and her family. We were all there to celebrate my parents' 40th wedding anniversary.

Let me just say that my parents are amazing. They worked tirelessly raising three children and now are enjoying their retirement together. They raised children who are successful, but more importantly, are all children of God. Sometimes I see them holding hands. My mom will relax on the sofa with her feet in my dad's lap. My dad still gives my mom backrubs. They are best friends. I am so grateful for all they have done and given for all of us children. We are so blessed to have these parents! Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad - I hope you enjoyed the week as much as we did.

We stayed in the lakehouse and swam, canoed, fished, made a campfire, played games, cooked, walked and talked, talked talked. My brother's boys are beautiful. His oldest is R's age - all the boys were best buddies. Their youngest is just 5 months old and such a cuddle bug. I got to love on him a bunch! Our family is crazy - with 8 adults and 5 children 5 years and younger, there are always at least 4 conversations going on at once - it was never quiet. The boys had the time of their lives jumping off the dock and playing on the beach. They never tired of playing outside. They also loved fishing with their dad and grandpa. We created some special memories on this trip. I appreciate all my family sacrificed to make this trip happen. I love them so much and treasure the moments we have together.

We then headed to St Louis for a few days of family time before going home. We went to the zoo the first day. Let me tell you that the St Louis zoo is arguably one of the finest zoos in this country - we have been to many. We have been to this one several times. Unfortunately, we have learned that we all have a zoo quota - there is a limit as to how much zoo you can handle in one summer. After visiting the Memphis zoo in May (also a good one), and the Little Rock zoo in June, I think we were harder to impress. Oh look - the lesser kudu. Wow. There's an elephant - is it Asian or African? Although the hippos are always a hit - watching them underwater as they swim and of course, my boys want to spend most of their time in the reptile house. Once while we were standing at the River's Edge, some lady wondered aloud what animal that was in front of us. C in a somewhat bored voice, that's a capybara. Yes, we know. We've seen them all summer. We did enjoy it in the 96 degree heat and saw the animals in a quick 3 hours.

The next day we visited the Magic House. We had not decided if we were going there or the City Museum. Rumor had it that City Museum was the "It" attraction for children 3 and 5. But in the end, we realized how much cash we had spent thus far in gas (upwards of $3.39 a gallon) and decided that since the Magic House would cost less $$, we would opt for that. My boys loved it!!! We took a break for lunch and came back for more. I had read on Janelle and Michelle's blogs that their family enjoys this place (yes, I read and enjoy your blogs - just have a hard time commenting - my log in won't work and I haven't worked it out). Our family also gives it our stamp of approval. It was great to see C and R wanting to be together - waiting for each other, looking for each other - wanting to experience it all as a team. I realized just how much they love each other and depend on each other to be there. What will R do with C in kindergarten next year? He'll probably spend his mornings bringing tissue to his mommy...

All said, we had a wonderful trip. P and I celebrated our anniversary while in St Louis. 14 years. P picked up dinner for us that we ate in the hotel room after the boys fell asleep. We had a wonderful day with the boys at the museum and swimming in the hotel pool. We didn't need a fancy dinner out or a date. We've done that. This year, we celebrated with the people we love most - the people who know us the best and still love us.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thursday 13

OK already!! I know I am not posting as regularly as some of you bloggers. It is just too much pressure. Things have been great here, just crazy-busy. I have not watched a TV show all summer. Not even the Today show. Our world could be crashing around us and I wouldn't have a clue. I rely on P to tell me anything important. Hopefully he has not held out on me. Here is an update of our important lives:

C has gone to baseball camp, hitting camp, basketball camp and swim lessons. He is turning into quite the athlete and we were all super proud of him winning the hustle award at basketball camp. The boys have gone to VBS - R was finally old enough to go this year and they both loved it. In addition to my regular Pilates classes, I taught a group of high school students this month who were in town for a special program. I had a group of girls and a group of boys. They were hilarious. Seriously. One boy kept referring to me as "our pretty little Pilates teacher" or "the beautiful Pilates teacher", one boy took my picture (yes, I realize it may be on the internet by now). This was ridiculously funny to me as I recalled it to my girlfriends. The really funny thing, she pointed out, is how I could totally be their mother!! Not so funny anymore.

Anyway, those nights involved teaching 3 classes per evening. I also am getting ready for a two-week vacation involving three different destinations. Hosted our book club's birthday bash this week (lovely, really), and in the beginnings of a business venture with two girlfriends (details coming soon). So, there has been a lot going on.

I LOVE to read. I love just having a stack of books waiting for me. Here is a list of thirteen books I'd like to read:

  1. Honeymoon With My Brother (kind of cheating, since I started it last night)
  2. The Book of Jane
  3. Water for Elephants
  4. Citizen Girl
  5. The Pact
  6. The Covenant
  7. Wicked
  8. I Capture the Castle
  9. ComeBack
  10. Grownup Girlfriends
  11. The Color of Water
  12. When Crickets Cry
  13. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Move Over Starbucks

There has been a request for Lydia's Homemade frapps. We here at the Shopaholic and Mommyhood blog are all about service, so since the recipe is readily available - on my counter where it basically stays (you would think I would have it memorized by now) I will share it with my faithful fan following. I am aware of the risks associated with sharing this - the fraps will no longer be a special treat I can whip up for friends. Now, you can enjoy them at any old house. Maybe not in the special glasses with special straws available at our house. Come over, let me whip some up for you.

"Yummy" Mocha Fraps

In blender, combine the following:
1 cup crushed ice
6 oz nonfat milk
4 heaping tablespoons instant hot chocolate
1 tablespoon instant coffee crystals (I use decaf, especially when sharing with C and R - yikes!)

Blend. Add more ice to thicken, add more coffee for a richer flavor. I top with whipped cream, from a can of course. You can also make them non-skinny by using milk with fat, or a double shot with more coffee, etc - you get the picture. They must be requested Starbuck's style - I'd like a decaf skinny mocha frap with whip. Enjoy!

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Cure for the Shopaholic

Just wanted to give you a little taste of what shopping with a 5 year old boy and a 3 year old boy after two nights of sleep-overs with their buddies (meaning sleep deprivation) is like. For some reason, in the midst of the madness, I recalled a similar moment in the past in which I am pretty sure the words I will not shop with both boys after sleepovers again ran through my head. Hmmn, a little too late with the memory.

The boys had a wonderful time with their buddies and as is the norm for sleepovers, sleep was comprised. But, I was determined to do a little shopping. I had already narrowed it down to the bare minimum - 5 stores. That was it. Some of them would just be a "walk in, look around, walk back out". 5 stores. Is that really too much to ask? Yes, it is.

We started off the day like this:

C: How many stores today, Mommy?
Me: 5! That's it! Only 5! Some of them will be really quick ones, too. I have a sticker for you and your brother for each store. If you are well behaved, stay with me, do not grab any merchandise and have best behavior, then you will earn a sticker and at the end of our little adventure, you can each get a giant bug - we have one spider and one praying mantis.

C: So, how many minutes will we be in each store?
Me: Not really sure. Maybe 10 minutes in one, and 1 minute in another.

As we arrive in the parking lot, R announces he has to go potty. Luck was on our side. The restroom was two doors down from the store I wanted to shop in. We all went potty and headed to shop. Right for the clearance section. Found a few things, headed for the fitting room.

R: Mommy, I have to go potty.
Me: What?
R: I have to go potty.
Me: Really? Because we just went potty like 2 minutes ago.
R: Yup.

Off we go. Again. We all go potty. Back to the store. Head straight for the fitting room where girl has held my items. I start to try on.

C: Mommy, I have to go potty again.
Me: Seriously! What is it with all this pottying? You really have to go again? Can you wait 5 minutes?
C: Need to go now.

Back to the potty. I have not caught on yet to the allure of these restrooms. Sure, they have automatic flush and sinks, but really. C has a crisis because the automatic toilet won't stop flushing while he is trying to go. I manage to get the door unlocked and go in and save him from the tidal wave.

Back to the store, purchased my items, cut the store list to 2 and got out of there. Boys got their bugs. I'm not even sure I like to shop anymore.

Just Call Me Dixie

Ok. I'm back. I have taken a leave of absence from blogging, but (audible sigh of relief), I am back. Seriously, it has been 13 days since my last post. What is going on here??

I only claim the excuse of busyness,which is really not an acceptable excuse, because, really, what young mother living in 2007 is not busy(emphasis on young)? I have had a wonderful visit with family, a trip to Memphis, a trip with the boys to Branson, and lots of T-ball games, teaching my classes, swim lessons, playdates, etc. No time to sleep, much less blog.

So, I am making an attempt to re-enter the blog world. No promises on frequency, but I will try to keep you updated on the big stuff (and the little stuff, too).

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Black Hole

Recently, a dear friend posted about the Black Hole, more commonly known as Target. This seems to be a black hole because while well-intentioned, we just can't seem to escape without buying things we don't need and spending more than we intended to. Here are my thoughts on the Black Hole:

I used to be sucked in. Every time I was shopping in the vicinity of Target, I had to stop in and just see what they had. Sure, I probably had a few things on my list - toothpaste, Ziplocs, soap, but I always seemed to veer from my list and end up with great things at great prices, but not things I needed or money I needed to spend. I started thinking about it recently and realized that my personal issue with Target is that I see it as a special treat to go there. For some reason, when I am there, I grab things as if it might be the last time I can go to Target. I must claim this item!! I also must give some credit to the atmospheric effect. I am not sure why, but when I walk into Target, I feel like I am home. I know the exact layout of the store, I am relaxed, happy and excited to shop.

I know this may be shocking to hear from a Shopaholic, but lately, I have been somewhat surprised at my spending there. Where once, $80 was my consistent spending there, a few months ago, it was only $40, then $30, then $15 and the last time, only $7!! Each time, I have exclaimed to the cashier, I don't think I've ever spent this little in Target!!! Now, I don't know how it is possible to continue this trend without sticking to the dollar spot. I still love Target dearly, but I'm hoping I can enjoy and still be able to send my children to college.

Mommy Love

Yesterday was a perfect holiday. P and I got to sleep until 7:45 (late at our house). I went for a long run and decided to do the stairs over at the high school. Came back and got some much needed house cleaning done while the boys played outside and helped P with yard work. Then we went to a cookout and had the best barbeque and fun time with good friends.

Mommy Love is what I call it when I need some love from my boys. As in I need my mommy love. That is C and R's cue to give me some hugs and kisses. C always obliges and initiates sometimes, but R is starting to enter an affectionate stage. He'll be playing or eating lunch and all of a sudden he will shout BIG HUG! or BIG KISS! This is his demand for some love and I am always happy to give him some.

Yesterday, C was needing some Mommy Love. It was so sweet. I got back from my workout and he was upset because he needed to see me. (This is pretty unusual for him. Usually when I take him anywhere, I am lucky to get a wave goodbye - then I have to steal a kiss!) I had to run to the store for a few items in the afternoon and C ran out of the house needing a hug before I left.

I know there might be a time in my future (hopefully a long time off) when he will come home from school, throw his backpack down and head to his room without saying much to me. Maybe if I bank all this Mommy Love now, it will carry me through those days. Although, I am not above standing outside his door and waiting for him to come out and give me a little Mommy Love.

To paraphrase an article written by Maura Sheehy entitled Beyond the Baby Years, I have a desire to hang on to this magical moment when my children are little and I am blessed with excess. Unlike in any other stage of my life, I am doubly aware of its occurrence and its passing. I wish I could be like Zen and let the days stream through my fingers like sand as I rejoice in each grain of a moment. But I musn't try to stop it. I know that if I don't allow this time to pass, I'll miss all the riches yet to come.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday 5 - part two

Since I posted a Friday 5 last week, I feel obligated to continue. Here are 5 random thoughts of today:

  1. If you have homemade Reese's peanut butter bars in the refrigerator and seal them up and put them in the very back, behind many large items, including the milk and juice, you will still know they are there all day.
  2. Chalkboard paint is not as easy to apply as the 3-step directions on the can.
  3. Chalkboard paint is almost impossible to get off your hands.
  4. Just because your three year old says things like wunnerwear (underwear) and ows (ouch), does not mean he is not biggeh (bigger).
  5. The last day of school does not automatically generate a feeling of excitement and utter glee. In moms, it can mean a tearful goodbye to the preschool attended by your precious child (5 1/2 years old today!!). Even though you find it sentimental and must pull out your camera for yet another picture of your child in front of the building, your child will quickly run to the car, only having interest in going to Lenny's for lunch.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Tick

Warning to Alana - this post might send you over the edge. Read at your own risk.

Two days ago, I read an email from a lady at church who usually sends out prayer requests. This email was about tick removal. It said that the best way to remove a tick is to take a cotton ball, cover it with liquid soap, place on the tick and the tick will just come right out. Hmmn. I stored that in my brain as information that might become useful at some point.

Little did I realize I would need such helpful information the very next morning! I noticed that I had a tick on my hip. I showed P, who verified that it was in fact a tick and I told him about my great new removal plan. Guess what? My tick must have been ahead of the game and prepared for the old cotton ball and liquid soap trick. He did not budge after three attempts. P advised me using his method and I ended up killing the tick with its head inside my body. We removed the tick and P assured me that I would not get Lyme Disease.

Later that day, I received another email from the same lady who retracted her email after receiving new data. Apparently, if you use the cotton ball/soap method, the tick will vomit inside your body and that is what is dangerous. Great. Now I get to worry about tick vomit in my hip. Add it to the list...

Smashed to Bits

Okay. While I am sitting at my desk at the computer, in my bedroom, which is located right next to a row of three windows, the neighbor boy is practicing baseball. He has a pitching machine and is practicing his batting. About every three minutes, I hear a boom and notice that the ball has hit the bricks on our house, just below the windows. Why is he hitting the baseball toward our house? Why has he hit our house 5 times and not changed position? How long will it be before my window is smashed to bits and I am pelted with shards of glass?

P just came in and I informed him of the situation. Here was his response: Is he a good hitter?

Pre-K Party

Today was C's preschool class end of the year party. He is now officially done with Pre-K and ready for kindergarten in the fall. The party was so much fun! His teacher arranged (with P) to have the party at the university baseball field. They got a tour of the field, press box, dugouts and clubhouse. Then, they got to play and run all over the field, play catch, and Mrs. R had some games for them. Since the class is comprised of 11 boys and 3 girls, you can imagine what a hit this was. Then, we headed over to the student center and had pizza. C is exhausted after all that fun, so bedtime is coming early tonight.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The car

Today I was driving in the car with the boys strapped in the back. All of a sudden, we hear something hit the car (sounds like a small, metal object to me). We all ask what was that? I tell the boys that I have no idea what that was, hopefully our tire will not roll off, and when we finish our errand and come back, we can look in the road and see if we see anything suspicious.

We come back and see nothing in the road.

R: Mommy, I think it was a cheetah that hit us.
Mom: Hmmn. Could have been a cheetah.
C: No. Cheetahs live all the way in Africa. It was a dog. Dogs rule this place.

If P comes home and finds a ding on the car and asks what happened, I will tell him I'm not sure, but it was probably either a cheetah or a dog. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Jumpy Jump

This is the last week C will be in preschool. Today, I took R to the local gymnastic center for JumpTime. They had a ton of inflatables for the children. R and his buddies had a blast! It was over two hours of climbing, sliding, and jumping. I don't think the smile ever left any of the children's faces (except of course when they landed on each other, or jumped onto someone else). I was thinking today that R is now close to the age that C was when we moved here. I thought C was so big then - ready for him to embark on his big preschool adventure. Now I don't know how it went by so fast. I have tried to download some precious pictures of R going down the inflatable slide, but we cannot get high speed internet here (I know, welcome to 1992) and it is just not working out for me. I may try from P's office later in the week.

Funny thing that happened at Jumpy Jump to mommy. While R and his friend, Maria, were on the trampoline, Maria's mom and I wondered if we could do a seat drop. It was a challenge. She did one, so of course I had to give it a try. I did it, but I felt like every vertebrae in my low back got stuck in a vise. Then, we all had to see if we could do cartwheels. The lucky thing is that no one but our own little group was there. If the coach had seen us, she might have asked us to please, stop. The gym does not have insurance coverage for mothers trying to regain their youthful flexibility (I will tell you with pride, however, that my cartwheel right and left, were flawless).

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I'm Thankful

Today I'm thankful. For my two precious boys who have a love of learning. I'm thankful that they love to learn and sing songs, love hearing stories, love to apply the stories that they've heard. All of this is even more special when they are talking about and singing about their Lord.

We have been blessed to find a great church family. The children's ministry is fabulous. My boys love going to church and come home telling me what they've learned, excitedly. Tonight, on the way home from a friend's house, R said he wanted to hear music. I turned on the radio, searching for the Maroon 5 song I can't get out of my head. But, R said I want Here Comes Jesus Walking on the Wa-tuh. He and C sang along with all of the songs. I love that they love to sing about Jesus. It warmed my heart. I know that next year C will enter the new world of school. Kindergarten. He will be around children whose parents and families may not have similar values. He will hear things not appropriate for a 5 year old and see things he shouldn't. But, I just think if I pray continually for him, his teacher and his schoolmates, and fill him up as much as I can with the good stuff, he will be ok.
I may not be ok on that first day of school, but I think he will do great.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Sale of All Sales

Ok. Lots of curiosity about the PB Outlet. Let me go into detail - probably should because it may be considered a defining moment in my shopping life. The Outlet is in Memphis. I just recently found out about it. I've been twice before and found a few good deals - cute towels for the boys, a bulletin board, etc. But this week was unlike any other. Let me take a few deep breaths and begin...

We walk in, trying not to be too excited. We didn't really want to get our hopes up in case it was a flop (although Heather did take out the back seats in her minivan just in case we found stuff, so she was obviously more hopeful than I let myself be). We decided to pace ourselves and start to the right and work our way around. Definately need a strategy. We noticed that rugs were 30% off and gave them a glance, but honestly, 30% off $699 is not the kind of bargain we were there for. So, we continue toward furniture. The blue bookshelf I had discovered a few weeks ago was there (found at a great price, but could not fit it in my vehicle with two carseats in there. Tried to consider all my options, but short of making the boys sit in my lap on the way home, I couldn't come up with a realistic solution. I had to part ways with the blue bookshelf so perfect for R's room). Well, as I said, I found MY bookshelf and grabbed the tag off immediately so no one else could even consider it. It was originally $299 at the outlet. I got it for $20. I repeat, $20. If you enjoy shopping and bargains even a tiny bit, you are starting to feel my excitement. Hold on to your shopping bag - it gets better.

We move over to the clearance area. I had seen this area before and it consisted of odds and ends and basically things that did not make sense - a shower rod without an end, miscellaeous drawers without a dresser, etc. Well, we go over and look at the items on the table with a slight disinterest and then start looking through this massive box. We decided to develop a system and took everything out to see it all. I was originally attracted to the box by an Easter basket liner with C's name embroidered on it. It was 97 cents. So, I was pulled in. We took things out, discussed them and came up with our stash. Good, but nothing huge. We maintainted our control. Until we saw it. About 3 feet away from us the whole time. The sign. The sign that will forever change my definition of a good sale. It read


Heather and I looked at each other with disbelief and started through the box all over. All control was lost. At one point, I think Heather may have fallen in. We dove deep. We would do anything to get our bargains. If there were others wanting to look in the box, they would have to wait. Truth be told, I'm not sure others noticed the sign at first either, so we pretty much had the area to ourselves to work. The sign changed everything. Suddenly things that were $30 were now only $9! I cannot tell you all the deals I got, but to give you an idea, I got a roman shade for C's room for $3, tab top panel curtains for R's room for $6, red and blue buckets with handles for $1.50 each, Easter baskets for 90 cents, a lampshade for $3, a duvet cover for $9, etc, etc. When we went to check out, after 3 additional trips to make sure there wasn't anything else we could use, Katie, the check out lady LOVED us. She would just take $10 off the price before the 70% without us even knowing she was doing it!! We had huge carts full of stuff. After that, we totally could have gone home happy. So, the rest of the fun trip was all bonus.

Ahh. A Shopaholic's dream sale. Thank you, PB Outlet, thank you, Katie, thank you, Heather.
Thanks to whoever made the executive decision to get rid of all the clearance and mark it 70% off. There is nothing better (well, maybe 90%, but I've got no complaints).

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday 5

Yes, I know. It's been a week since I last posted. I know I should have posted all through the week, but whenever I found time to connect, I found myself enjoying other blog entries and then had no time to write my own. So, today I am determined to post. I missed the Thursday 13, so here is my Friday 5:

Highlights of the week
  1. Mother's Day. Seeing the look of pride on my boys' faces as they handed me cards and gifts. Their little faces were certainly gift enough.
  2. Beautiful weather. (I am a sunshine snob. Even when we are in the midst of draught conditions and the lawns are brown and everyone is praying for rain, if the sun is out, I'm a happy girl - the only one sighing with disappointment when the rain comes. May be living in the wrong state).
  3. Two-day girls' trip to Memphis. Doubled-over in laughter, maintaining a train of thought, bargain hunting, chick-flick, lots of ice cream.
  4. 70% off lowest marked price at Pottery Barn Outlet. Seriously may be the single best shopping experience of my life. Diving into the huge box and finding the best deals ever. May be on a shopping high from this for a long time (we can hope).
  5. Lots of hugs and kisses from C and R upon my return. Hearing R say I missed you, Mommy!! and Dove Dou, Too.

Friday, May 11, 2007

What I'm Loving Right Now

Alana posted a list of what gives her "Happy Feet". Here is a list of what I love:

  • sunny days
  • date night
  • watching my boys play and laugh together
  • a one-hour (or longer) massage
  • plain M&Ms
  • the ocean
  • my boys in their jammies after bath
  • watching my boys with their grandparents
  • travel
  • sushi
  • all of my boys (especially P) in baseball caps
  • a morning run
  • time spent with my brother and sister
  • chick flicks
  • a surprise full tank of gas
  • a French pedicure
  • the smell of fresh-cut grass in the summer
  • being with friends
  • Cold Stone creamery
  • my MP3
  • playdates that last all day
  • Pop Goes My Heart video from Music and Lyrics
  • sharing a secret with my 5 year- old
  • When my 3 year- old pulls me back at bedtime for another kiss good night

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Good days

P and I went on a date last night. I can't even begin to explain how wonderful it was. We have needed a date night for so long, but with P's busy season, it hasn't even been a possibility since the end of January. (Although I think we did sneak off for dinner together around Valentine's Day - a quick dinner and then back to work for P). We secured our sitter, who my children totally adore, I love and of course, she is graduating on Saturday. Hate to lose Miss Jessica! Anyway, we went to the steak place for dinner because some friends had gotten us a gift card. We had yummy steaks (a once-a-year dining experience for me, who usually avoids red meat) and relaxed and caught up with each other. It was so nice to connect! The server brings us our check and we place our gift card and our credit card (to cover the $4 we went over) in the case. She comes back shortly and explains that there was a problem wtih the computer - they can see that our gift card has $30 on it, but it is not running through, so she just wanted to check and make sure it was ok to charge the whole amount on our credit card. Ummn, no. Not ok I say with a smile. The gift card is the reason we chose to eat here tonight. Ok. She heads off to try to figure it out and lo and behold, she gets it to work. So, our dining experience was good, the company was the best and our children were asleep when we got home (although R had winter jammies on - a trend he tried to continue tonight. Apparently, Miss Jessica is a little more lenient than Mommy when it comes to wearing flannel when it is 90 degrees outside).

I had a great day with my boys today. Then, this afternoon, I get a phone call from my friend, Heather, who wants to stop by with something. She brought a plate of goodies, some monogrammed napkins and a really sweet note. Totally brightened my day and made me thankful for friends. She is an answer to prayer. It just reminds me that when I feel led to do something nice for someone, I should make sure I do it. Sometimes I get so caught up in the big TO-Do list that my good intentions fall by the wayside. Heather is so my shopaholic buddy. :)

Oh yeah. More good stuff. Just found out that our town is getting a Belk department store, McAlister's Deli and Starbuck's. This might just put us on the map. Now if only we could get a Target, but I'm sure that's a post to come.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Fever Pitch

Last night was my 5-year old, C's first T-ball game. I LOVE T-ball (I know every mommy says this - but they are so adorable in their white baseball pants, hat and cleats).

Last night, C's game was scheduled for 6:30. I taught aerobics at 5:15 and drove over to meet P and the boys at the field. Let me tell you, the baseball complex has the right moniker. It is COMPLEX!! I had been to practice at their designated field, but I walked around and saw every other field before finally seeing a gaggle of little boys in green shirts. Ahh, the Gators. Upon arriving, I realized that I left the camera in the laundry room (put down in haste when the door bell rang) and the camcorder charging in the kitchen. Not mommy of the year at this point. P so kindly pointed out that no one will ever know from the footage or photos if it is the first game or the 10th, so I will try to get the next game memorialized.

C played so well! I was a little worried because when we practice, he prefers to be pitched to rather than hitting off a tee. He did fantastic. He played first base and got after the ball every time and threw it to second base. We were so proud. Even his preschool teacher came to watch. R, at 3 years old, is dying to play. He knows most of the university baseball players and will play around the yard - I'm number14-the catcher, now I'm number 3...and names him! The boys love baseball, which is a good thing in our house.

With two games scheduled each week, I am going to bank a lot of hours in the laundry room. Who picked white pants for a team of 5 year olds? C is in slide mode. He LOVES to slide - everywhere. At home, when it is time for lunch, he slides to the table. When I call him to pick up toys, he runs up and slides to me. Sliding has become a regular form of transportation. Of course, he slid about 6 times during the game, so we are going to put our Oxiclean to the test!!

Go Green Gators!!

Monday, May 7, 2007

It's Pilates, Jerry.

I taught my Pilates class tonight. I LOVE teaching fitness classes. The women who take my classees are wonderful and I can't think of a better paying job than working out. That being said, sometimes I just hope they keep me on! Do you know that feeling when you think of something hilarious, but it is totally inappropriate to laugh, which makes it incredibly hard not to totally bust out? Well, tonight I was thinking how funny it is that whatever I tell my class to do, they do it. I say move into the plank position and they all do it, no questions asked (ok, at times there have been a few groans). I started realizing that I could say anything and they would do it! If I said get up off your mats and do jumping jacks around the room they might shrug their shoulders and think the instructor has gone totally off her mind, but they would probably do it. This struck me as so funny. My class is so trusting of me! So, I smiled and one of my students saw me smile and smiled back. This did it for me. I had to laugh. I couldn't explain it to my class, but I was struggling desperately to maintain control. Deep breaths. Inhale, exhale.

I teach at least half of the class facing the class. This means that I have to think of what I am doing and then invert it for the class. So, I think lift your left leg, but I must say lift your right leg. It is like I am constantly translating my class into Latin. Well, I am trying so hard to get the correct side that in almost every class, I have said the wrong body part. By a long shot. I don't realize it for a few seconds, and then I have to laugh, but I am way off. For example, instead of saying shoulder, I have said elbow. I said ankles instead of wrists. Minor errors. Good thing my class is filled with good-humored, easy-going women who must just ignore what I say and just follow what I'm doing. Trusting girls. I will lead them to 6-pack abs and a core of steel!

I have to say, one of the big perks is wearing the headset.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Where do they shop?

Ok. Do you ever see those girls who always seem to surprise you with a super cute outfit when they've been living in sweat pants everytime you've seen them all week? How do they do that? They seem so effortless with their style - like they are fine with the sweat pant style (no judgments are being passed). So you just kind of categorize them in your head as Sweat Pant Girl. Then, you go to Book Club, or church and wow - they have the cutest outfit on. Not one you have spotted at the Gap, Target, Dillards, or TJ Maxx. So you ask where they found such a great find. They nonchalently say Old Navy every time! Let me tell you - I have been to Old Navy a lot and I like their clothes, but these outfits are never there! What Old Navy are they shopping at? And why don't they want to talk about shopping and clothes? Why are they hiding their shopping secrets? I admire the effortless style they have like I just threw this old thing on, but I have to say it is driving me nuts.

I am going to Old Navy this week.

What have I gotten myself into?

I can't believe I am doing this. Starting a blog. I have no idea what this entails - just threw myself in head first. I have to say that I have been influenced. Alana and Janelle just started blogs and although my first reaction was where would I find the time for that?, I have to say that I was intrigued. Plus, I trust these friends, so I hold them entirely responsible for any dishes that get ignored, laundry that goes unfolded, must-haves on sale that go unpurchased, etc. Hopefully this will be a fun way to keep family and friends involved in our family's happenings.