Monday, March 30, 2009

A Monday Memory

I was scrolling through my pictures from springs' past, and I came across the sweetest pictures of Philip and Madilyn, I couldn't resist posting them for you. These pictures are from the end of March, 2006. Philip was 13 months old, Madilyn was 7. Philip loved his sister so much, and she loved him too.

Madilyn loved to read books to Philip, and he was all for the special attention. Philip also loved the camera, and would always give me the cutest smiles on cue.

And how does a baby brother thank his big sister for a sweet reading time?

With as big of a baby hug as his little body can muster!

And lucky me, I just happen to catch the first time Philip stood up all by himself.

Looks like the beginning of the end of the crawling baby, right! Well, good thing I didn't hold my breath waiting on the walking to happen. It would still be two more months before that miraculous event would occur!

I love me some stinky cheese!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I got Pho-Tagged!

Instructions for Tag: Go to My Pictures, choose the 6th folder, the 6th picture in that folder. Post it and blog about it.

Thank goodness to all to all that is right in the world that this picture was of Colin. I promise, people, I do love my son, Colin. And I promise I let him out of the attic more than once in a blue moon to take a picture of him. He does exist, and here is some proof, even if this picture is three years old!

This picture is of Colin at his preschool Bike-a-thon in April 2006. Colin was almost 5 years old. Colin was a super bike rider. He learned to ride without training wheels shortly after he turned 4, so by the the time this bike-a-thon came around, almost a year later, he was a pro at it. It was a beautiful day, and everyone had such a good time.

So, let's see, who will be the lucky tag-next-sters? How about Miriam, Annette, Jennifer, and Mom.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Why I Blog

I started blogging for lots of reasons. I have always loved to write, but haven't had a reason to really write for myself in a long time. I have found that blogging is a great creative outlet. I also blog as a source of record keeping, or journaling if you will, a place to keep it all together. I love the combination of the written word and snapshots of our life.

I also blog to keep my family and friends updated on all our comings and goings (even though no one hardly ever leaves me a comment - I still know you are reading, and that should be all that counts, but would it kill you to just say hey!)

But today, I learned there was a new reason for my blogging, one I never dreamed would exist! Apparently, I blog to give my brother-in-law something to do while he is, umm, in his own words, "taking a dump".

Glad my "mad writing skills" can make that experience a little more enjoyable for you, Ross. And please wash your hands when you are done!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Sweetest Thing

When Philip brought me my camera, and asked me to take his picture, mainly because he had just brushed his teeth, and was so proud of himself for doing it all by himself, without having to even be told, I was happy to oblidge. A few snaps later, I get a "Me loves you" and one really big hug from my sweet little boy. It doesn't get any better than that!

Looks like Philip should have taken the time to wash his mouth after brushing his teeth. But this is still the sweetest thing.

Me loves you too, little Phil Phil.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Day 5 of the "Good vs Bad" Update

Well, we made it to Day 5. Have you been keeping up? Are you glad it is finally over? Would you rather me updating you on P Philips? Isn't my life just so exciting!

Now, normally on Day 5, aka Friday, aka my most favorite day of the week, I would have posted about going on a lunch date with my husband every Friday when I get off work at 11:30 for the day. Madilyn and Colin are still at school, and Philip should be sleeping soundly during rest time at his "school". And since we all know what it is like to take my kids out to eat, Donny and I truly enjoy our little Friday lunch dates, children free. One day, we went to Shane's and it was nice day, so we were going to eat outside on the patio. I checked and there was a family out there with like 4 or 5 kids, so we decided to eat inside instead. We relish in our rare child free moments, and we didn't want someone else's noisy messy children to ruin our free time. I know, I'm so pleasant. But you take what you can get!

So, with that being said, I must inform youthat this day will not be about our child free lunch. In fact, the day has not been child free at all, since the kids were out of school for a "Teacher Work Day". Now, correct me if I am wrong, but shouldn't everyday be a teacher work day? Why do the children have to be out of school in order to get these slacker teachers to work? What kind of school system is this place running?

My kids jumped for joy at the news there was no school today.

Which leads us to the bad, I told you something bad would sneak its way onto here. What do working parents do with their kids when there is no school? Unlike the last time I had this dilemna, today, was a day of don't ask, don't tell. So, don't ask, I'm not telling.

You wouldn't approve.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Day 4 of the "Good vs. Bad" Update

If I count how many times I have missed baby showers, girls' night out, scrapbook night, church events, Enrichment meetings, etc. etc., well, let's just say, it would be a lot. Before Georgia was on my mind, I was quite the social bug in my Memphis circle of friends. We used to have so much fun, getting together, and doing whatever. If something was going on, I was there. But man, my life has changed. Why, you ask? It's called "three kids and a husband who works night". What was I to do with our offspring on evenings when I would have very much enjoyed getting out and about with friends and church members, but no one home to watch said offspring. Get a sitter? Yeah, that's really not my style. Especially on a school night, because then I just feel anxious knowing I have a curfew that I need to be home in time for, to get the sitter home on time, and get my kids to bed late, then everyone is grumpy the next day. It's not worth the effort. So why not take them with you? Umm, have you ever met my kids? No thanks.

So, now after the great change of '09, I can actually leave the house at night, and know that my children are not running wild through the neighborhood, destroying homes and taking prisoners along the way. I can go out and leave them at home with their dad. Imagine that. Now if that is not a good positive change, then I don't know what else counts.

So, last night for the first time in almost three years, I went to an Enrichment meeting. And it was quite delightful. I just left my house on foot, and walked three houses down to my neighbor Cec's house for the meeting. I felt a little like a Utahian. It was a great night, and lots of ladies came out to welcome me back to my night life. Well, they were actually there for the own personal Enrichment, but I will pretend they were there to celebrate me.

Thanks for the party ladies. It was great!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Day 3 of the "Good vs. Bad" Update

When you are a single parent, as I was for three long years while Donny worked nights, you tend to let the little things slide. You struggle just to get the necessities taken care of every day, things that have to be done, like homework, baths, and sleep. I had to feed them, too. Imagine that. When I was a kid and lived at home with my parents, we always had family meals together. Everyone sat at the dinner table to eat, and everyone ate the same thing, whether you liked it or not, and believe me, there were times when we did not like it - Great Northern Beans - YUCK! I hated those days!

If I were a good mom, all those nights at home with just me and kids, I would have prepared dinners, had all of us sit around the table together, and eat. But that was not the case. Meal time with three young kids and only one parent involves that one parent constantly having to get up after requests of "I need more milk" or "Can I have more macaroni" or "I wanted honey mustard, not ketchup", someone always spills a drink, and you can bet at least one kid will have to go to the bathroom during the meal, thus needed my assistance to then clean their delectable little bottom. Plus, they don't eat much, so they get done pretty quick, so I often ended up alone at the table after they all scampered away. I found myself becoming a waitress during mealtimes alone with my kids, so it didn't take me long to decide that I would not eat until they were all done. That way I could actually sit down and enjoy my food, after I had dismissed them from the table and sent them on their way.

Now I know what you are thinking and where this is going. Now that Donny is home in the evenings, we have the perfect little family meals around the table, where we all enjoy our food and each other's company. If that is what you are thinking I'm about to tell you, then you don't know my family very well. We are not that kind of family. It just doesn't work that way for us. Last night, for instance, dinner involved everyone shoving pizza in their mouth as we hurried out the door to Colin's ball game. But tonight, well tonight was a rare moment in our house. We're not perfect, by any means, but we should be rewarded for our effort to have a meal together as a family.

A- for effort.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Day 2 of the "Good vs. Bad" Update

Anyone know my kid Colin? Yeah, I know what you are thinking, if you really know him, I'm thinking the same thing. But Colin has been trying really hard lately to change his behavior. I had a little "Come to Jesus" conversation with Donny recently regarding the negative behaviors both he and Colin demonstrated towards each other. It seems to have helped. They are trying to work out their differences. It's not always easy, as Colin is a kid that could make the most patient of all people a little aggrevated. But I can tell that he is trying.

One super, fantastic, wonderfully great thing about our new schedules is that this year Donny has the time to be an assistant coach on Colin's baseball team. Now for Colin that means spending some good quality time with his Dad, playing ball and having fun. I don't know if Donny's coaching has anything to do with it, but Colin is enjoying playing ball much more this year than last year. And that is always a good thing. For Donny, that means late nights at the ballpark, learning that 7-8 year old boys cry all the time, and his kid is not the only kid in the world with an attitude problem and a disrespectful mouth.

Good times for all!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Day 1 of the "Good vs. Bad" Update

Remember how I told you recently about some changes in our life? Well, hard to believe, but it has now been six weeks, so I thought I would update you on the progress we have been making with our new schedules. Everyday this week I am going to post about something that has changed due to our new schedules. I will try to stay positive, and only focus on the good, because most everything has been good, but don't be surprised if something ugly sneaks its way onto here.

First and foremost, because let's all face it, he is my favorite, I'll tell you how Philip is doing. Little Phil Phil is enjoying his daily dose of reality at "school". School is a much more pleasant sounding term to use to help lessen the severity of guilt I feel about leaving my son at, dare I say the word, daycare. As if anyone can "care" for my child all "day" the way I can. But school, well school is good. School helps children learn. Many days I'm not sure what, exactly, they are learning, but I am told learning does take place.

I have to admit that I am a briber. If I can get desirable results out of my children by offering up a bribe to reward them for their efforts, you can bet I will do it. Oh, please, like you have never bribed your children? Goody-goody.

So, when Philip was demonstrating resistence to his new lifestyle, I knew I had to find a way to eliminate the tears and unhappiness, both his and mine. For a while now, he has been asking for a "packpack", or you may know it as a backpack. I have not bought him one because I didn't see any reason for him to need one. Not that that has ever stopped me from buying something my kids wanted. I have other issues with saying "no" that we won't discuss at this time. But with regards to the "packpack" I must have subconsciously known I would need that desired gift to serve a greater purpose than "just because you are the cutest kid in the world and I can't say no to anything you ask me for, especially when you throw yourself on the floor of the store and scream and yell and kick me, and tell me you're not my friend anymore" - That always gets them what they want. What? Like you won't do anything to get your screaming kid to shut-up in the store? And, yes, I said Shut-up.

Side story - back before Christmas we were in the store looking at Power Wheels because we knew we wanted to get Philip one for Christmas. Well, Philip decided he had to have one right then, and literally started screaming and crying at the top of his lungs "I want it" over and over. As we were hurrying through the aisles to make our escape out the doors, this old lady stopped us and told us we needed to get him whatever it was he wanted. Now normally, I would just smile, and keep going, but not this day. I looked that old bat, I mean lady, in the eyes, and said, in my not-so-pleasant, I'm about to rip your head off, mean mommy voice, "Well, what he wants is a $400 Power Wheels 4-wheeler. Now if you would like to purchase said item for him, be my guest. Otherwise, mind your own business, you old hag!" I just added the old hag part, I could never be that disrespectful. Well, yes I could, but the old lady just got off lucky.

Does that story count as my "Monday Memory"?

Now back to the "packpack". After the first week of unhappiness due to having parents that love income more than him, I could tell Philip was going to need some persuasion to help him accept his new situation. So, with my most loving, happy mom-of-the-year voice, I tell Philip that if goes the whole week without crying when I take him to school, I will take him to Target on Friday and buy him whatever backpack he wants. His eyes tell me that this was an idea he could get on board with. After daily reminders in the car on the way to school each day that week about the promised backpack, we had no more tears.

So, off we go on Friday to Target to get the most desirable backpack they have to offer. My selection would have been the more age-appropriate Diego backpack. But apparently, while I work my life away, my baby has decided that he is more a Spider-Man kind of guy now.

Problem solved, happy kid, mom-of-the-year indeed!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Waiting in Darkness

It's dark, and I mean really dark. It is ridicuously dark. How can it be that dark? By now I should be used to this darkness, but it is just too dark. It doesn't seem right.

Daylight Savings is here again. Yipee. For most of the country, they love daylight savings in the Spring time. It means longer days, more sunlight in the evening, more time to play outside. Having lived 30 of my years in the central time zone, I too used to love springing forward an hour every year. I was all about saving the daylight. So I lost one hour of sleep. What was one hour of sleep compared to months of extra hours each day before the dark came upon us. Central time zone rocks!

Now I live in the eastern time zone. It doesn't rock so much. It means I wake up before most of America. And let me tell you, it is DARK when I wake up. Last week it wasn't so dark anymore. The sun was already beginning to rise by the time I got up and moving. Now, not so much. It is not natural to get out of bed when it is still so dark. It confuses my mind. The body wants to sleep in the dark. I get up, it is dark. I shower, it is dark. I pretty myself up, it is dark. I get my kids up, it is dark. We eat breakfast, it is dark. We walk the giant dog, it is dark. The kids wait for the bus, it is still DARK!

There they stand, at the end of our long driveway, waiting in darkness, waiting for the bus. Now granted school does start really early here. 7:30am is early no matter what time zone you live in. If you don't think so, then you are crazy. But is it still dark, and I mean very dark, pitch black dark, country back roads in the middle of the night dark, is it still that dark where you live at 7:00am?

We have a spotlight on the front corner of the house. There is one light that shines towards the road, and another that shines into the back. These lights are really bright. We leave the light on all the time. Why? Well, when you leave your house in the pitch black dark every morning, you need a little light to help show the way. Have you ever tried walking down a long dark driveway surrounded by woods and trees in the dark? It doesn't feel good. Monsters lurk in the dark. Evil spirits. Bad things. My children need the light to guide their path as they walk toward the end of the driveway where the bus will pick them up and take them away from home, away from safety, away from the light.

Standing in the darkness, they can always look back at the light, and know they are not alone. That even though they may surrounded by the dark, the light is never far away, and it shows them where safety is, where home is. It lights the path for them to follow as they make their way each morning, and it is still shining when they return each afternoon, reminding them to stay on the path towards the light. Please, children, stay on the path. Let the light guide you, and keep you safe from evil and harm.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

We're here to play, not eat!

Foolish me, I thought restaurants were for eating. But apparantly, I was misinformed, until my oh-so-perfect children set me straight on this. Did you know restaurants were for playing? I know, me neither! Consider yourself enlightened. Your welcome very much.

One guess as to what is about to happen next

Oh yeah, he did, and he got a lot of air under that crayon. It went flying across the room. Chili's will never be the same!

Good times, good food, great family - Is that us? I'm not sure. Ask me another time, after I have forgotten what it is like to take my kids out to eat.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Warm weather turns my kids into dogs

Kind of funny that my last post was of the snow we got here last Sunday. Now the weather is great and the temps are in the 70s. What better to do after a long cold winter than roll down the windows on the long drive home from Sam's to let in some fresh air. And just like little dogs, my kids could not help but hang out the windows and let the fresh air overtake them.

Ruff ruff.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snow Many Pictures of Winter's Last Hoorah!

You know you are a snowtherner, I mean southerner when you can't stop taking pictures of snow. And then you feel the need to share those pictures with everyone, knowing that 90% of the people who will see your pictures either experienced the same snow storm that you did, or live where it snows all the time so it's snow big deal, I mean no big deal. But snow is rare here in the South, and snow, I mean so I have to snow you, I mean show you all my snow pictures. Besides, my mom wants to see her most precious snowbabies, I mean grandbabies, enjoying their one-snow-day-a-year.

I know, snowverkill, I mean overkill with the pictures, but hey, this only happens once a year maybe! And you know you like seeing all those snow pictures too! Now excuse me while I go defrost my brain!

Oh, and by the way, if you're reading this, post a comment! I love hearing from you!

Lessons Taught, Lessons Learned

My mother taught me many things as a child that I find myself now teaching my own children. Some lessons only present themselves on rare opportunities to be taught. So when I have the chance, I take the time to teach.

Now pay attention, my young offspring - Never eat yellow snow!

Un-natural Nature

There's just something wrong when your perennials, freshly awakened by the quickly approaching spring weather, are covered with snow.

Snow Wrong, snow wrong! Hang on, my precious perennials. You can make it. I promise it will be 70 degrees in a few days!