Thursday, May 28, 2009

Countdown to The Big Reveal

It's no secret... Her Highness really, really, really, really (add 84 more) wants a baby SISTER. I have two wonderful sisters that I am extremely close to, and always have been, so I would love for her to experience that relationship. However, being an adult, I also know that we aren't in control of these things, and a boy would be just as much of a blessing to us. Her Highness still does not understand this, and for the life of me, I can't understand why....

Yesterday, Bert and I were having a discussion about a friend of ours who recently had a baby. It went something like this:

Me: "If you go by Russell's office today, ask about Casey's baby."

Bert: "Oh, I already did. They had a picture there. Everything went good. Casey's doing fine and the baby was in the seven pound range, I think. It's a pretty baby."

Her Highness: "Did she have a boy or a GIRL?"

Me: "It was girl and they named her Anne Catherine. Isn't that sweet?"

Her Highness: "Ahhhhh! Momma! EVERYBODY is having girls right now!"
Me: "It seems like that, doesn't it."

Her Highness: "BUT, ahhh, what if they run out of girls! What if ALL the girls get born and they run out??? And then we get stuck with ANOTHER BOY!!!!"

We're trying. We are. But, how do you explain to a five year old that life will go on, and she will eventually learn to love another brother? Time will only tell. Our ultra-sound is scheduled for June 24th. We're a dramatic family, so we've decided to have the technician write down the sex of the baby and seal it in an envelope. Then, we're going to dinner as a family and letting Her Highness open it and announce it. We're calling it "The Big Reveal." So, if she opens the envelope and squeals and jumps up and down, we'll know it's a girl. If she burst into tears and runs out of the room, we'll know it's a boy. Either way, it should make for some good home video footage.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Any Joseph's out there?

I love when all four of my bed-head-red-heads wake up at the same time. Seriously, I do. They all like to cuddle when they first wake up, and insist I sit down and hold them, so it actually helps speed up our morning ritual if they all pile on top of me on the couch. After a few minutes, a couple of them will usually start to feel claustrophobic and want to go to the other couch, which means we have to un-pile, so I use that opportunity to slip off and refill my coffee cup. This morning, however, was a "dream morning" so the cuddle time lasted quite a while...

Thunder: "Momma, I had three good dreams last night."

Her Highness: "Oh, yeah, me too! Mine first! Mine first!"

Lightning: "No, I go first. I had a bad dream, so I go first."

Thunder: "I talked about it first so me, then you, then you last."


Me: "Thunder first... go."

Thunder: "The first one was about me and a goat. But it wasn't a goat. It was a duck. It was a brown duck and he was chasing me. Then I turned around and it was a lizard... on a rainbow. And the lizard was my friend. So, I tried to give him some cheese crackers, but he just wanted to ride on a train. So we did. Up the rainbow we went!...."

I have to admit, since all the kids were listening intently to his story, I changed the channel from Dora to The Today Show and quit listening at this point because Thunder's stories can last a LONG time.

Thunder: "Then, it was over. The end."

Her Highness: "Okay, my turn."

Thunder: "No, I said I had THREE good dreams. I'm not done."

I quickly shut him down, allowing Her Highness to precede with her dream, and said we would come back later to his other two. Her Highness usually has very colorful dreams, as you might imagine, and told some story about being a fairy and flying over pink cities and then flying to Heaven and sitting on a cloud with Jesus. She's such a sweet girl.

Lightning (his husky voice has double the husk in the early morning= so cute to me): "My turn. Mine is bad. Der was bugs on me. And den, der was spiders."

His bad dreams always involve insects crawling.

Lightning: "Den, I can not find my passie. Dat's all."

Thunder: "That's not even scary. Just knock the bugs off next time. Now, back to my other dreams... The next dream I got on a plane with my friends and a puppy dog. I flew the plane to the park. It was fun. All my friends were glad I knew how to fly a plane. And how to get to the park...."

I switched to Regis and Kelly for a moment.

Hail interrupting with: "MY TURN! MY TURN! MY TURN!!!!"

All the kids: "Okay, okay! Go!"

Hail with a huge grin: "I wanna watch Zoo Train!" (It's a generic Baby Einstein video that was seriously filmed in some one's living room with a home recorder. I bought it at the dollar store a couple of years ago and have definitely gotten my dollars worth -all one of them. All of our kids have loved it at one time or another.)

As I was sticking Zoo Train into the VCR for the millionth time, I thought about my dreams from the night before. You see, I have somewhat of a recurring dream, or more of a recurring theme in my dreams. At least three times a month I will dream that I am back in high school. Right there at good ol' SHS I can be found, hamming it up with all my old friends. There is an old boyfriend (who shall remain nameless) who always tries to kiss me. Sometimes we are in Coach House's chemistry class, sometimes we are in P.E. It doesn't matter what's going on, this guy always comes up and tries to start a conversation that always leads to kissing. Sometimes he succeeds, and I do actually kiss him. Sometimes, I laugh and walk away before the kiss happens. But, here's the kicker: In ALL of these dreams, no matter what the high school setting, I know that I have HER HIGHNESS!! And it's not weird to anyone. I'm the captain of the Dance Line with a FIVE YEAR OLD DAUGHTER. Bert's sometimes in my dreams, but not usually. And the boys are never in the picture. Just me, my old high school gang, some teachers and the old boyfriend trying to make-out + my five year old. Though, she's never actually a part of my dream, it's just, I'm always thinking, "Oh, I need to go pick up Her Highness from ballet/gymnastics/school." WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN??? Seriously, I have the recurring themed dream several times a month... for years now. What am I supposed to take from it? Any dream interrupters out there wanna take a stab at it?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

This ones for you, Dixie.

Recently, Her Highness and I enjoyed a "Girls Night" because we were boy-less for 24 hours. I have to admit, I was giddy when they all left. Bert bravely took The Storm down to his Mother's for the night to watch his little brother play spring football. Since there are officially two more days of kindergarten, Her Highness and I got left behind. I did heel clicks as they backed down our drive-way... literally. I love my boys, each and every one, but I haven't had a break from them, well, since Thunder was born. Ahhh, a quiet night at home... with just my little girl.... to do whatever we wanted.... without The Storm crashing our party.

We went all out. After what Her Highness claims to be "the last ballet lesson she will ever take in her life" was over, we met "our" best friend, Dixie, for some shopping. I say "our" because Her Highness has always referred to Dixie as HER best friend, since she was about 2 years old. As soon as we got in the car after dance class I said, "Okay, where to first?!" Her Highness said in her most grown-up voice, "Call Dixie. Wherever she is, is where I want to be!" So, I did just that. Dixie met us immediately, with her son that we shall refer to as "Lil' L" (because it makes my Mother feel better when there is some anonymity. As if this shall keep some crazy ax murderer from reading my blog and wanting to hunt me down and kill me, just because my picture is on the internet. I tried to tell her that there are blogs with their addresses, social security numbers and blood types already on them, so it would be much easier to just pick one of those. No homework would be involved, but just for Cookie, I will give everyone fake names.... except me and Bert... or are they fake???) Back to my story... Lil L is not much older than Hail (20 months), but way better behaved than Hail ever dreamed of being.

The four of us enjoyed some shopping then headed over to "get our toes done." I know this may seem a little over the top, but it wasn't Her Highness' first pedicure. What can I say, she truly is a Princess. She picked a violet color, and got a sweet little daisy painted on each big toe. Dixie and I stayed in the pink family. We all enjoyed our foot massages and listening to the chatter of the tiny little Vietnamese girls that were working so diligently.

After our pedicures, we headed to O'Charley's for dinner. Forever more I shall refer to them as NO Charley's. And not for anonymity's sake, but simply because they suck. First of all, the only reason we chose to go there was because kids eat free. Or used to. They no longer offer that sweet deal, so my bill was way more than the microwave dinners were worth. Secondly, the service was not so great. Her Highness and Lil' L did enjoy entertaining one another, as did Dixie and I. The kids were great. Her Highness mostly colored on her menu and sipped her chocolate milk. Lil' L nibbled on rolls and munched cheese crackers in between questions about where Thunder, Lightning and Hail were. Over and over again. "How-ee. How-ee! Wha Lightning?" I would explain, he would nod. Moments later, "How-ee. How-ee! Wha Hail?" We seriously played Q&A the entire meal. Though this may seem like a pointless detail to a seemingly boring night, it's not...

I had just commented on how well-behaved Lil' L had been all night. Not once during our entire dining experience did I have to wipe up a spilled drink, pick up broken glass from a dish someone threw when I had my head turned, nor ask Dixie to repeat herself due to all the yelling and crying. It was nice. It was just moments later that I got Lil' L a little too excited playing a game of "mine" over a roll when he let out a very happy, and quite typical of a not-yet-two-years-old-child, squeal. It went something like this, "Eeeee!" Seriously, if you timed it, the squeal probably lasted all of 1 1/2 seconds.

Lil' L and I both shared a giggle until the Madeleine Albright look-alike sitting with her husband in the booth adjacent turned to us and said sternly with a scowl on her pointy face, "Use your INSIDE voice." "Oh, no she DI-INT!" Was all I could say to Dixie, who was boxing up her leftovers for her hubby at home. "Do you really think he's being too loud?" Dixie asked me, a little stirred. "No, I just commented on how good he's been all night! What a B-I-T-C-H." I know, I know, Her Highness can now read, so I shouldn't even spell curse words in front of her, but come on. I nearly stood up and said it out loud. But, I'm a chicken, and a passive-aggressive chicken at that, so I spent the rest of our time speaking very loudly to Lil' L complimenting him on his "being such a GOOD BOY! GOOD BOY!" And patting his head as if he were a dog. Unfortunately, the rest of our girls night discussion revolved around how rude that woman had been; If she had children, they must have been perfect; And, why do some people feel as though they can treat others any way they want?? And again, Lil' L was HAPPY, not throwing a temper tantrum. Why did she feel so entitled in a public place to tell someone else's child to be quiet???

"So, here's to you, fussy-Madeleine Albright look-alike (raise your pretend glass of whatever you wish. Mine is filled to the brim with a stout Pi not Grigio, just FYI) and your grouchy husband who didn't kick you after making such a jerk comment, or even have the nerve to look over at us apologetically, which would have said tons, without saying a thing, but you would have to have a set of balls to do something like that in front of your pushy wife. We raise our glasses to say, may all your meals be filled with sounds of true baby screaming. The kind of screams only a mother who has experienced the pain of having a newborn with colic would recognize. The kind of screams that come from an exhausted and starving toddler who's just been told he won't be getting desert until after he eats all his broccoli, and oh yeah, the hostess just ran out of balloons, so he won't be getting one of those either, even though he can clearly see that 80 other kids in the restaurant already have one. The kind of screaming that comes only from a five year old drama queen who just realized her brothers spent a good hour messing up her room while she was at school and unable to protect her prize possessions. Yes, yes, may all the meals you eat for the rest of your life in public be filled with the precious little voices of small children who are truly upset and have no intentions what-so-ever of using an 'inside voice."'

"Hear! Hear!" (Pretend bottoms up.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Children should have mute buttons.

And, as the child continues to grow and mature, the mute button could eventually disappear, leaving their comments un-moderated. But, only if the child's parents have not pressed the button for a couple of years. Each time the button gets pressed, the timer will reset, adding additional time. For some, the button would disappear by age four. For others, it would still be available for use in their 30's. Thunder is one who would have it until he was 30, I have no doubt.

Scene I

Setting: Daylight Doughnuts
Characters: Bert, Thunder, Her Highness, and "Pat" a young male (?) cashier with a very high voice, and others waiting in line for their trans-fat filled doughnuts. (Honestly, I don't care about the transfat, Bert is the one who pointed out how much they contained. I gobbled them up because it's a carb. See previous post.)

Bert places his take-out order.

"Pat",who's old enough to work in a chain restaurant, but whose voice still hasn't gone through the "change": Okay, so that's three plain and three chocolate covered, will that be all today, sir?

Thunder, laughing hysterically and shouting because he couldn't control his excitement for what he's just observed: DADDY! DADDY! IS THAT A BOY OR A GIRL??? CAUSE HE LOOKS LIKE HE IS A BOY BUT WHEN HE TALKS HE SOUNDS JUST LIKE A GIRL!!!! WHICH IS IT?? A BOY OR A GIRL????

Bert paid as quickly as possible, grabbed our doughnuts and RAN out of there.

Scene II

Setting: Target
Characters: Thunder, Me, the rest of The Storm and a couple straight off the show "My Big Redneck Wedding." We will call them "Cherry & Bubba."
Costumes: The wife, who had bleached blond hair with black roots, weighed close to 300 lbs was wearing cut-off shorts and a tight tank top that stopped just above her navel, proudly displaying her belly ring. It looked like a door knocker. Her husband, who had a long brown pony-tail and weighed barely 120 lbs, had on a matching set of jean shorts and an air-brushed tank with some Nascar scene on the front.
The Storm Chaser and her Storm had finally made it to the exit, without any fiascoes. Feeling triumphant as we exited the store, we passed our nice couple, putting out their cigs before entering the No-Smoking Zone.

Thunder, who has been brainwashed along with his sister to think showing your belly-button in public other than at the pool or beach is a major crime (cause, well it should be, skinny or fat) shouting as usual when he gets excited: HEY MOMMA! THAT LADY HAS A BABY IN HER TUMMY! SEE!

"Bubba" to "Cherry" who was obviously NOT knocked up: I told you not to wear that shirt.

We ran, literally, to our car. Throwing the groceries in as fast as I could, I peeled out of the parking lot, Dukes of Hazard style.

Seriously, children should have mute buttons.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Hudson Milestones

Each member of the Hudson Fam has recently reached a new milestone. These may not be considered typical milestones to most, but important to us, non the less.

Her Highness will graduate from kindergarten this week.
And, she finally has long enough hair to rock the side pony-tail.

Thunder taught himself how to use my camera and take very important pictures such as these.

He is a wonderful big brother and is helping his little bros to make "good choices."

Hail has conquered the human language and can now embarrass the stew out of his parents with rude comments in public. He proudly lets others know when "dey mells tinky" (they smell stinky) while holding his nose. I spend much of my day feeling like a pirate with a parrot on my hip, instead of my shoulder. Hail loves to mimic words from those around him, usually choosing a word from the middle of the sentence instead of the end. Example: Bert may say, "You guys are in so much trouble." Hail will mimic, "So much." I might be heard saying, "What is wrong with you boys??" Hail will copy, "Wrong! Wrong!" The kid's a nut.

Lightning has fallen hard for his first true love. We shall refer to her as "Crash" because she is truly the female version of Lightning. Precious in every way, but bold as a lion if you dare cross her. Opposites usually attract, but not in this case. Lightning and Crash are two peas in a pod. They both have husky little voices and loud belly laughs that sound as if they only breathe second hand smoke throughout the day. They love each other very much. Mixed emotions are felt when they take up for one another. Sweet to watch them defend their love, but sad for the kid who gets the snot beat out of him. They sit together at all the t-ball games and have meaningful conversations about tasting each others suckers and the effects it could have:

Lightning: "Hey, take dat sucka outta your mouf. I gotta talk to you."
Crash: "What do you need?"
Lightning: "I wanna try your sucka."
Crash: "No, if you try mine, you will turn into a girl and if I try yours, I will turn into a boy."
Lightning: "Oh, no. Dat not gonna happen to me! I stay a boy! You keep it."
Crash belongs to my best friend, so we enjoy the relationship, and the possibility that we may share grandchildren someday.
Bert has reached a huge milestone in the husband department. He recently helped me fold this mountain of clothes and put them away. Actually, we had already folded a bunch before he took this pic. He is a huge help around the house and with the kids. I love and appreciate him more now than ever. Oh, ignore the crazy hair and no make-up face please.
Which brings me to our next milestone: Second trimester in Cinco's pregnancy. I am now eating a whole hoagie for a "snack."
Starving. Always. Morning sickness= officially gone. Big Momma= officially here. I can't wait to hear what the work-up nurse has to say about my weight gain at my next appointment. So far, I gained the most weight with Thunder. 70lbs. True story. And at one visit the 250lb nurse said, "Now remember, the more weight you gain during your pregnancy, the harder it will be to lose afterwards." I was still less than 200lbs with a 70lb gain. I wish so badly that I had said, "You MUST know from experience." And, by the way, I lost all of that weight and then some before I got knocked up with Lightning, and to be honest, it wasn't that hard. I haven't gained near as much with the other two since him though. Since the morning sickness (aka: ALL DAY sickness) has finally subsided, I am now craving all things with extra carbs. Looks like another 70 lbs in the making! I'm now waiting for that second trimester energy to show up. One of the many myths you read about in books like "What to Expect..." I should write a book entitled "What to REALLY Expect When Expecting." The sequel will be, "What Not to Say When Your Wife/Life Partner is Expecting." Sorry, I have to be politically correct so to sell as many copies as possible and become Bert's Suga Momma that he's always dreamed of having. Then he can sell his practice and try-out for the PGA.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Warning: Due to gross content, reader discretion is advised.

Saturday morning, 1 am, I hear Bert say "Are you okay? You're going to throw up??!" Then, suddenly he jumped out of the bed with Her Highness in his arms and held her up while she vomited several times.... On the carpet. I jumped up too and ran to the kitchen to grab our family "throw-up bowl" but it was too late. She was done by then. Mounds of green vomit now gracefully adorned our beige carpet in the bedroom. We have nearly 2000 square feet of hardwood. And those two somehow managed to find some of the few areas containing carpet and stain it. As I was scrubbing the dark green out of the carpet, feeling much like a college kid with a severe Saturday morning hangover, I thought, "Why, why didn't she wake ME up? The person they wake up for ALL other important matters such as, 'I can't find my blankie in my bed; Can you get me some orange juice; I had a bad dream; I wet my bed....' Why then didn't she come to me for THIS?" Oh, well. It's been a long time since we had the carpet professionally cleaned. I suppose this will help me get a jump start on that phone call.

After cleaning up the pint-sized princess' royal carnage, I was climbing back into my bed, already half asleep when I heard the following conversation take place in our living room. Bert was very sweet and offered to sleep on the couch with her. He was telling her that she would feel better in the morning and to try and close her eyes, etc. Her Highness broke his hypnotizing advice with, "Hey Daddy, was my throw-up GREEN?? Why would it be green?!" Bert then replied, in a fatherly way, "Well, didn't you say you had a blue slushy at Target with Momma tonight? And y'all both had popcorn. So, yellow and blue makes green." Simple enough answer, she fell right back to sleep.

Saturday morning when Thunder woke up and saw that Her Highness was asleep on the couch with sheets draped over it for "protection" (the way my Mother always did for us, and I'm sure her mother did for her when sick) and the family throw-up bowl beside the couch could only mean one thing. Shaking her awake he says, "Did you throw-up last night? What color was it?!" So, Her Highness then groggily and proudly explains the color combination to her all too interested counter part. Moments later, Lightning entered rubbing his eyes. Taking in the scene before him, Her Highness answered again, before he even bothered asking. This time the story grew, like a fisherman's tale, and she vomited for hours and each time it was greener than before. Fortunately, Hail is too young to notice or care about such details, so the legend came to an end.

Days later, we are still discussing the details of that horrid night. Each time a member of The Storm passes by the dark green stain in the corner of my bedroom, they start to tell me the events of that night, as if I weren't there- cleaning it up, the ONE time she actually vomited. Not seven. Or eight. I can only imagine the tales we will hear someday from our drama queen as she experiences firsts such as broken bones or child birth. I have no idea where she gets this quality. Over-exaggeration is just un-ladylike, so it wouldn't be from me. (exaggerated wink)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mama Needs a New Pair of Shoes

Dear Pretty Princess,
It has come to my attention that you are now an expert in the matters of getting exactly what you want, not always what you need mind you, especially in areas where your Father is involved. In the past I have tried to shun this behavior and prove to your Father that you have him wrapped completely around your tiny little finger, but he has refused to hear me out. I told him that I too was an expert, so I'm watching myself grow up, in a way.

I would like to make a deal with you on this matter. For Mother's Day, when Daddy takes you four shopping and lets you pick out something from your heart (which I do find quite adorable) please tell him you are dying to go to a mattress store. Bat those big brown eyes, poke your lip out, all the usual stunts you know to pull. Then, if he still turns you down, stomp your foot with your hand on your hip. Lay it on him thick with the whole, "That's not fair!! Why don't we ever do what I wanna do?? You're a mean Daddy!!" When he finally caves, as he always does, take him to the king size mattresses. Then, make sure it's a good one. Sealy will do. Tell him that Mommy deserves a king size bed. She is tired of being a contortionist throughout the night to avoid kicking the sweet little faces that crowd at her feet during the night. And, furthermore, she's sick of Hail kicking her in the face from 1-6am when she finally can't take it anymore and just moves to the couch.

Sweet girl of mine, if you can pull this one off, I will turn my head the other direction when I see your Father caving at the toy store for the latest Barbie that you just had to have. I will give you several free passes to cry your way out of a spankin' when you totally deserve it. I will no longer interfere with your talent of making your Father dance like a puppet on strings. I may make comments under my breath as I walk past him such as "Dance puppet... dance." But, that's all, I promise. Just score me that king sized bed!! Now, get to work.

Love Always,

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

No thanks, I don't need a soap box. I'll just use my laptop.

When entering the land of Motherhood, time changes. All mothers experience some jet-lag due to this time change, for you see, Motherhood is located in a twisted time warp. The days crawl by slowly, like a sloth or a snail, but the weeks roll one right into the next and suddenly a date that seemed so far away is right upon you. Many days, I look at the clock and think, "There can't be six more hours before your Daddy gets home/ 9 hours 'til bedtime/ and in only 19 hours we'll be starting the madness all over again..." But, suddenly, Her Highness is ready to graduate from Kindergarten, reading anything you write before her, and is turning into a young lady just before our eyes.

Sunday was Her Highness' ballet recital. Her sweet class made up of 12 five year olds performed twice. One ballet routine, the other a tap. I try my best not to get sappy at these occasions, but tears filled my eyes as I watched my five year old perform her little heart out, huge smile upon her face, as if she were on Broadway. I was just as proud a Momma as if she were. I turned to Bert at one point and said, "When did she get so big?" Five. Not "SO BIG" to most, but to us, she's just that. First grade is drawing nearer. Spelling tests, book reports, science projects... all the things that Kindergarten is not made of. This year has been F-U-N. And though, next year will seem harder, and more serious for us all, I'm sure it too will have some fun aspects. My Mother says every age does. Enjoy it all. Don't cry for the past. Look back upon your memories and thank God for everyone. My Momma is very smart.

Sunday morning, we "sneaked" (as Thunder put it) out of church services early due to Her Highness' huge introduction to the stage. As I was herding my crazy flock to the car, I passed a lady that I love dearly and think the world of... Mrs. Elaine. I would love to grow up and be much like her. She is now a retired school teacher, and quite courageous. She's taught our Ladies' Bible Class in the past (when I could actually get there on time, and be there both mentally and spiritually, which has become harder and harder as The Storm has gotten older.) And never been afraid to admit when she didn't necessarily see God's point and asked for help from others. She's very REAL and down to earth. And cares genuinely about others. These are just a few of the reasons I admire her so. But, back to Sunday morning... in the parking lot...

There we were: Bert and I trying to keep our nutty boys from being hit by a car, and trying to explain why they didn't get to go to Children's Church and have a snack (all they really care about anyway) when Mrs. Elaine and I spotted one another from across the parking lot. I waved and flashed a smile. She darted across the pavement to hug my neck. Laughing at us she said, "Y'all are quite a group!" I rolled my eyes toward the boys and said jokingly, "I'm not in the mood to deal with them in church today.... No, we're really heading for Lucy's big dance recital this afternoon so we had to leave early..." Which got us to talking about how crazy the boys actually were, and how crazy her children were growing up, etc. Then, she said something I will never forget and appreciate more than she will ever know. "Honey, let me just tell you, you're not gonna miss this." And pointed to the meltdown that was just starting over who would sit where and another just beginning since he couldn't get his seatbelt on by himself. She continued with, "I know folks tell you that all the time, to enjoy every second, but it's not true. I honestly enjoyed the older years, and the time I have with them now, so much more than I did back then. Just know, it only gets better. Love you. Hang in there."

So often strangers, dear friends, and well-meaning relatives have said over and over again to enjoy these younger years, because "those are the best years, even when it seems bad, enjoy it." But, there are a lot of times that I don't enjoy it. I love my babies, but I don't like them all the time, sort of thing. But, for some reason, as much of Motherhood is overcrowded with negative thoughts on how I'm grading myself as a Mother, I let feelings of guilt take over on days when I thought in the back of my mind... Trace Adkins can stick it for singing that dumb song.... that always makes me cry anyway. And the other super sappy one that brings on tremendous bouts in the "you're so taking for granted how sweet this time is so soak it up and enjoy it, even though you have two toddlers throwing huge temper tantrums and a HUGE pile of laundry that is way over due" = guilt department, along with a lump in my throat, you know, the song, the one by Darius Rucker... But, not anymore. I'm now combining my Momma's wisdom with that of Mrs. Elaine's and starting fresh. "You're not gonna miss this." I love it.

I know I will miss some things: The way my boys line up at the back door to wait for a popsicle, all in a row. Stairsteps- redheaded stairsteps. And, how Lightning's husky voice sounds when saying a prayer at meals. The way Hail has to squeeze the top of my arm when being rocked to sleep at night. The stories Thunder tells on all his imaginary friends. (Whole post in itself, coming soon) And how Her Highness still wants a hug and a kiss before leaving for school and she always hollers, "See you at 2 o'clock!" Like she can't wait to see me again. These are just a few, very few, of the things I will miss. But, like the ladies I think so highly of have said, these things will be replaced with other special memories to cherish. Maybe "miss" is the wrong word. I will now replace it with cherish. These are the things I will always cherish. So, artist formerly known as Hootie and Trace Adkins, if you would like to change your songs to "You're gonna cherish this" and "It won't be like this for very long, but it will get better and you have a ton of fun to look forward to..." I will go out and buy your cds. Until then though....

I will return to my time-warped land of Motherhood, taking with me some great advice from those I would like to be just like when I grow up. I love you, Momma & Mrs. Elaine, and thank God for having your influence on my life.