Thursday, July 30, 2009

Juicy Juice-- One full serving of fruit, brain cells and humility

Thunder, being the wonderful big brother that he is, has taught Hail many new and interesting things... How to tinkle in public without dropping your pants all the way down to your ankles being at the top of his list. He's also taught him many other things that I truly appreciate, such as some of the colors, animal sounds and how to count (almost) to 20.

The other day Thunder was quizzing Hail on his body parts. Hail loved all the attention he was getting and kept squealing each time Thunder would say, "RIGHT! That's so good! Now, where's your nose?" Hail would point quickly and wait for praise to come from his 4 year old idol.

After several minutes of this, Thunder turns his praise to me. "MOMMA! That's sooo good!" I'm thinking, "Oh, how sweet, he knows we've been working on these things, and that precious child actually recognizes just how busy I am as a Mother and the fact that I can squeeze an anatomy lesson in, while cooking dinner for a family of six, all at the same time... Oh, I'm such a multi-tasker!..." I continue this quick daydream... "I can't wait to brag to his Father that a FOUR YEAR OLD recognizes just how much I do during a typical day...." Thunder interrupts my mid-summer's afternoon dream with, "MOMMA! You've been givin' him JUICY JUICE!!! Just like on that commercial! Good job drinkin' your JUICY JUICE!!!" He then turns and says to Hail, still clapping and squealing at the thought of totally impressing his biggest brother.

If you're wondering what Thunder is referring to, click here, then click on the "Brain Development" ad.
Thanks, Juicy Juice, for keeping me in check.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Patricia Pan

We're wrapping up a wonderful weekend. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to prove it. I did pack my camera, but was too busy to remember to snap any shots.

We made a trip up to see my parents, Cookie & Grandaddy, as well as a few of my siblings and their kiddos. I love going home. And so do my kids. They are totally catered to from the time we walk in the door until we leave. This spoiling process, which is a grandparent's prerogative, usually takes a solid week to "undo." Bert and I can be heard saying, "Uh, no. We're not at Grandaddy & Cookie's anymore.... Welcome back to the real world..." etc. My Mother transformed our basement, which was good enough for us to use as a playroom growing up, even though it was dark, damp and unfinished, into the wildest, most magical playroom a child could ask for. Well, unless your names are Prince, Paris and Blanket. In that case, "Cookie's Corner" as it has been renamed, doesn't exactly compare to Michael Jackson's Neverland. My Mother has more toys in the new playroom than we had collectively growing up. Ridiculous. But, the grands love it and stay busy most of the time we are there.

Cookie & Grandaddy thought a field trip out of the playroom might be nice for us this visit. They treated us to a performance of Peter Pan performed by the Children's Theatre Workshop at their Community Center. I wasn't sure what to expect, I'll be honest. I love the theatre. Live performances beat the big screen any day. But, like I said, this was being put on by children, ages 7-16, and was directed by a local. Too, I was a skeptic of my own children's' behavior. Would they sit still and watch a 2 hour play? Bert and I have taken Her Highness and Thunder to see several shows, but usually ended up letting one or the other "stretch their legs" a bit. I couldn't have been more surprised by both. The play was wonderful. The children were wonderful. ALL of them. Even Hail, who is only 21 months old, stood the entire time in my lap, in awe of what was before him. I tried to have him sit or stand in the chair next to me, but he would say in a whisper, "I tant see dat piwort! I tant see!" Translation: I can't see that pirate! The junior actors and actresses belted out the songs from the original play, and never missed a note. Her Highness was literally on the edge of her seat during the sword fights. And when Tinkerbell nearly died she clapped so hard I thought she might have blisters on her hands.

Thunder and Lightning were huge fans as well. Unfortunately, Thunder inherited the inability to whisper from his Father, who thinks if you lower your voice, you are whispering. I learned of Bert's incapability to hush when we were dating in college. Towards the end of church service he would lean over and say, in a deep voice, but not a quiet one, "Where do you wanna eat lunch?"

All of our seats were together, but we were spilt, four and four. This worked out well so we could let the little ones stand on the row in front and not block anyone but ourselves. The moment Peter Pan made "his" grand entrance, Thunder, as well as the entire audience, realized Peter was being played by a female. A tiny waif, who had cut her hair just for the part, did a great job playing the boy who never wanted to grow up. Thunder felt slighted, cheated by his nemesis, a female. Or as he said it, over and over again to Bert, who was on the row behind him, "Daddy! DADDY!! Peter Pan is a GIRL!" Bert, shaking his head tried to assure him that all was okay and to just watch... shut up, and watch. "DADDY! BUT SHE'S A GIRL!!! WHY??? A GIRL!!!" By Act II he got over it but continued to commentate for all who were seated near us.

Captain Hook accidentally shot several of his crew mates when trying to shoot an apple off Smee's head. Thunder was quite concerned, for gun safety is taught in the Hudson Household. Turning to Bert, "DADDY! DADDY! That's not a REAL GUN is it?? They're just joking. Right? Okay." Then turning back to his band of brothers, "NO! It's not a REAL GUN! Captain Hook is just joking."

As the Lost Boys chased the Indians during a game of hide-and-seek, Thunder noticed the attire worn by the Indians. "DADDY! Why do those Indians have on shoes?! Indians don't wear shoes!"

During every scene change, Lightning would ask, repeatedly, "Is it over? I don't wanna go! Oh, it's comin' back? Are you sure?" And Hail would simply ask Peter Pan, himself, to "Tum back! TUM BACK Putur Pan! Tinka-bewl! TUM BACK!"

It was very much a fun experience, and one we will try again with the Hudson Storm.

The next day, the kids were spoiled some more as they were taken back to school shopping and to a movie. We met up later at a local park. I just happened to look over at Lightning just in time to see him struggling, fortunately, with the button on his shorts. I knew this meant only one thing, he was about to drop his drawers in front of 30+ people and take a leak. "Bert! Grab him and take him potty!" I love how our language has spiraled to a toddler's level, even when speaking to other grown ups. As Bert was carrying Lightning into the public restroom, a 10 year old boy was exiting and overheard Bert's conversation. Lightning was questioning why he had to use a potty instead of a bush, like we do in our backyard. Bert was responding with, "Because we're at a park and there are lots of people here and you can't just pull your pants down and go... blah, blah, blah..." The 10 year old says, "Yeah, there was this little boy in a bright green shirt who just did that right there on the grass! You can't do that." Oh, and just to let you know, Thunder was wearing a bright green t-shirt that day. But, surely a bunch of other boys were too. Rrriiight.

We enjoyed a picnic supper of chicken nuggets and potato chips, then headed back to Cookie's Corner. I told you, it's all about the kids with these people. We had a great time, as we always do. But, each time I watch my parents with my children, I'm left to wonder, "Who are these people???" Certainly not the same Steve & Robin I knew growing up.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Because of Winn Dixie....

Today, I nearly lost my religion. I don't know if it's this pregnancy, which contributes greatly to my already horrible case of Mom-nesia, or if it's just that store in general, but Winn Dixie and I are no longer on speaking terms. It along with Wal-mart, has been black-listed as far as I'm concerned. Wal-mart, well, for obvious reasons... NONE of their employees are happy to be at work. And, I don't blame them. But, they don't have to glare at me when I simply ask of them what they were hired for-- to check out my items and take my money. But, whatever. That's just one of the MANY reasons I hate Stuff-mart. Back to Winn Dixie...

We have had gorgeous weather the last few days, I'm talking nearly zero humidity and highs in the 80's. Those who live in the south know this is unheard of for the month of July. Well, unheard of even for the month of October. So, we've been making the most of it and playing outside non-stop for the last three days. Hail and Lightning were worn slap out by rest time today, so they both passed out during the movie that was showing in our cool and quiet living room. While they were napping, I decided to take advantage and leave the sleeping boys with Bert, who was working from home.

Because of my disdain for Stuff-mart, Her Highness, Thunder and I decided to try Winn-Dixie today since they have "batman buggies." Bert ran in there with the boys over the weekend and Thunder noticed their double carts were black, and the "car part" where you can buckle two kids in together, was at the back of the cart instead of the front. This was a happy experience for my boys who hate going grocery shopping with a passion, since they are crammed together sometimes over an hour in those tiny cars, as I bargain hunt to feed our ever growing family. Also, Winn-Dixie had a lot of items that were BOGO free. We could both win.... so I thought.

As we were walking through the parking lot, I noticed Her Highness and Thunder had way more energy than usual. But how? Why? We'd been outside for six straight hours, running and chasing and pretending it was Spring. "I'm just extra tired. Energy is wasted on the young." I said to myself, probably out loud. As we walked through the doors, things only got worse. Thunder got an extra boost of energy and decided not to ride in the Batman buggy he had talked about for the last two days. Instead, he chose to run... and laugh... and scream back at us about all the things he was finding up ahead. "Fine, if you're going to do that, at least look for..." And I would name stuff on our list. I just wasn't in the mood to do my whole "Now, now children. I'm going to count to three..." fake, calm and collected bit I try to pull when we're out in public, then beat the stew out of them once we're in the safety of my own dusty van. I just spanked Thunder, appropriately, right then and there when he decided he couldn't calm down and at least stay on the same aisle as me. Her Highness had retreated to the cart, watching and commenting, as any mini-mommy would do. Finally, I plopped Thunder down next to her and buckled him in, TIGHT. He struggled for a moment, then gave up, pretending to drive the Bat-mobile.

An older male employee, who had witnessed our altercation, then spoke up in a cooing voice, like one would use to speak to a newborn, or a dog, "Awww, are you guys driving??"
I smiled, as I am accustomed to total strangers making comments to/about my red-heads and said jokingly, "Yes, they're driving their Momma CRAZY." Old Man River continues, "Well, maybe you should lay off the sugar." And points directly to Thunder. Or was it my cart filled with BOGO Cheeze-its and Famous Amos Cookies?? Either way, it was NONE OF HIS BUSINESS.

We passed the old geezer and headed to the meat department. Dear Struggling Winn Dixie, if you're going to call yourself "The Beef People" could you maybe have at least one type of beef that doesn't have TOMORROW as the expiration date?? Seriously, I like to buy meat that I don't have to go home and use immediately, or freeze. I want to keep it in my fridge until, oh, say Wednesday at the very least, and know it won't be all gray and gross. Sheesh. Is that so much to ask?? Kroger doesn't think so. And Kroger has carts that can seat up to four kiddos, and since that's my only other option since I've now blacklisted you along with Stuff-mart, I will be using them in the future. Also, why in the world is your toilet paper located along with back to school supplies? Think paper goods here... paper towels, paper plates, toilet paper. Not, notebooks, pencil cases and toilet paper!!! What am I thinking, of course it belongs right between tailgating goods and lunch boxes!

My head still hurts from being in that store.

I will give Winn-Dixie props on their cashiers. Instead of eyes rolling when I pulled out my checkbook, (yes, some of us do still use those primitive forms of money) the pot-head surfer dude said, "Yeah, sure." swinging his highlighted hair out of his eyes, "We'll take your check. I'm just gonna need a picture ID." Little secret here, we lived in Georgia a few years ago and I had to renew my license while there. The expiration date is 15 years away, so why in the world would I take all four kids up to the courthouse and wait in line to get a new one, just because we live in a different state now?? Oh, yeah, cause that's illegal. Well, to be honest, the chances of me committing a far worse crime while waiting in that line with The Hudson Storm scare me more than getting pulled over and being told to go have it changed. Back to my story..... The high as a kite wanna-be surfer says when he sees my license, "Ummm, like, what's the initials for Georgia?" "Seriously?" I say laughing, then sadly realizing he was serious, "G-A would be the abbreviation." Come on, Winn Dixie!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Silence is NEVER Golden

Hail is nuts. He is a 21 month old who thinks he is five. If he's ever out of my sight, I am constantly calling and asking him to report his wear-abouts....

Me: Where are you?? What are you doin'??

Hail: I dit in tubble! Tubble! I jump on dat bed! Tubble! I jump and jump!

I will hear him laugh and reply, out of breath, from his brothers' room. Technically, it's his room too, but he refuses to sleep in there.

The boy stays in "tubble." He's a climber, part monkey. Sometimes I wonder if Bert lives a double life where his job is protecting the world as SpiderMan. It would explain some things.

Hail's also sneaky. Very quiet when he needs to be.
Fortunately, I have Her Highness to act as my eyes and ears when I'm not in the room. Recently, I was ummm, well, okay, I was on Facebook (my newest hobby) when Her Highness came running into the room,

"Momma, come FAST! This is kinda an emergency! Hurry up!"

Hail was in the dining room, under the table, with a whole tube of Aqua Fresh Kids toothpaste.
A brand new tube was now depleted... covering Hail's face, the rug, and his pajamas. I picked him up immediately, beginning to scold, when he started making this whistling sound while he inhaled. He would breath deeply then say, "Dat HOT, Momma! HOT!" Well, when you swallow that much, I'm sure it is hot!

I checked the back of the tube... "If more than used for brushing is ingested.... Call poison control or contact a physician immediately...."

I contacted one of my BFF's, who is a physician, and said, "Guess what he's eaten now..." And filled her in. We got a laugh out of it by the time it was over, but, in the process learned that too much toothpaste can be quite harmful. We can now add toothpaste to the long list of weird things Hail has decided to try as a snack. Right along with matches, Jet-dry, shampoo, ivory soap, Tide, bugspray, sunscreen, dog/cat food, windex.........the list goes on and on. Someday, instead of warning labels saying, "Contact Poison Control..." It's going to read, "If Poison Control is unavailable, contact Holly, cause if it's possible to ingest it, her kid has."

And since I've outed myself and admitted to being a new Crackbook addict, I would just like to confess that's why I've been slacking in the blogging world. I have so enjoyed "catching up" with folks I haven't seen in 14 years. But, I'm going to have to put a govern on my computer time, just as I do with the kids. I kept hearing friends and family talk about FB, but oh my word, I had no idea how fun it really can be! However, I do think the setup is kinda corny. Why on the "recent activity" section does it have to say, "Holly and so-and-so are NOW friends! and 32 more stories like this..." Okay, and the whole friend request thing is just hilarious. I feel like such a dork asking all these people "Will you be my friend... check yes or no or maybe." One of my good friend's sons (who is 10 years old) was by her computer when he saw my friend request, and that I had actually written "check yes or no" in the comment line (being the smart-alek that I am). He said, "Mom, do adults have to do that too?? I thought just kids asked if you were still friends. I figured by the time you were a grown-up you didn't have to do that anymore."
Still, even with the corny aspects, I'm having fun finding old friends.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Birthdays, Babies, Best Friends & Bad Dreams

We've been busy.

Lightning just turned three years old.

He shares his birthday week with Her Highness. Sometimes this is hard for Thunder, as he doesn't understand why they are getting all the attention for an entire week. You see, birthdays last an entire week in our family. Well, cause that's the way it should be.

Thunder is such a sweet brother, but during this week each year, he likes to remind us that it's not fair that Lightning and Her Highness get to have their parties in the summer. He was born in November, so we're limited to indoor activities. Next year, he just may get to share his birthday week with his new baby brother.

Hail loves a party, no matter who it's for.
Her Highness is officially six years old. She's starting to act like it too. She's really into big girl stuff these days. Cliche', but I gotta say it... she is growing up so fast.

Next, we proudly announce the arrival of my BFF- Dixie's newest addition, "Dixie-lee." No, of course those aren't their real names. I'm trying to protect all of those I love, and keep their identities safe... for the sake of my Mother, "Cookie." Dixie-lee arrived this past week, premature and weighing only five pounds. She is an angel doll who the entire Hudson Family already adores. Her Highness informed me on the way home from the hospital that she
is no longer sad she is going to have a baby brother. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Oh, Honey, I'm so glad. You'll love him even if he is a boy. He will still be fun.

Her: Yeah, sure. I'm okay with it. I just wish that he can be as tiny as HER!

Five pounds, folks. Her Highness and her wishes are what got us into this, so I need her to keep future wishes to herself. I tried to explain that all our babies had been in the eight pound range, and Mommy was still intimidated by those chunky monkeys so I would like to have another one that size if at all possible.

Her: Nope. I want a TINY ONE! Five pounds is soooo cute!! Like my baby dolls!

Moving on.... This is a pic of me with my younger sisters. They are twins. No really, they are. And I love being their big sister.

And I'm going to LOVE being the AUNT to a set of TWINS!!! Yep, that's right. My sister, who will be referred to as Kell-Bell (a name I've actually called her forever) is preggers with twins. An ultrasound discovered that for her this past week. They can already tell that the twins are fraternal, just like my sisters. How fun is that???!!

Her Highness loves her aunts, Kell-Bell and Katie-Lee (her nickname has been in the fam for many, many years too.) And loves all the girl time she gets when we are with them and Kell-Bell's daughter, who will barely be two years old when these babies are born!

Hail has been busy preparing to be a big brother. Thanks so much to all my dear friends who have allowed him to hold their sweet babies. He gets very excited when he sees a baby, of any size-- even his own, and squeals over and over, "I wanna hode it! I wanna hode it!" Unfortunately, he doesn't always want to give the baby back. Recently, Hail decided that his turn was not over and squeezed the precious child he was "hoding" so tight that I had to get the jaws of life to pry his chubby little hands off the then screaming baby. I was scolding him, while still trying to set the baby free when Hail remembered the one way to pay me back that trumps all others... "I BITE IT! I BITE IT!" he shrilled with his teeth heading straight towards the baby's legs. I tossed the innocent child to the rightful owner and flung Hail into his bedroom to wait for his whoppin'. And a whoppin' it was cause you just can't do stuff like that. Even if you are only 1 1/2 years old. Props to Maureen for being such a good sport about it all and continuing to be my friend.

Oh, and Kell-Bell, since Hail has had so much practice holding and entertaining babies, I'm happy to inform you that he will be spending the month of January with you once the twins arrive.

This is Hail with Kell-Bell's daughter, who is only three months younger. But, he still insisted he "hode it! HODE IT!!"

I shall end with the following conversation that took place this morning. Bert and I were laughing, errr, I mean sadly discussing all the frogs/lizards/worms our boys have "loved to death" this summer. Just this morning they found a frog who apparently wanted to commit suicide because he trapped himself on our screened-in porch. Between our cats and the kids, I would have to say he truly had a death wish.

Me: Poor thing. Wonder how long it will live?

Bert: Not long. (Hollers to the boys) Just put it in the bushes and let him find his home.

Boys: After MY turn is over you can hold it! No, it's MY turn.


Bert: You know, that's my nightmare... I suddenly become a miniature version of myself and the boys find me.... And want to play with me.

I couldn't quit laughing. It's still funny to me now... Bert, a tiny man, no bigger than a match and the boys, their normal size, noticing their Daddy creeping across the living room floor. Then, fighting over who gets to hold him next. Cramming him into a bug catcher with grass and dirt to eat, like they do all their hostages.
Snicker. Snort.

Oh, that's funny.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Wishing you all a "Grand-Fire-rally" as fun as ours

We've been celebrating the birth of our Nation for a few days now. Our town held their fireworks display last night.
We got together with some close friends and family to enjoy the festivities from the comforts and safety of their front yard. The kids had a ball, as did the grown-ups.

Yes, we are rednecks from the south... but, no, we did not allow any children to ride in the back of a pick-up. Well, not on this particular occasion.

Her Highness and fellow princess BFF enjoyed some "staged" shots before the fireworks began. This was their idea too. What nutty little girls we have on our hands.

Of course they were dressed like twins, right down to their matching stars & stripes flip-flops.

The real show finally began...

The kids kept hollering at the sky, "Now do a PINK one! Now a BLUE one!" Within moments, their request would be met so they would all squeal and clap, as if they had been heard. Thunder kept hollering across the yard to where Bert was watching, "Daddy, is THIS the Grand Fire-rally??" Bert kept assuring him, he would definitely know it when he saw it

Finally, the much anticipated Grand Finale boomed across the sky. All the children jumped up and down, clapping and dancing like monkeys. It was so much fun.

Hail did not enjoy the "big booms." He had been sitting with the other kids on the lawn before the show started. After the first thunderous sound broke, Hail ran to my lap and never got back down. I was trying to ease his fears with comments about their beauty, oohhing and ahhhing over the different ones. Then, I started asking, "Ohh, did you see that one? What color was that?" Hail would reluctantly respond, "Bew. I scawed of dose pire-worts." The moment they were over he announced, "Time a go! Time a GO, DADDY! MOMMY! GO!" Maybe next year he'll be a bigger fan.

Hope you all have a fun, hot dog eating, "Grand Fire-rally" filled kinda day.

Happy Birthday America!