Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Seriously, Barbie??

Okay, so I've had some issues with Barbie and her "I Can Be..." campaign in the past.
Click on each of these pics to view their commercials. Pay close attention to their snazzy, catchy jingles. Seriously.

I really think this new ad campaign is a bit ridiculous. Look, Barbie, if you want boys to play with you, you're going to have to take this whole gross bit to an even higher level. I will admit, your poo-poo in the potty pack and puppy dogs that squirt pee on the carpet have caught The Storm's attention. However, at this point they are still just laughing at your product. If you really want them to beg for me to purchase it, you need to create "Barbie I Can Be... A School Janitor" and include a Kelly doll that projectile vomits from her desk. Or, maybe you could do a line of "Barbie I Can Be.... An ENT" and include a Kelly doll that squirts buckets of snot from her nose, who needs surgery to have tubes placed in her ears. In that pack you would also need to include a miniature scalpel and scar tissue stickers.

Then again, those two jobs may be a bit too ambitious for Barbie and our future female leaders, since you obviously don't want them to think they can be much more than a dog walker or babysitter.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fittin' right on in.

It's hard to believe that Flash Flood is already four months old. He's already learning the wild ways of the Hudson Household.

My child who was the most active in-utero, has proven to be our wiggliest worm of all. He's also our best sleeper. Not trying to rub it in, but some nights Flash Flood will sleep 12-14 hours. Don't be too jealous. The rest of my children still keep me up... plenty. He flops around so much in his sleep, this is how we found him in his crib this morning....

He's so stinkin' sweet too. My sister-in-love, (sounds better than in-law, especially since I do love her so much.) Angie made the comment, "Funny how we Momma's define a baby's sweetness by how many hours they sleep." Very true, but Flash Flood is very sweet natured too.

He's so patient with his older siblings.

Flash Flood is pretty much happy as long as he can see everybody.

He loves to eat with the big kids. We started solids a couple of weeks ago, and so far he hasn't turned his nose up at anything.

He does like to eat, but I will say, he's not very efficient. From the very beginning, Flash struggled with breastfeeding. Sometimes he would nurse for 45 minutes to an hour. And then, after I just couldn't take it any more, and would think surely he had to be full since it had been ONE WHOLE HOUR, I would force him off and he would scream and scream like he was still hungry.
I couldn't figure out why in the world nursing him was hurting so badly, and why the usual (sorry guys) "cracking" that has occurred during the beginning of nursing all my other babies, could not heal and continued to get worse and hurt like a .......... (fill in your choice of expletives, 'cause those are the only words necessary here.) I'm talking excruciating pain. I cried every time he latched on. I would immediately feel a sharp, shooting pain running from my chest all the way up through my neck and into my head. After nursing him each time, I would have a horrible head ache for hours. Three hours later, when he would cry to eat, I would cry too. Seriously. It was that bad. Turns out I had developed a STAPH INFECTION because the wounds had been open for so long and gotten infected. GROSS! Sorry if that's TMI, but I'm just trying to help out any other mothers who may/have/are going through this.... After a prescription and switching to bottle feedings for every other feeding, to allow more time for healing, my gaping injury finally began to close, slowly but surely. Very, very slowly but surely.
So, one day Surrogate Aunt and pediatrician, Dr. Pepper, fed him a bottle for me and noticed that he was chomping down on it instead of sucking. He did eventually finish the bottle, but it took him nearly 45 minutes because he was so inefficient. The light bulb then clicked as to why my poor body had taken such a beatin'.
Every rose has its thorn.
After switching him to formula part-time, I realized that my sanity was not worth Flash Flood getting breast milk over formula. I weaned him to bottles full-time, and can honestly say that our bonding time has increased a hundred million trillion since I'm not crying the entire feeding any longer. Even still, I felt guilty about it at first. Why? I have no idea. It's what us Mothers do.... we know something is good for them, and that they will be fine with the alternative, yet still, we lay awake at night and feel guilty for all the things and ways we are potentially ruining their lives. Oh, the joys of Motherhood.

I'd be lying if I said I missed breast-feeding. I'm just not that type of lady. I know some gals who gush and love every second of nursing their children. I'm just not one of them.
I'd also be lying if I said my floor isn't usually this dirty (look under the couch in the pic below... There is no telling what lies beneath those couches).
I've mentioned before that Hail has a slight ear fetish. The other day I caught him doing this.....

When I asked him if he was sleepy, as this is Hail's tell tale sign he is ready for bed, Hail responded, "No. Just my beary is sweepy. See, just my beary is pullin' dose eaws." We may need to have Hail evaluated.

Yes indeed, these past four months have flown by. And while it's only been four months, it's seems like Flash Flood has been in our family forever. Just as Bert and I have felt with each addition.... we can hardly remember our lives before him.

Slobbery kisses to you!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

An Awkward Walk Down Memory Lane

I found some old pictures. I love old pictures. I love looking back and reminiscing, then laughing until I cry as I try and explain the story behind the picture to my own children. After flipping through some of these, I realized just how much my Mother loved me. And not just for my looks, but also my wonderful personality....

Age 10: Officially the beginning of the Awkward Stage for all children.
My teeth, ears and limbs all grew drastically over night, while the rest of me stayed exactly the same size.... Cute.

Age 11: Officially the start of phase "My Mom is a dork and knows NOTHING, especially when it comes to fashion" (Unless you are Her Highness, who began this phase at age 6.)
Aside from the totally awesome mega curl bangs and spiral permed hair, the rocking outfit above was only completed with a mock turtle neck and the best part of all, a scrunchie to hold my shirt in a knot to the side. Yeeesss! I was C to the O to the O to the L!

This gorgeous pose was taken at my 6th grade graduation. I grew up in a tiny town, and I'm thankful my parents didn't move away, especially while I was in this phase....

I seriously remember buying this dress and thinking, "I'm going to ROCK that stage at 6th grade graduation! High school, here I come!"

To obtain this look, follow these steps closely:
1. Set curling iron to hottest setting.
2. Roll bangs in curling iron TIGHT.
3. Hold bangs in curling iron until singeing occurs.
4. Once smoke begins to rise from roots, release clamp on curling iron.
5. Do NOT brush or tease or fluff bangs whatsoever. Spritz with White Rain hairspray.
6. Splash on Malibu Musk body spray.
7. Slip on color coordinated Sam & Libby's and you're ready!

Age 12: Phase-- "Mom, please stop talking to me in public... and at home too. Dang! My locker mirror broke again when I was slamming it shut! Now I can't look at myself in between classes! Who wouldn't want to look at this???".......
Obtaining this look is a little harder than the one above. To be this cool, follow these steps even closer:
1. Wash hair with Outrageous shampoo and conditioner, or Paul Mitchell, which ever smells stronger.
2. Heat stick curlers and roll entire head. Leave in for approximately 2 hours. Do real important things during those two hours like roll your eyes at your mom, and anyone else who dares talk to you during your beautification process.
3. Use same curling technique for your bangs as mentioned above, but this time do feather them out slightly with a pick.
4. Spray Aqua Net over entire head for at least 45 seconds.
5. Put on a tiny bit of blush and lip gloss, but sneak all the covergirl makeup you plan to really wear into your backpack. Re-apply once you get to school.
6. Go to knock-off Glamour Shots studio and have the precious moment frozen in time. It's a keepsake even your husband will adore someday!
--And quit fussing every time your parents mention braces... you obviously need them!

Age 13: Phase-- "Okay, Mom. You can talk to me again at HOME. But please refrain from doing so in public. I'm a grown-up after all. I do have braces and I'm finally growing out those ridiculous bangs, so give me a little credit! And Mom, why are you dressed like a bag lady?? I changed my mind. No talking to me period."
This was the day I got my braces put on. I acted like I hated them, but really I thought it just made me look older. And if you didn't know, older meant COOLER.... 'cause that's what makes you cool. Instead of being 13, I now could possibly pass as 14. Maybe even 15 if my Mom would quit waving at me like that!
And high five to my little sister, Kelly, for rocking the "Moon Dreamer" hairdo as we called it, scrunchie and all. You go, Kelly!

Yes, we named all of our hairdos so that when my Mom was fixin' (it's how you say it in the South) our hair in the mornings, she would know exactly what we were talking about. She had three daughters to deal with, so you can imagine naming our hairdos made all our lives easier. You can see the Moon Dreamer pictured above. We also had the "Barbie" which is the do I'm sporting above, and then of course the High, Low or Side Ponytail. Not to mention the topsy tail or your assortment of french braids, but you had to actually place an order for any of those hairdos since it took more time to complete. I'm not ashamed to admit, my Mom fixed my hair until 7th grade. When I insisted on the hideous mega curl bang, she turned the curling iron and rollers over to me.

Those names have now been passed to the second generation. On school mornings, Her Highness will bring me the brush and a bow and say, "Here, Momma. I want a Moon Dreamer."

Not sure why all of these didn't get passed out. Let me know if you didn't get yours. I'll be happy to write on the back:

Dear BFFE, you are the best. Never change! Class of '98 rules!
LYLAS, Holly

Monday, March 22, 2010

New Rules Regarding Toy Purchases

First off, I would like to say how incredibly blessed we are to have the wonderful set of friends and family we do. Bert and I are so thankful to have such an amazing group of people to help us raise our children. Kiss-up session out of the way.....

If any of you wonderful friends and family plan to give a gift to our children in the future, the gift must meet the following criteria....

Note: To run the proper tests on all probable gifts you will need a stop watch and possibly a first-aid kit.

Test 1: Start the timer and try to remove the toy from its package. If it takes more than eleven minutes to remove said toy from the package, scratch item from the list and move on to next choice.

Test 2: See that toys which are capable of breaking free from packaging in less than eleven minutes are also easy to assemble, stay put together when dropped/thrown from a balcony, and do not require a degree in engineering to play with. (To help you with your search, Transformers do not meet any of these requirements.)

Test 3: Try using gift idea as a weapon. Item may be tested by knocking your two year old upside the head. If he bleeds or cries when hit, scratch toy from the list.

Test 4: If probable gift has passed the above tests, throw it on the floor. Remove shoes and close your eyes tightly. Walk around barefoot, with eyes still closed to simulate waking at 2am and walking across house to get a crying child. Step on toy several times. If the toy makes you cry, bleed or cuss when stepped upon, do not purchase. Find another toy and repeat Tests 1-4 again.

If you are wondering which gifts would actually pass all of these tests, gift certificates for massages, pedicures and any restaurants without an indoor playground pass with flying colors, and are truly loved and appreciated by us all. After all, if Momma ain't happy......

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hasta la vista, Baby!

Today we replaced "cheese" with "Say Bye-Bye to Winter!!!!" and we couldn't be any happier.
Happy Spring, Y'all!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

All's well that ends well.

This little monkey scared the willies out of me today. Scared me, infuriated me, made me cry, then made me laugh. All in a days work. I pray every one of my children have at least one child who is just like them someday.

Since today was cold and rainy we decided to meet some friends for lunch at The King, also known as Burger King, but to my children, for some reason it's just called "The King." The place was packed. Lunch rush hour mixed with cold winter mess caused most of the moms in our area to show up at the same time, since The King is one of the few places in town with an indoor playground. We had fun, stuffing ourselves with empty calories and laughing with our friends.

I have a set of rules The Hudson Fam goes by, no matter where our playdates are. The children all recite in unison as we drive to our destination. I start with, "I need listening ears..." The kids all put their hands behind their ears, to show me they are listening. Sometimes one or two of them will put their hands over their ears when I turn back around, which causes giggling among the peanut gallery. After they are all in attention, we all recite: "No pushing. No shoving. No biting. No whining. No hitting. No tattling. Keep your hands to yourself. Be a good friend. And when it's time to go... It's time to GO!" That last part means, when Momma says let's go, they better all run to get their shoes on. If you don't leave nicely, you don't get to go the next time at all. So, those rules being explained....

It was time to go. I did my usual, "If your last name is Hudson and you have red hair, it's time to go!!" Thunder and Her Highness came bounding down out of the slide with Hail close behind. They tugged on their shoes, and came over to our table where I was buckling Flash Flood into his carrier. "Where's your brother?" I asked, fully expecting my smart-mouthed children to refute, "Am I my brother's keeper?" Instead I got, "He's not up there, Momma." "Yes he is. Go back up and tell him I said it's time to go, NOW." With my bag on my shoulder, and Flash Flood's heavy carrier in the nook of my arm, I began hollering, "Lightning Hudson! Where are you?? It's time to go!" Thunder came back down the slide again, "Momma, I told you he wasn't up there!" A mom sitting in a nearby booth interrupted, "Could he be in the restroom? My son just came out of there and said there was a little boy screaming, 'Mommy, I'm all done!'"

I sent my friend's son in the men's room to check for me. "Yep. He's in there and he pooped in the potty. He's waiting for you, Mrs. Holly."

Great. I then had my BFF watch all my other kids in the playground section as I went to retreat my 3 1/2 year old from the men's room. Hail insisted he go with me. I stood with the men's room door cracked and asked loudly, "Excuse me. Is anyone in here??" I got a couple of responses, "Uh, yes ma'am." "Just a second lady." Two men finished up their business and got out. At first I tried to coax Lightning out, "Honey, you need to just wipe yourself and come on out." All he could say was, "But, Mommy!! I can't reach the toilet paper! It's too far away!" I then went in to find the stall door was locked. Of course. At this point my blood pressure was beginning to rise. With clinched teeth I said, "Buddy, you're going to HAVE to come unlock this door. I can't get in there unless you open the door. NOW." All Lightning would say over and over in his husky little voice was, "But, Mommy! I've got poo-poo on my booty! You open the door! I don't wanna get up with poo-poo!!!!" I think I said a few things after that like, "Poo-poo on your hiney is the least of your worries son!... You're gonna get it... I mean it too...."

Hail decided he would help out and climb under the door to unlock it for Lightning. Only, when he got into the stall he couldn't figure out how to work the lock. "Both of you just be still! And quit touching stuff! Hail, I'm talking to YOU. Don't touch anything else! Get your hands away from your face!!! Gross!"

About this time a young male employee walks in and says, "Your son stuck in there?" So I explain that he's three years old and needs help with the lock. The employee says, "Sure, I'll help. I just gotta go first." And he waltzes over to the urinal, with me STILL IN THE RESTROOM, turns his back to me and begins doing his business. I literally screeched, "OH MY! SORRY!" And darted towards the door. Being the Momma Bear I am, I stayed with my foot in the door, keeping it cracked, but obviously it wasn't going to phase this young man since he was going to take his bathroom break with me in there or not. He finished up, came back over to the door, then WITHOUT WASHING HIS HANDS said, "You gonna just be patient or you want me to help your boys out?" Nodding, as I was speechless, he hoisted himself over the top of the stall door, then reached down and flipped the lock over, freeing Hail and allowing me in to rescue Lightning. The employee exited, (without ever washing his hands) and went back to flipping burgers. NICE. I probably would have been more offended by the employee's restroom manners, or lack there of, if I didn't have so many boys myself.

Before we left the men's room, Lightning got what was coming to him for leaving the playground without telling me. I was so mad that I sent him straight to bed when we got home. He stayed in there for a while, and when he came out I asked, "Why were you in so much trouble? Can you tell Mommy?" Lightning shook his head yes, then said very matter of fact, "Because a stranger could get me." I'm just glad he understood the danger in what he had done.

Lightning has always been my most self-sufficient child. He insisted on feeding himself at six months old. By 18 months, when he was thirsty he would climb up on the counter and get his own sippy cup, climb in the fridge to get the juice, then drag it across the house to me and ask for a drink. The kid has always just taken care of business. So I guess this time was no different. I should be thankful.... Thunder would have just pooped in his pants and Hail would have screamed at the top of his lungs, "I GOTTA GOOOO POO-POO! I GOTTA GO POO-POO! NOW! NOW! I GOTTA GOOOO POOOO-POOOOO!" For everyone in the entire restaurant to hear.

Whew. I'm just glad that everything came out all right.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Thunder and Lightning

Just as thunder compliments lightning in nature, my Thunder and Lightning compliment each other quite well, which is unfortunate for me at times.

Oh, silly boys.

Even at the ages of 5 and 3 1/2, Thunder and Lightning have learned the importance of teamwork. Especially when it comes to being disciplined and making their Mother laugh... out loud.

Most afternoons, as we wait for Her Highness in the car line, Thunder and Lightning beg to unbuckle and climb up to the front seat. And since we just sit in a parked car for about 10 minutes each day, I usually let them come up and do the super fun and quite annoying activities that they find most enjoyable. Mashing all the buttons on the dash, opening and slamming shut the "glub department" and putting the windows up and down a zillion times are all at the top of their list of favorites. One afternoon, Thunder and Lightning decided to leave the passenger window down and hang out of it. As school buses started to zoom by, I scolded the boys and told them to put their heads back in immediately. I then began a long and painful story that had been told to me by my own Mother (for doing the same thing, I'm sure). I told the gory details of a young girl who had been beheaded when her bus passed by a utility pole as she hung from a window, much the way the two of them were doing.
What? Too gruesome for such young boys? Too much information for children who just needed a little discipline? Don't judge. It takes more than your average slap on the wrist to get anything through to these fellows.
As I finished up the sad story, both Thunder and Lightning stared back at me with wide eyes, nodding slowly as I asked, "Do you understand now why you don't ever need to hang out of a car window again??" As it all sank in, both boys looked at one another. Then back at me. Then back to each other once more. And without saying a single word, Thunder and Lightning both pulled their heads into their shirts, like a turtle going into his shell, and began flailing their arms all about while squealing, "Is this what we would look like??!!?" Then mocking me, "Oh, noooo! The bus went by too fast and chopped off my head!!! Hhheeeellllllpppppp!!!" Flapping and flailing their arms, as their hands smacked against each other's bodies, then mine, they kept on, "Mooommmyyy!!! Oh, nooooo! A bus came by too fast and knocked off our heads! Ahhhhh!"
Total mockery. Why do I even bother??
They continued their beheaded scene as we pulled up to Her Highness' post. They kept squealing out the window, much to the delight of the school children who were still waiting for their parents, "Ahhhh! A bus just chopped off our heads! Ahhhhhhh!" Her Highness, however, was not amused. Thunder and Lightning clambered back to their booster seats and buckled up as Her Highness' eyes rolled from her coveted spot in the front seat. "Momma!!" She started, with clinched teeth, "I REALLY WISH you would NOT let the boys up front in the car line!! They are soooo embarrassing to me!! Puh-lease don't let them near the front anymore! Or near any windows at all!!! Ugggghhh."

"Best Brothers" they call one another.
They sure do love each other.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sugar and Snails

What are little girls made of?
What are little girls made of?

Sugar and spice....

And all things nice.

That's what little girls are made of.

What are little boys made of?

What are little boys made of?


And snails....

And puppy-dogs' tails....

That's what little boys are made of.