Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday-- Because sometimes words aren't even necessary.

Thoughts at time this picture was taken....
"I'm so rockin' this knock-off glamour shots thing!  I'm only 12, but I totally look 14!  Can't wait to pass these out to ALL my BFF's! My husband is going to LOVE this photo when we're old and gray. This is like AWESOME!!!"

Monday, July 26, 2010

Maybe I should lay off the Snicker's Icecream Bars.....

This weekend we had the honor of babysitting some dear, sweet friends of ours, while their Momma worked.  This brother/sister duet is always packed full of fun and energy when visiting our peanut gallery.  They keep us on our toes, as well as doubled over in stitches, with laughter. 

Upon arriving to our house, my precious sweet girl, and fellow Princess to Her Highness, "Her Majesty" came bouncing into the house, and ran over to hug me.  With our arms locked around each other, Her Majesty looked over at Flash Flood, eating in his high chair, and spoke of how much he had grown.  She then freed one of her arms, so that she could gently touch my belly, while commenting, "Dang, Mrs. Holly!  You just gonna keep on havin' them babies, ain't ya!"

Bert spewed water all over the counter while Her Highness erupted in laughter.  It was one of those cackling laughs too, where she couldn't hardly catch her breath afterwards.  I resisted the urge to run and lock myself in the bathroom for the afternoon... crying... and tried to laugh it off.  Her Highness couldn't let it stop there though.  She, being the proper princess that she is, had to make the socially awkward situation better for her fellow princess, and continued, "Yeah.  I know it does LOOK LIKE there's a baby in there, (touching my stomach the same way Her Majesty had) but, there's NOT! Bwahahahahahahahahahaha!"  She continued cackling, all the way to her royal chambers, where the two princesses played Barbies the rest of the afternoon. 
To console myself, I grabbed a Snicker's Icecream bar out of the fridge.  I smacked away on the delicacy, and pondered why in the world those princesses would think such obviously foolish thoughts. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

"But, Momma! It was on accident-awee!"

Hail is constantly pleading the 5th. Occasionally, the evidence so strongly points his direction, that even he realizes there's no need to plead anything other than guilty. When he does, it's almost always followed by, "But it was on acci-dent-awee!" Which is usually met with the response, "You did NOT accidentally stick a fishing lure up your nose/throw Lightning's new batman in the trash can/kick Thunder's Lincoln Log cabin over/dump out my diaper bag/hit Her Highness in the face/etc.....No, sir. That was done on PURPOSE."

Lately, I've felt the need to look at sweet pictures of Hail. They are being used as a reminder that deep down, Hail is a sweet and loving child. I need this reminder so that Child Protective Services would not be a service needed in my home.....
...and not for the child pictured, but for Hell, errr, I mean, Hail.
These pictures do not do that poor baby justice.

Hail "accident-awee" kicked a ceramic bowl that was in the floor. The ceramic bowl that was less than six feet from Flash Flood's head, on the floor getting a stinky diaper changed.
The bowl landed on Flash Flood's face, and broke immediately. I called Bert, using a demonic sounding voice, normally reserved for labor, and informed him of Hail's behavior. Bert understood immediately, if he ever wanted to see his third son again, he had better rush home to save him. Hail was sent to his room, to await his Father's beatin', and avoid my wrath. Bert held a "prayer meeting", which was quickly followed by a come to Jesus moment, as most of The Storm "prayer meetings" usually do.
Sobbing, Hail apologized to me and then to Flash Flood, who had already forgotten all about his nasty boo-boo. What a tough nut. Guess he has to be. Her Highness cried more than he did. When she saw all the blood that was pouring from his sweet head, she immediately burst into tears and squealed, "If he has to get stitches, I will have to go outside! I just can't stand to hear him cry like that!!! Waaaaaahhhhh!" Stifling a belly laugh, I informed Her Highness that facial wounds bleed like crazy, but don't always have a need for stitches. Fortunately, I was right, and the cut has almost healed completely.
Between the scare of nearly killing his baby brother and the prayer meeting, Hail realized throwing and kicking toys/books/dishes/rocks/etc was not the way to go. I'm happy to report, there have been no other incidents... well, this week anyway.
Oh, Hail.....

Monday, July 19, 2010

Brothers of The Storm Union Meeting is called to order...

Some days I feel The Storm has it out for me. Like, really has it out for me. I feel quite certain they hold council meetings and plot out exactly how to drive me crazy, I just haven't caught them in the act yet. I have a feeling though, their meetings go a little something like this......

Thunder runs around whispering in each of their ears, "Brothers of The Storm Union Meeting in two minutes. Be there. My room." Then, as if to throw me off, he hollers loudly, "Who wants to play Star Wars in MY room??!!" And they all cheer, including Her Highness, who usually asks, "Can Flash Flood come too, Momma? He LOVES to watch us play, and we'll make sure he doesn't eat any leggos. Promise!" I end up toting Flash Flood's exersaucer in there, because he does love to watch the big kids do pretty much anything. After I leave the room, the meeting is called to order:

Thunder: Let's get going. (taps his light saber on his art desk, to denote starting of the meeting) Your Highness, if you will please read the minutes from the last meeting.

Her Highness: Sure! Meeting was opened by our Union President, Mr. Thunder. Motions were made and carried to tear the house apart, since it was a rainy day. Motions were made to sneak outside after rains were done, but first to wait until Mom was busy cleaning bathrooms. Motion carried unanimously. Mission accomplished when freshly cleaned and sparkling bathrooms were destroyed with red clay, once The Storm returned from playing. Plan for Operation Urination, which will truly drive our Mother insane, proposed, but left unfinished. Meeting adjourned abruptly, because Momma came out on the back porch to take a picture of us playing so sweetly, and offered us popsicles.

Thunder: Thank-you. Now, I would like to yield the floor to our delegate from the 4 year old division, General Lightning, who may now finish his proposal for Operation Urination...

Lightning: Thank-you, Mr. President. Before I begin, Hail, could you please throw that basketball up against the wall? We don't want Mother doing another drop-in because it's too quiet.

Hail creates a thud with the ball, everyone laughs hysterically, including Flash Flood.

Lightning: Perfect. Now, let's get down to business. We all are aware today was house-wide sheet changing day. This one is going to take true teamwork and dedication to execute, but, if done right, will really push our Mother over the edge.

Me (from the hallway): Are y'all playing sweet in there? Hey! Make sure Flash Flood doesn't have anything in his mouth please.

Her Highness: Guys, I have an idea where you're going with this. And since I don't typically urinate anywhere other than a toilet, I'm going to have to miss the planning process, but will try to keep Mom distracted. No worries. You have a solid ten minutes to wrap this thing up. Good luck, and may the force be with you.

Her Highness then interrupts my attempt to load the dishwasher, begging for me to change her fingernail polish color. I sigh, loudly, then agree, since the boys are "playing" nicely and won't bother us.

Thunder: We really owe Her Highness. Our next mission will have to be one where she gets all the glory. But back to planning Operation Urination. General Lightning, please continue.

Lightning: As I was saying, we all know today was house-wide sheet changing day. Mother spent much of the afternoon washing and changing the sheets on every single bed in the house. Including hers. Flash Flood, we'll start with you. Your mission is to squirm like crazy when she's changing your diaper for the final time this evening. Do what you do best... giggle, coo, and constantly try to flip over and crawl away while she's changing you. Really give it your all, making sure to turn around and giggle a bunch, she always gets distracted by your smiles and laughs, goodness knows why. Oh, to be a baby again. She'll eventually get worn out trying to pin you down and will latch those velcro straps unevenly, with the diaper on sideways, but won't even notice, or care. Once she's done, crawl away laughing, as fast as you can. She thinks that's hilarious too. Got it?

Flash Flood: Da-da-da. Giggle. Da-da-da. (Translation: Yes, sir. I will not let my band of brothers down. I will make you all proud. I may even try to hold my poop until after she's put me to bed. All for one and one for all!)

Thunder: That's great. Keep going, I hear Her Highness struggling in there to buy more time.

Lightning: Hail, you're up next. Tonight you have to beg for an extra bottle of juice right at bedtime. Say over and over again, "But why dey get some? I'm firsty." And do that toddler jabber crap that she loves. Lay it on her thick with the whole two year old speech impediment thing. She eats that mess up, and can hardly resist. Drink plenty, then lie like a son of a gun when she says to go potty before getting in the bed. Do the whole, "But, but I aweady did, Momma! I po-mise."

Hail: Yes, sir. Just for added affect, perhaps I should drink water straight from the sink the entire time I'm supposed to be brushing my teeth. And, to keep her from questioning if I "went potty" as she always uses such preschool terms, I will do the old game of, "Momma, I not wanna go to bed! Will you 'cratch my bug bites? I'm itchy! I not wanna go to bed! Well, well you not inbited to my birf-day pardy den!" She will be so distracted and mad by the end of that charade, she won't remember if I went (using air quotations) "potty" or not.

Entire group erupts into laughter.
Thunder tosses ball against wall again, followed by more laughter.

Lightning: Great, great. I knew I could count on you. Now, Mr. President, this may be out of your comfort zone. But, we need you to serve as a Black Op. this round. You too will need to drink extra this evening. I know it's been a while for you, but it's necessary for this mission to be a success. Drink as if you've been in a desert for a solid week, and just found the oasis.

Thunder (sighs, then nods): I'm up for the challenge, General.

Lightning: Perfect. I'm participating as well. Tonight, I will cry and stomp my feet when Mother tries to put a pull-up on me. I will whine and sing the same old song, "But, I'm four! I wanna be a big boy! It's not fair that Thunder and Her Highness don't have to wear pull-ups! Please! Please, let me be a big boy!" She will feel sorry for me, and think she's tricking me by allowing me to fall asleep, before she tries to slip me into a pull-up. But, since we're pulling out all the stops, she will surely be exhausted by that point and forget to change me out of my underwear. Now, this is when the plan gets a little tricky. Timing is everything.

Hail throws a matchbox car against the wall, The Storm fakes an argument, then a quick make-up session, followed by more fake laughter.

Lightning: Here is the time schedule break down: Approximately midnight-- I will wake her up with soaked pajamas. She will change me into dry clothes, and allow me to sleep in her bed. I will start kicking Father immediately. 1:00-- Enter Hail, with soggy diaper and damp shirt. She will change you, and put you in the middle of the bed as well. In the process, I will wake up and beg for a drink, crying loudly and waking Father at this point. Father will move in zombie like motion, fill sippy cup with juice, then move to the couch, since the bed is now full. We all get back to sleep. 2:14-- Cue Flash Flood. Poop, then pee, so it will be really runny and leaking all over those clean sheets. Wake Mother with a blood curdling scream. Mother will have to change you and the sheets, plus make a bottle. So, Mr. President, you should allow plenty of time for her to get back into an REM sleep. I would say, approximately 3:30, wake Mother with news of a wet bed. Inform her that you don't really need any help, that you've already changed your own clothes and will be heading to the couch with Father, but you just wanted her to be in the know. 4:18-- I will soak through the pull-up she put on me earlier in the night, but not until I've nearly rolled on top of her, so that she wakes up feeling a hot liquid sensation all along her right side. Once the scent hits her nose, she will immediately realize what it is, and have to wake up to change me yet again. She will be so tired at this point, she'll probably just grab a towel and throw it down to lay on, instead of changing the sheets. 5:37-- Hail, you wake up wet, again. After changing you, and grabbing another towel, then realizing there's no more dry area to sleep on, she'll move to the little couch.

Thunder: Gen. Lightning, yet again you've made us proud. This is a fool-proof plan. By morning, Mother will have to snooze an extra 47 minutes. During which time, while she is comatose, we will have the opportunity to start on our next mission: Operation Healthy Cereal Destruction, where we will pour out all cereals with less than 10 grams of sugar per serving, and stomp on them. This will leave only pop-tarts and Doritos for breakfast.

Her Highness (speaking loudly for all to hear): Ummm, wait! Momma! I changed my mind about the purple! I want pink now! Please!

Thunder: We must adjourn. Quickly, all hands in. Teamwork on three, ready... ONE-TWO-THREE!

All members of The Storm: TEAMWORK!

High-fives all the way around, as I open Thunder's door.

Me: Did I just hear Flash Flood say "teamwork?" And hey, did he just give you a high-five?? (Speaking in a baby voice) Do it again, Buddy! Can you give Mommy a high-five?? You're so cute! Yes you are!

Hail: Yep. We's been teachin' hims dat. Hims knows how to do dat high-five now.
(winking at the rest of The Storm)

I take Flash Flood out of his exersaucer and move him to the living room.

Thunder whispers: See you all on the flip side. We'll meet at the swingset in the morning to discuss our plans for the afternoon. (then, screaming, to throw me off) NOW, GET OUTTA MY ROOM! I SAID RIGHT NOW!!!!

Lightning: Then you can't come into MY ROOM EITHER!!!

Slams door.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"What would you do if I sang outta tune... Would you stand up and walk out on me..."

As the Big 3-0 draws near, I find myself reflecting on the past, and ways in which I have grown.

Some of my favorite reflections are of the "Awkward Years." Flipping through old photo albums, I hear the Wonder Years theme song playing in my head, and memories flash back....

At age 10, I had become a cereal box-toy-ordering-junkie. I had obviously graduated from finding joy in the actual toys inside the box, but as I had not yet graduated from Frosted Flakes (and still to this day haven't), I was mature and old enough to read the directions, collect the UPC codes necessary, and fill out the order forms for many a free miniature 35 mm camera, t-shirts, digital watches, talking pens, etc. I loved getting packages in the mail. I became addicted to the adrenaline rush I got each time I would open the mailbox and find a small, cardboard box with MY name on it. I would run up the hill and go straight to my desk, to open and discover the new prize. All by myself, as if I had found treasure, I didn't want my much too immature younger sisters, who were only seven and could never appreciate all the hard work and dedication it took-- eating bowl after bowl strictly of General Mills cereals-- to spoil my fun.

Soon, as with all addictions, it took more and more to feed my brown paper package addiction. Cereal boxes were no longer the only thing I would order from. One day, while watching tv, I noticed a mattress commercial that stated, "Call for your free sample." So, I did. Sure enough, I got some enjoyment out of ripping the paper off the teeny-tiny piece of foam. I was left unsure how anyone was supposed to know if they would like sleeping on such a tiny mattress, but was happy to have gotten my brown paper package fix. I moved on to bigger, more frequent deliveries, when I opened up the world of catalogs. That phase didn't last too long, as most of the catalogs were a bore, and had no wrapping to rip off. I began to watch all commercials closely, calling each and every number with a free offer. I got free samples for lip balm, Advil, Dr. Shoals shoe inserts, travel size deodorants... I was nearly coming to an end of my package addiction, after racking up on freebies for almost two straight years, and finding that I wasn't getting quite the same feelings anymore.

The final package to be delivered during this binge phase was one that made me a little nervous. My parents were happy for me to order and receive the other items. But this one... this one was different. The summer between sixth and seventh grade, in one of the many free catalogs that I was now on the monthly mailing list for, I saw an ad for Playtex tampons. In the bottom corner, in tiny print were the words I liked to read most, "For a free sample..." I quickly jotted the address down on an envelope and ran to the mailbox. Six short weeks later, my risque package arrived, thankfully in a plain box. To my relief, my Momma assumed it was just an ordinary freebie... just another travel size toothpaste. Whew!

What my Mom didn't know was, the contents of that package were giving me an in to the sisterhood of womanhood. I just knew I was now a mature woman, but I had no clue as to why. I had no need for tampons yet, and to be quite honest, I had no idea how they were even to be used. I decided that careful inspection was necessary.

Disappointed that only two, individually wrapped tampons came in this sample box, I immediately hid one under my bed, behind the purple pair of Sam and Libby's. The other, I examined and became quite confused as to how that was going anywhere down there. Yes, my Mom and I had already had "the talk." But, I was still worried about this cotton exploding plastic cannon that was a regular staple of my mother's. Thoughts raced through my head.... "Maybe you only need these if you're a MOM. Like after having a bunch of kids. Yeah, that's got to be it."

Nervous about the future, and relieved I didn't have to deal with figuring all of that out just yet, I threw all of the contents away, forgetting about the other tampon, hidden behind the purple pair of Sam and Libby's. Fall rolled around, and I began to notice many of the girls had returned to 7th grade with a "need" to carry their purse to the bathroom. All too quickly, some of those same girls noticed that I didn't have that same "need" and questioned my lack of purse toting, when the hall pass was requested. I couldn't let them know that I, though only 12 years old, weighing in at 90lbs, was still a BABY. That afternoon, I retrieved the hidden sample, strategically placing it at the very top of my purse.

I was thrilled the next day, when one of my fellow co-eds asked to borrow a pen. "Here, it's in the bottom of my purse." I said, casually tossing my knock-off red pleather Liz Claiborne bag her way. I flipped my hair over my shoulder, as she unzipped the purse, and saw the Playtex tampon on top. She raised her eyebrows and said, "Really?" sounding half-way impressed that I wasn't just a bony kid, and half-way disappointed, probably because she too had been lying the entire time about the need to carry her purse to the bathroom. Nonchalantly I nodded, as if to say, "What's the big deal."

For the rest of seventh grade, and a short part of eighth, I carried that sample around, at the top of my purse. Even when I got a new knock-off bag, I would carefully re-locate all of the contents, including my little lie.

The day I FINALLY needed that sample, I regretted the year and half of toting it around everywhere. Which was just exactly what my Momma said would happen, when she caught a glimpse of the tampon, and inquired about it's strategic placement. "Honey, enjoy being a kid while you can. You'll catch up to the other girls soon enough, and you'll see it's not as big of a deal as they're making it. You're not a baby. Your body is just slower because you weigh less than they do! Enjoy it."

Sigh. One of the many times I would live to regret not taking her advice.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Oh, Summer... Why do you have to go so quickly??

I'm having a hard time accepting the fact that July is half-way over. In just three and a half short weeks, Her Highness and Thunder will be heading back to school, and I can't stand the thought. I love waking up when we want, well, when the school kids want anyway. I'm up by 6ish regardless. Usually earlier. Sigh.

I so enjoy lazy summer days, making plans as we go, and not looking any farther than the afternoon. I love that our biggest decision each day has been which of the two neighborhood pools to swim in-- front or back. We're blessed to live in a neighborhood that has two pools to choose from. It's a wonderful thing. Like having two of your own giant swimming pools, only you don't have to worry about cleaning them.

I love staying outside until the lightning bugs are sparkling all around, and the only reason to force everyone inside is because of all the mosquitoes biting. I love not having to worry about spelling tests and reading assignments, only reading for fun, when the kids ask. I have thoroughly enjoyed the way the four big kids beg to "camp out" in each other's rooms, and fall asleep giggling at each other's silly stories.

I love waking up slowly, with my cup of coffee and which ever member of The Storm who got up first. One by one, they all come into the living room, piling up on the couch with me, hair poking up in all directions. We cuddle for nearly an hour, staring blankly at Dora. Yesterday, during our morning ritual, Lightning looked around at our overloaded couch, with all five kids in and around my lap and said, "Wow, Momma! Yous sure gots wots of kids!"

Unfortunately, once school begins, our mornings aren't quite this relaxing. Only our weekend mornings get to be this way. And usually, many of those are packed and scheduled to the max with birthday parties, ball games, and weekend visitors.

The school year brings its own fun. And each season is special for different reasons. But, as my children have gotten older, the lazy days of summer are definitely my favorite.
Her Highness will be in second grade this year, and Thunder in Kindergarten. I thought the more children I sent off to school, the easier it would get. I did pretty well leaving Her Highness for the first day of Kindergarten. I was able to hold my tears until we got to the car. Bert laughed as I sobbed the entire way home. It was such a shock to think, that after five years of her being solely in my care, she would now be spending six hours a day with a teacher we only met the week prior. That was hard. And knowing she would have to deal with bullies, and scraped knees without me there to scoop her up was even harder. But, she did just fine, and LOVED her teacher, which made everything much easier.
(Her Highness' first day of Kindergarten and Thunder's first day of preschool.)

So, now I'm feeling these same stresses with Thunder, though I know it will be just fine. We will meet his teacher in a couple of weeks, and hopefully find a class full of new best buds. I think the hardest part, is again, knowing how much time he'll be away from me, and having to face all the playground hardships of a five year old, without me there to console him. Thunder is also the best big brother a Momma could ask for, and the leader to this crazy crew, so I'm a little sad about breaking up The Storm. He did go to preschool for a few months last year, but that was only three hours, three days a week. By the time we dropped him off, ran a few errands, and took naps, it was time to pick him up. And, like I said, it only lasted a few months.
Kindergarten will be all day, with no option to quit. It makes me a little sad, I'll admit.
So, I'm going to try and soak up these last three and a half weeks of laziness. I'm heading back to the couch right now, to snuggle a little more with my nutty red heads... maybe time will slow down, just a little.

Monday, July 12, 2010

"You're just a bee charma, Idgie Threadgoode, that's what you are... a bee charma."

It's 82 degrees in my house. And it's only 9am. Our air went out during the night. The high today is somewhere in the upper 90's with 400% humidity. It's only going to get hotter, so I'm trying to count my many blessings, and not let the heat get the better of me.

I love Fried Green Tomatoes. The book is even better than the movie. I've always thought it would be fun to visit that era, with Idgie and Ruth. Sure, I'd be the third wheel, but don't you think Idgie, Ruth and Holly's fried green tomatoes would taste delicious? With no air conditioning, and other amenities from our time, I know I wouldn't last long. But, since it's sweltering in here, today I'm pretending to live in a giant old mansion, talking with an old super southern drawl. So, maybe I usually talk with a southern drawl, but not like they used to.

Nowadays, we speak more of hybrid, down around these here parts. Rarely do you hear "warm" with two syllables--"wa-wom." And if you do, it's typically said by an older southern lady, dressed to the nines, including a fancy Sunday hat. I do love to listen to the older southern dialect. So, bare with me, and read the following, as if spoken by Ruth herself.....
(Let me know if you need it translated.)

And, since I've been missin' in ack-shun for the last lil' bit on this here blawg, well, I'm gonna catch all y'all up a bit on our summa activities, and just why us folks have been so vary buzee...

We had a wonderful (but much too sho-art) visit with my younga sista, Kate. She brought along her sweet ba-bee gurl, and we all got some good suga from that precious lil' cupcake.

Then, we celebrated two vary special young 'uns, Lightnin' and Her High-nass. We had the most golorious time, y'all! My sweet boy, Lightnin' had a small gatherin' by the pool, while Her High-nass enjoyed a gurl's nite, with some old gal pals she's known since cradle roll at the church.

I had the privilege of paintin' all they're tiny lil' fingas and toes. There were only 80 of 'em. It was quite a good time. By the end though, we were all wo-worn slap-out!

We also celebrated our Nation's burth. We made a flag cake and all! As you can see from the pic-chures, Lightnin' wasn't too much a fan (of the cake, not our Nation's burth.).....

No Foutha July would be completed without firea-works. It was just gra-and!

Of course, the best part was celebrating with dear friends and family, whom we just lu-uv dearly.
We hope y'all are havin' as much fun as we are this here summa. My only regret is how quickly the time seems to be passin' on by! Love to y'all!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The (not-so) Little Momma That Could

Some days I feel on top of Motherhood Mountain... My kids are dressed in clean, almost-ironed-looking clothing, hair is brushed, and even I have on something other than one of Bert's old t-shirts and sweats.  My dishwasher is filled with clean dishes, my sink is empty, and my dog has food in his dish before he even has to scratch the back door.  My van has no cheerios and old crusty fries in the floor board and the gas tank is full.  Most of the laundry pile is washed and folded, and some of the clean clothes are actually in the dresser drawers where they belong.  My floors are swept, and I actually pulled the mop and package of swiffer wet wipes from the closet, planning to mop after the kids go to bed.  I remember to speak softly and use words of praise to correct the children throughout the day, and find that they are almost disciplined, and someday may actually contribute positively to our society. 

Unfortunately, those kind of days are few and far between.

Most days, I feel intimidated and disappointed with myself and my parenting tactics.  My kids dress themselves, pulling mismatched clothing from the bottom of the pile that's been ignored for the last three (okay, six) months.  Their hair is poking up from all sides, because I'm not in the mood to chase them around with a brush and bottle of detangling spray.  I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and laugh, but only to keep from crying, at the sight.  I think about all the people I passed in the grocery store and wonder why none of them laughed out loud at the spit-up stained "Springville Tiger Football 1996" t-shirt with baggy sweat pants, that have a hole in the knee.  And wonder why none of them called Child Protective Services after noting my appearance, and the lack of nutrition in my buggy, along with the threats being made to the children climbing all over and jumping from the end of the buggy filled to the brim with frozen fish sticks and pop tarts.

Most days, my husband rolls his eyes as he pours his cereal into a giant mixing bowl, since that's the only clean dish available, and eats his cereal with a fork.  My kitchen smells of soured sippy cups.  I'm quite sure my sink is located down there.... somewhere... under all those dishes.  I scribble "paper plates" on my grocery list, to buy another day of not doing the dishes. 

Most days, my poor doggie scratches to door so much that the paint is peeling from the door frame.  I finally throw out some food, without ever petting his sweet head.  I grumble as I notice his water has a dead beetle floating at the top. 

Most days, I hurriedly yank the batteries out of the tv remote, and replace the ones in the wii remote, forgetting to put batteries on my grocery list.  We switch the batteries from all the remotes in our house for the next month and a half before finally remembering to buy new ones.

Most days, my van floor is covered in dirt, clothes, unidentifiable foods, and fast food wrappers.  And of course, the gas light is on.

Most days, my kids run around the house pretending to be cowboys, using the broom and swiffer mop as their horses. Walking from one room to the next, it's impossible not to have Fruit Loops and various crunchy snacks stick to your feet.  And in some places, it's impossible to walk without sticking to the floor due to some sort of spill that no one remembered to clean, or even mention. 

Most days, I screech at the children each time they interrupt my blogging attempts, or while I'm trying to text my sister.  I holler at them to quit hollering.  I scream at them for screaming, and while fussing that they may wake the baby, I wake the baby.  I worry that they will all end up in juvenile detention centers, or worse, living in our basement and playing video games, refusing to go to college.  I beat myself up for being a slacker mom, and in the process, feel defeated before I even begin the climb back to the top of the Motherhood Mountain.  I reach for the ice-cream and sit on the couch, staring out the window.  The day passes by.  The week passes by.  And before I know it, we're celebrating another birthday, holiday, etc.  And I think back to the previous one and again, berate myself for not "having it all together" like I swore I would by the next year. 

I have this dream, where I remember to brush my children's' teeth every night, before they go to bed at a reasonable hour.  My house is always drop-in ready.  My kids are always dressed in freshly ironed coordinating clothing.  And we all sit around and sing "Kumbaya" as we embrace in a family group hug.  Our dinners are planned weeks in advance and the only time anyone cries is because he/she fell down and scraped their knee. 

I tell myself that it's impossible.  I'm just not that kind of Momma.  I give up.  I wake up another day, ready to climb again.  I get half-way up and start to feel good about it all. 

It's a crazy cycle. 

Motherhood Mountain:  It's a never ending climb.  One where you get knocked down repeatedly, and the person usually knocking you down to the bottom is yourself.  You are your worst supporter.  And your biggest problem is that you aren't cheering for yourself.  Climbing Motherhood Mountain doesn't have to be as lonely as you make it.  It's so much more fun when you let others help give you a boost.  You just need to chant to yourself, the way the little engine does from that book you've been forced to read 84,000 times in the last six years, "I think I can... I think I can..." 

You can do this.......

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Home Again, Home Again Jiggity Jig

The past week wasn't spent moping and crying, I promise.  And as much as I would like to report the lack of blog posts was due to sharing too many bottles of Chardonnay with friends, that's not the case either.  Actually, my reason for being MIA was much more therapeutic.  The Hudson household escorted Bert on a business trip.  Some of our dear friends recently bought a Vet clinic and hired Bert as their new CPA.  When I learned Bert would need to spend a couple of days at their practice, I immediately packed up half our house and batted my eyes as I begged to tag along.

I love true friendships.  The kind where no matter how much time has passed, you can pick right back up the moment you lay eyes on one another; The type of friendship where there is no competition of any type, just excitement for one another when there is news to share.  Sherry and Dave are most certainly those kind of friends.  We have children around the same ages, and I love that our kids seem to follow this same friendship pattern.  We are so happy for The Alford Family, and truly enjoyed their company and hospitality for a couple of days.   

From there, since we were practically "in the neighborhood" (2+ hours away) we continued traveling and went to see my oldest brother and his sweet family.  I have two nephews, who are four and three years old.  So, you can imagine, our children are always thrilled to see each other.  We got to celebrate a birthday while we were there too.  It's so hard to believe that "X" is now three years old.  We were there the day he was born, with Her Highness, Thunder and Lightning (Hail in-utero).  And three years later, we got to be there to celebrate X's three precious years of life.  Time certainly flies when you're having fun. 

The weather was absolutely perfect.  Zero humidity and temps in the low 80's.  The only change I would make to the day was for it to last longer.   We went to a splash park and let the kids run wild.  We laughed and told funny stories about our children. 

We loved spending a couple of days with Matt, Angie and their precious boys.  Hey, can y'all just move closer to us please??  Hail and X would be most definitely be bestest friends, and the rest of us would enjoy having you as neighbors too.

Continuing our theme of visiting with old, dear friends and family, we made sure to squeeze in a (much too short) visit with one of my favorite cousins of all times.  Misty and her super cute crew met us at a nearby park.  Again, if I could have frozen time that day, I most certainly would have.  We laughed and laughed, until my sides hurt, and hugged and hugged, until my sides hurt, then caught up on life and told funny, and not so funny, stories about motherhood and child-rearing.  We talked about growing up, and memories of summer trips our moms made to see each other.  Misty, could y'all move a little closer too??  Thanks so much.

We also made sure to visit with my dear sweet Granny.  As with every stop we made, our time there wasn't nearly long enough either.  My Granny is a remarkable woman, and I am so proud to say I am her grand-daughter.  We love you, Granny! 
We made a mad dash back to the Hudson Hacienda, so Bert could squeeze some more real work into the last part of his week, and so I could see an Orthopedist.  Turns out, my knee injury that has forced me to hobble every where I went for the past week and a half, is due to a torn meniscus.  The doctor scheduled an MRI for Wednesday of this week, and said surgery was most likely in my near future.  Sweet. 'Cause I have time for all that jazz.  Sigh.

We were in a huge hurry to get back to our humble abode, but since we were passing right by the old stomping ground, I called and begged my sisters and Momma to meet us along the old beaten path.  We ate a super quick brunch, kissed all their babies a million times, squeezed their precious cheeks (both sets) and hugged and kissed each other, again squeezing sets of cheeks.  It's just our style.  I always get in the car and cry after leaving my family.  And this time was no different, but a little more intense since our time together was less than an hour. 
Flash Flood is pictured above with my niece, who is the daughter of my other brother, Nick.  She is 13 months old, and Flash Flood is already bigger than her!  We had so much fun.

I have the sweetest, chubbiest and most adorable little nieces and nephews you ever did see.  The top left picture is grandbaby #14, who was born to my sister, Kate, back in April.  Her Highness is the oldest.  Did you catch that??  There were FOURTEEN grandbabies born in SIX YEARS.  The other pictures are of my sister, Kelly's twins, and older daughter, who is only 2 years old.  Can you imagine? Kelly handles it all beautifully.  And, she looks GREAT to have just had twins!!  I'm joking.  I mean, she does in fact look great.  But that comment ranks right up there with annoying things people say when you have a mess of kids running around.  That one and "You got your hands FULL!"  Go ahead and mark it down as things NOT to say.  Ever.  I know folks are generally well-meaning.  But, to a tired Momma, some things are just better left unsaid. 

Unfortunately, I never got a group shot of the 12 cousins there together.  The Storm spent their entire time chasing Nick's boys around the playground, so they never got still enough to snap a shot.  It was the best pit stop in the history of Hudson pit stops, that's for sure. 

The car trip got a little long at some points.  But definitely worth every tortuous moment.  On the way home, I may have lost my mind momentarily, and screamed to the back seat of fighting/whiny/LOUD children, "THIS IS THE EXACT REASON WE NEVER GO ANYWHERE!!  WE WILL NEVER GO TO DISNEY WORLD IF Y'ALL CAN'T LEARN TO RIDE ON LONG TRIPS WITHOUT DRIVING ME NUUTTTSSSSS!"  They shut up after that.  So, it was only for approximately three seconds, but there were those three seconds of silence anyway. 

We are still trying to recover from our tour of the South.  The time spent with all our dear friends and family ranks super high on my list of Summer favorites.  We appreciate so very much everyone taking time to visit with us, feed us, and provide a place for the weary traveling circus to rest.  I know our group can be over-whelming at times, so to agree to take us on shows what great friends you all are.  WE LOVE YOU!!!