Monday, December 31, 2007

Queen and David Bowie - Under Pressure

Audit at work on January 14th. Also year end financial work - tax documents, statements to get done. While I like to think I am very conscientous in my work, I'm nervous that I'm unintentionally doing something wrong. As a person who is easily flustered, this wasn't my ideal start to a New Year. The silver lining.... I'll know for sure if I'm doing everything correctly in just a few weeks! Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Parenting 101 Anyone?

Tracey, have you finished that parenting book yet? I could use it....

Someone once wrote a post about Belltower moments. Where your child does something and you can just envision them going up in the tower with a gun and a sack of ammunition. And everyone says: "But he seemed so nice. Must have been the parents." We had that moment a few days ago, but luckily are descending the steps of crisis now.

And I have to admit Rob and I aren't very structured as parents. We have a routine, but we aren't always great at sticking with it. Sometimes we aren't as firm with follow-through as we should be. There is occasional yelling instead of a quiet-but-firm parental voice and bedtime and mealtimes slide around a bit. I once told a friend who was expecting a baby, not to worry about all that advice you get from know-it-all people. That your love for your child will help you figure out the right thing. But lately, I'm beginning to doubt that philosophy a little bit.

J.T. took a butterknife to my pantry door frame and made neat little cut marks (not too deep), but about 31 in all. When I caught him at it we had the following discussion:

Me: J.T.! Why did you cut the door?
J.T.: Mmmmmmmmm. (Fists clenched, lips pursed, scrambling for an answer).
Me: (after taking a deep breath) Why did you cut the door?
J.T.: (blurting it out quickly) Because I wanted to!
Me: Honey. We don't tear up things. We have to take care of our home. Why shouldn't you have cut the door?
J.T.: Because you would find out.... (which wasn't exactly the answer I was hoping I would hear).
Me: How about because it was the wrong thing to do?
J.T.: (silence)
Me: You have to go to your room. No T.V. today or tomorrow.

He runs to his room wailing. Great, heaving sobs of despair. HE'S mad with ME because he's in trouble. He told me so.

So if there is a parenting class, I'd probably be sitting in the corner with a Dunce cap on. This truly is the hardest job on the planet isn't it?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Betwixt and Between

Christmas and New Year's. More Christmas memories to add to the collection and the last few days of 2007 to spend.

Highlights from this Christmas include:

A baking disaster for me. Seems to be at least ONE each year. My cakes are never pretty. They are yummy, but not a feast for the eyes. I made a caramel layer cake for my niece's birthday (yes, poor thing was born on Christmas Day) and this picture doesn't show it in full ugliness. It would've made the Leaning Tower of Pisa look quite straight. Rob tore a hunk off this morning and I said: "So that's why it looks strange." Rob: "No, that's NOT why." But did I mention it was delicious?

Santa completely forgetting to include batteries for the remote control cars. Each car required SIX Double A batteries! Honestly. I'm beginning to think he owns stock in battery companies.

When you purchase identical remote control cars.... one remote will work both cars. This is both interesting and potentially hazardous to household harmony.

The children slept in until after 8 a.m. (Aren't YOU jealous) We had to wake Abby up because J.T. couldn't stand it any longer.

Abby's favorite gift was the big pack of markers and art pad. If we'd just purchased a huge case of paper and a couple more packs of markers, we could have gotten off super cheap this year.

J.T. got a Star Wars Lego Star Destroyer with 1,366 pieces. Anyone care to place bets on how much time passes before we lose about 20 of those pieces? Anyone care to place bets on how long we can keep Abby uninvolved in this project? Anyone care to place bets on how many times I'm going to step on an amazingly sharp little piece of lego in the dead of night?

The least favorite items were board games and books. Oh, and Rob's mother gave J.T. a set of Transformer sheets. Do you remember how you felt when you got clothes instead of toys? That's exactly the response we got from him. "Sheets?! For Christmas?!"

We're recovering in the hazy, sugary, so-tired-I'm-numb exhaustion that is the day after Christmas. I'm going to have some wine and cheese while the children grow more and more bored with their loot.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I wanted to get my Merry Christmas in before the busyness really gets going. Doesn't it seem like the world spins faster and the time runs short around the holidays? There are batches of fudge and cookies to make, presents to wrap, cards to write (okay I'm probably going to turn them into New Year's cards instead of Christmas cards) and only six more sleeps till the big fat guy in the red suit comes.

One of my favorite things about Christmas is to see the anticipation and joy in a child's eyes as they endure that bittersweet wait for Christmas morning. It can't seem to come fast enough, but once it's here you wish it wouldn't end.

Another of my favorite things are the family traditions that seem to manifest themselves during the Christmas Season more than any other time. At our house, we read the Christmas Story the night before.... my father reading in his deep steady tone and us sitting so quiet and still as we listened.... so peaceful. Then we'd gather round the tree and each of us would choose one gift to open. I spent hours the day before touching the presents with my name on them, shaking them gently.... trying to decide which one would have the most wonders inside it and should thus be chosen first. Before bed we'd select cookies for Santa and leave him a nice cold Dr. Pepper since our Santa wasn't a milk drinker. Translation: my mother isn't wasting a glass of expensive milk on Santa when it would just have to be poured out. Then it was off to bed where we'd try desperately to go to sleep so Santa would come. He doesn't come if you're awake.

Without ever realizing we had fallen asleep, we'd wake to a silent, still house. A mad scramble to the fireplace for stockings first.... loaded with fruit, nuts, candycanes, chocolate, new toothbrushes, books and a few small toys. After a suitable amount of time admiring each other's loot, we'd move on to the Christmas Tree in the Living Room where gifts were piled, unwrapped. I could always just imagine Santa pulling them from his sack and setting them around with great care. My parents would sit on the couch and watch as we marveled at our new treasures. Our grandparents would arrive for a big breakfast and to admire our gifts. The rest of the day was spent with our new toys and gifts, candy, books and friends. A big family celebration with aunts, uncles and cousins finished the day off. We'd fall asleep from sheer exhaustion a little early. Gorged on ham, dressing, sweet potatoes, pecan pie and enough candy to make a dentist cringe.

I hope Christmas is as exciting and magical for my children as it has always been for me. I hope your Christmas is too. May God bless you, each and every one.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


My grandmothers possessed an amazing talent for sewing, quilting and in general, being quite crafty. Why I was not given this lovely gene as well, I don't know. But perhaps that makes the quilts, blankets, and doll accessories all the more precious to me?

I find these lovely hand-made items to be my most prized heirlooms. Much more interesting than the hot chocolate set, four poster bed and assorted china that have been handed down from one generation to the next. These lovely artifacts give so much more history than any of the others.

This quilt was made by my great-grandmother. She saved scraps of fabric from other projects and spent untold hours crafting this beauty. My aunt received it as just a quilt top and finished it for me. Looking at it, I wonder who wore the black fabric with blue flowers. Was it a skirt? A day dress? A robe? Each bit of color and pattern prods my imagination.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Snoopy vs. The Red Baron (Snoopy's Christmas)

I wish that the area between my lower ribcage and upper knees was slimmer and more toned..... without having to lower my chocolate intake and increase my energy output.

I wish that my kids would brush their teeth and go to bed without an argument.

I wish advertisements for prescription drugs were banned.

I wish that Mama's fudge recipe wasn't so high in calories and fat. But would it be as delicious? No.

I wish that the laundry basket would be empty for more than 2 minutes.

I wish I had more couple time with Rob. Not just time for "cleaning", but time for snuggling and watching a movie together.

I wish I could take a nice, long bubble bath with a glass of wine at my fingertips and no one at the bathroom door calling: "Mommy! But I NEED you. I really need to get IN there!"

I wish the words homework, poverty, genocide, AIDS, war, cancer and nuclear weapon did not exist.

I wish the haves had more concern for the have nots.

I wish I were more appreciative of what I have in my life instead of complaining about what isn't perfect. After all, we could live in Darfur, or have no health insurance or not enough food on the table. It is a good life.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Few of My Favorite Things

Borrowed from Fairlie. Warm cookies and cold milk. Or hot pizza and a nice tall, cold, glass of diet coke.

A rainy afternoon with a good book and a fuzzy blanket on the couch.

Anniversary trips to Savannah with Rob.

Lunch dates (alcoholic beverage included) with Angel.

Guilty pleasures: paperback romances, chocolate bars and sweet iced tea.

That five minute window where your awake, but not truly awake yet. I think that's better than 8 hours of REM sleep.

iPod and iTunes. I love being able to have all of the obscure, non-mainstream songs I want without spending a small fortune on whole albums.

Corny Jokes: Why didn't the skeleton cross the road? He didn't have the guts! Borrowed from my 6 year old.

Blogging and bloggers.

Just for Stomper because I know she and Aunty will ask: "cleaning".... wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

Making up songs in the car with Thing 1 and Thing 2. Even if the only words are: Santa Claus and Merry Christmas.

Thing 1 and Thing 2, a.k.a. Abby and J.T. Even if I sometimes wish I had a box I could pack them in when they were naughty. Or maybe I need the box?

Saturday, December 8, 2007


Wow! This slipped up on me. Today marks my one hundredth post. Hopefully I haven't so thoroughly bored any of you that you've dropped me from your readership. I enjoy each of you, dear readers, so very much. You make me laugh. Some of you inspire me. Others torture me with their craftiness, athletic talents, and photography skills. But I enjoy each of your blogs and look forward to finding out what you have posted every time I click your links on my page.

Sharing snippets of my life with you keeps me sane. It probably also contributes to the ongoing mental healthiness of the two terrorists, er, children in the house. I'm sure Rob also appreciates letting someone else provide me with comic relief. It gives him a break. I've told you about the muu muus. you've learned about this. There have been excuses, and one crises after another. So thank you wonderful bloggers. Thank you for sharing with me and for listening in return.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's that time of year again!

The Christmas Card featuring a newly minted photo of two pretending to be good children is set to be taken soon. I thought of using this picture with this slogan: "Paint Your Holidays Happy!" or "Color Your Season With the Spirit of Christmas!" But Rob just looked at me for a few seconds and said: "No." I think he's right. So the Christmas pictures are now his domain and he will come up with something snazzy. Hopefully before we descend into this.

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