Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Little Things

I've noticed that it seems like it's the little things that mean my day is good or not so good. The small little comforts that change an ordinary day into a pretty good one. A hand-ful of semi-sweet chocolate chips. A weed bouquet from the kids. Crepe Myrtles in full bloom. A glass of sweet tea on a hot day or hot chocolate on a cold day. A sweet email from Rob. An unexpected visit from your best friend (hey Angel). My favorite sing-along-song on the radio. Discovering a new author to add to my "must-buy" list. A poignant, sweet or funny blog post by one of my favorite bloggers.

Just so Sussanah doesn't leak hate at all this Hallmark sweetness, I have to add that some days its the small things that send me right into madwoman mode. Crackers crushed into freshly vacuumed carpet. Glue all over the kitchen table from an art project gone wild. Socks left on the den floor (I think we all know I mean yours, Rob). MARKER ON THE WALL OUTSIDE My OFFICE DOOR. You know who the guilty party is on that one. One red light too many on the way home. A stain on my favorite blouse.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

62200086...I Bet This Has Never Happened To You!

It's Rob again, Melinda hasn't changed her password so I'm back. Something happened to me about an hour ago that was just so....different.... that I had to either keep it a secret or just tell the whole world.... or at least Australia.

My job provides me with uniforms, not cool uniforms like astronauts and city sanitation workers get to wear, just a plain blue shirt and khaki pants, no emblems or name tags. Melinda likes this because she doesn't have to wash them or iron them and she doesn't have to worry about me leaving the house completely in one color because I dressed myself. Anyway just this week the uniform company replaced my old uniforms that I'd been wearing for the past 3 years with brand spanking new.......plain blue shirts and khaki pants. So the shirt I put on this morning was brand new, never been worn. I make it through the work day with no problems, shirts a little itchy and could fit a little better but all in all I'm looking pretty spiffy. I get home, Melinda and the kids are outside playing with the water hose so I go in to change clothes. I remove all my accessories (watch, wallet, jump drive, change, etc.) then I take off my shirt. It's then that I look in the mirror and.....something's......different. What could it be?.....I know there's a little white sticker with the numbers 62200086 on it about 1/2 inch wide and 1/4 inch tall completely covering my left nipple. I attempt to flick it doesn't move. I attempt to pull it off and I extend my nipple to the point where I finally lose my nerve and back off. Apparently the adhesive used barely sticks to cotton but chemically bonds with human skin. I contemplate ripping it off, but I just can't get the morning edition headline out of my mind..."Local Man Bleeds To Death After Ripping Off Nipple While Changing Clothes....Really!".....heck that would probably make the Australian news. So finally while holding my nipple down as best I can with one hand and pulling slowly and firmly with the other, and wondering if nipples can be reattached surgically, I'm able to remove the offending label from my person. A little redness and few less hairs and I'm none the worse for wear. So let this be a lesson to you, never............ah hell there is no lesson here.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Seven Things

Snagged from Tracey who was tagged by Alice. Seven things about me.

1. I don't go anywhere without mascara and at least a smudge of lipstick.

2. I frequently forget to take my contacts out. Which makes my optometrist make this little "mmmmmmmmm" sound when I go in for a check-up. Why does he ask me if I'm taking them out every night if he knows I'm not?

3. My favorite sit in your jammies with something yummy to eat movie is "While You Were Sleeping" with Sandra Bullock. Nothing deep, nothing super-funny. Just a light romantic comedy that doesn't expect too much of my brain or my heart, just pure enjoyment.

4. In high school I cut my own bangs. Super-short. I haven't had any since.

5. I like to read cookbooks. Is that weird? I would read all of the sinful, decadent dessert ones when I was pregnant and it actually took some of my cravings away if I ate something healthy while reading about chocolate and cream.

6. Love books. But I'm not a patient reader. If I'm not hooked 30 pages in, I'm not going to finish it. I will, however, skip to the end to see how it turns out. How lazy is that?

7. One of my biggest pet peeves in life is when people say: "I seen" instead of "I saw" or "I done" instead of "I did". It makes me grind my teeth.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I Swore I'd Never....

say to my children the things my mother said to me! That commitment lasted until I had children. I have, in fact, said the following:

1. I don't care who started it! I'm going to finish it.

2. You are working my last nerve. My LAST NERVE! (this is usually accompanied by a somewhat wild-eyed, hair-standing-on-end, mental ward escapee look)

3. If you don't go to room right now, I will not be responsible for my actions.

4. I. said. NOW!

5. Don't start with me.

6. You'll understand one day.

7. Don't slam the door.

8. Would you shut the door? We can't afford to air condition all of Georgia!

9. Do I have to do everything around here?

And something vaguely unintelligible uttered through clenched teeth and pursed lips. I also make that sound that every child ages 6 months to 4 years old understands means "No", "Stop it" or "Don't do it". It sounds something like AAANNNCCCKKK! And it is said very loud, very quickly and makes the offender jump a minimum of 1 foot off the ground.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Grounded for Life!

I once read a quote by John Wilmot that states: "Before I was married I had six theories about raising children. Now I have six children and no theories." I only have two kids, but I can certainly empathize with the Earl's thoughts here. I also love Bill Cosby's line: "Parents don't want justice. Parents want QUIET!" Though quiet seems a dream from another age now.

Last Saturday morning dawned cold, dark, and wet here in south Georgia. That kind of gloomy weather that makes 8 a.m. seem like 6 a.m. Which may explain why we slept in a little. Turns out that was a really, really bad thing.

When we woke up the house was quiet. Oh so very quiet. Too quiet. Quiet and children is a really bad sign. Rob went to check on the kids. They weren't in there rooms. The garage door was open. It was raining and thundering. Rob throws on a robe, runs outside and discovers their little electric jeep in our still unfinished run-off trench. Upside-down. PANIC TIME!

I'm on the phone calling his parents, trying to see if the kids wandered over there. Simultaneously I am trying to get Rob's attention through the window to let him know they pushed the jeep in the day before, it flipped over and I couldn't get it out. I can hear him screaming their names through the closed window. Rob's mother finally answers her cell. They aren't at home, they're in town shopping.

The phone is practically thrown down as I rush outside to join the search. Rob's parents are hurrying back home to help us when Rob hears the sounds of two happy kids playing in the rain in his parents' front yard. Of course he's experiencing relief that is almost immediately superseded by that "If you EVER scare me like that again, you will be grounded for life."

J.T. was so very remorseful. He wasn't the ring-leader. His sister was. We have long-ago Abby-proofed our house. She can't get into or out of certain things without help. (I think I've mention a few incidents involving Vick's Vaporub, chili powder and windex). She wanted to go to MaMa's house and J.T. didn't want her to be disappointed. So he unlocked the deadbolts for her.

Rob wanted to ban them from all fun (TV, books, toys) for three days. I interrupted that discipline theory with the "who exactly are you punishing here? Us or them?" logic. So we scaled that back to one day. And it was indeed torturous. No pixel nanny to babysit at strategic times leads to lots and lots of arguments. And a set of pounding headaches for parents whose patience has evaporated. Abby is still unrepentant. The shoulder shrug is all we got from her. Followed by the following "confession": "We just wanted to go to MaMa's and play!"

Friday, April 11, 2008

Things my Mama Taught Me

Jennifer over at Precious Pink Pumps posted this and I just had to copycat it, I loved it so much!

1. Pretty is as pretty does.
2. If you mess it up, you have to clean it up.
3. Being a good mother doesn't mean being a good cook.
4. A good book should be enjoyed. Let the phone ring, the chores pile up. But enjoy your book.
5. Never buy a cheap bra or cheap shoes.
6. Don't jump off a bridge just because everyone else does.
7. Chocolate is the natural PMS antidote.
8. Stand up for what you believe in, even if it isn't the popular thing to do.
9. A mother's love is forever.
10. Some of life's richest rewards come from doing humble things.
11. Tell your children, spouse, parents, friends you love them, often.
12. Don't spend what you don't have.
13. There's nothing you can do to make me stop loving you!
14. Respect your elders. They've earned it.
15. Tough love: You may not like it now, but you'll appreciate it later.
17. Wisdom comes with age. And gray hair too.
18. Your children' won't always like you. If they do, you are probably doing something wrong.
19. This too shall pass.
20. No one knows everything. Not even your mother.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Feeling Good, Nina Simone

Listen while you read.

We got great news from Mama's doctor yesterday. Her lymph nodes were clear and the mass on her thyroid is benign. She has four more chemo treatments (should take about 9 weeks to complete) which will begin in mid-may. Knowing that her treatments and surgery have done their job makes all of the pain and the yuck so much easier to bear. We are 'feeling good' right now.

My J.T. loves this song. He sings to it using a hand-weight for a microphone and some serious boy-uncoordinated dance moves. I need to videotape him so I can embarrass him during those crucial teenage years.

While we are thrilled with this news, today is an emotional day for us for another reason. My brother would have turned 44 today. It is most difficult on my parents, these milestones when we miss him the most. We will be together as a family tonight. My parents, brother and sister will go to the place where we placed his ashes and just be. Peaceful, grieving, comforting.... together.

Thank you for all of your support.

Monday, April 7, 2008

A Nice Clean Place to Play

It's only temporary of course. That's why I took a few pictures once Rob had picked up and neatly organized all the toys. I didn't take any photos of what it looked like fifteen minutes after these were snapped. Now the Spider-Man and Transformers are mingling with wooden blocks and legos. Dora is having tea with a one-armed super hero. Trains are hopelessly derailed and the Dr. Seuss books are interspersed with Thomas the Train tales.

They seem to prefer it in its natural state of chaos. Actually they seem to prefer everything in chaos. It dements me. I love that phrase Mary.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Snip Snip

Abby has been using child-safe scissors for going on 2 years now. We've never had an incident of cutting anything except paper. Until now.

Abby comes to my office on Thursday afternoons. I always let her have her scissors and some scrap paper to cut up into however many little tiny bits she wants. She loves it and it frees me up to get a little bit of actual work done. While I was doing a little data input Abby managed to capture my undivided attention by saying:

"How do you like my new haircut?"

My heart stopped for a moment and in the millisecond it took me to whip my head around I was envisioning months of bad mullet grow out. Indeed there was a small pile of little blond curls on the floor. But she just snipped the ends off a few inches, nowhere near the roots. Thank the Lord. In fact, it curls under and you can't even tell she looks any different. So she still has all of this:

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Double Dare You

I have been dared, prodded, poked, nudged by the lovely Soozadoo to post a picture of myself on my blog. Check out Post Secret this week to see why. We Moms really don't like to be in photos do we? But what message is that sending our sweet children about confident women?

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