Thursday, May 28, 2009

What was I thinking?

Last summer my sister got married.

At this aforementioned wedding I had to wear a strapless dress.


Not good.


However, when looking for bridesmaid dresses there are not many other choices aside from strapless.

A cousin of mine, after enjoying the open bar at the reception, took me aside and told me that although I was a "cute girl" (his words, not mine), that when it came to losing weight, a person had to do it for themselves. No one else.

That is fine and all.....IF WE HAD BEEN TALKING ABOUT LOSING WEIGHT!

This just came up randomly, out of the blue, with no mention on my part about diet, exercise, or my incessant need to lose weight. NOTHING.

*******************

Needless to say, after that I gained 7 lbs in less than four months. I hit my highest weight ever, not including my pregnancies.

*******************

Earlier this year I got back on track and started doing tae-bo at home and trying to be more conscience of what I ate. Being an emotional eater, I rarely ate because I was actually hungry.

This produced results of me losing 10 lbs in about a month and a half.

*******************

In March we had a family get together at my house and this same cousin commented that he thought that I had lost weight. "About ten pounds if I were to guess...."

And he was right.

And do you know what is sad funny?

I became depressed that someone was apparently watching me and my weight so closely that I promptly stopped what I was doing and gained 5 lbs back.

*********************
Crazy, I know.


Obviously, this isn't his fault and I apparently have some hurdles I need to get over.

That being said, Tuesday I popped Jillian Michaels "30 day shred" in the DVD player, grabbed some hand weights and thought to myself, "I can do anything for 20 minutes".

I think it would be safe to say something here about famous last words.....


Mr. B and Miss L joined along with me, grabbing their remote controls weights. Mr. B tapped out fairly quickly.

Geesh....three year olds these days....

Miss L lasted a bit longer, although she kept commenting about it being hard and Jillian being bossy.

I would have agreed but it would have required more energy to actually speak, so I chose to suffer in silence.

Who knew jumping jacks could do a person in?

*****************
Yesterday I woke up and my legs were a tad bit sore. I was okay with this and thought, "not too bad".

Since I had just paid for a membership to our community fitness center, I decided that on days that I worked, I would stop at the center on the way home, whip out a workout and go on my way.

I would do "the shred" on my off days.

So, yesterday afternoon I got off work and went to the fitness center. I used the elliptical machine for 20 minutes, hopped on a stationary bike for a little over ten minutes and realized that it was time to go pick up my children. (Enrollment had taken a little longer...usually I will have an hour)

I felt pumped that I had taken this step and went home and mowed my yard.

*******************

Folks, today I can barely walk.

In fact, I am not sure that you can call what I am doing walking. It looks more like shuffling so as to avoid any bends at the knees which would result in my thigh muscles contracting which would result in my doubling over in pain....except that my abs hurt too much to double over.

Intent to stick with the plan, I will show up at the center today and try to get through another workout.

This also means that tomorrow I am supposed to do "the shred".

Do you think Jillian has a modified version of "the shred" that you can do lying down?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Just a normal day....

However, at our house I am not sure there is a such thing as normal.




I was cleaning out my closet in preparation for a garage sale. I was taking items from the closet and tossing them out into my bathroom floor.




Then I removed everything from the shelves and tossed them on to the closet floor.




Finally, I began sorting through items and either putting them in the "sale" pile or returning them to the closet.




Trust me, it is a very scientific process.




During this time the kids were in and out. They had been entertaining themselves most of the morning and at last count, Miss L was in dire need of a leash for Daisy and Mr. B was running around with only a shirt on. No pants. Or underwear.




OK, that last bit about Mr. B? Yeah, THAT is normal.




Anyway, I decided that maybe I should check on them again.




This is what I found:





Miss L had brought her lawn chairs (and dog food) to the front porch along with a blanket to wrap up in - for warmth. Of course, putting clothes on never occurred to her as an option. Nope, first day of summer was going to be spent in her jammies.


She had created some sort of contraption using Daisy, and a make shift leash, to open the front storm door.


Leave her alone for an hour....I mean minute.....


I turned to see Mr. B just watching his sister. He is the child more inclined to watch someone work than to work himself. But something was different.....this wasn't the shirt he had on earlier.



Apparently Mr. B had found something he liked during my closet cleaning expedition. A fuzzy pink sweater. I asked him why he was wearing my sweater and he said "because it is nice and cozy."

Um, OK.

Although I was inclined to put this sweater in the "sale" pile, something tells me that it might still get some wear.

Normal? What is that?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Holiday weekend spent at home

Enjoying the river with MiMi


Yard work with dad (yes, Mr. B is in his underwear again.):






We rode bikes around the house and down the driveway, and by we, yes, I really mean "we":


(Yes, Mr. B regressed and is using training wheels again. At this point it is easier for all of us!)






We stopped by and visited with a friend.





We also rode four-wheelers with friends. I think it is safe to say that Miss L was tired of all the pictures.



At one of our many stops, Mr. B decided that he. must. play. in. the. water.- Miss L was content to walk along the edge.

Based on their faces I think the weekend was a success.

Friday, May 22, 2009

It's all over but the crying..

As of 1:00 this afternoon, kindergarten is over. But guess what? I am not crying.





I am excited about spending the summer with my kids. I am also equally excited about not having to get up early every single day. Lying in bed snuggling my kids sounds really good to me right now.






The lying in bed part is generally not my style but when considering that yesterday I spent the whole morning pulling at least three kids at a time around in a wagon at the zoo, lying down sounds pretty good to me. It did then and it does now.




You see yesterday Mr. B and I went on a field trip with Miss L's kindergarten class. Once we got there Mr. B started in about wanting to ride in a wagon.






I told him that he was big enough to walk.






However, soon there after a friend and I volunteered to supervise another child that was in our daughters' class. This child had once told me that she had just gotten braces off of her legs and sometimes struggled with it.









She was such a sweetheart and I wanted her to have the option of riding, so I blamed it on Mr. B and sprung for wagon rental.





It became quickly apparent that (almost) every child on the field trip wanted a ride except for the one who could use it the most.








I honestly didn't mind and after looking at the pictures of me pulling them around, I think it is safe to say that this body could use a couple more....make that many, many more, days of pulling a wagon that weighed close to that of a small car.

*******************



Since we had not had all the fun that a person can have in a day, we headed over to the park to eat a picnic lunch. Actually, make that lunch from McDonald's.



Same thing, right? Same. except for the fact that I have never before packed a picnic lunch complete with a Kids Bop CD. SCORE!










And because I am glutton for punishment, I decided that afterwards, it was imperative to go get the kids some new tennis shoes and Mr. B some shorts...(yes, his daddy lets him wear shorts and tennis shoes...just not flip flops or sandals) so off to the mall we went.





The kids had decided that the heat was too oppressive and that I needed to put their pool up as soon as we arrived home. Considering that this requires some assistance from Steven, and he wasn't going to be home until late, I knew this wasn't going to happen.





They conceded that possibly a slip-n-slide might do the trick and help them beat the heat...the 78 degree heat. (sigh) Since we don't own a slip-n-slide, we had to stop at Wal-Mart. Of course, we couldn't just get the slip-n-slide. No sir-ee. We had to get the slip-n-slide with two lanes, (so they can race) and two inflatable cushions (to go faster).





On the way home I told Miss L and Mr. B that they were rotten and spoiled. Miss L said, "No we aren't, you are just a good mommy."





I laughed and said, "you are working me....I know what you are doing."





To which she replied, "yeah, I am trying to get your money out of you..."





Isn't there something about honesty being a virtue? Wait, that is patience. In this instance I guess that makes me the virtuous one.



****************



Even though we arrived home after 6:00 p.m., being a prisoner to my OCD (I'm joking, of course....kind of), I decided that I must mow the yard, right then, before I could do anything else. Period.





Well, anything else but setting up the slip-n-slide.





So, while I mowed the kids slipped and slided (?) down the hill. Their lips were blue and they were shaking, but if you would have asked them, they would have told you that it was absolutely NOT cold. NOT. COLD.



**********************



As I finished up the yard. Or rather, after the weed eater ran out of gas, I, being the good mother I am, decided that it was time to feed my kids supper.





I am not sure what clued me in to them needing to be fed. Was it: 1) the fact that it was 8:30 p.m. and their bedtime is at 8:00 p.m. OR 2) the fact that while I was mowing I noticed Mr. B had helped himself to the pantry and was carrying around - and eating out of - an entire bag of cereal, which he had so thoughtfully removed from the box.

*****************

It ended up being after ten before the kids were put to bed.



Waking them up was not easy. Getting Miss L to the bus in time, fed, dressed and conscious was even harder.



It is for this reason, that you won't find me crying about kindergarten being over.



That and the fact that I get to spend more time with her.



SIDE NOTE ABOUT NOTHING:


If, and that is a big if, you are reading this and you have read my other post about my crepe papery chin, you can now see my other problem areas, make that my other problem face. The whole area....the whole face. As you will notice there is a very attractive (emphasis on the very) line across the top of my nose. And it isn't a small nose, therefore it isn't a small line. On the outside corners of my eyes there are lines, and everywhere else, lizardy looking wrinkled skin. If you know a plastic surgeon....tell him about me. Tell him to take pity. SERIOUSLY! I am 32! Tell him that I will write about him (or her) here and the none of you that read this (based on comments) will get to hear all about it.



Oh yeah, the sweat? Well I worked hard for that. I own it!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pictures, tears and humidity

Last night was the dreaded kindergarten graduation.



Dreaded by me.



Highly anticipated by Miss L.



As we scurried around the house trying to get all our last minute things done, I tried to keep my mind on the "here and now". It was easy.






Easy because I had a three year old and six year old running around crazy while making jokes about random things including, but not limited to, poop, pee-pees and boogers, all while I was yelling at them--make that strongly encouraging them--to get around and get ready.




I made sure to arrive at the school plenty early because good seating is essential. By essential, I mean it is of required to keep your sanity if you teeter on the edge of being a little obsessed with getting the "right" picture. Or, if not the "right" picture, just MANY pictures.





And so we found ourselves with an aisle seat on the second row (with sixty minutes to spare). Apparently being a part of such a monumental moment did nothing to calm my six year old down. Nope. Instead she made three - or three hundred - trips to the trash can to throw away random items she found that "needed to be thrown away immediately". I am sure that the trash most definitely couldn't wait, just as she couldn't wait to parade around in front of all the parents who were arriving.







She spotted a good friend, and off they ran to go assume their positions in waiting with all other graduates. Hidden from all of the onlookers. To conspire, and plan and play.






And without even so much as a kiss goodbye to her mother.







In traditional Kim fashion, I couldn't help but think that the next time I would get to hug and kiss her....she would be a kindergarten graduate. Sigh.





In that moment, my minds eye flashed to the image I had stored of her from the very 1st day of kindergarten. Teal and brown sundress, matching bow in her hair. Pink and green backpack....and red eyes from crying because she just didn't want to go. Her tears kept me from shedding any...I had to be strong and positive....but I knew the truth. I didn't want her to go either. From the depths of my soul I had never wanted to hold on as hard....and not let go.


Tears sting my eyes now, almost ten months later, as I am writing this. My heart still hurts. The ache in my throat is persistent. These days will never be repeated. They are gone.



************************



As I left her that first day in school my prayer was that she would make new friends, learn new things and be excited to go back.




She did and she was. I asked her if she had a good day.....and I will never forget her answer. "No. It was better than good...it was awesome".




I admit that it stung a little bit to know that I was that easily replaced....but my heart was happy and my prayer had been answered.



************************



When comparing my mental image of her first day to her image on this graduation evening, it was easy to see the changes. Her hair was longer. Her legs were longer. And her baby face had elongated and become more of that of an adolescent than that of a baby. In fact, almost all traces of babyhood had left. The only trait that she carried through to this day is her animated face and expressions. Her face had changed, but that hadn't.


I hope it never does.



**********************



As I heard the first chords of "Pomp and Circumstance" I knew that I needed to stay focused on my goal of getting her picture. As I turned to look at Steven he nervously laughed at me and I could see the bloodshot eyes and hint of moisture threatening to give away his secret he was struggling to keep.





I whispered, "It is kinda early for that don't you think?" And laughed to myself that I had kept it together as well as I had and being all to aware of the internal battle I was waging.







I spotted Miss L as she was getting ready to walk down the center aisle. She was beaming. The only thing giving away her hint of nervousness was her foot, cocked to the side, as if that was the point where all of her nervous energy had came to a head.....or rather, a foot. In every other way she was holding still and displaying confidence. And did I mention that she was beaming?








As she approached, I became the nervous one.








Would I get a picture? Would she look at me? Is Steven crying?



And, arriving an hour early did not pay off. My picture was shotty at best.

Blurry too. And it wasn't because tears were filling my eyes. It just was.






This alone darkened my mood even more. I needed this. Like an addict needs his drug. I needed the picture. A good picture, to have, to hold and to reflect on when this night is just a fading memory that I can barely grasp. When the time comes that she no longer wants me to take her to school and walk her to class, when the time comes that she no longer wants me to lay by her at night and hold her hand until she falls asleep, when the times comes that she no longer says, "I will always be your baby".






I will need something to hold. Something to have.






And I know this time will come.







I will be old. Uncool. Know nothing. And a bore.







My arms and heart will ache for her, and her brother, and the moments I remember being needed by them. And better yet, being wanted by them.



********************

The entire kindergarten class positioned themselves on the risers and began singing their kindergarten songs.





Is there anything sweeter than children's voices?




Not to my knowledge.




Their voices were sweet, their actions were animated and it was hard not to be caught up in their enthusiasm.

After they finished singing their songs, they made their way back to their seats to watch, along with the rest of us, a video compilation of pictures and music from this school year. They were excited to see themselves on the big screen.



I mean, this looks like excitement to me:




As the lights dimmed, I joked with Steven that at least everyone wouldn't be able to see him crying....and we laughed together.


The music started and the first picture came up and beside me I heard a loud gulp and sharp intake of air. I swung my head around to take in the picture of this very sensitive man packaged into a very rugged, hard working, tough guy exterior.



Again, the nervous laugh.



I said, "Steven!" as I pointed towards the screen, "THAT isn't even OUR child!"



Again, dampened eyes and nervous laughter, followed by "I know, it is all just so sad." My sister, who had been dogging on me the last few weeks about my sentimentality and sadness, just shook her head at the sight of her sister and brother-in-law who were struggling to keep everything in check.


I had swiped a few tears throughout the ceremony and had let them freely fall while they sang the song about seasons....pitiful, I know,...but was a goner when the video played the last song....a sad one, no less, accompanied by each individual graduation picture and that child's name. I couldn't help the sobbing.

I looked over and my sister, with the nerves of steel, was in worse condition than we were. Tears were streaking their way down her cheeks. One after another.



It was all too real and I knew that in what seemed like an instant, I would be looking at my 18 year old child's face flashing by in the same color cap and gown. I have to confess....I felt a little like I was drowning. Our children are the air that Steven and I breathe and with each day, the air becomes a little thinner.


************************

One by one kindergartners marched up on stage to get their diploma. I left my coveted seat and moved closer to the stage. I didn't want to miss a thing.



The lighting was terrible and my camera was struggling between deciding to flash or not. I waited for the moment when she shook the Principal's hand and took her diploma in the other.



Click!



Nothing. No picture, no image and the moment, like all others in life, had moved on. That was it. There is no additional run through. Just like life.....one shot. No re-do's.

**********************

While raising your kids you hope you do everything right and know with certainty that you don't. I know that I hope that the majority of my child's memories are like the most "perfect shot". The vibrant photo that captures the feelings and details of the moment.



I hope that the daily grind- me cleaning and multi-tasking and trying to fit 3 days worth of to-do lists into a day...I hope those moments are like many from last night-blurry. I feel that those memories need to be there, but I want them to be lack luster and faded. I hope these aren't the memories that are crisp and clear in their minds eye.

Crisp and clear moments, well, those would be time spent: at the park, riding horses, playing in the living room floor, praying before bed, conversations at the dining room table, doing mundane tasks together, camping, getting together with those we love and many, many more. In fact, those moments happen daily.... and it is these moments that are the "perfect shots". I hope all others are faded and overshadowed by them. It is important to know that they were there but not even worth looking at because they pale in comparison to the "pefect shots".


And finally, I hope that the moments of me yelling at my kids--or strongly encouraging my kids--(depends how you look at it) to get around, to get ready, to pay attention..... well, I hope those moments are similar to my camera refusing to take the ever important picture. I hope those memories refuse to take and the image of that never enters their mind. Or at the very least, I hope their memory will be so full of other images, better images, that they are intent on saving, that there simply isn't room for the others.


*****************************

(OK, I think I need to add a disclaimer (or forty), but I will stick with one. I am maintaining that all of the crying made the air VERY humid and hence, my big hair. I swear, it wasn't that large when I left the house. In fact, I actually thought it was laying nice and flat. In this pic it looks like Miss L can barely get close to me for all the hair. Wonderful. GREAT! Wouldn't you know it? Of all times, THIS is the image my camera finally captures....clearly too!)

Monday, May 18, 2009

I am not sure my heart can take much more

I have already spoke about my daughter's kindergarten graduation in this post. It is tomorrow night.


My heart is already aching.




And now, this:

I was not ready for my baby, my three year old baby, to ride a bike without training wheels.


Independence. I think it is highly overrated.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Maybe he gets a charge out of it.....

Last Friday a storm went through our area shortly after 8:30 a.m.






Considering the rain that was heading our direction, Steven had stayed home with Mr. B with plans to attend a horse auction later in the day.



I warned him not to take off until the storm had passed. The way the winds were shaping up, who knows, they might just blow him off the road or worse!







He just laughed and said, "you don't get a little worked up, do you?". And with that, they headed into town.





I couldn't believe it. Me? Worked up? Who does he think he is married to? (Ahem)







I took Miss L to the bus stop where I assured her that the main threat was strong winds. I had watched the news and there were no indications that there would be any tornadoes (which we are all too familiar with) or even any tornado warnings. She was relieved to find out there wasn't a tornado threat primarily because "I don't like to duck and cover at school."





Apparently she prefers to do her "ducking and covering" elsewhere. She is a duck and cover snob.









Before I had even completed the 20 minute drive to work, it became obvious that a very different scenario than I had told Miss L was shaping up.







Tornado warnings were popping up in almost all of the counties around us at the forefront of the storm.






My neighbor had stated earlier that she might want to make use of our basement and I told her to help herself with only one condition: on her way to the basement she was to grab my son, because I was sure MY husband would be anywhere but taking cover. Because, we were just getting a little "worked up." And what would HE need with a basement.....or cover for that matter?





Because, you know, he is invincible and all. Only the weak take cover.......





However after she arrived it was only because of a guilt complex that he followed her, and Mr. B, to the basement.




I, however, was at work.....wishing I could take cover. I alternated between offering live storm coverage to Dale from my viewpoint from the double glass doors...(I know, not smart), to crouching in the fetal position beside the desk where he was working.




One might say I was "worked up".





And, yes, Dale already knew I was crazy. Long, long before this.




The storm was passing through our area roughly 15 minutes before it hit home where Steven and Mr. B were. I began calling Steven and keeping him updated on the winds and tornado warnings that were hammering down on us. Since our house had lost power I was the only lifeline the "man of steel" had. Not that he was worried.




Storms....they are for the weak. I think he told me that very morning...."People have been weathering storms for thousands of years...." as I am thinking....yeah, they have died too.




Back on the work front, Dale kept assuring me that schools were the safest place and not to worry about Miss L.





Sure.







"Don't worry?" Seriously? You are telling that to the woman crouched on the floor beside the desk you are typing an obituary at because I refuse to actually work when I can alternate between veering outside and hiding my eyes because I am scared of what I might see. Sure. Fine. Don't worry. Why didn't I think of that?




Once while giving an update to my husband I heard a loud noise, followed by something akin to "My GOD!" leaving his mouth and the sound of Mr. B letting out a scream in the background.



He quickly comforted Mr. B and told him it was "OK".



"What, What?" - I needed to know then what was going on. My nerves were shot. Between being worried about Miss L who was surely taking cover at her school, my hard headed husband and son and the very real possibility that I was about to be impaled with flying glass.....there was no room for wondering what had warranted that type of exclamation from my husband.






He said, "It must have been lightning, but I have never heard anything like THAT before. It sounded like an explosion." After assuring me everything was fine.....I got off the phone and waited.



Two hours later the skies lightened and the sun started shining. Miss L's teacher called me to assure me that Miss L was OK, (her teacher's got my number...), and that Miss L was sleeping quietly.







After the storm had passed Steven sent me a picture of my porch. Something was different.




Oh. Yeah. There used to be a rail at the end of the porch. And, of course, the chair used to be sitting upright. And the end of the actual rockers on the chair? Those covers were gone. Tiny pieces of plastic sucked (?) out of their places.



And then I received another pic. It looked something like this:

And a little closer up:


Yes, that measurement is 26 inches to the top of the ground.



A big hole. 26 inches deep. Not exactly sure how it got there. But it was there none the less.


Once I arrived home later in the afternoon, I found the mess the hole made:

I guess the hole didn't actually make the mess, but rather whatever made the hole made the mess.



Anyway....



Now I realize that dirt on a ceiling and mud on a window is not particularly awe inspiring. But, the force.....that is what amazes me!

As Steven and the kids were helping neighbors clean up downed trees, I started picking up my porch rail from the yard. And yes, I found the ends to the two rockers.



I also found a gray object that looked like what used to be the front of the phone box attached to the side of the house.




I turned my head to be able to see if it was indeed the box and I think it was safe to say that it was. The box. Or what used to be the box.


Initially it was hard to know what had been fried and what hadn't because our power was still off. When the power returned we found that our phones were goners....as was my printer, our satellite box and computer modem and router were unscathed. That being said, we dodged a really big bullet.


A 17 tornado outbreak bullet.


A little later we realized that maybe we had lost more than we had initially thought although still not much when you put it into perspective.
Steven had an older Ford Ranger that he drove to go look at jobs and run quick errands. It was easier to jump in and head out in than his work truck that is loaded down with air compressors, welders and materials. He had just returned home from town right before the storm had hit and he had stopped short of pulling it up on the concrete pad in front of our garage. The bumper of his truck only slightly overhung the edge of the concrete.


However, apparently when the lightning either entered or exited the large hole in front of our house, it must have temporarily found residence in his truck and then left the truck abruptly, leaving this in its wake:

Now the truck doesn't start. Period.
I think it is pretty apparent what the moral of this story is.
No?
Well, let me tell you.
If Steven had stayed home, then the truck would not have been parked in front of our house where he apparently left it in a mad dash to get inside, away from the rain and oncoming storm, but would have been in its normal spot, away from our house, the lightning strike and concrete pad.
If Steven would have listened to his wife he would still have a working Ranger and we would have no hole in our concrete.
Maybe that hole can serve as a reminder to me of how lucky and blessed we truly are and as a reminder to him that he should ALWAYS listen to his wife.
Oh, as for Miss L and my assurances of "no tornadoes"? Well, I think after two hours of "ducking and covering" in the girls restroom, the missing concrete will probably remind her to never listen to her mother again. Ever.
Oh well. You win some....you lose some.

Monday, May 11, 2009

This is not a toy.

Once the rain began on Sunday, Steven, the kids and I relocated ourselves inside. We had been busy doing "outdoor things" which is what we do the majority of the time, once warm weather arrives.





Being indoors with nothing to do, is a rarity. Steven and I both on the couch at the same time.....even more rare. We were enjoying it. We didn't even bother to turn on the tv.






Nope.






Our kids are entertaining enough. And luckily, they entertain themselves while they are entertaining us.





Miss L grabbed her camera and began taking pictures of her and Mr. B posing - in their tough guy stances - for the camera. And it was then that I had to grab mine.




Steven helped them get dressed in super hero garb. Originally they even had a pizza box mask on. I think it is safe to say they loved their (ahem) new outfits:



I think the plastic grocery sacks just scream, "YOU WANT A PIECE OF ME?"






I am sure you are thinking, "What kind of parent lets their children play with, or rather, wear a plastic grocery bag? Don't they know it is a suffocation hazard?"







Well, let me tell you....







It would be the same kind of parent that lets their children use it as a parachute:







And the same kind of parent that lets them have plastic sack races:
And of course, we let them use them for their intended purpose: sacking up groceries....

Going green is really over rated. In fact, I think that the adults that adheer to the "This is not a toy warning" are depriving their children of a whole lotta fun!



Mother's Day Sucks!

Oh I kid.




It sucks in a totally GOOD way!




While some women want pampering or jewelry, Steven knows that the way to show his appreciation and love for his childrens mother..... is through a vacuum.




And I couldn't be happier!




Yes, I have spent too many days of my life sweeping my floors with the cord held up in "just the right" position, to keep it from shorting out. I would make a swipe, the vacuum would die, I would hold my arm up like a mini antenna, and then REPEAT. All over the house. I am sure it was comical.





I have done this for years. Years I tell you.





So, this year for mother's day, my husband bought me a Dyson. I don't think I have ever loved him more.




Seriously.





Well, almost.



However, I am practicing restraint by not showing the "up close" picture of all the "stuff" otherwise known as dirt, that it sucked out of my carpet.




I am now taking "clean" to a whole other level and it is exhilarating.




I am sick that way.




Don't judge me.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Try, try and try again

When I knew that Miss L's kindergarten graduation pictures were being taken, I fully expected to cry once I got them.



However, when I pulled them out of her backpack, surprisingly, I didn't.





I guess this was primarily because when looking at the pictures, it was Miss L herself that looked near tears.





I stared at this picture of this girl of mine and hardly recognized her face.





One, she looked older than how I see her in my minds eye, and two, she did not have her casual smile that I am used to seeing nor the mischievous sparkle in her eyes. If anything, it looked as if the sparkle was caused by the dampness of imminent tears...(or water drops, as Mr. B likes to call them.) She had her lips pulled tight and in my mind it seemed as if it was to keep it from trembling. In all likelihood, it was probably one of her forced smiles.......but to me it just seemed sad.





Maybe this is a good reminder for me. I have often vocalized how much she is growing and how I long for her to always be my baby. And she will. But I think she is aware of how much I need her to need me. Call it dysfunction....call it what you want.



It is what it is.



But I don't want her to worry about those things. In fact, I don't want her worrying about anything......especially change. It is after all, the only thing that is guaranteed.





It is hard. Especially for me. If you haven't already guessed it, I am not exactly good with the whole change thing either. Shocking isn't it?





I think that several things have contributed to this. I am sure genetics play a part. However, I do believe that a primary contributor to this is the fact that before children, I had never loved this much, nor had I ever felt as loved. I hurt at the possibility of this changing.





Possibility. No, that is the wrong word. It isn't possible. It is certain.





She will grow up and she will become independent. As will her brother. A day will come when my children's insatiable need for me slips silently away.



I know that deep down this is what I really want for her. This is what she needs to be and who she needs to become.



Maybe I will hide my aching heart and hold back the pressing tears. For her.



I want her to go through life, looking FORWARD to every new adventure and journey awaiting. I don't want her anxiously looking BACK......



And so I will try.

And try is all I can do.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The birds and the bees

While outside planting flowers, Mr. B kept hearing a hummingbird at a nearby feeder.

Mr B.: Momma, there's a bumblebee out here.

Me: No, that is just a hummingbird that you are hearing.

5 minutes later.....

Mr. B: Momma, there's a bumblebee out here again....

Me: No, it is a hummingbird, I promise

5 (more) minutes later....

Mr. B: Momma, there's a bumblebee out here

Miss L: (exacerbated) IT IS A HUMMINGBIRD!

Mr. B: How does God make bumblebees?

Me: The same way he makes people....he just does. (Deeply profound answer, I know)

Miss L: But they are harder.

Me: People?

Miss L: No, bumblebees

Bicycle built for two.....or more

If you want to try and win this
click here.

My kids would totally love being in the back. Who knows, I might put Steven in it too.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Water drops

The other day I showed Steven the video of Susan Boyle and while watching it, I teared up. To be honest, I think he did too!

Mr. B was watching this all and taking it in. Of course, saying nothing.

*****************

Today, while watching Oprah, a new singer came on and was performing. I looked up half-way watching.

Mr. B who was on my lap said, "Momma, is this making your eyes have water drops?"

Its a done deal.......


And I think that it will all be alright!

Monday, May 04, 2009

I'm from the country and I like it that way...

At our house it is totally normal that:


A) Daughter would ring the doorbell only to be found on porch holding chicken.


B) Son would be her partner wearing only a shirt and a smile.



Our house.

Normal.
Totally.
Normal.

Friday, May 01, 2009

And then there were two

Camping. In May. That sounds about right.



But considering the rain has set in for a good two to three days, camping this weekend wasn't going to work.



Three weeks ago, Steven came across "a real find". One of his friends had a pop-up pickup bed camper that he wanted to sale.



The pop-up part sounded about right. We had wanted a pop-up for some time. But a pop-up camper of the pull behind variety.


As the saying goes, "Beggars can't be choosers".


And, as I said before, Steven said it was a real find.


Considering that it was in good shape and the kids love it, I think I may just have to agree with him.



For the last three weekends something prevented us from going camping.




The kids were impatient.....as was Steven.




As I came home from work tonight, and pulled into the garage, I saw the camper on the truck, backed into the garage with the top "popped up". Apparently, plans had been set into motion.




So tonight, as we readied for bed, we did not fall into our normal routine. Instead of lying by them in their own beds....I said "goodnight" to them.....out in the garage.

They waited for daddy to join them. I, on the other hand, had been informed already by Mr. B that, "No girls were allowed."


Upon hearing this, I, of course, had to inform Miss L that she was a girl.....what would that mean for her?



After short deliberation with her brother, they decided that it was rather, "No women allowed". And it was with that judgement folks, that mommy was secretly reveling in the fact that I would have the bed, the WHOLE bed, to myself.



Since Steven was staying with them it meant I could go to bed and go right TO SLEEP. (ahem)

There would be no children joining me in the middle of night.




No little girl climbing in bed and blessing me with the sound of her..... grinding teeth!




No little boy climbing in bed and then deciding to kick the ever loving tar out of his mother.




This was going to be great!



I snapped one more pic of Steven with the kids and turned to head out the door.Of course, it was at this point that Mr. B decided that he couldn't stand one night away from his mommy, even if it were just a few more walls than usual separating us. Or them, as it might be.




So, then there were two. Garage Campers. Dedicated to the cause. Turning their backs on the conveniences of home. Braving the.....um.....(garage?) elements. Becoming one with.... nature?




Regardless, they were excited. And they were having fun.



Mr. B and I turned and left, shutting the door behind us. Of course, they wanted me to leave their "porch light" on. I prefer to think it was just in case they too, found themselves missing mommy.



And as I walked in the house with this little boy of mine, who adored his mommy and her company, Mr. B looked up and me and lovingly said, "They are wasting electricity."

And with that, we got ready for bed.


*******Updated: Little did I know that the following evening it would be MY turn to camp. I should have seen that coming.....

I am old...

And I realize this has nothing to do with age or a number.......but more to do with my appearance. I had just got my hair dyed to color my grays, but nothing can disguise my wavy, crepe papery like, chin.

Yes, my chin. The first one...not the double one.

See, here is a close up. Now, please ignore the lip liner sans lipstick....

Now, you can be nice and claim that it is the stray hairs, but lets be honest. It is age and it is not pretty.....and the double chin, well it speaks for itself. Literally.


I honestly got the pictures uploaded from our trip and I was depressed. Really depressed.

Not only am I overweight, but I am crepe-papery. (Yes, it is a word.)

When did this happen? I mean I am only 32.

So, if there is a plastic surgeon out there that wants to take me on pro bono, I am your girl. Call me!

I will even post before and after pics. Promise!

****Thank goodness I had on sunglasses, otherwise you would see the crow's feet too!