4.06.2014

To the boy whole stole my heart...and calls me Mom...

My boy turned 7 on the 25th of March.
This is the child that I look at and stand silenced by how fast time goes by.
How quickly time just picks up and runs and you just keep sprinting to get ahead of it, so you can tell it to stop...hold on one second...don't go so fast...please give me a little bit more time!








He is reading.
He sits there and he sounds out words like a champion.
The lights in his head have been going on like giant spotlights to a stage where he is the star.
He focuses. He smiles so proudly. His mind, a sponge.

He writes words he knows and wants to share on little pieces of paper.
'Mom and me.'
 'I love football.'
' I am nice.'

I adore his heart.
His giant sensitive and gracious heart.

I admire his focus.
He can sit. He sits honed in on what has captured his interest.
He will seek completion and is so intent on this task.

I love his quiet questions.
His imploring questions with such thought and honesty.
'Mommy, so what do boys do with their eyebrows? Am I supposed to take care of these?'
'Mommy, why do you think people do really unkind things to others?'
'Mommy, why do girls like to get flowers? They just die.'

He plays hard.
He dreams so much harder.

When his brother cries...unless inflicted and justified by him, he is the first responder on site.
He plays with his Jake. He teaches his Jake. He doesn't take crap from his Jake. He leans on his Jake. And he confides in his Jake.



He is the next great fashion designer of his time.
He has a great interest and eye for what he chooses to wear.
He instructs the hair stylist in just how he wants his hair 'shaped up.' What number and what product.
One of his favorite activities is getting to choose new clothes or shoes.
I can only hope to reap the benefits...someday. Right now he could care less what I wear. 

He loves to watch football.
He absorbs the rules of the game and can give you the play by plays.

He is starting to love hockey.
Tells me he would be an awesome hockey player if he could only learn how to skate.
His smile certainly looks like one now.

He enamores his big sister.
She gets under his skin, but he keeps patience longer then I even think is fair for her.
Sister better watch it...her brother is going to be drooled over by all her dear friends.

He is an artist.
His attention to detail.
His ability to tell a story with a drawing.
I love to post his art all over the place. It is so very frameable because it is so very adorable.

He is my first son.
I find boys fascinating.
Watching them grow.
Watching them do things that boys do.
Watching them interact.
Watching them eat. All day. Everything. Bowl upon bowl upon bowl of cereal.
I am like the zoo keeper sitting and watching the gorillas. Could do it all day long.



He is all lanky.
Long legs, neck, arms. His fingers long.
He will be so very tall. The nights when the growth spurts hit are so very long for him.
We spend lots of time soaking in a warm tub. Rubbing the back, arms, and legs until the advil finally kicks in and he can rest those stretching bones.

He walks with his hands in his pocket.
He smirks.
He giggles quietly.
He is a man of few words.
But screams when there is injustice.
He cannot eat too much candy.
Especially cotton candy. Do not give this child cotton candy. I swear its exorcist like behavior. I am not sure whether to run or take on the beast. I always lose. No matter what option. I need to invest in a straight jacket.





He is an observer.
Watches quietly before summing the courage to do it himself.
He hesitates before trying something new.
Cautious.

I love him madly.
I cannot believe he is 7.
His big brown eyes melt me.
His olive skin and smile with a dimple already have little girls chasing him on the playground.

My Ethan Thomas.
My sensitive soul.
I couldn't be prouder and I love you more each day.













4.01.2014

My Banana Peel


I kind of feel like telling you that I am not perfect.
I kind of feel like telling you even more so that I don't strive to be perfect.
I have a long list of failures behind me and an even longer list in front of me.

I have kids that melt down.
I have kids that probably should be disciplined on certain occasions, but every now and then, I just don't.
I have kids that talk back.
I have kids that don't listen all the time.
I have kids that I sometimes cry over at night because I was too hard on them.
I have kids that I cry over at night because it's just too hard sometimes to do it right.
I have kids that I cry over at night because of the guilt I carry and the fear I have of messing up.

I sometimes say things before I actually think them completely through.
I talk out of turn.
I am loud.
I don't always say what I mean to say because the pressure I have put on myself for saying it right has made it come out sounding completely backwards.
I sometimes am really blunt.
I am sometimes really sarcastic to the point you might think I am serious.
I most likely require a censor button when asked my opinion, and even sometimes when I'm not.
I can have a mouth, that if played publicly would sometimes require bleeping every other word.


I am too sensitive.
I am self conscious.
I underestimate myself.
In many instances I anticipate what could go wrong, instead of expecting what could go right.
I hate change.
I am terrible in transitions.
I  am overly critical of myself.
I go over what I said, and what I should have said in my mind until I regret everything I said in the first place, even if it was the right thing to say.
I am the last person to stick up for myself.
I question things way too much.
I ask a lot of questions in general. 
I have a hard time believing I am worth it.
Compliments make me uncomfortable.


I have a family that loves me, but I fear being a burden.
I  love my nephew just like an aunt should...spoil him and send him home,
 but will definitely be the crazy aunt.
I have a Mom Mom who I let drive me bonkers, and then realize I do the same things.
I regret not spending more time with my Mom Mom and Pop Pop who have passed.

I have debt.
I worry about making ends meet.
I wish I had more to give more.

 I have really messy closets. And on most days, I really don't care.
I have a messy fridge and could sometimes really care less.
I hate folding laundry and putting it away.
My car is almost always cluttery and dirty.

I drive like I am being chased.
I wait too long between oil changes.
I hit pot holes and scream about them like it's all someone else's fault.
I use wind shield wiper fluid instead of scraping off the frost.
I have run out of gas and my dad has come to my rescue, at 35 years old.

I have friends I have lost because I let too much time go by.
I have old friends I miss way too much and probably just need to say so.
I have friends who have stuck by me and think they are so much better then me for it.
I have friends that have forgiven me, even though I think I probably don't deserve it.

However.
Amongst all of this. I am me.
Feeling imperfect can sometimes be your saving grace.
Not measuring up can sometimes be your polite exit to stage left.
Failing can be your lesson for next time. And even next time, you still might not get it right, but at least you tried.

There is a saying, 'If you can't accept me at my worst, then you don't deserve me at my best.'



And this is for those that accept me.
I am constantly learning what I am and everything I am not.

I have a heart as big as the oceans are wide.
I love like I won't ever hurt.
I cry like I have PMS 30 days out of a month.
I love animals more then people sometimes.
I have stretch marks that I consider battle scars and remind me of how much I fought to bring these babies to me.


I have a family that is so close they are my dearest confidants and friends.
I will drop everything just to distract you from your pain.
I will cancel what I had planned to hang out with you because you need me to.
I will never tell you I did that and just act like coffee with you was the only thing I had planned that day.
I hurt when I see others hurt.
I would rather you be happy.
I go with my gut instinct.
I typically follow my heart.
I believe completely in my intuition. And although it can bring pain, should not be ignored.
I really do think my Pop Pop is looking over me right now, and I don't care if people think that's silly or not real, I'm just thankful he is.
I love good memories and love all the people in my past who gave them to me.
Sometimes we have ice cream sundaes for dinner.
Sometimes bed time is ignored to cuddle longer.
I messily go about almost every single day.

It might not be how you do things.
It might not be what you want me to say.

 I am definitely and clearly not perfect.
But I took my car to the car wash today.


So here's to you.
My fellow person of imperfection.
Banana Peels are going to be everywhere.
Trust me.
I slip on almost every one of them in front of me.
Just own them.
And know, you aren't the only klutz out there.


2.14.2014

Don't Grow Up...It's a Trap








When having a daughter it at one time or another hits you. The decisions you are making need to mirror ones that you wish for her also to make. When you sit down and take something, you suddenly ask yourself...is this something I would want her to be o.k. with? When you take a stand, you now say, that's right, I would expect her to do no less. This was my past year. I looked deep into those blue eyes of hers and the freckles sprinkled all over her face and was hit with it...this girl is becoming a lady, I want what is best for her, and the best way to do that right now is to demonstrate for her, not navigate, demonstrate. Cause Kendall, she has her own way of doing things, trust me. I have obviously wanted what was best for her all along, hello, I am her mother, but as she ages and matures and becomes her own, the need for the best standards for her radiate even more so. And since she came out of me...I get to do most of the honors, in regards to modeling these, with some help from a few chosen wise ladies to pick up my slack. Because Mama is gonna slack once in awhile. PRESSURE!!! So those that say when they are wee infants, 'don't worry, it gets easier.' Um, sure they can brush their own teeth and deuce on the potty, but I couldn't disagree with you more. Heart and life stuff is much bigger.

Raising children in general is no small feat, raising a daughter...now this, this is astronomical. However, her and I are trudging through the terrain...and now we enter the age of 8...together, same as usual, just with some more purpose...like growing up should.

I am not quite sure where the last 8 years went when it pertains to this child's life.
I am not quite sure that I am prepared for the next 8 years to go just as quickly and for her to be then 16.
What the ?!?!
Whenever you think that time goes slow and nothing changes, have a kid. Or watch a kid grow from birth, whatever fits your fancy. Because there it is, walking around in front of you, all sassy faced and ready for action; the evidence of time flying and things changing faster then you can sometimes keep up.

For instance.

She just came home and told me they were prepping to learn times tables. Times tables?!?!? Didn't I learn them in like 10th grade? This new math baffles my mind. Grouping? What in the world is this? Google can't even make sense of this to me.

The teeth. I love me some 8 year old teeth. And so do the orthodontists in the future. 2nd grade is filled with all sorts of sideways, big and small, and holed up mouths.


The emergence of the, 'You're so mean' and 'I'm running away,' comments. I was wondering when these would come around town. I make sure to tell her that I am aware that I am so mean, and to wait until she is a teenager to see just how mean I really am, but a reminder is always helpful for the ego. And in good mom form, as she is marching out the door to stand on the front step, having 'run away,' I remind her to look out for strange people in unmarked vehicles that look like Mr. Slugworth in 'Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.' And like clock work, the realization of this description quickly sets in and she is throwing it in reverse and stomping to her room to blast, Kids Bop 25, her present form of Nirvana, instead, in a matter of 2 minutes. I start dying my slow and painful death each time these annoying kids of Kids Bop come on, however, at least we know she still prefers us, mean and all.


The gangly body. All limbs, with this skinny torso in the middle. On the whole, an 8 year old's body resembles spaghetti noodles. And they just keep getting longer and longer. I cannot keep up with the ever changing clothing and shoe sizes. I turn around and mid drift is out again, and sleeves don't cover wrists. I tell her to hold out on me, I will supply her with pants and shirts that cover where they must, cause we do go out in public. But that yes, for some time, in those in between moments, your pajama pants are either going to drag behind you and get you all tripped up, or have you resembling preparation for a coming flood. Sorry.

Barbies. You know you get them for them when they are like 3. And really, they don't even make sense until they are of an age where they get story lines and dreaming big. Age 3+ is just dumb. Because I have spent now 5 years dressing Barbie(s) and her counter parts Skipper, Midge, and Ken. I mean seriously Mattel. It is necessary to make tight cotton garments on rubber legs and arms that are not flexible? We have come so far in other things, and yet this still remains an issue 50 years later!  And to imply that a 3 year old can do this is just ridiculous. However, now at 8, she can do this herself and Barbie has been all over the world, from the beaches of my bathroom sink to the snowy mountains of snow drifts on our back porch. She really is a lucky gal. As I type thi,s there is a stiff competition between old Barbies and new birthday Barbies for a spot in tonight's fashion show, as the Kids Bop Dorks sing Miley Cyrus'. 'Wrecking Ball,' in the background. We are saving pennies for the Dream House by completing tons of chores. This is big people.



Notes from friends. Indoor recess, thanks to a really awesome winter, will only increase this. She comes home with a few each day. Circling of 'yes' or 'no.' I love them. 
Kendall, are you buying lunch tomorrow? Yes or No Circle one and give back to me. 
then...
OK! Me to. Let's match on Thursday. Tell all the girls.

I'm 100% I did this as well with my friends. It's like gang symbols for the suburbs.

However, this has also led to notes from another gender as well...

Kindill, you are so fun when we play Apples 2 Apples. 
Your laugh makes me happy. I like your feckles.


This beauty I saved. Come on now. An admirer of things simple and her best qualities??? A boy after my own heart. I mean sure, he might not be able to spell her name, she and I have this also in common, but please, so innocent and sweet, I couldn't give two craps if he calls her Candle, like everyone under the age of 3 does. Who is this boy? I must compliment his mother.

She now looks in the mirror every now and then. I occasionally pay close attention when she does this. I know, supa dupa paranoid Mom. But you know, I want her liking what she sees and feeling really good about who she is. This simple act is an easy way for me to gauge this. For right now, she's doing just perfect... 
'Oh Kendall, I love those curls in your hair today. 
Did your Mom put hair spray in them too? I can tell. They smell good.Wow! They look great!'

You know...self affirmation is important.

Yet she is still just 8. That teetering age. 
Where you still want to cuddle with your parents. 
Where you still need your shoes tied because you can't get it tight enough when you do it. 
Where you get hurt and come crying for band aids and Mommy to fix it and make it better. 
Where sometimes watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with your little brother isn't so bad and you actually laugh. 
Where you can take showers on your own but still need someone to tell you if all the shampoo is rinsed out.
Where you are still afraid of the dark and grab someones hand when in a parking lot.
Where you still play with your little brothers because they are really the ones who get you and are your best friends, no matter what you may say.

listen. i love this shot of her and her brother. all discussing their other brother.
a conversation with a 3 yr. old cannot be serious. sorry sister.
When you're 8 being a kid is at its finest.
Swinging on swings so your feet almost reach the clouds is recess. 
Getting melted ice cream smudged on your nose and chin is still occurring. 
Dressing up and pretending to be anything you can dream of is still fun.

 
Seeing your aunts on the weekends is still worthy of countdowns.
Sleepovers at Mom Mom's and Pop's are a favorite activity.

 

Time outs are still your form of punishment. 
Snow Days are still awesome, because it doesn't matter when the last day of school is. 
Being the biggest cousin is a really awesome reality.



Kendall is my perfect storm. Born while it was snowing and it has snowed every year since on her day. I would expect nothing else in the form of weather on this day. Her spunk and tenacity slow you down a bit, and that's exactly her purpose.


She thinks she is hilarious. And she thinks we all find her quite entertaining. 8 year old humor...I plead the fifth. However, her teacher describes her as the class clown, and when I walk up to pick her up from school she usually has someone cracking up in laughter.

 


Yet. She is fierce. She is strong. She is passionate. She is a girl of aspiration and certainly has a mind of her own. She questions everything from hair color to our governments law making process. She is all about equality and making wrongs right. She is a first born in every sense of the role if you follow birth order. She would burn bras. She will challenge. She will dance when others won't. A spit fire. Watch out for her, she's dreaming big.

To my now 8 year old...

Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women.”
~ Nora Ephron

                                                                                                        I love you wildly.
                                                                                                                    xoxo...
                                                                                                                           ~ Mama


2.08.2014

Pinterest Anonymous



Cracks me up every time. I need it framed.



I'm not sure about you.
However, I am pretty certain I should probably enter Pinterest Anonymous.
Hi. My name is Melissa, and I am a Pinterestaholic.


My story begins a few years ago when you needed to request an invite to be allowed to join Pinterest. It was a secret society. I remember waiting for this invite anxiously. No kidding. I was anxiously waiting to get my invite to a website. What's that? Did you call me a loser? Oh but I assure you, you have no idea the realms of Pinterest and what it will bestow upon you by clicking around this site of mass distraction. My friend got her invite before me, I was super pissed. It's like getting looked over for the cool kids sorority and all I wanted to do was wear a toga. Now a days anyone can join this website, and although it took some of the novelty away, you can bet your sweet bippy it did has not deterred me.

I presently reference Pinterest like I reference WebMD when I have a sharp pain in my head. Recently I self diagnosed myself with either a tumor or an aneurysm. So I better start planning my funeral with Pinterest, cause if it is the latter, it could happen at any moment. I want a distressed looking turquoise casket and painted mason jars to hold the flowers, as well wreaths make from cupcake liners. No poster board picture displays, you need to handcraft frames out of pallets. And we need to come up with some good favors. Start pinning.

Morbid. But totally serious. Funerals can also be crafty and creative. I will be searching your board to see if you qualify to help plan.

While having these random sharp head pains,  I need to make cupcakes for  the Kindergarten Valentines Day Party. Now come on, I cannot go buy a box of mix and some icing at Target. I am over the top. I was all over Pinterest the other night looking for the exact Valentine Cupcake for this year which the children will devour in less then a minute flat. Presentation people. Let's not forget it. My cupcake will have no less then fifty ingredients and look like something cupid himself created.This is in Party Planning 101. I torture myself, and if you are a master pinner you do too. You stand amidst the bomb that went off in your kitchen knowing that you could have just ordered 32 cupcakes from a bakery, put them on a plate, and called them your own, but what does that do for our egos? That's right. Not a thing. The greatest glory will come when your cupcake itself is sitting on the 'Popular Pin' Board.


You know if you are a devoted pinner it becomes a little bit of a healthy competition Who am I kidding, this is not healthy at all, it's borderline obsessive and this is why I am now needing to enter a rehab for this addiction. But I am pretty certain there will be a waiting list, and we will be pinning  and sharing while waiting. 'Oh did you see this Christmas Tree for your mantel with leaves made of felt!?!?' 

It's all about these awesome ideas, but its also a bit of who can find and come up with the greatest most original pins. It's a show of who you are. Kind of like facebook but with material objects. You know when people post pictures of just their feet on the sand with the ocean in the background? 'Yeah you think your thing you found to do with modge podge is awesome? Well look at this end table made of recycled barn wood with old book pages adhered to it. BAM!'



You pin a pin, which leads you to another person's boards. You know it for certain that sometimes when you click into a person's board you get a little disappointed, like the click was a little useless for they are no way up to par with those you pin with. It's true, don't even try it. Her recipes are definitely not something you would cook and her quotes are just plain unmotivational.

 The pinning society that you have created usually includes your friends and family. And also people you specifically follow because their pins just plain rank up there with your interests, humor, so on and so forth.

My parents pin. My mom will not join facebook, she holds to the opinion that it's too trendy and will take up too much of her time. Yet, she vicariously looks over the shoulders of those who have a facebook page and will comment. She however has joined pinterest because apparently this is different. And that it is, but I'll tell you mama has an awful lot of gardening ideas that didn't take just a few minutes to pin. Just sayin.

My dad is an avid pinner. According to his boards he is going to Hawaii, making old tools with new tools, working out with lions, and building a bio dome. I do laugh sometimes at my dad's pins, but not because they are just laughable. It's mostly because some of the ideas are so outrageous, totally him, and I know that in that moment, he is sitting there on his computer thinking about how he can make a certain pin come into fruition. No joke. And I can't wait to see my mom's face.


From Mike's Boards. I might actually swing on a swing again.

Occasionally while pinning I will seriously been in a nice and quiet room, kids in bed, and be laughing out loud at a certain pin. Again, go ahead, call me a loser, but some of these can seriously change a mood into a smile or at least a snort of a laugh. E cards especially crack me up, and also provide you with some really good comebacks if you need one. Not encouraging tit for tat, but sometimes even just saying them in your head or to your BFF works.These laughs are reassurance again that I am not the only person who thinks or goes through these things.



Sorry Ma...but it's funny.

There have also been pins that I would love to pin, but don't because I am pretty certain I would offend people and also get a lecture from my mother. Cause you know when you are 35 lectures from your mother are still really cool. What's that? Yes I did sneak out of the house at night with my friends when I was 17. And I have also read the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy!! Horrors, which I call enlightenment. Wait for it...lecture on how this is not funny will be given this week.



My favorite thing to do is to search for one thing you are looking for...let's say a cupcake recipe since this is what I am after, and quickly you have found that you have accumulated and pinned over 20 recipes and are now laughing at cat pictures. What???  And one recipe would have been sufficient, but you never know, and you need to stock up. Or when planning a birthday party for your 8 year old. Once you pick a theme, it now has its own board with no fewer then 60 pins of ideas for this party. And then you are somehow then looking at new nail color shades and designs.

Now that you have pinned the party ideas and having it, you are now going to be up until 3 a.m. making pom poms to hang from the ceiling every night for a week leading up to the party. All because of Pinterest. It's no longer Martha...it's now bigger. Exhausted, fingers bleeding.

 Pinterest, I believe, feeds into everyone's secret hoarding tendencies. But its all  there on a website, not crawling up the walls of your home, so it can't be that bad. But damn those cupcakes look good, and that's right, I punched and strung each paper circle to make that garland above your head.

 


What I look like while making my big Pinterest ideas.

But it's organized chaos if you really do it right. It's you naming specific boards for specific pins. It is not only hoarding, it is OCD at it's finest. Naming your boards and picking it's cover photo can really be a challenge. I mean sure, you can just label them, 'Food', or 'Clothes,' or 'Furniture', or 'People at Walmart Pictures.' Or you can get fancy, and this is the challenge. Simple and Thematic.Listen, I readily admit it and confess. Pinterest is no closet in my bedroom. This is some important crap right here.

Pinning is like shopping without the cash. It is dreaming without the commitment. It is laughing without having to worry if people are thinking you are overly crass. But then you read this blog and find out my secrets. It is having a stylist without being a millionaire. It's remodeling your home with some pretty sweet ideas. It is creating ideas with good intentions. It's...


Planning a vacation.


Paris? On the bucket list. Who's isn't it on?

 Tybee Island, Georgia. Must be in a beach cottage. I also pinned ideas for my own flipped beach shack, but one ought to visit the place first and acquire some massive fundage. Minor.

 Bora Bora. And this is where I never come home. Ever.



Inspiration, Advice, & Ideas from Friends.
 ...cause friends can send you pins and vice versa. What What. Some of them are great laughs, some of them are really good reminders, or slaps in the face to wake up, or something great to make with yarn
...you know, whatever your fancy.







This blog  ( <---- click that word homies, we are moving up here with the links) It was shared with me, but what is better is the instagram feed #theoandbeau, which you can connect to through her sidebar instagram button. Adorable.
 






Confirmation and Motivation .
... for yourself or perhaps some others that you desire to take such advice. 










Innovative Ideas. Gift Ideas. 

 Taco Tuesday just got better.


 The girls with love this. Christmas List...check!


 This is a deodorizing patch to squash the smell of passing gas. I don't know about you, but I just found my go to birthday presents for this year.


Announcement Ideas

 
 Man alive I wish I had thought of this.


Party Planning.




Making old things new again. How To's.

 No need to thank me.



Ways to warm your junk.


 What? It's been cold this winter. Bundle up.

Links to a really awesome video by my fave late night host.(again...click here,dad)

Or links to my new favorite song. Go ahead, turn it up and dance.



So go ahead and join up. I can promise you hours and hours of clicking or tapping on things you never knew existed. And on second thought...I won't be giving up and joining 'PA' anytime soon. Happy Weekend People, see you on the boards.