Monday, December 20, 2010

My, how time flies.

When I first started blogging, these were the people that I was blogging about. I had a four year old, a six year old and an eight year old. It was preschool and elementary school and all of it was new. It was cub scouts and Kindergarten and potty training (still).
These are those people now. I don't blog as much, I feel like all the stories are still the same. Now it is elementary school and middle school. I will soon have an eight year old, and nine and a half year old and a twelve year old. Teenage years are right around the corner (they already smell bad and roll their eyes) It is Boy Scouts and being the Cubmaster for the cub scouts. It is running the Twilight Camp that I used to joke about having so much fun at with eight little boys.

I should know better that to swear I'd never be one of those people who say that you should cherish the moments and that you'd miss those little people. And most days I don't miss the little people because I'm too busy enjoying the big ones. But sometimes, just sometimes, like when I take a picture of those people for a Christmas card, my heart gets caught in my throat a little and I find tears in my eyes.

And I am grateful that I wrote down those daily silly things that we did and that happened to us. I should remember to do that more often. If not for today, for myself in four years when I have all my kids done with elementary school and our daily life is driving and broken hearts and finals and college applications. Because this will feel like just yesterday.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Who won the Alamo again?

Oh, let's not kid ourselves, I'm not even sure who the teams were.

History is not my greatest strength. The remembering of random dates and facts is something that I rarely do, and when I do it, I like for it to be relevant, like "don't forget that baseball is tonight at six" or my anniversary, or "don't send the kids to school today, it's summer." But remembering all those battles and all those people who just couldn't get along? Nevermind.

BUT. I signed up to teach at Twilight Camp this year, you know, that annual cub scout camp? It's Robert's turn to get to go, and I had plenty of help with his group, so off I went to volunteer for something else! In my defense, I originally tried to do something different, like composting or watching paint dry or hammers (!), but there were other ideas for me.

Me and about 400 kids. Learning Texas history. In an hour and a half. Well, them an hour and a half, me about two weeks. There were Native Americans that lived here! And settlers! And longhorns are really just some happy accident! And Six Flags actually has meaning beyond "Spend wads of cash here and still listen to whining all day" -- it's the number of flags that have flown over this large state! And we had to change up the words of our state song when Alaska joined the union and upstaged us! And the mockingbird and the armadillo and the pecan tree and a GIANT STAR (not the one at Jerry's place). It's all rattling around in my brain!

And does anyone know how hard it is to make 50 bingo boards? They have to all be different! That was not in my plans, people!

Oh, you poor, poor seven and eight year olds, you have NO IDEA what's coming your way. May your fourth grade teachers not be able to hunt me down and find me when they have to come and fix all the mistakes I made.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Painting the floor. Leaving our mark. Before the kids really actually woke up, honestly. But it had to be done, because about ten minutes after the guys got here, they'd covered it all up with plywood!
Raw wood, above. This is old pine, we are told from an old gym in Irving, Texas. Not the floors, but the structure. Remilled to be made into our floor. Below, staining.
After the stain, but before the poly coat. Those are still on my camera. Those poor guys, I tell ya, they put up with a lot of photography. And me trying desperately to find that place in my brain that still speaks Spanish. They were terribly amused by my Spanglish.
So I'm a little slow on the update of the floor, but my goodness that's a dusty business, and I'm STILL trying to put my car in the garage. But mostly the boxes are unpacked and the mess is back to a normal mess.
And already, less than three hours after the dogs arrived back home, I found myself complaining about the quantity of fur that they left behind on my floor! Charlie so kindly pointed out that they were leaving all that fur behind before, we just couldn't see it all. So now I obsessively vacuum and Swiffer and dust mop. But I'm becoming immune. And I bought my very first rug today.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ode to my carpet.

So my carpet is all being ripped up on Monday, and as I've been moving everything I own around the house and out of the house, I'm taking a tour of all the stains on the carpet.

Some are questionable. I have no idea how they got there. Some bring back such great memories I thought I'd share.

There are not as many upstairs, so I'll start there.

There's the awesome one in my sewing room where Oakley came upstairs in the middle of the night when he was mad at me (the dogs are not allowed upstairs) and he had his on-command-explosive-diarrhea on the carpet in the middle of the room. Olivia looked in the next day and said, "mom, there's a weird stain on the carpet, like someone spilled coffee in your sewing room!"

And then there's the one at the top of the stairs where Charlie didn't quite make it to the bathroom on the night that he ate about 12 pieces of bacon for dinner. Didn't really digest any of them. Bacon scented vomit cured me from eating bacon for a good six months.

So downstairs. There's the spot where Maggie always pukes whenever she pukes. Right in that one spot where you simply cannot cover it with furniture. And there's more on-command-explosive-diarrhea spots, especially that lovely one where he hit the wall, too.

And then there are the random black spots all over the family room from the time that I was making my homemade soft scrub and forgot all about the reaction between vinegar and baking soda, but was happily shaking my container away when the top flew off and my mixture that had dish soap in it too went a good 15 feet across the kitchen into the family room, all over the back of the couch, on the dog and sprayed little spots all over the carpet. Dish soap is like a magnet for filth.

Oh, and when we had our ant issues when we first moved in, and the vegetable oil container cracked on the way home from the grocery store but I didn't know it and I set it on the carpet by the garage? And the ants came up in that random spot for weeks?

And the spot where the couch is, that's like the best piece of carpet in the house. That and the spot outside the laundry room that ALWAYS has piles of laundry on it.

Oh, carpet, I'm not going to miss you and all of your memories.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

So then.

There's a quiet battle in my house going on currently. It's the air conditioning vs. the windows open battle. I'm about to cave, but only because my sewing room is the hottest room in the house. Really, I swear that's the only reason...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Dirty Boy

Robert played the worlds filthiest baseball game today. I think everytime he neared a base, he just layed down on his belly and slid. He had dirt in his underwear.

Two weeks of rainouts make for a very excited baseball player.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

living my way

So finally, at 35, I've decided how I want to exist on this earth. And I'm pretty close, most days.

I want to live a life where I am a good wife, mother and friend. I want to be kind to strangers, because you don't know when a stranger will become a friend. I want to be honest in every interaction I have, in my words and in my intentions.

I want to live simply. I want to have a life where I have what I need, I consider what I want and get rid of the things I neither want nor need.

I want to waste little. I reuse the comics and make bows from magazine pages. I compost my kitchen scraps and I sell and buy on craigslist. I am going to use old barnwood for my floors and I will buy it locally and use local craftsmen to put it all together. I will repair my appliances rather than replace them (even if they don't match! gasp!).

People first, things second.

I like knowing how I want to be so that I can measure my day's success and make tomorrow better.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


There was a field trip on Friday to the movie theater. I felt like I should apologize to all the people who worked there and all the people who thought they could catch a midday movie while no one else was there. There were like 200 kids from our school there. You see, first and fifth grade went to go see Oceans. And they all needed popcorn. And to pee during the movie. Ahh, yes, just another quiet Friday morning at the movies.

But this isn't the flashback part. I'm getting there.

After the movie, both grade levels went to a local park to eat lunch and play at the playgrounds. We went to two different parks, as there were just SO MANY OF THEM.

I went with the first graders to Park A, we'll call it. One first grade teacher did not get the memo that the fifth graders were too cool for Park A, and she brought her daughter's (who is a fifth grader) lunch to Park A, while the fifth grade daughter was at Park B. So I ran it over to Park B, with the perfect excuse to embarass my fifth grader (I say in my loudest voice, usually across a crowded room, "HI SMOOCHIE BEAR!! MOMMY WUVS YOU!!" I never call him smoochie bear except when the situation calls for it, which is only in a room full of his peers. It's called humility training.) Ahem, so, where was I?

Oh, yes. Once upon a time, when I only had two children and one was able to be carried around in a bjorn, I thought I'd be a good mom and take my kids to the park! A new park! A fun park! Yay! I went to Park B. And I put the sweet little three year old on the slide and was going to run around to the bottom and catch him, because I was in a race for the mom of the year award. And as I turned to run to the bottom of the slide, life suddenly went in slow motion as I saw about five hundred enormous children come over a hill and swarm like fire ants on this park. Before I could get to the bottom of the slide, meanwhile pushing and shoving these giant children to the ground to get to my precious, I swear he had fallen and had been stepped on by these enormous children.

Now, you all know how these memories get skewed as time passes, but I swear I hadn't blinked before these monstrosities had completely taken over the playground.

And as I laughed and joked with these adorable fifth graders on Friday and pretended to eat their lunches, I had a moment where I felt like I had been punched in the gut and felt an overwhelming need to run to the playground and yell, "GRAB UP YOUR CHILDREN AND RUN. WATCH OUT! RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN! THESE GIANT CHILDREN ARE ABOUT TO SWARM!! PROTECT THE INNOCENTS!!"

I controlled myself. And as I got back to Park A, I saw a mom and dad leaving with their three year old and a baby in a bjorn. And I looked at those giant children swarming the playground there.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Crazy Teeth

I may have offended the dentist today. But I'll start from the beginning.

Literally, On the piece of paper that said "reason for visit," I wrote, "Crazy tooth"

I'm sure they were charmed with my technical terminology, but they they saw my kid's mouth and said Oh, I get it now. You see, he has a terrible case of sharktoothitis. He has only ever had one gap in his mouth and had until today lost four teeth. And he has five adult teeth. You do the math. If top teeth usually hang vertically toward the floor when you're standing, this little fella was horizontal. No exaggeration here, friends. This happened with the other front tooth, which eventually fell out, but this one was not going anywhere. At all. Ever.

So to the dentist we went. And they suggested that this was going to happen again with the tooth next to it, so they should pull it too, as that little episode is imminent, and we have summer vacation photo opportunities planned.

To the part where I offended her. Ahem. Yes. They gave the boy a little laughing gas and pulled those two suckers out, one mostly attached and one firmly attached. By a root. That is also attached. And comes out with the tooth. And when she tried to show me the spoils of her venture, I flinched and looked away. And lets be honest, I may have let out a little girlish squeal. Apparently afraid I was going to pass out, she quickly hid it from me and may have commented under her breath, "baby" Or not. I couldn't be sure for the deep breathing I was doing just to stay upright.

Even though I may have offended her with my squeamishness, I'm pretty sure she took one look at that mouth and saw dollar signs, so I bet she'll let us back in. And to make up for my squeamishness, when Robert showed Olivia the teeth as soon as we got home, she inspected it closely and demanded to know if that was the root and if so why it was attached and on and on and on. And she wanted to see the bloody gaps in his mouth. That part of her - not from her mother. At all.

Friday, April 9, 2010


My husband had to remind me that I am 35. I had to add, subtract and count on my fingers, but guess what? He was right.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Getting through the hard to get to the good.

There are parts of parenting that are really, really hard. Really emotional, really draining. They're the moments when you question deep down whether or not you're doing it right and whether or not you're scarring your child for life, even though you're 99% sure you're doing it right, that one percent risk just might not be worth it.

Like following through when you hand out a punishment.
Or sticking your ground during a temper tantrum.
Letting them go to summer camp. Without you.
Like leaving them home alone for the first time, just for a minute or two while you run out.
Like not letting them get away with lying.
Making them eat their vegetables, even when they're gagging (is it fake? real? Probably fake.)
Making them do their homework - or not? Letting them suffer the consequences? Gah!

Every time I make one of these decisions, usually every day, I know that I am making a big one, a big difference in the way that life goes. And every day I have to know when I make a decision that I'm making it for reasons that I KNOW are right and reasons that I can live with if things go wrong. I have to know in my heart that I have my child's best interest at heart, every time I make one of these.

And every time I follow my heart and I suffer through the garbage and the hatred of a kid and once we get to the other side, it's always better. And just a little sunnier. And sometimes they even tell me I was right.

Do you have another big one to add to my list?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Singles Club. For Socks.

So laundry is one of my least favorite tasks. To keep myself from crying with boredom, I make up stories in my head. It's like when I exercise I do math - I can't help being weird, I just go with it.

Anyhow. We have a basket that lives in the laundry room. The children named it the singles club for socks.

We added new members today, and we made a few happy matches. It was a good day for the singles club. For socks.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Me: Hurry UP!

Robert: I'm looking for an old man shirt - it's dress like you're FIFTY day today."

Me: You're confused, buddy, it's fifties day at school.