Saturday, March 29, 2008


Did you hear that? That was the sound of me falling off the "Mommy is perfect" pedestal.

Now, for some time now I have known better than to take Maggie shopping with me when I purchase clothing. The last time I took her with me to Coldwater Creek I was looking for a simple, long-sleeved shirt. I took four or five into the changing room with us, and as I tried them on I found various flaws either with the shirt or with my appearance in the shirt and put them in the discard pile. Each of the shirts got the same response from Maggie though - I'd put it on, give it the once over and turn around, at which point Maggie would say, "Oh Mommy, you're BEAUTIFUL!!!" While good for the ego, it didn't help much in the shirt-buying process.

Apparently, I should have taken Gracie.

Last night the church had a parent's night out - drop off the kids for a fun time at the church and have a few hours of date time. I decided that I wanted to do something different - anything - with my hair, which seems like it has been in the awful growing-it-out-in-between stage forever. So, I pulled out the hot rollers and dusted them off and curled my hair. After I brushed it out, it was. . . well . . . curly and unmanageable instead of the usual straight and unmanageable, so I guess I achieved the desired results. I went into the room where the girls were playing to tell them to pick up and get ready to go, and Gracie says,

"Mommy. . . You look (long pause) funny."

I head back to the mirror, where I fuss with it some more and debate pulling it back. Eventually I tame the curls a little bit and I go back to where the girls are putting on their shoes and say,

"Okay, how does it look now?"

Gracie looks at me carefully and says, "Maybe you should get a hat."

Ouch! I say, "Oh, come on! It's not that bad, is it?"

And Maggie says, "No, it's not." But after the shirt trying-on episode, do I trust her judgement of my appearance?

I decide I didn't care - at least it's not as lifeless as it is every other day of the week, and off we go.

Next time though, Gracie gets to help me shop.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I Need A Vacation From My Vacation!

Yes, it's been awhile since I've been heard from, but I have a good excuse - I went on a vacation (kind of.)

See, we had our spring break a week ago. We had planned for awhile that I would go see my sister and new niece in Houston, dropping off the girls at Nana and Granddaddy's house on the way, so that I could go help my sister during her recovery from her c-section. So, that's what we did, basically. I spent one very long day driving to Fort Worth where I met up with my in-laws for the child-exchange, and then drove on to Houston. The drive was actually not too bad, even though I arrived in Houston right about five o'clock. I had Jerry's iPod transmitter, so I was in full voice on the second half of the drive - something I rarely get to do anymore since I'm hardly ever alone in the car for any length of time!

I spent the next week getting to walk in another mom's shoes, kind of. Mostly my job was to keep Will occupied while Amy nursed the baby, tried to catch up on sleep, nursed the baby, took a shower, nursed the baby, etc. etc. etc. (MOO!) I had a great time, and I really want to be close to my nephew and niece, so I was glad that I had this opportunity to be with them. When Will was born we were in New Mexico, and it was too far to travel to help out when he was born. He was five months old before we got to make a trip out for a real visit, and that was just too long! Now we get to see each other more often, and I think it's a good thing - although after this week Will may disagree!

Will is a very headstrong little boy. He is also very particular about who he wants to do what, for instance, if he wanted a drink, it went something like this:

Will: I tirsty.
Suzy: I'll get you some juice.
Will: No! MOMMY get juice!!!!!

This conversation was repeated about one hundred times a day, just substitute in any action or object for juice. And if Aunt Suzy dared to try to hand the juice to him, he would become quite distraught. We worked around this by me surreptitiously giving the juice to Amy, and then she'd hand it to him, or better yet, we'd make him think the thing he didn't want to do in the first place was his choice:

Suzy: Will, do you want Aunt Suzy to wipe your face, or Mommy?
Will: Mommy wipe my face!
Suzy: Well, here, give her the washcloth and tell her to wipe your face.
Will: (Trotting off with dreaded washcloth) Here Mommy, Wipe my face!

So we got through the week with a minimum of fuss. It was just so different from life with my girls when they were two. They were so compliant compared to Will. I wonder if I had a boy, if he would have been so strong-willed. It's the age old question - how much is nature and how much is nurture? For instance, one day when Amy hadn't slept well, I took Will to the mall to play on the play structures there so the house would be quiet for Carissa and Amy. Will was very unhappy that I had put him in his car seat (No, Mommy buckle me!), taken him out of the car seat (No, Mommy unbuckle me!) and taken him to the mall. I figured though, when we got there we'd be okay. I carried him to the mall, and we walked in. He saw the strollers that are shaped like cars, and he wanted to ride in one. I said no, we were there to play, and he began to get upset, so I picked him up and carried him to the play area, figuring that when he saw the play area, he would forget all about the strollers. I set him down in front of the play area, and he went boneless. Just laid on the tile floor and looked at me. So, I picked him up and set him about six feet inside the play area to get him out of everyone's way. He rolled back out, I put him back in, he rolled back out.

At this point I was seriously debating what else I could do with him, as taking him back home would not result in the quite atmosphere we were looking to provide for Amy. I decided that it was worth the $5 stroller to get this play date moving along, so we went and got change and picked a stroller. From that moment on, he was happy and compliant. We motored down the mall and back, and then he was ready to play. We put away the stroller and played on the play area for 45 minutes. Next we had lunch, which he ate with gusto. We played on the coin-operated rides, walked back to the car and went home. He was being an angel. I was feeling like I'd made a dent in my Evil Aunt Suzy image! But then, we pulled into the garage, I opened the door and reached to unbuckle him and he said, "No. Mommy unbuckle." Sigh. . . Oh well.

We spent quite a bit of time trying to get a picture of Carissa for her announcement, although we never did get just the right shot. Once, after we had put her in the boppy for a photo shoot, when we picked her up, will climbed on the boppy for his turn at a photo session:

Here's a few parting shots of the weekend -

This is the only shot of me and Carissa together. The one with Amy and Will we took on a walk through their neighborhood.

At the end of the week I drove the back roads up to North Texas to pick up the girls. It was the never ending drive. I just don't like driving. My mom has such a huge road-tripping gene, I don't know how I missed out on that, but I did. I picked up the girls and we headed home to see Jerry. He missed us so much - he quelled his sorrow with retail therapy. I got to see quite a fashion show when I got home - two pants, two pair of shoes, 4 t-shirts, 4 henleys, 8 dress shirts - when is Jerry's next trip out of town so I can have a turn? He also cleaned the house while we were gone - even did the floors! We walked in and the house was straight, the floors clean - it was so nice! I might have to leave more often. . . Last night though, Jerry walked in and noted that the house was not so clean anymore - he said, "You guys have been home less than a week and look at this place!" I just looked at him and told him, "Yeah, your preaching to the choir, honey!"

We dyed eggs when we got home, and the next morning, we had an Easter egg hunt.

The bunny hid 24 (plastic) eggs, but we only found 23. We still don't know where the last one is! We went to a local church for their Easter service, and they had a special program for the kids that included a clown. Apparently Gracie got to help him with one of his tricks - that was all she could talk about for the next few days.

Here's our family Easter photo:

As you might imagine, this 'vacation' was exhausting. When Jerry went to work on Monday and the girls went to school, I breathed a sigh of relief, but this week has been so hectic trying to catch up. Someone tell me again - when exactly do Mom's get vacation?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Laundry as a Legacy

You know, I've always known that I'd leave a legacy - something I'd be remembered for, but this week, I'm afraid that my legacy will be . . . laundry.

Laundry has been brought to the forefront this month with the arrival of the April issue of Real Simple Magazine, which I subscribed to this year when the girls fundraiser came around. It's been an enjoyable diversion, but this month's issue's cover story was laundry.

The first thing that caught my eye was that the average family does 400 loads of laundry per year. I tell you, I have never felt so above-average before. Every week we have a minimum of six loads - towels, whites, darks, in-betweens, jeans and an entire load devoted to pink and red clothing. Lots of times I have multiples of one or more of these, just because, plus all the other miscellaneous sheets, jackets, etc. I'm sure every mother in the country can sympathize.

But now for the clincher - The girls open house for school was last night. Gracie had very proudly displayed a large heart on her desk that contained a poem about the love she has for her family. It read:
I Love Somebody
I Love Somebody.
Yes I do!
I Love somebody and
I'm going to tell you!

I love my Mom.
Yes I do.
Mom tucks me in at night.
Mom does the laundry.
Mom takes me to the park.
Yes I do!

I Love my Daddy.
Yes I do!
Daddy chases me around the house.
Daddy wrestles me.
I Love my Daddy.
Yes I do.

I Love my sister.
Yes, I do Maggie.
Maggie plays with me
Maggie has three webkins
Maggie likes to paint
Yes I do.

I Love my family
my family Is fun.

'Nuff said.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

March Already!

Wow - looking at the calendar today, I realize that today was the original day that Carissa was supposed to be born - so happy 1 week old birthday, baby Carissa!

Things are certainly happening around here. Let's take it subject by subject:

Birthday Party!

Sunday was the official Have Friends Over birthday party. As I look at the effort that was put into this party, I wonder when I lost the over-eager, super-planner party mom tendencies. We had the party at Pump-It-Up, at Maggie's request. Our house is just way too small to try and have any number of people come for a function. I had the party place cater the pizza, rather than trying to make food (although I did buy a bag of baby carrots to serve with it.) We got an ice-cream cake from Baskin-Robbins rather than me make a cake, even though I even took the Wilton Cake Decorating course many moons ago so I could be the uber-cake-mom. We bought fancy plates for the cake, but for the rest of the food we just used plain white provided by the party place. And you know what - no one - and I mean no one noticed anything wrong. Everyone had just a fine and dandy time with the exception at the last minute of Gracie, who's balloon got blown away in the Oklahoma wind. (All my fault - and I made restitution, so she had a happy time after all.) Anyway - it makes me think - What's the thing I remember most from my birthday parties? I'd have to say some of the most memorable things are not the things that went well, but the things that went wrong - like the time my dollhouse cake fell over into the green-tinted coconut grass a few minutes before the guests were supposed to arrive. Don't get me wrong - I remember it not because I was upset, but because it was funny, even at the tender age of 11 or so. So please - use the comment function and tell me what thing you remember most from your childhood birthday celebrations. I'd really like to know.

Health Front -

Well, I've met my new doctor and he seems nice. He didn't rush me at all, and listened to the whole medical history for clues that would help solve this latest issue. I really feel too young to have 'issues', but here I am. I had a heart monitor that I had to wear around part of this week. Of course, nothing really spectacular happened while I wore it - but nothing really spectacular has happened since the ER visit, which is how we like it. Anyway, the day I got the monitor I showed it to the girls when they got home - 7 electrodes on my chest and abdomen, and what seemed like two miles of wires that were bundled and taped to my belly before going into a data recorder that I kept in my pocket. I showed them the wire, and then, to be funny, I did Papaw's little bit of "I am a robot" humor that the girls always think is so funny. Well, Maggie apparently thought I had been turned into a robot, and she got upset - very upset. It really caught me by surprise. I reassured her that I was the same mommy I had always been, and that they were just stickers that would come off in a few days. She calmed down, and anxiously awaited the day when I would be back to normal mommy. All that adhesive was a real mess - I itched constantly for two days, and then after I took them off, it took two more days and a bottle of goo-gone to get the sticky residue off. Nothing for your self-esteem like having to get the goop off your flab.

House Front:

We looked at a house I liked last week, and this past week we made an offer, and it was accepted. We have inspections this week, and if everything goes well we will close on a four-bed, two-bath, three-car garage, 8 person storm shelter at the end of May. I'm guardedly optimistic about the whole thing, and now that we've made an offer, Jerry has though about a million things that maybe we should have asked for, should have though about, etc. After 11 years, I should be used to this phase, but it still makes me crazy. Ah, love. . .

At School:

This week was the first ever Sock Hop at the girls school. They did a very nice job, with a live band some of the time, a DJ some of the time, and an Elvis impersonator some of the time. Gracie dragged a 50's costume out of the dress up stuff, and Maggie wanted something to wear, so with only an hour before the function started, we headed to Goodwill, bought a skirt, and went to Hobby Lobby for some felt, and slapped a poodle on it with a glue gun. There were some really elaborate costumes there, but Maggie was happy with her skirt. They'll be doing another one next year, so I see some real poodle skirts in our future. The girls were excited to see the Elvis impersonator, but the real celebrity they had to have their picture with was the Chick-fil-a cow. They catered the dinner, and he made a couple of appearances. Gracie said "Everyone loves him because he has the best restaurant ever!" Way to go Cow!