Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I am grateful for the roof over my head and that the person who provides that roof shouldn't have to, but he does anyway.
I am grateful for the food that graces our table every day.
I am grateful for my Husband who tries so hard to do right by us and loves us to the moon and back ten times over.
I am grateful to be a parent to two amazing children who don't seem to notice what a horrible job I'm apparently doing by quite a few standards.
I am grateful that while they are not free from prejudice and preconceived notions, they still thrive.
I am grateful that I have not had to work a 9-5 job these past 4 years.
I am grateful that I have a family who is supportive of my decisions.
I am grateful that I have friends of whom I can question myself and my decisions to and they are honest and sometimes brutally so.
I am grateful for the many options available to us when it comes to giving our children a solid education that is chosen after many late night discussions and research.
I am grateful that I live in a country that allows me freedom of speech and religion so I can do and say what I've determined to be right by myself and my family.
I am grateful that I've always been able to see both (or all in some cases) sides of a story and not only see the cons, despite how pessimistic I may be.
I am grateful for libraries that offer literature unbiased towards any one particular topic.
I am grateful for the internet and it's endless researching capabilities.
I am grateful for any and all support I can get even when I hate asking for it outright.
I am grateful to get up in the morning to Logan who couldn't wait to tell me about the new girl in school and how much he loves her and wants to marry her (despite the fact that he couldn't remember her name.)
I am grateful that I was able to see Lillie do an interpretive dance on the life cycle of a flower. Born to blossom, bloom to perish!
I am grateful that my Husband was one of the few, if not the only victim, who DIDN'T have their identity stolen during the beginning of what we thought was going to be the answer to quite a few prayers.
I am grateful that I am alive and breathing.
I am grateful that you and I can have different opinions and yet it's ok, no really, it is!
I am grateful.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mom Fail.

A year ago Lo started 3-K... and every single day that Lillie came with me, we would leave the school a sobbing snotty mess. More her than me, to be honest. It was like this all year long. Field trips she would get to come with us (I'm a room Mom, yay suburbia!) and EVERY TIME the student teachers and the head teacher would look at her, look at me, look at her, look back at me and ask, "She's not quite/only 2? Are you sure? But she speaks like an 8 year old? She can draw Dora? She can build a bridge by HERSELF in less than 4 hours? ARE YOU SURE?" Yes I'm sure she's my daughter, born early 2009, and she's been speaking since she was 6 months old (more or less.) And then of course came the suggestions that maybe she should enter pre-k with her Brother. And I would laugh, oh how I laughed... During that first week of 3-K, Lo went on poop strike. One that was so extreme that it is still referred to to this day as Poop Strike 2010. You see, I'd been potty training him off and on (VERY unsuccessfully obviously) for over a year and a half. The boy could pee on command no problem, but pooping? He laughed in my face and then smeared poop on the wall. Oh, and by the way, it's gonna be one of THOSE posts. Hope you all have children and can sympathize! Oh little boys, AREN'T THEY DARLING??!?! So on the very first day of school we go over the necessary rules, don't bite, don't say ugly things to people unless you want them to say ugly things back, listen to your teacher, etc. etc. etc. and then I pulled the car over, turned around and looked directly at him and said, "Oh, and they won't let you poop your pants at school. If they catch you so much as making stinks (gas) outside of the bathroom they will send you home till you can learn to poop in the potty." And that, ladies and gentleman is how you DON'T potty train your child. During that time Lo went on poop strike.

Fast forward to this past Summer. Enter, Vacation Bible School Meltdown(s) of Holy Epic Proportions. And yes, the capitalization are very necessary. He? Went through an extreme separation anxiety phase where he would look me dead square in the eye with the most serious 4 year old expression a not quite 4 year old could wear and ask, "Mommy! MOM! MA! You stay here for THIS MANY (holds up many fingers, constantly changing the amount) minutes ok? OK? And then you come back. YOU ALWAYS COME BACK. IT PUTS THE LOTION ON THE SKIN... OK?" and then as I'm attempting to scale the fence in the play yard with Lillie under my arm I'll feel these hot sweaty (almost) 4 year old boy arms latching onto my leg and "OMG, PLEASE DON'T LEAVE ME THEY'RE GOING TO MAKE ME EAT COOKIES, DRINK JUICE AND PLAY AND SING SONGS AND LET'S GO HOME NOW, OK??!?" Once Lo was talked down off the ceiling, Lillie would break out the hysterics and snot bubbles and all the VBS teachers would start begging the higher ups to pleeeeease let that sweet pwecious widdle baaaaby stay with her Brother!??! It never worked and every single time without fail, both kids would be a hot mess and I'd end up sobbing myself all the way back to the house.

Fast forward to today.

Ok, not really, here's a funny story that happened OOOOOH, a week ago at Lo's 4-K orientation where I quite literally came off the fence about Homeschooling. More on that topic later. Tomorrow sound good to you? Fantastic! So the Husband and I are in the Parent/Teacher meeting while the kids are greeting each other (some for the first time) and getting a feel for the newish layout. I can still hear Lo faintly behind the glass door, "Mommy? MAMA? WHERE ARE YOU WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!" Ok, maybe not the last part, but just as dire sounding all the same. I never once heard Lillie do her ear piercing scream that she does when her space is invaded. So obviously someone had stolen her. I start having a panic attack (for more reasons than one) and rush outside to find the kiddie potty, scanning for my children as I dash across the room. Lillie is reading books to the teachers and Lo spots me and attaches himself to my leg. I narrowly avert disaster by reminding him that his Father is looking for him in the other room. HAHAHAHAHAHA. I = evil. Once I'm composed again, and feel well enough to speak to the head Teacher, she begins to broach the idea of Lillie joining 3-K early. I wasn't entirely sold on the idea until she said that she had no plans of filling another kid's spot who had backed out to keep class size to a minimum... UNLESS it was for Lillie of course. I told her I'd think about it... not 5 minutes down the road I text her asking about doing a trial run for a few days. She asked for an economy size package of paper towels in return. And that, my friends, is how you barter for your children's education. Take note, amigos!
 So today, we WERE talking about today... right?

Today my baby started her trial run. Today she wore big girl pants all day and didn't once have to be changed. Today, I once again threatened my child about pooping in their pants. Because I am that stupid. She hasn't pooped in 24 hours. Tomorrow's snacks will consist of Quaker Oatmeal Square cereal and prunes... and also lots and lots of sitting on the potty chair and reading "Once Upon A Potty." On the bright side, I didn't say she'd be kicked out of school... I simply told her that it was like going to the pool where we can't poop in class, we had to tell someone we needed to go potty. I thought I was brilliant! I thought, AT LAST! I'VE DONE SOMETHING RIGHT! And then she refused to pee all day until I started re-reading "Once Upon a Potty" and broke out Lo's old (gag me) plastic potty chair from the depths of the under sink storage where I'd hoped it'd gone to die. Welcome to Poop Strike 2011. Let's not talk about how I gave her a few Mylicon drops before bed in hopes for the best first thing tomorrow. Instead, let's talk about the fact that she had more fun at school today than I think she'd had in her entire life. So much fun that when we got to the school, Lo was plastered against the door much the same as last year and when I walked inside and they announced I'd come to pick her up, she saw me, LEAPED from her chair at the snack table screaming, "NO, ME DON'T WANT TOOOOOO!" and hid under the play table across the room. She was sobbing and snotty and convinced she was not allowed to come back and partake in all the fun to be had tomorrow. It took my Husband dragging her out by the legs.


So here's hoping tomorrow doesn't present itself with a basket full of fresh baked FAIL... and seriously, we'll get to the Homeschooling discussion... mkay?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Day 19. Summer.

To me, summer is filled with the music of cicadas. I must warn you, if you haven't already peeked below, there is a BUG at the end of this post... DON'T TURN THE PAGE! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!??! DON'T YOU KNOW THERE IS A BUG AT THE END OF THE STORY?!?? You turned the page... This is how I know summer is coming to a close. When I see these big @$$ bug carcases hanging from the trees it's OVER people!

On a slightly different note... The last year my Grandmother was alive, she made the trek up to West Virginia for her final family reunion. My sister and I, found one of these cicada shells one morning at the cabin and placed it's fragile carcass in the refrigerator right at her Mammaw's level. While fixing her cereal my sister and I sat at the bar snickering and holding our bellies in hopes to get a rise out of her. ((At this point, I was 4 months along in my pregnancy with Lillie, my Mammaw passed away 4 months later.)) That woman KNEW we were up to no good and IGNORED that creepy @$$ carcass and kept on with her day. Our mother made us toss it at some point because, HELLO... did I mention it was creepy? And we had it staring at you straight in the face every time the refrigerator door was opened. Not being right in the head runs in the family obviously, and it's a shame my mother missed the "shenanigans" and "inappropriate laughter" gene. When my sister and I get together that's all we're capable of being... most days.

The Tibicen genus of cicadas are large-bodied Cicadidae appearing in late summer or autumn. Like other members of the subfamily Cicadinae, they have loud, complex songs, even (in many cases) distinct song phrases. Tibicen are the most common cicada in the United States. Unlike periodical cicadas, whose swarms occur at 13- or 17-year intervals, Tibicen species can be seen every year, hence their nickname "annual cicadas." The lifecycle of an individual, however, is more than a year. Nymphs spend two or three years feeding on tree roots before they emerge. Their annual reappearance is due to overlapping generations. Many other colloquial names exist for Tibicens: locust, dog day cicada, harvest fly, August dry bird, jar fly, bush cicada.
 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Day 18. Eyes.

It's hard for me to think that this is the last weekend before my baby starts Pre-K. My heart strings? Have been tugged. I want to squeeze them both to pieces and never let them grow up on me. Even if he IS 4 years old and testing me DAILY. (If not hourly...)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Work in progress...

So I've touched here and there about our ugly as sin wood paneling, correct? I've spoken about the fact that my Grandfather built this house and pretty much his idea of decorating, well, went. He never intended for people to live here (i.e. IN THE BASEMENT) long term, and to be honest? The wood paneling itself had me itching to leave minutes after we moved in. Exhibit A:

I started priming it without ANY idea as to what I would do color wise because that's how I roll. And then? I started pinning ideas on Pinterest and I should have NEVER requested an invite because I am addicted, yo. It was a great way to bounce ideas and easily share those ideas with friends, as well as to see what strangers might think of my Living Room ideas. If you want an idea as to what I might end up with, go check here. So obviously a trip to Lowe's was in order. Exhibit B:

 "3 Olive Martini" and what was SUPPOSED to be "Sleek Gray" by Valspar... I was having an aneurysm over the price of pint prices and then saw a VERY similar gray in the "oops" section. It was meant to be, people! The Husband and I moved the majority of the furniture towards the center of the living area and got to work. We *probably* should have done the ceiling before we painted the walls... minor details, people! We'll figure it out eventually. Exhibit C:

I'm REALLY pleased with how the green and gray worked together. Everyone else is doing the yellow/gray combinations and I? Well... WHATEVER. If you squint, you can see Woody riding Rex in Exhibit D:

And the inspiration for such change? See below for Exhibit E. We have had two professional family pictures made. The first done with Lillie at 6 weeks old and the second done 2 1/2 years later as a special gift from my In-laws... and then I just HAD to go and finish the kids silhouettes and I *couldn't* put those up against an ugly paneled wall... so instead I made a centerpiece of our monogram. Suppose I should have painted earlier instead of constantly making decor for my "make-do mantel" (i.e., top of the entertainment center... SIGH...)

One day we will have our own house... ONE DAY. Until then, we are right where we need to be. The bottom line is we're not inconveniencing ourselves OR the old man upstairs by being here, and to be honest? Life keeps giving us reasons to stay, and who am I to argue with life? Plus, we're only halfway done with the Living Room re-do.*

If you don't count the ceiling and carpeting. Let's not count it, ok?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Day 17. Bokeh.

I gotta admit something. I don't get Bokeh. Maybe if I had a fancy schmancy camera with a DIY Bokeh filter I would understand it, but I... I just don't. So here's a picture I Bokeh-fied using Foto Flexer as it was FREE (thanks for nothin, Picnik!) Yesterday we went to Lowe's with my Grandfather and picked up some paints (of course I was short one gallon, uuuuuuuugh) and headed to Chic-Fil-A for the Princess's favorite "chicken and fwies" for lunch. I'm pretty sure she ran off her lunch in the indoor playground before we even left the restaurant. More pics/horror stories from the living room paint experiment to come. Prepare yoselves for some cursery and bad bad words! I also need to tell you about the time I traded my daughter and an economy size pack of paper towels for a Preschool education. Because I am obviously confused about my intentions when it comes to my kids educations. Not a hypocrite, just... confused. Without further ado, BOKEH TIME, AMIGOS!

Queen of slides. All slides. Don't you dare try to go down to slide town while SHE'S around.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How does your garden grow?

I'll admit, I've had little to no hand in the garden this year as my business was blowing up big time when planting began. But now, at the tail end of Summer, we've all pitched in some to help ye olde man with picking and eating and planting the fall crops. Today the kids ran out back with the Husband and my Grandfather to plant onions and lettuce and when I finally drug my old bones up the stairs and out into the backyard, I found this ridiculously adorable scene.

Day 16. Mason Jar.

Oh, if only...

If I took a few minutes out of each day to allow my Daughter to teach me for a change, I would probably learn quite a few life lessons from her. Lillie would teach me how to stretch and flex my brain into being more creative. She would show me how to push past boundaries of logical thought into her version of the acceptable illogical thoughts where large plastic hippopotamuses are babies who turn into Daddy hippopotamuses that get hungry and eat their young and their wives, but "lookit, he's PWECIOUS!"

If I learned anything from her, glitter would be like oxygen, cats would be turquoise with orange ears, and glue is a gift from the Gods. Boundaries would be pushed, exceeded and laws would be re-written "just because." I would nap wherever I pleased and have everyone who is at least twice my height carry me when my legs got tired. And if I weren't already instilling this life lesson into her like her life depended on it, she would teach me from the depths of her soul, that going to sleep every night knowing you are the center of someone's universe is the most comforting and reassuring feeling of all. Then, after she taught me that lesson she would teach me "the perfect cry" that would have all adults falling over themselves to check on me at 2 in the morning.

My Daughter would teach me that there's always time to read and how bathtubs are perfect boats/oceans/spaceships. She would teach me how to love unconditionally, but also to not put up with anyone's crap. She would teach me to kiss my loved ones and give big squeezes without hesitation. She would show me now to sing like everyone's looking, dance like your life depends on it, and love without boundaries.

She would also teach me that there is NO excuse for not painting naked.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Green Smoothies Experiment

So last night there was a big stink on my Facebook page over my Husband sharing this link. The reason being is a.) I'm not the skinniest person alive and b.) I think a lot of people were thinking he was trying to tell me something. NO, ladies, he was not taking a jab at ye olde kangaroo pouch (you know... THAT soft poochy part on the lower abdomen from not working it on out post-partum.) So today I picked up some spinach and frozen fruits (why are they cheaper than fresh? Riddle me THAT, Riddler!) So here's our little take on the aforementioned "Green Smoothie for Weight Loss." Let's just call this a "Shrek" smoothie, mkay?

1.) Place 2 cups of your choice frozen/fresh fruits in measuring cup, plus 2 cups fresh spinach leaves.
2.) Pack into blender with 1- 1 1/2 cups water.
 4.) Uh oh! What happened? Yah, you might want to shake that like a Polaroid picture. ((Not seen, Husband shaking it like a Polaroid picture. Consider yo'selves spared.))
 5.) Drink up, baby! I let the Husband have this one because a.) strawberries are seedy and SENSORY OVERLOAD NO THANKS and b.) he's a much better guinea pig and ALSO c.) I've changed enough diapers and that whole red fruit + green leafy vegs = diaper surprise? No bueno. I'll pass this time around.
6.) Once you trust your Husband's review that it was definitely do-able, make yourself one with peaches/bananas/spinach and enjoy your heartburn 20 minutes later. Wondering what it would taste like with a few Tums involved. Anything slightly acidic (heeeey, peaches!) gives me heartburn. Thank God I didn't choose that tempting pineapple or I would be in tears right now.

I will admit, that while overall I didn't get a "green veg" taste while drinking, I did notice a certain "twangy" aftertaste like iron. Could also be the tap water I used to blend it with because my case of water in the back of the car is STILL in the back of the car.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 15. Action.

Holding her face was about the only thing she could do from spontaneously exploding from excitement.

The Princess and her Queen Mommy.

This was an important day for us girls. Today we had every last one of Disney Princesses (and then some) at our local train depot (more a historical place than an actual depot seeing as it hasn't seen a train in about 75 years or more.) It was exciting for me to see her as just HER. No Daddy or brother hanging around in the background, just her and all her barely containable excitement. Her "fave-wits," Princess Tiana and Belle from Beauty and the Beast were there and they sang some of her "fave-wit" songs.

So my take on "action" for Day 15 of the 30 Day Photo Challenge was the action of actually getting up and taking her somewhere just us girls. I could have shown you pictures of her jumping into the pool or dancing to the music in her head, but this was a momentous occasion and I couldn't NOT document it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Past, Present, Future...

15 years ago, I:

1. was entering the 8th grade.
2. was madly in love with a neighbor boy.
3. spent a lot of time in our brand new above ground pool.
4. still rode the bus to school.
5. avoided my 8 year old sister at ALL costs.

10 years ago, I:
1. was working at a gas station.
2. had a boyfriend who worked for Georgia Tech (and became super, SUPER successful shortly following our breakup.)
3. contemplated marrying and moving in with my HS sweetheart who was in the military.
4. was a total diva and almost out of control.
5. met my future Husband who I was smitten with but DENIED. He went home to his Northern Family right as I left to scout out Great Falls, MT as my future home.

5 years ago, I:
1. had just met my Northern In-law's for the first time... a month AFTER the wedding... OOPS.
2. was flying internationally 3+ weeks out of the month.
3. found out I was pregnant with Lo .
4. had my own place.
5. had no idea what was coming.

2 years ago, I:
1. gave birth to Lillie.
2. was grieving the loss of my Mammaw.
3. became a Pure Romance Consultant.
4. proudly watched on as my Husband worked as a hot ass Firefighter.
5. started removing all the clutter from the first floor of the house.

1 year ago, I:
1. took the kids and Pappaw to West Virginia.
2. took Lo for his first day of Preschool.
3. got hooked on Scentsy.
4. started having massive panic attacks.
5. moved my Father back to town.

6 months ago, I:
1. joined Scentsy.
2. became the breadwinner.
3. kicked complete ASS in sales with Pure Romance.
4. had the worst month (mentally) in years.
5. didn't want to leave the house.

Yesterday, I:
1. held back Lillie's hair while she vomit all over the place. YUM!
2. went grocery shopping by myself and contemplated taking my time so I wouldn't have to go back to the house of death.
3. took my time at Starbucks instead.
4. made my famous crock-pot chicken stroganoff... but had lost all appetite come dinner time. I HAVE NO IDEA WHY.
5. built rockets with the kids before puke-a-thon 2011 started.

Today, I:
1. kept a close eye on Lo who ran a fever off and on all day.
2. went over my daily intake on
3. still had no appetite despite the incessant gorging.
4. managed to get the place vacuumed up and the laundry half done.
5. have yet to tackle the dishes.

Tomorrow, I:
1. will trudge through the day with positive thoughts regarding my own odds with the stomach bug.
2. will finish the laundry.
3. will make my business calls like I've been wanting to do for days.
4. will take the kids out back if it's breezy again.
5. knock out a half done craft.

A sizzling end to Summer.

I was always told by my Father and Grandfather that the appearance of butterflies towards the end of Summer means Fall is upon us. More recently I've heard there's about 6 weeks left once they show up. This past weekend alone, we were surrounded by butterflies at the pool during what felt like one of our last little parties of the Summer. My Sister and Brother in-law are headed back to school, Lo starts school in about a week and a half, and I've noticed that upon my first venture outside in the morning I no longer feel like I'm standing inside of a muggy oven. Something in the air has certainly changed.

Growing up in central Georgia, it's always been a given than you don't dare venture outdoors (without gallons of fluids) in the middle of Summer. It's too damn hot around these parts to even form a simple thought once you've been baking, in the shade no less, for five minutes or more. I vaguely remember the intense heat during the Summer Olympics in '96 (I was only 14, btw.) I recall Coca-Cola had set up cool mist stations around the city and seriously? The humidity is already 100%, you think misting people with cool water in a glorified car wash is going to help? Yes, let's add cool mist to your hot sweat and see what happens. People were soaked, stinky, and drunk. It was pretty much a normal Summer day in Atlanta. I think now about going outside and I'm on the fence. I have two small children and despite the ridiculous humidity, we are under a drought induced watering ban. Therefore, no obvious wasting of water after 6 a.m. My Grandfather gets away with using copious amounts of water due to the fact that he has nearly an acre of land outback that is strictly for gardening purposes. We as a family, however, can not wash the car in the name of "accidentally hosing/cooling off and hey look, a clean car!" We as Georgians enjoy the heat a different 6 months out of the year March, April, May, September, October and November. Our Spring and Fall seasons are tolerable. Warm, but tolerable. It's during these months that it might actually feel comfortable in this poorly air conditioned basement. It's during these months that the kids and I can get outside, sweat a little, and not be completely exhausted from loss of fluids but more from loss of energy of exercising our tails off.

So even though I find myself freaking ECSTATIC that the butterflies have returned, I'm kind of sad that soon thoughts of going to the pool will be non-existent... that time is flying by right in front of my eyes... that I can't capture all of the joy and excitement from what we've learned in the past few months in a few pictures and/or blog posts. This summer has been unreal, for me at least. How about you? Have any of you had amazing Summers? Any mind blowing moments you'd like to share with the class?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Mama, in real life.

 Unless that would involve the pain of others.

I am AWKWARD. I will be the first to admit it. I say things at the wrong times, make involuntary movements, and I will LAUGH at your pain. To your face. It happens, and I just can't help it. Just ask my family. Go ahead, ask away!

Ask my Husband about the time I had him attempt to put something under my bed. How I lived in a loft with super slippery concrete floors. How he PROPELLED himself into one of the supports for my bed and cut his brow open. That? Had me on the floor in tears. In tears, people! I was a snotty, sobbing mess I was laughing so hard.

How about the time (insert child's name here) fell/ran into something/cracked their head on anything. It is my knee jerk response to other people's pain. I get that laugh where I can't breathe, where it's so inappropriate I end up ashamed of myself. It's not anything I can help, seriously.

I just learned about "hunch-cat" and that? RUINS ME. I am not not able to be left alone with  my thoughts. God forbid someone dies, because I know that I'll end up at the funeral in stitches as "hunch-cat" pops out of nowhere in my mind. The other night I just happened to have that stupid cat pop into my head right as I was starting to doze and I had to leave the freaking room so I wouldn't wake my Husband.

When I'm nervous I talk. Just ask the sonogram technician at the hospital I had the boy at. I was admitted a week before I had my son for a few hours to do some stress testing and OF COURSE the testing itself made me more nervous than the actual results (which this whole story is SERIOUSLY for another day.) The entire wheelchair ride to his little sonogram room, the duration of my test - which he probably craved silence for, and the entire ride back I talked nonstop. My poor Husband was laughing at me and trying desperately to get me to stop.

It's almost sad to watch me in action. Between the brain fog (I was a bad teenager AND I have two kids) and the awkwardness, I should probably wear a protective suit and have emergency tranquilizers so I don't end up mortifying myself.