Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hocus Pocus

An entire day devoted to the celebration of sugar. I truly can't think of anything more splendid.

I only have one child left who will actually dress up. Good thing I consider these twins mine. Now I can take credit for their deliciously cute costumes. I think they may be sweeter than all the candy I'm going to eat in the next 12 hours.

Happy Treat Day.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin Guts

Every year I scoop out the pumpkin guts, and I promise myself that I will never carve again. But then the next year rolls around, and I somehow convince myself that all good, sweet mothers carve pumpkins with their kids.

But the reality is so much messier and disgusting all at once. Kinda like sticking your hand up inside the raw turkey. And that my friends, is where I draw the line. There are places where you just shouldn't stick your hand. A turkey falls on the far side of the line. Pumpkins are coming close enough to touch it.

Without fail, everyone gets bored within 3.7 minutes of starting. So, I finish the carving and the cleaning. The 'happy-family-carving-pumpkins' turns into 'this-is-a-huge-mess-that-mom-cleans-up'.

This year, the twins made it all the more exciting. Keagan kept constantly exclaiming, "Eww, sick!" My thoughts exactly. Next year, I swear I'm not carving. I'm just not. I'm going to outsource it to someone in India. Let me know if you want me to send yours as well. I'm keeping a list.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Meet the newest member of our family. She belongs to Sam. She had to carry her everywhere for days. I let her know that my social calendar was packed. Thus, I was unavailable to babysit. She took this flour baby to church, school and even a party.

You know what disturbed Sam the most? My first guess would be the fact that her baby is square. But no, she was bothered that she had to use two different colors of pantyhose for her arms and legs. Therefore, they didn't match.

At the close of her project, I asked her, "So, what did you learn from carrying around a baby for 5 days?" Her response, "Flour is heavy."

If only being a parent were that easy....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Stiched Up

Can you tell that the face painting booth was her favorite? I made her scrub it off before she went to sleep. She was none too happy.

Addendum to my previous post-- my sister found this same 11 yr. old shaving her arms last night. Her arms! When asked why she would do such a thing, she replied, "everyone does". I took a poll right then and there. Not a single, solitary person in the house shaved their arms. Nor could any of us think of anyone we have ever known in our entire lives, who shaved their arms. She was not swayed by our discussion. Good glory.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

All The Ways I Fail

It's the little things. They seem to pile on top of one another, forming mounds. They appear at the most random of times, reminding me that I can't seem to do my job right.

Last night, the 11 yr. old propped her leg up on the counter. She wanted me to look at the red, bumpy rash on her legs. I leaned in to examine and asked her, "Did you just shave your legs?" She replied that she had. I then asked, "Did you use soap?" She stared at me like I spoke a foreign language. "Soap?" she said. "Why would I use soap?"

I stopped and turned my full attention to her. "How do you normally shave your legs?" Apparently she uses a razor. And nothing else. What? How is it that I haven't taught this girl how to shave her legs? I know I've taught someone. I'm pretty sure I've done it twice. Obviously I wasn't clear in my explanation.

Out of the 365 days in the year, I feel like I've got it all together on about 5 of them. Maybe 6. There are just too many little things that make me realize I'm probably doing more harm than good. Shaving without soap? Where did that even come from? Probably the same place where she learned to burp the alphabet. Right here at home. Obviously, here at the Circus, there is just a bit of a learning curve.

Friday, October 22, 2010

2 Of 40

For 1 Of 40, see here.

I'm a list girl. My entire daily existence centers around getting things done on my list. The one I keep in my head and the one I actually put pen to paper. During the day, I rarely sit down or watch TV. It's how I roll. After 7:00 pm, I do nothing. Except read. I really like doing nothing. I just can't find a way to do it all day long.

Addie asks me every other day to come to school and eat lunch with her. As soon as she asks, the thoughts in my head spin through all the things I need to accomplish that day, and I tell her that I just can't make it.
But my mother heart feels weighed with guilt. Can I eat lunch with her every day? Of course not. But she is my child and she has asked to spend time with me. So I feel guilt when I tell her 'no'. Because really, how much longer will she want to have lunch with her mom?

So, this week, when the question arose, just like it always does, I did the opposite of what I would normally do. I said, 'yes'. She bounced with happiness and immediately dictated her happy meal order.

All throughout the morning, and even on my drive to pick up McDonald's, I cycled the list in my head. I couldn't let go of all the things I could be getting done. I couldn't seem to focus on what I should be doing.

But then we sat together at the lunch table. She chewed and talked, and went on and on with stories. I watched her. Really watched her. And, you know what happened? The list in my head faded away. It was just her and I having lunch. Simple, unadorned, important.

Sometimes the greatest moments are found when we listen to our heart when it speaks. Most often it is so quiet, we drown it out with the voice in our head. Maybe my list needs a new item: Listen with your heart, not your head. Check.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Keeping Pace

The Cross Country season has come to a close. The District Meet was held over the weekend. We screamed and cheered. She took 5th, which is immensely impressive.

The next day she was laying on the floor and I asked her, "Now that the season is over, what have you learned?" I had imagined that she would tell me that running for fun isn't really fun. Or, that doing any physical activity that produces sweat, isn't any fun either. But instead, she surprised me. She said, "I learned that I need to keep my pace."

Her words have stuck with me. In essence, isn't that what we are all trying to do? Keep our pace? Most of the time I feel like my pace is too fast, I can't seem to keep up. But, if I look at it from a running perspective, aren't I the one who sets my pace to begin with? I'm trying to live at a runners speed, when I'm really a walk-around-the-park kind of girl.

Maybe our pace changes at different seasons in our lives. But, I have to think that we tend to speed it up without really needing to. Things fall through the cracks when my pace is at a frantic level. Until now, I've never really absorbed the thought that I am the ultimate time keeper. I am the one who needs to keep a watchful eye on the course. Never letting the finish line goal blur out all the of the race that precedes it.

Thank you for teaching me, my Samantha. May you ever 'keep your pace' headed in the right direction.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Does this count as keeping the Sabbath Day holy?

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Perfect weather. Pumpkin Patch. Farm animals and a train. Throw in pizza and cupcakes, and you have the perfect birthday party for two perfect babies. A Saturday well spent.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Miracle Reminder

This is the 2nd year that I am reminded. Miracles are ever present. They come in the smallest of packages. A gift given and cherished.

The babies (I call them MY babies, my sister feels the need to call them HER children) have changed a lot in 2 years. But, when you start out at close to 2 pds. and 4 pds., how can you not?

Riley then:
Riley now:

Keagan then:

Keagan now:

These babies have lived here since their 7th week of life. They have become woven into our family. The only distinction between my girls and these girls? I let these babies have whatever they want. My own kids? Not so much.

But on this day, I look at them and see all that they have brought to us. They have spread a joy through our family that is almost tangible. They have given us a love that is beyond words. On this, their birthday, I believe that we are the ones that are receiving the gifts. A 2 For 1. A Buy One Get One Free. A double reminder that miracles smile, and giggle, and make my heart sing.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


It's October in Texas. Translation--the weather finally feels like humans can live here. Average day temperature ranges around 85. You can breathe the air and it doesn't scorch your throat.

Addie must have the notion that a cold front is coming. She has on thermal pajamas, a leopard coat that is 4 sizes too small, and a blanket. She either fell asleep from exhaustion or overheating. Maybe she's just dreaming of snow.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Play By Play

Makell informed me this afternoon that she was going to make dessert tonight. Baked goods are something that I take very seriously. But, as you can well guess, I'm the kind of mother that encourages creativity and self expression. Me and the words, 'free spirit' are one in the same.

So, she mixed up a red velvet cake and made homemade chocolate frosting. Yes, I'm serious. She then proceeded to crumble the cake and mixed the two together. She rolled the whole thing into bite-sized balls. "They're cake balls," she told us. "They're delicious".

Me: "Makell. Why, oh why, is there powdered sugar COVERING the sink, blinds, window ledge and rug?"

Kellie: "Oh, I didn't want to walk the measuring cup over to the sink, so I just threw it."

OK, so here are my questions for the day. Feel free to offer answers:

1. Do these things happen to other mothers, or am I the only one stupid enough to let their child cook AND throw things simultaneously?

2. Why are they called cake balls? If the word 'balls' is in the name, I darn well better be able to dribble it. It just feels rather wrong to eat balls made of cake. Why not call them, 'cake bites' or even 'cakettes'. But 'balls'? It's alarming. Am I wrong?

On that note, tomorrow is Parent/Teacher Conference at the elementary school. Addie's teachers informed me that I really, really need to make sure I come to my appointment. I think I might take some cake balls with me. I need all the advantages I can get.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Only The Songs Have Changed

When the 11 yr. old was a newborn, the 14 yr. old would scoot her bouncy seat right next to her in front of the television. The older would pile stuffed animals around the younger. Then they would sit side-by-side and watch Barney.

Now they are both older and the songs they sing never involve using good manners or clean up time. Last night found them both on the stage for a choir concert. I found myself in the audience feeling wonder at how much they are becoming.

Motherhood often requires taking a step back, just so you can see the full picture. Only then are we able to soak in these beings we call our own. I'm grateful for where they stand and all that I see. For my ears, they sing the most beautiful music. When I tune everything else out, it sounds like heaven.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

1 of 40

Remember my list that I mentioned yesterday? My fleeting idea that I should do 40 things I would normally NEVER do? Um, so, I made an attempt. 1 down, 39 to go.

The SILVER nail polish caught my eye at the store today. I bought it and applied it right when I got home. I'm way too uptight to have glistening toes. That was my whole reason for trying it. M'kay?

Now it looks like the Tin Man barfed on my feet. What was the point of this again?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Age Is Showing

Lately, I've come to the realization that I'm almost 40. I remember my parents at that same age. My mom bought my dad our family's first VCR for his 40th birthday. Maybe I'll get a VCR too. That would be sweet. I'll set it right next to my Atari.

Over the last few months, I've noticed a few things happening that make me feel "older". When I stand on the porch and wave at the girls on the bus, my underarm jiggles. Like, a lot. And I often find myself longing to sit on the couch and read all. day. long. I have yet to give in, but I'm getting close. Oh, and I'm starting to wrinkle up in places you shouldn't have wrinkles. It's unnerving.

I've been thinking about various ways to celebrate my "olderness". Technically, I don't hit the 40 for 7 more months, but in dog years, that's speedy quick soon. What if I try to do 40 things that I would normally never do? Like, eating vegetables. Or flossing. Or saying the words, "My children are my greatest blessing" without choking on my own saliva. What do you think, good idea?

It's rather weird to feel your age creeping. What if you don't like the way it creeps? I guess there isn't much you can do about it. Maybe the best solution is to sit on the couch all day. It will minimize the creeping feeling. And while I'm at it, I'll watch my VCR. I think that sounds like a rather good plan.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Serious Business

In our house, we take our TV watching very seriously. Because of that, we have copied our friend's idea and assigned ourselves as Survivor castaways. Every family member was randomly assigned 3 players (except for Todd) before this season started. I'm already down 1 and Nana has been voted out twice.

The winner receives a million dollars. From Nana. I told her right before the show started, just to keep her in the loop. But, I kinda whispered it real soft-like. She has delicate ears. I'm sure she heard me. But now that I think about it, she has a tendency to tune out my voice. Isn't that weird? I'll be sure to remind her this week. Through email.

Outwit. Outlast. Outplay. And be sure that Nana doesn't win. It's just no fun if she ends up paying herself. Sheesh.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Join The 31

You know how you're not supposed to have a favorite child? Well, I think that theory generally spills over into blogland. But here, I have a few favorites. They are the writers who are moms and have a real view of life. Oh, and they also inspire.

In my fantasy world, I would be a published writer. But in real life, Chatting At The Sky is the writer I go to every day. I soak in her words and eloquence. I wish I could write like her. I really, really wish. And just so you know, she has a book deal and will soon be published.

She (Emily) and seven others are posting for the month of October. Each blogger is offering their own spin on the next 31 days. If you haven't discovered them, please enjoy them for the month. You'll come away enriched. I promise.