Friday, March 28, 2014

You Know You Have A Problem When

Every now and then, I decide to treat sugar like decor. It's like this impulse I can't ignore. So, I gather it all together. Well, not all of it. That would just be mountains of candy. I'm not that crazy. But I do arrange it. All lovely and such. Why? Because I can. And it looks so cute.

It's like a treat buffet at the ready. I really, super-dee-duper bad, want to line up the Reese's and stack them proper. This slight disarray is making me tense, but I'm trying really hard to lighten up. It's all about baby steps.

And then, because I can't leave well enough alone, I decide to add adornment to the candy decor.

An empty frame and my all-time favorite childhood game. Husker Du. Did anyone else play that, or was it just me? Once upon a time, I was cleaning out a cabinet in my mom's house and found it. And like all things I find at her house, I took it.

My sister saw this game the other day and did one of those gasp-shock-horror sounds. She claimed she loved this game too and demanded to know where I got it. Oh, the nerve! I told her (in my loudest, older sister voice) that it's mine. She seriously better stay away from it. About a year ago we had a show-down over the Strawberry Shortcake blanket. Don't you dare even ask who won because it's hidden in my closet.

So, the moral of the story is this:
Buy more candy. And decorate your counter with it.

That advice is free.
You're welcome.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The String

On Sunday, I had a conversation. And I started crying. Right out of the blue. In a random church classroom. On a regular, ordinary afternoon.

I was speaking with a man who knew my dad. He knew him well. And while our whole conversation wasn't about my father, some of it was. And I watched this man's face as he spoke of memories. He smiled as he remembered and he said wonderful words.

And that's when the crying began.

Because sadness and love and grief have this strange, twisted dance they do. They often can get tangled together and they're a hard combination to carry. They get so intertwined sometimes that they make life feel just a little too heavy.

He spoke only ordinary words. In an ordinary way. But he smiled at the thoughts. And in that moment I clung to those words for survival. I wanted to drown in the "If only's..." and the "What if's...".

This man knew my dad.
My dad was my world.

Not all of it, no. But he held one of the strings that ties me together. And now that he's gone, a part of me has unraveled. And no matter how I try, I can't get the string to tie back into it's proper place.

So that's when the crying begins.

When some one, some thought, some smell, brushes against the part of my soul where that string used to hold firm and steady. The string that smells of Saturday morning biscuits and grits.

Even now, 2 days later, I can't seem to swallow the sadness back down. It's decided to take a seat and rest front and center for a while. Against all reason, it makes my mind wish, with everything I've got, for more time with him.

For a phone call to hear his voice.
For his counsel on how to endure it all.

For a way for my soul to feel whole once again.

But instead, I take a deep breath and let it out slow.
And I promise.
Again and again and again.

To live as he taught me.
And to love as he gave me.

You know all those strings you've got? The ones that keep you held together? The ones that bear the weight of all you are?

Love them.

All of them.
Just as they are.

Your soul will thank you.

Friday, March 21, 2014

It's In Their DNA

I'm going to tell you a story. A special one. Ready?

Once upon a time, I was in 7th grade. All students at my junior high were required to take Shop. You know, the class where you make stuff with wood. And if you know me, like, at all, you'll giggle at the idea of me in a wood shop class. Who on earth would want to teach that class?! We were also required to take Swimming. But those are creepy stories for another day.

After the first several weeks in Shop class, I got bored. Because really, wood? Saws? Dusty surfaces? I remember being irritated that my shoes were getting dirty. Ahh, my priorities haven't changed. Not one wee bit.

In my boredom, I looked around the room. I noticed a circular sander. This huge machine that you could turn on to sand all your wood. The sanding section was probably the size of a dinner plate. And it spun fast. Very, very fast. So, of course, I had a genius idea.....wait for it....I'll use it to file my nails.

Rest for a moment and soak in my intelligence........

I stepped right up to that massive sanding machine and put my palms flat on the platform. Then I just slid them forward to let the nail filing begin!

Within milliseconds I lost the tips of my fingerprints.
Epic fail.

But I kept my shoes clean.
Like I said. Priorities.

Last night, Child #1 took time before dinner to make a statement:

"I've decided that my hair can be used as a weapon!"

She's met with silence. From all of us.
So she continues. (And demonstrates).

"If I ever need to hurt anyone, I can just flip my hair back super fast. It'll be razor sharp and cut their face."

Is there really any wonder that she came from me?
Maybe this kind of intelligence, or shall we say, "special skills", must be passed on genetically. Right?

Who else but me would give birth to a child that thinks they can use their hair to hurt other people?

And on the craziest side note ever, I've had the song "Edelweiss" stuck in my head for 4 days straight. I have no idea why. The last time I watched The Sound of Music was probably 12 years ago. It's going to drive me to madness.

Maybe I can ask someone to flip their hair in my face.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hiding From The Obvious

Here's all the obvious that I've been ignoring:

The Favorite Baby Child has officially become Rapunzel. She has needed a haircut for the last 6 months. And every time I decide to take her, my mind conjures up all the things that money could be spent on at Target. Thus, this girl has hair down to her waist.

All 3 girls declared war on my soul and decided they no longer wanted to take violin lessons. I refused the reality for the longest time and continued to keep violins lying around everywhere. This family has taken lessons for so long, I even own a few.

Now they want piano lessons. It's like a revolt! I can't even take it, so I've ignored it. So, they've looked up YouTube lessons and written notes on the keys with dry erase. Music notes are universal, no matter the instrument. I'm a little surprised that someone thinks there is a 't' note on the piano. Clearly, they need an official teacher.

Child #2 volunteered to be the model for a toilet paper, modest gown creation. Isn't that train awesome? When I asked her about the cardboard tube stuck into the side of her gown, she informed me it was a gun. Modest is hottest, and I guess sometimes you might need to defend yourself.

On the flip side of ignoring the obvious is soaking in what's front and center.
Thank the stars for the Angel Baby. She has the ability to pull happiness right out of you. I hope she makes you smile today. And maybe, just maybe, the obvious won't feel so crazy.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Day 5- The End

OK. For Reals. Can Spring Break be over now? Please? I'm calling a truce. Right now. A Tap Out. A Deal Breaker. A Peace Out. I'm serious. We gotta be done with this. The children have got to go Back. To. School! I can only handle being a gracious cruise director for so long. I need some space. And I need it now. Today.

What is the purpose of Spring Break anyway? No mother in the history of ever decided that she wanted to have the kids home for a week just because she loves being with them. I'm looking for someone to blame. I just can't pinpoint who that should be.

I've had my game face on for the last 4 days. Do you know how hard it is for me to be nice that long? It's excruciating. I've even tried to keep my sarcasm to a minimum. That has got to end today because I'm busting with things to say. Good gracious.

Just yesterday I sent a picture to Child #1 of the big, ginormous white tiger we saw at the Aquarium. She's too old to tag along on family excursions and she also had to work (and make some money, thank the holy heavens).

And after seeing the honkin' huge tiger (which, I can't even talk about how scary it was when he opened his mouth to yawn. I almost peed.) she texted back that she couldn't believe they actually let large animals like that roam around the Aquarium. For the love. She's an AP student. I had to point out that the tiger is behind glass. Oh, and I may have called her a Big Dope too.

And I also may have told a few children to shut up.
And I also may have unraveled at my hinges when Child #3 and her friend decided last night at 8:00 pm to make cupcakes.

I've lost all my sanity.
Well, that's not exactly true. That left a long time ago.
I've lost all the patience I can muster. It's all soaked right out of my pores.
I might need an intervention.
Or a padded cell.
Who wants to join me?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Day 4

The Aquarium.
In 68 degree weather.
Rather perfect.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Discoveries on Day 3

If it's an unusual request, they are more likely to do it. If it makes a mess, they'll jump right in. I simply consider it cheap child labor.

I painted a chalkboard wall days ago. It needed to be "cured" or "covered in solid chalk" before use. So I put it off, because, who wants to do that? Um, the children-who-have-been-watching-TV-for-hours do. And please note they are still wearing the same pajamas they refused to change out of yesterday.

And I may or may not have let snow cones become an "incentive" for their chalk labor. I was also smart enough to call it a "field trip" just to make it extra special.

Finally, Child #2 has slowly chewed off her fake nails. Well, really just her thumbs and pinkie fingers. Apparently it's just too hard to text with those things.

Being the resourceful child she is, she found a way to crack the nail with her teeth and slowly nibble them off. Skills that make a mother proud. How ironic that those nails were the bribery I used just a week ago to motivate her to get better grades.

All sorts of awesome.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

And I Quote- Day 2

I begged, bribed and threatened the children. All in vain efforts to get them to go to a movie with me. It was all lost air on my part. They insisted, and I quote, "We don't want to get dressed." What have we come to?

Child #1 went to the Rodeo with her friends. She made sure to plan her day after the rest of us had gone. When rain almost derailed our plans yesterday, I told her we might all just go together today. One big, happy family. She replied, and I quote, "If I see any of you, I will run away screaming." Feel the love.

The Husband took the day off. He's so adorable when he does that. I made him take a selfie with me. In case you're curious, he said, and I quote, "I'm trying to hide my double chin." That man gets better with age. Kinda like cheese.

And when you have children that refuse to change out of their pajamas, you and the adorable husband get to go to a movie all by yourselves. Just about the best Spring Break day ever. You can quote me on that.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Day 1

I have a love/hate relationship with carnivals. The kids love them, but my debit card does not. It's one of those places where you truly buy their happiness. I just wish that happiness lasted longer. It doesn't even stretch a full 24 hours.

It's our Spring Break tradition to go to the Houston Rodeo. Lots of rides and lots of fried food. Quite the delightful combination. I just can't express in words how much joy a corn dog and fried Snickers can bring. It's rather monumental.

Here's to a week of quantity time while very little quality :)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What Would A Good Mother Do?

I'm going to tell you a secret. Well, it's not so much a secret as a tiny peek into how my brain works. I can't give you a full-wide view, because then you would know for reals that I'm crazy. If I give you just a little glimpse, I can still keep the mystery alive.

Here's the question I ask myself All. The. Time.-- "What would a good mother do?"

Truly. I really do wonder about the decisions that good mothers make versus the ones I make. If I was a PhD student, I would write my thesis on this very thing. It fascinates me to no end.

Currently, right at this very moment, Child #2 is texting me DURING SCHOOL! about taking her to get fake nails today. This has been an on-going topic for months. Months! I've put my foot down, stomped it even, and said "No!". And now I've reached the point where I've used acrylic, painted, ridiculously expensive, stupid nails to bribe this girl into getting better grades.

Would a good mother use bribery as a means of motivation? Do good mothers ever get so desperate that bribery is their only option? Do good mothers just willy-nilly take lunch to their teenagers whenever they ask? Do good mothers send funny pick-up lines to their oldest child while she's in school? Good grief, I have no idea. But, by golly, this is what I think about all day long.

Logic would tell you that by Child #3 I would actually know what I'm doing. That I would somewhat have my act together. Good mothers have their act together. I'm sure of it.

The Favorite Child eats mac n' cheese for breakfast most days. I'm being for serious. She's a picky eater, that child. And she cooks it herself. And I also know she prefers the way-more-expensive-mac n' cheese that are shaped like characters. So of course, that's what I buy. Oh, and she pairs her fine dining with chocolate milk. Could I be any more spectacular?

Do good mothers sit on the couch looking at Pinterest while their 11 year old makes herself noodles for breakfast? Maybe? Probably not, but I like living in a dream world. A really complicated dream world that's decorated super cute.

Good mothers probably don't blog about their parenting inadequacies. Right?
I'm 0 for 3 this morning.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Weather Outside Is Frightful

Winter in Texas- Exhibit A:
Icicles. Lots of them. The Favorite Child can't stop touching them in awe as she waits for the bus. And the teenagers stand at the foot of my bed at 4:50 am demanding to know why they "Just won't cancel school!"? In my dark room, even though I'm half asleep, I say a little pray of gratitude that they haven't. Sometimes, in the rarest of moments, karma is on my side.

You should have seen the teenagers when they got in the car to drive off at 5:30 am. Ice covered the front windshield. And they both just stared at it. They had no idea what to do. Let me tell you, I live for this kind of entertainment.

So I leaned way down to their eye level and talked real slow.... "Turn on the defroster."....silence....looks of confusion. I just walked back into the house. I think they turned on the windshield wipers for 10 minutes straight until the ice chipped off enough to make things visible. What terrific little problem solvers they are.

And just because the weather is terrible and frightening, I'm gifting you with some fantastic reading material. OK?

Have we discussed my obsession with award shows? Yes? No? I love them. Truly. Can't get enough. We record them so we can zip through, stop to see important dresses, pause to listen to funny parts, skip past the boring stuff and enjoy our favorite performers. It's all full to the brim with vanity and excess. It's captivating.

So, in case you live in a cave and hadn't heard, the Oscars were Sunday night. Loved. Loved. Loved. I may have coveted a bunch too. Just sayin'. And, just so you can have something to do on this very frozen day, hop over and read this fantastic Oscar review. It's amazing.

Keep Warm.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

February Highlights

This month's discoveries:

1. I have Kindleitis. If you're not familiar with this particular ailment, let me explain...It's when your hand (more specifically, the little nook between your thumb and first finger) gets sore from holding your Kindle. It's kinda like tendinitis, except for the Kindle. Get it?

I'm super-dee-duper hoping I can get my doctor to put me in the hospital for a week so they can run tests. You know, because I'm the first patient to be discovered with this sickness. Oh, and I need to make sure he puts me in a part of the hospital where visitors under the age of 18 aren't allowed. Maybe I'll send out a sign-up sheet for volunteers to come sit on my bed and hold my Kindle for me. I promise that Kindleitis isn't contagious. Maybe.

2. I noticed an add in a magazine for an "active sports bra". And I'm gonna be honest here, I don't get it. Well, the "active" part, I mean. I'm being for serious. I really am confused on how that kind of a bra works. If you have any idea or knowledge, please let me know. My curiosity is at high alert.

3. I had an ear infection a week or so ago. Good glory, that's some pain. I now have post traumatic stress that I didn't hold my babies more when they had infection after infection. Man, my bad parenting started earlier than I initially suspected.

4. On Valentine's Day, Child #2 came home from school, plopped down on the couch with a huff and just started talking. To me. Highly unusual.

"Mom! Did you know that Valentine's isn't even about love?!
It's just named after some stupid saint guy that got killed.
That's just dumb."

Oh, her innocence has been shattered. I wonder what will happen when she figures out that a woman feels most loved when her husband cleans the bathroom for her.

5. I had a dream the other night that I was shopping at the mall. I believe I was looking for a prom dress for Child #1. I remember that I was frustrated with how immodest the dresses were that I was looking at (even my subconscious is righteous!), so I left the store. As I was walking down the center walkway of the mall, I was approached and asked to be a model. My exact thoughts were, "Oh my gosh, I've been discovered!".

Clearly, I've gone beyond crazy and right into delusional.

6. And just for fun, just for smiles, I'm giving you the cutest cowgirls you ever did see. Aren't they just beautiful? They look just like me. I think it's the eyes.

Enjoy your weekend.
I hope you get discovered.