Saturday, April 30, 2011

let's go to the moon...and eat honey.

aiden:  "daddy? what's a honeymoon?"

chad:  "'s when a couple goes on a trip, to rest after the wedding when you get married."

aiden:  "oh.  i thought it was when you go to the moon.  to eat honey."

chad laughed.

aiden (after thinking on it a bit longer):  "why don't they just call it a field trip?"

honeymoon.  field trip.  whatever.

Friday, April 29, 2011

i have learned to hunt.

colton said, "mom...we can't find aiden."

we had headed out to the boardwalk, after school today, with friends to celebrate the most perfect weather of the spring season.  80 degrees...not a cloud in the sky...nice breeze coming in off the water. 

the kids were splashing and running through the fountain that is designated as a play area for kids.  it wasn't too crowded.  just those of us who were smart enough to revel in the weather before it became too stifling to enjoy the boardwalk.  my mom, my friend, and i were sitting, chatting, and taking care of the babies.  annslee...the fearless, wild one was all over the place.  up stairs...down stairs...climbing on chairs...on the water...on the slides...running...laughing...falling...and getting back up again.  i was so busy trying to keep an eye on her, that when colton said those words...i was unsure that i had heard him right.

but my response was guttural.  my eyes darted from side to side, and i began to quickly scan the area.  i instructed my mom to watch the baby as i quickly prepared to hunt.  i became an animal.  vision clear.  hearing heightened.  the screams of happy children became possible screams of terror.  but no.  they were not the voice of my daughter.  heart quickened.  stomach turned.  the hunt began.  looking.  searching.  scanning.  screaming her name.  my mind went to that place.  visually picturing another animal, silently snatching her into their mouth, disappearing before anyone broke from their conversation.  no.  i will hunt them.  i will fight them.  i will kill them.

my friend's voice pierces my still hearted thoughts.  i turn to see her pointing.  i see her mouth move.  what is she saying?  i turn in the direction of her point.

i see her peering from behind a sign.  her blue and white striped shirt.  her wet, brown hair.  her shy smile.  she was hiding.  they were playing hide and seek.  she had won.

i growled at her to come to my side.  she did.  she ran.  she sensed her mother's instinct of danger and protection.  she did not get distracted.  my heart began to beat again.

i hugged her.  smelled her.  kissed her.  nuzzled her.  then i scolded her.  she cried.  she realized the reality of the predator.  they are out there.  they are watching.  they are waiting.  i am watching too. 

a mother will do anything to protect her young.  including discipline them...when all you want to do is hold them.

Monday, April 18, 2011

for the birds...

i never thought i'd become a bird watcher.  but, alas...the momma dove and her two babies have captivated my attention, to the point of checking on them twice a day.  sometimes more.

i told you that we found the birds due to chad trimming the tree where their home was.  the momma flew out in a rage and then we did our cheerleading stunt to find out why.  that's when i saw the tiny blobs of feathers.  they couldn't even lift their heads yet. two-three weeks time, those feather blobs have turned into the sweetest, cutest baby birds.  i've quietly watched as the momma fed them from her very own beak and i've seen her display the most patience as she sat with them in silence...watching them grow.  from time to time, i would traipse all the kids out to see them too. 

well, the other day i went out to check on them, and the nest was empty.  i did a sad face and a gasp and stood in disbelief...staring at the vacant nest where my little bird family had once been.  i came in and told chad, "my doves are GONE!!!!" 

early this past saturday morning, chad left to go get donuts for breakfast.  he came back in and said, "the doves are on the neighbor's roof.  it's the mom and two babies."  now, i'm not kidding when i say that i bolted out of the door in the hopes of re-uniting with my friends.  and that's when i became an official bird watcher.  i watched as the momma sat, proudly...watching her babes fall from the roof, and then wildly flap their tiny wings.  as soon as you would think they were going to hit the ground...they would swoop up and make it safely to the tree. they would do this over and over and she would watch them and then fly to the yard across the street, where she would gather some sticks in her beak.  she would then fly back and disappear into the neighbor's tree, where i would hear her flap around...obviously constructing a new home.  a bigger home. 

i continued watching until i was snapped back into reality by the notion that i had left all the kids inside and that we needed to leave for the soccer game in a matter of minutes.  i did have them come watch her for a second...before i had to say goodbye.  for now.  i could have silently watched them all day. 

i think i'll leave their old nest home in our tree for a while.  maybe she will want to bring her babies back to visit where they were born.  and were they first learned about the world.  and tell them of the girl who would bring her four, smallish children with her to get small glimpses at the most beautiful bird babies in the whole world.  and she will assure them that they are just that special.  and that God created wonderfully that humans came to see them.  every day.  and maybe...just maybe, she will bring some more babies into this world in that nest.  and she will be thankful that i left it for her...because then she doesn't have to work so hard.  because everyone knows...mommas have to work very hard taking care of their babies.

Friday, April 15, 2011


i can not even tell you how much better this idea sounded in my head. 

see...mrs. holloway is aiden's kindergarten teacher.  this is our 3rd time to have her...and coincidentally my 3rd time to serve as her room mom.  so you can understand our comfort level with each other by this point.  she'll text me and be all, "hey forgot to send snack, and it's your week."  and i'll walk it in, fresh from the store...with the baby on my hip and tell her to hang up her own damn, easter bunny bulletin board.  all in fun, of course.  she's like, the easiest teacher ever to work for.  plus...we became fast friends along the way. 

so...anyhow.  the kindergarten musical was today at 1:30 for the whole school, and then again tonight at 6:30.  last week, she called me to inform me that she was going to be out of town today for a family wedding, and wondered/begged if i could come up there and help the class get on and off the stage and handle any potty emergencies, fights that break out over who stands in front of whom, and any other common kindergarten musical catastrophes.  i said, "of course.  no problem."

she said that the music teacher, ms. poole wanted me to come up to the school the day before the musical (yesterday) in order to be at the dress rehearsal and learn what i'm supposed to do.  again...not a problem.  being as i don't know ms. poole from adam...i joked with mrs. holloway that i should come up there and act like i'm some crazy stage mom that is out of her freaking mind.  well...she thought this was a swell idea, and thus a plan was concocted.

when mrs. holloway introduced me to ms. poole before the rehearsal yesterday, i smiled and shook her hand.  she said, "thanks so much for helping."  to which i replied....

"sure.  now, i have a question about tomorrow.  is there any way that right at show time, you could introduce me and tell the audience that it is my debut directing job?" 

she said, "ummmm...wait...what?"

i said, "yeah...i'm super excited because it's my debut directors job.  you know...i've never directed a musical before.  i also have a director's chair that i would like to set up right in the front.  it has my name on it and everything."


"and i'm planning on wearing a dressy, black dress.  so i thought you could know, so that we are dressed alike."

she chokes out, "seriously?  are you serious?"

"yeah...and also, i was thinking you could give my daughter a solo."

she was in the middle of trying to come up with a way to lose the crazy, freak show of a helper lady and i lost it laughing.  mrs. holloway had to leave the gym, she was laughing so hard.  and all the other kindergarten teachers were poking their heads in to see what she would do.  oh my was ellen degeneres' "DENNIS QUAID IS HERE" at it's funniest. 

at least, i thought it was funny.  the jury is still out on ms. poole.  she kinda looks at me weird every time i see her now.

and then chad did me no favors tonight when he went up and introduced himself to her and said that he had noticed that my name wasn't in the program.

i must say...even if she thinks we are a bunch of loony tunes............totally worth it.  i haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

now.  what can i do tomorrow morning when i head up to chase's living history museum?  he's houdini.  there's got to be good material to work with here!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

letter to the puddin cup at 18 months

hello my little darling puddin cup,

on friday, you turned 18 months old.  i used to dream about what you would be like at 18 months.  you know...back when you were only 6 weeks old and you would stay up all.night.long?  i'm sure you don't remember that.  but i do.  daddy and i would divide the night up.  i would stay up with you until 2:30 or 3:00 in the morning, and then when i could not stay awake 1 minute longer, i would wake up daddy and he would take over until morning.  at the time, i knew that i would look back on those quiet nights with you...swaddled in a pink bundle...fussing and squeaking and waking at the drop of a feather...walking you and rocking you and bouncing you and swaying you...and wish that i could go back and experience your tininess, your baby noises, your eyes of wonder, your burp rags, your flowery gowns and your swaddled little body again.  if just for one night.  sometimes...during those sleepless nights, i found myself wondering what you would be like as you grew older.  mainly i wondered if you would ever stop spitting up everywhere...and if you would ever sleep.  i thought...surely, she will decide to agree with life at some point.

and you did.  you just took your time adjusting.  and that's ok.  i'm sorry i wasn't more patient with you.  i'm sorry i let it bother me that you never slept.  someday, maybe you will have a baby of your own...and you will call upon me...and ask me why she won't sleep.  and i'll be able to tell you..."my dear, sweet annslee...enjoy this time, because these precious months will soon be forever gone and will be nothing but a memory.  and yes...puddin cup, she will sleep.  eventually."

you amaze us all.  you are strong and tough.  you know what you want and how to get it.  we hope that you will be able to channel this steel will of yours and use it for good.  right use it to get the things that you goodies and breakables from the cabinets.  you will go after what you want, with a determination and perseverance unlike any i've ever seen before.  you are a stubborn one.  and we are not sure exactly how to tame you.  you are sort of like a wild horse.  beautiful and strong.  wild and free.  only needing someone to break the part of your will that will get you into trouble while allowing you to run free to be who God created you to be.  i have no doubt that whatever dreams you set your mind will find a way to not stop until they are a reality.  you don't cry when you fall.  you pick yourself up and you keep going.  you got your first owie the other day.  it was a big, bleeding scrape on your knee.  you looked at it...looked at me...touched it...and then got up and continued on your way.  your older brothers and sister would have surely cried.  not you.  not my tough one.  every few steps, you would bend down, lift your skirt, and check to make sure your owie was still there.  like it was your badge of honor.  you would look at me and point to it and smile.  and i would say, "yes...your owie is still there."

you love to explore.  we started going on "yes" walks together every morning around 10.  you were no longer content to be confined to the house.  you wanted out.  out into the discover what God had for you.  because i spend the majority of the day telling you things like, "no no annslee" and "stop" and "don't touch that" and "hurry up...we have to go here or there," i decided you needed at least an hour of "YES!"  you quickly became a fan of these morning adventures and will go get your shoes and point to the door around the same time every morning.  you know it's your turn.  we head out the back door and i follow you wherever you want to go.  i don't ever tell you "no."  some of your favorite things to do is walk out to the swing in our backyard and point to it and say, "uh."  that means you want to swing.  shortly after i get you point to the swing next to you and say, "uh."  that means you want me to swing too.  then i follow you down the driveway and you go to the neighbor's front yard.  you touch the palm branches.  you stroke them over and over.  i touch them with you and tell you what they are.  then you walk to the cedars.  you softly touch them and guide me to do the same.  if there are pink azaleas on the ground, you pick one up and carry it in your hot, chubby hand until you are content to drop it and leave it in it;s new spot.  you make your way to our front yard.  along the way, you bend down and touch the concrete beneath your feet.  i imagine that you wonder why it feels so hard and rough in comparison to the soft grass.  you dig in the dirt of the flower bed beneath our oak tree.  you stop and look at sticks and you eventually lead us back home.  you love that you have been able to roam free and you love the fact that i have entered your world.  even if it was just for an hour.  and do you want to know something?  i love it too.

you are happiest when you have possession of 3 pappys.  you want one in your mouth, and one in each hand.  you love chocolate milk and will go to the refrigerator and point to the door when you want it.  you will also point me in the direction of the kitchen when you are hungry.  your first real word was "ball."  you say ball all the time.  every time you see get very excited and repeat "ball...ball...ball" until we all see it too.  we think that the basketball is your favorite.  you have watched you big brother shoot hoops in the driveway.  you will go and pick up the basketball (which is almost as big as you), walk until you are standing under the 10 foot basket, and then drop the ball.  that is the way you shoot baskets.  this makes your daddy and brother super proud.  it makes the rest of us smile.  you like to make us laugh.  once you realize you can get a will repeat your performance again and again.  you say "uh oh."  you say "daddy and "mama"...but only if we ask you to.  you will make faces on command. you point to everything you want. you know many of your main body parts.  you know what we are saying to you.  you stand up when i ask you to and you lay down when i ask you to.  well...sometimes.  if you want.  you will go get your shoes when i ask and you will follow simple instructions.  if you feel like it.  :)  you have 4 teeth in the front and are just now cutting the upper and lower molars on your back, left side.  you eat great.  you split veggie sandwiches with me and you don't even crinkle your nose up in disgust at the spinach in them.  the other morning, you drank my coffee...and you like it too.  you sleep with the special blankie that honey made you, and your snuggle bunny.  you like to play with dolls...pretending to feed them a bottle and sweetly rock them.  and you love music and dancing.  you dance like your momma...keeping the beat, and moving your limbs in coordinated movement.  you captivate us all.

you are small, but powerful.  i have seen you knock your 10 year old brother out of the way without batting an eye.  you are wearing 12-18 month clothes, and size 3 diapers.  everything about you is little.  well except your eyes.  you have big, brown eyes and blond hair...a combination that is unique and striking.  you capture attention everywhere you go.  when you walk walk with purpose.  you are precious and you are our puddin cup.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

wouldn't ya know? when computers keeps right on happening!

so, we had a little incident when chad was away.  well...we had several incidents actually.  but, the one that affected my blogging was my laptop crashing.  or getting worms and viruses and going all haywire and scaring the bojangles out of me.  it was popping up message after message warning me and showing me how many worms and viruses were being detected.  when the number quickly approached 40...i panicked, hit the power button, un-plugged it, and hid it under a stack of magazines (just in case it was contagious), and told myself that when i turned it back on after chad got would all be better.  maybe it just needed a little break. 

while my computer was resting and recuperating, over the last week...we have been doing the usual. 

baseball, soccer, yes walks, and the ncaa basketball tournament have been on the agenda.

last week, annslee and i started our "yes" walks tradition.  more on that next time.

the final four was in houston this year.  so, on friday, chad surpised colton and pulled him out of school and took him down to reliant to watch the final four teams practice.  then, that night...he had a baseball game.  it can't get any better than that!  so we thought...

aiden spent the night at a friend's house friday night and stayed up until 11.  during her 9 am soccer game the next morning, she got so tired that she layed down in the middle of the field to take a little rest.  that was a proud moment for me.  i mean, who wants their kid to score a goal or something, when it's blatently obvious that not everyone has a kid that is bold enough to lay down in the field to take a nap. one of the coaches thought that she actually passed out!   

on saturday, chad and i painted our thumbs green and worked all day in the yard.  we trimmed bushes, planted flowers, pulled weeds, and accidentally disturbed a nest with a momma bird and two baby birds in it.  the momma nearly took chad's head off when he started trimming some of the branches on her tree.  we didn't know that there were babies in the nest until chad and i did an impressive cheerleading stunt where i ended up on his shoulders.  i got a good look in the nest and saw two, tiny blobs of soft feathers with little heads poking up out of them.  the momma gave us a warning to back off...which goes to show that even momma doves are not so peaceful when their babies are threatened.  this display of automatic protection made the momma bear in me feel validated in some way.  not to worry...we left their tree alone and the momma bird came back to her babies.

yesterday, chad landed four tickets to the NCAA championship game.  colton, my dad, chad and i got to go see UCONN beat butler and pay entirely too much money for burgers and pizza.  it cost $25 to park your car!  since when did that become fair?  i had UCONN winning it all in our bracket pool, as did colton...which was crazy because we didn't help each other fill them out.  which means, that out of 100 brackets, colton came in 2nd, and i came in 4th.  this also means that colton wins $180, and i win $50.  i guess that will cover the parking and the food.  in 10 year old gambling...successfully...may not have been the best parental move.  what are ya gonna do?  none the less...this is when the, above mentioned, "it can't get any better..." indeed, got better.

anyway...UCONN winning us some money and bragging rights was nice.  but if i'm heart was pulling for butler.  who doesn't love a cinderella story?  plus the coach is super cute!!  (not as cute as chad, of course.)