Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How does one reply to that, anyways?

Due to the graphic nature of this post, there will be no pictures.

Viewer discretion is advised.

Okay, so that might be a taaaaad over dramatic...but if I did take pictures to accompany this story...you would all have permission to call the Department of Social Services on me.

This story is about Colton.  The kid didn't start talking until he was turning 2.  I was starting to get a little worried.  Him being my first...I didn't know anything about anything.  All I knew is what the "norm" was and all I knew how to do was compare him to the very few other toddlers we knew.  So, when he was not busting out 25 words by 18 months or stringing 2-3 words together by 22 months...I did that silent-mommy-panic thing where you start worrying that your child is going to be kicked out of pre-school for not being able to do simple multiplication.  And then you turn your house into Silvan Learning Center for language.

Well...let's just say, I didn't need to worry about Colt.  And I have since stopped worrying about all of those "norms" and comparisons associated with when my kid did this and when your kid did that.  We moms can be so paranoid, competitive, and ridiculous...as if our own worth as a human being is wrapped up in when our kid puts two words together.  Let's face it...I all but glued Annslee's knees to the floor to keep her from crawling and becoming mobile.  Number 4 needed to just stay put on her nice, little palate...where she couldn't get her sweet self into trouble.  But...I digress.

Colton has been a witty one from the beginning.  He always picks up on sarcasm and can throw out a zinger faster than lightning.  We started calling his one-liners "Coltonisms" when he was about 3.  It's been a while since I have posted a Coltonism.

My boys have no problem walking through the house buck necked...as we like to call it in the South.  I don't really know what this is about...other than being a boy.  This is certainly not a learned behavior.  So, I was not entirely surprised when Colt came out into the living room in his birthday suit, after his shower the other night, to see what was happening with the game on TV.  He had heard Chad cheer...so clearly he reasoned that he didn't have time to get dressed when an important play had just taken place.  But then he just kept watching.  I was like, "Colt!!!  Go get your pajamas on!!!"  He hem-hawed around...not wanting to miss any part of the game and talking to Chad like nothing was inappropriate about the given situation.  I kept quietly saying..."Go get dressed" in between plays and sports talk while wondering if this was what a locker room was like.  Finally I piped up, "Colton!!!!!!  Go get dressed!!!!" 

He didn't miss a beat and flatly replied...

"In some cultures...I am dressed."

And really........How does one reply to that?

Monday, August 29, 2011

just an ordinary weekend

the mr. and i have been doing a lot of talking this weekend...which has been both inspiring and exciting.  i love those talks that you just know are going to produce some sort of action or change that will make a dramatic impact on the entire family for the better.  those types of conversations unify and bond you together and re-kindles the awareness of just why your purpose together is so God ordained, in the first place.  i can't wait to tell you of the things we are beginning to pursue.  but for that...you must wait.


so, along with the talking...we did some other fun stuff too.  friday night, the girl had a friend spend the night.  i just love those times.  i loved them when i was a kid and i love them now.  it's just so exciting to know that you have the whole night to make believe, dress up, play with dollies and stuffed kitties, and eat late night bowls of ice cream.

and in this case...tire out one very, sleepy trout.

he clearly needed rescuing from the energy that doesn't stop when you combine two 6 year old girls and cookies and cream ice cream.  jumping and shrieking is not lacking in that scenario.

and after a good night's sleep...what better game to play than this one?

i am the wicked queen and you are my peasant girls.  you must wash my chariot in order to be able to go to the luncheon ball...where there will be a dance party in the kitchen and shirley temples will be served.

they had so much fun washing that we ended up pulling out the youngest peasant girl's trike.  she deserves a clean mode of transportation just as well as the next person, i should think.

and after that was done, they washed the fence.  this probably could have gone on and on...but it was getting a bit warm out.  so...we washed off with soapy water and sat in the sun to dry.  a.j. was really enjoying being one of the big girls.  and it was heart warming to watch aiden and kiki include her with such kindness.

after that, UK brought timber over.  it was high time that these cousins meet each other.

trout was neither scared not thrilled about this little play date.  after playing a pretty un-equal game of chase...trout went and stuck his head in between the fridge and the wall.  never mind that his body was sticking out in plain view.  i guess he thought that as long as timber couldn't see his head...he was adequately hidden.

on another note...annslee has decided that she is perfectly capable of picking out her own clothes.  this outfit consisted of one dress, two pairs of pj pants, one pair of pj shorts, and one t-shirt.  i think it looks fabulous.

i took aiden to a birthday party on saturday night.  she was a little nervous on the equipment since it had been a while since she has taken gymnastics.  it made me want to get her back in it.

she got to hang with audrey...one of my dearest friends from high school and college, while i got to hang with scarlett.  what a little sugar plum she is.

aiden enjoyed watching her get her bottle.  i know just what she's thinking...

we should have another one of these things.

or...put her down so you can help me on the bars.

it was one or the other.

darth vader showed up.  i sorta laughed at this sight.  well...there is actually no "sorta" about it.  i laughed.  hard.

i'm pretty sure he didn't wear flip flops.

i'm just sayin...

i mean...that's not very realistic...

although...neither was the cape coming out of the back of the helmet to cover up the dude's hair.

she worked hard to be able to push herself up on the bar without any help.

and she finally got it.

it was a good time.


and then this morning, we had what i like to refer to as, "our weekly, sunday morning, emergency veterinary situation.

trout ate a mushroom in the front yard.  that dog will eat anything.  i ended up having to pour hydrogen peroxide down his throat at 7:30 am to make him throw up.

that was super fun.

i was on the driveway, in my nightgown, and soaked by the leaky hose that i was using to wash the throw up down the driveway.  i was bent over, holding trout's mouth open with one bleeding hand because he was fighting and his teeth kept gouging my skin, while pouring with the other hand.  he would throw up and then we would have to do it again.  this went on until he didn't have anything left in his stomach and knew that the mushroom had come up.

that's when i looked and saw my neighbor watching.

the same neighbor that showed up for the dinner party that wasn't.

i'm pretty sure they are developing some mis-guided opinions of us.

i can hear them talking to their family back in venezuela now...

"yeah...we have these neighbors that invite us to dinner and then...not only is their house in shambles when we get there...but the guy is in his pajamas, they have already started eating, and their naked baby is covered in chili.  and if that wasn't bad enough...today we watched her poison her puppy at 7:30 this morning."

here's to the start of a new week...and a fresh start.

thank you...and goodnight.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Every Rose has it's Thorn

I've been thinking about this Bret Michael's song ever since I heard it a week ago.  I've been thinking about how true it is.  Usually I have no problem only seeing the silver lining in most any given situation.  For example...when handed a five week old lab puppy...I only smell the sweet puppy breath; dream of him sleeping in my lap; imagine the kids excitement when they see him for the first time; plan the turning of the utility room into the cute doggy room; picture cool, ceramic dog bowls in the kitchen; and dream of the relationship that is bonded between a child and their dog.  I choose not to focus on the "thorn."  I pay no attention to the sleepless nights with a whining hooligan that won't shut up; the poop and pee on the newly cleaned carpet; the chewing; the water splashed from the cool, ceramic dog bowl to the 4 corners of the Earth due to him insisting upon stepping in it every.single.time he wants a sip of water; the diarrhea a dog apparently gets from "stress" and the emergency vet bill when he decides to go all superman on us and takes a flying leap out of the chair and almost breaks his leg; or the lack of interest in picking up the steadily developing poop piles in the back AND front yard.  This is what happens every time.  I only focus on the rose.  Never the thorn.  And I think I've decided that it's a good way to live.  If I was the kind of person that only focused on the thorns...let's face it...we would probably not have 4 children.  Potty training a toddler, alone is a whole bush of thistles in my opinion.

Annslee really misses those horses that we got to know and love in Wolf Creek.  No doubt the thorn of the "pretending they are yours and riding them all week" rose.  Aiden and I miss them too.  Yesterday, we went to play with G and the twins...and this little partner had to do her.  But...it just wasn't the same.  And I understand.  It's not...and never will be. 

The girl needs her own horse.  All us girls in the family do.  I'm gonna make a mental note to work on that.  My parents always said that I could do anything I set my mind to.  I wonder if that applies to getting a horse?

Trout found Chad's lemonade.  The thorn was...the cup got stuck on his head.

Chase usually wakes up in a great mood...

however...the thorn is that the boy has some serious bed head.

This is not how I fixed her hair for school this morning...but this is how she came out of the building this afternoon.  To this I say...

Eat your heart out Bret Michaels!!

Here is to you and yours and hoping for a beautiful weekend.  And I'm not talkin about the weather.  Although that would be nice too.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

fire trucks and the promise of rain

I am such a creature of contradiction.  I have...like...3 personalities.  And they are always fighting.  I like order and plans; yet inevitably fly by the seat of my pants.  So, it was no shock that I burst out at the end of dinner Monday night, "Let's go get ice cream to celebrate the first day of school!!!"  Which, obviously was met with a chorus of, "YAYS" from the kids and a roll-if-the-eyes from Chad.  He is always having to reign in my shenanigan ideas.  But this idea was a good one.

So, I loaded the dishwasher and left the rest of the dishes scattered amongst the kitchen (gasp) and headed out the door.  we decided upon the ole' faithful DQ where we could get mini blizzards and dillibars.  We pulled over and licked them up like a dog at a bowl of water on a hot day.  We talked about the first day of school and did a little dreaming, laughing, and squabble control while we ate.  Then, we made our way home as the sun was setting over Texas.

When we walked in the back door, I smelled natural gas.  I told Chad and he thought he smelled it too.  I went into "Safety First" Mode, as I often do, and hurried the kids back into the car to take them to the neighbor's house down the street.  I pulled to the end of the driveway, as Chad (our hero) went inside to check all of our natural gas producing appliances.  When I got to the end of the driveway, explosion scenarios already depicted in my over reacting brain, I said, "OH NO!!!" and pulled back up the drive.  I told the kids to stay in the car and yelled for Chad.  "GET TROUT!!!"  He ran the pup out to me and I said, "Be careful" as we pulled away again.  Once we were safe in their driveway, I go out and watched for Chad to come down the driveway.  He did.  He said, "Are you sure that's what you smelled?"  I said, sort of annoyed, "Yes.  I know what natural gas smells like, and I'm sure."

So...we called the fire department.

They came alright.  Sirens a-blarin...and lights a-blazing.  Two firetrucks, one lighted pick up truck, and what seemed like 20 firemen...all decked out and ready to go in.

The neighbors all came out to see what was going on.  The lighted firetrucks drew out every kid in the neighborhood.  Are the lights and sirens necessary, I began to wonder as I started to feel a bit embarrassed.

The firemen went straight to business as Chad pulled the whole, "My "wife" smelled gas."  I opened my mouth to object...but realized the firemen didn't really care "who" smelled it.  They just needed to know where we smelled it.

I bit my lip for what seemed like forever as we watched the firemen, through all the front windows from across the street, search through our house with flashlights.  Now...that's a haunting feeling.  Because you know, good and well, that they have to do this in search of children, elderly, injured ones, and pets on a fairly regular basis.  Luckily, our little gas leak was not a threat to us.  We were all outside with the rest of the neighborhood...puppy and all.

And then it happened.  A fireman crossed the street and called us in the house.  Thankfully he waited until we were out of the neighbor's ear shot before he said, "We don't detect any gas in your house.  What did you cook for dinner, ma'am?"

After a short conversation with a LOT of apologies and eye rolling of Chad's and you-did-the-right-thing-by-calling-better-safe-than-sorrys from the fire chief...they headed out of our house.  At the door, I offered to come and clean their bathrooms at the firehouse and begged them to tell the neighbors that it was something "really bad."

They were great with all the neighborhood kids...and even let our kids get in the truck and try on their hats.  It was a small redeeming part of the fiasco.

Yesterday, some mom from around the corner, whom I had never met...rolled down her window and asked me if we were the one's whose house was on fire the other night.

I said, "No."


This morning, the clouds rolled in.

I just love rainy days.  It promises relief for our grass, plants, flowers, and trees and leaves me in the mood to read books, play house, and do some procrastinated cleaning...all to the scent of a new, burning candle.

There is just something about a red radio flier against a gray sky that I love.

Sister friend is all about mis-matched clothes these days.  Even her jammies are funky.


It's really coming down now.

Happy rainy Thursday, Everyone.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Last Little Bits of Summer

This weekend, we squeezed every bit out of our last hours of Summer.  We are a Summer family.  We love lounging, water, impromptu ice cream outings, late night movies...complete with popcorn and hidden treasures on the bottom of the bowl, sibling slumber parties on palates, sleepovers, magical travels, and eat-when-you're-hungry lunches.  Let's not discount that they have a tendency to finagle sugary, caffeinated beverages...like coke a cola out of the glass bottle in the Summer...because we don't have to go to bed early, after all.

My parents, Honey, and UK came over for dinner.  I made Chicken and Dumplings and Arnold Palmers...served out of Mason Jars with bendy straws, of course.

We sat around the glow of a candle in a jar, surrounded by shells and sand...to soon be replaced by a fire in the fire pit when Fall decides to show it's pumpkin smiled face.

Sister needed a change and went with bangs.  In order to fully commit...I had to self talk my way through disturbing and haunting memories of my mother (and a few times, father) cutting my bangs entirely too short in an obsessive attempt to get them perfectly straight.  When Aiden's seemed a taaaad uneven...I left them ALONE!!

Trout made a trip to the vet, after jumping off of the chair and hurting his leg.  I was sure it was broken.  I had never heard a dog scream like he continually did after landing and then rolling around with his paw dangling in a weird position.  Then he couldn't bare any weight on it and when he would try...he would collapse onto his sweet, little face and whimper.  It was horrible.  But...we just know that as the kids and I prayed on the way to the vet, Jesus took favor on our little Trout and healed that leg right up.  By the time the vet saw him...it became only a sprain.  He had a lot of helpers at his clinic that morning.

After that traumatic event, we went to Yogurt Bear to recover.


And then sadly, this morning rolled on around, and we officially ended our Summer and started the school year.

As much as I love the Fall...the promise of cooler and crisper weather, pumpkins on the porch, the smell of freshly sharpened pencils and new boxes of crayons, candy corn and caramels, apples, and the crunch on fallen leaves under our feet...I think we were all sad to see this Summer go.

We made a lot of magic during the days of this Summer.  I just have a feeling, it will be one for the books.  You know the kind?  The holder of memories that grown kids sit around the table together and laugh about... year after year...long after Chad and I are gone.  Something about that makes me smile and cry all in one big minute.

After we walked the kids to their classrooms (not the big 5th grader, of course...he went it alone)...Annslee and I came home.  Where Annslee was.....well....she was Annslee.

Happy End of Summer.