Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Random Acts of Kindness

Sometimes you just need to shoot somebody.

You know those days... the hostility just bubbles up out of you and affects (effects?) everyone around you. People at the grocery store shy away from you. Pets cower. Flowers wilt when you pass by. Even if you don't know what I'm talking about, just humor me and pretend I'm not the only one who has 'angry' days.
There are days that you just wake up in the morning scowling.. even before your feet hit the floor you think, 'ugh' and hope that the feeling will pass. As a general rule usually some candy corn is sufficient to get me out of my mood, but occasionally it turns to 'when was the last time I took my meds?' My mom and my husband are usually the first ones to ask if it's been a while since i remembered to take my pill. It's kind of scary that people can know you so well.
Today I woke up and sat up in bed growling. It's not the meds, it's just one of those days that you would rather stay under the covers. Unfortunately with two small kids that's just not a option. As I prepared for the worst and stomped in to wake up the kids for school, I opened my bedroom door and was immediately hit by a smell permeating the house.

My husband made me coffee.

He didn't have to make me coffee. He just did it. I didn't ask him to do it. I didn't even hint at wanting him to do it. He just did it out of the kindness of his heart before he left for work. He doesn't drink coffee. He didn't do it for himself. He just did it to be sweet.
How can you be angry when someone is thinking of ways to be kind to you?

Makes you want to "Pay it forward" doesn't it? Do something kind today. Even if the person doesn't tell you, it's appreciated at so many levels.

And now for your entertainment....



video

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Weren't these popular when we were kids?

After much debate, the kids have decided who they are going to be for Halloween... I was rather surprised by their choices.

Here's Danny as the 'Red Jungle Fury Power Ranger' guy - complete with cool Power Ranger moves - He just cracks me up... and then there's Allison who I really expected to go Princess on me... but nooooo - She knocks me for a loop and becomes 'BatmanGirl'

Just when you think you've got them figured out... they go and make up their own minds on you!
They were so crushed that I made them take off the costumes and put them away until Halloween - I think Danny would have slept in his mask if I had let him.


Well, tomorrow is Monday - and thank heaven for that. Allison had a little too much ice cream today... well... a LOT too much ice cream today. She went with me to WalMart and I bought her a chocolate shake (so she'd ride in the cart) - Bribery is a necessity in some situations. Trust me. Once we got home, the kids heard the ice cream truck and of course Daddy is the ultimate sucker for the ice cream man, so.... well.... you can guess the rest. The good thing is that I was forced to steam clean the carpets upstairs and wash out all of Danny's HotWheels & Matchbox cars. (A job I could have happily put off for another 4 years). All that being said... she's STILL going to school tomorrow. She was fine tonight (more than fine, she was downright feisty!) with no fever - just an upset tummy from too much of the good stuff. Does that make me a bad parent that I'm so willing (and looking forward to) sending her on in to school?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Attachments


Somebody help me.... there is currently a small child attached to my hip.


Miss Allison came into our room at 5 am-ish and has become my appendage. Needless to say, this has made typing and drinking coffee perilous at best.

Is there any reason for this behavior? What purpose does it serve her? Should I have gotten her a security blanket when she was younger? She still sucks her fingers and twirls her hair whenever she's tired or nervous. (The dentist said that she could 'cure' that when she turns 5 - I don't even want to know what that means.)

Someone once said that she's so needy because I didn't 'bond' with her when she was first born. (not that I could have helped that from the ICU). The child has been with me 24/7 since she was 6 days old. Can that much damage be done in the first few days that she needs to constantly be within a few inches of me?
Then there's the school of thought that I need to appreciate it now because sooner rather than later she'll be mortified by my very presence. I guess only time will tell. But for right now if she feels more comfortable leaning on me... then so be it.

Well doesn't that figure... one minute after writing that line - she decides that she's going to be a 'Power Ranger' - Danny & Al are performing their best fight moves.

There is a little boy on our street, Jack, who is enamoured with Power Rangers - Jungle Fury as well. Instead of Jack and Danny greeting each other with a 'hello' - they run to each other and whack each other in the head doing some elaborate spin kicks and pseudo-karate moves. So far we've only had one bloody nose so I think we're doing okay - But again... is this 'normal'? There are so many behaviors that just seem so foreign to me. I wonder if my kids are demented and perhaps more than a little 'off' -

I received a wonderful piece of advice from my very first best friend, Gina. She's a year older than me, but is blessed with two talented teenagers so she's on the opposite end of the parenting spectrum from me. I was there for the birth of her daughter - (if that's not a great means of birth control, I don't know what is....) and she had her son on my birthday (the day of her baby shower) so I got to be the stand-in and open all of the gifts - it was like a bonus birthday party! :-) She sent me an email the other day and said...
You alluded to the fact that you weren't looking forward to the "teen" years - I found the worst age so far was the "tween" years, those in between Elementary and High School...but amazingly if you stick with them the years to follow aren't that bad at all! Those "tween" years are more painful age because they are pressing for their independence from you (the parents), fighting the raging hormones, and then there's dealing with peer pressures which leads to all kinds of complicated judgement calls they don't want you to help them with...but they really do want you to be there. Be there for them, listen, and become their voice of reason, EVEN WHEN you don't want to or think you shouldn't...technically, we are only here to "guide" them on a path to living their own life. But you know all of this - your Mom was really good at that so I'm sure you learned enough from her to do just fine.

And the kids being kids - that's the best thing of all...such individuals they are!!! For the most part, it's a fun ride
Wonderful advice from a woman who knows.
I'm so thankful for all of my wonderful friends that I've kept in touch with over the years - sometimes more often than not. You have all filled a part of my heart and remain with me always - even when we don't speak for a while.
Y'all know who you are - and a HUGE thank you goes out to you. But for now, enjoy the sunrise and the cool Power Ranger moves of the kiddos.




video

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Voulez vous

This has been such a long day today....

as many of you know, poor Miss Allison has been diagnosed with mono and has been feeling pretty crummy for about a month. Unfortunately, the doc said that it could continue for up to THREE months. Earlier today she was just WICKED.. we had to abort a trip to Target and suffer through several time-outs in order to maintain everyone's sanity. She's been clearing her throat a lot so I asked her if she had a sore throat.. she said, 'yes, but that's not the problem, mama... my head hurts so very very badly' (again with the drama) -

The good news is that after lunch I gave her some children's Tylenol and now she's a different person! (Yup, get that Mom-of-the-Year trophy out for me - for telling my child to 'suck it up' when she apparently really IS sick)

Well, since she was able to pull it together I told her she could have a friend over to play. She chose Lilly Bean. Bean is the youngest of my friend Kellie's kids - She just turned three in August (and yes, that is her older sister that just turned 16 yesterday) - God bless Kellie - she has FOUR daughters - nope, no typo - FOUR !!! I can't even handle ONE for Pete's sake.. that's on top of the two dogs, one cat, one fish and two guinea pigs - wanna talk about someone who thrives in mayhem?!?!?!

Anyways... this is about Al and Bean - they initially decided to have a tea party, but when mama said NO to the real food option, they went for option two and asked for music.. I told them that they had to be in charge of their own play list... I've been listening from downstairs and this is what they've managed so far. (from a song list of thousands)

James Brown 'I feel good'
KC & the Sunshine Band 'I'm your Boogie Man'
Outkast - 'Hey ya'
Patti LaBelle - 'Lady Marmalade'
Ray Charles - 'What'd I Say'

They've been quite the dancing queens up there - I finally went up to get a quick picture and the video is just priceless - Bean is getting down to business by taking off her jacket and Allison has her princess dress on, hand on her hip and her Buzz Lightyear cell phone attached to her ear! Too funny! Enjoy!


video

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

wouldja?

I'm laying (lying?) in bed this morning... late as usual, as my husband had turned off his alarm clock and promptly fallen back to sleep... and all of a sudden I'm awakened by this giggling and squealing outside my window...

After the initial, 'What in the &#(@^!#&&* ?!?!?!'

I remembered that today is my friend Kellie's daughter Morgan's 16th birthday and her friends were surprising her and taking her out to breakfast at 6 a.m. - hence the giggling, squealing mess that was my alarm this morning.

As I proceeded to bip my husband in the forehead in an attempt to wake him up I started thinking about MY 16th birthday - I remember that my folks bought me a new trumpet case and allowed me to go to the mall with my friends (with no parental involvement - trust me, this was HUGE) - now, mind you, back in 1985 the world was a different place. (and New Hampshire was a different world altogether).

You may have noticed that I italicized the word 'the' before writing the mall - that's because in 1985 there was only ONE mall in the entire state. I remember my birthday was on a Sunday because we were in K's Saab (affectionately known as 'the Slaab') and Bri was attempting to read the Sunday paper with all of the windows and sun roof open while driving down the highway. If I remember correctly the majority of the paper lined I-89 to Manchester....

While thinking about this today, I started poking around in my 'remnants' and found this card - and the photo as well. I'm not that much of a pack-rat but I suppose your 16th birthday is a big deal! Especially when you're in the midst of it. I don't think I'd go back to that time of my life though.... so much drama! It's a time of extremes - Even more dramatic than my four year old on a daily basis - I'm not looking forward to HER teenage years... *sigh*

How about y'all? would you go back to 16 if you could?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Over and over and over and over

Okay, how many times can you watch the same thing over and over again?

For my kids, they are completely enamoured with the Star Wars series. Originals, cartoons, sequels, prequels, video games, toys, anything.... they can endlessly watch any of the versions for a good 15 hours straight. (15 hours is when their little brains implode - we've tested it)

My husband however, is another matter... that man can watch the following movies at LEAST 150 times in a row and still not be sick of them...

'Big Trouble in Little China'
'Jaws'
'Raiders of the Lost Ark'
'Star Wars' * 1-6
'Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind'
'Dances with Wolves'
'The Towering Inferno'
'Midway'
'Die Hard' * all of them
'Hunt for Red October'
'Bourne Identity' *all of them
'The Matrix' *all of them
'The Sting'

Mind you, this is on top of SportsCenter, (which i believe is shown every 7 minutes or so it seems)
and finally... there's football season.
How is it possible to remember every stat about every player every year since the inception of the game? (but he STILL has no idea what color eyes I have)
*in his defense, he IS colorblind*

Is it just a comfort thing or are they just hypnotized.

Opinons?

Monday, September 22, 2008

So many things we take for granted....

You know...
I just assume that things are as easy for my kids as they are for me....
Like tonight for example, Danny asked me to show him how to tie his shoes.
It never occurred to me to teach him... after all that's what Velcro is for, right?
He soaked that info up just like he was a little sponge... brain ticking.... hands working.... frustration setting in.... and then all of a sudden... Voilà!
That moment of complete success and pride.

Check out the video...

video

Nature vs. nurture....





It's nature... it's gotta be

May I present to the jury exhibit A

(if you click on the picture it will enlarge so you can see the detail of the lovely purple eyeshadow and glitter "lipstick")



~this is what happens when Mama makes the mistake of putting in a load of laundry while leaving the children unsupervised~


now may i present Exhibit B

How does she know how to do this when she's only 2 years old? it's not like mama parades around in HER tiara and chandelier earrings.....

And lastly Exhibit C.... Mama is such a lady! Gotta be nature 'cause it certainly ain't nurture!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

No, seriously..


Is there anything cuter than a sleeping baby?
The only problem is when they're awake!!!
I'm reading to the kids tonight before bed (generally Daddy's job, but the Cowboys are playing tonight and he's a little distracted) so I'm reading to the kids and when the book is finished it turns into...
'can I have a drink?'
'will you snuggle with me?'
'can Daddy snuggle with me?'
and inevitably I turn into the bad guy because I cannot be on the top and bottom bunks at the same time to snuggle with them. In the interest of fairness I tell them that I cannot snuggle with just one, so they're both out of luck... Then they both proceed to get out of bed and clutch at my t-shirt in an attempt to prevent me from leaving the room. (high drama... as always).
I tell them that I will no longer be reading to them EVER as it always seems to deteriorate once the story is over. To which my SIX year old son responds...
"Don't worry Ally, she won't remember what she said tomorrow, anyways..."
Nice....
do you suppose it's early onset Alzheimers? Or perhaps the constant barrage of
'why Mama?'
'do cocoons taste good to caterpillars?'
'when will I be old enough to wear eyeglashes?" (ally's term for mascara)
'is this a missle or a laser?'
'can we get a sugar glider?'
'is Barbie a princess, too?'
'can I be a batmangirl for halloween?'
'how long until christmas?'
'is candy corn really made from corn?'
'can i have soup?'
'i'm hungry, mama'
i'm hungry, mama'
i'm hungry, mama'
(repeat another 75 times)
okay, i'm going to have to cut this blog short as my husband is currently cussing like a sailor and throwing an unholy hissy fit... (cowboys are losing, apparently) Wish me luck...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

We have a new enemy and he is....

the freakin' mosquito!

Although the hurricane has passed, we have a few new visitors in the area (other than evacuees). The mosquitoes are UNGODLY. Here are a few photos to show what we are doing to combat the problem.

Of course, Bob Howard and propane do not mix, but we successfully removed all pets and children from the area before he began his 'treatment'.

I'm telling ya, I can't make this stuff up!!!

Ouch.. Ike leaves a mark....








These are all photos from around our neighborhood of some of the damage in the area..
Multiply these times 100 and you'll get an idea of what kind of strength this storm had....

Ya Gotta Start Somewhere

Okay, here we go! Since all of you folks are SO very far away..... (hint hint) I figured I'd start this blog to allow y'all to see what all is going on here in paradise....

Have I mentioned that the kids are STILL out of school?!?!?!

We went to WalMart today where Al got some makeup (naturally) and Danny got a new LEGO ship (with MISSLES, MAMA!) So they are allowing me time to start this blog and as a bonus I got to take a nap as well! (Yeah ME!)

Rick and Bob are babbling away about Fantasy Football in the kitchen and the discussion will undoubtedly lead to 'what's for dinner' (that's where I come in).

Danny has become quite a structural engineer with his LEGOs - it's amazing what that boy is building... ships, rockets, aircraft and the like. He'll play for hours just designing and redesigning his contraptions. The only downside to all that is the little tiny pieces that I have a tendency to step on in the dark when you least suspect it!



I'm happy to say that my neighborhood finally has 100% power. I was able to get gas yesterday with minimal wait time and there was milk in the stores (whole milk, but milk nonetheless). We were craving the Outback Steakhouse last night - but none was open in the greater Houston area, so things aren't *quite* back to normal.




I donated blood yesterday in an attempt to feel like I was helping those less fortunate. It was my first time donating and I was just tickled by the fact that I got a free t-shirt and nutter-butter cookies! What a deal!
Check back here daily for updates - Y'all will be able to see picture and videos from here without the annoyance of emails!
~amy