Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Show girls

Reagan is preparing for her solo and ensemble choir competition next week. Her choir director set up a recital for all students participating to have a chance to practice one last time. While our boys had a hard time sitting still and enjoying the music, the rest of us where so impressed with Reagan. It's obvious how hard she has been working. Next we have to convince her to smile while she's performing because we sure were.

Keaton is doing a book report for her class. Part of the assignment is to create a poster describing some aspect of the book while another part is to dress as one of the characters. Keaton chose the teacher. She is happy with every facet of her dress except the shoulder pads. She commented, "Mom! I look like a football player with these big things on my shoulders!" Guess it's time to clean out my closets and my 80's clothes.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Growing up

Keaton reported to us that Sunday night during a church-sponsored skate party she and Reagan attended, Reagan was so nice to her "the whole time." GASP! I thanked Reagan.

She continued by stating that not only had Reagan been nice but Reagan's friend had been very sweet and both girls allowed Keaton, who didn't really know anyone, to stay with them throughout the party, even going so far as to check on her if she fell. DOUBLE GASP! I complimented Reagan's thoughtfulness.

Add to all of that (there's more?) the note we received from Reagan's math teacher who, after listening to her phone conversation with me yesterday informing me of a change in pick up plans, complimented our little lady on her respectfulness towards her mother. This teacher stated how refreshing it was to have a student with such nice, consistent manners, not only towards her, but to a parent when Reagan thought no one was listening. Hmmmmmmmm.

And then last night (you've gotta be kidding!) Reagan volunteered to help her little sister on a project Keaton was struggling with, offering to pen the lettering on a poster board and draw a few characters. I got misty-eyed.

Could it be that after nine years of barely tolerating her younger sister, Reagan has decided to have moments of kindness towards her? Well...maybe. I've been a mom long enough to know that these glimpses of loving behavior can be sparse and fleeting. Yet I also recognize subtle signs of approaching maturity in our almost twelve year old. She's growing up. She's calm in the face of little brother melt-downs and the first to volunteer her assistance whenever someone is in need. It's becoming increasingly evident what a kind and generous spirit this little body contains.

Keep up the good work, sweet girl.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Little men

We couldn't resist a before-church photo op. The girls hid so as not to be included. Hayden and Landon mugged proudly for the camera, eager to show off their ties.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Let class begin

Granna and Pawpaw have come to visit us. Granna has 30+ years of teacher/principal experience with elementary kids so when she comes, every activity has an objective, a lesson, and an assessment. Our kids all learn so much.

Landon here is learning his letters and sounds. Today he learned "P" is for pig, "L" is for Landon and trees are green. We're constantly trying to talk Granna and Pawpaw into moving here with us. Jimmy said we'd get a bigger house with their own private area and I've promise to cook every night (well, most nights.) Hopefully, we'll wear them down soon and get them to agree. We love having them.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Train table tear-down

Landon got a train table for his birthday a couple of months ago. Because of Christmas and traveling we didn't get around to putting it together. Jimmy decided to not only put it together, but to glue the pieces down that are supposed to stay put. That way the boys could focus on the movable parts (train, airplane, cars, etc.) and leave the train track, airport and other buildings alone.

Night before last after everyone else was asleep, Daddy spent hours placing and gluing each piece in the perfect position with special wood glue guaranteed to hold anything.

Obviously the glue company has never come up against our boys, as each piece Daddy so carefully placed has been pummelled and detached (glue, paint and all) and moved to various parts of my living room.

You'd think we would have seen that coming.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Guess what I'm doing

See the little knobby knees in their usual no-pants state?

Obviously potty training isn't going too well. Landon went from hiding behind the piano in November, behind the Christmas tree in December, back to the piano in January. For some reason he enjoys the perceived privacy he gets from performing his "big jobs" behind a grand .

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Life Lesson #174: Make A New Friend Wherever You Go

Keaton had been trying for several minutes to remember a girl's name whom she sees after school each day and was attempting, without success, to get Reagan to help her recall it. Keaton knew the little girl went to Reagan's school but the girl's mother teaches at Keaton's school. Reagan, not really interested in the conversation to begin with, just couldn't seem to place the girl and help Keaton with the name.

Keaton: "Come on Reagan! You know her. What's her name?"

Reagan: "I have no idea who you are talking about!"

Keaton: "Yes you do. You said hello to her one day when you came with Mom to pick me up."

Reagan: "Keaton, forget it...I have no idea who you are talking about!"

Keaton: "Yes you do! Remember, you said you met her in detention!"

Reagan (shocked look and then whispering as she sneaked away from the inevitable parental inquisition): "Oh, her."

(Addendum to Life Lesson #174: Don't always divulge where you met said friend...especially to your sister.)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Somebody please get the boy some pants

He is wearing his pajama shirt, Bubba's cowboy boots, an old cowboy hat, and his Bible Man cape. As always, he's taking care of his baby. I have a feeling he's going to be a great big brother.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Baby Dayden came to see us

And she's getting so big. At six months now she loves to try and sit up and grab things in front of her.

Tasting all of those reachable items is also a must.

"Maybe I won't share every toy."

Watching TV with a big sister is so calming...

...especially when you can hug and snuggle her face.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Chuck E. Cheese is not for me

Few things in a parent's life is as painful and distressing as going to Chuck E. Cheese with your child. If your children are older and are invited to a party there, it's really fun to drop your child off and laugh boldly (as you drive quickly away) at the mom crazy enough to host a party there; obviously she is naive or completely out of her mind.

I, however, have learned my lesson the hard way, having hosted a party, attended parties, and in a moment of sheer weakness, have actually taken my children to the big pit of little monsters just for the heck of it. The noise level is unimanaginable, you can't walk much less sit down, the pizza is terrible, the children are usually completely out of control, and the parents are too shell-shocked to even care.

Jimmy promised the boys he would take them today if they had a good week while he was away. I, of course, conveniently found several other activities to keep me busy. Target was running a big clearance sale and Sam's Club was on my way home. Reagan and Keaton were happy to tag along with me and we had a wonderfully stress-free outing; unlike Jimmy whom I discovered when I returned home, sound asleep next to both boys.

I will not disturb him. After taking them alone to Chuck E. Cheese, he deserves a nap...and a medal.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Much needed middle school etiquette

Reagan is participating in the 6th grade Cotillion. It is a great program her middle school offers for a fee so the students can learn social graces and traditional dances, with a focus on developing self confidence. A local teacher from a dance academy teaches the students the dances and proper etiquette.

Every night is themed. Last week was 50's night and she learned correct 50's dance moves, the teacher assigning girls their boy partners for each dance. The boys are also required to escort girls into the building before, as well as escorting each girl outside afterwards. He has to wait with his partner until her ride arrives, open the car door, help her into the car and close the door.

I love it!

Next week is Salsa night, followed by Ballroom/Etiquette and Grande Finale nights.

Tonight is a country western theme and Reagan looks precious:

Yee Haw!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Happiness is...

...a school day after a snow day.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Tooth Fairy part II

Hayden and Keaton pulled a fast one on me this afternoon. She pulled another of his teeth and they decided to see if I noticed. Several HOURS later I detected a very distinct lisp as Hayden spoke from the back seat of the car. Keaton giggled as she teased me with "I did something today and I'm not going to tell you what."

I interrogated her but to no avail. Finally she told me to look carefully in Hayden's mouth. Those two buggers kept that secret all that time. I'm really impressed.

I'm even more impressed with Keaton's generous spirit. Not only is she the family "tooth extractor" in our wimpy crew, but she was also the "tooth investor" tonight, having to borrow from her own Tooth Fairy money stash to finance this hurtin'-for-cash fairy. How sad. I promised her I'd pay her back with interest.

She's a sweetie pie!

He wants everyone to see how he puts his tongue through the space.

Does playing in the snow wear children out?

I sure hope so. I'm counting on a few long naps.

After Jeni, my dear friend from Georgia (who is, by the way, the most fun Mom I know) read my blog, she said to send those kids outside. Jimmy called and heard the apparent distress in my voice and the ruckus in the background and said the same thing. (I'm sure he's thinking about that $4 iced coffee he'll have to buy.) I broke out in a sweat just getting all of the boys' clothes and boots on them.

After an hour or so of playing hard and having snowball fights, they are back in the house thawing out, having hot chocolate and lunch. Only 7 1/2 hours until bedtime.

Some neighbor kids showed up making things even more fun.

As you can tell, Keaton hates the attention.

Snow days: AKA severe punishment for anything I've ever done wrong

I don't complain about Saturday and Sundays, my children are supposed to be home. I didn't even grimace at Monday's holiday, MLK is an important person to honor. I even smiled as we stayed home all three of those days because the weather was too icy to leave.

But COME ON!! A snow day 24 hours later? I love my children...I REALLY do, but so far I've broken up eight fights, cleaned up two spilled orange juice cups, wiped bottoms, scolded bigger girls for make-up overuse, watched boots fly across the room, seen two underwear-only clad boys zoom past me screaming, stopped "drum recitals gone wild" upstairs, made breakfast, squelched girl-wrestling in the play room(?), put three different costumes on a three year old, started the laundry, heard how there is nothing good on TV (we have 120 channels, remember?), reminded Sutton that her siblings have a mother so she can calm down, threatened to send them ALL to their rooms, explained 37 times why we can't go outside right now, and my dear, sweet wonderful Reagan keeps following me around like we're attached at the hiney cheeks as she tries to discuss anything she's thought about in the last four years! It's not even 10am yet.

I will find somewhere to take them. It may take us two hours because I have to drive 5 mph, but we are getting out of here. Maybe they'll stare out the windows quietly as they look at the snow, maybe they will all fall asleep out of boredom; either way they'll be buckled down, in one spot, fully clothed, and at the mercy of one crazy, hormonal, pregnant lady driving.

Jimmy, I hope you are enjoying that company meeting with the fancy hotel, fancy food, and adult conversation. I think I deserve a venti java chip frappaccino when you get home...with the whipped cream and chocolate drizzle on top this time, as I'm feeling a little needy.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Manners manipulator

Several months ago I began really working with Landon on using his manners. He's done well, with only a few bobbles here and there. However, I'm getting the feeling that, at times, I'm being used.

This morning while he was eating his waffles:

Landon (asking carefully so as to get every word correctly): "May...I...have...chocolate...milk...please!"

Mom (obviously not in my right mind): "Why, yes you can! I'll give sweet boys anything they want when they ask so nicely!"

Landon (smiling devilishly): "May...I...have...chocolate...chip...COOKIES...please!"

Mom (staring at him for a second, amazed at his attempted ingenuity): "Um, NO! But nice try."

He began laughing hysterically.

I swear some days he is way smarter than me.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Spring cleaning in January?

Either I am nesting or it was the not-so-subtle hint my dear, sweet, never-demanding husband left me regarding our medicine cabinet, our laundry room cabinets, and our lower cabinets in the butler's pantry. Either way, they are cleaned out and organized, albeit through gritted teeth.

I must make this post short, however, as I am working on his to-do list to complete when he returns from this trip.

(Hormones? Maybe.)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Too may choices

Where Jimmy and I grew up, rural Central Texas, we had two TV channel choices, channel 6 and channel 10. We were glad to have two to pick from, we didn't know we were "deprived" in any way as children today would think. I grew up watching Phil Donahue (whom I secretly had a crush on) and the news during the week, and football and The Wide World of Disney on Sundays (at 6:00 after Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom.)

Imagine our delight when we were in high school and channel 25 was added to our TV options. Channel 25 added a new dimension to our week as reruns of my mother's favorite show, Star Trek, were constantly on, much to my complete disappointment, a sci-fi fan I'm not. With only one "real" TV in our house, and that was in my parent's room, and then a 6 incher in the kitchen that my siblings and I would huddle around, we were very thankful.

Jump ahead twenty years and Jimmy and I have still been the only family in our upscale community with basic cable. Basic cable has way more channels than we were used to growing up, so this Clampet family has been living high on the hog. I watch the same three channels anyway, ABC, CBS, and NBC (oh, and Headline News), so I don't need any more options.

Well, Jimmy decided to change to satellite this week and I've been lost ever since the installation guy left. I sat all night the first night during my usual insomnia episode, staring blankly at the "Dish" animated box bouncing around my TV screen, unable to get the darn thing to show any channels. When Jimmy got up later that morning, he fixed it after laughing at me way too long. I went straight to ABC as usual, leaving the other 119 channels for someone else.

How can a person choose from 120 channels when you're used to three? I guess I'm just simple-minded. Oh, and to throw another wrench into my usually vanilla-tinged life, I now have two remotes at each television! Talk about complicated.

I miss the good old days (and Donahue.)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Sweet baby girl

I had my 6 month appointment today and another ultrasound.

Now isn't that a precious profile?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Snap, crackle... MOM!

I make breakfast just about every morning. Sometimes on the weekends, Jimmy steps in and buys donuts or kolaches or something the kids enjoy. But for the most part breakfast is cooked and cereal is mainly a Sunday night dinner option.

This morning I got up and there were no eggs. I'm not sure how I missed noticing it, but without eggs, few of my breakfast recipes will work. I announced to Hayden and Keaton, who were hoping for Mickey Mouse pancakes, that this morning would be a cereal morning.

Hayden was just a little devastated and grumpily headed to the cereal cabinet. After several minutes of poking and prodding every cereal box we have, he decided on one. Keaton helped him with the bowl and milk and I went to finish my ironing in the laundry room.

Hayden yelled, "Mom! I think you need to come and hear this!"

Mom: "What's the problem?"

Hayden: "Something is wrong with my cereal."

Mom: "What's wrong with it?"

Hayden: "It's making these funny noises. I think it's talking to me!"

Keaton, never one to steer clear of an opportunity to harass her little brother, realized that Hayden had never had this cereal before and said in a spooky, eerie voice, her fingers bent like a witch, "Is it saying 'Haaaaaaaaayden....HAAAAAAAAYDEN!' Why are you eating me?"

Hayden (defensively, but obviously unsure why): "NO!" (And then sheepishly): "I can't tell what it's saying to me, Keaton."

As I tried, somewhat successfully, to stifle my laughter, I assured him that Rice Krispies always make that noise and his cereal was definitely not speaking to him.

I'll be getting some eggs today for a regular breakfast...I can't take a chance on what the Pop Tarts might say to him tomorrow.

Two birds, one stone

I still walk on my treadmill each night, and when Jimmy is gone, Sutton is kind enough to watch Landon for me. Last night she really needed to study for a test in her English class so I told her that I could handle Landon while I walked, she could just go ahead and study. She insisted that she had it all under control, I should get my exercise.

When I emerged from my room after my walk, I discovered that, indeed, Sutton had it all under control. The Wiggles were Toot Toot-ing their Big Red Car on the TV while Landon lounged lazily on the ever-studious big sis.

He was so content in this modified Lazy-Boy position that he protested fervently her attempts to go to her room. She acquiesced, agreeing to one more viewing of his show while she crammed for her vocabulary test.

Big sisters are so cool.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Ultimate Mommy insult from a toddler

Right after I took the Febreeze container away from Landon and made him stop spraying it on the kitchen cabinet, he screamed:

"I weally, weally no wike Mommies!! I sewious!"

Oh well. Sometimes I "weally, weally no wike three-year olds." I "wove" them but don't always "wike" them...sewiously.