Friday, November 30, 2007

To all you angels out there...














My dear, wonderful friend Lisa P. sent this to me today. I thanked her for making me cry first thing in the morning.

**Warning to all you mommies...get a tissue**

A baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?" God said, "Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy." God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy."

Again the child asked, "And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?" God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak."

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?" God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray."

"Who will protect me?" God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life."

"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore." God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you."

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel's name."

"You will simply call her, "Mom."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Things I know now that I am seven months old...

This thing they call a 'tooth' has really put a damper on my toe sucking.

Baby food: peas, sweet potatoes, chicken, squash = C-
Big people food: bananas, Malt-O-Meal, soup, ice cream = A+++

Leave. my. nose. alone. My snot doesn't bother me so it shouldn't bother you.

You all really need to learn to speak "Baby" because I have many important things to say and you just don't get it.

What do you mean it's your bed?

I'd like to thank my sister Sutton for introducing me to fruit-flavored yogurt. She has opened up a whole new world of flavors for me, including Key Lime...yummy.

I want my Mommy and only my Mommy. Well, I'll take my Daddy at times, but no one else, especially my relatives. I know they love me and would never hurt me but really, back off because my mom and dad are my favorites right now. Maybe someday I will like the rest of you.

You can keep putting me in that car seat and I will keep screaming...just so you know.

Oh, and Santa, I've been really, really good so if you have a new baby doll lying around, you can send her my way.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mommy math


Teething baby who won't be put down (we even go to the bathroom together) + rambunctious three year old + no sleep last night (again) + ordering Christmas cards online (takes forever) + dinner prep + lots and lots of homework + rambunctious three year old (did I already say that?) + a full in-box + dishes + phone calls + more homework + a never ending "to do" list + not enough hours in a day = one tired momma and one pitiful post.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Look Ma, I can fix my own hair!





Yes, my little Poindexter, I realize you are oh so proud, but it will be a cold day in Hades before I let you leave the house looking like this.

(Notice the water puddles on his shirt...Oy.)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Please pass the Clearasil...oh, and my wig

One of the really great benefits of pregnancy for many women is lush, thick hair. With my own pregnancies, not only was the hair growing at at higher rate, but I didn't shed hair like I normally had pre-pregnancy. We can thank the influx of estrogen for that little perk.

Likewise, some women are blessed with the beautiful pregnancy "glow." I never felt like I glowed, or even flickered for that matter, but I guess I had my moments.

Then for many moms once their little one is born, their previously glowing complexion becomes quite prone to breakouts and much of that luscious hair begins to shed. The sudden changes are really quite cruel once you factor in the extra weight we're sporting, the life-altering sleep deprivation, and the raging hormones.

With this last pregnancy, I was thrilled that for six months postpartum I had clear skin and virtually no hair shedding. Normally, this is not the case. My hairdresser complimented me repeatedly on the condition of my hair and I was able to do without my usual dollops of cover-up on my chin (and jawline and forehead and...). I began to think that maybe this time I had finally dodged the "ugly bullet" and I could just sashay on to my baby's first birthday looking halfway decent.

Boy was I wrong.

I guess part of being old now is that I do everything slower. My body waited until exactly six months and one day postpartum and then rebelled with all the fury and fervor it could muster.

My skin looks like I am a teenager again, only this time with wrinkles...actually a stressed out teen who had a weekend full of chocolate and greasy food. My hair is falling out in clumps and chunks. I find it everywhere--in the sink, on the carpet, in the shower--and my family is so sick of finding it in their food that I've been asked to don a hairnet.

So here I sit, still tired and still fat and now ugly and balding. I not only need my Spanx for the unsightly bumps and bulges, now I need hair extensions for my bald spots and a caulking gun to cover up these ginormous pimples.

I'm hoping for some relief soon, as unfortunately my need for a ski mask and a comb-over are embarrassingly imminent.

Thankgiving candids

Naunie, Poppie (my parents) and the girls.






"I just love to run my fingers through Uncle Shawn's facial hair."









"Auntie Krista, you taste gooooood!"


Aunt Gina (my sister) and Dayden:











Peyton and Aunt Krista (my sister).










Time to gorge ourselves eat!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Early birthday for Camo Boy

It's a little premature since his birthday isn't until December 4th, but we wanted Landon to celebrate his 4th birthday with family we don't get to see often. Of course an early celebration means his birthday will last a loooooong time...a sacrifice he's more than prepared to endure.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

We are all so thankful...


for a multitude of blessings:

Sutton (18): I am thankful for being fortunate enough to have a wonderful family who loves and provides for me. Oh, and that Thanksgiving is one day a year when my Dad's not grumpy."

Reagan (12 and totally a pre-teen): "I am thankful for family, friends, food, school, computer, TV, I-pods, babies, volleyball, God, teachers, clothes, art, movies, dogs, cats, horses, and Scooby Doo."

Keaton (10 and obviously has been thinking about this question): "I am thankful for God and for Jesus who died on the cross to take away our sins. I am thankful for our freedom because without it, there would be no children playing outside. I am thankful for the Pilgrims and the Indians because without them there would be no Thanksgiving. I am also very thankful that I was finally able to memorize the Declaration of Independence."

Hayden (6): "I am thankful for Mom, Dad, everybody in my family, and my teachers."

Landon (almost 4): "I am thankful for my warm jammies and my baby sister and that's all."

Peyton (6 months, as 'told' to Mommy): "I am thankful for french onion soup, ice cream, and cheesey grits."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hittin' the road

We're headed down south to begin our Thanksgiving festivities. We've got a pre-birthday party planned for soon-to-be four year old Landon; camo themed and he's beside himself with glee.

I'll be posting later today after we load up the chillins and skedaddle on back down to the country.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lilybella's really swella

Okay, that's a really goofy title, but if you are looking for some fun, unique Christmas gifts this holiday season, you really need to check out Lilybella Boutique. Allison, the owner, is great to work with and helped me put together an order we have enjoyed so much.

I purchased the personalized sippy cups with several additional inserts, and even at 6mo., my little breastfed Peyton will drink from nothing else.

I've also purchased a paci clip which is precious, as well as several other items.

Allison is having a huge 12 Days of Christmas Sale beginning today. Each day she will feature a brand new special. You can drop by Lilybella and see the daily sale posted on their home page. Click on the category "Sale of the Day" in their catalog to purchase the daily special.

You can shop one day or all 12 days. They will combine the shipping and ship at the end of the sale. The 12 Days of Christmas ends Sunday, December 2. The last day to place orders is Monday, December 3 to ensure delivery for Christmas.

Now go shop you little elves! And tell 'em Devin sent ya.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I've been tagged...

D E V I N

Annike over at Mom is in the fishbowl and Monica at Shine Again tagged me for a meme to share 7 weird or random things about myself.

I'm really boring, (seriously, really boring) but here goes:

1). I am a huge fan of popcorn and M&Ms. Usually any old microwave popcorn will do as long as I have plain M&Ms, but the perfect combination is from-the-actual-theater movie popcorn and dark chocolate M&Ms. Shamefully, I have been known to bribe my movie-going children into bringing me their leftover bags of popcorn that I later pair with M&Ms from my hidden 'mommy-stash.' Also, if times are desperate and I am out of my favorites, Goldfish and chocolate chips will scratch the itch.

2). I'm one of those weird women who enjoys sports; playing and watching. I am an oldest child and my father's first "boy," so he taught me all about football and basketball. We watched and cheered and yelled at the TV together all throughout my youth. Even today, not much can beat a great game; high school, college, or pro.

3). **Gross alert** I bit my tongue in half when I was a toddler. My father was in the Army and we were stationed in Italy and I, being the extremely bright child that I was, thought it was so much fun to jump up on those lovely Italian marble floors, and then land on my bottom. I would do it over and over (see? gifted.) and it drove my mother crazy. Finally, I bit the old tongue in half and quickly cured that little compulsion.

4). I drink Nesquick chocolate in my milk every morning. I don't drink coffee so it's the next best thing. Oh, and I love, love, love Starbuck's mocha frappuccinos, but I think they cost too much so I don't buy them often.

5). Which leads me into my next tidbit of information: I am cheap. Some women might prefer to be described as frugal or economical, and that would be lovely; I, however, am basically a cheapskate who will buy little unless it's on sale AND I have a coupon. Thrift shops, consignment stores, and eBay are favorite haunts of mine. Buying a $150 dress for $1.58 gives me a high any junkie would envy.

6). I can't type. I never took a keyboarding class in high school because it would have interfered with my band, athletic, and theatre classes. Sadly, I was a combination drama freak, band geek, and jock (oh, and a very bad cheerleader).

7). If you add together all the months that I have nursed my children, it would be 97 months or a little over eight years...and counting. Pretty good for a gal who said after I had my first baby, "I'll do this breastfeeding thing for six weeks, TOPS!"

Whew. Okay, so who's next?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My daddy and I would like to introduce...


...my first tooth!

You can't see it here but Mommy says she can sure feel it. It's tiny, razor sharp and makes nursing me so much fun.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

It's a Christmas record

Never before in the history of decorating our home for the holidays, has Dad (formerly known as "Mr. Scrooge") ever initiated the taking down of fall decor and the putting up of Christmas cheer. It was his idea...really, all his! We are so ahead of the game, I can't stand us.

We still need to decorate the already-been-put-up tree and hang miles of garland, but we are up and going and he and the kids have done all the work.

Aaaah, Christmas is off to a perfect start.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Bubbles

I see the bubble.















I need the bubble.

















I will have that bubble.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

History lesson

When a teacher makes an assignment...just smile and do it.

If that assignment involves memorizing the Declaration of Independence...smile wide and know you can do it.

Even if you're ten and you think the assignment's too hard and you really want to tell your teacher "I'm not doing it,"...force that smile and make yourself do it.

Because when that assignment comes due and you didn't do it, the teacher will be unhappy when she hears you say, "I'm not doing it," then she will call your parents and they will be very unhappy, and that means your life immediately becomes extra stinky.

Be assured that even though the due date has passed and you already got the zero, your parents will still make you memorize it and your world will become all about the Declaration of Independence.

There will be no TV, no play dates, and no telephone privileges. You will study late into the night and early in the morning. You will study in the car as we drive, while you do the dishes, and while you walk with your family around a store. You will repeat the Declaration of Independence over and over and over until you know every word and can say it forward and backward.

You will come to hate the Declaration of Independence, yet you will be able to recite it from memory. You will appreciate the value it must possess and you will have found a new respect for, if for nothing else, the big, hard-to-say words you really don't understand.

Because obviously you underestimated the importance of this assignment and to your surprise, the after-shocks have been overwhelming.

So from now on, accept the assignment, smile, and study hard because goodness knows when you're ten, life is too short and your time is too precious to risk the consequences of doing anything else.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Brown-noser






















And he'll give me anything I want.






(Insert evil baby laugh here.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bla, bla, bla

Keaton (10): "Mom, when are you going to start dressing nicer again?"

Mom: "Keaton, it's 5:30 in the morning. I haven't even showered yet."

Keaton: "I know, but you always look so blaa."

Mom (seriously?!): "I look blaa?"

Keaton (matter of factly): "Yes, you look blaa. Before Peyton was born you dressed nice and wore pretty jewelry. Now you're just blaa."

Mom (I can't believe I'm even discussing this with my child): "She's six months old, Keaton. I nurse ninety-six times a day and go nowhere."

Keaton: "But you could look nice doing it."

Oh, geez.

Being included

Dad (checking Hayden's written piano homework): "Okay, let's see...A, A, C, E, B, B, D. Good job buddy, those are all correct!"

Hayden: "Thanks Dad."

Landon (3, who had been doing his own "homework" nearby): "Dad, you need to check mine too."

Dad (looking carefully at the scrawled upon piece of paper): "Okay Landon, let's see...scribble, scribble, line...hmmm...circle, dot, circle, line. Good job buddy, they are all correct!

Landon (walking away, several feet taller): "Thanks Dad."

Monday, November 12, 2007

At capacity














Now that little Peyton can sit in a high chair, we've had to adjust meal-time seating arrangements yet again. The estate sale table I bought and had refurbished B.C.(before children) now comprises both its leafs and several borrowed mix-matched chairs from an old set. Everyone in the family has a spot and there is room for no more.

This old table is a true part of my family; an antique piece with letters pressed into the wood from my children's first attempts at writing, knife scrapes and marker smudges permanently embedded, and years worth of spilled milk in its grooves. Our cups rarely match when we dine as each child comes with a different type of cup, plate and fork, depending on their skill level and age.

Yet, these meals together at this table are as necessary and precious to us as the food it holds. I'll gladly sacrifice the perfect place setting for a table full of children, laughter, love, and just enough room to squeeze us all in.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tattle tale

As soon as Daddy walked in today from his four-day trip...

Hayden (6, in his best little snitch voice): "Dad, guess what Mom said while you were gone."

Dad: "I don't know, Hayden, what did Mom say?"

Hayden (mocking me quite poorly, I might add): "She said, 'Boys! I cannot wait until your father gets home.'"

Stinkin' little double-crosser.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Selfless love

















Landon (3):"Momma, I make Peyton feel better."

Mom: "You did? How nice of you. What did you do?"

Landon: "I gave her my cars so when she not sick anymore, she can play with them."

(I looked at her in her swing but didn't see any cars. Evidently he was talking about another time.)

Mom: "What a nice big-boy thing to do. Thank you."

I didn't think anymore of it until later when I picked baby sister up out of her swing and there they were:
















Eight cars he had shoved between her and the seat. And while they may not have felt good under her bottom, his intentions were noble.

Self sacrifice takes on many forms.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Croup (aka I'm covered in snot, my baby barks like a seal, and my boobs hurt)

Okay, that was probably too much information to share, but I've been up for over 24 hours and I'm a little loopy. She's miserable, feverish and only wants to be walked, which means we've walked and bounced all. night. long. She attempts to nurse but since she can't breathe through her nose, she prefers to bite me instead. Daddy, of course, left on a trip yesterday so it's me trying to soothe baby girl and console her five siblings (themselves bleary-eyed from her all-night crying) who sit and stare at us, sure baby sister's not going to "make it" after each croupy bark. They still need breakfast, ironed clothes, fixed hair, two spelling reviews, a referee, and help practicing a Bible verse.

This is one of those mommy moments where I question my qualifications for the job. Clearly God must have thought me capable; I, however, am not so sure.

Edited to add: My oldest daughter, in an effort to remind me of my many blessings, pointed out that things could certainly be worse. How right she is. But dang-it, sometimes a girl just needs to whine.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Safari stylin'




I'm a jungle man.

I'm a song-singing, spatula-wielding, boxer short-struttin', sweater vest-wearing, table-dancing jungle man.

And I mean business.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Banishing Ben Franklin

We have a six year old who insists on getting up early. Now when I say early, I mean EARLY. Each morning the past few months (with rare exceptions) he hit the floor running a little after 5am; this morning it was 4:40.

I am usually already up and I ask him each day, "Hayden, why in the world are you up so early?"

His irritatingly constant reply: "Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." (He always smiles proudly afterwards like he's won some sort of contest or something. Pffftt.)

Ben Franklin...Ben Franklin wrote that ridiculously stupid little diddy that my son learned in school (Thank you so much Mrs. First Grade Teacher, you're a gem) and I am sick to death of hearing it each morning when he should be in dreamland, his little mind and body growing as he rests...in his bedroom.

Why do I care that he gets up so early? Well, let's just say that after he's been asleep and unable to talk for the past few hours, Hayden feels the need to make up for lost time. He not only talks, he rambles, he tells made-up jokes, he relays all the happenings from the day before (in great detail), he reads...aloud...very, very aloud; he picks, he heckles, he harasses; he orates (quite philosophically, I might add) on a boy's need for new scooter, a new skateboard, and a new bike, as well as a multitude of other guy-important topics that must be discussed...at 5am.

But worst of all, and this is the real mommy-tragedy, he forcibly infiltrates my "quiet time," that little window of opportunity in the life of a mother that is relatively kid-free, where you can think, pray, and mentally prepare for your day. I miss that time. I need that time.

So Mr Ben Franklin, I must ask you to leave my house. My son adores you and your famous quote and I appreciate the work ethic you endorse (Oh, and that hundred dollar bill thing is outstanding, by the way) but you must go. Go fast and go soon. I need my quiet time back, and as long as my six-year old is here, nothing is quiet.

Monday, November 05, 2007

"Were you raised in a barn?"

Remember your parents and teachers asking you that when you were a kid? Well, maybe you don't, but I do. When that was said to me growing up, I would make sure I would do whatever it took to not hear it again. How embarrassing.

My kids evidently don't agree with my way of thinking. They have, in fact, obviously been raised in a barn-like environment, inundated with barn-like ideals (no doubt, behind my back); hence, their barn-like behaviors.

A prime example? This is what I found under the couch seat cushions in our play room.













And those aren't just candy wrappers. Oh, no! In addition, there are two ice cream sandwich wrappers, an entire granola bar, and a half-eaten bag of Chex Mix I guess the eater decided to stash until later.

Why the couch cushions? Who knows! Far be it from me to try and understand this warped child-who-obviously-lives-in-a-barn reasoning. I'm thinking maybe they could have put that hoarded trash in, I don't know, maybe a TRASH CAN!

But that would have been too easy, I suppose. It must be more fun, more thrilling even, to simply shove the empty wrappers right under your lazy butt as you sit, and skip the whole walk-three-feet-to-the-waste-basket journey.

I don't get it. I guess my little farm animals and I will be having a talk; a barn-burning discussion, if you will, about thankfulness and laziness and gratitude and people who don't have couches or even homes or food for that matter and...well...anything else I can think of to sermonize about.

(Besides, that was some of my favorite stuff they got into!)

Happy Birthday 'Biranda"

I wrote about the history of my friendship with Miranda here. And last night we celebrated her birthday with a cake adorned with her name just the way Landon says it: Biranda. She and Dave are dear friends who are as much a part of our family as any relatives we have. Our kids know and expect no birthday or holiday celebration to be complete without their honorary aunt and uncle.

Dave and Miranda put up with our masses, with our antics, and fortunately for us, they keep coming back...like good kin does.

















Keaton "helping" with the candle blow-out.
















Miranda's birthday gift, a decorative box to hopefully hold a plethora of special treasures for years to come.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

She didn't get the memo



Someone forgot to tell the six month old about the extra hour the time change allowed us last night. Unfortunately, I don't think she got the other message that she was to sleep more than thirty minutes at a time either.

It might be a really long day.

Saturday, November 03, 2007