Thursday, January 31, 2008

Me? A meme?

The wonderful Katie over at MKHKK? tagged me for a meme about blogging, so here goes...

How long have you been blogging? I began blogging in July of 2006 with this post so I guess it's been about 18 months. That was 662 posts ago.

What inspired you to start a blog and who are your mentors? I saw my dear friend Cindy in the summer of '05 and she encouraged me to start a blog. As is typical for me, I was too timid to step out and try something new (yep, I'm a dork), so I just read her blog for a year while I got the courage up to start my own.

Are you trying to make money online or just doing it for fun? I would really like to make some money doing this, especially since I do it every day anyway. I've signed up with several different sites hoping for some success, but so far I'm still writing for me and the three people that read it (Hi Mom!)

What three things do you love about being online? First of all, I love the ladies I've met doing the same things I'm doing...most of us just trying to live our lives to the fullest while being halfway decent wives and mothers. We are a varied group with an assortment of ideas and philosophies, yet we can come together daily to provide and receive wonderful support from virtual friends most of us have never even met in real life.

Secondly, blogging allows me to vent, be silly, explore my feelings, and document my chaotic life with a larger-than-average number of children.

What three things do you struggle with online? I worry that with all the great people who are in and out of my bloggy part of the world, I'm not always the best blogger buddy I should be. Finding the time to read and comment on others' blogs can be a challenge.

The computer beckons me way too often throughout my day. I feel the need to respond to emails or check on fellow bloggers when I should be doing other things (um, maybe laundry?)

Also, the shopping. Yes, I get great deals and some super cute and unique items, but as my husband says (and don't tell him I listen so closely), imagine how much I would save if I didn't even look, much less buy. Yeah, yeah, I know.

Tag three people.

All of my online friends have already done this meme so I'll chose one, my sister Gina, who's new to the blogger game but will probably have some fun answers.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"Nobody puts Baby in a corner"

Or in our case, the fireplace. Poor baby must have been tough on her four-year-old daddy today.




Lame title, I know. But it's Dirty Dancing, y'all!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Things I know now that I am 9 months old



I like grapefruit; I really, really like grapefruit.

I know how to say "bye-bye" and wave, but I'm only teasing...you're not really allowed to leave, and if you do, I'll cry.

I want to stand...for hours...and I want you, Mommy, to lean over and help me stand...for hours.




I can too crawl! Backwards is still a direction and is technically considered crawling (think: reverse.)

My car seat? Still not feeling it.

If I hurt myself, it takes a while for the pain to register in my brain, hence the delayed reaction. And for your information, it really did hurt...I'm not just being dramatic.

My brothers hug me too hard. My sisters kiss me too much. I secretly like it all.

When I learn to talk I'm going to find the people who created chocolate, ice cream, and frappuccino whip and thank them.

My mommy stares at me while she prays. I'm thankful for her too.

I can give great baby kisses. While giving those kisses I may lick you or bite you, but know that I still love you.

When my daddy returns from a trip, I clap my hands, kick my feet, and squeal really loud. He eats that stuff up.

I'm banning all of you from wiping my nose, washing my face, and cleaning my ears. You can, however, still wipe my bottom, 'cause that feels good:)

Sampling s'mores

My sister Gina came by with her kids for a quick visit. After a dinner of pizza and a little popcorn, S'mores were on the dessert menu.

Little Dayden wasn't too sure about the marshmallow goo stuck to her fingers and around her mouth.













But she quickly decided all was well and pretty delicious.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Wanna chat with God?

No, really! I'm not kidding!

I made a new bloggy friend named Sarah recently and was visiting her site when I happened across this post. Sarah had borrowed the link from Fraccas' blog and both were kind enough to let me borrow it for here.

So, now I've spent way too much time chatting with God the past few days (hmmmmm, is that a bad thing?) and let me say the Big Guy has quite the sense of humor. So go here, type in what you want to say, and God will answer fast (unlike His usual response time... but I'm not complaining--really God, just kidding!)

I can tell you're a little skeptical, but trust me. Click this little linky and have fun. Do it! Do it!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Fortunately, they love tolerate one another

This morning...

Hayden (6): "Mom, I love you."

Mom: "I love you too, buddy."

Keaton (10): "Mom, I love you."

Mom: "I love you too, Keater."

Long pause as we all stood smiling goofily at one another.

Mom: "Hayden, don't you want to say that to your sister?"

Hayden (stuttering): "Um, well, er...no, 'cause she hits me!"

Mom (to big sister, hoping she'd set an example): "Keaton, don't you want to say that to your brother."

Keaton (backing up slowly and stuttering herself): "Um, well, you know, um...no, 'cause he takes my things!"

Mom (to both): "Do you two ever tell each other 'I love you?'"

Both (eager): "Oh, yes!"

Mom (getting skeptical): "When?"

Keaton: "I told him once!...but it was a long time ago."

Mom (looking at Hayden): "And you?"

Hayden: "I told her twice...last year, I think."

Mom (hoping for some sibling sweetness): "Soooooooo....?"

Hayden (dashing out): "Mom, I'm gonna go in the other room!"

Keaton (backing up): "Yeah, uh, I'm gonna go help with, uh, the baby!"

Mom (yelling towards them as if they are actually listening): "You two are going to love each other if it kills me!! Do you hear me? I won't be around forever, you know! Are you listening? You will love each other!!"

Whoa! I think Mommy needs some chocolate; maybe a whole lot of chocolate.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Warning - If potty humor isn't your thing, do not read this post

Landon (4), screaming from the bathroom: "Oh! My! Gosh! Mom, you gotta come here!"

Mom, hesitant to answer, much less go and look,: "What, Landon? Just tell me."

Landon: "MOM! This is so awesome! You gotta come see it!"

Mom: "Really, Landon, just tell me."

Landon: "Awwww Mom! You're not gonna to believe it! This really big poop just came out and fell in the water and the water splashed up and hit my bottom!!"

Long pause as I cringe.

Landon: "Did you hear me Mom?! Isn't that so awesome?!"

This, my friends, is the person that may some day choose my nursing home.

Friday, January 25, 2008

I always knew they were bright












I stole this from Cindy because I felt the need to point out that there are times, I suspect, if I shone a light into the ears of my children, the walls on the other side of their heads would illuminate much the same.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Guess who's volley-ing now?














Okay, so oldest child is in the midst of choosing a college for next year. Since she's a die-hard volleyball jock, she is planning on playing in college and we have spent countless hours this year, days probably, researching schools, sending out tapes, talking with coaches via email, phone and in person; a long, arduous procedure.

Now if your not familiar with the college/athlete process, it involves the coaches watching you live or on tape and being interested enough to schedule you, the athlete, to go and visit their school.

She has been to colleges before. The last real visit was one where Jimmy flew her to Oklahoma to meet the coach, tour the campus, and watch a volleyball match. Jimmy flew her there, stayed with her, and then flew her home. So dad was with her the entire time, "holding her hand," and I was calm.

This morning at 5am, however, Sutton, my oldest, my original baby, my first-born, my ultimate little guinea pig, left on another college visit. To North Carolina. On an airplane. By herself. With lay-overs. My baby. (sigh)

I know your thinking, "Devin! You just ranted and raved yesterday about the trials and tribulations of raising this woman/child. And now you want us to feel sorry for you as you whine about your 'baby' teetering on the edge of the proverbial nest you were ready to shove her out of a mere few hours ago?!"

Well...yeah.

Just humor me today. I'm feeling a little fragile.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The mommy sandwich














I'm in a unique situation here as a mother. I'm stuck right now in the middle of two extremes: diapers and dating, crawling and college, tantrums and, well, bigger tantrums as I try to parent an infant and an emerging adult; stages in life I've decided to be very similar.

I must preface this mini-rant by saying that both these children are really good girls. Peyton, at eight months, is easy going and happy just about all the time. She's still a baby, however, so I spend huge chunks of my day (and night) tending to her every need. Sutton, the eighteen-year-old, has been very easy to raise. She makes good grades, is a hard worker, and, for the most part, makes wise decisions.

The issues I've come to abhor in my frustrating quest as "Everymom" really came to a head as my youngest arrived and demanded my constant parenting while my oldest determined simultaneously that she was too old to be parented. It was as if oldest one decided that "Oh good! Mom has a new baby and will be so busy and so distracted that she won't have the time or the inclination to worry about where I'm going or what I'm doing, so I'll just make these decisions, go these places, and do these things because I think it's okay."

Imagine her surprise (and disappointment) the past nine months as not only have I continued to stay atop of her comings and goings, doings and not doings, but I've become even more diligent regarding her life, her choices, and made it my goal to squeeze in a few more mom-sermons and life-lessons in the dwindling months we have remaining under the same roof. That too-long sentence is indicative of how I've spent our time together recently, with me being too afraid to take a breathe during this life crash course and pause for fear that I'll neglect to tell her something so important that my exclusion of it will negatively affect the rest of her life. Oh, the pressure!

Then there are those hormones; hers not mine, thankyouverymuch. PMS grabs a hold of her and squeezes and contorts her until she is almost unrecognizable. Fortunately, we are a family of late-bloomers so I've only dealt with this aggravation a few years, but boy can she be mean as a snake. We walk big circles around her. Reagan and Keaton come to me with requests for rides or homework help or big-sister assistance because they are just too afraid of the wrath they'll endure from the Great Grump.

I keep reminding myself that this is all normal, yet another age and stage I must stumble bleary-eyed through as I try and create a good, honest, loving, and hard-working person I can send proudly into the world. She's going to be okay. She has a strong faith, a staunch work ethic, and a family that loves her very much. What more can I do?

I look at the youngest and wonder if I'll be this diligent and worried in 18 years when she's nearing graduation? I expect that I will be, maybe more so as I reflect on the mistakes I made with her siblings.

I'm sandwiched now between the grabbing on and the letting go. I struggle with the push-pull of mothering that breaks your heart. This is hard. This is invigorating. This is my life and for now, even with all this drama, the frustration and the tears, I'm proud and so very thankful.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ugh...more Spongebob



















These are actually his slippers, but Hayden decided his little sponge friend needed some liquid refreshment. Is it just me or does Spongebob (and maybe his owner) look like he's been hitting the clubs? He just might be hurtin' in the morning.

Happy Birthday Uncle Dave














I hope you enjoyed the dinner and brownies at your party, but my favorite part was playing with you and my toys.

Love,
Peyton

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I could tell he was thinking, "Please say no."














Landon (4) peering suspiciously over the edge of the sink as Daddy prepared ribs for the bar-b-q pit...

"Mom."

"Yes, Landon."

"Is that a people?"

Friday, January 18, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Quiet time? In this house?

Finding time for God can be quite the challenge when you're a mom. We are encouraged to spend daily quiet time in prayer behind closed doors first thing in the morning if we are to grow spiritually. This all-important time allows us to meet the Lord before anyone else, so we'll be pointed in the right direction for whatever comes our way.

This poses quite the challenge for those of us with small children because in my experience, getting to the bathroom by myself without constant knocking on the door and tattling is a coup, much less uninterrupted prayer time.

My mornings are like any other mother's; babies have to be nursed, breakfast made, little people have to be dressed and fed, there's hair-fixing, backpack-checking, and shoe-finding. Add to that those other conversations and monotonous reminders we constantly disperse, "Do you have your homework?" "Where is your coat?" "Is your bed made?" "What time do I pick you up?" "Did you brush your teeth?" and you have a morning full of chaos and disorder, and sadly, finding time for God can be difficult.

I have noticed, however, that sometimes my best talks with God can happen in the most unexpected places and times. Some of my family's frequent, ordinary activities and mundane tasks provide me ample opportunity for talks with the Lord and occasions to be thankful. The trick, I have found, isn't to find the time, it's to make it.

God doesn't hear from me from the confines of a special room one hour before my family rises, as is suggested. No, God gets to hear from me as I sometimes complain and revel and celebrate these things each morning...

Chubby cheeks and pudgy baby thighs, healthy breakfasts, and warm coats that, when found, provide comfort and protection. Older sisters who care and nurture. Little brothers who pick and bully, yet love mightily.

God listens to me while there is cereal on the floor, wet towels on the bed, dirty dishes in the sink, toothpaste on the counters.

God talks to me while I deal with sibling squabbles, misplaced library books, and forgotten homework. Spilled milk, lost socks, and stinky diapers. Morning breath, wake-up hugs, and silly jokes.

These completely frustrating, absolutely infuriating, simply wonderful parts of my morning are what I speak to God about. I ask Him for patience, beg Him for guidance, and thank Him for it all. I talk to God and prepare for my day while getting my family ready for theirs. I may not be holed up in a room with my Bible and my notes but we, God and I, definitely have our special moments. He knows I'm here and I'm sure He is too, probably enjoying the show.

Someday I will have plenty of time to sit in quiet prayer before my day actually begins. Someday my little distractions will be grown up and gone. I'll have a clean kitchen, sparkling floors, and mornings set aside for me. Now, though, I am thankful for all the children, the mayhem, the disorder and the merriment that keep me so busy and, at this special time of my life, so blessed.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A wonderful surprise

My in-laws came for a visit yesterday and arrived with this beautiful antique desk.













I probably never mentioned it here, but I love antiques (and, needless to say, my in-laws.) And this desk made of tiger oak complements perfectly several other oak pieces I already have. It is stunning. Now the trick is to find the ideal spot to display my new treasure...and to post the following warning to my children:
Dear children,
You touch, you won't like what happens next.
I love you,
Mom

If only I had his confidence














Last night as Jimmy was helping Hayden (6) with his piano homework...

Jimmy: "Wow, Hayden, you're doing a good job. I'm hardly even helping you."

Hayden (all cocky): "Yeah Dad, today I'm just a tree of knowledge."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Rootin' for the 'Boys

The Cowboys play at 3:30 and I'm nervous. It's probably weird that I'm such a football fan, but I was my father's first "boy" and if I was going to spend any time with him, I needed to learn to enjoy football, especially Cowboy football. He was normally a man of very few words but if I had a football question, his explanations were long and thought out and directed only at me.

I spent Sunday afternoons, and frequent Monday nights, watching my Dad pace and worry about the games in progress. My mother wasn't interested, my siblings were too young, and so it was Dad and me screaming at the TV. I even became a cheerleader because of the football and I knew my dad would approve.

So as a parent I've spent a lot of time trying to teach my own girls the ins and outs of football, explaining the rules and the terms, trying to answer their questions and deferring to Jimmy (who actually played the game) if I'm unsure. I know it's not the most important information I can give them, but I want them to know what they're watching, what they're cheering/jeering for and to be able to sit in a room full of football fans and know something about the game.

And the Cowboys, well, they begin soon so I'll probably cheer a little, pace a little, scream a little, and hopefully fit in some football tutoring for my kids...just like Dad.

**Edited to add after ugly loss**
Dayum! Guess it's time to move on to my NBA basketball obsession. Go Mavs!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Slight exaggeration


At Tae-Kwon-Do today...

Hayden (6), when asked about a spot on his arm, announced to all of the class and the room full of parents: "Oh, that's just a scar. I've had it for ten years."

Instructor (smiling): "Hayden, how old are you again?"

long, thoughtful pause

Hayden (boldly) : "Six years. I've had this scar for six years."

Friday, January 11, 2008

I bought a restaurant!

Not the kind you're thinking of, but let's just say my little chef is deliriously happy now. Him, his grill, his 116 piece food set, and his pots and pans are busily cooking away and I am "eating" like a queen.

Now, to keep his siblings out. I keep hearing, "MOM! Tell Weagan to get out of my westwant!" Read: Tell Reagan (who's almost 13) to get out of my restaurant."

















The Naked Chef has nothing on us.

















Order up!

Making progress...and then not

Walking outside to the car in the cold morning air...

Landon (4) exclaims: "Wow, Mom!"

Mom: "What, Landon?"

Landon: "It sure is blustery this morning!"

Mom (impressed): "Wow, Landon, that's a really big word! You sure are growing up."

Landon (smugly): "Yes, I am."

Not two minutes later...

Landon, from the back seat, laughing deliriously.

Mom: "What's so funny?"

Landon (giggling uncontrollably): I just burped, sneezed, and tooted all at the same time! Isn't that cool, Mom?!"

Mom (deep sigh): "Yep, that's cool, buddy, really cool."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

She. won't. stop. crying.

dry diaper--check
no diaper rash--check
fed--check
nursed--check
had meds--check
hugs, kisses, playful banter--check, check, and check

I guess some days a girl just needs to be grumpy.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

80% off Disney deal



Semi-Annual sale at Disney where you can take an additional 50% off with promo code BONUS50 plus free shipping with promo code SHIP50.



Kids pj's $4.99

Fleece throws $4.99

*edit* Well dang ya'll, I couldn't get the frees shipping code to work so you might have to settle for the Spend $50 get $5 flat fee shipping code SHIPFOR5. (Not that I used it of course!)

Shop...NOW!

Up to 85% off Coldwater Creek. Use the code PLA9818 for $25 off an order of $75 or more - valid till 1/31/08.

HURRY!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Sister blogger

My sister, after I arm twisted enough, has decided to start her own blog! You'll remember me discussing her here and the fact that her husband just left to begin his next tour in Iraq. She's going to keep him (and the rest of us) updated on what's happening while he is away. She'll be a single mommy for eight months until his return. Click here to welcome her aboard.

Go get 'em sis!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Livin' large

I fret over a lot of things that aren't really very important in the grand scheme of things. For example, it's important to me to have my family's clothes ironed in the morning before they head out to school, work or play. I must fix hair for children #3, #4 and #5 each morning unless #5 convinces me he will look better with a cap. I require of myself to get dressed (makeup and all) each day even though I'm usually going no further than the mail box and will be seen by no one. I do these things and many other seemingly ridiculous tasks because I think they're important enough for me to be concerned about (and, admittedly, I'm just a little bit strange).

I am also currently fretting, and fretting feverishly, over the fact that I haven't lost the rest of this baby weight. I still have 10-15 pounds to go and it seems to be stuck, literally stuck to my butt and thighs and is refusing to budge.

Honestly, I haven't really dieted the way I probably should because a) I'm still nursing, b) I've been tied to this chair for eight months, and c) I'm just so dadgum hungry all the time and I can't say no!

I have been the same weight for seven of this baby's eight months and I think that's strange. If I exercise for weeks, no change. If I pig out for weeks, no change. At Christmas I unapologetically tasted every food item that came in my door, no change. And what is even more frustrating for me now is that we have been following the Daniel Fast for the past seven days, a 10 day challenge to the entire congregation at the church we attend. The first day I lost six lbs of water weight. I was so excited! Day 2, nothing more. Day three, nothing more. Days four-seven, zilch, nadda; not a single pound has budged since day 1.

So now I am convinced it's time to get my priorities in order. I know this fast has many other important benefits, true benefits in my life other than just reducing my butt size. I completely believe this to be true, and praise God I am literally seeing the blessings flow. I know that my baby's health FAR outweighs this hefty streak of vanity I'm sporting at this point in my life and I need to just get a grip. I know these last pounds will eventually be lost because I refuse to succumb to the, "Oh, honey, get used to it. At your age pounds just seem to creep on and they'll never leave" crapolla I am hearing way too often.

I will lose this weight. I must be more patient, though, about losing it. I will quit being so critical of myself and realize that I have lost baby weight five times before and I will do it again. It may take me a few months longer due to my "advanced age," but I'll do it. Because really, what does it matter? I must focus my energy on the important issues in my life and realize that my weight isn't a health concern, it's an ego concern, and there are many other places my frustrated energy should go.

Besides, there are clothes to iron and hair to fix, and closets with garments hung in the wrong direction in desperate need of my attention.

I'm a little chunky and a little weird...and it's okay.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Friday, January 04, 2008

Must have been a good show

Landon (4) ran into the living room fresh from an outing with Dad and began, as usual, to immediately disrobe. Evidently, the lure of Lazy Town was enough to stop our little streaker mid-shuck as he was completely mesmerized and promptly forgot he was taking off his clothes.

I waited about five minutes and took this:

















I waited five more minutes and took this:

















Finally, and only after a commercial came on, he caught me:



He was still oblivious to his partially-dressed state and really only wanted to mug for the camera.


You're right if your guessing he's easily distracted. But aren't his camo undies cute?!