Friday, December 9, 2011


My mom just pulled over to call me because she had finally remembered that she wanted to tell me about this really pretty wreath she saw on a blog. She does stuff like that, and it makes be smile. It makes me feel closer.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

468 *SIGH*

So... we got new phones last week.

Mine was synced to my email that is associated with this blog, and the thousands of pics in the archive were placed on my phone. I just saw this huge folder on my phone, sitting in my memory, and I deleted them...

..... AND TADA ....

Over four years of blogging pictures are GONE.

I don't know exactly what I want to do, and there is probably nothing I can do ... I could sit and make myself sick about it, but those pics are still in my hard drive, so it isn't a complete loss.

But ... other than that I absolutely love our new phones. It takes AMAZING pictures. We got the Samsung Galaxy S II, and it has an 8mp camera. That is staggering! I need to upload pics to the computer soon so I can share. Or, finally learn how to post from my phone.

This rambling post has been brought to you by the letters

Monday, October 24, 2011

467 Extended Fall Break in Atlanta

Pictures... just so there is a post, but I will come back tonight and bore you to death with descriptions. Promise!

(I'm trying to add some pictures back in after the unintended mass deletion... give me time)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

466 Talk About a Guilt Trip

I am apparently the worst mom ever. I found this sitting by my daughter's my inattentive rear was tucking her in, reading a bedtime story and scratching her back...

(I will post a pic when I am not on my phone)

"My baby brother when he came home. He was so cute I feed him. He chang thing. I didn't get any atencen. My mom didn't help me with my artist stuff. I wish he was he was not even here and still in the hospitle being born in my mom's belle. I Love my mom. I think it would be fun to have a brother has a baby it was not fun to have one. I Like him in all but he's stilling my mom it's a Connor is my brother."

HEARTBREAKING! And I don't just mean the grammar and spelling....

Monday, September 26, 2011

465 Don't Look If You Don't Want to Find...

The other day I went looking for a particular skirt in my daughter's room. It wasn't hanging in the closet, nor was it on the floor (and considering all the shit that was on the floor, that was impressive)... It wasn't in her drawers or in the dirty clothes hamper. So, I looked in the next logical place, under the bed... And that, my friends, is where I lost my mind.

A week or so ago, my husband told her to clean her room if she wanted something. I don't remember the reward, but I do remember him checking her room and telling her she had done a good job. She received her reward and promptly didn't pick up another thing in her room. So, when I looked in the closet and then under the bed, I discovered exactly HOW she had cleaned her room.

There were boxes of toys and art supplies I had separated just shoved in the closet and dumped over...

There was a trash bag shoved under her bed that contained not one bit of trash. It did contain clothes, books, a boxed set of Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Season 1, and her brother's V-Reader among other things.

There were NUMEROUS empty juice pouches and bottles. Crumbled bits of Oreo. An empty bottle of CAPERS.

She's nine. I understand she will take the easy way out everytime (who can blame her?)...but this crossed the line. She has been asking for us to take her to the Mid-South Fair, not a chance in Hell. She has been asking for various and sundry if she has room for a single other thing in her room.

I am taking this one. I am not going to punish myself by punishing her and making her help me. I know. I know. I am losing a chance to really teach a lesson, but let's be honest...she wouldn't have learned a damn thing. Two days later she would forget it anyway.

But when I reach the bottom of the pile of shit and Polly Pockets and stuffed animals and art supplies and beads and dolls and trash...THEN the lesson begins. Poor girl will be facing a whole new world where she is responsible for maintaining her own room. Many groundings and punishments are sure to follow. Pray for me.

By the way, if you hear maniacal laughter it is just from the creators of Polly Pockets and Silly Bandz as they swim in the money they made off of us.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

464 Ten Years Ago... (my story)

We worked evenings, everyone knew we slept late, so why was my phone ringing so early in the morning?

Caller ID ... Why is my mom calling so early?! I wanted to ignore it, but I reached over and groggily answered the phone. She told me to turn on the tv, that a plane had struck the World Trade Center. And as I watched, I saw another plane ... Oh my God... I woke up Chip to watch with me. Tears streamed down my face, my heart seemed to beat slower. I cupped my hands over my abdomen, protecting the little life inside. We hadn't announced it yet, but we were pregnant with Katie. As the day unfolded my hand rarely moved from her. As it became more and more clear that our world had just changed I wanted to keep her safe.

People tried to go on with their daily lives. I had a bowling lesson (yeah, I took lessons, and I was pretty damn good) and I went. I remember driving down the road, looking over and seeing the same look of shock/sadness/fear on everyone's faces. No one was speeding, it was the most surreal experience as everyone just puttered along, their minds elsewhere. I told my bowling buddy that day that I was pregnant. I hadn't planned to tell her, but I needed to...needed that reminder of happiness and the future.

All of our lives changed that day. Forever. Not just for the weeks we didn't hear a plane overhead (and we live in a flightpath, so THAT was eerie). Not just those in New York, or the Northeast, or even just those in America. The world changed.
We will never forget the lives we lost that day. We will never forget the courage of those who ran to help. We will never forget that the very freedom that makes America so great also makes us a target...a vulnerable target, but we will be vigilant, we will be strong. We will not let this break us.

We will never forget.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

463 The Day I Cut Off the Oxygen Supply

Okay, so that might be a little dramatic... I did turn off the television for the night. I had good reason!!

Sunday night, the kids were whining and complaining, arguing over which show to watch and who can sit where. When Connor brought the living room remote control into the bathroom to get me to put it on Scooby Doo I decided that was the last straw! It's bad enough that I can't potty in peace, but at least bring me a problem I can solve while still sitting down.
I took that remote and (a few minutes later) placed it on top of the refrigerator. I even turned off the tv the old fashioned way to prove how serious I was!


SEE! It's really over now kiddos! Well, at least for the hour or so until I can tuck you into bed... with a story and a back rub (because I am not that horribly mean of a mommy).
Oh, the begging that ensued! PLEASE MOMMY!!! to which I only have to say "PUH-LEASE CHILD" This isn't my first rodeo. I can hang on a little longer than six seconds. They survived, but it was clearly touch and go for a while there.

Fast forward to Wednesday.
The stage is set. The kids (plus 1) are on the couch, the tv is on ... and the bickering begins.
It starts off small... and slowly builds. Now they are pushing a little, Connor might be lightly kicking his sister...
Admonishing them to be nicer to each other, to sit still, to STOP HURTING YOUR BROTHER/SISTER! It all falls on deaf ears.
What is a mom to do?
What punishment affects them more than any other?
Snatch up the remote ...and CLICK.
Blank stares that turn into glares.
Oh yes, I have found their kryptonite. The 52" Black Hole...
You could see the joy drain from their faces. No Scooby. No Goosebumps. NOTHING.
The oxygen seemed to drain from the room. Their brains were clearly struggling with the sudden need to THINK. Imaginations were pulled from the deep recesses of their minds and slowly dusted off. It was a painful experience. I suggested something radical. I suggested that Katie actually sit and READ A BOOK! You would think I had suggested she pluck a chicken or change a diaper or something even less savory.

As usually happens when we punish our children, it ended up hurting me more than it hurt them. Indoor tag is a great way to pass the time. It also means they were playing upstairs where my craft room caught Connor's eye. Without the distraction of tv, all his devilment was able to manifest itself... in the form of a (soon to be empty) bottle of acrylic paint ...on the floor, the wall, and on himself. And what makes it even worse, he clearly knew it was bad. He hid behind the door in his room to unscrew the cap. Basic rule to remember kids, if you have to hide it then you can just automatically assume you shouldn't be doing it.
Luckily (for him and me) the paint was still wet and the steam cleaner was handy... you know, since I have been trying to clean all the cat hair from the carpet ... almost all of it came up. 
But that was truly the last straw. I told them that the tv was off for the rest of the night, with threats of the rest of the week. As the promise of hours of silence and entertaining themselves stretched before them, the remaining air grew thinner. Soon it was hard to breathe... Maybe it was the incessant whining that depleted the amount of oxygen in the air. Maybe the black hole sucked all the oxygen out of the room. Katie just lay down on the floor and whined herself to sleep. Connor leaned against me, repeatedly asking when the tv could come back on. Even my brain shut down in order to keep from exploding.

Sure, I didn't get frustrated at all that I have been listening to nothing but whining and screaming while I try to clean. It doesn't bother me in the least that they run circles around me, playing chase while I am steam cleaning the floor in the bedroom and shifting every piece of REALLY heavy furniture around to a different spot. NOT AT ALL! I love watching my children methodically destroy every patch of clean in the house as I try to create another patch. I enjoy always answering the door with an apologetic glance at the house and an explanation that this is what happens when I try to clean other parts of the house. Really, it isn't a big deal.

Sure, I have a nine year old who SHOULD at the very least maintain her own bedroom. I have big baskets in the living room for the toys that SHOULD make itso  easy for them to pick up their toys. There are many SHOULDs that would help me to maintain the house and my sanity. (Like, maybe someone SHOULD stop buying them new toys) But, as all moms know, our sanity is not even of secondary importance. It falls at the very bottom of the list.

But now I have found the best method of punishment. I have found the quickest way to take the wind out of their sails. I have found the kryptonite that will lay them low. And I am going to use it! And I will enjoy that there is one less layer of sound to process, even if I do not get to enjoy complete silence. And eventually they will learn .... RIGHT??!! RIGHT??!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

462 A (MUCH NEEDED) Night With Friends

One of my husband's fraternity brothers recently got married (they ran away and did it on the beach like sensible adults), and they invited everyone to come celebrate with a reception in their honor. Travel is pretty hard to pull off, but we are lucky enough that the happy couple lives right around here. I had been looking forward to seeing a bunch of our college buddies and having time to catch up with everyone. We all know I don't get out of the house very often, so this was an excellent opportunity.
Like I said, Eric and Tammy were married on the beach, so the reception had a Hawaiian theme... sundresses and Hawaiian shirts. Those trips to the mall from the last post were in search of the perfect dress... but since the perfect dress doesn't exist, I settled for this one...

Chip preferred one of the shorter dresses I had tried on, but to be perfectly honest, the dress he liked was rather tight and I wouldn't have been able to enjoy myself ...or breathe deeply. This one had the added bonus of a low neckline... I figured that not many people would make it past the cleavage to notice the ample hips. Chip just rolled his eyes, but come on! you know it was a valid point. It isn't as noticeable from this angle, but trust me.

After a bit of a last minute scramble to find a babysitter (thank you so much Nicole!!), we were all set for a night with our buddies. You know we were excited because the Jaxons were early! I know, it's a miracle!

And what a night. I danced like a fool! No, not because of the alcohol ... Mostly because I am not known for my dancing skills. I am not afraid to get out there and shake it (as long as there are a few people to act crazy with me)! I did have a few drinks, but if anything they only caused me to be more cautious ... those little cups are slosh prone on the dance floor. Yes, I even did the required wedding party line dances. I refused to "clap clap clap, clap yo hands" ... I did have my hands full after all (drink and phone...shush, I put my phone in Chip's pocket a few times, but I needed to have the camera part of it ready). Oh, and I apologize to anyone whose feet I stepped on, but that will teach you to dance too close to me.
p.s. Clearest sign I was dancing like a wild thing ... I was sore the next day! OUCH! (and so sad)

There is not much that will beat a night with old friends. A few couldn't make it, and they were sorely missed, but all in all we had a fabulous time. If I could convince everyone to head back to college I totally would! I love you all! There was lots of laughing and talking and hugging and laughing. YES, there was enough laughter to warrant saying it twice. And I was really in need of some good hugs!

Even if the lighting was abysmal... I know! I know! It is more romantic to be dimly lit... BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PICTURES!?!? I brought my big camera, but I felt odd taking it out when there was a photographer walkng around. I settled for really being a guest and enjoying my friends!  In this day and age of camera phones and instantly posting to facebook reception halls should turn up the lights a wee bit ;) That being said, a few pics from the night (forgive them).

Super blurry, but it would have been so cute! UGH!!!

I wish you a lifetime of joy.
A lifetime of love.
I wish for you to start and end each day with a kiss.
I wish for you long conversations about nothing ..and everything.
I wish for you comfortable silences, too.
I wish you happiness in yourselves and in each other.

 Congratulations! And thank you so much for inviting us to help celebrate your marriage!

Monday, August 29, 2011

461 Randomness As Usual

Still experiencing bloggers block. Not sure what to write about and not sure why it would even matter. But, I know it will come back to me eventually. Until then I will just share some randomness from our lives.

In chronological order, but I know it will seem completely mixed up ... I give you almost two weeks of Jaxon4 life...

I need to do more research into Mexican Sugar Skulls. I just love the way they look ... but I am sure there are different meanings to different images, and since it is not my heritage I worry I will make something offensive in some way. For now I am just doodling within a skull shape.

 Katie's obsession with feathers made us check out the local Beauty Store where I was promptly scared and amused by these wig modeling mannequins.

Birthday party for friends...
 ...with friends...

 A trip to the mall last Sunday with the family...

 The Wolfchase Mall now has a train ... and Connor HAD to ride it. So we ALL had to ride it. First, he chose the blue car...
 But after snapping a pic, Connor noticed the caboose...

Katie wasn't being very cooperative about taking pictures ... I'll show her! (that is gum on her lips, she had just popped a bubble)
Sunday night we got home to find Bartleby unable to run from Connor. When he did stand up he could barely stumble to the next room. I picked him up and held him in my lap until he passed away. It was peaceful, and he got to go in arms that loved him with a loving voice in his ear. He waited until we got home to him. He was neurotic, but he was a wonderful cat. We miss him. It hits harder sometimes. When the kids are in bed and he doesn't jump in my lap. When we go to the bathroom and he doesn't chase after us, knowing we will be trapped and he can get pet. When we walk by the cat food aisle in the store and it suddenly hits us that we don't need to walk down it. Bartleby, you are loved and missed. I took this pic a few weeks ago. Our handsome boy...

Monday we had to go back to the mall. We had to exchange Connor's Captain America costume for a bigger size... and we were looking for a sundress and a Hawaiian shirt for our friends wedding reception that was coming up. Connor and Katie took turns harrassing ... I mean "helping" me in the dressing room. 

And Katie had finally talked us into a second hamster ... We are clearly gluttons for punishment.
 And we came home with a new Winter White. Her name is Sugar... and I am pretty proud of Katie for not wanting to name her Salt since we already have a Pepper.
 And some random fun ...