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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I Have Just a Tiny Bit of Envy

One of my besties (as a matter of fact I AM a 12 year old girl) just left on a cruise to Mexico. I am absolutely thrilled for her and can think of nobody else who is more deserving than her to go on this vacation. She is a great mom, great wife (so I’m told, I have no video proof, I swear, there’s way too many pointy bushes outside her bedroom windows), and a super great friend. Plus just the thought of getting on the remake of the Titanic a big ship makes my heart rate speed up and makes me have a bit of an anxiety attack(don’t judge me, you don’t know me!) I love that she is going to be enjoying herself. Plus I hope she takes a bazillion pictures, comes back and tells me every single minute of it and then I can live vicariously through her. And if she doesn’t go down in an icy oceanic grave then maybe I’ll be brave enough actually go a cruise …..someday … …..when I’m 65, or 70. I kid! I’d totally go sooner than that! Like 55.
And guess who she has entrusted her 3 “man’s woman’sbest friend’s” with? ME! That’s who!
I also get to feed her chicken. Chickens crack me up. Something about those eyes and how the scratch the ground. It’s just comical to me.
Her three dogs are the coolest. And though I don’t wanna pick favorites (like with your kids, you never want to pick a favorite! Remember that! Never ever pick a favorite kid! The other ones can tell, then they get jealous and will start biting the favorite! It’s true with kids AND dogs!) just take a look at Fred:

Those eyes! They pierce my soul!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Better-than-Picasso Artwork

I love when my kids decide to get all creative. Be messy, I don’t care. We’ll clean it up, sometime. We hit up Books-A-Million the other night and the kids made a beeline for the kids section. The Boy started checking out stuffed animals, which was totally expected. He found a Gary the Snail from the Sponge Bob cartoon series. It was love at first sight.
Hannah found a poodle dog. She was checking out a diary, but when The Boy was oooing and aaaahing over stuffed animals she aborted her mission for a diary and started checking out the beanie babies and Ty babies, what can I say she is easily swayed.
KK on the other hand loves Melissa and Doug I do, too. They have the greatest stuff. We have their coloring pads (every assortment possible), pencils, markers, crayons, and are now branching out into their DIY kits. KK found their “decorate your own piggy bank”. Pretty cool. A little clay pig, paint, glitter and a 5 year old. What could go wrong? SOLD!
It was tons of fun. I did make her decorate it on the front porch. She never dropped it, she didn’t accidentally paint my chairs, or cushions, or her sister. The finished product was gorgeous.

And there was paint left over for each of them to make a beautiful painting for their mother.
See for yourself.



KK's is a painting of the piggy bank she just painted. And EXACT replica, if I do say so myself.

And yes, they will be framed and proudly displayed on the walls of our home, just like their other artwork. Who needs Picasso when I have the three greatest artists I’ve ever known?!?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Gluten-Free Friday Posting

I might have to make Fridays Gluten-Free Fridays, keeping everyone up to date on our new “lifestyle”. It’s been a little difficult, with lots of backsliding and whining – mostly on my part. You wouldn’t believe all the stuff that wheat, rye, and barley is in.
Yesterday I decided I really, really wanted to make spaghetti and meatballs. The spaghetti sauce isn’t a big deal because most spaghetti sauce is gluten-free. Prego is totally gluten-free. And of course making the meatballs is gluten-free, you just have to leave out the breadcrumbs if you use those to make them, and I do, but I just left those out of the recipe and they still turned out yummy. So yay! What I was nervous about was the pasta. Pasta is enriched wheat flour, and remember wheat is the enemy. So I had to go pick out some gluten-free pasta and I wasn’t feeling so great about it. In fact I broke out in a cold sweat in the gluten-free aisle at the grocery store and started to panic as I tried to choose between one brown pasta and another brown pasta (most gluten-free pasta is made with brown rice, or at least the ones I was finding was). Then I saw Schar Fusilli and it was, well, normal looking. It looked like any other regular pastas though a little pricey, but that’s okay. So I grabbed it. (p.s. Schar pasta is made with corn flour, and corn is our friend!!!)

My fear was renewed back home when I was cooking it and it smelled a little like bleach, but I knew if I complained even a little my kids would completely shut down to even trying it. According to the directions as soon as you drain it you should toss it with olive oil, so I did just that. Then I tried it and was shocked to find that it tasted the same as regular pasta. I served up plates all around. The only one who scoffed at it was Hannah, yes the one who we are going gluten-free for. But when she saw KK chowing down she tried it and immediately said “Wow, mom, it doesn’t taste bad at all.” And then after another bite, “Mmm, it tastes great!” KK ate 2 helpings and Hannah had 3 helpings (they were small helpings, another lesson we have learned).
According to Schar’s website they have lots of products that I can’t wait to check out. So, if you're going gluten-free as well this pasta as a thumbs-up!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Lessons From Little Kids

I decided that I’d start (every once in a while, I mean, let’s not over do this!) handing this blog over to one of my kiddos who can give us grown-ups some advice.  Kids can be pretty pure of heart, and to tell you the truth I think we can learn a lesson or two from them.
This lesson here is from my son, who is only seven year old.
Tonight his dad and he decided to go out and play catch. The Boy’s baseball season is over for now, but this household loves the game. Well, Jon missed the ball and it smacked him in the eye (maybe we’re all klutzes around here. Let’s not forget Corey’s broken nose that is STILL healing!).
Check it out:

Poor little guy.
So after Jon cleans up and is playing Angry Birds he looks thoughtfully at me and says “You know, mom, dad didn’t even say he was sorry. Even grown-ups should say sorry when they do something wrong.”
ABSOLUTELY!!!  So that’s this week’s lessons: grown-ups listen up: SAY SORRY WHEN YOU DO SOMETHING WRONG OR HURT SOMEBODY (even if it’s an accident). Kids do pay attention and it means something to them to hear it. Two little words that mean so much; I’m sorry.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bedtime Stories Make me Laugh!

Bedtime stories are the best time of the evening around here. I love my quiet, wind-down time with the kids. It’s great. I let each of the kids pick out a book and we snuggle down and read it. Jon likes to participate in the book reading. And that’s okay with me.
We were reading “I Love My Mommy Because” the other night, it has pictures of baby animals and their mommies with them. Each page says something cute and special like “I love my mommy because she cleans me” and it has a mommy cat with a kitten and the mommy cat it licking the kitten. Aaawe, how cute. Right?
So on each page I point to each animal and ask him what kind of animal it is and he does his best to answer it correct. We get to the page with a hen and a bunch of chicks and I ask him “Okay, what is that?” pointing at the hen.
“A chicken!” Yep, he’s a genius.
Then I point to the baby chicks and say, “And those?”
To which The Boy answers “I’m just gonna call them chicken nuggets!”
He's got a way with words.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Little League is Dangerous to Your Health!

Last night we had a game up at the ballpark and even though it was hotter than hades we headed out ready to play some ball.

Corey, being Coach and all, was up on the pitcher’s mound and was viciously attacked by the other team. Okay, that didn’t happen. The catcher threw the ball to Corey, but one of the other players was all like “Hey I’ll catch this ball!” and tried to jump up and catch it, only she didn’t. What she did manage to do was send that flying ball directly into my husband’s nose. So, it was kind of a vicious attack.

Anyway, Corey went down like a sack of potatoes and I ran onto the field. By the time I got there there was a pretty good amount of blood coming from his nose and the ump was yelling for ice.  We managed to get him into the dugout and ice it and clean him up. I said “Let’s go to the hospital cuz that sucker’s broke as broke can be.”

But Corey, being Corey, refused to leave the team. He got his nose to stop bleeding and before the end of that same inning was right back on the field.  Wow.

Here’s a picture of his grotesque face, it’s hideous I tell ya, just hideous.

I was proud that he stayed out there with the team and played out the game. That’s just the way he is.

Since I broke my nose 2 years ago and it’s still a little offset I joked and said “Hey now we have matching noses!” And then I got all nervous because he rolled his eyes at me his eyes rolled around in his head and I was pretty sure he was having a delayed seizure from the ball hitting him. Weird.

By this morning he was getting black eyes.

We went out to eat and I thought about talking down to him and being really mean trying to make the waiter think I was beating him up and stuff, but then thought I better not.

On the way home I tried to get him to say “Adrianne! Adrianne!” in a Rocky Balboa voice but the strangest thing happened; it was like he had another mini-seizure. Maybe he should get that looked at, I’m a little worried.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sorry For My Absence, I Was Saving the World.

Okay, technically I wasn’t saving the world, just my daughter’s stomach, but it’s just about the same thing in this household. For years now my oldest daughter has had severe bouts of nausea and vomiting, all happening, usually within an hour of going to bed. Weird. And heart wrenching when you’re the parent watching helplessly as this happens to your child and you don’t know why it’s happening and doctors can’t give you a reason.
And yes, I really mean “years”. It’s been a nightmare as one doctor after another just shrugged their shoulders and said it was probably just acid reflux and to try another med.
We finally have a pediatrician now who said “Huh, for 4 years this has gone on? And nobody’s done a scope on her? Nobody’s sent her to GI specialist?”
Nope. Nobody. So for the past two months we’ve been making the trek up to Jackson to see a super-fantabulous-wonderful Pediatric GI Specialist who immediately said “She needs an endoscopy and a colonoscopy. We need to figure this out.”
They got her in right away for that procedure and then we waited for two weeks while all the biopsies were sent away for testing. It was a horribly long wait.
Her diagnosis came back and we have now been introduced to Celiac Disease.  It’s an allergy to gluten, and after meeting with the dietitian at the beginning of this week I discovered that gluten is in EVERYTHING. The good news is that more and more products are becoming gluten-free. But some of the stuff out there is just plain nasty. We were warned about the bread. Some of the gluten free bread has a shelf-life of a year. For bread. No thanks.
It’s a whole lifestyle change that my husband and I have decided that we are going to do with her. Yes, it’s going to be hard. And expensive (4 freakin’ gluten-free hockey pucks hamburger buns costs $6!). But it’s worth it to us. As a family we will do this.
So, this is another journey the Matthews Clan is embarking on, I’ll keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dang! I Think The Boy's Onto Me!

I’m standing at the kitchen island when Jon skips into the room, “Hey, mom, how big is a carrot?”
“It depends. There’s baby carrots…..and…..then there’s……graaaaand carrots. Yep, there's grand carrots.” Maybe I was getting confused with piano’s, but now is not the time to let him see my weaknesses, The Boy can smell fear a mile away and right now his piercing gaze is burning a hole in me.
“I think you just made that up.”
Yep, you caught me….again.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Happy Anniversary Calvin! It’s been a Great Year!

Yes, this post is dedicated to my kitty-cat.
I can’t believe just one year ago I was BEGGING the shelter to let me adopt you. They said you were a “hard adoption” and had “behavior issues” and was slated for “extermination” as if you were some sort of pest. And all I could see was this little ball of fur in need of love and understanding. How could a 4 month old little kitten already have such a horrible reputation? They agreed to allow me adopt you (though I believe I heard one of the shelter workers say something about me waiving my rights of ever bringing you back) and I dubbed you “Calvin” after my favorite cartoon character in “Calvin and Hobbes”. And oh how you have lived up to our namesake. But I wouldn't have it any other way! You have found you fur-ever home!!!
You have made yourself right at home with us.

Spent plenty of time in “time-out”.

Learned your limit to stay on the porch and venture no further even if there is a bird in the tree out in the yard.

You enjoy your “happy place” after a long day of playing.

You have developed a love of warm boxer shorts fresh out of the dryer.

And a weird love of baths.

You are always daddy’s wingman when he plays video games…


And you know just when the kids need your cuddles and love and always keep them safe at night.

So today’s your day, buddy! Party it up!

We love you! I look forward to spending the rest of your days with you and making your the happiest cat in the world!

Friday, May 13, 2011

This is Almost Too Disgusting to Post. Keyword: Almost

This past weekend I cleaned out the freezer and the fridge, throwing out all the old meat and all the old leftovers that were going bad or had gone bad. I should have waited until closer to “trash day” but the urge hit me to clean right then and I know me if I don’t do it then then I’ll put it off another month, or two, or five….
Anyhow, I cleaned out all the disgusting old food and meats, it took two large trash bags, I hauled them out to the trash cans outside and there they sat; in the Mississippi heat. I forgot about them until this morning when my husband called me outside. It seems a hungry critter had knocked the cans over spilling the contents onto the ground.
“Hey! There are little white worms all over the ground out here! What are these things?” He is absolutely clueless. He is standing over the carnage that was our nicely manicured lawn. I have now strolled outside, in my bare feet to inspect the damage.
“Maggots!” I scream, before dashing back inside to put on steel-toed work books. I am armed with garbage bags, disinfectant spray, bleach, brooms, and bug spray as I head back outside to clean up.
By now all the kids have come outside to see what all the ruckus is about. Each one has something different to say, yet none of them seems disgusted. They are fascinated with these little creatures.
Before I can sweep up the last of them my son yells “Wait, mom! Let me get a Tupperware bowl!” and he disappears back inside.
My brain puts two and two together and tell him “No, absolutely not!” as he comes back out bringing one of my brand new containers in his hands.
“But, mom, I want to bring them for show-n-tell! Come on!” His eyes are absolutely begging me to change my mind.
“No way pal, put the bowl up now.”
“Dang it, I’d have had the most gross thing for sure.” He mumbled.  For a moment I considered telling his teacher that the boys in class had a running bet on who could bring the grossest show-n-tell, but by now I’m guessing she already knows.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Soccer Fashion

Last year all three of our kids decided that they wanted to participate in soccer. We agreed.
We knew Jon would do just fine; he already had one season of soccer under his belt, so we weren’t that concerned with him. The girls were what concerned us. Hannah has never been big into sports and we talked to her about the physical demands that soccer would bring. She didn’t seem fazed at the time. Kim was our busy-body always running around so we thought she would be a champ.
We bought the cleats, the socks, the shin guards, the ankle guards, the soccer balls for practice, the cute little elastic bands that scrunch up their sleeves that make their regular t-shirts into tank tops. We bought soccer themed hair ribbons. We bought goalie nets so we could practice at home. We were the ready for soccer – or so we thought. Folks, Mississippi is H.O.T. It is miserable. There is no other way to put it. We would get up at 7 a.m. get ready walk out the door at 8 a.m. and say “Nope, I don’t wanna do it.” It was that miserable.
But each Saturday we’d drag ourselves down to the fields to play. Now, we had three kids playing. And usually it would be two games each Saturday. So it was a full day. That is 6 games. Spread out over this huge soccer complex, we’re running around like crazy, trying to figure out who needs to be where, when they need to be there, who’s responsible for snacks, is everyone’s water bottle filled up, make sure you go to the restroom now because we’re not trudging all the way back up here again (we always did, an average of 8 times every Saturday. On a side note, Kim gags easily and can’t take the smell of a public restroom, so yea – that was fun).
So, we’re at Kim’s soccer game and she’s on the field. The girls are only 4 and 5 year old so there are only 3 players per team on the field at a time. They are kicking the ball up and down the field, make that two from each team are kicking the ball up and down the field. Kim and a team member from the opposing team are smack dab in the middle of the field having a fashion pow-wow. It goes sometime like this:
Kim: “Ooo I like your hair.”
Girl: “My mommy did it. I like yours, too.”
Kim: “My mommy did mine too, my crunchy (hairbow) has soccer balls!”
Girl: “Look at your shoes! They’re so pretty!”
Kim: “Yes, they have pink stripes! My mom got them for me.”
Girl: “I love pink!”
Kim: “Me too!”
Kim’s coach is yelling “Kimmie, go get the ball, the ball Kimmie. Go get it!”
She looks up at him for just a moment, her brow tightening to a frown as if wondering what is wrong with that man. Then she’s back to her conversation with her friend, by now they are holding hands and spinning in circles.
Kim: “I like your shirt!”
Girl: “I like yours; too, you got the pink team.”
Kim: (giggling) “Yea, we like pink.”
Kim’s coach is waving his arms trying to get her attention but she’s not even paying attention. “Give it up,” I tell him, “they’re talking fashion.”
Needless to say Kim hung up her cleats and said she NEVER wanted to play soccer again. I told her to “Never say never.” But I’m not holding my breath.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Seriously? Can I get some privacy?

When I was a kid still living at home I had an older sister. We lived in a modest 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home in Central Florida, my parents still reside in that same house. My sister and I shared the hallway bath while the other bath was the master bath. It was the typical setting for a house that size. Any time I would head into the bathroom within 20 seconds my older sister would appear just outside the door and bang on it demanding that I “Get out! Get out now! I need in there” with lots of long sighs and exasperated loud breaths and death threats. After graduation and entering the adult world my roommates took off where my sister left off.
And it’s not like I spent a lot of time in the bathroom. I was never one to spend tons of time on makeup. Or curl and style my hair. Usually I just brushed my hair, threw it up in a ponytail and was happy.
When I got married my husband took over interrupting my bathroom time. Then when the kids came along I never got a moments peace. As soon as the bathroom door closed it was like a trigger, “Mom! Mom, where are you!” And then the knocking would start. Then little fingers would appear under the door. “Momma, are you in there? What are you doing?” “Mom, can I come in?” “Why can’t I come in there with you?” “Moooooommmaaaaaaa, pleeeeeeeeeezzze.” And the crying, oh the horrible crying and the tears.
Now that they are a little bit older they are starting to understand that sometimes mom just needs a little peace and quiet, especially when I am in the bathroom. And I think my husband finally understands to just leave me be (for the most part) when I go in the bathroom and close the door firmly, it’s like an exclamation point.
But now I have another issue, a little furry issue that just doesn’t understand that mommy wants to be alone in the bathroom.
I mean seriously?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother’s Day 2011!

So yesterday was Mother’s Day, what better way to say “I love you, mom” than to wake me up at 5:00 a.m. and ask me to turn on cartoons. Really? I grumbled something about it being Mother’s Day and told them to go ask their dad and then I rolled over and pulled the covers over my head and fell back asleep. It must’ve worked, or they gave up, either way I woke up an hour later (with the hubs still asleep next to me so my guess is they didn’t go ask him) and went ahead and got up.
The house wasn’t in disarray, so that was gift enough for me. Cha-ching! They let me make my coffee in peace (shock) and even allowed me to have two whole sips, you read that right my friend, TWO WHOLE SIPS before demanding their breakfast because they were staaaaaarving, the nerve of those kids. 
I decided to take my coffee to the front porch and enjoy it there for some “peace and quiet” only to discover I was being followed by 3 pairs of little feet. That’s when I discovered that my Mother’s Day artwork that my youngest had made for me at school had been reduced to confetti all over the porch. I stood there over it, mouth gaped open in shock. From behind me the youngest claimed “All I can say is it wasn’t my idea!”
Aaaah motherhood. Anyway, hope everyone out there had a Happy Mother’s Day. Mine was great!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Darn You, GattiTown, and Those Addictive Games!

Today we went to another birthday party at GattiTown. The Boy has been invited to quite a few here lately from his little league teammates. It’s not the party I mind, it’s not the wild, rambunctious kids popping balloons and threatening to smear me with cake (usually I’m the instigator so I bring that on myself), and I don’t mind that the party is typically at the oh-so-popular GattiTown. No, it’s the games they have there. Let me correct myself. It’s THE GAME they have there.
Let me describe this torturous, monstrous, machine of terror. It has a little spinning circular wheel kind of like the wheel from Wheel of Fortune, but on this wheel there are holes along the outside of the wheel with numbers next to them. A ball drops from the top of the game when you hit the button (you gotta time it right) and whatever hole your ball bounces into is how many tickets you win. There are lots of 1’s, and 2’s, and 3’s,(lotsa small numbers) a 10 hole, a 25 hole, a 50 hole, a 75 hole, then there is a 100 ticket hole and a jackpot hole but these two holes have a ring around them making them next to impossible for the ball to actually make it inside that hole. You can also land on a hole that earns you extra “balls” or turns.  Each game costs 40 cents. What they don’t tell you is it’s more addictive than crack or heroin or chocolate (figure I’d better stick to something I know since I haven’t done those first two).
So, The Boy had a plan. He wanted one particular prize. And not just any prize. THE prize. He wanted a Kung Fu Panda stuffed animal, the big one. We already knew how many tickets it took (hint: 1,975)and they weren’t willing to accept my kidney, so we had to play “THE GAME OF HOLEY DEATH” as I’ve dubbed it, but The Boy loves it.
Just to be clear on your chances with this freaking wondrous game just 3 weeks ago we were there celebrating another teammate’s birthday and we loaded 50 bucks onto a game card and walked away with just 340 ticks. So, I wasn’t feeling so confident today. Our first try today The Boy swiped his card, hit the button, the ball dropped and it swooshed through the “1” hole without touching the rim and I thought “Oh, so this is how it’s gonna be, huh?” but The Boy was undeterred. He swiped the card again, hit the button, the ball dropped, bounced around and landed in the “jackpot” hole.
Okay, so I won’t give you the play by play version of his time at this game, but he hit the Jackpot a total of 5 times. He hit the “100” hole once. He hit the “75” hole 9 times. He hit the “50” hole 7 times. He hit the “25” hole 14 times. (he also won a lot of extra turns which was wonderful!) By the time he was done with his card an audience had form and was cheering him, even employees.
And…..guess who got the Kung Fu Panda stuffed animal?
(p.s. that's facepaint on his face, he was a pirate, but it's kind of smudged. )

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Little Dirty Secret

Here lately I’ve developed a small addiction. Nothing like carrying a small flask around with me, or hiding little blue pills in the laundry detergent (yes, I watch Nurse Jackie!). No, my addiction is far, far worse. I spite bid on eBay. And yes, I just heard a collective gasp coming from America right this very second as my dirty little secret was revealed.
Now I do sell a lot on eBay. I clean out the closets, get rid of the kids clothes they have outgrown, sell off the video games they find “too baby-ish”, and even auction off sports gear they no longer use like Hannah and Kim’s soccer gear from when they oh-so wanted to play so very, very much because it would SO MUCH FUN! But then after just one game Hannah exclaimed “I’d really rather be goalie, they may get hit with balls but they don’t have to run.” And on another blog I’ll have to tell you about Kim and her run with soccer (too funny).
Anyway it’s not like I’m spending the grocery money on eBay junk. But I will admit as soon as I make the money I’m bidding it on something. It’s like I have a gambling issue.
So I troll the eBay “aisles” checking out all the cute outfits for kids (yea, that’s my vice), one will catch my eye, I’ll put it on my “watch list”…..and there it sits. I have my set ways. It will sit there until about an hour or so before the auction ends, then I pounce. I bid on it. But always, ALWAYS there’s someone out there who is trying to bring me down.
Now I know what you are saying, “Lisa, that is the point of these auctions. For the seller to make the most money, that’s the way it is.”
Nay-nay I say! You see, I envision this evil lady on the other side of the world (or at least the States) personally out to get what is rightfully mine. She’s probably dressed in total black, the right side of her hair is black the left is a freakish white, she’s taking drags off a slender cigarette (yea, yea, I know my nemesis looks like Disney's Cruella Deville) she’s hunched over her computer upping her bid amounts with her blood red acrylic nails. Also, in my mind, she has three nannies that are taking care of her brats kids while I am the one who takes care of mine so I deserve to win the auction. Case closed.  And I will do whatever I can do, make that: whatever I MUST do to WIN THAT AUCTION!!!!
So, yea, there ya have it, now I gotta check on those auctions I have on my “watch list”.  My bidding finger’s getting itchy.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Give My Kids an Inch, They’ll Mess with Your Head

When we moved here to Mississippi we had the good fortune to slide into a good-sized house. By good-sized I mean, way above what we needed, and in hind sight I now wish we had opted for something smaller because “Woo-hoo we have 3,500 square feet of living space!” has turned into “Why do I have to have 3,500 square feet of cleaning space?” torture.
Our house was owned by Jack Lucas, one of the youngest Medal of Honor recipients ever, a true war hero, author of the memoir Indestructible (a book a highly recommend to anyone and everyone who loves history or who is a war buff, or who just loves America and all She stands for!), and a lot of our house was built by Jack (he expanded much of the original house to the large home that it is now), sadly Mr. Lucas died just two years ago. Each of our children has their own room downstairs, and it leaves us two full bedrooms upstairs for visiting friends and relatives. Originally our girls shared a room upstairs and our son had his room upstairs, but kids got spooked and wanted (read “demanded”) that they be moved downstairs now, now, right now. So in the interest of sleep we moved their rooms downstairs.
It is an old house, and as an old house tends to do, it creaks and makes its odd noises. Okay, fine, it can get a little creepy.   
On a recent trip to the museum on Camp Shelby we were hanging out in the gift shop when Hannah spotted Jack Lucas’ book up on the shelf, “Hey! We live in his house!” she told the gift shop attendee.
The lad perked right up, impressed with Hannah, “Really, in Mr. Lucas’ house here in Hattiesburg?”
“Yes ma’am.”
The lady looked to me for assurance, I nodded, “Yes, we do. It’s a very nice house.”
“Wow, do you ever let people come over to see it?” she asked.
I was speechless. What was I to say? How do I answer that?  I pictured myself giving tours, saying things like “This is the sink Jack washed his hands in.” “This is the doorway Jack walked through when he went outside.” Noticing the ridiculousness of what she just said she rolled her eyes skyward, shook her head as her cheeks turned red.
I started strolled down the aisle of books, picking up one here and there, seeing what they had to offer, losing myself in a couple of books until my ears caught on these words from my dear son: “Yea, but his ghost is still there.”  I. Am. Momentarily. Mortified. (I know good and well they are talking about our house and Jack and I am NOT happy)
Please let me have heard that child wrong. I put the book down and look at him; the gift shop lady is staring at them with the most horrified look on her face. All three of my kids have gathered around, the youngest is nodding her head so quickly I am afraid she will do damage to her neck muscles.
“My dad won’t even go upstairs because the ghost is up there.” Okay that part right there….is totally true. Corey won’t go upstairs. It does freak him out up there. “So, the ghost is up there by himself, all the time, he comes down at night. You can hear him.”
By now I have come to senses and have swooped in “Okay kids, that’s enough, let’s go.” I’ve spread my arms wide and am trying to round them up. I smile wide at the gift shop lady who has a ghastly look on her face. I want to disappear right this minute!
I get the kids out to the parking lot and finally take a moment to breath, “Honestly you three, what was that?”
“What?” the boy shrugs, “Hey, do you think we can come back tomorrow?”
Um, no!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Little Mother’s Day Story from Long Ago

Since Mother’s Day is just around the bend I thought I’d give a shout out to my mom, Mrs. Twyla J. Smith who I love, love, love so much!
Everyone has reasons for saying why their mom is sooooo special. And I have mine.
My mom is really my step mom. My birth mom passed away way back in 1974 when I was just 1. My sister was 3. My mom was 9 months pregnant, both she and the baby could not be saved and were buried together. My dad had just returned from his third tour in Vietnam, having served bravely but returning broken as many did. He is 100% disabled.
When I was 3 my dad married Twyla. She raised my sister and me as if we were her own, never once calling us “step kids” or treating us unfairly. She chose to not have children, later saying she did not want to take away from what my sister and I had, but I never knew her secret fear of my sister and me not “accepting” her as “mom”.
I think it became clear when I was about 8 on a Mother’s Day Sunday while sitting in church next to mom. My ears perked up when I heard the Pastor say that they had a special treat in store and for all the mom’s to come to the front and pick up a plant in their honor. I watched as all the moms made their way to the front but my mom didn’t move, I was confused, why wasn’t she going to get her plant? I waited a little longer, watching as the line of ladies got shorter and shorter and still my mom did not get up to go get her plant. Why was she not going up there to get her plant?
Now this church was a family church, my family had been going to it for some time. In fact, my birth mom had been a member, and it was the same church where her funeral was held. My family “story” was well told there.  But everyone knew and loved Twyla; they knew that she loved my sister and me. They knew that she was raising us girls as her own, and they loved and respected her for that.
But back on the pew I was getting restless and anxious; obviously I needed to take this matter into my own hands. I stood up, took mom’s hand in my own little one, led her down the pew and down the aisle to the front of the church, “It’s Mother’s Day, Momma, you need to pick out your plant,” I said as we stood in front of the few remaining plants. By now she was crying, as well as most of the congregation, but one thing was crystal clear to her in that moment, in this little girl’s eyes she was “mom”.
Do you have a story you’d like to share? I’d love to hear it!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mouse Ears & Expletives

Five years ago we took our first family Disney trip, in the heat of July. Let’s do the math, shall we? That’s a newborn, a three year old, and a five year old, plus two grumpy parents braving the Florida heat during one of Disney’s busiest times of the year. I shouldn’t complain as many people would love to just go to Disney with today’s economy and all, but being as I grew up in Central Florida I should have remembered the heat index, the humidity, and how dang sticky it got there.
Anyhoo…..on the day in question we loaded up in the vehicle for the short trip from the hotel to the Dowtown Disney area for a fun day at the Bibbity Bobbity Botique (a must-visit for any little girl, or little boy for that matter), the Lego Imagination Center, lots of shopping, and eating at the Rainforest CafĂ©.  As we drove up to the parking area of the "village" the hubs and I were in a fierce debate on whether DisneyQuest was appropriate for the kids. I said “No way!”,  but he said “Sure!”
For those of you who don’t know what DisneyQuest is it’s an indoor interactive theme park: virtual reality games, and 3D games, make that 5 floors of video games. And somehow this was going to be okay for our newborn, our 3 year old and our 5 year old.
Okay, back to the story, we’re in a debate, with the three kiddos strapped safely into their car seats in the back of the Avalanche. We have come to a full and complete stop in a nice parking spot directly in front of  the Downthown Disney area where there are statues of all the Disney Princesses when our oldest daughter (who has obviously spot the statues and other cool stuff to see) belts out at the top of her lungs “HOLY SH**!”
My husband and I are momentarily speechless before bailing out of the truck so she does not see our reactions. We are so stunned from what she has said that it has taken us off our guard. She has never uttered a profane word that we know of before. We gather our composer and get back in calmly explaining that “Princesses do not use that kind of language and neither should she!”
p.s. DisneyQuest is NOT for little kids. So I win, yet, not really since we did shell out $36.00 per ticket and left within 30 minutes. So who’s the real loser here?