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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sometimes things happen in this house that just freaks me out.

This house is spooky, there are weird noises and stuff happens every once in a while that makes you say to yourself “Did that just happen?” I especially hate it when Calvin or Tiny will look at “nothingness” and hiss, puff their tail up and run away. I always wonder “Are my cats seeing something that I cannot see???” It really freaks me out.
And then there are things that happen and I say “Well, the kids must have done that……right? Surely that is what happened!” But there is always a nagging doubt in the back of my mind that something is afoot in my home.
Today was one of those days.
I got the kids ready; this week is spirit week so each day is a new theme. Today is “Western Wednesday”. So I got them dressed and ready. I fixed them breakfast and had them brush their teeth and their hair. Then I made sure they picked up the living room and their bedrooms. Then we headed out. Now we always use the door in the living room that heads right out to the carport. Today was no different. And I didn’t notice anything weird. I even had to run to WalMart and grab some more lunchables. So after that I ran back home, put away my purchases, fed the cats and then headed to Party Central and then Hobby Lobby.  Tomorrow is Thingamajig Thursday and the kids are going as a group theme. Jon is The Cat in the Hat, KK is Thing 1 and Hannah is Thing 2. So I needed to get everything that I will need for their outfits. When leaving out the same living room door I noticed nothing weird.
I got what I needed at Party Central and Hobby Lobby then stopped off at Sams for some food and of course a Nathan’s hot dog because they are so yummy. And I may or may not have gotten 5 extra Nathan’s to keep in the fridge, don’t judge me.  I came home and unloaded my packages and that’s when I saw it. And for the record the hair stood up on that back of my neck. This is just freaky/weird/creepy:

Yea. So for now I’m telling myself “KK must’ve done that!” but I’m still baffled as to how it’s standing up since it’s got those flimsy legs and she isn’t made to stand up. But you can bet the first thing I’m asking the kids when I pick them up is if one of them positioned that doll like that. And I’m still wondering why I didn’t notice it the other times I went through that door. Ugh – goosebumps!!!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My kids make me laugh every single day.... some days more than others!

KK comes up to me this morning and says: It totally stinks in our classroom! Really bad – like boy farts!

And then a conversation with The Boy:
Boy: Hey mom, what are these teeth way back here called?
Me: Those are your molars.
Boy: (running off to the girls' bathroom where they are preening) Hey! I’m gonna be getting my boulders in soon!

Another one with The Boy:
Boy: Hey mom, remember the story of you getting Calvin and he was supposed to get killed (euthanized)?
Me: Of course I do.
Boy: Can you tell me it again?
Me: Why?
Boy: I like the part where you go all CA-RAZY on them!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Things that made me smile this LONG weekend

It was a long weekend and yucky weather threatened to put a damper on everything. But we didn't let it ruin our "parade".
So..... Sunday was Hannah's 10th birthday, so in true Matthews' fashion we went and celebrated at her school with some cake, or cupcakes:
It was awesome!!!
Then I had the principle deliver this to her:

Yea, I made a candy bar bouquet. I'm awesome and Hannah felt extra special.
Then on Saturday we had her birthday party at Diddy Bops, only a really, really nasty storm blew in. Yuck. We weren't sure if anyone would show up - yea, it was that bad. But we had a great turnout with 11 kids celebrating:

We had a great time.
I did some Internet surfing as well.
I want this little guy:

I love finding wise words:

I couldn't stop laughing when I read this. I had tears streaming down my face. My husband didn't think it was that funny. That man is strange!!!!

And this right here makes me say "GO USA!!!!"

I could keep going but I've a sick little one at the house (this time it's KK), but here's the last thing that made me smile: When I dropped off the kids at school this morning Ms. Gardner was the teacher who was out greeting the kids and helping them get inside. Ms. Gardner is KK's teacher. She asked what was wrong with "Little Kim Kim", so I let her know how yucky KK's been feeling. Ms. Gardner reached in through the window and squeezed KK's arm "I hope you feel better sweetheart and can come back to school tomorrow. Remember, honey, I love you." Aaaawe!!!! That makes my heart smile more than anything!

Monday, February 20, 2012

My.....that's a tasty clock!

We took the kids to see Journey to Mysterious Island. It was awesome.  We got there for the first showing since both The Hubs and I had homework to get done and turned in (nothing like waiting until the very last day to get our work turned in).
We got our tickets and headed in for refreshments. Hannah spotted this:

It’s the great big clock in the lobby of the theater.
“Wow! Look at that clock. It has ramen noodles.”
Huh? I took a good look at it.
“Uh, Hannah, those are Roman Numerals.”
That cracked me up. Even writing it now and remembering how she said it makes me giggle.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sometimes you gotta stand up for what you really 'want' .... sure.

We still aren’t totally sure if we are staying in Mississippi after Corey retires. He has been looking at a job opportunity in Kansas, but we aren’t sold on it yet. Corey loves what he does here (well, as much as one can “love” this kind of thing, it is working with soldiers going into theater and is pretty stressful) so we have been looking at houses around Hattiesburg that are on the market, as well as those in Oak Grove and Petal and some outlying areas.
Late last night we are lying in bed talking about “stuff”:
Corey: What time’s the party tomorrow? (he’s talking about Hannah’s birthday party)
Me: Noon.
Corey: Seriously? So there goes the whole day!
Me: No, Diddy Bops is a timed play area. Our time is from 12 to 2. We have to be out at 2.
Corey: That’s the whole day! *big long sigh*
Me: Oh shush, this is for our girl. Put a smile on your face!
Corey: Why can’t we just have a normal birthday party?
Me: This is a normal party.
Corey: You know what I mean.
Me: YOU know WHY.
Corey: Apparently I don’t.
Me: Because we live in the country and don’t have regular neighbors, because history has proven that when we – or anyone else- have a party at their house the outcome is miserable. People just don’t like to go to other people’s houses here.
Corey: (under his breath) This sucks.
Me: It will be different next year when we live in a neighborhood and we can do it our house and all the neighborhood kids can come.
Corey: I’m not sure I want to live in a neighborhood.
Me: (in total shock) WHAT???? That’s what we have talked about all along.
Corey: I’m starting to change my mind.
Me: No, no, no. We’ve talked about moving into a neighborhood like Susan and Derrick (that would be Chapel Hill, I love that neighborhood) and we would have neighbors and the kids would have friends to play with. This has been decided.
Corey: Nothing has ‘been decided’.
Me:  Yes it has.
Corey: Besides I’m not sure I want neighbors to be right up on me.
Me: Look – the kids need to have friends to play with. Where they can just go out in the neighborhood and play; you need to think about them. You need to stop being so selfish.
Corey: The kids are gonna be gone in a couple of years anyway.
Me: What??? Where are they going? What do you mean ‘a couple of years’? You failed math, didn’t you? Hannah is just now turning 10. So she has another 8 years. Jon has 10 years until he’s 18 and KK has 12 years. And that’s IF they leave the house when they turn 18.
Corey: (another big sigh) Lisa, moving into a subdivision or a neighborhood isn’t decided yet.
Corey: Not necessarily.
Me: I’m putting my foot down on this! Period!

On a totally different note I am very thankful that our guest room’s bed is really comfy. I got a great night’s sleep. Now I’m back to searching for awesome houses in awesome neighborhoods.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I worry about The Boy

As we were headed home from grabbing a bite to eat last night The Boy cracked me up when he noticed the car in front of us and their brake lights.
The Boy: Hey, what are those?
Me: What are what?
The Boy: The bright red lights on that car!
Me: Those are brake lights.
The Boy: What are they for?
Me: Well, when he hits his brakes they come on.
The Boy: Why?
Me: To let me, or whoever else might be behind him, know that he has hit his brakes and he is slowing down.
The Boy: Does your car have those?
Me: Yes.
The Boy: Wow!
*crickets chirping*
The Boy: Hey! Can we drive around town and just hit our brakes for a couple hours?
Me: No.
The Boy: Darn it!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Boy is sick......again......

So, for the past few days The Boy has complained that his head has been hurting. Not a good sign. But he hasn't been wheezing and his overall health is pretty darn good. Then this morning he tells me "my neck hurts really bad", then he shrugs his shoulders up and keeps them up - "I mean my neck hurts really really bad mom. Plus my eyeball hurts and my ear hurts. Can I go see the doctor?"
I couldn't get him there fast enough to tell you the truth.
Our pediatrician calls Jon "Job". It's kind of a running joke in the office. When we first moved here Jon seemed to live in her office. He had a reaction to the humidity here and his skin grew wart-like bumps all over. It was pretty gross. Then he had a reaction to his booster vaccine and got asthma. He's had some nasty sinus infections as well.
She was really concerned about his neck hurting. Then, for reasons I still can't explain, I asked him "Hey buddy, where exactly on your neck does it hurt?"
"Right here."
"Uh, yea, that's your throat hon, you have a sore throat."
"Oh, that's probably why it hurts so much when I swallow."
Dr. Haden and I just stared at each other for a moment. Priceless.
He does have another nasty sinus infection and fluid is building up in his ear. At least now he doesn't have those pesky tonsils, I'm sure they would be the size of golf balls by now and covered in puss.
We celebrated "just a sinus infection" with DQ sundaes!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Years and years and years ago Valentine’s Day was a day of romance and going out to eat and getting sparkly things. Now it’s about chocolaty kisses and big goofy smiles. It’s about little arms hugging me as tight as they can.
The Hubs has never been a big gift giver. Maybe it’s his crappy early childhood this has instilled this in him- I’m not sure, but I’ve grown to be okay with it.
What I wasn’t expecting was this:

It’ huge:

And the puppy dog was holding a little black box:

Each of the kiddos got one too (but theirs did NOT come with sparklies!!!).
I was shocked. Just when I get settled into the “norm” around here he throws me a curveball!!!
What can I say, HE IS AWESOME!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Project Sweetdreams!

When we first moved into this house the kids' rooms were upstairs. They didn't like that. The master bedroom is downstairs and they didn't feel "safe" upstairs away from us. So we moved them downstairs. Each kiddo has their own room. But there is one drawback, they are "walk through" rooms. When Jack Lucas built his "Medal of Honor room" it ran the whole side of the house, and each of the three rooms that the kids now call their rooms opens up to this large room. So at night it's a little sccary for them. The blinds are closed to that back part of the house, but it's still spooky.
So I came up with a plan. I put up curtains there so it looks more seperated. Like a real room.
Here's Hannah's room before:

And with a couple curtains:

And here's KK's finished room, I did leave a walkway in hers because the back door is right around the corner and we do use it a lot:
I used curtain rods, but I didn't want to put more holes in the walls so I just hung them up with ribbons attached to the hardware already there for the blinds. I found the curtains at Ross for pretty cheap as well, so bonus!!!! Hannah's purple curtains came in a 2 pack for 7.99 and the pink glittery curtain was $5.99. So that was an easy $14 fix. KK's were from upstairs, so I just rehomed them to her room (they were from Ross at 5.99 each - so $12). 
I had to use the ladder, which Calvin claimed as soon as possible:

I haven't done Jon's room yet since Ross didn't have any "boy curtains". More than likely I will have to resort to Target for them. I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Nothing is safe in our house!

Hannah and Jon got to go to the BEAUVOIR House  - The Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library. If you live in Mississippi or are driving through Mississippi then you have to stop by Beauvoir in Biloxi. There is just so much history and you will feel “southern”, really and truly!
When they went there they took gift shop money. One of the things Hannah got was this cat that is fur covered (before you bash me I did explain that rabbits were killed to make this cat and let her know that I really didn’t want her to ‘collect’ these because it’s just not right. She agreed, she even felt a little bad for the rabbits that died to make it). It has lived perfectly happy in our houses for a few months, and then Calvin discovered it. I think he fell in love. We have had to resort to putting this poor ‘cat’ up on shelves to keep it safe. He will sit below it and stare longingly up at it. He will meow and call to it. It’s really pathetic.
Here's a picture of Hannah's cat safely on a shelf:

Without fail if we walk out of the room we will come back to him assaulting this poor figurine. No matter where we put it he’ll get it. And he’s stealthy about it as well. We will sit just on the other side of the door and wait, listening for any sound that may give away that he’s kidnapping (or is it catnapping?) this poor thing.
We’ll walk in to find this:
                                                         Do you mind, I'm busy here!

We'll finally wrench it away from Calvin - he's possessive of this cat, he'll growl at us; threatening to take some flesh off us if we come near it. Anyway, we'll finally get it away from him and it will be soaking wet where he's been licking and cleaning it. He's such a freak. But he's my little, furry freak. I love this cat!!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Attention: We Have a Winner!!!!

Eating gluten-free has its ups and its downs. Of course one of the biggest “ups” is that we are eating healthier and that Hannah isn’t hurting and sick every night.
One of the “downs” is not getting to eat your favorite foods, friends not understanding why you’re different, and finding tasty gluten-free foods.
I love it when friends send me recipes.
And I love the opportunity that social media gives us these days. I can go online to chat rooms specifically for celiacs or those choosing a gluten-free lifestyle and find out what is tasty and what tastes like cardboard.
One brand that we have grown to really trust is Udi’s.  We’ve only found one local place that carries it (in the freezer section, for freshness). It’s pretty good! And Hannah really likes their products.
You can also sign up for Udi’s recipes. So far they have been pretty darn good. But we got a recipe from them the other day that hit it out of the ballpark:

Hannah even took some to school and all her classmates all loved them!

Friday, February 3, 2012

I'd do anything for her, and I'm willing to prove it

There are few times when you feel as helpless as you do when you know your child is doing all that she/he can do and is still struggling so hard in school. They are embarrassed and ashamed. They see their friends and peers “getting it”, yet it just doesn’t click for them.  It can be even harder if there are other children in the household who excel academically. The emotional pain they feel is excruciating.
This is what we are going through with our oldest daughter Hannah.
She is a wonderful little girl. She lights up the room with her smile. She is goofy, funny, silly.

She is amazing. But she struggles so much with her schooling.
There are drawbacks to both public and private schools. In the public sector she was getting lost in the classroom. But in the private school there are only a couple other kids in the class, so every one knows everything about every one. The competition is horrendous. And just because it's a christian school doesn't mean there isn't bullying going on. Believe me, I've gotten pretty vocal about their need to whoop some kids' butts!!!
When we had her in a public school she was able to get into special education classes. She was given an IEP (Individualized Education Program). But in this private school that option is not available for her. I'm not asking for a pity party "Oh, poor kids for going to a private school". Not at all, we are fortunate to have all three kids going to Central Baptist. But we aren't so sure if we will keep the kids in Central next year, even if we do stay in Mississippi.
In public school we have been able to get her a lot of testing, and a lot of help. When we lived in Texas the Public School System even did a determination of disability for her.  She underwent so many tests it made my head spin. What the counselors told me was nothing short of disturbing:
Let me assure that I’m not in denial. I just know that my daughter is not mentally retarded. And if she was I would love her just the same and offer her the same help I am now.
Last school year she struggled. We got her in with a tutor and it helped but not like we were hoping for. This year has been extremely difficult, it's beyond frustrating for her father and I so I can't imagine what she's going through.
I finally bit the bullet and called The Tutoring Club. Hannah and I met with Mr. Wade, who runs the office here in Hattiesburg yesterday. We brought in all her classwork and tests for the past couple weeks and we looked over everything. He let Hannah know that The Tutoring Club was a 100% honesty club. That she would never get into trouble for being completely honest with him, no matter what was said.
He asked Hannah a few questions, asked her if she liked school. She said “Yes.” He asked her if she had a hard time in school, “Yes”. He asked her if she wanted to find a way to make learning easier, "YES!!!" He asked her if she would hang out in the study room while he and I talked.
He said “It almost seems like she doesn’t understand what is being asked of her in any of these tests. I’m going to suggest we go ahead and do a skills assessment for everything, then we’ll see if what I’m suspecting is right.” I agreed.
The test took an hour and then we went over it. Her vocabulary skills were at a 3.0 level which means she is placing like she should be just entering the third grade, not nearly through with the third grade. But then came the startling discovery. Her comprehensive skills placed her at 2.1 like she was just entering the second grade. She doesn’t understand (comprehend) the work, so of course she’s failing.
He called Hannah back in and laid out some of her work from school, “Hannah, quick question, why did you answer these questions like these?”
“Because I didn’t know what else to put down, I didn’t understand it but I can’t turn in a blank test, so I just put down anything.” She paused then shrugged her shoulders, “I just don’t understand why I’m dumb.”
My heart died right there.
“Oh, you aren’t dumb, not at all. Your brain just works differently and we’re here to figure that out. Are you willing to work with me so we can get you back on track?”
“Yes!” She was beaming that beautiful smile now.
Then Mr. Wade turned to me, "Just like with what I said to Hannah, what I say to you will be 100% honest. If I cannot help a child I will let the parent know that I cannot help them, that it is beyond the realm of my expertise. I can help Hannah!" We start on Monday, going twice a week. But he’s guaranteed that he’ll have her ready for the fourth grade on time. There is hope, even if that hope comes with a hefty price tag!
p.s. I'd give up my Starbucks, my Wen haircare, going out to eat, my Yellow Box flip flops addiction, even cable if it meant affording tutoring for my Hannah - or any of my kids, for that matter. Fortunately The Tutoring Club is very affordable, so if your child is struggling I urge you to give them a call!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Maybe WWIII starts in my fridge, beats me!

The Boy makes me laugh. In fact, his laugh makes me laugh; it’s addictive and contagious. I love it.
Today I survived Corner Market and Sam’s. Conquering both of these stores in one day without a migraine is enough to celebrate (I rewarded myself with a new k-cap flavor from Bed, Bath and Beyond). So I made it home and started the dreaded “Ugh, now I have to put all this stuff away.” I’m busy unpacking when something catches my eye. I took another look and laughed:

Can you see it? Here’s a closer look:

Some of y’all will remember a while back when I found this in the other fridge:

Does anyone else find things in their fridge that their kiddos place in there?