Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Adelaide is 4

Today was Adelaide-y-hoo's 4th birthday. We had her party on Sunday in Grandma's backyard and Grammie bought her a Dorothy cake. We had a mixed theme going on - blue and princess balloons, red table cloths, Dorothy decorations on the cake, a little swimming pool, lemonade, and blankets in the yard. It was HOT. The kids had a fabulous time eating cake, opening presents, running around like crazy, and stuffing themselves into the tiny wading pool all at once. I was a bit sad that Adelaide wore her little pink "Birthday Girl" shirt for probably the last year - though it's lasted through 12 birthdays now - 4 for each girl. Sigh. I can't believe she's growing up so fast... my baby girl. This morning she had a candle in her pancake and then I brought her some surprises (a paint with water book and some LalaLoopsy mini toys) and Grammie called her birthday in to 3WC and they announced "A happy 4th birthday to Adelaide" on the radio. Then this afternoon we went to Shatley Springs with Papaw and Mamaw and she had another cake there AND they sang to her and she got to feed the ducks. Tonight she's spending the night along with Sadie and Josie at Cameron and Caleb's house. Throughout the day she continued to be her "own self," even though now she is "four years old actually and for real." She repeatedly asked to hear our new favorite song by the Darlings on the Andy Griffith show, which she consistently called "Doodley" instead of "Dooley." She informed me while in the bathroom at Shatley Springs that "there is a fly in here." "A fly?" I said. "Yes. And it is distinctly alive." "Distinctly?" I asked. "I didn't know you knew that word." "Well, I do know it." On the way home she was playing with Papaw in the back seat and he said something about a pick. Adelaide, who takes "nothing off no one" said, "Hey! I am not a pig! You are da pig!" And then when I was getting ready to leave Angela's after dropping them all off, Adelaide ran upstairs and into the bathroom. Then she yelled for me and informed me that "I tried to pee in the potty but I missed and then all the pee squirted out into the floor!" After I cleaned it up and changed her clothes, I said to the cowboy hat wearing girl, "You do know there is a bathroom in the basement." Silence. And a dirty look. And "No. I did not know dat." Happy birthday to my sweet goofball, laugh a minute girl. You are my girl (and I am your mom :).

Monday, May 28, 2012

Heaven help us, Jedidiah has learned to climb out of his crib.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


In the middle of the night, I hear a thump upstairs, then a pair of bare feet clomping down the steps as fast as they can clomp. “Mom! Mommy! Josie threw up all over her bed and she needs you!” And so it begins. My husband and I divide and conquer (and yawn.) “Which one do you want?” I ask him. “Laundry or hard surfaces and the kid?” He chooses laundry and we both sleepily traipse upstairs. We find poor Josie sitting on her bed in a mass of puke-covered Tinkerbell sheets, her hair sticking out wildly in all directions. I chalk the hair up to regular bed-head until her big sister knowingly informs me, “She threw up in her sleep. While she was STILL asleep. And she didn’t even KNOW it. Weird! So she pulled the covers up over her head after she threw up on them, and that’s why she has throw-up in her hair.” Oh. I banish the non-thrower-upper to the bed in the guest room. Then I grab the cleaning supplies: plastic bags, antibacterial wipes, Lysol spray, rags, etc. It’s at this point I realize that I could also use a nose plug. Meanwhile, my husband hauls the air purifier up the stairs and starts yanking off the sheets. Poor Josie, shivering and covered in throw-up, waits patiently in the bathroom while I start the shower for her. I ask her if she’s okay and she shakes her head pitifully, then smiles a little and looks up at me. “Well, actually, Mommy,” she proclaims, “I feel a lot better now that I threw up.” Hmm. I wash her off in the shower, cover her up in a towel, get her some clean PJs and settle her on the couch downstairs by our room (in this house, any throwing-up activity warrants a night on the couch) with a just-in-case bowl, a cup full of ginger ale and some saltine crackers. Unfortunately, her beloved blankie is a casualty of the preceding events and it is spending the night in the washing machine. As a replacement, she clutches a pot holder her sister made for her on the Loop and Loom. Since she’s wide awake, we talk for a few minutes and this otherwise yucky situation turns into a bit of a (gross) learning opportunity. We talk about how when there’s something that you’re afraid of doing or something that you really dread there’s really only one thing that ever makes you feel any better. Josie grins as she sips her fizzy drink. “Yep. Just throw up and get it over with.” Words to live by! I trudge back up the stairs with my rag and my cleaning spray, and I know that she’s right. --from my May 27 article for www.mentorpatch.com

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The World of Jedididah

As an 18-month-old, the world stretches out before my son Jedidiah, beckoning him to all of its wonders. Here are a few of the things that he’s learned in his short (but exciting) life. When it’s time to eat, EAT. Don’t let anything stop you. Also, any kind of fruit is worth squealing over. Whipped cream, however, is worth crying over. Books have multiple uses: reading, chewing and throwing. Sisters are funny. Sisters who dance around and then fall down accidentally are hilarious. Moms are the best thing ever. Potential friends are everywhere. Most are in the form of dogs. The human body is very interesting. Especially your own teeth, your feet, your ears, your hair and (dare I say it?) your weenie. Don’t miss your window of opportunity for napping. Hooking your bare toes up underneath the tray on your high chair helps with digestion. Bibs are overrated. Wipe your hands on your shirt – or better yet, on your head. Grass is tickly and also good for throwing. Peek-a-boo is a great game. Grown-ups don’t know what they’re missing. Buttons are for pushing. If you weren’t supposed to push it, it wouldn’t be there. The great outdoors is just that – great. Dogs are entertaining, and eating dog food is a special treat. If you shove it in your mouth quick enough, your mom can’t get it out of there. If at all possible, wear your PJs all day long. Toilets are good for washing your hands in. I don't know why, but you have to wash them again in the sink afterward. Dads are great for giving piggy-back rides, but watch your head. Dads are also tall. If the gate is open, get your butt up the stairs as fast as you can! Something wonderful must be up there! Brushing your teeth is incredibly exciting. Get your hands on a toothbrush at every opportunity. Cars are for driving. Remote control cars are for stealing from your sister and breaking. If it’s closed, open it. This goes for cabinets, boxes, doors and drawers. Putting your pants on your head is always sure to get a laugh. Climb up on whatever is available. Don’t waste time on pointless safety checks. If your grandma is babysitting and she turns her back for a second, jump in the tub – even if you’ve already had your bath and have on a clean diaper and your pajamas. Swinging in a baby swing is awesome. Even if you have to sit in your sister’s old pink one. Whatever you do, don’t cooperate when someone is changing your diaper. If possible, stick your hand in poop. It makes people act crazy! Cooking with plastic toy food is fun, even for a boy. If you follow your sisters around long enough, they WILL put their snack down. And then you WILL be able to get it. Getting pushed around the house in an empty laundry basket is pretty much as good as riding in a limo. It’s fun to poke your mom in the eye. It’s even more fun to stick your finger up her nose. Balls are for bouncing. If you see a ball somewhere, for Pete’s sake, go and bounce it! Sticks are for hitting things. Sweeping the floor must be a lot of fun, otherwise, why would mom do it all the time? Someone get me a broom. If you don’t want to do something, just go limp. It’s impossible for anyone to pick you up off the floor if you’re limp. Trust me on this one. Life is good when you're little - especially when you're little and cute. --from my May 20 article for www.mentorpatch.com

Sunday, May 13, 2012


I remember the very first time Sadie, my oldest daughter, picked a flower to give to me. It was, of course, a dandelion. In her chubby little childish fist, though, it was special to my “mother’s heart.” As a matter of fact, it is currently pressed and dried and residing in her baby book. Back then, her newfound flower-picking ability was especially noteworthy. (Her usual toddler behavior was eating sand out of the sandbox.) A fistful of wilting daisies, a gloppy mess of congealed finger-paint on construction paper, notes with a scribbled “I (heart) Mom,” a wide baby grin, a slobbery good night kiss right on the lips, a sticky hug, a whispered, “you are my best Mommy, Mommy!” or “I never want to let go of this hug!” These are priceless treasures. My kitchen cabinets are covered with crayon drawings, and my counter is usually overgrown with some sort of a floral masterpiece: daffodils in the spring (and sometimes my tulips if I forget to say “Don’t pick those!”), peonies in the summer, leaf bouquets in the fall and sprigs of snow-covered greenery – usually with berries of some sort – in the winter. My demonstrative daughters also love to give me the occasional four-leaf clover, clumsily-strung wildflower chain, pinecone, piece of moss, pretty rock, especially nice piece of grass… you name it. I’ve noticed that when our children are small, we tend to take those acts of love for granted. I’ll admit that I’ve been known to actually (gasp) throw away a note, a drawing or a crumbly dried-out flower. At this point in life, I take for granted that others will take their place in the next day or two. In my heart, though, I know that there will come a day when those childish gifts of love will stop coming - when my kids are too cool, too sophisticated for their dorky old mom. Like the growing season in our part of the country, these childhood days are too soon past us – too soon a memory. In an old country song that I’ve always liked, a man asks his mother what he could possibly give her to repay her for everything that she’s given him. Her reply? “All the treasures in the world will never be enough but I won’t take less than your love.” In the end, when our kids are all grown up, isn’t that what all of us really want? The same sweet, unabashed, unashamed love that they give us when they are little? In this season of being thankful for our mothers – the ones who love us when we’re unlovable, the ones who clean us up when we’re dirty, the ones who make us smile when we’re sad – I will go and pick up a mushy card and maybe a potted plant for my own mom. I will probably even get a gift and a card from my husband. But I will be thinking about how not even the rarest orchid could ever be as precious to me as one droopy-headed dandelion, handed to me by my child. --from my May 13 article for www.mentorpatch.com

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Cinderella & Off-roading

Today, my mom bought tickets for us and the girls to see Cinderella onstage. Dummy me thought it was at the same theater we saw a play in last time, and so when we pulled into the parking lot and it was EMPTY, I was surprised. Then I looked at our tickets (duh) and saw that it was at THE OTHER THEATER 25 minutes away!!! And we only had 12 minutes to get there! Let me just say that I put. it. in. the. wind. We got there in about 14 minutes WITHOUT getting a ticket. The girls and Grammie jumped out and went in while I parked and they got into their seats RIGHT when the first act started. Whew. It was a good show - the wicked stepsisters were my and Grammie's favorites - Sadie liked the fairy godmother and Josie and Adelaide (of course) liked Cinderella the best. I love watching the girls watch a play... it's so CUTE. Adelaide was spellbound the whole time, and all of them got the funniest looks on their faces when the Prince and Cinderella KISSED. EW. Sadie said, "Well, they must be married in real life if they are going around kissing like that." I like how she thinks. :) While we were at the play, Jesse took Jedidiah to meet Grandma Beth, Aunt Cindy, and the cousins to go on a Bald Eagle Hike over at the marsh. He took the stroller so Jed wouldn't get tired, but apparently that was a mistake. Jesse said that they went "stroller off-roading" and had to bounce over gullies and hike up steep hills and that Jed laughed and waved his arms around like he was on a roller coaster. Jesse, however, got blisters and sore legs. Hahah!

Rolls of Squishy Deliciousness :)

Every once in a while, I try to have Special Mommy Night with each of my children. One-on-one time is a rare commodity in a busy house with four children. The parents are outnumbered. But last week, Josie and I went out for a special date. Josie is six years old and she is my adventurous eater. She will try (and like) pretty much anything. This is a great change from her early beginnings, when she would only eat strawberry-apple fruit poofs, watermelon, yellow cheese, graham crackers, yogurt and the occasional meatball. Now she loves things that most kids would turn their noses up at: livermush, pinto beans, couscous, prunes, spinach, any kind of Chinese or Mexican food, and now, to my delight, sushi. When she was little she used to say, “Shoo-shi. I no like shooshi!” Well, now she does. Once in a while we have “sushi night” at our house. If you don’t count the huge mess and inevitable grains of rice everywhere, it’s always a major success. The girls love to get out the bamboo mats, the sheets of seaweed (aka “mermaid food”), the chopsticks and the piece de resistance: the soy sauce. Soy sauce. If I put it on a rock, they would eat the rock and then ask for seconds. But on Josie’s Special Mommy Night we decided to go out for sushi. Just the two of us. Of course, while we were on the way to the mall, she got to play a game on my phone (an oft-made request around here.) We held hands in the parking lot and I savored the feel of her little pink-nail-polished hand in mine. In the restaurant after we ordered, we decided to sit on the same side of the booth so we could snuggle. As we waited for our food, Josie poured herself a big ole serving of soy sauce in preparation of her main dish. When it finally came, she chowed down on vegetable maki, shrimp tempura and our new found favorite: Las Vegas roll. The only problem is the humongous pieces of crab, avocado, cucumber, cream cheese and spicy mayo rolled into one are so big that Josie had a hard time shoving them into her mouth. She did it, though, with her chopsticks. I was so proud. She decided that Las Vegas roll is “the best sushi of ever” and called it “yummy squishy deliciousness.” When we were done, she paid the bill herself (with my money, of course). Then she got to ride one of the kiddie rides out in the mall, questionably named The Magic Mushroom. Weird. Next, we checked out the shoe store and she tried on as many shoes as she wanted. She is a girl, after all. She got a pretzel with not one, but two sweet glaze dips, which she polished off while riding up and down the escalator several times while peeking at me from over the railing and waving. On the way home, I “interviewed” her and recorded her answers on my cell phone. Here is what she had to say about me: “Well, my mom likes to takes her kids out to dates. Especially Josie. Thank you, thank you. She’s my mom so of course I like her. She’s good. She spoils us in a spoiling kind of way – with fruits and vegetables. She sings me a good song at bedtime, but she doesn’t teach me to chew with my mouth closed.” I did pretty well right up until the end. All things considered, Special Mommy Night was pretty special. It was for me, anyway. --from my May 6 article for www.mentorpatch.com