Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tootin' on a vine

I was reading Ten Little Ladybugs to Jedidiah before his nap. He tooted on my leg and laughed. So I read, "Ten little ladybugs tooting on a vine." To this, he absolutely CRACKED UP. Then he suddenly stopped laughing, looked at me and said, very seriously, "Hey. It 'tinks in here."


"My fuzzy! Whure my fuzzy?"

Jed is always very concerned about where, exactly, his "fuzzy" is. His "fuzzy" is always a tiny piece of bluish green yarn lint that he pulls affectionately from his favorite crocheted blanket -- the one my good friend Sherry from NC made for him before he was born.

Every time he goes down for a nap or for bedtime, he wants to cover up ONLY with his fuzzy blanket and he immediately reaches down and snags a little piece of fuzz to hold between his finger and thumb on his right hand (his left hand is busy, since it is the finger-sucking hand.)

When he wakes up in the mornings, he always brings his tiny piece of fuzzy along with him to climb into my bed to snuggle. If he drops it, he's very conscientious about finding it! And it's always TINY! I love how he's so interested in something so miniscule.

Yesterday when he went outside, he carefully placed his "fuzzy" on the kitchen counter and said, "Mom, I leave my fuzzy, my fuzzy, right dere?"

Yes, Buddy. You can leave your fuzzy with me any time. :)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Smells Like Summer

“Mom, smell this!”
My 9-year-old, Sadie, shoved a bright gold and maroon marigold right up under my nose.

“It smells just like summer!” she said, then danced off through the yard.

Summer has its own smells, doesn’t it? The smell of honeysuckle vines takes me back to my Great Aunt Stella’s house where I stayed when school was out. When it got hot (which was pretty early in the morning in North Carolina), my cousins and I would wade in the little creek that ran through the front yard. On the honeysuckle-covered banks, we would try to catch minnows and make mud pies for our pretend restaurant – which we (aptly) named “Gravy Country” because of all the mud gravy we served over our rock biscuits. Later we’d pick hot grapes from the vines in the backyard. The purplish-blue skins would burst open with sweetness in my mouth – they even tasted like summer.

The smell of hot asphalt reminds me of the “burning feet dance” I would do as I walked barefoot across our driveway. I’d reward my tingling (singed) feet in the cool grass by the pool. I remember the smell of my tanned skin, the chlorine from the water and the towels fresh from the dryer.

The smell of sawdust and motor oil transports me to the shady garage behind our house where my daddy would work on cars during the summer – I’d bring him a glass of cold sweet tea when it was really hot outside. I remember the smell of the lemons, the sweat of the ice on the glass and the sweat on my hardworking daddy’s white v-neck T-shirt.

The smells of fresh sliced cucumbers, along with tomato biscuits, always take me immediately to summertime – even when it’s the dead of winter.

I wonder what smells are going to take my kids back to their childhoods? Back to… well… now?

Marigolds? Warm cobbler made from cherries from our tree? Blue raspberry popsicles from the freezer in the garage? The sizzle-y smell of burnt out sparklers? The juicy smell of a newly sliced watermelon? The earthy smell from helping in their Grandma’s garden?

Or maybe they’ll remember the smell of fresh-cut grass and the gasoline smell from sitting on their dad’s lap on the mower. Or the acrid smell that lightning bugs leave on their little hands when they let their captives soar to freedom. Or maybe the smell of the fresh-from-the-field strawberries from the farm where we pick every year. Or the fizzy-lemon-lime smell from the “spritzers” their Grammie makes them when it’s hot outside.

Maybe they’ll remember the tantalizing smell of their dad’s smoker as it teased us all day long with the delicious smell of ribs or brisket until it was finally dinnertime.

Right now, my kids are outside in the warm sun, breathing in their own summer memories. Breathe deep, my sweet babies. These memories are going to last you for a lifetime.

So breathe deep.

--from my 6-15-13 post for

Friday, June 07, 2013

Doin' Nothin'

I haven’t checked a single thing off my “to do” list this week.

I keep drawing arrows to tomorrow. And tomorrow. And tomorrow.

But it’s okay. My cousin and her two little boys were visiting us from North Carolina. This was a much anticipated event, so my kids and I have been doing things that we don’t usually do – all in the name of fun.

We had no itinerary – no plans at all, really – for five days. This is not normal for me!

We stayed up late and spent entire days doing nothing.

When we were tired of doing nothing, we did things like playing with Legos at the library, going to Sunday School and playing on our “killer death swing.”  We went for spins on the motorcycle. We had friends over for dinner. We went to The Natural History Museum, toured the “Parade the Oval” recycled art tent at Wade Oval downtown and ate dinner at Don Tequila (and we ordered three cheese dips!)

We went to the park, ate pepperoni rolls from Great Harvest, visited Squire's Castle and jumped to our hearts’ content in the giant “Jumpy Thing” we rented for Adelaide’s birthday party.

We danced through a milkweed blizzard. We spent two mornings at the beach, looking for beach glass and building sand castles. We went fishing and canoeing at Hidden Lake.

The kids goofed off, ran around the yard, dug in the mud with sticks and shovels, told goofy jokes, played board games and Donkey Kong and roasted marshmallows.

In short, we had a fantastic time.

Summer seems like a pretty good time to let certain things go. I mean, getting nothing done might really be getting something (more important) done anyway: sitting in the sun and soaking up life.

Sometimes it seems like I am ruled by my to-do list.

But this week I didn’t miss it at all.

This summer, I hope we can all toss our lists aside and have at least a few days to do "nothin'."

--from my 6/7/13 post for