{Mother in shower, happily singing some sort of jazzy Ella Fitzgerald number, Sugar Baby in adjacent room with cartoons and toast.}“Mommy!”

{Mother pretends not to hear.}

“MommEEEEEE!”

{Mother fears child has pulled some sort of heavy item onto self.}

“Yes, DARLING? Mommy’s in the shower, HONEY PIE!”

{Sugar Baby doesn’t answer. Mother turns around to see small child in her shower.}

“MOTHERFU – Hey lovie!”

“Get it, Mommy.”

“Get what?”

{Toddler holds out finger with long, stringy, red and green booger.”}

“Uh – just wipe it on the toilet paper.”

“No Mommy – yucky – you get it!”

“Honey, please -“

“You get it, Mommy, you get – you get it – you GET IT, MOMMY!”

{Meltdown ensues, water begins to turn cold.}

“Okay, here – just – ugh – here.”

{Sugar Baby smiles and laughs.}

“Bye-Bye Boogie. You yucky.”

GLAMOROUS!

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What did you just call me?

November 6, 2007

WHAT did you just call me?

Yesterday afternoon, Big Brother and I were doing some cleaning playing in the playroom. He was in charge of puzzles, I was in charge of trash, board games, paper, crayons, train track, and Cheerios. Sugar Baby was in charge of eating Halloween candy found under the couch.

While six feet from each other, Big Brother and I have the following conversation.

“Uh, oh.”

“Uh, oh what?”

“There’s a piece missing from America.”

“Which piece?”

“I don’t know the name. It starts with an M.

“Montana?”

“No. MI.”

“Michigan?”

“Uh-uh. MIS.”

“Missouri?”

“OHHH! I know! I know! I sounded it out!”

“Wow, that’s great! Which one?”

“Mrs. Pissy.”

First Day of KINDERGARTEN!

September 20, 2007

We had to get up soooo early to get to school by 8:00. (If only he knew what time Mommy woke up.)

All dressed in our uniform, Mommy takes the obligatory photo in front of the statue that welcomes you to the Lower School. The plaque underneath says:

“There are no seven wonders in the eyes of a child. There are seven million. ” -Walt Streightiff

Mommy and her BIG boy on his first day of BIG school. Can you see the death grip I have on my child? We will take the exact same picture the day he goes to college.

My BIG boy and his teacher – we love her! It was Cowboy week!

We’re in our 5th week of school now and he’s doing so great. I just can’t believe he’s in BIG school. So proud, so happy, so bittersweet.

I know you all JUMPED out of your beds this morning hoping that I had written a conclusion to the Great Pool Dilemma of 2007. Not one to disappoint (and successfully finding a way to avoid dishes,) I give you this.

The almost six year-old love of my life would not SHUT IT about going swimming, so I called some neighbors across the way to get the official Terms of Service regarding the pool. The way I wrote that sentence makes you think that I am good buds with the folks across the street, and while we like them very much and we are friendly, the sheer fact that I had to do a whitepages.com search for people living on that street shows you just how close we are.

She answered and laughed with me at how weird it was to just show up at someone’s pool, but also told me that there were other neighbors on the street that did it ALL the time. She even said she would go with me, but her boys were at her MIL’s house so she could clean. And I was jealous. (Note to self: Write a blog about how sad it is the day you are jealous of someone who is housecleaning in peace.)

At about 3:15 I slapped a little sunscreen stick on our faces and loaded up the backpack and red wagon with pool paraphernalia. Off we rolled to the Very Nice Pool.

It was like Christmas morning for Big Brother – no kidding. It’s not like we haven’t gone to other pools this summer, but for some reason this was making his year. I’m thinking it was the fact that I totally caved in on his whining for once and not so much about the pool.

When we reached the driveway, I’m telling you, it was WEIRD! It is just WEIRD to open someone’s back gate without permission. I am SUCH A RULE FOLLOWER! I am still the little private school nerdo who is freaked out at the possibility of getting 10 demerits and Saturday clean up detail. (Note to self: Write a blog on how you ended up a stay-at-home-mom who regularly participates in Saturday clean up detail.)

As we walked the beautifully landscaped path to the back, I kept looking around me as if the SWAT team was about to swoop down and raid the pool oasis with snipers and tear gas and automatic weapons. My heart was pounding. Big Brother was already in the pool. Way to break the ice.

BB isn’t quite ready to be in a pool without an adult present, mainly because he thinks he’s invincible and can lengthen his legs to 9 feet when he gets in deep water. So, I set my cell phone alarm for 30 minutes, looked around again, peeked back to the front yard, peeked into the garage, and hopped in.

Y’all, it really is a very nice pool. It’s not big, but it’s shaded with all these really big trees that magically don’t drop leaves and twigs. The trees are all well landscaped with really pretty grass and little stone pathways that lead to a little playset or a little outdoor fireplace with swing and benches or a hot tub under a little gazebo-type cover. I completely expected to see some little gnomes or fairies skipping along at any moment. And even though the thermostat was reading 112, it felt 85 and breezy.

Which is why it is just SAD that I couldn’t enjoy ONE SECOND of my time there due to CONSTANTLY looking around and checking the time. We ended up getting out about five minutes before the alarm even went off. Luckily, BB had jumped enough “Mommy, look at this one!” jumps to appease – and I didn’t even get one whine.

I have never been so glad to leave a pool. And while I truly do believe that the neighbors there are whole-heartedly gracious and sincere, I am just not capable of pooling at their house without an invitation from them or someone closer to them. I would really like to be a card carrying member of the Very Nice Pool Club, but I think we’re going to have to wait another summer.

Or at least until I know they’re on vacation. 😉

To pool, or not to pool

August 10, 2007

Good news! It’s a whole one degree cooler today than it was yesterday! Only 104! Break out the cardigans!

This heat is sucking the life out of me, people. 104 today. 105 yesterday. 100 and too much the four days before that. Who can I blame for this? I mean, I know it’s technically God controlling the weather, but I’m a good little Presbyterian and feel like I shouldn’t challenge the Father Almighty on the temperature thing – which leaves me with no choice but to point the finger at Storm Team Meteorologist, Brooks Garner. Or one of his Storm Teammates.

I’d like to go to the pool this afternoon. Not my pool, mind you. In this new, lovely, well-manicured, suburban neighborhood of mine we have very nice neighbors. And on the cul-de-sac across from us we have very nice neighbors with a pool. They are SUCH very nice neighbors, in fact, that they have issued an open invitation to all of the children in our little cul-de-sac area to utilize their very nice pool.

I am not that very nice.

In the last two months, people have stopped by to say hello, welcome us, bring us pies, peek through our front door to see how we’ve changed the house – basically, scoping us out in their very nice way to make sure we brush our teeth and speak English. (We do both.) Each person has made a point to tell us about the very nice neighbors with the pool and how they don’t mind AT ALL if we use it whenever we want. I mean, EVERYONE has told us the same thing.

But we didn’t go. Because how do you walk up with your two children all sunscreened out, pool toys dripping off you, towels over your shoulder, cold drinks in hand and say, “Hey there! We’re the Blackwelders! Nice to meet you! And can we use your bathroom if my son has to pee while he’s in your very nice pool?! His aim is pretty good!”

I don’t know. But yesterday was a different day. At 8:30 a.m. (!!), our doorbell rang (!!) and it was some very nice kids from across the street and their very nice babysitter inviting us to the pool (and bringing us an Oreo pie.) So now we have been assured that it is okay to go AND been double invited by an actual Cul-De-Sac Pool Member.

Oh, and it’s one hundred and eleventy degrees outside.

So we go. And it is paradise. Shady. Pretty. Clean. Very nice. Lots of neighbors are there, so we fit right in, the owners come introduce themselves and assure us that yes, we are welcome anytime.

Of course, here we are now – inside the house watching the Prehistoric Planet on Discovery Kids. Again. I am learning more and more about the Iguanadon and its eating habits each day – but what I REALLY want to do is go across the street to the Very Nice Pool Club. On our way back from Mecca Target, we took a drive-by to see if we could hear any squeals or splashes, but alas. Technically, we have been invited, but is it still weird to anyone else to just show up at someone else’s house unannounced so that you can jump in their property?

Hmm. Maybe I would feel better about it if I brought them a pie.

Sugar Baby’s Birthday

July 25, 2007

It was Thomas the Train – the lead free version.

Cake – YUM!

See the curls!!

There are lots more shots of him opening presents and running around, but the cutest ones are of him and the cake.

Brian and I celebrated later with our typical tradition of champagne and leftover cake. After all, it was a pretty great day for us, too.

Today is my baby’s 2nd birthday. I think it’s appropriate to repost his birth story. Two years gone. It just happens so fast. You can read his birth story, here.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

10 things that make me happy:

1. Playing tickle toes and getting the above smile!

2. Decaf Hazelnut

3. Getting an unexpected compliment on my writing

4. Hearing James play around on the piano

5. Babies!! (not that I’m having one)

6. “Uv oo, Mama”

7. The color of the summer sky when a storm is rolling in

8. Diet coke w/lime

9. Seeing JJ learn how to swim

10. Watching JC fall asleep

Learning to make change

August 9, 2006

Have y’all seen that Staples commercial? It’s one of my favorites. This father is going through the aisles of the store lightheartedly tossing school supplies in the cart with a great big goofy grin – while the children follow behind – looking as if they’re on the path to the guillotine. And in the background you hear the Christmas song, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”

The first days of school alway strike a chord in me. I adore shopping for school supplies. There’s something about the smell of new notebooks and pencils, the shiny packs of colored pens and highlighters, and all those nifty organizational products – call me a nerdo – but I could probably spend as much money at Staples as I do at Target (quite a feat.)

I have to tell you, though – even the excitement of a school supply shopping spree hasn’t been enough to calm my anxiety about this year’s first days of school. Big Brother is starting his last year at preschool and next year he’ll be in real school. My baby is starting preschool of sorts – same school as older brother, but obviously less intense. And me – well – mama’s going back to work. The winds of change are blowing again and all of a sudden I feel like the preverbial sparrow in a hurricane.

Yesterday was the beginning of the madness and today I am trying to find the words to tell my new boss lady that I quit. Let me quickly describe how horrific it was to even drop off my children. I had to hold back my big boy from running into his new classroom. I mean, I’m glad he loves his class, but what about me, man? Aren’t you even going to miss me? Don’t I get a hug? I could barely see my almost-five-year-old blow me the quickest kiss from across the room as my eyes fogged over from tears. Why is he growing up so fast?

Once I broke the seal of tears, it was over. I cried the entire walk over to the baby hall, and it just got worse as I handed the baby over, kissed him goodbye, and walked to my classroom. I literally had to duck into a bathroom to get myself together before moving on.

Keep in mind that this is my CHURCH, okay? It’s not some ghetto day care where the workers are filing their nails and washing their cheez-its down with a quick chug of vodka. It’s a beautiful, accredited school where I know almost everyone and even used to work myself. It’s just hard!

After I sucked back the tears I made my way to “the other side of the tracks” to the rooms for the Drop-In day care. I spent a good bit of Monday making the room look less like a holding cell and more like a classroom and damn, if it didn’t look good. The director was pleased and I gained a teeny tiny bit of confidence as I glanced over my legal pad with my detailed plans for the day. I met my two co-workers a few minutes before the children began to arrive. One of them has been with the program for eight years – but we all seemed to be on the same page regarding the daily schedule – blah, blah, blah.

I’m trying to find a way to condense my day without going into the details, so I’ll just say this and hope I get the point across.

CHAOS!

I blame myself, really. For starters, I only know how to deal with structured education programs. The whole “drop-in, sign-in, first come/first serve, laid back, who are you anyway?” system is just not something for which I was prepared. That, combined with me trying to implement some structure into a program that one teacher had been a part of for almost a decade – well – it just didn’t fly. It’s a very good program for its purpose, mind you. I just wasn’t as ready as I thought.

So there I was – tired, confused, overwhelmed, SAD – I honestly wanted to leave. I was in a daze for most of the morning and found myself wandering in thought. For instance, I was sitting there in front of my beautifully crafted bulletin board and calendar, singing a song for Morning Circle Time (which was to occur from approximately 9:20-9:35) and out of 18 children, I’m guessing that – oh – maybe – five of them were actually sitting there and listening. And all of a sudden I just zone out and think…”This must be what musicians feel like when they’re playing for an audience of assholes…”

Oh, yes – hello children.

The ages of the children range from three to five years old, so trying to determine content is a joke. BIG difference between three year-olds who barely speak and five year-olds who want to read to me. Geez.

It’s no secret that I hate change. I like finding a groove and sticking to it. I like the familiar – even when it’s to my own detriment. I’m trying to figure out what choice I’m supposed to make here. Do I bail on the Drop-In now so the director can find a replacement as soon as possible? Do I give it another week or two? The answer is somewhere inside me and I have to dig it out. What I know right now is that I dread tomorrow like the plague and that is not a feeling I want on a daily basis.