Thursday, August 31, 2006

15 Years Ago Today...

Gather 'round, kids...listen to a little story.

It's August 31, 1991 and a fresh faced, wide-eyed, just turned 18-year old girl wakes up in her very own waterbed (ha ha) at home. She blinks her eyes, rubs her face, stretches big and sits up, instantly filled with nervous energy as she recalls what today is...

...the day she leaves for college.

That was me. I'm the girl. And I was fresh-faced -- I looked like I was all of 12 years old. Big ponytail with a red and white polka dotted scrunchy (that I made MYSELF) holding it back. I don't remember that -- I have pictures.

After breakfast, my boyfriend (high school sweetheart) came over to tell me goodbye. We decided that the best thing for us to do was be apart while I was away and together if we felt like it when I came back for my first fall break. (He was a year younger than I was and still in high school.) I remember that he made me a beaded necklace and wrote me a letter. Both of them made me cry.

My parents and I piled into the car with all of my stuff and drove the hour and a half north to my college. We pulled up in front of my dorm -- and I started to panic a little bit inside. A huge part of me was more excited than I thought I would be -- and another part of me was more scared that I thought I'd be.

We all hop out and as my dad puts the tailgate up on the Jeep, a *very* cute guy comes over and introduces himself. His name was Chris and he was here to help me move all of my stuff in. I go inside, open up my room, and as he brings the first load of stuff in, mentions that he happens to live in the room directly below me, so he hopes I'm quiet and don't wear loud shoes. I tell him that unfortunately, no one has ever described me as quiet and I pretty much lived in flip flops at that point, so he was probably out of luck. We just laughed right from the start and I felt like I'd already made my first friend.

As we went back and forth and back and forth (and back and forth some more -- I had a LOT of crap) from the dorm to the car, we kept talking. Turns out he is a year older than I am and went to a rival high school. Also turns out that he happens to be very good friends with a friend of mine -- she and I played club volleyball together, but she went to his high school and was also starting at the same college that day. (She lived on the other side of campus though.)

The interesting thing is -- he had a girlfriend and even though I didn't *have* a boyfriend -- I was still pretty emotionally attached at that point. There was a "hey, he's really cute" thing in my head, but as I said before -- it was more like instant friendship.

After he finished moving me into my room, he said to come visit him whenever I wanted to and to let him know if he could do anything for me. (This was his 2nd year in this dorm.) I thanked him and promised I'd come look him up if I needed help. He said goodbye to my parents and we went about the rest of the day.

**Fast forward 15 years with me**

August 31, exhausted but very happy 30-something woman wakes up this morning to an alarm clock going off for the 3rd time. It's not her alarm clock, so she finally gently nudges the snoring man next to her in bed and politely (well, semi-politely perhaps) asks him to please turn it off. The snoring man finally awakens when a precious baby girl in the next room begins to stir and the baggy-eyed woman goes to settle her down. As he sits up to get out of bed and meet the day ahead of him, the man looks over his shoulder and says "15 years ago today..." to his wife.

The girl is me. The guy is Chris.

The sleepy Mommy is me. The snoring Daddy is Chris.

Can you believe it? 15 years ago today, I met the man of my dreams as he was carrying in my scrunchies, tampons, and slouch socks. The man I would come to one day call "Cabana Boy" walked into my life and it was pretty darn uneventful at the time.

He claims that he chose me from the line of cars because of my cute hair and "beautiful" eyes. I personally think it's because we parked pretty near the door, but again, that's just my take on it.

Amazing. Simply amazing. We met in 1991, didn't date until 1999, didn't marry until 2002, and here we are today.

Be nice to people around you, my friends. You never know how the person holding the door open for you at the bank will impact your life in the future. The person waiting next to you at the school bus stop when you're 15 might still be your friend when you are twice, and even three times as old. That waitress you work with at your meaningless Applebee's job might actually become a lifelong friend. The *very* cute boy who helps schlep your crap into your dorm room might turn out to be your very own Prince Charming. (Too bad he still WEARS those same shoes, and I'm NOT kidding.)

15 years ago today, I met my very best friend in the whole, wide world. The road to him was long, winding and full of potholes and idiots. I would do it all again in a heartbeat to end up in the same place, and I feel confident that he would, too. He's pretty much the best thing that ever happened to me because none of the other blessings in my life would be possible without his love. I'm so thankful for him and for our marriage -- CLEARLY it was built upon friendship.

One thing though...

CRAP, does this make me feel OLD. Old and loved, but still old.

I love you, Cabana Boy. You mow a darn fine lawn.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Where to start?

Ever ask yourself that one?

I do. Like when I want to clean and declutter my house. (I know from talking to many of my friends that this is a theme for lots of us right now.)

I made myself a list of things I want to accomplish in September and am trying to check them off. So far I've done one -- and we're in the process of #2. The thing is -- I look around and I'm tempted to have about 25 half-done projects going at the same time.

Where to start? Where to start?

I guess I started with the list, didn't I?

*patting myself on the back*

Now I can just sit back and wait for it to take care of itself. Ha ha!!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

In a nutshell...

Anyone else have Mike Myers in their heads saying "Look, I'm in a nutshell!" LOL He's such a goof.

So, how exactly DO you put a 6 month old in a nutshell? I don't know but I'll try.

Georgia is 6 months old today and I'm feeling nostalgic about how quickly it's gone as well as more blessed than I'm ever grateful enough to realize. I know I'm her Mommy, so of course to me she is the most beautiful baby that ever was -- okay, well -- she's tied with another little boy I once knew. :) Don't read this as a brag -- read this as the liner notes to my Mommy's heart.

*Even when I was pregnant with her, I knew she was full of energy. My delivery nurse told me he'd NEVER seen a baby that active in labor. At least 4 times people came running in because she'd kicked the monitor off and they thought she was crashing. Chris and I just laughed because every staff member that came in was amazed at how enormous her movements were and how CONSTANT. We were used to it, but it really was something to see. Know what I feel sad about? We never took a video of my belly jumping around. You'll just have to take my word for it.

*She was INSTANTLY engaged with us after her birth. The funny thing is that everyone who was just commenting about what a crazy person she was in my belly were then astounded that she was SOOOO alert right away. Ummmm, hello? Doesn't the logic follow there? I knew she'd be wide awake and trying to take it all in.

*Her spirit is so much bigger than her body, and she's always been like that. She is seriously (seriously.) just happy to be alive. Happy to be in the room. Ever since her first day here, she hasn't complained much unless her belly is empty. (Actually, I'm glad that she doesn't tolerate messy diapers as well as her brother -- I'm hoping that means good things for potty training speed.) She has always been just excited for you to make eye contact with her.

*Her smile is contagious. She figured it out early and whips it out often. Combine it with those big, brown, engaging eyes and she's a tough one to ignore.

*I think her giggle is on the angel's soundtrack. I'm not kidding -- you can't not laugh yourself when you hear it, or at least smile, even if you are in an exceptionally bad mood. You can tell she's laughing from her soul, and because she's TRULY happy. The really great part of this is that at least 70% of the time, she's laughing at her big brother.

*Speaking of Mitchell, I think that their little sibling love affair started before she even got out. I remember him trying to put one of those little teeny pumpkins in my belly last Halloween. When she started getting active in there, she'd ALWAYS perk up when he talked to my tummy, even if she had been quiet for hours.

*I am glad to say that she appears to be a goofball like her Momma. Having a sense of humor has gotten me into trouble in the past, but most of the time it helps more than anything. She's got one. I assure you. The girl has a sense of timing. She knows just when to slap someone. Her ability to blow raspberries is always done with a flawless sense of exactly when and toward whom they should be directed. I hope that when she starts mocking me I'm able to remain appreciative of her humor. (Eeeee. Just thought of myself in middle school and got the bad kind of goosebumps. Uh-oh.)

*She's already challenging me in ways that I never knew she could. See, I'm used to raising an observer -- a slow to come out of his shell and explore child. She has NEVER been that way. Their births are perfect examples -- I'm convinced he was in jumping jack position in the birth canal, wedging himself in there because he needed more time to get comfortable with arriving in this world. It took me 3 hours to get that child out by pushing. Not Georgia -- 20 minutes later and there she was with everyone asking if she was a c-section because her head was unscathed. Nope -- she just wanted to get out and start the party. She wants to hold everything, open everything, eat everything, play with everything. She wants to go, go, go. Now. Yesterday, as a matter of fact. This little go-getter personality is new to me on the motherhood front. It's like raising myself, and let me tell you how scary that is. It's official -- we have a little Chris and a little Tara. I predict big love, lots and lots of laughing, and fights worth remembering when they happen.

*She couldn't POSSIBLY be any sweeter. She hasn't yet said a word (well, I think one day she was saying "ato" for Mitchell, but it hasn't happened again), but this little girl can TALK to you. She is the most expressive little girl and there is absolutely NO doubt about her love for us or trust in us. That in itself is the most precious gift she can give.

What a job, to be a Mommy. Specifically to her. I can't believe this 6 months has flown by. It seems like just yesterday I was putting together her carseat and stroller and just Wednesday I put together her BIG girl carseat and took the baby seat attachment off of the stroller. Today I have lots of little clothes to pack away. Wednesday is her doctor visit and I know he's going to tell me to start feeding her food. As much as I know she'll love it, I don't want to. That means she's taking yet another step away from being the tiny, precious little life that I knew would grow too fast. I think instead of mourning the baby that's growing too quickly, I will instead cherish the sweet, adorable, unique little girl that I am blessed to call my daughter.

(In case you're wondering, yes -- I did cry as I typed this whole thing.)

My prayer today is that she is always as blessed in her own life as we are to have her in ours.

I love you, Love Bug. Happy half birthday, baby girl. I know you will do great things.

Friday, August 25, 2006

What's the name of that song?

I'll tell you -- it's a little tune that preschool/kindergarten teachers and parents everywhere call INSANITY.

Okay - - babies/children should come with a warning like cigarettes. It should read something like this:

"Warning: These children will bring stupid songs into your life and brain that you will NEVER be free of, and you may be driven insane as a result. Though completely ridiculous, you will often find yourself singing them, even when your children are nowhere to be found."

Here's an example...there is a Dr. Pepper commercial with this ridiculous "Manamanah" song in it. I had that song in my head for a good calendar year before the commercial put it there (I believe that's called an earworm) -- it's on one of Mitchell's Sesame Street cd's. Who needs to be wandering around with that soundtrack playing?

Would you like more of a sampling?

"Let's have a race, have a race, have a race! WHO can be the quickest? WHO will be the fastest?" That would be Thomas the Tank Engine.

By the way -- I found a good site for free kids' music downloads/listening in case you, too would like to take your own sanity on a vacation. (I find it hilarious that someone actually posted a message to tell others "I like this song" about Jimmy Crack Corn. Clearly I'm not on the bottom rung quite yet.)

Okay -- off to wait for Kermit the Frog to finish singing about singing (oh, the agony) so that I can sing it myself in the shower here in a few minutes.

(I love Grey's Anatomy...they talk like me!!)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Taking time to smell the flowers...

Is that a dumb saying or what?

Dumb, but I'm here to tell ya people, it's true.

Yesterday, that's exactly what we did and we had an amazingly peaceful, fun, happy day. Usually we're on the go, running errands, cleaning, doing yardwork, etc. on the weekends. Not yesterday.

I got up with the kids around 7:30 and we came downstairs and Georgia did her morning Jumperoo routine (which she's currently doing now) and Mitchell played trains and watched cartoons. We all had some cereal (yep -- all of us) and then Daddy came downstairs and had his cereal. We all got dressed and went for a walk.

Chris helped Mitchell with his tricycle and I pushed Georgia in M's old single stroller. We weren't on a schedule, so if there was a group of ants working on the side of the path, we stopped to watch them. There were lots of wildflowers growing and we LITERALLY stopped to smell them.

As Mitchell was pedaling himself down the path ahead of us, I told Chris that the picture of him doing that will be in my head forever. Burned in there. I think it's because he was the perfect example of a little boy's innocence. He had on his Dale Jarrett hat, just like Daddy and he told me on the walk "Hey, Mommy - I'm Dale Jarrett!" He was making vroooooommmm sounds as he pedaled as fast as his little legs would go and it was clear -- in his mind, he wasn't on a wildflower lined path through our neighborhood, he was IN the Daytona 500! Watching him from behind, I knew that someday that imagination and that innocence will begin to be taken from him -- the world doesn't allow us to carry those with us for too long. So, I decided to do that right then -- burn into MY brain so I'd never forget it. I told Chris I'm sure it will be in my head when it's time to get his learner's permit. I'll be in tears remembering my little DJ pedal down the path.

Anyway -- we went to the park and had a great time. We had the whole place to ourselves, which was fantastic. Sometimes it's nice if there are other kids for Mitchell to play with, but yesterday it was nice to just be the four of us. Georgia took her first ride on the big swing and loved it. She would giggle every time she came forward towards us and couldn't quite figure out what in the world Mitchell was doing next to her (he was going sky high in his). Georgia and I raced Mitchell down the side by side slides. Georgia and Mitchell played a very lovely duet on the piano. Chris showed Mitchell how to REALLY splash in a rain puddle with your hands. I laughed with Chris and said "Ahhhh, suburbia." One day I was REALLY glad to live in a happy little neighborhood.

We walked home and Mitchell pedaled away again. He did try to crash a bbq at the little picnic table shelter near the park, which amused us all -- and thankfully the bbq'ers, too. We got home and Chris made us all a yummy brunch. (He makes a very good breakfast burrito.) Ate that and then we just all chilled out in the living room. Georgia went to bed somewhere in there. The race was on, so the boys had fun watching that while I did some reading and dinking around on the web. Mitchell snuggled up with me on the sofa and fell asleep. Precious. That doesn't happen very often anymore.

After our long rest time, Chris and I were both itching to just get out of the house and "go do something" but we didn't want to spend any money. So, we decided to stop at the store, get some snacks and head to the airport. Mitchell is fascinated with airplanes right now, so we parked at the waiting area and watched the planes land. None of them took off right in front of us until about 2 minutes before we left the parking area. Kind of a bummer.

Not to be denied, Chris decided to drive back by the car rental places alongside the runways. With all the new security things, you can't just stop on the side of the road to watch anymore, which is a necessary shame. We did find a pretty good spot just next to the gas station and when we rolled down the windows, Mitchell got to HEAR those engines roar as they took off just a few hundred yards from the car. He would absolutely light up like a candle and yell "Wow, Daddy, what do you call it???" and Chris would tell him what kind of plane it is. (I guessed 737 at every one and was never right, in case you are wondering.)

Headed home and played some trains and racecars. Rattled some rattled, stacked some blocks. Chris made dinner (yes, I'm aware that he spoils me on the weekends) which was totally yummy. The kids were both wiped out from our really long but fun day, so we skipped baths and just got them into bed.

Seriously, people...that kind of day could very well be the stuff heaven throws my way.

Friday, August 18, 2006


I'm kind of frustrated right now.

I'm frustrated at certain members of my family for not treating each other with more love and respect.

I'm frustrated at myself because when I'm tired and grumpy, I'm less patient with my own kids.

I'm frustrated with finances. All I want to say on that.

I'm frustrated with wanting more than I have because I really should be much more appreciative of what I already have instead of focusing on what I want and *think* we "need".

I'm frustrated with this world -- it's becoming more and more difficult to just live your own life with a smile every day. People are hateful and sick -- not all people, but enough of them to make you question many people who don't deserve it.

I'm frustrated in general. It will pass. I think this is a function of me being up since 2:30 this morning. A nap would likely help. A lot.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A trip to Sam's...

So, this will be lacking in direction and probably a snoozefest -- there's your chance to avoid a waste of a few minutes.

I took Mitchell to Sam's Club yesterday while Chris stayed home with Georgia. Armed with a juice box, two snacks and a lollipop, I was fearless in my attempt to go to the craziest store with a 3 year old at tantrum o'clock. (This is what I call his old naptime -- he usually doesn't nap anymroe but he can still throw a doozy of a tantrum and this is usually when it happens.) I think I got so excited at the chance to take just one child as opposed to two that I jumped in with both feet and didn't stop to think about how it *could* go. If you've ever attempted Sam's on a Sunday with children of any age -- you know it has the potential to play out like a horror film, a sitcom, or a drama. Very rarely is it a documentary.

I was listening to a cd on the way there and Mitchell had his new plane that Chris bought him at the train show on Saturday (I know -- go for trains, come home with a plane -- it's a guy thing, apparently) and all was well on the drive over. I should have been suspicious when my choice of cd -- not silly time cd-- was not met with complaints, but I just let John Mayer sing to me and didn't think twice about it. That is, until I opened the back door to get Mitchell out and saw that he was ASLEEP!!!

Oh, crap.

This is like the ultimate blow to my Sam's Club shopping hopes. I gently woke him up and told him we were at the store. He perked right up (unheard of!) and got into the cart without a problem -- so far, so good. (Amazingly.) I start to question my parking spot -- next to the cart catcher spot...will a closer spot lead to a ding or dent that I'll have to explain to my husband? "But was like I was SUPPOSED to park there -- right in front and waiting for me!" I can hear him now "Yeah, because everyone else knows better than to park right next to the cart catcher!! Why do you think it was available??" I picture my half-hearted "Oops" as my only reply as Mitchell and I steer ourselves into the store, flash my card, and BAM. Instant panic set in as I looked up.

Oh, crap.

There were more people in that store than I think live in my entire zip code -- and we're getting crowded over here. I've NEVER seen it that busy. Ever. Not good with a tired three year old who's mantra is now "I can walk, Mommy." Yeah, right. You haven't walked since you learned how to run. So, I do the "good mom" thing (ha) and whip out some raisins. "RAISINS!!! Hooray!!" Score. Bought myself a few minutes with those.

*sigh of relief*

It's sample day! Not excited for me -- well, unless there's ice cream or cheesecake today -- but that builds in the element of surprise for Mitchell in ol' snackville. (I'm convinced that's why he likes going there.) We made our way around the store -- avoided carts like a pro, Mitchell scored a few samples (my hopes were dashed -- roast beef was the highlight), and then BAM! The panic came back in a giant wave. We had to wait in line TO WAIT IN LINE.

Oh, crap.

Seriously -- the chutes (I feel like I'm part of a cattle herd, so I refer to them not as lines, but as chutes) were backed up so far that we were like 4 people back just to turn the freakin' corner to get in line. Isn't that crazy??? At this point I start questioning the sanity of my shopping choice for both day and time.

I know I'm not alone in saying that no matter which chute I choose, it will inevitably end up being the slowest. It's like my presence shifts the planets and titlts everything away from me or something. I just picked a line and stood there -- confident, almost arrogant about my chute choice. Inside of two minutes and...

Yeah, baby!! We moved. Forward. Towards the register. Amazing.

Now, I know better than to get more excited than that at this point. The man in front of me only had two items, which is always scary -- those are the ones that usually end up screwing the whole thing up. He was extra scary, he had a computer of some sort. (And a bag of potatoes??)
That has some SERIOUS screw me up potential because of the price, help delivering some sort of desk to accompany his computer, etc. The possibilities are endless. As I'm pondering whether 2 Item Guy will be the downfall of my otherwise enjoyable trip to Sam's with my very well behaved little guy, an angel appears and my hope is renewed!

The lady with the little scan gun came to MY chute and began scanning the items of everyone's carts. I was 4th in line so I thought for sure she'd do 2 Item Guy's potatoes and then go do the first 3 people in the next chute. Nope. She actually came to me -- overflowing cart and all, scanning my items and offering a huge bonus -- entertainment for Mitchell. (By this time, his popcorn was eaten, the juice box was empty, and the novelty of the giant ceiling fans had worn off.) She even had to scoot our cart up twice while scanning us in. Nice! After she finished, another bonus revealed itself to Mitchell -- the little coin roller coaster for charity. You know where you put in a coin and it does the figure skating death spin (without a partner) before dropping into the was RIGHT next to us. As a reward for his wonderful behavior in the store, I did the unthinkable -- an entire dollar worth of quarters went in. (You may be unaware that I hoard quarters in my change purse. I don't know why, but I do. Then, when I feel like it's too bulky, I put them in the kids' piggy banks.)

Oh, crap.

2 Item Guy was at the register, and sure enough -- he and the register lady were having some sort of discussion about his computer. (I'm assuming it wasn't the potatoes.) Could it be??? The manager came over about 30 seconds later, found a button on the register and he immediately zipped his credit card through!!


We got up to the register as the last quarter was falling through the hole, and sure enough, all of the items were already in the computer. I didn't have to unload and reload my cart!! (I had halfway convinced myself that everything would have disappeared or something so I wouldn't be too disappointed when that was the case.) I paid and was out of there in about 2 minutes!


I have to say -- this is honestly my first trip to Sam's Club (not alone or just with Chris) that was truly enjoyable and more along the "documentary" lines. I know it doesn't sound like an exciting event to many of you, but to me - - this was huge.

Now I'm worried about next time.

Friday, August 11, 2006

People really upset me...

Okay, fair warning -- I'm about to go off on a vent so skip it if that doesn't interest you.

WHY are people so rude?? Seriously.

This morning I had just dropped the kids off at my IL's house to go see a client and some idiot who was leaving a garage sale on their block pulls out and almost (I mean -- like inches) nails me right in the middle of my passenger door. Didn't even look! Just must have been thinking about what a TERRIFIC set of dishes they got for $2 or something, I guess. The thing is...

She honked AT ME!!!!

Excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me???? I don't think so. Now -- two things stopped me, well 3, from getting out of my car and starting some crap. 1 -- I was in the 'hood. (Seriously, they live in a pretty sketchy neighborhood.) 2 -- I was late to see a client. 3 -- My kids need me alive.

Where does SHE get off honking AT ME??? I was just driving down the road (25 mph -- not like I was racing down the stree) minding my own business. SHE was parked on the side of the street, DIDN'T use a turn signal, and DIDN'T even THINK about looking in her mirror or over her shoulder before she came out into the road, but feels that I'M in the wrong??? Ohhhhh, no, no, no, no no. Pissed me right off.

Moving right along...

WHY are people so hateful???
This whole thing with the liquid bombs. COME ON...that is just some crazy crap. I cannot for the life of me imagine what it must be like inside of those people's heads to 1 -- think that crap up and 2 -- actually want to use it to kill innocent people. I mean, it's not like you're killing soldiers and politicians. Ugh. Hate. Sucks. Bad.

What kind of environment are these people raised in and breeding? You know -- I heard this morning that one of the people is a mother of a 6 month old child. Okay -- that hit home. THAT'S ME, for crying out loud. Can you even picture me leaving my home, my children, and saying -- okay, I'm off to blow up a plane of innocent people with something I'm masquerading as Powerade???


It just makes me so angry. And you know what else? It makes me really, really sad for my kids. Times like this are times that a part of me actually feels somewhat guilty for bringing them into a world where this is a reality. Someone is using Gatorade as a weapon, for all intents and purposes. That's super.

So, you know what I did last night? Mitchell and I made a cake. And we covered it with icing. And I drew a moon on it in yellow icing (he loves "Moonah"). And he covered it with sprinkles. And we laughed. And we had a "moon party" when Daddy got home. Just for fun. To remind me of WHY I have children and why it IS a good thing that I brought them into this world. My children will not be taught to HATE anyone.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Is NOT my friend.

I met a friend (a real one) for coffee this morning and decided to be brave and get a caffeinated drink. It sounded REALLY good -- all minty and chocolatey -- two of my favorite things ever.

So NOT the smartest move I've ever made.

After coffee I went to Qdoba (yum, and more yum) to get lunch for my dad. It's his birthday and he's working all day. He can't leave at all, so I told him Georgia and I would bring some lunch down. He loves the chicken tacos there so I stopped to get some. I had to pick Mitchell up from school at 1pm and this was at about 11am. By the time I got her out, used the bathroom, ordered our food, got it all set in the car, drove down there, parked walked in, nursed her, let him hold/cuddle her for a few minutes, it was time to get in my car and drive back to school.

I got a naked (hee hee) burrito and for a minute, I seriously considered trying to eat it while driving. Um--yeah, probably smart move not to, considering it's rice and black beans. Well -- considering it's not GASOLINE, I'd probably be safe. (Husband story there -- you can infer away.)

So -- by the time I made it back to his school (a few minutes early) I think the coffee had eaten a hole in my stomach. I was ready to gnaw my own arm off and scarfed down most of my lunch in about 3 minutes.

Caffeine + Tara = Ouchie, hungry tummy

It sure was good though. Mmmmmmm.

Still not worth it, but dang close.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Faaaarrrrrrr from perfect.

That would be me.I try so hard to set a good example for my kids, and heck -- just to do some clean livin' for myself, but it's a challenge. Here's an example...

Last Sunday I was cleaning the kitchen and listening to my favorite Christian radio station. My hubby calls it "God Rock" and teases me about it -- I don't really care. (So neener, neener to YOU, hubby!!) I love listening because the songs put me in a good mood and a good frame of mind.

Well, I am cleaning away and he comes in to eat his breakfast. He chooses a bowl of cereal and eats it leaning against the counter while he talks to me. This song comes on that I just love and I say, "Hey -- listen to this song. It always makes me cry. I love it." He says, "Why do you love a song that makes you cry?" Of COURSE, I shush him loudly and tell him to just listen. He listens. Then he says "This SERIOUSLY makes you cry??" and rolls his eyes. He puts his dish in the sink and comes behind me to do a little snuggle and ear kissing. Okay -- TOTALLY not in the mood for that as I am trying to listen to my heart-string-tugging song. He thinks he's just too funny, so I turn around and tell him to quit being such an A-hole.

Yes, that's right. In the middle of a Christian song about flying to Jesus, I cuss at my husband.He starts cracking up and says something about "Only you would do that".


I think he may be right. I apologize to The Big Fella immediately and am just mortified. Know the scary thing? I probably wouldn't have even put it together if he hadn't pointed it out. Luckily G was asleep and M was in train hog heaven in his room, but STILL. Sheesh.He's right -- who DOES that sort of thing? I mean, besides me.

So...clearly, there's room for a little personal growth in my life. (I'm sure that's shocking to you, isn't it?)

As long as I'm on the subject of great Christian music that I love -- here is a new song that I really, really love. It makes me think of not only myself with some different things, but so many people in my life that are struggling with so many different things -- yet it fits us all.

It's by a band called Casting Crowns.

Praise You In This Storm
I was sure by now
That You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen”,
and it’s still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear
You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can’t find You

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear
You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Picture people...

Not the place, US.

My family -- we're picture people. We take pictures all of the time -- no joke, I keep my camera in my purse and it's a rare day that it doesn't get used. One of my fave shows is AFV, btw -- it feeds my camera/video habit.

In preparation for my little scrapbook day today, it took me over 2 hours to go through all of the pictures just from Mitchell's birth to 1st birthday and choose the ones I wanted to print out!! It was so fun to look at all of them and remember all of the things that were going on. That's why I *love* scrapbooking -- you get to put it all together and recall all the stuff going on in the background and in the hearts and minds of those in the pictures. I get happy thinking about leaving such treasures for my family to enjoy (and they BETTER, dang it!!) long after I'm gone.

I got to thinking how sad I would be if I wasn't raised in a picture-happy family. My husband, for instance, does not have very many pictures of when he grew up. They have some, but not like ours. (Okay -- we're a bit insane on that point, but still.) I just feel like it's so fun and important to document the life we live. I know that Mitchell LOVES to look at pictures with me and it would be pretty sad if we didn't have all of them to remember.

I do need to get a bunch blown up, framed, etc. I think part of it is that I'm so OVER our house. I mean, I love it, but why am I gonna pour all this money into decorating it when I can't wait to get out? I think I'll save that as a pet project when we move.

Okay -- that was a pretty random topic, huh?

Friday, August 04, 2006

Do Fathers Have Identity Confusion, Too?

Okay -- so this week I've been reading on the birth boards I am part of, friends' blogs, friends of friends' blogs, and have listened to others as I talk to them (live and in person, even!). There's a pattern about women having identity confusion when they become mothers -- I've even blogged about it myself. So, my question is this:

Do men struggle the same way? My short answer is not so much.

I mean, go anywhere, talk to any mom, read her blog, etc. and you will hear that repeatedly she is faced with a completely overwhelming challenge: remembering who she was/is ASIDE from being a mom. Is this the case with men? Is it a huge challenge for them to remember who they were/are ASIDE from being a dad? Not in most cases, I think.

So many women get so completely engrossed in the whole "mom" world that they lose sight of what they used to enjoy. (And I guarantee you, it wasn't apple juice, goldfish crackers, and train time.) I know I struggle with that -- I LOVE to scrapbook and haven't done ONE page in over 2 years. It's so depressing!! I really, truly love it but there are several things getting in my way. Time, space, and the fact that I have to spread my stuff out, hope that little hands don't mess with all of it, and then clean it up again. I think I've put more of my creative energy into cooking lately, but still -- why have I given it up? Because the more our family grows and changes, the further down the priority list it goes. It wasn't until last week when I went to my friend's house that I realized how much I miss it and how much enjoyment I get out of it. She said that she makes it a priority and even takes her kids to daycare one day when she's tracked off to do it. (She teaches at a year-round school.)

What? You actually take time for YOU??? How DARE you!!!

Dang, Gina...that sounds like a GREAT idea!!!

So, guess what I'm doing this weekend? Chris is out of town on a guys' golf weekend (and not looking back, I'm sure) so I'm taking M all day and G for half a day (the boobs can only take so much) to my mom's house and I'm going to scrapbook ALL day!! I'm taking my friend's advice and only stopping to pee and eat/drink. Me. Alone. With my scrapbook stuff. I can't wait!! Today during "quiet time", I'm ordering copies of the pictures I want to use from Walgreens so I can be all set. I'm so excited.

For the record being "just a mom" is better than anything in the world. Except, of course, if you happen to be: Tara the 33 year old woman who is married to her best friend, loves a great cup of coffee (decaf), ice cream, laughing, watching sports, hates to dust, has more girlfriends than she probably deserves and loves every single one of them, is trying valiantly (ha!) to shed some pounds, drives a freakin' minivan for the good of the group, has a mad crush on Tim McGraw, can't handle margaritas like she used to, would love to have enough money to buy herself some really cute purses and shoes. Oh -- and she happens to be blessed with two little people that she can't even imagine loving any more -- except for when they call her "Mommy".

So -- what's the answer? Guys??? Oh wait -- this blog is a boy's worst nightmare -- none will ever read these words. Ladies, ask your men. :)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Addendum to part 2...

As my fine friend, Jamie has so clearly noted,

"The trains! What about the trains?"

Am I the biggest moron or WHAT??? I think perhaps I'm still numb from what we now refer to as "The Train Incident" at the museum.

Yes, yes...the trains. Trains don't make him happy -- that would be the understatement of the world. They make him a wee bit insane, but I mean that in the best possible way. (Hopefully someone out there knows what I mean.) Trains are the Holy Grail of this three year old's life -- in fact, a different train gets the privilege of sleeping on the nightstand every night. (Tonight it's Terence the Tractor, in case you're wondering.)

In a moment of nostalgia not long ago, I reread my blog entries and wouldn't you know it, Thomas the Tank engine was driving me crazy. Driving ME crazy because it makes him INSANELY happy. Like I expressed then, I know there will be a day when I will miss the Thomas obsession because it means I have a big boy whose list of happy things will be much, much different. (And likely much, much more disturbing to me as a mother.)

Okay - - I just felt that this needed its own little space.

Dang -- seriously!!! How in the WORLD could I not have listed the trains? Jamie -- get out the bike and run my butt over, would ya????

In case you're wondering (part 2)

Here is an abbreviated list of the things that make 3 year old boys (well, again -- this one at least) really happy:

*A baby sister that you can squeak at and poke and who thinks you're funny when you do the running man in just your NASCAR underwear.

*Any sort of processed food is golden. Grandparents are total jackpots for this sort of thing.

*Chocolate milk. 'Nuff said on that one.

*Motion. Jumping, running, hopping, rolling around, wrestling, crawling, bouncing, etc. Before I had kids I was unaware how short the period of time for "walking" was. I think he walked for about 2 weeks before he ran and hasn't walked again.

*Investigating. Why did that happen? What do you call this? What are you doing? Why do your legs jiggle? (Ya like that one??)

*Making a mess. Messy kid = successful day at work.


*Singing songs and listening to silly music. Recently making up songs about ANYTHING has become a favorite past time. "My spoon is goooiinnnngggg into my yooogurt. It's gonna beeeee soooooo yummy in myyyy tuuuuummmmyyyy."

*Being outside. Given the option, they would likely live outside and never return to anywhere with four walls.

*Unless there are popsicles and/or ice cream inside of those 4 walls. 3 year olds are known to do just about anything for a cold treat on a hot day. Or a cold day -- they don't usually discriminate.

*Repetition. Doing, saying, watching and hearing things over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

*In direct contrast to things they don't like, 3 year old boys are quite fond of SAYING the word "no". It's frequently heard each and every day, sometimes as early as 6:30 a.m.

*Making demands: give me, let me, I want, let's go, you go, etc.

*Animals -- any kind, anywhere. Animals are definitely "in" with the 3 year old set.

*Hugs and kisses. Fortunately for a sappy mom, the 3 year old under this roof still enjoys cuddle time.

*Doing things independently. To the point of frustration. In some instances, will then turn on parents because they didn't help (even though they were clearly instructed NOT to help by the not-yet-frustrated 3 year old).

*Playing. Playing. Playing. Water is good -- anytime you can incorporate water into the play, it's a total bonus.

I could go on and on and general, life with a 3 year old boy is messy, hilarious, frustrating, full of surprises, exhausting, exhilirating, and I wouldn't trade one second of the madness for all of the money in the world.

Well -- maybe the potty training ones I would. But that's a whole different Oprah.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

In case you're wondering... is a short list of things that drive three year old boys (errr---maybe just this one) crazy:

*The word "no" in any combination with "you may not", "we can't", "thank you", "he/she/they isn't/aren't".

*Finishing a meal -- any meal -- ever. UNLESS, you don't ask them to. Then they'll finish.

*Any vegetable on their plate. If it's on your plate, there's a much better chance of them asking for some.

*Naps. Laying down. Resting. Being quiet. Any of the above.

*Rules meant for safety. Like please don't jump from the 3rd stair. Please keep your hands away from the stove. Please don't put that blanket over your head and spin in circles near the sharp-cornered table. Things like that -- they are not so much fans of those.

*Lotion. Regular or sunscreen.

*Manners. (Okay, some of the time this is okay.)

*Tissues. Fingers are so much more readily available.

*Getting fingernails/toenails clipped. Don't EVEN get me started on this one.

*Coming in from outside. This is a biggie and requires lots of advanced warning.

*Taking a bath unless it's their idea.

*Turning the tv off or (God forbid) watching a show that they did not choose.

*Having their hair combed and teeth brushed -- yes, the pattern is grooming = not happening.

*Sharing -- this is hot and cold but pretty much not a fan of sharing fun stuff.

Just a sampling. Maybe tomorrow I'll do things that make 3 year old boys (or at least this one) exceptionally happy.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I am my own worst enemy...

I am a procrastinator -- I make myself late.

When I am late, I am cranky.

When I am cranky, my children are cranky.

That makes us even later because it's harder to get a little cooperation going.

When we're late other people get cranky.

All because I'm a procrastinator.


I would love to lose weight.

That would mean not loving food.

--Let me clarify--

That would not mean loving:
*ice cream
*french fries
*ice cream
*macaroni and cheese
*ice cream
*pretty much anything you're not SUPPOSED to eat a lot of
* cream

It would also help if I liked to work out.


I love having my house clean, yet I am a lazy housekeeper.


I love my house to be clean but I want someone else to do it.

Yes, I'm aware it doesn't work that way. I don't have to like it.

I just have to do it.

Someday I will.


I love having down time.

I schedule myself out the wazoo with everything you can think of.

I complain because I never have any time to myself and am always on the go.

It is my handwriting with a pen that I hold in my hand that makes all of those plans.


Know what I've done good?

Picked me a mighty fine husband who loves all of this crap.

Well, maybe not all of this crap, but he loves me and it comes with.

And we make some mighty fine children, too.

That's all that really matters, right??