We Are Not Fancy People

We had two baseball games on the schedule this weekend, but they were both cancelled. Because of that, I spent a good chunk of the weekend cleaning. My bathroom is cleaner than it’s been since we moved in here eleven years ago. And, after several hours of cleaning out closets, drawers and shelves, Stevie and Alex’s rooms are beautiful, straight, and neat. And if I had any sense, I would have taken a picture because in all likelihood, by tomorrow at this time, their rooms will not look like they do now.

On Saturday evening, my fellas and I got all gussied up and we celebrated with McDaddy’s brother, Dave who was inducted into Alderson Broaddus University Hall of Fame.

I’m always leery when we attend a fancy event because, well, WE ARE NOT FANCY PEOPLE, and because there are typically more forks than I know what to do with.

And, also because our boys are eleven and eight and the last thing eleven and eight year boys are interested in, is the fancy.

They picked out these outfits for Easter and I think they look handsome and grown up. Unfortunately, I did not oversee every detail of their pre-fancy dinner preparation, and Stevie ended up wearing one blue sock and one black sock. Alex on the other hand, was wearing white, ankle length, athletic socks.

So funny.

Only NOT.

First, there was an informal reception with hors d’oeuvres (which is a stupid word, by the way!). Several minutes before the reception was scheduled to begin, we lost track of Stevie. The room wasn’t crowded, so it only took a few seconds to spot him. He was standing, plate in hand, at the food table and he was helping himself to cheese cubes.

After a quick discussion about asking before helping ourselves, we had a good chuckle and helped him get rid of the cheese cubes quickly, which was a mistake because the pepper-jack cheese was H-O-T and he hadn’t had time to also grab a drink before we could get his attention.

It’s a good thing they are charming.

For dinner, we were served a chicken breast (with peas and a lemon slice on it), red potatoes and green beans. I was skeptical because who puts a lemon on a chicken breast? And also, because the green beans were the fancy type of long green beans and I was pretty sure they hadn’t been cooked in bacon grease like the ones I make here at home. Alex took a big bite of the green beans and within two seconds, he was dropping the green beans out of his mouth and back onto his plate.

Heaven, help me.

Thankfully, I don’t think anyone else at our table saw the green beans make their way back onto his plate, but I was still mortified.

Other than that, the fancy dinner went well (Except when a grape tomato flopped off of my salad plate and onto the table as I was cutting it up in my salad) and I’m happy to say we made it through without too much of a spectacle.

Like I said, NOT FANCY.

All in all, it was a wonderful evening and I enjoyed spending time with McDaddy’s parents, his siblings and their spouses.

Have a great week, y’all!

Eight Is Awesome

Dear Alex,

We just celebrated your eighth birthday.

EIGHT.

How did that happen?

Just last week, I was holding you in the labor/delivery unit wondering what in the heck I was gonna do with TWO stinky, smelly, peeing all over the bathroom BOYS.

Here it is, eight years later, and I am so stinkin’ sad that you are growing up so quickly because soon you won’t want to cuddle on the couch, and you won’t call me mommy, and you won’t tell me “I love you more, and that’s final” ever again.

And just like I tell you every single day, IT IS NOT final because I’m the boss of you.

But the truth is, I love it when you say that to me. I love it because it brings a smile to your face when you say it, and there are fewer things cuter than your sweet, toothless grin. That grin melts my heart every. single. time. and I think you know that.

You can match clothes and accessories better than most adults, and if you had your way, you’d have a pair of tennis shoes in every single color because, YOU ARE SHOE CRAZY.

You enjoy life.

And you are a crazy, fast, daredevil.

Tricks like this one?

Have made me gray before my years.

But I love that you are fearless and independent and loving and A MOMMY’S BOY. Can we just make a pact that you will be a MB forever? Pretty please? After all, you are sweet and impatient, with a side of stubborn, and in case you haven’t figured it out yet, YOU GOT THAT FROM ME, PAL. (And I turned out okay!)

I enjoy seeing the world through your eyes.

And I totally enjoy your random questions throughout the day, even though I rarely have the answers.

I am so proud of you for wanting an iPod, saving for it, and then buying it. Trust me when I say that you will appreciate things so much more when you buy them yourself.

Oh, and just for the record, I think you’re awesome, too!

Happy 8th birthday, sweet boy.

I love you more, and THAT’S FINAL.

Love, Mama

What I Learned This Week

Here’s what I learned this week.

1. Getting an iPod for your 8th birthday is pretty exciting.

2. Getting a “Your iPod cannot be activated because…” warning is an aggravation.

3. Getting a “Your iPod cannot be activated because…” warning is an even bigger aggravation when you are eight because it’s tough to understand that your iPod is not broke and that you did not waste the $229. you just got for your birthday.

4. When your husband is working feverishly on your laptop to ACTIVATE A NEW FRIGGIN IPOD on a Monday evening, it is tough to compose a What I Learned This Week post in a timely manner.

5. When a brand spanking new iPod will not activate as it is supposed to, you should be prepared to pull your hair out a 35-minute phone-call to Apple Support who will ask you to disable your antivirus software, reboot your computer 1,542 times, and restore the iPod to factory settings (the same settings on it when you opened the darn thing) before providing you with a case number and wishing you well.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!



Eight

This sweet boy:

  • has been reminding me about his birthday for the past month.
  • loves Cookie Crisp cereal
  • carries a stuffed animal around most of the time.
  • prides himself in having the most Accelerated Reader points in his classroom.
  •  has a good old-fashioned fit every now and again.
  • picks Tom & Jerry every. single. time.
  • has a double crown that gets out of hand when his hair gets too long.
  • is missing several teeth.
  • did not cry the past three times he had blood drawn for allergy tests.
  • is tougher than most kids his age.
  • refused to wear glasses the first year they were prescribed
  • wears a size 2 shoe
  • gets on my every last nerve sometimes
  • greets me with a hug every morning
  • has a sweet little hand that fits perfectly in mine
  • prefers my iPad over his iPod
  • sings sweetly
  • was baptized this year
  • is allergic to nuts and eggs
  • loves jelly sandwiches
  • makes a crazy face when I ask him to pose for a picture
  • has been to 26 states
  • ate breakfast at school for the first time today.
  • loves to laugh
  • is excited to be OUT of a car seat
  • likes to cuddle
  • has two speeds – wide open and asleep
  • asks any number of questions everyday
  • has really neat handwriting when he takes his time
  • can make a jump rope whistle.
  • is so excited to be eight!

Happy birthday, sweet Alex!

I’m glad you’re mine!

What I Learned This Week

It’s been a crazy busy few days. Over the weekend, McDaddy and I attended a Jeep Jamboree in Williamsburg, Kentucky (so yes, there are some lessons from the Jeep Trail) and I spent most of today unpacking and doing laundry.

And now this week, I’m in full-on Halloween/Alex’s birthday party/Alex’s class Halloween party week. Back in 2005, my OB Doctor called to say that I was pregnant with a big baby and did I want to go ahead and schedule my C-Section? I excitedly picked November 1st because me and my OCD like nice round numbers.

November 1st – as in, the day after Halloween. November 1st – as in, the first week of the month, which means McDaddy always has drill that weekend. November 1st – as in, always the same week as the school Halloween parties.

And every year at this time, I kick myself for my lack of forethought.

But just like Gloria Gaynor, I will survive.

Here’s what I learned this week:

1. According to a fella on the Jeep Jamboree trail, you can never have too much fan.

2. When you’re on the Jeep trail and you have to use the “restroom,” remember, it’s women on the right, and men on the left. WHY? Because women are always right.

3. If you’re wheelin’ with other “Jeep Peeps” it is important to ALWAYS keep the Jeep behind you in sight at all times.

4. When your Blackberry begins to recite the Bible to you, and you are unable to SHUT THE BLACKBERRY UP, it might have you to wondering, What is the Lord trying to tell me?

5. According to McDaddy it is tough to get white road-paint off of a chili-pepper red Saturn Sky. YIKES, Y’ALL.

6. There is at least one fella working the customer service desk at Kohls that has no business servicing customers. *coughEUGENEcough*

7. The staff at our local Chick-fil-a goes above and beyond every single time I am in there. Most recently, the young guy working the dining room accompanied my mom (who uses a wheelchair) and I to the car with an umbrella in the pouring rain. I have never experienced service quite like this in any other restaurant, ever. And today I called to tell them so.

8. The battery in the SKY key-fob is deader than 4 o’clock. I don’t really know what that means, it’s just something I say all the time.

9. The battery in my beloved iPhone 5 is on my LAST NERVE. I might suck at math but last time I checked 20% was equivalent to 1/5.  Twenty percent should not equal dead.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!



What I Learned This Week [According to Alex]

I spent the day hanging out with my boy on the couch.

As it turns out, he has some sort of viral infection that causes white blisters on the throat. Thankfully, the fever seems to be gone. Although I hate him missing school, I did enjoy our time together. He kept me laughing all day long and I just kept thinking to myself what an awesome kid he is. (All mommas think that, right?)

He is chock full of information, and he says, “Mom, did you know [insert random information here]” about 241 times per day. After the fourth or fifth random fact I heard today, I decided I’d share the facts here with you. So here’s what I learned this week, from Alex.

1. The rings of Jupiter are really thin.

2. It takes 48 seconds to put on and tie both of his shoes.

3. Scarlett is made by mixing red, orange, and some pink.

4. Jeff Gordon drives the Pepsi Max car, plus he gets into a lot of fights. I don’t know why. I guess cause he gets mad easily.

5. VY Canis majoris is the biggest star in the universe, and it is brighter than the sun.

6. Obsidian in the best substance in Minecraft.

7. A Mitsubishi Lancer looks a lot better with a spoiler than without one.

8. Your stomach is always moving.

9. Pluto is no longer a planet, it is now a moon.

10. The Audi R8V10 is a 10-cylinder car. The Sky is a 4-cylinder with a turbo engine.

11. When food gets to the large intestines, that’s when you have to use the bathroom.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!



Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot!

My fellas and I spent the weekend camping with McDaddy’s sister, her four kids, and another family from our church.

When I picked up Alex from school on Friday, I could tell he wasn’t feeling well. He told me he was just sad because his class didn’t get to go out for recess, but I could tell he wasn’t his normal, smiling self. We had an hour at home before it was time to pick Stevie up from school. My heart sank when he said, “Mom, I’m freezing.” I got out the thermometer and my suspicions were confirmed.

101.7

Just great.

We were literally walking out the door to pick up Stevie and hit the road, and now we had to make a split-second decision about whether Alex and I would go or stay.

McDaddy and I decided that Alex and I would drive a separate car. That way, if his fever didn’t go away or he started feeling worse, he and I would make the hour drive back home. He slept the entire way to the campground, and by the time we arrived, his temperature was 102. I put him in a cool bath, and within minutes of the bath and the Tylenol kicking in, he was wound-up like an eight-day clock.

The fun was short-lived because by bedtime, he was hot again.

If you know me in real life, you know that I am a straight-up crazy person when it comes to the medical issues. Especially, medical issues involving my kids. I realize that a fever is not uncommon in young children. I also realize that I am very fortunate to have healthy kids. Still, I can barely stand the thought of my boys feeling bad. I wish I could just wave a magic wand and make them all better. It is, in my opinion, the worst part of motherhood.

By Saturday evening, he told me that his throat hurt when he swallowed. His fever had been up and down all day, and it seemed to be hanging steady at 101. I made a trip to the Google to find the nearest Med-Express and away we went. I was pretty sure he had strep because his throat was red and raw, and strep is “going around” at his school.

We made our way to the clinic, and I was relieved that there were only three others in the waiting room. We were seen rather quickly, and much to my surprise, he tested negative for strep. The Doc – citing his raspy cough and raw throat – handed us a prescription for an antibiotic, and we were in and out in about an hour.

We are now 56 hours into the fever, and 24 hours into the antibiotic. I am hoping we’re on the downhill side of this thing. I don’t like it when my babies are sick.

And speaking of babies, look what I found in my picture files.

I love this sweet child so much!

I hoping he feels better tomorrow.

And pleading with time to slow down.

This Season Of Life

The bad news is – it was 319 degrees today with about 98% humidity.

The good news is, the visitor side of the baseball field we were playing at this evening was completely shaded.

I remember the first season the boys signed up to play baseball. The evening of our first practice was cold and muddy and I remember remarking to McDaddy that we shouldn’t have ever allowed the boys to sign up for baseball because holy crap! there was a lot of mud and I would never ever be able to get our shoes clean, and both boys would probably end up on nebulizer treatments after spending hours out in the cold, wet air because it happens EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

No, I am not exaggerating.

And yes! I am a joy to live with.

After each practice I scrubbed cleats with a toothbrush because I couldn’t stand the thought of ALL THAT MUD.

And when I found out BOTH boys would be wearing white baseball pants, I was shaking my head at the stupidity of it all.

I knew absolutely nothing about baseball except that there was an umpire and eventually we’d be singing about peanuts and cracker jacks.

We received a schedule for both boys and I almost swallowed my tongue when I realized that between the two of them they had 51 games scheduled.

IN EIGHT WEEKS.

With 51 games on our schedule, I had no idea when I’d see my next nap or even if I’d be able to catch The Bachelor. What had we gotten ourselves into?

And then it came time for our first game.

Y’all.

The first time my boy got up to bat, I screamed like a lunatic. He cracked that ball, I stood up, and before I knew what was happening, I dribbled on myself.

Not my proudest moment, for sure. But all the moms sitting around me understood my excitement. We whooped and hollered all afternoon. I was new to this whole baseball thing, and surprisingly, I thought it might be something I could eventually enjoy because there was lots of time to sit and talk!

And so began, a new season in my life.

Baseball Season.

It is precisely the reason I bought a fancy DSLR Canon Rebel.

It is the reason, my left calf is scratched and scabbed over.

And it is also the reason I am constantly behind on the laundry.

After that first season, Stevie’s coach asked if I might like to learn how to keep the baseball book. (I feel certain he asked me this because I was so loud in the stands he thought I might be quieter if I had to actually SHUT UP and PAY ATTENTION.)

I told him if he needed me, I’d give it a shot, and so I went to YouTube and taught myself the absolute basics about keeping the book. I remember being so afraid I would miss something, or screw up the batting order. I was a nervous wreck, mostly because that’s how I operate. During our first game one of the dads stood with me to help me catch and record each play. By the end of that first season, I felt pretty comfortable with keeping the book even though I was only keeping basic stats.

Stevie has been blessed to have the same three coaches throughout three (or is it six?) seasons of fall and spring ball. That means that we are a pretty tight-knit group of parents. I absolutely LOVE our baseball family. Both of our boys have been blessed with wonderful coaches who are wonderful examples on and off of the baseball field. (And for that, we are thankful!)

I’m in my third year of keeping the book, and I now e-mail stats after each game to our three coaches that includes pitch counts, batting averages, season stats, and positions played. Tonight, I sat and talked leisurely with my friend Missy as I kept the book AND the batting order rolling. I’ve come a long way since that first game.

I get a lot of flack about our book. It is neat, it is orderly, and it is often recopied if I consider it to be too messy.

These days, there’s very few places I’d rather be than the ball field. I have Baseball Mom shirts, baseball bling flip-flops, baseball jewelry, and baseball visors. I never ever dreamed in a million years I’d be a baseball mom.

Yet, here I sit tonight wearing a baseball mom t-shirt with my last name on the back of it.

When I’m watching Alex’s game, I have to keep track of the score because I can’t stand sitting in the bleachers and having no earthly idea what the score is.

Our boys don’t know it yet, but they are learning life lessons that will help them throughout life. And we are all forging friendships that will last a lifetime.

We have met some wonderful friends on the baseball field. When I look back on this journey of motherhood, I feel certain, our time spent on the baseball field will be among my fondest memories.

I Hate This Story

It is a treat having two little boys.

They are alike in some ways, but for the most part, the two of them are as different as night and day. At their well-visit a few weeks ago, their pediatrician informed me that at Stevie’s current rate of growth, he will be a 5’11” / 180 pound adult. Alex, on the other hand, at his current rate of growth will be 6’4″ and 220 pounds.

To which Stevie replied, “I better get to eatin'”.

I’ve told that story 318 times in the past two weeks and each time Stevie says, “I hate this story.”

It makes me smile because it is indicitive of the difference in these two. Alex is the little brother. He’s not supposed to be five inches taller than his BIG brother. (And yes, I do realize that often times these estimations are way off. Still, it makes me giggle.)

Some days these two push me to a ledge I want to jump off of. Other days, they crawl up on my lap and tell me how much they love me, and I know without a doubt I am the luckiest mom in the world. And lots of days I laugh hysterically because they say some of the craziest things.

Here are just a few of the things I’ve overheard from them this week.

1. STEVIE: Month, orange, silver and purple are the only English words that don’t rhyme with another English word.

ALEX: Well what about orangutan?

2. How do you think Einstein got to be so smart?

3. Don’t pee into the wind.

4. ALEX: Mom, did you know that VY Canis Majoris is one of the biggest and brightest stars there ever was.

[It is interesting to note that until that very minute, I had never even heard of VY Canis majoris.]

5. Coca-cola used to be green. Did you know that mom?

6. Mom, did you know that some sharks eat their babies?

7. If we ever get a dog we can’t feed it grapes, or it will die.

[I had to Google that one.]

8. Where does dust even come from?

[Dang, I'd love to know the answer to that.]

These boys are the light of my life. On my worst day, they can make everything seem like flowers and sunshine. I am blessed beyond measure that these two wonderful human beings call me mommy.

Holding On

As I sit on the couch, I hear a thud.

I am startled.

I hear a whimper. And then footsteps.

He stumbles through the hall holding his head. When I ask what happened, he mumbles something about hitting his head on the bed.

In flannel Diary of a Wimpy Kid pajama pants, he climbs onto the couch and slides across my body. He settles in – on my lap. His lanky arms wind around my neck and he holds on tight.

I tickle his bare back. I close my eyes. I bury my nose in his hair and inhale until my lungs fill with air. I run my finger down his cheek and try my best to count his eyelashes. I take note of several light freckles scattered on his cheeks. There is a faint mark on his nose, no doubt left by the black glasses that he couldn’t be talked out of. He is missing three teeth (must get a picture tomorrow) and needs a haircut.

I want so badly to soak up this perfect moment. I long for the image of his sweet face to be engraved forever in my brain. I want to remember the ease with which he slid into my arms and how perfectly my arms wrapped around his little body. I want to remember his smell.

There will soon come a day when he will no longer want me to hold him. Even now, he rarely sits still long enough to count his fingers, much less his eyelashes. He is fiercely independent and strives to be good at everything he does. He can match clothing better than most adults. He is the tallest kid in his class, and takes great pride in his work. He is rough and tumble and cuddly and loveable. He is a responsible allergic kid and would want you to know that he has the most Accelerated Reader points in his class. He loves to play Legos with his big brother and taught himself to ride a bike. His laugh brings joy to even the worst of days.

A whopping ten-pounds, five-ounces at birth, he was the biggest infant in the nursery. At his most recent well-child visit, his pediatrician charted his growth to be well above average. At his current rate of growth, he is slated to be a 6-foot, 4-inch man averaging 220 pounds. That seems impossible. He will always be my baby.

This child – this sweet, lovable child – is like me in so many ways. I see myself in so many of his mannerisms, and I smile. He is the child my mom hoped I would have. The one who would be just like me.

It is late. I should send him back to bed, but I don’t want this moment to end. I hug him a little tighter, I hold him a little longer, and I take a deep breath.

And then I exhale thinking I am the luckiest mama in the world.

I love you sweet boy! You will never ever know how much you mean to me!