Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Those harmless-but-nasty-looking flying bugs have once again crawled out of the ground and abandoned their shells for flight. It's the 13 year variety, which seems to be the most numerous group. I'd thought we'd be spared from them this year after a small cold snap but never fear- they are out in full decibel swing. They can be so loud in certain places that I can hear them while driving down the interstate, over the car noise and the radio. The sole purpose of these critters seems to be to annoy, scare and amuse people, to mate and become food for birds and other assorted animals. That's it...whatta life.

I arrive at CJ's school one afternoon and they are on the playground. Three of the children are plastered to the teacher because they are scared of the cicadas. She informed me that all the kids are scared of them, except for the son of yours truly and a couple other kids. Big suprise there. I'm not sure CJ understands the concept of fear. But just as she's told me this we see CJ and another boy staring at a cicada stuck to the wall of the school. Both boys slowly inch closer to the bug. They lean in and the other boy sticks out his finger. I couldn't tell if he actually made contact or not but the cicada leaps off the wall towards them. The scream could be heard for miles. Both kids did not stop running or screaming til they hit the fence at the back of the playground. I'm happy the fence was there, CJ might still be running.

Come on mid-June when they will be gone for another 13 years...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Word

Oh the joys having your children out in the world. I know you can't shelter them forever. But, can we at least let them be children while they are chronologically children?

WC came home from his after-school karate program with another meaning for the word "nuts."  I know, it is far from the worst thing that he could come home saying. And if this is the worst thing out of his mouth then consider myself lucky.
A friend's three year old announced to a room full that you weren't supposed to say 'I'll kill you' or 'holy shit.'

And I guess that at seven, being made aware of the alternate names for his body parts is going to happen. Especially when he is in a group with boys of various ages. But, the problem is that he brings the new word home to his little brother. I can do without a 4 year old referring to his area as "nuts." Because he doesn't get that it isn't referring to the whole private area. I have a fear that I'll go pick him up one day at his private Christian School and be pulled to the side.
"We need to talk. CJ is referring to his privates as 'nuts'"

I'm no stranger to my children humiliating me with their behavior, but I'd like to keep it to a minimum.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Bull

My little CJ was born under the Zodiac sign of Taurus. I'm not the sort of person who reads the horoscope. I know that I'm a Sagittarius but I've never thought much of what "sign" the boys are.
As an infant, I nicknamed him (at home) Bulldog- because he was stubborn from the minute the doctor cut him from my womb. He was probably stubborn while gestating too, I just didn't realize it.  But, I digress.
A friend recently mentioned to me that his sign is The Bull, which I found cute knowing my own previous little nickname for him that was replaced by "The touchless wonder." 
I looked up what qualities someone born under Taurus supposedly has and one stuck out: Stubborn by nature. The Taurus will stand his ground to the bitter end- sometimes irrationally.
Case in point:
On Good Friday, I had to work. Both of the kids were off school and they were headed to my mom's house for the day.
CJ located a pair of blue pants out of the bottom of his drawer and had to wear them. Recently he'd decided that blue is his favorite color. Problem with this was that the pants were a size 2T on a child that fits a 3-4T size. The elastic waist still fit him but length is where the problem came in. He was a boy in blue Capri pants.
Jay looks at him and tells  him that he will get him a pair of pants that fit. CJ balks, "I want these."  Now the next fifteen minutes went something like:
"What about these?" Jay held up another pair.
"Look these have Thomas on them." Jay pulling out the big guns of persuasion.
The wheels on the bus go round and round...

Then WC joins in the unnecessary battle of wills, attempting to get his brother to change his pants. And the more they harp...well, I bet you can guess what CJ's response was. He was wearing the pants. End of story.
Have they ever met this child?

I finally decide to try and end this. I tell both Jay and WC to just leave CJ alone. It doesn't matter what he wears to his grandparents house. Tonight, I will remove the offending garment and will not put it back in his drawer.  Just let it alone.

With all kids it's important to pick your battles and especially with a naturally strong willed child, such as CJ.

But WC protests at having to look at CJ wearing such short pants. Unlike fart jokes, CJ pants offend his delicate senses. I asked him if he needed reminding of some of the outfits that he used to wear out to the store when he was 2-3? Once he went to Walmart in a long sleeve striped shirt, plaid shorts and bright red boots. He went off to continue to needle his brother behind my back.

Driving down the interstate, I could still hear WC harping on CJ's pants. And I began to fear that he would in fact succeed in changing his brothers mind. Because I was now without a way to change CJ's pants. This grew into a very large worry. I repeatedly told WC to stop.

We arrived at my moms house and of course, WC is still beating the hell out of that dead horse. I pull him to the side and explain to him the nightmare that would ensue if he now convinced CJ that he needed to change pants. "If he wants them off, you will now have to listen to him scream and cry because he has no other pants."
"He can wear mine," WC replied.
"Think about that for a minute." I tell him and pat him on the head.

I get out quickly. I don't want to be anywhere around if it went bad.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Flying Through the Air With the Greatest of Ease...

As I child, I briefly had a dream of becoming a trapeze artist. But, I grew older and realized that I probably wasn't going to run away with the circus. And my dream of flipping through the air and being caught by a guy wearing spandex trousers slowly faded away. It was replaced by another equally exciting and slightly less lucrative dream of being a writer and mother.
Little did I know that all these years later, I would be living my circus performer dream, in a way- sans the guy in spandex trousers.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the announcer comes over the loud speaker.  Let me direct your attention to bedroom at the end of the hallway. Our fearless mother of two has removed the clean sheets from the linen closet and has entered the room.
The top bunk of the bed has already been stripped of the former sheets and she ascends the ladder.
Ladies and Gentlemen, your total silence is necessary. As she performs this amazing balance act suspended eight and half feet in the air, without a net! One wrong move and it will hurt, folks.
Watch closely as she balances on one side then the other while slipping the bottom corners of the matress into the fitted sheet. Yes, she now has sucessfully has she fitted sheet tucked under the mattress.
Now this is the most difficult part of the stunt. (A hush falls over the crowd). She will turn completely around and bring the fitted sheet up the the head of the bed without putting her weight on the mattress. OUCH- a slight misjudgment of distance and her head hit the textured ceiling. Now that hurts. It's important to keep that head just under the nine foot mark!
Our mother is only briefly affected by the hit and now she's gathered her grip on the fitted sheet and moving towards the head of the bed. She reaches carefully over the left side to tuck it under. What's this? She's pulled her hand back quickly and peering over to investigate something. She reaches back over the side and removes...A squishy glow in the dark eyeball. She tosses the eyeball over the side of the bed and goes back to securing the sheet in place. Now, after she secures the right side of the sheet under the mattress our fearless mom descends the ladder.
And for her encore, she will place the flat sheet on top of the fitted sheet and tuck it under the mattress at the bottom. Now she leaves the sheet folded as she ascends the ladder once again. She's prepared this time, folks, the sheet has been folded so the bottom is easily accessible and tucks that sheet under the mattress quickly. And with effortless grace, she slowly smooths the sheet across while moving back toward the head of the bed. Let' see if she move back onto the ladder and complete the stunt without incident. There she goes- one foot on the ladder...then the other...yes, the sheet is slipped into place. Our fearless mom is now descending the ladder.

I turn around to bow. But no wild applause, no flowers being thrown...just two little boys asking when lunch will be ready.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


          Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.
Karl Augustus Menninger

I don't like swimming. There I said it. It's crazy thought for some people. But, I cannot stand the feeling of putting my face into water. I can swim, if I have to, I don't make recreation out of it. And the ocean, it's a fairly foreign thing for me. Until I was an adult I'd only seen the ocean maybe a handful of times. My parents just didn't travel. And when we did go to the ocean, the only thing I ever heard from my mom was, "Don't go out too far- all of a sudden it drops off without warning and you'll be gone" or "You'll get sucked out by the current and drown" or "You'll get stung by a jelly fish." or "attacked by a shark." Come to think of it, I have no earthy idea why we went to ocean- if she really believed these things- what's the point? So, we'd sit and look it and get in up our knees.

When Jay and I decided to do a Caribbean cruise for our tenth wedding anniversary, I decided to do two things I'd never done before. Two things that would push me well out of my comfort zone. Kayaking and snorkeling in the ocean.
The kayaking was billed as a "leisurely" activity. Apparently they forgot to tell that to the buff, twenty year old, Brazillian athlete (with a bod you could bounce quarters off of...I'm sorry what was I saying...oh, yeah) who was the guide- he flew through that water like he was racing for olympic gold. It was hard to concentrate on paddling my ass off and looking at the amazing scenery (no, not him). We had one small shark sighting- well the fin of the shark. We pulled our paddles out of the water and floated for a few minutes and the shark went away. Our guide pulled a couple of live star fish out of the ocean for us to see; one them had been eating. Before we left, they gave us instructions on what to do if you tip over. Let's just say I don't think I'd been able to counterbalance Jay. I'm grateful we didn't tip.
The next day we went on our snorkel adventure. Which was light years beyond my comfort zone. Unlike the Brazilian god...um...I mean guide from the day before the group that took us out looked like a group of convicts or at the least they haven't been caught, yet.
After a bit on engineering in order to make my glasses and snorkel mask work, we were in business. Or they were in business and I was trying not to fall off the back of the boat and put on flippers and not have a heart attack. I'd sent Jay on out and he jumped off the side of the boat. Later, he admitted that he was far more scared than he'd thought he'd be when he hit that water. I see him watching me as I make my way down the ladder into the ocean. I try to put my face down in the water and I get to the point where my mouth goes under and I taste salt and I cannot make myself put my face in. I'm using all my energy not to hyperventilate.
Jay and I make our way to each other and I hold onto him and spit out the air tube. I tell him I'm freaking out. We paddle there for a minute or two while I try to compose myself. He puts his face down and comes up with "Oh my God!"
I'm curious and he tells me that there are fish all under us.
Son of a monkey...I have to do this. I put my face in and holy mother, it's like the Discovery channel under there! But I have to pull my head back up. I can taste water- and I keep hyperventilating. I'm not doing well. But, I put my head back down several more times- trying to move around and take it all in. After a few short times, I know I have to get this. I can't be out here and miss this.
I figure out that I'm programmed to hold my breath while going under water and even with the tube, I can't reconcile inhaling while under water.
So, I began by taking a big breath in and slowly letting it out through the tube while I'm under the water and "coming up" for air. After a while, I'm doing it. I'm finally doing it. I don't want to go back to the boat. It was incredible- the best thing I did while in the Bahamas. I'd do it again, in heartbeat.
          Curiousity will conquer fear even more than bravery will
James Stephens

Monday, May 16, 2011

CJ Turns 4

Four years ago today, my little CJ made his entrance into the world. He surprised us by being three weeks early. We're so on the ball that we didn't even have a baby bed setup yet. I'd went in for my check up that week and the OB felt that my blood pressure was too elevated. It had never been high before. So, she sent me to the labor and delivery floor of the hospital for observation. Now, here's a little tip Docs- if you want a patients blood pressure to go down- sticking them in the hospital, having them poked with needles and confined to a bed for the entire day does not do the trick. It was very stressful and I'm sure contributed to the OB having to order a c-section at 9:30 pm. Little CJ arrived at 10:03 pm. He was ready eat from minute one and it's the last time we've been on the same page. He's unique and determined to do everything his way. He's a remarkably gifted child and I'm blessed to have him.

Happy 4th Birthday to my "baby."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


At this point, I'm still giving bathing the boys in the tub at the same time. It's getting near time for WC to start doing this on his own, but he's only interested in playing around- not washing. The other night I'm getting them into the tub and enter the bathroom as WC is using the toilet. "Hey," he says. "Girls aren't supposed to see boys pee."
"True, but I'm your mommy."
"But, I don't get to see your private area," he retorts. "Why do you get to see mine." This coming from the same child who dances bare ass through the house shaking what The Lord gave him without the slightest bit of modesty several times a week or anytime he thinks he can get a laugh.
"Well, when you start to wash and tend to your own hygene then I wont see your private area anymore," I reply.
He contemplates this for a second then asks, "Then do I get to see your private area?"
"No. No one gets to see my private area." I'm going out the door of the bathroom.
"You're not being fair," he complained.
Fair? I'm not interested in fair. I'm interested in quiet and non-frizzy, lustrous hair.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A New Journey

Since she already spilled the beans- everyone head over to Michele's blog and show some support and prayers for they found out 8 days ago that they'd been chosen to adopt a precious baby boy due at the end of June!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Gift to Give...

The best gift to give the kids of your worst enemy is (drum roll, please)...
Colored Bubbles by Crayola.
My mother sent these home in Easter baskets for the kids. I wonder what I could have done to her that was so horrendous to deserve this. She might as well have sent home a jug of paint and roller brush.
When I first saw them in the baskets, I didn't think much of it. Who would? Just bubbles, right? Perhaps you see just a hint of green or blue in the bubble while it's floating in the air. So when they wanted to open them after dinner, I told them to go out on the back deck. I stepped out to help CJ open his and pulled out the wand- it was very thick and dark blue. Before I could react he blew with enough force to take out a candle twenty feet away. What didn't coat my arm, hit WC. The left half of his face looked like he'd been hit with spray of blue paint.
WC, undeterred by the paint explosion, was happily cranking out bubbles of his own. Unfortunately the dye used to color the bubble solution made them too heavy to really float away and they were falling in mass numbers, splattering the wooden deck in green.
I'm still staring in disbelief at my blue arm when Jay steps out onto the deck and flips out at the stuff staining the deck. I snap back to reality and send them into the grass. He hooks up the hose and hands it to me on the deck, mumbles something about going to the store and disappears. Jo Jo the cat high tales it off the deck and over the fence- she isn't taking any chances. After several minutes of constant washing, what was left of the color splats isn't coming off.
I stop to take note of the color carnage in the back yard. CJ has morphed into a smurf and WC may have a bit of the Hulk going on. Their shirts and pants are polk-a-dotted with their respective color of bubbles. They are still wearing their polo shirts from church that morning. Note to self everything must be washed.
CJ smiles at me and teeth, tongue, chin and neck are all blue. Then stretching from his hand to his elbow is simply solid blue color. He can't come in house like this. I devised a plan. I went in and started running a tub of water.  And took two towels that were waiting to be washed and placed one on the floor just inside the back door and took the other with me.
The instructions were simple. Put down the bottle of paint (umm, I mean bubbles) and stand at the bottom of the porch steps. From there I hosed them both down, clothes and all. Then I had them strip off the wet clothes and then hosed them again. I told WC to step on the towel inside the door and dry his feet and get to the tub without touching anything.
Knowing that I would never get the same cooperation out of CJ, I used my second towel to wrap him like I was giving a cat medication. Then carried him to the bathroom and unrolled him right into the tub.
Everything else, including my shirt went into the washing machine.
On a positive note- it all came out of the clothes and off the body. The next morning my deck still had color spots but hopefully after several days of rain, it will eventually fade away.
Rarely, will I ever bad mouth a product. I feel that any product can have a few that are off and not inicative of the rest of them. I love Crayola's other products, I'd just purchased the sidewalk chalk. We love the crayons, paints, chalks and color wonder line. I'm generally impressed with the quality of their products.
Sometimes things are messy- I have two boys and I get that. You have to weigh the ratio of fun to clean up and in this case the clean up outweighed the amount of fun (for me).

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


With CJ turning 4 soon, I decided that it was time for him to start doing a few things on his own. The time between when we get home in the afternoons and bedtime is always crazy. Too much to accomplish in a short amount of time. It would help out if he could/would put on his own pajamas. The other night I decided to see what he could do. He can strip himself naked in three tenths of a second. I told him to show me how big he could be and put on his pj's. His clothes were strewn across the floor before I'd finished the request. A little flesh colored blur took off down the hallway in the direction of the bedroom.
I asked WC to go back and help out. I was informed "I am not a teacher."
Okay, so the kid will teach his brother how to do everything they aren't supposed to but he draws the line at pajamas. I let WC know that I don't expect him to dress CJ just provide a little guidance.
A few minutes later I hear CJ hopping down the hall. He's bouncing down the hall with both legs stuck in the same leg hole of his underwear. About the time he makes it to the couch, he falls to the floor and flops around like a stranded mermaid. "Pull them off and put them back on correctly and go get your pants." He must have done so quickly cause next thing I know he's headed back down the hall. I didn't look up. When CJ had gone Jay said, "I think he had them on backwards."
"He looks like he's wearing a European man- thong."
Probably ten minutes later he returned- pj pants on and shirtless. I checked in the back of his pants and things were on correctly. Apparently Mr. 'I'm not a teacher' did care enough not to let his brother wear a thong.
Once again, I sent him back for his shirt.
I am now in the process of preparing WC's nightly breathing treatment when CJ comes running up the hall as fast as those little legs could go, holding his pj shirt out in front of him. He hands it to me and quickly motions for me to put it on him.
Not 30 seconds later WC comes down the hall holding his plastic, toy bow and an arrow with a suction cup on the end. He notices CJ is fully dressed and nods approval. I give him a questioning look and he explains,
"I told him that he had ten minutes to get dressed or I was gonna shoot him in the privates." Incentive- 7 year old style.
"You cannot shoot people in the privates," I tell him. Let's face it, no matter how good your intentions are, that right there will get you into trouble.
"Okay." He sighed. "What about the butt? Can I shoot him in the butt?"
Ahhh, brotherly love.

New Look

It was time for a change so I've revamped my blog page here. I hope you like the new look!