The Mini Blizzard Of ’15

Apparently, Small Town, USA is not ready to release its grip on all the winter yet, which probably explains the little blizzard that blew through town yesterday and stranded motorists like me in the grocery store parking lot.  I would’ve loved to have driven further at the time, but it’s very difficult when you can’t even see the end of the hood on your Suburban, because UTTER WHITEOUT.  I was busy, minding my own business and driving along, when BOOM!  There was all this swirling, blinding snow, and WHERE DID THE STREET GO?  Since I knew that I was somewhere near the entrance to the grocery store, I just prayed that no one would T-bone me while I made a left turn, said another prayer that I’d hit the smooth entrance to the parking lot and not have to hop my vehicle over the curb, and then Thing 2 and I sat still in a parking slot for three or four minutes, while the blizzard passed over us like a bad ghost from Christmases past.

And then we went on our merry little way, in the partial whiteout.

At least you can see sixteen feet in front of your car when the word PARTIAL is used in conjunction with WHITEOUT.  Being able to see sixteen feet ahead felt so safe, compared to five minutes earlier.  Sixteen feet lets you see one car in front of you, so I felt incredibly secure merging back into oncoming traffic.

The blizzard left our streets looking like mirrors, because HOLY SHEETS OF PURE ICE, BATMAN!!  It was all very pleasant, which is probably why my sister hopped a plane yesterday to go visit a friend in Arizona.  There just comes a time in a girl’s life when her hormones are working against her, and she simply decides that SHE IS OVER THE SNOW!

(I’m sitting there right now.)

(Oh, I’m not sitting in Arizona; I’m sitting under the sign that says, “This Girl Cannot Wait For Spring.”  I thought I should be clear.)

Sister packed her swimming suit and shorts.

She packed her sunglasses and her sunscreen.

And also her flip-flops.

I’m not talking to her right now, because I know she’s floating in her friend’s backyard pool, as we speak, with nary a cloud in that bright blue sky, while we’re trying to get snow shoveled off the patio and wishing the fireplace burned at a temperature more like NUCLEAR BONFIRE, to take the chill off the HIGH OF FIFTEEN DEGREES day that we had.

Later yesterday, when I glanced at Facebook, one of my friends in the deep South had posted that their weather report was calling for some snow, and that her son had decided they could use trashcan lids for sleds, if indeed the weatherman was right about this forecast.  It’s because they don’t actually OWN sleds, because DEEP SOUTH.  And the small fact that her eleven-year-old son has seen snow exactly once in his entire life.  I tried to work up some sympathy for them, because HER POOR BOY HAS ONLY HAD SNOW ONE!! TIME!! EVER!!, but my reserves were dry.  It’s probably because they were basically still having spring weather and wearing flip-flops down there, while I was waiting out a blizzard in a parking lot.

And really, that’s all that I have to talk about tonight, because nothing exciting (other than snow and snow and snow and ice and more ice) has happened.  I feel like if I TRY to invent something to type about right now, I’m just going to start listing my grocery list in adjective-heavy detail.

BUT!

I can tell you this little tidbit, which is an actual conversation that happened at church yesterday.  The kids had youth group last night.  When we showed up, Sister’s Husband (who is not in Arizona, because he’s being the responsible, working, single-parent, while his wife floats on a tube in a pool IN ALL THE SUNSHINE and sips drinks with umbrellas in them) was already there, in the front foyer, with their kids.  Thing 2 came blowing in with a strong, icy wind at his back.  He whipped off the hood from his coat and hollered to my three-year-old niece, “H!  Hi, H!!!  He so happy to see you!!!!”  And then he raced right over to her, threw his arms around her, and hugged the snot plum out of her.

Little H tried to breathe and said, “Thing 2, you hug too tough!  I don’t like tough hugs!  I like gentle hugs!  Tough hugs make me crazy!!”

I thought I was going to wet my drawers from laughing over that.

Tough hugs make me crazy.

That could be an inspirational poster in a classroom somewhere.

So could the words, “When the tough blizzards strike, the wise pack their sandals and fly to sunny Arizona.”

And then… LOOK!  I have a short video for you tonight of Thing 2 putting in his pretend contact lenses…

That kid makes my heart happy.

Y’all have a good weekend.  Stay warm.  And if you live in the deepest parts of the South, where you have to deal with alligators, I hope that you see a skiff of snow.  While you’re out playing in it, just go ahead and understand that it’s NOT REAL SNOW UNLESS YOU HAVE TO SHOVEL IT, AND YOU CAN’T DRIVE IN IT!

The New Jedi, Perhaps He Is

When the boy was in elementary school, he could swing a lightsaber like it was his job.  He could have lettered in Lightsaber Fights.  He could have won the gold medal, and stood while our national anthem played over the speakers, in Lightsaber Battles.  He could have stormed the Death Star alone and taken out every Stormtrooper that crossed his path, without breaking a sweat or needing Chewie to swing in with backups.

It’s why, when I started this blog, I called it Jedi Mama.  The boy’s Midi-Chlorian level was higher than Yoda’s.

Bless his heart.

And then, somewhere after grade school ended, the boy decided that swinging a golf club was more fun than engaging in hand-to-hand combat with lightsabers.  Apparently, he picked up on the small fact that girls prefer boys in the junior high who don’t walk around with a plastic weapon strapped to their waists.  I guess we all grow up, and leave the Velveteen Rabbit and the Star Wars gadgets behind.

But now…

… BEHOLD!

We’re thinking that The Force… well… just… ISN’T… very strong in this one.  Oh, he’s got THE BRAVERY for a good lightsaber fight, but he’s greatly lacking in finesse and grace as he twirls that weapon around.

Plus, he’s very prone to grabbing the red blade, and we all know that can take a hand off and leave you at a genuine disadvantage in front of Darth Vader.

Still, my money is on Thing 2, because Hubs and I both know that he could drop the leader of the Galactic Empire to the floor in a double-leg take-down, and keep him there in a full Nelson, until some bounty hunter counts to ten and holds Thing 2′s right arm up as the winner.  Wrestle Mania could be a real thing with the Rebel Alliance.

And really?  Well, a Jedi can still get his Letterman’s jacket that way.

 

Clapping For The Underdog

I’m sitting here at my computer, trying to even remember what happened in the early parts of this past weekend.

Obviously, it was all tremendously exciting.

On Thursday, we had an early-release day from school, because parent-teacher conferences were in full swing for mid-terms.  The boy walked downtown from school with some friends, and hopped into a little coffee shop for lunch, and I sort of felt a shiver of sadness, because WHEN DID ALL OF THIS HAPPEN?  When, exactly, did my son grow up enough to be able to just walk downtown when school lets out early?  When did he quit needing me to pick him up and take him for a celebratory frozen yogurt, piled high with the gummy bears he insists on putting on top of his mountain of chocolate yogurt, which will then freeze into bits of rocks that chip teeth?

(For the record?  I think dentists LOVE the gummy bear option at the frozen yogurt hut, because gummy-bears-gone-cold translates into MANY DENTAL DOLLARS.)

(Cha-ching.)

While the boy was still wandering the town on foot with his buddies, Hubs and I met at the junior high, so that we could pop in and visit with his teachers, who were all set up at tables in the gym.  In the past, our conferences have always gone like this, “Oh!  The boy is so much fun to have in class!  He’s brilliant!  He has an A!  His grade is, in fact, a 99% in my class!  He talks to everyone who sits beside him, all the time!  I adore teaching your son!  Did I mention that he talks a lot to everyone?  It doesn’t matter WHERE he sits in the classroom; he’s going to talk to the kid next to him.”

And then this Thursday happened.

Specifically, the conference with his teacher from Advanced History happened.  She went through the usual conversation, of telling us how polite and kind the boy is, and then she just dumped it all out onto the table.

The boy, it seems, neglected to turn in a project that was worth a substantial pull of points, and HERE’S HIS C+ MIDTERM GRADE.

We have never seen the letter C… EVER... on the boy’s midterms or his report card.  Never, ever,  never.  I thought I might need some oxygen in a tank, so that I could breathe in and out, because IS THE ROOM SPINNING?  And, DID SHE JUST SAY C+?

When asked about this history assignment, the boy replied, “Yeah, I’m still working on that.  It’s taking a little longer than I thought it would.”  (I think the translation of that teenage comment was, “This is an advanced class, geared for higher thinking, and that project has required every bit of energy and focus I have, so I decided to take an extended sabbatical from it and regroup, because all that research is interfering with my social life.”)  When I showed him his C+, he actually looked at me with his jaw gaping wide open and said, “What?!!  She gave me a C+ for midterms?!!!  But I’m going to turn this in!”

Hello, eyeopener!  The boy was convinced that his teacher hated him with nineteen different levels of hate, because HOW DARE SHE DISH THAT GRADE OUT ON PAPER TO HIM?  There were also some tears, but then Hubs told me that it was plum ridiculous for me to cry over a C+ that wasn’t even mine.

And then Hubs and I explained that a teacher cannot grade what she does not have.  You can cross-stitch that on a throw pillow.

Now, after a weekend of hard work, the boy’s enormous history project is finished, and it looks like it could win awards.

Here’s to hoping that the award it wins is LOOK!  THIS RAISED YOUR GRADE CONSIDERABLY.  Because apparently my need to earn myself a long line of A grades is still a real and competitive thing inside of me, even though my own 8th grade year happened in the 1920s.  The good thing is that God chose to pair me up with level-headed Hubs, who is quick to point out that straight-A’s never made a person good on the inside.

After meeting with the history teacher, we met with the boy’s PE teacher.  She actually pulled me into a hug, even though this is the first time that I’ve ever met her, because this is a new class, with a new instructor, for the boy this quarter.  She then told me and Hubs, “Your boy is amazing!  He has restored my faith that this generation of teenagers will be able to take care of me and our country when I’m elderly.”  And then she went on to tell us that last week, a group of kids were picking on a boy in the gym.  She said that this boy invites a lot of the grief he gets from his peers, by intentionally aggravating everyone, but she said that she overheard a conversation that some boys were having with him.  She said that she started to walk over to them, to intervene and let them know that they’d be seeing their principal for a small talk on HOW WE TREAT OTHERS, when the boy immediately got into the middle of everyone and said, “Oh, my gosh!  Leave him alone!  He’s a person who wants to be treated well, exactly like you’re people who want to be treated well!  Grow up and quit picking on him!  It’s not cool, and it’s not okay!

She said that the other boys totally backed down, because everyone likes the boy and respects him.

And then she said that she wanted to hug our son senseless, for being brave enough to stand up to his peers… to his own friends… and let them know that what they were doing was wrong.  She told us that these boys still won an audience with their principal, but that she was so proud of the boy, her heart almost burst in half.

Which totally made the C+ grade on his midterms seem like a trivial thing, because straight-A’s never helped anyone do the right thing, at the right time.

Hubs and I are very proud of that kid of ours.

Like… WAY PROUD.

(And yes.  I’ve asked the boy if I could tell this story tonight, because it does involve some personal information about him.  The boy is at an age, where he needs to have his own privacy respected, and he did give me his permission to type this tale out tonight.)

The rest of our weekend was a lot of LOOK!  WE NEED GROCERIES!  And, IS IT EVER GOING TO STOP SNOWING?  And, I’M SO SICK OF 12-DEGREE WEATHER!!  (Which is probably why we stayed indoors all weekend.  I’m over the cold and the icy snow.)

It was also the weekend of LOOK!  I’M GOING TO FIX THE TANKLESS HOT WATER HEATER, THAT HAS BEEN ACTING FUNKY FOR THE PAST SIX MONTHS… AND I’M GOING TO FIX IT TONIGHT!  Because when you dish out enough money to buy a new Honda, and all you get is a hot water heater, you come to expect certain things, like TWO FAUCETS SHOULD BE ABLE TO RUN AT THE SAME TIME WITHOUT SOMEONE DEALING WITH ICE CUBES FALLING OUT.

Hubs and the boy ripped into that hot water heater on Saturday evening, and they discovered that a rather substantially-sized wasp nest had been built in the exhaust pipe.  And that the filter had become a mass graveyard for hundreds of wasp bodies.  And THAT, people, is why our tankless hot water heater has sounded like a jet engine for the last few months whenever someone showers, and why two showers could not run simultaneously without someone screaming, “Go away, Elsa!!  I’m freezing!”

Because only the rich and famous have six hundred dead wasp carcasses in their water heater’s filter.  People want to be us.

Yesterday, Hubs and I escaped on a date.  We saw McFarland, USA at the theater, and listen!  Run!  Run like the wind to see it, because it makes your heart glow with happiness.  It also makes you cry, if you’re experiencing a surge in estrogen for some reason, because you’ll just do a nice, Happy Cry when those underdogs come from behind and do great things.  I wanted to clap like a lunatic in the theater at the end of the movie.

But, if you’re more like Hubs, with an estrogen level of zero, it just makes you hungry for some genuine enchiladas, cooked by a Spanish-speaking mama who knows her way around the beans and the shredded chicken.

Y’all have a very merry Monday evening, and remember:

A C+ on a midterm can always be brought up before the real quarter grades come out in four weeks.  But what really matters is how our hearts are, and whether or not we are brave enough to stand before our peers and clap for the underdog.

That Time When High School Was Lurking On The Horizon

So… the honest truth is that I have to make this post very quick tonight.  It’s because (1) it’s already after 8:00, and MaMaw really needs to JUST GET SOME SLEEP, because the toddler has been up between 4:00 and 4:40 every! single! morning! this week!, and (2) we have to use the big computer to (ahem!) register the boy for (cough, cough) his freshman year of high school.

Yes.

I said between 4:00 AND 4:40 EVERY DAY THIS WEEK.

And then I said FRESHMAN YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL.

And both of those things make me want to sit on the floor of my dark closet and have myself an ugly cry, because WHY CAN’T YOU SLEEP JUST A TINY BIT LONGER IN THE MORNINGS?  And HOW CAN WE BE SIGNING UP FOR THINGS LIKE HIGH SCHOOL BIOLOGY AND HIGH SCHOOL GEOMETRY, WHEN I JUST TOOK THESE PICTURES LAST WEEK?

IMG_1099 Nolan Scan003Those are snapshots of my firstborn.

Who was born yesterday.

And who needs the computer tonight to go online and sign himself up for freshman classes.

And this is my second-born son:

IMG_1737 IMG_1744 IMG_1747 IMG_1748He gets up way too early.

If you see me out and about tomorrow…

just hold me. And maybe pat my shoulder a little and say, “There, there.  It’s all going to be just fine.”

Y’all have a happy weekend.

Lucky Charms Is The New Flour

There has been a new development at the Jedi Manor.

Last night, Thing 2 learned to say, “Hey, Mommy?  Watch me do THIS trick!”  Hubs and I have heard this comment no fewer than twelve thousand and six more times in the past twenty-four hours.  The risk factor in this, is that when Thing 2 asks us to watch THIS trick, he means it.  It’s going to be a circus-worthy performance that will provide audience-goers with enough shock and awe to last them for the rest of the year.

“Hey, Mommy?  Watch me do THIS trick!”  And he jumps off a bar stool.  I was a little freaked out that he was going to break his ankle, but, y’all!  My moment of Mom Pride came in the fact that HELLO!  HE TOTALLY STUCK THE LANDING!  Mary Lou Retton only wished she could land like our toddler did last night.

“Hey, Mommy?  Watch me do THIS trick!”  And suddenly he’s STANDING on his Sit-’N-Spin, whirling in an upright position faster than any fighter jet from Top Gun has ever gone.

“Hey, Mommy?  Watch me do THIS trick!”  And there he is, attempting to somersault off the sofa, like he’s loading himself into a brightly-painted cannon, with a clown standing behind him, ready to light the fuse.

I imagine that my hair appointments are going to have to be spaced much closer together now, because OH, GRAY!  YOU SEEM TO SHOW UP BECAUSE OF THIS CHILD.

Today, the tractor trailers hauled Lucky Charms.

(Oh, go ahead and judge.  I buy the Lucky Charms because the boys EAT the Lucky Charms, but when I dish out $14 for a box of cereal that’s packed with 729 vitamins and tree bark, and sweetened with beet juice, it sits in my pantry and collects dust.)

And then… when the tractor was done hauling the cereal of leprechauns, it dumped it all onto the coffee table, which was apparently the designated area for THRESHING ROOM.  There was some pounding and some beating going on, until we had dust.

(Dust, minus the marshmallows, because apparently those don’t thresh well.  Thing 2 ate every last marshmallow he could find.)

The road grader saw some action today, too.  Apparently the Charms Dust needed to be moved around a bit.

IMG_1764 IMG_1765 IMG_1768 IMG_1769And then the grader broke down, so Thing 2 fixed it with a hammer.  This involved him pounding on the underside of the machine, until he declared, “There!  It’s working now!”

And then he used the hammer to beat the rest of the whole Charms into microscopic particles.

IMG_1771 IMG_1773I’m pretty sure I overheard the toddler tell his daddy tonight, “I’m not saying that I took things too far today, but Mommy was sitting on the kitchen floor, eating a carton of ice cream with her bare hands, while she kind of rocked back and forth a little bit.”

And then he yelled, “Hey, Daddy?  Watch me do THIS trick!”

Y’all have a happy Wednesday evening.  If you need us, we’re just over here at our house, running the vacuum cleaner on high.

Cause Of Heart Attack: Tractor Trailers

Well.  The weekend of love is over, as Valentine’s Day has slipped into the has-beens of 2015 already.  I’m not sure what it is, but the further I get away from The Breakfast Club and Debbie Gibson and acid-washed jeans and a good, side ponytail, the FASTER the years fling by my face.

We had a lovely weekend, even though it started out with some stress.

Specifically… THIS:

image1That would be the funeral photo of my cloves, sesame seeds and dried basil, as Thing 2 helped himself to my spice rack first thing on Friday morning, because “He was hauling grain in his tractor trailers.”

If you were around Jedi Mama, Inc. on Thursday, you may remember that the housekeeper I cannot really afford came over and scrubbed our house into something that usually only happens when a fairy godmother twirls her wand around.  Try to understand why I needed to use the Google on Friday morning to look up the phrase AM I HAVING A GENUINE HEART ATTACK, OR IS THIS STRESS BECAUSE I HAVE TWENTY-FOUR POUNDS OF DRIED HERBS AND SEEDS FLUNG FAR AND WIDE IN MY LIVING ROOM RIGHT NOW?

On a scale of one to ten in the Mess Factor, we were encroaching upon a solid eighty-six, which is why I texted Hubs and said, “I’m online looking for military preschools that encourage a lot of marching and pushups.”

While I was cleaning up the apparent explosion of three hundred grain trucks in the living room, I sat Thing 2 down on my bed, in front of a recorded episode of Wallykazam.  With the noise of the vacuum cleaner going at Mach 3, I missed hearing the toddler waltz himself downstairs, which is why I suffered some mild panic when I couldn’t find him after the mess was cleaned up.  I called his name, and he popped up at the bottom of the stairs.

He hollered up to me, as he walked up the stairs, “He’s going to sit on his bed now.”

People, I’m here to tell you that if your son ever self-regulates enough that he puts himself in TIME OUT on his bed, there’s going to be a mess downstairs that you don’t have enough nerve pills to cover.

Sure enough.

He had found the cats’ water bowl in the laundry room.  It’s a rather large bowl, and he’d managed to pour half of it onto the laundry room floor, while he filled the remaining half with dry cat food and cat litter.  He had used a spoon to stir it all around, too, in some sort of witch’s brew, as he simply stated, “He was cooking supper.  He’s going to sit on his bed.”

I hate to admit it, but some very bad words bounced off the inside of my skull.

Both of the cats were staring at me like I was a convicted felon on the witness stand.   Cat 1 told me, “I don’t know what you intend to do with that two-legged beast, but nobody messes with my water dish and keeps their own liver intact.  We have PARTS OF OUR TOILET floating in the water!”

Cat 1 has always been good with the drama.

So there was that mess.

By 10:15 on Friday morning, I had already rocked Thing 2 to sleep for his nap, because Mama just didn’t have it in her any longer to be on the cleanup crew.

Our Friday afternoon, after three solid hours of napping, went rather well, even though Thing 2 questioned me about DID I THROW HIS GRAIN IN THE GARBAGE?!  Because HE WAS HAULING THAT!!

On Saturday morning, there were a couple of small gifts for the boys, because it was Valentine’s Day.  Thing 2 immediately yelled, “It’s my birthday!  He open his birthday present now!”

IMG_1580 IMG_1581 IMG_1583 IMG_1584 IMG_1585Yes, I know that my son was a fashion icon in his green Gap shirt and his red-striped Elmo pajama bottoms, but it’s what he wanted to sleep in on Friday night.  I had no intention of fighting a battle over pajamas, because that’s a hill I don’t want to die on.  I’ll save my battles for OH, YES!  YOU REALLY ARE GOING TO EAT THIS GRILLED CHICKEN FOR DINNER!

As luck would have it, Thing 2 got a BIGGER tractor for his Valentine’s Day gift, with an EVEN BIGGER trailer.  Ultimately, this means that he can haul an entire ten-pound bag of flour or sugar around, instead of just small jars of sesame seeds.

IMG_1586 IMG_1587 IMG_1594The boy got some kind of electronic gadget that will put Netflix on our TV upstairs, so that no one needs to sit in the meat locker that is our basement family room during the winter months to watch a marathon of The Middle.

Also, if it appears that there’s an abundance of photos on the blog these days of our two-year-old, in comparison to those of our fourteen-year-old, it’s because teenage boys are not really excited about having their pictures taken.  They tend to hide from the camera and make horrible faces that make zombies look cute when you put the Canon anywhere near them.

IMG_1596 IMG_1598And then there was a little story time on Saturday morning…

IMG_1604… before Thing 2 went out to the deck to do some farming.

IMG_1607 IMG_1608 IMG_1612 IMG_1618 IMG_1622 IMG_1615 IMG_1624 IMG_1627 IMG_1630 IMG_1641I kept the deck doors from our dining room flung wide open, so that I could hear everything that was happening outside, and rest assured… I wasn’t fully prepared to hear, “Don’t worry!  It was a accident!  It was a accident!  Just a accident!”

The accident was that someone had pulled the big bucket of potting soil off the table… and it hit the deck… and opened up so many more farming possibilities, as the big John Deere got right to work…

IMG_1643 IMG_1644 IMG_1646 IMG_1648 IMG_1650 IMG_1661 IMG_1669And then I had to haul out the vacuum cleaner again, because forty-seven pounds of potting soil came into my dining room, via those deck doors, when the fieldwork and planting was finished, which is why we decided to just GET OUT OF THE HOUSE.

Mama was OVER the weekend messes.

So we met our friend Jeremy, and his daughter Hanna, at the playground.

IMG_1671 IMG_1675 IMG_1678 IMG_1679 IMG_1680The weather was great… the kids had a ball… and Hanna showed Thing 2 that she was plenty big enough to tackle the monkey bars ALONE!  Because when you get to be a kindergartner, you don’t need an adult to help you with something as mundane and EASY-PEASY as the monkey bars!

IMG_1688Thing 2 was enormously impressed with Hanna’s skill, and he insisted that Jeremy would teach HIM how to be as coordinated as a kindergarten kiddo.

IMG_1685We’re going to need some more practice with the monkey bars, but we’ve got the MINDSET to pull this task off.  We just need some LONGER ARMS, that can actually span the distance between the bars on their own.

IMG_1692 IMG_1701 IMG_1710 IMG_1712 IMG_1702 IMG_1714 IMG_1723 IMG_1725 IMG_1726 IMG_1731On Saturday night, Hubs and I went out for a Valentine’s Day date.

The youth group at our church was hosting a Sweetheart’s Dinner, so that they could raise money for an upcoming missions trip.  They’d bedazzled the church’s youth room with tables and white Christmas lights and candles, candles, candles.  The lights were dim, the appetizers were fantastic, and the jazz band was going strong in the corner.  Tons of our friends went, and we had THE!  BEST!  TIME!  We laughed our heads off with Scott and Christy, and Paul and Katie, and Sam and Robin, and then we sat with Gabe and Jodi and laughed some more, over a dinner of spaghetti and salad, which the youth served to everyone exactly like they’d do things in a swanky, upscale, New York City restaurant.

When we got home, I told Hubs, “My face actually HURTS from laughing so hard tonight!”

Best Valentine’s date ever!

The boy stayed home for Valentine’s Day, because he’s fourteen and his parents won’t let him actually… you know… TAKE A GIRL OUT quite yet.  So he had Kellen over, and the two of them ordered pizza and did manly things, like shoot enemy airplanes out of the sky in video games.

image22I forced them to pose for a quick snapshot, and the answer is YES.   Yes, Kellen is slouching, because the boy is not actually that much taller than he is.

Thing 2 went with us on Saturday night, because the youth group had arranged for babysitters to watch the little kiddos in the church nursery.  He had a total blast, because he was put with the eleven-year-old boys, who were helping out, and they all played trucks and trains and basketball with him.  When Hubs and I picked that toddler up from the nursery after dinner, he was HONESTLY SWEATING, he’d had so much fun with those 5th and 6th grade boys!

Our Sunday was a lot quieter.

We went to church.  Hubs grilled the best chicken that has ever been grilled in the history of mankind’s relationship with fire.  We went to Walmart for actual groceries.  And that was about it.

So see?  Y’all are totally caught up on our weekend.

And then, because life usually comes around full circle, our Monday morning started out JUST GREAT, as Thing 2 told me, “He’s going to go sit on his bed now!”

In a full-fledged panic, I searched for the mess.  It didn’t take me long to discover that he’d been hauling milky coffee in his tractor trailer.

image12What I DID NOT take a snapshot of was the giant puddle of coffee on the floor, where the trailer had dumped its load.

Please pray for me and my relationship with these John Deere tractor trailers, however the Holy Spirit leads you.

And y’all have a happy Monday night.

That Time I Had A Clean House For Twenty Minutes

Apparently, I have lost all ability to put words into sentences and form cohesive thoughts tonight.  Personally, I don’t think that this is really much different than any other night, but this evening I’ve done absolutely nothing but stare at the white computer screen that Word Press gives me to type on, while I mentally composed my grocery list.

(And don’t ask me why I’m even making any effort to put a grocery list together, because Hubs will tell you that I never actually go INTO the grocery store.)

(This is evidenced by the fact that we are down to our last four squirts of toothpaste IN THE ENTIRE HOUSE, and Hubs has no more uber-potent, makes-your-eyelashes-fall-out coffee cups for the Keurig.)

(Honestly, I don’t even know how Hubs and I managed to get together in the early ’90s.  It must’ve been the Peter Cetera ballad that he sang to me that made my heart flip out and cry, “Yes!  He’s THE ONE,” because it certainly wasn’t our similarities in food choices.  Hubs likes his coffee to be strong enough to kill a buffalo dead, while I prefer extra-hot, coffee-enhanced MILK.  Hubs likes hot sauces with names like FIRE IN THE HOLE and TOILET WRECKER, while I oftentimes think ketchup is a little bold and sassy, and LET’S TONE IT DOWN A SMIDGE, SHALL WE, GLADYS?)

(Also, Hubs knows things, like when an iPhone has flat-out burned its memory up with a tremendous amount of picture storage, while I simply beat on it with my index finger and wonder why my life is so difficult.)

Anyway.

Today was a simple day at home, but listen, y’all:

The housekeeper came.

The honest truth is that we can’t afford a housekeeper, because we really like to eat, and electricity is actually a high priority on our lists of things we need money for each  month, but I’ve decided that I can probably cut some Starbucks out, if it means that every other week this gal will come in, scrub my bathrooms until they sparkle like fairy wings and polish up my hardwood floors.  I’ve simply decided that there AIN’T NO PRICE TOO HIGH TO MAINTAIN A LITTLE TOUCH OF MAMA’S SANITY.

And today was one of the days that she came over, people.  By noon today, the toddler was napping in his bedroom, and I was sitting alone in a spotless house.

I had a hard time taking that all in, because it WAS LIKE CHRISTMAS!!!  But without the mess of wrapping paper in the living room!!

Of course, dinners just got downgraded to Top Ramen noodles with a side of air, but I think our higher sodium levels will be worth it, because did I happen to mention CLEAN HOUSE?  And it wasn’t like JUST THE KITCHEN COUNTERS WERE CLEAN.  No, ma’am.  It was THE ENTIRE HOUSE IS CLEAN, ALL AT ONCE.  EVERY SINGLE ROOM.  EVERY SINGLE FLOOR.  ALL THE TOILETS AND SINKS AND TUBS.  I pretty much wanted to hold my arms out wide and spin in huge circles to celebrate, but then I remembered MOTION SICKNESS, and the motion sickness is an enemy that I don’t deliberately poke with a stick.

After that, Thing 2 had his preschool screening this afternoon, because apparently that sort of thing starts a lot earlier these days, because LET’S SCREEN IN FEBRUARY FOR A SEPTEMBER START-UP.

I had to laugh, because one of the questions that the nice gal running the screening asked me was, “Can your child run more than ten feet without falling down?”

Um… my toddler can swipe something off his brother’s bedroom desk and be in Las Vegas three minutes later, just by running, with the contraband squeezed tightly in his hand.  And he’ll hardly be winded when he comes into the city of lights.

So yes.

Another question was, “Can your child climb five steps in a staircase on his own?”

Um… my two-year-old can climb the front of our side-by-side refrigerator like a monkey on gin shots.

So… I guess… Yes.

I think we nailed the screening, y’all.

And then we came back home, where everything still looked like polished diamonds.  I felt badly, but I had to inform my family, “I won’t be offended at all, if the three of you choose to get a room at the Holiday Inn tonight, so that YOU DON’T MAKE A MESS HERE!”

I was hoping to get my money’s worth out of that deep-cleaning for at least eight hours, but there are already footprints on the front of my stainless steel refrigerator.

I measured their height, and I think it’s about equal to that of five steps in an OSHA-approved staircase, so I’m pretty sure Thing 2′s got this whole business of preschool in the bag, come September.  Thank goodness he won’t be the awkward kid in the back of the classroom, eating Elmer’s Paste straight out of the pot with his bare hands.  We passed that screening with flying colors.

Y’all have a great weekend.

The Blog Post About Phones That’s Exactly As Good As An Ambien Tablet For Putting You To Sleep

Well, today was one of those days when what I REALLY wanted to do was this:

44748812ef1cf2269249a758bd805241I wanted to put on yoga pants and download some form of INSTAGRAM FOR DUMMIES, so that I could figure out all the technical stuff, like WHAT DOES THIS LITTLE ORANGE DOT NEXT TO THIS ICON MEAN NOW?

(Have I ever mentioned that my iPhone is 98.7% more phone than I am capable of using?  Or even understanding?)

(If not, rest assured that INDEED!  It is.  This is what is oftentimes referred to as THAT’LL COME BACK TO HAUNT YOU, because I remember when my mother couldn’t figure out the CD player when they first came out.  If my recollection is still stellar, I probably slapped my forehead and said something like, “Oh, my gosh!  You put the CD into the machine, snap the lid shut, and DO YOU SEE THIS BUTTON LABELED PLAY?  Hit it, Mom!  Hit it, and you’ll be rocking out in no time!”)

(Because Tammy Wynette and the Statler Brothers made some pretty great CDs for rocking out to in the late ’80s.)

(And now my time has come for me to throw my arms up in the air and ask the boy for help with my phone, because SON, IT IS OVERWHELMING YOUR MAMA TO THE POINT THAT SHE IS UNABLE TO COOK THE SUPPER THIS EVENING, AND SHE NEEDS A NERVE PILL!)

(So, children… do not laugh at your parents when they are in the throes of a technically-induced panic attack, because electronics are going to change, and you’re going to age, and eventually you’ll be asking your own kids HOW DO I GET THE HOLOGRAM PHONE TO CAST THE IMAGE OF GRANDPA, WHILE HE TALKS TO US, ON THE TABLE LIKE R2D2 DID IN THAT OLD MOVIE?)

HOWEVER…

… today was not a day for the yoga pants and the uselessness, because I had to teach PE, and our school’s dress code calls for something a little more zippy than black, stretchy pants, paired with an old T-shirt from college.  I actually had to be a productive member of society today, and teach small children the joys that can be found in a burpee.

(For the record, there are NO joys in a burpee; you just have to pretend and try to hype the kids up on DO A JUMPING JACK, DO A PUSHUP, DO A JUMPING JACK, DO A PUSHUP anyway.)

And let’s just go back to my phone for a moment.

Yesterday, it kept downloading 150 email messages, every fifteen minutes.  The iPhone would scream at me, “Look!  You have 150 new emails!  Do something with them!”  And I WOULD do something with them, because they were all garbage emails from MONTHS AND MONTHS AGO, so I deleted and deleted and deleted.  And then the next time I would look at the screen on my phone, there would be the little red flag beside my email icon, announcing, “Guess what?  Guess who has 150 new messages again?”  This went on all day long, until what I really wanted to do was throw my phone through a glass window, just to hear the satisfying sound of something shattering.

And then my Word Chums game froze up and kicked me out.

And then Facebook froze and locked me out.

And then Instagram told me that I should consider putting my pictures onto a new device.

And then the camera flashed a text box at me that said, “UNABLE TO TAKE PICTURE.”

And then my icon for text messaging lit up, announcing that I had six unread text messages, and the answer was NO.  No, I did not, and WHERE ARE THESE PHANTOM MESSAGES HIDING?

And that’s pretty much when I wanted to just sit down in a corner and rock a little bit, while I cried, because THAT IPHONE IS THREE MONTHS OLD, GIVE OR TAKE, AND WHY WAS IT TREATING ME LIKE A CRIMINAL?

(And honestly?  Do any of you even CARE about my iPhone turmoil yesterday?  Because I’m not sure that I would share a deep sympathy with someone else, if they were to say, “Well, the Android acted up yesterday and locked me out of Facebook.”  I’d pretty much pat that person on the back, say, “There, there; it’ll be alright,” and then I would’ve asked them if they wanted to go for coffee.  The end.)

But really, I wouldn’t have been so worried about my phone, had it not been BASICALLY BRAND NEW.  Except… not so brand new that Apple would really care about me any more, if I were to drive it through their front doors and say, “This shall be replaced, or I’m pulling my stock in your company.”

(Why am I even still talking about my phone?)

Anyway, the ending to this long-winded blog post about my phone’s need for a life support system is that Hubs came home from work at 9:30 last night (Because he had bigger eggs to fry with some client’s server than his wife’s phone problems.), and he looked at my phone.

And then he said, “You have 4 trillion gigowatts in pictures and videos on here!  Your phone has ZERO memory left, and WHY CAN’T YOU BE A RESPONSIBLE DELETER AFTER YOU HAVE DOWNLOADED STUFF ONTO THE BIG MAC?  Also, you aren’t deleting anything off the email server, so it just keeps reloading it.”

So really, that was the issue.  My phone’s memory was exhausted, and it just needed to lie down for a while, because HOW CAN I OPEN THE FACEBOOK WHEN ALL OF THESE PICTURES ARE IN MY WAY, AND I HAVE TO SPEND MY TIME RESURRECTING EMAILS THAT YOU WON’T ATTEND TO?!

It’s exactly how I feel most of the time, too.

HOW CAN I GET A CASSEROLE IN THE OVEN AND A LOAD OF LAUNDRY IN THE WASHING MACHINE, WHEN THERE ARE ALL THESE THINGS TO SEE ON PINTEREST, AND ALL THIS GLORIOUSLY WONDERFUL SPRING WEATHER OUTSIDE THAT BEGS ME TO SIT ON THE DECK WHILE THE TODDLER PLAYS?

Y’all have a perfectly lovely Wednesday evening, and don’t forget:  The key to being a responsible iPhone user is understanding the limits to your phone’s memory, and treating it with the same respect you’d show the Queen Mother.

Either that, or just spend the extra dollars necessary to get some memory in a phone that’s big enough to hold all of NASA’s data.

Hauling Logs

Tonight’s blog post is going to be a touch different, because we’re going to shock great-grandmothers everywhere, until they have to cover their mouths with their manicured hands and TSK-TSK themselves straight to a cup of heavily-sweetened, herbal tea to calm themselves down with.  It’s because we’re going to discuss a very DELICATE matter.

There will be an accompanying photograph… so please!  Usher your children from the room, unless you want them to shout out, “ISN’T THAT ONE OF THOSE THINGS YOU KEEP IN YOUR PURSE, MOMMY?”

Yes.  We’re going to talk about THOSE THINGS.  And I hate to be all secretive and very Harry Potter-esque, as I call it THAT WHICH MUST NOT BE NAMED, but do you know what?  If I call an orange and orange, and someone uses the Google to search for an orange, bingo!  Here they end up.  And we don’t want to generate traffic away from Procter and Gamble’s own websites, as women across the globe conduct their searches in private.  And I really don’t want gals landing HERE, when where they’re really trying to land is on a website that discusses incredible protection.

The whole incident happened, and it made me laugh until my sides hurt, so OF COURSE I texted the event’s description to a few family members.  And then they laughed.  And then a few close friends immediately texted back and shouted (because they used ALL CAPITAL LETTERS IN THEIR TEXT MESSAGES, WHICH WAS A CLEAR INDICATION OF SHOUTING!  Also, the exclamation points were another clear sign that their volume was up!!!!!!!!!!!!!), “BLOG IT!!!”

And I was all… um, no!  Because THAT WHICH MUST NOT BE NAMED!  And we girls have all learned since 7th grade that these things are not discussed in public forums, where guys might overhear.

(But frankly, if Hubs ever hears any conversation about THAT WHICH MUST NOT BE NAMED, he sprints in the exact opposite direction, before his brain explodes from PLEASE, NO!  DON’T TALK ABOUT THAT WITH ME!)

(Have I confused ANY of you yet?)

(ALL of you?  Well, that might very well be a new record, even for me.)

But, after some encouragement that THE WORLD IS READY FOR A BLOG POST LIKE THIS from a couple of friends who have laughed their heads plum off with me, I’ve decided to be brave and — in the words of Nike — JUST DO IT.

Anyway.

On Friday morning, I didn’t get my shower in before Hubs and the boy left for school and work.  That has everything to do with the fact that at EXACTLY 7:17 on Friday morning, the boy hollered (in all capital letters), “OH, NO!!!!!  I FORGOT TO TELL YOU THAT I HAVE AN HONOR SOCIETY MEETING THIS MORNING AT 7:30!!!!!!”  (You could literally hear all the exclamation points plunking into their single-file places after his shout.)

I was busy making the boy’s lunch… standing right there in the kitchen in my pajamas and one of the best bedhead topknots the free world has ever seen… when this announcement came in.  My plans included putting the finishing touches on a ham sandwich, shoving it into a plastic Walmart sack (which is what you have to take to school when you have flat-out RUINED three lunch boxes and your mama is an inch away from signing herself up for electrical shock therapy at the asylum, because HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO RIP THE LINING OUT OF ONE, TWO, THREE LUNCHBOXES?!), and then I was going to hop into the shower, before everyone left for the day.

Only… everyone ended up leaving at 7:27 that morning… giving themselves a FULL, LUXURIOUS, THREE ENTIRE MINUTES to get to an Honor Society meeting on the third floor… and I was left shower-less.

So… I solved my own problem by locking Thing 2 in the bathroom with me, so that I could get my hair washed, since no other tall person was left in the house to keep an eyeball trained on him.  Thing 2, you see, is fully capable of getting himself up on the top of the refrigerator, if he so desires, so our game plan is always to KEEP HIM UNDER CLOSE WATCH.

And that’s how he came to be locked in the bathroom with his mama and his tractors on Friday morning.  I told him, “Mommy is going to shower, while you play with your John Deere in here.”

And so it was, because there really isn’t anything that Thing 2 appreciates more than a good tractor with a trailer to pull behind it.

I showered.  And I took my sweet time, because I could hear the toddler’s conversation with himself, as he talked to his tractor, so I was pretty sure that all was well.

When I stepped out of the shower, I found that Thing 2 had found an entire box of THAT WHICH MUST NOT BE NAMED.  And he was… ahem!!… using them as cargo in the tractor trailer.

He looked at me and yelled, “He’s hauling LOGS, Mommy!!!”  And then back to the tractor he went, pulling it around the corner of the bathtub and beneath the bench.

When I was dressed, I picked up all the… um… LOGS… off the bathroom floor, and that is when we had the nuclear meltdown that made Chernobyl look like a rather minor flareup.  Thing 2 kept insisting that I was flat-out RUINING HIS DADGUM DAY, because I was packing the logs away for storage in their box.  He pleaded with me, with his brown, puppy dog eyes and said, “Please?  Just one?  Just one log to haul?”

And that is when I caved, y’all.  I gave him JUST ONE LOG to haul in his trailer, and he hauled that thing approximately 72,000 miles on Friday.

I texted this picture to Hubs…

image1… who immediately shot back with, “WHAT IS GOING ON AT THE HOUSE?!!!”

So I typed out, “He is hauling LOGS” on my phone.

And Hubs said, “Good grief!!!!  Tell him his dad will get some tiny wood scraps out of the garage for him to haul for logs!!!”

And then Hubs didn’t want to discuss the situation any more, because THAT WHICH MUST NOT BE NAMED frightens Hubs to death.

So… has anything interesting happened at any of y’all’s houses this week?!

That Time MaMaw Pushed Her Phone To Really See What It Could Do

Listen.

This is the blog post where all I really do is CHECK IN with y’all, to let you know that… yep!  Totally a pulse going on here at Jedi Mama, Incorporated!  It’s because it’s been one of those days…. in a good way… and… well… it’s after 8:00 already, and MaMaw is just now sitting down at the computer, when she should’ve already slammed back her nightly Metamucil cocktail, cranked the thermostat to INCINERATE, and gone to bed.

Except I never turn the heat up at night, because — contrary to my doctor’s beliefs — I’m fairly certain that MY TIME HAS COME, during which estrogen wages war upon me, and all I really want to do is sit in the deep-freeze, in my bikini, at night.  It’s because I’m always hot.  [Feel free to add your own comment of, "Smokin' hot!" right there.]  And at night I want the windows open, and I want the breeze coming in, and I want the ceiling fan spinning on high to generate MORE BREEZE, and an old box fan set to HIGH in the corner of the room would just be the cherry on top.  My only problem with making all of this BREEZINESS a sweet reality is HUBS.  Because PaPaw likes to have the covers pulled clear up to his chin now at night.  He also likes to pre-warm the bed with an electric blanket, until there’s steam rising from the comforter, and ALL THE BREEZES DRY HIS EYES OUT.

Never mind that his eyes are supposed to be CLOSED at night.  I still haven’t figured that one out, but arguing with him just makes me want to tap my own head against a brick wall kind of hard.

But, it’s been a good day, because SPRING WEATHER, Y’ALL.  And Small Town isn’t a spot on any map that ever has spring temperatures in February, so we feel a bit spoiled here.  For the majority of today, I threw the deck doors wide, and I just let Thing 2 play out there to his little heart’s content.  What his little heart was most content with was taking the VERY WET FEBRUARY DIRT out of my giant flower pots, because his tractor needed a hauling job.

My deck is now covered in mud.

And I swept the hardwood floors in my dining room and kitchen four entire times today, to get all the wet dirt up that was tracked in, over and over and OV-AH.

We also BOTH have mud under our fingernails tonight, because… yes.  I had to drive the John Deere and say things like, “He’s loading dirt now!”  (Apparently it’s always a good thing to announce when you’re about to drop the bucket on the front-end loader and fill ‘er up.)

Plus, in between all the dirt that used to be in the planter on the deck, but which isn’t now, I had to participate in LAUNDRY DAY… I had to make a casserole for dinner… my friend, Amy, came over for a fun afternoon of WE TALKED ABOUT GROWNUP THINGS AND NEITHER OF US REFERENCED THE WALLYKAZAM CARTOON IN A SENTENCE AT ALL… and I did my level best to figure Instagram out, because guess who has an account now for all those hazy, square pictures?  Someone pushed the throttle down on her iPhone to see what the little beast was really capable of.

MaMaw’s so proud of herself for getting involved in the new social technology, like all the teenagers do.

And now, if you’ll excuse her, she needs to go stir some fiber into a glass of water and pretend it’s a fine wine to end the evening with.

Y’all carry on and have a lovely Monday.