Oh, May…

Our alarm clock weighs forty pounds.

Actually, that’s not true.  It’s because our alarm clock’s right eardrum ruptured on Saturday morning, so Hubs and I had to haul him in to the pediatrician’s office for a weekend appointment that costs approximately the same amount of dollars that a new mid-sized sedan costs these days, and she pronounced him to be 39.2 pounds.

So… our alarm clock weighs 39.2 pounds, and when it goes off every morning before the hour of 5:30 by hollering, “Hi, Mommy!  Hi!  Hi there,” I want to get out of bed with my collection of pillows (because high maintenance sleepers require many, MANY pillows for proper nest-building, as well as a ceiling fan and a noise machine and a melatonin-lick, much like salt-licks in cow pastures) and drive myself to a Holiday Inn, where I will put a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the doorknob and sleep for twenty-six hours straight.

May is killing us, people.

We have had something going on every single night, and the people in my house still expect to eat, and they all grumble about WHERE ARE THE CLEAN SOCKS?

Oh, that’s right.  We don’t have any, because MAY and also NO LAUNDRY DONE.

Most nights, I feel like if I don’t just lie down immediately, I’ll fall over and wake up the next morning with the rug’s pattern imprinted on my face.

This pretty much sums it all up:

10563166_1056446137702915_7427000104122071363_nI’ve turned lesson plans in for the past two weeks, but when the kids show up in my gym and demand a non-planned game of dodgeball, I’m helpless to say no.  And when the second graders asked me yesterday, “Can we just shoot baskets,” I simply nodded and cried real tears of joy, because YES!  YES, LET’S ALL JUST SHOOT BASKETS AND PRETEND LIKE WE’RE LEARNING SOMETHING IN THE REALM OF PHYSICAL FITNESS.  And I’m not even worried about it, because I know my classroom counterparts are all showing movies to their kids and saying things like, “Please watch this for a complete understanding of meiosis and mitosis and plural pronouns, while I sit at the back of the darkened classroom and drink my eighth cup of coffee for the day.”

And then I sort of look like Robert and Jimmy there on the bleachers.

Plus?

Well, I think May is taking it’s toll on our boys, too, if THIS is any indication:

IMG_3886 IMG_3365The boy isn’t much better, and he’s moaning because I’ve made him eat hot lunch twice this week.  It’s because when I looked into my refrigerator at 7:30 in the morning, I realized that all I could put into a lunchbox was a frozen pound of raw hamburger and a bottle of mustard.

June, June… wherefore art thou, June?

Y’all have a happy and safe Memorial Day Weekend.

Welcome To The Busyness That Is May

Do y’all know the cartoon, Paw Patrol?

I figured not, and that’s okay.  Because, before I was the proud owner of the most recent toddler living in our house… neither did I.  But then we ended up with this very busy baby, who grew to be a very busy toddler, and, regardless of my strong opinions that young kids really don’t need to watch TV, and LOOK AT WHAT A GOOD PARENT I AM, BECAUSE THE BOY DIDN’T EVEN REALIZE WE OWNED A TELEVISION SET UNTIL HE WAS FOUR-AND-A-HALF YEARS OLD, I suddenly found myself encouraging Thing 2 to just sit for ten minutes here and let’s see what the TV has to offer us.

Which is how we came to know the pups on Paw Patrol, as well as Peppa Pig and Diego and the Bubble Guppies.

Honestly, I don’t know how I’m not fluent in Spanish, what with all the times Diego has tried to get me to pronounce some animal’s name correctly.  Sadly, my strong alliance to my American accent causes Diego to shake his head in concern that I’m completely hopeless at ever mastering a foreign language, and… well… YES.  He’s pretty much right.

I don’t know how we really got on the subject that I’ll never be able to ask directions to the nearest bathroom when I’m in Mexico, even though I took an entire year of Spanish in high school and periodically yell at Dora for being entirely too bossy, but today, while I was out shopping, I found some miniature pups from Paw Patrol.  They’re basically sixty-cents worth of useless plastic that cost me thirteen American dollars, but when I gave them to Thing 2 this afternoon, he was so smitten… I had an entire fifty minutes of free time, while he was engrossed in having the pups save different tractors from a variety of farming accidents in our living room.

It was the best-spent $13 in our entire budget this year.

Plus, the cleaning lady that I can’t really afford came first thing this morning, while Thing 2 was at preschool, so that fifty minutes’ worth of free time was ENTIRELY FREE.  As in, there was zero-point-zero guilt, because MY BATHROOMS WERE ALREADY SPOTLESS.

I could get used to living in the luxury that I experienced for almost an hour today.

Anyway, I mentioned last night that May has been a month full of ALL THE BUSY, and I wasn’t kidding.  It’s one of the drawbacks of teaching, because suddenly there’s all this stuff that still needs to be accomplished, and you’re staring at the last day of school, which is a matter of days away.  So naturally… I thought that having a rodeo in my 4th grade PE class was a brilliant idea.

11262324_775603262538671_1952871944560401535_nWe’ve been having all kinds of rodeo-style events with my 4th graders, where kids ride horses around the barrels and ride the bulls and participate in horse racing, exactly like the real cowboys on the professional rodeo circuit do.  The only difference is that our rodeo animals don’t need any long-term care, since our barrel horses are hockey sticks and our bulls are scooters.  (It’s the drawback of a poor, private school, where the budget for Physical Education is three dollars.)

(And really?  You haven’t truly laughed until you’ve witnessed the biggest 4th grade jock in your class ride a hockey stick like a stick horse around three chairs that are set up as barrels, while you hold the stopwatch… and then boom!  He trips and falls off his horse and rolls into one of the bulls sitting nearby.  My abs don’t need any extra work for bikini season, after falling to the gym floor to hyena-howl like I did.)

(Don’t worry; he wasn’t hurt.  I only laugh when kids survive their spectacular crashes.  Otherwise, I sympathize with them greatly and use my Blood-Borne Pathogens training to clean up the mess.)

I’ve been spending my evenings lately, getting ready for the next day’s rodeo events, and now I’ve got to get the gold, silver and bronze medals ready, which is going to involve some metal washers and a few cans of spray paint.  Next year, this rodeo is going to be a WINTER event, because our nights have also been filled with spring concerts and soccer, and the people in my house still expect supper.

Last week, Hubs and I went to the boy’s spring band concert.  We have no idea how our son became so musical, because neither Hubs nor I harbor a single, fugitive, musical cell anywhere in our bodies.  I’m the only person on the planet who can admit to playing the violin for six years… and still having no idea how a sharp or a flat needed to be worked into the song.  But… that older boy of ours can rock the piano and the clarinet, and he did just that last Thursday evening.

IMG_3225 IMG_3227IMG_3228Because this is 8th grade and not my first band rodeo (which happened in 6th grade), I now know to quickly snap pictures of the boy when he first walks onto the stage.  Otherwise, that music stand is going to hide his face for the rest of the concert, and every picture I take from then on out will look like this one:

IMG_3234I recognize those knees, though!

Hubs and I sat with our friends, Chris and Becki, because their daughter, Mallory, was playing in the concert, too.  Becki and I quickly learned that we really shouldn’t be allowed to sit together at such events, because of the TALKING FACTOR.

Namely, we both chatted away and animatedly used our hands to talk nonstop, even when songs were being played and Hubs and Chris raised their eyebrows at us, in concern that their wives would be ejected from a concert for a too-loud whisper conversation.

But look!  There’s Mallory, walking onto the stage!

IMG_3215 IMG_3221 IMG_3223And then, as if rodeos and band concerts weren’t enough, we’ve had forty-eleven soccer games this month, too.  They’ve been really fun to go to.  The boy’s soccer team is rocking things this season, as they are winning like crazy.

IMG_3268 IMG_3271 IMG_3275Of course, it’s always fun to sit on the sidelines with Thing 2, where we have to explain to him over and over AND OVER AGAIN that he really DOESN’T have a case for a discrimination lawsuit, since three-year-olds aren’t allowed on the junior high team.  There are always some tears about I WANT OUT THERE TO PLAY, TOO.

And… preschool is still in full swing, too.  I managed to snap these pictures this morning, right before I took Thing 2 to school.

IMG_3283 IMG_3284 IMG_3285 IMG_3296 IMG_3299I have no idea what he was eating, that was dripping down his chin.  Thing 2 is NOT a clean child.  Hubs and I are convinced that Charles M. Schulz created his character, Pigpen, after our younger son, as Thing 2 usually walks around with a cloud of dirt hovering near him.

Anyway, I think you’re all caught up now on everything that’s been going on at the Jedi Manor.

Y’all have a merry weekend.

That Time When We Were So Busy In May

I know.

I took a blogging break.

But, in my defense, December really has nothing on May, as far as BUSY goes.  Everyone thinks that it’s December and all the shopping and the wrapping and the party-attending and the empty checkbooks that’ll drive you straight to the mugs of laced eggnog for some stress drinking, but it’s really May.

(And instead of eggnog, it’s mimosas.  Or a nice sangria.  Because SPRING!)

May is full of spring concerts and spring soccer and spring Bible studies.  There are staff meetings at school and last pushes to JUST DO THIS ONE MORE FUN THING BEFORE SUMMER VACATION HITS WITH THE KIDS IN YOUR CLASS.  And then the yard starts growing and needs mowed, and the miniature trees growing in giant pots that flank either side of your front door up and die and require replacing.  And all those back episodes of Modern Family aren’t going to watch themselves, and then suddenly you realize that maybe you should shave the winter growth off your legs, because GROSS.

So that’s pretty much where we’ve been.

I’ll try to be better about blogging, but since we still have two and a half weeks of school left, I can’t make any real promises.

Happy Wednesday.  We’re off to Soccer Game Number Three Hundred and Six of the Season right now.  I’ll really TRY HARD to see y’all right here tomorrow evening.

And… Spring Soccer Is In Full Swing

We are in the thick of Spring Soccer here in Small Town, USA, which means that we alternate between needing sunscreen and flip-flops, and fur-trimmed parkas and electric blankets during games.  Our spring weather is unpredictable, but it likes to really show off during soccer matches.

Two weeks ago, the kids played in the NOW IT’S SNOWING, NOW IT’S MISTING RAIN, NOW IT’S SNOWING AGAIN, NOW IT’S JUST MISTING MORE WET SLOP kind of weather.  This week, we played a game where the first half required a jacket and a shiver, while the second half called for some Beach Boys music and tank tops.

We wouldn’t know how to deal with constant sunshine during May here.

The boy’s soccer team is doing really well this season, as we’re winning more than we’re losing, and the kids are actually taking the plays that Coach Paul works them through in practices and making them come alive during game times.  This makes Coach Paul shout things like, “Yes!  Just like that!  That looked fantastic,” right before he hollers, “Oh, my gosh!  You’re off-sides!!  Scoot back!  SCOOT!! BACK!!”

This week, after taking 792 shots on goal, our team won, 5 to 2.  I have never been at a soccer game before where the opposing defense was so shaky, that our team dominated their end of the field, while we did nothing but kick the ball against goalposts, kick the ball over the goal net, and kick the ball completely out of bounds.

We suspect that the opposing goalie applied some kind of repellant on the net, that we were going to need a live chicken, a bit of dragon’s breath and six newt eyes to break through.

IMG_3169 IMG_3176 IMG_3171 IMG_3185 IMG_3188 IMG_3197 IMG_3201Thing 2 isn’t convinced that the rec department’s policy of NO THREE-YEAR-OLDS PLAYING IN THE JUNIOR HIGH LEAGUE is actually a good one, and he intends to take his complaints to our city council soon.  As a result, I pulled him off the field during the game three times on Monday afternoon, and sighed over the fact that the ref didn’t penalize our team with too many players on the grass.

Eventually, we distracted him from his focus of I NEED TO PLAY IN THIS GAME, COACH!  I CAN MAKE MY SHOT GO IN THAT NET!, to HEY!  TACO!

Nothing beats a good taco on the sidelines.

IMG_3184 IMG_3181 IMG_3193After the game, Coach Paul gathered the team together for a little pep talk, which he entitled, THE SCORE SHOULD HAVE BEEN 792 FOR US, BUT I’M HAPPY WE PULLED OFF A BIG W HERE.  Of course, the subtitle was, IT DOESN’T MATTER WHO WON OR LOST, AS LONG AS WE ALL HAD A GOOD TIME AND NOBODY NEEDED STITCHES.

IMG_3204Y’all have a great weekend.

Sweet Ride

For some reason, Thing 2 always feels like he’s won the jackpot when we go to Grammy and Papa’s house.

I can’t imagine why he feels that way.

IMG_3004 IMG_3006Every now and again, though, he has to get out of the trailer to tell his dad to PUSH THAT LEVER RIGHT THERE!  THAT ONE!  YOU’RE DRIVING TOO SLOW, AND THAT LEVER MAKES THIS TRACTOR GO FASTER!  YOU’RE A SLOWPOKE, OLD MAN!  LET’S PICK UP THE PACE JUST A BIT!  DRIVE THIS THING LIKE YOU STOLE IT!

IMG_3010 IMG_3012 IMG_3017 IMG_3018 IMG_3031 IMG_3033 IMG_3059 IMG_3041And since there’s no such thing as a free lunch, we make the toddler do some chores now and then.  It’s never too early to start kids on the raking.

IMG_3046 IMG_3048Y’all have a happy Wednesday evening.

The Big Fishing Party

I won’t lie.

On Sunday afternoon, I had more loads of laundry to do than the family of sixteen with the broken-down washing machine.

Not that I actually know a family of sixteen people whose Maytag has given up the ghost, but… if I did… even their load-total wouldn’t have held a candle to  mine on Sunday.  I feel like I am a genuine disappointment to my mother in this area, who has always encouraged me to just do a single load every day… or even a single load every OTHER day… because that’s the way of organized people.  And the truth is, I WANT to be organized, but then other things get in my way instead of laundry, and heaps of dirty clothes are just kicked to the curb.

Or even just kicked further back into the walk-in closet, because OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND.

On Sunday afternoon, the game Word Chums on my phone got in front of the laundry, and I couldn’t see any of the dirty jeans or filthy T-shirts, because LOOK!!!  I just tossed the word JOURNEY down, hit the Triple Word tile, annnnnnddd I managed to smack the J down on the QUADRUPLE-THIS-LETTER’S-POINT-VALUE tile.

It was a moment of sheer magic, and now I feel like I should just go ahead and admit that YES!  I have some nerd tendencies, because I clapped over those 134 points against my opponent.

Eventually I was able to pull myself away from reworking letters to create high-dollar words, so that we could go visit our friends, Mike and Stacy.  They have ponds on their property, which are well-stocked with rainbow trout, and they were hosting a bit of a fishing party.  I’ve never been much for fishing, because it involves being terribly quiet and sitting still.  I can do the sitting still part, but eventually my brain gets very tired of not talking to anyone, while I stare at my unmoving fishing line.  It’s about then that I go in search of Hubs and ruin his fishing hole by disturbing the trout with ALL THE WORDS.  Thankfully, Stacy’s idea of a good fishing party is, “Let’s let the kids fish, and we can chat a lot on the banks, because who cares if we frighten the fish away with a lot of talking?!”

She’s exactly my kind of fishing companion.

Of course I took my camera, and here’s the first catch of the evening, which Thing 2 was fascinated with:

IMG_3060 IMG_3062After that, the kids reeled fish in pretty much as quickly as they could get a line thrown out into the water, because BITING, BITING, BITING!  I don’t consider myself a professional judge of fishing statistics, but had someone said, “Let down your net,” I’m rather certain that they would have pulled up the harvest of a lifetime on Sunday evening.

IMG_3066 IMG_3070 IMG_3071 IMG_3079 IMG_3089 IMG_3082 IMG_3085 IMG_3086 IMG_3088 IMG_3091 IMG_3101 IMG_3095 IMG_3096 IMG_3104 IMG_3106I spent most of the evening trying to keep our toddler from FALLING INTO the water; Hubs and I took turns running interference on him, because he was determined to swim.

IMG_3067And then, because Stacy has nine (Yes!  Nine!!  And less laundry than I have!!) children of her own, she knows when distractions are needed.  She and her husband are smack in the middle of some big construction, so she simply said, “Come.  Follow me.”  And that’s exactly when Thing 2 and I gave up pretending to fish, and went to see all the tractors and heavy machinery that Stacy had to show us.  The lure of the water was no longer even on our younger son’s horizon, because JOHN DEERES EVERYWHERE!!  And also, DIRT!!!

IMG_3116 IMG_3122 IMG_3118 IMG_3120 IMG_3124 IMG_3125 IMG_3128 IMG_3129I’m honestly not sure that Thing 2 had ever been happier than he was exploring all of the heavy machinery Sunday night.

Afterward, we went back to the fishing party, which was still in full swing, as kids were quickly filling up coolers for dinner.

IMG_3110 IMG_3111 IMG_3114I have absolutely no idea how I managed to capture a picture that makes it look like everyone was attending a sad funeral.  The kids had a blast… everyone laughed all night long… but look at this shot:

IMG_3107I promise, there was laughter.  These girls may have been mourning the rainbow trout who were on ice in that red cooler.

IMG_3132 IMG_3134And THIS girl!  I will confess my sin of coveting her glorious mane of curls!  Honestly, I think she fears me now, because I’m constantly asking her, “Can I please just touch those soft curls once more?”  If I could pick my own head of hair, I would want this one.

IMG_3147 IMG_3149I don’t think she’s ever had a bad hair day in her life, and her curls are nothing short of PLUM DADGUM AMAZING.

Thing 2 spent a substantial amount of time throwing rocks into the pond, but even his baseball-style pitches didn’t prevent the others from continuing to reel in an abundance of trout to grill for dinner.

IMG_3137 IMG_3141IMG_3153 IMG_3159 IMG_3157 IMG_3161This is exactly where the photos end.  The fishing party didn’t end here, because it kept going strong until the rainstorm moved in and made everyone run for cover, but — exactly as we had predicted would happen — Thing 2 fell into the pond.

And he was soaked clear through…

… which is why I stripped him down to a diaper, only to have him sob, “I so cold!  I so cold!”  Thank goodness someone invented You Tube, so we were able to watch Donald Duck and Chip and Dale on my iPhone in the car, out of the cool breeze.

Yes.  I should have been a fully-prepared mom who packed extra clothes for the toddler, but listen:  I didn’t.  I didn’t even think about them.

And?  If I had?  All of our extra clothes were probably lying on my closet floor, waiting to be washed, anyway.

So Monday morning rolled around, as it usually does after a good weekend, and I knuckled down.  I was very determined to wash forty-six loads of dirty clothes, until I reached into the boy’s bathroom closet… into his hamper… and pulled out the pair of jeans he wore on Sunday.

Those would be his very best pair of American Eagle jeans.

The jeans he fished in.

The jeans he gutted fish in, people.

The jeans that were apparently coated in bits of fish guts.

There are no words to explain it, y’all.  I yanked those jeans out of the boy’s bathroom hamper, and I dry-heaved like I’d been to a fraternity party and stayed all night.  I gagged and heaved, heaved and gagged, until my stomach muscles ached.

Thing 2 kept yelling, “You okay, Mommy?  You okay?”

NO!  NO, I WASN’T OKAY, BECAUSE FISH GUTS!!!  FISH GUTS THAT HAVE BEEN ON THE JEANS OVERNIGHT!!!!!  FISH GUTS OVERNIGHT!!!

I dry-heaved all the way downstairs to the laundry room with those pants.

I gagged so hard while I was adding Tide to the washing machine, I had to go out into the family room and suck in great big gulps of fresh air.  I had to give myself a pep talk about, “You can do this!  You can get those jeans into the Whirlpool!  You’ve totally got this, Girl.”

I went back into the laundry room, where I heaved so hard, I have no idea how I didn’t throw up.  This caused me to run back into the family room.

BREATHE THE FRESH AIR.  BREATHE THE FRESH AIR.

I did another pep talk to myself, and then nearly bawled.  I wanted to call Hubs and say, “I can’t get the boy’s jeans into the washing machine!  Please come home and help me!  PLEASE COME HOME!  IT’S AN EMERGENCY, HUBS!!”

Somehow, I gathered enough courage to go back into the laundry room.  I held my breath so long, I thought I’d pass out, but I got the detergent into the washing machine.  I shoved those jeans inside and slammed the lid shut, before I ran back into the family room to breathe again.

And that’s when I started to laugh, because Y’ALL!  I had conquered that pair of American Eagle jeans, exactly like a warrior!!  I had come out a winner!!

The ending of this story is that I didn’t accomplish any other loads of laundry yesterday, either, because?  When that pair of jeans had finished washing?  I threw the lid open, added MORE Tide, and washed them again… JUST… BECAUSE.

And then I washed them a third time.

So sue me.

I wasn’t about to pull them out of the washer, until they’d gone through three entire cycles of WASH THE GUTS OUT OF THIS LOAD.

Literally.

Hubs and the boy grilled the boy’s catch last night for dinner.  Normally, I love fish.  I could eat fish every day and be a happy girl, but I couldn’t even look at those trout fillets on the platter yesterday, without wanting to dry-heave again.

I just had cauliflower for supper, right after I gave the boy a lecture about NEVER, EVER PUT JEANS WITH FISH GUTS ON THEM IN YOUR HAMPER AGAIN, BECAUSE IT WILL KILL ME DEAD, AND YOU WILL BE A MOTHERLESS CHILD.

Other than the jeans, though, it was one fun fishing party.

May The Fourth Be With Your Ice Road Trucking Crew

Just because no blog entitled Jedi Mama would ever be complete without a little May 4th humor…

11159475_10204274539879892_2717904070541645142_nIt kind of lightens up the fact that we had a little Ice Road Trucking at our house today.

IMG_2778I only managed to photograph about one-sixteenth of the actual cargo.  All of the tractors and car carriers were loaded down with ice cubes, too.  My giant mug of ice water, that was sitting on our kitchen island, was silently spreading across the hardwood floor, preparing itself to leak into the basement and make me wish that I’d thought flood insurance was a good idea, so I didn’t hang out with my camera for very long.

And then, when I took Thing 2 to preschool this morning, he pointed to the armrest of his carseat and announced, “Look, Mommy.  I set my big booger right there for you.”

He really IS my favorite toddler in all the world.IMG_2715 IMG_2933Happy May the Fourth, people.

Our Piano Man

So we certainly had a lot going on this weekend.

Namely, the horse that I picked to win it all at the Kentucky Derby managed to get second place.  Since I have no familial ties to that second place winner, I was able to be completely overcome with excitement for the real winner and his trainer.  I wanted to jump up and down with them there at the end, and shout, “You won!  You won!”  And then I wanted to make my way to the winner’s circle, too, and have some flowers placed in my own arms.  I’ve said for a hundred years now that if I ever win the lottery (that lottery that I never actually play), I’m going to buy a horse ranch in Kentucky and raise Derby winners.  Hubs claims that I don’t know anything about horses, so this might be a problem, but listen:  The same jackpot that buys me that ranch will also hire me a real good trainer, who DOES know his way around horses.  My job will be to walk out to the stables early every morning with my mug of chai tea, so that I can check in with that trainer… see what he has lined up for the horse’s exercises that day.  And then I’ll visit for a while, before I announce that I really need to go get on the riding lawn mower and knock the grass down a bit, but I’d extend an invitation for my trainer and his family to join us for some of Hubs’ barbecued ribs on the back porch later that afternoon.

I think that’s how they’d do things on a horse ranch in Kentucky.

They’d probably also make their own potato salad from scratch, and not count the deli as an option, so I’d need to check into that, too.

And then… how about that new royal princess?  I came in with the second place guess there, too, which seemed to be the theme of the weekend, because I was predicting that little Prince George would get a baby brother.  My biggest admiration, though, goes out to Princess Kate, standing on the steps of the hospital some twelve hours after having pushed a baby girl out, looking exactly like she’d been away at a spa, before she came home to pick up the baby from the stork.

Twelve  hours after I gave birth (which was a C-section with very limited anesthesia, as I jumped during the insertion of THE NEEDLE and managed to redirect all manner of numbing goodness away from the spot where the doctor would be cutting), I looked like a bloated whale on a beach, who was in the throes of an allergic reaction to an IV antibiotic that involved hives the size of Canada.  I came with a PG-13 rating that day, because young children needed parental permission to gaze upon the scariness that was me.  My hair hadn’t seen the hot rollers… my lips hadn’t seen the peachy gloss… my ankles, which were the size of trees that they cut tunnels through, weren’t bedecked with high heels.

It just makes me admire Princess Kate a little more, and wonder why the Holy Spirit meets with her whenever she does her hair, while He lets me struggle with limp locks that don’t hold a curl for all the gold in Alaska.

And then, that child that I birthed with very little anesthesia and a whole lot of crying to JUST STOP!  STOP CUTTING NOW!  I DON’T WANT THE BABY OUT!  I QUIT!, had a piano recital yesterday afternoon.

I may have admitted here on the blog a time or nineteen that the boy is incredibly talented on the piano.  He gets none of his musical talent from me, because I played the violin for six years and managed to never understand how to incorporate a sharp or a flat into what I was playing.  The grave disappointment of my instructor was a testimony to that fact.  And Hubs is the one who was asked by his high school band teacher to please put his trumpet up and leave class NOW, because Hubs had shot too many bugs through that trumpet at the girls sitting in front of him.  Hubs admits that he took band because of THE EASY A, and then it turned out that he nearly flunked the class, because he lacked passion or the willingness to actually practice.

Hubs and I were both musical failures.

Thankfully, that generational sin stopped with us, and the boy can play the piano exactly like one of the great composers from ye olden days.

We did have a little disagreement on what he was going to wear to his recital.  His piano teacher had stated that there were to be no jeans, so I pulled a lovely pair of just-handed-down-to-us-from-the-cute-neighbor-boy slacks out of the boy’s closet.  They were from American Eagle, and they were a lovely shade of baby blue that PERFECTLY matched the shirt the boy was going to wear.

In other words, they were VERY FASHIONABLE.

The boy took one look at them and said, “No.”  There was much drama about how HE DOESN’T WEAR COLORED SLACKS… JUST BEIGE OR BLACK!!  There were comments of I’D RATHER DIG MY OWN EYES OUT WITH SPOONS THAN BE SEEN IN PUBLIC IN PALE BLUE SLACKS!!  Scarlet O’Hara couldn’t have held a candle up to all the outfit drama that the boy put forth yesterday afternoon.  He accused me of wanting him to dress like Liberace.

It was a pair of awesome, pale blue pants!  There wasn’t a single sequin or embedded jewel to be found!  He wasn’t going to sparkle on stage under the lights!

In the end, he wore the shirt with a pair of khaki dress slacks.  The baby blue pants from American Eagle have been folded up, with strict instructions to PLEASE DONATE THESE TO A GIRL SOMEWHERE, BECAUSE NO BOY WOULD EVER WEAR THEM.

Thankfully, our cute neighbor boy knows great fashion when he sees it, and he’s willing to walk in that great fashion and wear cool pants.

IMG_2990The boy played alone on stage, but he also played in a trio with his piano instructor and our friend, Katie.  They were amazing together!

IMG_2977 IMG_2980I think my kid is an amazing piano player; he definitely has a gift there, and the two piano teachers that he’s had over the years have done a wonderful job of bringing out that natural talent of his.  Just listening to the boy play makes me wish that I’d taken music a little more seriously when I was a young teenager.

Here are a couple of videos of the boy in action.  The first one is the piece that he actually played in his recital, while the second video is one of him working on a new song that he hasn’t quite memorized yet.

I could have spent my days on the ranch in Kentucky, playing the piano for my horses, right before I boiled my own potatoes for a nice, not-bought-from-the-deli salad.

Y’all have a lovely Sunday evening.

That Day We Golfed In The Freezing Air

Well.

It seems that I managed to take a short vacation from blogging, but that’s probably because I had a real-live coffee date this week with a good friend, and a real-live date with Hubs, and (AND!!) I managed to see two entire, full-length feature films at the cinema with another darling friend and Hubs and plenty o’ buttered popcorn, so clearly all of my words for the week have been used up.  I may have talked quite a bit, because that’s more activity than my social calendar has seen in the past twenty-two years.

I think Hubs was just glad that I’d had some Girl Time this week, because it ultimately means that he doesn’t have to listen to me chatter away quite as much in the evenings, when  he’s trying to focus on Playoff Hockey That Doesn’t Involve The Avalanche.  Because as much as PHTDITA isn’t as exciting as Playoff Hockey That DOES Involve The Avalanche, we still have to take it pretty seriously around here, because WHO IS STEALING STANLEY’S CUP AWAY FROM HUBS’ TEAM?  We have to find out.  And apparently we have to cheer for anyone who is playing Edmonton.  Or even Detroit.  Or maybe it’s Toronto.  Dallas?  I get them all confused.

Y’all, the only thing I care about on TV is Fixer Upper, and what outfit Joanna Gaines is wearing, and whether or not she and Chip exposed some shiplap above the fireplace.  Also, it seems like a no-brainer that Hubs and I should move to Texas and buy a house for CHEAP DOLLARS, where I would become Joanna’s BFF.  She would come over for coffee and let me know that YES!  RIP THAT SHEETROCK OFF AND LET’S SEE THE SHIPLAP UNDERNEATH!  And then she’d point me toward some great throw pillows and an antique cabinet.  I also feel rather certain that she’d help me cut up a nice wedge of cheese and artfully arrange it with a bunch of green grapes on a wooden cutting board, which we would put smack-dab in the center of the kitchen island for decor.

And… it doesn’t snow much in Texas, so I feel like this would just be a win-win.  My elderly self is SO OVER snow.

Anyway.

On one of the chilliest, dampest afternoons recently, the boy asked if he could go golfing.  Apparently the words CHILLY and DAMP do nothing to detour the determination of a PGA Hopeful.  And, since Thing 2 and I are always up for a good FREEZE YOUR BUNS OFF TIME, we made the poor choice to bring JUST JACKETS, rent a golf cart, and accompany the boy, as he golfed his way into one of his lowest scores yet.

I won’t lie.

I was wishing that we lived in the Texas sunshine that afternoon, but the time with both of my boys together, in a golf cart, was nothing short of precious.  The three of us had so much fun, especially when we realized that Thing 2 really IS quite interested in showing us his left-handed golf moves.

Never mind that he kind of combines golf with hockey, rugby and cage wrestling.  Our toddler managed to turn his golfing session into a full-contact sport that got his heart rate up good and made him beg for a Gatorade.

IMG_2842The thing about being fourteen years old is that you adore driving anything with wheels on it.  This means that when your mama rents a golf cart, because she owns a driver’s license and can legally secure one, as long as she promises not to drive and drink too much wine on the course, you will steal the driver’s seat plum away from her.

And then you’ll have to fight your three-year-old brother for it later, because apparently the driving gene is strong in the male child.

IMG_2846The boy managed to whip out one of his lowest scores yet, regardless of the wind and the damp, leftover remnants of an afternoon rainstorm, while I clapped wildly for him.  Hubs and I have learned that golf is a very quiet sport, where no one waves giant, foam fingers with shouts of enthusiasm or shoots T-shirts out of a cannon to celebrate a good drive from the tee box, but I felt like ON THIS PARTICULAR DAY there was no reason to be overly quiet.

We were one of just two golfing parties on the entire golf course.

Obviously, the chill and the damp scared everyone but the boy and Jordan Spieth away and made them all hole up in Starbucks, until the sun came back out.

IMG_2845 IMG_2850 IMG_2851 IMG_2854 IMG_2855 IMG_2856 IMG_2858 IMG_2859

Thing 2 is an enormous help on the putting green, as he immediately yanks the flag out of the hole for his Bubbie.

IMG_2860 IMG_2862 IMG_2863And never mind that the clubs were a bit too long for his short arms… Thing 2 showed us that he can whack a golf ball much like a hockey player does in a good face-off.

IMG_2870 IMG_2872 IMG_2873 IMG_2875 IMG_2879 IMG_2900 IMG_2901 IMG_2903 IMG_2883 IMG_2885 IMG_2887 IMG_2890 IMG_2904 IMG_2897 IMG_2922And then, when we were all chilled clear through to our bones, I tried to get my numb fingers to fish my Suburban keys out of my pocket, so we could head for home, where we started a fire in the fireplace and ate giant burritos from a little Mexican take-out hot spot in town.

And we called it a very good afternoon.

Y’all have a happy Tuesday.