Breaking The Writing Rules… As Usual. And Also… Soccer.

Remember how in your freshman English class, your teacher always said that having a great introductory sentence was the MAKE-IT-OR-BREAK-IT of any piece of writing?  And remember how she told you that a fantastic opening sentence would encourage your readers to… well… want to read more.

Yeah, I don’t really remember that either, which means I was probably busy passing notes back and forth with Noelle and Theresa, discussing the recent plot twist on Days of Our Lives, because we worked hard to keep up on the lives of Bo and Hope on our VCRs that were roughly the size of an engine out of a Mercury Topaz.

Anyway, if I actually HAD a great introductory sentence and / or paragraph, I would be more than happy to use it tonight, so that I could lure you into reading this post like an angler fish lures in blue tangs with short-term memory problems.

(“Yeah… I see a light… it’s so pretty!  I want to touch it!”)

(“Hey!  I saw a boat!”)

(“Just keep swimming.”)

(“P. Sherman.  42 Wallaby Way, Sydney!”)

Are you still awake?  Because… I TOTALLY KNOW!  This is the blog post that holds the Boring Trophy high above the head and cheers, while it struts off to the pub for fish and chips.  I’d like to extend my apologies to you right now.  I’m sure reading your local phone book is more interesting than reading this post tonight, which means my freshman English teacher obviously didn’t succeed in drilling it into my head that YOUR READERS WILL QUIT ALL THE READING, IF YOU DON’T KEEP THEIR ATTENTION WITH AMAZINGNESS.

Anyway.

Can you even tell that I don’t have anything overly significant to share with y’all tonight?

What?

It was THAT obvious?

No matter.

LOOK!  Cousin H stopped by for a visit at our house yesterday, and Thing 2 took it upon himself to treat her kindly.  This went against his belief system that little girl cousins should be treated like opponents in a WWF wrestling ring.

IMG_3469Sister and I clapped and cheered loudly for Thing 2, because JUST LOOK AT ALL THAT HUGGING GOING ON, when he’s most accustomed to executing such fantastic moves as the bell clap, the body press and the double axe handle on Cousin H.

Of course, Thing 2 APPRECIATES a good cheering section, so he took it upon himself to hug little H repeatedly, ad nauseum, all morning long, so that his crowd would explode in applause.  Sadly, Thing 2 even began to cheer for himself after a good hug display, because he has no problems enthusiastically announcing to the crowd that he’s a WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER.

So there was that.

His mama was powerfully proud of him.

And here are some snapshots from the boy’s last soccer game, which I haven’t slapped onto the blog yet.  I hate to admit it, but listen:  I spent so much time chatting on the sidelines of the game this past week, that I didn’t take many photos of my big boy in action.

I’m sure he’ll get all worked up about this during his high school graduation party, when he realizes that THAT ONE SOCCER GAME OUT OF FORTY-SEVEN HUNDRED OF THEM is lacking in pictures in his scrapbook.

(Oh, people!  I kid!  Do you honestly think that I’ll be the type of mama who makes a scrapbook?  No.  I’ll just hug the boy real tight and hand him a gift card to the Dairy Queen and let him know how proud his daddy and I are of him, because LOOK WHO FINISHED HIGH SCHOOL AND IS OFF TO HARVARD TO STUDY STRING THEORY!!)

(Hopefully I’ll finally have all the laundry done up, so the boy will have a change of clothes or nine to take with him to college.)

As usual, the boy and Enzo are playing on the same soccer team again, because they make their requests known to the Powers That Be and also to Those Who Assign Children Who Have Paid With Checks That Have Cleared To Teams.

Naturally, we wouldn’t have it any other way, because the boy and Enzo are two of the funniest people I know when they’re together.

IMG_3341 IMG_3343 IMG_3333 IMG_3395 IMG_3363 IMG_3383 IMG_3397 IMG_3440 IMG_3455Also?

Well, I have absolutely no idea how my firstborn has managed to grow so tall and change so much in such a short period of time.  He looks more like an incoming Harvard freshman on that soccer team, than he does the little boy who used to swing a mean lightsaber and wear a black cape on our trips to Walmart.

I just hope that when he starts college, he’ll have an English teacher who won’t pass him in her class until he knows to the very core of his being that EVERY PIECE OF DECENT WRITING NEEDS A GOOD, SOLID, INTEREST-CATCHING INTRODUCTORY SENTENCE.

The end.

We Didn’t Sleep. It Must’ve Been The Full Moon.

Sometimes we all make poor choices.

I’d like to submit the recollection of hairstyles (and, most notably, THE BANGS) in 1987 to illustrate my point.  People, never mind THE GROSS AMOUNT OF TIME it took to achieve hair that stood taller than NBA stars; we were walking fire starter back then, with the amount of aerosol Aqua Net holding our Rave home permanents in place.

I’d like to submit the prom gowns of the late ’80s as my second illustration.  I have no more love for the pale pink gown that I was so head over heels in love with in 1988.  In it, I could have danced across the stage on Barbara Mandrell’s show, but now the old pictures make me wish that I’d worn something that didn’t involve capped sleeves the size of Buicks.

Sometimes poor choices don’t happen in our youth, even though there’s probably no time in my adult life when I’ll ever decide that Pop Rocks candy poured into an RC Cola is a good idea.  No… sometimes poor choices are made when we are old enough to announce to our husbands, “I think I’m going to get a chain to wear around my neck for my reading glasses.  It’s because I need them… and don’t need them… and need them… and don’t need them.”

Last night, I got out of bed and watched the lunar eclipse.

I’m not sure what sane woman decides that YES!  YOU KNOW WHAT?  I’M GOING TO GO WATCH THE MOON AND STAND ON MY COLD DECK IN BARE FEET, UNTIL I CAN NO LONGER FEEL THEM, FOR THIRTY MINUTES, BECAUSE THIS ISN’T TEXAS WITH ALL ITS WARMTH, Y’ALL, AND THEN I’M GOING BACK TO BED, SO THAT I CAN BE WELL-RESTED WHEN THE TODDLER GETS UP IN ANOTHER HOUR!

(I’d like to go ahead and accept my golden trophy for Outstanding Use of a Run-On Sentence now.)

The pre-story is simply this:

Hubs and I are raising a toddler who needs less sleep than a twenty-two-year-old grad student who still enjoys a decent party with Captain Morgan four nights a week, while he crams all the textbook knowledge into his head in all-day study sessions at the library.  That grad student is the one who never sleeps and buys his coffee at Costco.

Last night, Thing 2 decided that he JUST.  WASN’T.  SLEEPY.  And because he wasn’t sleepy, there wasn’t any amount of begging and pleading on my part that was going to convince him to JUST GO TO BED ALREADY, BEFORE MAMA’S HEAD SPINS AROUND LIKE AN OWL ON ESPRESSO SHOTS!!

So… Hubs and I did what any parents who live on the edge of total sleep depravity would do:  We shut Thing 2′s bedroom door, and we got into bed ourselves.  And then we proceeded to listen to Thing 2 lay on his bed and sing his ABC song, which made us smile, despite the fact that our baby was still awake and what the stinking heck?!

And then we listened to Thing 2 thump the walls with his bare feet, in rhythm while he sang “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.”

And then the next thing I knew, Thing 2 was standing beside my bed, hollering, “Hi, Mommy!”  When I jumped out of bed, he ran back to his bedroom and slammed the door in my face.  He threw himself onto his bed and yelled, “Sleeping!!”

Sometime around 10:00 last night, I finally had that toddler asleep.

Sometime around 10:02 last night, I was finally asleep.

And then I woke up at 1:00 this morning, because I had to pay a visit to the ladies’ room.  Which, of course, was the exact time that I remembered that the Blood Moon should be going on.  Now listen.  I never had any intentions of actually getting out of bed to see this lunar eclipse, because… well… I knew there would be videos and professionally-taken pictures online today, and I could relive what I had completely missed during ALL THE SLEEPING, through the wonderment of the World Wide Web.

Only the bathroom break (DANG THAT 4:45 STARBUCKS TRIP!!) had me awake anyway, so I looked outside at 1 AM.  And… Holy smokes, people!  The eclipse of the moon WAS amazing, even though I’ve never harbored any real interest in astronomy in my entire life and still think Pluto should be a legitimate planet.

I woke Hubs up, because WHAT GOOD WIFE WOULD LET HIM SLEEP AND MISS OUT?  And then I woke the boy up, too.

And then I got the bright idea to go outside on my deck and TAKE PICTURES.  I was in my red flannel pajama bottoms, with the sheep printed all over them, and my bare feet, because I never proclaimed to be brilliant.  The deck was approximately MINUS EIGHTY-FOUR DEGREES, which meant that I couldn’t feel my feet in exactly six-point-four seconds, and still I persevered, because I have the kind of constitution that’s usually reserved for Navy SEALs.

And here’s the thing:  For a lunar eclipse, you really need a tripod.  I don’t have a tripod.  So, I did every manner of, “Let me just balance my camera here on the deck railing and see how it goes.”

I’m pretty sure that MY snapshots of the Blood Moon will win photography awards, because LOOK!

IMG_3463 IMG_3467Don’t worry.  If you were hitting the wine hard before you started reading this blog post, you’re not slurring your vision yet!  That’s the moon.  Which was sort of stationary.  Except it was photographed by a girl who never became a surgeon because (1) she hated all of her science classes with a passion, (2) seeing bloody stuff that should be hidden forever on the inside of a body makes her nauseated, and (3) her hands are somewhat LESS THAN STEADY.

(And?  If you’re wondering?  The little blue streaks in the sky are actually the headlamp on Elliott’s bike, as he prepared to fly that bike across the sky with ET in the basket.)

(Either that, or it’s a street light somewhere, which probably makes more sense, because Elliott and ET did their stunt on Halloween, and this is April.)

Hubs, who had gone back to bed, kept asking me, “How’s it going out there?”  I’ll tell you how it’s going:  I’m a horrible photographer, THAT’S how it’s going.  That was pretty much the point when I came inside, on feet that I could no longer feel, and said, “You know what?  My pictures are THE WORST.  Deck railings have NOTHING in common with tripods.  I’ll just wait to see Jason’s pictures on Facebook tomorrow morning.”

Because Jason?  Well, he’s a friend of ours who is a PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER and he’s an ASTRONOMY ENTHUSIAST.  I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Jason was going to be out in his yard with a million dollars worth of camera equipment, and telescopes, and stable tripods, and all that head knowledge on film speed and shutter speed and whether or not he should go fully automatic with the flash on.

And he didn’t disappoint, because look at one of the images he pulled off:

1535506_750356578331728_7766575493259646779_nI totally DID NOT take this picture; it’s because JASON took this picture.  And since we never, ever, not even under the rare occasion of a Blood Moon, use last names here at Jedi Mama, Incorporated (since the world is full of crazy people, in case you didn’t know that), I took the horrible liberty of blocking out some pertinent, identifying information of Jason’s, which sort of ruins his push for free advertising here on the blog.

(But seriously.  Jason’s photography skills are stellar.  He caught THE VERY BEST snapshot of Thing 2 this fall, even though Thing 2 refuses to look at a camera lens, even if you’re offering him miniature marshmallows.  Jason pulled off the impossible with our toddler.  If you’d like to see his website and hire him to pull off the impossible with your own babies or toddlers or camera-shy husbands, please email me and I will send you the link for his business.  Unless, of course, you’re a crazy person who wears trench coats and dark sunglasses and stalks blogs, and then FORGET IT.)

And all of this to say… after Thing 2 had gone to bed at 10:00 last night…and after I was up at 1:00 in the morning and standing out on my deck with no house slippers on for a sweet forever…

THING 2 GOT UP AT 3:00 IN THE MORNING!!!

And he was up for a while.

I think that makes my 1 AM run out onto our deck in my bare feet a poor choice on my part. 

(Except I did catch those stunning snapshots of the moon, that sort of make you feel like you fell off a carnival ride from all the WHOA!  BLURRY!)

So I’ve pretty much felt like a train wreck most of the day today, which is why I’m heading to bed right now.

Y’all have a merry Tuesday.

You Will Fly On The Wings Of Eagles And Use Your Feet To Catch Your Own Dinner, Too

Because last night’s blog post was HEAVY and ALSO SERIOUS, I thought we could use something a little lighter this evening.

Kind of like how Diet Coke is lighter than the regular stuff, or how helium is lighter than oxygen.

(Bwahahaha!  Who is this girl spewing comparisons made out of SCIENTIFIC THINGS on her blog?  Because I’m pretty sure she never would have passed the entry-level biology class in college, if her friend, Theresa, hadn’t drawn her outlines and quizzed her relentlessly, and hollered MITOCHONDRIA in her ear fourteen and eleven more times, in exchange for the small fact that she then let Theresa wear her white leather boots with the fringe down the backs of them on a date.)

(I actually miss those boots.  Those boots represented the fashion world of 1990 exactly like Jon Bon Jovi represented the music world.)

(White hot, y’all.  WHITE.  HOT.)

But look at THIS:

1458584_641519562583534_3994480481481799905_nMy friend, Jewel, posted this on her Facebook wall (or Facebook timeline, or whatever in the blazing saddles of thunder you call your own space on the big social network).  I literally laughed so hard, I almost blew my morning cup of coffee all over my computer monitor.  I laughed and laughed.

And an hour later, when the vision of this came back to me… I laughed again, all by myself.

It’s a sure sign that I’m suffering from ALL THE CRAZY, exactly like a Crazy Cat Woman does.

(And let’s discuss THAT, shall we?  How do you HAVE fifty-six kitties living in your home?  Because I’m going to venture a guess that the litter box [boxes?] will slap you across the face until you faint with all the wicked smells.  We have two cats, and I feel like our zoo is overrun with them and their naughty shenanigans.)

Anyway.

I think the reason I laughed so hard at this little blurb of a sign is because IT’S ME!  People, I pay enormous dollars to my nail technician to make sure that I’m NOT one of those girls who can swoop from the sky and catch her dinner straight out of the lake with her feet.  And my little rodeo-loving, cowgirl of a nail technician treats me with kindness and Christian love every time I bring my hoofs in for a trimming.

Dry heels, anyone?

I won’t stand in judgement, if you care to admit it.  This blog is a safe place for the sharing of THESE ARE MY FEET, because I once sat in a pedicure throne at a shop owned by a nice Chinese family here in town.  The man who was doing my manicure (Which is just weird, because this is Small Town, USA, where men change their own flat tires and rope calves and shoot wild animals with hollow point bullets.  It’s not exactly the hot spot where a fellow paints toenails.) brought out all manner of power tools that GRIND, while he spoke in Chinese to his adorable wife, who was busy tending to my friend Amy’s feet.  I don’t speak a lick of Chinese (unless General Tso’s Chicken counts as a legitimate phrase), but I’m pretty sure the two of them were saying, “I’m sure she ripped a salmon right out of the water by his back while he screamed with these things before she came in here this morning.”

Which is why I traded their shop for the beautiful cowgirl who does my nails.  She and I have been together for almost three entire years now.

She takes care of the feet on her horses, so she knows how to take care of mine, too.

And that’s it for this evening, folks.  I’m off to apply every manner of expensive lotions and potions to my heels, so that I’m not harshly judged in my flip flops.

Prayers

I don’t know if y’all have noticed, but I tend to talk an awful lot about nothing.  It seems like every evening, when I sit down to throw a post up here at Jedi Mama, Inc., I can babble on and on for eight hundred and fourteen more words about how I FED THE CHILDREN POTATO CHIPS AND ICE CREAM FOR DINNER.

Not that I would ever do that, because Mothers of the Year are people who cook wholesome dinners for their husbands and sons.  They make homemade noodles for all their pasta dishes and gather the eggs from the coop out back before the daylight has even settled in.

Mothers of the Year DON’T buy Pop Tarts at the grocery store, or throw their hands up in defeat, lay the bag of salt and vinegar potato chips on the kitchen island and declare, “There’s dinner.  You can have ice cream when you finish.”

I think it’s honestly because it’s hard to write about serious things.  (Because now we’re back to talking about the content of my blog posts.  We’re no longer speaking of Dinners Gone South, which in no way means that we’ve taken up the Southern Mama’s habits of dipping chicken parts in buttermilk and dredging them through a flour and cornstarch mixture for Sunday dinners.  We’re talking about Dinners Gone South, as in WHAT MOTHER LETS HER CHILDREN EAT THAT?)

Writing about serious things makes you vulnerable, because someone might stand up and say, “Well.  I have some opinions on this,” and then blam!  The comment section and my email’s In Box are filled with NO SELF-RESPECTING MOTHER WOULD EVER TAKE THAT STAND ON THIS ISSUE notes.  I tend to avoid the politics and ALL THE SERIOUS like the plague.  You know why?  Because I can’t do conflict.  I’m a people pleaser.  I like everyone to be happy, all the time, and I tend to pull weeds out of the way in a big hurry, when I think they’re going to upset someone.

But here’s the honest truth:

You don’t have to talk politics to be serious.  Sometimes you can talk about other subjects, like HEALTH, because you’ve been on the WebMD again, even though your husband has flat-out stomped his foot on the floor and said, “Stay off of WebMD, because it turns you into a crazy person who thinks the pimple on her arm is an outbreak of a deadly virus, when all you need is some Noxema!”

Hubs doesn’t put his foot down often, but I’m pretty sure he likes me better when I’m not using the Google and typing in a list of health-related symptoms.  Finding a list of symptoms can either mean you have the common cold or the Black Plague of You’re Gonna Be Dead By Morning.

Anyway.

I have NOT been Googling symptoms again, because Hubs is right; reading the lists of every possible diagnosis the Internet has decided to give to me DOES make my head spin with CRAZY, and then a spinning head of CRAZY makes me CRY.

I’ve decided to take Hubs’ advice and simply trust that the Good Lord will work things out.  Hubs is a truster in Jesus.  His laid-back, Type R personality (which is as far away from the Type A personality that I have as a boy can pretty much get) just believes that Jesus will work everything out for good.  He believes it.  And he doesn’t worry about it.

I tend to START thinking that, but then I always end up deciding that I need to worry, because WHAT IF JESUS TELLS ME NO?  Sometimes I think I can HELP Jesus out by knowing my WebMD facts ahead of time.

You know what?  Jesus is sometimes going to tell me NO.  In fact, He already HAS told me NO on several things, and they’ve all turned out to be FOR MY BENEFIT.

(Take THAT ONE BOY in college that I wanted to keep forever and ever, amen.  He traded me in for a redhead, who took my place on the sidelines of his basketball games.  I sort of asked Jesus one million and seven hundred thousand times to PLEASE LET ME KEEP HIM.  And also I wanted Jesus to give the redhead some severe acne or something equally as horrible.  But see?  Had Jesus let me keep THAT ONE BOY, I would never have met Hubs, and Hubs is exactly who I was meant to live happily ever after with.  AS  IN, FOREVER.)

The problem is, I never saw the benefit in Jesus telling me NO while I was smack in the middle of struggling with getting the NO answer.

I know.

I’m rambling.

But this is what my blog post is for this evening:

PRAYER.

Jesus encourages us to pray for one another, in every situation… when the situations are good, and when they’re bad, and when they’re just flat-out unclear.  So, if you’re the praying sort (And I really hope that you are, because MY WORD!  Jesus can make an enormous change in your life, if you want Him to!), here’s some people to add to your daily prayer list.

1.  A family member who may or may not want me mentioning him by name on the World Wide Web.  He’s always been a private sort of fellow, but SWEET MERCY!  I do love him.  His doctor found a lump last Thursday.  While I was busy jumping on the wagon of fear that was headed for THIS IS THE WORST CASE SCENARIO and I JUST NEED TO HAVE A GOOD CRY FROM WORRY and JUST LET ME SEE WHAT WEBMD HAS TO SAY, Hubs was busy telling me, “But the doctors said this could be a totally benign lump.  You’re working yourself up BEFORE you even know the facts of the situation.  You’re going to ruin yourself with PRE-WORRY.”  It’s because Hubs simply trusts that Jesus will work it all out for good.  So, if you’d like, you can pray for this fellow, and you can ask Jesus if there could please be a “THIS IS THE BEST CASE SCENARIO” diagnosis.  There will be a CT scan tomorrow morning, and very possibly surgery, and we’d all appreciate your prayers, because this is one good guy.  Our family would like to keep him around.

2.  My sister’s neighbor girl.  Her name is Amaya, and she’s twelve years old.  She and her family are close friends with Sister and Sister’s Husband.  Amaya is a 6th grader who loves soccer, and listen:  She had been suffering from severe migraine headaches for a few weeks.  At first, her doctors thought she was having a reaction to gluten, and her diet was stripped down to the basics of meat and fruit, but still her headaches came.  She hurt so badly, she would throw up all day long.  When she started having five of these every week… when she wasn’t even able to go to school at all, because EXPLOSIVE MIGRAINE EVERY SINGLE DAY ALMOST, a CT scan was done of her brain, and you can probably guess where this paragraph is going.  Amaya’s pediatrician discovered that she has a brain tumor.  Within an hour, she had been life-flighted to an enormous city’s hospital, where she’ll face surgery this coming Wednesday.  The problem is, her tumor is in a very tricky spot, and her surgeon is worried about operating; I think his words were, “I need time to decide how I’m going to take this tumor out.”  So… Amaya and her family could use some prayers.

3.  My friend’s husband, Gary.  Theresa has been one of my very most closest girlfriends since the day we met during our junior year in high school.  I love that girl with every fiber of my heart; we have been friends for twenty-seven entire years.  (Did I say we met while we were juniors?  I’m sorry.  I must’ve done the math wrong.  Let me see.  We met twenty-seven years ago, carry the one, subtract the eight, divide by x and plot the equation… I guess that means we met when we were in utero, because we’d be OLD if we had met our junior year in high school.)  Anyway.  Theresa’s and Gary have been married for a sweet forever, because they like one another.  Kind of a lot.  And they have some fantastic kids who make me laugh every single time I talk to them.  Well… Gary has cancer.  He has an inoperable lump in his neck, and he’s doing treatments, times one thousand.  Delaying the growth of this tumor takes a lot of work and intervention.  And do you know what?  Gary is as nutty as Hubs is, and I think he’s the perfect person for Theresa to go through life with.  I’d love to encourage you to pray for this guy, because HE’S AS GOOD AS FAMILY TO ME.

4.  My friend’s little boy named Garrett.  Lori and I met through blogging.  She has a blog; I have a blog.  We’ve never met in real life, but our friendship started when I left a comment on her blog, and she followed it back to my blog.  She read our adoption story on Thing 2, which touched her heart, because her second son is adopted, too.  She shared her younger son’s adoption story with me, and it touched MY heart.  We seem to have quite a lot in common, and we’ve been emailing one another regularly and chatting through Facebook for a while now, even though she lives a few states away from Small Town, USA.  Lori’s first grade son, Garrett, has a possible fracture in his skull, which may have been sustained in a sledding accident a while back.  He had been complaining of neck pain, and his X-rays showed SOMETHING.  This something COULD BE a fracture, but you know what?  This something might be nothing, too.  Right now, Garrett is wearing a neck brace and waiting for his parents to visit with a neurologist in great detail.  If you have children of your own, I’m sure that you don’t need me to write any words about how concerned Lori must be, because GARRETT IS HER BABY!!  Never mind that he’s a first grader this year; he’s her baby, and a possible skull fracture is scary business.

So there are some serious little requests for tonight, people.

I just couldn’t bring myself to type a bunch of nonsense tonight, when all of these people could use some prayers.  Sine my blog is seen by a couple-few people every day, I just decided that those could be a couple-few more people who could be talking to Jesus about these things tonight… and tomorrow… and throughout the coming weeks.

And I’m so proud of myself, because I haven’t looked up any of these things on WebMD.

For once in my life, I’ve listened to Hubs… and taken his advice… and decided to trust God to work all of these things out for good.  Because the honest truth is that I can’t fix a single one of these things on my own, no matter how much I wish I could.  Fixing these things… HOWEVER HE CHOOSES TO… is Jesus’ job, and He doesn’t really need my help.  He just wants me to pray about them.

And… if y’all have anything that needs some prayers, let me know.  I’d be happy — MORE THAN HAPPY — to hear what you would like for me to discuss with Jesus, and then I promise to knock on His big door in Heaven for you.

Praying for one another is a good thing.

Y’all have a merry Sunday night.

Do Real Athletes Ever Sprain Their Ankles Doing The Laundry?

Well.

I’m just going to be honest and let y’all know that I suffered a laundry injury today.

As in, on my way downstairs to switch loads from the washer to the dryer, I somehow miscalculated the steps.  That’s actually a fancy way of saying, “I thought I was already on the floor, when I had one more step to go, but who could see with the giant basket of dirty clothes that I was carrying in front of me?”

I don’t know whether or not I can file for workman’s comp or not, but my ankle feels like someone has drilled a hole into the side of it and taken all the good stuff out.

(Not that an ankle is actually full of good stuff, because IT’S JUST AN ANKLE.  Ankles are boring, and so are the majority of my sentences.)

I think I’m going to have to spend the next three weeks or so, sitting on the sofa with my leg propped up, watching back episodes of Downton Abbey, and ringing a little handheld bell, so that Hubs knows when it’s time to make me a fresh chai tea.

And I’m also going to have to hire a temp to do my laundry.

Obviously.

In other news, I feel like it’s officially spring in Small Town, because OH, GLORIOUS WEATHER, but then one of my friends informed me today that it’s supposed to snow again this weekend.  I don’t know if my soul can take the snow one more time.  The older I get, the less I can see and the less I appreciate a good spring snowstorm, after experiencing a day of sixty-five degrees.

But… with the onset of spring comes spring soccer, and the boy and his buddy Enzo are in the thick of it.

IMG_3339Of course, Thing 2 WISHES that HE could be in the thick of it, too, because he cannot for the life of him understand why he wasn’t allowed to buy new soccer cleats himself or why he remains in his carseat when we drop the boy off at practices.

AND!  At the game this evening, we saw a little boy of about three or four years of age who was wearing a harness… that was attached to a leash… which his mama was holding onto.  Oh, people.  There was a day in time when I would have judged that woman and said, “Seriously?”  But now, I wanted to hug her and whisper, “I know what it’s like to have a firecracker on the sidelines during a game.”  And then I wanted to form a club with her and order T-shirts for ourselves, while Hubs discreetly asked her WHERE she had purchased such a thing, because we may be in the market for one, too.

I seem to remember something about throwing rocks and living in glass houses, and I think I’m renting an upstairs room in the glass palace right now, because LAND SAKES!  Have y’all ever seen the passion which Thing 2 brings to the sidelines of a soccer game?!  He is going to be ON. THAT. FIELD., or he’s going to die trying.

Y’all have a fantastic weekend.

Barney’s Theme Song Will Stick In Your Head For Days!

Some brothers fight over Legos.  Or who gets to ride shotgun in the Suburban.  Or which boy got the bigger slice of chocolate cake for dessert, or which one had to do more chores around the house, or whose turn it is to scoop the litter box.

Not our boys.

Our boys don’t fight, because… well… there are eleven-and-a-half years separating their births, and we just haven’t had to deal with any sort of squabbles between them yet.

But then…

… we learned that one of our boys likes Barney and the Teletubbies.  He’s very, VERY vocal about desiring to watch these shows, when the tablet or the iPad comes out.  He enjoys dancing to their songs and waving at the Barney, while he spastically shouts, “Hello!  Hello!  Hello, Barney!”  The other brother is not a fan of the purple dinosaur or the red, yellow, purple and green ‘Tubbies.  He is not a fan AT ALL.  He has no desire to perform an interpretive dance to their theme songs or wave at the characters.

And so… because our boys like to watch little videos together quite often… they have started ARGUING with one another over WHO GETS TO CHOOSE THE MOVIE!  Will there be dancing and dinosaurs?  Or will they howl with laughter together over Shaun the Sheep or Donald Duck?

(For the record?  WHERE has Shaun the Sheep been all of my life?  Because those little cartoons are DADGUM HILARIOUS!  Even Hubs and I push and shove to be in front of the iPad when they come on!)

So really… I think our boys are normal, now that we’ve started squabbling over movie-choosing rights.

IMG_3320 IMG_3327On an entirely UNRELATED note… please take notice of that grey, Chevron-striped throw pillow on our sofa.

It’s new, and it has made me eighteen different kinds of happy…

… which is something that Barney the Dinosaur has NEVER done.  On that issue, I’m going to side with my bigger boy, because STOP ALL THE MAD DANCING AND SINGING!

Happy Wednesday, y’all.

A Well-Rested Mama Is A Happy Mama

The big news is that Thing 2 slept all night long last night.  And… not only did he sleep ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT, he didn’t get up this morning until 6:15.

Six.  Fifteen. 

Y’all!!!

To us… at our house… that felt like sleeping in until noon.

“The Lord leadeth me beside still waters, and He maketh the toddler sleep through the night; His love endures forever.”  I think that might be in the Psalms.  Either way, I wanted to get a tambourine and play some thankful music first thing this morning, because THE TODDLER SLEPT!  And also SIX-FIFTEEN, PEOPLE!

And then today genuinely felt like spring, because, HELLO, SUNSHINE!  WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN SINCE LAST OCTOBER?!

Plus, my friend, Jill, had Thing 2 and I out this morning, where I attempted to take full advantage of the NATURAL LIGHT OF SWEET AND HOLY PERFECTION that shines through her enormous, living room windows, so that I could snap some two-year-old pictures of that toddler.

(Yes.  THAT toddler… THE ONE WHO SLEPT ALL NIGHT LONG AND DIDN’T GET UP UNTIL 6:15 THIS MORNING!)

(Have I already mentioned that?!)

(It’s just SO DADGUM EXCITING, because we have some issues with the entire concept of JUST LAY DOWN AND CLOSE YOUR EYES AND DON’T GET OUT OF YOUR BED.)

Jill’s windows are magnificent.  They’re every professional photographer’s dream, because this gorgeous morning light comes inside the house, and cameras eat it up like a delicacy full of cream cheese and real butter and sin.

Unless, of course, the photographer is an unskilled amateur who is better at taking blurry photos than she is at taking crystal clear photos.

But still… I think we managed to snap some fairly cute ones of my little fellow, regardless of the fact that his attention span is eighteen-tenths of a nanosecond long, unless trains, tractors, mayhem or soccer balls are involved.

(Yes.  EIGHTEEN-TENTHS.  Somewhere, that’s a real number.  And somewhere, some husband is hollering at a wife while they’re hanging a giant photo above their fireplace mantle, “Just move it eighteen-tenths of an inch to the left!  No, no, no!!  YOUR left!!  Now bring it back six-tenths of an inch!”  And somewhere, that same wife is standing on a step stool, holding the giant landscape painting, and quietly wondering where a person could buy arsenic, and if it really can be disguised in powdered sugar donuts.)

(Hubs and I do not measure ANYTHING the same way.  To clarify, Hubs measures lines down to half of the width of half of a hair, and I don’t really measure anything at all with a ruler.  I’m all about the eyeballing and slapping a nail in the wall wherever it makes me happy, and Hubs is all about HOW CAN BEING A QUARTER OF AN INCH TOO FAR IN ONE DIRECTION TAKE YOU TO A HAPPY PLACE?  I guess I’m just full of a lot of SIMPLE.)

But!

Here are the blurry snapshots of the two-year-old.  Because I don’t… you know… take enough pictures.

At all.

IMG_3293 IMG_3297 IMG_3299 IMG_3306 IMG_3307 IMG_3309

Just go ahead and tell me that those curls don’t make you smile.

Your pants might catch on fire if you do.

After Jill and I were completely exhausted (Jill, from blowing horns and whooping and hollering and playing Peek-a-Boo behind me to get Thing 2′s attention in hopes that he’d GRIN, and me, from chasing Thing 2 across the house forty-eleven-and-nine-more-times to catch him after he just UP AND LEFT the photo shoot area), we let the boys play at the train table.

IMG_3315The train table is very likely Thing 2′s love language.  On our drive home from Jill’s house, he kept saying, “Maffew twain ta-bo… Maffew twain ta-bo!”  If you’re not fluent in the verbal skills of an excited two-year-old, that translates as, “I loved Matthew’s train table, and I wanted to steal it and bring it home to MY house, Ma!  With a little manhandling, I know we could have fit it into the back of our Suburban.”

So that was today, people.

And today also involved me teaching PE and hearing THIS sentence come out of a second grader’s mouth:  “Oh, my gosh!!  He sneezed on me, and I have a wad of snot the size of an Easter egg on my arm!”

Please plan on attending your next school board meeting and standing up to announce that no one who teaches in a school is EVER paid enough for what they endure.  Because a “wad of snot the size of an Easter egg?”  Yeah.  You can’t UN-see some things, after they’ve been shown to you.  Oh, how I wished for the Men in Black to stop by my gymnasium and flash their neuralizer in front of my face, to banish the memory of a snot ball on an eight-year-old’s arm.

Y’all have a fantastic Tuesday night.

The Post That Is Full Of Nothing

This is one of those nights when I can’t even invent something to write about.

Because does anyone want to hear about how I went to Walmart?  Or how I did some laundry, without needing to rewash the load in the washer four times, because I actually just toughened up and remembered to put that load right into the dryer?  Or how I had to say, “THIS is a NO CRY ZONE.  If you want to cry, you must go to your bedroom to cry,” about thirty-seven times today?

For the record, it wasn’t Hubs who was doing all the crying.

Thing 2 was awake from 11 PM to 3 AM this morning.  Hubs took that bullet and let me sleep, which is why Hubs is one of my favorite people.  And even though Hubs went to work all day without whining about how HE DIDN’T ACTUALLY WANT THE BOWL OF OATMEAL HE ASKED YOU TO MAKE HIM FOR BREAKFAST, BECAUSE NOW HE WANTS A WAFFLE, BUT NO, HE DOESN’T REALLY WANT A WAFFLE, BECAUSE HE WANTS THAT OATMEAL, JUST WITH SOME PEARS DUMPED INTO IT, Thing 2 had a rough day.

We chalked it up to T-I-R-E-D.

Partying all night like you’re nineteen, when you’re only two, tends to amplify ALL THE CRANKY.

It also tends to amplify how many cups of coffee Hubs can drink in a morning.

Y’all have a happy Monday evening.

Some Thoughts On Chicken

Our weekend was rather uneventful.

It’s just how we roll.

It may have something to do with the fact that I laid down for just a minute on Saturday afternoon and woke up three-and-a-half hours later.  It was my reenactment of Rip Van Winkle.

I’m surprised I didn’t wake up with a white beard down to my navel.

After I finally pulled myself together on Saturday and said, “Well, this day was wasted,” I tried to redeem myself by frying chicken.  It was one of those tried-and-true Southern recipes (because we all know that Southern women can cook, and that they mock us Northern gals and our boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese), that involved me first soaking the chicken in buttermilk.

(And… before I go further… I should mention that MY fried chicken was different from the chicken you might find in Georgia, because listen:  NO BONES.  There are not enough Valium tablets in this world to help me with the act of touching chicken bones.  Or any bones, for that matter.  If fried chicken at my house happens… it happens as boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or it just doesn’t happen.)

Now, I know that buttermilk is pretty much a Southern staple, but this was probably the second time I’ve ever purchased it in my entire life.  However, when a Southern woman says SOAK THAT CHICKEN and DO IT IN THE BUTTERMILK, you just run with it, because they’re the ones who know how to slap chicken on a plate that will make you cry with all the goodness.

So my chicken soaked.  And then I dredged it in flour and cornstarch like a boss, and I spent a SWEET FOREVER standing over my stovetop, frying it up.  I’m fairly certain that I was nineteen years old when I started all the frying, and now… well… I’m not nineteen.  Suffice it to say that last night’s meal was more labor intensive than building the Great Pyramids was.

And then… like wild cavemen who hadn’t eaten real meat, other than the occasional chipmunk, since that time Gred ate those WILD BERRIES straight off the bush and danced in circles away from the camp, only to come home with a wooly mammoth slung over his shoulder that he’d choked out with his bare hands, the boys at my house devoured it.

Fourteen hours of cooking followed by eight minutes of eating.

It’s why the BAKES IN TWELVE SHORT MINUTES, take-and-bake pizza place knows me by my first name here in Small Town.

Oh!  And Hubs and I abandoned our children for a couple of hours today, so we could zip to the cinema with our friends, Jodi and Gabe, to see God’s Not Dead.  I baked pizza rolls in the oven for the kids at home (We left all five of our children together at our house, but don’t worry… Ciara and the boy are both thirteen, and Ciara is probably more mature than I am.), and we had popcorn, with extra butter, for dinner.

And the movie?  Oh, y’all!  It was fantastic!  I think I love the Newsboys even more than I did before the matinee this afternoon, and I loved them quite a bit this morning.  Hubs and I loved the message of the movie, so run… run like the wind… and go see it.  Your heart will be warmed, and you’ll leave the theater happy.

And then?  Well… just look who is officially twenty-five entire months old now?

IMG_3257 IMG_3258 IMG_3261 IMG_3267 IMG_3272 IMG_3277 IMG_3280 IMG_3283That would be OUR toddler… the one with the wild hair.

Twenty-five months ago, we brought that bundle of love home, in the middle of a spring blizzard.  He has kept us on our toes ever since, and I can honestly say… I would choose to do it all over again.

We love that kid.

And his big brother, too.

We just don’t love frying chicken around here for dinner; that’s what frozen pizza rolls are for.

Happy Sunday, y’all.

Thursday Morning Friends

We had a bit of a play date this morning, because sometimes a mama needs to step beyond conversations solely with a two-year-old and talk to real grown-ups.

Also, we usually have a need for strong coffee.  Or chai tea filled with half-and-half and Bailey’s Irish Cream.

(Oh, people; I kid.  I never put the alcohol in the chai tea before lunchtime.)

There was plenty of chatting and sipping of the hot beverages today, and I think Thing 2 only went to time-out four times for smacking someone.  It’s just that Thing 2 likes to be the leader of this little gang, but his opposition is two little girls who tend to boss him around.  Sometimes a man has a need to stand up and say, “I WILL NOT hold the baby doll you brought, no matter how many times you ask me to be your husband and rock the kid to sleep,” as he grabs a rubber ball and throws a really sweet curve right into someone’s head.

(For the record, Thing 2 reminded me that his pitch WAS JUST A CURVE BALL, MA!  IT WASN’T A FASTBALL!  CURVE BALLS DON’T HURT LIKE FASTBALLS DO!  IT COULD HAVE BEEN SO MUCH WORSE, MA!!!)

Cousin H came over, looking like Spring had just exploded all over her outfit, and I loved it!  When you just have boys living in your house, you never get to dress someone in dayglow orange dresses and hair ribbons.

IMG_3221H’s springtime outfit today made my heart leap with joy, it was so cute.

Even though the girls wanted to play house… and they wanted Thing 2 to be the dad and GET A JOB ALREADY OR ROCK THE BABY TO SLEEP, BUT DON’T JUST SIT THERE… Thing 2 insisted that the group play with the cars.

And then he said, “Listen, H!  Please don’t touch the semi truck.  You know nothing about putting chains on these tires in the winter, or parallel parking it when you have to, or hauling transcontinental loads in record time.  RELEASE MY TRUCK!”

IMG_3224And then he mumbled, “I swear, I feel a fastball coming on with this rubber bouncy ball in my hand!!!!”

Of course we had a group photo, because group photos of kids make me happy.

This is the outtake, where Thing 2 refused to put the giant magnifying glass down for the snapshot, and where Cousin H raised her eyes heavenward and sighed, “WHO is this boy, and WHY is he in my family tree?!”

IMG_3231And then Thing 2 told the girls, “Look!  This magnifying glass is the Binford 9000 Series, with an electric start and a place to store bugs in the handle when you catch them.”

I don’t know that H and Addie were all that impressed.

I’m pretty sure Cousin H said, “This is my PRETEND I’M LISTENING TO HIM face.”

IMG_3234IMG_3235We had snacks.

And then we had a little movie break, because sometimes grownups just need fifteen minutes of quiet during Coffee Hour.

IMG_3250 IMG_3253And that, folks, was the highlight of our Thursday.  The rest of it involved laundry and WHO PUT A RITZ CRACKER IN THE DRYER?

I can’t even make that sound interesting.  Just know that when a cracker goes through the dryer, it doesn’t remain in one piece.  And then give thanks that it wasn’t a Crayon.

Oh, wait!  MAYBE… JUST MAYBE… we did have some excitement, because we went to Thing 2′s little buddy’s birthday party tonight.  Thing 2 jumped into their irrigation ditch, just as we were leaving.  Thing 2 discovered that there was, quite suddenly, cold water up to his chest.  So there was THAT highlight of the day, which made me need an extra nerve pill.

Y’all have a happy weekend.