M Is For Mimosa. N Is For Nerve Pill.

We had a very busy morning today, because both of our boys had orientations at their schools today.

The boy had orientation at the high school, because he’s a freshman this year.  I know.  I can’t even process it myself, and I’m the one who had him cut out of my body with basically no anesthetic fifteen entire years ago.  I swear, this picture of him was just snapped yesterday…

IMG_1074… and now he refuses to wear his pirate get-up because he thinks he’s too old for it.

Whatever.

(And?  Cousin L up there, who is pictured sailing the high seas and ransacking unsuspecting ships at port for gold coins, is starting the 7th grade next week.  Good heavens.)

Apparently there’s a big belief circulating that incoming freshman might actually like to tour the building and walk the route to and from all their classes and learn where their locker is located and get the school calendar, where they know for sure when the first Teacher In-Service Day is, because NO SCHOOL THEN, before the first day of classes.  When school starts at the end of August, it’s always lovely to have a solid date to look forward to of PLEASE STAY HOME AND SLEEP IN ON THIS DAY.

The boy’s orientation started at 10:00 this morning, so at 9:15 I finally went into his room and encouraged him to GET UP NOW, BEFORE YOU MAKE ME INSANE, BECAUSE YOU NEED A SHOWER, AND EVERYTHING STARTS IN FORTY-FIVE MINUTES!  WHY DO YOU MAKE ME NEED MIMOSAS AND NERVE PILLS EVERY MORNING, SON, WITH ALL OF THE SLOWNESS?!

With prodding and me nixing the idea of him cooking eggs for his breakfast, BECAUSE WE ARE GOING TO BE LATE!  EAT A POP TART!  THEY’RE PACKED WITH ARTIFICIAL VITAMINS AND CAN GO WITH US IN THE CAR!, we made it to the high school at exactly 9:56.  He hopped out of the Suburban, all by himself, because last night he vetoed the idea of me picking up one of his friends and driving him, too, so that the two boys could walk into the high school TOGETHER.  The boy informed me that this is just how girls operate, and that boys are perfectly content walking inside of a new situation alone, and meeting a couple of buddies at a predetermined spot… or even NOT meeting anyone.  As it is, the boy was going to join up with two friends who were already at the school for tennis practice, and so I said a prayer for him as he walked inside that it would all just go well, because THERE GOES MY BABY TO HIGH SCHOOL ORIENTATION, ALONE.

I don’t even pretend to understand boys, because girls need to hold hands with one another everywhere we go.  Had it been MY high school orientation today, I would have been up four hours before it started to fix my hair just so, and I would have already scheduled fourteen girls to walk in together by 9:30, so we could all get seats in the auditorium, side by side.

Thing 2 DID get up more than four hours before his orientation started.  In fact, he pretty much got up before the Dunkin Donuts team went in to work this morning.

Hello, Faint Traces Of The Sun That Will Rise In An Hour And A Half.

By 8:00 this morning, Thing 2 was already wearing his brand new backpack and asking if it was time to see his school yet.  No buddy, it’s not.  Mama needs some more coffee yet, because (*yawn*) someone woke her up a little earlier than she wanted to get up.

And?  Seriously?  Preschool already?  Because these pictures were taken JUST YESTERDAY, too…

IMG_7961 IMG_8316Finally, after we’d dropped the boy off at the high school, Thing 2 and I drove straight from the high school to the preschool, because he had a MEET YOUR TEACHER and SEE YOUR CLASSROOM morning, too.  On the way, I told him that his teacher’s name was Miss Jill, to which he seemed quite indifferent, because JILL, AMY, MARCY, BETTY, GUADALUPE… IT DOESN’T MATTER, BECAUSE THEY’RE ALL GOING TO YANK ME AWAY FROM THE TONKA TRUCKS AND MAKE ME WRITE MY LETTERS AND NUMBERS.  I asked Thing 2, while we were driving, “Do you think that Miss Jill is going to be a nice teacher?”

He said, “Yeah, she’s probably nice.”

This was followed by a little pause, before Thing 2 added, “And if she’s not nice, I’ll just spit on her.”

Obviously the fruits of Hubs and I grooming this child in the ways of Christian behavior and loving one another and being a nice, NICE boy are not developing as we’d intended.

I immediately told Thing 2 that we NEVER spit on people, but he simply said, “Well, I spit on mean people.  If Miss Jill is nice, then I won’t spit on her.”

I’m fairly certain that mimosas and caffeine were invented because of KIDS and MORNINGS.

Here’s to hoping that they both have one great school year.

Goodbye, Summer…

Yes.

It’s all true.

I went back to the little, private Catholic school where I teach PE today, because TEACHER MEETINGS.  I don’t know about you, but any week that involves meetings pertaining to work pretty much hammers the summer nail all the way through the board.  Our band of teachers is a close-knit group, so we were all glad to gather around a cafeteria table together with our coffee cups early this morning and speak a word or eight over the donuts:

“I shouldn’t… but I’m going to cut this one in half and try it, and then I’m going to cut that one in half, too, and then I’ll just lift a student’s desk over my head a couple of times when I go back to my classroom to burn the extra calories off.”

There are times when I can’t believe that Eve was tempted with an apple, because MAPLE BARS, Y’ALL.

I got my class rosters today, we read through the student handbooks together, so that everyone was on the same page on HOW SHORT CAN OUR JUNIOR HIGH KIDS’ SHORTS BE and IN CASE OF A SNOW DAY THAT CANCELS SCHOOL, WHO WILL START THE CALLING TREE TO ALERT TEACHERS?

It was all very important discussions, and then we were released to go work in our classrooms, because our principal announced, “Let’s all plan on having classrooms decorated and completely ready to receive kids by dinner time on Thursday, even though we don’t start classes until Tuesday.”

We’re a group of overachievers.

My classroom is an enormous gym, with the teachers’ lounge right off of it.  Do you know what is currently happening in the teachers’ lounge?  It’s getting new carpet.  This means that the old carpet that was original to our building when it was built in 1905 is finally going to be ripped out, and we’re going to get something new now, which will have a little more texture to it than linoleum, seeing as how the ancient floor covering in there now has been worn down to the bare threads over the last MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED years.

So all of the tables and chairs and boxes and boxes AND BOXES of stored books and paper mache turkeys that were used in the 1930s for Thanksgiving decorations, which live in the teachers’ lounge, are now sitting in my gym, along with two full-sized popcorn poppers on wheeled carts, which make the entire school smell of buttery perfection during home basketball games.

And there’s a volleyball net in there.

And the seventy-six thousand pounds of lost and found jeans, sweatshirts, socks, water bottles, lunchboxes and ear bud sets from last year, because WHOSE JOB WAS IT TO HAUL ALL OF THAT STUFF TO THE THRIFT STORE IN MAY, BEFORE WE ALL THREW OUR HANDS INTO THE AIR AND RACED OUT THE FRONT DOOR, SCREAMING, “SUMMER!! SUMMER!!!”

I asked if I could file for an extension that goes a touch beyond the dinner hour on Thursday, and now we’re looking at having PE outside on our grassy soccer field when school starts next Tuesday.

It’s because we’re all so organized with the carpet-laying schedule and the driving of the thrift store van.

Summer-is-overJust so long as I remember which day is Tuesday, because that,  y’all, is when my gym is going to be filled with fresh faces, hoping that they get to play dodgeball every! single! day! for the next nine months.

The Ten-Day Streak Of Fun Is Over

Well.

There’s a varsity golf tournament that happened today on the far side of our state, and do you think that I have any idea how it went?

No.  No, I do not.  It’s because someone’s phone died.  Apparently it never occurred to the boy that when his mother said, “And make sure you charge your phone in the hotel, so you can keep me posted,” that I actually meant business.  Honestly, I don’t pay for that cell phone for the boy’s convenience; I pay for it so that I can talk to him when I need to talk to him, and so that he can text me things like… oh, I don’t know… A STINKING GOLF SCORE FROM HIS FIRST HIGH SCHOOL TOURNAMENT!!!

Supposedly, the boys golfed all day today, but I wouldn’t know, because NO CONTACT.  They’re staying in a hotel again tonight (which translates into EVERYONE’S SWIMMING IN THE POOL HERE, AFTER WE EAT ENORMOUS CHEESEBURGERS AND FRIES, EVEN THOUGH MOTHERS HAVE BEEN SAYING SINCE THE DAWN OF TIME THAT KIDS SHOULDN’T SWIM AFTER A MEAL, AND THEN NONE OF US ARE ACTUALLY GOING TO SLEEP TONIGHT, BECAUSE WE’RE TURNING THIS HOTEL INTO A FRAT HOUSE), and then they’re golfing all day again tomorrow.

I imagine this is exactly how Jordan Spieth’s mother felt when he was fifteen and neglected to charge his cell phone, as she paced her house and mumbled to her husband forty-eleven times, “I just wish I knew how he did!”

I’m just crossing my fingers that later tonight, the boy needs his phone for a video game or the built-in camera, and that he says to himself, “Hey!  I should probably plug this thing into the wall, seeing as how it’s deader than a winning mafia hit.”

Bless.

In other news, we’re wrapping up the tail end of summer vacation here, and we’re about to slap a bright red bow on it.  I’m always sad to see summer end, because… well… there’s just something magical about having your days completely unstructured, and knowing that you can really stay in your pajamas for a while, if that’s what you feel like doing.  Plus, the boy is home in the middle of the day to haul all your shopping bags from major grocery runs indoors, and I call that a win.  We have exhausted ourselves at all the parks this summer, because Thing 2 enjoys a good slide like nobody’s business, but now our parks are overrun with all the wasps, because ‘TIS THE SEASON.  Since a wasp fly-by will make us all shriek and dance around like a chicken on crack, we’re beginning to shun the outdoor world, opting for the inside activity of I REALLY DON’T CARE HOW MANY HOURS OF TV YOU WATCH TODAY, JUST SO LONG AS YOU LET ME DRINK THIS CUP OF COFFEE FROM START TO FINISH, WITHOUT NEEDING TO REHEAT IT, BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE THE STRENGTH TO LOOK AT ANYTHING YOU’VE JUST PUT ON THE HARDWOOD FLOOR, UNTIL I’VE DONE MY BIBLE STUDY HOMEWORK AND GOTTEN RIGHT WITH JESUS THIS MORNING.

Another thing that we wrapped up was  Enzo’s visit to Small Town, USA.  Hubs and I, along with Enzo’s parents, split the cost of his airfare to have him flown out here for the boy’s birthday.  He stayed for ten entire days, and I can’t even begin to list everything that those kids did in ten days.  They golfed over and over and over together.  They went to a water park and a regular pool.  They played tennis.  They ate dinner together and with good friends at classy, posh little hotspots.  They walked downtown for sub sandwiches and wandered through stores, by themselves, and again with friends.  They saw three movies at the theater.  They hosted a couple of sleepovers at our house, with boys hanging out and staying up all night, twice.  They cooked 13,000 eggs for snacks, and are now possibly suffering from high cholesterol.  They had air soft wars with friends, they hosted a poker night at our house for a posse of boys, they drove go-carts, they cracked crab legs, and they had a water fight with friends, they played video games until their brains began to leak out of their ears, they slept NOT AT ALL, and they even mowed my yard once.

It will go down in history as the boy’s favorite ten-day stretch of his life.

But this past weekend, we had to drive Enzo back to Bigger Town, USA and put him on a plane.  His parents missed him, even though we made an enormous rally to enroll him in high school here with the boy.  I even offered to move Thing 2 into the boy’s bedroom, so that Enzo could have his own room and live with us.

The boys golfed like crazy while Enzo was here…

image1 image2 IMG_4598… and they sent me pictures of the wildlife that they collected along the course.

IMG_4612 image101All I can say is that no matter how good the golf game is going, if a snake slithers by, teenage boys will throw their clubs to the ground and give chase like a crazed mongoose  jacked up on Red Bull.

IMG_6149When we took Enzo to the airport, we let the boys stop at a little fun land, where they raced each other in go-carts, because driving fast is a boy’s love language.

Well, driving fast AND cheeseburgers AND lighting things on fire, especially if said fire results in a mushroom cloud.

IMG_6155 IMG_6157 IMG_6156 IMG_6153 IMG_6161 IMG_6164 IMG_6166After the speed thrill was over, they tried their hand at crawling through a room protected by lasers, exactly like they were James Bond, trying to steal the world’s largest diamond back from a jewel thief.

Hubs and I got to watch their antics on a flat-screen TV while they were in the chamber, and we laughed ourselves silly every time they hit a beam.

Which was… you know… FREQUENTLY.  If they have any hopes at all of following in James Bond’s footsteps, they’re going to have to get private lessons for crawling over and under laser beams, so they don’t end up looking like a piece of KFC chicken.

IMG_6187 IMG_6188Hubs and I also kept them supplied with tokens for the games, because we live to open our wallets wide for the children.

IMG_6191 IMG_6200Then we fed them both an enormous cheeseburger from a shop that specializes in one-pound burgers with all the toppings, right before they waddled to the airport.

I won’t lie.

I actually cried a little bit when I hugged that Enzo boy goodbye and signed him over to the airline company for his flight as an unattended minor.  It was so sad to see him go.

FullSizeRender image103 image202The boys partied like rockstars for ten days, which probably explains why the boy slept for fifteen straight hours after we got home.

I’m pretty sure that partying like they did is the sign of one fantastic, healthy friendship.

AND!!  Well…. my kid has finally powered up his phone.  He texted me and Hubs to let us know that he golfed AMAZINGLY WELL today!  I may have even screeched a little with some mega-sized excitement when I read all about my little freshman’s scores at this big tournament today!!!!  And then I may have already mentally spent the US Open purse that I expect he’ll be winning soon and sharing with his parents.

Y’all have a fantastic weekend.

That Day When All The Marbles Were Hard To Keep Together

Today, I woke up at 4:45 for no reason at all.

I just… WOKE UP.  And there was no going back to sleep.  I contemplated showering at that early hour and being a source of pride to farm women everywhere, who had already wrangled cows across pastures, gathered eggs and emptied the breakfast leftovers in the hog pens, but I knew such bravery of LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED was only going to wake Thing 2 up.

What we try to do at our house more than anything is tiptoe in socks and communicate with poor sign language skills instead of real words while the toddler is sleeping, because he can hear a ladybug sneeze in the neighbor’s backyard when he’s asleep, and then ALL THE SLEEP is done for him.

(Yes.  I have two entirely different sleepers.  The boy?  I’m worried that he’ll miss the return of Jesus while he’s sleeping, because he can literally sleep through blasting smoke alarms, his own bedside alarm, ringing phones, barking dogs, screaming little brothers, and the detonation of sixty thousand pounds of TNT next to his bed.  Thing 2 wakes up if someone twelve counties over makes a cup of coffee and opens his morning newspaper.)

After a crazy morning of me scrambling to do laundry, because the boy was selected at his high school golf practice last night to go with the varsity team to the far side of our good state for a tournament and he needed his golf shorts washed NOW, and Thing 2 literally peeling his tiny green undies off so that he could SQUAT ON MY HALLWAY FLOOR AND PEE A PUDDLE LARGER THAN EUROPE, and both cats screaming that THE DISH IS EMPTY AND WE MAY CUT OUT YOUR LIVERS IF THINGS ARE NOT REMEDIED IMMEDIATELY BECAUSE WE NEED THE MEOW MIX, I finally managed to get the boy to golf practice, pack his bag for three days away from home, take him through the long registration line at the high school with all the juniors (because now he’s going to miss the freshman’s turn to register later this week, while he’s off smacking golf balls), feed the boy the most unhealthy cheeseburger off a cheap dollar menu on the planet, and get him back to the high school to board a bus.

I felt like I needed some kind of blue ribbon pinned to my shirt for all that I managed to get done today, but then I remembered that I’m a mother, and we don’t actually get blue ribbons for anything we accomplish at home.

Which is probably why our fish tank looks like Shrek’s swamp at the moment.  I can clean it, but no one will cheer for me… or even notice… and so it sits, looking like something out of PONDS GONE WILD.

Anyway.

When I got home and finally breathed in and out slowly and realized that I’m an adult, and I really DO NOT have to fold the three laundry baskets of clean clothes that I washed today, all in the name of GETTING THE BEST GOLF KHAKIS CLEAN FOR THE TOURNEY that are currently sitting on my dining room table, my day kind of calmed down.

And that’s when I pulled up this little article written by Jen Hatmaker (CLICK RIGHT HERE!) on heading back to school, and listen… It’s a gem!  And in lieu of me actually writing anything worthwhile tonight, I’m just going to let you read Jen’s words, while I skip off to a very grown-up dinner with Hubs and two other fun, FUN couples.

I feel like I earned a fun dinner out tonight with friends, because HOW DO YOU CLEAN UP PEE ON THE HARDWOOD FLOOR THAT’S SPREADING FASTER THAN GOSSIP WHEN YOU’RE OUT OF PAPER TOWELS?!?!

Happy Wednesday, y’all.  Happy, happy Wednesday.

This Child

We have gone from a high temperature of 102 degrees to one of 68 degrees, in the course of two days.  That only happens in Small Town, USA, because we can never get our act together and decide if we want the flip-flops and SPF 150, or if we want the collegiate sweatshirt and pumpkin spice latte.  Frankly, I enjoy a solid sixty-eight degrees, so I’m leaning more in that direction, but my  mother-in-law basically used profanity this morning when she texted me and said, “It’s so cold outside, it feels like winter.”

I don’t think we need to be slinging the word WINTER around right now.  I told her that she should probably wash her mouth out for using such an awful word, when it was only August 18th, and she replied, “I’ll use hot cocoa.”

Seeing as how there was a bit of a premature nip in the air first thing this morning, I pulled out a pair of sweatpants for Thing 2 when he got out of the shower today.

(Yes.  Our three-year-old showers in the morning, because when he takes a bath, we need flood insurance, beach towels, yoga retreats with deep breathing and Valium.)

It’s no secret that sweatpants are Thing 2’s favorite thing to wear, period.  I think his built-just-like-the-Hulk figure enjoys a good elastic waistband.  When he saw that his outfit included sweatpants for the first time all summer, he shouted, “Oh, man!  Sweatpants!  I love sweatpants!  I love today!”

IMG_6119 IMG_6121After he was dressed, I made him a breakfast of organic, sugar-free, gluten-free oatmeal, complete with dried apples and a fresh banana, because occasionally I can nail this LET’S EAT HEALTHY gig.  While I was sitting with him as he ate, Thing 2 informed me that he had a booger in his nose, and would I please get it out for him.

Yes, Son.  I live to be at your continual service for dislodging enormous boogers with my bare hands.

And that is exactly what I did.  I reached over to his face, grabbed the dried little bit of offensive boogerness, and whipped it right out of his nose, because listen… This isn’t my first mothering rodeo.  I can pull a booger loose without gloves, and I can catch vomit with my hands cupped together, too.

See that spot on my forehead?  That’s where you can stick the gold star.

As soon as he could breathe again, Thing 2 wildly flapped his arms like a bird winding up for a massive takeoff and hollered, “Don’t wipe that booger on my good sweatpants!!!”

What kind of mother does he think he has?!  How many times has this toddler ever witnessed me wiping a booger on a pair of pants?  The answer would be NEVER TIMES.  How many times have I sighed and wanted to pound my own skull against the wall, when I’ve discovered dried boogers in places other than Kleenex around our house?!  The answer would be ALL THE STINKING TIME.

IMG_6123 IMG_6127 IMG_6131 IMG_6134I showed Thing 2 this morning that the proper way to dispose of a booger on our finger is to actually get up from what we’re doing and yank out a few inches of toilet paper, even though Thing 2 thinks seventeen feet of toilet paper is the appropriate amount for any job.  Then I clearly demonstrated that WE PUT THE BOOGER IN THE TOILET PAPER, AND THEN WE PUT THE TOILET PAPER IN THE GARBAGE, AND THEN WE WASH OUR HANDS, AND WE USE THE SOAP IN ABUNDANCE.

IMG_6137 IMG_6139Afterward, when we were back to the organic, sugar-free, gluten-free, loaded-with-dried-apples-and-fresh-banana-slices oatmeal, Thing 2 looked at me and said, “When you have a booger on your finger, wipe it off with toilet paper, Mom.”

I clapped.  “Yes!  We wipe it off with toilet paper.”

Clearly, my lesson on Booger Disposal sunk in.

“You should always use toilet paper, Mom, because I get so tired of you wiping boogers on my good sweatpants.”

And that, y’all, is why I contemplated whether or not 7:30 in the morning was too early for a nice glass of wine.

That Day When The Thermometer Melted From All The Heat

It was 98 degrees here yesterday.

That was when the temperature was cool, because I can’t even talk about how high that number is today without weeping. I’ll just give you a little visual.

image1Just know that I wanted to serve shaved ice for dinner tonight, because I am completely over the heat, but the members of the male tribe about voted me off the island for that one.  Apparently, they all had their hearts set on homemade tacos, because LET MAMA STAND OVER THE GAS STOVE FOR A BIT AND BROWN UP THAT HAMBURGER REAL NICE LIKE.

Obviously, ALL THE HOT doesn’t bother you when you’re fourteen or fifteen and full of energy and muscle.  The boy and Enzo called Kellen yesterday, and they gathered their equipment.  And then… well… I dropped them off at the golf course, with them fully aware that the TEMPERATURE, PEOPLE, WAS NINETY-EIGHT DEGREES ABOVE THE ZERO MARK… so that they could hit a few buckets of golf balls and play a game of tennis together, before they finally gave in and went swimming in the pool out there.

IMG_4620I jumped out of the Suburban to snap a picture of them, and I nearly melted, which is exactly why Thing 2 and I went back home to our lovely air conditioning.

Today, my friend Jodi and I hauled our bands of children to a nearby park with a creek, so that we could keep the core temperatures down a bit.  The grownups simply sat at a picnic table and wiped our brows and exclaimed, “I’m kind of looking forward to December and frozen ponds right about now.”  Although we were fully prepared for ALL THAT MISERABLE HEAT, with plenty o’ sunscreen and water bottles and commands of GET IN THE CREEK ALREADY, Y’ALL, we weren’t prepared for the swarm of wasps that decided to haul off our sandwiches.

I’m pretty sure that we were at an intense DEFCON level with the bees.

The Bible says that we were made for such a time as this…

… and I am forever grateful that my time includes the A/C and a house with doors that can keep the flying creatures and all the nature outside.

Y’all have a lovely weekend.

The Continuation Of Birthday Week

I am out of eggs.

Again.

I’m not pointing any fingers, but somebody cooked eggs and toast and popcorn in my kitchen at 2:30 this morning, and it wasn’t me.  Or Hubs.  Or even Thing 2, because we encourage him to not turn the gas cooktop on by himself, as I suffer from visions of him lighting the entire house on fire if he does and leaving our family to live in a cardboard box under a bridge.

Now, I’m no detective, but I could probably sit behind a desk, with my feet up and a donut in one hand, while I make educated guesses on who did all the middle-of-the-night chef work over here.  Apparently, when Hubs and I picked the boy and Enzo up from the golf course at 8:30 last night, after they’d played nine holes and eaten bacon-cheeseburgers at the clubhouse and announced that THEY WERE SO STUFFED, THEY COULD BARELY MOVE; SO STUFFED, IN FACT, THAT THEY WOULD NEVER EAT AGAIN, I was wrong about thinking that their appetites were killed until morning.

And?  You mothers of ONLY GIRLS?  You have no idea on the amount of food it takes to grow boys into men.  I’ll admit, I grew up with just a sister, and I was unprepared for this little tidbit either.  I came into the boy’s teen years, totally unaware that an entire box of cereal would become an afternoon snack.

This past Sunday, Grammy did her very best to fill those boys up, too.  As is our custom, we celebrated Birthday Week over here again, because a week of festivities is always better than a single day.  Grammy cooked the boy a birthday dinner of all his favorite foods:  crab legs, grilled steak, watermelon, homemade bread, brownies and Dr. Pepper.  Other than cold cereal, cheese pizza AND EGGS, I’m pretty sure she covered every food group that the boy is passionate about.

She even set out a table for two in the yard, where all of the major crab-leg-cracking took place.

IMG_6076 IMG_6078 IMG_6079The Birthday Brownies were quite tasty, too, because Grammy doesn’t believe in boxed mixes.  She makes everything from scratch, with real flour and eggs (because no one has eaten all of hers) and sugar and love.

IMG_6080 IMG_6082 IMG_6091 IMG_6092There were more presents on Sunday evening as well, because BIRTHDAY WEEK, Y’ALL, which is also known as THE WEEK THAT KEEPS ON GIVING.

IMG_6083 IMG_6095And then the big boys found the leftover stash of firecrackers from the 4th of July, which they wasted no time in lighting off.

I believe PYROMANIACS is the word you’re looking for, when you’re talking about teenage boys.  They have enormous appetites, and they want to light everything on fire and watch it burn.  That about sums them up.

IMG_6101 IMG_6103 IMG_6104Thing 2’s birthday gift to himself was TRACTOR RIDES, as he pretty much recruited every able-bodied person over the age of ten to drive him around and around Papa’s lawn on the riding mower.

IMG_6098 IMG_6112 IMG_6106And then he did some watering, because he may not love crab legs and steak, but he does love lawn mower rides and the hose.

IMG_6116 IMG_6117And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go to the grocery store.

It appears that we have no eggs for breakfast.

The Reunion And A Birthday

I got the dreaded email from our school principal today.  It let us know when teachers should come back into the building… when the mandatory SAFETY FIRST meeting would be, so that we can all be refreshed on not touching the blood pouring out of Johnny’s nose when the basketball hits him in the face… and when we would have this training and that training, and GOOD GRIEF ALREADY!

It’s 96 degrees outside, and I’m in the throes of potty training a three-year-old.  I’m not ready to think about going back to teaching PE quite yet.

In the middle of August, I always wish that summer vacation lasted through the month of September, too.  That probably has everything to do with the small fact that August is always our hottest month, and the school building where I teach was built in 1905.

Do you know what hadn’t been invented in 1905?

That would be air conditioning.

Welcome to my gym, where we’re going to sweat to death just introducing ourselves, long before we ever get that dodgeball game started.

However, long about the middle of August, I do get somewhat excited to send the boy back to school, because QUIT COOKING A DOZEN EGGS FOR A SNACK EVERY AFTERNOON ABOUT 3:00!!!  We don’t have chickens in the backyard who lay those things for us every morning, so replenishing our stock actually involves me going to the grocery store, which my sanity can only handle a couple of times each week.

And why are you and Quinn making pancakes in my kitchen at 2:30 PM?  What?  It’s because you’re hungry, and you and Enzo ate ALL OF THE EGGS AGAIN at noon today?

Sending boys back to school insures that they’re very busy sitting in Geometry and Biology and running laps around a gym, so NOBODY DIRTIES UP MAMA’S KITCHEN UNTIL SHE DOES IT HERSELF WITH ALL THE MANDATORY DINNER MAKING.

Where were we?

We have so enjoyed having Enzo around our house again, even if he is the accomplice to emptying a carton of eggs every day.  Our family has missed that kid, and everyone — Thing 2, included — was happy to pick him up from the airport last Thursday.

image1I won’t lie…

… I kind of felt like our third son was finally home, after a year-long absence.  Oh, my word!  I have missed that kid since he moved!

image2After we collected Enzo from the airport in Bigger Town, we took the boys to the biggest sporting goods store this side of the Mississippi River.  There’s an indoor Ferris wheel, and the big boys decided that the one dollar tickets were totally worth a ride.

image3The boy didn’t waste any time at all finding the golf section of the enormous store.  All three of them enjoyed the little putting green, but no one sent Thing 2 the memo that said PUTTING ONLY, so he shot for distance.

Some of the displays may never be the same, after our toddler’s golf drive.

image10The boys also posed at “the ocean dock” in the big store.

image20After the boy had done his fair share of grumbling and whining and complaining about having to try a few shirts on for school, we paid for our loot and took the trio to an indoor water park.

IMG_5843 IMG_5845 IMG_5854 IMG_5855 IMG_5861 IMG_5929The boy and Enzo were so excited to be back together, they didn’t even swim.  They spent their entire time at the pools bobbing around, talking like crazy, and catching up.

IMG_5912And then!

Well, we woke up on Saturday morning, and it was the boy’s birthday, because HELLO, FIFTEEN!

Fifteen sounds so old when I hear it spoken out loud.  I know it’s a cliche, but I cannot believe that our boy is already that old, and I honestly have no idea where the time has gone, because just last week it was HIM I was fighting with to PLEASE PEE ON THE POTTY!  I’LL BUY YOU ANYTHING YOU WANT, IF YOU JUST QUIT USING YOUR PANTS AS A BATHROOM!

And that thought gives me hope that Thing 2 really will catch onto the hang of this, because I.  Just.  Can’t.  I feel like I’m a potty-trainer failure, because the one common denominator in the two worst cases of potty training is ME.

Anyway.

There were birthday presents on Saturday morning…

IMG_5972 IMG_5980 IMG_5984 IMG_5990 IMG_6003… and then Thing 2 used the gift bags to wrap up his own toys from his toybox, as he would shout out, “Happy birthday!  I bought you a tractor!  Open the bag!”

IMG_6001On Saturday night, Mam and Pa, and Sister and her family, and some of the boy’s good buddies all came over to our house for pulled pork sandwiches, because Hubs had gotten up at 2 AM to put a pig in the smoker.

Yes.

2:00 in the morning.

Hubs takes his pig-smoking very seriously, so it’s no surprise that they were the best pulled pork sandwiches that anyone has ever tasted.

The boy, Enzo, Eli and Kellen devoured the sandwiches, but that was probably because no one had made any eggs for a couple of hours to take the edge off of teenage-boy appetites.

IMG_6014We had birthday DONUTS, instead of a cake, because my boys think donuts are far superior to cakes.

Thing 2 claimed the one adorned with gummy worms, because when you’re three, you don’t really care about the small fact that sour gummy worms and maple donuts just don’t go together.

IMG_6017 IMG_6021 IMG_6006 IMG_6008 IMG_6028 IMG_6030Later on Saturday night, the big boys all ransacked the boy’s closet for jeans and sweatshirts, so that they could survive being hit by air soft pellets.

And then they staged an all-out war against each other, because shooting their friends is a boy’s love language.

(And?  Seriously?  I love this group of boys so, SO much!!  They’re incredible young men.)

IMG_6031 IMG_6036 IMG_6038 IMG_6039 IMG_6043 IMG_6046 IMG_6047 IMG_6042 IMG_6050 IMG_6061 IMG_6066And then, with only a few minor bruises, one cut knee, one bee sting and a few grass stains to the jeans, I brought those four big boys back to our house, where they all threw sleeping bags down on my family room floor and never actually used them for sleeping.

Apparently nothing says HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FRIEND like staying up all night long.

(In my book, nothing says HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FRIEND like someone giving you a slice of cheesecake and then letting you crawl into bed with a good book at 8 PM.)

(That’s what old age will do to you.)

The boy’s birthday was a smashing success, and now Hubs and I own a fifteen-year-old, who is two weeks away from starting his freshman year in high school.

My brain can’t even process that.

#Boymom

I saw a little sign the other day that read, “I’m not saying that it’s hot here, but two hobbits just threw a ring into my backyard.”

Deep down in my soul, I knew that this sign was supposed to be funny… but I didn’t get it.  That probably has everything to do with the small fact that I just can’t do the hobbits.  I can’t watch the hobbits… I can’t read about the hobbits… I can’t have lengthy discussions about the hobbits… or my brain will just cease to function, as it starts to shake like your great-grandmother’s lemon-mold, Jell-O salad, because SNORE.  So, I asked the boy and Hubs, who are something of hobbit experts (Which, rest assured, I’m embarrassed to admit in such a public forum, because HOBBITS, Y’ALL!  Nerdy!  And these guys are MY BELOVED PEOPLE.), why the little saying should be funny.

The short version of what they explained to me is that… apparently… hobbits throw rings into big fire pits after long journeys.

Who knew?

So listen, y’all.  I’m not saying that it was hot here today, but two hobbits just threw a ring into my backyard.

(*cue canned laughter*)

Today was the kind of hot that made your legs stick to the leather seat in your Suburban, while you wished that you didn’t have to drive anywhere, seeing as how you were now the proud owner of third-degree burns on the backs of your thighs.

The boy and Enzo opted to get a gang of friends together for lunch at an upscale, classy kind of place that has linen napkins on the tables and stemmed glasses for water, and… air conditioning!

Our little friend, Staci, sent me a group selfie from the restaurant, to let me know that my two big boys were behaving themselves there.  The rest of the group didn’t make it into the picture, but there was a small pack of them.  I can only hope that the boys used something more glamorous than their Taco Bell Manners at this restaurant.

20150811_123426(0)(Also?  Can I just say it?  Staci can rock a messy bun like nobody’s business.  I have begged her to teach me her ways, but I fear that once you cross the threshold of forty, you’re doomed to a life of old lady buns that aren’t incredibly cute, as evidenced by my utter inability to replicate anything I see demonstrated on You Tube.)

After lunch, that little posse of friends all walked through ALL THE OUTDOOR, SUFFOCATING HEAT to the theater for a matinee, because EVEN MORE A/C and ICE IN THE DRINKS, and did I mention A/C already?

1439330846255(I have no words to explain Enzo back there.  We just know that Jesus loves him even more than we do!)

Thing 2 and I came home, where we ran from the Suburban to our front door, so that we didn’t make the nightly news by spontaneously combusting into great balls of fire before we got inside to our own A/C.  We decided that we couldn’t possibly go back outside for a park adventure, so I let our toddler watch You Tube videos this afternoon on the tablet as a substitute for playing in the great outdoors.

He was fascinated with a video involving a tractor with some kind of blade on the front of it, where the driver whipped through a pumpkin patch and pretty much chopped pumpkins to puree.

Thing 2 howled with laughter, while he jumped up and down in excitement, and then he watched the video 3,917 more times.  At one point, he spun around and told  me, “Me and Daddy are gonna get a tractor with a cutter on it, and we’re gonna cut us up some pumpkins!”  And then he kind of did a little fist-pump in the air.

I asked, “Why do you want to cut pumpkins?”

Our three-year-old stared at me, like he didn’t even know me.  He gave me the look that silently questioned, “How are you possibly my people, if you must ask this?”  Slowly, he stuttered out, “Um… because… they’re pumpkins… and… because… it’s SO MUCH FUN TO CHOP PUMPKINS UP WITH TRACTORS!!”

I don’t understand hobbits…

… or how to make a really good messy bun in my hair…

… and I don’t understand boys.

Y’all have a merry Tuesday evening.