Monday, August 24, 2009

7, 6, 4 and 1

You might remember from previous posts (2007/2008) how much I don't love this day. I know it is exciting. I know that it is fun. But I really enjoy having the kids at home. And it is not just me, SBW is missing them too!!!

#1 is headed to 7th grade today! Can you even believe it???? We were all (J, K and S) up most of the night worrying and fretting about it all. I know he is going to do fine. I don't know if I am gonna be fine though. I AM embracing every age and stage of life - but it is also so sad to think that we only have FIVE more first days of school with him. He is growing way way way too fast.

And you know I couldn't let him start 7th grade without getting the pair of shoes that he wanted. So we went off the beaten path and let him get some perfectly 80's tennis shoes!

#2 was very excited about this first day of 6th grade. She tried on lots and lots of clothes before she got her perfect look! I had to smile when I looked at her this morning because it totally felt like some sort of flashback. :)

#3 was feeling jazzy with her striped shirt, dangley earrings and knee-high socks. I love that she feels good about herself. I have a feeling that 4th grade is going to be a good year for her!

#4 was very very excited about the first day of 1st grade, his first time to have a man teacher and his new tennis shoes that don't have shoe laces. He was up and floating in the bathtub at the crack of dawn with no problems!

Walking to school was sure nice this morning, but boy-o-boy, those hills can really mess with ya!

I wonder if #4's teacher will let him keep his most special hat on his desk all day long?

As normal, one of the kids ended up not having everything they needed to start the day just right. Go figure that our biggiest worrier ended up at school with nothing to write with. How in the world did we forget to pack her pencils??? So then when I went in to kiss her and give her love on her first day she was in a full on panic. Ugh. At least she is still smiling though and that her neighbor let her borrow a pencil!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The One

The one year old SBW had his one year old partay this weekend. We went to a neighborhood park and pool to splash around with family and friends.

I just can't believe that our sweet baby is already one. The folks that we invited to this party are friends and family that helped us make it through the first year. These friends fall into the categories of baby holders when I needed an extra set of arms, best buddies when our kids needed a break from the fam or beer buyers when mom needed a night out. I am SO thankful for all of our friends.

I love this picture of our kids so much. My heart has been captured on film while sitting at a party and saying cheese.

P.S. And thanks to our sweet AJ for not just being one of my BFFs but for also taking these incredible shots at the partay. She also took 204 more pictures, but I can't figure out how to get them off of Shutterfly to post on the blog.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Words for the nite...

I had plans for a big ol' blog post tonight. But I ended up trying my hardest to make a new banner for the blog. BLECK. Still not how I want it and I am too tired to go on. So I leave you with a few of my thoughts for today...

There are three sides to every story. Yours. Mine. And the TRUTH.

My very favorite area code is 785.

I don't like folding clothes or unloading the dishwasher.

My JC makes me laugh everyday. Even when we are fighting.

It is a bad idea to have a little buzz and decide to cut your bangs.

I love our Tempurpedic mattress. I am convinced that the only way we'll get SBW out of our bed is to buy him his own. Cause he is smart that way.

And I am looking forward to Sunday and a day of rest and quiet with my family before school starts.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The 50's

We have had over 50 days of triple digit heat. That is a record. I would take being in the gazillions for triple digits if it meant that our summer wasn't almost over.

I like these kids cause they always seem to find the funny side of things.

I've been watching them grow and change.

Each of them turning more and more into the adult that they will become.

I have been admiring the trust.

I am thankful that they have each other.

I am thankful for our community.

And most of all, I am thankful for funny homeless people.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009



Hard to believe that this guy has been around for 369 days.

It seems like he has always been with us.

We needed him in our lives. In his one short year, he has taught all of us more than you can imagine.

The nine months that he lived in my belly were some of the hardest of our 18 year marriage. Not because of him, but because of silly grown-up stuff. I cried a lot. And then I cried some more.

How perfect it is that this gift of a boy came out and hasn't stopped smiling.

He sleeps with us every single night. And I love it.

He nursed exclusively for 8 months and is still dining at the mommy cafe. And I love it.

We hold each other all day long. 14 arms holding on tight. My arms will never be too old, too weak or too tired for this.

I love to watch the fab four love him.

He is OUR baby.

We all love him so much.

Our Sweet Baby Wyatt.

What a miracle.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The chicken or the egg?

Up again before the rest of the world. Oh, except I guess the rest of the world was probably up and it is just my people that have taken to sleeping past 10am every single morning. Took #1 to his middle school camp at 8am this morning. I did not comb his hair, but JC did strategically turn on the water sprinkler so that #1 would get wet when getting into the car!

JC has had jury duty this week. It has been hard for him and even harder for me. Seems that someone was accused of doing bad things with a kid. A kid that was the same sex and same age as one of our kids. It hurts me. It makes me sad. I could not have sat in that courtroom and listened to it. I would not have been able to sit in that room and listened to a child talk about their innocence being taken away. Hard stuff. Hard hard stuff. The first night he came home and had a terrible headache. That was the day that the kid talked. He didn't talk to us very much that night. Ugh...

I don't know details or any information about the case. We talked last night and decided that once it is all over - we will sit down with our kids and tell them about it. We will tell them to protect themselves and their bodies. We will remind them that even people we think of as friends can sometimes do very bad things. We will hold them and remind them that we are doing every.single.thing. possible to protect them. The whole thing makes my stomach hurt. Talk about timing, huh?

I scrambled 8 eggs this morning. So that brings our grocery count up to 2 dozen eggs for the week - since Sunday. Boy these kids can fly through some food! The funny thing about the eggs is that I can cook a ton of them and I do not eat a single one. For some reason, I just can't do eggs anymore. They REALLY gross me out. bleck.

I am not sure what we are going to do for these final days of summer. I think I might lock the doors and keep them all inside with me.

Cause that sounds perfectly rational.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Dangerous Road

I am sitting here this morning trying so hard to think of something witty to write on my polka-dotted mommy blog. I hafta call it that because last week I heard someone on the news talking about moms with their polka-dotted mommy blogs that spend hours and hours bragging about their kids. I mean seriously, what gives us the right to inflict all of our scraped knees and first kiss stories on you anyhow???


Today the house is really quite. Three kids are still sleeping. Seems to run in the family - sleeping late is so good. SBW is sitting in his chair eating more blueberries than should be allowed. And my #1, well he is at middle school camp. Yep, that's right. 7th grader camp.

I was pretty teary this morning. I asked him to be patient with me over the next few weeks and to just humor me if I want to comb his hair or tie his shoes. I thanked him for letting me comb his hair before we left.

They let us walk them to the door and say good bye. So we did. And then JC and SBW got to deal with me. My poor sweet JC is surely gonna have his hands full when the last one of our kids grows up.

I've got an appointment this morning to see the doctor. Seems that I am imploding. Shingles. Rashes. You name it, I think I've got it. She said when I saw her last Friday that the only real cure is to not be so stressed out.

ha ha. What a comodian.

I am guessing there is something to be said for dealing with your past. Seems like I've worked so hard to keep the closet door shut. And now there are a few skeleton toes trying to peek through the cracks and I am trying and trying to push them back in.

It is funny how you can live 25 or more years without dealing with something, and then seeing someone or talking to someone from that time of life can bring it all back. One innocent question of your well being can send you into a full blown tail spin. A simple comment about wishing for one's peace can make things start tumbling out. I wonder how I am gonna feel about all of this reunion-ing once this trip down the dangerous memory lane is over?

Well, at least I've got perspective...most of the time. I know that we have so much to be thankful for. I know that we are the fortunate ones.

It all could have turned out so much worse.

I am so so thankful.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Barton Springs Full Moon

And here is one small example of the things that our kids will remember about their childhoods!

Barton Springs Pool on a warm August night.

Full moon in the sky. A ton of folks taking a dip and letting out a howl. There are hula hoopers, a drum circle, babies and grandparents. There are people swimming fully clothed and people wearing not much more than their birthday suit. There is a feeling of friendship and peace in the air. You just can't help but to smile.

When we were leaving, a couple that was sitting up on the hill asked us if they could sketch our SBW. Naturally, we said yes. We all stood and watched as this incredible artist turned a plain piece of manilla paper into a piece of art that I will cherish for my lifetime.

We all came home feeling a little bit better about the world. I am so thankful for these times with my family and our friends.

****************************** 2:30am, the good feeling was gone. I had a sat a the silly computer for almost 3 hours trying to figure out how to create and upload this video. I went to bed frustrated and irritated! And then this morning, it came to me. You Tube! Ah ha! Wa la! I never thought I'd ever say this, but thank God for You Tube.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Small Town Living

I've spent a lot of time in the last few weeks thinking about where I come from. I think that most of the people in our daily lives think I am telling some pretty tall tales when I talk about the simple way that I grew up.

We had a reunion this weekend for the kids that finished 8th grade in Manvel. A lot of folks thought it was strange that one might have a junior high reunion. We sure didn't. As a matter of fact, most of us felt like the junior high reunion was far more important that the high school reunion.

When my parents moved to our small Texas town in the 60s, the population was barely over 100. When we finished 8th grade, there were 125 of us and the population of our town was over 3,000. When I finished 8th grade, there were 33 of us kids that had been together since the early 70's and our first day of kindergarten. Our town was so small that there wasn't a high school. So when we finished 8th grade, we were bused into Alvin to attend the big high school. It was pretty darn scary, to say the least.

We talked a lot this weekend about how being from such a small town makes us bonded for life. Quite a few of my childhood friends still live in the area. A lot of our parents are still there. And even though our little town is now getting sucked in by Houston, I still get that same feeling of freedom when I drive down those county roads.

We laughed at the innocence of our childhood. I didn't know about brand name clothes until I went to high school. As a young child, a fair amount of my clothes were handmade and it wasn't uncommon for me to have a matching dress with my mom or with my across the street neighbor.

I never really had fast food or a frozen dinner until I was a young adult. And I can barely remember my parent's ever buying meat at the store. You see, we raised our meat. Our pet cows eventually ended up on our plates. I have vivid memories of my grandmother wringing the neck of a chicken and me and my brother sitting around a wash tub of hot water plucking the feathers. I spent hours and hours and hours working in the garden with my Nanny. My Nanny and Pop had the biggest garden you have ever seen and they could grow anything! Lots of years, my brother and I would cut the okra and sell it for my grandparents. One summer, my grandparents let us keep the money and we bought our very first VCR. (Mind you, I was already in high school at the time.) I can remember like it was yesterday my mom, my aunts and my Nanny sitting under the tree snapping peas. We would also sit with metal bowls between our legs and snap peas while we were watching TV.

And we fished and fished and fished. We'd put in on Chocolate Bayou and go out into the bay. In the water before the sun was up. We'd be eating Vienna Sausages and Potted Meat while we waited to catch our feast for that night. It wasn't unusual for my Pop to catch a ton of fish and share. He'd give some to the preacher. And the fish that he didn't like to eat, he'd give to the Mexican family that lived down the road.

I laughed with old friends today about our book mobile. When we were kids, we didn't have a library so the book mobile bus would come to our town twice a month. We'd all line up outside and wait our turn to go in. My kids will never ever believe that we checked out books from an old bus.

Manvel has always been a one stop light town - until recently, that is. When we were growing up there was no grocery store. We had to go to 'town' (Alvin) if we needed to get something. We didn't have a doctor or a dentist, those visits were also trips into town.

Looking back though, I think I now understand what makes that time and those memories so special. It was the innocence of it all. It was parents that cared about their kids and weren't afraid to spank them if they did something wrong. It was people that were in the church every time the doors were open, even if it meant you were gonna take a nap while you were there. There were no strangers in our town. We all took care of each other. If you got into a squabble with your friend on the playground, well - you just had to get over it because there weren't a whole lot of other kids to play with.

And I am not at all implying that everyone grew up in a perfect home either. But we were raised supporting and loving each other no matter what was happening behind the four walls when you got home.

Another way that we were fortunate is that we were close enough to the city and close enough to the ocean. Like many of my friends, my dad worked in Houston and made the drive daily. And also like many of my friends, we were very lucky because we got to go to the beach on a regular basis. I can still sometimes smell the ocean in the air on a hot summer night. There are times that I long to be by the ocean with my eyes closed remembering those times.

I am also very surprised at how many people I know from Manvel and Alvin have gotten married and stayed married. I've decided that at some point I'm going to write a book about it. I can probably name 35 couples in our age group that married someone from our hometowns and are still married. What is it that makes it work? There is something to it, I've just got to figure out what it is.

I think it is hard for folks to believe that something can be so special. I also think that growing up the way we did is mostly a thing of the past. I know though that the way my friends and I grew up is part of what makes America the strong country that it is now. And I hope that Jeff and I can pass some part of the gift of our small hometowns down to our kids.

Monday, August 3, 2009


I have been on a pretty big trip lately. Down memory lane, that is. Whew, it is crazy how memory lane can mess with your mind. The sights, the sounds, the friends. It is almost too much for one very emotional girl to handle!

I have been thinking the last couple of nights about childhood crushes. Seems like spending so much time with old friends really make people start talking about those types of things. It is funny how an old familiar face can bring back so many of those types of feelings.

I listened to a lot of my dear friends, both men and women, talk about their first crush. You see, I am from a very small town. A town where everyone knows each other and their mother.

I had a long conversation with one of my childhood friends about his first crush. Turns out that she is one of my best friends. We all knew he liked her. We all thought it was cute back in those school days. But for him, it was like it was yesterday. This girl was better than sliced bread in his book. He remembers calling her house. He remembers being in school with her. He even bought her a stuffed animal - which was a big deal back in the day of us all being poor country folk. He was talking to me about it like it was yesterday. He is happily married with a sweet toddler and a new baby on the way. But this was serious business for him back when we were kids.

I was never that girl that people had a crush on. I just kinda blended in with the grass on the playground. I can remember the friends wanting to 'go together'. I was the girlfriend that had to hand the cute boy the note for my buddy. I was the one that did the the leg work to make sure that these country boys knew that someone had their eye on him.

And then one summer in junior high, it happened. I had my first crush. How weird. I thought the sun and moon hung in the sky for this fella. If he had asked me to run away with him, I'd have done it. It was a brief fling. It was the stuff that summers are made of. He'd sneak to my parent's house. We'd make goo-goo eyes to each other across church pews. I'd fix my hair before going to a swimming party. There were hours and hours on the phone. There was a first kiss and very innocent private moments. It was the stuff that teenage girls dream about.

And then, we went to high school and life moved on. Maybe that was what made those moments so magical. It was my secret. I loved it.

After 25 years, I've become reunited with that crush again. I was so nervous to see him. Our families have met. I am so glad that he has a good life. I am so proud of the fact that he loves his wife and family and that he turned out okay. I am thankful that he was kind to me.

I've been thinking about our kids and wondering who that person will be for them. We are starting to get to that age around here. I hope it is a sweet time for them the way it was for all of us.

And I hope that they warn their first crush that their mom is a little nutty and will full on punch them in the belly if they even consider hurting one of my kids!