Archive for September, 2009

baby no more…

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

It’s official.  I don’t have a baby any more.

Laura turns 3 today and has now exited babyhood.  She is not a toddler either – she stopped “toddling” almost 2 years ago.  I guess she falls in the generic category of “child”.  I must say though, that the word “child” doesn’t seem complicated enough to encompass Laura’s current state of being.

She is at a point where she is mastering the potty.  She knows where her pajamas are kept.  She recognizes her favorite songs within the first few notes.  She can tell you what is wrong, what she wants and that she loves you.  When she says I love you, she says it so sincerely that it will melt you in an instant.  She is developing quite a sense of humor.  Her favorite saying of late is “buckle up Buttercup” from a cruise advertisement.  She says it all the time just to get a laugh.  She also knows what the rules are and when she is breaking them.  Just a few days ago, she swiped my cell phone from the counter and ran off to hide in her room.  By the time my father called to tell me about his conversation with her, she had not only called him but also my brother and father-in-law.  Twice.  I walked into her room to retrieve my phone and she said “Go away, Mommy, I’m talking!”  Did I mention sassy?

We are blessed with 3 very intelligent, goofy, kind, silly, beautiful girls and we are thankful for them every day.  That being said, most days are like roller coasters.  Guess we’d better buckle up!

does that make me a gamer?

Monday, September 21st, 2009

I’ve always thought that “gamers” were people who played Dungeons and Dragons or belonged to role-playing clubs.  Now I’m not so sure.

I’ve always loved games.  I played card games with my parents from an early age.  Puzzles and board games too.  As I’ve gotten older, I have started enjoying crosswords, logic puzzles, sudoku, etc.  Almost every evening after the girls are in bed, I collapse on the sofa with the dog and my laptop and start my daily fix of “puzzling”.  That would usually include a couple of online crosswords and sudoku.  Perfectly harmless, right?

When Abigail started kindergarten a few years ago, she began learning about computers in school.  We decided that she deserved to have supervised computer time at home as well.  We let her have 30 minutes each day once any homework was finished and we found a number of good sites for her to choose from.  Now that Hattie has begun school, she has 30 minutes each day as well.

The girls tend to play dress-up, make-up and cooking games.  Abigail is starting to enjoy less juvenile games like the original Mario, etc.  A couple of weeks ago, she discovered a game called Woobies.  The point is to “rescue” some furry little creatures before they are crushed.  It sounds barbaric but it couldn’t be more innocent.  Unfortunately, she showed it to me and I tried it.

I am shamelessly hooked.  I can’t wait to get done with whatever I’m doing so I can have a few moments to play another level on my laptop.  Plus I can’t seem to win so that adds fuel to the fire. In my defense, all of my books, sewing and scrap booking supplies are in boxes in the mini warehouse for a few more months.  All of my hobbies are packed away leaving me only the laptop to occupy idle time.

Then a few days ago, a friend recommended the game “Typing Maniac” on Facebook. I’ve never been a highly competitve person but this has opened the flood gates.

I guess I’ve answered my own question.  I have become a gamer.  Is that bad?  😉

no shoulders? no thank you!

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Snakes and I do not get along.  I’m not ashamed to say it.  Poisonous or not, it doesn’t matter.  I don’t like them at all.

For the most part, I am an animal lover.  Dogs.  Cats.  Cows.  Anything that would live in a barn.  Birds.  Rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks.  Lizards.  Frogs and turtles.  Everything but snakes.  I do love the snake in the Jungle Book but somehow I don’t think that counts.

I’ve had a few good experiences with snakes but that still hasn’t changed my mind.

When I was in junior high, I volunteered at a now-defunct children’s museum.  It was hands on and we had a lot of animals.  I went through the extra training so I could get the animals out for visitors to touch.  We had an opossum named Sassafras, a hedgehog, a tarantula and an iguana.  We also had Sneakers, the snake.  I got that snake out all the time.  I don’t know how but I held that snake at least twice a week without breaking a sweat.  Then again, Sneakers had never bitten anyone that we knew of.  Maybe that was enough to calm my fears.

The next close encounter was just a few summers ago.  I was pregnant with my 3rd child and I had planted a huge bed of impatiens and hosta in our back yard.  Every morning around 7, I would go out to water the flowers and have a few moments of quiet before everyone else got up.  Of course we had a snake that took up residence in that flower bed.  I can’t say that I blamed it.  It was cool and damp and stayed shady most of the day.  Ideal snake grounds.  The girls named it Sally (they named every living thing in our yard Sally that summer).  Sally and I had an agreement.  She knew that every morning I was going to water the flowers.  If she didn’t want to get wet, she needed to move.  I agreed not to shriek in terror or beat her with the hose as long as I knew where she was.  Over the course of the summer, Sally tripled in length and girth and seemed to be content.  I was almost happy with the snake.  Maybe those pregnancy hormones were kicking in.  I felt good that I had provided a happy home for another living thing.

Despite these good experiences, I still freaked out a little yesterday at the sight of a 4 – 5 foot black snake near the sidewalk.  It made my skin crawl.  Yuck.  I don’t have anything against snakes.  I know they will leave me alone.  But that doesn’t mean I have to like them….

Robert doesn’t help either.  I walked in the door from the bus stop this morning (after giving myself a headache watching for that stupid black snake all the way home) and Robert announces from our screened porch that he just saw a water moccasin swimming in the lake behind our apartment in the same spot where we feed the ducks.

Oh, hiss….

our local black racer

Martin Handford is a genius.

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Don’t recognize the name?  Martin Handford is the creator of the ever-popular Where’s Waldo? series.  These books are fabulous.  If you don’t know about Where’s Waldo?, it is a series of books about a world traveler.  In each two page scene, the reader must find Waldo and a bevy of other items.  In one book you are looking for Waldo, his entourage of friends and his dog.  In another, you are looking for a tiny book Waldo has dropped.  In another, you must find all of Waldo’s equipment that he has lost.  Each scene is meticulously drawn and has thousands of minute details.

The beauty of these books is in the target demographics.  They are great for everyone.  Laura (2) loves to find all the mermaids in the underwater scenes.  Hattie (5) looks for Waldo and moves on.  Abigail (8) wants to find everything on the list of things you are supposed to find.  Robert and I find enjoyment in all of the crazy things Handford has included in the drawing.

It seems that it is getting more and more difficult to find activities that everyone enjoys.  Especially on a rainy day when we can’t go outside.  The chances of all 5 of us wanting to watch the same movie or play the same game together aren’t great.  With 2 of our children unable to read fluently, our options are limited even further.  Where’s Waldo? bridges the gap.  There is no reading required but you still have to use your brain.

I have loved these books since they came out in the early 1990s.  There is also a series of I Spy books that are similar but they lack the story that goes along with Waldo and his travels.  Every time you look at a Waldo book, you will find things you’ve never seen before even if this is the 100th trip through the book.  This is one of the few things that will stay on our shelves as other toys and books come and go.  A rare find indeed!

found it!

gotta love the weekend…

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

Weekends around our house are extremely low key.  Everyone sleeps in and stays in their pajamas as long as possible.  Keep in mind that “sleeping in” only lasts until about 7:30.  Long gone are the days of rolling over and going back to sleep until 10!

On school days, there is the hurry of getting Abigail and Hattie up, dressed, fed, combed, brushed, backpack-ed and to the bus stop well before 7am.  Breakfast usually consists of cereal, scrambled eggs or oatmeal.  On the weekends, our chef alter egos are allowed to come out and fix bigger breakfasts.  Sometimes we have egg sandwiches or the full on grits/eggs/bacon/toast menu.  Robert’s specialty is french toast – a house favorite.  My specialties have become pancakes and waffles.  Thanks to one of my favorite cook books, The Best Recipe, I have mastered these two breakfast treats.

When I was younger and needed more sleep (unfortunately after having 3 babies, you learn to survive with less sleep than you should be getting), I dreaded making breakfast.  I would get up hungry and cranky and not wanting to cook anything.  Now, I really enjoy the weekend breakfast.  The girls get up and play for a little while because they know that we don’t have to go anywhere and that eventually, mom and dad will get up and feed them something yummy.  It’s nice to get up, get some coffee going and just go with the flow.

This morning, I gave the girls a choice and they opted for pancakes.  Not to toot my own horn but they were delicious.  I could tell that the girls were happy by the lack of noise coming from the table!  Nothing like satisfied tummies to make a mom feel good!

wish list

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

There are a lot of things I wish I could do well.  One of them is to play tennis.  Every year, I watch the grand slam events almost obsessively.  This obsession started in high school.  Two of my best friends are great tennis players and I loved to watch them play.

Currently, I am watching the US Open.  I just watched Melanie Oudin lose to Caroline Wozniacki.  The talent of these teenagers is nothing short of awesome.  They are unbelievably good and between the two of them, they have taken out many of the top seeded players in the first week of the tournament.

The only other sport I watch this intently is college football.  Alabama football to be exact.  But I have absolutely no desire to play football.  Tennis, on the other hand, looks fun.  I think I might be able to play doubles if I were a little more flexible.  And coordinated.  And quick on my feet.  And in shape.  And owned a racket….

For now, I am happy to live vicariously through my television as I watch athletes half my age duke it out on center court.  What’s my excuse?  I have 3 little girls age 8 and under.  That’s got to be harder than tennis!

3:42 AM

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

It was 3:42 this morning.  Laura had pulled her “reverse Houdini” routine.  That is, she had crept into our room, climbed into the bed, snuggled down under the covers and fallen asleep.  I slept right through that part as usual.

At exactly 3:42 she sat up and screamed “in the living room!” at the top of her lungs.  It came out “in da yivin woom” but I understood exactly what she said.  Pardon me, screamed.  Right…in…my…ear.  Apparently she was arguing with someone in her dream and needed to get her point across.  As soon as she closed her mouth, she collapsed back into the pillow and returned to her dream.  I’m not exactly sure why but I started laughing.  I guess it was a natural reaction to release pent up anxiety from being scared out of my skin.  My guffawing woke Laura from her vivid dream.  She was NOT happy.  So that left Robert in shock from being jerked out of a deep sleep, me laughing uncontrollably and Laura fussing at me saying “it’s NOT funny, Mama!”

Of course, my mind then wandered back about 11 hours to yesterday afternoon.  I was inside finishing my book and Robert had taken the girls down to the lake.  As soon as I was done reading, I went outside to join them.  Laura came running up to tell me about a frog she had held.  Her favorite part?  “Mama, he pee on me!”  That got a huge laugh from me so Laura spent the rest of the afternoon yelling “he pee on me!  dat fwog pee on me!” and making me laugh.

There I was.  3:42AM  Laughing my ass off at the peeing frog who is supposed to be in the “yivin woom!”  No wonder I am exhausted….