Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Just Another Busy Day

My Saturday was B-U-S-Y, unusually so!  I spent most of the day getting ready for Sunday's activities, which included a pastors' appreciation lunch at church and Owen's birthday party here in the evening.  My time was concentrated in the kitchen, but the house screamed to be cleaned, and the fall decorations impatiently sneezed their way out of a dusty box under the basement stairs. 

Here was my kitchen list, although a few tasks were meant for Sunday and a few I had to scrap:
The kitchen counter says it all, down to the half-eaten apple perched near the edge.
This is what happened when the bread timer sounded in spite of the mixing of pizza dough and cooling of cakes on the counter.  The cupcakes were resentful of sharing personal space, and rudely shoved this loaf onto the floor.

When Jason got to come home (early!) from digging peanuts, he suggested we go out for dinner.  This tired mama quickly agreed, even though the pizza dough and toppings had been prepared.  (They served me well on Tuesday evening.)

With Jason behind the vacuum, and me on bathroom maid duty, the cleaning got finished.  The house breathed a sigh of gladness and thanked me for the freshened decor.  And I thanked my husband and our waitress at Dixie Catfish for the fried dill pickles and catfish po-boy.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I love to make and give gifts!  I make what gifts I can, but sometimes I actually have the cash to buy something, and sometimes time does not permit me to get crafty. And sometimes the receiver may not appreciate a hand-made gift (enter big boys).  And truthfully, sometimes I'm afraid my hand-made gift will be sniffed at in a not-so-nice manner.  So a gift made by me versus a fancy store-bought something does not denote any type of favoritism either way, but the crafted things tend to be given to those whom I think might appreciate them.  That's my disclaimer and I'm sticking to it.

Here's to catching up on some children's gifts I've made in the past months. Most of them were given on time, not that I would know anything about belated gifts and/or cards.

A onesie for Connor:

A onesie for Layla Grace:

A pillowcase top for Braleigh (and one nearly identical, not pictured, for Ericka):

A pillowcase top for Kathlyn:

Wouldn't that be cute with jeans and cowboy boots? 

If only I could wear pillowcase tops and onesies, my closet would be set.  My ever-expanding, now 28-1/2-week-pregnant belly is becoming quite the wardrobe challenge.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Start the Bathwater

There are few things that grab me more than Jack-Jack and his dirt-lovin' heart.  He has a good habit of quietly playing on his own for long periods of time.  He also has a bad habit of silently wandering.  When we're not sure where he is, we have a standard first place to look:  beside the outside air conditioning unit where the mulch put down many years ago has finally disintegrated.

This fine substitute for a sand box isn't so nice for Mama after a rain, though.
One thing is certain--this little man earns his naps.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Because I promised

Because it's hard to talk about your very own failures, I dreaded putting up this post.

We did a few things right when it came to remembering Quinn on her special day. We took the kids to Bass Pro, where they shoved quarters into the shooting range rifles, and I bought my first ever cast-iron skillet, an essential item in every southern cook's kitchen. We let the kids pick Chik-fil-A over the Mellow Mushroom. Apparently it's hard for my children to choose the unknown when the familiar is an option, even when the chicken is too spicy and the other kids in the play area are too loud.

Then we sped home for butterfly cake.

The cake. Helen had been imagining a butterfly cake for Quinn for months in advance. I agreed, remembering a cute cut-up cake my mom made for me when I was five. Helen helped me bake it. Helen also dresses herself.I tinted the frosting orange, a color I had fallen in love with while I was pregnant with Quinn. It got a little garish. We decorated the butterfly with bits and pieces of found candy. It got a little tacky. I stuck on Fruit-by-the-Foot antennae. They got a little droopy.When we finally arrived home, past bedtime, for butterfly cake, the anticipation of the moment had long since peaked, but Jason and I were determined to make this celebration happen. We lit the one candle and wanted all three kids to blow it out.

The mood started to change the moment we pulled out the camera.

And it just got worse with each picture.
Jason had to remove the sweet, sobbing daughter from the scene, help her into her jammies and tuck her into bed for the night. The boys ate their pieces of cake, and I choked one down. It was sickeningly sweet to me. I could hardly chew and swallow, it just felt so wrong.

So many times, my kids bring me back to reality. Are my dreams for them cleverly disguised dreams for me or my image? My wishes for perfect, glittery children frequently get interrupted by improperly extracted boogers, learning hurdles, embarrassing public behavior and bad attitudes. (And while some behaviors obviously need to be curbed and others eliminated, we can't tamper with basic personalities and talents. For example, we can tell Owen that he absolutely must stop playing air guitar on the soccer field, but we cannot make him cease to love music or turn him into the star athlete on the team. We can tell Jack that he absolutely has to tell us before he tries to go stinky at church, and that he may not walk around with his pants around his ankles in the lobby, but we cannot change his independent, confident outlook.)

I had really built up this moment in my mind. This cake that I thought would be the perfect way to remember what would have been Quinn's first birthday was a disaster, and in hindsight, more about me than about what our family needed. Forced moments. Can't we all recall those from our own childhoods? Yuck.