Friday, July 29, 2011

13 Things About My Son That Touch My Heart

After I posted yesterday, it took about 90 minutes before I remembered that yesterday's Thursday Thirteen was supposed to be dedicated to Will. Whoops. You can just put my Mother Of The Year award in the mail, k? Thanks. Anyway, even though he has no idea about this and even though it's not Thursday, I feel like a jerk, so I'm doing another 13 list. Here goes...

13. He is the most literal person I know. Sometimes it's infuriating, but mostly it's hysterical.

12. He is stingy with the "I love yous" so when I get one, it's the best feeling in the world.

11. His hands and feet still have the soft baby skin - I would hold his hand indefinitely if he would let me.

10. He reads DK encyclopedias rather than story books.

09. He has a light brown birthmark on his tummy. On the exact same location on his back, he has a white spot where there is no pigment. It's ridiculously adorable.

08. His little skinny self can SMACK the stuff out of a baseball and is absurdly coordinated.

07. Having him has helped me understand my husband better as they are so much alike.

06. He loves to help people, including me.

05. His vocabulary is such that he sounds like a little professor when he speaks.

04. Yucky boy stuff - he has mastered pit farting. While this is gross, the look on his face when he does it is so proud that I can't be too mad.

03. Have you seen his hair? It's amazing - blond curls straight out of Blue Lagoon.

02. He makes up his own Lego creations that blow the ones in the stores away.

01. Because of him, I learned that a surprise is a gift you didn't know you wanted until you got it.

You're my man Big Will...I love you to forever.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

13 Things That There Should Be Some Kind of Law Against

13. Driver's license photos being actually taken at the DMV. I think you should be able to bring your own, have it approved for accuracy, and then scanned into the computer.

12. Speedos on anyone not chasing a gold medal. The medallion on one's necklace does not count.

11. Truck nuts. I'm serious about this one - this annoys me so bad I want to get out of my own car and go all Mia Hamm on them.

10. Road construction during anytime other than the middle of the day or at night. Having to battle a steamroller at morning rush hour is not the way I'd like to start my day.

09. Feet hanging over the over the ends of shoes. You look way less dumb in big shoes that fit rather than stuffing your hoof into something two sizes too small.

08. Speaker phone. It has it's place. That place is not for every phone call ESPECIALLY when you are in an open office environment. (that is fancy talk for cubicles)

07. Bra straps showing knowingly i.e., racer back tank with regular bra. They are called undergarments for a reason - they go UNDER your clothes.

06. Retractable dog leashes always set on extend or attack or whatever it is. If I want to commune with your dog, I will go to it. I do not wish to be entwined in it's 40 foot leash or slobbered/jumped on without having a say in the matter.

05. Being extremely picky about food. You are not that special, I promise. Unless it will kill you or make you extremely ill, you freaking eat it. Extreme pickiness is some kind of personality defect imo.

04. The word irregardless. There is no such animal and you saying it repeatedly does not bring it into existence.

03. Third person speak. We are not the Queen, so let's please refer to ourselves by the singular personal pronouns approved for correct grammar.

02. Chain letters via email. I will take my freaking chances, thank you very much.

01. Grocery stores stocking in the middle of the freaking weekend day in the middle of the freaking aisle. DO NOT MAKE IT CHALLENGING FOR ME TO GIVE YOU MY MONEY.

I have plenty more where that came from but I'd like to hear yours! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think...

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Silence is a Hot Commodity

I was speaking to a friend the other day and we were discussing children, specifically how they make us insane. The lists, scenarios, anecdotes, conversations etc about this topic are endless and the reason I know this is because I have been to the end of the Internet and have found that my friends and I are not alone. There are a zillion mommy blogs and believe you me, this is a recurring topic.

However, what I was trying to pinpoint about this is what it is EXACTLY that makes us feel this way. I love my children and would do anything for them, just like pretty much every other parent in the world. They are nice kids (mostly) and don't do much in the way of really messing up. Finally it struck us. The problem is not that they are bad kids, or are saying/doing really ugly things - it's that they NEVER STOP TALKING. Ever. Nevereverever.

The upside to this is that we as parents are much more informed about what's going on in their heads than I think our parents were with us. The kids are super engaged in the family unit as a whole and having an existing dialogue in place has been helpful when we've been challenged by needing to have a conversation about unpleasant or embarrassing topics. The downside to this is that sometimes I feel like I'm being eaten by alligators. Tiny, little needle-teeth-having alligators, taking little nibbles of my sanity away, one bite at a time.

While I think we all would agree that while the days of "children are seen and not heard" were not exactly emotionally healthy, I think the constant interaction is leading me down the path to the loony bin. I have heard stories of grown women hiding on the roofs of their houses, in their cars or in their closets (I know that's not just me y'all) just to have some peace and quiet. How do we find a balance for this? I don't really know what to do, other than to sometimes just tell them that I don't really feel like talking or would like some quiet time but that is kinda like putting a band aid on a bullet wound. Do you guys have any suggestions? I'd love to hear, no, scratch that. I'd love to read them - I'm all talked out.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

New Blog?

So here in the glorious old south-land, when it gets this hot, our thoughts naturally turn to college football. To people from other parts of the country this probably seems nuts, as in truth football is considered a fall sport. But here in the Lowcountry summer/fall lasts pretty much until December so they'll just have to deal.

Until it cools down, we ladies consider it a personal challenge to tailgate, go to the game and then tailgate some more without looking like we've been sitting in a sauna for fourteen hours (which we totally have). Not to mention that for whatever insane reason, tailgating attire MUST be cute/fun/spirited, regardless of the fact that it's 110 degrees outside and you'll likely be sitting in the broiling sun with 80 something thousand people for three plus hours. Sometimes we're successful and sometimes we end up looking like survivors of a natural disaster but I digress.

I am toying with the idea of starting another blog that is solely dedicated to college sports, with emphasis on football (only 39 days! Squeeee!) and baseball (back to back national champions thankyouverymuch). And, as you all well know, I'm a die hard Gamecock fan and will likely do some "crowing" if the occasion calls for it, but I'd like for this to be a site that fans of all teams can appreciate. I'm thinking tailgating recipes, game day attire, family friendly events, fan gifts, etc.,as well as news about the the other major southern religion, college football.

There are a million blogs about sports, but a lot of them are super detailed and in depth about the game itself, not to mention written by men. While those blogs are informative and interesting, I want to make this more about the experience and be directed towards female fans and families. So, I am asking you, my six readers, to let me know what you think. The more I write, the more I'm thinking I'm going to do this but I'd love some actual feedback. So, if y'all would share your thoughts in the comments I'd really appreciate it!

Here's a little something to help you think this through...:-)

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thirteen Things That Are Amazing About My Daughter

When I first began this blog several years ago, making a "Thursday Thirteen" list was popular. I have no idea if this is still the case or not, but I like lists, so I'm going to do one about my daughter this week and one about my son next. I feel that sometimes we get caught up in the maintenance of parenthood, and forget that having children is such a wonderful privilege. Appreciating them for who they are and not who I think they should be or want them to be is important to me so I am making this list to remind myself. Be forewarned - Cecilia is awesome so you may be jealous. ;-)

13. She dances/skips/frolics everywhere she goes, like she hears music that no one else does.
12. She can make the most ridiculous faces - think Puss in Boots from Shrek when he's putting on the sadness.
11. She inherited my gift of mimicry and the voices she can do are incredible.
10. She has the tiniest smattering of sun freckles across her cheeks and nose.
09. Her compassion for animals knows no bounds.
08. She can sense unhappiness from a mile away and always tries to comfort those who are sad.
07. Even though she antagonizes her brother, her love and care for him is obvious.
06. She is beautiful, brilliant and hilarious. (Of course)
05. She writes wonderful stories and has an amazing imagination.
04. She runs like the wind and swims like a fish.
03. Being a peacemaker and being at peace in her relationships is a priority for her.
02. She was with me on the stairs the day I fell and was hurt so badly that it was a miracle she wasn't hurt and that I was only injured.
01. Her arrival in my life awoke feelings I never even knew I had and changed my life forever.

I love you SweetPea.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Opportunities...are like boats

There is a joke about a preacher on the roof of his house during a flood that goes something like this: a guy in truck come along and says, "Preacher, get in the truck - a flood is coming!" Preacher refuses, on the grounds of being busy doing the Lord's work. A boat comes to save him, and the driver gets the same response. Finally a helicopter comes by and is sent away, same answer. The preacher drowns in the flood. Upon going to heaven, he asks God why he had abandoned him in his time of need. God looks at him in great surprise and says, "Abandoned you?! I sent you a truck, a boat and a helicopter...what more did you want?!"

No segue here, but anyway. I was watching Ice Loves Coco the other night. Yes, I admit it. I have no idea why I'm so intrigued but whatevs. Anyway, Ice was speaking to a group of college kids and told them a R-rated version of the same joke. The point is that opportunity is something you have to participate in, not something that happens to you. It doesn't matter what things come along in your life, if you don't get in the boat, it will pass you by.

Something you may not know about me is that I am a terrible chicken. I hate blind leaps of faith, risk-taking and uncertainty. I am a cynic when it comes to people and expect the worst from pretty much everyone and everything. This is not something I'm proud of, and am fully aware that it is a defense mechanism but we can talk about all that another day. The point is that I have let several opportunities pass me by in my adult life and I have a fair amount of regret about that. Interestingly enough, this is a fairly extreme juxtaposition against many other aspects of my personality that have no fear whatsoever, so maybe my issues run deeper than I originally suspected.

Recently an opportunity was gift wrapped and pretty much dropped into my lap. Halfway into the conversation, I caught myself internally listing off all the ways it wouldn't work, how I wasn't the right person, didn't know what I might be getting into, etc., and basically wrote it off in my mind. However, it kept rolling around in my head and I just couldn't let go of it mentally. It was that same evening that I saw the TV episode mentioned above. My first thought was, "HEY! That's MY joke!!!" Seriously, I've never heard anyone tell that but me. However, the timing was key. So, I reached out and grabbed the stern of the boat before it slipped away completely.

Today, I had a major set-back and the first thing that came to my mind was that the timing of this opportunity was way more apropos than I had originally thought. I think we have a tendency as a culture to keep knocking on the same door over and over and over, thinking that it may open at some point. Sometimes I think this is true, but very often I think it's just the WRONG. DAMN. DOOR. I also believe that doors open when others close, but the lesson is still the same - you have to walk through the door. You have to get in the boat, you have to go out on the limb, you have to take opportunities when they come to you. A life of regret is something no one wants - why I or anyone else would chose to live one is nothing but fear. FEAR. False Evidence Appearing Real. I'm not doing this anymore. How about you?

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lowcountry Lovin'

I love Pat Conroy because I've never met another person who put my feelings about the Lowcountry into words that resonate so clearly. Years ago, when I was in college, homesick and having major culture shock, "The Prince of Tides" brought me home to Charleston, helped me smell the smells and taste the tastes of the rivers, creeks and marshes. And as an adult, it makes me happier than is reasonable that my children are beginning their own love affair with salt water. Here they are, reveling in it just as much as I do.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

On being a girly-girl. Or not.

When I was a child, calling me girly would have probably earned you a serious scowl, and that's if you were lucky. You would have found me outside, either on a bike, in a pool or trekking through the woods, no matter the conditions. What poor Barbies I had suffered through all kinds of un-Barbie-like indignities, such as parachuting out of the windows or being "jungle women" who were hunting wildebeest or some such nonsense.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I realized my daughter seems to be turning out to be a girly-girl. (NOT that there is anything wrong with that) She loves crafting, reading, puppies, kittens, glitter, unicorns, and (dear God help me) JUSTICE. This store is her REASON.FOR.LIVING. Anyway. The point of all of this is that Sunday, she asked me if we could talk. In private. Oh good. (As an aside, the child has been playing softball for three seasons, and, while she has, shall we say, improved, she is pretty average overall. I have suggested cheer-leading in the past, as she is enthusiastic, a team player, and always bouncing, flipping, jumping etc., so I thought she might enjoy it.)

The conversation went something like this:
Cecilia: I might want to do cheer-leading in the fall.
Me: Sounds great. We'll sign up.
Cecilia: I'm worried my friends might think I'm too girly.
Me: WHAT. THE. HELL. (not really, but in my head)
Me really: Well, honey, people who are really your friends will be your friend,
regardless, blah blah blah words words words etc.
Cecilia: And every time I see cheerleaders on TV, they are always so mean.
Me: Whoa.

I had never considered this but she's right. The TV version of most cheerleaders is awful. Mean, snotty, AND stupid as well as gorgeous and popular. I take issue with this. I know plenty of girls who were cheerleaders and most of them are among the nicest, most decent chicks you would ever hope to meet. Oh, and pretty freaking clever too. Let's see: among my high school friends, we have some of the following: an attorney, a CPA, a graphic designer, a dentist and a civil servant serving in Cairo. Sounds like a real bunch of dummies, huh? Um, yeah, all of them decent women with families, children, and all involved members of their communities.

There is no reason that my daughter should be worried about being a cheerleader. Or a softball player or a garbage truck driver. No reason other than stereotype and small-mindedness. We'll get through it, whichever route we take. I just want the routes to be available for choosing freely.

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Begininng again.

When I began this blog several years ago, I wanted for it to be mainly about my family, so that my kids would have a sort of journal of their childhood. The eventuality is that once I got into social media of a different sort (you KNOW who you are), this blog fell by the wayside. Recently though, I was talking to a friend and we were reminiscing about our shared childhood. She pointed out that we both have a set of memories from that time and how great it is that we could share them with each other as neither of us recalls everything. This conversation reminded me how easy it is to let memories slip away and how wonderful it can be when someone shares things with you that you had forgotten. Not every memory is good, obviously, but even the difficult ones have worth in some ways.

So, my goal is to resurrect my blog in order to keep some kind of record of our family life as my children grow up, and perhaps share some unrelated thoughts of my own. My other goal is to write for myself and my family, and not get caught up in how many hits or comments I get, which is what happened last time due to my over sized ego having mad insecurity issues. Maybe people will read it and maybe they won't but we'll have the memories just the same.

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