Saturday, June 18, 2011


I wasn't going to do it. I wasn't going to write the "Oh woe is me, it's Father's Day, and my daddy is dead" post.

Stiff upper lip. Everyone has loss in their life. I had my daddy for longer than I thought I would. I should be grateful. I am grateful.

But my heart aches. It folds on top of itself in my chest when I try to take a deep breath while remembering the way Daddy sat in his chair with Colin nestled in his lap the last time we visited.

My heart winces every time a picture of Daddy comes up on my digital picture frame. I didn't remember that I had so many pictures of him. I'm lucky to have so many pictures of him with Christopher.

My heart whimpers when I tag a thought or a tidbit in my mind as "something to tell Daddy."

My heart is so broken.

My mind forgets though. In the day to day, it really hasn't changed much. I didn't get to see him often anymore, and he didn't like talking on the phone very much.

I missed him before he was ever gone.

But now he is gone, and I miss him even more. I didn't think that was going to happen. Naive, I suppose, but I didn't. I thought I had made peace with his passing as the Parkinson's stripped away slivers of him in between every phone call and every visit.

He was never completely gone before he died. It's a myth that loved ones with dementia are gone before their deaths. They aren't. They are still with you. You can still hold a hand, stroke a cheek, rest your head on their shoulder. They are still there for you to imagine that you just caught a glimmer of their former selves in their vacant eyes.

I waited for that glimmer for hours for the days he was in hospice.

This Father's Day, I'm not only heartbroken for myself, but for my children. Colin will not remember my daddy at all. Christopher will remember him barely. Mallory will remember him as always being sick. He loved the three of them so very much. I know that he did.

A couple of weeks ago, Christopher asked me to tell him a story about G-Daddy. I almost told him no because I didn't think my heart could stand it. However, I launched into the story of a military man turned defense attorney. A man who loved his family and his church. A man who loved bar-b-que and Mississippi State University. The man who was my daddy.

I don't suppose I will ever quit telling stories about you, Daddy. Stories to help my children know and remember you. Stories to help heal my broken heart.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Preschool Mall Chicken

I have a funny kid.

Sometimes, strike that, most of the time, I shouldn't be laughing when I am, but I can't help myself.

Today, at the mall, Christopher had me and Mallory in stitches. He climbed on the surfboard in 77 Kids and then leaned over to hand paddle in the the big cardboard wave back drop. I don't even know when he has seen surfing before.

He also picked out a ridiculous Cars hat with a big flat brim from H&M. Mallory proceeded to put it on him sideways, and before we could laugh at that, he was striking poses. Yo. Baby. My hat.

The thing that made me laugh the most though, was the worst thing he did all day. As we were walking from store to store, he decided it would be fun to lean in a little and walk right at the people walking towards him. Then, as they were busy trying to figure out which way to go to dodge him, he would dart the other direction at the last second.

He was playing his own made up version of Preschool Mall Chicken.

I shouldn't have laughed, but I did. A lot. It was just too funny.

Some days I don't win any awards for my parenting, but I still have a good time with my kids.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Backyard Discovery = Happy happy children

Two moderately skilled people. Twenty to twenty-four hours.

They weren't lying.

Kevin and I looked at dozens of swingsets, both assembled for you and assemble yourself. Being that our pennies are always pinched to the thinnest we can possibly pinch them, we quickly ended up only looking at build it yourself sets.

Last weekend, Kevin and I started building a swingset. Only it wasn't the swingset of my childhood: a metal a-frame with a metal slide that would give your bare thighs third degree burns in the coldest part of summer. Nope. This is a swingset on steroids. Big conifer steroids.

The most affordable option we found by far was on this website: I
thought surely something had to be off because their web address was so, well, generic. It wasn't
the name of the business, like Backyard Discovery, it was just swingsetsonline. For some reason,
even though I'm sure the search engines love it, and granted, I found them first through Google, I was just skeptical if they were a legitimate company or not.

Then, soon after we found a set on their website that we really liked, I stumbled upon a Tweet from Amy, otherwise known as Resourceful Mom. She was touting Backyard Discovery. She had one set at her old house and was getting ready for the delivery of a new set to her new house. As sparsely as I am on Twitter these days, I was pretty shocked that the exact information I needed just popped up in my stream.

A short Twitter conversation later, I was sold. She even had a coupon code for that month. Unfortunately, we didn't get to place our order before the code expired, but it was a nice thought (insert small amount of grumbling here).

Is this beginning to sound like a review? It's not. Just look at my About Me page to see how completely unmarketable I am. It's just what Kevin and I have been working towards the past couple of months. Literally 24 hours of work went into just the swingset, but holy cow, was it fun! It was like a giant set of Lincoln Logs with great instructions. We had the best time putting it together, together.

And now? We'll have the best time playing together, together outside. In our own backyard.

I am a happy happy mama. And Christopher finally doesn't have to ask every single morning when he wakes up, "Is my swingset ready yet?"

"Some Assembly Required" Hahahahahaha.

Laying out the plot plan. Lots and lots of labeled lumber.

That's where we were supposed to hang their sign. I figured this post is enough free advertising for them. We hung our own family name sign from Etsy.

Building the floor to the tunnel.

And the children play. Joy.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Thursday: The New Monday

6:00 AM Awaken to sound of Christopher galloping down the hallway.

6:02 AM Try to shoo Christopher back down the hallway.
6:03 AM Curse Kevin for moving into Mallory's room to sleep last night.
6:04 AM Plot how to get to sleep in ever again.
6:05 AM Colin wakes up, kisses me. Everything's better.
6:06 AM Group potty time.
6:10 AM The first time Christopher asks to watch TV.
6:11 AM The second time Christopher asks to watch TV.
6:15 AM I turn on the TV and let the dogs out.
6:16 AM Christopher asks for milk.
6:16:30 AM Christopher asks for a vitamin.
6:17 AM Christopher asks for Skittles for pooping on the potty.
Christopher remembers that he didn't poop on the potty.
Christopher asks to go poop on the potty.
6:21 AM Christopher asks for Skittles.
6:30 AM I make coffee, take Zoloft, bring the dogs in and give them water.
6:32 AM Christopher asks for more milk and can he PLEASE have some Skittles.
6:35 AM Colin asks for breakfast by screaming and banging his head into the refrigerator.
6:36 AM I feed Colin to avoid further head injuries.
6:50 AM Christopher asks for Skittles.
6:59 AM Christopher gets blueberry waffles and apples.
7:00 AM Christopher asks for more milk, more TV, and Skittles.
7: 54 AM Kevin wakes up.
8:05 AM I offer to iron his shirt because I am the best wife in the entire world.
8:25 AM Kevin leaves for work and Colin cries.
9:00 AM Colin pretends he needs a nap, says night night, gets me to rock and nurse him upstairs and then proceeds to honk my nose and laugh.
9:03 AM Colin and I come back downstairs.
9:05 AM Colin asks to play Don't Break the Ice by screaming and pointing.
9:06 AM I set up Don't Break the Ice. Colin smashes it down.
9:07 AM I set up Don't Break the Ice. Colin smashes it down.
9:08 AM I set up Don't Break the Ice. Colin smashes it down.
9:09 AM I set up Don't Break the Ice. Colin smashes it down.
9:10 AM I set up Don't Break the Ice. Colin smashes it down.
9:11 AM I bail.
9:12 AM gDiaper surgery begins. New velcro for all.
9:13 AM Colin decides that Mama shant be sewing today. Not even gDiapers.
9:14 AM I set up Don't Break the Ice. Colin smashes it down.
9:15 AM CARS. CARS. CARS. Thank God for cars. Cars that make distracting noise.
9:16 AM I hide Don't Break the Ice.
9: 40 AM Christopher does three laps around the downstairs while yelling, "I have to pee pee!"
9:42 AM I ask if he washed his hands. No, he did not.
10:00 AM Snack.
10:10 AM Boys figure out that I'm snacking and demand to be fed as well.
10:16 AM I learn that Christopher has learned to use the remote control himself.
10:17 AM We all watch Sesame Street. It's educational. U was the letter of the day.
10:24 AM I get dressed. An actual dress. And some makeup. Go me.
11:00 AM We all head to Whole Foods to do our grocery shopping.
11:10 AM I accidentally buy $17 worth of bulk pine nuts because I didn't stop the pourer thing soon enough.
11:11 AM I think fondly of Uncle Dave and shudder at what $17 of bulk pine nuts would do to him.
11:45 AM Check out with groceries. Marvel at the amount of money spent.
11:50 AM Load up the Jeep with yummy food and hungry children.
11:51 AM Turn key. Stick face in AC. Put Jeep in reverse. Wonder why the engine is just revving. Sweat.
11:52 AM Turn Jeep off. Pretend that didn't just happen. Sit.
11:53 AM Turn key. Stick face in AC. Put Jeep in reverse. Curse loudly. Turn Jeep off.
11:54 AM Call and cancel piano tuner appointment for Noon.
11:55 AM Turn key. Stick face in AC. Put Jeep in reverse. Curse again. Turn Jeep off.
11:56 AM Retrieve buggy from buggy corral. Reload groceries. Reload hungry and hot boys.
11:57 AM Request that my buggy be rolled into a cooler somewhere.
11:58 AM High fived myself for having USAA Roadside Assistance programmed into my cell phone.
12:00 PM Bought juice and sat down in the cafe to start trying to get home.
12:10 PM Gain appropriate sympathy from USAA representative.
12:20 PM Begin cleaning up juice off the table and floor. Glare at mean old lady next to us. She has NO idea what kind of day I'm having. So shut up.
12:21 PM Begin chasing my barefoot, juice covered child through the cafe.
12:22 PM Drag screaming juice covered toddler back to table. Sit him next to mean old lady.
12:23 PM Consider having a drink. Decide against it.
12:30 PM Call Jeep dealer to let them know the car is coming.
12:33 PM Call Enterprise for a ride and a car.
12:50 PM Secure transportation and resume chasing juice covered children.
1:00 PM Potty break.
1:10 PM Tour of the Whole Foods grounds.
1:20 PM Cry with no tears because I have sweated them all out.
1:30 PM Return to cafe upon realizing that children have not eaten.
1:40 PM Sit down with $8.50 worth of yogurt and berries from the salad bar.
1:41 PM Enterprise shows up.
1:42 PM Still no lunch for the kiddos.
1:43 PM Stash children in the cargo part of the minivan rental and begin car seat removal.
1:45 PM Cursing abounds.
1:55 PM Car seats are removed.
1:56 PM Begin car seat installation into rental minivan.
1:57 PM More cursing.
2:15 PM Car seats installed, children strapped in.
2:16 PM Colin falls asleep.
2:19 PM Enterprise dude takes a left turn and Christopher's seat goes flying.
2:20 PM Most cursing all day takes place. Along with, "PULL OVER NOW" many times.
2:21 PM I discover that Enterprise dude had not attached the right hand side latch. I kick myself for not checking. Christopher is fine, but pissed.
2:22 PM Christopher says, "Man, you should not drive so fast, Man."
2:23 PM Christopher falls asleep.
2:30 PM Hurry up and wait at the Enterprise place.
2:50 PM We get gas. I get a ginormous Diet Coke and a Milky Way to counteract the million hours I just spent at Whole Foods.
3:00 PM Return to Whole Foods to leave key in Jeep (forgotten earlier) and to retrieve groceries from the cooler.
3:15 PM Load groceries (again). Leave Whole Foods (again). Head home.
3:16 PM Both boys wake up.
3:26 PM Home. Discover that Christopher wasn't kidding the last time he said he had to pee pee.
3:27 PM Begin trying to figure out how to take the cover off the car seat to wash it.
3:28 PM Cursing revisited.
3:30 PM Try to get the boys to eat something. Lose that battle.
3:40 PM Collapse on couch in a heap together. Watch TV. Lots of TV.
5:30 PM Get ready for soccer.
6:00 PM Soccer.
6:01 PM Chase Colin continuously for 45 minutes.
7:14 PM Peanut butter sandwiches, bananas, carrots, and yogurt for dinner.
7:50 PM Baths.
8:00 PM Jammies. Bed. Thank God.
8:05 PM Colin is crying.
8:06 PM I stroke his head and get him to lay back down only to discover that he's laying in a giant puddle of his own vomit.
8:07 PM Gag and dry heave.
8:10 PM Bath, take two.
8:30 PM Bed, take two.
8:34 PM Talk on the phone to a boot camp guy. Decide to try it out. Am insane.
9:00 PM Start dinner for the adults.
9:30 PM Eat dinner.
10:00 PM Colin cries.
10:03 PM Thankfully, no vomit.
10:20 PM Crawl in bed. Blog.
10:58 PM Finish blog. Sleep.