the one where we shop, smell, stumble in the dark and Mommy wants to kick some butt.

Had the oh-so enjoyable treat last Sunday night to go out amongst the other procrastinators to try to get our Christmas shopping done; took the little man, adding exponentially to the treat factor. (Cause you never quite know what you're gonna get....)

We'd done pretty well (good?) we'd made the most of our time and checked off a good bit of the purchases for the folks on our list. One last stop before leaving Macy's: we headed over to the cologne counter for the sweetest hubby. Our clerk was a young woman that immediately took a 'shine' to my little guy. She'd offer the little cards spritzed with cologne to him first, then, he'd take a sniff and tell us how he liked it. She seemed to get a kick out of it and so did he.
So, we picked out what we wanted, paid for our selection and then started to leave. As we did, the clerk asked Ben if he wanted some samples to take home. Well, of course, he did! So, she gave him 3 little envelopes with cologne samples. You'd think she had given him the best present in the world! He was so thrilled! His own cologne!!! He tried to shove the envelopes in his pockets, but they wouldn't all fit, so I stuffed two of them in my purse and let him hold one. He was so proud.

We then had to make a trip down to the Hollister store for my nephew's present - oy.
I can tell I'm getting old. We walked into the store, noting first thing that the music is so stinking loud, you can't hear yourself think! And could somebody please tell the powers that be to turn on the lights!! How on earth can you shop in the dark??? FYI.....I have no idea what color shirt I bought my nephew. I just don't understand it. Anywho.
So, there we were, stumbling in the dark - ears ringing and head throbbing - shopping for a shirt. My sweet smelling little boy walked past me and on further into the black hole that is Hollister. Just ahead of him, stands 3 (probably) teenage boys. I don't know if they're shoppers, or if they work's too dark to tell. But, nevertheless, they're standing right where Ben is heading. I pause a minute to see what he's up to - what I see next surprises me. Just as he gets closer to the big boys, my little boy pulls his new cologne out and holds it out in his hand. He looks at his hand, adjusts it just so. I know what he's doing. He wants so bad for them to notice. I can see it. I see how he holds it out, nonchalantly (as nonchalant as a 5 year old can be). I got a little stab in my heart at that moment. My eyes started to sting a little, surprising me.
I don't know if it was sadness, or sweetness or what, but I felt so touched by the little scene that played before me. Oh, and no, the boys didn't notice. They were too wrapped up in their teenage selves to even note his presence on their radar. He wasn't even a blip.
My baby was undeterred, though. He just kept his prize in his hand.
Mommy wanted to go shake some boys though. They'd done absolutely nothing wrong, but to the Mom of the sweetest boy in the whole wide world, they'd committed a crime most heinous: they'd not noticed my baby when he wanted nothing more than to be noticed.
Acceptance and the need to 'fit in' comes unbelievably early and can last a lifetime.

Tragedy times two

Today is Love Thursday. This is love lost.

We heard last night that a little girl had been hit by a car yesterday afternoon getting off the school bus. We knew she was a kindergartener at Ben's school. We didn't know until this morning that she'd died from her injuries. We didn't know until this morning that she was one of Ben's classmates. Her name is Karla Campos, she was 5 years old. And she was an angel.
I'll miss you, sweet girl.

Tears for a little girl lost

People, I am just beside myself. I am horrified beyond words. The world is full of evil, but this has touched me more than I can stand.

I try not to watch too much of the news just to protect myself from the 'misery porn' that permeates each and every newscast. Somehow, though, I got wind of the case of the little 5-year old girl reported missing last week. It seems that every week there is another case of a missing child! This case caught my attention because the little girl is the same age as my little man. I think of him - how innocent and trusting - he's only 5! This little girl - she's only 5!!

Check that - she was only 5 - they found her body today. Her little life was cut short by pure evil. This angel sent by God never had a chance to live. She never had a chance.

Her so-called mother - I can't even put into words. I cannot understand how someone who brought a child into the world could do something like what this woman is accused of doing. It's unfathomable to me.
The pictures released from the surveillance camera at the hotel showing a man holding her at the elevator just ripped my heart out. I wish I could erase the picture from my mind, but I can't. All I see is the trusting look on her face. She's holding a stuffed animal, for goodness sakes. Her little hand is on his shoulder! Oh, Dear Lord. What must she have faced? Who was there to comfort her? Her little mind couldn't have understood what was going on. Please Lord, let her not have known. Pure evil. Just pure evil. I just can't take it. It makes me ill.

Rest in peace little one. May you now rest in the arms of your Comforter, and Protector. May you now know true Love.

No one will ever, ever hurt you again, baby girl.

differences in daytime and nightime.....and, um, spelling

I love, love, love to look at the various pieces of paper that come home from Kindergarten with the little man. I'm going through a stack right now; which ones to keep, and which to discard?

They've been working on the seasons, and most recently, the difference in night and day. One example of his work on night/day was two pieces of construction paper - one yellow, the other black - indicating day and night, of course - which are taped together. One the 'day' piece, he's cut out and pasted-on pictures of things pertaining to daytime......

Cutting grass

On the opposite side of the page, pictures pertaining to night.....


Now, he's labeled the pictures for your ease. Of course. You may notice a slight difference in the spelling. Ahem.

Sun = sun (ok, so that's an easy one...hang on)
Breakfast = drexkf (what?)
Bus = bus
Lunch = luth
Cutting grass = cuetnegras
Playground = playgrob
Owl = awl
Moon = moon
Sleep = slep

Any questions?

and the award goes to.......

Last night we were supposed to go to the ball park to celebrate the end of the fall t-ball season with a picnic party, but Mother Nature decided that we needed another soaking. So, fast and furious, our team mom scrambled to find a central meeting place - cue local pizza joint. Perfect.

We braved the cold, wet weather to meet the team for pizza and trophies (and lots of jumping up and down in the booths, laughing, talking, pizza, cookies, root 'beard', and fun). Coach Glenn was there; moms, dads, grandmas and all the kids from the team. As Coach stood up to give the trophies, you could see how much he'd truly enjoyed this team and how much time he'd spent working on the presentation of the trophies. It wasn't just stand up and hand out trophies, no - he'd made certificates for each player - even naming the awards after famous baseball players - while on the back of each certificate, he'd listed accomplishments for the child, and recommendations. This obviously took some time, thought and effort. He'd name the 'award', then tell why the particular player fit the criteria, then read off the accomplishments - funny, how as he listed them off, we could easily figure out who he was referring to! We had an awesome bunch of kids this fall season - so many little characters - but so sweet and so ready to play.

When it came time for our favorite little player to receive his award, Coach Glenn read off the title: "The Alex Rodriguez Award" for Best Overall Performance!
On the reverse side of the certificate is written:
Does: Many put outs - unassisted - 3 in one inning
Hits ball hard for power
Enthusiasm at every position
Shows learning by doing
Excels in all areas - also with team relationships and game situations!
Recommend playing all positions
Needs to: Relax at the plate when batting
Continue to play all positions
Study game situations & strategy
Teach other players to improve

Well, I don't mind telling you that this mama got a little misty. (I'm sure it was just the pepperoni and jalapeno pizza I'd been working on) I hid it well, though. I put the camera up to my face and snapped a few blurry, unfocused pics. Oh wait, I was blurry and unfocused - not the pics. Little man smiled like he'd won the world series. I don't know about you, but I can't get enough of that kid.

Great job, little man!

This one, I can't explain......

Some conversations are deeper than others, some not so memorable and some may be completely silly. You really never know what you're going to get when you talk to a 5 year old boy. Yesterday afternoon, the conversation the sweetest hubby and son had made my jaw drop to the floor. A little background first.

I'd left early for children's choir, leaving the two of them here to come over later. Before I left, I helped Ben get his clothes back on for church as he was in his usual state of dress: underwear and a smile. As I was heading to his room, I heard the sweet sound of a toy that, now that I think about it, I have no idea how to describe. It's one of those little plush, pull-type toys - this one happens to be a yellow kitty - with a hanger for the doorknob that plays a little lullaby when you pull it's tail... am I making any sense? Why can't I figure out what to call the blasted thing?? Anyway....we've had that little toy since Ben was a baby and I haven't seen it in probably a year or more - since we moved, I guess. So, when I walked into his room and heard the tinkling sound of a lullaby, I wondered what was up. Ben was standing in his room, hugging and cuddling the kitty, saying he wanted to take it to church with him. I told him no, he couldn't take it to church, but he could take it in the car with him if he wanted to. That seemed to appease him, so I helped him get dressed and went with him down the stairs, where I said my byes and left.

The rest of the story is recounted from what Greg told me. Ben was still hugging and cuddling the kitty as he sat on the couch to watch tv. At some point, he wound up sitting next to his daddy. Greg hugged him and asked him the age old question, "do you know how much I love you?" To which Ben answered, "more than God". His daddy explained to him that "No, God loves you even more than I or Mommy does".

Well, then Ben started telling his daddy a story. He said that when he was a baby, in heaven, that he was in a room with a bunch of other babies, and that God was there. He said that all the babies were soon gone - leaving him alone with God. He said that God stayed with him, played with him, and talked to him. But, then on a Thursday - God told him that in 3 days he'd come home to us.

Later, after we'd returned home from church, we three were standing in the kitchen. Greg asked Ben to tell me what they'd talked about earlier. Ben then proceeded to tell everything he'd told his daddy. I asked him what does God look like? He told me, " he has a beard, and white hair. And he wears a blue dress. And he's barefooted".

The description of God - I don't know if it's correct or not - have to wait and see.

The day of the week was wrong. But sometimes even now, he gets his days mixed up - so how much more so might he have gotten it wrong when he was still just a wish and a prayer in our hearts - but so well known by God!

The 3 days? Exactly spot on.

3 days was when he came into our home, our family, our hearts. 3 days old.

Thank you God for watching over him until you sent him home to be with us. And thank you God for watching over him now.

Happy Birthday, sweet friend

Today is your birthday and I've got a bone to pick with you. I want to tell you a few things. So sit down. And hush.

1) I think you are just the cat's meow; I want to be just like you when I grow up.
2) I think I've never met anyone so beautiful - inside and out.
3) I think you are the epitome of Southern Hospitality, grace, beauty, warmth, humor, style, and class.
4) I think I've never tasted anything better than your cakes.
5) I think you work too hard.
6) I think I would have loved to have you for a sister for all my life, not just the last 10 years or so.
7) I think I'll never have a better choir buddy and I miss standing next to you every Sunday morning. And Wednesday night.
8) I think I want your clothes. And your shoes. So, hand 'em over.
9) I think you are the most beautiful Grandmother I've ever seen.
10) I think your husband is a nut (not earth-shattering news, everybody knows that)
11) I think you are talented beyond belief. And humble to boot.
12) I think you are smarter than a 5th grader.
13) I think I would have loved for my son to have had you for a Sunday school teacher.
14) I think I miss you something terrible.
15) I think I need a tissue.
16) I think God loves you very much.
17) I think I do too.
18) I think I need another tissue.
19) I think you're my hero and quite possibly an angel here on earth.
20) I think there's no possible way that you're 60 years old today. Oops, was that a secret?
21) I think I'm so very thankful that you have occupied the same place in time with me - my life wouldn't be the same without knowing you.
22) I think I'm so very grateful for the friendship and love you've offered me and my family.
23) I think I've been so very blessed to have you in my life.
24) I think I need another tissue.

Have a wonderful day, my sweet, sweet friend. I love you so much.

honesty lessons, bedtime talks and memories

Last night, after the ordeal which is 'getting ready for bedtime', was over; we three snuggled in Ben's bed quietly talking. We'd had a tough moment or two earlier due to an unfortunate choice one little boy decided to make: to bald-face lie to his Daddy. He thought he'd be able to get away with something by lying. Not a good choice at all.
So, we're snuggled and talking afterward when I ask Ben if he would like for me to come eat lunch with him tomorrow at school. He said, " yes" then, "Daddy, can you come too?"

Well, because Daddy has been out of town for a couple of days, he's a little backed-up at work; so, even though he would love to, he explained he wouldn't be able to come. But, maybe next week he would. Now, a little background here. A few months ago, when Ben was in the summer program at his preK, one of the field trips that his class took was to the Georgia
Aquarium. (I thought I'd written about it, but I looked back over my old posts and couldn't find it - so, you'll just have to go along with me here)

I really, really, really wanted to be able to go with him, but I told him there was no way I could because I was scheduled to work that day. With the absolutely fabulous way things have been at work, I figured there was no way I'd be able to get off on such late notice. Oh, and my thoughts that maybe I would just call out sick so I could go didn't really fit in with the 'raising an honest child" plan that we're working on; so, off to work I go. I just quietly fumed and felt sorry for myself. As I tend to do.
Well, I moped about at work, making sure that everybody saw just how miserable I was - yeah, I was a joy to behold. Finally, after telling my story to a couple of my friends and getting the sympathy I so badly wanted; one of them told me to get up off my butt and go ask if I could leave - explaining why I wanted to so badly.

Hm. Well. Ok, so I did. I came clean. I explained all the above and y'know what? I got to go! I called his teacher and asked if it was too late to go, and nope, they were just about to board the bus. So, I gathered my stuff and walked out to go meet my baby at the Aquarium. I'd told his teacher not to tell Ben I was coming, as I wanted to surprise him. And I did. And he was absolutely thrilled. And so was I.

Now, back to the story at hand. So, he'd asked his Daddy if he could come to eat too, remember? Ok, so we're back on track. Well, when Daddy explained that he couldn't - Ben said, 'you could just tell your friends at work that you want to come - like Mommy did when we went to the Aquarium'.

He remembered! He remembered that I'd told him how I'd asked if I could leave and they let me! My heart. Oh, my heart. The little things that make such a big impression.....I'm so thankful I was able to go that day and it meant so much to him.

So, now, I'm going to get up off my butt and get cleaned up - I have a lunch date with my little boy. Because it's the little things that mean so much.

Fill 'er up!

Picked up the big boy from school yesterday. Because it was a work day for me, he had to go to ASP, so he missed riding the bus home. After I sign him out, they'll call for him with a walkie-talkie, and shortly thereafter I'll see him walking down the hallway toward me. Occasionally, I'll get a hug and a "hi, Mom" Always, I'll get a smile.

Yesterday, I got both ~ and ~ I got to hold his hand as we walked to the car. I asked him about his day.

"It was good."

I told him I missed him today and that I'd thought about him during my day at work.

"Ok" (love it when he really opens up to me and we have these deep conversations)

Quiet for a second, then:

"Remember when I gave you the kiss and said this is for you to keep?"

I smiled to myself in the drivers seat and said, yes, I did, but I think I'm running low.
From the back seat, I heard him make a mmmm...smaaaacckkk-ing sound...

"There! That'll hold you!"

The Big Day

My orders were to have scrambled eggs, bacon and biscuits ready for breakfast.
Well, everything but the biscuits came through. Cinnamon toast instead.
Greg got the sleepyhead up around 6:45 this morning so we'd have plenty of time to get everything done before having to go to the bus stop. He was still a bit groggy, but excited. I had a million butterflies in my stomach.

We talked last night before bed - reviewing what to expect, how to act, what the pick up plans were - I wanted him to be he wouldn't be scared. I think it was more for me than him, but, he listened - maybe he felt something of what I was feeling. I don't know.

So, we ate. Then got dressed, brushed, combed, back-packed. Grabbed the camera and out the door. Stopped to take pictures on the front step - we could see the neighbors and their kids all heading to the new bus stop up the hill.....not long now...gotta hurry. The parade of kids and parents with cameras started to pick up in number as we got closer. Cobb county's recent change in bus stops created quite a crowd on the corner.

Ben immediately started making the rounds - he had to see everybody and show them his new back pack. My social butterfly strikes again. I snapped a few pictures and wished we had a few more quiet minutes at home so we could have gone over the day again, but just a few minutes after we got there, the big yellow bus came over the hill. I could hear the excited comments from the opposite side of the crowd -

'here it comes!'
'the BUS!, it's here!!'
'come here, give me a hug'
'just one more picture!'

It came too fast! Greg grabbed Ben and gave him a big hug, kiss and a wish for a great day. I was trying to get pictures and walk with him - hug and kiss for me and then he was in the line....with the biggest smile on his face. He waited in line to climb aboard - he'd look ahead, then look at us, smile, then look ahead. He was ready! He never hesitated - climbed right on board with no wavering of the smile. Someone told him where to sit - the Kindergarten students sit at the front, right near the driver - so Ben got in the first seat, next to the door. I could barely see him over the cushion at the front of the bus, but he'd stand up and smile and wave for me.

As the doors closed, someone must have said something to get his attention in the bus because he turned his head away from us. Then, the bus started rolling and I didn't see his face again until we got to the school.

Yes, you read it right. We ran back to the house, got the car and drove over to the school so we could get pictures of him going into his class for the first time. Now, we'd discussed this, too.
I made sure to let him know it was simply because Mom and Dad wanted pictures of his first day at school - not because Mommy thought she'd break down without one more hug, oh no.
It was simply a photo op.

So, off we all go to walk him to his class - the excited smile remained throughout the walk through the gym, down the hall; to the Kindergarten wing of the school. Once again, my social butterfly greeted everyone he saw with a cheerful, 'good morning'; a few he questioned, 'did you see my new back pack?' I'd say he's pretty proud of it, no?

Since we weren't allowed in the classroom, we took a few pictures out in the hall. More hugs and kisses and then sent him on in. He was ready, again.
He never faltered, never looked back. We peeked in and I made sure the teacher had him down for ASP this afternoon - she did - so, we had no reason to stay.

We left the way we came, with big smiles. Never wavering.

Well, not much.

Big boy school

I'm watching the days on the calendar slip by faster than ever. It feels like the start of the summer was just yesterday, or the day before at the most. Vacation has come and gone; I remember how I so looked forward to our time at the beach, and now it's just a memory, too.

How can time speed up? How can a whole week, a couple of months, half a year, even - come and go so fast that it makes my head spin? I watched my little guy 'graduate' from preK just a couple of months ago, thinking that August would never get here and now! - it's just a day or so away. That means Kindergarten is just days away. Oh my goodness gracious. Kindergarten.

Someone made the comment to me the other day that she couldn't believe how much Ben had changed in the past year. He's grown into a little BOY, not a baby anymore. Yeah, yeah - I know, he hasn't been a baby in a while; but he's my baby, still. He still has the sweetness of my baby, but the edges are getting a little rougher.

He'll still cuddle with me watching tv, but tells me it's annoying him if I'm caught looking at him; memorizing every expression on his face.

He'll allow kisses, but only on his schedule.

Hugs are a precursor for wrestling now.

We walk across a parking lot and the little hand that I've held on to so tightly for fear its owner might dart out in front of a car; now would rather be empty and independent.

So, yes. I guess he is growing up. While he's so very excited about school, my stomach turns over. I have the same feelings I felt when we moved here and we started him in a new
pre-school. Only, he's old enough now to understand that not everybody he meets will want the best for him, or want to be his friend, or don't care if he's happy or sad or scared - or whatever. He's going out into the world; (yeah, yeah - I's Kindergarten, for goodness sakes!) come what may. Head first and wide open, he'll make his way.

Sweetest boy in the whole wide world: That (ridiculously) quickly approaching August morning, we'll get you all ready to go to your big school; Mommy and Daddy will be there to watch you get on the bus you've waited on for so long. We'll give you one big hug (or six) and kisses to last (me) the whole day; and we'll watch you climb on board. We'll wave you goodbye and Mommy will try her hardest not to embarrass you by breaking down in the middle of the sidewalk. That, I will save for the privacy of our garage - cuz' there's no way I'll be able to hold it in until I go in the house. I'll be thinking of you throughout the day - wondering what new things you'll learn, if you're being good, if you're scared - if you'll speak up when you need to go to the bathroom(!), if you like your teacher; so many things.

I wish you only the best, my little man - now, big boy. Grow up big and strong but keep your sweetness. Know that Mommy and Daddy love you and will always be here for you, no matter what.

please and thank you, blah blah blah

Well, well, well. Seems one of the little monsters living next door is giving out advice now.
The sweetest boy and the horde were out in the back yard minutes ago when I witnessed my own little creep pushing the smallest of the group on the slide. I yelled off the back deck -cause I'm a redneck and that's how we roll - for him not to push.

My exceedingly polite, most wonderful little creep said, "yes ma'am!" boy, was I proud!

At which point, the middle monster said, "you don't have to say yes ma'am!"

Oh, yes. Yes you do have to say yes ma'am, little monster.

So, now I have to bring my own little creep in and debrief him.

lunch date

Just had a pb&j with the little man.

I finished mine in record-time...only coffee for breakfast, so I was starving.

Little man wanted cheese puffs with his. ewww.

He ate his in typical little-boy fashion - straight down the middle of the sandwich. So when he brought me his paper plate telling me he was finished, I glanced at his face and on both sides of his mouth right up to his cheeks, was peanut butter. Kinda like a peanut butter smiley face.
When I told him he had peanut butter all over his face, he used the God-given 'napkin' attached at his shoulders - his arm. Now, he has peanut butter on his face, his ear, and his forearm.

Oh, and the cheese puffs died a horrible, peanut butter asphyxiation-death.....inside his sandwich.

R.I.P. cheese puffs.

cuddle time

Snuggling in the comfy chair with the sweetest boy a few minutes ago went a little sumpthin' like this:

"I love you, Mama."

"I love you too, baby. Hey, punkin', do you know how to spell 'I love you'?"

"Uh huh. M-o-m-m-y."

Yeah. I melted.


Another episode in the "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" chronicles.

Lunchtime today: walked my sweet self into Subway for a sammich - sporting my favorite Auburn scrubs. Could there be any better job in the world than nursing???? I mean, I get to wear my pjs to work!

Well, doncha know the first thing the 'sandwich artist' behind the counter says is "Auburn!?" ('s hard to get across in typing form the nasal, sarcastic tone he used). Then, "didn't you see the sign on the door?"*

*Excuse me here - now, normally, I'd just laugh it off - because every.stinking.time I wear my AU scrubs to work I have to deal with the oh, so original! comments from the Dawg faithful that I'm forced to work with. A few brave souls (patients) might pipe up and mention something about my choice of teams - just a few though; I guess they know I could be the one administering their sedation for their colonoscopy, so I suppose they don't want to take a chance on gettin' me all riled up. (sorry, guess my redneck is showing)

Sooo. Back to Subway. Today, I'd had my fill. I turned around and looked at the door he indicated and said, 'No, but I could just as easy turn around and walk right back out that door'. No smile. Didn't laugh it off this time. The poor guy didn't know what to say!

I just don't understand it. Here I am a paying customer, and you're gonna insult me? Yeah, yeah - I know - he was just kidding. But sheesh! It happens every.stinking.time!!! I don't have a lot of AU paraphernalia; but the sweetest hubby IS an AU grad, so we are kind of proud to wear the team colors, y'know? We don't go overboard with it by any means - generally, it's a 'whatever is clean' in the closet kind of thing - so for someone to say something about it each and every time we wear our favorite team's logo, it gets kind of old.

Oh and um....I'm not stupid. I made sure to watch the 'artist' at work when he made my sandwich. Like I could possibly withhold your sedation if you get me riled up - he could do some really nasty things to my sammich - I'm just sayin........{shudder}

Graduation Day

Yesterday was another one of those 'I can't believe how fast time flies' moments. We celebrated the littleman's preK graduation. Can it be true? In a few short months, he'll be going to Kindergarten. 'Big School', as he calls it. Amazing.

We gathered out on the playground with the other parents, grandparents and families to wait on the graduates to come outside. Sweetest hubby and me climbed up to the top of the play equipment to get a good viewing/picture-taking platform. Then, here they come; in single file - some were walking with their heads straight forward, some were waving, some looked completely bored, some smiled, some looked thrilled and excited. Mine was one of the excited, smiling, waving ones. He was thrilled with the pomp and circumstance. They came to their chairs and were seated as one. An announcement by one of the teachers and then my baby and two others came forward to the platform to say the pledge. My baby! He stood up there in front of everybody, with his hand over his heart and a smile on his lips and said the pledge of allegiance - and I could hear his sweet voice above the crowd - he wasn't a bit nervous. (or it didn't show!)

Another song, then the teachers handed out gifts to their room moms and then they started giving out the certificates to the kids. Little man smiled from the moment he stood up till the moment he sat down.

Ok. So I kinda got a little moist behind my was hot out there. Shut up. It was.

I'm so happy that he feels so comfortable at his preschool, I know that he's loved there.
Soon, we'll start a new chapter in littleman's life. The beginning of elementary school.
I can't believe how fast time flies.


Last weekend we celebrated little man's 5th birthday at a local inflatables play place with 14 or so of his bestest buds. Then, family gathered at our house to un-wrap gifts and ooh and ahh. A 5 year old boy gets lots of toys for his birthday! I don't ever remember getting that much stuff - actually, I don't ever remember getting a birthday party, but that's another post for another day. Things were different 'back then', I guess. Hmm. Anyway.

So, we're unwrapping presents; some really neat toys, clothes (thanks MawMaw and Nanny!), more toys....and then - he picks up a wrapped shoebox. Paper ripped off - he pulls out a sneaker and says, "Hey! A SHOE!!!" Then, as everyone was properly impressed by the gift; he leans down to the box, jumps up quickly and shouts something to the effect of, "Cool! ANOTHER ONE!!!!"

Hee hee. Blesshisheart.

Sheriff Ben

There's a new sheriff in town. He's wearing a t-shirt and tighty-whiteys and a smile.

And a badge.

And he's dancing in his t-shirt and tighty-whiteys and smile and badge.

And he's terribly, terribly cute.

Happy Birthday Sweetest Boy

Little man,
You're sleeping now. You breathe in and out. Your eyelashes, so long and soft, still and quiet on your sweet face. Your beautiful mouth is open a little; sometimes you speak a word or two straight out of your dream - what is your dream tonight, baby? Could it be dinosaurs or Transformers, Power Rangers and fighting Bad Guys? My little man - you're always the Good Guy - keep the town safe. Sweet dreams, little man.
I remember the very first time I saw your beautiful face. You came into our home and into our hearts in the arms of one of God's special angels - and our lives haven't and will not ever be the same again.
Your light shines so brightly it's sometimes blinding. Your spirit fills the room. I watch you from a distance and see the changing expressions on your face and am still amazed at this gift God has given us. I see your happiness overflowing even when you are just outside playing, or running for the sheer joy of running; your energy is abundant and contagious. I see your eyes sparkle and your entire face break into a smile when you run from home plate to first base - your batting helmet too big, wobbling on your noggin - you sneak a peek at the bleachers to see if I'm watching. Yes, baby. I'm watching - I'll always be there to cheer you on - whatever you choose to do. I love to watch you and Daddy give each other high-fives when you make it to first base after taking a serious whack at the t-ball.
I love your voice - silly and serious, early-morning hoarseness, or late-night sleepiness - my favorite words in the whole wide world: "hey, ma-ma". If I could bottle that sound and have nothing else to hear the rest of my life, I'd take it and consider it enough.
You made our life so sweet when you came through our door. You're loved so much, my little man. You celebrate your birthday this week and we celebrate with you. You're a whole hand now! You're going to be 5 years old. Unbelievable. My fairy tale happily ever after has reached another precious milestone. I thank God for this; I thank God for you, my one and only sweet little boy. Your Daddy and me love you so, so much.
Happy Birthday my sweet, sweet 5 year old.
I love you,

Brownies ARE good for you, aren't they?

"mommy, can we make the brownies?"

"hey, mom....I thought you said we could make the brownies tonight..."

"after my nap, can we make the brownies?"

Ok. So there's been a box of brownies in the cupboard driving my son nuts. True, I've promised to 'help' him make them for two or three days now....but something always comes up. Like bedtime last night. Oh, yeah. It was obviously not a good enough reason for him, but it was way too late to make brownies. So, I promised him we would make them today.

Approximately 15 minutes ago, I asked him if he wanted to go make the brownies now. Yippee! Yay!! Brownies!!! Off to the kitchen we go. Maybe 30 seconds after we get the mix, eggs, water, and oil in the bowl - he's uninterested. Off he goes to watch Power Rangers but not before yelling over his shoulder "I want to lick the bowl!!"

Batter in the pan, pan goes in the oven and I've stolen a couple of licks of the spoon before I call him in (what? yeah, like you don't do it too...) the kitchen. He comes running in smiling, saying: "lick the bowl, lick the bowl!"

I've already scraped the sides of the bowl down to make it easier for him; hand him the spoon and he says: "I don't want it. I don't want to eat junk food".


grumpy nose

Grumpy boy discovered me in the bathroom; trying my best to get a nice hot bath and a little peace and quiet. Ha. Nothing like having an audience for a bath, but that's another post.
He came in on the pretense of asking for a snack. Well, it's almost supper time here, so I said no. Grumpy whining ensues. Lots and lots of it.

It lasted all the way through the end of my bath till I started to dry my hair. He's stomping around in the bathroom, whining and sniffling - he never gets to do what he wants to do...never gets what he waannnnntsssssss.......whiiiinnnnneee, sniffle......whiiiiiiinnnnnneeeeeeee........

Then, out of the blue he says, "I don't like my nose anymore!"

"Why don't you like your nose anymore, baby?"

"I don't like it cause it gets snot in it!"

Trying not to laugh, I said, "But Mommy loves your nose!"
"Even with snot."

"I want to get it taken off! I don't want it anymore."

So, I turn around and ask, "Um, how do you get your nose taken off?"

"I don't know, I guess you have to get the Nose Directions and see how to do it!"

I had to ask.

Big boy school

Yesterday was a big day around here. Yesterday we registered the sweetest boy in the whole, wide, wonderful world for Kindergarten. Yesterday we walked right up to the elementary school and signed the papers. Yesterday we made our very first trip into the place that, with time - will take all the vestiges of 'babydom' from me, er, from him....oops....
He'll move from his preK, where I can still see and believe he's still my baby.
This place will begin the process of moving him into the little boy- that will turn into the big boy -that will turn into the man that he will be. Oy. I can't even begin to think about it.

And can I tell ya that my little guy was (3 ft in the air) excited to be there???? He was thrilled to no end to be in his new school. He wanted to meet the principal - can ya believe it??

So, I kept him home today from baby stayed home with me. And I loved it.

Hey, batta batta........!

And how was your weekend? Mine? Fantastically great, thanks for asking!
We woke up this morning to a bright, beautiful, sunshiney day - just a little chilly when wind would blow - but perfect for the first t-ball game of our little mans life.

Had a wonderful breakfast cooked up by the sweetest hubby in the world; eaten a little too leisurely, I guess, because we had to rush like whirling dervishes to get to the field by 10:15. The team came together on the field and got the final piece of their uniforms - new caps with their names/number embroidered on the back. Now, they're officially a team. And boy are they cute.

We weren't able to have practice last Saturday because of all the rain we had in the area, so the guys really have had only had one practice - at which, part of the time was taken up with pictures and just trying to herd 9 little boys into one small area - heck, some didn't even know how to put their glove on or throw a ball, much less the intricacies of playing the game. But, there's a schedule to keep, so off we go to the field.

Scrappers (yea!) v. Mudcats (boo)

The Scrappers got to bat first. Um, lemme pause a sec here. The coach said prior to the game that the players would bat in order of their jersey number. Ok, no problem there. Hmm...
Little man is number 8. One kid out today due to illness so that leaves our little guy batting last. All the other players got to hit and then run the bases - unless they were tagged out. Last batter up in the inning is our little hero. He hits (great job, btw!) and runs to first.......inning over. He never got to run past first base!!! Grr....not fair.
Mommy was not happy.

Mudcats at bat next. If I say so myself, our little guys did a much better job than they did. Got two real outs the first two at bats for the mighty Mudcats. But who's counting? I did notice a meltdown in the (not so) mighty Mudcats dugout that lasted through the bottom of the inning. One little guy obviously did not want to be there. Hey, there's no crying in baseball!
Sorry. Had to.

Mudcats did pretty well hitting, but inning over. Scrappers out in the field had done an outstanding job. I noticed our little hero plodding back to the dugout with his head down, shoulders slumped almost to the ground, hands just dangling loosely: the picture of the downtrodden. Assistant coach, aka Daddy, stopped him just as he came to the door of the dugout and said something to him. Not sure what it was, but it didn't sit well with our guy. Now, we've got ourselves a meltdown in the Scrappers dugout. Clean up on aisle ten. Off I go to the dugout to see what was going on.

Seems the problem lies in the fact that he didn't get to get to the ball. The coach had placed the players out on the field and would move them from time to time to let them get a little experience everywhere, but the ones in the outfield never really got a chance to do much - the balls weren't gonna make it to the outfield when they couldn't even hit it past (or to) the pitchers mound. So, he was understandably upset. I talked to him and let him know that everybody would get a chance to get the ball, he just needed to wait his turn. Meanwhile, back at the game, the Scrappers were up at bat. #6, #7...and hey, bud! it's your turn at bat! Tears are wiped and off he goes to bat. Swing!! Whaack! Ruuuuuuuunnnnnn, Bennnnnn! Off he goes to first. High-five with the first base coach, aka Daddy - again. Then: inning over. GRRRRRRRRR.....

Scrappers take the field. One or two batters later for the Mudcats and then little man gets his chance to head to the pitchers mound. He was thrilled! His whole demeanor changed. You could see his face shining with the smile that took over his face. And he.was.ready. I'm tellin' ya.

Batter up! Sa-wiiiinnng! Smack! GEEEEETTTTTT IT, Beeeeennnnnn!!! Woooo Hoooo! He stopped that ball like a pro!!!!!! Now, what to do with it? So, with shouts from the coaches all around, he starts to chase that little Mudcat around the field. I've never laughed so much. He tagged him somewhere between first and second base after a very circuitous route.

No sign of the dejected little baseball player would be seen in the park the rest of the game. Just giv'em a chance to get to the ball and he's happy.
And so is his mommy.

---Had special visitors to the park today to watch the first game of the season: our little hero had his Nanny and Pop in the stands. They got a much coveted thumbs up from the field when he took the pitchers mound.
Thanks for making the trip, N and P!

Boys have a.....

Just got home picking up little man from school. His teacher said, "he said the funniest thing today''. Uh oh.

Seems that one of the little girls has a rash of some sort on her, um.....hmm. Well, how bout 'thatwhichshouldbecoveredbyundies'?

Evidently this was the topic of conversation out on the playground this afternoon, so of course the little girl pulled her top up and pants down to show this rash to her friends. Little man included. Not one to keep such things to himself, little man ran to his teacher and said,

"Miss Katie, ****** just showed me her penis!!"


Maybe a lesson in the subtle differences between a boy and a girl would be appropriate?
Glad his daddy is coming home tomorrow.


"Mom-my! I stinkied!!!"

Now, that is an announcement I enjoy hearing. Mostly because that means I don't have to clean up an "accident" in the undies. Yeah, we're still dealing with accidents from time to time. Boys.
Oh no, we can't be bothered with going to the bathroom to do our business when there is playing to be done.

So, off to the potty I go to see what I can do to help with clean-up duty. joy

I find one completely naked boy - leaning over, both hands on the toilet seat; perusing the results of his 'efforts'.

"look, Mom! the circle one looks like a gobstopper!"

Niiiiice. I sure hope that wasn't what Willy Wonka had in mind when he came up with the everlasting gobstopper. Ewww.

Batter, up! Eh, almost.

T-ball practice was cancelled. We did get to make a trip to the field but because it had rained all night and continued to do so, the field was a sloppy mess. Got to meet the coach and all the boys on the team and also got fitted for t-shirts. Little man's number will be number 8!
Oh, and can I just say how stinkin' cute the boys were all lined up shortest to tallest.
OMG. Too cute.

Left there to buy uniform pants. Went to WallyWorld but no luck; then on to Dick's. So, ya think 4 is too old to strip a kid down to his underpants in the middle of the store? Hope not.
Cause we did; right there in the uniform aisle in front of God and everybody. My BFF made the comment: "Well, that's how rednecks do it."
Guess that answers that.

Uniform pants on a 4 year old boy = extreme cuteness. The butt? Oy. Have you ever seen anything so cute? Can't wait to get the full uniform on so I can get pictures.

Let the games begin...

Saturday marks the first practice day for T-ball for my little guy. We'll see how this goes - soccer wasn't the hit we thought it would be, even though he could kick a ball from the time he started walking. He was very excited about playing soccer, just not playing soccer with everybody else. He had very little interest in learning the 'fundamentals' of the game - in his mind, to play soccer you: run, kick ball, chase ball, catch ball then kick it again. Which is good - just not really playing. Since this was a parent/child interactive soccer team; we spent most of our time yelling at him to "come baaaaccck, buddy!" as he flew across the soccer field in the opposite direction of the coach and us. We gave up after 3-4 practices.

It just wasn't worth getting mad at him for enjoying himself.

Happy Birthday

History: this weekend was sweetest hubby's birthday; next week is mine.

Got a text from little man's teacher at school today. Seems he'd been telling his buddies about our recent/upcoming birthdays.


"Ben told his friends that his daddy is 45 and his mommy is 23".

Yeah, thaaaat's my BOY!!

Just call me Oscar.

Ok, this has nothing to do with anything/anyone in particular. Not true, I'm sure it's hormonal. It's just me, venting.

1. Sometimes I hate, hate, hate my job. Like today.
2. Sometimes I hate people. I just want to be alone and not talk to anyone. Got a problem?
Don't wanna hear it. Need something? Get it yourself. Leave me alone.
3. I get tired of having to be nice all the time. I'm gonna explode.
4. I wish I could wiggle my nose and change things, but I can't.
5. I'm being intentionally vague. I'm sorry.
6. Not really.
7. I don't want to have to think about problems, bills, cooking, cleaning, job, laundry - etc. Not right now. I want a raincheck.
8. I want to check-out for a little while. Ok? Maybe take a hot bath and listen to music. Or not. Maybe complete silence. yeah. That would be nice.


Yesterday, sweetest hubby and me went to pick up little man at school. When we got there we noticed his class seated on the floor listening to the afternoon teacher reading a book. It always amazes us how they can corral a roomful of 4 year olds into one small area and keep them there, relatively quiet and still, for any length of time. Must be magic.

We didn't want to interrupt the story, so we stood outside the door and peeked in, observing the class in the reflection of the mirror over the sink in the classroom. When the story was finished, little man - who'd been sitting on the front row - stood up and quietly walked the two steps to his teacher, leaned over and gave her a big hug. She hugged him back and he went to sit back down, but as he turned around he caught sight of us outside the door and came running.

I thought how sweet my little boy is. I don't get to see much of the interaction of my child and others; I drop him off in the morning as I head to work, and pick him up in the evening after work. But his day to day activities, I really don't know much about. I get daily reports from his teacher and they'll occasionally have a blurb about something he did - but mostly, I'm in the dark. It was nice to see a completely spontaneous act of kindness shown to someone other than his mommy or daddy.

These are the things I want to be able to remember. I know I'll forget most of the daily happenings, good and bad. But I want to remember how I feel when I see the smile light up his face when he sees me or his daddy. How he smells - fresh from a bath, still warm and a little damp; or after playing all day he 'smells like a billygoat'. How he thinks 'shaking his bootie-bottom' is a dance that is funnier than anything. How he says "watch this, daddy" a million times a day. How he giggles when he toots. How he wants somebody to snuggle with him in the morning. How he always wants his chocolate milk first thing like I want my coffee. How if he wants to tell you he loves you more than anything, he says he loves you "more than the city" - I have no idea why that means a lot, but to him it does. How he likes to show off his 'moves' which are essentially contorted, convoluted, made-up karate kicks - but to him that is some pretty fancy footwork. How his imagination can keep him occupied and entertained when mommy is too busy doing something other than paying him attention. I want to remember things that are even now getting fuzzy after time. When we played with the water hose for the first time in the backyard of our home in Columbus; he was only in a t-shirt and diaper and he splashed around making a muddy spot in the grass and he thought it was the greatest. Or the day we had a huge rain shower and we let him run out into it until he was soaked to the skin - how he laughed and laughed and splashed in the puddles made on the driveway.
I want to remember it all. His hugs, his smells, his voice - oh, his voice! - when he sings or talks on and on. How he wraps his fingers around mine when we walk through a parking lot, or sometimes as we walk into school he'll slip his hand into mine without my asking and how I love the feel of it.

All these things I want to remember, but I worry that I won't.


Got a little help with the housework this morning in the form of a little man who wanted to make up his bed before school (!) and he wanted to do it
all by himself; with Mama out of the room:

"I'll call you when I'm dunned".

So, I went to get his bath ready and wait.

Just a few minutes later he calls me back into his room, a big smile on his face:

"look, mama! I made up my bed and I put all of them close together because
they're best friends" (stuffed toys on his bed)

Great job, little man.

Ok, so if you know me, you're aware that I'm normally a little OCD about bed-making, but there's no way I'm gonna mess this up by straightening it and making it 'right' by my so-called standards. He worked very hard to get it just so and was so proud. I may just have to change my way of thinking when it comes to bed-making.

Sharing with Daddy

Went to eat at a local restaurant after church last Sunday with my two favorite guys. After eating yeast rolls hot out of the oven with (way too much) butter; we continued to see just how fast we could get our arteries to slam shut by ordering roast beef sandwiches loaded with melted swiss cheese, tiny thin-crispy onion rings with a 'tangy' Cajun horseradish sauce - all on toasted ciabatta bread, with - of course - au jus. Ahh.
I felt the best thing to round out this infarct-arousing lunch for me would be fries. The sweetest hubby thought an order of onion rings would do the trick.
(I guess onion rings on the sandwich wouldn't be enough....)

Little man's lunch wasn't much better. He got mini-corndogs and cheetos. At least the cheetos were baked. I'm not that bad of a mom.

The sweetest hubby had to share his onion rings with the little man. After trying to bite through one particularly tough onion ring, little man pulled the whole onion out of his mouth and handed it to his daddy - keeping the other, yummy part.....

"Here, Daddy. You can have the onion. I'll eat the ring".

Never knew what to call the coating on an onion ring till now.

sweet boy

Bedtime last night - another 30-45 minutes worth of getting my very active and loud boy in the bed and on the way to sleep - he makes me melt.

Ok. Lemme back up a little here. We've been trying to get little man in the bed earlier and also trying to get him to go to sleep by himself. Really, it's all our fault that he wants me/us to stay with him - that's what he's known for all of his 4.5 years. We all climb into bed, snuggle and cuddle for a little while until somebody falls asleep. Usually it's all of us. Anywho.
So, we've instituted the 'I'm gonna stay with you for 10 minutes,
then I'll leave and you sleep' plan. Yeah, right.

Well. Last night the 10 minutes were up and I started to leave. Lots of "noMommydon'tleave me!" I stood by my plan though....hmmph.

Kisses, kisses, good night sweetie. One more hug. Kisses.

Then, the bomb.

"No, Mommy don't go......Mommy, your kisses all go away when I'm by myself"

I think I did quite well, though. I only stayed for a few minutes more so I could cover my stinky boy with a hundred more kisses. That should hold him.......and me.