yo quiero taco mio!!


Every afternoon, on our way home from school I typically ask Ben a few things - how his day went, whadja' eat for lunch, any problems at school, etc.   Tuesday afternoon was no different as we drove the short distance home....lunch consisted of pb&j, his day went 'fine', and no, there were no problems.  Then:

me: Want anything special for supper?
him:   Can we have tacos?
me:  Sure!  I have taco stuff! 
him:  Can we have tacos tonight and spaghetti tomorrow night? 
me:  Sure,  no problem!

We get home, argue over homework for way too long, and then I piddle around a little til it's time for me to start supper.  Fast forward 30-45 minutes or so, the Daddy walks in the door from work.  Ben comes in from the living room - where he's been glued to the tv - to greet his Daddy.  As he's walking around the bar into the kitchen, he asks me if the tacos are ready. 



Ah!  Oh no!  Giggle!

I made spaghetti!!! 

Somehow, when I opened the pantry door to get out the taco kit, I must have had spaghetti on the brain and pulled that out instead!  It nevereverever even occurred to me as I was up to my elbows in noodles and sauce that I was making the wrong meal! 
All was forgiven, though, as long as I promised we could have tacos tomorrow night - Wednesday.

Now, normally we try to eat Wednesday night supper at church - it's always good, it's cheap, and easy on the Mama - but yesterday the meal they had planned was something that I knew Ben would not eat, so I intended to go home and make the promised tacos.  Wednesday afternoon riding home from school same routine - same answers too, now that I think about it......anyway......

We get home a little later than I had intended when I made the plan/promise to make tacos for him, so I asked him would it be ok if we skip the tacos (again!) and maybe have some hot dogs?  He laughed and said, sure.  (why yes, I'm catering to a 7 year old.....what?)  So, hot dogs it was! 

And another promise for tacos 'tomorrow night'. 

This morning I was reminded of my taco promise.   My baby wants tacos!! 

Just got a call from the Daddy.  Looks like we're gonna have to skip the tacos again tonight.....

Who wants to break the news to the little man?


Feeling a little melancholy this morning, maybe it's the season?  The leaves are changing, it's getting cooler outside - Fall is here.  Soon, Thanksgiving and then all too quickly Christmas will be here and gone.  Another year, passed.

Where has time gone?  Maybe it's because my days and weeks are spent the same - I treasure the quiet of my days off work, with time to myself to spend as I wish.  My work days are made better because I get to see my friends, not because of any great feeling of accomplishment anymore.  When did that change?  Am I making a difference there?  Occasional glimpses of a higher purpose appear, but they're few and far between. 

I got to spend some time with Mama last week when she and Dan-man came to stay with us while Greg was gone on his annual fishing trip.  I don't know how good my company was, but I really enjoyed her visit.  (Thanks, Mama for taking care of me!) You always amaze me with how you never complain about doing something for one of us.  Well, maybe you do, but I never hear it.  I know very few people who would make an apple pie at 10:30 at night just because.  If the grand kids want pizza, and then want something else, and then something else...you're on it.  And the #1 rule: 'Grandma overrules the Mama' stands well and true.

My memories of my childhood are fleeting - I don't remember many day to day events, and as I get older, even things that I thought I'd always remember at the time, are gone.  That makes me sad. 
I allow things to come and go, moments that I think to myself, "I need to go write that down" only to be distracted by something - the moment passes, along with the memory.  

I want time to stop sometimes - or at least slow down for goodness sakes!  Maybe it's me?  Maybe I need to savor each moment as it comes a little more.  Allowing the moment to sink in a little deeper, grow roots...so that when I want to re-visit that time, I'll be able to remember. 

photo credit: Shari Weinsheimer

A day or three in the life of a boy

This n' that.  Bits n' pieces.  Here n' there over the past few days.

Little man piped up from the back seat to tell us that he'd volunteered to be on the Student Council at school. (2nd grade student council??) He said that when his teacher asked for volunteers,  he and two other boys stepped forward. He said if he wasn't chosen as a representative, he might still get to be the alternate when the rep wasn't there. 
So proud he wants to help!   Now, my question is, what kind of decisions will second graders be making? I can just see it now......Recess! Candy! No school on Mondays! Hamburgers every day!   :)

*update:  found out last night that Ben was not chosen to be on the SC.  They had three volunteers but only two positions, so somebody had to be the losing candidate.  Broke my heart when he told me that he didn't get enough votes.   He did tell me: "I voted for myself, is that ok?"     :)
Maybe next time, sweetie.  

Sunday morning:
A friend from church passed on a little tidbit of information to me from Children's Church.  During the lesson, the leader asked the kids what their feelings were when they saw a homeless person.  Obviously, each child gave a different answer - feel sorry for them, or wonder why they're homeless, etc.  Ben's answer?  He said he thinks, "maybe they could come and live with me".

Sunday night/Monday morning:
At bedtime last night, I asked Ben what he'd rather do in the morning:  ride the bus or be a 'car rider' to school.  (On Mondays & Fridays he has a choice because I don't work on those days.  FYI - there's a BIG difference in the time he - and I - have to get up depending on which mode of transportation he chooses.)  His answer last night was to ride the bus.  Joy.  Not the answer I'd hoped to hear.....that meant we'd have to be up by 6am. 
Goodnight kisses given, I head off to the kitchen to get the coffee pot ready for my bleary-eyed-morning-self.  Then it was off to bed for me.
Fast forward to this morning.  Awakened by the alarm, I stumble my bleary-eyed-self into the kitchen to the coffee pot.  Pour myself a cup, take a few sips (ok, half a cup) to clear the cobwebs, then head in to wake the child. 
Let me just pause here to ask, is there anything sweeter in this whole wide world than a sleeping child?  Even this wild, loud monkey boy that smells like a billy goat most of the time is a vision of angelic peace when he sleeps.   Ok, picking up where we left off....
I crawl into bed with my sweet sleepy child,  say his name and tell him it's time to get up.  He stretches and then doesn't move again.  Has he gone back to sleep?   I remind him that if he wants to go back to sleep and just let me take him to school, that he could sleep for another hour - but if he planned to ride the bus, he needed to get up now.  
My sweet baby then turned to me and asked me if I wanted to go back to sleep.  When I told him no baby, I'm ok - he said he'd go ahead and get up too. 
We headed to the living room couch where he joined me for an early morning snuggle.  40 minutes later, we were still there as the schoolbus stopped out in front of the house. 
We ignored it. 

I love that stinky, wild, billy-goat-smelling, monkey boy.

bad dreams

Alarm clock read 7:00am.   Little man was already awake, but not out of bed yet.  Kisses and good morning hugs given, then he told me he'd had a bad dream.  When I questioned him about it, he told me that there were three 'bad guys' in the garage and he couldn't get away from them.  Their crime?   They "had written on Daddy's truck with a crayon".
He was very brave though, he said he'd kicked them in the face and then closed the garage door. 
When we told Daddy about the dream, he and Ben went out in the garage just to make sure they were gone for good.  Nope, no sign of them! Guess they knew not to mess with my little man anymore!


Earlier tonight just before little man's bedtime, as we were watching the beginning moments of a show remembering 9/11, the footage showed one of the poor souls who fell or leapt from one of the towers.  I quickly put my hand over Ben's eyes and ushered him out of the living room to his bedroom - all the while listening to: "What was it, Mom?", "What was that falling?"
I told him that there are some bad things in life that I feel like I have to protect him from, and at this point, I didn't think it was something he should see.  He's 7, I'm....um, not....and I have a hard time watching it and wrapping my brain around the horror - how is his little mind going to process something so terrible?  

My baby is still my baby - at least for another day.

First Day of School!!!

Today is the day.  I have your clothes all ready.  I've packed up your backpack with your bright, shiny new school supplies.  I'll pull the camera out in a few minutes so I'll be sure to have it for the required First Day of School Pictures.  After breakfast, we'll get ready and I'll take you to school. 

I'm going to walk with you down the long hallway and insist that you put your hand in mine.  When we get to the door of your new classroom,  I'm going to kneel down (not nearly as far as last year, you're getting so big) give you a big hug and a kiss...if you let me.  Be prepared:  I know I'll try to sneak in another hug before you escape.   Then, I'll tell you to have a great first day of school. And remind you to be good for your new teacher.  And I'll miss you!  Another hug?  Maybe. 

You'll go in to your new adventure.  I'll smile and turn away, but my heart will still be there.   My baby is in the second grade.  


Dear Ben,

You, my little man, are now seven years old.  Seven.  S-e-v-e-n!!  Oh dear. 

To top that off - in just a few short days, you will be finished with first grade!  Now wait just a dang minute.  There's no way you're already seven and finishing first grade?!  How is this possible?  

Your feet are almost as big as mine.  I know: I tried on your flip flops. 

You're getting taller by the minute!  All of your jeans have obviously been stolen and replaced with another child's much shorter jeans (who also have the propensity to rip the left and only the left knee....amazing coincidence, yes?)

You're getting stronger and faster every day.  We wrestle on the couch and I have to remind you that I'm a girl, and we're more gentle with girls!  Then you whack me on the head.

You have your own crazy sense of humor.  You kill me with your booty-shaking dance moves.  Everything is better loud and fast.   And loud. 

You're hungry ALL THE TIME.   My ears bleed from hearing, "Mama, can I have a snack?", or after supper: "I'm still hungry".  

You have amazed and astounded me with your mad baseball skillz this season.  To see the difference over such a short period of time - what a change!  All in stride for you though. (I love watching you play!!)

You're open and honest.  A true friend and social butterfly: you've never met a stranger.

Your laugh is still as infectious as ever.  Your energy is non-stop.  (And loud.)
You meet life head-on, and wide-open, bubba!  Your sweetness is over-powering.  You grow more beautiful each and every day.  You still allow me to hold you and snuggle from time to time;  these are among the minutes I treasure.  

You are and always will be a very special little boy.  You were my gift from heaven,  I am blessed beyond measure to be your Mom.   Happy Birthday, my sweet baby boy!

me:  "I love you."
you: "I love you more."
me: "I love you most."

With all my love,


Unhappy Yellow Jackets

I don't think I've mentioned the fact that the little man started playing baseball in the spring,  if I have, I don't remember and I'm too sleepy to click over to check and then click back to come back here: it's 5:30 in the mornin' here, people.  I don't have near enough coffee in me yet to do a whole lot of serious thinking.  Forgive me.   
We've had maybe 4-5 games (again with the thinking problem...maybe I should wait to finish this post when I'm more awake) and, until last night, they've won every one!!
Some games were a little closer than others; had a couple of real nail-biters and a few down-right blow outs.
Last nights game was a wringing-hands-ulcer-inducing-pacing-the-fenceline-screaming"Yayyyy!!"  then groaning inside (and sometimes audibly) kind of game.  When the boys made a mistake or someone who normally can just about hit it out of the park struck out, the moms sitting near me in the crowd felt it as sure as if we were playing right alongside them.   Ben had a pretty good game, all in all.  He went 2 for 3; only had one ball get past him in centerfield and got to be catcher for one inning.  I lovelovelove to watch him play.  
We had a few tears from some of the players and even a couple of bad attitudes; Coach had to give them the post-game talk about being sore losers. 
We'll be back at practice on Thursday night, and we have another game on Saturday; we'll see how it goes.   I'll be watching from the fenceline, as always, cheering my little player on. 

silly tiger

A couple of weeks ago, the little man had a project to do for school.  This particular project was assigned by the Media Specialist.....um, for those who went to school (like me) prior to the super-secret-renaming of faculty-event,  that would be the Librarian.  Now, why and when the name changed, I don't know.  Remember we're late to this parenting a school-aged child thing.  Anyway....

So, this project was a research paper of sorts.  The librarian, oops,  media specialist (!) helped him research his subject:  tigers.  She had helped him write out several key points and then sent the information home for him to use to write his paper.   As we sat going through the information together, well....somewhat together....SOMEone wasn't too thrilled to be sitting at the table doing homework, when, quite possibly he might be missing his very favorite show that he's seen a thousand times and  ohmygoodness! I-just-can't-sit-here-any-longer-Mama-because-I'm-soooooo-tiiiiirrrrredddd-and-do-we-have-to-do-this-noooooowww?????

Around this time, the Daddy came in to save the day; my glaring and threatening of bodily harm obviously wasn't working.  He sat down at the table, reviewed the instructions for the paper and we all worked on it together. We had a pretty good system:  Ben would read the information, we'd discuss it and then we'd decide if it needed to be included in the report.   It only needed to be three paragraphs, so it wasn't all that detailed.  Our paragraphs were to include what tigers eat,  where do tigers live, and how many cubs do tigers usually have.  To make sure the finished product was as neat as could be, Ben dictated the information  - in his words -  to me,  as I wrote it onto a separate piece of paper.  

We'd finally finished gathering the information, so he started to transfer the information over in his handwriting.  Roles were reversed: I dictated, he wrote.   I allowed him to have some freedom with his spelling,  that is, unless he was really off on a particular word - I allowed a fair amount of mistakes,  planning to come back at the completion of the paper to make corrections.  

Minutes pass.  Time to proof-read and correct mistakes; more groaning and whining ensue.  Ok, so maybe it wasn't such a good idea to let him write everything out and then expect him to correct his mistakes afterward.  Whatever.

At the point in the paper covering what tigers eat, I observed the following portion of a sentence, as written by Ben:

   ".....a tigers diet can include beer, badgers, rabbits...." 

As I'm reading the sentence aloud to him,  I say,

     "...a tigers diet can include beer and pretzels...."  

By now, he's sitting on my lap, so he snapped his head around, giving me a surprised look  and tells me that's not what it says!  
I picked up the paper to peer at it closely and said,  "Oh! Just beer!  Ok, I see.  A tigers diet can include beer.  Hmm.  I didn't know that."

It takes a few minutes of giggling and me forcing him to re-read his sentence for him to see that he'd written beer instead of deer.    

Yes, we corrected it. 

Even though I do know a few Tigers whose diets consist of beer and pretzels.  Just sayin'.

Sweet dreams, little man

At some point last night as I sat on the couch, mindlessly watching Cupcake Wars on tv, I had a visitor make his way into my lap.  He didn't say a word, just walked over and crawled up and sat down.  I covered his legs up with the ever-present fleece blanket, but didn't say a word.  For once, he was being quiet and still, so I just sat there with my 50 lb baby in my lap and breathed him in. 

A little while later,  I whispered a "thank you for coming to sit with me" in his ear, to which I received a whispered, "you're welcome". 

A little while later than that, I noticed my visitors breathing had started to change.   I peeked around the head resting on my chest to see his eyelashes make one last effort to stay open and then close softly;  revealing the peaceful face of an angel. 

I could have gotten up at that point to carry him to bed, but I didn't.  These sweet moments are not as common any more.  No, I savored every minute of it.  My visitor stayed, sleeping peacefully on my lap.  My sweet baby boy, sweet dreams. 

Maxine's Mystic Revelers*

Good Monday Morning!  Spent the weekend on the Gulf Coast for what has become our family's annual Mardi Gras trip - and boy, we were paraded out by the time Sunday rolled around!  It's so nice to get together with the extended family for a time - lots of laughter, food, and definitely noise!  We are one loud group!  Just ask the neighbors!  Ahem.

Brought home bags full (literally) of cheap Mardi Gras stuff - beads, stuffed animals, plastic crabs, candy, Moon Pies, cups, dubloons, etc etc.   The little man wanted to take some beads to his classmates this morning, so I counted out 40 strands of the multicolored beads, explained to him that he would be able to give each friend 2 strands and that he needed to make sure it would be ok with his teacher before he started passing them around.  I sent a note with him, addressed to her, regarding the beads.  I hope he's able to give them out without causing too much of a ruckus in the classroom.  I threatened told him absolutely no throwing of beads in the classroom!!!  
I hope he listened. 

Happy Mardi Gras, everybody! 

*MMR - our 'Offical' Krewe name.  :)

of chivalry and oral hygeine

While visiting (and enjoying every minute of it!) a friend's blog this morning, I came across a sweet post she wrote about her Gentleman-in-Training, Jonathan.  It reminded me of my little man and his first demonstrations of chivalry yesterday.

We were leaving for church; just the two of us -  Greg had gone earlier; and, as usual, we were running late.  Most of the conversation consisted of:  "hurry up....go brush your teeth!....why aren't you dressed?......shoes?...where are your shoes?.....no, you can't take your DS to church.....did you brush your teeth?....please brush your teeth!......did you brush all of your teeth?.....let's go....let's goooo!"   You know, a typical Sunday morning. 

I grabbed my purse, keys, etc.  Ben got his little bag that holds his Bible, and a straw.  Yes, a drinking straw.  I don't know why, he just did.  Into his mouth it goes.  (maybe I should afix a brush to it so I don't have to remind him forty times to brush his teeth)

As we walked out to the car, he's his usual chatterbox self; but as we made our way around the front of the car, he paused at my door, shifted his bag to his other shoulder, and opened the car door for me!  Then he proceeded to his door, stopped and smiled at me - complete with the straw sticking out of the corner of his mouth.  What a gentleman!  I gave him a quick squeeze, kiss and thank you, snatched the straw out of his mouth, and away we went to church. 

When we got there, we gathered our things and walked (somewhat) together to the door.  Reminders of: don't run in the hall, don't forget to give your tithe envelope to your teacher, be good in class, etc.  We get almost to the door, when my little gentleman rushes ahead, opens the door and holds it for me!  Another quick hug and kiss for my sweet boy - who is immensely proud of himself, by the way. 

Looking back over yesterday morning, after typing this out;  I see that an awful lot of the morning was spent with me saying "don't do this...don't do that....behave....remember not to...."   I should temper my reminders with a little more praise.  He didn't have to be told to open the doors for me, he just did it, out of the kindness of his heart.  All the correction and rushing and do this! don't do that!....was it needed?  Is that what he's going to remember?  Mama was always harping on me to do something or other? 
He was just being himself, a little boy.  I wouldn't want it any other way.

And besides, these baby teeth are all gonna fall out anyway, right?

Love is.....

  • changing the oil in my car...
  • taking the garbage out that I leave sitting by the door - 8 steps away from the garbage can...
  • sweeping up packing peanuts in the middle of the night because you said you'd clean up the mess...
  • buying Valentine's cards for me from you and our little man...
  • building a fire because "I'm cold" is something you hear repeatedly - AND we can roast marshmallows...then, making the perfect marshmallow for yourself...
  • going to work every day for our family...
  • our little family...
  • taking care of things...
  • never giving up on me...
  • sentimental...
  • thoughtful...
  • sweet...
  • funny...
  • sometimes stressed-out...
  • never forgotten...
  • always calling on the way home from work...
  • insisting on date nights...
  • a wonderful Daddy to our son...
  • comfortable...
  • for always...
Love is: You....and so much more.

Happy Valentine's Day to my sweetie.  I love you.

Five + One = Six

I'm learning.  Slowly, it seems, but I'm learning.  I chose to not make a comment the other day when every fiber of my being wanted to!  We'd been working on little man's 100th day of school t-shirt project; we'd discussed what he wanted to decorate his t-shirt with, and we made the trip into town to Michael's to get the things.

His decorations?  Balls.  100 of them:  baseballs, footballs, soccer balls, and basketballs.  His favorites. 

As we stood in the aisle, I tried to use the occasion as a 'teaching moment'.   (The balls were actually stickers, probably made for scrapbookers, but I figured they would stick to a t-shirt well enough to work...maybe not for long-term use, but they'd last through the day!)
The stickers come packaged in a cellophane sleeve in groups of 5, so I helped him count out 100.  He can count to 100 easily, but I wanted to help him do it by 5s, and then (making it quicker for me) 25s.   I showed him that 25 + 25 + 25 + 25 = 100.   We went over it several times.  And by, "we went over it several times", I mean:  I went over it several times.....to his lack of interest.  Next, after many many minutes of arguing and whining discussion, we decided on a black t-shirt for the ball stickers.  I paid for the items and off we went. 

We spent a good 45 minutes a couple of nights later working on the project.  More arguing and whining discussion about how the items should be placed on the t-shirt - finally, we grouped them in the simplest of ways - chaotically: no specific pattern...completely random. There were balls everywhere!   It actually turned out pretty cute, even if it was a little harum-scarum.
Sent the t-shirt and the little man off to school the next day, hoping for a good grade for our his project.

That afternoon on the ride home from school is where I had my little lesson on keeping my mouth shut.  I asked the little man how his presentation went (oh yeah, forgot to tell ya they had to "present" their work....explaining how they'd come to choose their objects, and how they'd grouped their objects on the shirt.  I'm sure that was entertaining.)
He told me it went "good", but he'd had too many balls on his shirt; the teacher counted them and he'd had 105.  I was immediately on the defensive, because I knew I was right and she was wrong....I mean, we counted the wrappers over and over and over!  Remember my 'teaching moment'???  But for some reason, I kept my mouth shut.  We got home from school, he parked himself in front of the tv, I went to quietly dig through the garbage.  

I found the cellophane wrappers that had held the stickers and sure enough, for whatever reason, the basketballs were packaged in groups of 6.  Why?  I have no idea.  But I missed it.  Completely.   And because I missed it, I never even thought of counting the stupid balls as we stuck them to the t-shirt.  Because of my mistake, he probably won't get the best grade he could have gotten. 

Now, did I come clean?  To him, yes.  I told him I'd missed the fact that the basketballs had more than 5 in the package.  

To his teacher?  No.  Maybe I should have, I don't know.  It was supposed to be his project.  I'm a rotten mom - I let the 6 year old take the heat.  Would it have done any good to tell?  I don't know.   

The kid?  Completely unfazed by the whole thing.

Me?  Going back to elementary math class.