Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Artist Graduates

So, my Taz graduated pre-kindergarten this afternoon.
It was a Luau themed ceremony.
Instead of caps and gown, they had Hawaiian shirts, grass skirts and lays.

That was real nice.

So were the two songs they sang afterward.

(Disclosure- this is the kind of video that only a parent or relative will really love. Admittedly, if the camera were pointed at another kid, I would probably watch 18 seconds of this...IF I even pushed play to begin with.) 

So, this is one of those times as a parent you expect yourself to be filled with emotions. I mean really, all the singing and Hawaiian bowing and the hip shaking and whatnot. But, I can't say I was moved to tears.  Was I filled with real joy? Yes. Did my cheeks hurt from smiling so big? Yes.
Did I have to discreetly brush tears from my cheeks? No.

That is, until later in the party.
Mr. Bill (Mrs. Connie's (the teacher) dad who helps two days a week and is apparently a lover /student of the arts) pulled me aside and said that he noticed what a great artist my princess is. That out of all 40 students, she has the most skills. That I should encourage her love of art. Painting and drawing and coloring. My inner wanna-be-starving-artist-wearing-a-pair-of-overalls-and-a-paintbrush-for-a-hair-clip cried out "YES!"   My fear, that we would not understand on another as we graduate each stage of life, diminished. She may not understand my humor, but we can speak in canvases and brushstrokes.  She, the fighter, and me, the lover will be able to bond with paints and scissors and glue.

I thanked Mr. Bill and said something about having cupcake in my eye as my heart burst right open.

Congratulations my sweet Tazmanian Artist

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


"Mom, I'm making a card for your next birtday already."

"Wow. It's beautiful."

"Fanks. That's you."

"You're a very good artist."

"Do you like your fancy long hair?"

"Yes. It's so pretty."

"I better put some gray in it."

Monday, May 28, 2012

My First Trip To Aldi: Why I loved and hated it

Can you believe I've never been to Aldi? For those of you not from theses parts, it's a grocery store. Two reasons why: 1. I have always lived closer to other grocery stores and 2. I have always lived closer to other grocery stores. 

Well, I was talking with my girlfriends about milk prices, because once you are married with children that's the sort of thing you talk about. Anyway, my one friend says "I get milk at Aldi because it's always under $3."   Two days later, I was pulling a gallon of milk from The Boutique cooler, quite pleased because that it was on sale, when a co-shopper says "I hate that I don't have time to go to Aldi. Milk is never this high."  It's not like I go around wondering if I've been given a sign, but clearly, you can see that I was being told "Go to Aldi."  So I did.

First off, if you decide to go, take a quarter. You have to stick a quarter in your shopping cart to get it out of the line, and you don't get it back until you return it to the cart rack. It's really quite slick because the quarter contraption in right on your cart handle. No loose carts in the parking lot (that's one of the 28 reasons I hate that other discount store with the blue carts. They have carts all over their stinkin' lots. There are not enough cart returns so people just leave them wherever- which seems to always be right along side my car door). If you do not have a quarter you will be crabby that you drove right by the very close grocery store to try out this new mysterious one. Luckily, I found one on the floor of the car.

Second, don't get all excited that you are going to find hummus and that delicious pre-made Wholly Quacamole or fancy olive oils or maybe even pre-made turkey sausage at extra low prices. They don't even have those things. Also- no need to take coupons. They don't have brand name stuff that coupons are made for.

What they do have is one kind of each product. You want ketchup? One kind. You want salad dressing? One brand.  What they also have is the same produce that The Boutique has at HALF the price. WHAT?! That's right. They don't have fancy displays, they don't have a bakery. They don't have a deli. But you know what, I'll go back. In fact, I think I'll try to go back the entire month of June just to compare my monthly spending.  My guess is that by shopping somewhere that doesn't also sell really cute kids clothes, that my "grocery" bill will be cut in half.

And the last thing I loved, besides no brainer decisions, great prices and a clean parking lot? No plastic bags. You have to bring your own. I didn't bring any. We had a good laugh at the weekly load just piled in back of my go-getter. This totally appeals to my inner granola girl that has bought countless re-usable bags that have been eagerly awaiting use, while collecting dust in the laundry room.

So, I guess I loved more than I hated. I can see that this isn't for everyone (specifically, I'm thinking of one of my favorite people whose motto is: I don't care if you make me drive a mini-van- just don't make me shop at a big box store).  But I totally dug it. And dig it. And so forth....and whatnot.

Friday, May 25, 2012


Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes of support for Rylee's MRI today.  Here's how it went:

7:30am: went over list of things she can have between 5:00am and 9:00am. Juice, apple sauce, jello, freezer pops. Check.  Give her apple sauce and juice.

9:00am - 11:00am: Tell her "not yet" 53 times when she asks to eat something.

12:00noon:- Check in for MRI

12:33pm: Get called back for procedure.

12:35pm: Answer question about food intake for the morning.

12:36pm: Get told that applesauce was not on the list.

12:36pm: Get riled up and get the list THEY MAILED TO ME, only to see that it does not say apple sauce. It says apple juice.  Listen to explanation about sedation and aspiration and applesauce's role.

12:37pm:  Well up, feel like a MAJOR bonehead.

12:38pm: Get sent home with a rescheduled date of July 31st.

I was really bummed out, and beating myself up pretty good for a bit. But then I took a look around and noticed that my girl was hopping around like Tigger The Tiger, with a smile on her face and not a thing wrong with her but a little hearing trouble.  We are blessed. And this is a small thing. No big deal.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Night Before Dread

The Good Ear

So, my precious Tazmanian has an MRI this Friday afternoon. It was the first available appointment we could get when we booked it almost THREE MONTHS ago. It's no big deal, really. I guess. So I've been telling myself, anyway.  Long anti-climatic story made short,  she has hearing loss in her left ear. The MRI will give us a better idea of what's going on in there. 

We feel thankful that nothing has been affected. Her speech and language skills are excellent. Her school scores keep improving, so we know she doesn't have any trouble in a classroom environment. We just keep praying that the hearing loss was from an early childhood ear infection, and not something that will keep deteriorating.  The only time we notice that she may not be able to hear us- is in situations like this:

Which, come on. If I were 4 and in this situation, all I would hear would be the little horned guy on my shoulder chanting "Get the dry people wet."

So, we have to have the MRI.  With Sedation.  (If you've ever read about The Taz, then you know that sedation is a must if she is to sit still for any longer than 38 seconds. )

Anyway, what has been "no big deal" for three months is now giving me IBS (irritable bowl syndrome - sorry).  I was reading through the material and I don't get to be there for most of it. No hand holding during the scary needle. A bunch of strangers in gowns and masks. A big loud machine and a tiny little space. Having to hold still. Potential use of straps. (I didn't read that part, but that along with other terror inducing images keep popping in my head.)  Potentially no WOOBY. 

On the inside I feel like this:

But on the outside, I am trying to be like this:

So if you have a few minutes tomorrow and feel like talking to The Big Man, we wouldn't mind a few prayers for a smooth experience.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy Birthday!

It's birthday month.

MY Birthday month to be exact.

OK, OK.... It's Maggie's birthday month too.

She's officially going to be 3 years old. A lot changes in the year from age 2 to 3. We've said goodbye to Orajel, and The Nuk and DIAPERS (woot woot) and the crib and - gasp - even the toddler bed. 

Throwing The Nuk Away

Outgrowing both the jammies and the crib
No more counting Maggie as a carry-on item.

We're even saying goodbye to the term Toddler. "Momma, I still a toller?" "Yep, just for a few more days. Then you'll be a PRESCHOOLER." "Ooooh, it's soo essighting."

This could be the Prozac talking...or the promise of two weeks worth of cakes and cookies coming our way, but things do get easier. We're saying hello to more and more friends, and getting involved in more activities, and laughing just a little bit louder.

I think she even has her first "boyfriend" EEK!
Meet Ralphie. Maggie's Man Friend.

Happy Birthday Sweet Bear Cub

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A conversation about God

Let me set the scene:

We were in the car, eating our picnic lunch on the way to school because I was a social butterfly at The Club and lost track of time, so a leisurely lunch at the park was not a possibility.  Upon opening her sandwich box Maggie notices a hole in her bread. One of those natural holes that happens, and you have to spread the peanut butter over it, otherwise the jelly spooges out.

Maggie(in her tired whiny voice):  Momma. There's a hole in my samich!

Rylee (in her most chipper voice): It's OK Maggie. That's just the way God made it.

Maggie (all out crying): Momma! God poke a hole in my samich!!! 

Rylee (very inquisitive): Mom, why did God poke a hole in Maggie's sandwich?

Me: Uhhhhhh. Look girls - A fire truck.

Friday, May 11, 2012

I'll take Spin Class over The Open Road

I'm more of a dreamer than a do-er. That's why I like the spin class at The Club.

When I cycle outside:

I can smell car fumes
and cow dung
and that construction workers jeans that he's worn every day since last August.
I have to take a path that's been traveled and is imperfect.
It takes me ten minutes to pass one lake and I think I've got a bug up my nose.
Also, it's hot and my tongue is thick.

When I am in spin class:

I close my eyes and I am in the cool of the woods
I am Chariots of Fire
I start to climb and
I am the Eye of the Tiger
I am on l'Alp d'Huez
I am Lance Armstrong
And I AM strong
And I am the Champion my friend
And I must be the rain too
because when I get off my bike I step in a puddle.

As much as I love the wind in my hair, I'll take a stationary bike over the open road any day.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Grocery Cart Counselor

After a very exciting outing to my local Boutique, my sweet Princess Tazmanian had lost all ability to hear and understand plain English. It happens when she's had a long hard day of playing and fighting and pouring herself into her artwork. Add on top of that she was thirsty. If you've ever encountered a slightly dehydrated preschooler, then you understand, they are a force to be reckoned with.

We were almost out of the store, at the threshold of the automatic doors, when The Taz takes a seat on the nearest bench. Bear Cub bumbles after her, ready to climb anything that's at least one inch taller than she is. I've just deposited my shopping cart in the general area of where they belong. Doing what all mothers do, I start to herd the children. "Come on girls. Get down off that bench. Stop climbing. Let's go. Here we go now. Last one to the car is a rotten something or other. " My tone was weary.  And that's when HE entered.

The Grocery Cart Collector. He offered his infinite wisdom on parenting. "My girls know that if they don't listen, it's not gonna be good for them. They know better. Sometimes just takin' away a favorite toy is way better than a spankin' even."

I was too distracted by the look on my sweet Taz's face to respond to the kind advice I was receiving, so I'd like to take a moment to write an open letter/response to my new friend:

Dear Grocery Cart Counselor,

  Thank you for your recent advice at The Boutique. Your pointing out that your children listen to you was very insightful. Now I know that I should spank more and be more frightening to my children so they will behave in public. I will also write down that thing you said about taking away toys. I had never thought of that.

  It's so good to hear other parents successes so that I, an obviously un-skilled child rearer, am to know that I could achieve such levels of greatness. Fearful, obedient children. That's the goal right?
Even when they are tired, and thirsty and just need to figure out how to explain that they need to poop, but can't get off the bench because some strange guy is talking to their mom (and that would be embarrassing), so they'll just sit there until they either cry or their momma comes and holds their hand and figures out that they just wanna go home because public bathrooms give them "stage fright" and please, oh please, just don't make them walk just yet because they don't think they can hold it.

  May next week you can come over and tell me how you have your three and five year old children keep your home clean and orderly. That's another area in which I am seriously failing.


Nikki H
Mother of Two Wild, Loud, Messy Individuals

Friday, May 4, 2012

Stink Hole

It's been a very exciting couple of days here.  Here's how it started:

Loading up the car to head to The Club, it felt as if we are under alien attack. No, it's just 3 news choppers flying over our house. Wait. THREE NEWS CHOPPERS.  I wondered if there was a hostage situation, or dead body or a rabid warthog running in the neighborhood.

I gathered the children up and rushed out of the house. (I was late for my class) By the time we were pulling out of the drive, a police car had blocked off the street across from us. My path out of the development was clear, so I took off like white lightening. (At a respectable speed of 25 mph. I don't need to PoPo chasing me down for a speeding ticket when they should have their sights, and tazer guns, aimed on the rabid-hostage-holding warthogs.)

I do what any girl from a small town does when she isn't close to a TV. I called people. I asked them to turn on the news. In my calmest this-is-more-exciting-than-Shaquille O'Neal-randomly-showing-up-at-The Club-to workout-with-me* voice, I explain to My People on the phone that there are helicopters and police in my 'hood. Perhaps too loudly we pontificated if there was a dead body and how we are so so glad we activated the security system in our house.

I got the first text before I had even exited our development. Giant Sink Hole. I say it out loud. "Ooohh. It's a giant sink hole. That's way better than a hostage situation."  From the backseat, The Taz says "What's a stink hole? Does it smell like feet. Can we go see it. I want a stink hole."

It's hard to tell- but this hole got to 100 feet across. Photo Courtesy of News 13.

We got to The Club and went about our business. After my workout, I picked up the children from the kid's club and The Director asks me if everything is OK at home. "Why, yes. What's going on?"  Apparently after dropping off the children, Dear Sweet Bear Cub told one of the staff members that she was sad because "My daddy dead." 

This is not our first attempt to traumatize the children.

Later that night, Troy took The Taz over to get a glimpse of the action. They got a mini-tour of one of the news vans and the kind camera man gave her a bag of silly bands and an official News 13 pencil. According to the pencil- they are Severe Weather Experts. I don't know what that has to do with sink holes. But there you have it.

So between all of the therapy, explaining the difference between a stink hole and a sink hole, trying to get interviewed on TV and just plain rubber neckin', it's been an eventful day and a half. 

*Shaquille O'Neal has never randomly shown up at The Club to work out with me. But you could imagine my voice should that ever happen, which is in the realm of possibilities now that he is retired and lives one zip code over.