Sunday, May 30, 2010

Rain Rain Go Away....

We have been getting hammered with rain lately here in the south. Mostly a lot of afternoon thunderstorms but nonetheless, too much rain for my taste. Delaney, who doesn't like to be indoors when it's nice out, got tired of not being able to play outside. So she grabbed an umbrella and played in the rain for a bit. And she quite liked it....

Friday, May 28, 2010

The "Great" Sleepover of 2010

Delaney & MacKenzie wearing their matching Disney World pajamas

Delaney, MacKenzie & Lizzie (at 9:30 p.m.)

The Get-a-long Gang featuring The Princess & the Frog instruments


Delaney has been badgering me for months about having a sleepover. I told her we could not do it over Spring Break because of Hadley's potty training. I told her to wait until school was out for the summer and we would do it. Oh boy. Clearly I did not remember how much sleep actually takes place at a sleepover. Not. Very. Much. At. All.

Wednesday Night

5:10 p.m. Cars doors are slamming. Girls are scurrying for my front porch. Delaney is squealing because after waiting and waiting it's finally time for her sleepover. She thrusts open the door and the girls are all simultaneously jumping up and down. Before I can blink my eyes, they are gone and upstairs running from room to room.

5:30 p.m. I am throwing pizza on plates for 5 girls. They are all chattering away. The noise is seriously deafening. There is one rather chatty girl who is telling me why she likes only cheese pizza and nothing else. Okay kid, I believe you. Sit down.

5:50 p.m. After deciding they are not hungry due to being in each other's company and all the excitement, the girls decide they want to put on their swimsuits and go out and slip 'n slide. Fine. Suddenly there is a flurry of nakedness as all the girls are basically stripping off their clothes right in the entry way of the house where their suitcases were. No modesty in this group.

6:00 p.m. The slip 'n slide is in full swing. The girls are a little catty about who gets to go first. Delaney is the only one who seems to know how to actually do the slip 'n slide. Not sure if that's good or bad really. Some of the girls are playing in the pool. Some are trying to drive the Barbie Jeep. It's just chaos. I'm sitting on the porch supervising and trying to inhale a few slices of pizza while I have a chance. One slice into it, I hear a few shrieks coming from the direction of the slip 'n slide. Crap. Apparently one of the girls has jumped on the inflatable end where all the water pools, and has popped a huge ass hole in it. Now the slip 'n slide has no pool area and Delaney is kinda pissed. MacKenzie actually blamed Buddy (who was sitting on the porch bumming pizza off of me). Guilt makes us say crazy things sometimes.

6:25 p.m. Huge storm comes from out of nowhere so I wrap everyone in towels and send them back in the house. More nakedness. Wet bathing suits and towels are being sloshed around my dry clean floors. Oh well. The girls take off for upstairs. Sigh. I am a little tired already and they've barely been here for over an hour. I decide to inhale the last piece of pizza.

7:00 p.m. I announce that it's time to make sundaes. Oh holy crap! Those girls came dashing down the stairs like Hannah Montana was going to perform live in the family room. Ice cream, sprinkles, chocolate syrup, m&m's, marshmallows, whipped cream. Those girls wasted no time at all. MacKenzie didn't seem to care if she liked it or not. "I want everything!" I couldn't fault her for that.

7:30 p.m. "We're hungry," they all chorus. "Of course you are, you didn't eat your dinner," I reply. So after a little debating, we agree on watching a movie and making popcorn. We have a tie between watching Alice in Wonderland and Alvin & the Chipmunks. Alice in Wonderland won. The girls run upstairs to grab their sleeping bags and pillows. They arrange them all over the family room.

8:15 p.m. They are all back upstairs in the play room. There are toys absolutely everywhere. And sleeping bags. The room is a danger to even dare to walk through. They are all happily playing games and dressing up. Hadley is in on the dress up. She walks up to me covered in a Cinderella outfit on top of her nightgown. "I dress up Momma!" She too is enjoying the sleepover. The big girls are all being so sweet to her and inviting her in on the fun. I'm sure it had nothing whatsoever to do with me threatening Delaney.

9:37 p.m. I notice how incredibly tired one of the girls are. Kaitlyn's mom had warned me that she had a lot going on today and might be tired early. So I figure it's a good time to get them ready for bed. I know they will not be asleep for hours. I am done though. I need a break. I am tired and could use a small glass of wine. So to bed it is.

10:00 p.m. I am just sitting down on the couch when I hear feet in the hallway upstairs. Damn. I've just taken the first sip of my wine. I go upstairs. Kaitlyn informs me that she wants to go home. Crap. I'm not mad because I kind of expected this from her. She had been sending me these vibes all night long and now it's been confirmed. A mother's intuition is always right. I call her mom and we make arrangements to meet.

10:40 p.m. I'm home from dropping off Kaitlyn. I sneak upstairs and the girls are not yet asleep but whispering to each other in the dark. I decide to call it a night and go to bed.

11:30 p.m. Getting a little pissed that I'm still wide awake but hopeful that I'll be asleep soon.

4:45 a.m. Doug wakes me to tell me that he's just gotten up to get ready for work and the girls are already awake in the play room. I sneak down the hallway and sure enough they are whispering again. Good God! How can they not be tired? I shuffle back down the hall and try to go back to sleep.

5:30 a.m. I cannot go back to sleep. Damn Doug! Why did he feel it necessary to wake me to tell me they're not sleeping? Oh well. I shuffle back down the hallway again. Yes, they're definitely awake. I open the door and remind the girls that it's very early and they need to try to go back to sleep.

6:50 a.m. Delaney has appeared in the kitchen where I'm starting to prepare breakfast. "Can we come down now?"

10:00 a.m. MacKenzie's mom picks her up. They have family visiting and they're headed off to spend the day at Stone Mountain. The girls are sad she's going as she's also sad to be leaving. They wave her off and continue to play.

1:00 p.m. Lizzie's mom picks her up. The girls are all running out of gas. They are all tired. Even Hadley who got a good night's sleep in her own room in her own bed is looking tired. We wave Lizzie off. Hadley retreats to her own bed and falls asleep within a few minutes. Delaney comes into my bed with me. She lies down on my pillow and closes her eyes. No kidding, 30 seconds later she is lightly snoring. And then I roll over and close my eyes.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Little leaps

WARNING....the content of the following entry could be totally oversharing and could in fact gross some of you out. Too bad I'm still gonna blog about it but I'm just saying, if poop grosses you out, log out immediately!

So, I shared with you all that over Spring Break I decided to get down to business and potty train Hadley already. Well we did. For the most part. I have to say, for the record, potty training my girls on the whole peeing thing, truly was easy for the most part. They each had accidents the first few days but after that, they were good to go. I mean it. Those girls knew what they were doing and that's the way it stayed. Thank goodness because I really hate to clean up pee. It's messy and Lord knows it flipping goes all over the place. Now the whole pooping bit, that's another story.

Pooping with Delaney took 2 weeks for her to bite the bullet and poop in the potty. She was going in her underwear quite a bit more than I cared for. Just gross. So to get her to stop, I stripped off her underwear one afternoon and watched that child like a hawk. When I noticed signs of needing to go, I'd grabbed her like a football and hauled ass to the bathroom where I deposited her on the toilet while she screamed that she did not have to poop. Yeah, okay. Sure you don't kid. After 40 minutes (for real) she gave up, pooped on the potty and we've been doing it ever since.

Now comes the story of Hadley. Have I ever mentioned how stubborn this child can be? Uh...I'm sure it's been mentioned. A LOT. So anyhoo, it just goes to say that, of course I knew it wouldn't be easy. But she fooled me on day #1 of potty training. She ran up to me 3 hours into the whole thing to tell me she needed to go poop. I looked down at that sweet child, blinked like I wasn't sure I really heard her right and when it sunk it what she was telling me, I grabbed her up like a football and hauled ass into the bathroom. I deposited her on the toilet where she immediately pooped. What? For real? Yep. She did it. I was completely blown away. I was so damn excited I called Doug and my mom. I mean this is big deal. Then comes the next part of the story. Hadley has been pooping in her underwear ever since. What's that you say? No, I did not put her back in diapers. Oh hell no. When I decide to potty train, we are ALL DONE with diapers whether they like it or not. So for the last week or so, I've been completely over the pooping in her underwear. At first I was really trying to be laid back and not stress over it because I do know that eventually it will click for her. She'll just do it and continue to do it. But it's been 6 weeks and I am so done with it. I need her to stop pooping in her underwear. So, the other day, when I knew she had to go, I made her sit on the potty until she did her business. It took 25 minutes and a whole lot of tears but she did it. I was thrilled but knew better than to think we had reached the end. But then today, while she was swimming with her sister in the backyard, she came to me and told me she had pooped in her bathing suit. Which she did NOT. So I deposited her on the toilet. And she pooped! Oh yeah! Of course I'm still not sure we out of the woods yet but I just feel so good for her! Go Hadley! Let's just keep our fingers crossed and do a whole lot of praying....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A day in the life

Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
~Helen Keller

Let us start a new religion with one commandment, "Enjoy thyself."
~Israel Zangwill

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
~Kahlil Gibran

Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.
~Denis Waitley

The one thing in the world of value is the active soul
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Getting ahead

Okay, I'm going to talk about something I rarely speak openly about. Money. Finances. My New Years Resolution for 2010, was to STOP using credit cards. I am so sick of them. Really. Doug and I, like many people, have used them when money was short and we needed something. It wasn't always a necessity we needed but we always pay our bills so if we didn't have the cash, we put it on a credit card and worried about it later. I have always known this is not a good way to live. Once we made the decision for me to stay home and raise the girls, obviously, our income took a hit going from two salaries to one. We made adjustments. We made sacrifices. We used the credit cards when all else failed. We have lived this way for the past five years. It's not like I woke up in 2010 and decided I just didn't like it. I haven't liked living this way for quite some time. But no more. I'm not going to continue living out our years living on borrowed credit. This was a huge part of the reason I decided to return part-time to work. Every little bit helps right? But, even knowing our "new and improved" outlook and trying desperately to do better and plan ahead, some days are bound to end up like last night.

I walk in the door last evening after working and am greeted with shrieks of "Mommeeeee!" I love coming home to see the girls when I've been working. It's like I actually get a chance to miss them and it's a good feeling. Hadley is coloring and Delaney is finishing up her chores. Everyone has had dinner and the house is picked up and vacuumed. What a great day! I head upstairs to shed my work clothes and get into some shorts. As I take the last step that will put me onto the second floor, I feel it. It's hot. I look at the thermostat and it's 80 degrees. Oh shit. I change clothes and head back downstairs where it's a much cooler 74. It's truly amazing what a difference 6 degrees can make.

Me: Looks like we need to call the a/c people again.

Doug: Yeah, it's pretty warm up there. It's going to have to wait until I get paid again.

Me: ( I mentally count how many days that will be and realize we'll have to tough it out for 9 days.) That really sucks.

Doug: I know but we've had a lot of unexpected things happen this month and we're just tapped out. Sorry.

I know it's not his fault. We're doing the best we can. We've already had the a/c people out two weeks ago to fix the downstairs a/c and had to replace 3 tires on Doug's car. We've also had Delaney's graduation expenses and teacher's end of year gifts we had to contribute to. Mother's Day was last weekend. You get the picture. We've had a lot of expenditures this month. Nonetheless, I find myself completely frustrated. I'm tired of feeling that we can't get ahead. We are trying so hard to pull ourselves out of debt and it's hard. It's hard not to fall back on those credit cards when things get tough. But we're somehow doing it. And that does feel good.

I bathe Delaney and get her ready for bed. I put her in a very cool nightgown as she is just like Doug and I can't stand the thought of her being too hot. I turn on her fan and point it directly at her bed. I pull up the sheet and smooth back her hair to kiss her good-night. About an hour later I check on her to find she has completely kicked off her covers. Something about seeing this makes me come completely undone. This may sound ridiculous but I just feel so bad and guilty that the kids may be hot in their beds. Isn't it my responsibility to make sure our a/c is working at all times?

I run a cold shower and hop in to cool myself down. I also have a horrible sinus headache and my head is really throbbing. I start crying. I feel bad. I feel like if we had better managed our money this wouldn't even be an issue now. We've made a choice and I feel like we have to live by it or we'll always be in this situation. I want better for myself. For Doug. For our girls. I want them to make better choices as adults because we taught them better. I don't want them to make our mistakes. We need to lead by example as parents and by God, that's what we're going to do.

I get dressed and make my way downstairs. I collapse on the couch and start crying again. Doug comes in and sees me crying.

Doug: What's wrong?

Me: I just feel like we're good people and we work hard and we just can't get ahead.

Doug: We'll get the a/c fixed. Don't worry, things are going to work out.

Me: I know. I'm sorry.

The Green Mile has just come on tv and we're snuggled up watching it. I notice the actors are all sweating and looking pretty darn warm. Then I had what Oprah calls an "aahaa" moment. I realize that the actors are sweating because this movie takes place in the 50's and of course there is no such thing yet as air conditioning. Somehow generations of people have survived without air conditioning and I'm whining about surviving for 9 days without it. I immediately quit sobbing and decided to call it a night and went to bed. Even without air conditioning, I still managed to get a good night's sleep.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Future class of 2023

Delaney's preschool class

Daddy & Delaney

Mommy & Delaney

MacKenzie, Daniel, Ethan, Delaney & Emily

Silly faces!!!

Proud parents with their little "scholar"

Delaney & Ms. JoAnn (her favorite teacher)

Delaney & Hadley

Hadley, Poppie, Delaney (doing jazz hands apparently) and Mee-Maw

I drop Delaney off with her class and head to the Sanctuary. Hadley and I are rushing off to find Doug and his parents. The moment we have been anticipating all year has come. Pre-K graduation! Delaney is so excited! She has been practicing for weeks in the pool, in her room, any where she can flex her vocal cords. In other words, I have been given a sneak preview so I am looking forward to seeing my big girl in action.

I flip over the program that was given to me and I see the words, "The future class of 2023." Good grief. I suddenly feel old. But I shrug off this feeling and focus on what we're here for. My big girl Delaney. It's hard for me to believe that in less than 3 months she will be heading off to kindergarten. Preschool for her is over. She is moving on. She is growing up. And honestly, sometimes I'm just plain not ready yet. I want to turn back the clock and relive the baby years with her. I want to remember the first steps she took. I want to remember the first time we ate at McDonald's together. I want to remember snuggling on the couch with her watching movie after movie when she was sick. But I'll be okay. I will focus on the fact that I have her for now. One day she will grow up to be a woman who will make choices that suit her. I may not agree with them but I want to be along for the ride with her no matter what.

I love you Delaney Grace. You make me proud every single day. I am proud you're my daughter and I'm so happy that I'm your momma. Congratulations on your graduation!

Monday, May 10, 2010

A dog, 2 birds and frogs...oh my!

Please allow me to introduce the two newest members of our ever-expanding family, Phineaus & Ferb. For Hadley's birthday, her best friend Luke gave her these (as he knows that she LOVES frogs). According to Luke's mommy, Michelle, they are African dwarf frogs. At least I think that is what she said. While she was explaining what they were, and important things like how often I can feed them, I was completely zoning out imagining what other creatures/critters we'll end up with. In their defense though, they are pretty low maintenance. They're also pretty cute. They swim really fast. Hadley LOVES them. She constantly moving their little box around. Much to my horror, I came downstairs the other day and found that she had pulled over their box to the very edge of the counter. One more 1/4 of an inch, those cute little boys would have been hopping around my kitchen or praying for death. Honestly, if I were them, I would choose death over being handled by Hadley. Any day. If you don't believe me, ask our birds. They know.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Muffins with Mommy

Hadley showing off her potted flower (which she decorated using her own fingers & paint).

A rare picture of me & little bitty

Isn't this adorable? She was so proud!

Hadley & Ms. Sharon (her favorite teacher)

The day after I had lunch with Delaney, I was invited to have "Muffins with Mommy" with Hadley's class. I always enjoy going into the two-year class because it's so much fun to observe. Unlike Delaney, we don't always get as much information from Hadley on her class, friends, teachers, etc. I mean, she just turned 3 for crying out loud so of course we don't! So I enjoy being in her class so I can check out all the little kiddos that she spends 2 days a week with. I love seeing her play with her friends. Hadley's was dying to show me her favorite toys or where they read their books. So stinking cute! I had a very nice time with her. Of course the tears at the very end as I was leaving were hard to swallow but I survived it somehow.

Mother's Day lunch with Delaney

Delaney & MacKenzie (BFF's)

Delaney and her gang picking "flowers"

Notice how old this child thinks I am! God bless her...

This is a portrait Delaney drew of me. I may not have many fingers but darn if I'm not skinny!

I just love this. My favorite thing indeed!

Aside from the bumble bees (which were part of her design) Delaney painted everything else all by herself.

Every year, like most moms, I look forward to Mother's Day. I especially enjoy my Mother's Day lunch at school with Delaney (even though this is her last year). I get a lot of handmade goodies and I get to have lunch only with Delaney. Delaney even seats me and fetches me something to drink. All the kids look so proud and happy! It's days like these that I'm so grateful for my girls. Below is the poem that was on the "hand & feet" picture Delaney made.

Two little hands so perfectly made
For you to hold when I'm afraid
To play a song, or throw a ball
To reach for dreams,
Whether big or small.

Two little feet will grow so strong
It doesn't take them very long
To run, to dance, to stand up tall
And aspire one day to have it all.

So many possibilities at every turn
Miles to travel, things to learn
But as I grow and carve my way
You'll have this picture to remember this day!

Sniff, sniff....I just love this! Happy Mother's Day to all the moms in my life. Some of you are relatives and some are friends but you're all family to me! Hope you all have a wonderful day!