Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Forgetful Fabrication

I'll just go ahead and be honest here, I never go anywhere without first forgetting something.

This applies to pretty much everything I do, from going down the street to the grocery store, to heading out on a weekend trip or vacation. You name it, I've forgotten it. Keys, phone, wallet, driver's licsense, shopping list, underwear, pajamas, toothbrush. Basically, if its important, or ultimately integral, to the trip or task at hand, its not going to make it out the front door with me.

My darling children seemed to have inherited this same trait. Except in their case it applies more to the difficult chore of having to remember to bring along their favorite toy or most beloved stuffed animal (because they certainly can't count on me to remember it).

So this past weekend, when we embarked on a trip to Arkansas for a family reunion, we unintentionally (but habitually?) left behind Hayden's favorite nighttime buddy, Shiny Deer (not to be confused with his older and more worn counterpart, just plain Deer). As I've said, we're used to this, it obviously happens all the time, so my method of choice for easing the pain is one that has proved to be tried and true around here.

I simply concoct an elaborate narrative about how Shiny Deer must be having the time of his life all alone in the house with all the other toys. Things like, you know, they're probably having a huge party, and I'm sure there's dancing and signing and all sorts of stuff going on, and he's definitely driving your remote control monster truck all over the house. I mean, it worked for Pixar, why wouldn't it work for me? By the time I barely even get halfway through my little yarn, the boys are usually adding their own crazy scenarios, and before we know it, we're all giggling and we've all but forgotten uh, what we forgot.

So yes, maybe I'm stretching the truth, and maybe I'm leading my kids down a long and winding road of disillusionment (paved by Santa and the Easter Bunny). Will they spend years in therapy thanks to my chronic forgetfulness and quirky ways of covering it up? I don't know.

But what I do know, is that when we returned home on monday afternoon, THIS is how I found the playroom:

Shiny Deer definitely had a house party.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


You're almost here.

I like you.

I'm excited to meet you.

I'm so ready to be you.

I grew my hair out for you.

I wanted to be all Cher (70's, NOT 80's) or Stevie or something for when you got here. What better time to settle into my (fake) inner-hippie-ness then at your arrival.

But who am I kidding, I'm not Cher or Stevie, or even Grace Slick, which is probably a good thing, I mean, I'm sure at least two of them have barely functioning olfactory systems (for one reason or another), and I like my nose, and the fact that I can smell with it.

So no, I'm not some 70's era gypsy. I'm just me.

And although its taken me a really long time to get to this point, I think I actually like me.

I like my life.

I like my husband. Well, ok, I love him. I like his beard.

I like my house (well, except for the fact that the grass requires mowing and geez, where did all these hand prints on the wall come from, doesn't someone clean up after these kids?).

I like the fact that I love my kids so much they drive me up the freaking wall. (THE SAND IS SUPPOSED TO STAY IN THE SANDBOX, YOU CANNOT WEAR IT)

I like this town. (Bon Jovi would say, I LOVE THIS TOWN, but how lame would it be to reference that? Oh, wait. I just did.)

I like my closet. Well, half of it. Not enough of it goes well my my pink and green cowboy boots.

I like my job, even though its more like jobs. Or projects? To-do's that never go away? Things that had to be done yesterday that I'll do tomorrow?

I like my family. Yes its true, I really like all of you, contrary to popular belief. I might even love a few of you. Especially those of you who have already sent cards and gifts (Just kidding, of course. You still have two days.)

I like my friends, my ladies (and guys too), who are awesome, who are some of the most amazing people I know.

I always thought I'd dread thirty, but the truth is, I can't wait. I've skimmed the questions. Now, I'm writing out the answers.

I'm not expecting anything mind-blowing, you know like getting struck by lightning at 5:02 am on Saturday morning "BAM. You're thirty! Now get out there and start acting like it."

Nope, I'm just glad to be here.

It ain't no sin to be glad you're alive.

and happy birthday to you too, Bob.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Was it #1 or #2?

I was outside yesterday evening with my son Hayden - who I should have birthed in a teepee, because the kid never wants to be inside - and I had to excuse myself for a quick moment to pay a visit to the bathroom.

While in there, I could hear Hayden screaming some sort of statement or question from the sidewalk in front of our house, but I couldn't quite make out what he was saying. I asked Cash, who was watching TV, to answer him or at least let Hayden know I couldn't hear him.

But what was I thinking, having the nerve to ask Cash to help out - he defiantly declined, also yelling at me: "I DON"T WANT TO!"

When I made it back outside, I let Hayden know I hadn't been able to understand what he was saying.

"I was asking if you had to go poo-poo or pee-pee." he answered matter-of-factly, as if it was the most obvious reply ever.


Good to know.

I'm sure the rest of the neighborhood was curious too.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

All Circumstance and No Pomp.

Last Thursday night my children graduated from preschool. Yes, preschool. Yes, graduated. Complete with diplomas and miniature caps and gowns.

Festivities were held at the school, with a program consisting of songs being sung and verses being recited. When other parents attend these kinds of things, they get to watch their children sing (or more like yell) off key, smile and wave in their general direction, and make amusing hand gestures about turtles who chew gum and worms that eat horses.

But me? I get to watch my child consistently try and trip himself by stepping on his own pants leg while chewing on his left hand, which resulted in falling off the front step at least 30 times in 10 minutes. And I was lucky enough to get to watch my other child spend the entire program searching for an imaginary splinter in his hand, while facing the opposite direction from all the other children, only moving to cover his mouth when he coughed. A gesture that I have to admit, I was very proud of. Sure some mothers there could be proud of their children's wide toothy smiles and excellent diction. But I was filled with pride at NOT having to be "the mother of the child who coughed all over all the other children during the entire program infecting each of them with a vicious cold".

Don't let those angelic emotionless faces fool you...

You might think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not. Not one chorus, not one verse was uttered. While the other children looked as happy as can be, they looked as if they'd rather be in the doctors office, getting their yearly shots instead of on-stage showing off for their friends and family.

However, when it came time for them to don the cap and gown, walk up the aisle ALONE and receive their diploma, they completely surprised me. Their smiles were big, their walk was confident, and their diploma, well, it made a really good sword.

I couldn't believe they were actually enjoying it. What a perfect metaphor of our parent/child relationship so far - just when I thought I had them all figured out, they go and change the whole game on me. Seeing them standing in front of the audience, beaming and giggling, joking with their classmates, I suddenly saw a glimpse of them 13 years from now, parading across the stage with their senior class. Sounds cliche I know, but I've got the pictures to prove it:

They look so old. So 'boy'. So mischievous. And never mind the fact that Hayden held some random girl's hand for an undisclosed amount of time. Hello? Is he trying to give me a heart attack?

Just look at that face! Its making me nervous already...

After returning home We concluded our evening the way any graduate would...with silly string and fireworks of course (thank you to my mom for the uh, age-appropriate supplies)!

They even managed to floor me all over again by cleaning up the whole mess all on their own...

Can someone please tell me - Who are these children? And what have they done with my babies?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

California Dreaming. Or Coveting. Or Something.

I dropped my husband off at the airport today.

He's going to L.A. with these kids, because that's just he rolls, I guess.

So tonight, when I'm partying with 30 4 and 5 year olds who just celebrated their preschool graduation (Capri Sun Cocktail anyone?). He'll be partying with the band poolside, at the Hyatt on Sunset.

When I'm tucking my lonely self into bed tonight, he'll probably be checking in to the Chateau Marmont. Even though he told me he just found some random room on Craigslist.

While I'm stuck with all this Tennessee Rain, He gets California Sun. Be sure to lay off the Sun-In, babe.

While I'm stuck shopping at Old Navy tomorrow for the perfect family reunion/30th birthday attire (don't ask), he'll be scouring Kitson and Robertson Blvd. and Fred Segal. (Ok, so probably not, but it is rather amusing to picture him doing so).

While I'm driving around town listening to Motley Crue on my one working speaker, he'll probably be hanging out with them at The Rainbow. Because, I mean, I am so sure they still hang out there. Together. Well, I bet Nikki still does.

But what I'm really jealous of? While I'm stuck at Chic-fil-a, he'll be at In-N-Out. Mmmmmm. Can't somebody just ship me a burger and shake?

But for serious. Bon Voyage my dear. I know you'll knock their gnarly little socks off. Just bring me home some fries.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The truth comes out, and then goes back in...

Its no secret that my children love Elvis.

What is a secret, at least to them, is that he is dead.

I struggle with the thought quite often - "Do I tell them the truth? When do I tell them the truth? Is there a truth?"

I myself thought we were related to the Beatles until I was at least 5, so I often worry if they will be devastated when they find out what I've been keeping from them for quite some time.

Still, I figure the opportunity to let the um, hound dog out the bag, will present itself when the time is right.

In fact, I thought just such an opportunity came along yesterday. It went a little something like this:

While discussing a trip to Arkansas over Memorial Day, me:
"Boys, do you want to go to Elvis's house on the way home from our trip?"

In unison: "Yes!!!!! Will Elvis be there?"

Me: "No"

Boys: "Why not?"

Me: "Because he doesn't live there anymore."

H: "Where does he live?"

Me, hesitating: "Well, he lives with God (um, I think...)"

H, laughing: "NAHHH!"

C:"He can't live with God, mommy, his car would fall out of the sky."

And there you have it. I have told them the truth and and they refused to believe me.
Great. We have officially moved from Elvis-lovers to Elvis freaks.


After writing this I discovered another hilarious post about misconstrued beliefs of kiddos, and their parents before them,
right over here. So how about you or your kids? What kinds of things have you gotten hilariously wrong?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ah Yes, A Happy Mother's Day to Me.

Just a few hours before things officially clicked over to mother's day, my children, who were supposed to be in bed, could be heard still pitter-pattering around our upstairs.

"Moooommmmmy - can you come here for a second pleaaaaaassssee??" could be heard, repeatedly.

Usually I would ignore such requests, but I was feeling generous, you know, it almost being a holiday and all, so I went to the bottom of the stairs to see what all the commotion was about.

The boys were at the top of the stairs, looking endearingly WT in their Lighting McQueen sleeveless undershirts. I notice that Hayden has a powdery-pink mustache and matching powder pink H's drawn on his arms and legs. Both of them seem to be covered in a surplus of bandaids. Just as I begin to put it all together, they held out a small pink canister of (chewable) Children's Pepto.

"Is this a treat?" Oh no. OH NO. This is not good. The treat inquiry? The pink powder? The semi-guilty looks in their faces?
I don't even want to admit it.

"How many did you eat?" I asked.

Cash held up one solitary finger. Hayden? He held up four (at least they know their numbers).

I quickly surveyed the bathroom and the hallway to make sure nothing else was consumed, and what did I see laying on the bathroom rug?

Scattered among the band-aids, lay an empty Rolaids wrapper. And I'd thought the time they'd cut open the toothpaste bottle was bad. Nope, this was worse. Was it possible to overdose on antacids? Was Hayden going to be stopped up for weeks? Why hadn't I paid more attention to what they were doing after I said my good-nights? Why on earth had I put all the medicine back within their reach?

So it was with great remorse and anxiety that I trudged back down the stairs at my husband's urging to put in a call to poison control. My first one ever, a fact for which I am actively counting my blessings.

Thankfully, we had little to worry about, but were advised to give the boys a little something to munch on and to drink . This means that in the end, my kids got exactly what they wanted, a tasty light night sack. Though I'm not quite sure they planned the side of lecture that they ended up getting along with it.

Yes, nothing spells Happy Mother's Day quite like the perfect cocktail of guilt and panic garnished with worry and topped off with a splash of regret. Mmm, motherhood. Yummy.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

They Way Its Supposed to Be

Last night we did something we rarely do.

We all sat down.

We all ate.

And we did it all at the the same table.

Now, its not as if we never eat together, we usually do. Only at different tables.

Yes, its true, I make my children sit at a "kids" table.

Condemn me, will you? I am a horrible mother, forcing my children to sit at a separate table every time we sit down to break bread.

I'll admit, its part my wish that they had something their own size (leftover from when we retired their highchairs), part my love for their sweet little (cracked, stained) cartoony IKEA table, and part my, um, clutter issue. As in there's so much stuff piled on the kitchen table that there's really only room for two people to eat.

Lately, though, the boys have been begging to sit at the table with us, and this week I finally cleared enough room for them to do so.

Ah, and what gentlemanly dinner dates they were, chatty and (minorly) well-mannered. The topics of conversation were diverse - R2D2's native tongue, what will happen to this house when we grow up and move out, and how big of a truck will we need to move all that stuff. Plates were cleaned, seconds were requested.

I sat back a little and tried to take in the moment. Here we were, our little family, enjoying each other's company. These were my children. My children. My husband. When did I get to this point? And how did I get here so fast? It kind of felt like the first time in a long time that I'd had a second to block out my usual panic/stress/freak-out/overreact/grump/cranky/nervous/whatever-else-fits mode and just say to myself, "Yes, I wanted this. I needed this. I love this."

How could you not love two little kickers who's favorite fact of the moment is that IHOP never closes. How could I not love a husband who is in so much pain from keeping our yard looking nice (and it is much appreciated, my dear) that he suddenly acts like he's just turned 75 instead of 30?

Now if I could just find a place to put all that crap I cleaned off the table...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Post In Which I Dote on My Little Sisters

We spent Sunday cheering on my sisters as they ran their very first marathon, so this is for them.

To Catherine and Grace...

You are my baby sisters. You didn't come along until I was 4 and 7 years old. I'd been ruling the roost for quite some time until you showed up, but you happened to come along just in time to burst my bubble before it got a little too big (though I'll admit, I do sometimes still have a little trouble getting through doorways).

You are my little sisters. I've always loved you, even if you did listen in on (and comment on) all my phone calls with boys. I still love you, even if you do make fun of me every time I let the occasional southern expression slip (I know it!). And I'll always love you, even if you do tell my kids all the things I got grounded for in high school (no comment).

You are my younger sisters, always a little bit cuter, a little bit hipper, a little bit cooler than me.

But this weekend, this weekend I realized that you are also a couple of awesome women. Watching you take on that race was awe-inspiring. Riding around the city trying to keep up with you was exhilirating, to say the least, especially with Dad and Mom (aka Crazed Racoon & Sleeping Bear) at the wheel (lets just say we are lucky we didn't take out any runners by accident).
Seeing you cross the finish line was an incredible and emotional moment.

You can't even imagine how much fun we had witnessing the two of you accomplish something so tremendous and look so good doing it. Every time we happened upon you on the course you were all smiles. Sure, maybe it was because we are all screaming and clapping pig clappers and holding ridiculous signs while we chased after you,

but whatever - you truly looked as if you were actually enjoying running for hours on end.

I am so proud of you. You set your sights on something and you tackled it beautifully. In fact, you tackled it, knocked it out, dragged it away and left it in the dust. I know how good it feels to set out to accomplish something and actually do it, and do it well. My wish for you is that you can take this experience and let it bleed into the rest of your lives. Sure, you've always been able to accomplish whatever you put your minds to, but now you've really done it. And you know you can do it.

This is just the beginning. Soon this will be just one accomplishment at the bottom of a pile of many other amazing happenings.

I am blessed to have you as sisters. My children idolize and adore you (whether you are good at shooting free-throws or not....) and they are so fortunate to have you in their lives.

I love you, my little sissies! (And please don't hate me for posting your sweaty marathon pictures on the internet.)

Love, Ems

Monday, May 5, 2008


I just got back from my third out of town trip in the last month, and dang, I'm tired.

The boys and I went home to watch my sisters kick some serious pig booty in the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon.

I'd tell you all about it now, but dang. I'm tired. I just spent 5 hours in the car with my kids who never. fell. asleep.

Not only were they awake the whole time, but holy crap were they ever loud! Even Def Leppard on 11 couldn't drown them out (instead they sang along, and asked me to TURN IT UP.)

So I'm gonna go try and get a good night's sleep, and hopefully regain my hearing, and um, maybe my patience.

And then I'm going to have a lot to talk about.

Because OH MY GOD. Its Kindergarten registration week.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Its About Time.

Last night I had the great privilege of FINALLY meeting my (sort-of former) partner-in-crime from Music City Moms, Tori!

We've been blogging side by side for over a year, and you know, now that our blogs are being phased out, we thought - Heck. its about time we hung out.

And hung out we did! We ate awesome food, drank tasty drinks, and talked until we couldn't anymore. Or more like we talked until they closed the restaurant and made us leave. But whatever. They couldn't stop us. We showed them by continuing our conversation in the parking lot! Ha! Take that!

If you're not already reading her blog, I suggest you start now. If not for her amazing insights and hilarious stories, then at least for the awesome pictures she posts of her and Russ from days gone by (not to mention she has the most extraordinary little fan club of commenters) .

I think this marks the first time I've actually linked to someone else's blog on mine. Not only that, I actually broke bread in public with someone I knew only via my keyboard.

Whoa. Hello, blogosphere. I've officially entered your realm.