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Thursday, March 31, 2011

At Play

Well. This just hasn't been my week. Nothing in particular. It's just been a llooooonnnnnggggg week! For some reason, I thought all day Tuesday that it was Wednesday . . . and then I thought yesterday was Thursday . . . so imagine my disappointment when I realized my mistake. But the good news is that today really is Thursday! One more day until hubby comes home.

I really don't have anything amusing or thought-provoking to share today. Of course, I could tell you last week's incident with Mason and the pickle. But I won't go there because that's one I'd rather forget. Instead, I'll just share some pictures with you. I was going back through the pictures I took this month (can you believe tomorrow is April 1?!?) and decided to post a few so you can see what Mason and Hannah Kate have been up to.

Hannah Kate loves to play. And that's what she does. All. Day. Long. But the problem is that she doesn't put one thing up before dragging something else out so her room usually looks like a hurricane came through. And not only that, but she does not like to pick up. So that's a constant issue. On this particular day, she'd been quiet for longer than usual so I went upstairs to check on her. Obviously, he dress up trunk threw up everywhere! And I'm not crazy about the coloring in this picture. I'm still playing with my new camera that I got for Christmas. I'm trying to resist the urge to keep the setting on "auto" and instead use the manual settings based on where I am, the lighting, etc. I don't know what I did on this particular day, but I don't like it. And then I tried to "fix" it after I uploaded my pictures. I didn't do a good job with that either! No, it isn't cold. Hannah Kate just loves wearing this jacket for some reason. I guess because it used to be Abbie's. She came into the kitchen while I was cooking supper, and I thought it was so cute how her little curles were peeking out from the hood. This is what you do when your yard is nothing but dirt: Find a "catepillar." Build a "house" for him. Pose for a picture with your catepillar house. (And, yes, it is 85 degrees outside, and Hannah Kate is wearing long sleeves and jeans. That wasn't a battle I was willing to fight that particular morning.) What can I say? We're life-time members of the NRA! What's that verse . . . "train up a child in the way he should go" . . . just kidding . . . I'm just so glad that Mason and Hannah Kate play so well together and compromise between their superheroes and princesses! This was the day that Hannah Kate wore her princess crown ALL DAY. She wanted to wear it to bed, but I convinced her to put it on her night stand instead. In this picture, she was Snow White. She was also seen as Briar Rose, Cinderella and Tiana. Hannah Kate was so cute be-bopping around the yard on her 4-wheeler that I had to take some pictures. Again, they aren't the best. I'm still trying to figure my camera out. But she was just adorable in her romper and pink rubber boots (which I don't even think you can see in these pictures). And this is the way she rides:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's Our Birthday!

I just love March 20! It's my favorite day of the year! It's my birthday! I mean, March 20 just has a ring to it. It sounds perfect . . . like the perfect day.

Well, actually, it's OUR birthday! Remember the two cousins I share my birthday with? Well, here's one of them . . . my FAVORITE, I have to admit . . . and today was quite the biggie for her. She is FIFTY!
The celebration for Cindy's 50th year began earlier in the week when FIFTY of her pink plastic friends showed up on the lawn of her business, Cindy's Florist, in Zebulon, GA.
And some of Cindy's closest friends (and maybe family, too - but not me, I promise!) added to the yard art at Cindy's Florist with a funeral tent, casket and dead flower arrangements!Cindy had a girls' night out last night with some of her sweet church friends . . . so what do you get someone who is FIFTY? How about FIFTY bags of her favorite snack!And I guess this is how FIFTY year olds are supposed to act!And as for me, well, I wanted to celebrate, too. I thought about sending her FIFTY balloons, but that's not something you do for the one who sends balloons all the time. So I sent her FIFTY birthday cards in the mail instead! I'll bet her mailman was loving me!So just keeping it real . . . I had way more fun celebrating Cindy's FIFTIETH than I did my own 33. I don't know. Thirty-three just isn't very exciting at all. Somehow FIFTY just seems way more fun! Just ask Cindy!


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Let's Play Ball!

This morning we officially traded in the soccer ball for a baseball. And can I just say . . . it was so much fun! If you need a good laugh or something to cheer your heart, all you have to do is go to a t-ball game! It doesn't matter whether or not you know any of the kids on the field . . . you will laugh at the girl who wants to do nothing but sit in the grass and look for clover flowers, the boy who takes off running to 3rd base instead of 1st base, the pile-up of bodies as they all go after the in-field hit. It was absolutely precious!

Here's my favorite t-ball player:

And here's his sister: I took lots of pictures today, but here are some of my favorites.Uniforms were assigned alphabetically so Mason is #1. That means he was the very first one up to bat, and he loved every minute of it. He couldn't wait to hit that ball.Here he is on 1st base.And here he is at bat again. Can you see that big smile across his face as he's making his way to home plate?At the end of the game, they got in a huddle with Coach Brad.Our team sponsor is a local law firm, but since their uniforms are gray and green, they've decided to call themselves the Green Machine!Mason had three really good hits, and he also did a great job fielding the ball. We didn't really know what to expect. When he played soccer, he usually went the opposite way of the ball. But not anymore! He was going for it today and kept scooting closer and closer in the in-field in hopes of fielding the ball. After the game, I asked him what his favorite part was, and he said, "All of it! I love all of it! Baseball is the best!"


Friday, March 18, 2011

The Next Day

Well. What a difference a day makes!

My phone rang at 7:45 this morning, and about twenty minutes later, these were delivered to my door:

Nope. Not from my hubby. These are my annual birthday flowers celebrating OUR birthday! I share my birthday (March 20) with two of my cousins, one of which is Cindy. I've blogged about her before, but just in case you don't remember, she owns a flower shop and has been delivering smiles for a lot of years now.

I love sharing my birthday with Cindy because every year she sends me a flower arrangement. It started when I was in kindergarten. I always look forward to my flowers, and every year she does something different. I remember my 16th birthday in particular. She sent me 16 of the most beautiful bright pink roses I've ever seen. When I left home to go to college, I just figured the flowers would stop coming. But they didn't! No matter where I went, she always found me . . . UWG, Louisiana, Mississippi and back to Louisiana again.

These flowers definitely made not only my day but my week, too!



Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Week in Review

I debated on whether or not to write this post, but I decided to go ahead and do it. Forrest Gump was right. Life IS like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get . . .

Last weekend I had to make a trip to Georgia. Seth and the children stayed in Louisiana so it was just me, myself and I. On the way back, I decided to listen to my Bible on CD so I had already settled in for a long drive. As I crossed the state line into Alabama, I noticed Bama's finest EVERYWHERE. They were lined up on the side of the road and in the median as well. I wasn't worried. I was wearing my seat belt, and I was riding on cruise control. So as I was going down a hill and headed up another, I noticed that one of the patrol cars had pulled out behind me. I thought it was odd. I mean, weren't they supposed to be pulling people over? Why would one all of a sudden just decide to take a drive? After another mile or so, I see blue lights flashing in my rear view mirror. And then I realize he's pulling me over! There's a first time for everything, and that's the very first time in my entire life that I've been stopped by a policeman and a state patrol at that! After all, I'm a rules person and pretty much tend to see everything as black or white.

So as I'm pulling over I'm trying to decide why in the world he's pulling me over. I knew for a fact I was not speeding. And I was definitely wearing my seat belt. But I was also talking on my cell phone. Kayla had called because she was at the grocery store, and she wanted to be sure she hadn't missed anything on my list of supplies for Connor. So I thought that maybe Alabama had one of those no-talking-on-your-cell-while-driving laws. That was the only thing I could think of.

So I come to a stop, and my new friend approaches the passenger side window. I can tell by the look on his face that he's a bit stunned when he looks inside my vehicle. I'm not sure what he was expecting, but I guess it was a bit unexpected . . . the second row (I drive a Tahoe) seats were folded down, and I had removed the third row seats and put them on top of the second row. I had two wing-back chairs from my Grandmother's house that I was hauling back with me, and they were stuffed in the back. And not to mention that I'm listening to the Gospel of Matthew chapter 6 at this point! So then he looks at me and tells me he pulled me over because he thinks the tint on my windows is too dark! Seriously?!? You have got to be kidding me!

At this point, I'm pretty aggravated because I think it's just ridiculous. So he asks for my license and insurance. I explain to him that my insurance card is in the glove box and that I'm going to have to reach over, move my suitcase (that was stuffed in the front seat) and open the glove box. After all, I didn't want him to think I was going after a concealed weapon or anything! So he takes my license and leaves me to retrieve the insurance card. He comes back and decides to make small talk . . . he wants to know if I'm headed back home and if I live anywhere near Broussard, LA, because he "doesn't know much about Louisiana." At this point, my answers are simply yes and no. And then he tells me that he has some sort of machine thingy that he's going to put against my window to test the tint. So he does that, and just as quickly, I notice his countenance falls. He looks at me and says, "Well, you're fine and so is your tint. You aren't getting a ticket. I can't even give you warning." He was so disappointed. So I tell him, "Thank you very much," and I roll my window up and just start laughing. I mean . . . REALLY?!? I guess he didn't have anything else better to do.

So I get home really late that night. The kids are in bed. And I get "the look" from my husband when he sees what's in the back of my Tahoe. And then he gets "the look" from me when I shine my lights out into our yard. I'd already been forewarned about this . . .

We built our house last year. Once it was finished, we were so tired that we decided to wait awhile before tackling the landscaping and the yard in general. So that's this spring/summer's project. We built on land that used to be a pasture so the ground was very uneven, and there were lots of holes everywhere. And there was more weeds than grass. You really couldn't tell, but it was a very bumpy ride when mowing the weeds/grass. So Seth decided that the whole yard needed to be chopped and leveled. If you're like me, you aren't sure what "chopped" is, but basically it's like tilling up the whole entire yard (I know it as "harrow"). And then you drag the dirt around to fill in the holes and low spots and smooth it out (I'll take a picture in the morning and post it so you can see what I'm talking about). After that, you're ready to lay sod or plant seed. We'll be doing the latter! I don't dispute the fact that this really needed to be done and was the right way to do it. But I just didn't want to think too much about it because a yard of nothing but dirt and a 5-year-old and a 3-year-old just don't go together.

So while I was gone . . . the yard was chopped. It's nothing but dirt. Everywhere. That has made playing outside just a little complicated and frustrating for the kids and for me. But we've managed. I'm very . . . let's just use the word PARTICULAR . . . about my house and my floors . . . meaning that I sweep and mop multiple times a week . . . so you can imagine my nightmare. Anyway. We've made the best of it. I pretty much require Mason and Hannah Kate to wear their rubber boots that way they can play all they want, even in the dirt, and then just drop their boots at the door without tracking in too much of a mess. So keep that in mind. The same night I get home, Seth also tells me that we can't flush the toilet in our bathroom while the water is on in the shower. I heard him say that, but I rather quickly dismissed it. I wasn't having a problem with it. And then the next day, he goes to Texas for the remainder of the week.

This morning I noticed the toilet didn't flush when I woke up. It was stopping up. So I asked Mason to use the toilet in the mudroom. I wasn't worried. I figured it would eventually drain out. And then I forgot about it. After lunch I was going to clean the bathrooms. I noticed the toilet was still stopped up. I ignored it. As I was cleaning the sinks, I heard a gurgling sound and thought the water was probably going back down. I was wrong. It was coming up and out! So I sort of kept ignoring it because I didn't know what to do or what was going on (I later realize this happened when my washing machine was draining). And then Hannah Kate came in and said she had to go potty so I asked her to use the toilet in the mudroom instead. She comes back and tells me that toilet is stopped up, too! And then I notice water standing in the bottom of the tub, and I hadn't run any water in the tub. So at this point, I know we have a problem. A BIG problem. Did I mention that Seth is some 300 miles away?!? He always misses out on the fun. So I have to call my father-in-law. He's not home so we have to wait a few hours.

When Mason got off the bus, the first thing I did was explain to him that he could not use any of the toilets and to tell me when he needs to potty. Right after we come inside, he tells me he needs to go. So I told him to go outside and put his boots on. When he asks me why, I explain that we're going to have to walk to the woods to potty. He quickly changes his mind and decides he doesn't have to go that bad. Five minutes later, he comes back and says, "Mama, I really have to poop really bad." So I told him to go outside and put his boots on. I grab a tub of wipes, and we start walking to the woods. At this point, I'm watching my 5-year-old walk across our backyard, which is nothing but dirt, wearing his rubber boots . . . so he can go potty in the woods . . . !!! I mean . . . is this Little House on the Prairie or what?!?

And I'll not even tell you what happened when Hannah Kate finally had to go potty. I had to teach her how to "squat," and she was absolutely MORTIFIED.

Long story short . . . my father-in-law came to our rescue. He had to dig up the pipe and cut a section out of it to let everything drain out to the ditch beside the house. It was stopped up . . . and I'll not say what the culprit is because it was rather embarrassing . . . but it's un-stopped now so we have to wait on everything to dry out a bit before we can completely fix the pipe and then move the yucky dirt away that absorbed all of the drainage.And it's just Thursday . . .

Monday, March 07, 2011

A Pinkarific Day!

Last Saturday-a-week-ago, Ashley and I took Abbie and Hannah Kate to see Pinkalicious the Musical.I just love all things performing arts and always have. Long ago I always envisioned my husband-to-be and I enjoying the arts . . . concerts, symphonies, plays, musicals and the like. Well, let's just say that's everything Seth isn't! Of course, I knew this from the very beginning, but I was sort of hoping to convert him. So our first Christmas together (dating/engaged), he came to Georgia. And the first thing I did was purchase tickets for us to see The Nutcracker at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta! I was so excited . . . couldn't wait! I mean, who doesn't just fall in love with the Fox?!?

I can remember the very first time I went there . . . Grandmother took me to see Show Boat starring Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubbing on The Love Boat). We went to a matinee performance, and I can remember just standing in the lobby in awe and then being absolutely amazed when I took my seat in the theatre. I can also remember exactly what dress I wore, too!

So let's just say Seth didn't exactly experience the same awe and amazement. When it was over, he very politely, yet firmly, told me he would never go to The Nutcracker again! If I'm being honest, the ballet was probably a bit extreme for him! I mean, this is a froggin', crawfish eatin', four-wheeler ridin', t-shirt and wranglers kind of guy!

My second attempt came several years later in 2004. I decided I wanted to purchase a pair of season tickets (meaning one for me and one for Seth!) for the Broadway in Baton Rouge series. But before buying the season tickets, I opted to buy a pair of tickets to Fiddler on the Roof, which just so happens to be another of my favorites (thank you, Sara Beth Turner!). I thought this might be more Seth's speed. So I did, and we went, and he was very gracious. I thought I might have a chance. But that was also the time I found out I was pregnant with Mason, and it seemed like season tickets for the Broadway in Baton Rouge series and an infant didn't quite go together so well. So I didn't purchase the tickets. Besides, Seth was only slightly more impressed this time and probably even more emphatic about it just not being "his thing."

But when my girl was born . . . one of the things I was most looking forward to was sharing with her my love for the performing arts! I've been waiting three years for her to be old enough to sit through a show and also for the perfect show to come along. And it did! PINKALICIOUS THE MUSICAL! How precious is that?!?
It really was a precious musical. But it wasn't the performance I enjoyed so much . . . it was the look of awe and amazement on Hannah Kate's little face as she took it all in . . . she DID NOT MOVE the entire time!

The cast came out afterwards to sign autographs and take pictures, but Hannah Kate would have none of that. Regardless, Pinkalicious was very gracious and super sweet.
As for me, I can not wait until the next time! And I can honestly say that neither can Hannah Kate!


Friday, March 04, 2011

Conversations

One of my most favorite things in life is conversations with my children! I am absolutely fascinated by the things they come up with! Just recently, these are three of my favorite conversations with Mason . . .

During the month of February, Mason's kindergarten class studied about the Presidents, most notably George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama. Now, I have to be honest. We don't talk about President Obama at our house, and that's all I have to say about that. So Mason came home from school one day last week and said very matter-of-factly:

"Barack Hussein Obama is the President of the United States, and he's the first Afrimerican president, and his dog's name is Bo, and his house is the white one."

I just love that . . . the white one.

On Tuesday afternoon, I had to take Mason to the doctor when he got home from school. He obviously looked at some poison ivy in the woods behind our house over the weekend, and the small spot on his cheek that I was treating with Benadryl had exploded, and his whole face was covered in red whelps. As we were sitting in the exam room, this was the conversation between Mason and Hannah Kate:

MASON: Mom, can we please get a dog?
ME: No.
MASON: Pleeeeaaaaasssssse?!? I want a dog. Can we please get a dog?
ME: No.
HANNAH KATE: I don't want a dog.
ME: Don't worry. We aren't getting a dog.
HANNAH KATE: I want a cat.
MASON: Hannah, my dog is gonna chase your cat! Mom, can we please get a dog so it'll chase Hannah Kate's cat?

And then, the very same day, the following conversation ensued in Wal-Mart when we were waiting on Mason's medicine. Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) is this Tuesday. Honestly, I don't know which I like less, Halloween or Mardi Gras. I've never even been to a parade! Well, except the Grosse Tete Mardi Gras Boat Parade, but I'm certain that doesn't count in any way as a parade! I've asked my husband to take me to a parade, just one, but he refuses. Anyway. Mason's class has just this week began studying Louisiana history and culture. So when we saw the Mardi Gras display with the beads and masks and such, he yells, "Look, mom, Mardi Gras!" And then he saw a king cake, and it went a little something like this:

MASON: Look, mom, that's king cake. Baby Jesus is in there.
ME (mortified, might I add!): Baby Jesus in NOT in there!
MASON: Uh huh He is. Baby Jesus is in there.

At this point, I'm just thinking to myself that we have A LOT of work to do!

Now, for those of you not familiar with king cakes . . . there is a little plastic baby hidden somewhere in the cake, like so.
Whoever get the piece with the baby in it is supposed to buy the next king cake, or so tradition goes. Now, I have to be honest here. I know just a very little about the Mardi Gras traditions. So when I googled to learn more about king cakes, I found out that my five year old just might be a little smarter than his mama! Catholic tradition says that the king cake is named for the biblical three kings who traveled to Bethlehem to see the Christ child, hense the "baby Jesus" in the king cake!

But now I'm still thinking I have a whole lot of explaining to do to one certain five year old!