Tag Archives: motherhood

Sidenote

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Sidenote

It’s Saturday. I haven’t blogged in a while and, if I had more time (duh), you’d be able to see why.

We’ve finished up our first competitive cheer season, Doc is trying to beat CR7’s goal-scoring record this year in *cough* first kick rec soccer, and The Boy is trying to set a record for the number of times he can bang his face on the ground, into the lip of a table, or corner of a bookcase in a single month. Coach is finished with soccer season and has moved full-on into yearbook (which means he’s busy covering every sport, concert, play, and awards dinner at THS). Work is work for me. I love it. Busy, busy, busy. They keep giving me things to do so I’ll take that as a good sign.

I have been feeling the urge to reorganize, purge, and simplify our belongings (again). Realizing the reality is that we probably won’t try and move this year, all the STUFF in this house is making me crazy.

I want to redecorate the Boy’s room. It doesn’t really say anything now that I’ve taken his sports stuff out of his crib. I think we’re doing race cars, but I just haven’t had the time.

*sidenote* I’m writing on Coach’s mac (#love), but I’ve gotten used to my Surface and so now I keep touching the screen. */sidenote* HA.

Doc & Munchkin (can I still call an almost 13-year old “munchkin”?) (and, @sarah, is it more correct to put the punctuation inside the “” or outside, since the “” was to designate a name, not a quote?)

What was I saying?

This is my life. I can’t keep a !@#($% thought in my head for longer than about :25 seconds. So, you see why blogging has been such a hit or miss thing this year. I want to. My life would make a great sitcom. My children are hilarious and I really should be writing this down because [in my most obnoxious, patronizing voice] “they won’t be little forever.” (see, I know I used it correctly there.)

And it’s not all fun and games. There are things I want/need to pour out so I get them out of my head, but I open up the page to write and stare at a blank screen. And then life intrudes and demands my attention. So, in my head these thoughts stay.

Speaking of. The Boy just poured a cup of cinnamon toast crunch out on the kitchen floor. Because 18 months, you know?

Excuse me while I go back to the mess.

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Quiet

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It’s a little before 5am. The house is quiet; everybody still sleeping. I’m sitting in the dark living room, finishing my first cup of coffee and thinking about a second. It’s a rare treat that I get to enjoy a cup of coffee in silence since the arrival of The Boy. Has it already been almost three months? Has it only been three months? He seems so much part of our lives that it’s hard to imagine him not here.

Princess Crybaby is good. The other night, Coach told her it was time to go to bed. She walks over, stands in front of his chair and says, “can we talk about this?” And that about sums up where she’s at. Everything has to be explained. She’s into the “I need reasons mother” phase. It’s obnoxious. And adorable.

Munchkin is in a play at the high school. Yesterday, I picked her up from the house to take her to rehearsal. I smiled inwardly as I noticed she’d taken great care to get ready. Her hair was arranged and there was a certain “big kid” air about her. A part of me sighs a little more each time I have the opportunity to witness this young girl transforming into a young lady. I am happy, of course, because that’s what she’s supposed to do, but still. Glimpses of the little girl are becoming a little more rare. This part is new for me, so I am trying to approach this with a certain air of conservative detachment. (yes, I made that up)

As we pulled into the high school parking lot, I asked her if she wanted me to drop her off or walk her in. (I kind of thought she’d just want to be dropped off – I mean, I’m MOM and she has started striking out on her own a little more…I didn’t want to cramp her style and I knew she was perfectly safe) Because it was right at 4 o’clock, there was still a lot of traffic – both people and cars. She asked if I’d walk her in. Playing it cool, I parked the car and she hopped out. This is our world – we spend a lot of time around Temple High School – so, as we walked through the parking lot, we chatted about rehearsal and what she would do when she was finished. I reminded her to turn her phone off during rehearsal (no, Munchkin, silent isn’t enough. If it accidentally goes off, you might get tossed off the stage… LOL – just kidding. kinda)…etc.

At this point, we’ve waded pretty far into the mass of humanity in the plaza outside the student center. It is all the sudden I feel a very close little shadow at my side. She leans into me a little and says, “there are so many people, Mommy,” and she takes my hand. It is then I am reminded that she is not so very grown up after all.

I smiled down at her and reminded her that they were just bigger versions of her and we navigated through the crowd and into the student center. I noticed the little bounce in her walk returned once she had ahold of my hand and it was all I could do not to kiss her head. (I know that would have been way over the “MOOOOOOOOM” line) Once we got inside the theatre, she slipped her hand out of mine and bounced off to her world in the theatre. The moment was over.

It was a sweet reminder that I still have a few years before I enter the uncool phase and she’ll struggle with her desire to be close to me and, at the same time, the need to be independent of me.

So much in which to delight. Mine is a cup that overflows. And that’s why the floors are sticky.

But, for now, it’s dark. And quiet. And you can’t see the piles of laundry still not finished (as if), and the dishwasher that’s full of clean and the sink almost full of dirty (I think they multiply like tribbles when we aren’t looking), and the …. well, you get my point.

And my coffee cup needs a refill.

The clock ticks

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The clock ticks

I don’t want to be a stay at home mom. I thought I did. I used to be. But I don’t anymore. This is not a post about the pros and/or cons of staying at home. This is about me. Because it’s my blog. LOL

I stayed home with Munchkin until she was two. It was, circumstances aside, Amazing and super rewarding. Being able to watch her develop and learn real-time was incredible. When I went back to work, we both had a very hard transition. Becoming a single parent necessitated going back to work. I will tell you, in our experience, two was too late to introduce daycare. Munchkin suffered terrible separation anxiety and every transition issue you can imagine. This compounded my own personal guilt at not being able to continue the plan of staying home with her until prek; illogical as it would prove to be. I felt like I failed her by not being able to sustain the plan.

Princess Crybaby was a daycare kid from six weeks. She did not experience separation anxiety the same way and she missed a lot of the transition issues her sister went through. She is not a hitter, or a biter, and potty training was a breeze. She gets along well with classmates and is, overall, very accepting of adult caregivers. All of this could be personality and have little to do with early socialization. Certainly well-socialized kids still hit and bite, struggle with potty training and have terrible separation anxiety. Shoot, who knows how The Boy will shake out. (So far so good, though)

As I was pregnant with The Boy, then, scenarios went through my mind of staying home; both with and without some kind of income. I felt some measure of sadness as I accepted the reality that finances and our chosen lifestyle just wouldn’t permit me to stay home without some kind of income, and legitimate work-at-home jobs seem scarce or hard to find.

Once The Boy arrived, it was quite different. I found the long days at home very lonely, blissful as they were, with only The Boy for company. I found myself craving a creative outlet, but felt too tired and attention-torn to focus on anything. I started to feel a little crazy without regular, adult conversation. I started rearranging the house, cleaning and organizing. That makes my husband VERY nervous.

I realized that my wanting to stay at home was less about the kids and more about me.

Now that I’ve gone back to work, albeit only a couple of days back, I find I am happier and more satisfied during the day. Of course I miss the children and can’t wait to see them at the end of the day, but I get that much-needed creative exercise. And, being home with the kids all evening isn’t exhausting, because I haven’t already been with them all day… I can still be a good mom and not be home all day.

I believe God uses our circumstances to gently teach us. I am pretty over the idea of a God who beats us over the head in order to bend us to His will, or employs the “because I said so,” style of leadership; blaring truth through loud speakers. He was gentle (and silent) in this circumstance; allowing me to discover for myself that His plan (going back to work) really is in my best interests.

So if you, Dear Reader, are sitting and watching the clock tick, sit tight. Search your heart for how you feel and where you see God leading. Try not to get too hung up on the why; I think it becomes apparent, but sometimes not until you’ve moved past.

disclaimer: I am a skeptic. I love The Lord with my whole heart, but confess to asking a LOT of questions. I have invested in fleeces, because it seems like I have frequent opportunities to use them. Thankfully, I worship the God of the universe: big enough to put up with all my obnoxious questions, and small enough to take the time to answer them.

So many things

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So many things

I have several posts rolling around in my head. For now, just the titles are set.

Upcoming:
On the birth of a son
Revival of the cereal diaries category
Too much, too soon (how they are stealing her innocence)
Middle schmiddle (how to avoid the middle child syndrome)
The Corleys go back to church
The clock ticks (why I don’t want to be a stay at home mom)
Be all there (my epiphany on how being in a hurry actually steals time)

Ok, I think that’ll do it. Don’t you? Sit tight, I’ll be back after I fold MORE laundry. UGH.

The boy who never grew up

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I am reading Peter Pan to the girls at bedtime. I think they are enjoying it – even Princess Crybaby gets mostly still and quiet. Sometimes she will lay her head on my lap and I’ll rub her back while I’m reading. It’s terrific. Munchkin and I read The Secret Garden last year and it was really fun.

peter-pan-15Last night, we were reading the chapter where Wendy decides it’s time to go home. She’s telling the story about the Darlings and how the mother always kept the window open for them to return – never forgetting them. Peter goes on to tell his version of that story, when his own mother “forgot” about him, locked the nursery door and replaced him with another little boy.

Call it runaway pregnancy hormones, but I started to choke up. The girls were absolutely silent too. It was quite the literary moment.

I reassured the girls at the end of the chapter that I would never forget about them if they flew away to Neverland and I would always keep the windows unlocked so they could come home. And then the bedtime rodeo recommenced and the moment passed.

For them.

Peter PanBut, a little while later, I found myself thinking about Peter and his story and I could not help but think of Riley. The temptation to fantasize about our eldest boy being one of the Lost Boys, running wild around Neverland; having adventures with Indians and pirates is an intoxicating thought. And then we get to coming back to the window. Would our little “Peter” (aka Riley) think we’d forgotten him? Would he see the crib and bassinet and a closet full of clothes waiting for The Boy’s imminent arrival, and decide that we must have replaced him?

Yes, I know it’s irrational. Riley is in heaven and has been since that morning in October, four years ago. I have not forgotten or replaced him. In fact, I don’t think a day goes by that my heart does not, in some way, whisper his name.

It’s just a story. And I’m VERY pregnant.

One day, I will read Peter Pan to The Boy and kiss the top of his head for the trillionth time and, yes, think of my own Peter Pan. And, while I am perfectly aware of the fact that this is from the movie Hook and not Peter Pan or any of the original versions, I still love this quote from Tinkerbell:

“You know that place between sleep and awake, that place where you still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you, Peter Pan. That’s where I’ll be waiting.”

Enough is Enough

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Be warned: this is my soapbox. There are many like it, but this one is mine. I am heartily sick of the “Temple ISD needs better communication.” “Temple ISD needs to do more to get the word out about their successes.” For the record, I was Communication Director for almost six years. The two that have followed me can probably tell many of the same stories; even in their short tenures. They are ONE person. They can (and DO) work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; forsaking time with family and friends, their health, enough rest, their own personal opinion and much of their privacy to get out the “good word.” They take hundreds of pictures, post hundreds of Facebook posts and tweets, maintain a website, send school messenger messages, hustle to get articles above the fold in the newspaper and on, and on, and on, and on. The cycle of work NEVER ENDS. And still, people complain. I have more than a dozen awards that prove Temple ISD is doing Communication RIGHT.

The ONLY way the “perception” about Temple ISD will EVER change is when parents and staff in the district who are part of the success (even the baby steps) stand up and say, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.” When parents, students and staff say, “I don’t know what Temple ISD you’re talking about – that’s not what I live and see every. single. day. At the end of the day, people who like to bash Temple are bashing 8500 CHILDREN. That is my daughter. 1300 employees working every single day for children. That is my husband and I’m SICK of it.

Temple ISD is an EXCELLENT school district. Is it perfect? Is anything? You show me a perfect school district and I’ll show you a perfect church. It doesn’t exist. Yes, there are all the problems of public education; balancing the needs of so many children with radically different instructional, emotional and physical needs, but there are also miracles (big and small) happening in every classroom – in every hallway – in every school in the district. Yes, there are stellar teachers and there are those who need to find something else to do. (but can’t that be said for ANY business – anywhere?) But the very things that make Temple a challenging place to live, teach and learn are the very things that prepare children for what is OUT THERE. People who look different. Who talk differently. Who worship nothing. Or something else entirely. 

I’m not on the payroll anymore and I never will be again. Those doors have closed and I’m ok with that. Yes, I miss the people. Yes, I miss the stories. But it is becoming abundantly clear that I can be more effective as a mom, wife and citizen, than I EVER was as spokesperson. 

My mother taught hundreds of students that communication is the responsibility of the sender. I took that to heart. When I couldn’t break through the web of lies, ghosts of a past that may or may not have ever existed (aka. “The Good old days of Temple”), a time of upheaval that seemed to be never-ending, an uncertain, but optimistic, future, and the inevitable mistakes of living, breathing humans; I would change tactics. Adding more and more and more to my plate as I tried and tried to figure out the magic formula for making a difference in what seemed to be an insurmountable task.

*sigh*

Look, I obviously don’t know all the answers. What I do know is that there are an awful lot of people, working really hard to make a difference in the lives of children and it breaks my heart to hear that the only message that gets through is the ugly. The hard. The sad. What if we only told the stories about when our children failed? When our spouse made us angry? No stories of forgiveness. No stories of redemption. No second-chances. Just condemnation. It poisons the very air we breathe when we focus only on the bad. We must find the good stories and TELL THEM. SHOUT THEM. Never stop letting people know that, yes, I disagree with the way this is done or the way that conflict turned out, but MY GOD, she’s making straight A’s in Math and, when I take the time to do something nice for these people who are with my headstrong, uber-bright Alpha-child for 8 hours a day – along with hundreds of other children, all of the frustration from that parent-teacher conference disappears and we are reminded that we are on the same side!

So here is my story for the day:

Last night, Munchkin (now in 5th grade) was finishing up homework. One of her assignments was to write a list of historic events and she was frustrated because “social studies is just not her thing” and she didn’t really know what to do. (in the words of one of my co-workers at the office: this was a sprinkle on top of an 8-layer cake) After digging with lots of questions, I finally get that they are going to write a short story around a historic event and this is, evidently, ground-work for that story.

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Then, she shows me the warm-up they did earlier in the day (I’m guessing as an intro to this assignment). “If you could go back to any point in history and talk to any historic character, who would it be…” She chose Rosa Parks (I was impressed, by the way). Well, this centered the discussion around the Civil Rights Movement. LIGHTBULB! So, we start looking up civil rights milestones and she finds a great timeline. She’s only 11 and hasn’t had that much exposure to this particular topic. Some of it is, frankly, pretty grisly, so I stay with her to talk through it. This leads to a really cool discussion about Brown v. Board of Education. What could have been a facebook rant about the lack of information she brought home in order to correctly do this assignment, or the same “kids have too much homework” rant that’s been played out hundreds of times, I had an opportunity to take a few minutes to sit at the table with her, looking up stuff on her iPad and talk to her about another time in the history of our country. At one point, she asked me, “How do you know all this stuff?” And I told her, “because I had good teachers who made me do stuff like this all the time.” Betcha Mr. Hall didn’t really plan for that in his lesson plan for the day. Good job, Mr. Hall. Good job.

Routine

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alarm-clockI will freely admit I am a type-A personality. (PR people like stating the obvious) I like routine. I dislike disorder. So, summer’s “what do you want to do?” “I dunno. What do you want to do?” schedule makes me CRAZY. (and it doesn’t take much to accomplish that these days.)

So, I’m super excited school starts Monday. My children? Eh, not so much. I’ve been pushing morning wake-up earlier and earlier and I’m noticing two little grizzly bears emerging from where my daughters had been.

Lump it, kids. Momma can’t think when we’re in a hurry. Then I can’t ever find my keys and you KNOW how that works out. I call Daddy and start yelling on the phone. #truestory

Who’s betting I’ll start getting up BEFORE 5am; just to get a quiet moment with my coffee before I have to start wrangling kids. And that’s BEFORE we add The Boy. OMGosh. Somebody shoot me now.

I don’t wanna be nice

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Have you read my webfriend, OhAmanda? She’s awesome. She’s a mom. She’s not perfect. She’s real. She does cool things and I vicariously imagine myself doing them as I read along. She posted this great post on What’s in the Bible’s blog the other day about kindness and I had to share it. Because it’s great. 

When I step OUTSIDE of my tired, 30weekspregnantandyouhaven’tstoppedtalkingsinceIpickedyouupchild moment and make myself gently kiss heads and help brush little teeth and tuck little faces into bed (again) and bring ANOTHER drink of water, I find all that other stuff fading away as they smile innocently up at me; completely oblivious to the fact that, 10 minutes earlier, my broken self wanted nothing more than to go hide in the car so I could have five minutes of quiet. And then, as I stand in the dark hallway, after pulling the door shut on sleepy little bodies all tucked in for the night (yes, this time for real mom), I realize how special those moments are. And, like Amanda, I hope they only remember the soft moments and not the moments before when I showed my exasperation; or when my brokenness gets in the way of how much I really love and treasure them. 

 

“B-H can Eat It”

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Today, I was talking to my mother and I told her I’m having a lot of Braxton-Hicks, but that I’m onto their “let’s make her think she’s in labor” game and they could just “eat it.” Because that’s what they do. It’s like taking your car to the mechanic. It never does it once you get there to check it out. And then they look at you like you are a little stupid and maybe you should have paid closer attention to those childbirth classes and a little less attention to Pinterest.

This is not my first rodeo. So you would think I would know what I was doing 100% by now.

My pregnancy with Munchkin was pretty easy, if you don’t count that pre-term labor thing at 22 weeks (don’t worry, I carried her to a lovely medium-well done 37 weeks). Delivery was a PIECE. OF. CAKE. So much so, that I almost hesitate to tell my birth story because I figure other mothers might want to slash my tires.

Princess Crybaby was another easy pregnancy. Sure, I threw up a little every morning from about 10 minutes after the pregnancy test until the morning they induced her at 38 weeks (so we could make it into the hospital we wanted before they closed it to rebuild it as a children’s hospital). Quick and (as these things go) unremarkable (other than they, “hey look, it’s a redheaded miracle baby!” part of delivery – DUH). Another easy delivery. Well, for me it was harder, but I fully believe that’s the 8 years older business. *ahem*

The Boy has been super sweet. No nausea (well, not enough to really talk about), no stupid sweet tooth that made me blow up (weight-wise) and lord, the weather has been an absolute gift. Y’all, it was 70-something degrees this morning. In Texas. In late August. UNBELIEVABLE. (not that he had anything to do with that, of course)

But I’m nervous. What if this last one is “the hard one?” What if I finally earn my mother stripes by living through the delivery from hell? You know what I’m talking about; the one where I finally earn the right to stare down my son and say, “I labored 22 hours with you, BOY, so you’ll eat your green beans standing on your head if I say to..” I can’t really use that card with the girls. “Munchkin, I pushed six times and you were out,” or “Princess Josephine Crybaby, I pushed 15 minutes with you, young lady, so I think I’ve earned the right to tell you you aren’t going to dye your hair,” just doesn’t have the same affect. Not. Even. Close.

But it’s not time to find out what kind of labor it’ll be. Hrmph.

So, in the meantime, these B-H can just keep on doing whatever it is they are trying to do because I ain’t falling for it this time. Nope. Not me.

sleep

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24 weeks. The magic point at which, it seems, comfortable is becoming a passing memory; something to think about in the past and look forward to in the future. It’s sometime around 4am and I’ve given up on sleeping any more. Princess Crybaby woke up a little bit ago, asking to go to the bathroom, but she was so sleepy I don’t think it actually occurred to her to go. Then she asked to sleep in our bed. Well, she’s so dadgum snuggly at 4am aaaaaaand I relented. (I have NO willpower at 4am) Well, by the time I settled her back in and got halfway situated myself, I was well and truly awake. Knowing better than to lay there and watch the clock, I got up. And here I am.

I actually don’t mind it. (right now; ask me again this afternoon when I’ve propped my head up with catalogs so I can pretend I have enough batteries to get me through the workday.) The house is still and quiet and it’s still dark enough I can’t see our “happy mess.” *laugh* I have surrendered to all but the basic “necessity” cleaning until the children are old enough that it’s not like watering your yard in a rainstorm. I mean, really – what’s the point? (don’t think that lets Coach off of dishes duty while school is out. I have my limits.)

I think of my sweet sisters and how lovely and clean their house is and I envy them. (and wonder where they get that extra energy and if it something that comes in a pill form.) While some people want to be Martha Stewart, I want to be Molly Weasley. She had a spell to do the dishes for goodness sakes and that beats making crepes and origami christmas ornaments any day of the week.

I console myself with the Joel Olsteen-esque “name it and claim it” platitude (i.e. completely useless, but so warm and fuzzy) that they won’t be little forever and time I “waste” scrubbing floors and sinks and doing laundry is time I could be spending with the kids. Or something like that.

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You know the really funny thing about this picture (and many others just like it)? I don’t think there is a single child within five miles of this room. Low sharp coffee table? White upholstery? Skinny vases three inches from the edge of the table? Open, roaring fire? And, look at the shine on those floors. Are you kidding me?

One day I’ll have a lovely clean house again – probably right around the time I can reach the stuff on the floor (or sometime after Halloween). For now, excuse our mess.

Oh, and if you hear snoring coming from the corner office around 3 today, you’ll know why.

Going all “one of THOSE moms”

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madyDisclaimer: If you are not in the mood for a smidge of a rant (ok, it’s pretty full-blown, but then it’ll be out of my system and I can go back to being a happy public school parent again), you should probably just come back another day.

So…..this day started as many days do – with Munchkin preferring to do just about anything over getting ready for school. She settled on an outfit that I would clean the garage or the bathrooms in, but it’s the last day of school so WHATEV, y’all. At least she brushed her hair and put earrings on. I dropped my girl off for the last day of 4th grade today, fully intending to meet her for ice cream around 1-ish with some friends.

I am happy we made it to the last day of school because this year has been a chore. Munchkin is coming into adolescence and she is trying on the mean girl routine. It grates on my nerves and breaks my heart because I KNOW she has to learn the hard way that being a $hit to people around her does NOTHING to engender the affections of the people who have to live in the same world as she. So, I’m ready for a summer away from all of her normal crowd, where she will put her nice girl outfit back on and behave like we who love her KNOW she can (caring, kind, sensitive, a great helper and a really sweet little girl), and pray some of it sticks to a little older and (hopefully) a little more mature Munchkin once hell school starts back up in August.

I’m working. It’s work. I would prefer to be at home, getting ready for our vacation, but I’m at work. And that’s ok. I have a good job that gives me a paycheck and doesn’t make me cry or want to drink. And then…………I see on Facebook where a friend and fellow mom is on her way to the FOURTH GRADE AWARDS?!! WTHeck? What awards? I scroll back through my email, calendar and even go (even though I KNOW there isn’t going to be anything on it) to the campus calendar on the website. Nope. Nada. So, I call the school and, sure enough, there IS a 4th grade awards ceremony in 10 minutes. I jump up and race to the school. Thankfully, we live in a small town and the lights were all working in my favor today (yes, I’m feeling rather Hunger Games-ish) and I made it in time not to miss anything. (Good thing too because her class went first.)

Munchkin got a Reading Achievement award which I thought was very neat. (Being an avid reader myself, it DELIGHTS me to see Munchkin’s passion for the stacks growing) The ceremony itself was only about 15 minutes long and there was a only handful of parents there; confirming that it wasn’t just me who was unaware of the morning’s activity. (The parent who had tipped me off said her daughter had called her less than an hour before the event and told her)

This is where “That Mom” moment comes in so bear with me. Like I said, I have to get it out of my system. I am fully willing to believe this event was sprung on the teachers, at the last minute, with little time for collaboration or comprehensive coverage of the kids in the grade. Munchkin has good teachers who have worked very hard this year with, as I understand it (and am sorry since one of “them” was mine), a difficult bunch of kids who seemed to thrive on drama as much as water and air. BUT. It felt halfway done. And not just because it was NOT communicated at all. Each teacher had different awards. Some children in some classes received Honor Roll awards and then some didn’t. Some were recognized for test achievement and some weren’t. Some awards received certificates and some medals. And, a LOT of children received nothing. It seemed like nobody really wanted to be there and everybody was a bit uncomfortable. The kids sat on the floor, crammed together in a space that would have been more appropriate to a pre-k bunch than a bunch of lanky almost fifth graders who are all legs and mouths. Munchkin’s reading achievement award was her only certificate this year, but it shouldn’t have been. She made all A’s ALL YEAR in Math, Science and Social Studies. She participated in the Honor Choir and, with the exception of being counted tardy (by about 20 minutes) for attending a pep rally at the high school with me (then, the Director of Communication for the district) Perfect Attendance. She was Commended in Reading on the STAAR and made a 20 point improvement on the Math STAAR.

You know what? I get that Munchkin is challenging. I get it. She sometimes tries to manipulate people and situations to suit her pursuits but has not yet gained enough maturity to learn that, most of the time, that is grossly inappropriate and not something people who care about other people do. She tries to fit in when she should just be content to be herself. She is already walking that stupid path of girldom that says you must be like ______________, you must dress like ________________, you must act like _______________ in order to be “someone.” Well, y’all, I never fit in like that – no matter how hard I tried, and neither will Munchkin.

But there was an opportunity to recognize her for what she IS good at today – academics. But they didn’t do that, spending a LOT of time, instead, on conduct awards. Behaving at school IS important and I’m not trying to take ANYTHING away from the children who are more compliant. Absolutely not. (I’m mad, but I’m not THAT mom) Do I sometimes wish Munchkin was a little less….Munchkin-like and a little more….somebody/something else? I would by LYING if I said it never went through my head. But then she wouldn’t be Munchkin, would she? She would be somebody else and losing that brilliant little flame is just unacceptable to me; even it it meant all Excellence in Conduct awards and an end to the headaches and “Um, Mrs. Fridaynightgirl, may we speak with you a moment about Munchkin” calls.

*sigh* Venting my spleen is hard work, ya know?

Munchkin is a beautiful girl. She is brilliant. She is a gifted dancer, actress and a pretty good singer too. She loves her little sister to the moon and back and, despite the season of perpetual chaos she seems to bring to every conversation and encounter, she IS a very good little person in the making. And, for that, I love her. Endlessly. And I don’t need any certificate or award or medal to show her how proud I am that, despite the 10,000th screw up, rolled eyes, sucking teeth or smart-a$$ remark, she always comes back to say she’s sorry. She loves us. And can she try again.

And that’s better than any damn certificate.

Oh child.

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Have you met my two-year old? She’s a mess.

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She is an artist. And, there is no telling what her next canvas will be. 

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She can love her big sister and yell at her. At the same time.

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You can never REALLY tell what she’s planning, but you can see the beginnings of a young mastermind at work.

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She doesn’t cower at her dad. That look and tone of voice that is especially effective at withering even the toughest 17 year old soccer player fails to elicit a response from this little pixie. Except to eat another cheeto. Loudly.

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I’m pretty sure she runs the house. And we are her hostages.

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And just when you think you’ll never get a moment’s peace and when, oh, WHEN can you put her to bed so you can get five minutes of quiet and MAYBE go to the bathroom by yourself, you capture this moment. And you fall in love all over again.

And you have the undeniable urge to to wake her up so you can see her smile at you. Laugh. Yell. Pout. Do it all over again.

She’s a tyrant. But she’s mine.

There He Is – Hellomornings – Day 2

Standard

John 1:19-34

– What did Jesus do?
Came to John to be baptized. This signified the official beginning of his ministry

What true things do others say about Jesus?
John called him the Lamb of God, referring to the Hebrew sacrificial lamb
Son of God – the one come to baptize with the Holy Spirit.

– What is one truth about Jesus and/or His promises from today’s passage that I need to
meditate upon and believe today?
Even John the Baptist said he did not know him, but the one who sent him (God) told him who Jesus was. So often, I think it is a reminder that you should always be looking for Jesus because you never know when you will encounter him, but also to be listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit to tell you, “pppssst. There he is.”

What utter joy it must have been for John to hear those words.