Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Facebooking with Pre-teens

So I'll admit it. I have a few friends on facebook that are friends of Casey. They are pre-teen little girls. And I read their stuff but never comment so they forget about me. It's worked well so far. (Maybe until they read this, of course, but I think they should be blocked....) Well, if you are friends with any middle-school age girls, you have probably noticed they are all posting and reposting this crazy list of how you should treat a girl and what you should do when sort of thing..... *rolling eyes*

[sidenote: It is important for me to step back right now and remind myself how I was in 7th grade .... Seriously boy crazy and obsessed. But here's the truth of the matter. I'm not anymore. And it's silly to have been. So there.]

Anyhow, I have been debating whether I should discuss this list the girls are posting with Casey to let him know my thoughts .... let me know what you think I should do - my thoughts are in brackets and red.

When she stares at your mouth
-Kiss her
... ...
[Don't kiss her, she might actually be debating if she should tell you you have food stuck in your braces]

When she pushes you or hits you like a dummy cause she thinks she's stronger than you
-Grab her and don't let go
[NEVER grab a girl and don't let go. That's called rape in a court of law.]

When she starts cursing at you trying to act all tough
-Kiss her and tell her you love her
[She's a bitch with a potty mouth, dump her ass]

When she's quiet
-Ask her whats wrong
[Be thankful she isn't talking for a few minutes. There is probably nothing wrong.]

When she ignores you
-Give her your attention
[Enjoy the break and call a friend to go play football]

When she pulls away
-Pull her back
[Again, not a good idea]

When you see her at her worst
-Tell her she's beautiful
[OK, do this one. That's pretty nice.]

When you see her start crying
-Just hold her and don't say a word
[No... ask her "What the f*ck is wrong now?!"]

When you see her walking
-Sneak up and hug her waist from behind
[Really? Gay.]

When she's scared
-Protect her
[Honestly? You'll probably be scared, too.]

When she steals your favorite hoodie
-Let her keep it and sleep with it for a night
[Unless it's Abercrombie or important. Then your mom will kick your ass.]

When she teases you
-Tease her back and make her laugh
[Why is that bitch teasing you?]

When she doesn't answer for a long time
-Reassure her that everything is okay
[Why is something wrong? So confused.]

When she looks at you with doubt
-Back yourself up
[Back yourself up with a few friends who have your back.]

When she says that she loves you
-she really does more than you can understand
[Seriously. Because she has hormones that you do not.]

When she grabs at your hands
-Hold hers and play with her fingers
[Unless they're sticky. Because then ewwwww.]

When she bumps into you
-Bump into her back and make her laugh
[Or just form tackle her and tell her to quit bumping into you.]

When she tells you a secret
-Keep it safe and untold
[Except tell your mom because if someone ever says 'don't tell anyone,' remember you are supposed to tell your mom.]

When she looks at you in your eyes
-dont look away until she does
[What are you, cats?]

When she says it's over
-she still wants you to be hers
[Yeah, because she's a possessive little wench.]

When she reposts this bulletin
-she wants you to read it
[Not your mom, though. But she did.]

- Stay on the phone with her even if she's not saying anything

- When she's mad hug her tight and don't let go
[Revert back to first and second comment about this not being a good idea. Holding someone against their will is also kidnapping.]

- When she says she's ok don't believe it, talk with her because 10 yrs later she'll remember you
[I remember all my boyfriends whether they were nice or mean. Just be you for God's sake.]

- Call her at 12:00am on her birthday to tell her you love her
[Unless you're asleep, of course.]

- Treat her like she's all that matters to you
[Um no. Your family should always matter more.]

- Stay up all night with her when she's sick
[Gross, really? I mean HOWWWWW sick? You don't want to catch it. And shouldn't she be sleeping instead of staying up all night?]

- Watch her favorite movie with her or her favorite show even if you think it's stupid
[Not a bad idea but your friends will laugh at you.]

- Give her the world.
[Yeah right. How are you planning to get "the world" with no job?]

- Let her wear your clothes
[Unless she's bigger than you.]

-When she's bored and sad, hang out with her
[Pre-teenage girls are ALWAYS bored and sad. You need to have a life outside of this chick. She sounds like a real pain.]

-Let her know she's important.

- Kiss her in the pouring rain
[Sure, if you want to catch pneumonia. ~Love, Grandma]

- When she runs up to you crying, the first thing you say is:
"Whose butt am i kicking,BABY?"
[Remember, if you get caught kicking someones butt, it better be for a better reason than this.]

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Holy Crap! My Kids Aren't Perfect?!

I know I do a lot of bragging about my kids - most of it to myself and a little bit on here and even a little bit more on Facebook [I hate the changes, too] ... but *faint* .... it turns out .. *gasp* ... that my kids aren't perfect after all. [Help me up...]

But really? Did it all have to happen in 1 week?! Sigh .....

Casey is a rule follower by nature. So when it comes to school work, Casey would rather turn in something done half-ass than not turn it in at all. On a [almost] daily basis I check what we call the "Parent Portal." This little website is designed to give us up to the minute updates on how our kids are doing in their classes. Grades fluctuate almost daily so I try (TRY) and only evaluate this little gem on Friday afternoons. Well, my week starts out and I see Casey has these weird 3 letters on one of lists of grades. NHI. NHI? I think. I wonder what that could mean? National Honor Inductee? I just can't imagine.... turns out this means Not Handed In and the grade he can get on it from here on out is a ZERO. I am shocked. Speechless. I won't bore you with the details on how I have not let this go with him and have literally seen him roll his eyes at me on a few occasions regarding this NHI, but really?

Then there is Hallie. Preschool. She comes home Tuesday and tells me that she had to take a time out in Spanish [HOLA!] because she was arguing with another girl. Now besides Parker biting someone in 3 year old preschool, neither of my boys ever got in trouble at preschool. So I ask what they were fighting about. Whether or not is was raining outside. Really? Seriously? So I ask Hallie which side she was on..... raining. Good girl because it WAS raining and you were right. Well, half right because you really can't be disrupting a Spanish class with your obnoxious need to be right all the time. Not sure where she got THATTTTTT............

Then the clincher. The perfect end to my week. I am going to post the e-mail that topped off my Friday night but I am going to change some names to be fair to the other kid/family..... My comments are in brackets.

Tammy; [Tami but whatever]

As I always do [and you, Tami, never do], today I took my kids to the bus stop and saw Parker was already there waiting for the bus. Right after him my son [insert name] lined up. When Mr. John [bus driver] approached the kids he was making some gestures [not that kind!] to the kids waiting. Then [said kid] said "Look, Mr. John wants to fight with me", to what Parker answered "He is talking to me, you idiot". [the dad wrote that in red, not me]

Probably [removed name for privacy] didn't noticed what Parker said, but unfortunately I did and want to express you that I feel really bad for what I saw (you have kids and I'm sure you wouldn't like to witness happening the same to yours). I understand that kids some time do not get up with a good mood, but I know you shouldn't be calling anyone for no evident "you stupid".

In this case I'm not looking for an apology; what I really want is this not ever happen again.

thanks in advance for the attention to this note;

My first reaction was to think oh Lordy ...... I would hate to be the first kid to actually be mean to your kid BUT then I had to remember the grudge I hold against this one kid from when Casey was in 1st grade. This kid I hold the grudge against said something mean to MY FRIEND'S kid and I wasn't even a witness. [sidenote: that kid really is a butt still to this day] So my response was to have Parker march over there and apologize to the DAD and then the kid.

I accidentally just popped open a beer instead of a diet coke. It's noon-ish and I have a football game and 2 baseball games in addition to two birthday parties still to go today .... hopefully your week was better than mine.....

Can't wait 'til Monday???

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Why this picture is perfect...

So let me give you some background. The last picture that we took, as a family, with decent clothes on and showered, was 2003 when Parker was 6 months old for a Christmas card. Hallie didn't even exist and that picture is still framed on my bookshelf. We have 1 other picture together with the 5 of us - well, 2 pictures actually. One is at the hospital when Hallie was born and the other is on vacation in sunglasses and swimsuits the following Thanksgiving. She was literally 5 months old. If that.

So Nana is in town and would like a picture of the 5 of us. Oh yeah I think! A perfect opportunity to get one for me as well. I will get us all clean and set the camera up and we will make happy memories. *swoon* I tell the kids listen, it doesn't have to be matchy or perfect but let's look presentable. By tell the kids I mean tell the kids AND HB because let's be honest .....

Casey comes down in a stretched out, dirty Michigan t-shirt. (GO BLUE!) Parker is still in his North All Star shirt - and sporting a hat! HB, after rolling his eyes, changed out of his under armour shorts and t-shirt.

I say please boys, please - I have spent a small fortune at Abercrombie - please can you put on something decent. They go in. They come out - Parker has removed the hat and Casey has not changed. 4 times. 4 more times I beg. I plead. There is door slamming and fit throwing. I am screaming "I don't ask that much of you!!!" I am muttering selfish little brats under my breath. Hallie looks adorable because she doesn't yet realize what is happening. I start sweating. It is 400 degrees. I might be exaggerating, it was probably only 200 degrees. I am setting up the camera. I am trying to explain to my mother-in-law how to take a picture. (A challenge I implore upon you to take on someone over the age of 60)

I finally get the boys outside. They are ticked. HB is missing. He is now back inside ordering cleats for Casey. Important. Hallie wanders off. The boys are picking my just planted flowers. Casey is all but refusing to do what I say taking this moment to become a teenager. Parker is pouting and mad and stomping around. We are a happy little Norman Rockwell family, damnit! I tell HB where to sit. I tell the boys where to sit. No one can understand what I want. People who don't know me pay me money to do this I think to myself. They don't make mad faces at me and say mean things to me. HB is complaining and saying, "Come On!" ..... so down we sit. Casey is not doing what I ask - have asked 300 times. Parker is crossing his eyes to spite me. Sweat is dripping down my face. And back. And ears, no lie. I flip out on Casey - you don't flip out on Casey - he is too sensitive and I can't have him crying he will get all blotchy. I get the boys to cooperate FINALLY and Hallie wants to lay down. I am yelling "snap the pictures faster!" at mother in law. LOL..... Hallie starts arching her back - doesn't want to sit with HB. Walks off. I threaten that she will no longer be part of our family. Then I bribe her with a fictitious Hershey bar. Lies. All lies.

We pretty much all can't stand each other at this very moment. And then *snap* ....

I can work magic, right? Frame! Happy little family.

(***as a special note I would like to really thank my MIL Gail Knodel for helping take these pictures***)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

176 school days until Summer Vacation!

***I am adding this disclaimer to this blog post. Today is Thursday. I have been trying to write this damn thing since Monday when the boys went to school - or were supposed to go to school but Parker was home sick - but Hallie has torn apart every puzzle, pee'd in her plastic potty that had no insert in it, wheeled her doll bed into my bathroom and threw every content from the baskets below around my whole room, painted my legs, feet and toenails with black washable paint - only washable if you aren't in need of a pedicure you can't fit in because you don't even have time to breathe, and currently spilled a whole cup of water on the table just because it is fun to watch it drip. Oh and whined incessantly. IN-FREAKIN'-CESSANTLY ... Three more weeks until preschool. I can do this.***

*** oh oh .... and now the cat just puked and she is freaking out because that is wealllllly sickkkkkkk***

SUMMER VACATION!! Funny. I feel like we just got a break from our summer and am ready to relax and "vacation" and BAM! The kids go back to school. Sigh ....

This summer was one like no other. I used to say I wouldn't do swim team because I didn't want to have to be obligated to be anywhere during summer vacation. THAT? Would have been the least of my issues....... This summer I just couldn't have added it to my plate .... my iCal was screaming "STOP! ENOUGH ALREADY! I'M FULL! NO MORE DOTS!" I, honestly, was so busy I didn't have time to work! The one client I fit in I shot DURING our family birthday party at OUR house for all 3 kids (and HB) ....

So, here is a recap of Summer 2011........

Memorial Day, pool, baseball practice, pool, baseball practice, pool, baseball practice, pool, tournament for one child, pool, baseball practice, golf tournament, baseball practice, baseball practice [I am stuck on repeat?], baseball practice, tournament, 14th anniversary, baseball practice, tournament, Father's Day, baseballlllllllll, Casey's birthday, weekend tournament away, HB's birthday, 4th of July, golf, baseball, Grandma's birthday, family party, baseball practice, baseball tournament, baseball, golf, Parker's birthday, week-long tournament in Delaware, kids go to camp, Parker's birthday party, Hallie's birthday, FOOTBALL (YES! FOOTBALL!) practice, fun week .......... AARRGGHHHHH!

Wait .... you know what would be more fun? PICTURES! Yes! Yay! Pictures!

This is actually a picture from the 4th of July. But since the summer started with Memorial Day, I thought I would put it first. It's my blog. I can do that. So there. :D In case you are wondering where on earth I got such adorable shirts that don't say Old Navy or 2011 on them, my friend Liz makes these super adorable shirts ..... we have one for every holiday she has made them for so far! I will pimp her out right here ......

This summer Parker played on the 7U Bulldog All-Star team .... he was one of our catchers and played GREAT! We didn't win anything, but he made great friends and had a great time! OK, truth is it was &!@*% hot. I sweated my fanny off every weekend and am surprised I was able to gain 5 pounds instead of lose them - but that was probably because my kitchen didn't see a home cooked meal in 3 months. Oh well.

My sweet little catcher:


In action - my favorite picture because who else can catch a ball with their eyes closed? Yeah, he is THAT good. LOL

(That guy in the corner being an umpire is Eric our mailman ..... gotta love a guy who can deliver your mail properly and get $20 at Christmas because of it and go on to make calls against your team anyhow....)

Casey also played baseball but I'm going to reserve those pictures for when I tell you about our week in Delaware because I know right now you're thinking "OH YAY! Tell me ALL about it! Please! I can't wait another minute!" Patience, my friends.... patience.....

Casey did golf competitively this summer - but not enough to get enough points to compete in the Championship (which was when we were in Delaware anyhow so I guess who cares? Him.) ... but he did really well seeing as we could only fit it in when we weren't playing baseball. (Thatisourstoryandwearestickingwithit.)

Anniversary ... Father's Day .... both taken up by baseball. Casey's 12th birthday - see the blog post about it, if you care, because clearly he is the golden child since he got the only birthday blog post - frankly the only blog post all summer- was a great time. We were lucky enough to have a break from baseball that day/night so we let him have a couple friends over to celebrate.

I know what you are thinking when you see his cake. You are judging me because you might know there used to be a day when I would special order a cake from a bakery that would be perfect ... and this? I wonder if it is less embarrassing to say I bought it at Walmart or made it myself .... you choose.

This is our Happy Birthday sign. You see it a lot during the summers around our house. Lots of birthdays. I make them take a picture with it every year which they hate ..... but I like to look back at them! If you look closely at the bottom of the H, there is a purple sticky spot - that's because I was so lazy last summer that I put the sign away with the balloons attached from Hallie's birthday and they melted. :o) Good job, Mommy!

HB's birthday was uneventful - surrounded by baseball and a home cooked meal. We were all shocked to be sitting around the table together. Riveting info.

Then we hit July.

On July 4th I decided to see what the moon/star button did on my camera. Because I don't use that side of the dial normally. It did this and I thought it was super cool!

And here Sweet Caroline (™Neil Diamond) was almost fast enough to get a whole star!! Don't think I won't have a special surprise for NEXT 4th of July! :o)

Then, being the rednecks we truly are in our hearts, HB drove to South Carolina to get the big dawgs and we had our own firework celebration in our cul-de-sac. [insert apology to our neighbors also in the cul-de-sac who have little kids with strict bedtimes ... especially for those really loud squealy ones but you *did* choose to buy a house in a middle class subdivision in a cul-de-sac sooooooooooo............]

I KNOW!!!!! Right?!?! Pretty cool pics .... errrrr......I mean....... fireworks .....

Parker's 8th birthday was the day we left for Delaware so we decided to change it from the 15th to the 14th. Here he is on his "8th birthday" (*coughonedayearlycough*) ...

I know, he still looks 7 there, right? He was 8. I swear. Really. Work with me.

He is in desperate need of a haircut (and teeth.)

So Delaware. The coach of Casey's team decided we should go do a tournament in Delaware called Sports at the Beach .... kind of like Cooperstown only not as, um, boring? Just kidding. There is a lot to do in Delaware and here is the photo diary of our trip from facebook, if you would like to see it! (You shouldn't have to be "on" facebook to see that album link)

Anyhow, the trip was the best we could make of it - lots of history in Delaware and the beach was awesome and tons of fun with friends and family .... and we threw a little baseball into the mix. My favorite baseball pictures from the trip are this succession of pics below..... if you know anything about baseball, the kid/runner will lead off of the base in an attempt to be ready to steal the next base. In this case, Casey was on third. Then, the pitcher will try to pick them off by throwing the ball to the third (or whatever) baseman instead of throwing a pitch resulting in getting the runner out. So you hear the third base coach yelling BAAAAACKKKKKK almost constantly. (Follow?)

Leading off of third .......

Back! Back! Back!


Hand stepped on, face [mouth, eyes, nose, eyebrows, ears, teeth, expander, you get it, right?] full of dirt, jammed finger ........

OH. MY. GOSH. Thank goodness I had my camera handy! :o)

Anddddddddd jump right back on that horse!

So we get back from Delaware after a week of fun and jump right into the week of camp for the kids and football for Parker..... I think that is what happened - have I lost my mind?! Don't answer that.

Parker loves football. OK, that's not true. What Parker said was that he isn't going to play football next year because it's too sweaty.

Team ..... that is some SERIOUS sweat.

First day of full pad practice .....

Whoooo boy ..... love that sweaty grin!

I am almost done. Are you still awake?

Then along comes the Royal Princess Hallie's birthday. Royal [pain in my butt] Princess. On our way home from Delaware (5 days before her birthday) I decided we should give her a new room for her birthday because she has been obsessed with this "princess bed" since she saw The Game Plan last December. By "we" should give her a princess room, clearly I mean "I" should give her a princess room. Really, we all can agree that HB is not handy and not really into any sort of physical labor. So off to camp she goes and having slept in our room for 10 days in Delaware it was easy to keep her out of her room and in ours for an extra week. So I take down the crib, paint, redecorate, make curtains, make a princess swag, put a bed together and purchase, drive home AND lug upstairs a full size mattress & boxspring! By myself. I *AM* abnormally strong for my size. *flexes muscles* About day 2 I was thinking it was the stupidest thing I had ever EVER EVERRRRRR decided to do but when we surprised her ON her birthday with her princess room, we got this reaction:

I mean, really ..... how can you top that?

Then she said "Take my picture!" So I did .....

THEN, I think her exact words were, "OK, now get out of my room." Oh how I love that little personality. Lovelovelovelove..........................

The before and after pictures of her room are also on facebook and the link should be public, if you care to see the transformation...

I do want to add, about Hallie, that she was a good sport this summer being dragged to baseball games and left behind with sitters..... I did actually spend *some* time with her and she learned to do this:

No. Fear. (Very. Scary.)

The last week before school starts we call "Fun Week" and try to cram something super fun into every day that we didn't get done all summer. On Monday we got haircuts and school supplies. What? That's not fun? On Tuesday the kids begged for a pajama day. Are you saying you don't think it's OK to stay in your pajamas all day? You are no fun. None at all. Wednesday we did something that slips my mind, Thursday we saw a movie and Friday we went to Malibu Grand Prix.

Then school starts. And it ends. :o( And now, finally, I am ready for summer. I guess the only saving grace is that living in Atlanta it will FEEL like summer for another 3 months! Woot woot?

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Seriously? My oldest is 12? When I was 12 (back in the late 90's of course .... shut up), I was wearing tight Jordache jeans, never left home without my goody comb, went roller skating on Friday nights, was in love with (and was certain I was going to marry) Michael Jackson, called my best friend to plan our outfits to match for the next school day, had my first real boyfriend (I do wonder what Jack is up to these days and wonder if he remembers giving me that brass apple for Christmas that his mom picked out when, really, all I wanted was the Christmas collection of lip smackers, but I digress), learned how to brown nose my teachers (the beginning of the end), took Latin so I could say cum without getting in trouble and see all sorts of peni...er...statues, and went through puberty. (Zip it.)

Those of you who know me know my summers are chock full of events. Starts with our anniversary mid June, then Father's Day and then within a 5 week period I have Casey's birthday, HB's birthday, Parker's birthday and Hallie's birthday. Add to that the fact that both boys are playing baseball this summer and Casey is also golfing competitively and you have one crazy, worn out momma.

So, in light of Casey's inch toward puberty, I thought I would revisit some of the years past and walk you down memory lane.

***I know I have some skillz (yo) in photography so I thought I would offer this disclaimer: Some of the photos taken are pictures OF pictures TAKEN WITH my iphone. Just didn't want you to judge me too harshly. I don't know how to scan on my printer.***

***I also know that harshly ends in "ly" and you should never end a sentence in ly.***

This is Casey as a newborn. So happy to hold all 7 lbs, 7 ozs of him ...... sweet little toes and nose and feet..... Ok, Ok ..... lies. All lies. About day 4 of his little life he started screaming and didn't stop for 14 more weeks. About night 2 of that I remember HB saying, "If this is how it's going to be, I'm not doing this." Ummmmmmmm ......... k?

This is Casey at his first birthday party. On his birthday. Running. I'll take your pity right now, thanks.

About age 1 1/2 - 2, we started golfing with Casey. This is Casey at about 3 golfing with HB. I love this picture. We are hoping Casey loves golf forever as much as he did when he was little and still does today.


Casey at about age 5. 5 is the age we decided he was so ready to go to kindergarten because he wanted to ride the bus and who wouldn't use that as a basis for a lifelong decision you might regret? (Note: on the first day of kindergarten Casey stood at the bus stop and when the bus arrived he screamed bloody murder and we drove him to school. Yup.)

****** Here is that little break where we lose about 4 years of sweet Casey's life. I'm not going to lie. I've got the pictures. Somewhere. In a box. Dusty. Or even better, on a teeny tiny SD card. In a drawer. It was back in the day when I was so good at going to Costco and printing all the pictures off my memory cards and putting them chronologically into an album. Then Parker hit 2 years old and it all went downhill. But we can address Parker another day. And it was before my mac and iphoto where I have them all (all 91 GB of them) stored on my lap top. I think.******

So pretend you just saw some really great, super cute pictures of Casey playing baseball, at school parties, hanging with his friends, getting his big teeth and just being cute.

Still with me? OK.

This is Casey at age 9. Age 9 is when we realized he thought he was 13. And started asking for a facebook page. And a cell phone and all sorts of stuff that we thought he was way too young for. Age 9 is also the age we caved - and made him start earning his own money to pay for some of these things. Age 9 is when we realized whoa! parenting is not getting easier, now is it?

This is Casey's 10th birthday ..... he is losing his baby. :o( I remember thinking double digits! Wow! The only digits Casey was worried about were the ones he asked an 18 year old girl for ..... hey, at least he likes girls?!

And then there was last year. 11. Pre-teen. Some of the friends are a little more advanced than the others. But not one of these sweet, immature boys complained about THIS party. Because really - who doesn't love their fried pickles?!

Happy 12th birthday to my sweet Casey. And I'm giving everyone a year warning. When he turns 13 I might need to be revived. I don't want him to grow up! WAH!

Enjoy every minute with your little minions...... and may they all enjoy their birthdays as much as Casey is enjoying his! xoxo

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The "Perfect" Child

I am not one to write a lot about my kids getting straight A's, doing super great on their CRCT's, or their overall sheer perfection. I mean, as their mother, I think it is MY responsibility to think they are perfect. As once was said to me, "your children are perfect in the eyes of 3 people. You [their mom], their dad and God." However, I am one to tell you when one of my kids writes with sharpie on my couch, one gets beat up by a bully probably because he had it coming or just the overall chaos that is called my life. My dad called once and asked me to call him back when I wasn't multi-tasking. Clearly he forgot what it's like to raise children. I said, "Dad - when exactly am I NOT multi-tasking ... maybe when I'm in the car, but if I call you from there, I guess I will technically be multi-tasking."

Anyhow, as Casey reaches that icky pre-teen/puberty stage and I feel him slipping away and long for the days where he would snuggle up with me, thumb in his mouth, rubbing his blankie on his nose and say, "Momma, wead me a stowee" and stuff like that .... and I lie awake at night wondering how did I mess him up so bad? Is my time running out? I wish I would have done this or that differently..... I feel him slipping away and it hurts my heart ohhh sooo baddddd...... we have conversations about qualities we see that we like in other kids and qualities we do not. Sometimes I feel like I am trying a little too hard to shape his personality to become the person I (or we) want him to be instead of just letting him "be" hoping we did an OK job raising him. Then I lie there thinking, "Please God, let him turn out OK." Or "Please God, let me stop fighting his battles for him" ... or "Please God, let him turn out to be someone we are proud to call our own."

And I wonder .... I wonder what it's like when I am NOT there..... not there to remind him to be kind. To remind him to be respectful. And to be a good friend. And all the things he learned in kindergarten like that stupid poster everyone had in 1988 says. And you just don't know.

So here's where the bragging comes in. Within the last 3 weeks I have received 2 e-mails. I am changing the names of the people involved but other than that they are verbatim .....

The first:
From: Anonymous (LOL)
Date: April 11, 2011 7:57:17 AM EDT
To: Tami Walsh
Subject: Your son is a hero :)

Did Casey tell you he helped a girl who got knocked down about a week before
spring break? The girl was my 6th grader, [Katie], who ended up with a
broken arm from her fall (was accidentally tripped in the hall)... He
scooped her up and grabbed her bookbag and helped her to the clinic :) She
didn't know who he was b/c she was crying (I'm sure hysterically, she's my
drama queen), but a friend found out over the break and told her.

If it was indeed Casey, tell him he's a very nice boy :)
[Her mom]

So when Casey got home, in true Walsh fashion, I said, "So I heard you knocked a girl down before spring break and broke her arm?!" He was all like, "No I didn't!!!! I saw it happen and helped her to the clinic!!!!!"

*slaps wrist* Bad mommy. Bad.
(This is why therapists get paid good money, by the way)

Then today I received this e-mail:

From: I'm not telling you who wrote this one either!
Date: April 27, 2011 12:14:08 PM EDT
To: Tami Walsh , Tami Walsh
Subject: Just to let you know...

I just wanted to let you and HB know what a great son you have!
[Emily] has struggled on so many levels this year. Late last night, she was particularly upset about not having any friends.
While talking to her, she said that each day during one of the class changes, she passes Casey and each day he puts his hand up for her to give him a high five. It makes her feel good. It makes her feel that someone cares about her.
I wanted you to know that your friendly, caring son has made a difference in [Emily's] life. It is true that you never know what a smile or hello may mean to another person and that little things can really make a difference and have an impact.
Just thought you'd like to know that you have raised a super young man!
Love you,
[Her Mom]

This brought me to tears.

Here's my moral of the story - if someone, especially a child, has done something nice for you or your child, let the mom know. Because maybe - JUST MAYBE - she lies awake at night wondering if she is doing an OK job, too.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

What should I do with this hair?!

OMG. I love Hallie's hair. It is soft and cute and flips on the ends .... and it is still blonde. BUT, it. is. a. mess. She loves to wear hairbows, but, like her clothing, she has to change styles every 5 minutes. So out comes the hairbow .... and this is what we have left ....

I am OK with this. Because it means she is having a great day. Last week she insisted on wearing Parpee's helmet and riding her princess scooter..... I thought she looked pretty cute even with the bedhead!

After her bath yesterday, I dried her hair (which she loves) and she looked in the mirror and said, "I wook butifuw!" And I thought - girl, you look beautiful no matter WHAT your hair looks like. :oD

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fairy Tale Ball .....

In first grade at our elementary school we have what is called "The Fairy Tale Ball." Or as I have renamed it "The Reason You Do Not Be Room Mom In First Grade." The outside of the classrooms and hallways are decorated, the inside of the classrooms are decorated - all fancy like - and nothing is left undone.... The kids come dressed as a fairy tale character and parade through the hallways. Parker was a prince .....

(I hope you paid special attention to his boots and shirt.)

THEN, there is the "ball." The ball kind of depends on what your teacher wants and this year we have an awesome teacher so our kids did little plays .....

And danced with their partner.....

(This bottom picture is the little smirk Parker makes when he is shy/embarrassed or being sneaky .... I LOVE it.)

Then they ate a ton of junk food. It was at the point where Parker was slamming pixie sticks that I decided it was time to go and leave my sweet cherub with his teacher. Whom I adore. SO so so very much.

This fairy tale ball made me realize how fast our kids are growing up. Parker asked Paige to go to the ball with him and then danced with her. Parker and Paige took their dancing very seriously and had their box step down to a tee... watch out Dancing with the Stars! When we were walking into the classroom for the ball after the parade, Paige's mom said, "Oh I heard Paige and Parker are dancing together!" to which I replied, "Yes, I have heard from a few kids that Parker has a crush on Paige." To which Paige's mom replied, "How do they even know what that word means?"

*slowly creeps out of the room*

For me, having Casey in middle school, I find it hard to shelter my younger kids from the "bad words" like butt and crush. And, God forbid, fart. Hallie even thinks she has a penis - and I am not kidding. No worries, I corrected her and told her that she does, in fact, NOT have a penis but, rather, has a "private." (Wow, lots of commas in the last sentence and I am 95% sure I didn't need all of them - but I use commas where I pause, not where they are necessary. So there. And I am also using this space to divert your attention from the fact that I can't get myself to teach her the V word and I am not sure why.) I really don't want to rush them to grow up ... Parker won't even give me a hug or kiss at school anymore. :( (Casey, however, still runs up to me hugging me and kisses me goodbye every EVERY time I leave....)

So when I hear moms saying they will not miss having to attend the fairy tale ball (and, yeah, it's hot and smelly and the food is catered to a 7 year old), I think Really? I think I will miss it. A lot. They just grow up so fast. I want to freeze time right now with Parker. I want to remember him snuggling in my bed and laying in HB's spot when he is out of town. (I am OK forgetting how he turns sideways and kicks me in the head) I want to remember his sweet little cheeks and baby teeth and his desire to learn and read and be silly and make new friends and please us. I love his independence but I love it when he needs me even more.

Although - when I asked him once why he doesn't "need" me like Casey does, he said, "It's OK Mom. Casey likes you."


Yup. I will even miss his innocent honesty.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thank you Cassie!

I love our new blog layout!!! :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Terrible Twos!

Two's? Twos? I googled it and it is printed both ways....

My least favorite age to photograph (with the exception of newborns) is age 2. I have a love hate relationship with it. Two year olds don't really care whether you want them to sit or stand or run or jump ... they don't care if you offer them candy or balloons. Because there is no reasoning with a toddler.

Hallie is no different. In fact it's worse. Because she is mine. I have yet to meet a photographer who said they LOVED shooting their own kids. So in my effort to capture more memories of her life, I have decided to capture those moments that reflect her every day life. She's super cute and all but I don't want her to look back and say "Was I always dressed in Matilda Jane wearing a cute knit hat with a big whopping flower on the side?" (sidenote: My dad is thanking the Lord above right now, I just know it. He hates flowers in hair or any kind of "head dress." Like she is an Indian. But I digress.)

So the other day I thought oh look! Look how cute Hallie is all dressed up in her Tinkerbell costume! (If you ask her, it is "Princess Tinkerbell," not just Tinkerbell. And there is no arguing with her about it. Because, again, there is no reasoning with a toddler.)

So I said, "Hallie! Can mommy take a picture of you in your super cute princess costume?" "NO!" "Please? We can send it to Daddy?!" "No. I no yike pisters." "But mommy thinks you look sooooo pretty!!! Puhleaseeeee .... I will give you an M & M....." "No pister. I want M & M." [insert big huge temper tantrum over an M & M. A yellow one to be exact.]

This was the resulting shot:

So then, of course, I gave her the M & M. Because I am a pushover. And got this snarky shot:

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tea Party .....

(I am in the process of updating my blog layout so please excuse its ugliness, LOL)

Updating a blog is very time consuming. (Right, Cassie?) Let's be honest here. I have no clue how to do it myself so I have to solicit the help of a friend. Who I will pay to make it pretty. I'm sick of it looking like someone (who has no clue) went to blogger, set up a blog, and chose a fancy layout from the advanced button. Or maybe it wasn't advanced. Anyhow .... I can't wait to make it look pretty. (And professional)

I had promised myself I would blog more - even if not about photography - and I failed at it. I think I got lost in the notion that eating your weight in cakes and cookies was a better option than blogging. Well, here we are 3 weeks before spring break, fatter than ever, and I have decided that if I work out NOW and blog NOW, the weight from the snow week will miraculously fall off. Wish me luck. I need to change my eating/exercise habits OR change the people I vacation with. Hmmmmm ............ I wonder what the cast of "Heavy" is doing this April.....

On similar (or not at all similar) note, I pulled Hallie out of preschool 2 days a week so I could spend more time with her (read: shape the little girl she was becoming) and we have been having so much fun. (SERIOUSLY!) I thought I was a total boy mom until she begged me to play tea party with her. Having two older brothers and not a lot of girly stuff, our tea party materials are few and far between and pretty much consist of rummaging through the paper goods cabinet (leftover birthday and holiday plates and napkins, etc). Here are a couple pics from our tea party this morning. (I had to turn them b/w and crop them for a couple reasons - 1. They looked cuter that way, 2. She is covered in boogies and amoxicillan, 3. She is totally mismatched AND 4. My house is a pit and I thought you would be less likely to notice.)

Here is our fancy setup. Please note our tea parties are actually picnics because we don't have a little table. My friend Abbie had promised me her daughter's little tea party table and has since taken back the offer because she can't bear the thought of parting with it. Her daughter is like 28. (OK, she is 7 but whatever.)

You MUST - and I mean MUST! - wear fancy necklaces to the tea party no matter how you got them. *blush*

This is the sweet face I get to look at while I sip my tea and eat my mac 'n cheese. Yes, she cooked some mac 'n cheese today. What of it?

I'm teaching her young. Even though our tea cup is a green (I swear it's green) solo cup the size of her face, she MUST have her pinky up or we might as well just be at the park for a real picnic and not sharing a spot of tea. Am I right?

And this? is what I really get to look at every day.....