Memorial Day

It is Memorial Day.

It is a day to remember.

It is a day to teach the younger generation to remember.

It is a day to ponder.

It is a day to be appreciative.

So, thank-you to all who served and died to protect us. Thank-you to the generations who came before. Thank-you just isn’t enough.

Smile for G-Ma!

Today I am participating in Wordful / Wordless Wednesday with Parenting BY Dummies and Seven Clown Circus.

My Mother-in-Law loves to have pictures of her grandchildren. They are so very spread out in age that it is getting harder and harder to get everyone together, so when they are all in one place the cameras come out!

The older cousins have the capability of taking a serious picture, but they are usually too busy trying to wrangle the younger cousins. There is nothing easy about trying to get 4 teenagers and 3 small children to all look at the camera at the same time.

So, sometimes it’s better just to go with fun. This is my all time FAVORITE picture of my children with their cousins!

Several years have passed, the older cousins are no longer kids, but they still get directed to stand together so we can get a picture for G-ma. And, the older ones are still trying to get the younger ones in place. Ironically, the window behind them reads, “Why must you persecute me?”.

But, these little chicks know exactly where the camera is…

They’d just rather have fun!

Mud, is NOT her name.

So, today was Field Day at Big’s school.

In the past, Field Day meant running around a track, competing against classmates and classes for the glory of winning the 25 meter dash!

Things are different in Tennessee, and I’m not just talkin’ the dialect!

I knew things might be off kilter when Big brought home a note not just suggesting she bring a change of clothes for that day, but DEMANDING a change of clothes to arrive at school a week in advance!

Oh, and the added note to bring baby shampoo caught me off guard too…

“Don’t worry!” teachers told me.

Big found out what was going to happen.

Mud. M-U-D. MUD!

Big started plotting immediately.

Big does not like mud.

The farm girl in me is hanging her head in shame. Where, oh, where did I go wrong?

Big was not thrilled that I would not let her skip school this day so she wouldn’t get muddy.

In fact, she wasn’t very thrilled that not only did I not let her skip school, I showed up with a CAMERA!

“Is this going to end up on Facebook?” She asked.

Technically I didn’t lie to her when I said no. The pictures themselves won’t be on Facebook, but there might just be a link to the blog on FB.

There was a storm that threatened the possibility of outside fun in the mud, so the classes started out the morning in the gym; but when it looked like there would be some sun for the afternoon the hoses came out and the water fun ensued!

That is a block of ice my child is sitting on! Do you know what that results in?

…one cold bum!

After much cajoling, we talked Big into stepping into the mud. She was the only student in her class to come out of the mud clean-ish.

The Clean-ish. The Dirty. And the, OMG! What Happened to You!?! Can you guess which feet belong to Big?

She decided she needed to get hosed off ’cause she was just so dirty!

However, the hose wasn’t necessary. Apparently, water slides go much faster when you pour baby shampoo on them. Two bird, one stone. Water, shampoo and slide – I think we need one of these in our bathroom.

“Was that fun?” asked Mama. “OH, YEAH!”

The slide was followed by a game of Tug-O-War, where the girls won two out of three matches.

It was important to win, ’cause the losers ended up in a knee-deep mud puddle!

The one match they lost, Big and her friends just let go so they wouldn’t land in the water! They then just sat and laughed like loons at their classmates who were in the water.

The final station of the day was kickball before heading back to the hose to be rinsed off.

PSYCH! Big’s not in this picture! She’d never get this muddy! But she had a great time!

FLASHBACK! I do seem to recall a time my sister, our friends and I were on the receiving end of a hose after a lovely Sunday afternoon spent in mud puddles. I don’t think her issues from mud come from me.

And now we are 7

Okay, so this is sorta a love letter…it’s more of a celebration of all things Baby Sister

On May 11, 2004, God answered my prayer and blessed our family with a Rainbow Baby.*

When I found out I was having another girl, I thought, “GREAT! I’ve already got one of those! I’ll know what I’m doing!”

 My friends with kids just chuckled.

I was so wrong!

This child is the pepper to her sister’s salt. To say that my girls are Ying and Yang would be an understatement.

My Baby turned 7 last week. (If my Baby gets as old as my shoe size, does that mean I’m getting old? If so, I’ve got a few more years before I’m technically old ’cause I’ve got huge HONKIN feet!)

Today I’ve been counting my blessings and what I’ve learned from this magical child (besides patience). Here are just a few things I’ve learned from my Baby:

********************************************************************************

There is no such thing as too many Barbie dolls.

DO NOT BELIEVE the phrase, “Mama, I just need 1 more Barbie and then I will have just enough!” There will never be enough Barbies! They just keep making more of those stinking things! And they aren’t smart enough to paint the shoes on all of those stupid feet! And, that is why many of our Barbies appear sans shoes. “I’m sorry, Baby, I guess they forgot the shoes for this Barbie.” This also works for Polly Pockets.

Cookies need to be watched at all times when they are cooking. They might disappear from the pan between the time they go in the oven and the time they come out.

The more colorful the tights, the more stunning the outfit! This child owns tights with polka dots, stripes, flowers, panda bears, bows, etc. If it comes on tights, she owns them. She loves to wear dresses, so in the winter the tights are a staple of her wardrobe. 

Her Sissy would refuse to wear tights. Actually her Big would throw a door-slamming, scream-pitching hissy fit if I tried to get her to wear any tights that were more than plain white or black (and even then it is done with frowny faces and fussy noises).

Goggles aren’t JUST for swimming, they are a fashion accessory. Apparently swim goggles are a must when playing with a Barbie doll who is also a mermaid. “I’ve got to be able to see what she’s doing under water, Mom!” It just didn’t matter that she was only pretending that her Barbie was under water.

An outfit is not complete without accessories! “Do I look ridiculous in this, Mom?” No, Baby, you are gorgeous!

Nothing compliments an outfit better than a nice smile. (I had to come up with something, ’cause she’s sooo sweet in this picture!).

Costumes, what every fashionable Baby girl is wearing! This child would live in costumes, which should never be confused with theme oriented outfits like she would wear to school.

If you are lacking a costume, use whatever you can find and your imagination to make one.

There is nothing that a Pink Teddy can’t fix.

There is no such thing as too much pink.

It’s all about the ‘tude.

Flowers are for picking, even if some would consider them weeds. We do not treat our lawns (I’m sure our neighbors just L-O-V-E us!) so we grow dandelions and daisies. Every little girl should be able to make flower chains.

Santa is a shady character, ’cause he spies on you all year long!

It’s just NOT NICE to laugh at someone. Baby is one of those children who is just funny, especially when she’s being serious about something. It is so very hard not to chuckle at her, but she gets so very upset when you do! “I wasn’t telling a joke, Mom! I’m being serious here!”

And, when you forget the steps in the dance of life; just sit down and blow a kiss!

This list could just go on and on and on and on, but I’m going to stop here just for length reasons. 

So, these are just a few things that I might not have learned if it weren’t for my Baby. I can’t wait to see what she teaches us in the coming years, goodness knows it won’t be what we are expecting!

*Some of you may know the meaning of the term “Rainbow Baby,” but for those that don’t – a Rainbow Baby is a promise from God that someday you will hold a child in your arms in place of a child who never made it to your arms but forever remains in your hearts.

Big Foot, the Bad Kitty

Today I am participating in Wordful Wednesday with ParentingBYDummies.

We have been adopted by “Bad Kitty.”*

– illustration by Nick Bruel from “Bad Kitty.”

At least he looks like Bad Kitty.

Bad Kitty showed up on the Saturday before Palm Sunday looking ragged. He had big feet, so we called him Big Foot.

Bad Kitty looked so pathetic that I decided to feed him. We should have called him Big Mouth.

I know, I know… you shouldn’t feed strays, they’ll never leave.

Bad Kitty hasn’t left yet, at least not for long. He goes home for awhile and then comes back.

We have come to find out that Bad Kitty actually belongs to a house two away from ours, but apparently they have trouble keeping up with his stomach.

He has no problem eating out of our food dishes.

Hazel isn’t too thrilled with this new addition, notice the slightly arched back and concentrated glare she directed toward the interloper.

Queenie isn’t too thrilled either, but she isn’t quite as concerned because Bad Kitty isn’t allowed in the house.

If this were the stray cat we thought it was, I would have scooped it up and run it to the vet to check the health of the cat and to be sure it has all its’ shots and had been spade. But, this is the neighbor’s cat so we’ll keep putting out food. I’ll keep putting some topical flea and tick gunk on it. My cats will keep glaring at it. And, we’ll keep calling it Big Foot the Bad Kitty.

*Bad Kitty is a character that is the brain child of Nick Bruel and is the star of a series of fabulous children’s books.

Dressing Big

I bought THIS dress over 2 years ago. It was an AWESOME deal and I knew that it would someday fit my little Baby, who LOVES dresses.

At the time I bought this dress, it would have fit Big, but I knew better than to believe she would ever wear it – except under duress.

You see, Big doesn’t wear dresses like this.

At least she didn’t.

Big has always had certain restrictions on what she will and will not wear.

Big does not wear stripes, except on Tuesdays.

Big does not wear leggings or tights, except under duress, in extreme circumstances, and with many whining, crying, sulking noises.

In the past, I have actually pinned her down and forced her little feet into tights while she was kicking and screaming.

Big does not wear pink, at least not middle pink – really light, almost white pink or really dark, HOT pink maybe, depending on her mood.

Big does not wear dresses.

When she was 2, my Mama once got her a super cute, fluffy middle pink dress and every time we’d put it on her she’d sob until it came off again.

Other than that, I could literally open a drawer and toss clothes at her and she’d put them on and go her merry way.

However, Big has decided she is now interested having a say in what she wears. I figured it was coming since she is 10.

Big picked out her own Christmas…

and Easter dresses this year.

She has pretty good taste.

And for those of you wondering about the tights, yes, I did hear many loud, whiny, crying, sulking noises when I handed her the tights… What can I say, I’m a mean, mean Mama and it was pouring outside for most of the day, not the best weather for wearing sockless shoes.

I’m enjoying the fact that my 10-year old is not trying to dress like a teenager…yet. Baby, however, is another story entirely.