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Archive for the 'Children' Category

September 5th…remembering a lifetime of laughter.

September 5th…remembering a lifetime of laughter.

With my mama at a beautiful beach outside Melbourne, Australia.  July 2006

I always knew I’d laugh about the times I cried, but never knew I’d cry about the times I laughed.  ~ Anonymous

It is softly drizzling outside, gradually soaking our parched lawn and I’m sitting in the kitchen with my two sons.  My oldest is a replica of his daddy, my youngest more closely resembles my daddy.  Tomorrow, September 5th, is my dad’s birthday.  He would have been 62 tomorrow.  I suppose you never “get over” the death of a parent or loved one, but I am learning (for me, anyway) that it has gotten easier to be at peace with.  I still tear up (or full out sob) from time to time, but not as regularly as I did during his illness and immediately after his death.  I am reminded of him very often, but it brings back happy memories…snippets of love and laughter nestled in every fiber of my body.

I want to share a few things with you about him.  Things we laughed about then and things I laugh about now.

He had what my siblings and I dubbed a “dad chuckle” that you would only hear when he was trying not to laugh at something that my mom did not find as amusing as her children did…inappropriate jokes, asinine tv shows and the like.  He was watching a South Park episode with me late one night when I was in high school.  We weren’t snuggled on the couch together or anything, but we were both in the kitchen at the same time and there was a small tv in there.  I was at the table close to the television, while he was playing solitaire at the built in computer desk area about 10 feet behind me.  It was the episode when they tried to say the “shit” word as much as possible in the allotted run time and there was a counter/ticker thing in one of the lower corners of the screen (come on y’all….you 90’s teenagers know which one I’m referring to).  The higher the number on the ticker got, the more he “dad chuckled”.  I could tell he was trying to pretend not to be paying attention to the show as my mom was meandering in and out of the kitchen.  She was not fond of my then infatuation with South Park.  I finally looked over my shoulder near the end of the show and daddy was laughing so hard he wasn’t making any noise (sounds weird, but it’s a thing I swear).

He did the same thing when I made him watch the first Ace Venture movie with me.  We guffawed through the whole thing, but in the scenes where Jim Carrey is dressed in the Hawaiian shirt, combat boots and pink tutu trying to scope out the mental institution we were crying rivers of tears and leaning on each other for support as our laughter worked our abs to the max.

He used to laugh with us at restaurants when we would blow our straw wrappers off the straws like paper missiles…until one of them would cross the border into another patron’s booth and land in their salad plate…then we would get “the look” and he would say either:

“Daggummit, (insert appropriate child’s name here)!”  or “Bless a Cow!”

We started most road trips with an annoying round of “the song that never ends” a la Sherry Lewis and Lambchop.  Or we would wait till we were about thirty minutes down the road to start asking if we “were there yet” or begging sarcastically for a bathroom break.

I have 28 years of fantastical memories of my dad and I am so lucky to have those.  These cover one small  lily-pad in the whole pond…

He loved the Eagles and Derek and the Dominoes (original version of Layla all the way, none of that slow, mopey crap!!!)

He loved Blazing Saddles & True Lies & James Bond

He loved Saturday morning breakfasts with his crew at Cloverdale Kitchen.

He loved trips to Disney World

Pecan pie a la mode

Being at the beach with my mom

His cowboy boots

The Cowboys

and the Tarheels for anyone who was wondering

His Subaru

His business

His community

His church

His family

I have one more quote for you from the book The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian.

Integrity is not what you appear to be when all eyes are on you.  It’s who you are when no one is looking.  It’s a level of morality below which you never fall, no matter what’s happening around you.  It’s a high standard of honesty, truthfulness, decency, and honor that is never breached.  It’s doing for others the way you would want them to do for you.

He certainly treated me with love and respect.  Teamed up with my mom, he was a gentle and logical guide through adolescence and into adulthood and mom mom was and continues to be my creative inspiration and maternal role model.

Sharing a few things about him keeps the memories of him alive.  They shine out of my heart and I love sharing him with my boys.

Zeb, my four year old, asked me about my wrist tattoo yesterday morning.  I read it to him as he softly touched the words and told him my daddy died before he was born, but that part of my daddy was inside him.  Zeb replied, “Mama, I’ll put the pieces of your daddy back together for you and it would make you so happy.”  Oh how my heart wept and sang at the same time.  A little man of integrity, just like his granddaddy.

The closing sentiment from a letter my dad wrote me just after I told him I was getting married.  In his own script.

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Foam Bath People

Daddy, Mama, Evan & baby brother

Foam Bath People

They live at our house, but only momentarily, only in the bathtub and their sole purpose is a few moments of entertainment before sacrificing their foamy lives to clean my son’s elbow, knee or tummy.

Bath time is most often held in my bathroom because I can sit on the edge of the large tub with my legs in the water while my 2-year old son plays in the “little pool”.  It’s just easier and more comfortable than jamming myself on the floor in between the toilet and tub, killing my knees and back while he splashes and gets clean.  Parents – you know how it is, and boy, this is a MARVELOUS alternative!

Foam people came about one evening when I decided the water felt too tempting on just my legs and I jumped in the tub with Evan.  We drew with bath crayons, scrubbed up and then played with the sieves and containers we have stockpiled.  He likes his little boat (a $2 Target find almost a year ago!) and I thought it needed a little something.  I added a foam “Captain”, which tickled Evan and he asked for another one…so we quickly had a boat of foam people who were all dubbed one of the family – mama gets to be the pink foam and Evan is blue and usually gets a basket ball added (a small-ish blob of pink foam)!  And one by one Evan scoops them out to rub their foaminess on whatever body part I name.

What also fascinates me and makes me proud, is that though they look nothing like actual people in the sense that he’s familiar with, he gets it – he knows what they’re supposed to be and which person in his life they represent.  Kids are amazing.  So, I look forward to bath time with him and seeing where he’ll ask me to put a foam Evan, and seeing if he’s in the mood to add a “ball” of some sort.

Here are our foam people on the edge of the tub for the lineup, in their $2 speedboat and in their wannabee life raft (chinese takeout container).  Meet the Foam Family!

Daddy, Mama, Evan (with “basketball”) and baby brother.

Going for a boat ride on Lake ScrubbaDubbaToeCheese

Wouldn’t you know, their three hour tour went bad and they’re a’driftin’

Ahhh….the random things we do and take delight in for our kids!!!

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July Favorites

~July Favorites~

I’m stealing this idea from my sister’s blog: www.einthepink.com

I am gigantically preggy, due in just 8 days (but praying little man decides to emancipate himself from his snug watery quarters NOW).  I’m hot.  I’m crampy.  I’m uncomfortable.  And definitely ready to have this baby.

Anyhoose – here is my quicky for this week:

On this lovely summer day, I thought it would be appropriate to share some of my July Favorites to end the week!
My all-time favorites are stargazer lilies.  A) their scent is just divine – sweet and feminine.  LOVE IT!  B) hello – they’re PINK!
Most of my musical selections in he car now involve kid’s channels for my almost 2-year old, but when I get a few minutes to myself I’ve been blasting Edwin McCain’s greatest hits & Cowboy Mouth.  I’ve also been cranking up the volume for Hey, Soul Sister – my current happy song, California Gurls (don’t know why I like that one), and Your Love is My Drug.  The last 2 may not be awesomely deep songs, but they make me happy, so who cares?
I have not seen a lot of movies this summer – hell, I haven’t seen a lot of movies since my son was born!  But the hubby and I went to see Toy Story 3 on our adult weekend away in June and I loved it!  I love the first two as well, but this one was cute and fun, and it gave me the satisfying ending I needed.
Since I can’t drink right now, I don’t have any froufy drinks to name, but sweet tea is a year-round southern staple.  It tastes even better when it’s a jillion degrees outside!  And Chic-Fil-A lemonade – one word: YUM.
I have made time for some pleasure reading lately, and I’ve gone through a few good ones.  Rebel Debutante by Anna Fields, Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger, I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass and My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares.

I have not been wearing or smelling perfumes lately, a lot of scents I just can’t handle right now.  But I love the smell of my son’s Johnson & Johnson lavender bubble bath that we use religiously.  I love the way he smells after a bath just before bedtime.

hmm…..summer indulgences have changed drastically since having children, but I still make time for a monthly pedicure.  It’s been a treat to myself every month for the past 8 years.  I gotta say it’s a definite fave – especially right now.  Having your feet and legs rubbed and feeling the cool tingle of the peppermint lotion before a perfect application of bright polish is so lovely!

Nail Polish Color:
It’s a retired OPI color, but I tracked down a few bottles online after our nail salon ran out – “Strawberry Fields”.  It’s bright, hot pink with some shimmer.  I’ve been on the hunt for a replacement shade, and I think Orly’s “Oh Cabana Boy” is as close as I can get!

May be cliche, but being 9 months pregnant in the middle of July, ice cream is an obsession.  Frozen yogurt, milkshakes, ice cream – whatever.  Add some M&M’s to it and I’m deliriously happy.

Well…I guess see above.  Ice cream in combo with the heat is really a perfect fit!!
Have a lovely weekend, guys!  Hopefully the next post will be announcing the arrival of babykins!
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Evan’s First “Safety Blanket”

Evan’s First “Safety Blanket”

It all began last Sunday, when my 18-month old, Evan, found a tote bag in our closet filled with excess Christmas gifts that some very generous, yet overzealous relatives had given him. All still new, unopened, forgotten by the wee one moments after their paper came off nearly 4 months ago. We, of course, opened and assembled and gave him a bunch of the gifts at Christmas, but I stashed this large tote full to supplement through the rest of this year. You know – to reward extra good behavior, to have something new and different to take on a long car trip, etc.

Anyway, he found this tote and right on top was one of the Thomas the Train characters – the red one, whatever its’ name is. He’s never watched Thomas, we don’t have any of the DVD’s, though his favorite toys and books are about trucks and large mobile objects that make noise. He looooves his little chunky Tonka trucks, and the boats he sinks in the bathtub, he adores firetrucks (and any rescue type vehicle) and we try to point them out to him whenever possible while out on the town. I suppose trains are the obvious choice next on the list. So, my husband gives me the “can we let him have this one thing?” look and I nod and smile. The red train is opened, battery installed, and handed over to its’ new engineer, Evan. He pushes it around the floor, runs it across his chest, happily experimenting with the new “chooo chooo!” sound effect in his growing vocabulary. This train lights up and makes whistling sounds when activated, capturing and holding the munchkins attention for an amazing 2 hours straight – all the way through a trip to Pottery Barn and all the way through a sit down lunch. We are amazed and somewhat appreciative for this new toy’s cool factor.

It continues through the week in this way. Red train goes in the car with us. Red train must be at hand during meals whether clutched in a tiny fist or sitting on the table where he can gaze upon Evan as he eats. Red train cannot go in the shower or tub with us, which has caused some distressed tears that end as soon as Evan is out of the bath, swathed in a towel and can resume control of his little rolling friend. Red train is even in hand at bedtime, and only comes loose when little man is fast asleep, gently removed and sat upon the dresser until morning comes and Evan remembers that he had him when he fell asleep.

This, in a way, is a big deal for us as a family because Evan has never in his short life been this attached to anything. He has never had to carry around a favorite blanky, he has never been glued at the hip to a stuffed animal of any kind…hell, the kid never even wanted a pacifier (which is fine with me considering the age of a few kids I know that still use them). It’s new for us, bizarre, but not in a bad way, and oh so fascinating. I even went by TJ Maxx while my short handsome man was in preschool the other day and attained 2 additional characters for his little collection – the green one and the purple one (again – sorry, I don’t know their names!)

We’ll see how this goes over the next few weeks. He doesn’t seem to have a preference for which color he has, but he has had one with him every waking moment over the last 7 days. Verrry interesting!

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