Tuesday, November 7, 2017

For When I Have Too Many Words

Aunt's birthday
travel time
big plans.

Airport parking
nervous stomach
take meds.

Take off
stay hydrated
doing fine.

Touch down
too fast
I'm safe.

Big hugs
smiling faces
sister's place.

Cowboys' football
road trip
memories made.

Drinking soda
stadium food
yelling loud.

Long walks
past parties
I'm done.

Hotel room
time change
free breakfast.

Drink coffee
new hat
take meds.

In air
no wi-fi
almost there.

Quick trip
we're back
I'm home.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

When Weird Al and Red Ribbon Week Meet

Every year, in the last days of the year, our elementary has a talent show.  Brave boys and girls step out on the stage with mic in hand and impress the audience with their boldness and courage.  Weird Al songs have made a few appearances at the talent show.  I think these songs (from a couple years back) inspired my little middle for today's participation in Red Ribbon Week.

We are in the midst of Red Ribbon Week, celebrating and committing to healthy, drug-free lifestyles.  Today's theme is "Hats Off to Being Drug-Free", where students are allowed to wear hats to school and during the school day.  It's so exciting!

Last night, after he had already been told to go to bed twice, the little middle said, "Mom, I want to make an aluminum foil hat for tomorrow."

"You are supposed to have brushed your teeth and be in bed.  We are not talking about hats right now.  If you can get up, and get yourself going in the morning, and find that you have time to make a hat, then you can talk to me about it," I answered.  "Now, go to bed."

This morning, as I drearily got dressed and drained two cups of coffee, the little middle was busy dressing, brushing, eating, and designing.  I trudged down the stairs to a bustling kitchen where the little boys were occupied, one with dry cereal on the counter, the other with aluminum foil on the floor.

The baby was the cause of my sleepiness.  He seems to be decreasing my hours of rest at 15 minute increments with today's initial wake up call at 4:37, too early.  Now, I find him happily munching on cereal, watching his brother create something shiny.  I am jealous of his ability to easily fall back into a slumber, while I lay in bed changing my mind repeatedly about what to wear or what to make for dinner.

The little middle raises up from the floor with his aluminum foil cap on, complete with a camo duct tape connecting to the aluminum foil bill.  It's possibly one of the cutest things I've ever seen.  He is proud and happy.  "Looks good.  Are you done?" I ask.

"Aaaaluuuuuminum Foooiiiiiil!" he sings, in reply.  Thanks, Weird Al.

On the way to school, with the three youngest boys in tow, the little middle says from the third row, "Mom, do you know the last time we ate at the Chinese food place?"

"Not really," I say back.

He continues, "Well, my fortune said 'Tomorrow your creative juices will be flowing,' and that would have been a Saturday, but today is Tuesday."

"Ok."  I mean what do you say back to that?

My boys are random.  I am random.  I don't know why I continue to be surprised.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

I'm back...I hope.

Where does the time go?  I mean really.

I said to myself, "Take a break, then get right back to it."

Then, "When summer break gets here, you'll have time to write."

After relenting to teaching summer school, "When summer school is over, I'm doing what I WANT to do!"

We had a beach vacation planned for the beginning of July so, "I'm going to write at the beach!  It will be great to capture those slices!"

Now, I promise you that I am not crazy, but this is a pattern of someone who is not too observant of their own reality.  (In case you hadn't noticed that on your own.)

Continuing with the story, we got back from vacation.  "Ok, this week is the week.  I'm going to get something posted.  I have a million slices that I want to write."

Then, "Next weekend, I'll write and get going so I have something to post on Tuesday."

After that, "School supplies are out!!  I have to get back to writing!  How can I be accountable if I'm not being accountable!!"

I did not plant my computer on my lap and write.  I did not drag out my favorite pens and notebook and get into a new habit.  I did not jot my many noticings and thoughts about the everyday moments I was living on shopping lists and scraps of paper.

I did think about it and guilt myself silly.  It really is silly, the guilt and ridiculous feelings with which we shame ourselves.

And here I find myself.  Today is the day.  I am writing despite my to-do list and frenzied life pace.

The school year is going strong.  It's been my busiest start to a year that I can remember.  It's wonderful and awful at the same time.  I just knew that getting back into the groove of school would get me back to writing, right?  Not so much.

So what finally got my fingers going on this keyboard?  Well, a very strong desire is one thing.  Also, my family has been sick with this nasty stomach bug.  There are many little slices that I could torture you with, but no one wants to read gruesome tales of woe from a mother who does laundry incessantly and uses lysol spray for an air freshener and body spray.  It is sufficient to say that I've been cleaning quite a lot.

Anyway, I'm back...for this week anyway. :)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Grammy Does Her Nails #SOL

Rarely do I do one thing at a time.

Recently, I read a post or an article or something about "single-tasking" and slowing down and giving attention to just one thing.  This is something I am considering and thinking about at length.  It deserves attention because I know that the intent behind the advice of the article was true and right.  However...

While painting my nails this morning, I was also brushing my teeth.  Well, not at the exact same time, but the one event, teeth-brushing, came immediately after the previous event, nail-painting.  As soon as one cap could be screwed on, the cap of the other was being screwed off.

After I completed brushing my teeth, I needed chapstick, the final step in my daily bathroom routine.  Of course, I messed up the polish on my left ring finger.  The polish was wrinkled and holey.  As I walked into the bedroom, I dabbed my nail to my tongue and tried to repair the damage.

"What are you doing?" my husband questions from across the room.

"Oh, trying to do ten things at once, and I messed up my nail polish," I said.

He replied with a cursory, "You always do that," under his breath.  We made eye contact and smiled, knowing he was right.

His smart-mouth catapulted me back to my Grammy's kitchen.  She always painted her nails at the table.  Avon reds and pinks were staple colors, filling her top right dresser drawer where she kept the bottles.

One day, she was finishing up her nails, replacing the screw-on applicator top as she had done hundreds of times.  I watched thinking about the hot pink she never used and wishing I could paint my nails with it.

"Here, Honey.  We'll do yours after lunch," she said as she handed me the bottle to put back in the drawer.  I loved the sounds the bottles made as the drawer was pulled out, clinking together like wind chimes.

As I came back into the kitchen, I saw Grammy touch her right index finger to her tongue.  Then she brushed against her wet nail with her other index finger.

"What are you doing, Grammy?" I asked, thinking the action would mess up her freshly painted nails.

"Oh, I was stirring this pot and bumped my nail with the spoon handle.  If you lick it real quick, you can fix it...most of the time.  I always do that.  There's never time to let them dry."  She showed me, flashing the perfectly polished pale pink nail down to my eye level.  It looked fine to me.

Later, after Grandpa had come home for lunch, napped in his chair, and left again, we did my nails at the table.  All Grammy's attention was on me.  I sat there, still as a statue, fingers splayed wide, grinning from ear to ear.  As Grammy twisted the top of the polish closed once again, she said, "Sit still, Honey, until it dries."  I did just as she said until I was dismissed to go play.  There was no need to rush, nothing pressing to do...just sit still, watching paint dry.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Am I that weird?

Today, while picking up and cleaning off the various surfaces in the house before dinner, my little middle says, "What in the world is this?!?"  He holds up a plastic zippered baggie containing the blonde locks from the baby's first haircut.  That big event had happened last night.

"Mom, why???" The little middle is aghast at the idea of this keepsake. I take the baggie from him and put it with the little pile that goes to the basement.

I explain that I have a lock of each boy's hair from the first cut. They are in the boys' baby books. "I have your little blonde curls too," I smile at him.

"What?!? That's so weird, Mom...And kind of creepy," grimacing, he's having none of it.

My seven year old is convinced that I'm a lunatic for keeping their first curls. I am operating on the idea that moms keep these moments in pictures and DNA in envelopes. Am I that weird?

Friday, March 31, 2017

We did it! 31/31 #SOL17

We did it!

I am happy to say that I actually did it!  The video that Stacey sent today gave me even more motivation to continue writing and posting.  Turning something negative, a real bummer deal, into something to celebrate takes guts and gusto.  I'm so glad she had this vision for the Slice of Life challenge.  I am also pretty inspired by the Seinfeld reference, because I LOVE Seinfeld!  I am pledging now to try my very, very best to post on Tuesdays.  If you want to check out the video, check it out here.  Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers blog for hosting and inspiring and coordinating!

So, because I earned it, and because I have misered (not a real word) away my Valentine chocolates, I plan to enjoy three of them tonight.  Be jealous of my splurge, you of no chocolates!

I hope to catch you here again soon, commenting.  I live for comments (obviously, not chocolate since I forgot where I hid it, safely away from the boys, after Valentine's Day).  Seriously though, thanks to all who take the time to comment.  It means a lot to this ol' girl.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Nighttime routines 30/31 #SOL17

Tonight got me to thinking about our nighttime routine.  It's taken for granted around here.  

As soon as I asked, "Do you want to go take a bath?", the baby quickly toddled away toward the stairs.  After some cute and fast advertising, I tried (and failed) to auction off the opportunity to bathe the little guy.  There was no response, not even eye contact, from the males populating the living room.

So, he and I went up the stairs to start the process.  He was smiling and squealing and slobbering down his chin, completely overjoyed by the good times about to be had.  I reach into the tub to turn on the faucet, and instantaneously, the baby gives a holler and tries to scale the side of the tub to get in the liquid fun.  There's water flying and elation floats up from the baby, around the room like bubbles.

Afterward, I wrap him in a towel, carry him to his room, and lay him on the changing table.  Following our normal protocol, we talk about the wall decorations, "Giraffes have a long neck.  Zebras have black and whites stripes.  Hippopotamus swims in the water."  We get him diapered and encased in footie jammies.  He's in his element, and really, so am I.

We sit on the floor, look through the books and choose The Little Blue Truck, just as every night.  We read, point, moo, beep.  We turn pages, right then left, then back again.  He yawns and jabbers and yawns again while still paging through the book.

Finally, I say, "Ready for bed?"  He looks at me with a "not really" expression, but I lift him to his bed anyway.  He grabs his pacifier and blanket and looks back to me for his book.  Once he has all his favorite things, he's ready to dream.

I turn off the light, say, "Good night," and close the door.  As I walk back downstairs to the rest of my boys, I realize just what simple happiness I get to experience with this new little one.  I know from raising my other boys that these moments are short lived.  One day soon, he won't need me to give him a bath or dress him with jammies or read his books.  

I take these moments for granted, but after tonight, I hope to do that a little less.