Thursday, December 31, 2009

The End of a Decade

Wow, what at decade. I have been reflecting on it for the past couple of days, with both tears and smiles. I still haven't decided what I want to say about it, so excuse the rambling.

We've gone through some financial ups and downs, some emotional highs and lows, death, birth, and here we are, looking forward to a brand new decade. But first, I feel the need to reflect and put this one to bed.

Since the beginning of this decade we have added to our family 2 more nieces, 2 great nieces, and 4 great nephews. And lest you think I have forgotten, we have also added the two biggest blessings ever known to man, N & G. What a great decade for beautiful new babies.

The same decade that gave us our greatest joy also took some pretty important loved ones from us.

My Dad. My hero. The one person who always stood between me and whatever catastrophe I created. I am sad that I no longer have his hand to hold, his shoulder to lean my head on, his stupid jokes that he told over and over again and never got funnier with the telling. His ability to laugh at the absurd, which he passed on to me and my younger sister. I am so very sad that he never got to meet his grandsons who are so much like him. G with his dimples and N with his eyes, that completely light up with mischief and completely break my heart. And they both inherited his ability to find the prettiest girl in the room, no matter her age, and flirt outrageously.

B lost two both of his grandfather's. His granddaddy Ernest who used to take him fishing. Several times a year, B's extended family all gathered at his grandparents house. It was a great opportunity for our kids to spend time with their great grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins. I hope that continues for years to come, even though his grandfather has passed. His other grandfather, Papaw. B loved this man so much. So many of his childhood memories included Papaw and Nanny, both gone now. B said to me the other night "I hope he knew how much I have always loved him". I think he most certainly did.

I also lost my stepfather, Raymond, who died unexpectedly last year at the age of 63. My Mom is almost lost without him and my boys miss him terribly. He is in our prayers every night.

But oh what a decade it has been. Look what the Lord has blessed us with. I have cherished every single second of their lives. I experienced the miracle of their births. The nerves when we first brought them home from the hospital (thank goodness when didn't have to drive far, we were about 15 mph below the speed limit). Watched their first smiles. I remember the sweet smell of their baby breaths, I wish I could bottle that up and pull it out to smell whenever I wanted. Held their hands while they practiced taking their first steps. I've had plenty of kisses for "boo boos" and plenty of hugs for "just because." During this wonderful decade I have watched them grow from tiny infants, into toddlers, into preschoolers and now, in N's case, into a boy. I have so enjoyed experiencing the world again through their eyes. With their wonder and excitement. Every thing is so new and so magical. Thank you my sweet boys for that wonderful gift.

So now on to ushering out this decade that has brought joy and sorrow, laughter and tears. So long "first decade of the new century" and hello 2010!

Monday, December 28, 2009

It's Electrifying!

Sometimes words aren't necessary.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I love Christmas. I love the spirit of the season as well as the reason for it. I love that my boys can celebrate the birth of Jesus and still thrill at the sight of Santa. I love that Christmas is more than just presents on Christmas morning, that is about family and love and sharing and giving. That in the middle of the day, with all the external things going on, they remember to thank the Lord for his son.

I have had a hard time trying to find our place, our footing, during this season. I want more than anything to know that my boys understand the "true" meaning of Christmas. Yet I want them to experience the magic that is "Santa". I figure that if I compartmentalize, keep them seperate, the boys wont lose sight of the more serious aspect that is a love and appreciation of Christ, yet enjoy the wonder of waking up to a room full of toys that they had been dreaming about for weeks and weeks.

Not sure if this is the right way or the wrong way, but right now, it works for us.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Get your feet off the table

Bad table manners are my pet peeve. I just don't think it is ever too early to teach your children how to behave at the table. I know infants are going to spit food and toddler are going to throw it. Heck my kids could sling the hash browns with the best of them. But the thing is, I made sure they knew it was not desired behavior. No, I didn't punish my 15 month old for intentionally dropping his plate of spaghetti on the floor but I did let him know that what he did was not nice. And I did keep an eye on when he finished eating so I could remove the plate from in front of him before he started removing the food from the plate and onto the floor.

At 5.5 and 3.5, N & G should exhibit good, if not perfect, table manners, with few lapses. I don't mean knowing the correct utensils for each course, but knowing that it is not OK to do certain things. Like constant squirming throughout the meal. Or talking with your mouth full of food. Or practically laying down in your chair. Maybe their napkins do not always stay in their laps, but they do know to use them instead of their sleeves. And maybe they get excited and don't always use "inside" voices but they do know that shouting at the dinner table is not nice. And they always, always say "excuse me" when they burp, although we are currently working on not belching as loud as we can at the table. So while they are not perfect, they do have a good solid base of good solid table manners.

I bring this up because we recently ate a meal with some friends. We had a good time but I had to tell my boys several time during dinner to sit down, turn around, and to chew with their mouths closed. Meanwhile their sweet children were doing the same thing, which my boys quickly pointed out. My friend asked if I was serious about table manners at their age, her children are a couple of years older than mine. And I guess I am. I asked her when she was going to start them with her children, not that I was being snarky, and it was not taken that way. I was just curious as to what she thought was an appropriate age to start teaching them.

So what is more appropriate, teaching from a very early age, or at least laying the ground work with "do not throw spaghetti at your brother while you are at the table" (or anywhere for that matter)? Or waiting until they are a bit older and just springing it on them "I know you haven't heard this before, but we do not eat with our feet on the table"?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

One of those days

Today was interesting. The boys went to school this morning, I had fun dropping them off. As much as I love them, it sure is nice to have some "me" time where I can run errands without zipping up coats, fighting over wearing a hat, pushing/pulling kids into car seats, and finally making sure the DVD player has just the right movie in. And not just doing this once, but every single time we get in the car. For me, although it is not easier, I much prefer the summer if for no other reason than less clothes, therefore easier to get in and out of the car.

So I came home, cleaned a bit, did some laundry, and worked on Christmas presents. Relaxing enough day until...

Picked G up from school then had an hour to waste until time to pick up N. Well, not being one to waste an hour, I decided to run to Target and pick up a couple of presents for Mimi and some necessities. Ugh. What.a.mistake. G was wild from the moment we walked in. When we got to Target, we had to do the whole fighting to put on sweater, coat and hat, so by the time we got in there, we did not have near as much time as I would have liked. G did not want to ride in the cart. Normally he can walk beside me but since time was short, and so are his legs, I needed him to ride. He insisted on one of those carts that has the toddler seats in it. I knew it would be a mistake as he could get down at will unless I used the nasty 5 point harness in it. So of course, mid way through the store he was running around. I moved him to the cart part where you put your loot, but he kept standing up and trying to get out. So rather than deal with a major concussion and possible stitches, I moved him back to the seat things and strapped him in the 5 point harness, germs and all. Yikes, the yelling and screaming he did were humiliating in a "why cant that Mom handle her children" kind of way, was enough to make me crave a drink, and I am not talking iced tea. He apparently holds a grudge because by the time were were through, he had calmed down, however after paying, when I let him out he had his revenge. He ran from me and hid in between the carts. Nice. I could not fit in there, unless I got on my knees and crawled between them, so I had to now cajole, now threaten, now plead, now bribe him to come out. It was not pretty. Then I had to forcibly stuff his arms into the sleeves of both his sweater and then his coat, all the while he is bending his arms at the elbow and limp noodling his legs, making it nearly impossible. Sometime during this struggle, my automatic car door opened came off and is lost to me. Checked on replacement cost and it looks like I will be unlocking my own doors with a key from now on, sigh.

We were almost 5 full minutes late picking N up from school. I am always the first Mom there, so I felt horrible that Ms Debbie had to wait on us. Fortunately for me, another Mom pulled in after I picked N up. Wonder how her day went? For some reason, call it insanity, I decided to stop at the grocery on the way home. I wouldn't have but I promised B I would make sausage balls for him to take to work tomorrow and I needed both sausage and cheese.

Grocery store=more of the same only with 2 kids acting like heathens. I think it is safe to say it will be a long while before I go back to Publix, maybe never. And I loved that store.

Now I am cooking dinner and wondering if it is alright to open a bottle of wine and if I did, would I drink it all before Bryant got home? Prolly alcohol is not a good idea.

Just one of those days and I am looking forward to starting a new, less stressful one tomorrow.