Friday, October 30, 2009

My Home Is Full Of Ghosts

Oh how I love the Ghosts in my home. They don't show themselves often, but when they do, my heart stops, I take a quick breath, and my eyes tear up for only a moment as the little Ghosts I am surrounded by flit in and out of view.

I saw one today, as my son studied his toy train, in the way he tilted his head, lowered his lashes and studied his toy. A Ghost from his infanthood flashed across his face, and my heart swelled up, thinking of how, not so long ago, that beautiful look was one I saw everyday. And then it dashed away, as he glanced up at me I saw, instead of that lovely infant face, the beautiful, mischievous face of my son.

As the days number, and my sons grow older, I see more and more Ghosts. Little baby ballet hand gestures that have all but faded away, come out every so often to visit me. Sometimes I see a little laugh that reminds me of those first baby smiles, before it fades into the bigger and louder laughing fits of older children. Little tumbling waddles sneak out every so often to visit, before bursting into the full on runs my son now loves.

Yes, I am surrounded by many Ghosts. Some are Ghosts of the past, that spring into view every so often, through a look, a sigh, a snore and some are Ghosts of the future, breaking into my present world.

Those future Ghosts I am glad and sad to see, because they mean I will only have more Ghosts of the past to visit me, and some past Ghosts might start to fade completely from my view, as my sons travel further and further to their exciting futures and adulthood.

I am so joyful to see my sons accomplish new things, reach new goals, exclaim proudly, "I DID IT!!!" To meet their futures as strong, confident men, loving husbands, adoring fathers-I enjoy all these days leading to those events in their lives.

But I know, that even when they are fathers of their own, there will be Ghosts haunting me, bringing me back to the past. A look, a sigh, a laugh, somewhere at some point, the little Ghost I know so well will pop out, and I will recognize my sweet infant in the face of a strong man.

My heart will stop, I'll take a deep breath, and I'll want to cry because I am so grateful to be surrounded by so many Ghosts.

Orignally posted on 10/17/08 and submitted to Scribbit's October Write-Away Contest.

Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Becoming A Kid

My little JR is getting bigger by the minute, and I really can't believe so much time has passed. JR is 16 months now, and I really don't know how that happened. It is cliche, but true: kids grow much too quickly.

He went from this:

To this:

And all I did was blink.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mr. Gilly is a Trashman

My oldest son is obsessed with the trash men that come every Tuesday. He LOVES trash trucks, helping me put things in the trash, finding items he thinks should go in the trash, and waiting for the trash truck to come.

So, when I asked him what he wanted to be for Halloween, I wasn't very surprised when he passionately declared he wanted to be Mr.Gilly, the trash man character from his favorite book, Trashy Town.

But where do you find a trash man costume? Those aren't exactly on store racks, so I had to get a little creative. Oh, and I had to make Little Dude's outfit green, because, well Waste Management (who picks up our home trash) is green.

Well, after digging around our house and doing some creative moves, this is the costume I came up with:

He is in his pj bottoms, but he will wear real pants on Halloween. JR was excited to get in the picture, too.
I made the "safety vest" out of an old towel.
Added the writing to a green shirt I found in his closet.
And put "Trash Man" on his vest, just to help out everyone that meets him. He will also be carrying a small garbage bag of paper, some black gloves and his baseball cap (Mr Gilly wears one in the book) to help complete the ensemble. Pretty cool, eh?

Monday, October 26, 2009

We Were Here

We went to the science museum in Raleigh with some really great friends and had a BLAST. Little Dude, AJ, Kip and Sada had the greatest time meeting some animals at the Science classroom (they got to pet a bunny!). The biggest hit though, was the dinosaurs:
JR is so big, yet so small at the same time.
JR and Sada fit in a dinosaur footprint.
His footprints may not inspire as much awe, but they sure are cute.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Toddler Talk

Today, Little Dude, JR and I spent the whole day at the park and had lunch with my awesome sister, Lisa. Afterwards, we went for a nice long walk around the neighborhood, enjoying the breeze, squirrels, and birds.

We practiced some counting on all the cars parked in the street, and worked on the alphabet by picking out letters in signs we passed-Little Dude has been doing great on both and can now count to 5 in Spanish!

On the way back, one of our little neighbors across the street was out in the yard, and Little Dude and Josh immediately started up on a rather fun conversation.

Yes, they were having a boy conversation.

Josh: Hi!! Guess what we are having for dinner?
Little Dude: Hi, Josh!! Dinner! Let's have dinner; is that a good idea? (Looking at me like Dinner is the most amazing idea he had ever heard)
Josh: We are having biscuits with HAM!! Do you like HAM????!!!
Little Dude: I DO! I LOVE Ham! Do you like Butter? I like biscuits with butter!
Josh: YUMMY! We could put butter on our HAM!! Have you had that?
Little Dude: YES!! Butter on Ham!! Sounds goooooood! (No, he has not had butter on ham, as far as I know)
Josh: I also like plain biscuits! Have you tried them?
Little Dude: You need to try biscuits with peanut butter and jelly! Have you TRIED peanut butter and jelly? It is SO DOMINANT!
Josh: I BURPED! Did you hear that LOUD burp!?
Little Dude: Good job, JOSH! I am so proud of you! You need a biscuit with peanut butter and jelly!

Me: OK, guys, we need to go make dinner, say bye!

Josh: I BURPED again!!
Little Dude: Me TOO!
Josh: Did yours taste like peanut butter?
Little Dude: No, HAM!
Little Dude: Bye!!
Josh: Bye!

Hysterical laughter on both sides ensued as I dragged my boys into the house, hoping the conversation wouldn't move on to other body functions. Even though I was slightly grossed out by the thought of ham and peanut butter-n-jelly burps, I have to admit, it was pretty funny and cute.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Homeschooling Thoughts

It has been such beautiful weather here, and the kids have been loving playing in the yard-days like these make me so happy to be back in NC.

But at night-while getting the kids in bed-I especially miss having my sweet Bill around. Even though my kids are angels most of the time (like all kids), by the end of the day I am so frazzled and overcooked that I just can't wait for them to fall asleep.

However, once they are in bed, then the house is way too empty, way too quiet and way too lonely.

And I can't complain; I feel lucky that Bill still has a job, and that I can stay home with the kids, but I still wish that Bill's job didn't send him all over the place for long periods of time.

So far, we have been able to go with him a lot of the time, but what about when the kids start school? I've been thinking about that a lot lately, and wondering about homeschooling pros and cons. Homeschooling would make it so we could keep traveling with Bill, but then, it would be impossible for me to work from home and homeschool at the same time, so that would stop my income, and stop the chance of me bringing home a full time paycheck once all the kids went to school.

So anyone with any thoughts?

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Lesson In Death

Rest in Peace, Red.

Red, our fish, has passed.

His death actually occurred a month ago, but I am just now getting around to writing about it. Why did he die? Not really sure, all I can tell you is that he had not had his water changed in 3 weeks (I'll blame unpacking from the move for my lazy-ness), it was getting GROSS, so I changed it into nice, clean water that I had treated and had set out to get to room temp for two days.

The next morning our dear Red was floating upside down, though luckily I noticed before I let Little Dude feed him.

So then the debate started-how to tell Little Dude. I called Bill, and we discussed the options. Buy a new fish and try to make the switcher-roo? Buy a new fish and then tell him, while he has a new fish to look at? Not get another fish?

We went in circles for a bit, and finally decided to explain that Red had gotten old (I decided against telling Little Dude it was probably my awesome tank cleaning skills that had killed Red) and Red's spirit went to live with God. We decided just being upfront and honest about the death would be for the best.

Little Dude took it quite well, asking if God had a fish tank for Red,(I said yes, a really great one) and asked what we should do with Red. So, I offered holding a funeral and celebrating Red going to heaven with a song.

Red the Fish left us via the toilet and a rendition of "Thomas and Friends", the Little Dude version.

Then, since Little Dude was a little sad after that, I asked if he would like to pick out another pet fish. That perked him right up.

Red the Second joined our family from Pet Smart, and though he is blue, Little Dude declared his name needed to be Red the Second, and so we are calling him Red for short.

So far, my weekly water changing has not killed Red the Second, so we are doing well.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mom Mixing and Cleaning

Let me start with the Logitech Mom Mixer-It was pretty neat, but not quite as fun as I had thought. I am SO thankful to Logitech for the fun webcam and the chance to meet up with other moms and do some market research; however, my partner and I had the worst connection ever.

And I don't know if it was the webcam, the speakers, the Internet connection, or even my old computer, but the video feed for the webcam was WAY slower than the sound feed, AND on top of it, the microphone was picking up EVERYTHING, including all the other conversations going on around us. My partner seemed to be a soft spoken, sweet woman, which didn't help with trying to do the question/answer Logitech survey we were supposed to do. Actually, after the third question, we gave up-it took us a half hour just to get through those because I couldn't hear Kelly (my Mom Mixer partner who was at the event in Dallas) through the other conversations. We even had someone try to help us, but there wasn't much we could do.

Oh well, maybe next time I can be present, if they do one in NC again (I missed the NC one since we were still in AL at the time).

Logitech connection was pretty cool though-and I think the video/sound would work fine if you didn't have 50 other people around laughing and talking at the same time-but you simply create an account with Logitech, use your friend's emails, and connect for free. Nice!

OK, now on to other stuff.

I have been crazy busy with work, and I am planning on purging my office tonight; finally getting rid of old papers, notes, notebooks, books, and general clutter I don't need. What prompted the cleaning? I couldn't find my glue gun and needed it to make JR's First Birthday Frame. I finally found it in a random drawer, so I realized I needed to organize better.

I also saw the tv show "Hoarders" and it has made me want to get rid of everything I own and don't use. Have any of you seen that show? My sweet hubby told me about it, so we watched it together one night (him in AL and me here in NC). We were both shocked at the hoarding. Wow. So now I have been joking to him he is going to come back to an empty house tomorrow.

Actually, it is mostly just my office and our workshop room that are semi-cluttered, but not for long; Miche is on a mission to de-clutter!

And, Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I'm Not Wearing Shoes To A Mom Mixer

I am so glad I am a mom now. Not just because I really enjoy "mom stuff", but there are SO many ways to find other moms, mix, mingle, and learn tips, all without having to travel.

Yea, the Internet is quite amazing. Gosh, I blog and have a whole set of mom friends I have never met, but all of whom are special to me for the friendships we have.

I have no idea how my mom stayed sane as a stay at home mom to three girls out in the middle of no where. We grew up deep in the mountains of NC, and we had the outdoors to entertain us-mom didn't do playdates, craft dates, or mom meet ups, mostly because it took almost half an hour just to get down the mountain, let alone get to someone else's house.

I honestly don't think I would be as good of a mom if I didn't get to leave the house and go to playdates and meet ups with other moms.

And on that note, I am SUPER excited to be part of the Logitech Mom Mixer going on in Dallas today. And no, I am not in Dallas, I will be here, at my kitchen table, with my laptop and webcam. Getting to mix and mingle with all kinds of other great moms and the amazing Maria Baily, of Mom Select, and, who put together the event-all while I feed my kids lunch.

How cool is that? Hopefully the kids will be happy with their lunches and let me participate without too many interruptions. But if not? That's OK, because after all, I'm Mom first, and being a mom is the whole reason I got invited.

I'll give you guys the scoop on the mixer, and if you'll also be a part of it, let me know so we can "mingle"!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Back To Alabama

Bill is back in Alabama now, so I'll be back to finding random tv shows to watch while I work at night. For now, Knocked Up has me pretty entertained.

JR has started saying "Dada" like crazy this weekend, and would get AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE to Bill, no matter what they were doing; it was unbeliveably cute. JR can also say "Uh Oh", "Mama", and "HIIIII!".

We went to IHOP after church on Sunday, much to the joy of Little Dude. He finally got one of the pancakes he has been talking about from an IHOP commercial he saw ages ago, and was so happy. JR kept saying "Hiiiiii" to a group of girls sitting near us; both boys made us melt all weekend.

The countdown til Bill gets back? Only 5 days; he will be back for next weekend again, thank goodness!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Working From Home

Today, we spent forever at the park, and I think I met Little Dude's first girlfriend. She was absolutely cuteness, his age, and held his hand as they played.

Her Grandma and I hit it off pretty fast, and exchanged numbers so we can get together next week. I think we might have to set up a betrothal, because I am in love with this little girl's HUGE brown eyes. The two of them playing had me melting-HUGE brown eyes next to my son's HUGE blue eyes. Oh, goodness.

I'm trying to catch up on work, and I think I might just get it all done before it is due tomorrow AND before I have to leave to pick Bill up from the airport tonight.

I am super excited to show Bill all the things I got done in the two weeks since he has been gone:

*I painted our bedroom-SO in love with it now! I will have to find a before picture so I can show you a now picture. Humongous project I did one night when I couldn't sleep. I still can't believe I did it all and got all the furniture back in place.
*I started purging through STUFF to get together for a yard sell. I've done pretty well, but honestly I think the pile of stuff in our laundry room will drive me crazy before I can get through everything for a yard sell-so I might just end up taking it to Good Will one day.
*I re-did the boy's bathroom so it looks more like a boy's bathroom. The lovely purple, green and gold butterfly theme I had going in there from back when we first got married still worked, but it seemed like time to get a boy look in there. Esp since two boys are now sharing it and it can no longer be considered the "guest bathroom". The new stuff is super cute, thanks to Target; not really a "kid" look, yet nice and boyish and still matches the mustard yellow tile in there. I'll have to get a picture of that project too.
* Cleaned the pantry-that was a mess.
*Cleaned the guest room, though now it is full of things I'm hiding from family for Christmas. Bill, your stuff isn't in there, so don't bother looking-I found another hiding place for your things!
*Cleaned our bathroom and cleaned out under the sink. I found three unopened bottles of Listerine, nice!
*I got up IN the ATTIC and got our Halloween stuff down. AND set it all up in the yard. I must say, we have the coolest Halloween yard on the block. LOVE Halloween. And I added some cool Disney themed light up pumpkins to the decor this year. Oh, Halloween, how I love thee.

I can't wait to show Bill; I know he will be so proud of all the work I've done! And I can't wait for him to just BE here, yay!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Buzz, Zorg and Jessie

Today, Little Dude woke up with one thing on his mind: Toy Story 2. As in the Disney cartoon.

And so he greeted me this morning by explaining that HE was Buzz Lightyear, and that I was Jessie. Oh, and JR was Zorg.

Everything we did today, I had to call him Buzz, and he called me Jessie. He had his Buzz Lightyear shirt on (which we found at Target a few weeks ago), and I HAD to wear my straw hat, because, you know, Jessie is a COWGIRL and NEEDS a hat! Or so Little Dude explained. So, I wore my straw hat all day, and played with Little Dude Buzz and JR Zorg.

Even when I took my cold/cough medicine (because, yes, I am getting sick again and feel like a nice cow girl patty at the moment) I had to say "yeee haaaww" after I took it. Because, you know, that's what Jessie does.

Meanwhile, JR Zorg insisted on wearing one of our hardhats, which Little Dude Buzz highly approved of as a Zorg space helmet. We went on a short wagon ride with both of our construction hats space helmets, and that just had to be a sight, because I was hacking up a lung and the kids were laughing hysterically.

We went and voted for the school board seats, and Little Dude Buzz explained to the voting man that I was Jessie (which lead to me explaining why my son was saying my name was Jessie when I was trying to vote as Miche). The guy just gave me a blank stare; obviously he doesn't have kids.

Then we went and checked out our church preschool for Little Dude Buzz and got a baptism date and Godparents on file for JR Zorg. Yes, I know he is over a year old, but we have been in Alabama for the past year, so cut me some slack.

After that, the Toy Story 2 troupe and I went to the library where we proceeded to have a mini fit over the fact that ALL the Disney books on Toy Story were checked out. Then Little Dude Buzz saw some Diego (that animal rescue character) books, and all was well with the world.

Now it is only 9pm, and I am about to die from my cough, and even though I really need to work and catch up on some items, I'm going to bed with the hopes that I can just play catch up during nap time tomorrow.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Washing Away

It is raining, and it looks like it will be dreary all day, so I am glad now we spent so much time outside yesterday just having fun. We got amazingly muddy, we played with the neighbors, we turned some old inside toys into outside toys by letting them into the sand box, we colored the patio with a rainbow of chalk, and nothing around the house got done.

I even ended up having to stay up WAY too late to catch up on my job, but it was all worth it.

Because it looks like today we will be indoor bound, and perhaps watching a Disney movie while I do more work. And wash a humongous pile of laundry. Then fold it (maybe). And sweep the floor. And the bathrooms are crying for attention...

But I never mind days like today-when all I do is clean, work, and get caught up on the house-if they follow wonderful, fun and free days like yesterday. I had so much fun playing with the boys outside all day yesterday that I am almost excited about tackling the laundry. Almost.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pumpkins and Fall

I love fall; it is my favorite time of the year. If I could combine Disney World and the NC fall season year round, I'd be in heaven.

Today I saw my first "Pumpkin Patch" sign -always a great intro to the fall season! I am SO excited to take the boys in the wagon all through Ken's Corn Maze here in Garner. AND I found some more fun Halloween stuff to add to our yard this year!

Ohhhh I LOVE Halloween. And it is ALMOST time to dig our stuff out of the attic and set it up. I'm getting giddy just thinking about it. Of all the holidays, Halloween is my FAVORITE. Mostly because we never were able to celebrate it as kids; that's the down fall of living in the middle-of-no-where up a long mountain driveway. NO ONE came trick r treating and there was no way to talk the parents into taking us.

Another reason I love Halloween? It is a season relatives don't fight over. No one cares if you're having Halloween night dinner at their house, or Aunt Alba's house, or the in-law's house. No one asks you years in advance or "calls" the holiday. Nope, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Easter, birthdays, even the 4th of July, get all the attention and need decisions on who we visit when and where and for how long and what will I cook and where-will-I-put-everyone?

And Halloween? Mine. All mine. And it is ALMOST time to decorate. Love it.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


My wonderful friends and neighbors, Alan and Andrea, had their little boy yesterday; 6lbs 10 oz of cuteness:

Oh, I am just dying to hold him, and just think of the fun playdates we can have now!

Welcome to the world, Henry, we are all so glad you are here!!