Friday, December 30, 2011

Wally World

For anyone that knows me, you know that I pretty much do anything in my power to stay out of Wal-Mart. I would say I hate the place, but I can hear my parent's mocking voices in my head saying, "Amy, hate is a very strong word." Yes it is, and I hate Wal-Mart.

I go maybe twice a year, if I have to. You can find me in Target maybe 2 or 3 times a week with a smile from ear to ear, but Wal-Mart, ugh. I cannot put my finger on it exactly why I cannot stand the place, but I just cannot.

Anyways, I went today. I was on the other side of town from a Target and I really, really needed an ink cartridge for my printer since I am on the verge of needing to squish an octopus into my printer to get it working again. The last 4 times I have been in Target I have forgotten. Chaps my rear. So, today I go thinking it wont be bad I will grab a cartridge and be in and out.

Did I mention I had both kids with me? I mean, I almost need not mention since they are attached to me 95% of the time. Just walking through the doors made my skin crawl and I was just waiting to find some of the gems that are "The People of Wal-Mart."

Well, as I walked from the store to my car after a purchase of an ink cartridge (that was only $2 cheaper than at Target...those $2 are well worth my sanity) I was reminded of why I don't go to Wal-Mart. Let me share.

The first incident. We are walking down the aisle trying to find the printer section and there is a Spanish-speaking family on the next aisle over with just about the most precious little girl I have ever seen. Well, I immediately started to flirt with her and so did Nash and oh my, I could have eaten her she was so stinking cute. I told the mother how adorable she was and the mom beamed and we were just about to walk away when the father spoke to the mother in Spanish and Louisa perked up and said to him, "Ooooooooooohhh! I didn't know you can speak Dora too!"
And let's carry on to those ink cartridges real quick-like.

The second incident. After I found my cartridge and began my journey back to the check-out lines in the front of the store we walked by a girl that I kid you not had a rainbow in her hair of hair dye. I was actually quite amazed at how vibrant the colors were. And as we walked by I tried to divert Lou's attention but the flashing fuchsia caught this pink-loving girl's eye and she said it. In her non-inside-Louisa voice. "Oooooohhhh MOMMY! Look at that girl! She looks like a My Little Pony!" Que the theme song...

And the third incident. I was almost clear. Standing in the check-out line the lady in front of us had a tattoo on the side of her face that reached all the way into her ear. I eyed it thinking, 'holy smacks I bet that hurt like crap.' I didn't think twice about Louisa since she was busy checking out all the goodies that Wal-Mart so lovingly places in the check out aisles. Phoebe, you KNOW there was one of those stoooopid dolls there. Ugh. Anyways, Nash was all turned around sideways in the buggy looking at the lady in front of us and just grinning and cooing like his sweet self does until Louisa tells him in her whispering voice (which I assure you is not a whisper), "Nash, stop staring! That lady can't help that she has that on her face. You might hurt her feelings!" And while a small part of me wanted to be proud that it was evident that she had listened to me in the past tell her that sometimes people cannot help their appearances, the other part of me wanted to hit the floor. And then that lady turned to me with a look that said, "I will cut you." And while I wanted to inform her that this chicken had a shiv, I instead apologized for my child and made sure there was a large distance between us in the parking lot in case she indeed was packing a shiv.

Now, any of these 3 incidents could have occurred at any store. I get that. But, Wal-Mart has a way of bringing out the worst in me and my children. So, I will steer clear of the Wally World again in the future and instead spend more money at Target. Geesh.

Speaking of hooligan children...

Nash is newly obsessed with pulling himself up on the side of his crib. In fact, right now...during nap time he is in there standing up on the side and screaming since when he stands up he gets all proud and he giggles and loses his paci over the side. So this is nap time number 4 that he has not napped since he is newly obsessed with standing. Oy. But how irresistible are those legs?

I promise there is a Christmas blog coming soon. I asked Santa for a few more hours in the day but apparently I was on the naughty list since I didn't get that. Oh well...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

'Tis the Season!

from our house to yours...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Down on the Bayous

There is something very enchanting about the bayous of Louisiana. Or at least, I think so. I remember the first time I ever visited Louisiana. I had been dating Byron for a few months and was invited on the annual summer trip to Louisiana to visit his family. I had never been before and was a little nervous, but felt excited when to my surprise all of his family talked about 'how much fun' it was to go to the bayous. No one could pin-point one single thing that made it so much fun, but everyone raved about how it was by far the best trip of the year.

If you have never before been, no worries. I will make it fabulous for you. Byron's mom grew up outside of Baton Rouge in the country and right along one of the bayous. Once you get over the slight (okay, major) panic attack and hypertension due to crossing over the mighty Mississippi on a huge bridge that also happens to be an interstate (you couldn't stage a nightmare for me better if you tried) the land stretches out before you flat as can be and sugarcane as far as the eye can see. It really is like a whole other world. And it is. I still giggle to this day because I cannot for the life of me understand a word that comes out of these bayou-dwelling-people's mouths. Nor can I wrap my head around the phonics and how spelling and pronunciation is far from what I learned in the Low Country. However, I cannot think of a more friendly, welcoming group of people if I tried. There are no strangers there. And the driveway at the Jones house is a swinging door of visitors that come with a smile on their face and a story that no doubt will have us all doubling over giggling later. But the best part, it is about as laid back as it comes. It is the most fun. When you go to Plaquemine, you eat, rest, visit and enjoy the scenery and then eat some more. And when you pull in the driveway of Byron's Aunt & Uncle's house...this is what lies before you.

It takes my breath away each and every time and I can only imagine Aunt Janice's joy looking at this every single day from her kitchen window. One of my favorite things to do when we visit is to go out on the 4-wheelers, golf carts, rhinos, whatever the vehicle seems to be to drive along the crawfish ponds that are on the back of the property. The first time I ever ventured back I was SCARED TO DEATH that I would encounter an alligator. Byron's instigation wasn't helping matters much. It just looked like a place an alligator would love. Swampy-looking-dark-still waters with cypress trees growing in the middle and other mangled trees just hanging and lurking on the water's edge. I mean, I straight up had x-ray vision and saw all the gators and pit vipers hanging out waiting to get me. But instead, I was only attacked by some mud and cow pie's from the pasture flying up from the wheels of the 4-wheeler. Not too bad, considering the alternatives. This year it was quite humorous. Somehow, we drew the short stick. You see, there were 3 ATV-type vehicles that were going to tour the crawfish ponds. There was a super nice Polaris that costs more than my SUV, a rhino-sort of powerful looking vehicle and an old golf cart. Guess which one we got stuck on? Yep, it was me, Byron, baby Nash, Claudia and three kiddos all on the jalopy of a golf cart. We giggled as we fish-tailed along the trails and got beaten by trees and sticks along the way that we were like the old parents on the school bus while the other 'cool kids' were on the other vehicles. It even started to growl at us by the end of the trip. It was actually funny - and no matter the mode of transportation...the scenery was just as beautiful. No alligators, no pit vipers. Just gorgeous swampland. And whatever it was that was growling at us from the bottom of the golf cart.

I actually stole this picture from Clark's facebook account. However, I find it completely legal since I was tagged. Byron had escaped for the photo-op. I think he was scared of the growling.

Other than the rides along the crawfish ponds, there is a lot of playing outside and just being kids. No matter the age. And you know, everything is better when there is a K-9 involved.

I especially love these pics of the kiddos (the 2 babes were being held and spoiled at the time) and Cash, the blue heeler. Makes me giggle.

So, all in be honest - I cannot for the life of me come up with just one reason why the trip to Louisiana is so much fun either. Now I know. Now, I get it. I think overall it is just a whole other world. And that whole other world is nice for a few days. Sometimes I think everyone needs a few days to slow down, enjoy the scenery, smell the burning sugarcane and get their creole on.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

All in a Day's Work

So, we have officially left the "Velcro Stage" of infancy. Crap. This is the stage that I refer to when your baby stays where you put him down. Maybe a little roll or two, but usually if you walk away you can guarantee that said babe will still be where you placed him. Not anymore. Nash has finally picked up on the whole crawling thing (my kiddos are late bloomers when it comes to being mobile, which is quite okay with fact, I kind of discourage the whole mobility thing). Now he is not quite into everything yet...but it is coming. I feel it.

Take for instance the 5-7 minutes yesterday in which I attempted to make lunch. Yes, I had my camera ready so that may have added a little time on to it, but I knew one day when my sweet baby Nash was all big and not wanting to hang out with me I would want these pics. This is how it all went down. PS - please note how the brown dog and baby boy already seem to be partners in crime. Oh, that should make me nervous, but instead it just makes me super happy!

Okay, I placed baby Nash on his play mat in the den and walked into the kitchen to make lunch. I watched through the big opening from the kitchen to the den (it really is a great feature, it should make you want to buy my house, seriously) as he crawled his way to the kitchen to find me. Well, he got side-tracked, at the ever popular dog bowl. Check out the look of "Oops, I was caught." And excuse any out of focusness that occurs, this child is getting more difficult to photograph.

So, I sat him down on the floor in the breakfast room (which by the way I think I may rename the rotunda, it just sounds all special-like and might make people want to buy my house more) with a little toy and got back to my mad sandwich making skills. That is, until the temptation of the dog's water bowl called a certain little bald baby. You see this face? This is after I told him no a few times.

And then, I get back to my sandwich artist self with my back turned and then hear the water. Little cracker.

And so, I get him up, dry off his hands and place him on the other side of the kitchen with some bowls and a spoon to play. Well, this is where Mallard comes to be a bad influence on my sweetness. The brown dog decides it is a fine time to drink water. Well, that is just too much for little Nash man and here he goes...towards the water bowl again.

I absolutely adore that pic of him in the bowl with Mallard right there. Stick Byron's face in there somewhere and we have my fave boys all in one pic. Well, after I got him out and dried him off again, I put him in front of the refrigerator to play with magnets thinking he needed something more fun.

But honestly, what is more fun than the water bowl because before I could even set down the camera to get back to my turkey and he comes again.

And busted...oh snap.

Wondering about this little face?

Believe it or not (knock on some SERIOUS wood) she has been fairly well behaved lately and no Louisa-worthy stories to tell. Can you even believe it? I hardly can. I will have to say though that I got a good giggle from this when I walked into her room the other day. She may not look like me, but the child does have some of my tendencies.

Don't get it? Perhaps a closer pic will give you a clue.

Or maybe a picture of MY tree will help.

I mean, WHO puts ornaments on the Christmas tree anyways? Hahahaha. That's my girl!

And just a few from bath time last night. The cheeks, the Alfalfa-sprout hair and those eyebrows. Oh dear this boy is the end of me!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Father Time

WARNING: long and random post with NO proof-reading...

Ohhhhhhh Father Time.....where are you?

I mean seriously. Where the hell is the time going? This post will be stamped either December 4 or 5th, depending on how wordy I am late tonight. WHEN did that happen? And where have I been? Sigh. Here I am all un-knowingly the mother of a 4.5 year old girl that knows it all and an almost 10 month old (that in itself makes me feel the need to cry) that is now crawling, trying to stand up, breaking through more teeth and eating real people food. Once again, WHERE have I been?

Well, one answer is probably in my sewing room. And as much as I love brownie-goose, I will admit it is sort of the black sheep for me right now. I struggle daily, hourly to be honest with what in the world to do with this black sheep. It robs me of so much of my free time, but I cannot let it go. It has evolved from something that I did for fun and to give some pocket money when I quit my real job to something that I need to pay for Louisa's school and gymnastics. There are moments when I say, "okay Amy. Once you pay off Lou's tuition through May for both school and gymnastics...quit it all. Just quit while you are ahead." And I feel all happy and free like. I mean, I know what I am doing. And then, I get all sad and sentimental. And I think, "Why quit now? You've come so far." And I just don't know what in the world to do. But I do know for sure it is taking up WAY more time than I would like for it to. With that said, I am so stinking proud of it all that I can hardly stand not to tinkle my pants. Just recently I was asked to send some items from my collection (I am still in awe that the stylist/designer called it my collection, like it is real!) for a magazine photo shoot and at the end of the day, MY DRESS made the cover. I mean, holy moles. You can read more about it here if you really feel the need. I just wish that sometime someone would just appear and say, "Amy, this is what you need to do with BG. This is where you need to go with it." And that way I think I would let my guard down and realize that it was okay to go either way. I am one of those crazy Type A's that doesn't want to admit defeat but at the same time thinks failure is like the boogey man. Ugh. Okay, enough about all of that...for I swear I had a purpose when I sat down to blog.

Speaking of black sheep and time, as I drove down my street today I realized I was the only one left with pumpkins and corn stalks on my front porch. And this made me say bad words. You see, after you decorate with decorate for Christmas - which if you remember from last year (if you don't, please read this post...I highly recommend, it tells a LOT about my character) I can.not.stand. Gag. But, I decided I would take one for the team and up into the attic I crawled and got down the garland and wreaths all the while complaining and saying bad, bad words. Well, I hung the garland around the door frame like I always do and when I stepped back instead of thinking, " looks good if I do say so myself" I thought, "Ewww. When did K-Mart come and hang a swag of shiz on my front door frame?" 'Tis the season, right? So, I crawled back up on the ladder and took it all down and informed Byron that I wasn't going to do anything this year and only hang up my door wreath that I have had for eons now. And he got the look that I have learned over the years and said, "Whatever you want, Amy." Now, this sounds all nice but what really is going through his head is, "Okay Byron, just agree. She is having the funk and no matter what you say she will argue with you and it will all turn out very bad in the end so just nod and keep on with what you are doing." And so when he said that, I turned back to the front door and thought, "UGH. NO. By golly my front door will look fab whether I enjoy it or not. (seeing as I realized in the meantime my trusty old wreath had started to fall apart and look even more K-Marty than the garland)" So, with my stubborn head held high I came inside and google imaged "front door wreaths." Of course I feel madly in love with one as my bipolar-like personality tends to do and decided I needed to go right then and there to the craft store because certainly "I can SO make that." That, by the way is my stubborn motto. I for some reason always think I can make what I see. Do you see the destruction my strong personality causes me? So, while I was having this moment of Martha-Stewart-induced genius, I packed up both kids and headed to Michaels on a Sunday afternoon. Yes, you read that correctly and yes, I have lost my mind.

I will save you many of the details of the trip but will summarize and tell you that by the time I got back in my car I had sweat rings under my arms, my pony tail was hanging on by a thread, my cheeks were pink and both kids were crying. I have NO clue what I bought, but know that I will leave it all in the back of my car in the bags and it will go back tomorrow since I am over it by now.

So, you see...this inspiration wreath (which I won't share with you because the crazar in me still might attempt it after a trip to a different craft store and the donkey in me refuses to give away a secret and admit defeat) is like the palm fronds of last year. Oh those damn fronds. I think the actual words were "screw you palm fronds??"

Okay, so off subject. Back to father time.

We recently made a trip to Georgia over the Thanksgiving holiday to spend time between Barnesville, Savannah and Athens. Now, I was super excited about the Athens trip since this was the first time we were going KNOWING we were soon going to be living there. We had appointments set up with the realtor, the banks, a preschool for Nash, Lou's school, etc. It was crazy-exciting. But at the same time I asked myself, "Oh my word. Is this really happening? Are we finally at this point that we have been waiting for for so long?" And the answer strangely was YES. The time has finally come for my brilliant husband to no longer be a student or a resident. This is it. He is about to be in private practice and we are about to be setting down forever roots. It is crazy to think about. It was so exciting to drive around a town that I knew I would be raising my kiddos in. And not to brag too much, but holy smackaroos what an awesome town to do so in! Touring Louisa's school was kind of hard for me. I never thought I was going to be that mom that cried as soon as I dropped my child off for kindergarten, but I can go ahead and say it...I will be bawling. I mean, I got all teary-eyed just walking around with the principal. There was a lunch room and a rotunda and a library and all these things that my little Lou was going to be doing WITHOUT me. Ouch. I am tearing up now just remembering it. But I really am trying to be a big girl for her so that she is excited and not scared. While we were sitting in on a class I watched her look nervously at the students and twirl her hair and bite on her lip. It broke my heart to see her so nervous. And then thankfully later she pulled a typical Louisa to lighten the mood and make me not so sad. This was the conversation.

Me - Lou, what did you think about your new school and the kindergarten class?

Lou - Well, I don't know Mommy. I don't think I am as smart as those kids.

Me - Awe, don't worry Boo, you will be as soon as you start learning.

Lou - Oh, I'm not worried Mommy. I mean, I may not be the smartest but I am the prettiest.

Hehe, that's my girl. Oh, Louisa Kate...

And baby Nash. Be still my sweetness. He has had a rough few months recently. His nickname of sweetness has almost been revoked due to some very ill-tempered behavior. Suicide hour is KILLING us now that the time has changed and we cannot go outside. So basically, from 3pm until bedtime in our house is absolute mayhem to the point that I am almost twitching by the time Byron comes home. Yikes. It hasn't been pretty. But, Nash got tubes on Friday due to rotten ears and I am hoping that it was just painful ears that have been causing the baby Louisa-like behavior. I almost want to say sometimes, "Okay Nash...we get it. You will not be made to be a middle child. Norris party of 4. Mommy cannot handle more without being sent to the nut house so you will not have a baby sibling" but I am so afraid that Murphy will overhear and change my plans and I cannot even think about that right now!

Oh dear, what did I mean to write about anyways? Tonight is one of those nights. I sat down to write, to get it all out. It's been one of those 'overwhelmed by life' days here for me and I just needed a moment to vent and have my online therapy session and it looks as though I have succeeded in writing a very long post with no photos that I don't plan on proofing. Oh yeah, I was talking about time getting away with me. Which makes me think of my blog post around this time last year. I remember talking about slowing down. And you know, I did for a while but then I fell victim to needing to speed again. So maybe I will find that slow-down button again soon and stick with it. I am thinking that 2012 is going to be CRAZY with selling a house, packing a house, moving to a new town, Louisa starting kindergarten, Byron starting a new job, etc. I will need that slow-down button for sure. And maybe a few cases of wine as well. I've thought a lot about unplugging next year. Not completely, but maybe just stepping back from the phone, the texts, the emails, the facebook, etc just a bit. Becoming super-shady which I am very good at. I don't want to miss anymore of what is happening right in front of me. I mean, that is all that really matters, right? Always easier said than done, but maybe?

So, methinks that I have succeeded in writing the most random blog post ever. Awesome work Amy. I also think my bed (and those psychedelic sheets that are still there, I don't if we forgot to ask Santa or if he just has a sense of humor or if he is just super sweet and wants us to wait for a new house to have new, grown-up sheets), the bed warmer and my striped kitty who is probably curled up where my feet belong are calling my name. I just might tell this this stubborn donkey to listen this time. Go to bed Amy.

Sweet dreams. Until next time that I ramble on...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

confessions of a blog neglector

this is brownie thinking, oh where, oh where has the blog lady gone, oh where oh where can she be???

i mean really. i should be ashamed of myself. note to self....never, EVER take this much time off from blogging. geesh. when i take too much time i realize that when i actually sit down to blog there are so many things i want to write about but feel overwhelmed so i just blabber on and on.

ready for blabbering?

let's see...where did i leave off? oh yes, the horrible sickness that blanketed our house the ENTIRE month of october. lawdy it was rough. i cannot tell you how much tylenol and motrin we went through...not to mention antibiotics and all that other hoop-la. thankfully we all recovered and i just now have everyone somewhat on a sleeping schedule again. whew. knock on wood.

and then came halloween. call me a party pooper, but i am just not a fan of halloween. i don't know why - but it could fall off the calendar and i would be just fine. awful, i know. so, it kind of crept up on me as i was busy wiping noses and chasing fevers. i asked lou what she wanted to be and she said a princess, which would have been the 3rd year in a row. so, i was fine with that...we already have a costume - good to go. then, she changed her mind and said she wanted to be hannah montana. not quite sure where that one came from...but i had to nip that one in the bud real quick. not ready for her to grow up just yet. so, she changed her mind again. now, you see - this should have been a sign for me. but in my defense, i was still highly sleep deprived and working off of a few very fatigued brain cells. so she wanted to be a pink cowgirl. i got excited. i googled pink chaps to get some pictures so that i could plan out a costume. word of NOT google pink chaps with your 4 year old around. don't ask why, just don't do it unless you want to explain why "dat lady forgot her panties mommy!" seriously. once again, remember...very few brain cells. so, i made her a pair of pink chaps with furry cow-skin and pink fringe. i thought they were way cute and i was super proud to be able to make a halloween costume. and she was excited, and cute as can be and looked all pink cowgirly like this (yes, repeat pic but since it has been 6 years i thought you may need a refresher)...

and she wore this to a birthday party with a halloween theme (not without the signature louisa meltdown though, geesh..remember that?). good times. but, when halloween rolled around, she changed her mind again. surprise! i should have known. she picked a witch costume out of her box of dress-up clothes and decided that she wanted to be a witch instead. now, i fought with myself long and hard on this one. do i force the issue of NO MAM i made this costume for you and you are going to wear it? or do i just let it go? i honestly wasn't hurt too much, maybe because deep down i knew that she was going to change her mind??? who knows. what i finally decided on though was to tell her that i was disappointed since she didn't want to wear the costume that i made for her. i thought maybe i needed to keep it fun for her and not make an issue out of it (so that maybe down the road she wont be a halloween party pooper too), but to let her know that i did have my feelings hurt. in response, she just said while placing her hand on my leg and cocking her head to the side, "awww, it's okay momma. you can make me one next year." point was lost.

at least there was no battle with my sweetness (imagine that) and his costume. he got the left-overs from lou's closet and was a little duck. and i cannot even tell you how much i could have eaten this child up in this costume. he refused to smile while in it...but instead started puckering his lips. oh my the cuteness of this fat little baby in a duck costume.

now, check out this one of baby lou in the duck costume (a pic of a pic)...good grief my kiddos look alike!

i thought you may all want some humor in your life before i begin on my monologue about selling a house and a house hunt. the other day i made my way into lou's room for another cleaning before showing the house, and you know how i always seem to giggle in her room. and i will share.

looks as though we may need a sign warning people not to feed the alligators. ouch.

i am wondering if this incident has anything to do with the time that i ran over louisa with the buggy in the grocery store. yikes, is she harboring resentment? eeeks. oh, and lou...if i have told you once, i will tell you a thousand times - do NOT leave your baby and purse unattended!

feed yourself baby! and be careful not to choke on the whole egg or the hot dog. ummkay?

this one made me giggle...royalty driving the mac truck.

i mean, who doesn't have a voodoo doll sitting intheir baby's toilet? you WILL potty train or else, don't cross me sally!

and sweetness, co-sleeping at it's best. :) blue mustache or not.

so, back to house cleaning and selling. we still own our house. crazy. i mean, we don't even have a sign in the yard and haven't marketed it yet. WHY, i ask, hasn't anyone bought it? ugh. but we are going this weekend to house hunt in athens and to say that i am excited is a severe understatement. i mean, right now...i could go and be a realtor in athens. i have it all memorized. crazy. and unless our house sells asap we cannot make a move. which is really, really making me crazy since we all know how i tend to fall head over very easily. this is what i foresee going on:

i walk into the house that i have already decided is my fave, fall in love but cannot buy it. then, someone else buys it and when i finally do move to athens i find i will never be able to like that person living there since i will hold some resentment but cannot control myself from driving by it daily and wondering what it. immature, maybe? but i think if you admit your immaturity it isn't near as bad. okay? so, to avoid any possible resentment and bitter issues (and maybe some stalking charges)...just come and buy our house. i mean, it is a really cool house and if you have been with me from the beginning - you have had a first row seat in the renovations. think of all that time you have vested in it. but just give me like 24 hours heads-up to clean. sound good?

okay, now to bombard with pics over the last 6 years since i have blogged. no captions - only because i have about 30 minutes of nap time left and i still have laundry to fold since my cleaning lady STILL hasn't shown. shame.

except that one...oh dear. i found this one day while he was playing and immediately had a moment of oh my holy goodness wet my pants why is he bleeding from the mouth???!!! until i realized he was chewing the stain off of basket. okay then, phew...carry on.