Monday, August 31, 2009

August 29, 1941 - August 28, 2009

Excerpt from Celebration of Life service:
August 29, 2009

Today is my mother’s birthday. My heart is breaking, but I have many blessings today. Family. Friends. Devotion. And love.

What I am most grateful for today is that I am my mother’s daughter. Because of her and Daddy, I didn’t need this loss or any other to appreciate what I have. To enjoy life every day.

Because of her, I have my precious family. She is the reason I am tough, determined and fearless. Why I say what I think even if it gets me in trouble. Why I only use real plates and silverware no matter what. Because of her, I know what is important and always have.

My mother danced on stage with me at my wedding (and my brother’s)! She held three of my boys within minutes of their birth. She held my hand before my cancer surgery and was there when I woke up.

Because of her, I have everything I have. Because of her, I am who I am. Today, I am most grateful that I am my mother’s daughter.

Another day, another story,

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Bedtime is a complete and total DISASTER.

Too worn out to recount the saga that's been going on for the last hour!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Always my baby

Through a series of musical-bed antics, stringbain ended up in bed with me last night.

As we were drifting off, he asks, "Mom, can I hug you up?"

That's my oldest son - the one who can beat me in a race and arm wrestling.
The one who is running a 5K with me in 2 weeks. The one who can become proficient at any sport in one session. The one who is easy to talk to and has a great imagination. The one who is as responsible as someone twice his age.

Asking to hug me up...what a sweetie!


Monday, August 24, 2009

Man down

We were just going outside to play soccer. Really. That was the plan. In less time than it takes to blink, mexicanjumpingbain hopped onto the hammock , flipped and started screaming. I thought he’d just popped his lip until I saw the telltale drop of blood on his chin. After the foxhole conversation with the mainbain about who was going to take which children where, I got in the car to drive the hour to the hospital.

MexicanJumpingBain sat in the backseat. Quiet. Nervous. Staring out the window. Every time I explained what the doctors and nurses would do, his eyes just got bigger and he nodded. He is stoic, if nothing else.

Having not been to an ER recently (2 ½ years) I was a tad surprised at the crowd. And the face masks. And the people apparently there for social reasons.

Thankfully we’d brought a book of a hundred stories, so we read and watched people and made up games out of various items in my purse. Who knew a tape measure could double as imaginary fishing line?

Of course we had to cruise the vending machines. What else do you do with a 6 year old after waiting an hour with nothing but water? Thank you MRH for introducing him to Hot Fries. He’d never had them before, and enjoyed waxing eloquent on how they are a “good hot.”

I am doing my best not to watch the clock, and we get called back to triage. They take all the info and tell us they are going to “fast track” us. Do they say that to everyone with a relatively minor injury who’s been waiting for over an hour? After slightly less than an eternity we are "fast tracked" back to a room.

Sweet nurse R comes in to clean out the cut. MJB sits on the bed without a sound, flinch or yelp. I would have loved him just as much if he’d bawled his eyes out, but something about seeing my little boy act like a man sealed that he’s my favorite 6 year old. Ever.

After cleaning it all up, Nurse R tells us that Chip will be in a minute.

Mexicanjumpingbain looks at me with the most incredulous look I’ve ever seen. “Chip? CHIP? What kind of name is that for a doctor?”

Chip turns out to be a great Doctor – he’s got 2 kids and is gifted in talking and explaining things to little boys. After the shot, the stitching took no time at all. I did ask Chip what he thought about a CPR type class Moms could take to sew their own kids up. He wasn’t too keen on that. Maybe I’m too practical.

After he’s all done, MJB immediately has to go look in the mirror and check it out. He comes out of the bathroom on Cloud Nine. Literally. He’s in love with himself and stitches. Thinks it’s totally worth it. In the space of 20 minutes, he’s got a soul patch. Which his aunt lovingly referred to today as a “1970’s ghetto look.”

He acts like it’s an early birthday present. Totally thrilled with his new look. One happy meal with lego car later, he’s passed out on the way home. You can’t see it too well in the picture, but he’s currently out showing off his soul patch to brothers and cousins.

Thankful that the accident just made a good story.


No more hush little baby...

12 years ago this month, the mainbain and I spent an entire Saturday evening putting this crib together.
Yesterday we spent about an hour taking it apart to donate to our church nursery. So it's official. No. More. Babies.

It's not that I want another one, I feel like I just became proficient at being a baby-mama and now it's over.
I don't feel sad that it's over, just determined to enjoy every minute of this next phase of mothering.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Another last-first

When I stringbain was born almost 12 years ago, I never thought about this day. I remember his first day of practice so clearly it's hard to believe it was over 8 years ago. The highway of motherhood was wide open; I had my windows down, loving the feeling of this ride.

The ride is shorter than I planned, apparently.

It seemed like I would always be a mama of small children. Parents of 1 or 2 kids don't understand that it's easy to become habituated to being the object of A LOT of dependency. The Baby Thing became second nature. The pipeline of children was loaded, full and seemingly endless. After a while I thought would always be potty training somebody before the next baby was born. I would always have circles under my eyes from keeping the mom-of-toddlers-and-baby schedule. I would always have this (fill-in-the-blank) experience to "do over" with the next boy. I would always have somebody asking me to play legos, race cars or army men. These weren't conscious thoughts, but I know I had them. Now my thoughts tend toward the "Not yet! Where did this week go? I can't believe how tall he is..."

It's every mom's dilemma. I want them to hurry and grow up, but not TOO fast.
So, at butterbain's first day of soccer practice I didn't get teary. I did realize the import of the occasion. I did recognize he's not college bound, yet. I did realize how little he still is, dressed in all his soccer garb he was wearing a mickey mouse shirt. I did realize it's now or never. I did enjoy the moment. I did take pictures.

Then I participated in my last first day of practice.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Great Recipe

If you let a 2 year old, a 4 year old, an 8 year old and a 10 year old
help make dinner and you don't have any bread crumbs, you might coat
your pork chops with crushed maple brown sugar cereal too. Yummy!

Another day, another story,

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Sadly my mother can no longer answer the 1,000 or so questions that
present themselves in my life each and every day. It is amazing to me
how often I wonder, "What would my mother do?"

What did you do all day when I was at school?

Is it OK to substitute dried onions for fresh onions in your marinade

Did you cry or rejoice on the first day of school?

Can you believe my baby is 2 already?

How many activities are enough? Too much?

How do I ...?

When should I ... ?

Thankfully, I remember what she did and how she did so many things.
And I do have her same no-nonsense, direct personality. When I am
uncertain about something, the answer is usually, "What would my
mother do?".

Another day, another story,

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New balls

I am a victim. A marketing victim, that is! I consider myself a trail blazer, and always want to be the one to share a new discovery with friends. Ask anyone, they will tell you whether it’s a hairdresser or a vitamin I am all about you reaping the same benefits I am.

So, we put ads on our blog. Haven’t made anything, but it’s interesting to see what the “crawler” thinks people will click on from the topics we write about. From time to time I will click the ones that I find interesting…but draw the line at the personalized beach ball ads.

I happened to click one about a month ago that said “Laundry Balls…never buy detergent again!” What mom-of-4-boys could resist such a claim? Not this victim, that’s for sure.

So I go to the site and click around and read the testimonials…and after doing all the research I decided to Click.The.Purchase.Button. I felt so silly sitting there, knowing it was ad that had sucked me in from my own site. I’ll admit it’s better than being a victim at the BMW dealership…already made that mistake!

They arrived about a week later. I show them to mainbain and he’s incredulous. I attempt to share my newly-acquired-laundry-ball-expertise with him. Hard to explain how you can never need dryer sheets again, how it’s going to save tons of money using less dryer time and we won’t have to buy detergent for about 3 years. But he agreed it was worth a try.

We are now 4 weeks in using the new balls. We still use pre-wash from time to time, but are impressed with how much time is saved not having to even think about detergent and dryer sheets. And the drying time…down by at least a third.

I’m impressed and hope the next time that ad pops up, you’ll click it and do your own research…maybe you’ll become a happy victim too!


Disclaimer: this is NOT a paid advertisement :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Boy heaven...

...also called Christmas in August!
No story necessary, look at those faces!

For the record

Despite my excitement for this day, I actually welled up this morning taking Numbers 1-2 to the first day of school. Honestly, I was just fine right up until Number 3 hugged them both at the school and said, "I gonna miss you." (In no way related to his bad attitude displayed in this group photo.)

The very bright side: It is 12:51 pm central standard time and Numbers 3-4 are both napping. That hasn't happened since The Brothers got out of school last May. Hallelujah!
Another day, another story,

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Saturday Morning

or why our kids don't have very many organized activities.

Downtown Memphis Farmers' Market

Trolley Ride

Family Lunch

Another day, another story,

Friday, August 7, 2009

Goodbye Summer

The last hurrah before school starts Monday.

The whole family.


At the DRIVE IN.

Another day, another story,


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Field Trip

All prerequisites for our "field trip" to the new, wonderful addition
to the Memphis Botanic Gardens today were met. And then some.

Activities for ALL ages. Several with dirt and water. Plus a giant

Running and playing encouraged. Fabulous playground/tree house.

Reasonably priced snacks and drinks.

Lots of benches in the shade for moms to chill, chat and watch.

Free admission after Noon on Wednesdays- same day as weekly Farmer's

Cats and Mice

Everybody know that mice like to play, but I don't feel like enough attention is given to the cats.
I mean it's not fair that only one side of the equation ever gets to play!

Every now and then life hands you a weekend to get down and *pretend* like you're not a real grown-up...I'm learning to embrace those 48 hours.




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