Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What Would You Do?

While we were at the Aquarium Restaurant last week we sat next to a couple of mommies and their children. The kids ranged from about 2 to 10 years old. The older kids ran around the restaurant looking at all the fish (as did mine!) The mommies and the 2 littler kids stayed at the table. They looked like they were having a nice mommy's day out, until one of the little ones started fussing. Not bad fussing, just a little bit of whining. I heard the mom threaten her child with what sounded like "hot sauce". I thought sure that I misunderstood because I have never heard of punishment like this before. When I glanced over I saw the mom with a dropper that she was putting in her child's mouth. Obviously the little girl (about Hannah's age) was used to this because she opened her mouth like a little bird, all the while crying "It's hot, it's hot!" The woman then apologized to her friend for the noise. I was so infuriated and stunned but I didn't know what to do. I mean, what could you do? It is so passive-aggressive to just shoot her dirty looks and if I was braver maybe I would have said something to her. Is it an over-reaction on my part to be so upset by this?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Being Three

Hannah had her 3 year old check up today. Here's the verdict:

1. She's quite verbal.
2. She is in the 90th percentile for height.
3. She is in the 45th percentile for weight.
4. Everything looks great!

Here are the conclusions that I reached from this visit:
1. Sitting around discussing global issues and politics with Hannah has really paid off when it comes to vocabulary. I'm sure I can thank the news anchors for teaching her to say "I'm gonna kick your heiny!"
2. The weight and height were no surprise. Even though she was 2 months premature, my obsessive attention to organic, homemade, low fat, gluten free, low sugar meals combined with my strict "no snacks" policy is really going to pay off for her in the long run.
3. I learned that I can use Dr. Kneiry's name as a bribe. Now I say "Dr. Kneiry said you have to drink milk, Dr. Kneiry said no more apple juice, Dr. Kneiry said you have to go bed now." Not that I ever have to bribe my child to do anything, but it's nice to know that I have options.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Trying to Figure Things Out When Not Everything Makes Sense

  • Hannah informed me that she would like to get a book about pigs the next time she is at Barnes & Noble. Why pigs, I asked? She told me that while grocery shopping with Grandma she saw some "piglet eggs" and she wanted to know why. I told her that piglets don't come from eggs, and she said she knew that, but then she saw them at the grocery store. Very confusing. After some discussion I realized that she saw PICKLED EGGS and pig's feet. Still confusing, but a little less so.
  • Hannah told me that she knew that I was her boss, and when I was gone that Daddy, Nana or Grandma Lisa was her boss, but she wanted to know who she was the boss of. I told her she was the boss of her baby dolls. She immediately said "I'm going to my room to boss my babies."
  • I asked Hannah why she was up so early one day, she replied "I said, Hannah what is that light? And it was morning, so I got up." Yes, of course.
  • Christian and Cassie were fighting (shocking, I know) over who was getting the most air conditioning in the car. Hannah laughed and said "Christian and Cassie, wind is inbisible like Baby Ghost and God" So wise.
  • Cassie taught Hannah (and her cousin, Gracie) a new game on the trampoline. I'm not sure exactly how it works, but I do know the words. It involves jumping around in a circle while singing, "Dead mummy, dead mummy come alive. Come alive when I count to five." I didn't really like the morbidness of this, but I really hated it when Hannah started singing later, "Dead Mommy, dead Mommy come alive, come alive when I count to five." I mean, sometimes it takes until 50, at least.

Special thanks to Heather, Joe and Ezra for the baking kit. She plays with it all the time, although when she puts on the apron and hat she likes to be called "Cooker" and I think that's kinda weird, but whatever!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Charlie & Rosie

One of the things on our summer to do list was to get a dog. Our dog, Duke died about a year ago and we have been petless for too long. So last weekend (with 6 of Holly's friends in tow) we all went to the Humane Society to find our new dog. With 7 twelve year olds with us it was a little hard to focus. There were many squeals of delight over the cuteness of this little dog, or that little dog. What none of us realized is that we were brought to the Humane Society on false pretenses because Paul was ONLY adopting a Labrador. So that narrowed it down a bit. We found a yellow Lab with some Chow mixed in that seemed really sweet, so we filled out the necessary paperwork and waited to be approved. After the reference checks and home visits were conducted we were allowed to pick up our new 6 month old.

The wonderful people at the Humane Society (especially Leah and Elizabeth!) brought our new dog to me and after a few minutes I realized that this was not my dog, but looked a lot like him. Turns out she was the sister of our new dog. Out loud Elizabeth said, "Oops!" but I'm pretty sure that inside she said "SUUUUUCKER!!!" Well, after that I really had no choice, The next day, I was forced to pick up his sister.

Meet Charlie and Rosie!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Some people have Dads, some have Fathers, but just a few have Daddies. I absolutely have a Daddy. When I am 60 years old I will still call him Daddy. Here's 20 things you should know about him:
  1. When I say "I love you" he says "me more" always has, always will.
  2. Growing up our family always sat in the back of church because sometimes Daddy would get the giggles and not be able to stop. He acted like he was coughing, but everyone knows the sound of smothered laughter!
  3. He had to work nights for awhile when I was little, that meant when I got home from school he had to leave for work. He wouldn't get home until I was leaving for school in the mornings. So, every Saturday he would get up early and take me roller skating, or sometimes fishing- it was my choice!
  4. About 10 years ago he tried his hand at retirement. He found himself bored and took up the obscure hobby of sweepstakes entry and free sample offers. He had a whole assembly line set up with his stamps, envelopes, scissors and pen. Then, because most sweepstakes have crazy rules about one per household, I would receive phone calls from him to look out for bars of soap or free underwear in my mailbox. Luckily this was just a phase and he decided to go to work as a consultant until he could move to Florida and do it right.
  5. Daddy is the best snuggler. He lays on the floor with huge pillows and watches t.v. Just perfect for cozying up to!
  6. Together we joined Indian Guides. I guess it was pretty politically incorrect, but it sure was fun. Dads and their daughters or sons got together a bit like Scouts, and made totem poles and did leather sewing and horseback riding. We also went camping in a gigantic metal teepee that had beds and a t.v.! My Indian name was Princess Songbird.
  7. I'm pretty sure the only time my Dad has ever called me by my name has been when he asks for me on the telephone. He has a variety of nicknames for me, Poose, Nanny, and my favorite, Girl.
  8. When I was three I received a fantastic metal toy kitchen set for Christmas. I played with that thing until it rusted. We had to put bricks in the stove to keep it from tipping over and squashing me. I'm sure it was recalled because of the number of children that cut themselves on the sharp tin edges. Whatever. My Dad stayed up all night long putting a million teeny, tiny nuts and bolts in that kitchen because apparently Santa couldn't be bothered. Then he did it all over again 30 years later for his grandbaby.
  9. Daddy reads anything that is sitting around. The backs of boxes, People magazine, anything! Several years ago I caught him at the pool reading a Sandra Brown romance. He is why I always have my nose in a book!
  10. He is a perfectionist. Because of this everything he has ever made is beautiful and perfect!
  11. He collects golf shirts. I believe he has over 50 of them.
  12. Daddy used to pick me up from school at lunch time and take me out to eat. Just the two of us. I felt so special because I actually got to leave school to eat with my Dad!
  13. He loves my mama! A lot!
  14. Disappointing Daddy has always been the worst punishment!
  15. He saves and files instructions and warranty information for every appliance he has ever purchased.
  16. My Dad learned to dance at 63 because he said he was tired of watching everyone else have fun.
  17. He calls it as he sees it. He lets most things go, but when he decides enough is enough he starts his sentence with, "Now, wait a minute..." then he tells you how it is! I always go to him first with news or questions about work!
  18. He reads some sort of newspaper every single day no matter what!
  19. He will not watch a television show that is bloody or one where a child is harmed- both make him sick to his stomach.
  20. He loves me so much and has always played with me when I wanted it and listened to me when I needed it!
Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Helpful Hints from Vilas

Mama, you crack me up! I love this email you sent! We will stop using Zicam and I will try to not fall off a cruise ship anytime soon!

Hi Honey,
Just heard last evening another lady fell off a Carnival ship near Destin, not our ship, but she was not found. Crazy people! Also they were talking about Zicam, the FDA does not approve this nose spray and has asked that it be pulled off the market because it causes loss of smell and taste. Don't know if you use it or not, we have a couple of times. They have several lawsuits due to the loss of these senses. Just want to keep you all safe. Love you, Mom

I love you too!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Being There: Part 3

We had a great time at the magic show on board the ship.  Paul was pulled up on stage in front of 1,000 people to be the "lovely assistant" for a knife-through-the-throat trick.  Then Christian was pulled up to be the assistant in a card trick.  Christian was so hilarious on stage that he became famous for the rest of the cruise!  This is what you get when you sit in the front row!
Hannah was so enthralled by the magic show that she performed nightly in her cabin window her own special "magicianal show" where bears disappeared.

We also did a little putt-putt golf on the top deck, which with the high winds, became a little more like hockey for some of us!

Every night we came home to very creative towel art, a clean cabin, and some chocolate!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Being There: Part 2

So we got on the ship and for awhile all I could think of was Hannah falling through this:
But Mom comforted me by informing me that only 5 people have fallen off Carnival Cruise Ships this year so far, and they were likely drunk.  I'm afraid this did nothing to ease my mind.
Hannah was fearless in the ocean, but was freaked out by the sand washing away under her feet on the beach.

She was so tired at the end of the day that she couldn't hold her head up, but would not allow any assistance whatsoever;  therefore her head bobbed around the entire trip back from the beach!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Being There: Part 1

We spent a few days at The Villages before we boarded our ship in Tampa.  We swam and danced at the town square every night.
Hannah and Cassie really found their mojo.

Cassie is the best big sister!  She made games for Hannah out of everything, including waiting in line for check in!
Our ship, complete with water slides and 24 hour buffets!  Christian was on a first name basis with Mario, the pizza guy.  I was on a first name basis with the frozen yogurt machine!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Vacation: The Getting There Edition

We started with a smidge of traffic, not too bad, except this is still Nashville.  We have another 10 hours ahead of us.  In about 2 more hours I will discover that I forgot the passports!  Luckily, my mother-in-law and the UPS store saved the day and they arrived just in time! 
Hannah and Christian shared an ipod and sang their songs loudly in the backseat until this happened:
Unfortunately this didn't happen for Hannah until around 2 am.

Everyday at The Villages it rains just long enough to get in a game of Sequence.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Summer Plans

School is out!!!  This year I arranged my work schedule differently (thanks to the kindness of my boss) and am taking vacation days one day at a time so that I can be home with the kids every day they are at our house!  I'm so excited to be able to spend the entire summer break with them.  I have been making notes for fun things to do although I don't want to spend the whole time just "doing."  We have to have the appropriate amount of "do nothing" time as well!  And of course, enough time to just play outside and dig holes, or whatever.  Here are some of the things on our agenda:
  • Go on a cruise
  • Imagination Station (I love to jump on those bouncy things!)
  • Get a dog or at least spend some time at the Humane Society until we find one that adopts us!
  • Go to the Butterfly park at Lost River Cave and have a picnic there!
  • Spend a few nights camping in the backyard campsite area!
  • Go to Kentucky Down Under to see the animals.  Hopefully I am not banned from there.
  • Feeding the ducks at the park.
  • Read some books.
Man, what a great summer!  

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Bit of an Obsession

Listening to my friend Rachel talk about her daughter's recent enchantment with Anne Shirley (of Green Gables, of course) reminded me of my own love of Anne.  I read everything by Lucy Maud Montgomery over and over again.  But that love was nothing compared to my obsession with Laura Ingalls Wilder.  My first grade teacher, Mrs. Copley, read Little House on the Prairie to our class every afternoon.  I was so in love with the book that when she finished reading it she presented it to me.  I carefully printed on the inside cover:
"Mrs. Copley gave this to Natalie 
1st Grade 1976"
I quickly made my way through the entire series, picking out my favorites as I went.  Little Town on the Prairie, The Long Winter and These Happy Golden Years were the ones I read over and over.  And over.  And over.  Some people eat for comfort, I read my soft, squishy, yummy books.
The older I got, the more fascinated I became with the woman behind the books:  the real Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I read every biography I could get my hands on.  I even read the articles that she wrote for the Missouri Ruralist about being a farm wife.  
Mom and I went on a pilgrimage to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Mansfield, Missouri.  This may be the point where keen interest crossed into obsession.  While we were there we saw Pa's fiddle and Laura's writing desk among so many other things.  Years later I went on a camping trip with a boyfriend who was nice enough to let me include a side trip to De Smet, South Dakota.  I was able to walk among the Cottonwood trees planted by Pa Ingalls and I strolled down the same Main Street described in Little Town on the Prairie.  Books bring things to life, both real and unreal. 
Yes, I'm a huge dork but it's not my fault!  I blame Mrs. Copley!
Isn't Laura pretty?  Her hairstyle is the one she calls "Lunatic Fringe" in Little Town on the Prairie.
This is her desk where she wrote all her books on legal pads.
Her house in Mansfield, Missouri.
The Cottonwoods that Pa Ingalls planted in De Smet, South Dakota.
Pa & Ma's house in De Smet.  The organ is the same one that Pa & Laura purchased for Mary.
Hunky Almanzo Wilder.
The Ingalls family, looking a bit grim.
Laura, the farm wife.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Another Week at the Bookstore

  • A customer called right at closing to tell us that her daughter accidentally threw away her retainer in our cafe trash can.  Would we mind digging it out?  Of course we don't mind.  We found it, wrapped it in a paper towel, and put it in the lost and found. O.K. maybe we minded a bit because the whole thing was pretty gross.
  • A woman walked in with a huge walking stick.  It wasn't like this was a cane, or an obvious assist for her, it was more like she walked out to her car and saw a big long branch in the driveway and said, "Hmmm...I think I'll walk around with this stick today."  And so she did.  She came to Barnes & Noble with her big ol' stick and propped it up against a cushy chair while she read.
  • I stayed late one night with the carpet cleaners and got so involved with a project that I wound up staying until 11am the next day (a 16 hour day.)  How fun it was to be so excited about moving sections around a bookstore!
  • We called the police with a license plate number when we watched a customer who was obviously drunk (at 10am) leave the store with his young daughter and drive out of the parking lot. I don't know what happened after that, but any way you look at it it isn't good for the poor little girl.
  • A customer asked for books on "farms" but when the bookseller took him to the agriculture section he was puzzled because he could not find any books he was looking for.  Turns out the customer was actually saying "firearms."  
  • I became addicted to Green Tea Frappuccinos with a shot of Raspberry.  It looks like something you pull out of your garbage disposal but it is DE-lightful!  A cafe server, Megan, recommended it to me, so we have started calling it "The Dirty Megan."  I'd like to start a trend, so please go into your local B&N and ask for a Dirty Megan, just for laughs!
  • Today we had to ask a customer to leave the store.  This is not our favorite thing to do, but she brought her pet into the store with her.  Now, I have been known to overlook the occasional tiny, quiet dog, but (Candy- you might want to skip this part) this customer had a pet mouse.  It too, was tiny and quiet, but for the love, who would bring a MOUSE into a place of business that serves FOOD?  Other questions I have regarding this:  Why would anyone purchase a mouse to have as a pet?  Why would you take it with you while you shop?  Why would you carry it around in your hand while reading books in the Current Affairs section?  So many questions.
  • We moved the Science Fiction section.  Never in my life have I seen so many upset people.  We had to keep assuring them that it will all be o.k. and even better when it is done.  You will LOVE it, we kept telling them.  Still, they were pretty grouchy about it.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Vacation Bible School

This week Gracie and her Mommy invited Hannah to spend the mornings with them at vacation bible school.  Knowing how much I loved it when I was a kid, we jumped at the chance!  She had so much fun!  Here is her synopsis of the day's events:

There were alligators and raccoons
They had brownies and green beans for snack
They climbed a giant beanstalk
She was asked to dunk her head in prayer
She learned the classic bible hymn "Jesus' Bible has a Merry Go 'Round" 

 If you don't know this one, maybe you can go to Vacation Bible School next year.  I hear there are green beans there!  

Thanks, Melissa for taking her, for sending the photos and for the update (you must have known that I was dying for details!!!)  I'm shocked to hear that the day didn't go quite as Hannah had described it!