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Monday, May 23, 2011

This Heart is Not for You

Lately when Catie leaves school, all she can talk about is her sweetheart, Grant, and his refusal to play with her as often as she'd like.  Recently, she made a heart for him, tried to give it to him, and he didn't want it.  Crushed, Catie dragged her feet from the classroom that day.  Like any good Mom would, I stuck it in his cubby anyway.

Well, today, an interesting turn of events has my girl's heart all aflutter again.  When I picked her up, her teacher leapt up and came to tell me about her day.  Apparently, Catie made a heart again today.  She went to her teacher's desk and asked if she can put it in her cubby to give to her brother.  Grant was standing beside her.  She looked him straight in the eye, and said, "This heart is not for you.  I'm giving it to my brother."  He looked at her, and said, "It's not?"  "It's not, "  she said.

For the rest of the day, Catie could not shake sweet Grant from her side.   As her teacher told this delightful story, Catie giggled, "And Grant told me something......umm...but I can't tell you."  We told her we had to know what he said.  She replied, "I'll tell you when it snows."  ((Well, that'll be a short wait in South Louisiana, I'm sure.))

Eventually, she could not stand it and whispered in my ear, "Grant told me he's my boyfriend."

Lesson:  All stinky boys are the same no matter if they are 3 or 30.


Saturday, May 21, 2011


There are some days that just stand out as such a Mom kind of day, you can't help but laugh at the comedy that has become your existence compared to your life before kids.  No offense, but often when someone who has no children says, "I just have no time!" I secretly roll my inner eyes at their idea of having no time. 

Today I spent the day with only 2 of my kids.  Zac was at a friend's house getting much needed boy time, and giving Abby a much needed shot at being in charge around here.  Sitting here, now, at the end of this day, I think it would have been easier to have all three.  Abby and Catie fought, cried, yelled, and fussed all day long.  Girls are so dramatic.

Abby woke bright and early and dressed immediately.  This is completely uncharacteristic of my sweet girl, but today was special.  Her 2nd grade class has had twenty something eggs in baby chick incubators for some time.  This week they have begun to hatch.  Since they have to be checked on daily, her teacher invited the whole class to a "Chick Party" today.  This party was at 10:30.  Abby was up at 7:45, standing on the side of my bed, fully dressed, asking if she needed a belt to go to her class.  We got up and around eventually, and all headed to school.

The party was exciting.  The kids loved it.  However, behind the scenes, a neighboring classroom's incubator showed signs of the travesty that had unfolded just 20 minutes prior to our arrival.  Apparently, 2 chicks hatched overnight.  One was fine, but the other had not fully developed and was hopping all over the incubator, leaving little chicky inside parts all around. (Gag!)  Thankfully, someone with farm animal knowledge came along and put the little critter out of its misery.  The incubator, however, looked as if a little chicky horror flick had been filmed.  Abby's poor teacher gagged when she showed me and could not stand to see it.  Not wanting the kids to see it on Monday, I offered to clean it. {{{Gag!}}}  So, I did.  Lovely.  Fun times.

Next we went to my classroom where I was certain I would spend 30 minutes grading my last test of the year, enter them in the computer, and go.  Sure.  I spent 30 minutes refereeing, 20 minutes finding a snack where equal parts were available, 10 minutes setting up their movie...the list goes on and on.  I was there several hours.

Next, Home Depot.  I spent too much money on electrical supplies for my house, paid an extra $20 for a light that hides in a rock because Abby put it in the basket, was plowed down by the basket being steered by the girls several times, and suffered through the embarrassment of Catie's Oscar-nominated performance after she received a tiny paper cut apparently almost lost 2 fingers to a finger thirsty fan.  The paper cut  gash was one I could not see and had no blood.  That did not stop her.  She cried.  She whaled.  She kicked.  She screamed.  She shook, shook, shook her tiny fingers.  The Home Depot employees fell  into her scheme, offering her ice and band-aids giggling the whole time.  This performance went on for the rest of the day, periodically, at times when she felt I may have forgotten about her.

Finally, we went to our new house where my husband is tirelessly tiredly installing lighting fixtures all around our house.  We were going to "help".  As it turns out, a hungry 7-year-old and a whiny, dramatic 3-year-old are not very helpful.  In fact, Dad was better off without them there.  So we left.  I, feeling like I was no help to him, came home and put the whiny girls to bed.

So, I end this day exhausted, still in a messy rent house, not from working hard, but from simply being so overwhelmed I feel I can't see straight at times.  It will be worth it in the end.

Lesson:  Carry a first aid kit anytime Catie is concerned.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Deep Thoughts

I have this overwhelming feeling lately that I can do more

Not sure what it means or what to do about it.  I mean, already my house is completely neglected due to the sheer lack of time.  With 3 kids, a full-time job as a teacher, kids in sports, building a house, and all else that falls into my lap each day, I am not sure when I think I would have any time to take on anymore tasks.

I don't think it's about time, though.  I think it's about DOING more.  I give a lot in the classroom, and I try my best each day to make a difference.  There is always room for improvement.  I will change a few things for next year to teach a few things that I don't feel I touched on enough this year.  It has nothing to do with language, spelling, and social studies.  It has everything to do with citizenship, morals, values, kindness, and simply being what God would like us to be. 

My kids came home with notes about one day next week being a "game day".  They could all bring whatever gaming device they own and have a party.  This brought my mind to the typical assumption in a private school that every kid in class has some type of device from a DSi to an iPad.  When I told my students today that most of the kids I taught last year did not own a Nintendo DSi, iPod Touch, or iPad like they do, they didn't believe it.  When I told them some of them never left their town or even went as far as Baton Rouge, they said I was lying.  "I go to Baton Rouge for every LSU game, Mrs. Adrienne!"  Yes, my point exactly.  These kids have no idea how easy they have it.  So, I guess that's the first way I'd like to do more.  Show these kids another side of this world.  Teach them how blessed they are.

It's about DOING more, being more, giving more back.  With all of the natural disasters robbing people of their homes and businesses today, I decided to sign up for the Local Red Cross and United Way.  I also plan to sign up for the local Catholic Charities when I figure out how to sign up.  So, I guess I've made a step...maybe too many steps.  What kind of time do I think I have to donate?  I guess I'll figure it out. 

I guess I am looking to see if there is anyone who can relate?  Is it age?  Is it motivation?  Is it spiritual growth?  I'm just not sure why this feeling is so strong.  I need to figure it out soon, though.  I may start overwhelming people by being overly helpful.  People at work may start walking the other way when I approach.  If you work with me, my apologies in advance.  I think I may be possessed...{{but, if you need anything, PLEASE ASK ME!}}}  :-)

Lesson:  ....none yet.


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Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Perfect Mother's Day Gift

May is always such a busy time of year.  Every festival, dance review, First Communion, fishing tournament, graduation, and birthday party are battling to be at the top of your to-do list.  For us, May has all of these things with the added ingredient of our new house being very near completion. {{excitement!!}}

This weekend holds the priority of blowing insulation into the attic.  Today, Mother's Day, is THE only possible day we were free to do it.  Mother's Day has been rescheduled for my family to next Sunday.  My mom has also followed suit since she is moving this weekend.

I love Mother's Day for several reasons.  The obvious...It's my day.  Moms don't often get to call ANY day her own, except for this day (and her birthday).  All of the other 363 days of the year are solely dedicated to the needs and priorities of the household and all who dwell in it.  We are pretty fabulous creations in this sense.  We multitask in our sleep, people.

Another reason I love this day is because I just love to see husbands show their absolute adoration of their spouse, knowing fully that she deserves this treatment on many more than just one day per year.  I also love it for the comedy of it, really.  All month long they agonize over the perfect gift....well, okay...for at least 2 days leading up to Mother's Day they agonize over the perfect gift.  My husband was thrilled when I told him I was buying my own gift this year:) Sometimes they hit a home run, sometimes they give you a toaster.  Either way, most of them never realize that the best Mother's Day gifts are free.  For all of you Dads, here's the list:

Breakfast in bed (quietly, and pick up the mess when you are done)
Hugs (from all in the family all day long)
Clean the house (make the kids help.  Send Mom away because Moms cannot sit and watch.)
Bring the coffee cups back into the house from your truck back to the cabinet where they live.
Sweep the back patio
Let Mom sleep late and go to bed early.
Do the dishes (it helps if this is done more than once)
Wash some clothes (and fold them, and put them the right place)
Cook dinner (and clean up the mess when you're done)
Feed the dog in the am and the pm
Walk the dog
Clean the kitchen
Get the kids ready for bed
Clean up after all are in bed and have already half undone the original gift of cleaning
All day be sure to kiss any bo-bos, resolve all conflicts, help build confidence, spread love evenly, kill scary bugs, monitor TV/gaming, put out fires, praise the good, kiss, kiss, kiss, hug, hug, hug.

I know.  It seems like a lot to request in one single day.  I mean, how could one person possibly do all of this in one day?  You'd be exhausted!  You'd this one day as the Mom you love lives everyday (and I left some things out so as not to make your head explode). 

To all of the moms and dads who are doing BOTH jobs (as Mom and Dad) you are an absolute RoCkStAr!  Enjoy your day.  Happy Mother's Day to you all!

My 3 blessings.  Catie was scared she was not fully
able to be seen by the camera in this picture.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Middle Child

You hear it all the time...the poor middle child.  I am a middle child.  My sweet Abby is my middle child.  Tonight, Abby made her first communion.  We are so blessed to be part of a school and church community that celebrates this sacrament in such a special way.  The mass was beautiful, attended by as many as the church could hold, including every priest who is a part of the parish, and several who are not, our school administration team, and tons of friends and family.  Personally, five of our 7 guests traveled to be able to attend this event just for Abby.

I styled her hair as requested, like Taylor Swift, with fresh sprigs of Misty adorning her loose side-swept bun.  She wore a simple white dress with a thick, white satin sash.  I think she was the most beautiful one there, but, you know...I'm biased.  Abby was so thrilled to receive her first communion today because this wonderful team of 2nd grade teachers did such a great job of preparing them and teaching them about its relevance in their lives as Christians.  She was the belle of the ball tonight and she took in every moment of it.

This fact made me realize she needs more.  A middle child is a tough spot to fill.  You are not the oldest, so you can't do all of the things you're older sibling can.  You are not the youngest, so you have to help or do things for the younger one.  No one has to do anything for you.  You're fine.  In the case of my family, my oldest and youngest kids have formed an unbelievable bond which often causes Abby to feel left out.  As she looked up at me tonight in church with this big, wide smile, I realized that she was being phased by this attention so much more than her brother or sister would have been.

I get it.  I'll try harder.  Each night, one kid will stay up with me 20 minutes past bedtime.  We will talk, or read, or watch TV, or pray, or cuddle.  They all need to feel the love that I divide equally among them.  They do not always get that message in our daily lives.  I will make it a point to take a kid to the store with me when they want to go (one at a time, let's not get crazy).  I'll devote at least 1/2 an hour after work each day to what they need...not the laundry, or sweeping the floors, or cooking dinner.  I'll continue to hug and kiss them as I already do, but I'll do it more.  Zac may not like this, but the girls will love it.  I'll try harder.

Lesson:  Pay attention to what makes a child smile :)


Friday, May 6, 2011

Her Grace

As she does every school night, Catie picked out the perfect outfit for the following day.  Today it was a fairly new pink dress with a sassy little halter top.  Since it was chilly this morning, I put her white sweater on her. 
As we approached her classroom door, she started fiddling nervously with the sweater buttons.  She turned to me anxiously and said, "Take it off, Mom!  Take my sweater off.  Hurry!"  I asked her why, and she said, "Just take it off...please!"  I did.  She swiftly turned to face the classroom door, put her shoulders back, chest out, back straight, chin up....and   g  l  i  d  e  d   into the room.  As she did this, she watched each face as if they would just fall over from the sheer elegance that had just graced the threshold.  Her teacher, Mrs. Janet, was the first to notice (as she does everyday) the absolute beauty of the moment.  Catie. was. pleased.

Lesson:  Kids are born with a some of their personality all on their own with no influence whatsoever from their parents.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fauxmance in the Threes

My 3-year-old has a crush.  Yesterday, when I picked her up, her teacher told me she had made him a special heart and put it in his box.  Grant, the crushee, is apparently oblivious to the beauty, wit, and charm of my sweet Cate.  Mrs. Vickie said that Catie blatantly informed Grant that he was her boyfriend.  "No, I'm not," said Grant.  "Yes you are!" snapped sweet little Cate.  Grant has a thing or two to learn about girls at his ripe young age of 3. 

So, last night, all Catie could talk about was Grant this and Grant that.  "Mom, " Catie said, "When I tried to line up by Grant, he would not let me line up by him."  Which made me realize something key about the "fauxmance".  Catie may be stalking this poor boy.  You see, the other girls in the Threes have an eye for Grant as well.  My Catie loves a good competition.  Grant may need a little space with all of these girls chasing him and fighting over him, which I am sure Catie will have none of if others are trying to get the sweet boys attention as well. Poor kid.

Today was the Annual Stick Rodeo at Catie's school.  Catie pranced around the barrels in her frilly pink skirt and her Hannah Montana shirt.  Grant raced faster than anyone like a champ as Catie cheered him on from the side.  Who can blame her.  He's one cute kid.

<---------  This is the happy couple.  Grant is holding his yellow horse pretending my Catie does not exist. Who could resist that sweet girl.

Lesson:  May need to turn off Disney Channel now and then.