Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What I Learned at an Andalusia Bonfire

I recently went to my first bonfire party...remember everyone I grew-up in the suburbs where big fires are illegal 9-10 months out of the year. Here are the lessons I learned (if you're not from Andalusia you may not get all my lessons):

1. Burning anything is fun for guys...add kerosene and it's an even better time. The guys took this fire seriously-some were even working up sweats dealing with it all. And it was worth it because the fire was perfect!

2. Guys from Straughn High School suck and if something happens to John I can't marry one (I am yet to meet a guy from Straughn High School but this is based on Red Level Alumni).

3. Roasting marshmallows...good in theory, bad on taste. A burnt marshmallow does NOT taste as good as I remember them tasting when I was a child. (But thanks to my wonderful cousins-in-law for bringing them, they made my bonfire 100 times better!!!!)

4. Just to be clear, do not use a burnt stick when roasting marshmallows...this does not help with the taste.

5. When playing an IPod at a bonfire in the country, if the music is from a dead person who wrote the song 30 years ago (or more) OR if the person looks dead but is till alive (Hank Williams Jr., David Allen Coe, etc) this will be very popular music. Don't play Jason Mraz or your husband will get angry (and to clear up it wasn't Jason Mraz it was The Script which sounds similar!).

6. Bar-B-Que...good before you start drinking, even better after you've been drinking.

7. When you have kids at home a bonfire ends in your mind around 10:00 so you go home and go to bed. The next morning you wake-up to hear about the bonfire party that lasted until after 2am and a lot of people never even knew you were there.

And last but not least 8. Fire+Friends=A VERY GOOD TIME (and lots of dirty jokes and old stories)!!!!!

(take these lesson with a grain of salt-they were mainly written to make John, Corey, and Scott laugh and not to offend)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Confessions of a Busy Housewife

Tonight I feel the need to tell the truth. Over the weekend I had a self discovery. I actually found it pretty surprising-I had never thought I would feel this way. I find myself a fairly easy going Mom. I try to give my two-year-old free (but supervised) reign to discover things and have fun so when I found out my self discovery I was shocked, a little embarrassed to admit it right away, and quick to fix it.

You see, I HATE mud. Hate, hate, hate, hate it. I am watching Cooper play outside today and he got a badminton racket and swung it in mud splashing it all over himself. I ran out telling him no just in time to stop myself from having to get him because I would have to step in mud (gross). So instead I went inside to run him bath water and then returned to get him-making him come to me. He of course had covered himself even more in mud and was not happy to leave his mud puddle and enter a bath (too bad so sad for him because I'm the Mom!).

After getting him cleaned up I realized I now had a pile of muddy clothes to wash and a pair of muddy shoes. So I picked them up with my skin turns out I also hate touching mud/dirt. I threw everything in a dirty clothes bag and decided to deal with it when we got home.

Now before everyone thinks I just hate mud because I'm from the "city" (a joke to people who have lived in bigger cities) I would like to clear up that I use to play in mud. Becca and I were quite the outside chefs growing up whipping up mud pies all the time. As a child I had no qualms about playing in mud and dirt (and luckily it didn't phase my mom). So why now? I guess because now it is just another mess I have to clean. An extra bath Cooper needs. Floors that need sweeping sooner because dirt got on them. Clothes that can't wait to be washed. And I'm not a big fan of getting dirty and all Moms know if your child is muddy it's only a matter of time before you are muddy.

So tonight when we got home (Mudgate 2010 had occurred in Andalusia) I dumped all the clothes out from the weekend ready to tackle the yucky muddy, wet, and dirty clothes. I sprayed Shout on them and threw them into the washing machine, praying all the mud would get out of Cooper's favorite jacket. I then turned and began sorting mine, John, and Jaylyn's clothes. That is when I noticed Jaylyn's clothes. None of the pants needed Shout sprayed on them and all of her shirts were stain free. Yet Jaylyn had been playing in the same yard, just a few feet from Cooper.

I called John in to show him Jaylyn's clothes and in that moment I wasn't sure what was worse. The fact that I am going to have to deal I'm sure with about a hundred more muddy messes that Cooper will make, or that Jaylyn is getting so old you can no longer tell she even played outside.

So I guess I am going to have to learn how to accept mud and dirt. I'm sure the day will come Cooper will want me playing out there with him...which I might as long as I can wear my gardening gloves:-).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

On a lighter note

Two blogs back to back:-) To make up for my "witch" fest I have a funny quick story.

Jaylyn saw my arm IPod running band today and asked what it was. I told her it is what I put my IPod in when I run. She looked at it and held it up to her waist (that only went around half of her waist because it is an ARM band) and she announced, "Man you're skinny!".

Thanks honey but it's for your arm, not your waist! I love her:-)

"You Have Braces?!?"

It mmay be lack of sleep, the busy day at the PACKED McWane center, or the fact Cooper has decided this week he hates naps and screams when I put him down, but I feel like complaining. Normally I save all complaints for the president of the complaint department-my husband, but today I will take to my blog so I can share some wisdom-ha!

My complaint is my braces. Not the fact I have braces (although they do absolutely suck) but the fact people love to comment on them. Okay people we all know I have braces. There is no way to see me without seeing my braces. However, at least once or twice a week I run into someone I haven't seen in awhile and their first reaction is, "You have braces?!?".

To me this is equivalent to me walking up to someone and saying, "Wow, you've gained 15 pounds?". Why would you walk up to someone and point out something they are obviously not thrilled about? Now in all fairness, not everyone does this. I was around a friend's sister the other day and when I said something about braces she asked how long I had had them. So obviously she had been aware I had braces but had enough sense to wait until an appropriate time to ask about them. God love her.

Now maybe I am a little sensitive to the fact I have braces. I did agree to spend $400 more just so the top braces would be clear and not show up as much in pictures (they still very much show up). After we upload new pictures on the computer, when no one is looking I delete all pictures that show my braces too much. And due to the fact the braces are prepping my mouth for surgery (get ready in May for that blog!) and making my under bite worse, my profile has changed a good bit and I constantly criticizing my appearance-until John assures me it's all in my head and I'm crazy (that man is a good talker when he needs to be!).

So the fact that twice this week people pointed out my braces within 10 seconds of saying hey to me has made me feel self conscious about them even more. And not only self conscious but annoyed. To the point where the next person might get hit in the face:-). Okay maybe that's a little extreme but I do have a MMA fighter who I'm not afraid to send out!!!!

So there is my life changing serious topic for the day! :-)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Wedding Bells and Tears

"And then all of the sudden oh it seemed so strange to me how we went from something's missing to a family..."

Yesterday I went to a friend's wedding to go and support the union of two people. I wanted to go and smile and be happy for my friend and instead found myself crying and being happy for my friend. I was fine until I saw her walk down the stairs with her little girl who is a few months younger then Cooper...that was when the water works came.

I was quickly flashing back to my own wedding 19 months ago when my son who was almost 11 months and I became a family with John and Jaylyn who was 8 at the time. With Jaylyn I knew I would be taking a stepmom roll since she has a very active Mother and Father in her life; I became more of a bonus parent. But with Cooper, John knew he would be taking the Father roll in his life and was 100% prepared to do that.

With our family starting I had a different kind of love for John then many wives get to experience-I got to watch John love the thing in the world I loved the most (until I met my husband and stepdaughter) as if Cooper was his own. He wasn't required to do this, he wanted to do this.

As I watched my friend walk with her daughter I cried for her out of happiness-because I know from experience that God has a way of making your toughest times quickly turn into your happiest. I knew that this was her light at the end of the tunnel and that everything was going to be okay for her and her child just like it was for me.

Later in the ceremony I watched her now husband give his new daughter a necklace after the rings were exchanged. I found myself once again bawling as I reflected on my own love for my husband, son, and stepdaughter.

Then her daughter said it, "Thank you Daddy!". So natural and sweet and once again my mom was handing me kleenexs as I thought about how we originally were teaching Cooper to call John by his first name and how he quickly rejected this idea and instead called him dat, then dada, and now Daddy. Proving to us that you can't tell a child what to call a person or what a person is to them...a child knows in their heart.

After I was done with my crying fest I enjoyed one of the best wedding dessert receptions I have ever seen and spent some time with my best friend who is moving back to Birmingham.

Once I got in the car I quickly called John...anxious to remind him that I love him. And to let him know I'm thankful. Thankful that he gave me my family, thankful he put Jaylyn in my life, thankful he gave Cooper a real Dad, and thankful that he is the Dad that he didn't have to be.

(My quote is from Brad Paisley's song "He Didn't Have to Be")

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Cooper "sprinting" the last part of the fun run! He did great! We both had very fun race days!

Friday, March 12, 2010

On Your Marks, Get Set, GO!!!!!!

Tomorrow is the day every Mom dreams about...the day they watch their child compete in their first running race! Ok, so maybe every Mom doesn't dream about that but surely somewhere is another Mom who can't wait to see their child race!

Since Cooper was born I have always looked forward to him being old enough for sports. I look forward to days of T-ball, soccer, basketball, and so on. Never did I think his first "sports moment" would be the sport that I love/loved-running (track specifically). I never thought about it because I never ran a race until we had a "track meet" when I was in 4th grade so I assumed running was going to take another 6 years or so.

That was until I signed up a month ago to run my first 5K in 5 years and saw the mile fun run. I decided it was a sign and quickly signed him up. Everyone who heard about the race that had never met Cooper laughed that I was entering my two and a half-year-old in a race (I got many strange looks), but anyone who knew Cooper knew this made perfect sense. He comes from good runners (me being the worst in my family and I think I'm even above average) and has always been fast-the fastest crawler turned into the fastest runner in his class.

And thus began day dreams of my favorite son and I running together in matching shirts...until I picked up the shirts today and his shirt would fit me it's so big and until I remembered his race is after my 5K and there is a chance I will have lost the function to walk.

So now we will not match our shirts and I have recruited his grandparents to walk/run his mile with him. But I will still be proud as my mini-me completes his first race-even if I am having to cheer while John carries me:-).

So tonight I am making Cooper and me a spaghetti dinner to carb up for his first race and am getting his warm running clothes out for tomorrow morning (he will be competing wearing his Lebron James Nikes). And I can already tell (wishful thinking) that this will be the first of many nights I am preparing him for a race...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mommy I peed in my bed!

This afternoon approximately one hour after putting Cooper down for a nap I heard him scream that scary scream/cry that makes a Mom crazy with fear. As I ran/sprinted to his door I started making out the words, "Mommy I peed in my bed!".

At this point I did what any other Mom would do...looked at the clock and wondered if he could wait it out until his dad came home. I realized it was 4:00 and I was going to have to take one for the team. I opened the door and there laid my precious angel...drenched in pee. Laying beside the diaper he somehow got out of.

Next I did the only thing I could think of-screamed for Jaylyn to run him a bath, threw him in it (more of placed him in it), put all his bedding and stuff animals in the wash with hot water, disinfected his bed (thank you God for plastic mattresses) and reached for the phone to call my mom. One of the few people who would see Cooper's side of it (it was my fault since I had let him sleep without pants on) and calm me down.

Now for my friends who have no kids you are thinking "big deal". But for all of you who have kids you understand not only did I have to deal with the great flood of 2010 that occurred in Cooper's bed this afternoon instead of catching up on Melrose Place:) but I also lost two precious hours that Cooper normally naps. Mine and Jaylyn's quiet time...where we tackle the fraction homework that she needed help with, we start cooking dinner, she helps me with some housework, and we watch tv. Now instead, in between writing this blog, I am linking Thomas the train up to other trains, making chocolate milk, helping Cooper put on train house shoes, and listening to Barney (I love you...).

I'm chalking this afternoon up to me getting what I deserve. I sit at work and hear other Moms complain about lack of sleep, kids sleeping in their bed keeping them awake, kids not napping, kids waking up grumpy, and so on. While my child on the other hand always takes his three hour nap (as long as we are at our house), he always sleeps about 12 hours a night (sometimes more on the weekend), and he always wakes up happy. John and I never have Cooper wanting to sleep in our bed and aside from one time, he has never given us a sleepless night.

So maybe it was my turn to have a nap interrupted and me to actually have to play Mommy to my two-year-old between the hours of 3-6 (I'm still in shock lol) and instead of stressing I should be grateful this is a rarity instead of the norm (I'm still wondering though how Melrose Place ended).

Or maybe I should open a bottle of wine and self medicate so I can deal with a grumpy two-year-old who missed his nap the desperate housewife way.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I'm FINALLY doing it

Most who know me know I've been saying I'm going to start a blog for about 3 years (since I was pregnant with Cooper). I thought if people could only hear about my life at that time I was sure to get a book deal:) and then be able to afford the computer which stopped me from being able to blog at that time (probably a blessing in disguise). Of course back then I had plans to blog anonymously. Today though I chose to start a blog with my name behind it, my stories and life are still entertaining...just a little more toned down now!

I am blogging for several reasons. The first being, I have always been one of those people who feel like everyone needs to know whatever I have to say (some call this self centered, I call it baby of the family syndrome!). I am blogging because as a Mother and wife (aka maid, personal chef, and in general every one's doormat) it is nice to believe people care what I am doing, thinking, reading, etc. I am blogging for the same reason I post on facebook whatever is happening in my world-because sometimes you want to believe people want to know! I am also blogging for my own "thing". For the same reason I started back running a little over two months ago. I need something to call my own...besides Cooper's poop diapers which John assures me are all mine!

Just like I hope blogging will give me an outlet for different things, I have been using running to give me an outlet and alone time. And why would I feel the need to be alone? For several reasons:

1. I can't remember the last time I took a shower without someone talking to me outside the door, or a two-year-old crying by the shower door.

2. I no longer get to use the potty without a two-year-old accompanying me OR a 10 or 31-year-old talking to me outside the door (notice a theme?).

3. Since my two-year-old goes to work with me and leaves with me (I'm a preschool teacher) I am never in a car alone and I am almost always listening to Barney or Roger Day.

So my IPod and I joined the Hoover Rec (my husband did too but since he doesn't go my IPod and I consider it our place!). And so over the last 9 weeks I have killed my legs on a treadmill and Stairmaster and have LOVED every minute of it.

Now anyone who uses the Hoover Rec knows that the average age of the members has to be around 60 or higher (seriously...a few weeks ago I ran on a treadmill by a guy who was walking with his portable oxygen tank and another guy discussing his pace maker). And yet that makes me love my gym even more. There is none of that nonsense of flirting at the gym and checking each other out (nonsense now that I am happily married lol), no girls with great bodies that I have to despise, and because most of the members can't run due to hip and knee replacements there is never a wait for the treadmill!

And I have even started making friends with all the 60 and 70-year-old who stare at me and my treadmill when I hit mile 5 as if I am an Olympic athlete and not just a former high school/collegiate runner who is disappointed at how out of shape I let myself get. I laugh now as all my new older friends smile and wave at me on the treadmill...I laugh because as they wave at me I am typically jamming on my IPod to Papa Roach, Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock, and anything else that falls into the playlist I named "hate music" for lack of anything more creative. This music is angry, loud, full of words that would make my Southern Baptist Mother break my IPod (as she did break many cds she found when I was in high school), yet I love this music because it is so not me.

It is not the music a preschool teacher, Mommy of a two-year-old, stepmom to a 10-year-old, and wife to a fairly conservative man would listen to. It is typically angry and I am not an angry person. Part of me loves it because it is not what you would expect me to be listening to, and then the other part of me loves it because of the beat I can run faster. It is my "thing" and it is also a hidden "thing" that only me and my headphones know 60 and 70-year-old "best friends" have no idea and neither did one of my preschooler's moms when I ran into her at the gym.

I am hoping this blog will be what my "hate music" playlist and running is...a way to break the stress and daily monotony that life can become and also an outlet to show that I am more then just Mom, stepmom, wife, and teacher. Somewhere inside me is still that hell raiser that almost drove my mom insane (her words, not mine) in high school and college...lets just hope she isn't released anytime soon!