Wednesday, November 9, 2011

hop, hop, hop

last night, a truly amazing thing happened.
i picked up my kiddos and headed to the house after work. that's the normal everyday stuff. keep reading. the girl had some homework, and since daddy was cooking, we decided to go ahead and tackle it before we all got sleepy. this was her first REAL homework assignment.

but i guess you need the back story to fully appreciate this amazing-ness. here goes...
a few weeks ago, i had a parent/teacher conference with the fabulous Ms. W, my girl's kindergarten teacher. it was a general meeting in which the kindergarten teachers would meet with each student's parent to discuss their child's report card and their child's progress or lack there of to date. the same day this was to occur, the little man had surgery. so this mama was tired and emotional, to say the least. i walked in the door, terribly early for once in my life so i had to sit in the office until my appointment time. now i'm feeling like a kid in trouble and i began to wonder:
 am i old enough to be doing this?
 am i mature enough to accept the outcome of this meeting?
 what if all this time, all this time, i've been convinced my child was 'gifted' and more  intelligent than any other child her age and it was simply a mother's deluded vision of her child?
 will i get the wind knocked out of me if there's an observation made by the teacher i didn't plan on hearing?
 am i ready for this?

these questions continue to swirl around in my mind as i head to the gym. i'm surprising my girl and picking her up this day. she's excited to see me but confused, nonetheless. she asked why i was there and i remind her it's parent/teacher conference day. i get her settled in the hallway with the help of Ms. W's puzzle and shut the door to the room. my palms are sweating now and my knees are shaking a bit. i take a seat across the table from the teacher. it's time to begin.

we discuss Norie's report card, she asks if i have any questions. she shows me some 'characters' N had written the first day of school and then follows up with what the 'characters' should have been: the alphabet. my head starts spinning again. she continues to show me things from the beginning of the year but now, she's showing me the exact same exercises from a week before. my girl's progress was inspiring.
my girl, she was four when she started kindergarten. now my head is tingling, hairs standing on awe of my child. a few more items are brought up for discussion and the teacher informs books will be going out in the next few weeks for guided reading to be done at home. i'm all for it, anything i can do to help.

Ms. W says there's one more thing she'd like to share with me before continuing. she turns around, grabs a small book, looks squarely into my eyes and i see hers are twinkling. i seriously don't know what is going on at this point. she lays the book in between us with the words facing me. she explains that earlier this week, N, read this very book i was looking at in the very chair i was sitting in at this very moment. i felt as if rays of light were coming out of Ms. W at this point and missed a few words that came out of her mouth. but, what i heard next was even more delicious. my girl headed back to her table to sit with her tablemates after getting praise and exclaimed with joy "Y'all I just read a book. I've been waiting my WHOLE LIFE to read!"

shut the front door.
my heard be still.
oh my ghandi.
is this for real?

i cried. sitting right there in that very chair at that very table my girl had experienced such magical joy and i cried some more. Ms. W, she got teary eyed, too, all because of my girl.
all of those questions i had before, doubts, anxiety-gone.
i shouldn't have even gone there.
i should have known better.

now, that very first book she read was only a few pages long. but it doesn't matter one bit. SHE READ A BOOK PEOPLE! the only sadness i felt was that i didn't experience it in the moment my girl did.

back to last night.
the guided reading book was her homework; it was ten pages long. the book's title was 'hop, hop, hop'
and you know what? she nailed it. every single word, no help, no prompts, no nothing.
SHE READ THE WHOLE BOOK! i squealed with excitement, squeezed her, kissed her, high-fived her face (i was going for her hand, but i missed!), squealed some more, did the happy dance and kissed her sweet cheeks until she begged for mercy.
i was there. i saw this happen. i watched that beautiful grin burst throughout her entire body.

we were up almost an hour after bedtime last night.
me and my girl.
reading books, together.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


i've been quite nostalgic lately.
well, more so than usual.
tomorrow, my precious sister, Kris, will celebrate her birthday.
it also would have been my great-grandmother's birthday; better known as Mamaw.

Mamaw was a wonder of a human being.
she was smart, she was funny, she was kind.
she 'got her hair done' at the beauty shop; once a week if i remember correctly.
i can't remember her ever driving without the passengers being scared for their lives.
she used the dishwasher for storage. you know, cause bread and other dry goods keep so much better in a dishwasher.
there was always a crystal candy dish with my favorite orange slices on the table in between her and Grandaddy's recliners in the tv room.
she let me explore, wander, plunder, make things, cut things, climb trees, make forts...her house was like a secret passageway into kid heaven.
the first memory i have of cooking is with her. homemade dumplings. i cannot even explain with words how luxurious those dumplings were.
she even let me eat the uncooked ones. but only if i was really good.
there was always shredded coconut in the fridge and i had to sneak it out a pinch at a time or she would fuss.
her front porch was screened in and full of plants.
she loved begonias.
i get white and pink ones every year just because of her.

i loved her smile, her funny voice, her southern drawl, her love for my Grandaddy.
she had these arms that were so magical to me when i was little cause the underside of them felt like velvet.
and she never got mad when i kept trying to trace them with my tiny fingers.

Grandaddy was waited on hand and foot when she was around.
heck, all of us really. and if you offered to help, she'd pretend to let you when really she was doing it all.
she made sure Grandaddy had coffee and cake everyday. as it was his most favorite past time, coffee and cake.
i learned the art of playing 'wheel of fortune' in her lap; but only if i didn't block the tv.

its been a while now since she's been gone.
i wish with every ounce of my being she could have been at our graduations, weddings and birth of her great great grandchildren.
i love her still so very deeply.
i see her sometimes in my dreams.
i hope, one day, i'll live to see the day when my children's children have babies.
so they can call me Mamaw.
and i can love them as fiercely as she loved us.
Happy Birthday in Heaven, Mamaw.
we love you everyday.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Let's be honest

i love lists!
i love to write lists.
i love to check things off my list.
i have lists for 'to do.'
i have wish lists.
i have work lists.
i have books i want to read lists.
i have 'you should clean this on this day lists.'
you would think i would be rockin' organized since i love lists so much, eh?
and you would be wrong. so very, very wrong.

and you would be wrong simply because... i also have a terrible knack for losing things and forgetting. so a lot (or most all) of the time, that means, my lists are lost along with all of those fantastic things i've written on them. i know, this poses a problem. as lists need to be kept up with for the things ON the list to be checked off; which strangely, is another thing i love about lists. so, i've decided to start keeping these lovely lists on my phone. i never lose my phone and it rarely leaves my hands (except for when i am typing, like now, but it's sitting right next to the laptop. judge me, if you must.) yet, keeping lists on my phone takes away the tangible feel of having a paper list in my hand and carefully writing the things down on my list and therefore, also not being able to physically strike through a task accomplished.

it's ok if that just made you nervous and think of me in a completely different way. i'm cool with that notion. now, in honor of my love for lists. i will now compile a virtual list full of some every day observations. we will call it, Let's be honest.


Let's be honest:
- no one likes to poo in public. that is why there are multiple bathrooms in office buildings. this way you can pick your 'secret bathroom' for those times you just need to be alone. it really stinks (hahahaha) when someone else is occupying your secret bathroom when you really need to utlize it's privacy features. i tend to walk out when this happens to me and return when all is clear.
- thongs are not made for comfort. if you disagree, you are a liar. there is no way that having an all day wedgie is comfortable. and don't tell me, "it's like it's barely there!" again, you are a liar.
- no one on this earth can eat chili cheese fritos without getting the chili cheese 'dust' all up in their grill. you will have little specks of red and black and brown in your teeth. i promise. try it. now. go. i'll wait.
- taking your coffee cup to the bathroom with you is gross. i don't care how clean you think the bathroom you are entering might be; it is full of nasty. i won't go any further with this one, except to say, do you want all that nasty in/on your cup? no, i don't either.
- movie theatres are breeding grounds for germs and lice. they. just. are.
- what about a public bathroom wall wants to make someone want to wipe their boogers on it? again, this is gross. pick your boogers all you want. just don't put them on public display. (credit to my friend, S, at work for this one. apparently this is more of a problem in the men's room.)
- it amazes me that not all cars driven in the USA are made with blinkers. i have encountered a rather large number of these vehicles, recently. you know the ones... you are patiently waiting with your blinker on to turn into traffic and then the oncoming vehicle makes a turn without notice and almost hits you. or the one where you are happily driving along at 55mph and the car in front of you rapidly slams on brakes and turns into a parking lot? yeah, those cars. where can i buy one of those?

my time at work is done now, but i promise you...this list will continue. tonight even, maybe. post a comment of your, 'Let's be honest' observations. i know you've got some.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


the boy has had a bike since he turned three.
and up until last week, he's ridden it maybe ten times.
he's a bit taller now and has learned how to use the brakes and man! you can't keep him off that thing now. look at how precious this is:

he and sister have been racing up and down the street on their bikes lately. and who would have guessed? little man wins every time. he has no fear of speed. NONE. the faster the better for that one and it doesn't end with is bike. he wants to go fast in the car, on the four wheeler, on his riders, on his scooter...
Lord, please help his mama.

on another note. the kiddos camped out last night. in MP's room. in a tent. together.
it was bliss. their sweet Papaw Bob got them their very own pint sized tents. you would have thought that they had been given elevendybillion dollars seeing those sweet smiles on their faces as we put them up last night.

they have been sleeping together in sissy's room for a bit now, so i was not surprised at the request to camp out in brother's room. they told us they were gonna 'party hardy'. really, their exact words. but, i guess the party tent didn't have magical stay-awake dust on it. they were out in thirty minutes after bed time. i have come to this conclusion though.

they. are. the. coolest. kids. ever.

Monday, September 19, 2011


this girl of mine is growing in ways i never imagined possible, so soon.
she's growing like a weed, physically.
i swear her brain is getting so big it's starting to sprout through her hair.
the confidence level (i've never worried about it with this one) has gone through the roof. each day there's more exciting things to learn, to do, to feel, to experience.
she's soaking them up like sweet syrup on buttermilk pan-a-cakes.
another thing that is also growing, that i am not particularly fond of, is her attitude.

now, don't get me wrong. she's always been a diva. like, since minute number one of being on this earth. but sometimes, i am convinced an alien heathen has taken over my baby girl's body and has decided to descend upon us with a full on teenage attitude.

is it part of growing up? yes. it is.
is it part of finding yourself? i suppose.
is it fun for anyone other than the attitudinal? heck no!

lately, i've been told that she wants to be the queen so she can rule me. ummm, say whaaaaaaaaa?! yes, you read that right. she wants to rule me and her brother, and her daddy, and the universe i'm sure. also, and i think they teach this on the bus, but i can't be certain. her head can now wobble side to side and back and forth and up and down without ever detaching from her body, but it looks like it's detached, so you get a little dizzy while you are watching her 'rule you.' yeah, for real. and in the midst of the head bobbing and weaving, there are these words, these foreign, angry, dictator type words coming out of her mouth.

sheesh. how did this happen?

has any other mommy had this experience with their newly pinned kindergartner?
and if so, when can i expect the alien heathen to exit my precious one's body?

please say soon!
can't you feel the hysteria in my voice?!

no? well, i had a feeling it was gonna be this way.
i'm gonna fight it though, everyday.
and remind her:
she is smart.
she is beautiful.
she is kind.
she is magical.
she is fantastic.
she is witty.
she is brave.
she is exciting.
she is... still a child.
MY child.
and my children, they don't rule me one bit. and you can count on that, sister.

note: my kids really are my heart and probably get away with more than they should. but seriously, rule me?! bwhahahahahaaaa.... she's got another thing coming. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

it's like this and like that and like this, and uh

little man has been sleeping like a rock lately.
well, once you can get him to sleep.
it's been well after 9:30PM the past few nights before those little eyes close for more than a blink. bedtime at the kelly house is 8PM, with very few exceptions. and his late night antics, inevitably, causes him to want to sleep too late in the mornings. the next two weeks will be very early for us. big girl's bus comes at 6:18AM. madness, i know.

back on track, MP, up late, sleeping late.

ok, so Norah and i are headed to the bus stop a few mornings ago and she remarks her brother won't be happy we've left him out. he always accompanies us. he likes to see her off and wish her a happy day. i assure her i've tried to wake that little booger up and he refused, even yelled, NOUGH! I NONWANNAGETUPPPPP!
she seems to be ok with that and we chit chat until Mr. T shows up to carry her off to kindergarten. i somberly head back home (already missing my girl) and attempt, once
more, to get the boy up and going.

he's still not having it.

i dress him. well, it's not that easy, really. it's more like, i wrangled an angry alligator while it was thrashing in the water and in between the death rolls i managed to put on shorts and shoes. i didn't even try to change his shirt. he wore 'the hulk' night shirt to school that day.

don't judge me! you've never had to wrangle a 3.5 year old angry alligator first thing in the morning have you? have you? ok, maybe my parents when they tried to dress my sister K while she was sleeping but only maybe. love you sis! mwah. :)

he finally makes it to the car and we're off. he's making small talk with daddy and mid-sentence-stops. his head whipped over to sissy's seat and panic flashed across his face.

we forgot sissy! he cries aloud.
his daddy gently explained mama took her to the bus stop and she's on her way to school. he's not convinced though.
NO! we gotta go back. she's at home and scared all by herself! we gotta go get her mama!
i try explaining he didn't want to go. that he was sleeping when we walked to the bus stop. that's she's safe and on the way to school. the next few minutes are spent reassuring him.

we finally calmed him down.
we got him giggling.
we drop him off at daycare and he was such a big boy!
we've had almost a full week now of tearless sister-less drop offs.
this is huge for him.

i love that my kids love each other.
i love that they care about the other's well being.
i love that they know how to and understand love.

skip to the next afternoon.

it's kung fu panda bear day. yay!
sissy is in a bad mood as we head to class.
a terrible, no good, absolutely rotten, smelly, gross, mean mood.
so, i asked her to sing. it was music day at school and i was hoping to hear the latest rendition of her 'duck' song.  
she loves every aspect of music and sings most all day long.
it's the soundtrack of her life.and honestly, sometimes, the only thing to break the nastiness for her. she sings and gets happier. she sings and gets louder. she sings the lyrics and makes up some of her own.

MP decides he's not having it. he asks her to stop. she declines. (politely, of course. did you feel that sarcasm?)
so little man launches into his own song.

y'all i wish you could have heard this. scooby doo dominates his life. well, right after cars. lightning mcqueen rocks. forever. and therefore, he composes a ode to scooby and shaggy and his favorite of their movies- Scooby Doo and the Lake Monster. 

and so, this is what i hear, a symphony of sounds from the backseat.
Norah, on key.
MP, all keys and LOUD.  

n: tails in the air
mp: (singing over his sister) LAKE MOSTER SCOOBY DOO
n: tails in the air
mp: (still singing at the same time over his sister) LAKE MONSTER SCOOBY DOO
n: tails in the air

now, if you happened to not follow the illustration above. let me give you what i heard. it goes like this and like that and like this and uh...


needless to say, sissy quit singing after being upstaged by a four wheeler lake monster song. i thought she was in quiet reflection, getting her black belt mind going as we pulled up (finally and to my relief) to class. and when i looked back, i saw this:

sibling love. it's a messy game. but someones gotta do it.
smiles and love my friends. smiles and love.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


we took the kids camping for the first time this past weekend.
well, sorta.
we slept in a tent.
there was no electricity.
there was no running water.
there were no fans.
the bathroom was a hike up a hill.
there was a bonfire.
mini marshmallows were roasted.
jumbo marshmallows were toasted.
pretend smores were made. (we had to improvise with chocolate syrup the first night)
real smores were made. mmmmm, smores.
the kiddos told ghost stories with a flashlight in the pitch black of a tent.
super scary.
i don't do scary. period. end of story. forever.

i am fairly sure i am the only one that ended up with a battle scar.
i don't even know how it happened. really. 
that's my arm at a really weird angle, sitting here at my desk, at work.

unfortunately, and you can totally scold me...i can take the beating.
i didn't take a single stinking picture of the ABSOLUTE DELICIOUSNESS of the entire weekend.
c'mon. i know. i did wrong.

however, in our minds and hearts and souls, we will forever have the memories of our sweet babies' eyes glowing in the fire with curiosity and wonder.
the joy we heard in their laughter, hanging out with friends we will always know as family.
the excitement, the awesomeness, the bliss.
it was one of those magical memories that can only happen with ones you love.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

old soul

people often see my girl and declare without ever hearing her speak: "she's an old soul" or "she has old soul eyes."
i distinctly remember being in the hospital when she was born and having a family member speak similar words when she was only a few hours old.
this used to creep me out a bit. or a lot a bit cause, honestly, i don't really know how much i believe in reincarnation and such. and that's the only way i've ever known how to relate this phenomenon. 

i've been looking up different definitions of "old soul" today and ones i've found are mostly similar in the description.
in a nutshell, it just means you are wise beyond your years.
but i mean, how would someone know/think she was, without her ever speaking?

strangely though, there are pockets of conversation with her that take me to a different level.
because in my mind, there should be no way for her to process a situation/conversation/experience so deeply, so acutely.
just this week, she explained with unwavering certitude that she knew she was not our favorite (her father and i)
it was clear to her that brother was the one we loved the most and we proved this everyday.

do have any idea how badly that stung?
i mean, he's not the favorite.
i love my children just the same.
i really, really do.

seriously though, how long had she been simmering on that very thought?
had she chosen that exact moment to spill these fears, or could she just no longer hold in what she was convinced was fact?
she began giving me examples, that proved without a shadow of a doubt in her all too smart mind, why he was the favorite.
i began countering each and every one with facts of my own.
all the while, hurting and wondering.
trying to analyze why this was happening.

this isn't the only time she's done things like this.
and the conversations or observations aren't always so terrible. once, she declared that there was a crescent moon in the night air. (she was NOT old enough to know moon shapes and when/where/how would that come up in normal conversation for her to tuck it away in her spongy elephant brain?!)

so, what does it mean?
how is she able to FEEL things so deeply, so young?
how does she observe for months or years only to silence you with her assessment of said observation in what is seemingly random times?
there's just something about that girl.
something truly amazing.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

inside the lines

MP is slowly but surely getting used to his uninvited independence.
the long days without his bestest.
wihout his sissy.
he still cries on monday mornings when i drop him off at daycare, but he's usually fine the rest of the week.
it still hurts me when those precious blue-grey eyes spill over with sadness, but i know it'll get better soon.

last week, Miss T, MP's teacher had to have a talk with me.
i always get slightly defensive and shakey-kneed when the teachers need to talk with me, ya know, like in private. i think i get defensive simply because i am a mama bear and don't want my child to have done something so atrocious that i can't handle. and the shakey-kneed-ness-i'm convinced that's just cause i'm a worrier. a ridiculous worrier. oh well, i'm fine with it. sorta.

ok, teacher, private talk, MP.

she tells me that little man refused to do his work this day. i feel a little perplexed at this scenario because he so desperately wants to be in big school already. she continues to explain that the class was to color ten apples red and then count them. they were learning about the number ten and the color red and this was the end of the lesson. just simply coloring the apples. she told me that he announced with aggression he would not be doing this work.
he wanted his mama.
he balled up his paper after coloring only four of the apples.
and then threw it at her.

my baby, he did what?! when?! to whom?!
oh no no no no no no no no! he couldn't, wouldn't EVER do that!
but, he did.

my face got hot, fast. i think it may have turned purple even.
Miss T explained she kept the paper and put it in his cubby so i could see it. (i guess she thought i wouldn't believe her) and there it set, a crumpled paper, with four almost perfectly colored apples. i made him immediately apologize to Miss T and we were outta there. me and my boy had some talking to do.
later in the evening, i gently explained to him why this was unacceptable. that we must respect all people and most especially those that care for us when mama and daddy just simply can't be there. he took those words and let them simmer and his little face made a face of understanding. he apologized to me, umprompted, and i left it at that.

the next afternoon, Miss T came up to me again. i got those shakey knees again and a semi-defensive attitude. she just wanted to tell me he was good today. that when she got there this morning, he immediately came over and told her he was sorry. (i was not so secretly beaming with pride at this point. goofily grinning and eyes bright.) she told me he did well with his work today and it was waiting for me in his cubby. i couldn't wait!
it was the most beautiful picture i had ever seen.
take a look for yourself:

Friday, August 26, 2011

the bestest

she's been in school a while now.
buddy has been taking it really hard.
she's always been there, 24/7, 365.
they have never spent days or very many hours apart.

the very first day of school, little man and i got to walk her to the classroom. She was pumped and we were (of course) running late. We quickly rush into the building. i'm suddenly remembering things i've forgotten to do:
paint her toenails.
put the lunch money in an envelope.
write her name on her back pack.
brush your own hair.
leave on time, again.

once we're in there, she's beaming and MP has a sudden urge to pee.
he helps himself to the in-room potty throne. she settles down in her chair and i start doing the 'last minutes' i should have handled at home. MP comes out, helps himself to a john deere tractor and proceeds to drive it around the room. i've finished up and it is time to go. we can't linger any longer. although, we would have both stayed all day if we could. he starts to resist me and i know it's gonna be a fight. i kiss my girl and walk back over to my boy. i can see the fear and hurt in his eyes. i can imagine the thoughts in that too smart 3 year old noggin "so this is it, huh? you told me i can't stay? we'll see about that lady."

and the bottom drops out.

i bring him over to say good bye to his sister. he screams. he cries. he kicks. he pinches. he hollars and wails and fights. i promise y'all he reached new levels of tone, pitch and volume that day. meltdown 101 has passed and he is now in a master's program on fit throwing.

so, we're walking now. through the halls. me and my boy.

i clutch him to my side as best as i can without resorting to the football hold on him. we're quite the lovely pair walking through the otherwise quiet school. he's screaming and i'm silently weeping. i'm fighting with all my might to keep him on my hip. my cheeks hot and wet with tears. people brightly exclaim as we pass, 'Oh, he wants to stay!' i squeeze out a pretend smile and wish their mouths closed shut for eternity. you are not helping PEOPLE! and i'm hurt on two levels this day. one: i was utterly embarrassed. two: i knew how bad this hurt him.

not surprising, it took me twenty minutes or more to leave him at daycare that morning. it was just too much for him to bear. my little man felt abandoned. he missed his sissy so terribly already. and in case you didn't know, he was going to show you just how bad it hurt.

i surprised him that day and picked him up during naptime. we had to pick up sister from 'big school'. she was going to be a carrider for like the only time all year. it was a really big deal. the time finally comes after what felt like a million minutes, and she's with us again. MP couldn't be happier. he picked out a special drink and treat for her and presented it to her with a flourish as soon as she was settled. that afternoon went by quickly.

a few days pass and MP is still struggling. he just doesn't understand why sister is not with him. and why can't he stay with her at 'big school?' it's completely logical to him. drop me off and i will just stay with her, mama. it'll be alright, he says. but we carry on each day. trying to make it work. trying to make it better, easier, a little more bearable for him.

a few more days pass and Norie asks if MP can sleep with her, in her bed. wellllll, okkkkk. sure. why not? he stays in there for a bit and then decides he wants his own room. i come to help him carry his things and my girl starts crying. real tears. and i ask her what's wrong.

she tells me: i just need him to stay with me mama. he's the bestest. he's the bestest, when the lights go out at school; he never gets scared. and when my things fall, like my jewlery box, he always catches them so they don't break. he's just the bestest, mama. he's my hero! she says with a quivering conviction in her voice.

MP is radiating with happiness. his sissy needs him too! she asks him so sweetly, to just stay with her awhile. and eagerly, he climbs back up and settles in with her. snuggles up and kisses her forehead. and as i'm walking out. i hear him whisper, thanks sissy. i luveee youah.

my heart smiles. my two perfect peas in a perfect pod.
bestest friends.

Until, tomorrow morning, i'm sure. ;)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

big school

she is my first born.
she is my princess.
she is a diva.
she is an amazing big sister.
she is a kung fu panda bear.
she is a singer of all words.
she is my GIRL.

and my baby...
and mama's baby; well, she started kindegarten this year.
at four years old (going on 17).

i'm going to try to explain to you my emotions leading up to this magical day in my Norie's life. it's gonna be hard. and i'll probably cry again sitting in this chair in the grey walled cubicle at work; but she'll want to know one day how her mama felt.

it started a few weeks before august. i started getting anxious. and antsy. and sick and nervous. Lord, was i sick and nervous.
and then, before i could blink, it was time to buy her school supplies. it was time, already, for backpacks and lunch boxes and crayons and folders. and it was time, for her first REAL taste of that sweet nectar of independence for which she longed for so deeply.
mama cried.

skip to the night before with me. come on. it was August 8, 2011.
nine days before her fifth birthday.
she's out of the bath, getting her jammers on, and playing with her brother in those last few minutes before i say 'bedtime babies!'
she brings the brush over to me so we can get all the tangles.
she leans back ever so sweetly to fall into my arms and says, 'mama, tell me about when i was little? when i was a baby? tell me about that.' she LOVES to talk about that.

and y'all, i swear, it almost knocked the wind out of me.
looking into these old-soul eyes, so deep and brown and beautiful. i didn't see her as herself in that moment, no. i saw her as my miracle baby, my angel, my infant, my gift. all newborn and pink. and then i saw her fat chubby cheeks and those juicy thighs eating baby food for the first time.

then before i knew it, without blinking:

i saw every milestone.
every single smile.
every single cry.
every single word.
every single cut and bruise.
every single moment.
each moment i'd had with her up to this very second in time.

mama cried again.

but, i settled myself down and put on my best cheerful grin and we talked about those moments i just saw flash before my eyes. and she relished those words curled up in my lap with her mama holding her. just like when she was a baby. next, i gently explain that it's getting late and we need to get those tangles out. she sees tears in my eyes now as she's turning around and i fight them back with everything i have. it's too late though. she's asking now why her mama is crying.

i tell her they are happy tears.
and i tell her, i'm just remembering all the wonderful memories she's given me so far.
and that i love her.
and that she is kind.
and smart.
and beautiful.
and perfect.
ab-so-lutely perfect.
and as i brush her long brown hair with perfectly golden highlights framed just so around her face... i silently cry (more like muffled sobs with ridiculous amounts of hysteria, but you know, whatever) so she can't hear me.

and i think to myself, my baby isn't a baby anymore.

she's growing up, mama.

she'll never be little again.

yet, the strangest thing my heart is aching for those wonderful times gone by-my heart is bursting with pride at the same time.
you wanna know why?
because she's perfect.
ab-so-lutely perfect.

i get my angels all tucked in. it's just me and roxee awake now.
and even through my pride, my happiness, my joy...
i cry each and every time i pass that big girl backpack that night before big school.

my baby, she started kindergarten.

and she's not looking back.

Monday, August 22, 2011


it's tough navigating the waters of life, eh?
we all have a lot on our plates.
we all have different stressors.
we all have our varied forms everyday.

so why, is life so damn hard for me?
i know my husband didn't come with an instruction manual.
neither did my kids.
why is it that some people seem to get it?
why do they get to know how to handle life?
did they get a special book?
and where can i get this book?
were they born with some seventh sense that i know nothing about?
how come i wasn't born with it, too?

honestly though...does everyone have these questions or is it just me? (don't answer that)

i'm hearing a lot from people in my life, that i am not ok now.
that i am different than usual. and that stings sometimes.
but then, i take a look inside and inventory my thoughts of late.
and that's when i think i see what they see.

a different girl.
a different mom.
a different me.

i started this draft february 2010.
and i finished it today, more than a year later.

i just keep wondering, is there more for me?
yes there is.

and tomorrow... i'll recap what it's been like in the past few months. with pictures and happiness.
pinky promise.