Saturday, December 20, 2008

Momma's Leavin' the House!

Okay, it's official. I'm going to BLISSDOM '09!!! My hubby agreed on the money and my dad is buying my room at the fancy-pants hotel in Nashvegas!

Oh yeah.

In honor of the occasion, I went and got six inches cut off my hair AND got high and low lights (what ever the hell those are)...

Now, if I can just apply lipstick correctly, I might be somebody!!!

(They won't be able to miss me. I'll be the one wearing the "I LoveMrsFussyPants" shirt and clomping in heels like I'm walking through a plowed field..cause that's how moms who are WAY out of practice act in public.)

Fingers crossed!

Friday, December 19, 2008


It is finally sunny here and the 4-day fog has lifted! The possibility of getting the two two-leggers and one four-legger out of this house for some outside fun was almost too much to bear.

Out my bedroom window I could see the cute little girls playing at the park and the friendly mommies sitting and talking. Dying to be over there, I contemplated waking the littliest one just to get outside. But I held back, knowing his devil-like attitude when his nap gets cut short. (Oddly enough, I think he might get it from me...)

He finally wakes, we throw on shoes, leash the dog and head to the park! I've got on my adorable "Knoxville Girl" shirt, a gift I cherish, and my funky cowboy boots to complete the ensemble. Seriously, who wouldn't want to talk to me?!

Apparently the moms at the park. That's who.

Like a high school girl trying to make a good impression, I pushed the boys on the swings, chased them around the playground, loved on the dog, EVERYTHING! But got nothin'. Not even an acknowledgment. Nothing. I have been searching for these illusive SAHM's (suffer-at-home-moms) for a week now and just when I think I have pit bulls attack.

They terrorize these little girls with their cops and robbers game until they run, screaming to their mommies complaining of the 'mean little boys' that keep trying to put them in jail. (They'd be lucky to be handcuffed by handsome boys, but whatever. They aren't good enough anyway.)

So I quickly make my leave with a, "Hey, boys! We haven't checked out the lake over there yet!" The cops and I make our getaway.

Determined to not let this day, or my cute outfit, go to waste, I decide a walk around the neighborhood would be a great idea!

Strike Two.

We grab their bikes (or police cars as they prefer) and hit the streets. They are doing their best siren impression and the dog is peeing on every. single. lawn. Yeah, welcome to the neighborhood Davis Family!

We make it one block. Exactly One Block before the eldest, whom I will refer to as "Beaunita" decides we are all going too fast. Right. I'm the one in cowboy boots here, give me a damn break. So we slow down. Two houses later, he decides it's too windy for him. He's not just fussing about the wind, oh no, he's outright screaming and crying about it.

Fine. I'm done.

Kids crying, dog howling, wind-blown hair covering my scowl, I stomp (in my not-so-cute-now) shoes back to the house.

And all I can think is...Where. Are. Their. Parents?!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fat and Sassy in the New Pad

I had been working so hard to get back to my fighting weight. I was hitting the gym on a semi-regular basis (just being honest here) and eating better than before. I couldn't see any drastic improvement yet, but it does take time.

Then we moved.

Okay, even without the gym we all know exercises that we can do in our living room floors, if we are so inclined (which I haven't been yet). Certainly the 'eating healthy' bit shouldn't be affected by a move either, (but yet it is). But the proverbial 'straw that broke the camel's back' so to speak was the neighborhood. No, the proximity to Applebee's and Chick-Fil-A were not the burden, it's the neighbors.

One thing we failed to notice when scoping out the joint was that the home we purchased (okay, leased until the damn TN house sells) is on the road where all the retirees and dual-incomers live. I'm not sure exactly where they hide the SAHM's (Suffer-At-Home-Moms...or was it "Stay" at home mom...) Anyway, it's pretty quiet to say the least.

I had fully expected a not-so-warm welcome when I realized this geographic flaw in the move, but have been pleasantly surprised by the warm welcome we have received! Our first week in the house we have already received a home-cooked real Italian baked ziti complete with garlic bread (that didn't come out of the freezer), salad (that was chopped by hand) and homemade German chocolate cake. The next day we received a bag of Christmas cookies and a poinsettia. Today's pleasant surprise was a huge tin of cookies, candies, cakes and toffee! (The best part was that they remembered all our names - even the dog - and put it on the little card.)

However, in typical Davis Family Fashion, Beaux came out to thank the sweet, aging couple wearing only his spongebob underwear. They, more appropriately, were dressed in layers with fur-lined hoods. I'm sure you can see the scene unfolding...

The kid will probably have a hand-knit sweater next week.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Someone's Gotta Learn

Beaux has somehow decided that I am going to work when he starts kindergarten. I'm not sure how this idea started, but I'm assuming it has something to do with his response every time someone asks what his mommy does, "She takes care of me." That's it. That's my primary focus in life. Honestly it makes me feel pretty good considering I don't spend as much time focusing on him as I should.

I digress...

Today we are in the car and he says, "Momma, why can't you teach me stuff so I don't have to go to school?"

Holy crap. Soooo not my game.

Me: "Well, honey. Um...mainly because I don't know what to teach you."

Beaux: "Well, I need to know my wetters, numbwers, and...hmmmm. OH, I need help painting cause I'm still getting it all over my fingwers."

Me: (giggling) "So, you can't paint too good huh?"

Beaux: Well, it isn't dat I can't paint good. I'm a good painter. I just get it everywhere. OH, and I need to wearn to cook too."

Me: (tears streaming down my face now and doing my best to hold back a gut-laugh) "Why do you think you need to learn how to cook?"

Beaux: "It would just be nice to know. Dats all."

Yeah, now I KNOW I can't teach him anything.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle til the Sled!

Out of guilt for not having the energy to take the boys to the ice skating rink downtown, I took them to the Christmas parade. I conned my dad into joining since Steve wasn't back in town. It wasn't my best idea, but it was at least funny.

We were our usual lateness. Arriving downtown with 20 minutes to spare and then having to park 18 minutes away. The boys were all bundled up with the exception of Deuce's hands. The mittens I tried to cram on them just simply wouldn't fit. Sure, they were infant size and he's 2, but still. I probably should have noticed that they didn't even have a spot for the thumb, but whatever.

We made it to the parade and had to put the boys on our shoulders so they could see. Considering we were in the 'most popular section' where the TV crew was, I was shocked that there were only 4 rows of people in front of us! It was so crowded that dad and I couldn't turn to talk to each other. We had to just yell at the back of the heads of the people standing in front of us. (Who kept turning around assuming we had to be asking them "When the hell is Santa going to get here?! My shoulders can't take much more of this!".)

In typical downtown-fashion, there were a pan handler standing directly behind me, smoking, and telling anyone who made eye contact with him about his arthritis. Well, first it was arthritis, then it was an work accident, then a dog get the picture. I'm still not sure how these people always find me to stand behind, but I spent the entire parade worrying that his unattended cigarette that he was waving around like a flag twirler was going to either set my hair on fire or melt the Deuce's jacket. Either way, I was devising my plan of attack should this happen for the rest of the parade.

But then the gospel float came by and the entire crowd was mesmerized by their rendition of White Christmas. Everyone except the Eldest one. Perched atop granddaddy's shoulders he belts out the most off-key version of Rudolph I've ever heard, bobbing back and forth as he sang. If you couldn't hear the snickers from the crowd, you could easily see their shoulders bouncing from giggling. Proud of remembering all the words, he sang even louder until the float was out of site. The old couple next to us was not impressed, but that's okay, because when the firetrucks came by he was so excited his candy cane fell out of his mouth, bounced off my head and landed on her freshly-starched scarf. (Which is how I know God has a sense of humor.)

Finally, Santa came. I don't think I've ever been so thankful to see that sled. Before the float had even passed, dad and I both turned on our heels and headed through the park. Which turned out to be a poor decision on our parts as he stepped in a fresh pile. Still not certain it was dog poo, dad tries to convince the Eldest One to 'give it a sniff'. Not falling for this or many of granddaddy's other tricks, he says, "Gangaddy, my nose is topped up." (Smart Kid.)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Merry Christmas Already...

Every single year I decide it will be FUN to make Christmas cookies! And I regret it every. single. year. This year, however, was going to be much different! I was going to do it WITH the boys! Picture it, them mixing the dough, cutting out the shapes, decorating them...doesn't it sound adorable?!

Yeah, I probably should have consulted the neurologist first. I'm pretty sure I bumped my head at some point.

On the list: Noel Nut Balls (only because I giggle every time I say that), Chocolate Chip Cookies (cause who can mess those up, right?!), Rice Krispie Treats (come on, how hard can it get), and finally Gingerbread Men, Stars, Blobs, Whatevers (yes, I cheated on those when I found a roll of dough, shhhh). The games started on Wednesday. By Friday, I have so many chocolate chip cookies I have no room anywhere in my kitchen for anything else (and they are so flat you can read through them). I did succeed in making the Nut Ball (hee hee) dough. That was to be refrigerated 3 hours (which had I known that, I probably would have never made it since I have an 'immediate gratification issue'.) Never the less, they were made, and refrigerated.

Until Today. (Cause I suck.)

During nap time, I decided to just finish them all up and let the boys decorate the bags. I am now surrounded by cookies and nut balls (hee)-less funny when they're EVERYWHERE. I still have to make the Rice Krispies and the Gingerbread crap. I'm getting a little less fond of the cookie-making idea. In fact, I've decided that the second ball of Nut Ball dough is going to be given as a 'some assembly required' gift to a neighbor. (Sorry Tanya.) :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Who?! Meeeee????

We've been laying the bar stools at the bottom of the stairs to keep a certain 4-legged family member from relieving herself on the carpet upstairs. So far, it has been successful; which is funny knowing Molly. Generally she will do her best to bust down any sort of barricade. Not because she wants past it so badly, but mostly because you had the audacity to put it up in the first place.

Yesterday I noticed that one of the boys had decided to drag the chair off the stairs and half-way across the curly maple hardwood flooring. (Which, by the way, is the poorest decision of flooring for a house with young children and dogs. Or anyone with feet for that matter. It's like walking on China. You know that any move you make will ultimately cause a scratch on the beautiful finish. It will certainly be my demise if we don't get out of this house soon.) But, I digress...

The chair-dragging had put a deep, white scratch across the floor for about 10 feet. I'm not exaggerating when I say you could see this damn thing from the space station. (Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration...) I confronted the Eldest when he came down stairs in search of another brownie:

Me: "Did you see the big scratch across the floor from you dragging the chair across it?!"

Him: "Yeah. It's pwetty bad, huh?"

Me: "DUDE! If you knew it was scratching the floor, why did you do it?!"

Him: "Oh...No, no, no. I meant to say, 'What chair?!'"

(Pray for that child.)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Breakfast at Davis's

Scene One: The Big One and the Littliest One sitting at the table eating breakfast. (Breakfast consists of two frozen waffles and some syrup with milk to drink.) -yeah, I know, Super Mom. Just hush.

Momma: "Boys, eat your breakfast now!"

Big One: "Momma, I ate all mine! It's poosy that won't eat."

Momma: "Hey, little buddy. You have to eat your breakfast. Do you want to grow up big and strong like your daddy and brother?!"

Littliest One: "Um, no."

Momma: "Come on, sweetie. Momma just wants you to eat."

Littliest One: "No, momma."

Big One: (whispering) "Listen, I'll eat your waffles for you and she'll leave you alone."

Littliest One: "O Tay!"


Big One: "Momma! Poose is finished! We're going to pway now!"

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Utmost Respect for Preschool Teachers

Today I caved. In a fit of 'holy shit the realtors are coming to do a walk-thru and I have no clue what to do with the boys on a 20-degree day' I volunteered to help serve lunch at the preschool.

I know, I know.

But it was their special Thanksgiving feast and all the little kids had made little hats and everything. I was suckered by the thought of not only getting some extra credit points for the next time the Oldest One acts up, but also some laughs and great blog material.

(And I certainly did. Get blog material that is. The Big One is sooo on his own after I served canned green beans and almost ruined the Stove Top.)


There was this one little girl, though, who helped remind me why I would NEVER, EVER work at a preschool. She was cute, with little pig tails and a frilly dress. She smiled at me every time we made eye contact, which was often because she was also staring at me. But none the less, she was cute. When lunch time came she sat down across from the Oldest One and said, “My mommy made the rolls.” I told her that they were simply yummy and her mommy did a great job! (They were the kind you take the plastic wrap off and put the entire container in the oven. But still, the stove was turned on and that is effort in my book.) But here’s the thing, every time I walked by her she would announce that her mommy made the rolls. It didn’t matter if I was serving another helping to the next kid, threatening the Oldest to stay in his seat or wiping milk of Deuce’s shirt, “My Mommy Made the Rolls!” Every. Damn. Time.

I had finally had enough. Between roll girl and the kid who asked 20 times if we were going to eat the paper turkeys on the table, I was ready to hit the door. On the last round of clean up, the little roll girl said it again. By that time, I was done. I simply leaned over and said, “Yes, sweetie. We all know your mommy made the rolls and they were wonderful rolls. She did a great job. But you know what? I opened the can of green beans and you ate them and liked them.”

Friday, November 14, 2008

Amy's Rules to Live By - First Installment

1. If you build it, they will come....and knock it down.

2. Never trust a fitness instructor with a big ass.

3. Discounts should never apply to tattoos, tequila, or toilet paper.

4. If a cheap coffee claims to be "Good to the last drop", chances are it ain't.

5. If there's water in the floor, you will find a wet little boy nearby.

Why is it...

...they only start yelling when you're on the phone but when you finally give in and decide to play with them, they're too busy watching "Max and Wooby"...

...they only want to talk to you when you are trying to have a conversation with your spouse...

...they only poop out of their diaper when you don't have another...

...and that's also the only time you don't have spare pants either...

...(Okay, I never carry spare pants)...

...other moms carry spare pants? I think it's just so they can give you that 'look' when you have to ask to borrow them...

...they never sleep when you desperately need them to...

...and then torture you with their tiredness until you think you might loose your mind...

...aren't scared when you threaten to 'loose it'... fact, they laugh at you...

...when you threaten to 'leave them' in the store, they threaten to 'chase you' and aren't phased by your 'I can outrun you' response...

...the old woman next to you doesn't think your sarcasm is funny and in fact gives you a similar look to the mom with the extra pants...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Go back to selling insurance, buddy.

All this time I thought living was expensive, but man, death costs a lot more! It wasn't until I buried my mom that I realized just how much.

The best part about the entire experience is how everyone is 'so sorry for your loss' and feels certain that after giving them unrealistic sums of money 'you will feel such relief'. (Um, a lighter wallet is NOT my idea of relief.)

It was literally $6,000 to put her in a box, $3,000 to put that box in the ground and another $1,000 to mark where all your money went. It was truly unbelievable. How in the world can someone look you in the eye and say that it's only $6,000....ONLY?! Kinda like I ONLY want to do something legal with this corpse that is no longer my mom?!?! Give me a damn break.

My grandmother insisted that going to the discount store was not an option and since it was her daughter...I caved. Although, I still insist we could have saved thousands AND I would have really enjoyed the look on the cemetery dude's face when they brought the pine box in on a flat bed with a horn playing dixie. But maybe I'm wrong. (Mom would have laughed.)


After it's all said and done, the cemetery dude wants to invite us over so he can 'give us a memorial book for mom'. Right...they are so kind and generous. Gee, how are they keeping the lights on? I told my grandmother that it was a sales ploy but she insisted that John was not like that at all. He was sincere. He only wanted to do something nice for us. (Us being the family he has never met but just gave him $3k. What a pal.)

So we go.

Mams was right. They were wanting to make a memorial page for us. (First one's free.)

Then, Johnny, let us know that he had reserved some plots near our beloved so we could go ahead and buy those before they sell out. (Okay, Johnny. I realize you're in a recession-proof business here, but come on...) My grandfather blatantly told him that under no condition would he be buying a plot today and that he had to get over the financial impact of burying his daughter. This wasn't just saying 'no', this was 'shut the hell up buddy'. But poor Johnny, didn't quite get it.

He turned to me and inquired about my 'arrangements'. (Big mistake, John-boy. Big mistake.)

"Well, John. My husband and I are going to be cremated. So we certainly won't be needing your services."

My grandfather was shocked. "Cremated?! Why? Where will your boys come to remember you?"

"Paps, the LAST place I want my boys to remember me is a damn cemetery. I want them to remember me in the mountains, the river and flying in a hot-air balloon. No offense to John here, but I think this is all a damn crock in the first place. Three thousand dollars for a spot of land that you'll never use again. Geez." (Johnny-boy was a bit taken a-back by that one.)

Still, he insists on taking us back to the office for the final push...

"You know, Mr and Mrs Rogers, you have far exceeded the average life expectancy." (Oh no he didn't.) "And honestly, one could argue that you are living on borrowed time." (Holy crap. Is Paps going to loose it first or am I?! I hope John's got a plot, cause he's gonna need it...)

At that moment, my grandfather stood up. Straightened his jacket over his arm and said, "Mr. Smith, I do appreciate your time today, but we are not buying anything. Thank you. Good day." and we left. (What, no 'step outside buddy'?! No, listen here, I'll show you borrowed time!")

I could probably learn some tact from him.

Instead, I sent John an email:


Dearest John,

Attached is the picture of mom. Thanks for making the memorial page for her. Your call last night reminded me to ask my husband what we are going to do about the marker. He agreed that we should get prices elsewhere, so I'm going to shop around a bit. I will let you know as soon as we have some prices, if you would like to 'throw your hat in the ring' so to speak.

Also, I just wanted to add that after our meeting with you, my grandparents made a decision that I had never expected. They now want to be cremated. Thank you for saving us a lot of worry over that decision! Who would have thought that an 82-year-old couple would ever decide that?!

Anyway, thanks again!"


Heh heh heh...'borrowed time', my ass.

A Fruit Fetish?

Last month, the youngest one was given a pumpkin in a neighborhood we were investigating as a possible future residence. It was the perfect size for him, as his fingers would almost touch when he holds it. He fell in love. He carried the 'punkin' every where we went all weekend long.

The punkin watched TV with him.

The punkin ate dinner with him.

The punkin rode in the car with him.

The punkin sat next to him at the movies.

The punkin even slept with him and 'duck-duck' each night.

Needless to say, there was no way we were carving it. I put it on the porch so it could 'enjoy the sunshine' and he seemed happy with punkin's new home. Occasionally, punkin has had to come inside for a visit, but mostly he has stayed out front. Currently, punkin is in the back of my car but I think the big one had something to do with that.

I thought we had passed the 'punkin stage' but today we turned over a whole new leaf on the fruit catagory...

Apple is sleeping with him now.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Something Missing?!

Remember the Highlights Magazines that were filled with the 'What Doesn't Belong' photos?

The real question is "Where's the candle?!?!"

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Not a Bum Wing!!!!

So the littliest one cannot stand up this morning. Not at all. Can't put weight on his left leg. I ask him what happened, since he was fine yesterday and has been in a crib all night. He says, "I bwoke my weg." "You broke your leg?" I ask. "Yep. It bwoken. It baaaad. I go doctor and get a sucker. It dat bad."

Obviously, he hasn't fallen out of bed and Beaux was within ear shot, so I know he wasn't in there messing w/ him. So I start quizzing him.

"Did you get it hung in the rails of your crib?"

"Yep. De duck cage got me." (He calls his crib filled w/ ducks his 'duck cage' which is entirely too cute...until you're in the grocery store with little old ladies surrounding you and he spouts out that he 'sweeps in a duck cage'. Ironically, this comes out clear as a bell much like him calling himself 'Super Poosey'. -you'll have to sound that one out for yourself.)

In disbelief I say, "Did you fall out of bed?" -knowing he didn't.

"Yep. I fewell and bwoke it. Fewell wite out of my duck cage."

"Was it an old war wound? Is that he knee you injured jumping horses?"

"Yep. De horsey got me."

Okay, now I know two things. One, you can never trust this one to tell you the truth. Two, he honestly has no clue what happened to his 'weg'. So I call the doctor.

Thorough inspection turns out that it isn't his knee after all, but inflammation in the hip joint. Who knew?! And the treatment for such a mallady in this modern age of medicine.... Motrin. Yes, Motrin. That's it.

Oh, and apparently a $20 copay will ease the pain as well.

Monday, November 3, 2008

No kids, eh?

The moving man came to assess the amount of work involved in packing and moving this house. Man, I really feel for that guy. He seemed pleased with it all until he hit the's full of mom's antique furniture. When I say full, I mean can barely fit a lawn mower in there and don't even consider a car....even a small one.

We walked through the entire house with Beaux and Spruce doing their best to get his attention. "Mistew Woowis, I have a new toy boat! Wook!" "Mistew Woowis, my daddy is in WaaWee." "Mistew Woowis! Watch Me!" "Mistew Woowis! Wook how high I can bounce on my bed!"

Beaux had bounced on Spruce's face. Yeah, I reckon that got Mistew Woowis's attention. After that incident he rushed down stairs, had me sign the papers and ran out the door before I could ask any questions.

Puzzled, I walk back in the door and realize that Spruce's injury was a bit more than some hurt feelings. His lip was full-on bleeding and that mixed with drool...well, let's just say it looked pretty bad.

So maybe it was the blood covering my shirt that made him run for the hills...

Light weight.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Soooo tempting

So I'm downstairs, trying to clean the house INCASE by some weird chance someone actually wants to come see it. (Sooo not going to happen.) I'm actually making progress too. The kitchen is almost clean, the living room, aside from all the cushions off the couch and toys strewn across the floor...okay, who am I kidding. It's a damn wreck in here.

Then I hear, "MOMMA! WE'RE STUCK! RESCUE US!" coming from upstairs. Fighting the temptation to find the camera first, I reluctantly head upstairs to 'rescue them'.

Yeah, somehow Beaux had locked himself and Spruce in the dog's crate. I have no clue how he managed to get the lock on there from inside, but I just really hope he doesn't teach that trick to Molly.

Standing over the crate I have an epiphany. This is why I originally said I would stick with dogs instead of kids. This was it right here. You can crate a dog and be done with it. I now have to let the 'puppies' out to terrorize the rest of my house.

It's a shame that they really wanted out...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Balloon for Nana

Beaux and Spruce were given prize possessions this evening. Balloons.

Generally I avoid helium balloons like the plague, but after an entire day of fighting with Beaux over simple things I had pretty much lost the will to live.

He spent the entire evening with the balloon. First it had to be tied to his wrist, then to his frog, then to his wrist again because it was choking the frog. The balloon went to the bathroom, flew around in the car and just happened to cause a 'whacking fight' in the backseat with Spruce's balloon. Apparently from all witnesses present, it was not Beaux or Spruce's fault but the balloon that caused the uproar.

Finally we arrived at the apartment. We get out of the car and Beaux looks up at the sky and lets it go. I panic. That's parenting 101. You must NEVER let the balloon go outdoors! Geez...this is going to suck.

I look at Beaux and ask why he let it go. He says, with a certain confidence, "I gave it to Nana. She would wike it."

And that was it. The balloon went to Nana. Done.

What an awesome little boy...


Some things are just not fun with kids. Oktoberfest is definitely one of those events...

But, in typical Beaux-fashion, he found a way to bring light to the evening.

There was an authentic German band playing the original German music. Perfect dancing music for a 4-year-old. But this darling little boy in a skeleton costume decided to join in and dance with Beaux. Oh no. That wasn't flying. Beaux took one look at the kid and said, "You're not scawy. My brodder isn't scawed of you eider." The kid just looked at him in udder bewilderment as he wasn't really even old enough to understand that he was suppost to look scary.

I took Beaux aside and told him that the little boy just wanted to play with him and that he needed to be nice to him.

Beaux: "But Momma. I don't wike him."

Me: "Why not?!"

Beaux: "Because he's a boy. I wike girwls. Boys like girwls and girwls wike boys. That's how it wowks. I wearned that in school."

Thank God for that Catholic education...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wets Fwy!

Spruce woke up Wednesday morning with the idea that we were getting on an airplane. He has never been on an airplane, so I'm not really sure where he got the idea, but he was pretty excited about it.

Spruce: "We go on airpwane?! We go see daddy?!"

Me: "Yes, sweetie. We're going to see daddy, but we're going to drive not fly."

Spruce: "But MOMMA, I want to fwy!!!!"

After several minutes of groggily trying to explain it to him, I finally just went with the old standby, "Sweetie, it's expensive to fly and we don't have the money."

It worked. I was shocked, but it did!

So we get to NC and Spruce finds a penny in the parking lot. He grabs it, hands it to Steve and says, "Dat's for de airpwane." and walks off...

Steve just stood there, perplexed.

Me: "Better save that. We're flying next time."

Beaux Davis - Home Inspector

Man, he's good. We're looking throough all these homes trying to find 'just the right one'. Spruce and I are distracted by all the shiny things, but Beaux is turning the house inside out.

"Wook, momma! Dere is a tain on the cawpet in hewe!"

"Momma! The toiwet wowks!"

"Momma! Dere is a BIG skwatch in the fwoor and I DIDN'T DO IT!!!"

The entire time the agent is following along behind him trying to explain the 'little fixes' that he's uncovering and I'm doing my best to not laugh.

The kid was even under the house inspecting the plumbing!

At least I don't have to worry about hiring an inspector...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Beaux on the Specifics of Heaven

Beaux: "No Spruce, we can't go see Nana. She's dead."

Spruce: "Nana's Dead?" (No clue what 'dead' means...)

Beaux: "Yes, Spruce. Dead. We can't go see her."

Me: "Spruce, Nana's in heaven."

Beaux: "No, momma. Nana isn't in heaven. Nana's soul is in heaven."

I think he actually rolled his eyes at me...

Beaux M. Davis - Attorney at Law

Beaux: "Spruce! Wouldn't you just LOVE this broken car?! It's your favorite color, WHITE! The color of duckies!"

Spruce: "Oh, cooooo-wah" ("Cool" for the lay-person)

Beaux: "Wouldn't you LOVE to trade me this car for those two new one's you have?!"

Spruce: "Shuwah Beaux! I would wuv to!"


Monday, October 20, 2008

Beaux on Death

Beaux: "Momma, why don't we go see Mrs. Francis anymore?"

Me: "Well, sweetie, Mrs. Francis was very sick and she died and went to go live with Jesus."

...three months later...

Beaux: "Momma, why does Mrs. Tillette have two beds in her bedroom?"

Me: "One of the beds belonged to her husband."

Beaux: "I've never seen him. Where is he?"

Me: "Well, he was really sick and he died and went to go live with Jesus." month later...

Beaux: "Momma, why is Nana crying?"

Me: "Because she misses her dog, Barkley."

Beaux: "Where is he?"

Me: "Well, sweetie, he was sick and he died and went to go live with Jesus."

Beaux: "Momma, I can't go live with Jesus... There are too many sick people there."

Friday, October 10, 2008

I'm Sorry, Mom.

I'm sorry I didn't send a card for Mother's Day. I know all you ever wanted was a simple card but it was the symbolism that you were always needing something more from me that kept me from mailing it. It was the stamp. I'm sorry, but it was the fact that hand-delivery wasn't as special.

I'm sorry for all the times I ignored your pleas for attention. Each time you would call with a 'I just need one thing' it would make me crazy. It was always 'just one thing' with you, but you never considered that each 'one thing' would add up to an entire afternoon of work for me. It wasn't that I didn't have time for you, it was that you didn't respect my time for me. You never understood why I just couldn't answer the phone sometimes. It wasn't that I was always that busy, it was that you made me crazy with your 'just one things'... I wish I had them back now. No matter how insignificant it seemed at the time, I would do it now in a heart beat.

I'm sorry I didn't take you places with me. It wasn't that you were too much trouble. It was that I was defeated every time I watched you self-destruct. It was like watching sands through and hour glass. Each moment was a fleeting chance that you would change your ways...but then it slipped away. Listening to you yell each time we went over a bump because you hurt would make me cringe. It wasn't that I wasn't sympathetic, it was quite the contrary. I felt helpless. I had done my best to be by your side through it all and yet it was all in vain.

I'm sorry I didn't answer the phone when you called. It wasn't that I didn't want to talk to you, it was that when you would call and were in good spirits, I was uplifted and defeated at the same time. I knew that it was only a matter of time before your next episode and I would find you in the floor again. It was the knowing that hurt.

And now, I am so sorry that I couldn't save you. Every time you had an episode, I had found you. I had saved you. You had laid there, in and out of consciousness, until I found you. The doctors would say, "She's not going to pull out of this one." But I knew you would. Because you had the same spirit I do. Telling us no has always been our driving force to press on. Insisting that we couldn't do something was like a dare. But now here I am. Helpless. You always said I was your angel...but now what?!

The past few years has been rough on us both. Once I gave birth, I realized what a gift it truly was and how you had squashed it. You didn't capitalize on the opportunity to be my mother. You tried, but failed due in part to your vices. You always had to have something to depend on and I guess ultimately, I'm mad that I wasn't enough.

So I am sorry. I am sorry for all the missed opportunities for me to show you grace. But ultimately, I am sorry that you missed me.

I love you now as much as I always have. You will be missed more than you would have imagined. This is hard, and it will hurt. But one day it won't be so bad. One day I will forget the bad times and focus on the good. I will remember you fondly as I tell the boys stories about 'crazy nana' and they will giggle. They will remember you well.

I miss you terribly and love you deeply.

Rest in Peace.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Crotchety Old People Suck...

Steve had finally found the perfect house. It was all brick, with an open living room, dining room and kitchen and the enormous bonus upstairs! Absolutely perfect...except for the neighborhood.

He's adamant that I come to NC immediately to see this house. "It's a gem! It won't last long!"

"Sweetie, why are the HOA dues $110 per month if there's no pool, playground, or anything?"

"They say it's for yard maintenance. I don't know. It doesn't matter. The house is perfect!"

So I go. Well, WE go.

It's a damn retirment community. No joke. Nothing but crotchety people waiting to die. That's it. I point this out to him and his first response is, "Great! We'll have plenty of babysitters that are missing their grandkids!"

So I start my fact-finding mission...talking to neighbors. The first nice couple told me that their grandson would have someone to play with. The second old man yelled at Beaux for touching the mirror in the house that was for sale. The third old woman said that they don't allow play equiptment in the yards and that there was a wonderful house two doors down that we should check out. Every one of them kindly offered that there was a lovely neighborhood next door with plenty of kids.


I hate crotchety old people. If you're going to be crabby, go be crabby in your own 'villa' and leave the rest of us alone.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Jesus and Santa

We always have the best conversations on the way home from church.

Me: "So, did you guys talk about Jesus in Sunday school today?"
Beaux: "Yeah."
Me: "Did you know Jesus was once a little boy just like you?"
Beaux: "Wealwy?"
Me: "Yes. He was a baby and grew up to be a man. He saved all of us."
Beaux: "So he and Santa were like me?"
Me: "Sure. Buddy."

I give up.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Kudos to Daddy

So the 'tropical storm' is officially here. Not much to report aside from a lot of rain and even more wind. In my opinion, it was nothing more than a good reason to have a spongebob marathon.

Steve saw it much differently. He got their swim suits on, grabbed the umbrellas and hit the puddles. They ran and played in the rain until the wind almost blew them down.

I took it as a perfect opportunity to have a cup of coffee in silence...

with spongebob on, of course.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Much Improved

No tickets, no chips, no brown trout. Yes, today has been much better.

Now we're just waiting on a hurricane to move inland. Good times. :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Quite the day...

I knew it would be rough. I knew I would be rushing around last minute to get it all together. But I certainly didn't deserve the day that I am now trying to forget...

I get the boys up, dressed, fed and out the door at a reasonable hour and attempt to fight the current to get back home to clean and pack. (At that time of the day, it doesn't matter where you're going around Knoxville, it's always swimming upstream.)

On the way home, I realize that I am almost past due for an oil change. Ordinarily I would shrug that one off and hopefully remember it before Steve realized it. Immediately a memory pops in my mind that convinces me to take the time. -Steve went to get the oil changed in my Mazda and it was waaaay over due. Yes, I knew it. Not only did I know and had put it off, I took the little sticker out of the window so he wouldn't know... I know, baaaaad Amy. Anyway, he takes it in and then comes home to inform me that the oil wasn't that dirty. He sounded a little proud. I, unfortunately, was only half-way listening and piped up with, "Oh, yeah. That's because I put more in. Apparently, if you let it run out, you can just add more and skip the whole oil change thingy all together!" Truly it was one of those internal thoughts that you didn't realize had been verbalized until it was much too late. The glare was almost unbearable...

So, I stop. I stop at the slowest place on earth with the glimmer of hope that it would only take 30 minutes as they had promised over the phone. No such luck. An hour and a half later I am now twitching from the thought of this precious time that is slipping between my fingers...or some dirty mechanic's. Ug. It's killing me....

I finally make it home. Not only did I not bother to empty the suitcase from the last trip, I am throwing clothes from across the room and hoping the land inside! Honestly, I am a bit worried as I look back on it because I can't remember a single thing I packed. But it got done. I packed for 3 people, got a 2,663 square foot house show-ready, and made it out the door just in time to pick them up before nap time. All was looking good...

Then comes the trip...

The boys actually napped, not long enough, but it did give me some quiet time and saved me from "What's in that truck, momma? What about that one? And that one?" "Momma, what happens if that one gauge gets in the red?" "The car blows up." "Really momma? Are you kiddin'? You're kiddin' aren't you, momma?" "No son, the engine would explode." "Weeeaaawwwyyyy????" "I don't know. Ask your father."

The the movie started. Half way into the second round of Tom and Jerry, I see blue lights... You have to be kidding me. We've made it 4 hours and haven't stopped. They boys are happy and we're making great time. (Which is why the blue lights are here...)

Me: "Beaux, you know how you wanted to see a State Trooper? Well, here's your chance."
Beaux: "Why? Are you getting pulled over? What'd you do?"
Me: "I was speeding, son."
Beaux: "Ohhhhh. You're in trouble. Bet he gives you a ticket. Will he take you to jail?"

Cop: "License and registration, mam. So, what's the hurry?"
Beaux: "Hi, Mr. Officer! I'm Beaux!"
Me: "Um, officer, I was just keeping with the traffic. Didn't even realize I was speeding."
Beaux: "Mr. Officer. Mommy was peeding. Is she getting a ticket?"

So I get the ticket and a very stern "You have a MANDATORY court appearance in Greensboro on October 8th at 8:30 a.m. Do you have any questions?" Yeah, at this point I'm reeling. Does mandatory really mean mandatory or can I just pay a huge fine. I mean really, how in the hell am I going to report to court on a Wednesday morning in some county that is 4 hours from home?! But before I could ask any questions, my precious little boy says, "Mr. Officer. Would you like some goldfish? We have apple juice too!" "Um, no officer. I don't have any questions."

Nice. 85 in a 65?! Was I really going that fast?! And how in the hell did he catch me in the middle of all that traffic...hmmm...


So we get to Steve's apartment. At least it is all up hill from here. I've got help now! Steve always has the best chips and salsa so I run in the kitchen and dig in. That was one thing I had forgotten eat. Before I could enjoy my first bite, I get a chip wedged between my tooth and gum behind my tooth. How does that happen, you ask...I have no damn clue. But I can verify that not only does it hurt like hell, it doesn't just slide back out. In fact, it has now been wedged in there for almost 4 hours now. The pain has subsided and I am just hoping it will figure it out on it's own.

But then comes the last straw. You might think that the previous events would have been it, but no. It is an "Amy Day". Oh yes... The boys decide after swimming that we will all get in the bath together. Fine. I could use a bath even if it does come with two little splashers. Or so I thought. Beaux gets out and Spruce starts turning red. Not the usual 'water's too hot' or 'I'm getting ready to scream'. Oh no. This was the 'pinching one off' red face. "STEVE!!! COME GET HIM! HE'S POOPING!!!" Did he make it in time??? Of course not. If he had, it would have ruined the roll we were on. The kid filled the tub. Brown trout everywhere. Sure, some sank, but most floated...yay. Good times.

Tomorrow will be better. I will bathe alone.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Two Favorite B's

Okay, shocking as it may sound, I have only had to go upstairs to re tuck a certain someone once so far. It's kinda freaking me out.

First of all, granddaddy came over. This is always a special treat for the boys. Not just because they love him, but because he brings toys. Yes, loud ones. Thanks Granddaddy! However, I did manage to wear them out and then get them bathed before he came. It was a monumental task, but I achieved it. All we had left was the opening of the 'loudest toys in the world' and then a quick story and bedtime. (I had even pre-drugged them with Tylenol Cold to ensure we didn't suffer through another night of coughing...)

It was no use. The toys were the cars that you shake and they yell "Hey, show some respect Holmes!" and then peel off. Great... I've already hidden two of those that the Easter bunny brought... None the less, they graciously accepted his gift and Beaux didn't bother to tell him that he already had one of those. (Could he have possibly forgotten the long-lost Easter gift?!)

By the time the newness had worn off and they played 15 minutes of "Slinky Britches," which from what I can gather is a game where they run past Granddaddy and he tries to catch them, the reading of books commenced. This is almost always a guaranteed half hour event. But we survived that one too. All was looking in my favor. They even wanted him to tuck them in, so I was getting away without the traditional "lets stand in the driveway and wave to Granddaddy while he flashes his headlights at us" game. I was elated. I could taste that honey brown ale already!

But, alas, just as I sat down here to type, I heard the 'thump', which was quickly followed by the shuffle of bare feet on freize carpet. As anticipated, the sniffling of a stuffy head sleeping at the top of the staircase ensued. I had a feeling it was all going too well.

Just moments after resolving myself that I would just ignore it and put him back in bed when I was ready to go, I hear "momma"... Ug. Here we go. "Yes, son." "Mommma, I left my baby glubs down stairs and I really, really, really need him." "Okay, son. Come down and get him." "Momma, I got boogers." "So go blow your nose." "But momma, nuttin will come out!" "Um, okay. I'm not sure what else I can do for you." "Momma, I need you to pick them for me." (Good grief. Is it not enough that I carried the child for 9 months, nursed him for 12 months and allowed him to survive for 4 1/2 years?!) "Alright. Go upstairs."

Ah, the joys of motherhood. Boogers and warm Beer...mmmm.

Monday, September 1, 2008

My Own Meltdown

At what age are we socially prohibited from having meltdowns? Seriously, I would love to just throw myself on the floor and loose it over something completely senseless. Apparently, in this house, that works. At least when daddy's home and mommy's lost the will to live...

Today, I had hit that point. We took the boys to the neighbor's to play in a little baby pool. Beaux decides to throw water on everyone and then gets super pissed when the neighbor kid has the nerve to splash him. In order to save some sibilance of face with my neighbor, I order him out of the pool and force him to sit in time out. Sit he did. And scream he most certainly did. I was so mortified. It was awful. He is screaming at the top of his lungs and Steve's laughing and saying, "Is that all you've got? Is that the best you can do?" Okay, I am generally the one to antigonize him during meltdowns, but Steve isn't. Kinda stold my thunder there.

After the third and last meltdown, I took him home. Actually, I insisted that since it was Steve's last day in town, he should be the one to drag him down the hill and across the street. And he did.

By the time I finished making excuses for him to my neighbor and sulked home wishing I had a child that didn't scream in people's faces, I found him playing in the garage like nothing happened. That was the last straw. With all the calmness I could muster, I grunted "get in the house" through clenched teeth. That was all I said. But that was all I had to say. Maybe it was the clinched teeth, maybe it was the knit brow, maybe even the pea soup...either way, he knew what I meant and took it fully in the way it was intended. Before I could make it to the door, he was upstairs clinging to daddy with all his might. He was groveling so bad Steve couldn't figure out what had happened. As guilty as I felt, I just wanted to convey my sense of embarassment to him through a lesson taught by 'one of mommy's talks.' I don't really blame him for hating those. I do kind of ramble about other people's feelings and throw in some 'how would you feel' when needed. But it's not like I torture him with it.

Anyway, daddy swooped in to save the day with a "let's just settle down boys". Surprisingly, this time it worked. So well, in fact that I was in the next room considering what it would take for me to make enough money so he could quit his job and stay home with them!

Some days I just suck at this job. Parenthood is much more of a guilt-trip than I had envisioned...

Maybe I will throw myself in the floor and cry about it.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

$1,500 Pimple?!

Yeah, my sentiments exactly.

Apparently after being married 7 years and birthing two children I have just hit puberty. Good times. My face has been breaking out for the first time in my entire life in the past few months. I'm not big on makeup, but have actually had to wear CONCEALER!!! Ick.

So I get up Thursday morning and without any warning, there's a new one. This is no ordinary pimple. Oh no. This has taken over my chin. I'm not exaggerating here. It is literally the size of a half-dollar and my entire chin is shiny from the skin stretching. I look like Jay Leno. No joke. I finally get up the nerve to touch it and I almost passed out from the pain.

The best part of my new-found treasure was when Spruce took his toy car and ran it over the pimple. I honestly almost hit the floor. It was absolutely the most incredible pain. Later, Beaux told daddy that "Sprucey thought mommy's ouchie was a speed bump!" If it hadn't hurt so bad, I would have laughed.


Now, I'm not a 'let's see the doctor' kind of girl. I go when things get bad enough that others say, "you should see a doctor." However, this one seemed much more serious. Hell, I had to take Motrin to talk! So I call the dermatologist. October 1st is her next available!!! I told them that my entire face would be paralyzed by then (or the Motrin would have killed my liver) and they put me on the cancellation list. They called two hours later and had a spot for the next morning. Hallelujah!!!

I get there and sit in the waiting room for the longest hour. I could feel all the eyes on my face. It was mortifying. I was the guy in the drive thru with the lazy eye. People would make eye contact with me and do their best to not look at the chin. (My neighbor even asked who hit me...) Great. So an hour and a $1500 bill later, I'm agony. She numbed it and lanced the bad boy. Yeah, sounds as bad as it was. As I'm walking to the checkout reading the enormous bill in my hand I'm thanking the Good Lord that we have great health insurance. Well, that lasted about as long as the numbing medication in my chin... The receptionist kindly let me know in her 'all-knowing and could-give-a-shit-less" attitude that my insurance only paid 1/4 of my last bill and I had a $400 balance already!!! I about died. If they only paid $100 on my last visit, what would they say to a $1500 pimple?!?! Holy shit. I really almost puked then. If the car and the lancing hadn't done me in, this was going to.

So here I sit with the remnants of my mortgage payment sized pimple (which is just half it's original size but is very much still there) and mull over the conversation I will have with the insurance company on Tuesday. Good thing they aren't open now...mamma's got on her beer muscles. (What?! It goes great with Motrin!)

Sticks and Stones

So we're in the car bringing mams to our house to babysit. We are having an in depth conversation about how electronic toys are inhibiting both of my sons imaginative play. (Which is actually something I had been thinking about, but it all comes down to having the time to play with a wooden toy with them. You know?) Mams starts in on the 'when I was a kid' tyrade and we are all pretty intrigued. "My father took old soup cans, punched holes in them, tied strings to them and we wore them as stilts." Wow. That's pretty impressive honestly. I'm trying to imagine balancing my 5'10" frame with size 10's on a tin can. Not a pretty sight even in my head. "Then we'd play kick the can. Someone would kick the can and everyone would run and hide." Sounds like 'hide and seek' but I still can't find a use for the can. However, it does have me wondering about how much soup they ate.

Beaux, sitting attentively while mams recounts her childhood, finally pipes up and says, "Mams, Daddy only had leaves and sticks to play with when he was a boy. Sometimes, if he was really good, his daddy gave him some rocks."

The entire car goes silent. I look at Steve, who is pretending not to hear...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Just Surviving...

We're in survival mode now. Steve is almost home, the boys are arguing constantly (when they aren't ganging up on me) and I have already polished off one of Steve's last three 'special beers' that my cousin brought him back from St.Louis. I contemplated drinking them all in hopes that he would forget they were there in the first place, but I think that will just incite a riot...if he remembered.

I am hiding in the office, throwing out the occasional "Stop That" when I feel it might be necessary. You know, audio parenting. (For the novice, that's when you listen to the specific pitch of the scream before you jump and run.) Currently, they seem to be playing together pretty well. Even if I was in the room, I would be ignored.

Those two have their own games with unidentifiable names such as "Tay-Al, Tay-Al" and "Jearz". At first I thought it was just their language. They were communicating with eachother, playing little games, etc. Then I finally started paying attention to the actual game itself. "Tay-Al, Tay-Al" is the southern slang for "Tail, Tail" and the game consists of chasing the dog around the house in persuit of her tail. Yeah, she likes that about as much as I enjoy hearing the screaming. Part of me is enjoying the fact that they are leaving me alone AND the dog could use some exercise anyway. The second game "Jearz" is named so because they get on the rug and spin in circles until they fall down. In case you haven't picked up on it, "Jearz" is the sound a drill makes to a four-year-old. Pretty inventive if you ask me. Certainly, as with any little boy game, it gets violent. The eldest will throw his 45-pound-body like a projectile in the direct path of the littliest one. No warning, no consern for self-preservation. Nothing. He certainly has that 'watch this' mentality that will one day bite him. (Just hope I'm dead by then cause my "I told you so" would really annoy him.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What Ever It Takes

So tonight I came to a realization. (This doesn't happen often, so work with me here.)

Some moms are just born nurturers and some are survivalists. I'll give you some examples.

Nurturing mom: "Oh, Johnny! You fell! Are you okay? Did you get a boo-boo?! Here, let mommy kiss it!"

Survivalist mom: "Dude! You're bleeding all over the damn carpet! Hurry, get the carpet cleaner that mommy uses for cleaning up her wine!"


Nurturing mom: "Sweetie, do you want to go play now while mommy fixes dinner?"

Survivalist mom: "Hey, you want nuggets again?"


Nurturing mom: "Honey, it's time for bed. You have to get a good nights sleep so we can have plenty of fun tomorrow!"

Survivalist mom: "Listen kid. It's almost midnight. Get in bed now! Trust me, it's for your own safety..."


Now, on a daily basis I find myself fluctuating between the two. On occasion, I have been both at the same time. But for the most part, I find success in a happy medium. You have to have enough of the loving side to get them to want to please you and a touch of the 'do it now' side to help them realize that if they don't...they'll regret it. However, I have friends that are on the drastic ends of both and their kids seem just fine.

So is a wet wipe bath really that bad???

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sleep when I'm dead...

If someone came up to me right now and said, "You. Go to bed." I would gladly ablige. No questions. No problems. So at what age does the pendulum swing and we go from udder torture to begging for a nap?! Cause I gotta tell ya, if these two 'chillins' don't starting going to bed when I say so, this blog is going to turn into something completely different!

Tonight, for example, I begged and pleaded all through dinner. I finally gave up when the peas started flying. (At some point one has to resolve themselves to picking battles wisely and I knew I was outnumbered. I had learned that similar to dogs, one is a pet and two is a pack.) I gave up and they knew it too. I tried to save a little face with the old mommy addage of "Well, that's all you're getting for dinner. You can go to bed hungry." But knew in my heart they were smirking at eachother behind my back. They always do...

Next came the bath struggle. Now I'm no super mom. (If you have read any of the above posts, you are already well aware of that fact.) However, I feel strongly that on certain occasions, a wet-wipe bath will serve as a suitable replacement to an all-out water fight in the bathroom. Tonight was one of those nights.

The bedtime struggle is always the best. 'Little Sprucey' never fights. He actually requests to go 'see his duckies' and is gone in a matter of minutes. Beaux on the other hand, is always a different story. He will come up with the most amazing excuses for not sleeping. Honestly, I am secretly proud of his tanacity. One night he actually put liquid hand soap on his tongue as an excuse to come down stairs. I was shocked, and worried at the same time. Of course, this IS coming from the kid who peed down the air conditioning vent to keep from taking naps. Guess I shouldn't be too shocked. I digress. So the soap thing has taught me one valuable lesson. Not only will he go to extremes, he has no fear. (That and I can always threaten to 'wash his mouth out with soap' and know I don't have to follow through with it!)

Tonight the first attempt was "I have to pee." Fortunatly, he has his own bathroom, so that was a pretty lame one. Next came the "I'm scared." Which I do believe as he's been having bad dreams lately...but you have to sleep to dream, so I sent him back to bed. Finally he got up the nerve to march himself downstairs and announce that his pants were inside out. That they were. I can invision him sitting in the bathroom floor trying to get them inside out just so he could come down and tell me... Tanacity. It's impressive. I fixed his pants, kissed him goodnight and sent him back upstairs. Good mommy. Didn't get upset. Didn't raise my voice. Just told him goodnight.

But I am pretty sure the 'thump' I just heard was him falling out of bed... He better have a broken bone.

Terrible Two's Were Nothing...

...compared to the Frightening Four's! I have tried to be understanding and I am have blamed it all on the 'transitions' in our lives right now. But to be honest, my four-year-old has become a terror! He is mean to his brother behind our backs, he is disrespectful to my friends, he is manipulative and is amazing! I am truly at my wits-end almost every evening. When he disobeys and I give him that 'mommy is disappointed' look that used to work, he smirks at me! Yes, they can smirk at this age!!! How do you handle a smirk?!

I don't think I have lost control yet, he still obeys when I throw out ultimatums that he knows I will follow through on. I have never made empty promises (or empty threats when needed.) I have always been honest with him, given him choices, and responded when he made the wrong one. Lately, I have decided to focus on the theory of 'give a dog a good name' and just shower him with praise. But to be honest, it is damn hard to compliment someone on their 'good behavior' when you have been gritting your teeth all day.

Tonight, for example, he looked my dear girlfriend in the eye and told her "NO" when she asked him to turn off the water. (This was after he yelled at her son for being a 'bad boy' for getting water all over the floor trying to get out of the tub to escape!) Nice. Nothing makes you feel like an incompetent parent faster than that!

So now that he is asleep, I am rehashing the day and analyzing my every mistake. Each time that I lost my temper, each time that I rolled my eyes, and every smirk on my face just helps me to realize how easily we condition our kids to act in the same way that we despise. Maybe one day I will learn to communicate to get the desired result with him and him with me.

But as I hear his little feet thumping around upstairs when he should be sleeping I remind myself that there is always tomorrow...

It's Hell in the Hallway

Well, it is official. The Davis family is moving to Raleigh. Steve was offered an unbelievable opportunity there and we are shipping off. Well, HE is shipping off...the loving, devoted, self-sacrificing wife is staying behind with the two curtain-climbers to sell two homes. Yes, TWO. (So if anyone knows anyone who is looking for a house...or a kid...heh heh heh.)

Now mind you, I have lived my entire life in Knoxville. It wasn't that I was afraid to leave here, not at all, it was that the opportunity had never presented itself. Now that it has, I must admit that it is pretty darn scary. I am leaving behind a disabled mother who will have to be attended to by my wonderful 82-year-old grandmother and grandfather, and a devoted father who cannot even discuss his 'little Amo' moving. I worry more for my grandmother as she has devoted the last 4 years of her life to my sons. Not a week goes by that she doesn't see them nor a day that she doesn't call. She has been my rock, my teacher, my best friend. I cannot fathom the thought of something happening to her and me not being here to help. I realize that decisions of that magnitude are out of my hands, but you have to understand that I have somehow ended up the matriarch of this family. I have been the one that they call when someone is sick, needs a ride to wherever, or simply needs a hole dug in their yard. I have fixed phones and brownies in the same day. It has just been the way.

My father is my other concern. He and I have always been close. He has brought stability to an otherwise shaky childhood. He prevented many bad situations form happening just by being there. He guarded me with his life and sacrificed much to ensure my success. He has been an inspiration and a confidant for many years. I know he will be lonely. I have no doubt. I regret taking his grandsons six hours away for a job. But what I hate the most is that he doesn't understand the motive. He sees it as 'chasing the dollar', which is not the focus at all. Certainly it is a pay increase, but the position that is offered is one that Steve would never attain at his current employer.

My husband has worked harder than I have ever seen anyone else to ensure a good life for his family. He put himself through grad school while working full-time, teaching full-time and operating our balloon company on the weekends. It was crazy. We never saw him...and I was pregnant with Spruce and on bed rest! It was the busiest time of our lives. But, we both know that God carried us through all that for a reason. Doors have been opened that ordinarily would not have been and it is amazing.

Through all of this worry, my biggest concern is the boys. Spruce isn't really old enough to understand the impact of the word 'moving', but Beaux is a different story. Just past October we moved from Fountain City to Powell. Not a big jump, but we left behind the home he knew, the friends that were just up the street, and the park that we walked to often. It was a big change for him. Much bigger than I had anticipated. Because of that, our preparation for this move must be as low-hype as possible...which with family members who can't even discuss it...geez.

Last week the realtor put the big yellow sign in the yard. We hadn't thought much about it until we pulled in the neighborhood and saw it for the first time. Beaux honed in on it immediately. "Daddy! Why is that sign in our yard?!" My husband tried to explain it to the best of his ability, but the timing was just bad. The rest of the evening, Beaux was acting worse than I have ever seen. That night, as I was tucking him in, I asked him what was wrong. He fidgeted around and finally said, "Mommy, I just don't know what is going to happen to me." Talk about breaking your heart... I resisted my first response of 'well, honey, you are staying with the house', as I have learned in four years that smartass answers don't translate well to preschoolers. I did my best to explain that he loved the old house and he loves this house, so of course he will love the new house. I think he bought far.

It is just in these moments of uncertainty that you always go back to what you know. What you have understood to be fact. My safe spots have always been the conversations with my great-grandmother. She was one of the wisest women I have ever known. I was trying to explain all this to my neighbor the other day and told her that my great-grandmother used to always say, "When God closes a door, he opens a window." She looked me dead in the eye and said, "Yes, but it's hell in the hallway."

Talk about clarity...

Puppy Love Leads to a Dog's Life...right?

As mothers we envision the day that our children will bring home the girls that will inevitably break their hearts. We imagine how in-love they will be and how it will overwhelm them. We know, from experience, how bad it will hurt when they break up and have already planned how we will console them. When we think of these days, we assume it will be at least 10 years from now, right?! Not always...


My oldest son has always been a bit of a flirt. It started when he developed a crush on the nurse practitioner at the pediatrician's office. He was about 18-months-old yet was immediately smitten. We have made trips there for the oddest illnesses until I realized that he was just wanting to see 'Miss Molly'. Well, at the age of 4, I am surprised to say, 'Miss Molly' has been replaced. I am sure there is still a special place in his heart for her, but she sent over one of her friends to baby sit. That was all it took. The cute little college girl bounded in the door talking of how Molly had told her 'all about Beaux and Spruce' and that was it. He was gone. He ran up and down the hall to show 'Miss Annie' how fast he could go. He jumped off every piece of furniture to show 'Miss Annie' how high he could jump. He even pulled out every one of his favorite frogs to show 'Miss Annie' his collection. (Little did he realize that while he was showing her his tumbling techniques, his little brother was sitting on her lap, petting her hair.)

Now tell me I have nothing to worry about?!

"Babies Eat Boobies"...and other Beauxisms

Every once and a while, your child will come up with the most embarrassing statements which are usually nothing more than their perception of their world. They mispronounce words, they reverse the order of common names, they tell the preacher that, "Babies eat boobies", etc.

My oldest has always been the master of it. In fact, my husband and I are constantly second-guessing everything we tell him. Now mind you, we don't always tell him the exact truth on everything, simply because the truth is usually boring. We have gotten into this habit of making up answers to questions where we know the answer will take too long and probably be over his head.


Last week, Beaux was watching Molly bury a dog treat in the back yard. Of course, he wondered why she didn't just eat we were wondering too. My husband proceeds to explain that Molly thinks if she buries her bone, a bone tree will grow there and she will have all the bones she wants. (He generally doesn't come up with the quickest responses, so I was actually proud of him for that one.) Well, Beaux, who is accostomed to our humerous (to us) responses, says, "Dad. Are you kidding?" Steve responded with, "Maybe. Why don't you ask Molly yourself."

As we walked off giggling to ourselves, I told Steve how bad it was of him to do that. He said, "Really?! Beaux told me last week that birds can sit on electric wires and not get shocked because they have rubber feet."


The Judgements

So how is it that once we give birth we become pros at everything child related? You get pregnant; you know all about pregnant women and how much folic acid they need, how they shouldn't be lifting that box, how they have outgrown that t-shirt, etc. Then you give it comes; you know everything birth-related. If you went natural; pain meds are for wimps. If you had meds; 'don't those granolas know that you don't get extra credit for going natural?!' You have a c-section; 'I had to have one because XYZ happened, but I wouldn't have chosen it!'

We've all experienced this. You're shopping in the store and you see another mom. You immediately begin judging. "Humph. She looks good. Must have a nanny for those kids." Or, "I can't believe she let her son go out without a coat! Some mom."

I have realized that you don't have to be a mom to do it.
"Look at how wrinkled that man's clothes are! His wife must not be much of a wife." "I can't believe she's wearing THAT!"

Why do we judge so quickly. Does it make us feel better about our own decisions? Do we really think that we are justifying our recent weight-gain by criticizing someone's desperate need for spandex?

And none of us are exempt from this. Even the sweet, soft-spoken friend that never says a cross word about anyone does it in their head. See, they have learned that verbalizing it tends to get you in trouble. They are the smart ones...

A personal example: On one such occasion when I verbalized my criticisms, my great-grandmother asked me, "Honey, does it make your candle glow brighter to blow someone else's out?" (She just kept her criticisms to herself, I'm convinced.)

So just remember, when you point the finger, there are three of your own pointing back at you.