Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dear Grandma Phillips

Dear Grandma Phillips,

You won't have to worry about your kitchen this summer [see Night of the Naughties for the story and pictorial], I no longer use floors and walls as my canvas. You may have to worry about your face in the middle of the night, however. Consider this your warning.

Artistically yours,

Lauren's Wardrobe Change

I've been busy going through the closet in the guest room, and consequently, the room is a mess of things that need to be organized and put away. In true investigative mode, the girls stumbled upon a collection of goodies they had never seen before. It was quite comical to listen to their conversations and inquiries from the other room.

For those of you with girls younger than mine, I am proud to introduce you to your future:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Hope You Are Raising Your Son

Today Lauren and I rebirthed our activity time; the time while Abby is at preschool that as of late we have spent at home getting chores done and watching our shows. But today we needed to be out amongst the masses, so we spent the time at the mall in the kids' play area.

Lauren got right down to business, shoes off and play, play, play. I kicked back with my luke-warm coffee and a book. That is until a pair of moms came along and consumed the rest of my cushy bench in the corner. I didn't mind them there, and just enjoyed being able to keep my eyes on my book instead of solely on my child. But as they were talking it became more and more difficult to ignore their intimate exchange.

It was definitely a one-sided conversation. One friend went on and on about her frustrations with her husband, while the other listened politely with a caring heart. As the minutes ticked away I started to think more and more about cogitations I have had briefly in the past: "Somewhere out there are two little boys that will one day grow up to be my daughters' husbands. I pray that his parents are doing a good job of raising him." Only this time I started making an entire docket. This was the inspiration for the letter to my daughters' future in-laws.

I hope you are raising your son to be a man. A good man. A man who knows right from wrong, and who makes choices not just because they are right for him, but because they are right for the others they affect. A man who respects women. A man who believes in the value of hard work, but also makes time to enjoy himself and those in his company. A man who respects a girl enough to meet her parents before a date, then walks her to the door at the end of the night. A man who not only rushes to hold a door for a lady, but also holds it open for any other person walking behind him. A man who helps an old lady across the street, then offers his services for additional help if needed.

I hope you are raising your son to be someone's husband. You are doing him no favors by coddling him, doing his laundry when he is capable, and cleaning up his room. If he expects that from his mother, he will expect it from his wife. And if he thinks it's his wife's duty to clean up after him, he will miss the best of what she has to offer.

I hope you are raising your son to say 'thank you'. I hope that someday when our children have children of their own, your son will thank his wife for her endless work and sacrifices. They will both work hard, but if he thanks her (as she's being raised to thank him, I assure you) they will have a much deeper respect for one another, a stronger relationship, and best of all they will be showing their children how to be good parents and good people.

I hope you are enjoying your son, feeding him well, developing a deep faith, not indulging him in instant gratification, letting him play outside, limiting video games, taking him to the library, fostering friendships with boys & girls alike, teaching him how to bake, plant a garden, mow the lawn, wash the dishes, unclog a toilet, shovel a sidewalk, and selfishly give of his time to others.

I hope that my daughter spends the rest of her life as happy as she is right now. She loves life, her family, her friends, her dog, her babies, singing, and learning. I hope she grows up to be a productive citizen who makes the world a better place. I hope that they are happy as individuals and that together they make each other better.

I hope that my daughter makes your son happy, makes him feel loved, and doesn't take your place as his mother, but rather lives with him as his best friend.

I am raising my daughter with all of these things in mind. I pray that you are, too.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

National Pancake Day

It's National Pancake Day! So to honor the beloved flap jack, we decided to make pancakes for lunch. It's not quite free pancakes at IHOP, but festive nevertheless.

However, if The Waffle House is hosting free waffles on Nat'l Waffle Day, we're there!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hair Raising Day

This morning, Lauren & I accompanied Abby's class on a field trip into the depths of Dayton for a kiddy concert. And that is just what it was.... a get-up-on-your-feet-and-shake-your-fanny jam session. The kids loved it, in fact one of the boys in Abby's class was so into it an area cleared for his break dancing moves. Pure preschool. Lauren was excited all weekend to be going on her first field trip, and I think it lived up to her dreams. She joined Abby's friends in the dance fest.

I could be wrong, but I think all of this preschool and concert has gone to her head, literally. I caught her in the bathroom this afternoon doing her hair in a new style. Of course I took pictures!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Helping the Needy

For one reason or another, we have yet to attend church here in Ohio.... that is, until today. At first it was because I was very content to be cooped up in this box of a house. Then it was because we spent a lot of time going home. After that the reason focused on the girls', mainly Lauren's, lack of focus. In the back of my mind was a sadness that no matter what church we found, it wouldn't provide that same sense of warmth and community as our beloved congregation in Florida (yes, for the record, it was one of the few things in Florida I enjoyed and appreciated). But it has been weighing heavy on me for quite some time now, and not only did I feel the need for spiritual guidance, but it was imperative that we give it to the girls as well. We talk about God at our house quite often, and Abby has come up with some amazingly insightful questions. This morning she questioned, "Will God be one of the people at church?" and "What color are His eyes?" Trying to chose the road that leads to the least amount of follow-up questions, I side-tracked the conversation to Jesus, and told her His eyes were brown.

The church we visited today was great. The people were warm, welcoming, and friendly; it was the kind of reception we received at our church in Florida. Perfect! After the readings one of the pastors and a few other adults take the children out for a children's sermon, where they follow-up with a snack and an activity related to the day's message. Being Lent, all the children received boxes for donations. A gift! Abby was elated. After the children returned for communion the rest of the service was restless for my munchkins, but they handled it well. Only one embarrassing outburst from Abby as she questioned quite loudly why an elderly gentleman did not have to stand up, but she did. She was not happy about this, and I could tell a handful of the ladies behind us got a kick out of her inquiry by their snickers.

By the time we got home the girls were nothing short of falling apart. As Abby admired her box she announced, "I want to keep this for the rest of my life."

Trying to scramble lunch together for my lovelies, I replied, "I'm sure you do, Abby, but the purpose of the box is to collect money to give to those in need."

Crabby, tired, and hungry Abby demanded, "Well I need things!"

Don't we all, Abby. So she wasn't quite getting the point of the exercise. In time, maybe. But for now I have no doubt her little mind is working up a whole new set of questions that far outreach the confines of that little box.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lauren is Still Thinking About the Moon

This bright and sunny morning on our way back home after dropping Abby off at preschool, Lauren remarked, "The hot is following us. Is the moon in the hot?" She then continued on to discuss the absence of the stars in the sky.

Her mind is out of this world.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lauren's Big Girl Bed

Alas, Lauren has a big girl bed. Yesterday the snow storm cancelled her gymnastics class, crushing her little spirit. But the delivery men were not about to let the snow stop them from dispatching her right of passage today, and it has arrived!

We've been putting off outfitting her with suitable slumber for multiple reasons, but most of which because I just couldn't decide what to get for her, since she shares a room with her sister, and Abby's bed is no longer available for purchase. Last week, as I was putting the girls to bed, Abby commented to Lauren, "Lauren, someday do you want to have a big bed like me?" The tone in her voice was crushing and I knew it was time to act. After overcoming a debilitating virus, I fount it within myself to get out of the house, took the girls out to run off steam at Magic Castle, then went shopping for Lauren's bed. We found just what we were looking for on Saturday, and much to our amazement, it was in stock! Of course that meant we could not delay on garnishing our new furnishing with bedding, so we had to go shopping for that, too.

Lauren is beyond thrilled, as the pictures well illustrate. And I am excited, too. Their room has been in decorative disarray since we moved the crib out of their room.... Mommy will be very happy when all of the finishing touches (and touch-ups) are put into place.

Lauren is currently singing, "It's my new bed" in her room. Today is a good day. Lauren finally has her big girl bed!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Getting to the Root of the Issue

While playing around with Lauren last night, I looked at her and thought aloud, "Tiny, why are you so stinkin' cute?"

Never shy about throwing the compliments back my way, she was quick to reply, "Why are you so cute?"

I concluded, again out loud, that she must get it from me. To which she declared, "It's in the roots!"

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Skate of Confusion

Lauren is determined to skate her way into the Olympics.

Just who she will be skating for is up in the air.... Looks like we need to do a little more work on geography, and perhaps invest in a pair of real skates.

(Per usual, you will want to pause the playlist on the right side of the screen to hear the audio accompaniment.)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

For the Love of the Boogie

To say I am feeling under the weather is a bit of an understatement. Thank goodness for two little ladies who are capable and about as self-sufficient as preschoolers can be. I mustered up enough energy to get myself upright and heat up a can of soup, a feat I thought quite remarkable for my current condition.

Until it was time for supper, the girls complained little about also feeling under the weather. But Lauren was getting tired and whiny, and was less than thrilled about eating vegetable, and not tomato soup. Yet somewhere she found just enough oomph to wiggle and shake her body at the table.

I said with a smile, "Lauren, you sure like to boogie, don't you?"

Abby replied, "Boogies are so sticky. Why are they so sticky?!"

Laughter really is great medicine. I love these girls.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sticky Situation

Abby has no idea how much she is like her mother. I hesitate to let her in on my dirty little secret, knowing someday she will hate every inch of everything about herself that is like me. So I don't say a word, at least not to her. She's a smart little lady, but there is no way she could know the ways she resembles her mom, things she couldn't know because she's never seen me do, making her actions all the more frightening.

Which brings me to the other night. After giving the girls their baths, the three of us, teeth brushed and wearing our pajamas, snuggled up in blankets on my bed with our stories to cap off the night. Abby must have gotten up five times to wash her hands. What could possibly be bothering her that much to force her to wash so frequently? "I'm sticky," she repeatedly told me. Great. I hate being sticky. In fact, when I was younger it was so bad that if I got syrup on the handle of my fork while eating pancakes, I would get up from the table, wash my hands and get a clean fork. Could this be the tell-tale sign this little person was destined to be me? After the sixth time I just couldn't take it anymore. She was disrupting my rhythm. So I asked her, "Abby, why are your hands so sticky?" She exclaimed in anger while hiding her face with embarrassment, "Because they have boogers on them!"

Ahhh, problem solved. Tonight she's not my kid. She's Geoff's.


{About Me}

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Fairborn, Ohio, United States
I'm a teacher by trade, writer at heart & mom in every sense of my being. I never considered writing as a profession, but after I got married and began moving around the country, I began sharing my adventures, misadventures & updates through a sort of e-mail newsletter. I found a true passion in unconventional story-telling that has followed me into motherhood.