Monday, November 18, 2013

Love is in the Air

The Boy Who Doesn't Talk (much) has a girlfriend.

The Boy has a hard time with transition. He doesn't like going to P.E., Music, the cafeteria, or recess. He would happily play in the classroom all day. One particular day when the teachers were insisting on fresh air a little girl took The Boy's hand and together they ran all over the playground. The Boy isn't overly fond of touching. This was significant. The teachers told me this girl would probably be moving into their classroom soon.

Today, Nickel asked me if The Boy told me about his girlfriend. He hadn't so of course I asked. She gave him some conversation hearts today. Apparently she is pretty and has brown hair like Mama. He's not giving up her name though. Somethings are private.

I will, of course, ask his teachers tomorrow.

He reminds me of Peanut at this age and the time Pokes Fan proposed. Such a fun age. 

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Three Magic Words

The Boy Who Doesn't Talk (much) has made leaps and bounds in his vocabulary over the last two years. When he was about three and a half he started seeing one of my best friends an hour a week for speech therapy. That helped, she not only helped him but she helped me learn ways to help him One day she asked if I would be interested in having him tested to possibly getting him into the school system early where he would get more help. This sounded like a great idea to me so we proceeded. With just a few weeks left of school The Boy Who Doesn't Talk (much) started going to school half a day Monday through Thursday.

He loved it.

When he turned four and started Pre-K he had the same teacher and went half a day Monday through Friday. More progress was made. He started calling me "Ma" and Nickel is "Da". To him, the word "no" comes out "nay".  I tease that he's obviously Scottish and we should get him a kilt.

Kindergarten brought us to full days all week but he has mostly the same kids in his class this year as last year. This helps. So far this year we've seen him pretend to talk on the phone to some of his classmates as well as an abundance of new words. We still don't understand all of what he says, it's sort of like talking to a two year old at this point. But we're getting there. Patience is a skill I am perfecting.

His whole life I have waited to hear those three magic words from him. The best three words there are. I tell him over and over, "I love you." I whisper it in his ear when he's sound asleep. I tell him when we're playing on the floor. I tell him when we're standing in the check out line at the store.

He has never said it back. I don't doubt that he loves me. Somethings in life you just know. But still, it would be nice to hear those words

Today, I needed to leave the house to work on some homework. I find it much less distracting if I hide in a corner of the library. So I was digging in my closet for my backpack (that I've had since my first semester of college in 1997 thank-you-very-much) when he came up behind me.

"Hey Ma."

"Hey Baby, what's up?" I asked without turning around.

"Iloveyou" He garbled.

"What was that?" He repeated himself twice before I realized exactly what he was saying. My son, the boy of very few words told me loves me. He ran off to play giggling over the whole interaction.

I held it together while I packed my bag but as soon as I got in the car the tears started to fall. Two hours later they still threaten to overwhelm me.

He told me he loves me. Those three magic words from the keeper of my heart.

We take words for granted. But when someone is stingy with their words you should always stop and listen. And appreciate. And love.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Mama Says

I just spent a very nice weekend with my mother. Just the two of us. No husbands. No little distracting children. I drove over to the pretty side of the state on Wednesday and Thursday morning we took off on our adventure to Northwest Arkansas.

We followed the directions I had previously printed out and made it there without incident. After a little bit of driving around to get a feel for where the hotel was at and what was nearby I asked Mom what she wanted for lunch. We had seen an Olive Garden as we exited the highway so of course my mama said, "Olive Garden." Being unfamiliar with the town and not entirely sure how to get back there I whipped out my phone, turned on the GPS and typed in my destination. The directions would have made more sense if we had been familiar with the town but we got there. We decided since our hotel check-in time was still a few hours away we'd go ahead and go to the craft show we had specifically come for. Again I turned on the GPS and familiarized myself with the street names and we took off. If you ever have a chance to visit Northwest Arkansas, the Ozarks, I recommend you go. Late October early November should be even more beautiful as the trees were just barely starting to turn.

The next day we did some shopping and decided to head to up Eureka Springs. Again, another lovely town. Mom really wanted to see the Passion Play but due to the terribly windy roads (without many guardrails) she decided it would be safer if we drove back to our hotel during the daylight. We decided next time we'll do better at finding a hotel closer to Eureka Springs. The town just begs to be explored. We ended up going back a different way than we went. This was only partially on purpose and GPS kept us from actually reaching Missouri (the wrong way). But Mama said she preferred it this way. Seems my dad only knows one way to wherever they go and she enjoys all there is to see.

Saturday brought an end to our trip. We checked out one more craft show (they're really big in Northwest Arkansas during Fall Break) and headed home. At lunch I consulted with the GPS again. I had planned to take the way back but didn't realize until it was too late that GPS was taking us home by a different route. I confirmed that the road we were taking would in fact get us there and just drove. Mama said she didn't mind and eagerly soaked up the scenery as it passed by.

After exiting the interstate highway we drove a two-lane road the rest of the way home. We went through several small towns that looked very interesting. "This is Summer, Arkansas!" Mama said as we passed by some old abandoned looking buildings. "My daddy brought us here one time. All the way to Summer, Arkansas." She told me how my grandfather would get an itch to go for a drive from time to time. Seems he too liked to see different scenery from time to time. So he would load up my grandmother and the four kids, pick a direction and just drive. Sometimes they would stop and buy a loaf of bread and a package of bologna. Grandma would bring a jar of water and they would have a picnic where ever they stopped, then they would load back into the car and drive home. Restaurants were fewer and farther between back then, but they didn't have money to stop at them anyway."Those were the best times! People don't do stuff like that these days." Mama reminisced. "Can you imagine four kids in the back seat?  We probably enjoyed it more than he did." Mama said looking out the window, no longer seeing what was passing her by in the present.

"Mama," I said though I never knew my grandfather, "I imagine he liked it just fine." I'm sure he liked it because they were together. And they were happy. What more could a person want for their family.  I'm glad my GPS took us home that way.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Smartest Stupid Thing I've Ever Done

I pride myself on not being a total idiot. Sometimes I am an idiot but I'd like to think that perhaps I'm not a total idiot. When I graduated from high school all those moons ago the State of Oklahoma said to me, "You're pretty smart and you're pretty poor why don't we pay 100% of your tuition to any school in the state for 5 years!" You know what I did? Of the 10 regular semesters I could have used that FREE money I only went for 4. See, stupid idiot.

My thinking on this was simply that I just didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up and wanted to take a stab at being a wife and mom. Not that I'm complaining about either of those decisions. Nickel and I still get along after all these years and Peanut is a pretty awesome kid.

A few years later I thought, well, why not finish up that Associates degree and so I did. Slowly, but I did.  Ironically it was while taking the last of those classes that I got pregnant with The Boy Who Doesn't Talk (much). A few years after the last course I actually applied for graduation and they said, "It's only been 4 years since you finished, why not have the piece of paper to go with it." See, stupid idiot.

But this latest decision I've made is perhaps the smartest stupid decision I've ever made.

I'm going back to college.
Again. But no more children this go around!

The University of Oklahoma says to me, "You only have 42 hours left why not take classes online? They're just 8 weeks a piece. Take a couple in the fall and see what you think." Ok, sign me up.

The website for OU is vast. The course outline for my first class scares me to death.

I have to write eight 1250 word essays in two months. Eep. Well, you know, I like to write. But I like to write like this. From the top of my head where grammar doesn't matter. Well, it does. For the most part but it's not like all 4 of you that read my blog are going to comment about any grammar faux pas unless they're really out there. For this class I have to make sense. I think. I mean, it's college they probably frown if your papers don't make some sort of sense, right?

But getting a college edu-macation isn't a bad thing. It might help me land a better job or a promotion somewhere along the line. Nickel's auntie wants me to continue on to get my Masters. I say, "Whoa Nelly!" Let's make sure I can survive the next 42 college hours before we go tacking on another.... I don't even want to think about how many more hours (and years) it would take to get my Masters. So, if you need me, I'll be around looking for an excuse to avoid my homework. Maybe this is the spark I need to really get blogging again. I have lots of The Boy Who Doesn't Talk (much) stories to tell.

Until then.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Best or the Worst, Take Your Pick

After today, my children will only attend school for 8 more days. Then they will officially be on summer vacation. They are both very excited. Though it means a lot more to Peanut than her brother as this is his first year of school. But he senses the excitement in the air.

It doesn't seem real. For instance today was the first day The Boy Who Doesn't Talk (much) wore shorts to school. Mother nature has lost her mind and refuses to let go of winter. I try, I really do try not to complain as I know any moment now she will snap back into reality and the lows will be in the upper 80s and the highs hovering around 110.

The weather isn't the only reason it doesn't feel like the end of the school year, time just seems to pass by quicker all the time. Remember when we were kids and the school year seemed to drag and drag and we thought we would NEVER get to summer? I sort of miss those days.

Because I work every other Saturday I get every other Friday off. That may change in the future but I'm going to fight it with all I have. Fridays off are the best. It's practically the weekend. I especially love them during the school year because I drop my kids off at school and then have 7 hours ALL. TO. MYSELF! It is glorious.

During my 7 hours I run errands here and there in town and sometimes do other mom stuff like laundry or house cleaning. Sometimes I go to the grocery store and buy just the food I want to eat without anyone else throwing silly stuff into my basket. I never buy Nerds unless some child is with me. Sometimes, if I'm lucky and plan ahead I have two hour visits at a local coffee shop with one friend (sometimes local author Lucie Smoker who is amazing and you should read her book if you haven't already) followed up by a two hour lunch with another friend! Those days are my favorite but on those days I don't get any laundry done. It's all about priorities.

But during the summer my Fridays off are spent with my kids. I'm not in anyway saying this is bad. I'm just saying there are no 2 hour visits over coffee and lunch is out of the question because it's just not the same with children there thinking they need to either be included in the conversation or dominating it. And that's fine too. It's just for a couple of months, totally doable.

But this year I have devised an evil plan. I'm either the best mom ever because I'm taking care of my sanity or I'm the worst mom, you can pick but don't tell me if you think I'm the worst mom.

This year, next Monday in fact, I'm taking a vacation day. WHILE THE KIDS ARE IN SCHOOL. A stay-cation because where would I go with only one day off? I'm trying to squeeze in the last little bit of school days that I can before summer hits.

It's like the Labor Day of the school year for this mom. Bwahaha!!!


Next Monday I plan on drinking coffee, having lunch, and who knows what else I'll get into. The kids might be counting down the number of days left in school but I'm counting down the number of days until my day off! Woot!

Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 04, 2013

I Saw My Mother Do It

I grew up on a in a small community called Etta Bend. Once a thriving community with a train stop, a lumber mill, a one room school house, and residents hunted in the tree-dense hills and fished along the river. Today, Etta Bend it a barely a dot on a rare map. The one-room school house burned at one point and the children went to other schools in nearby communities, there are no train tracks to speak of, I have no memory of the lumber mill and I do not know how it met it's end, but I like to think that the trees won the battle of territory. People still hunt and fish and the horse-shaped road is still dirt and rock. Supposedly, the county was going to pave it in 1970. Residents are still waiting.

I learned to drive on that dirt road. I even let my slightly younger best friend drive for the first time on a straight stretch of road. I like that dirt road, part of me hopes the county forgets to pave it for another forty years.

Etta Bend is home to one little church and as you might suspect, I grew up in that church. When I started driving I became Minnie's chauffeur. Minnie was a sweet old lady who was like a second grandmother to me. She had babysat me from time to time and was my Sunday School teacher more often than not. For all the years I knew her Minnie never drove. I don't know if she even owned a vehicle. I think I remember a rusted old car that sat near her home but I don't know the details. Minnie relied on people to bring her to and from church on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. When her family was close they performed the duty but as her family branched out my family picked up the slack.

I loved driving Minnie to church. Not only because I loved her but because I loved driving. It was a little thing to me, barely took an extra 10-15 minutes depending on road conditions.

But Minnie wasn't the only one I even played chauffeur to. Before I started driving a woman started attending our church. She too lived on Etta Bend, but this woman didn't smell very nice. She seemed to be forgetful and would say things over and over. I had not grown up with her and I am ashamed to say, I had little patience for her. Her name was Susie.

Susie would sometimes walk to church which was over two miles from her house up and down hills over this rock and dirt road with her cane. As a teenager with a sensitive nose I did not think too kindly of my mother offering rides to this woman. It was impossible to hold my breath all the way. But my mother did not complain once. She even smiled and talked to her which I knew required breathing.

I saw what my mother did.

By the time I was seventeen I got over myself and joined the ranks as one of Susie's chauffeurs when she felt up to attending church, which honestly became less and less over the years. Time gets us all.

Fast forward fifteen years and now I'm in my car with my teenage daughter after school. We're talking about homework assignments and the substitute teacher for the substitute teacher when I saw Mrs. Miller walking down the street.

Mrs. Miller lives a block over and I see her out walking almost ever single day of the year no matter the weather. But this was a cold and rainy spring day. I could see Mrs. Miller struggle with her umbrella, which is obviously broken, a cup of coffee, a small bag from Burger King, and her cane.

I had never actually met Mrs. Miller before though we have lived in the same neighborhood for ten years. I pulled over and rolled my daughter's window down, "Would you like a ride?" She only lives three blocks away but it's a nasty day and clearly she's struggling. She takes in the car and after a moment of deliberation she agrees to the ride. I talk her into handing the coffee and sack to Peanut hold while she maneuvers her umbrella and cane into the back seat. During the short trip she asks if Peanut goes to the same Jr. High her children and grandchildren went to once upon a time. We talk about the yucky weather we've  had but are thankful for much needed rain. Small talk that didn't amount to much at all. At her house I hop out into the rain taking the coffee and sack and carry them along with the broken umbrella up the three steps to her house. I smiled and said goodbye.

My daughter saw what her mother did.


Monday, March 25, 2013

The Highlander

It is no secret, I love a good kilt. Especially when the man wearing the kilt is hot.

Take a moment and Google David Tennant, Gerard Butler, or even Sean Connery in kilt.

Mmmmmmmmmm....see?

What was I saying? Oh yes, kilts. I like 'em. I like 'em a lot. I even like to read Medieval Romance novels set in the...you guessed it, the Highlands. Don't judge me.

Yes, I've read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. It was a good book and would totally read the others in the series except I became some bogged down by the story line that Nickel thought for two weeks it took me to read it I was depressed, unhappy, and was going to leave him. I tend to become one with a book (which is why I choose happily ever after romance novels over thriller horror books everyday) so I'll just let my friends tell me all the interesting plot points in the rest of the series and piece the story together in my head where everyone is happy. Especially Jamie and Claire. It works for me, ok.

Nickel knows about my kilt fetish. He still refuses to wear one for me. Bummer. That would be a sight!

Today I went visited with some close friends of mine. My Melodious friend served tea. Today's blend was a very nice Highland tea. It was delicious and I may have been a glutton drinking at least four cups. In my defense, I have a terrible cold and the tea soothed my sore body. But I digress.

After our adventures and tea I came home and made a lovely Cottage Pie for dinner and took control of the remote and decided on the 1986 production of Highlander. I've seen this movie before, many many years ago.

I now remember why I haven't watched the movie is so long. It's ridiculous, as most movies from the 80s are. What were they thinking?

I had to turn the movie off before the end because I remembered why it was rated R. Because movies like this think it's appropriate to throw in a random sex scene. "Hey baby, you just found out I'm over 400 years old. Wanna have sex on my hardwood floors?"

Uh, no.

I mean, come on, ew.

He wasn't even wearing his kilt in that scene. Not that his kilt was cute in the flashbacks. It really wasn't.

Since I have a young boy and a new teenager in the house I thought it more appropriate for The Adventures of Chuck and Friends to be our entertainment. As that genre usually dominates our airwaves.

And this, my friends is why you do not watch Rated R movies from the 1980s no matter if there are kilts or not. This warning should probably apply to the 1995 production of Braveheart as well.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Life of a Teenager's Mom

No, I'm not changing the name of my blog. I could, that would be a great title, but I think I'll stick with this one. Plus, it's kind of fun to be called "Fresh-Cut Flowers Girl" when being introduced.

I have much on my mind these days. Too much for a Facebook post. Besides, I'm on the outs with Facebook at the moment. I'm sure that tide will change again soon, but for now, old faithful blog, I turn to you to vent my thoughts and feelings.

Thirteen years ago I was in a lot of pain. Well, maybe not exactly thirteen years ago. I don't remember what time it was when I got my epidural. All I know for sure is that in a few short hours my Peanut will been a full fledged teenager. We've been through a lot that little girl and I. Some things were good and others weren't so good. I'm sure we'll have plenty more of those moments in the next thirteen years to come. I'm hoping by the time she's twenty-six she'll be the easiest person to get along with. I'm proud of her, my Peanut. She's quite an amazing young lady. She's smart, kind, and generous to a fault. The Lord is good.

Baby Butter, aka The Boy Who Doesn't Talk (much) has been talking more since he started Pre-K. He was able to start at the elementary school last spring in the Special-Ed program geared for 3 year olds that are delayed. Since he didn't talk much he was considered delayed. Not being overly worried about it we thought it was a great opportunity to get him extra help. He responded well to the teacher and the structure of going to school. As luck would have it, he has the same teacher again this year. Now he talks and sings and even recognizes some letters and numbers. He is especially fond of the letter "E" and the number "5". I don't know why but I agree that those are good ones. For all his progress I am thankful. The Lord is good.

I'm feeling off lately. I don't know if there is too much clutter or not enough time or just a phase or some sort of mesh of all of the above. There defiantly aren't enough hours in the day. After work all I want to do is sit down and zone out. Much like 97% of all working adults I'm sure. I miss working at the church where I had my own office and could take my time easing into work or starting off with a bang if I felt like it. I miss the quiet time where I could sit and write for a few minutes. I miss writing. I miss blogging. People make time for what they find important, they say, which is true. Obviously, I do not find deep sea fishing important. At least, not to me. But I do think cleaning is important, yet currently my desk is in such disarray that I'm having an inner battle just to ignore it and type this little blog instead. I should probably stop it and start cleaning. Declutter my desk and declutter my mind. I wish that was how it worked. I like things to be easy. But I fear I will end up distracted for my efforts.

Now that I've come to the conclusion that I'm just rambling about inconsequential things I will wrap things up. What it all boils down to is this. I love to blog but the truth of the matter is I crave feedback. I want to know how many people have read my little ramblings and I just don't get that kind of feedback here whereas Facebook has all those Likes and people actually comment on what I have to say more often than not. So while I would love to spend everyday blogging through my life and telling you boring story after boring story of what my children are doing I will probably stick with Facebook.

I think I'll go clean my desk now.