Monday, April 26, 2010

A letter to my blog

Dear Blog,

Oh how I have missed you! I have many things to post, to share, to tell you - many precious stories that I do not want to forget, and many pictures that I want to show you. But I have not had a minute!

I would love to tell you about my Stewart Cat. I would tell you how I drove him 3 hours to the University of Missouri for a special radiation treatment that should correct your Hyperthyroidism. About how I cried a little on the way home because I hated to leave him and I was so scared about the treatment. I would tell you that I know in my head that every treatment has risks, but I would also tell you that my heart does not want to even consider that. I would also point out that he is doing well and the awesome vet student has called me at least once a day to report his progress. And of course, I would bring up all the cleaning I have done of Stewart's area so that it will be all ready for him to come home and be isolated (away from small children) for 3 whole weeks.

I would share with you that I am so busy right now - the end of the year is upon us! I am planning goody bags for my precious Awana kids AND planning their musical debut at church this Sunday. I would tell you all about the end of the year teacher gifts I have ordered - and the personalized M&Ms that I am so thrilled about. I would tell you about my stress over what a crazy week this is! I will be volunteering for the Week of the Military Child at Jessa's school - sometimes twice a day. I am excited about Spencer's conference at his school. I can't wait to help my Awana Cubbies practice their songs for church. I am fired up about parent watch week at Ballet for Jessa. This week is also the last week of soccer. Oh, and I have a PTO luncheon to attend, and it is covered dish, no less. I am pumped to be a chaperone for Jessa's class trip on Friday. OH! And Miss Jessa has a fever, so I am also squeezing in a doctor's visit this afternoon. Plus, I will be making the 6 hour (round trip) drive back to the University of Missouri to pick up my precious kitty. I would also let you know that my sweet Momma is here, and she has spent several nights here so that my babies do not have to get dragged all over!

I would confide in you that I still wouldn't change a thing. I would tell you that I love my crazy busy life. I would remind you that all of this stress and busy-ness means that I am blessed with the best kids ever. That they are fortunate enough to go to great schools that care about their students and want parents to be involved. That I am so lucky to have family who sent me checks to apply to the "Stewart Fund" to help me pay for the rather pricey treatment. That I am so glad that I have a car that will help me deliver Stewart to a wonderful place of caring people that have cutting edge treatments that can improve Stewart's quality of life. I would tell you how thankful I am that my Momma is here to help out with the kiddos. I am so blessed to have a dear friend who reads my blog so regularly that she was actually worried that I had not posted in so long! I am so happy with my life - even though I am not sure when I will get to sleep or post anything!

Oh, blog, I love you and I love being able to share many things with you.

Please be patient with me!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

An iPod - at 6?

My SIX YEAR OLD spent the afternoon laying on the trampoline and playing outside with headphones in her sweet little ears listening to MY iPod! What the heck?
I know I am an enabler; it is my iPod, after all.
Would you look at this?

Yes, I admit that I am the one who downloaded Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber and Corbin Bleu.

And OK, so I did compile these artist into a playlist that is called "Jessa."

But I am not sure if I am ready for my daughter to walk around singing at the top of her lungs to songs on an MP3 player.
Am I??

All I can hear from upstairs is her sweet voice singing "Baby, baby, baby, oh!"

I blame satellite radio.
And more specifically Radio Disney.
Curse you 115!

Monday, April 12, 2010

How to catch a frog

I am hard headed. I know this. When I get something in my head, it is hard to get it out. This is usually helpful to me because as an Army Wife, I am stuck doing a lot of "stuff" that I might not otherwise do. You've read my posts about moving out during a hurricane, no less and then moving in all while David was deployed. You get it, right?

So this job that David has now, well, it involves a lot of travel. You know the kind of intense travel that makes it necessary for us to actually have a map to remember where he is? So there are things that have to be done when David is not here to do them. For example, lots of places where we lived, he would handle work orders and repair people for me - at least the scheduling part, anyway. And he has always handled the yard stuff, outside stuff, and tool related stuff. But there are times when I have to fire up the old lawn mower and make the backyard more dog friendly (at least for the dog that we have that is not afraid of grass. . .).

Don't you just love the quaint way it takes me forever to get to the point?
Hang on, it's coming.

So this Spring, the backyard has been cut twice. (Housing landscapes all the areas NOT inside the fence, whew!) And both times, I have been the one behind the old lawn mower. It is not that David can't or won't cut the grass, he simply hasn't been here. And again, I don't mind it. I kind of like it - it makes me feel like I am so tough. Anyway, I am cleared to use the lawn mower, but I am not cleared to use the weed eater. This is truly for the best. I am pretty klutzy, and it could end badly. So when I have mowed, the edges have been ignored. It was looking pretty bad. So me and my hard head. I got the bright idea to move the (pardon my technical terms) cement drainy thingy that sits under the gutters. Y'all know the one, right??

Now I was prepared for like a worm or a spider. I was very careful. And I used a shovel to pry that baby out of the dirt and grass where it was nearly covered with the un-edged grass/weeds that I have had to just let grow. After some serious elbow grease, I got it up. Yay, me! And I used the shovel, like a spatula and placed it over in the grass. Then I saw him. A big squishy toad!
I jumped back. I am not good with any creatures. I am good with cats and dogs and people. I am good with houseflies. I can kill a mosquito or a spider. But in between a spider and a cat you have frogs, snakes, mice, guinea pigs, ferrets - this is the area that I cannot handle. So I am slightly taken aback when I see the old toad.
So like any grown-up, mature person would do, I quickly called my Poppy to see what he thought I should do. I even more quickly dismissed his idea of me lifting the toad with the shovel and tossing him over the fence. Uh, no. What if he hopped on me? Oh my. No. So I was stumped.
Not Spencer. He disappeared into the house. He returned in a few minutes with a piece of paper. He had drawn on said paper with a crayon.
The drawing looked like this:
I said, "Honey, what is that?"
He said, "A fly."
My smart boy had drawn a picture of a fly. My precious, creative son then crouched down near the toad and held up the picture that he drew of the fly. He explained to me that, "Frogs like flies." Makes perfect sense to me.

He tried waving it. He tried dangling it. He tried holding it up high. He even asked me if he could let it go in the wind so the frog would think that it was actually flying, "you know, Mom, like a real fly." I praised him for his innovative thinking, but we were right where we started.
A toad was right there. I could not put the cement thingy back and I also could not mow the unedged grass. Bummer. What to do?

Spencer disappeared into the house again. He returned in a few more minutes with yet another piece of paper. He had again drawn on the other piece of paper with the same crayon.
The drawing looked like this:
I was a little stumped this time. I mean, I get the first one. The fly would certainly entice the toad, right? I mean, frogs and toads like flies, right. But I was not aware of another thing that they liked to eat.

So I asked Spencer what this drawing was. And my sweet, deep thinking boy explained to me that this picture was "a scary face." See, if he could not coax the frog out with a fly, he was now prepared to scare it out!! I had a hard time stifling my giggles. I certainly did not want to hurt his feelings, you know?! But later, when I recounted this story to David, I could barely finish it because I was laughing so hard that tears were streaming down my face. Oh my Spencer. What a clever boy!

P.S. We ended up waiting him out. A couple days later, when David was home, he put the cement thingy back and the area was toad-free!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

She just can't help it

My sweet girl. She is going through something right now. Sort of a clingy phase. She gets really emotional over the smallest things. She is craving attention. My undivided attention. She will just collapse into my arms and sometimes just cry. It is so sweet and sort of pitiful all at the same time. And so not like my tough, independent, confident Jessa Lynn.

Last night at Ballet, I was getting ready to leave her in her classroom. Her teacher was there. Her classmates were there. And it is REALLY exciting for them right now as they are in serious recital prep mode. They have the floor taped off with their "marks" and everything. This is a professional operation, I tell you. So I hand her her shoes and find a spot for her bag. I bend down to give her a good-bye kiss, and I saw her big, beautiful brown eyes well up with tears. "Please don't leave me, Momma."
Ouch! All the moms in the world know this all too well. Your precious child looks up at you with that pleading look, with those sad little eyes. And you want to just melt. I know in my head that she will be fine once she gets into the class. As soon as she is doing her chassé across the floor, she will forget that I exist. But my heart. Well, my heart breaks, and I want to scoop her up, run home, crawl under the covers with her, and never leave the house again. Luckily, her teacher saw her falling apart (and my pained look), grabbed her hand, and asked her to help out with calling the roll. Tragedy averted.

Then Bay picked her up from ballet and brought her to Awana at church. The Cubbies, Spencer, and I always meet Jessa and the Sparks as we are leaving "games" and they are headed to "games." Last night, I knew it was not good when I say Bay with her group holding her in his arms with her sobbing. It again, broke my poor heart. She was devastated because it was her turn to carry the Sparks flag and because of ballet making her late every week, she missed it. Not that big of a deal, really. I mean they promised her another turn, but she was almost inconsolable! Bless her sweet, sensitive heart.

I am sure this is a phase. I have no idea what has prompted it, though. Maybe the fact that her Daddy is always on TDY? Maybe she thinks she needs to hold onto me so that I do not leave, too? Whatever the case, it really is hard on both of us! Yet, I must admit that I do treasure the holding and snuggling that is going on. She is growing so fast and sometimes when she is squealing with delight over how cute Justin Beiber is while applying her Lip Smackers that she pulled from her purse with her manicured nails, I want to back up to when she was smaller and unfazed by teen pop sensations and fingernail polish. So you can't blame a Momma for enjoying a little clinging when I am painfully aware that these days are numbered.

She is also "homesick" a lot. We can be out doing something fun and she comes to me with a quivery chin and says, "Momma, I am homesick!" Which means she wants to go home, like 10 minutes ago. I can't argue with her. I am sort of a homebody. There are days that I would rather stay at home, too!

But my favorite thing that this phase has brought with it is her "I can't help it" speech. It mostly happens at bedtime. See, she can't possibly be expected to go to her room and go to bed and go to sleep because "I can't help it, Momma, I just love you so much." Sometimes, the kid is working me. And I am not gonna lie, sometimes, I let her! How sweet is that, right? But the other night, she was out of control!

Jessa: Mom, I just can't help it, I love you so much. (while maintaining a death grip on my arm).
Me: Well, I know, Jessa, but I am not leaving the country, I am just going to be one door down.
Jessa: I know, but I just love you so much. And you are so beautiful. When I go to sleep, I am going to dream about just how beautiful you are.
Me: Aw, Jess, shucks, but you still have to stay in your bed and go to sleep.
Jessa: Oh, I know mom, but you really are just so beautiful, I can't help it.
Me: You are going to be so sorry in the morning when I am dragging you out of bed.
Jessa: Oh no, I won't. I promise. You can just peel my eyes open and I will see how beautiful you are and I will be happy to wake up.
Me: Jessa! You are the grouchiest girl ever in the mornings!
Jessa: Not tomorrow mommy, I can't help it, I just love you so much.
Jessa: You really are beautiful.
Me: OK, I'll stay a few more minutes.

I can be tough when I force her on the bus or make her stay at ballet, but I think it is OK for me to indulge her a few extra minutes at bedtime, right? I mean, she can't help it, I am just so beautiful, right??

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring BREAK

Hey, y'all!
Just wanted to let you know that I took a true Spring BREAK! I have many posts that I have started, but I have not finished any. I have been having WAY too much fun!
The kids Spring Break this year was only Thursday, Friday, the weekend, and Monday. We had to really pack it all in to have as much fun as we wanted to have in such a short amount of time!

What was I doing, you may ask?
I was going to the Magic House Children's Museum

I was going out for ice cream in the middle of the day, just because.

I was attending birthday parties and shopping and Building Bunnies at Build a Bear Workshop and sharing Double Doozies at the Chocolate Chip Cookie Company.
(without my camera, boo)

I was taking my best girl out for a manicure, just the two of us because we never do anything "just the two of us," or so she has told me 500 times. (I had the camera, but I did not think of it until my nails were wet. I was so caught up watching my princess enjoying being pampered. boo, BOO)

I was helping Bay plant flowers.
(pictures to come - still on Bay's camera. . .)
I was supervising some fancy egg-dyein'!

And there was some crazy spring organizing going on around here, with tons of snuggling in the bed movie marathons with my two best snugglers and even a few naps. I cannot think of anything more fun than spending some crazy days with my two best peeps!

Oh, and we celebrated a wonderful Easter, too. (separate post already in the works).
So if the handful of you who enjoy hearing stories about the Crazy Keys have missed me, that is where I was - out being crazy instead of typing about it!

The kids go back to school tomorrow, so then I will be back in some sort of a groove.
Hope y'all are having a terrific Spring, too!