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It Was Fun

14 Apr

My employee badge is turned in, my desk is cleared out (I think … please let me know if I forgot something) and my see-you-laters were said through tears.

My time at Children’s has come to an end but the memories and friendships I made there will stay with me. I will keep them safe and hold them dear for always.

Best "Bye" Card Ever

G-Chat Swoon and Why I Won’t Teach Our Kids Much …

6 Mar

Andrew:  Should I register anyone else for the race? There is a 1K.

me:  What is a 1k? Like 500 meters or something?

Andrew:  It is about 2/3 of a mile.

me:  Maybe just Nate if anyone.

I don’t know.

Andrew:  Aaaaaand it is 1000 meters (hence the 1 “K”)

me:  oooooooooh

you married me

Andrew:  And I would do it again.

All I Ask of You

9 Feb

I’m beginning to realize how difficult it must be to be committed to me. Besides my random and extreme mood swings, I expect Andrew to be an expert in a variety of fields and a problem solver on any given day. A sample of the questions (I’m hoping others have asked them too) I fire at him include:

How many more miles can I drive after my gas tank dings at me? Can I make it home? Are you sure?

Why did he do that? Who is that guy? Or other questions about movies and tv shows that we are both watching for the first time. His response is usually along the lines of, “Started watching this the same time you did.”

How big is the wall by the closet door in our hall downstairs? In inches?

What do you feel like eating for dinner tonight/this week? (This is often a bigger issue than it seems. I just can never decide and he doesn’t care what we eat.)

What’s Joey barking at?

What tax bracket are we in? Should we refinance? What’s our credit rating? What’s that mean? Can I buy a new table for the living room?

Are my tires low on air?

The toilet is doing that running while not being flushed thing. (Not really a question but it is implied he is being asked to do something.)

What was that noise?! Did you hear it? No? Can you check it out? (Usually asked once he is settled in bed ready for his slumber.)

Do you think Nate has a concussion? (Because suddenly Andrew is a doctor or nurse.)

Can you please pick up my birth control pills for me? (On the flip-side of that…) Can you pretty please pick up some tampons for me? Pleeeeaaaase?

What wine/beer do I like?

Who was the president before Lincoln? What is the capital of Alabama? How many senators are there in each state? How do you get the area of something? Will that stool hold you? Are you sure?

I think out of all the questions, me not taking his advice or the “are you sure ones” drive him the most bonkers. He especially loves when his sure-ness is justified. He brings me proof, “See? Here are the Christmas floor mats I told you would be in the tree box.” Me: “Where were they?” Andrew: “The. Tree. Box.”

Ok, ok, already.

Are you going to put them there again?

Travel Teachings

22 Jan

I see them every day but it took eight days of traveling together over Thanksgiving week to learn some new things about my children.

  • As soon as Nate wakes up, as in the first sliver of an eye-opening, he whispers a song about counting by two’s. That mixed with a few sweet yawns and my heart melted.
  • Nate gets really freaked out when his foot, leg, arm or hand falls asleep. We were driving at the time and he woke up in a fit of fear and fury that I’ve never seen from him. We had no idea what to do for him other than tell him it will be over soon. That feeling must be so weird and scary for a little kid. I know I hate it.
  • Nia is finally feeling the woes of big sisterdom. There was a point in our travels when Nia and Nate were playing air hockey and I heard her scream at him, “You are just stupid!” (If you know us pretty well, you know that “s” word is gasped at like it is one of the biggie bad words.) I made her leave the game and sit out for some time. When she was finally calm enough to talk to me, she said with tears in her eyes, “He just kept bragging about doing good and I couldn’t take it anymore.” I know I should’ve stayed in discipline mom-mode but I ended up sympathizing with her – after not being able to hide my smile. She sounded so grown up in that moment. Just trying to figure out how to handle things. We talked more about other ways to deal with frustrating situations and then she and Nate hugged and apologized to each other. I will never forget her face though. Full of drama and seriousness. Confused but also feeling justified in her reaction. Growing up is tough, kid. We’re all figuring it out.
  • This learning is not pretty – that’s a warning – but I was still impressed by what I witnessed. Nate is very courteous when he vomits. He felt sick as we were just taking off on our trip and he told us in enough time that we were able to pull over for him to exit the car. He then leaned far over to make sure he didn’t get any on his clothes or shoes. I didn’t get grossed out because I was so amazed by how he handled himself through that experience. I would have been crying and probably would’ve lost it in the car. Maybe it was luck and not skill but what I witnessed that day needed noted.
  • Nia loves laser tag. Nate does not. Nia went back for another round. Nate ran out of the first round in tears. (Poor buddy.)
  • My little girl showed me her tough side during a nature walk one afternoon. She picked up a stick and then acted like a “warrior princess” and totally whipped up on some leaves and trees. It was intensely fun.

I love getting to spend devoted time like that with the kids. It may not be all laughs and sweet moments, but they are still special and important glimpses into their personalities. “I just couldn’t take it anymore.” I’m sure we’re going to hear that more in the coming years.

Birthday Bliss and Trip (Times Three)

10 Jan

I’m not bringing this up to start a fight or make him feel bad, but Andrew forgot my birthday the first year we were married. I merely point that out to reduce the level of bliss this blog post exudes.

He now finds a way to outdo every birthday with little surprises and special gifts that shows he pays attention to me.

He had roses waiting for me in the garage so I would see them when I walked to my car. He braved the beauty department makeup counter to buy me the “fancy” mascara I wanted.

That would be swooning enough for sure but there was more.

This is the cookie cake that Andrew had delivered at my work for my birthday.


Thank you, Cookie Creations of Atlanta

This is the dress, also purchased by Andrew, that I wore when I ate the cookie cake that Andrew bought me.

Happiness and Photo Courtesy:

These are the hot heels that Andrew delivered upon me before I left for work in the dress that I wore when I ate the cookie cake.


Also, Jessica Simpson

These hot heels also added some adventure to the day that marks 34 years alive. I tripped three times in these beauties. And I would do it all again. My embarrassment and possible pain is the least I can do to show my thanks, appreciation and love for all Andrew does for me.

And I think he’s thankful for things like calendar reminders now. Maybe forgetting my birthday was the best present he ever got me.

Out of My Shell

14 Jun

Hi there.

I like to think of myself as a friendly person. I think I’m pretty nice to people and seem to be able to carry on conversations fairly easy with acquaintances. What I often have a difficult time with is follow-up. Continuing the connection. Letting new people in.

For example, I will often exchange phone numbers with other moms I meet. Moms who seem like nice, fun ladies but I’ll never know for sure because I never dial their digits. It’s often awkward to run into them down the road – both of us knowing I basically stood them up but never speaking of it. There is usually a repeat mention of trying again to get together. That doesn’t happen.

It’s not because I don’t want it to, because I do. I’ve had maybe two super close girl friends since we moved here. Sadly, one moved away with her fun family (thank goodness for facebook) and the other is still, thankfully, living next door to us with her wonderful family. I just miss having a few good friends to hang out with, rely on and share stories not suitable for PG-rated blogs or Facebook. I just don’t go there either because I’m not very trusting or something is just off…until now.

I’ve met some ladies who make it impossible for me to stay in my shell. They are so welcoming and we have so much in common that it’s impossible for me to be a lazy mommy loner. Our families have bonded over tee-ball, baseball camp, the Gwinnett Braves, swimming, ice cream, some church and many email/facebook chats.

I’m so thankful for them and the comfort and fun they’ve brought to our lives. I say all of our lives because what’s even more great about these mom friendships is that our husbands and children like each other too. When that happens, you put their phone numbers on speed dial and buy extra snacks/adult beverages to have in the house – just in case of spontaneous play-dates.

In Memory

30 May

Capt. Mike MacKinnon - Photo courtesy: USMA

I met him as we were checking out at the Target near our home in Savannah. He had his children with him and Andrew was really happy to see him. Andrew had served in Iraq with him in 2003 and they were members of The Long Gray Line (they both shared the experience of attending and graduating from West Point – he graduated in 1997, Andrew in 1998).

His name is Mike MacKinnon. Andrew told me how Mike would always watch “The Simpsons” with his children. That it was a special thing. Now, it’s hard for Andrew to watch the show and not think about Mike – and how he can no longer watch it with his kids.

Captain Mike MacKinnon was 30 years old when he was killed during his second tour of duty in Iraq. He died due to an IED. He died the year after I met him in that Target aisle. He left a legacy behind him with the people he met, led and served with – Andrew was just one of them. He took the picture below of Andrew. So very true to Andrew and I’m sure they all had a good laugh about it.

It is captioned: "Andy asleep"

Andrew doesn’t like to talk about Mike’s death – or the deaths of his other friends from the Army. But there are days – like Memorial Day – when he will share a memory with me or share that he’s thinking about them with others. I didn’t know them well at all – but I know that they – and those who miss them the most – will always be remembered.

You don’t like the spicy?

11 Apr

I made some new “White Chicken Chili” tonight after hearing my boss talk about it and it was so spicy YUM. I didn’t have the recipe his wife made but I tried this one and it was so incredibly hot that I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to capture Andrew’s gasp-filled struggle through his one half bowl. Even I thought it was hot and I love me some inferno foods!


Getting a sip of beer to douse the flames


Bearing through the pain


Sweat was wiped next


"What did you put in this?!"


"You had to make this spicier than it said to be."


Cooling Off


"Are you taking pictures of me suffering?"


It's just so hot!

Are you too chicken to try the chicken chili? I have a feeling I’m the only one who will be eating the leftovers. Next time, I’ll go easy on the spicy.


Posted from WordPress for Android

Bully Kryptonite

11 Mar

Does it even exist? A way for kids to render bullies powerless? To deal with/stay safe from their hurtful words/actions? Some options that come to my mind include:

  1. Ignore them
  2. Don’t let them get to you/see you upset
  3. Tell them to leave you alone/stop it
  4. Tell on them
  5. Kill ’em with kindness
  6. Fight fire with fire
  7. All of the above
  8. None of the above

Nia has tried really all but number 6. Fortunately for her, she is not being bullied as severely as many kids (my heart breaks for them) but the bullies she does encounter still make her upset and cause her stress.

Nia tells us that one girl continually scratches her and won’t leave her alone, constantly saying mean things. Another girl, Nia says, told her, “I wish you were a bug so that I could step on you a million times.”

What?! It’s just so hard to tell her how to handle it because she’s still so young and still trying to figure social interactions out. Plus, she’s often shy and very small for her age so others have always pushed her around more and targeted her. The kids seem unphased by all her peaceful kryptonite attempts so I’m left thinking number 6 from the list above may need to be used. But I don’t even want to tell her that option. It’s just so difficult when you try to raise your children to do what’s right and treat others kindly and then other kids get away with tormenting and mistreating. I often try to understand what’s going on in a child’s life to make them act in such a hurtful way. I suppose I live too much in the movies. Where there just has to be a happy ending where eventually the bully and the bullied become friends and walk off the playground arm-in-arm. Fist bump?

Yeah. Back to reality. I looked online for advice on how to at least help ease some of the fret Nia has and I found a few articles like this one and this one. She said it was a much better day when she didn’t speak to one of the girls. I know they can’t all be drama-free days but if she’s happy when I pick her up from afterschool, maybe a small piece of the kryptonite is working?

Valentine Views

15 Feb

Nia's Pile of Sweet Sayings

I can’t believe I’m just now realizing how Valentine’s Day brings out some interesting opinions and reactions in people – even at a young age. There are those who are anti-“Hallmark” holiday. Those who do just enough to swoon their significant other. Those who may go overboard. And those who are encouraged to participate. I suppose that last category can apply to adults too but I’m thinking about it more related to kids.

Like many young kids, both Nia and Nate had valentine exchanges at school. They were given a list of all the children in their class to make sure no one was left out. I always enjoyed doing these exchanges as a kid and remember all the fun and creativity that went into the boxes for collecting the treasures. I remember how extravagant some of the boxes were. I have a memory of one child’s being not a box at all but a mini-Love Boat. (Mine was always a shoe box covered in construction paper with hand-drawn crooked hearts and predictable love messages on it.)

They don’t ask us to create boxes like that now – just have the kids write out their card of choice to all the other children. Some people add to that with candy, scrapbook-type elegance or even individual goody bags. Others don’t give any valentine at all. It made me wonder if their parents just didn’t take the time to do it with them or maybe they can’t afford such a treat-type thing or maybe the child/parent just didn’t want to buy into the “Hallmark” holiday. Whatever the reason, for future V-Days, I plan to donate a few boxes of blank cards to the classroom so that all kids can participate if they’d like. After all, soon enough the exchange won’t be mandated so that even the little mean Johnny/Suzy gets a Be Mine card. It will be more strategic. Where only a someone special is wished Be Mine. Picking and choosing a Valentine. What age does that start?

It seems Nia is already creeping toward that. While writing hers out, she was so concerned about running out of the standard “Happy Valentine’s Day” cards and having to give a non-BFF a BFF card. Nate wanted to make sure all of his friends would like the card they got. He was worried about giving the girls a Buzz or Woody character card because, “they’re girls.” When I told him that they will love to get any card he gives them, he relaxed a bit but still made every effort to give them either the cowgirl, Jessie, or the horse, Bullseye.


Nate's Love Wishes

I suppose I remember reading into my mandatory valentines some when I was a kid. Is so-and-so really “head over heels” for me?! He must be! I mean, he picked this card just to give to me, right?!

Glad I kept that all to myself. That would have been embarrassing to admit out loud.

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