As a child there are specific words or phrases that your parents spoke which you remember vividly. As an adult you swear you will NEVER say those things. As a parent you are constantly amazed at how much you sound like your mother or father. Words like "If I have to pull this car over I will!" or "You're pushing your luck." Every time I catch myself saying something like this I am stunned at how much I sound like my parents. It amazes me. Everyday I seem to pick up one more trait or characteristic of my parents. I have to admit, it is also a little frightening.

Kids are so unpredictable sometimes, okay, most of the time. Boys, especially, give me pause more often than not. I have started a list of things that I have said, only to look back later and taken out of context laugh and laugh. Which I see as a good thing, that I can still laugh about it. Here are some things I have said that I never in a million years would have guessed I'd be saying.

1. Please stop giving your brother wedgies.
2. I know what I said but, sometimes your dad is right.
3. No. I don't think wearing your roller-blades and riding your scooter is a good idea.
4. No, Emma. I don't know why boys are so annoying.
5. Stop making your brother laugh and just go to sleep.
6. Next time do not use duck tape to hang things on the walls.
7. What to you mean it just broke?
8. You just broke your brothers finger. Could you please not wrestle with him while he is taking pain medicine.
9. I know he wasn't listening to you. But, Emma, there are better ways to get his attention besides punching him in the face.
10. If you are going to take something apart, please make sure it is unplugged next time.
11. No you cannot play golf with a rock.
12. Yes, I am sure he is not adopted. Well, because I was there.
13. When Grammy is here you may not talk about farts or poop, ever.


Come out come out where ever you are...

Where did I go? Nowhere and everywhere at the same time. I am here still in South Carolina. The kids are back at school and the routine is almost back to normal or as good as it will get. I am amazed that there haven't been more "emergency" runs to the school than there have already been. The kids have grown up so much, it seems, just in the time we have been here. No longer do I have to yell at them to do their homework. Amazing. They immediately come home and start working. Weird! I know! Today took a different turn in that I had to make them stop doing homework and have a snack. Imagine that! "Hey, You don't do that homework. You must eat!" Fatigue was setting in, as was the frustration and I new instinctively that it was due to hunger. Well, that and I couldn't handle the constant bickering. Not to mention the whining!

It looks on paper as though I have more time to do things yet, somehow I still don't get it all done. I just don't get it. Sure, I save up all my doctors appointments and do them while the kids are in school. Then there are general errands to do. Sure, Ginger and I get to walk everyday. Yet, get this, I still can't find time to finish the quilt I am working on. It seams I am just running out the door and I realized I have to get back and meet Jack an Emma at the bus stop. I am sure it will slow down. Isn't that what all moms' say. You know the, "I cannot wait until the kids are back at school so I can ..."

Today, I actually got to the store and purchased yarn. Never-mind I have a project only half finished in my knitting bag. I haven't worked on, said project, since we moved here and yet, I am bored with it. I found this pattern that I wanted to do and it called for bamboo yarn. I have wanted to try a bamboo yarn for quite a while now, and today was the day to start it. Okay, well, today was the day to hunt and gather, tomorrow I'll start. Maybe, soon I'll have another 1/2 finished project.

Meanwhile I am still house hunting. Which, unfortunately is not going well. I am frustrated and tired and oh, so annoyed. I don't want to sacrifice my quilting room but, it looks like that may be a very real possibility. No matter how you arrange a room, sharing it with the play room sounds like a bad, bad idea. So I trudge on. We'll find one that works sooner or later, of that I'm sure.


Just in the Neighborhood...

I am sure you have heard the phrase.."I was just in the neighborhood so I thought I'd drop by." We had a visit of that sort this weekend. Out of the blue I text message Dominic. I am still not sure why, other than I was entertaining my self. We don't often get to talk much since our schedules are so different. (basically I have kids, he doesn't) When he text me back that he was in West Virginia I'll admit I was curious. He said, "hey we are only 5 hours away from you." Which is pretty amazing since the past 3 years we have been 36 hours away from each other.
Apparently 5 hours to Dom and Maggie is "in the neighborhood." So, they dropped in for a visit. (like I said No kids.) It was wonderful. I'll admit family gatherings are great. When all 5 of us kids get together for a visit, with all of the spouses, significant others, kids and dogs, it gets pretty crazy. It is great but, getting one-on-one visiting time with your sibling is not easy during those visits. This was very nice, very unexpected and very wonderful for all. We had a great time. The kids adore all of their aunts and uncles each bringing their own special "fun" with them. Uncle Dom and Maggie showered them with attention, gave praise for the kids stories and achievements and gave hugs freely. The kids ate it up! While the visit was short, the time spent was quality. We all enjoyed their company and we hope the next time they are "in the neighborhood" we an do it again. Thanks Guys!



Why? This is a question, mothers in particular face daily. Why do we have to go to school? Why can't I have cake for breakfast? Why can't I jump from here? Why? Why? Why? It is just this particular question we came to ask ourselves this past weekend Why? We have been looking at homes for the past 2 weekends. Some big and beautiful, some modest and homey and some dark, decrepit and in foreclosure. A couple of homes we went through were in one of Lexington's two Country Clubs. Oh, the grandeur of such a lifestyle! Up to the club for lunch, out to the pool, tennis and golf. Isn't life grand? We found a home that had been on the market for 3 years. Big and beautiful and right on the fairway. Owned by a relocation company, maybe a potential deal? After one gets past the initial shock and awe of a place like that, questions start forming. Why? is the precursor for most of the questions. For example, Why hasn't it sold if it is indeed so great? Why hasn't anyone tried to buy it? Why if I see the bargain hasn't anyone else? So Why? Well as we began to explore the property clues started "popping" up all around. In the kitchen their was a beautiful glass block window. Very pretty. The windows surrounding the Florida room were covered in Plexiglas, as were the windows in the second story, but only on the tee facing side. We went on to the outside and noticed the large garage door had been hit with what looked like hail. Why had the owners not had that fixed under the insurance? Why had the relocation company not repaired the damage? As a matter of fact the entire side had damage to the vinyl siding where it had been struck by apparently golf ball size hail. OH! Not golf ball size hail! Real true to life golf balls! After we discovered this we were shocked that this would not be disclosed! I guess since no one had been killed, that we know of, by an incoming golf ball they didn't have to disclose it! We stood behind a couple of trees and watched a couple tee off. You bet your life, those balls landed right in front of the back yard. The house stood, at the distance of average Joe's slice. Making it essentially in a war zone. Continually bombarded by flying golf balls. It just so happened, that you cold indeed sit out on your deck and be struck by an incoming tee shot. So, the perfect house wasn't perfect. Now you know why.


magic personified

This summer the kids and I have been getting books on tape to listen to in the car. As we run errands and drive to one practice or another we listen to parts of the story. It is a great distraction and for the most part they are silent. weird huh? Really the only time they speak is when they are telling one another to be quiet. We are currently listening to a story by Sarah Prineas called The Magic Thief. (click on the Author for the link to her website) It is a story about a boy who lives in a magical world with magicians, apprentices and magical creatures. The main character is named Conn. Conn is an orphan/gutter-boy who is pulled deeper and deeper into the magical mystery. We are currently on book 2 entitled Lost. This book Conn is exiled and is forced to uncover the mystery of the bad magic. The kids are really enjoying the book and we have time in between car trips to discuss our different theories and for a question and answer session. Emma tries desperately to keep up with the story-line and she does a really good job most of the time. The books are written for 3-6th graders. The vocabulary and the English accent do give her some troubles.

During dinner this evening Mark and Jack were discussing a particularly dramatic event in the book in which Conn is forced to confront the sorcerer king. During their confrontation the sorcerer king, who has complete faith in the bad magic, goes about trying to prove to Conn the magic will protect him. The imagery is beautifully written and the boys ate it up! Their banter back and forth in their own versions of an English accent is great fun to watch. And mostly in good humor. Tonight with the boys joking and quoting from the book, Emma obviously felt left out. She didn't hesitate though and jumped right into the banter with her brothers (and God Bless them they accepted her, a rare moment). Emma then starts talking about how the sorcerer king died because he was eaten by the magic. There was a great pause and everyone looked at her. That did not happen and we were quite confused. She noticed her error immediately back tracked and tried quickly to explain again. After several attempts to explain, she was adamant that she had heard correctly and we were all wrong, Jack figured it out. "Emma," he explained, "When they say 'the darkness swallowed him up' what they really mean was that he got so far away that you couldn't see him anymore." ohhh yeah, now I get it. Score one for Jack.


Wants and Needs

This past weekend we went house shopping (yeah!) I was finally able to convince my husband that we have indeed waited an appropriate amount of time and we need to start looking for a house. After all 6, months of living in a rental home with 1/2 of our things is getting a little maddening. I had hoped that we would be settled (whatever that means) by now. School starts in 9 days and I really, really, really don't want to move the kids into yet another school. Not to mention, I am getting really tired of searching for things that "I know we have" only to discover they are still in Texas. Emma complains almost daily about her numerous toys that were placed in storage (for just a couple of months--try 6+). I had reached my limit. I spent a week sleeping and eating, with no motivation for doing anything. Caring for my kids was the only reason I had for continuing to survive, for that is all we were doing. I finally snapped and poor John got an ear-full, bless his heart he listened to every word. I think it might have been fear that kept him listening intently. We talked, considered our options and decided plan A. Thus the house hunting started.

During the course of our discussions I would talk of an option and list the reasoning for my train of thought. Most, if not all, of my decisions are based on how moving will affect the kids. After the discussion we were pulled away by more pressing issues, bedtime, and did not discuss the moving idea until the next day when we were planning with the realtor. John suddenly stopped and looked at me and said, "What do you want?" I was stunned. I just stood there and looked at him. I felt like it had been so long since someone asked me that I didn't know how to answer. I felt struck stupid as I answered honestly, "I haven't thought about it. I don't know." I wanted to scream "I want to be out of this tiny space. I want to be reunited with my quilting machine. And I want my family to be happy." But, what do I want in a house. I cannot believe I haven't even thought about it. So, I sat down and wrote a list. It went something like this.

1. A house with a room for everyone.
2. A three car garage
3. A large studio for my quilting
4. A large porch with a ceiling fan
5. A wooded lot.
6. A view of the lake.
7. A big kitchen that cleans it's self
8. A maid. a chef, and a live in sitter.
9. A guest room, just for guests
10. A place where we can live for at least 5 years without moving again!

OK, maybe I need a little help defining wants vs. needs but hey he asked!


A Tragedy

Jack was introduced to the Musical West Side Story this past school year and since has been quite interested in learning about it. He had told me how his music teacher had explained that West Side Story had been an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. He new little of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet so we discussed it at various times over the course of the summer and it's parallel with West Side Story. This was quite a challenge for mommy, since I last read Romeo and Juliet in Freshman English with Ms. Wade. Truth be known, I was never a big Shakespeare fan, therefore I really didn't pay much attention at the time. He was ecstatic when we found the original sound track at Target and purchased it with his own money. We have listened to it more times than I can count, and he constantly is quoting lines from the songs. (Officer Krupke being his favorite). After watching Jack look for the movie at every store we went into I finally decided to see if the library had it. While our branch didn't not have it, it was in the system. We put it on reserve and waited. Well, after waiting 5 excruciating days we were notified that the movie was waiting for us at the library. Jack was practically bouncing out of the car on the drive to the library. His enthusiasm entirely too much for his brother to bare, It is after all, "just a stupid movie" To which Jack replied, "My sister wears a mustache, My brother wears a dress. Goodness, Gracious, That's why I'm a mess!"
Immediately after getting home Jack had to watch the movie. He convinced Emma and Mark to watch along. Mark promptly fell asleep before the introduction was over. Emma lasted until "America" was over and then said, "this is boring." Jack however watched it over and over and over and over. I know the movie is long but I was surprised when he was still watching it 4 hours later! So I asked him "Jack, How many times have you watched it?" Well, I got the list of how many times he had played each song and then he said. "Mom, I just want to know something."
"OK, what is it?" I asked
" I have watched the end over and over and I cannot figure out if that is it?" he asked.
"Is what it?" I inquired.
"The End. That is it? They just kill Tony and it is over? That is just stupid. Why? We don't know what happens after that." he said disgruntled.
"It's a Tragedy Jack. That is how they end." I stated.
"No kidding it's a tragedy. It could have been so much better with a different ending!"



The kids and I spent the evening at the pool yesterday. While we were there Emma started to read all of the signs posted in the pool area. Which is good, I think, anything to get them to read in the summer. She really took the rules to heart and would come and let me know when someone was breaking the rules. "MOM! MOM! That kid is running and the sign says No RUNNING!" It was nothing, if not a refreshing change from the endless tattling at home. She had trouble with a few of the words, obviously a word like Prohibited, is foreign to a second grader. (Not to mention a princess.) After a while, Jack decided to 'help" her read them. Try. try as I might, he just doesn't understand that she doesn't want his help. Perhaps, that in itself is the fun. They soon came across a sign that read "NO TRESPASSING AFTER HOURS" Emma, resigned to Jack's "help" said, "What does that mean Jack?" I was about to explain, when Jack filled her in for me. "It means you cannot trespass after the pool is closed. But, I guess it is OKAY to trespass during the day."