Thursday, July 31, 2008

I'm Not Addicted... I Could Walk Away Anytime I Wanted To...

The other night, I set out for a walk with my dog and my boy. We only made it about a block from home when I was overcome with an incredible stomach ache. Knowing that I couldn't continue in such a state of discomfort, I hollered for Drew to turn around (he was at least six houses ahead of me on his scooter...and in his pajamas).

Change of plans, we're going home.

After a while, I began to feel a little better. Until Drew offered his medical opinion as to the reason for my tummy troubles.

"You drink too much soda, Mommy. It's not healthy for you."


I mean, maybe I do enjoy a Diet Coke now and then.

O.K., several times a day.

Well, if you must know, one friend recently said that if I were stranded on a desert island and could only bring two things, she wasn't sure about the other thing, but she knew I'd have a Diet Pepsi in my hand.

My son's admonishment has really made me grumpy for the last few days. Only because I know exactly what I am supposed to do about it. I'm supposed to give up my love affair with all make and manner of diet soda. As in, complete cold-turkey abstinence.

I may not have felt like such drastic action was required, had I not actually had the following internal dialogue yesterday when I considered cutting back:

I really should stop drinking so much diet soda. But it truly is so refreshing. Especially on a hot summer day when it's poured over a cup of crushed ice... Diet Coke is o.k., but I prefer Diet Pepsi. Yes, Diet Pepsi, in a plastic bottle, not a can. But Coke Zero is good in a can. Actually Coke Zero would be good if I had to drink it from a hose. Coke Zero is definitely my favorite. They really did a good job with that one. However, for flavored sodas, I have to say that Diet Dr. Pepper is a great taste. Never have been a fan of the citrus-y stuff (Diet Coke with Lime was the worst). I wonder if Pepsi Max, with all the vitamins, really makes a difference. Can't remember if Coke has one of those vitamin-packed products. Maybe Coke Plus or something like that? Pepsi One is almost as good as Coke Zero - they should just remove that pesky little calorie, wouldn't make too much of a difference, I guess.

So, cutting back doesn't appear to be an option for me, no sir. Starting tomorrow, I will be soda-free. Be prepared for a moody tone to my next few blog posts. Break-ups make me grumpy!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Can I Buy That at Target?

As we are driving home from work today, we're talking about Drew's day at Grandma's house, what he ate for lunch, what games he got to play with Uncle Adam. And in the middle of this conversation, he says,

"Mommy. I want to buy a baby."

You want to buy a baby?

"Yes, actually lots and lots of babies. Does that sound like a good idea, Mommy?"

Ummmm.... so, you want to have a baby brother or sister?


(My mind is racing... my child who's NEVER paid attention in the slightest to babies is now wanting lots and lots of babies. Is he lonely? Should the hubby and I talk with him about his desire for a bigger family? How do I respond appropriately? Does he understand that we can't just buy a baby? Does he know someone who just HAD a baby? Has he been around babies recently....)

Which would you like to have? A brother or a sister?

"Brothers. Lots of brothers."

O.K. Well, listen buddy, we will talk about...

"Mommy. I want to buy a train."

Oh, O.K.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Artist

"Mommy, I (unintellible murmuring.....) the dog."

What's that?

"I put shmdkjlksjfjdkbhhffff on the dog."

Can't understand you, buddy... What did you do?


Make-up. On the dog. Maybelline mascara, and what appears to be a little bronzer. It does bring out the color in those patient brown eyes.

The last time my budding little artist used poor Walker as his canvas, it was permanent marker in gigantic brown tiger stripes across both head and body (and a good portion of one of my bedroom walls).

So, the crayons, the washable paints, the stickers, the coloring books, the art easel, and all other appropriate outlets for artistic expression remain generally untouched around our house.

My son's real creative pursuit seems to be the pursuit of mischief.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Max the Fish

Or should I say, "Maxine"... because we returned home this afternoon from a nice weekend vacation to find a teeny, tiny, itty bitty baby goldfish swimming around with Max!!!

Drew's suggestion for baby fish names includes:

Mr. Watermelon
Little Baby Max

And this is just a side note, but I'm also researching "fish babies" as I type this entry because it has occurred to me that fish probably have more than 1 baby at a time and I'm starting to wonder how many names we're going to have to think of...

Stay tuned!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Word of the Week 2

Wow, what a resounding success my "Word of the Week" idea has been. Or maybe not. I guess you could say that offers/suggestions for future words of the week were most-definitely NOT:


That's right. I'm determined to press on. This word was suggested by my dad - he says he loves it. So, find out what "Ubiquitous" means, use it in a sentence this week, and leave me a comment about what has been ubiquitous lately in your life!

(Our last W.O.W -oh cool, look at that - was "APOPLECTIC", meaning "overcome with anger", generally referring to a state of apoplexy, or stroke. A friend used it to describe a full-on temper tantrum that her son succumbed to at a store one day. I truly wish I could say that I couldn't relate...)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Date Night at the Mall

(thought you'd like to see my handsome date and how he dressed up for our evening out)

I have a couple of standards for a good Date Night. It should consist of good food (that I don't have to cook), good conversation, and good entertainment. The other night, my son treated me to a delightful Date Night at the mall.

It was his idea. His original idea, actually, was for Date Night to be a family excursion.

"Let's go to the mall tonight when Daddy gets home from work. We can show him all the stuff there. Like Wendy's and Chick Fil A and the bathrooms!" (Well, those are the places we spend most of our time).

Although I'm sure Daddy really wanted to go, he gratefully accepted my offer to take Drew by myself and give him a quiet night at home to catch up on some work.

So, our Date Night began with exquisite dining at the Food Court. We feasted on chicken nuggets, french fries and root beer. Dinner was made even more enjoyable by the delightful conversation. We commented on our tasty food, observed several other children playing nearby, and played a few rousing games of "I SPY", Food-Court-style. ("I spy something PIZZA.... umm... the Sbarro Pizza sign? Yes, Mommy! That's what I was thinking about!!! Your turn!")

The after-dinner entertainment was top-notch. We strolled the air conditioned corridors (a great reprieve from the heat and humidity that is ever-present during July in Florida), stopping for a while to watch the ice skaters.

We enjoyed a little pampering at the "Dead Sea Seacrets booth", where a young man from Israel wowed us by buffing my nails to a glossy shine (and with the SUPER-GREAT, ONE-NIGHT ONLY deal that he just HAPPENED to be offering me THAT NIGHT, I now can buff my own nails to a glossy shine any time I wish...).

At the playground, we even got to see a kid throw up (always a highlight).

Tonight is Boy's Night (because I get to go have a Girl's Night with a good friend for her birthday - yey!). I'll be anxious to hear what my men decide to do.

Because, when it comes to a night out, my little guy is a sure bet for a great time!

Monday, July 21, 2008

"When I Grow Up..."

"You think I can go down that hill on my scooter?"

This is his question as we watch ten of the world's most incredible athletes navigate a winding, narrow, slick path through the Alps on bicycles.

It's Stage 387 (or whatever...) of the Tour de France, and my husband and son are lost in a world of wheels and muscles and strategy and competition. At the front of the pack, a few men barrel down a mountain at speeds close to 50 mph, and my son wants to try it for himself.... on his scooter!!

There's a formula for fun round here these days. SPEED + SPORT = COMPLETE EXHILIRATION. Whether he's diving head-first off the couch into a somersault (saw it on the Olympic gymnastics trials), jumping off the dining room table, telling the dog to "STAY" in an attempt to mimic the hurdle jumpers (Olympic Track & Field trials), it seems like Drew has become something of a thrill-seeker.

I was talking with some friends the other day about how, as parents, we are given the opportunity to foster the unique talents, abilities, gifts that we see emerging as we get to know our children.

Hopefully, with the right encouragement and insight, our kids will approach adulthood with a lot more self-confidence. Perhaps they'll be better equipped to recognize God's calling on their lives if they've seen that His unique design has been placed in them since birth.

But I have to say that I'm having a bit of a problem with Drew's passion for speed and sport. "You know, you were always so good at riding a scooter. Perhaps you should take up Skateboarding in the Xtreme Sports league...".

Maybe I should just start limiting/monitoring the sports that are giving him all these ideas. Thank goodness they've discontinued Rugby in the Olympics...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Good, Clean Fun

My son awoke this morning full of bright ideas. First on his list of things to do:
Shaving Cream Art!

This has become one of Drew's favorite creative outlets. Squirt a pile of old fashioned shaving cream on a countertop, and he'll entertain himself for at least 30 minutes making designs, squishing the foamy lather between his fingers and toes.

So, I plopped him up on the kitchen counter in front of a generous portion of shaving cream, then shuffled into the laundry room to subdue the piles of dirty clothes and towels (is it just me, or is there more laundry in the summer?).

All was quiet, until I heard Drew turn on the kitchen faucet to wash his hands. A short amount of time later, the water was turned back off and he was back to his creation. I thought that I should check on the situation, but instead I opted for the "shout orders toward his general direction" approach.


"O.K. I WON'T..." he paused "... AGAIN!"

I sighed, grabbing the mop as I headed out of the laundry room. Guess those piles will have to wait. Looks like I'm going to be having some good, clean fun today, though!

What kind of good, clean fun are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Sign of the Times

Drew has been memorizing his street address. For some reason this puts my mind at ease (as if I now somehow believe he could find his way home if I ever accidentally left him at the grocery store???).

He has his numerical street address down and has moved on to City and State, which is coming along nicely. Except that when you ask him what state he lives in, he answers,

"Florida.... DOT COM!"

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Closed Curtains Make Good Neighbors

On Sunday afternoon, I tucked myself into a comfy chair in our front room, determined to catch up on a few days worth of homework from my Bible study (Beth Moore's "Believing God" and it is awesome, btw!!!).

Drew was playing quietly around the house, and my hubby was gone for the afternoon. My ears were only half-heartedly tuned in to what my son was up to, so I had no idea that he'd found the leftover cupcakes from a bridal shower I'd hosted the day before.

I looked up from my workbook just in time to see a bright-pink icing-clad kid whiz through the room and take a gigantic leap onto my relatively new sofa (think: "Cat in the Hat" pink stuff....everywhere).

"AaaghhhwhaaaaaSTOPWHOAeeeee!!!!" was about all I could get out of my mouth.

"Hi Mom!" he said, bright pink frosting covering his face, teeth, hands, ears, hair, white Polo dress shirt, and khaki shorts (I hadn't made him change out of his church clothes yet).

"Ewwww. Buddy, take off those clothes. Go brush your teeth and wash your face. Wash your hands, too, please!!!!! You can stay in your underpants for a little while...just go get cleaned up!"

"WooHoo" (any excuse to run around in just his underpants).

Upon closer inspection, I realized that, mercifully, no pink icing had landed on the couch. So, I just settled back into my workbook and tried to refocus on the awesome lesson unfolding.

A few minutes later, Drew emerged from his bedroom, smelling of soap and toothpaste, clad only in a huge smile and his Superman skivvies.

"Just play quietly for a few minutes, buddy. Mommy will be done soon."

"OK." He stood at the front windows, blinds open, staring across the street. The neighbors who live directly across the street from our house also go to church with us and have become sweet, sweet friends. Drew gets immensely excited when he sees their boys playing outside and always wants to go see them.

"Miss Keweee, Miss Keweee!!!!" he began shouting.

"Is Ms. Kelly across the street?"

"Yes! Hi, Miss Kewee! Hi!!!!!!" he shouted, at the top of his lungs, as he bounced up and down.

"Shhhhh, buddy. She can't hear you from way over there," I mumbled as I flipped through my Bible, trying to concentrate on the question I'd just read 3 times.

"She can SEE me!"

Oh, I hope not, I thought as I looked up at the half-naked child jumping up and down in the front window and our dog who was now just as excited about the commotion as Drew was.

"She's coming! She's coming this way! Hi Miss Kewee!"

Honestly, I briefly hoped that he was mistaken, but the doorbell proved him right.

Somewhat sheepishly, I answered the door, accompanied by my main man in Superman boxers and my very, very enthusiastic dog, both practically jumping up and down to welcome our visitor.

"Hi! Let me explain. It all started with a cupcake and I'm trying to get this Bible study stuff done, and I didn't want my house to look like Dr. Seuss, and..."

"Are you kidding, I love it!" was her reply. And with four boys of her own, I know I probably needed to offer no explanation whatsoever.

But in the future, I do believe that I'll keep our curtains drawn when Drew's running around in nothing but his underpants. Then again, it's always a good show around here...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Guess How Much I Love You?

"I love you, Mommy."
I love you, too, Drew.

"How much do I love you, mommy?"
Oh, I don't know, buddy! You tell me.

"This much!" (His arms are outstretched.)
Well, I love you THIS much! (I stand on my tip toes and reach high into the air. He's delighted.)

"I love YOU THIS MUCH!" (He climbs two steps higher on the playground stairs and reaches up).
I know! I love you like THIS!
(I grab hold of the playground monkey bars and hang half upside down, half sideways).

We both erupt into laughter.
Several minutes of silly professions of love follow.

If he only knew how much...

(this entire conversation was inspired by one of our favorite bedtime books, "Guess How Much I Love You" by Sam McBratney, pictured above.)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Word of the Week

I think I want to start a new weekly "feature". I love words, and I LOVE IT when I hear someone use a great unusual word in their everyday conversation.

Today, a friend used the word "APOPLECTIC" as she described her two year old son's behavior. I was very impressed and decided that of course, I was going to have to work the word "APOPLECTIC" into a sentence in the next few days.

So, here's what I'm thinking:
"Word of the Week" will be interactive. Look it up for yourself to see what it means. Then try to use it in a sentence this week. Leave me a comment and let me know how/when you were able to use the Word of the Week. You can also leave suggestions for future Words of the Week.

I'm feeling smarter already...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

We just took Drew to his very first Major League baseball game.

On the way to the stadium, the stress of the day and the long drive to our destination had gotten the better of both my hubby and me. We were in a battle of wills (both of ours are strong) over how to find our group of friends, where to park, how much cash we would need and which lane of backed-up traffic I should have chosen to steer our car into. I finally, in my sweetest tone, suggested that perhaps my beloved should just get out of the car and walk the rest of the way to the stadium. It's not as bad as it sounds, we were already in the parking lot...

He refused. I pushed back. He didn't want me walking alone with Drew from the parking lot (it was an afternoon game, broad daylight, and I was convinced we'd be fine). I didn't want him to be late (he had coordinated this ballpark outing for several families from our small group at church) as people were expecting him there. Back and forth we went, each of us determined the other would see our point of view. Finally, Drew's daddy looked me squarely in the eyes and said, "I just want to be there when Drew sees it all for the very first time!!!"

Oh... O.K. The rest of the drive to our parking spot was in silence. I'm not sure what my hubby was thinking, but I sure had a lot going through my head. For all the wonderful firsts, the hilarious observations, the good moods and bad moods and all the mundane moments in between, I get to see my son's life unfold in a way that I too often take for granted.

I saw his reaction the first time he climbed out of his crib on his own at 14 months old (yeah, that's not a little stuntman); I saw his amazement when his body finally obeyed his mind, and he completed his first somersault; I saw the trepidation with which he approached the ocean's waves for the very first time and felt them pull his chubby little body completely off balance and into the surf; the first time he went potty on the toilet, the first time he put his head under water at the pool, the first time he tried a Slurpee (that was yesterday, and boy was that reaction awesome!). I have been there for hundreds of firsts and will be there for thousands more.

My husband was determined to be there for this one, and I was so close to messing that up for him. In those rare moments when Drew's daddy gets a word in edgewise around our house, his insight and desires usually knock my socks off. I'm so grateful for a husband who wants to be there for special moments in Drew's life.

Hmmm... maybe Daddy can be there for Drew's first dentist appointment. Who am I to hog all the precious firsts for myself??

P.S. Drew's reaction to the baseball game was better than we could have imagined. He got a batting helmet upon entering the stadium, said "Wowwy Kazowwy!" as the field came into view when we walked through the tunnel, followed as much of the game as he could understand, and even asked baseball-related questions ("Where are the umpires who call the game? Why did that man run to second base? Is the new batter up yet?"). Oh, and he partially consumed the following stadium fare (apparently we become very obliging parents at a ballpark): cotton candy, bubble gum, soda, corndog, nachos with cheese, and chicken fingers.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rock Band!

Drew's cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles were recently in town for summer vacation. Priceless memories were created as we jumped right into "vacation mode" with them and played on the beach, ate out way too much, visited theme parks, stayed up late, slept in late, etc.

But my favorite memory, by FAR...was ROCK BAND!!!!!!

Let me explain. And I'm going to assume here that most of my readers are more like me and have a limited knowledge of 12 yr old boys and the things that are cool to them. Drew's oldest cousin is 12 yrs old. His most cherished possession right now is his PS3. This stands for Play Station 3. It's a gaming system (like Atari or the old Nintendo, not the Nintendo Wii system that seems to be able to see you and read your mind...creepy). This PS3 is not limited to gaming only - no sir - it plays DVDs, allows you to surf the internet, and I think with the right upgrades, it can wash your car, too.

Rock Band is a game that you can play on PS3. After my nephew unloaded an amazing assortment of instruments from the trunk of the car, he introduced us to the sensation that is ROCK BAND. After a few practice runs, where all the adults were learning what they were supposed to do (and realizing how old and uncoordinated they all were), I was privileged to sit front row for a LIVE concert featuring Drew's Uncle Wes on the bass guitar, Uncle Rob on drums, and my one-and-only as lead vocals for Bon Jovi's "Wanted: Dead or Alive".

Let me tell you (and I mean no disrespect to my very talented husband and both brothers-in-law), there's nothing funnier or more entertaining than watching a bunch of men (who are relatively quiet and reserved) drop their guard and belt out a few 80's rock ballads. Also funny, watching a 12 yr old have to plead for the adults to give him his game back.

I wasn't sure how much of this was even understandable to Drew. It all just sounded like a bunch of noise, and I know that he wasn't grasping the concept of the game itself. But I realized a little later that he understood the basic premise. For days after our concert, every time someone counted to three, he'd drop whatever he was doing, strike a pose like he was holding an air guitar and start singing, "ROCK BAND, ROCK BAND, Oh Oh Oh, ROCK BAND!!!!!!!!"

Perhaps not the most appropriate entertainment for a three year old, I know...But pretty darn funny.

Here's to fun, spontaneous summer memories. Hope you're creating some great ones with your family and friends.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Spy Games

On Day 6 of swimming lessons, I brought my mother-in-law to watch Drew in action. After all the drama of the previous lessons, I insisted on a few ground rules, though.

First, we were not to talk about the lessons as we drove down to the pool. I had realized that building the event up in conversation actually made my son a little more anxious, so we pretty much avoided the topic until it was time to "suit up" each evening.

Next rule was that Grandma MUST remain hidden at all times. The pool rules clearly state that parents should not be on-deck while lessons are being taught. (The instructors had realized long before our time that children just don't do very well when their parents are visible.)

I had been taking this advice to an extreme for the last several days, sitting on the grass behind other parents in chairs, and HIDING UNDER MY TOWEL when Drew swam out into my line of vision (no, I'm not joking). So, Grandma was to stay hidden from view, no exceptions.

We got to the pool and my mother-in-law found a great spot in the parking lot where she could view the lessons by peering through the fence. She was concealed even further from view by a big shrub. Because it seemed like such a great vantage point, I joined her in the parking lot after classes started. We chatted and watched, ducking further behind the tree when my son turned around toward our direction. We completely avoided being seen and truly enjoyed watching Drew's lesson that day.

When class was over, we headed home in the car, after making a few stops along the way. About 45 min. after we began our journey home (and after MUCH praise and encouragement from both of us about how well he did), Drew said, "Mommy, guess what! I saw you!"

Both Grandma and I were silent. "What do you mean? Where did you see me?"

"Behind that tree and behind that fence during my swim class."

Busted! I guess our hiding spot wasn't so perfect after all. And I guess that I didn't need to be so well hidden after all.

Along with all the other lessons I've learned this week, my mother-in-law and I also learned that neither of us should consider a career in espionage.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Certificate of Completion

Days 5, 6, 7 and 8 of swim lessons were a complete and total success! Drew continued improving his outlook and his skills...and by the end of the 2 weeks, he was laughing and goofing around with the other little boys on the edge of the pool.

On the last day of class, the teacher handed me Drew's certificate of completion for Level 1 swimming. She might as well have been handing me a diploma for a Master's Degree. I think I might frame it and hang it prominently in our house.

That way, any time I start to lose patience or worry that my child will be traumatized by some new experience, I will remember all the Life Lessons that were learned in our summer swim lessons!