Thursday, November 29, 2012

The list has been delivered!

I have a feeling that I will post a lot of pictures like this before Christmas actually arrives!
Beckham likes to attack the tree, and Maddox likes to police his every move!

 They fight, they cry, they make up!
Tis the season!

The Elf is still a hot topic too.
Maddox apparently surveyed his class, since he now has statistical references proving he is only one of 3 in his class who have no elf.


We made our annual trip to Bass Pro Shop to see Santa Clause last night! 

Not without a story, though.

I somehow left my keys in my ignition with the switched turned over, after picking Maddox up from school.
It wasn't started, but I still had a panic attack that we were all already suffocating under the fumes and about to die.
Once that drama faded, I realized that my car was dead.  To the bone.

I have never 'jumped off a car' before, and I'll be quite honest...
I will finagle help to myself in situations like that, rather than learning.
Not what I will encourage my own daughter to do one day-- but let's be honest, are you going to trust a tire that I screw on to your car, to twist down 35 at 70mph??
I can barely unscrew the pickle jar, for Pete's sake.

I'd rather not try and be a mechanic.  And I like to get absolutely senile when something goes wrong with my car... (like the time I had a blowout but I called Lance in hysterics and he thought I was in a 5 car roll over... and just to nail in my insanity, I went and charged 4 new tires on my credit card after that ordeal, because I was so scared it was going to happen again.) 

But back to my story of yesterday:: Lance was at work, and my always-saving-the-day neighbor wasn't home either.
I thought I had a glimpse of hope, when I spotted another neighbor's truck at home-- but he too was MIA.

So, I tried to figure it out myself.

First of all, I must have whipped it into the garage at about 80, because there was about an inch between me and the huge trash can... so we are going to blame that on the fact that it took me a good 5 minutes to get the hood popped.
I found the little charger gadget, I repeated "red to positive" about 10 times to pump myself up...
but right before I hooked up the clampers, my car started ticking like it was connected to a bomb and about to explode.
Remember that I already had thought I had filled my garage with a nice, invisible cloud of carbon monoxide, so I was like a soldier on Bomb Patrol, evacuating the premises before the thing went ka-boom.
Kids on each hip, cussing like a sailor.

Finally Buster (the neighbor who always fixes my disasters) called me back and told me that there would be no explosion... and talked me through the process.
Lance's gadget:: dead.

So now Buster sent me on a mission to get his battery charger at his house and coincidentally, my aunts pulled up at the same time.
I tossed my kids to them, and headed for this large piece of equipment down the street.
As I am toting it back, I see both of my children are in the street!  The busy street that people fly down with no regard every day.
Hello heart attack!  ...Now I am running down the street... with a mini-fridge... and yelling.

You got a visual?

Sweat... grease... frustrated... I really wanted to cancel Santa... and start kicking things.
But I didn't.

I called mom for a vent-fest...
And we carried on to Grapevine and had a good time.

We have seen this particular Santa the last 3 years, so I had to pull out old pics and see the changes!
Here goes...
And 2012.
No change!
He really doesn't age!

I got some of the cliche shots that we take every year...

I was a little afraid that Maddox was going to ask for the "robot, who's back opens and little army men come out, and slide down a rope to defeat the pirate ship" that he has consistently talked about.
I was worried because, well, that's not a real toy.

SOooo quick-thinking-Lance, said (right before he walked up to Santa) "what are you going to ask for? Legos, a trampoline, army men?"

And guess what was fresh on his mind?
Not the robot!

We had dinner at El Fenix, and then called it a night.

Today we went to play with our friend Candace and her little girl, Audrey, at their churches play center.
We had lunch at Rosa's.
And both of the boys acted great, despite both of their snotty noses.

Today was also my sweet Nana's birthday, so we called her for a shout out too!

One final and unrelated thing about today, that I feel like I should mention....
I downloaded an app on the Ipad of baby signs.
I think I have told you that Beckham has developed his own system of signing, and I have wondered if it would be helpful to show him the real signs so he can communicate a little better.
Free app = give it a try.

I went through them a few times tonight with him and though he smiled, he didn't do any of them back, or seem all that interested.
Well, I was scarfing down my bag of Snackwells, caramel cinnamon popcorn and about every 5th one I would feed myself, I would share one with Beckham too.
I am stingy.

Then, all of the sudden, I saw him do the actual "more" sign!
He got the rest of the bag!

It could be another fluke (that we will put into the bag of one-timers:: "mine", "bat", "Pop" and "boobie") but I was highly impressed!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas is in the air

Yesterday, Lance pulled down the boxes and we started spreading Christmas cheer around the house!

I forget every year, until I am laid up on the couch with a pounding head, a nonstop pouring nose and sneezing as if I were seizing, that the dust from the attic is terrible to my allergies.

I think I am allergic to that tree.
That beautiful, gorgeous, full of so many special ornaments, tree!

So instead of heading to Bass Pro Shops to see Santa yesterday as planned, we moved the date to today.
Which is really why I started this blog...
I have a hard time with this subject every year.


You have read it before.
But I always feel like I have to break it down again.

I don't want to make my kid the weird kid who doesn't do Santa at all...
I certainly don't want to strip them of the magic and joy and happiness and hope and excitement and innocence that surrounds Christmas, either.

Still, to this day, I remember that feeling of laying in bed on Christmas Eve, too excited to sleep.
I can still put myself into that place, many moons ago, where everything was so exciting and magical.
I remember thinking that Santa had to be real because there was no way that our parents could afford these things for us.
I believed a little longer than your average kid, I think.
I loved it!

Because of that, Santa is legit in our house too...
but not without quirks.

You see, I don't want to raise entitled kids...
or ones that Jesus doesn't even enter their mind when the thought of Christmas comes up.

I don't want to go into debt, showering my children (who already have more than they need, plus more) with more junk that we don't have room for.

And it makes me physically ill to acknowledge that some kids will wake up Christmas morning, hungry, unclothed and without hope at all.

So this is my seasonal struggle where I spend each holiday, talking a lot about Jesus, his birthday being the reason that we get gifts...
Introducing the idea of 'giving to others'...
Adjusting our already unforgiving budget around the expenses,
and trying to break the conversation from other family members that Santa only comes if you are 'good'.

Because we know kids who act 7 times worse than mine, but their Santa makes more money each year...
And their parents loose their minds up in Target and vomit gifts from floor to ceiling on Christmas morning.
And my kid is smart... so I don't want him putting together that so-and-so is a turd but wracks in the lotto each year, and Maddox is decently behaved and is maxed out at $100.

So that's that.

So far, my kids have been too young to compare and contrast to other kids, so this has been a bigger issue inside this 'ol noggin of mine than it has in the real outside world, but this year Maddox is in school and his friends are already talking.
The Elf on the Shelf thing has been the topic around our house the last few days, and here I am at another crossroad, trying to decide what I am going to do with it.

If you know me, your first thought would be that I am all over this.
I love the excitement of the holidays... the lights, the nostalgia, the hot chocolate, and Christmas movies and books and so on...
I enjoy being crafty...
And I am hands-on with my kids.

But, I am also cheap and that little critter is $30!
And more-so, I already have this internal struggle with not letting Santa trump Jesus that I feel like another piece of magic on Santa's side will weigh the teeter-totter to the pretend side and make my battle for a Jesus-centered Christmas even that much harder for me to balance.

I know I am an over-thinker...
there's no need to point that out to me.

But apparently I am not the only one who has worried about this, because I found this blog and I loved how she broke it down!

She too hates the "if you're good" quota.  She says, "we believe that Santa operates out of grace, because we all mess up and we need to know that we are still loved in spite of our naughtiness!"
I love that!

I am going to talk to Lance tonight while we are out to see what he thinks about adding an elf to this house.

(Lance and I have been playing our own elf games over the last 10 years with a tacky little gold reindeer.  He stole it out my my mom's things years ago and would somehow sneak it out each year and it would sometimes be days before I spotted him.  I would get so crazy on him because I thought he was messing up my perfect decorations, but now I look forward to finding him!  So what's the harm in letting the boys in on that fun too?  Right? ....grrr, I don't know!)

So anywho...
That's my take on the Christmas season.
My joy and my struggles!

I realize I am often times against the grain... and I cool with it.
You get your kids to tinker with and I get mine.

Hence the fact that I spent money at the mall for some great new things for our 5 year old angel whom I have never met, and left there to buy my bitty some hand-me-down shoes off of a friend!

My kids have more than enough.
Maddox has the wardrobe of a girl!
And because I was so meticulous about keeping his things nice, Beckham has a great closet too (and nicely labeled bins for each stage moving forward) and more toys than we can stuff into the playroom!

Honestly speaking though, Maddox gets mostly new junk and B gets more leftovers.  (another struggle-- another day)
As a whole though, they are both showered frequently.
They were blessed with a daddy who enjoys surprising them often with little gifts for no reason at all!
And with each season change (or killer sale) they get new clothes.  You might notice that I do enjoy a label... but this chick will not pay full price for hardly anything!  I'm just stubborn like that!
I feel like my boys are blessed... in a healthy manner.  
But just like everything else, it is a daily balance.

Which was a whole-lotta talk, just to say that I am trying to accept the Jolly 'ol St Nick in the manner that I enjoyed him as a kid and push aside my own quirks...
But lets face it::  I am a bowl full of quirk.

I am so excited for Santa pictures tonight... and dinner afterwards.
And I am over-the-top excited that I am not on call tonight because my head still hurts from yesterday's sneeze-fest and I just don't have the compassion tonight to save the world! 

Bass Pro or bust...
We are out!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving.... and the rest

We have a lot of ground to cover, so grab a cup of coffee and I'll give you the cliff notes.

Tuesday must have been uneventful, because I can't remember a single thing about it.
Wait, after consulting with the photos section of my phone, I realize that we played at the park on Tuesday because the weather was just perfect.
We also had Nicolle's BBQ chicken sandwiches which were easy and great!

Wednesday was the day I had been anticipating and dreading, all in one, for a month.  You all recall the blog where I poured my heart out to you, cried and then gave my worries to God, right?
Wednesday was the World Series for all of those emotions.

Beckham walked into the room in a blaze of glory.
He swatted at Dr Hayward, yelled at her, squawked over a cup, and acted like a complete toot.
Dr H was happy to see that, however, because it nailed in the idea that he is just stubborn.

She wasn't worried about his in-toed gait, because he wasn't throwing his hips in step.

And she said he would most likely tear the top frenulum from trauma before it is an issue of clipping it, as most children do.

She commented on how quick we all were to try and make him happy, which was in fact a reward to his behavior.  She felt Maddox was his biggest accomplice as he catered to his every request, quite quickly.

She told me that she could tell that he was very bright and was right on point in other aspects but thought the language light switch just had not flipped, but wasn't far away.

I did weep a little, but when I tell you that I forfeited those tears to the big guy, I meant it.

Dr Hayward complemented my growth over the past four years... but she hadn't read the blog, so she was kind of getting a facade of emotion over the topic!

I left that appointment feeling okay and reassured.
He's my sweet Beak, and though I do believe that he is capable of moving mountains one day-- I think he will order a team to do it, at a particular time, and paint them a color that he chooses, changing it twice!

I am, however, going to try and write more positive things about him and speak less of his quirks.
I feel like because I judge his quick temperament so openly, others feel that they are safe to joke about it too.
And frankly...
they're not.

After the appointment, we ran to the mall to adopt our angel and buy him a few gifts.
I had to get Maddox a couple of shirts too, since he looked a little raddy the week prior at school in his tummy-top long sleeve shirts!

My sister made it in from college, and we met at On The Border for dinner to celebrate her 21st birthday!
The weather was great, so we sat on the patio and shared sampler platters and drinks.

Thursday was Thanksgiving.
My brother in law was hosting a 5K fun run at 7:00 and breakfast at 8:00.
Lance's granny was serving lunch at noon.
My Nana's feast started at 1:00.
And Mom scheduled her's for 3:00.

I would be lying if I didn't admit that I woke up mad about it all.
We skipped the run, of course, because we don't believe in exercise.
We pretended 8:00 was the same thing as 9:00, and we started our day out behind.
Beckham screamed the entire drive to Boyd, and by the time we pulled into their house, I was ready to drink my Thanksgiving breakfast.
But I opted for coffee and bagels with some amazing pumpkin cream cheese.

We ended up enjoying our time with everyone, and my mood started to adjust.

We swung over to Granny's about 11:00 and chatted with her while she made her finishing touches to the feast, and rolled out of there around 12:30 when they started eating.

Both boys napped on the 30 minute route to Nana's and then we pulled into her house a few minutes past 1:00 and ate lunch there.
The food was excellent and my Aunt Penny sent me some of her rocking heels!
We swung out of Nana's a little after 3:00 and pulled into mom's, right at 4:00.

Mamaw came this year (the first time in the last 3 years) but she is not doing well at all.
She was very agitated and didn't know a single person's name.
My cousin Amber is hilarious and she said, "just watch.  Holly will walk in and every bit of her sense will come back..."  What do you know... she knew me!
They were leaving as I was getting there, so we only got to visit in passing.

We visited family and ate dinner at mom's...
And then my sister and her room mate, Brandi headed to WalMart to fight the crazies!

Lance and I always go Black Friday shopping.
He swings me by for coffee, we bundle up... and then we go shopping.
We never really have anything in mind (except the year I bought my DSLR)... We just enjoy the experience!
We have never gone the WalMart, Target, Toys R Us route... because we weren't serious shoppers, so this year was quite an experience for me!
Santa had a big gift in mind for the boys to share... and I had to track down the deal for him

It was a bit dramatic, but we got what we went for and I was back in bed by 11:00.

I worked Friday  (trying to make up the cash I lost not being on call on Thursday), and we went to the Fort Worth Parade of Lights that evening as a family.

We had never been before, and I read online that if you couldn't make it before 4:00, it was pretty useless to try.
We had to pick up our friend Luke, and my sister was going to try and drive herself in and meet up with us and I got a bit anxious.
But we rolled in right at 6:00, parked a few blocks away and had a great view for the entire parade.  
One of my mom's BFF even had seats so the boys got the sit right up front to the entire show.

Afterward, we went to El Rancho Grande for some great eating and lots of laughs.

Saturday I had to work again.
I came home to a clean house from my husband and had just dozed off on the couch when there was a knock at the door.
Allison tried to bail when Lance told her would wake me, but he convinced her to stay.

We loved on little Jobie and then ate pizza and loved on him some more.

You forget how quickly they spin out of that mushy skin and wobbly stance.  It seems like it only takes a few nights rest before they can hold their heads by themselves and start coo.  Then laugh, then crawl, then walk, and then start school.

I hate it.

Allison is such a champ.  This is her first baby and she has mastered breastfeeding and tackling this new life.  Her husband works out of town so I am sure she loves it when he rolls into town, but for the most part, she conquers it all by herself. 
Like a boss.

Lance and I both appreciated her loaning her little love bucket, and hanging out until dark chatting.

Sunday Lance had to work.
I listened to church online and cleaned again and played with the kids.

What I didn't do was take the opportunity to read my chapters and prepare for my 2 tests that were due last night.
I made a 60 on the first one an an 80 on the next.
....Yeah.... read that number again in disbelief... that's what I said too.

Luckily, we get to drop our 2 lowest quiz grades-- so these 2 shouldn't affect me too much... but still.
A sixty?
Come on Holly.

Today we were back to the grindstone.
When the boys got out of the shower this morning, Beckham kept pointing to his boy part and squeaking and complaining.  I couldn't see anything worth the fuss and finally Maddox said, "maybe he needs to go tee tee."

Sat him on the big boy potty... and BAM.  He tinkled!

We made a huge commotion of clapping and praise... and even a couple of phone calls too.
Beckham acted like it was no big deal though, and went on about his chocolate milk.

Maddox was excited to get back to school and see his teachers and friends...
And Beckham enjoyed his mommy time as we ran errands.

The cold front just rolled in and we are eating some homemade chicken noodle soup.

Lance just reminded me that our anniversary is this weekend, so I guess I'll start looking up ideas and entering calls.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekend wrap up... and happy birthday seester

Friday, Lance forgot his shoes.
Random, I know.
So I had to scoop the kids out of bed and run down the road to meet Josh with them.
We had a donut date on our way back, and then headed to Dallas to have a late lunch with Lance later in the day.

On my way home, I ran to Alliance shopping centers to spend a coupon.
Lance took the opportunity to roam around Cabela's alone on his way home from work...

All would have been great, except Beckham decided to morph into a monster:  Arching his back and screaming at the top of his lungs.  People were staring, employees were talking, I was sweating, and on the verge of tears.
I tried to make him happy but I finally did what any rational mom would do...
I dropped my crap on the counter, apologized, and then called Lance saying, "I hope you are enjoying your little shopping trip... It must be nice to get time alone... He's terrible... I have failed at parenting him... Why is he so difficult?  I want to cut your ears off because I can't his...".  You know, the norm.  Right?!  ;)

Lance was perfect; validated my fit, didn't call me crazy and headed my way.
He sat with the boys while I finished my shopping trip and knocked out a Christmas gift.

From there, we split up...
I decided to take the uncontrollable one home,
and he and Maddox headed back to Cabela's for some VIP madness.

Minutes down the road Beckham was asleep, looking precious like it was all a figment of my imagination.

But just inside the door at home, he vomited.  And vomited and vomited.

I felt so bad about all of the things I had just said about him... my poor baby was sick!!
I bathed him up and snuggled to my chest, and he started running fever.
He didn't want to move and I didn't want to put him down, so we got comfy in the King sized bed.

Lance and Maddox didn't roll in until after 11:00.
They didn't win any prizes, but he did surprise me with a sweatshirt.  #validated
And Maddox got his very own Duck Commander (Duck Dynasty) duck call.

We woke up Saturday and B was a new baby.
No vomiting.  No fever.  And ornery as ever.

Lance had plans to shoot guns with a guy from our soccer league, and the boys and I made the trip to my parents with him.

While there, I typed and hand wrote all 140 questions that have been on all of my 7 quizzes thus far.
I read over them a few times that night, and had plans to do the same come morning since I had a midterm due by midnight on Sunday.

Sunday came, and Lance was off to work.
I went on call at noon.

I started a movie, made a pallet on the floor with an array of snacks and chocolate milk, and reiterated the rule that unless your arm is falling off, mom couldn't help.
I knew the material, and assumed I would pull out an easy 100... get a little laundry going before the calls started pouring in, and get dinner in the crockpot.

50 questions... 60 minute time limit.
I press start.

Question 1... never seen it before.
I scroll ahead... 2, 3, 4, 5... every single question is new material to me.

I am not sure if it was the anxiety that came over me, but immediately my belly was screaming that it needed a break to the potty.
"no time for that", I told my gut... I have barely a minute per question and I am going to have to go on crazy mode to start looking up some of these answers.

Not even half way in, I am still telling myself "mind over matter" on the number-two issue and I hear, "momma.  momma. momma."  ...Beckham is walking towards me.
I am checking my time and I am right on target, "hold on baby.  Go lay down and watch the movie with bubba."
"momma.  momma. momma..."
Vomit everywhere.
In my lap.
On my computer.
All over the rug.
All over himself.

I can't stop.
I am barely on point for time anyway.
Beckham is pointing into his mouth and crying for a wipe.
I wiped his mouth, he took the wipe, and the poor little bittle started trying to wipe the mess up himself... as I was telling him "no"...  "I'm sorry"...  "give mommy just a minute".

Maddox got whiff of the vomit (literally) and starts gagging, "the smell momma... I'm going to frow up."

I'm mad typing, and trying not to fail this midterm, begging Maddox not to hurl.

It.  was.  a.  disaster.

I ended up making an 86, which in my book was a complete success, seeing that I basically hiked Mount Everest to pull it out.
It did bring my average to a B, since I have made 90s, exactly, on every single quiz.
But oh well.

I got everyone cleaned and bathed and laundry completed.
Call was horrific but our tomato basil soup and Italian cheese toast was the, so its whatever.

My baby sister turned twenty-one on Sunday too...
I had plans to make a surprise trip to Lubbock to wish her a blessed day myself...
but things changed and she will be here tomorrow.
We will celebrate then.

Here's a poem I wrote for her...
Don't judge it too closely.  I wrote it Sunday.  (see above)

At first our little red head
spent some time away,
I was little and confused
and just wanted to play.

I thought she was mine,
created for me.
I wasn't looking for a pal,
but more my own baby.

They let us scrub up,
and touch her hand.
She was tiny and cute,
and better than what we had planned.

She got strong enough to come home,
and all the fun began.
We carried her around like a little accessory,
she had her own group of fans.

She got bigger and lost her luster
and the sibling rivalry began.
She was spoiled and catered to
And I thought I ruled the land

We were eight years apart
with a room to share,
she ruined my clothes, she broke my things
I spanked her and pulled her hair.

My time came to move out, she grew up.
and she wanted a friend in me.
But I wasn't cool... I tried to be mom,
I wanted her to develop that potential that I could see.

It was a hard few years...
She thought I was critical and mean...
and I thought she was irresponsible and wrong.
And a rebellious, lost teen.

She made me mad, I cried some tears,
I knew she was capable of more...
She wanted a sister, she needed a friend,
she didn't understand, I loved her to my core.

Finally she found her spot and matured,
and chose a better group.
Friends that let her beauty shine,
those in her college loop.

She loves my kids like crazy,
she watched Beckham be born.
She's not a talker like myself,
but will always listen to my storm.

She pretty, nice, and sweet.
and despite all our conflicts.
We are great friends today.
and I adore my "sister hicks".

Happy birthday Al!
I love you!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thank you and other random stuff

Sometimes blogging is monotonous.
Sometimes you feel like you are talking to an empty room.
Sometimes you have to hold your real thoughts to spare the feelings of someone you know may be reading.
Sometimes you have to remind yourself to write, for these are memories worth recording even when it feels like there is nothing to say.
Sometimes it frees you.
And sometimes it is support.

Yesterday... it was everything I needed to hear.

I want to say thank you to all of you who commented, texted me and called me.
I truly appreciated every word.
We prayed, I gave my worries to God, and I am free.

I will update you after our visit next week, but for now we will just be patient.

While I am opening up a post, though, I thought I would upload some pictures that are on my phone.
Get ready for the random adventure, I've got no smooth transition:

His name is Lance.  I married him once.

Election day in our red, white and blues.
sleepy. sleepy. sleepy. and doggy sitting Sophie.

Just feeding his sheep with the best smile ever.

I call this my Taylor Swift dress.

And these, my rockin' bangs.
Just a couple of best friends watching movies.  Nothing going on here.

Ski ball at Main Event for Dane Dane's birthday.
There really isn't anything better than a tight, round, baby belly.  Maybe baby toes.  Those are good too.
We now have a family rule that army men can't rappel down our cell phone chargers anymore...  apparently we have to adjust the rule a little. 

Our Indian vest for school. (aka: secret spiderman vest)  ...nailed it.

A thanksgiving thankful turkey; to which most of the kids were thankful for their families... a couple the sun... but mine... "outerspace and shooting bad guys."

The little chef, whipping up some loaded baked potato soup.
My little fish, drenching himself.
They're kind of cute.  And comfortable.
A tiny sip of Heaven.

Spitting is funny.  And gross.  But mostly funny.

Not all houses come equipped with their own spy.  Ours did.  It is a nice upgrade.
We are pretty crazy.
Some like to dance, some like to break free... but no one... I repeat, no one... likes to do laundry.
And finally, a collage of our family-fun day in the stockyards.

Adios, and good night.