Wednesday, March 30, 2011


When I was pregnant with Makenna, I had many people tell me that you simply can't compare your children. I got that. I understood it. I still do. Now that I have three children, I get it more than ever. I have never in my life seen three such different individuals.

Here are a couple of ways I can't compare these three.

 Paige turned two in April. By October she was potty trained. She had a brief stubborn period where she would only wear diapers, then she woke up one day and was done with them. Off to the pretty panties we went and didn't look back!

Makenna turned two in February. For a solid year I struggled to potty train that kid. I begged. I pleaded. I threatened. It was a very hard year. I truly thought she would start school wearing a diaper. The week before her third birthday, I put my foot down. I told her I was done with the pull-ups and the accidents and she was GOING TO POTTY. She was fully trained in one week. One week. I supposed she believed me to be serious and the crazy look in my eyes probably convinced her she better head on to the potty.

I've potty trained a few kids in my life being a childcare provider for years. I knew right off the bat that boys could be a tad bit more difficult and that if you got them trained before the third birthday? You earned some kind of trophy that was at least 8 feet tall. I wasn't even going to attempt with my son until his third birthday because I felt he wouldn't be still long enough to stand in front of a toilet (gotta love undiagnosed ADHD). In March, before he turned three in April, he just up and decided one day to potty. Within a week or two he was pretty much fully trained. I really didn't have to do a thing but wipe his butt on occasion. He was the easiest child I've ever trained. Shoot, he practically trained himself. I will always love him extra good for that.

The girls have always been excellent in school. Behaviour wise, that is. I had one little issue with Paige around the 5th grade where she got sassy with a teacher. After I made her apologize to the teacher in front of the class while sobbing, I've never had another problem out of her. Except for last year at the new high school. Not sure if I ever told that story. I'll have to check my archives and if I haven't, I'll ask her if it's okay. Man, that's a good story.  Makenna is a "pleaser" and is too good at flying under the radar.

Then we have The Boy.

 I have gotten so many calls from teachers and bus drivers in the past two years than I care to remember. Ahhhh...he's such a pistol. I really think if those seats on the buses had seat belts? We wouldn't have as many problems on buses. If you're out of your seat belt? You're off the bus. My son still rides in a booster seat. Yes, he's almost 7. He's also not big enough according to guidelines to hold his own in a seat with just a seat belt. He is totally cool with it as he has a very nice seat to sit in. He's up where he can see out of the window. He has a cup holder to hold his juice. He's only 52 pounds and pretty much still a baby in my eyes. Shoot, Neighbor Debbie's dog weighs almost twice what he does. The freedom of the bus just sends him over in to Hyper Land. Suffice it to say, after a call yesterday from the bus driver and a visit from an upset Mama at my front door...he might just stay in his seat. For a while. He and his Dad had a "Come to Jesus" meeting last night in my bedroom. He's lost all his electronics and had to go to bed 30 minutes early. Gotta snap down on poor choices, you know. I followed him out to the bus this morning to make sure he apologized to the bus driver for not listening. He tried to walk past her to his seat and I put one foot on the step and said, "Boy, you know I am crazy. I will follow you up there in front of God and your friends. You are going to apologize." He came back down the steps to have a stare down with me. I simply told him that I was going to count to three and if he didn't do what he was told? He and his Dad could have another meeting this evening. Up came finger one. He turned around and went to his bus driver to apologize. I know he has "issues" but I will not tolerate bad behaviour. Not at all.

I may be rambling a bit today, but I just get amused when I am reminded just how different three siblings can be at times. I know my brother and I are literally night and day so it shouldn't be such a surprise.

April Showers have come early here and with flair! Hope you all find yourselves enjoying some type of Spring. I've got some new stuff for the house coming and can't wait to share my feeble attempts at decorating with you soon!

Monday, March 28, 2011

How it was and How it is now

Let's go back in time for a few, shall we? I say about 20-25 years. Now, my kids would say that's a LONG time ago. Not so much for me anymore.

Remember back in the day those nifty land line phones? You know, they were attached to the wall and you could only go as far as the cord would let you? Yeah, good times. I remember in our first home when I was growing up, having one phone. The cord wasn't really that long and I would spend my time chatting with friends sitting in a chair at the kitchen table or laying on the floor there in the hallway. I LOVED when there was a phone with a super long cord. You could twirl that line and play pretend jump rope while talking or wrap yourself like a candy cane and unwrap yourself a thousand times during a conversation. We moved into a new home when I was twelve and my parents put a phone jack in MY ROOM. That was like the most awesome thing EVAH. Until it got taken away. On a regular basis. (I was that kid.) That was about the time we moved on from the rotary goodness to push buttons. I remember the first phone I had in my room was push buttons, but it was still "rotary". It would make that schticking noise after every number and you would have to pause between numbers to make sure they all went through.

Best thing about those land line phones? You always knew where the dang phone was at all times. No hunting down a missing handset or pressing the paging button and playing marco polo all over the house looking high and low. Landlines never lost charge, either. That's why I still keep a land line phone in my bedroom. I can't tell you how many times I hear that dreaded beep in my ear letting me know my battery is low when my conversation is nowhere near finished. I then head to my room to lay across my bed in old fashioned teenage style and finish talking.

My kids have no idea. None whatsoever. All they know is that they can talk to whom ever they please at any time because if their phone doesn't have charge, then someone close by will have theirs charged and good to go. It's amazing how much a lifestyle can change in just 20 years.

Neighbor Debbie and I talk on the phone quite a bit. Back when I was living in Southeast Georgia, we were on the phone one day when a bad storm came up. One of us mentioned how we needed to get off of the phone before we got electrocuted. Then the other one of us pointed out that we were on cordless phones. After we finished laughing, we recounted growing up and how you weren't allowed to talk on the phone during a storm because you truly could get electrocuted if lightning hit the ground it traveled up the line to your ear. I actually know of someone this happened to back in the day. It then became a long standing joke between us and I almost want to think we make a point to talk on the phone during storms now just to prove we can't get electrocuted through the cordless wonders we are speaking.

Yesterday, we had a bad storm here. A while later, I happened to be on the computer and was checking the weather. I noticed the storm was then in her area and looked like it was just as bad as when it was visiting us earlier. I jumped up and sent the following text message:

"HEY! don't touch the's stormin' outside!!"

A few minutes later, I got this reply:

"OMG then why did u text me. I could of gotten kilt that way too!!!" (uh..kilt = killed)

I then started laughing because we're just so stupid. Paige was at the kitchen table doing some school work and asked what was so funny. I then told her and she just looked at me. Said not a word. Shook her head and went back to work.

I had no choice but to send this text:
"just so you know...paige thinks we ain't right"

Ahhh....this poor generation. What fun things they've missed out on. I used to leave my house and not have any contact with my parents until I got home. I don't know how they let me go like they did. I asked The Man if he could imagine sending our kids out for the night without a cell phone. His reply? "I can only because we did it. Will they be allowed to go out with out a cell phone? No." Good answer, my man. 

If the good Lord blesses me with another twenty years? I can't wait to see what modern marvels today's generation will come up with for us to enjoy!

P.S. Now I'm tempted to go get a land line phone to put in the kitchen with a looooong cord on it for old time's sake.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

One of those moments

I had a moment around last week or so. I don't know how it happened, but I forgot to give my son his medication before he went to school. This has happened a couple of times and each time, it proves to me that he needs these two little pills each and every morning. He is so blessed to have such a wonderful teacher. Where she finds all her patience baffles me because she surely has her hands full with her class of first graders.

I received a call from her around noon one day. "Her Boy" was being a pistol in class. He refused to do any of his work and was just being an all around PITA (pain in the ...uh...butt. She didn't say this, I did.). She asked him if he took his medicine and he "thought so but wasn't sure". I immediately went to his daily medication holder and there sat that days medication. Crap. I told her to have him ready and I would come get him. See, he simply can't handle the pressure of the classroom without those stupid pills. I told her from day one that if he wasn't medicated, her life would end up being miserable and I'm not going to have her focusing 150% on him when she has other students she has to teach also.

I went to the school to pick him up and I just love that kid. He has a twinkle in his eye and is just full of spit and vinegar. We ran a couple of errands while I was out and everything seemed to be okay. We got home and I had picked him up some lunch (this would be his second lunch). He had to finish his work from class that day that he refused to do during class time. I told him he was not going to do anything until that sheet (front AND back) was done.

Me and Jesus got alot closer, Internets.

It was quite a few problems, both math and language, that had to be done on that sheet of paper. It took us two and a half hours to finish that paper. I am totally serious. I was flustered, hot, worn out, and sad by the time we finally finished every single problem. There was a few places that required coloring with crayons. That didn't happen.

After we finished, I let The Boy do a fun thing or two. It wasn't his fault he didn't take his medication. He wasn't being "bad" in class...just hard to handle. I emailed his teacher to let her know that the sheet was done and how long it took to finish it. I also told her that I could not apologize enough to both her and myself over him being unmedicated. I finished with a promise to tape his medicine to my forehead at night so we would remember each morning.

This makes me so dang sad. I've been so positive over him having to take medication and how wonderful it's been for him. And it has. Truly. I don't want my son to come back and read my writings and think of how sad his Mama is over his having ADHD with high impulsivity. Because, for the most part, I'm not.

Then I have those moments. Those moments where I wish I could take it from him...for him. Those moments when I'm sad because I wonder if he will have to take medication the rest of his life just to function in society and find peace of mind. I have moments where I see him medicated and unmedicated and I see two different little people in front of me. Unmedicated boy is wide open and rough and tumble. His eyes seem to sparkle just a little brighter and his sense of humor will have you rolling. Unmedicated boy also is hyper to the point where there are times I fear his little heart will come right out of his chest. Unmedicated boy can't focus and gets frustrated easily and loses control. Then there's medicated little boy. He's a little more serious and not as quick to laugh. Medicated boy shows amazing intelligence that keeps us speechless. Medicated boy sleeps at night. (That night he missed his medication? He might have slept an hour or most. It was miserable all around.) Medicated boy can stop and control his actions.

I want to tell him I'm sorry lots of times. I want to beg him to forgive me and his Dad for passing this genetic trick to him. But....if I do that? Then I'm apologizing for him and who and what he is. That is so unacceptable. Because, along with his sisters, he keeps my heart beating on a regular basis. I don't want to change what makes him the amazing person that he is and is becoming.

I may have one of those moments here and there, but ultimately, I get past them. His issues aren't what I would have wished for my child, or any child for that matter. God had a reason for giving this precious little boy to me and our family. I am so grateful that He did. So, I had a moment. That's how long it lasted...a moment.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Bathroom Project

It was finally time. Time to start making this house our home and putting a solid Edge stamp on the building. For the past two years, I have seen in my mind's eye a beach themed bathroom. Leaning more towards the East Coast as that's the only kind of beach I know and love. This is the first room we have fully completed and I'm happy to show.  I chose this room because I already had the decorations for it in a box. (I was serious about the two year remark.) I have looked and looked at colors and it's kind of funny how I finally found what I was looking for. I was able to acquire a sample of paint from Valspar online. I had to pick a color and I somewhat randomly browsed through the blues. I wanted a happy blue that reminded me of the beach. It's hard to really tell how a color will look online, but I took a chance. When it came in the mail, I slapped some up on the wall and was surprised. It really appealed to me. I went to Lowe's to find the color card and when I did, I bought a sample of the lightest color on the card. I brought it home and put it up against the blue and knew those were the colors I wanted in that room. I also chose to do this room because The Boy lays claim to this bathroom and it's also the guest bathroom. I wanted a nice restroom for my guests to use (even if the guest bedroom is in shambles!).

All in all, we were able to do this room for under $400.00. This is what I had to purchase:
  • Paint.
  • Primer.
  • Paint supplies.
  • Shelving.
  • Towels, wash cloths, hand towels.
  • Rugs.
  • Laundry hamper.
  • Decorations.
Now, I do have to admit that I am a big fan of Sherwin Williams. I took my paint samples to them and got my paint at that store. They are amazing at matching up paints! I love love love their cashmere paint. It is a self-leveling paint that is amazing to watch. You put it up on the wall and you see streaks and thirty minutes later? It's SMOOTH! I won't use anything else because it's excellent paint and very easy to use.  I used what was left of my trim paint from the office (purchased at Lowe's-next time will get it from S.W.)

My colors are Summer Splash for the walls, Crystalline for the ceiling, and Oyster for the trim. That oyster is a fabulous color. I love a good crisp white, but not "blinding", if that makes sense. This is just the perfect trim color and I will use it throughout my entire home, I love it that much.

Now, let's get started with the pictures!!

Ahhh..gotta love the builder's tan/beige paint. Good neutral color, for sure, but no imagination. It made this small bathroom look like a small box. Note how I tried and failed with the shelves for towels. Not a bad shelf/rack system...just not right for this space. In my opinion, the towel rack was about useless. Away it went!

It really was cramped looking and feeling in there.

Small vanity area to work with here. The bathrooms upstairs are not huge. That's perfectly okay. I have three bathrooms upstairs. The girls' each have their own bathrooms, so they don't need huge space. I tell them to be happy they don't have to share!

I...uh...started taping when I realized I hadn't taken any pictures so I left the roll hanging on the door frame. Those are paint splotches I started to prime. I'm serious about really looking at a color for at least a few weeks to see if that's what I really want.

This was my hands all week long. I ruined a few tshirts while I was hard at work, too.

We let The Boy do some painting. He asked to help and I wanted him to own some of the work it took to make HIS bathroom look good. He got a little slap happy a couple of times, but had a blast. He is shirtless because he had on a school shirt and didn't want to be bothered to go across the hall to his room to get a play shirt to work in. At least he kept his pants on. Please note the tank of the toilet has been removed to paint the wall. What a pain that was, but I wanted it done right.

I told The Boy to show me his muscles. The Man decided to get in on the act and you can see by the reaction that The Boy wasn't expecting it. Love this picture!

We kept a mess going here. Are you as nervous as I am that my son is walking past open paint? Gah, that kid makes my nerves bad some times!

Really look at this picture. On the left is the Oyster color. On the right is the builder's Blah color. You don't realize how dull their colors are until you put something nice and crisp beside it.

There were shelves that needed to be put on newly painted walls.

There were tools involved, which made my husband very happy.

Thank you, Lord, I have a husband who will read instructions before putting holes in my walls!

TA DA!!!!! Hello new bathroom!! Out with the rack and towel bar, in with the floating shelves. I love the way the lines are clean while giving me the storage I need for towels and decorations. (My son has his favorite green and character towels. Those were moved to under the sink and he's happy to still be able to use them.) I found the white wicker laundry hamper at Bed Bath and Beyond and it fits perfectly between the toilet and tub. Yes, we did do a "sit down" test to make sure it wouldn't interfere with personal business.

I took some shells and put them on the ledge around the top of the shower. Makenna discovered that if you bang hard enough on the wall, one or two might fall down. *rolls eyes* I'm not too worried if they fall and get wet on occasion....they are SEA SHELLS, man. Besides, this turned out really cute. I also kept the clear shower curtain. It gives the room a more open feel and keeps people from showering in the dark!

Nice white absorbent rug. I put a matching one in front of the sink that's a little larger. I love the rough woven look. It reminds me of beach houses. Easy to throw in the washer is what I like!

Please ignore the red fan that won't be staying. The fumes from the cleaning supplies I used needed help. The gorgeous shells are from the Florida Keys. Neighbor Debbie has family there and when she was visiting, she picked some up for me a couple of years ago because I mentioned I wanted to do a beach themed bathroom. I 'm keeping it to a minimum on the vanity to keep it clutter free and more spacious.

This is on the top shelf. Oh, how Makenna and I love these shells. We probably spent thirty minutes arranging them in the vase so they would look just right. The shells used through out the room are some we picked up at Amelia Island  beach and others are from The Keys.

SURPRISE!! Did you think I would just keep it all blue and white. No, Sir! No, Ma'am! This was my inspiration piece. This also came from the Florida Keys. I kid you not, Neighbor Debbie is a good woman. She went shopping and must have sent me a dozen or more pictures of the metal art/ sculptures she found while shopping . I finally decided on this one and have been perfectly pleased over it. I love the colors and the blue background had to be perfect for them to "swim' around. It's a good size, if you notice the light switch and top of door. Yes, it's heavy, but it's so cool! You can look at it a dozen times and see something different every single time. It gives the bathroom the perfect snap of color. It does come out from the wall as it is a 3-D work of art. That made me a tad nervous, but it really is okay and works well!

Got rid of the towel bar and put in a nice sturdy hook to hang your towel on while you're in the shower. It may be a little lower than most people would do, but I had to keep my six year old in mind. It's a great compromise, I think.

There you have it! An Edge Re-Do! A completed project in my home! We do plan on putting crown moulding in this bathroom eventually, but there's no hurry. I'm also on the hunt for a white wicker trash can to match the hamper. I now have the fever to get started on my other rooms. BUT.....give me a week to recover and let my shoulders reattach themselves, please. Hope you enjoyed!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Lions, Tigers, and Elephants, OH MY!!

Guess where The Edge got to go this past weekend?!?

Who is excited to be at the circus for the first time ever?

Circus excitement is contagious!!

When you go early, you get to participate in the pre-show. There's the stage ham up in the ring showing her mad hula hooping skills! (Wearing a brand new hat for the occasion, of course.)

It's really special when grand parents get to go witness their grankids first circus experience. Contrary to that man's expression, he had a ball. I think they had more fun watching the kids' reactions than the show itself.

Worth every penny just to see the look of wonder on the six year old's face time after time. To see animals and clowns and feats of acrobatic wonder plus a motorcycle or three thrown in for excitement.

Two peas in a pod right here. They adore each other so good.

The look I got on the way home when asked, "Did you have a good time?"

Who is the best Mama in the world for taking her kids  to the circus?


To be fair, I'd like to give a shout out to the bestest Dad, too. The Man did make the phone call to purchase the tickets, paid for tickets, and drove us there. I just like being cool, too.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Keepin' it Real

I love blogging. I love sharing stories about my family because I think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. They are my reason for living. I've been doing some extra reading of other blogs lately and the subject came up about keeping the blog real. So many bloggers are trying to make an extra buck or two from their blogs and, dude, I have no problem with that whatsoever. Plus, I'm not going to say that if I had the chance to make a buck or two from my own blog that I wouldn't jump at the chance. It hasn't happened for me as of yet and so I won't stress over it.  There are so many opinions out there as to what makes a blog a good read. Do you review products? Do you talk about all your problems? Do you just talk about kids and raising them? Do you have that something special that will make people want to visit you on a regular basis because you are just that flippin' cool? Eh, I'm clueless. I read what I read and enjoy it when I do.

My thoughts on a good blog are that you just keep it real. Don't talk about what you know nothing about. I am a full disclosure kind of gal. I'm not a private person who keeps every single thing to myself. I find it funny, too, because I come from a family that will keep every single thing close to their chests in the name of privacy. Maybe that's why I don't care? I grew up in a home where you keep everything within your four walls, never to let your troubles see the light of day. I adore my family and the ground they walk on, but I secretly laugh at them because you almost have to have a secret password and the key to Fort Knox in order to have a good conversation with them. ( I reckon it's not so secret anymore that I laugh at them now. Uh...I love you family and I'm laughing with you, not at you. (I hope that smooths it out, but I'm not too worried because it's not like they really read my blog.))

So, after reading some of recent blogs and their thoughts, I thought I'd share a few things that I haven't put on my blog. You know, to keep it real for me. It's all about me and just how crazy Miss Hope can be in her own mind.

Let's see where I can begin. Oh, yes, I have anxiety. Not super duper anxiety like my mother and oldest child. I've seen them go from zero to straight over the edge in a blink. I like to think I have a good control over mine with 10 mg of celexa every day. I can't take the full 20 mg that you start out with unless I want to lay on the couch all day in a stupor and sleep. Half of a tablet bringing it down to 10 mg is just right for me. I come from a long line of OCD people and I know I have great potential to let my anxiety control me. That's why I'm so glad I'm saved and that God is ultimately in control- not me. Have you ever watched those shows that are about OCD? I have and I want to cry because I can just see where they come from. One show was about a woman who would flip light switches X amount of times because if she didn't? She just knew something bad would happen to her child. I am a "bad case scenario" kind of person. My mind automatically goes to the worst thing that can possibly happen. The WORST thing you can come up with. Letting my child drive by herself the first time is a perfect example. I let her leave our driveway and my mind starts rolling with the worst possible things that could happen. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. When I start to feel my heart pound, I stop. I pray. I ask God to take care of whatever it is I'm beginning to stress over and I let it alone. You have no idea how many times this has saved my sanity. I know I can't control situations, but He can. 

Now, get this. I am jealous of people who are OCD about their homes. I am totally not joking. I WISH I could have the gumption to be OCD about cleaning my home and keeping it in perfect order. Crazy, I know. Yet, I am very particular (ha do realize that "particular" is the OCD person's way of downplaying things?) about many things in my home. I don't put clothes in the dryer. That would be shirts and some pants. I do put certain things in the dryer, but for the most part, I hang things up to dry. If you put something in the dryer that I didn't want in there? It's going to get ugly up in here. My room is a hot mess at the moment because we have a few boxes in there that have some decorations in them, but I need to paint and .....suffice it to say I really need to go work in my room. Someone tell my room mate that I really need to get our room straight. While the room is pretty chaotic, my jewelry is not. Sure, it's scattered on top of the dresser, but I can lay my hands on whatever I'm looking for in a second. I put it all in separate little tiny ziploc bags so that it won't turn (because I wear silver). It's just amazing to me that I can be in such chaos, yet still know where everything is.

I love, almost to the point of obsession, lipstick, shoes, costume jewelry, and expensive hair products. I have been all over the weight spectrum in my life time, and those never let me down. Miss Ma'am, you might be 120 pounds soaking wet, but we can still wear the same lipstick, shoes, jewelry, and use the same hair products so step back. These few items make me feel better and I simply adore them.

I think the reason I haven't really decorated my house more than I have is confidence. I can walk in your house and immediately give you amazing decorating ideas and color choices. I just can't do that here in my own home. I finally decided on colors for the breakfast room/kitchen, dining room, and The Boy's bathroom, but it took a YEAR. There's still too many rooms left to do, man. I doubt every choice I make, every thing I place on a shelf, table, or mantle. Right now I am at war with my living room. I can't find what I call my "furniture zen". That's when my furniture is in the best possible place it can be and when I sit down, I am at peace and enjoying my space. I am constantly looking around and just feeling like everything is I am almost to the point of having someone come in here while I am gone, let them set it up, come back in and just live with it.

The last thing I'm going to share is that I don't feel like I belong anywhere. Weird, huh? I lived in my hometown or near it for the first 35 years of my life, then moved. I get to this military southeast Georgia town and after a year, start to settle in pretty good. After 3 1/2 years there, I have to move again to another Georgia town. I've been here a year, but I don't feel like I belong here. I call it home because my driver's license tells me this is my address. I call it home because my house with all my stuff is here and my children attend school here. It doesn't FEEL like home. Yet. I'm sure it will eventually. I know I don't feel at home in my hometown anymore. It will always be "home home" for the rest of my life, but I don't want to go back there to live. I think. It's a pretty odd feeling. My husband doesn't have this issue because he's moved around his entire life. He can make where ever he lives his home. My kids seem to be okay here. The oldest misses the last town we lived in and would go back in a heart beat if she could. I know my way around, for the most part, now. Everything isn't strange and scary. I don't get lost and bent out of shape like I did when we first got here. I know people here. I just would like to feel like I belong. That it's okay to put my roots down firmly without fear of them getting ripped out of the ground yet again. I am and always will be a "South Carolina Gal". I just want to be okay with living in Georgia.

There you are, Internets. A few real facts and thoughts from Miss Hope. It's about as real as it gets right there. Just to give you  comfort, I believe I am half crazy some times my own self. What gives me comfort is that all of you are just as crazy in your own right, too.