Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Water Deal!

My son will most probably be quite ill with me for sharing this with the world later on in life, but it's just a good thing I have to share with my close and personal Internet friends.

How many of you have issues getting your child to drink water? Oh, this has been such a hard battle for us around the house. My poor baby has intestinal issues due to his medication. ADHD medication can make a person very constipated and miserable. Daily, we have to slip a little of the generic miralax in his juice to hopefully help him "keep things moving". No joke, he's only been using the bathroom in that capacity once a week. On Saturday mornings. Like clockwork. I've had to go pick him up from school because of this issue and his stomach was hurting so badly he would sit on the potty and wail like a wounded bear. Are you feeling sorry for him yet? I know it breaks my heart on a regular basis because, DANG, that's just miserable, man.

The last visit to the dentist to get his teeth cleaned showed his teeth could be doing better. Gah, I hate when they put you on the spot and ask you how much water your child drinks. I do what any parent does, I hem and haw and try to avoid answering. But, they know. They know I'm not forcing water down his throat by any means possible. It makes me so ashamed.

Summer vacation started last week around Friday. Monday, as the first full week started, he started asking for soda to drink. I don't mind him drinking a little diet coke here and there, but there was no way I was going to let that be the ONLY liquid he put in his system all day long. The Man had purchased some 32 oz. water bottles a few months ago. Paige takes one daily to school to try and make her water quota. That smart sister got out the other one and told him they were going to have a contest to see who could drink a full one first. I sat back and let her work her magic. Of course, The Boy rose to the challenge because he's seriously competitive (he gets that from both his parents). A little may have spilled in the bathroom sink, but he truly drank most of the bottle. I was amazed and was very vocal about how awesome he was for drinking all that water.

That one day was awesome, but how was I going to get this to work the rest of the summer???

Tuesday morning found my boy up in the bathroom. That water worked it's magic on his system and, as the saying goes, "he got his oil changed". He was all skippy-do after that. Feeling good and sipping water. He started asking for some Diet Dr. Pepper he saw in the fridge and I told him when he finished his water, he could have some. Game on. By mid afternoon, that water was gone (I suspect a few ounces may have spilled down the bathroom sink again, but he seriously drank most of the water.)

Yesterday was hilarious. All that water coursing through his system was doing a great job and he was so gassy. If he wasn't burping? It was out the other end. I was ecstatic because this meant he was getting what his body needs and maybe, just maybe, if he kept this up? We could skip that powder in his breakfast juice.

Every few minutes, we would hear him say, "Excuse me!" as yet more gas escaped his body. Finally, he came up to me and was just tickled to pieces, all little boy giggly and he exclaimed, "I'M SO GASSY AND BURPY TODAY!!" I laughed and agreed and we both got tickled together.

This morning, I got up and fixed his breakfast with his cup of powder free apple juice. I went ahead and fixed his water bottle to put beside his plate. Without a word, he ate his breakfast, took his medication, and grabbed that spill-proof water bottle (whew! no spills!) to head on about his day. He keeps it within reach and will sip on it as he does his thing. He believes that if he can drink that water, he can get a little bit of soda in the afternoon/evening time to enjoy. And believe me, he thoroughly enjoys that soda like it's fine champagne.

I hope and pray I can keep this up and it becomes a habit with him. Since he has fallen in love with golf (another post soon), I have stressed that he will definitely need to keep that water bottle close when he and Dad go golfing since it's so hot here. He agrees whole heartedly because he was "sweatin' t'death" last Saturday morning when they went to play around.

Now I have to convince the tween that water is a good idea for her, too. It'll help with that acne stuff trying to come through on her forehead. I personally am not a fan of the water, but am a HUGE fan of the Crystal Lite and drink loads of that each day.

You do all realize that my son will probably keep drinking the water if he realizes it's the reason he's so gassy. Because little boys and a gassy body are best friends. Nothing cooler than the gas...or funnier.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Is it really a gift?

I have a gifted family. Well, that's what the tests say. It's not a brag, either. Dealing with gifted people on a regular basis can be hard, Internets. I know first hand. See, I used to be gifted. I was in gifted classes all through school from 2nd grade through high school. I was so smart I was stupid.  My Mama will be more than happy to testify that I'm telling the truth.

Paige and Makenna both are in gifted classes and have been since early ages. Now that Paige is in high school, she's ignored her abilities somewhat and The Man and I have to show our butts, get all strict discipline and mean to get the right results. Wears us out on a regular basis. Paige is quite funny, too. She can't stand stupidity. It is like one of her major pet peeves. Since she was young, she's been able to carry on a decent conversation with adults. She has an air of maturity about her that is quite scary when people guess her to be in her 20's and she's ...say 14. (Imagine how it is now that she's 17.)  I know teenagers believe themselves to be experts on any and every thing there is in life. Add in being gifted and you got yourself a  hard road to ride some times.

I believe I am no longer gifted. Thank Goodness! The Lord had mercy up on me because some one in this house has to have some common sense!!! I am perfectly fine with this but it does give me a headache at times when my smart people go too far out of the thinking box.

A few weeks ago we were outside in the back yard flying kites. My son has become obsessed with kites and their flying glory. I appreciate the local W*lmart selling them for a buck, too. As Paige was helping her little brother, she started telling us about what happened in science class that day.

Story goes:

Teacher asked the class how many transformers there are and what are their names.

My child immediately shoots her hand up in the air (I personally want to picture a Horseshack kind of thing going on here) and exclaims that she knows!

She then smugly tells the teacher and the class:

"There are two transformers. Autobots and Decepticons."

And sits back confident in her answer.

The teacher looks at her. The students look at her.

That wasn't the answer.

If you don't get this, Internets? I'll be praying for you. If you DO get this? Please, be praying for me.

After I caught my breath from laughing, I declared, "And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my gifted child!"

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Forty is the way to go

Well, I'm officially forty years old. Yep, it happened last week on Friday the 13th. I didn't really know how I felt about turning such a momentous age. I still don't. I don't feel any different than I did last week when I was 39, but I've been warned that some kind of signal goes off in your body when you hit 40 and things start acting funky and maybe even breaking down. This is where I stubbornly refuse to discuss how far away I have to put something out so I can read it.

It all started the week before Easter. I kid you not. Lu and her family were coming to spend Easter with us as has become our tradition. I toyed with going to South Carolina for the holiday since we haven't visited since February (life gets so busy!). Lu said she wanted to come here and The Man said he wanted to hang at home. I shrugged and agreed, wasn't a big deal to me. I  found out that week that The Man's cousin from Tennessee was coming for a visit as her son is stationed here at the local army base and she wanted to see him. Shoot, the more the merrier is what I say! Thing is, H. (said cousin's name) is a "clean 'em up" kind of gal. If you got a mess? She'll clean it. It used to bother me years ago, but I know it's how she rolls and I have come to accept it. Still, I wanted my house clean as possible so she wouldn't feel compelled to do much while she was here. It became necessary for my dining room to be painted and finished before Easter weekend.

So began a hard 4 days of work to paint and get it all straight while cleaning house. That Man took off a couple of days from work so he could focus on the dining room. He was like a man possessed, I tell ya! I was totally impressed with how dedicated he was to finishing this room because he's not usually in the same frame of mind as I am when it comes to getting projects done. Makenna stayed home from school (because she had plenty of days) to help me clean on Friday before everyone arrived. People started rolling in that evening and the good times started! It was noisy and loud and full of kids and adults laughing. Perfect. (And just so you know? I find it kind of but not really funny that I ended up cleaning for my own party. Just sayin'.)

That Saturday, Lu and I had made plans for an afternoon just for us. We haven't had any time just to ourselves in a very long time and we were hitting the town. Evening plans were for us to come back, grab the men and head to Carrabas as that's our "date" place to go when she and her husband are in town. Let me tell you, I was right excited because I do love that place with good eating. We spent an hour or so getting manicures and pedicures then headed out to shop. I mentioned a few times that we needed to head back around 4 so we could get to the restaurant early before the crowd hit. Little did I know she was texting the men like crazy telling them to help her stall me. My husband called and said he had called the restaurant and we had reservations for 6 p.m. Cool, that meant more time to shop!

Finally, it was time to head back to the house. When we drove up, I saw many vehicles, but really didn't think much of it. We had a lot of people staying that weekend. When I walked in, I didn't see anyone but my husband sitting in his recliner. I made the comment that it looked like there was a party at my house with all the cars when I glanced into the kitchen. I saw my friend Kim standing there and I thought "That's Kim. What is she doing here?" That's when a huge group of people jumped out and yelled SURPRISE! My husband had thrown me a surprise 40th birthday party. I was floored. I had no clue whatsoever. Apparently, he had been planning this party for a month and a half with all my friends in cahoots with him. It was surreal and just awesome. Want to be even more impressed? Dude got it catered. There was a spread of food in my kitchen from a favorite restaurant of ours (Sticky Fingers- ribs, chicken, slaw, mac-n-cheese...good stuff). He had ordered five cheesecakes from a place that makes the best cheesecakes in the world instead of a birthday cake. He had seriously thought of everything.  I could not have asked for a better party, Internets.

I would like to also state that maybe a few times during the party I loudly made the comment: "You do all realize that I am 39 years and 49 week-ish old, right? RIGHT?" Everyone was kind and gracious and conceded that I was still a lovely 39 and looking nowhere near 40.

The party was held early because my husband had to leave for a class up North on Mother's Day for two weeks. He missed my actual birthday (and, yes, I was sad), but when duty calls and the paycheck depends on it, you do what you have to do. (I am SO ready for him to get home this Friday!) He is still right smug over pulling this over on me and I'm letting him be as smug as he wants to be because he totally earned it.

That wasn't the end of The Celebration. Oh, no no no. If you thought it was? Then you must not know Miss Hope. No sir, I claim at least two days for a birthday. Three if my birthday falls on Mother's Day (and it will yet again next year). It only seemed fitting that turning 40 should claim at least four days, don't you agree?

Friday the 13th dawned clear with promise of a good day ahead of me. Carla Girl was claiming me for a lunch date with a little bit of shopping thrown in for good measure. First, I had to go to my son's school to see him perform in a classroom play where he had a speaking part! I had to record every single minute so Dad can see it when he gets home. I took my job seriously and did my best to get every single cute second. After that, I had to roll over to the middle school to rescue my daughter's cell phone. She forgot to put it on vibrate and it went off in class. Fair enough. While I was there, I found out she had to serve an hour of detention for having the phone. Do you know how I feel about kids having phones at school? Mine will. I'm still haunted by Columbine all those years ago. Makenna was devastated she had to do ~shudder~ DETENTION, but I told her to buck up and serve. It wasn't like the end of the world. Just remember to turn the thing off from here on out (as I handed it back to her all ninja-like). *She has since served detention with the P.E. Coach in charge who talked golf with her and then made her write about golf, then stopped her after she hit four pages. I think she had a good time?*

Back to the Birthday Story. (I tried to tell you my life has been crazy busy!) I finally finished my business at the schools and met Carla Girl at my house where we took off for some fine lunch dining. For you golf fans out there, I waved at the Augusta National as we drove by on the way to the restaurant near by. She had a hat for me to wear, with awesome glasses. As we ordered our diet cokes, she proceeded to bring out the napkins from her purse, along with another little table topper. I laughed and just enjoyed the meal. We headed to Macy's afterwards where I did, indeed, wear the hat with glasses perched on top all through the store. I even had the Happy Birthday Song sung to me in the middle of Macy's. Can YOU say that's ever happened to you? We hit a few more stores before I headed back to the house.

Neighbor Debbie rolled in that evening. She had been asking me for months what I wanted for my birthday and I just kept telling her all I wanted was for her to be here to share it with me. She threatened that she was going to give me a bucket full of circus peanuts if I didn't get my act together and tell her something. Wait until you see the pictures. Lu, Tiffany, and kids rolled in Saturday morning to share the rest of the weekend. This would be day three of celebration. Let's see......Neighbor Debbie, Paige, Lu, Tiffany, and myself headed out to get ourselves a pedicure. I'm so glad we caught the salon  at a good time because we owned that place for a couple of hours. We all got funky designs on our toes, a few brows got waxed, and SOME people who will remain nameless will be getting more pedicures in the future since they shaved enough dead skin off the bottom of feet to make at least 3 small children. *ewww* There was lots of laughter and smack talk going around.

That evening we took all 13 people who were in this house to a local pizza place. The kids were thrilled and the smaller ones got to play in the game room. The adults sat around the table gabbing until we had to leave or someone was going bust a gut from laughing or over eating. We ended the evening with the adults around the kitchen table telling tales from our childhood and past. Neighbor Greg was a good sport about being around all the women and even had a few stories of his own to share. We went to bed late but tired and happy. I'll claim Sunday as my 4th day of celebration because we woke up to drink coffee and even more talking and laughing over breakfast. Man, that was a good weekend. It would have been perfect had my husband been here.

So, now I'm 40. I celebrated it thoroughly from beginning to end and then some. Did I mention that when I got home from lunch with Carla Girl, I then donned the tiara Paige wore to her party? Yeah, and I wore it to pick up my son's prescription and through the McDonald's drive-thru to pick up some supper. That's how I roll, man. I don't have pictures from my party because there's none on my camera! I know some pictures were taken, I just have to find out who took them and get copies.

Just so you know, I don't feel old. I feel seasoned. Heh heh. Yeah, seasoned. That's it. We're still not going to talk about how reading fine print is almost not an option for me anymore.

Enjoy the few pictures I managed to get!

 I was rolling in style! There's a button on the side of the hat that says "Another Year of Fabulous!". The glasses were hard to wear but worked perfectly on top of the hat. Yes, I got a few looks in stores, but it was all good!

 The menu from where we ate, table topper (which now sits beside my chair here at home), and napkins. Carla Girl believes in themes and I thought it was awesome! It sure helped me score an awesome free dessert.

 Okay, about the circus peanuts. My Grandma  always had these in her candy dish so I've loved them my whole life. Yes, I know they're pure sugar, but now they're more for the memories than the sugar rush. When the Chief's Wives club I was in did secret pals, I put these as my favorite and would get them all the time and loved it! Now, this vase they're in? Was one I dearly wanted so SCORE for getting the peanuts -it took 8 bags to fill this vase up- AND the vase that is gorgeous.

This is the birthday card Neighbor Debbie did for me. It has to be the most AWESOME card I have ever seen in my life. There's alot of thought and work put into this card, not to mention good candy that may or may not be shared with loved ones. I know I can't keep the candy forever, but you can bet your butt I'm going to hang onto the bestest birthday card EVAH.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Beautiful 17

Yes, I know it's been too long since my last post. I can apologize all day long but it has been crazy here! Since my last post, Paige turned 17 along with having an amazing birthday party, my husband threw me a surprise early birthday party (!!!), Easter happened, car wrecks, awards ceremonies, and some home improvement projects. I warned you it's been crazy!

This post is going to be dedicated to my beautiful now 17 year old daughter. I think this is the first time I've had a problem with my child's age. She's seventeen. That's one year from being eighteen, you know. Ahhh, eighteen, the magical age where you are a legal adult and can spread your wings and try to fly. She's right excited about that magical age, too.

I am so conflicted over my prematurely born  baby growing up. I totally get how you blink and they're grown and gone. My years with her have truly flown by. Okay, that's a lie. There have been a few times that I may have stated that if I get this kid grown and gone, I'm throwing myself a big party to celebrate. I also have to laugh because this sister is her mother's child. I see myself all over her at that age. She's fiercely independent with opinions that usually don't agree with mine and her dad's. She has her own political thoughts and I'm pretty sure she's muttered that we are archaic about ours under her breath. It's all good. It shows that I haven't raised a person to enter society believing everything she hears without going on missions to find the truth for herself.

Paige asked me around February if she could have a 17th birthday party. I immediately said yes because her 16th birthday wasn't the greatest. We hadn't been living here but a few months and she really didn't know enough people to even have a party last April. I felt so badly for her as most of the kids in this area have Sweet Sixteen parties. You want to talk about a Mama who ached for her child? I sure did when I moved her in the middle of her sophomore year from a school and friends she loved dearly. (That situation would fall under parental decisions you don't want to ever have to make in your child's life.)  My baby has had a rough year adjusting to living in this new place. I'm so glad to say that I think she's finally found her niche and her sparkling personality and will be just fine until she graduates.

We started planning at that moment and about a month before the party, we started to seriously think of themes and decorations. She finally decided she wanted to go with a zebra stripe and lime green for her colors. Then began the hunt on  the internet to see what we could find. Okay, for the record? Zebra stripe is some popular stuff and if you want to use it at your own party? Order it weeks in advance. Boxes started arriving a couple of weeks before the big party day and Paige, Makenna, and I were so excited to open them and see the goodies we had ordered. Did I mention there was some disco ball added up in the mix of things? Little did I know that you could make a facebook event of the whole deal. That wasn't good enough for me. Parties need invitations. Call me old school, I don't care. Carla Girl whipped me up a template for her invitations and emailed them to me. We printed up post cards of red carpet and disco ball goodness for her pass out the week before the big date.

I decided to keep the menu sweet and simple. I gotta give a small shoutout to Walmart for this post. Did you know if they have a deli, there are affordable party foods you can order? Neighbor Debbie used some of Walmart's deli skills for Neighbor Greg's retirement and I decided to check them out for Paige's party. You can order six foot long sandwiches for twenty five bucks. I ordered three and when The Man went to pick them up, they gave him three more because the fresh baked bread they make the sandwiches out of wasn't as wide as they would have liked. Those sandwiches were amazing but we were sure tired of eating them a week later. I went to Sam's Club and bought chex mix, chips, and a nifty beverage station (pictures of that one). Add in a pack or two of cookies, along with the cake, and that was the menu. 

The party was a huge success and she had between 20-30 teenagers come to party. The party was held at our neighborhood clubhouse. It was perfect and spacious for those loud kids to have a good time. Can I just say that I am beyond impressed with the friends my child has picked? There were six adult chaperones because this gal remembers being seventeen, if you know what I mean. This group of kids were absolutely fabulous. They laughed and danced and sang and ate. They were polite and gracious. No one tried to sneak out and come back in. It was a pure pleasure to have them at my child's party. Neighbors' Debbie and Greg,  and new friends James and Sherry were just as amazed as The Man and myself over how wonderful this group of kids behaved and acted.  Everyone considered the party a complete success and I had one happy girl when all was said and done.

Now, I have to take a deep breath and brace myself for this last year before 18. I will be truly excited over Senior pictures and all the crazy things that high school seniors get to take part. I already catch myself sneaking extra looks in my child's direction. I want to treasure this year and hold it close so when she's ready to fly...I'll be able to let her.

Oh, and just to show how exciting this year has been for her since she turned 17 on April 14th? She's gotten into her first fender bender. My heart stopped when she called to let me know, but she had wonderful cops (seriously, they were just awesome), and her worries that Mama and Daddy were going to be furious (we weren't. It was an ACCIDENT and she was we're okay). It traumatized my Drama Llama and Miss Scarlett had to take to her boudoir for the rest of the evening to recover. (It was literally a tap kind of thing, but the Loser Cruiser (the vehicle she has to share with The Man) is going to need some cosmetic work before hitting the highway again.)

We also found out yesterday that she has passed the state of Georgia's Graduation Exam!!! With honor and advanced scores!!! When she showed me the test scores there was alot of girl squealing all around and high fives and hugs. She will totally enjoy her Senior year now with that out of the way. We are so proud of her for this accomplishment. Poor kid has issues with math (like her Mama) and she has struggled with understanding and passing. Get this, though. She got an honor score in that subject! That's my girl.

Now, I shall share a few pictures of the party with you.

Here's the Birthday Girl in the lovely tiara Mama D (Neighbor Debbie) bought her for the occasion. She was the Belle of the Ball!

 Ahhh, the cake table. We used fiber optic pieces all over the clubhouse so when it got dark, they were a huge hit! I kept the decorating simple, yet chic. I hope. The napkins are zebra stripes on the edge of white napkins with lime green napkins mixed in to make cute piles.

 Look at this cake. It was simply amazing. I may have flinched a little when paying for it, but it was worth it! Everyone took pictures of it and we all seriously hated to cut it when the time came. Do you like the bling scattered around the bottom?

 Again, simple decorations. These balloons are HUGE. When I saw the disco ball balloon, I just could not resist. Try riding around town with these bad boys up in the back bouncing around.

 This is the food table. Simple food, but teenagers are not picky. They all ate well and enjoyed fixing their own sandwich to their liking. (One kid ate like 3 or 4 sandwiches and had to go home early. We wondered if his Mama fed him?)

 The beverage table. Paige was a tad alarmed when she found out I was only serving lemonade. I informed her that I wasn't taking all these kids to raise (Southern for- I'm not providing a ten course meal.) She worried that they wouldn't like the lemonade. I splurged and ordered the lime green plastic wine glasses. Sharpies were provided so you could put your name on your cup and decorate to your heart's content. I was doing that to prevent them from wasting cups. Apparently, that was the biggest hit of the evening. They totally dug being able to decorate their cups.

 The Beverage Station. You should have seen these kids. I promise I made around 8-9 gallons of lemonade (big container bought from Sam's). It was fancy and cute and they couldn't get enough. I kind of want to think they drink soda as a staple and the lemonade was something different. Add in the fanciness with a spout, and you've got happy kids. We kept seeing them make toasts and clink their "wineglasses" together. Debbie and I have decided we're going to fill this bad boy up with kool-aid this summer and put it on the back porch so the kids can play outside and not come in the house. ha ha

Front view of the food tables with the chaperones hanging out in the kitchen. We were able to visit and hang out the entire time. After it got dark, we let them turn the lights down and the fiber optic centerpieces were glowing along with the strobe lights I may have purchased. They danced and sang until time to go home.

** Just note that I am right nervous to post my pictures of my decorating abilities. I come from a long line of church women who have thrown many parties and get togethers. If I failed? I am a shame to the family. Yeah, I'm feeling a little okay. (Note also that I didn't get elaborate with decorating because coming from that same line of decorators have shown me that you still have to clean up at the end of the night. See? I was right smart about the whole thing, really.)  I also have lots of pictures of teenagers having a good time, but no permission to post their pictures. I'm sure you understand.