Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Who Misses High School??

Never fear, just become a Mommy, wait 5 years, and when your child starts kindergarten it'll be like you are right back in HS, walking the halls awkwardly, trying to figure out where to go, trying to get someone to talk to you, trying to figure out the mass attack of information coming at you from left and right all the while attempting to keep your palms from sweating right off. What? Just me? Seriously, this should be a contact sport.

Don't get me wrong, everything has been bustling and busy and people have been welcoming, it's just that I am incredibly afraid of everyone, or to be more precise, I'm afraid of acting weird or saying something stupid in front of everyone. Apparently, being holed up for the majority of the past 4 years in my house with kids has left me a bit of an agoraphobe, not wanting to leave the house unless necessary because now everywhere I go, I recognize people I've seen at her school.

This is not good, seeing as how most of the time I'm sans makeup, a scary sight at any rate, but when you're trying to carve a nice little niche out for yourself and your kids at the elementary school, it's probably best not to scare the rest of the moms away with a glance. Not to mention, my small-talk skills are not the greatest, especially when they sneak up on you in the grocery store as you're fighting your toddler, desperately trying to grasp hold of the last shred of dignity you've got left.

Not to mention the FOLDERS. Good Lord! Yellow folder for info, Blue for homework, Green for Poetry, Red for behavior....all come home on different days, all go back on different days, all in an effort to push me one step closer to insanity. Poor Ryan. She'll be lucky if we make it to Christmas! She was a pro yesterday, insisting I drop her off in the front of the school and let her walk in alone. I wish I could bottle the joy and excitement emanating from every pore in her body as she walked along the sidewalk through the front doors. She's having a great time, has already found a "Bestest Friend", and has already gotten in trouble for talking too much. So at least she's right on track...

Jax and I have been having fun as well, thank you very much. Except for the 2nd attempt to keep him with me while watching Ry's gymnastics, he's been a lot better. He just can't sit still, especially when there's so much going on around him. Yesterday at gymnastics, he dumped over my coke, and threw another of his trademark fits as I cleaned it up and tried to gather him, our 5 bags, and extraneous toys in an effort to make a quiet, unnoticed exit. But then I tripped on the 18 month year old that another mom had sitting in the middle of the floor, and that plan was shot to hell. Apologizing as much as I could, I still could not escape the evil, irritated glares of the mommies around us. Perhaps from now on we'll just drop Ry off, hmm?

My favorite thing with Jax right now is the fact that every time we go in the backyard, he puts on his Cowboys helmet, a habit he originally started every time he went outside to play T-ball, but which has now expanded to anytime he's in the backyard. You haven't laughed until you've seen him toddling around in that huge helmet, teetering back and forth as he climbs over things, digs in the rocks, and goes down the slide head first. It's good for what ails me.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Or Not...

Forget I said anything about a dog. What dog? Bad Amy. Bad. Bad.

There goes my heart...

No tears were shed (yet), but my heart did break just a bit. I didn't have time to be sentimental, seeing as how they whisked her off before I could even snap a pic, but I guess they know what they are doing.

Here's Ryan 2 minutes before the above photo -- while we were waiting in line to drop her off:

I can't count the number of times I gave my mom this look (and still do).

And of course, Jax had to get in the game:

Now if you'll excuse me, I would go curl into a ball on my bed, but seeing as how I just agreed to take in another dog, I'd better get the house ready. And figure out how to tell Shawn.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Art of War

I truly believe that every mom goes through difficult spurts with each of their kids. I believe that it is not just me, that I am not simply a bad mom.

As much as you read about the chaos that goes on here on the blog, there's ten times a much good, boring, run of the mill stuff that happens, too. So, no, I do not think I'm a bad mother.

But I have reached another cross roads with Jax and have come to the conclusion that I have got to step up the discipline now or he's a goner.

The tantrums have become, in a word: unbearable. My sweet, funny, larger-than-life little boy truly seems to have some kind of monster residing inside his chunky little body, and it's time to exorcise it.

Something has to work, because Amy the Emotionally Fragile cannot take much more --
especially in public.

I'm going to spare you the nasty details, but let's just say that there were 2 incidents, and one of them ended with me half topless, groping around the produce section of the grocery store looking for my glasses.

Let the stare-down begin.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Perhaps I spoke too soon...

Aye. I've been just as anxiously awaiting the first of the school year as much if not more than Ryan. I'm sure a lot of moms get excited, but I doubt any of them do it with quite as much essence of nerd. (See?)

I've got schedules and charts and calenders, OH MY, and still, still I manage to screw up 2 monumental landmarks in my child's lives.

First, Jax has begun going poo on the potty. As happy as I am about this milestone, it's one I've been not-so-secretly dreading for a while now. I've mentioned the carpet, yes?

So there we were, straining and squeezing in order to get some little toothpaste squirt out of his butt (that just got way nastier than I'd intended. Sorry.), and then "Woohoo", applause, applause, applause, he crawls down to look into the potty and finishes his crap on my bathroom floor.

Why was I not prepared for this? IT WASN'T ON THE SCHEDULE. Sheesh.

I have it clearly marked that he starts potty training once Ryan starts Kindergarten. Not 6 days sooner.

And then.


Do you remember that weird sister that Shelly Long had in "Hello Again", that kind of lady like the record store owner Annie Potts played in Pretty in Pink? Weren't they great and weird and funky and endearing? Yeah, to the moms at Ry's new gymnastics, I'm that lady. But not nearly as endearing and nowhere in the vacinity of great..

We started at a new, slightly more prestigious gymnastics academy than the YMCA today (Can you hear me gagging? Can ya?), and Ryan totally rocked the crowd. Not that I'm proud or anything, but she totally charmed those teachers into thinking it was cute that she hadn't listened and needed them to repeat themselves over and over. (We'll have to work on that.) Still, she did great, especially on the bars. I don't know what it is about her -- some physical anomaly from Shawn's side of the family I'm sure that gives her crazy strength in her upper body, but the kid has it. Seriously, it's sick.

I'd been anxious about making a good impression at this place, knowing that Ry may want to continue there for a while and all. Naturally, I failed miserably.

Ryan and I were both virgins at this gym place, in fact I hadn't even gone there to register, so it was pretty much blind leading the blind kind of thing. When we finally get the teenager at the front counter to notice us, we fill in the rest of the paperwork and she tells us to go with Coach A, and that someone would call our name.

Great! Just point us where you want us. We herd ourselves into the tiny watching/waiting area, hearing teachers calling names while we try to figure out where sit. When I finally manage to get her shoes off, a line of little girls starts walking onto the mats. "I think that's your class," I say to her. "Go on out and ask the teacher if she called your name."

"Okay." She timidly goes off to talk to the teacher while I try to wrangle Jax when another gym lady stops her and asks her who she is and where's she supposed to be. Ryan turns and looks at me with such fear and utter shyness that I quickly jump to her aid, calling out to the instructor that she was supposed to go with Coach A, and that she was thinking maybe that was her on the floor. She was going to ask her if she'd called her name, I informed her.

"We haven't called names, yet," she said flatly, bending down to Ry and asking her name. She checks her list and - lo and behold - she is supposed to be out there on that mat with those kids, Smirking, I turn around to grab Jaxson, when I suddenly hear, "Whose little boy is that?" I look onto the gym floor and there's Jax up on the low beam, shit-grinnin' and jumping away.

I, naturally, start to laugh, but when I notice the looks on the other mom's faces, I decide that may not be the wisest option, and I run out to retrieve him. Not such a big deal. Until he starts fighting me, screaming, kicking and throwing a Classic Jax Attack. In the middle of the gym floor. With everyone watching.

(Later, Ryan told Shawn she was embarrassed about it. I rest my case.)

I breathe, put him in a choke-hold and carry him off the floor, to the sanctity of ...THE WAITING ROOM.

God, that place is a nightmare.

You know the "Perfect Moms" right away -- theye were there 10 minutes early, their kid has been here 2 years already (her radar clued into the place much sooner than mine, YMCA-loving freak that I am), she looks awesome in short brown hair, a REAL tan, no makeup, polo tee, j crew shorts and is happily bouncing her new baby on her knee. Did I mention she's already lost any baby weight she may (doubtful) have put on?

Then there are the "Ex-Cheerleader From A Small Town Moms", who I relate to only because they remind me of friends of mine who actually were small town High School cheerleaders, so I know they're not all that bad. But still...they sure have a lot of "pep". And they love to say things like "No WAY!" and "Good Deal!" and "SO AWESOME" a lot. It's just funny is all.

And then there are all the "Older Moms", who look like you imagine your mom might look now if she was your age: a little frumpy, but still attractive, just in kinda bad clothes. (No offense, mom.)

And then there was me. The mom who is always late, usually frantic, kid's hair is rarely brushed, with the funny-little-screaming-toddler-who's- really- not- that- funny- at- all- but- you- people- keep- laughing- at- him- so- he- thinks- he- is kid and the inability to control him whatsoever. Plus, I looked really weird yesterday, what with my "Green is Good" Tee, my silver ballet flats, and the turquoise necklace Ry put around my neck as we were getting out of the car. For good luck.

So we opt (are forced, whatever) to sit in the back corner away from everyone else, but that doesn't help, because right next to us is the other entrance onto the gym floor, which does nothing but tempt the devil a little bit further out of Jaxson.

This is new for me, kids. Normally, if this were church or something, we would all just suffer a little longer than necessary (as penance for what were were about to do) and then leave, but seeing as how Ry was in the middle of class, and I still wasn't clear on what the rules were in regards to leaving the premises, I was stuck. At her other gym class he was always in the nursery, and I could go work out if I wanted. I never HAD to sit through the whole thing and I never HAD to do it with Jax in tow. My days of running were over. I had to think quick.

I dug in my purse for change and was able to extract fifty cents, buying Jax a bag of cookies, and me some quiet time. Sure enough, 5 minutes later he finished the bag of cookies and had started banging on the plaxiglass-window, so I suggested we go look for toys in the car. We did. But all found was Ryan's stuffed pink poodle, FiFi, who had a metal-studded black leather belt tied around her neck like a leash. (I'll explain another time.)

Hey, if it makes the kid happy, I'm not about to argue.

(But boy, did he get a lot of compliments on that pretty pink dog of his.)

So anyway, we made it through the class, with a couple more escape attempts thrown in for fun, Ry did her thing and all ended well.

By Amy terms, anyway. I still managed to make an ass of myself on her first day at a new place, which may or may not hinder her ability to make friends with any of her class mates, but there's still kindergarten, which reminds me...Orientation is tonight, maybe I should just send Shawn solo??

If I wasn't already a Blubbering Emotional Wreck, I am now...

Ryan's preschool teacher, the beloved "Ms. Laura" sent a package to Ryan that we received yesterday. It included a copy of the book "The Kissing Hand" and the following note:

Dear Ryan,
I hope you have had a wonderful summer. I've had a nice summer, but I miss all of you so very much.

You must be getting so excited to begin kindergarten. Do you remember reading "The Kissing Hand" last year on the first day of school? Well, I thought you might like your own copy to read this year.

Ryan, always remember, "You are loved".
Have a great year and keep in touch.


Ms. Laura
See? There are Angels everywhere...

Monday, August 20, 2007

MOTY Update 2007

Well, kids, I have done it once again, and am back in what I really feel should be the uncontested running for Mother of the Year. After the slumber party I just pulled off for Ryan, Sainthood can only be just around the corner.

Stupidly, and with stars in my eyes, I agreed to let Ryan have an end-of-summer slumber party, and went to town making hand-made invites for each of the 3 girls who would be anointed with the pure pleasure of spending the night at Casa del York.

Not only that, but I had promised Ryan that we could make personalized stationary for each of the girls as a take-home party favor, a task I quickly regretted agreeing to, seeing as how none of the moms really knew what to say about the gifts, and the girls didn't even know what they were. That, and it takes me about 2 hours to make 4 cards. Cest la vie! I had fun and Ry was pleased, so what more can you ask for??

We made individual pizzas,
ate lots of brownies, and the girls spent the majority of the time floating between watching High School Musical 2 and playing a game they made up call "Mystery girls", the foundation of which I quickly learned came from the fact that they had, as it got darker, turned out the lights, turned on their flashlights and proceeded to follow the mystery "footprints" that had been left all around the house. When they were finally able to get me to come play along, it was to my major embarrassment and minimal joy that I saw the 'footprints" they were following were actually just all the nasty stains and spills that cover our carpets. Nice.

I'm just glad I was able to aid them in the imagination process. Then I built a huge fort, where they played incessantly, until someone decided to venture to the blackness of the backyard to hunt for MONSTERS. One guess which girl that was...

Shawn had swept Jax away with him the minute the first girl showed up, and finally returned around 10:30 after watching the Cowboys game at Ginger's. The girls were totally stoked to see Jax, and he soaked up the adoration. It reeked of foreshadowing.

Nestled in their comfy couch bed in front of the tv, they eventually fell asleep to Curious George, but not before the last of the tattling brought with it orders from me for everyone to "take a deep breath, and take turns". I laughed as I overheard the tattler repeat my words to the rest of the gang, declaring that "Miss Amy said to take turns, and that you, you, you and me all have to take a deep breath." And then they did.

I wish I'd had time to jot down every humorous thing overheard, but with all the card-making, kitchen cleaning, fort-building and running tattle-tale interference, I could not do much more than laugh with no one at the funny things that came flying out of the mouths of 5 -yr-old little girls.

Anyway, Sunday morning came roaring into our room at 7:30 am, and I quickly grabbed Jax and went in search of chocolate-sprinkled donuts, leaving Shawn to fend off the she-beasts on his own.

One by one, the girls took their leave, and finally, blessedly, at 12:30 the last one left and all four of us retreated upstairs for a nap. And nap we did.

But now the mess remains, I have online BTS shopping to complete, and someone has to do something about the growing expanse of my backside, so it might as well be me. Thank God for the YMCA's free childcare.

Didn't I tell you? Mother of the Freakin' Year.

Friday, August 17, 2007

High School Musical 2: The Meltdown

Ever since I found myself showing Ryan a scene from Grease 2 ("Cool Rider", if you must know. And yes, I did show her how we used to use the arms of the couch to be Stephanie Zanoni.), wondering how in the hell our moms let us watch this when we were her age, I have let up a little on my High School Musical Ban, allowing her to watch both 1 and 2 which, as most of the free (mommy) world surely knows by now,premieres tonight. I have to say, I'm totally giving in to peer pressure on this one.

Along with the rest of the Disney-watching community, we have been on HM2 alert for the majority of the week, so my lifting the ban a day before the premiere was a little like how I imagine bringing home a pony would be.

She's been exhilarated all yesterday and today, has it circled on her calender, and she has asked me to only call her Gabrielle from now on. When she woke up this morning next to me, the first words out of her mouth were: "High School Musical 2 is today!!"

She's asked repeatedly for posters for her wall like her other friends, to which I reply, "I like your Harry Potter poster."

"I do, too, mom, but maybe I could put the High School Musical poster above my bed on the ceiling," (which would make it 15 inches from her face) "then I could kiss Troy!!"

You see? This is what I was afraid of. The boy she wants to "kiss"is this one. Yeah that's nice.

Then again, have you seen Harry Potter lately??
*DISCLAIMER: In her defense, Menana did eventually instill a ban on Grease2. She got tired of hearing us sing "Reproduction" all the time in public places like the store, the bank, church...

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I'm selling some of Jaxson's old stuff, so if you or anyone you know are in the market, check out my auctions on eBay.

**Panhandling session over**


Lately, Ryan has been overheard comparing herself to Jax, in not-so-nice ways. I think before now he was just a little rambling ball of poop and crumbs to her, and now suddenly he's speaking full sentences and comprehending things, and her world has been turned upside down.

Hence this little diatribe, overheard this morning at breakfast:

(As they are watching a cartoon that asks them to find an object on the screen)

Ry: "You didn't find it Jax, I did, so I'm smarter than you...Well, I mean, you're smart, too, just not that smart."

To which Jaxson replied by shoving an entire pop tart into his mouth and growling.

Point taken.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Look! Look!!

New Inventory!! I've actually sold out of both the Birthday and Gratitude lines shown here, but am currently making more, and am always happy to take custom orders. Check back soon for pics of our adorable personalized stationary!!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The truth hurts

Shawn and I are going on a date tonight for our anniversary, and when I came downstairs just now I asked Ry if she thought I looked okay, and would Daddy think I looked pretty?

"Well...I mean, I like what you're wearing it looks good, but , well, you know...I don't want you to get your feelings hurt, it's just, well, I really like it when you wear a dress better and when your hair is long and pretty."

"So I need to either wear a dress or grow my hair, huh?"

"Well, you wouldn't have to wear a dress. You could wear that shirt. "

"Just so long as my hair is long, right?"


(laughing)"Hey, I want it long, too, but there's not much I can do to make it grow faster."

"I know,"folding her hands, "Dear God, please let my mom's hair grow!"

Friday, August 10, 2007

Barrel of monkeys

So tonite Shawn was helping out with Jax -- giving him a bath by himself -- when all of a sudden I hear him laughing. I start up the stairs, asking what Jax did, commenting, "Did he lay down in the water and just wait for you to see him? He always does that."

Between chuckles he replied, "Yeah he laid down. And then he peed straight up in the air."

Which then led us to changing for bed, wherein in an effort to stall, he approached me at my desk, picked up a picture I had printed off the computer, and declared, "Good Job, Mommy! Is Beautiful! Look, Lola. Mommy Good Job." (apparently he speaks in first intial upper-caps) Very convincing.

The best thing about it is that he completely devotes to the scene. I think he may be my little actor. Don't tell Shawn.

Big Wheels

See how happy he is? Two seconds later, he gets stuck in the grass, jumps out, kicks the jepp, crosses his arms, scrunches his face, stamps his foot and yells, "Darn It!!" with the ferocity formerly reserved for much nastier 4-letter words...

Thursday, August 9, 2007

That's my guy

I've gotten a litle taste of what the school year will be like this week. Ryan's been going to day camp from 7:30-4:30, meaning early mornings and cranky afternoons, but more importantly -- One-on-One time with Jax!!

Yesterday we spent a copious amount of time lining up his various "Cars" cars, an activity he takes great care to perfect.

At one point he beckoned me to the big room to lay on the floor next to him and admire his work, all 4 cars lined up against the wall. After sitting and watching the cars for, oh 45 seconds, I was ready to move on.

"Good job, buddy." I said, sticking my fist out to him, "pound it."

Rather than respond with the appropriate hand maneuver that he so frequently uses with Shawn, he grinned at me, then proceeded to pound the crap out of his cars.

One step at a time, people. One step at a time.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

All Things Bright and Beautiful

Our very own American Dream.
Next time I'm wallowing in self-pity over some silly something-or-other, please refer me to August 5, 2007:

The glorious gifts God had bestowed... beer and summer evenings, grilled steak and sweet corn, and people to share them with.
"Petals", R.I.P. (My failed attempt at transferring a dying Mexican Heather to a new outdoor pot. Ry saw it was dead and got Jax to help her cover it in stones and bury it. She named it Petals, found a "headstone", and demanded I tell her how to write "Petals, March teenth" --cause apparently that's when it was born--and then she insisted on writing her name in the gaps left over. And then she wanted to know why I wouldn't let her label her own stuff for camp. Which begins tomorrow. Aggghhh!!!)

Friday, August 3, 2007

Boy for Rent

To any elligible toddler-aged young man looking for a friend. Please take him off my hands for 2-4 hours a week, encourage him to expend his energy outdoors rather than in, and fill in as requisite punching bag when called to do so. Currently accepting applications on a first-come, first-serve basis, but bringing along extra playmate for older sister will definitely bump up the app. Also, I make the BEST cookies. Just so ya know...

Thursday, August 2, 2007


"Guess what Big Daddy? Mommy farted in your car today. You'd better watch out."


Nothing a few donuts and some hugs and kisses can't fix

It's 8am, we're at the lake, and already Jax gone off running down a hill, throwing himself face-first into a sticker-burr patch. My mom's been pulling stickers out of his hair, between his toes, from inside his diaper...

Can't wait to see what the rest of the day holds!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

I'm embarrassed to admit this, but...

..I just watched Jaxson scrape a piece of dried oatmeal from the kitchen table and eat it.

Lunch, anyone?

These Just In...

New cards from chunkyrhino! Our handmade cards are back, I've been working hard on lots of new 4pk sets, and am starting on Halloween and Christmas orders as we speak! Check out the adorable Baby cards I finished yesterday -- they ALMOST make me want to have another! (But then Jax rips open and pours out oatmeal packets/tea bags/coffe cans -- take your pick, he did. One of each this week.)

For a limited time, you can get 4 cards for $6 or 10 for $12. Have a custom order? Not a problem -- let me know and we'll get started!

(But not today. Today I'm taking the kids and Lola to visit Menana at the lake while Big Daddy rides his Harley to Arkansas to visit the kin folk. Tomorrow, though. Definitely tomorrow!!)

Ooh! I almost forgot -- keep checking back for the brand-new chunkyrhino design we'll be adding to our line of apparel and gifts -- featuring art work by Ryan!! Also, I just got a fresh batch of candles from Angie -- she's got lots of yummy new scents -- check 'em out before they are gone!!!
And last but not least, a big fat Congratulations and Welcome to my friend Rory and his new son Hudson and my friend Kellie and her baby girl, Alex. Rory is getting this for Hudson, and Kellie got this for Alex, although I forgot how much we both hated breast-feeding and that by the time Alex is big enough to wear it, it probably won't pertain to her, anyway. Maybe I'll make it up to her with some free Baby Girl cards...