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Where’s my baby??

  • February 21, 2011 9:29 pm

It seems like I’ve been a Mom forever.  Even though I’m only approaching the ten year mile marker, it’s hard to remember a time when I didn’t spend most of my days wondering about teaching good manners, washing thousands of miniature socks, tucking in little fingers and toes, and hoping for an entire night of sleep for myself. 

Talking with a friend today about her journey through the Year of One, I was hit with some vivid memories of my own first experiences with my perfect little baby doll showing signs of an actual kid (or-gasp-a real person!).  The cute little giggles, baby talks and smiles gradually turned into real words (even NO!), tantrums, and other expressive noises–sometimes not happy expressions.  When I was making the transition from Mom of Baby to Mom of Toddler, I remember other mothers acknowledging the dramatic personality shift-from easy going to highly demanding.  I also remember thinking it was a lot easier to be Mommy than to be Mom. 

Mom is a whole different ballgame than Mommy.  Mom has rules.  Mom has time-outs.  Mom says No in a super stern “I mean it” kind of voice.  Mom worries a lot about all the things in the real world that she can’t protect her perfect little baby doll from.  Mom is where the buck stops…and starts.  It’s not easy being Mom…it’s hard, sweaty, tiring work.

And honestly?  I like this work.  It’s challenging, exhausting, fulfilling, amazing work.  But, I can’t help but wonder-if I started with Mommy, and now I’m Mom….What’s the next step?


  • February 3, 2011 4:50 pm

Ok, I’m one of those that wishes for snow days.  I love the unexpected turn of events that saddles us at home with the family and nothing on the agenda of “to do.”  But, I’m done now.  Going on Day 4 is about to drive this Momma a little crazy in the head.  To their credit, the kids haven’t been TERRIBLE, but I have had to play referee way more than I like.  My son sketched out a schedule for today, which was only fair given the regiment we followed yesterday under his sister’s leadership.  But, we had to interrupt that schedule for a quick trip to the doctor–we have had quite the sickly 2011, and I was getting nervous at my second grader’s angry cough.  The Good News:  lungs clear.  The Bad News (x2):  The cough could last up to six weeks, and we will need to follow a new and improved schedule tomorrow.  Yay!  Memories.

But now, this weather is impeding my fun.  Book Club:  Postponed.  :(  Out of Town Visitors:  Canceled.  :(  Fun Friday Afternoon:  Highly Unlikely.  :(

Ok ice, you can melt now.  We get it.  You win.

New Year, New Perspective

  • January 2, 2011 7:54 pm

2011.  Can you believe it?  It feels like we should be driving around in flying cars or at least have the fancy meal maker like in The Jetsons.  Alas, we are still at the mercy of stoves, ovens, and microwaves, but do have these fancy smartphones that tend to rule our lives and our brains.  So, that’s something…looking at my smartphone and our calendar, I’m anxious to see what this year will bring.  This year my daughter will enter double digits, my oldest son’s front teeth will finally come in (hopefully!), and my youngest son will start kindergarten.  Those are “for sures,” and it’s the “maybes” that really get my mind going.

Maybe my house will seem less crazy?  Maybe we will get another dog?  Maybe we will go on a summer roadtrip?  Maybe my daughter will go away to summer camp?  Maybe my son will read a 300 page book?  Maybe I will read a 300 page book?  on a Kindle?  or a Nook?  Maybe I will get better at making decisions?  Or maybe not.  Maybe I will make time to get all my pictures organized in photo books?  Maybe my husband and I will get to sneak away to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary?  Maybe we will get the chance to visit family more often?  Maybe my kids will stop picking their noses!  Maybe I will learn to be still.  Maybe THEY will learn to be still!

Whatever 2011 has planned for us, I’m excited.  I’m anxious.  I’m a little nervous. Of course.  I wouldn’t be me otherwise.  What are you looking forward to?

Did you see it??

  • December 21, 2010 9:47 am

We dozed on the couch until the actual moments of the eclipse last night, but did manage to rally in time to see the event.  The nerds in us just couldn’t let it go.  Even my daughter begged us to wake her so she could see the rare moment.  So, we pulled her out of bed at two in the morning and she ooo-ed and awwed before stumbling back into her covers.  Watching a lunar eclipse on a winter solstice night.  Check.  Good thing, since the next one isn’t for another 350 years or so.

Yep, that was me.

  • December 1, 2010 9:32 pm

“Customer Danielle, please report to Customer Service.  Your son is waiting.”

That was yesterday in Wal Mart, after I thought we could just dash in for five minutes to pick up a few items from the Christmas and toys sections.  In less than ten minutes, I’d lost my youngest child, and was frantically lapping the bicycles and barbies.  To his credit, he found a Wal Mart employee, told him he was lost, and that his mom’s name was Danielle.  So, that’s good, right?  Still…I think I shaved five years off my life in those five minutes.

But these kinds of things happen to everyone, don’t they???

My Ladies Man

  • November 17, 2010 4:16 pm

My second grader came home from school today with a phone number clutched in his little paw.  When I inquired as to whom it might belong, he blushed, laughed hysterically, and wouldn’t answer.

So, of course, I prodded.

I finally pulled out of him that it was a GIRL’S phone number.  She wrote it on a sticky note for him, and put it IN HIS HAND.  When I asked what he was supposed to do with the number, just guess his answer.

“I don’t know.  Just call and talk and stuff.”

Did I mention he’s in SECOND GRADE???  So not ready for this.

Our Town

  • November 15, 2010 9:17 pm

The Messenger has a renewed focus on blogging, and last week Brian touched on the role this Hometown Paper has in this community.  His points hit home with me, not only because of my inherently sappy mindset, but also because of so many stories I’ve read in the last year about the demise of the Newspaper.  With the onset of electronic readers, electronic subscriptions, and social networking, it’s amazing there is still a newspaper industry, let alone small town newspapers.  News is instant.  Twitter, Facebook, and websites tell the stories minute by minute, second by second.  News is Now-not tomorrow morning.

I’ve never been a newspaper reader.  Shocking-I know, since I’m now writing for one, but it’s true.  As a kid, I would ask my dad for the comics, but mostly because they were in color, not for their humor or any other intellectual stimulation (although I always did smile at Family Circus-I love me some Happy Family Moments).  But, by the time I’d flipped through Garfield, Peanuts, and the Political Cartoon of the Day, I was annoyed that my fingers were black, and that I couldn’t fold the paper back just like it was.  My parents weren’t big paper readers either, so that habit wasn’t ingrained in me like it is some.  For some, it’s a morning ritual-coffee and newspaper.  And, for all that I don’t enjoy dirty fingers, I do envy those with that ritual; it looks so peaceful and relaxing to flip through the morning paper with a hot cup of coffee.

And maybe that’s part of my nostalgia.  The idea of slowing down with the morning paper, a cup of coffee, and maybe even a scrambled egg or two is so appealing, that if it comes down to a vote-electronic or paper, I might just vote for paper–me, a non-reading, non-coffee-drinking, tree-hugger.  What does that say?  It says that the Newspaper is part of our culture, and the Small Town Newspaper is part of our Community.

It’s this newspaper that printed my student of the month picture, my graduation picture, my wedding announcement, and my childrens’ birth announcements.  It’s this newspaper that my mother clipped and sent copies to grandparents and cousins.  It’s this newspaper that I received at A&M in my mailbox twice a week.  Twice a week, I was guaranteed to have mail (very important in college life), and twice a week my roommates and I looked through the paper to see what was happening around town.  They were from Houston, and they began to look forward to those deliveries.   They began to learn our town, and to ask about things like Reunion, Moonlight Madness, and our Friday Night Scores.  Now, as grown-ups, those same friends ask if something “made it in The Messenger.” 

It’s a big deal to see your picture in the Paper, to see a friend’s story in the Paper, and sadly, to read tragedy in the Paper.  But, this Paper is one of the things that ties our small community together.  I hope this Paper does not fall victim to all things electronic, and I have faith that it won’t.  There are still some of us clipping and sending pictures to friends and relatives all over the country.  I know for a fact there are people reading The Update daily no matter their address–just wanting to be connected with Home, because that’s what they do here at The Messenger.  They tell us the story of Home.

And, there’s just no place like it.

the tiniest things that rock my world.

  • November 14, 2010 8:12 pm

I’ve been without a Driver’s License for about a month.  I’m sure I stuck it in a super cute purse that perfectly matched an outfit for one evening out on the town-kid free.  And, I was so excited about being kid-free that I paid no attention to whether the license stayed in said cute purse/matching outfit.  Now it’s in Driver’s License Limbo-Land; I suppose that’s my consequence for putting fashion above practicality.  Lesson Learned-always put the driver’s license in a super secure location-like the husband’s wallet.  I bet the cute purse was only big enough for that perfect lipstick anyway.  I’ve been patiently waiting for it to turn up these past few weeks, just knowing I’d open a bag or a wallet and there it would be-like magic.

So far, no such luck. 

Now, I have to make a dreaded trip to the Department of Public Safety, and stand in line and probably even have my picture made.  Ugh.  UGH!  I tried to renew it online, and crossed my fingers as I entered in this verification number, and that security number, but again, no such luck.

I’m just going to have to pony up, probably with the kids in tow, and make the trip.  I’ve been illegal for long enough.  It was due anyway; I’ve had the wrong address on said lost license for over three years now. 

Don’t tell the authorities.  Hopefully this all works out; I’m legal by the end of the day tomorrow, and not insane by the process to make that happen.

Positive energy welcome.

Red Ribbon Week

  • October 27, 2010 7:48 pm

You might have noticed your kids wearing crazy socks, hats, pajamas, or bell-bottoms this week to school in honor of Red Ribbon Week-a week to focus on “just saying no” to drugs.  While I like that the conversation starts young, and continues year after year, grade after grade, I have to wonder-is the message sinking in?  What exactly do our kids know about drugs, and what to say “no” to?

This weekend I found myself engrossed in a conversation with family about the reality of the drugs on school campuses, and the lack luster attitude from our own children about those drugs.  The teenagers joked that they could get their hands on some of the “small time” drugs at any time, and when pressed about the specifics of that reality, shrugged off the parental concern.  Because of course, that’s what teenagers do; they don’t expect the world’s reality to apply to them.  Not to dismiss their reality; their own maturity dicates that reality for them, and I don’t believe they can be held accountable for their own perceptions.

That is of course, unless we can alter those perceptions.

In middle school and high school, I remember attending assemblies, watching movies, and hearing discussions about drugs constantly.  At least, that’s what it felt like in my teenage mind.  We heard testimonials from inmates.  We watched movies with vivid footage of withdrawal symptoms and the realities of teenage pregnancy.  I specifically remember one such movie where an adult woman mourned the loss of her fertility due to her drug use.  That one stuck with me.  It stopped me in my tracks to think that one bad decision on my part might affect the possibility of becoming a mother one day-a dream I knew I wanted to become a reality when the time was right. 

“They” say to keep the lines of communication open with your children from the very beginning, to talk with them practically daily about the consequences of their decisions and actions, and I think this week gives us one of those opportunities naturally.  I don’t think that wearing crazy socks alone will stop our kids from making bad decisions about drugs, but I do think the time it takes to find and put on those socks gives us as parents the opportunity to start and continue that conversation–to make an impression on our kids about their role in their own future.

Because, after all, it will ultimately be up to them, our children, to make the decision to live their lives on purpose and not without purpose.  And, it’s up to us, as parents, to make an impression on the difference.  You never know, maybe it can all start with one crazy sock.

the heebie jeebies

  • September 1, 2010 6:41 pm


This afternoon we were greeted with this lovely creature…a GIANT wolf spider with about jillion babies on his back.  (total body shudder)  I don’t hate spiders, in fact we have no less than a dozen yellow and black garden spiders all around the flower beds, but things like this do a number on me.  When we first spotted the huge-mongous arachnid, we were awed simply by his size, and then we realized his body was fluid.  After taking a closer look, we gasped as we saw all the little babies moving around.

I have the heebie jeebies just typing this.

As any mother should, I squealed, grabbed the kids and ran inside–leaving the garage door open to the outside, and sending our dog to take care of the problem.

The husband/dad of the house is out and about hunting and gathering on this first day of dove season, so we were left to fend for ourselves.

As of this second, I haven’t seen the creature again, but I’m not at peace just yet.

(again, total body shudder.)