Friday, October 7, 2016

A Little Loser Chair

In a past life, I helped produce broadcast commercials. This meant LONG shoot days, mostly outside in less than comfortable locations. So after the first commercial shoot I worked on, I bought myself a little chair so I would have somewhere to sit. It's a tiny, fold up camp chair. I tried to find the smallest so not only would it be easy to transport, it would also be too uncomfortable for anyone else to want to sit on and it had a cup holder!! SOLD! 

The first time the director saw it, he noted how small, sad, and uncomfortable it looked. Perfect!! I teasingly called it my little loser chair. And the chair would always be available for me!! Only it wasn't. I would find him sitting it in often if his chair was too far. His nice, comfortable directors chair. "Hey! That's my little loser chair!" Him "it's not as bad as it looks!" Oh great. 

Fast forward to now, many years later when shoot days are a past life and now it's perfect for Alice. Sometimes when I'm sitting in it, she will crawl into my lap and I'm hopeful it'll hold. 

And note that she has removed my cup and replaced it with hers. 

Someone is always stealing my chair! 

But she's a lot cuter so I don't mind so much. 

Until next time.....

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Mermaid, The Muppets, and Me

Let me start by saying that last week I *might* have been a bit on the emotional side. I wasn't feeling well, I had cramps, my computer had eaten my sister's guest list, and I was watching Parenthood so I was a complete basket case. Going into this story, it's important to understand that I was already on a downward slope.

So Wednesday, my Beloved had a huge event at his school. I knew Alice and I didn't have any errands so I just threw on whatever I grabbed from my closet which happened to be my Muppet's shirt. You know, the one where they're walking across a street like the Beatles album cover? That one. 

Around 4ish, Daniel calls and asks if I could bring him my easel and a picture frame because he needs to display directional signs. Sure! So I fight to get the kid in the car. She feels that now that she is 4, it's completely reasonable for her to stay on her own. So the battle was loud. Very loud. Which ended with her saying, "PINE!! I'll put my shoes on! Uggghhhh!" like she's 14. Y'all, 4 is lame. I'm not going to make it. 

I get everything in the car and we head to the school. We get there and start working on this sign in my Beloved's office. My hair is a mess, I'm dressed like a student, I might have eaten a few chocolate pumpkins and therefore smelled liked chocolate, I'm cranky, and I'm feeling a little self conscious. 

And in walks this beautifully dressed, red headed young woman who says, "Hi, I'm Ariel. I think you were looking for me?" (Seriously, she said her name was Ariel and I almost said, "well, of course it is.") She was just so put together! Her hair was long and beautiful and done, like she had time to do it! And her make up was flawless, like she knew how to do it! She was dressed all professional with that look that said, "I'm really busy and important." 

And I'm wearing a Muppet shirt with messy hair and chocolate on my hands. 

It's just what I needed to completely crush my spirit. 

I'm a mess. And there's this whole world out there that is put together. 

These feelings have nothing to do with my Beloved's feelings towards me. 

These feelings have EVERYTHING to do with MY insecurities. My feelings of inadequacy. My self doubt. And it amazes me how easily those thoughts creep in and completely take over, even at 35 years old. Being a girl is dumb sometimes. 

Sometimes the "I'm a mom" job description is discouraging. It shouldn't be! And most days it isn't! But some days it is. Some days when I'm extremely self conscious, I miss my past life. I miss office drama. I miss shoot days. I miss being a part of something 'important'. I miss putting on real clothes and worrying about my appearance. 

I KNOW Alice is THE most important thing ever. My 'mom job' is the most rewarding, is the most important, is where I need to be. And my Beloved sees and appreciates everything I do. 

But sometimes I feel kind of small even when I know it's ALL in my head. 

I got home and called my sister who laughed in hysterics at my meltdown. Everyone should have someone who will laugh at their crazy. It helps! When I know in my heart I am being absolutely ridiculous but my head is dead-set on being irrational, it helps to have someone on the outside recognize it for what it is and hit the reset button. 

By the time my Beloved got home, I was mostly calmed down. When I mentioned the Red Headed Goddess, he said, "she had red hair?" And he meant it because his observation skills are sketchy. And even when my self doubt creeps in, he sees me first. I went on to say, "yes! She walked in, said 'Hi, I'm Ariel. Aahhhhhhahhhhhh! (like Ariel, the mermaid sings)". He said, "Okay, I KNOW she didn't sing!"

She didn't. But that's basically how I remember it. She walked in, her hair started magically blowing around her face like Beyonce, and she started singing. I swear! ;)

I've calmed down. I've settled. And now Ariel is being added to the Alien girlfriend and the Russian Bride. 

I'm thankful my Beloved loves me, messy hair, random hysterics, and all. 

Until next time.....

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The 4th Year

Happy birthday, Alice Anne!

Today you are 4. 

Or as you enthusiastically tell everyone who asks how old you are turning - "POUR!!!" 

You have grown so much! I know I say that every year but, oh my word, it's true. 

While you still struggle to be understood occasionally, you have a pretty good vocabulary. Some of our favorites are:
Broccotti - broccoli 
Marvavous - marvelous
Fabuous - fabulous 
Neckanice - necklace 
Dicuyus - ridiculous 
Probady - probably
Tatar - guitar

You often tell me to "caln down". 

You can also say:
Boring - I would like to talk to the person who taught you that one.
Syut up - shut up (oops.)
Duh - seriously, I have no clue where this came from either. 

You still love music. LOVE. And you sing at the top of your lungs even if they aren't quite the right lyrics. We listen to the Disney Princess CD a lot. You like Orianthi and you love playing the air guitar. You still love Meghan Trainor, Taylor Swift, and Adele. You also love Cherry Bomb and basically anything off the Dazed and Confused soundtrack. Probably that should make you question our parenting skills one day. When asked, you can - with confidence - say who sings Slip Sidin' Away. It makes us kind of proud. We want you to keep your love of music. Always. Sing at the top of your lungs every chance you get, my child. 

And let me tell you, 'at the top of your lungs' is LOUD. And you are often LOUD. Unabashedly LOUD. This year, your Mamaw Pat called and asked if you needed a Karaoke machine for your birthday. I almost fainted. Amplification is not something you will need help with. Ever.  Like, ever, ever. Nope. You're good!

You are fiercely independent, however, you often bat your sweet little eyes and ask, "you want to pyay wit me?". You love doing craft "pojets" (projects). You love to play 'Punzel. You also love to play 'puppy'. You get real upset when Atticus doesn't want to play too. I have to remind you that he's an older dog and they don't usually like new puppies. When you play, you play with determination and set rules only you know. You often get annoyed that we don't automatically know what you're thinking. Sorry, kid.  

You have mastered manipulating your parents and can often be heard saying, "but you're my best Mommy!" or "you're my paborite Daddy!" These don't always work to your advantage, but sometimes they do. 

You have a village of people who absolutely adore you. They pray for you, they love you, and they are so proud to watch you grow. 

Your spirit and your personality completely shine. You have a smile that lights up a room, an "if looks could kill" face that stops people in their tracks, and an imagination that knows no boundaries. 

We hope this year brings you magic and laughter and knowledge. 

And we love you so much, sweet girl. 

Mom & Dad

P.S. Thank you, Meyers Family for the CUTE birthday shirt!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Childhood vs. Adulthood

We had a Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine growing up. I remember it fondly. It lived in the garage on the highest shelf, almost out of sight. In my mind, the snow cones were just so magical! THEY were the definition of summer! The magical wonder that is flavored frozen ice! 

So sure I was of how amazing my experience was that when we found one in the 'vintage toy' section of Toys R Us (gee, thanks, I was totally prepared to be 'vintage') - I talked my Beloved into buying one. Granted we didn't have any kids at the time. But that didn't matter!! One day we would and this would make summer magical!!!! 

Someone posted about the machine on Facebook and I remembered we had one at the top of her closet and thought, 'YES!!! we can do that! Oh the fun!! Oh the memories!!' So I got the box out and prepared for the magic.

Y'all. I think I have completely blocked out any reality of my childhood.

I pull everything out and notice there isn't a plug. Ummm....that's disconcerting. And it took me FOREVER to put the stupid thing together. It is so difficult to put together that I almost gave up, only Alice saw the box so I needed a miracle. Fix it, Jesus! 

You have to practically grate your hand off in order to properly secure the hand crank. 

Yes, my dears. You have to HAND CRANK your snow cone - ONE PIECE OF ICE AT A TIME!!! I do not remember this!! I would NEVER have thought hand cranking anything was magical!! Nope, not one bit!! (As I was relaying my horrible encounter with my precious childhood toy, my Beloved said, "don't you remember the commercial?! They were hand cranking it!" NO I DON'T REMEMBER THE COMMERCIAL!! APPARENTLY I DON'T REMEMBER MUCH OF MY CHILDHOOD!!!)

Because we purchased the item a million years ago, we (mostly my Beloved's influence) felt like the included pack of flavored sugar might be past the point of using. But that's okay! We have apple juice and I could make mine with Dr. Pepper!! (It has been a trying week - a Dr. Pepper slushie would just be delightful.) I fill up the little juice snowman with apple juice and Alice picks it up and shoots juice all over the kitchen. 

By this point, I am completely over ice and snoopy and summer.

I finally get a few ice cubes crushed up and added to the tiny little paper cup that comes with it. I let Alice add the juice and finally convince her it's okay to eat. 'Yum!" she says, and off she goes.

While I'm cleaning up, I hear a 'splat' and an 'uh oh' from the living room. Yep. All that work was now melting all over her toys and the living room floor. Luckily it only amounted to about six thawed ice cubes. I get all that mess cleaned up only she wants more. She didn't get to fully enjoy her delicious treat. This is where Carrie Underwood started singing Jesus, Take the Wheel in my head. 

So back to the grinder I go only with a lot less enthusiasm. I got her a bigger cup, crushed more ice, and sent her on her way with veiled threats of "if you spill it again...."

And then I had a bowl of ice cream because that 'magical memory' just took way too much out of me.

These are things I feel I should express:
1. I already apologize to my mother daily for my childhood, however, that is obviously not enough. I don't remember how many times she hand cranked a snow cone for us but trust me, once was MORE THAN ENOUGH!
2. I now know why it lived on the highest shelf in the garage, almost out of view - ours might live there from now on too.
3. Before I buy anything to replace another beloved childhood memory, I will read the reviews - because I'm an adult and that's what we do. And I obviously cannot believe anything I remember from my younger years.(Except a Mr. T water sprinkler!! That thing was the bomb-diggity!)
4. 30 something years from now, she won't remember my frustration. She'll remember eating a snow cone with her stuffed animals in her pretend pool on the living room floor. And I guess that's what it's all about. 

Until next time.....