Friday Funny

Liam (4) cried hysterically over bumping his arm on a chair the other day. I encouraged him to be tough. Jack (2 1/2) added, "Gotta be tough, Liam." This from the child who flipped out over a ladybug landing on his leg earlier the same day!

Tiny Talk Tuesday

Liam (4) to his brothers (both ages 2 1/2) during a recent play session gone awry:
Obey me!

For more TTT, visit Not Before 7.

Happy Campers

As mentioned last week, we went camping this past weekend. This expedition took us to Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Oklahoma, and oh my goodness, did we have fun!

We spent hours playing in the springs and waterfalls:

The water is cold, around 60 degrees, so it was a refreshing break from the summer temps that won't let go.

What else did we do?

The boys explored their Big Daddy's tool box. (That's my dad...all 128 pounds of him calls for the name Big Daddy.)
We took walks.
Enjoyed dusk at the lake.
Demonstrated how to skip rocks.
Ate s'mores! (The boys are anxiously awaiting their first s'more experience. Jack and Garrett loved them, men after my own heart. Liam didn't really care for them, and I just don't understand why! What's not to love about them?!)
And the boys crashed hard at night.
Chickasaw is a fabulous place to vacation with the hiking trails, nature center, refreshing springs, and large lake. I can't wait to go back!

Something Profound

I sat down here on the couch to write a profound post. Flexed my fingers. Tapped a few keys. Stopped to sip from my Diet Coke. Tapped a few more keys.

Only to be interrupted by the rattling of a doorknob. Behind that door is a 2 1/2 year-old that is learning to nap on a napmat instead of within the confines of his crib.

"Jack, what are you doing up so early?"

[Rubbing the confusion and sleep from his eyes.] "I get up."

"No, it's not time to get up. Go back to bed. I'll come get you when it's time."

After settling him in with his bear, I close the door to return to the couch and laptop.

Only to find a 4 year-old on the stairs with bright eyes and a wide smile. "Hi, Mommy!"

"Hi, Liam, you're up early. What's going on?"

"I'm awake."

Knowing that I put him to bed earlier than usual, I relent and allow him to play quietly while his brothers rest longer.

Turning back to the laptop, I realize that the intellectual gone. I guess it wasn't so wise if I can't remember where I was going with those escaped thoughts.

We're leaving early tomorrow morning for a three-day weekend of camping, so I'll be back Monday. With something thoughtful, I hope.

Wordless Wednesday: Up Close

Liam (4)

Jack (2 1/2)

Garrett (2 1/2)

What type of mother are you? *UPDATED*

Take this short quiz to find out, and then come back to tell me!

I'm the "ISTJ —The 'Responsibility' Mother". What's an ISTJ mom?

The ISTJ mother has a highly developed sense of responsibility: for work,
home, family ... particularly her children. Whether she’s overseeing daily baths
or insisting on a 10 p.m. curfew, her efforts are largely focused on providing
her children with order and routine. She wants them, regardless of age, to be
able to count on her and the structure she provides.

In carrying out her commitment to her responsibilities, the ISTJ mother is
organized, industrious, and detail-oriented. Because her focus is the day-to-day
realities of life, her children are likely to feel secure and well provided for.

The ISTJ mother also sets a good example and provides her children with
practical guidance on being a productive, responsible individual. Still, with
all her seriousness, she may delight family members with her quick wit and
observations about the details of life.

*UPDATED to add: When my husband saw my motherly description, he said, "That fits you to a T."

Friday Funny

During the 4:00 local news, a commercial advertising some sort of 3-D sonogram came on the television. As Liam saw the baby on ultrasound, he became inquisitive.

L: What is that?

M: It's a picture of a baby growing in its mommy's belly. Do you remember that babies grow in the mommy's belly?

L: Uh-huh.

M: Did you grow in my belly?

L: No.

M: You grew in your birth mom's belly for 9 months. When you were born, she chose us to be your mommy and daddy, because she knew she needed help raising you. She chose us, and we'll be your parents forever.

By this time, he had crawled up in my lap for a hug, and I was teary-eyed over the tender moment. Silence filled the room, as I choked up over the amazing love I have for this boy. Only it was interrupted by Liam's next request.

L: Can I have a snack now?


Do you remember where you were, what you were doing the moment you heard of the terrorist attack on the United States? I'm certain I will never forget.

I was in the process of loading 100 fifth graders on a school bus for a field trip, when one of my co-workers pulled me aside. In a whisper, she said, "Ami, the twin towers have been hit." The news didn't calculate in my brain, and I asked her to repeat.

I imagine it didn't calculate with any of us that day, nor am I certain that I can fully grasp it today, six years later.

Our field trip was cancelled, and the entire school district was put on lock-down for the day. I decided not to tell my students exactly what was happening, feeling that it was a discussion better suited for families. But they sensed the urgency in the adults' faces.

I wanted nothing more than to rush home and be with my husband. I called him, my mom, and my brother within minutes of learning of the disaster in NYC. I just needed to know that my loved ones were safe. Thank God they were.

I spent the rest of the day keeping my students busy with what was completely unimportant in light of what was happening in our country. I was numb and simply went through the motions of the day.

As soon as the school bell dismissed my students, I rushed home to turn on the television. I thought for certain that if I could see it with my own eyes, then surely it was a big misunderstanding. But it wasn't. It happened.

Over 2900 innocent lives were lost. Too many. And countless loved ones left behind to grapple with the grief.

We live in the land of the free, the home of the brave. We have had to fight harder to keep our freedom and our bravery for the past six years. But I thank God for my freedom, and I thank the men who protect my country today.

What 9/11 memories do you have?

Status Report

Camping: We had a great time over Labor Day weekend. We relaxed, ate junk food, rode bikes, fished, ate more junk food, napped,.... You get the idea. No one got sick! It did rain, but not enough to send us packing.

Aggie game: We have won our first two games. Whoop! The Aggies are giving us heart palpitations, however, with some of their antics.

Cleaning: My house is clean from top to bottom. [Do you hear the Hallelujah Chorus playing?] If only we could move out for one month, in order to keep it spotless!

Inquiry: As I was sweating buckets and working my bum off this past week to accomplish detailed housecleaning, I kept thinking of all of you, my dear readers. I kept wondering how you keep your houses clean? I'm assuming that your homes are spotless and beautiful 24/7. No, actually, I won't hold you to that kind of perfection. But I am curious as to what sort of system you use for deep cleaning? I have a working system in place for the daily and general household upkeep. It's keeping the blinds, windows, ceiling fans, and baseboards clean that I'm inquiring about. Do you have a working system in place for the deep cleaning in your home? If so, I would love to hear about it in my comments section!