Friday, December 29, 2006

The Journey Begins.

Well, we are one day before the move and here I am blogging. Our house is in such a state of disarray right now. It looks like a crackhouse. We have mattresses on the floor, a TV on the floor, no kitchen table or couches and miscellaneous stuff is scattered everywhere. Jack is sick and leaves a trail of tissues wherever he goes, which doesn’t help matters. At times I am happy to be leaving this place, but it’s also depressing to be moving away to live with my grandma and say goodbye to life as a couple for a while. I feel like I’m moving backwards in a way. It will be yet another adventure for us. Next time I write it will be from Antarctica…and I am planning to give this blog a new look once I'm there.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Curiosity killed the mystery

I have always been a horrible person to give presents to. As soon as I know there is a present for me somewhere in the world, I will not stop guessing and wheedling my way into finding out what it is before I open it. I have gotten very good at picking up on hints and deciphering what a present is based on its squeezability or shakability. This year, I am trying my best not to do that, because it ruins the whole thing.
It appears I have passed this on to my oldest son. When I finished wrapping one of his presents, he picked it up and shook it ONE time and said with certainty, "It's Legos." I was so caught off guard I had to laugh because he was right, but I stumbled along saying, "NOOO...how would you know?? I didn't buy any legos." With a giant smile on my face that wouldn't go away. He looked very suspisciously at me and said, "It sounds just like Legos."
I remember seeing that same look on my friend's face when I correctly guessed what my birthday gift would be based on nothing more than a comment made two months previous. I had said that the smiley face mug on Friends was cute (this was like 11 years ago) and for some reason I guessed that was what my present was...and I was right!
When I was about 12 I actually went through the receipts in the garbage to find out if I got a Gameboy for Christmas and when I found the receipt for a Gameboy game, I knew all my wildest dreams were about to come true. However, the difficult part was coming up with the surprised, incredulous reaction my family was hoping for when the time came for me to open the "secret Gameboy". It was horrible trying to fake it when I had known for about 2 weeks what was inside that package.
Alas, the vicious cycle of curiosity continues.

Monday, December 11, 2006

A clone would be nice

Things here are picking up speed these days. The house is a disaster and there's a constant process of packing boxes to contend with. This is the first time we've had to do this ourselves and let me just say that wrapping your stuff with paper fifty times before you box it up simply doesn't seem as important when you're doing the wrapping. We'll be moving in less than 3 weeks! I probably won't be posting much this month (as you can tell). I'll be back when the dust settles. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Back at the old homestead

Another road trip come and gone and like always it was difficult, fun, and thoroughly exhausting. Dylann came down with a cold the day before we left and he had a horrible cough the whole time we were there and Jack and I managed to come down with it the day we left for home, but we had a good time. The drive home was looooong and horrible and we pulled in at about 4 AM, just enough time to catch a few hours of sleep before the kids woke up and drug us out of bed.

I know I normally don't put ANY pictures on here, so I figured I'd pick out just a FEW to share.


Deserted beach houses.

One of Dylann's catches. He actually caught two all by himself! We cooked them up that night and had fresh crab for dinner. It was really good.

Jack was drawn to the trampoline like a magnet.



And just in case this wasn't enough road trip excitement, we get to do an even longer one next month when the boys and I move to Minnesota.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Gone West


The time has rolled around for another family road trip. This time our destination is the Lone Star state and it will take us about 16 hours to get there. Some of the husband's family lives near Galveston and we'll be spending the week there. I don't think I'll have the chance to update until we get back, so this will be my last post until next week. I'm sure I will have pictures (you know it!) and stories to share. Hopefully the stories won't contain the words, "So the car swerved uncontrollably...!" or "Dylann encountered his first shark the other day..." or anything along those lines. See you when we get back!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

He had me at hello.

It was one of those moments.

Jack noticed a catalogue laying on the desk with the picture of a pleasant woman smiling uncomfortably on the cover and suddenly looked horrified.

Jack: I don't like her!

Me: Why? She's looks nice.

Jack: I don't like those kinds of girls.

Me: Why not?

Jack: I just don't!

Me: What kind do you like?

Jack: (sticks his finger in my ribs) This kind.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My old child

Dylann tried on his friend's football uniform the other day and when I looked at this picture, I couldn't help but notice that he looks like he's 20!!! Maybe more like 15....or 7...but definitely much older than he actually is! It's like a glimpse of what he will look like when he's older. The husband doesn't agree, so maybe it's just me.



Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Little Jack Black Goes a Long Way

We watched Nacho Libre the other night and it wasn't so good. Don't get me wrong, seeing Jack Black run around in granny panties is funny, but it just wasn't enough to do it for me. It had its moments though, and this was one of them:

And now...

Here are more scenes from a nice weekend down here in Georgia. Since we're getting ready to move away, I have felt the need to take pictures even more obsessively than usual.








Friday, November 10, 2006

Mom in a Box

The latest post on Suburban Bliss got me thinking about something I’ve thought about before, but she really seemed to hit the nail on the head with this statement:

“We kind of couldn't be friends because it seemed, from her incredulous comments, that she didn't understand how people could incorporate versions of their former selves into their current life as mothers and wives.”

There seem to be some mothers who become almost completely different people once they have children. I've heard them referred to as the mombots. My friend called them “the women who are defined by the fact that they have children.”

When you become a mom it's like someone comes screaming into your neighborhood saying, "THERE'S A TORNADO COMING!" And you have 30 seconds to decide what you keep and what you leave behind to replace with something else. Not that pregnancy equals impending doom, but it does mean HUGE LIFE CHANGE AHEAD and everything happens relatively quickly. I am not trying to sound like I have it all figured out, because I’m still fairly new at all this, so what the heck do I know? It just got me thinking and I thought I’d share.

When I found out I was pregnant, I had a clear picture in my mind of what being a good mother meant, taken from old Betty Crocker cookbooks and Donna Reed reruns. Immediately, I went from being a complete slob to having a place that looked like some kind of uptight freak lived there. Without even giving it any thought, I started trying to stuff myself into a little box.

It was like I knew what I had to do to be a good mother and it was almost a complete reversal from what I had been doing for the rest of my life. After about 18 months, I started feeling like something was off. In my previous life as a non-control freak, I liked art and reading and I wrote a lot. However, those frivolous things had to go when I entered into the joys of motherhood, which involved a lot of cleaning products and nagging and wringing of hands. Of course there were amazingly good things too, but you know that's not really what this post is about. There are plenty of other posts on here about those things.

I remember sitting outside of Pier One with my friend after we had been doing artsy things all day and I was a wreck because I felt so torn between being true to myself and being the spawn of Betty Crocker. To shorten a drawn out tale of self-awareness that would probably send you permanently away from my blog, I will summarize by saying that I am trying to stop stuffing myself into a box, because life on the outside is good.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

BLAAAHG

We are getting ready for our move (next month) and we also have an upcoming trip to TX in 10 days to visit family. I say BLAH for both items. It would normally be something I'd be looking forward to, but I know that each thing we do...each thing we mark off the calendar...brings us closer to the day the husband leaves. It's no good, I say! I have been an emotional mess, the likes of which had not been seen since I was hormonal and pregnant. It just pops up unexpectedly. The other morning I drove by a sign that said, "God Bless the 3rd Infantry Division" and I almost burst into tears (and these signs are everywhere because every business and church in the area wants to draw in the military people, so it's not like I don't look at these little messages all the time). Then I drove behind a funeral at a cemetary right by the road and there I went again! Then I saw this video on Green Parenting and...well, you get the idea. We have until Christmas.
On another note, Jack has been wearing clunky winter boots everywhere, even though it reached 78 today. He attracts a lot of attention walking around, but doesn't even seem to realize he's wearing them unless you try to remove them. It reminds me of the two month period when he was about 22 months and he wore a cape everywhere he went. It wasn't even really a cape, it was a ladies scarf with green apples all over it. That scarf was so much a part of him that it didn't strike me as odd for him to have it on in a public place, but we got more than a few stares!

Friday, November 3, 2006

Dear Georgia,

I realize maybe you don't want a letter from me right now, because I haven't always been the best resident of your pecan-showered state. I want to apologize for those times I called you sweaty and ignorant, because for the moment I love you and I can show you exactly what you did that changed my mind:




Please don't do anything to change my opinion of you.

Love,

Jessi Louise

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The View From our Weekend

This weekend we went to a lake and spent the day for Dylann's 5th birthday. We encountered quite a bit of wildlife, including at least 5 alligators. That is pretty normal around here, but it still shocks me to see people fishing near the alligators and just going about their business. The alligators are kind of cool though, the way they look so prehistoric. I would love to see one out of the water (without the boys around!) just to really get a good look at it.



Then we noticed something that looked like a skinny arm flailing out of the water every few seconds. It was pretty far away, so we weren't sure what it was. Upon closer examination, we discovered it was a big snake thrashing himself across the water to get away from an alligator!


And we saw a few other animals that weren't quite as exciting. The herons are so beautiful. I love watching them swoop across the water with their giant wings stretched out.






This little bandit was not afraid of us at all and he probably enjoyed the piece of birthday cake we left behind after Dylann dropped it on the ground.


This turtle was soaking up the sun.


The cake was good, but I kept it simple this time. Just a sheetcake with Dylann's name on it.


Here he is with his present from us, an Avatar staff that turns into a mini hang glider. It doesn't really do anything except make swooshing noises, but it inspires him to run around and pretend he's flying.


We brought the bikes along and rode halfway around the lake and the boys did a lot of exploring to find bugs, feathers, bones, rocks, and sticks that made good light sabers (and they even managed to take time out to pick me flowers).




After we got home and I had tucked the boys into their beds, I asked Dylann if he had a good birthday. He said, "Yes! Thank you for writing my name on a cake."



Saturday, September 30, 2006

The stubborn south

Dylann and Jack have a lot of friends in the neighborhood and there were about 6 kids over in the yard playing with them today. One little girl came over and needed to use the bathroom, but before she went in, she stopped and asked "Do you allow black people in your house?" I was caught off guard by the question, which she asked so simply. It made me sad to think about what had occurred to prompt her to ask that question. I later found out from her and her brother and sister that there are certain white families in the neighborhood whose houses they are not allowed to play at.
I had picked up on some subtle racism from some of our neighbors, but I couldn't imagine that people would actually be so blatant about it. I mean, what year is this? Haven't we moved forward yet?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Gallery

Yes, I am shamelessly putting my children's artwork up for all the world to see. I love to see them make stuff and the best part is hearing their descriptions of the picture they made.


Lava
by Jack


Mommy and Daddy Getting Married
by Dylann
Family in a House
by Dylann

The Angry Smiling Pig

by Dylann


Rocketship

by Jack

Jenny
by Dylann


Dragon

by Jack


Motorcycle

by Jack


Whale on a Waterfall

by Dylann

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hello, my name is weeza, and my son is a computer addict


My 3 year old son Jack is absolutely hooked on computer games. It started off innocent enough, with sessions no more than 30 minutes and no argument when the time was up. Over the past two weeks he has become increasingly less willing to give up the computer when his time is up and lately it seems the desire to play computer games is CONSUMING him. He's 3!!! It gives me the urge to shut the computer down and lock it in a closet somewhere. I am regretting the day I introduced him to the world of computer games (but it's good for hand-eye coordination!). I've been kind of lax on the 30 minute rule lately, but I told him today that once his 30 minutes were up, he couldn't play again until tomorrow. He was crushed for a good half hour, and at 4 PM when he finally recovered he told me he was going directly to bed until tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The air no longer smells like something is rotting

Isn’t it amazing how the weather can really change your mood? It seems like it always puts me in a good mood when the seasons are changing. Fall is here! When I left this morning it was only 63 outside! I am so ready for summer to be over and it is finally happening. We are just an hour away from Florida down here and it has been a suffocating summer. I've heard people describe this area as "the armpit of the US" and although I don't hate the area enough to say that I agree, I completely understand.


Hot...humid...swampy...bugs everywhere... But it is BEAUTIFUL with everything green and blooming and lush and to look outside you'd think, oh, it's nice out there! It's temperate! 30 seconds after walking out the front door you will be greeted by Death, who will come walking down the street in the nude, because it's so hot. So you will turn and go back in the house and remain there for 3 months. Today I was actually able to sit outside and watch the boys play without melting, dehydrating, or dying and there was a definite hint of autumn in the air. I love it.

Another sign that the season of the armpit is over is that we've all just gotten over our first cold. The moment Dylann stepped into his classroom and was submersed in a world of new germs, he brought them home with us to share and we've all partaken in them. Hopefully there won't be too many more, but I would definitely rather deal with that than the overwhelming heat. And the smell. I won't talk about the smell, because I don't want you to hate Georgia, but oh lord the smell!! Don't make me talk about the smell.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Sit-Down Dinner

I wrote this after reading this post on Alpha Mom.





Otherwise known as "the family dinner", where each member of the family is actually seated around a table and eating their food while looking at and/or talking to each other. I did not grow up with dinners like that. I grew up with dinners much more similar to those of a seagull, scavenging through our fridge for anything edible and if it wasn't there, I would infiltrate the neighbors'.




Although seagull dinners have given me a great wealth of fond childhood memories to look back on, I decided to change things up a bit with my own children. We actually sit down together almost every single night, although it only lasts about 10 minutes before the kids are off and running again and often it is not a relaxing or enjoyable experience.


My favorite way to eat dinner is to feed the kids before Donn comes home. Then when he comes home we can eat a nice quiet dinner for two and afterwards do the baths and bedtime stories. I'm sure when the kids get older and stop talking about poop at the table or doing jumping jacks while we're eating, it will be good to eat together every night. Honestly, I don't think it matters that much either way.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

the 4 year old and the uncensored radio station

The mother usually managed to follow her son everywhere either with her eyes or her ears, which could hear and discern every noise within a 50 foot radius. When she got into the shower, the boy knew he only had a small amount of time to work with. He moved quickly to the radio and flipped the switch until it was on AM/FM. The mother didn't care if he listened to his very limited number of child-friendly CD's, filled with songs about bananas and letters of the alphabet, but she didn't know that he could work the radio. He was a crafty little bugger, this one. He scanned the stations with nimble little fingers and a discerning ear, waiting for the right one. When he found it, he immediately turned it up and started bustin' moves like nobody's business. The mother perked up her ears. She heard something unfamiliar coming from the boy's room. When she got out of the shower, she heard it was indeed hard core rap blasting from her 4 year old's radio. "What are you listening to?!" asked the incredulous, over-protective mother. "Freestyle," replied the wisened youth.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

unbloggy

We took a trip to Kentucky and stayed on a houseboat over Labor Day weekend with friends and that should have given me plenty to write about, but I just can't seem to get it going. Here are a few shots from the trip:



We had our own cabin on the boat that was so small it was like we were getting an MRI all night. Donn couldn't even sleep with us. He had to share the pullout couch with another guy. For some reason, even though we paid for our share (and some guests didn't) and we were the only ones with kids, we got the smallest room. The boat itself was huge. It was like a giant motorhome that they welded pontoons on and there were thousands of them on the lake. A trailer park on the water.

Lake Cumberland was beautiful, but I would have been happier to be there in a tent in the woods. Don't get me wrong, I love a hot shower, but I also love peace and quiet and to hear birds and the wind blowing and smell fresh air and all that good stuff. But the people there were really nice and the fun-loving, lets all get drunk and sit by the fire type, so we did have a good time. After long, restful nights sleeping with my two squirming children in a coffin.