It’s Enough

Early yesterday morning I came across this bit of goodness on Pinterest and stored it away in my heart for a rainy day.

And then around lunch time, it started raining. Pouring, actually. And I don’t know about y’all, but I don’t have the fortitude to take my babies out in the pouring down rain for anything other than a house on fire type of emergency.

Down the drain went my afternoon to-do list, which included a trip to the dry cleaners that I have put off for so long that there is a distinct possibility that Lee will be working naked next week.

So there we were, stuck in the house. As if that weren’t bad enough, do y’all remember what an easy baby Bo used to be? I was honestly starting to get kind of smug about it– like, did I somehow give birth to the chillest kid on the planet? I must be SUPER AWESOME. Turns out, he was just saving up for a Big Mama Smack Down.

I am Smacked.
I am Down.
You win, baby. You win.

But I digress. We were stuck in the house. And we had an empty diaper box. And cranky babies. What else could we do besides turn the empty diaper box into a train? Nothing really. There is no other answer

The 45 seconds of each of Bo’s turns on the train added up to a glorious 5 minutes of the afternoon when he was not crying.
But then I realized that I could turn the diaper box train into a laundry train and get MB to pull it to her room.
I got to mark something off of my to-do list after all. 
So today I’m thankful for:
Diaper boxes.
Children who are amused by diaper boxes.
Laundry to do.
Children to entertain.
A cozy home to shelter us from the rain.
And all of you, who read [and hopefully laugh with me].
Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

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A Bo by any other name

Lee and I were chatting in the car the other day about how it is that we came to be the parents of children we call Buck and Bo.

We consider ourselves educated people, for the most part.  We gave them perfectly good names when they were born. Names that mean the world to us. Names that we had picked out for them long before we were even married.

But for day-to-day use, it’s come down to Buck [two-year-old Mary Bullock’s attempt at Bullock] and Bo [Mary Bullock’s shortening of Bro], or some variation of these.

So in the car Lee says to me, already laughing: their nicknames have nicknames. Which was almost the title of this post, because I literally [LITRALLY!] snarfed in the face of such truth.

So, I thought it might be helpful to you to have an abbreviated [for space purposes] list of each of their nicknames, just so you can sample our particular brand of crazy. Maybe you named your child Alexander and actually call him Alexander and you can lay your head down tonight and congratulate yourself on not endangering your child’s future employability by calling him a ridiculous name that will not show up on his birth certificate.

We really do call Mary Bullock Mary Bullock if we’re not using a nickname [like when she’s making us late, or when she’s in trouble], but we never call Bo Lee. I’m envisioning his first day of kindergarten when he adamantly maintains that his full name is Bocephus Wedekind. 

It might be a problem.

Do you think they call the school counselor over things like this?

*Also, I’m sure Lee would like it pointed out that the Bolene referenced above is the RAY LAMONTAGNE version, NOT the LORETTA LYNN version.

Let me ask you one question

The Girl [nickname #4,347] has started saying this new thing. It’s Let me ask you one question. I’m not sure where she picked it up, but it wasn’t from me. 
So for instance, she’ll say:
Let me ask you one question. 
I pooped. 
or 
Let me ask you one question. 
I want one more show. 
I think we need to review the meaning of question, for one thing. And the meaning of one, for another, because she reached her maximum show allowance by about 9:15 this morning.
After lunch today she was having trouble sharing her train set with Bo. Then she had some trouble keeping her hands to herself. Then she had some trouble with telling me the truth about the sharing and the keeping of her hands to herself, and so she had to go spend some time in her room. After we had a little chat, she came out and bent down to look Bo in the eye. 
Let me ask you one question. 
I’m sorry. 
***** 
After nap we got in the car to go to Costco, and she said Let me ask you one question five times.  None of them were questions. 
On the way back home we talked to Daddy on speaker in the car and she said Let me ask you one question… I don’t remember what she said, but it was not a question.
As we hung up, Lee said  Mary Bullock, let me ask you one question.
Yes, Daddy? [She really says it this way]
I love you. 
Definitely not a question.

Potty in the USA

 In case of Potty Miracle, Pixie Hollow will be unmanned.

In other words…SHE DID IT! HAS DONE IT ALL WEEK!

We have a POTTY POOPER*! I even waited a while to make sure it wasn’t a fluke.

She also got a princess wand, a Snow White crown, and a new train set. Someone went a little overboard.  Actually I’ll go ahead and out him– it was Lee. I think he was extra psyched because he’s the one who actually cracked the code. We were too excited to consider whether we’d be spoiling her, anyway.

I often wondered what it would feel like to wake up in the morning and not have a giant mess to clean up. Answer: AMAZING.

We now have a mess of fairies everywhere, but that’s ok with me. I did superglue all their shoes on, though, which was as close as I’ll ever come to the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

This is our shoe shelf in the kitchen. As I was gathering up the last of the tiny fairy shoes to glue onto the appropriate feet, I realized I had lost track of Marina’s shoes. I sort of panic about these things, especially since I routinely have to rescue small parts from the back of Bo’s throat.

I asked Mary Bullock where Marina’s shoes were, and she said on the shelf! And there they were.

Had to laugh!
Have a great weekend, everyone! MB had the stomach bug yesterday, so I’m hoping if I have to get it, I’ll get it before our family pictures on Sunday. Wish me luck. đŸ™‚

*I have considered that perhaps MB will one day be very embarrassed by my public coverage of her potty milestones, but I’ve already let you in on the frustration, so I might as well share the good news, right? On the upside, hopefully ALL potty talk can now cease for at least another couple of years. That’s reason to celebrate!

Giving Thanks

Not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for my children. Their existence is truly a miracle in my life. But I’ve been thinking lately about something that I’m equally thankful for, and that is the struggle we went through before having each of them.

It’s a relatively new thing for me to be able to thank God for a struggle. It’s easy to praise God when everything goes my way! But in this case, when I see so obviously what a blessing that struggle has been to me, there is no other reaction than to give thanks to the God who prepared me to be a mother in His own time. To give thanks to the God who humbled me enough to love my children in the way that they need to be loved.

Everything in my life to that point had been pretty easy. School, making friends, even teaching [which ok, I wouldn’t call easy, but at least it was a challenge I felt I could control]: I could find a way to make my life do what I wanted it to do. I’d never really failed at anything. [I mean, if we’re not counting Econ 10. Because let me tell you– I FAILED THAT CLASS WITH GUSTO.]

But getting pregnant was inexplicably hard. And, ever so frustratingly, out of my own control. Month after month I wondered: WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME? And I grew angrier and more frustrated as the year slid by, and even medical intervention didn’t help. And then Nicole Ritchie got pregnant, and oh. That was a dark dark time for me. Couldn’t God see that I would be at least as good a mother as an anorexic celebutant who was probably on all sorts of drugs and oh my Lord that awful show with Paris Hilton– REALLY? HER? HOW IS THIS FAIR?

I was big into who was getting pregnant besides me, but this one really tipped me over the edge [obviously— I remember it acutely].

And then, finally, I gave it up. I remember waking up in the hotel room in Las Vegas with Jen, and telling her we were going to jump off the train chugging toward IVF. Take some time. Why were we in such a rush, anyway? Maybe I’d try acupuncture. Just chill out for a while.

A week later I was crying again, with needles poking out all over. And for once I wasn’t crying over the needles. I was just crying because I was letting go of a year and half’s worth of frustration and nonsense. And it felt so good.

I drove home and talked to God on the way: I know you have a plan. I trust your plan. This was odd for me. I didn’t usually just talk to God in my head. I certainly didn’t usually tell him I was ok with whatever he had in mind. And I didn’t cry. I actually didn’t shed a single tear [not even over a Publix commercial] for over three weeks. Which, if you know me, you know: that was just out-of-this-world unusual. But I was just at peace. Real peace. Not the peace that comes from knowing I’ve worked something out myself, but the peace that comes from knowing I didn’t have to work it out myself.

In fact, I don’t have to work anything out by myself ever again.

A lesson that, as a mother, has been essential. I still forget it a lot, but God always calls my mind back to it right before I can really screw things up.

And so I thank Him daily for my children, yes. But I also thank Him for making me struggle, and for using that struggle to remind me who exactly is in control around here.  Some days, Mary Bullock thinks it’s her! But it’s not. And it’s not me, either.

Free As We’ll Ever Be

So, it’s taken me a few days to wrangle my pictures off of my phone, but the timing of this post works so nicely with the beginning of November, a month for giving thanks! 
Last Thursday we got an email from MB’s Aunt Kay Kay that her friend Emily [hi, Emily!] had [FREE!] tickets to the Zac Brown Band show at the arena. AND the tickets included the Eat & Greet. Did we want them? She asked. 
I think my response was something like: OHMYGODAREYOUKIDDINGYESYESYES.
Did we have a babysitter? No
But we said YESYESYES anyway, and I really prayed it would work out. Lee and I rarely go out by ourselves, and it’s been ages since we had actually been to a concert.
SO I spent Thursday afternoon calling eight thousand babysitters, who were all busy, because last weekend was also Florida-Georgia, and also apparently some people have LIVES [hello, not us!]. 
And just when I was beginning to despair, my friend Laura offered up her OWN babysitter so that we could go. 
And then we met Zac Brown and his band and they served us an awesome dinner and we sat beside some kooky [in a charming way] women and I stealthily took this picture [no photography allowed, I know– I broke the rules] so that Kay Kay and Emily could witness. 
I promise this is Lee’s thrilled face.
This is his super thrilled face.

The only bad part about this is that I tend to get tunes stuck in my head for weeks at a time, so I have basically been singing Zac Brown songs since last Friday. Actually, that’s awesome for me because I love to sing/whistle/make noise with my face, but not so awesome for Lee, who enjoys quiet for several minutes a day and never gets any.

So, I’ll wind down this post/kick off November by saying:
Kaylan: thanks for the email
Emily: thanks for the tickets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Laura: thanks for the babysitter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lee: thanks for putting up with my musical mouth diarrhea. I could be singing like The Spice Girls or something, so it could be worse.