Fabulous Fourteen


D... & Lamb Fourteen years ago today at 11:35am, I became a Mama for the very first time. At the time, I thought I was the perfect age. Big D & I had been married for 4 years and felt it was time. Now I think, "Holy Cow, I was awfully young!" Luckily, God knew what He was doing. He gave me the most perfect baby who became a fun toddler who became a neat child who became a quirky teenager. He gave me a girl who:

  1. doesn't care how others view her. She is who she is and they can like her or not.

  2. is blunt. She tells it like it is & sometimes without softening her tone. She doesn't quite get the concept of tack just yet.

  3. definitely marches to the beat of her own drum. She does not have mainstream interests. Sure, she likes some of the music, shows, movies but they don't rule her world. Well, maybe the Jonas Brothers do. ;)

  4. has a quick wit. She's like her Papa. They are both Geminis.

  5. is very internal. Unlike her brother, she doesn't share her thoughts & feelings. Things have to be pryed from her & even then, she just tends to stare at us. She's like her Mama. We are both Year of the Dog.

  6. doesn't really get embarrassed or lets things phase her. Her parents singing a song in the parking lot....she'll join in. Pose in a crowded theater so I can take a picture? No problem!

  7. is self motivated. I have no idea about her school projects. She just does them. Really, the only thing I have to ride her about is cleaning her room & other chores.

  8. has a lot of the same interests as me, such as reading, movies, & musicals. And a lot of the same interests as her dad, such as rock climbing, video games, & corny things.

  9. isn't a girly girl yet isn't a tomboy either. She loves looking pretty & pretty things. But she also gets a thrill out of monster trucks and Pimp My Ride.

  10. exudes self confidence. I'm not sure how self confident she really is inside, but she looks it. She does things I'd never in a million years have the guts to do. Looking at her, you'd think, "Wow, she's confident." At her age, that can be off-putting to her peers. But, she's cool like that. Yet, she can be socially awkward at times.

  11. is laid back, easy going. Nothing much ruffles her feathers. She is quite capable of rolling with the punches.

  12. Can.Not. make a decision to save her life. From simple to hard, it's torture for her to have to make a choice.

  13. has never, not once, displayed any sort of outward jealously once the One-Who-Steals-The-Show came along. She loves him every bit as much as we do.

  14. is not interesting in growing up too fast. She cried when she realized she was growing up. Boys are still annoying & certainly not cute. Make-up will only be worn if *I* ask. Name brand clothes, etc. are not necessary. Pimples? Eh, who cares?
She is sweet, smart, loving, beautiful on the inside as well as the outside. Yes, God knew what He was doing when He gave us this spectacular child to raise. Thank You for her. We cherish our Lamb.

Happy Birthday, sweet child of ours! May your year be filled with as much joy as you always bring to us.
Isn't she lovely?


The Horror, The Shame

I'm not opposed to navel piercings. The only concerns I have, for myself, are clothing irritation & the healing process. I'm quite the short-waisted petite gal & I don't have the attention span for long processes. So when Big D found a way to fake a belly ring, I was all over it. The fakeness didn't work out as well as I hoped, but I did really like the look of it. Big D thinks I should go for it.

Because it's the way I roll, I decided to tease the kids about it. Bear: "How can you disrespect me like that? That's like gangsta." Lamb: "You are my mother NOT my teenage older sister!" Picture horrified faces.

I always pictured that conversation in the reverse with me having the horrified face. Funny that.


Happy Birthday Big D

Giving Tiger some pointers

I am so thankful that Big D is in this world. I just can not imagine my life without him.
He's Da Man! And here are some reasons why:

  • There is NOTHING he can not do. He can do everything from house repairs to car repairs to computer repairs. If he doesn't know how, he'll learn.

  • All I have to do is mention something and he'll research the best option for me (or the kids).

  • He has such a quick wit (gosh, he's funny) and still is a kid at heart. He loves cartoons, animated movies, & just about whatever the kids watch. He loves video games & toys.

  • He truly supports the kids in their endeavors. I'm the realistic parent. He's the one who says: "Why not them? They have just as much a chance as anyone else. Someone has to make it big."

  • He is self-less. He'll do without & give to us.

  • He HATES that he doesn't get to spend time with us.

  • While we have this opposite schedule, he does our laundry. Of course, he does gripe when I forget to put the clothes in the basket. Yes, I'm awful about that.

  • It does not bother him that the house is messy. He never says a word about it.

  • He understands me, so much so that it can be scary.

  • He's not perfect by any means (man, can he ANNOY me). But, he IS perfect for me and for our kids.

Sadly, it's not going to be the happiest of days for him. He'll come home and we'll be asleep. He'll wake up and we'll be gone. He has to take Lamb for her orthodontist appt. Hopefully, he'll come home in time for us to spend SOME time with him before he jets off to work.

Happy Birthday, Honey Bear! We love you so! Enjoy the sweet surprises we left for you.


You Don't Even Have to Leave Houston to See Famous Landmarks

Our versions of:

Mount Rushmore
Austin, Houston, Lincoln, Washington Washington Monument (& actually the San Jacinto Monument is taller thanks to the star!)
San Jacinto Monument

Times Square

Shopping Center in Pasadena

New York's Flat Iron building

Office in Seabrook

Coney IslandKemah BoardwalkAnd, if you are in need of some thrills, we have Sleepy HollowPearland Subdivision And Narnia
Private street You can also take a 3 hour tour from a Tropic Island Port
Kemah Marina aboard this tiny ship
Huge Yacht
Houston has it all!


Camera Critters #7

Camera Critters, Misty Dawn's new Sunday meme, #7

I'm gonna git you

I love this picture. It looks like the antelope was running along beside us as the picture was snapped. In actuality, it's just a happenstance picture that one of the kids snapped in a musuem.



Dorothy's (Wizard of Oz) Ruby Slippers located in the National Musuem of American History in Washington D.C.There's No Place Like Home!


Wondering Minds Want to Know

"Mama, does it mean you are crazy if you talk out loud?
"No, remember Daddy told you that sometimes it helps to talk things out loud."
"Mama, what if you talk to yourself in your head?"
"What, like 'MMM, this chocolate ice cream sure is good'?"
"Yes, like that."
"No, that is called thinking & sometimes that is great to do before you actually speak."
"Mama, what if you lick your butt?"

Naughty Girl, Spoiled Boy, & Waterparks

I have an amazing work ethic. I don't just miss work. If I can plan a day off & get my favorite sub to work for me, I'm fine with that. But to just take a day willy nilly makes me uncomfortable. I called in sick today. The Friday before a three day weekend. A day when personal days aren't allowed (can't take off the Friday before or the Monday after a holiday). I did it mainly because I'm worn out and because I did have to take care of something this morning. I'm slightly okay with that because it's a school wide game/read day so the teachers can do some "cleaning" in their rooms.

By taking today off, I threw Bear's life in a tailspin. Because of his braces, he can't eat apples unless they are cut up. To prevent brown apples, a few minutes before lunch, I cut it up & bring it to him. Yeah, he's spoiled. And he had to get all knotted up about his apple today. "Why do you have to take the day off? My apple needs you at school. You are making things too complicated." Luckily, I found some lemon juice in the fridge (does that stuff go bad?). Whew. You'd think he'd never spent a day at that school without me. Granted, there haven't been that many, but still. Next year, we are going to have to work on some independence, I see.

Also today, is the district wide (minus 1 school) 8th grade field trip to the Schlitterbahn waterpark. We are talking about roughly 1,000 13/14 yr. old kids here. Plus, the general population who may or may not show up today. Yikes. Glad I'm not going to be there!

Altho, a little part of me wishes I were. Will Lamb remember to update her sunscreen? Will she stay out of the sun when she's not in the water? Will she do ok on the slides? Will the waves in the wave pool be too strong? Will she have fun? Will she socialize? Will the boys be nice? Will the GIRLS be nice? Did I give her all my wisdom about what she needs to know today? She's my first-born so she gets all the new worries that go with that honor.

Of course, she's going to have great fun. I know this. Bear's apples will be nice & fresh thanks to the lemon juice. And, of course, I'm going to greatly enjoy being at home, resting my sick mind. No worries. No guilt. Really.

Happy Friday!

Bear enjoyed his lemon apples.
Lamb had a wonderful time and came home SUNBURNED! She did NOT freshen up her sunscreen. Now *she's* the naughty girl.
My day went by way too fast. Luckily, I have Monday to be a sloth as well.



I was driving home from work and heard David Cook on the radio. He sounds GOOD! Yay, David!


Humor Me!

You want to do WHAT to my hair?

Don't touch my hair!
One of the many things I love about my children is the fact that they are game for pretty much whatever I throw at them.


Fawning Over David Cook

I usually leave the t.v. show talk to Bubba's Sis. However, I must chime in on tonight's American Idol.

David Archuleta Bores.Me. There I said it. He has a beautiful voice & talent. But he is not unique. Yet. I've heard his voice 100x before. Yawn. The judges fawning over him tonight made me throw up in my mouth a little. Yick.

David Cook, on the other hand, may not have the voice of David A. He certainly has the talent & charisma! I would definitely listen to him outside of the show. I can't wait to see what kind of record he'll put out.

Remember his name, remember his face, remember his voice. He's going to make it big no matter the outcome of the votes.

Like Chris Daughtry, I can't wait to say I "knew him when!"

P.S. So long, Dancing With The Stars. It'll seem like forever waiting until September. I'll miss you! At least I'll have So You Think You Can Dance to keep me company while I wait.


Stages of Skinny

Please read the following conversation:

Me: Anything you can do, I can do better.
Bear: No, you can't.
Me: Yes, I can.
Bear: You can't play baseball.
Me: Sure. I went to the softball World Series.*
Bear: I highly doubt that. After all, softball players are skinny.

Record scratch.

Me: Are you saying I'm fat?
Bear: Uh, no, no, I didn't say you were fat.
Me: You just said I couldn't be a softball player because I'm NOT skinny. And, I'll have you know, you don't have to be skinny to play softball!
Bear: Mama, you are smart enough to realize you aren't fat. But, you aren't skinny either. You are medium. You aren't skinny like Miss Bubba's Sis or Mrs. S. You are 2nd stage skinny. And there are LOTS of stages. (As he acts out the various stages leading up to fat).
Me: uh huh
Bear: Mama, Babycakes, I never called you fat. You aren't fat!

So, my dear readers, did he adequately talk himself out of that hole? Will he step into it again?

*Total lie


Camera Critters #6

Join us at Camera Critters, Misty Dawn's new Sunday meme!

Rocky the Flying Squirrel? As we were walking through Central Park, we saw this little guy spread eagle on the tree root. As Bear was snapping pictures, we wondered if it were still alive. Then Big D decided to change lenses on his camera for a clearer shot. Right then, the squirrel popped up and ran off. Typical.



Staying Alive


Friday's Feast

What is the nearest big city to your home?

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how well do you keep secrets?
9. The older I get, the better I get at keeping the secrets.

Describe your hair (color, texture, length).
I'm naturally brunette, however, right now I have some pretty grown out blond highlights. My hair is pretty wavy & frizzy. When frizzy, it's about an inch below shoulder. Nice & straight, it's 10 inches. No, no, I jest. It falls just below my shoulders.

Main Course
What kind of driver are you? Courteous? Aggressive? Slow?
What a funny question! I always drive about 5 miles or so above the speed limit. To drive the speed limit makes me feel like I'm crawling. I'd say I'm fairly courteous and I'm NOT aggressive at all.

When was the last time you had a really bad week?
Wish I could say that I can't remember the last time! It's rare that I have a bad week. But my weeks are filled with bad days.


Thank You, Pretty Ladies

Thank ya, Thank Ya Very Much

Thank you for all the good vibes. I was Da Man tonight.




Call of the Land

Is it Yoda?  St. Francis?  Grim Reaper? One of the great things about the school where I work is that it's a creative arts school. Besides having an emphasis on learning through art & music, we also have a drama program. In our large district, we are the only elementary school that can boast that. Our drama teacher puts 1000% into each production. Besides being the writer, director, producer, & set designer, she sews the costumes. Her husband builds the sets. And the rest is up to the kids. They run the lights, the sound board, make sure the props are in the right spots, and design the programs. They also record & edit the productions for dvds & vcrs.

The sets & costumes are always a sight to behold. This year is no different. In 4th grade, the students get a glimpse of Texas history so what better play for the 4th graders than how Texas became a state?

Call of the Land starts with the Spanish missionaries (Bear is one of them) convincing the Native Americans to stay in the Mission camp with them. It follows the rise of Santa Ana, to the battle of the Alamo, and ends with the victory at San Jacinto. Pretty exciting stuff!

Today was their dress rehearsal where they perform for the school. The kids did an amazing job with their parts. Tomorrow night is the big event with parents, grandparents, friends, neighbors, whoever wants to watch.

These plays always bring a tear to my eye.
Missionary Bear


Rules Are Made To Be Broken...Right?

Ever since Bear was in kindergarten, we've had the No Video Games on School Days rule. What on earth was I thinking? It's more a punishment on me than good parenting. Bear is not the type of child to entertain himself. He must be entertained by someone or be entertaining someone. He talks LOUDLY, he talks constantly. When he's not talking, he's dancing, singing, or just plain making noise. He's a nuisance. N.U.I.S.A.N.C.E.

After a particularly trying night, I asked him "Why? Why must you be like this?" He tells me, "It's my personality. You're my mom, you have to deal with it." Do I? Do I really? (And, btw, it was not said ugly. It was said sweetly and matter of factly.)

Yesterday, he asked me if he could play the Wii. He had all his homework finished and wanted to "relax" before baseball practice. After being reminded of the rule, he informs me that that was "so kindergarten. I'm a changed boy but how can I prove it if you don't let me play?" How indeed.

I was exhausted. I mentally did not feel well. I caved. I let him play until supper was ready. A whole whopping 15 minutes. It felt good.


Money Can't Buy You Love or Happiness

But it can buy you a movie ticket!

The family went to see Iron Man, finally. We usually try to see the superhero movies opening weekend, but life got in the way last weekend. Much to Big D's horror shame (ok,he doesn't really care), I am not literate in all things superheroes. I never heard of Iron Man until he told me about the movie. I know how much he enjoys them & their comics, so I was game about seeing the movie. We both really liked it. The sequel should be much better now that all the pesky background story has been covered.

Next up?



Camera Critters #5

Morning Commute This is our view every morning on the way to work/school.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Spectacular Moms out there!


Shhh....I Have a Secret

Sometimes, when I feel the need to be depressed, disturbed, or entertained, I'll read the postcards on Post Secret.

In the interest of "keeping it real", I'm going to let you inside my petty, bitter mind. Here is my postcard.Bad Mama I'm not proud. I am trying. But, dang, it's hard.

Anything Goes


Friday's Feast

When someone smiles at you, do you smile back?
I sure do.

Describe the flooring in your home. Do you have carpet, hardwood, vinyl, a mix?
Mix: laminate wood, carpet, vinyl, and tile

Write a sentence with only 5 words, but all of the words have to start with the first letter of your first name.
Dang, do dingos diet delicately?

Main Course
Do you know anyone whose life has been touched by adoption?

Name 2 blue things.
Big D's eyes


Seen on the T-Shirt of a 4th Grader

Are you a parking ticket?
Because you have FINE written all over you!

Of course, my personal fav will always be:
Are you from Memphis?
Because you are the only 10 I see!



Bear's Mama This is Bear's vision of me. I'm not sure why. I'm not flaming orange, nor do I have stringy, blue hair. I don't go around posing like this (nekkid no less) and I have fully formed legs.
But, the first time Bear laid eyes on this 'work of art', he proclaimed: "That's MY Mama!" And, for a time, shared that knowledge with whomever was with him when we passed it.


Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick

Sometimes I think I have a voice that only armadillos can hear. Seriously.

  • Time for bed
  • Rinse off your dishes
  • Throw away the little snips from your kool-aid packets
  • Clean your room
  • Wash your face
  • Do your chores
  • I'm on the phone, stop talking to me
  • Get ready
  • Pick up your mess all around the house
  • Please pick up your clothes from the living room after you take them off to take a shower. Or, better yet, take them off in the BATHROOM. (Bet you can't guess which child I'm talking to ;) )

They all fall on deaf ears.

I need to learn to speak with more authority. But then I get laughed at because it just doesn't jive with my voice.

Bet the armadillos have a spotless home with kids who are in bed with clean faces. Lucky things.

So, Last Night

Last night was spent being proud of my daughter and her BFF. It was the National Junior Honor Society ceremony. Bear even made the sacrifice (cough, cough) of missing baseball practice so he could see his loving sister receive her 2 year pin.

Part of the ceremony is to have seniors who once attended the school & were in the NJHS to give an "encouraging" speech. That's all well & good, until the 2nd speaker came to the podium. She spoke of how these kids represented hope. Hope to find the cure of cancer & AIDS, hope to end racism & terrorism, hope to end the troubles of Africa, and the hope to solve all the world's problems. That's quite a heavy burden for 12-14 yr olds! Talk about pressure.

The third speaker, the best one of the 3, made a point that I hope Lamb really paid attention to. He said that they shouldn't let their successes define them, they should define their successes. How true those words are. Saturday marks the very last drama fest in her junior high career. There a much coveted trophy will be awarded. A trophy that Lamb will be ineligible to earn & her friends most probably will earn. A trophy that Lamb desperately would like to have in her hands. Does NOT getting that trophy mean she is a horrible actress? Should she just give up & change career paths? Of course not. It means that a judge, a judge who is random, marked her lower than a different judge might have. If she got the trophy, will she be an automatic success on Broadway or Hollywood? Of course not.

Not getting the trophy does not define her success. Her hard work, dedication, & talent define her success. She defines her success. The ribbons, medals, & trophy are just bling. Nice bling. Bling that would be incredibly fantastic to own. But bling just the same.

Think of her Saturday, please. It's going to be a hard day for her. We've talked & she's fine right now. But, it's still going to be tough when it all comes down.

But last night was a good night. A night filled with smiles and happiness. It was marred for a bit when the speaker mispronounced her name. Lamb was FOR SURE that our difficult last name would be pronounced correctly. It wasn't, but it was immediately fixed without Lamb's prompting. Bear says he could see on Lamb's face that she was miffed. Ah, girlie, get used to it. After that, it was all perfection. A proud night was had by all.

Aren't They Lovely?A great way to end Junior High and head into the wilds of High School.


Camera Critters #4

Flamingdogs I have loved flamingos ever since I portrayed a sassy one in a play when I was a junior in high school. I had a way cool mask. Sadly, there are no pictures to prove it. It was at a drama competition in Massachusetts (where I lived at the time). The Boston Globe awarded me with the Best Character Portrayal award or something to that effect (fuzzy memory). I was thrilled! It's hard work standing one leg, ya'll!


Time Keeps On Slipping, Slipping, Slipping Into The Future

Grand Central Terminal 3 days until Lamb gets her National Junior Honor Society 2 year pin...

23 more school days left in the school year...

29 more actual days until I no longer have a 13 year old daughter...

Not only am I about to be the mother of a 14 year old, but also the mother of a high schooler. It's almost scary how fast the days, weeks, months, years are flying by. Where did the time go?

Lovely Year Old Lamb


Friday's Feast

What was your favorite cartoon when you were a child?

Pretend you are about to get a new pet. Which animal would you pick, and what would you name it?
I wish it wasn't for pretend! I'd get a havanese puppy (like the one Bubba's Sis "bought" me for my birthday) and name her Savannah.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you enjoy getting all dressed up for a special occasion?
10 plus....I love getting all gussied up!

Main Course
What kind of music do you listen to while you drive?
it varies...classic rock, top 40, etc...

When was the last time you bought a clock? And in which room did you put it?
Would you believe that I've never bought a clock? Oh wait. I guess alarm clocks count, huh? A couple of years ago and we put it in Lamb's room.



TAKS is over, at least for Bear & me (Lamb is still testing)!

And not a moment too soon! I'm not sure we could have taken another day of it.TAKS is tiring*Pic courtesy of teacher. Bear was one of five students who completely zonked out after finishing the reading TAKS.