Little Jaguar

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So, I’m not doing too great of a job keeping up with this blog, but I thought I’d throw in a quick story in hopes of keeping it going.

The boy loves animals. He loves playing with them, reading about them, watching them on TV, & most of all, pretending to be them. He is actually pretty good at this. He can make lots of great animal sounds & can run on four legs almost better than he can on two. His favorite animal is a jaguar. He has pretended to be a jaguar for as long as I can remember. One of his favorite games to play with his daddy is “Big Bear, Little Jaguar.” Although, I’m not sure it would really be considered a game, but more like the two of them just attacking each other and wrestling while making animal sounds.

Yesterday when he got home from school, as we were doing his reading homework, he pointed out some bumps on his arm (near his wrist on the under side). I told him that it was just some little bumps and that it kind of looked like a little bit of poison ivy or some sort of bug bite.

He had another diagnosis.

Our conversation proceeded thus:

Him:  “What are those little things dogs have on their paws that have a claw in them but it doesn’t touch the ground?”

Me: “Oh, you mean a dewclaw….I’m pretty sure that’s not what that is.”

Him: “Yeah. You know how I’m part jaguar….I think my body is just starting to grow one of those claws.”

His little face was just as serious as it could be while he spoke in a very matter-of-fact tone. I was having a hard time keeping a straight face, as he earnestly believe his theory was spot on. He has believed he is part jaguar for some time now.

So thinking back, this theory could possibly be my own doing. A few weeks ago, he was saying how he didn’t like the birthmark he has on his face. So, being the coolest mom around, I reminded him how he was part jaguar (because we love to play along with and encourage his colorful imagination) and told him that was just one of his jaguar spots and then pointed out a couple of other marks on his body like freckles & such that were also jaguar spots. This instantly made him feel better about it and maybe even proud to have it.

I did try to tell him that this dewclaw theory just wasn’t plausible, but he just wasn’t having it. He also forgets what it is called and refers to it as a dewpaw, which, in my opinion, makes just as much sense. So I’m sure when he gets home from school today, I’ll just go ahead and ask him how his emerging dewclaw is doing, and he will respond with his innocent, seemingly logical answer. And I just can’t wait to hear it. 🙂

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A Wedding And A Baby Shower

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I really did start a new post. It’s just taking too long to finish it! My last week was crazy busy and I apparently have a lot to say on the subject. So, I decided I will just write something else that won’t be as involved that I can post sooner…so y’all won’t think I was furloughed yet again.

Last year in August, a young couple from church tied the knot and endeavored on a new life journey together. They asked me to do the groom’s cake and I accepted. Now, had they asked me to do the wedding cake, I would have surely balked. That would have been a much more intimidating request initially, but only because there is a certain stigma that comes with the wedding cake. It’s for the bride. Let’s face it, the bride is the star on the big day. HER big day. Everyone knows it. She has most likely planned this day from the moment she was old enough to understand the concept. The groom, on the other hand, has probably never even heard of a “save the date,” much less realize the endless list of precise wedding rules and regulations disguised as “etiquette.” There is no show called Groomzilla nor is there one called Say Yes to the Tux. No one cares about that. This poor soul has only one responsibility….to show up. Someone (most likely the bride) will pick out what he will wear and someone will assure that he is dressed and standing in the spot where he is required.

So, when one initially considers the grooms cake, the pressure isn’t there. Notice I said initially. However, once considered you realize, this is most likely the only aspect of the wedding where the groom gets something for his very own. It usually represents who he is and what he loves. He may even get to be the sole contributor to this one wedding detail. This groom, in particular, is a fireman. An honorable profession that deserves respect and distinction. This is how he wants to be represented at his wedding. The pressure begins to build even more. It was decided that I would do a fireman’s helmet. So, I consult my handy internet to see if I can find any assistance is this task. There were tons of ideas, but mostly for the younger crowd of little boys who love firemen. I needed something with prestige. As luck would have it, a nice lady presented a step-by-step tutorial of a helmet she had made for her husband as a celebration for his promotion. As misfortune would have it, I’m not near the cake decorator she is.

I started a couple of weeks in advance preparing the details. The eagle on top of the helmet was quite a challenge. In fact, the one that made it on to the cake was not my first attempt nor my second. The shape of the helmet alone was difficult to get just right since I didn’t have a cake pan with that exact shape. At any rate, I finished it. As my own worst critic, I could see imperfections every where, but it was as good as I could get it. I threatened my kids with their lives if they went anywhere near it. They have a bad reputation of tampering with baked goods. The next hurdle would be getting it to the reception in one piece, as it was fairly heavy and I was absolutely terrified that the transport would not go smoothly. It did and they loved. Whew! What a relief! So I enjoyed the reception and the fruits of my labor with a big slice of cake. Here is how it turned out.

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Well, the story doesn’t quite end there. A few short weeks later, the happy couple discovers they will be adding to their new family. So this past weekend we threw a baby shower for the mommy-to-be. I, of course, was in charge of the cake. When doing a baby shower cake, I usually go with the theme of the baby’s room or the theme of the shower, if it is different than the room. The baby’s room will be decorated in a “Roll Tide” theme, as the parents are Alabama fans. The theme for the shower was Old Fashioned Southern Tea. I had no idea what to do for the cake. I had known for weeks that I would be making this cake and I just wasn’t coming up with anything. Finally, the week of the shower I got a couple of ideas and went to work. Here is what I came up with.

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I didn’t realize the teacup was crooked until after I had taken this picture, so I did straighten it up a bit. My kids were delighted and quite giggly over the exposed baby’s bottom and kept asking why it was showing. I threw in the little Alabama elephant mascot with the Alabama A to incorporate the room theme with the shower theme. All of the decorations are made with fondant and are edible. I thought it came together nicely considering I was completely at a loss at the beginning of the week.

I also decided to get crafty and make a couple of items for the sweet boy to use and wear. Please forgive the poor quality of the pictures, I forgot to take them before I left and had to snap these with my phone at the shower. The first set is Alabama attire and the second is suited for a fireman’s son.

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I’m Baaaaack….

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Yup, I’m back….well….at least I think I’m back. After an unplanned furlough, I’ve decided it’s time to get back in the saddle. I was at a point where I thought if I was sitting at my computer, I ought to be doing my school work. I told myself I would return to blogging as soon as school was over. That was over two months ago. Life sure has a way of getting in the way of itself. Some of you may be happy for my return (especially the one who stated “Seriously? Nothing since January 17th? Slacker! I’m bored at work and need something to read! Blog something already!”), some may not care (I’m sure that’s probably not true at all, right? Guys?), and sadly, some of you may not have even known I was missing (inconceivable!).

I feel like a lot has happened since that dreary January day (dramatic, I know), so where to start? I didn’t even get to post about a lot of things that happened before January. I fear that some stories may have suffered the loss of  details due to the fact that  I suffer from acute mommy brain time has this affect on such things. Hopefully, I will be able to recall enough to keep it interesting, and if not, well, I’ll just make something up. To peak your interest, here are just a few of the events that have transpired in the last few months. I handmade lots of crafty things for Christmas gifts, I finished my personal trainer diploma program school, got a job at my gym, quickly quit said job, changed some life goals to include what I want to be when I grow up, went off the deep-end in the culinary division of my life, and our family is planning to host an exchange student for the 2013-2014 school year.

So, without further ado, I’m ending this post to start my next….well, after my lunch date with a friend…and I put the girl down for a nap….and get the boy from school….and help with homework and make dinner….OK…sometime in there, I”m going to write another post.

What’s A Hero To Do In Times Like These?

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Apparently crime in the world is slow. This morning I had four super heros in my house to include: Captain America, Brave (also known as Merida), Super Lion, and Ladybug. Captain America was running around asking people if they needed help, he seemed desperate. I asked him if he did floors. He said he didn’t, so I asked about dishes. Again, a no. I then asked “Brave” these same questions, but got the same response of “no” with an additional “I shoot people,” as she showed off her bow, which, by the way, was the only part of her costume that I could even detect. I then asked Super Lion. The only response I got from him was a growl and a head shake. Ladybug was not even asked these questions, as she was in the middle of having her hair combed, and probably did not even realize she was going to be part of this super hero squad quite yet.

Shortly after, she donned her uniform. As the hero squad milled around their headquarters trying to figure out what to do with themselves, I was informed that Super Lion’s super power was “X vision” (which I’m pretty sure translates to X-ray vision). I do want to point out that I believe Super Lion was confused, because he kept trying to laser me with his powers. I told him that “X vision” meant you could see through things and what he was doing was most likely laser vision. He did not seem to agree, so I also informed him that his “X vision” must be broken, because he had try to X me several times, but I just wasn’t feeling any affects. At this point I thought it would be a great opportunity to snap their picture with my phone, because a rare opportunity like this would most likely not arise again.

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You will note that Captain America apparently now carries a semi-automatic weapon, Brave does not even need arrows for her bow, and Ladybug’s superpower must be that she cutes the enemy into submission. After snapping this picture, the super hero squad rushed over to examine it. Captain America must have approved because as I walked away I heard him exclaim, “I look AWESOME!” to which Brave responded, “that’s bragging” to which he then replied, “well, I look awesome AND (insert alter ego name here referring to Super Lion) looks awesome, we both look awesome.”

So take comfort America, crime rates are low and super heros are lurking in the shadows just awaiting the opportunity to help their beloved citizens in distress.

Twelve Nights of Reading

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Over the holiday break the boy’s teacher sent home an assignment called “Twelve Nights of Reading.” I thought it was such a great idea to make reading a little more fun and creative for the kiddos and I wanted to share it. I have mentioned how much I love his teacher and I am pleased so far with the school. It’s just the little things like this that make it a little extra special. We all know that sometimes learning is just a burden, and teachers have an even bigger burden of trying to teach and make it bearable. These amazing individuals do everything they can to help our babies want to learn and enjoy the process. I’ve said it before and I’m sure I will say it again…I couldn’t do what they do. They are special and amazing and I want to show them appreciation every chance I get. So here it is:

Night 1 – Find two pillows. Put them in the bathtub (no water in the bathtub) and sit in the bathtub. Read for 10 minutes.

Night 2 – Get your favorite stuffed animal. Take it with you and sit behind the couch. Read for 10 minutes.

Night 3 – Put on your pajamas. Get a flashlight. Go underneath your blanket. Read for 10 minutes.

Night 4 – Make yourself a nutritious snack. Put on a hat. Sit under th kitchen table and eat your snack. Read for 10 minutes.

Night 5 – Prepare for the cold weather! Put on your gloves, hat, and scarf and sit in front of the window. Read for 10 minutes.

Night 6 – Surprise your parents and clean up your room. Once it is clean, find one of your favorite objects and sit on your bed. Read for 10 mintes.

Night 7 – Did you clean under your bed yesterday? Take your book and a flashlight and get under your bed. Read for 10 minutes.

Night 8 – Go into the kitchen. Find a pot or pan. Put it on your head and sit in a chair. Read for 10 minutes.

Night 9 – Dress up in your mom’s or dad’s clothes. Get a newspaper. Spread the newspaper out in the hallway and sit on it. Read for 10 minutes.

Night 10 – Think summer! Get a beach towel and lay it out on the floor. Put sunglasses on your head and lay on the towel. Read for 10 minutes.

Night 11 – Read in privacy. Go into your room. Close your door. Lean against the door and prop your feet up on a pillow. Read for 10 minutes.

Night 12 – Find your favorite blanket. Put on your most comfortable clothes and curl up on your couch. Read for 10 minutes.

Now, I must confess, we did not get to all of these over the holiday, so we are trying to finish them up this week. I did let the boy pick which ones he wanted to do instead of doing them in order. I would like to add a couple of notes. First, I think its interesting that (no water in the bathtub) has to specified for night 1. Second, for night 8, pots or pans were not successful and neither were bowls or anything else I happen to have in my kitchen. Third, we still have not done night 9 for the simple fact that the boy is a first born child and must have everything as it should be. We do not get a newspaper; therefore, he believes this one cannot be accomplished. I told him he could use a magazine or something but he wasn’t having it. Maybe I can go from door-to-door it the neighborhood and score a paper.

Last, and the best part of this little story, is yesterday’s choice. It was another one he had been avoiding and I’m sure you can probably guess, it was night 6. The only reason he even chose it yesterday was because I had already made him clean his room earlier this week and he decided since it was already mostly clean, this would be a good night to choose it. When he made his choice, we were congregated in the kitchen and I thought he had gone up to his room to get started. I started making preparations for dinner and walked toward the edge of the kitchen where I had left a few items I picked up from the grocery store. The boy had been hiding behind the wall and jumped out and roared loudly. He then stated, “I had to surprise you,” then turned and scampered off to his room to tidy up. I, of course, had a good laugh. I am always amazed at how their minds work. I love every minute of it and do not look forward to the day when these little gems disappear.

Self-Portrait

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Well, I picked the boy up from school today. He had a pretty good first day back. Everyday when he gets home, I go through his backpack to empty his lunchbox and check his folder and see what homework he has and what was sent from class. This was in his folder today.

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Here is the conversation that followed the unveiling of this art work.

Me: Who is this?

Him: Me…I wonder how I got so fat?!?

Me: (LOLing) Well, did you draw it?

Him: I don’t know.

Me: What? How do you not know?

Him: Maybe Mrs. Henley (his teacher) drew it?

Me: Um no, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t her.

This was after he read a thank you note from his teacher for the Christmas gift he had given her, which was a Reese’s snowman and a gift card for Amazon. We all got a Reese’s snowman in our stocking so when he was reading the note, I was explaining to him what she was referring to and pointed to the ones that they had received. He looked at me with a small amount of horror in his eyes and asked, “Whose did you giver her pieces from? Mine or Sissy’s?” I assured him that she got her very own. I love how their minds work. Well, he’s just dying to do his homework (he seriously is), so I better get in there.

Back To Normal

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Well, it’s time to get back to normal I suppose. It was so nice to have the boy home for a little over a week. I miss him when he’s at school. But the girl does keep me on my toes. We went to the gym this morning and when I went to pick her up from the Kidz Klub, they asked me to talk to her…about kissing. Apparently she was kissing some other kids…boys. How do you talk to a three-year-old about kissing?!?! This one is going to be trouble. All of this is happening WAY before I thought it would. It was probably almost a year ago when, one day, she was outside and there were some neighbor boys playing down the street. I told her to come inside and she said, “Mama, look boys!! (then she yelled to them) Hey booooyyss!!!” as she waved and smiled in a coy manner. I practically had to drag her in the house as she was smiling and waving and calling to them…like right out of a movie, except in the movie, the girl is a teenager.

After we got home from the gym, she was trying to get her water bottle from the counter but couldn’t quite reach and started to whine instead of ask for help. I said, “try again,” indicating she should ask for help instead of whining for it. She looked at me and then promptly turned away and headed to the bathroom to get the stool to bring back to the kitchen so she could reach it. I was standing right beside the water. So instead of ask and use her kind words, she would rather walk all the way to the bathroom (not like it’s a mile, but still) and carry a stool to get on and reach.

She is currently in the bathroom trying to get a toddler wipe because apparently her baby has pooped. Guess I better get her and get to the grocery store. Wish us luck!