Saturday, May 31, 2014

Making Kids Happy

Over this past weekend I captured these two pictures. Look at these faces. This is pure happiness. Just looking at these pictures bring me joy. 

It was a beautiful day outside so I rolled the window down and turned the radio up. Jack was having so much fun. He kept throwing his hands up as the wind whooshed in over him. Then he had so much fun with the music that he started "singing" along. I couldn't help but bring the camera out and snap this picture. 

Once we got to Nana and PawPaw's house we filled up their little pool. Ignore the sad looking water. The bottom of the pool with the grass underneath gave the water this awful looking color. So anyways just look over it and pay attention to the face of that super happy child. You just can't get any happier than that baby is right there. Just fills my heart with joy.  

I got the bright idea to put the slide into the pool and Bennett (my nephew) enjoyed it so much. Last year Bennett was scared of the water and now he begs to go splish splash outside. Jack wouldn't stay in the water. All he wants to do is get out and run around. 

I'm looking forward to many more fun packed days this summer. I hope to make these faces just this joyful with simple summer activities.  

Do you have any ideas that are simple yet fun activities for summer?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Lil Weenie Wraps

//Lil smoked weenies
//Honey bbq sauce
//Brown sugar

For quick results bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes
For less chewy bacon back at 200 for around an hour

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Reading This Could Save a Loved One

Imagine being only 36 years old and had just given birth when you are diagnosed with cancer. That is exactly what happened to Heather Von St. James. Thankfully, 8 years have passed and she is still on this Earth. She spent many years going through surgeries and chemotherapy. Today her passion is now to spread awareness of the cancer that almost took her life. 

Mesothelioma is a cancer that doesn't get much hype; especially, now that asbestos material is being used less widely. Asbestos is an insulating material comprised of magnesium-silicate mineral fibers. The thing about Mesothelioma is that it takes years for symptoms to show up. Once they do start they are often subtle and mistaken for something else. 

Since the symptoms aren't highly known it is important for all of us to be aware. Even if we don't believe we have been exposed to asbestos, there is a high likely hood that our older loved ones have. Wouldn't it be great if we were aware of the symptoms just in case? 

Here are some of the symptoms:

//blood clotting disorder
//bowel obstruction
//chest pain
//difficulty swallowing
//coughing up blood
//weight loss
//muscle weakness
//shortness of breath

There are more symptoms on the Mesothelioma site

The website offers lots of general information, mesothelioma lawyers, a list of experts, information for veterans, and much more. 

One of the great things on the website is lots of information on where you could have been exposed to asbestos. It has the companies, products, occupations, jobsites (even by state). It also has information on what to do to remove asbestos. If you need to learn anything about mesothelioma it should be your first stop.

Being aware of the symptoms is the greatest thing you can do to catch this cancer early.  

Monday, May 26, 2014

Mrs. Mama Surprised Her BFF

Each year for many many years several of our friends attend a yearly festival in Little Rock called Riverfest. It has always been a really great time. Riverfest is a music festival where several acts perform. On top of that there are amazing vendors selling merchandise and amazing food. Basically it is a huge party for 3 days. We only attend for 2 days. 

Honestly a lot of drinking occurs. A group of responsible wives and mothers let their hair down and act like we are youngsters again. 

Two years ago I decided to not go because I was pregnant and who wants to be around a bunch of drunk people when you are pregnant? Last year I didn't go because I just wasn't ready to leave Jack for a weekend and I was still recovering from my necrosis surgery. This year I told the group I wasn't going because I am dealing with a lot of pain from my hernia and scar tissue. 

Friday was a regular day and when Jack and I got home Jeremy was napping. Once he got up we discussed what we would want to do this weekend. He suggested me going out with friends but I told him that all my friends were at Riverfest. He said why don't you go. One minute I was sitting in the chair at home to throwing some clothes in a bag. My plan was to go up for only that one night. I made record time getting there. When i got to the hotel all my friends were eating several blocks away. She said after eating they were going to go straight to the festival. This was not what I needed to happen.

They had no idea I was there and I wanted this to be a surprise. The surprise was meant for my BFF Brooke because she and I were the ones who started this Riverfest tradition. 

I had to think quick on my feet as I sat in the courtyard drinking a few beers. There were a group of young kids and I asked one of the young boys to call and pretend to be the hotel manager saying there was a problem with her credit card and that she needed to come back to clear up the issue. I waited anxiously to surprise her. 

She was standing at the front desk when I tapped on her shoulder. She flipped out. She was jumping up and down and hugging me. It was the best surprise. 

We had an amazing night and I'm so glad I was able to surprise my friends even if I weren't able to hang the whole weekend. We saw Lee Brice in concert and then headed to the piano bar. 

The next morning I headed home feeling a little too old to be pulling a night like I had but I know it was worth it. Sometimes you just have to throw caution to the wind and let your hair down for the sake of friendships.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Mrs. Mama's Student Was Missing

Yesterday at 6:32 I received a phone call from the number of our school. My first thought was that it was one of those automated messages reminding everyone that tomorrow was party day. 

The voice on the other end of the line was that of the vice-principal. I was instantly caught off guard. She asked me several questions about a student that I put on the bus each day. My mind was racing trying to remember details. He had been missing for 3 hours. 

The knot was in my stomach before our phone conversation was over. I gave her everything I could think of in the moment. I imagined myself being hypnotized trying to bring back memories, looking for details. 

In the title I could easily replace student with kid. They are all my babies. The longer I waited for answers the more I teared up imaging the mother's pain. I started putting myself in her situation but it was too much for me to bare. 

At a little after seven I got a text saying he had been found. 

That was not good enough for me. I had to know that he was okay. I texted the vice-principal and she said she didn't know any details at the time. A little later I got a text saying that he is okay. 

We really don't know all the details. He was on his bus so he either got off at someone's house or there wasn't anyone at his house when the bus dropped him off so he went and did his own thing. Either way-poor child. 

I went to him today and said "I was so scared for you and I'm so happy that you are okay" and I gave him a hug. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Mrs. Mama Has a Biter

Jack attends daycare while I'm at work. About two months ago he went on a biting rampage all in one day where he bit 3 times (2 of those times was one baby). As the mother I was so ashamed at what he had done. It was serious mommy guilt at its worst. At that time he was only 16 months old so it wasn't like I could have a talk with him to get him to understand that it was wrong. At daycare they put him in timeout in a playpen.

I thought the issue was over but today when I picked him up I learned that he had bitten again (the girl he had bit the 2 times before). Two months ago the mother of the baby he had bitten was not happy at all. I know that told her today that she was bitten again by my sweet biting monster Jack. So I know she isn't happy and I don't blame her at all. The other mother of the child he bit was a lot nicer and said "well next time it could be my child who bites". I appreciated her positive attitude. 

My stomach is in knots knowing that the mother is all mad again. I don't blame her but I still don't like it. I hate someone having negative feelings about my sweet baby. 

Here are some pieces of advice for dealing with parents whose kids have been bitten by your child.

1. Talk to the daycare provider and get all the information about what happened. You want to know the facts.

2. Talk to your daycare provider and discuss discipline when the biting happens.  Our specific daycare can only do separating by putting him in the playpen. You don't want them to be too harsh nor too lax. Discuss with your partner what form of discipline you are most comfortable with and if he bites at home then do your own discipline. I can't help but wish one of those kids would just bite him back.  

3. Reach out to the parents in some way. I chose to call them. You could see a note if calling them is not an option. You could mail a note to their house or take it to the daycare for them to give to the parent.

4. When speak or writing to the bitten kids parent make sure to let them know that you are not okay. I explained to them that unfortunately we haven't been able to discipline the biting ourselves because he hasn't bitten around us. I did explain that it is not okay and that I felt mortified by what he had done. I apologized a million times. After talking to the mad mother she said "I really appreciate you reaching out to me because you have me feel much better". She started out angry and that phone call calmed her phone. The other mother was crazy nice but she also said she loved that I had called her. 

5. When Easter rolled around I made sure to bring really nice gifts to all the kids. I kinda thought of it as a "I'm really not a bad mom who lets their kids get by with stuff" so here is a nice gift to make you have positive thoughts about my sweet bitter. 

Any suggestions from mamas whose babies were biters? 

Mrs. Mama Can't Fight

Good parents try to shield their children from their adult relationship issues. My parents were so great at keeping their problems from us that as far as I knew they never fought.  Now as a parent myself, I appreciate that they gave us a sense of comfort and stability. Being able to contain issues that came up is no easy feat. I admire those skills. 

The flip side of that is we were never aware of the reality of what marriage looks like. I never saw them work through a problem as a married couple.

Would I have benefited from seeing them argue? What about hearing them compromise? Or is it the kids business at all? Were my parents right from shielding us? 

I can only give my perspective. I knew my parents loved each other. I also "knew" they never fought. Their protectiveness unfortunately left me with a distorted view of marriage. 

When Jeremy and I got married and we hit an inevitable rough spot I thought we were doomed because I truly believed that couples who fought were breaking up. I could have been spared a lot of anguish had I'd known that arguing is normal. I would go through periods of time where I believed my marriage was falling apart because we were fighting a lot and married couples in love don't fight.

With that being said, how would I have felt as a young child hearing and seeing my parents fight? Would I feel like my foundation wasn't steady? Or did they do me an injustice by not showing me that couples fight and how to work through problems?

So what do you think? 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Mrs. Mama Has a Bad Child

Don't let this smile fool you-this child is B. A. D. He is 18 months old and is starting to get vocal. He can say three things:

1. Stop

2. No no

3. Get down

He loves to test me on a daily basis. He'll do something he isn't suppose to do and while he is doing it he looks right at you with a devilish grin on his face. At only a year old there is only so much you can do when it comes to discipline. 

Jack is a daredevil. I enjoy taking him to the park but it is so nerve wracking. He is extremely brave which causes this mama to be overworked but he adores outside.

One little boy who is not a daredevil is my nephew Bennett. In this picture he is pointing to the slide and saying "that is a fall". He threw a fit but I pushed him down the slide anyways. He loved it so LaLa was super cool Aunt LaLa after that and he made me push him down the slide over and over again.

Another park outing. It really is so nice having a park within walking distance. He looks too cute but he is so bad. My mom said I acted just like him so maybe there is hope because I turned out okay if I say so myself. 

Right by our front door a baby squirrel has made his home. When I first noticed it I expected it to run away quickly but nope it stayed right there. He started following me around as I took out the trash. He then tried to follow me inside the house. We are now using the backdoor. I can't have a squirrel inside my house even if it is super cute. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Missing the Whoop

It's Saturday. There once was a time that I would have written that as "It's Saturday!!!". When you become that boring old adult your life takes a drastic turn. I use to spend Saturday nights going out with friends, listening to music, dancing, drinking, playing pool, and doing lots of laughing. 

Tonight I'll play with my son, eat supper, and go to bed early. I'm not saying I don't love my life but I will say that sometimes I do miss the whoop my life use to have in it. There was a thrill in not knowing what was going to happen that night and where we would end up. 

There is a nervous excitement in not knowing that your life could change by just meeting the right guy. When you have met the right guy there is no dreaming of what will be because you can roll over and see him next to you. Of course, new dreams emerge but they no longer just include you and so you must tread carefully. 

Truly not knowing what could be is exciting. Once you are in the nitty gritty of life it's less about dreaming and fantasy and more about reality. Reality just isn't as exciting. It has its comforts. Reality has a lot less whooping it up. 

When I feel this way, missing the whoop, I feel guilty. I don't want to come off as ungrateful for the stability I have in my life. My husband, job, home, and baby are my whole life. Without these things I would be lost. I can guarantee you that if I didn't have this life, and was living the life of a woohoo girl, I would miss the comfort that I have now. 

Although I can't go back to my old life, I can remember the great times I had and be grateful for those. For many women, they are unable to get to whoop it up like I did. I'm sure they wouldn't give up their lives for some crazy fun times because really what truly matters more is family. I just miss it sometimes and I think that is okay. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Am I the Only Mother Who...

Has went 3, okay 4, days without giving their baby a bath?

Has fed them sweets for supper just they will eat something?

Has screamed into a pillow?

Has forgot to pack a cup when going to a restaurant?

Has picked them up when you know they are just being bratty?

Has gave your baby a taste of something they don't like more than once just so you can see their face and take a picture?

Has rocked your baby to sleep after you have promised to stop?

Has given your baby a bath just to calm him calm because he loves to splish splash?

Has screamed too loud at your baby because you thought they were about to fall off the couch and then they end up screaming because you screamed?

Has fed your child mashed potatoes every night for a week because at least he will eat that?

Has cried to anyone who will listen that you are sucking at this mommy job?

Has let them run around naked because that booty is just too dang cute?

Has taken and shared way too many pictures because your baby is the cutest thing on Earth?

Has cleaned up snot with you shirt and caught throw up in your hand?

Has went to bed praying that your child sleeps through the night?

Has thought "I can't believe my child just did that"?

Has laughed like a teenage boy at your little ones toots?

Has woke them up because you simply missed them (will not make that mistake again)?

I really could go on and on and on but I will stop for today. Tell me I'm not alone and if I am, I'm good with it, because my sweet baby child makes my heart so happy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

1 Day=A Week

There is just something about May when you are an educator. My goodness gracious time slows down between the hours of 8 and 4. You can see the finish line but you feel like you are climbing uphill to get to it. Each day feels like a week. 

The kids are mentally done and so are the teachers. Everything is true crazy chaos. We literally are just trying to make it through. There is so much to get done to wrap up the year. All we want to do is run but we are glued to wanting to get paid. 

One thing that is helping me make it through is the new venture I mentioned the other day. Things are really going well. I started up a new blog just for locals in the area. I live in southeast Arkansas and there is no place online to go to read about events in the area nor a place to find out who has a business. Living in such a rural area, many people have business in their homes or set up booths. Many of them use Facebook as a way to advertise. My goal is to help promote their talents and giveaway items for people to try themselves. No matter what word of mouth is still the most powerful tool. 

Simply Southern is the name. I would love any feedback. Any ideas or suggestions would be great. You can check it out by clicking here

Monday, May 12, 2014

My Husband Can't Keep Surprises

Ever since I've known Jeremy he has never been able to keep surprises. If he does something nice he has to tell you right away. 

Soon after we started living together he cleaned the house top to bottom while I was at work. He couldn't deal with the wait and called me at work and told me. 

When I got off work this is what I walked in to see. Happy Mother's Day to me....2 days early. 

He just couldn't wait so I had Mother's Day on Friday.  

On the back of the locket it says "I love you to the moon and back". This is seriously the biggest box of chocolate I've ever seen. I think my husband isn't too worried about me trying to lose some weight. Yes, it is sitting on my bed. Eating chocolates in bed is a wonderful idea. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day. I did, just a little early. I love this little quirk about my husband. I love how excited he gets about doing nice things for me. I just think it's too cute. 

How My Mother's Day Went

My Mom loves the restaurant Copeland's. From where we live there are two within driving distance. You can go an hour and a half north or an hour an a half south to get to one. We decided to head south. 

We grabbed some road snacks and decided that when we got there we would do our shopping first and eat before we left town. We wanted to make sure we were good and hungry when we got there. 

The first store we decided to hit up was TJ Maxx. My God in heaven was it hot in there. We really wanted to just leave but the sales pushed us to stay. As soon as I saw this pillow I fell in love. We have been doing a little redecorating in the bedroom and I had to have it. In the buggy it went. 

Sorry for the crappy picture but I'm tired.

I also found my BFF another birthday gift and Jack a cute pair of pajamas. The other day Jeremy and I decided that we had to buy Jack some new pajamas because he is getting too big.

We finally got out of hell and headed to Target. Thankfully it was a little cooler in there. I found Jack a few more pair of pajamas, a new tank, and a pair of shorts. He also walked away with a hat because he actually kept it on his head while in the store. A new Thomas the Train movie made it into the buggy because they are only $5 and he LOVES some Thomas. I also found my BFF 2 other things she needs for her birthday (she and I go all out for each other on our birthdays). I would love to tell you what they are but she reads my blog. Sorry Brooke! 

While in TJ Maxx and Target, Jack acted a fool. While in the buggy he cried for me to hold him. After awhile I would give in and hold him but he would get heavy and I'd have to sit him back down. The crying would start back up. The cycle continued through TJ Maxx and Target. The last spot we hit up was alcohol. I think it was the frustration but I bought a box of wine. My mom bought a bottle of pre-made margaritas and some whipped vodka. She had never had whipped vodka, but I had, so on my recommendation she put it in the buggy. 

While I was checking out I sat Jack on the counter. My mom was getting the vodka out of the cart when Jack decided to stand up quickly. Whoosh! The whipped vodka hit the floor. Glass went everywhere and so did vodka. Oh the smell of whipped vodka surrounded us. My Mom's poor legs had vodka all over them (hello sticky!) and little shards of glass. 

Let me say the workers were wonderful and so kind. They cleaned up the mess and got her another bottle all with a smile on their faces. I appreciated the way they handled the situation. 

Finally, at 3:30, it was time to eat. We realized quickly that the parking lot was very full which we were surprised about because it was 3:30. We went ahead and went inside where we saw people waiting. They were having a buffet. I asked if we could still order off the menu. They said yes but that they had a limited menu and they handed it over. My Mom always orders the same thing and so do I. They had her favorite on the menu but not mine. I told my mom I was okay and would just get something else. When they told us there would be at least a 20 minute wait we decided to leave. There was no way Jack would have just sat there for 20 minutes. Plus, we were so thirsty so we decided to leave. Before we could make it out of the parking lot Jack was asleep. 

We were not about to wake that fussy child up so we drove through the Taco Bell drive-thru. We drove one and a half hours and ate at freaking Taco Bell. We ordered the XXL nachos and shared. 

To sum it up we drove all that way for 2 stores and some Taco Bell. I'm not mad though because I got to spend the day with my Mama and my baby. Next time, Jack will be staying at home and we'll have tons of more fun. Jack is not a good shopping partner. Dang boys!

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Song Recycled

As Jack and I rode home today in happy Friday afternoon spirits I turned the radio on and heard the familiar voice of Willie Nelson. I sang along and swayed in my seat doing my best to get Jack involved with no such luck. Next, a song came on that I don't hear too often, but when I hear it I have very happy feelings. The song is "Harper Valley PTA". If you aren't a country fan then you probably don't know the song but you should look it up to hear.

When I hear this song I immediately can picture my mom singing this song. She loves this song. Every time I've heard her sing it her voice sounded so happy. Thinking back I'm not sure if she was happy at the moment when the song came on or if the song just made her that happy. Whichever the case, I associate that song with my mom being really happy. Today when I heard "Harper Valley PTA" it was my child who got to see me look really happy as I sung along. 

I love the power of music and fate as they work together. Me turning on the radio at that time created a moment between generations. During the duration of the song my mind played happy memories of my mom singing that song. One day I can only hope that Jack will hear a song and have memories of me happily singing loudly in the car. 

What Are You Doing?

It's 2:20 am. Yep, that's right, AM. I'm up. Jack keeps waking up. I'm pretty sure his teeth are bothering him again. Those darn teeth. I feel so bad for babies. 

I have started numerous posts tonight but I couldn't seem to finish one. If you are a blogger then you know what I'm talking about. I ran across this "What Are You Doing?" post and decided it would be a perfect one to summarize life right now. 

Cooking: Nothing lately which so isn't me. I haven't had the inspiration to cook or even bake in a long while. I am starting to wonder if the desire is ever going to come back. 

Drinking: Lots of OJ because my potassium has been low.

Reading: Blogs. I haven't read a book in awhile. I have several on my wishlist though.

Wanting: So many things! To name a few: to lose weight, a pedicure, more energy, a vacation, and my hair done.

Looking: I'm looking forward to summer!

Playing: I've been breaking out the old cds and playing some good classic music.

Wasting: I waste too much time doing meaningless things.

Wishing: I wish for my Mom's knee replacement to go well.

Enjoying: Right now I am enjoying some quiet time and it is wonderful.

Waking: Although this is quiet time Jack keeps waking.

Liking: I am liking Chinese food again. 

Wondering: Will this surgery take care of this stomach pain?

Loving: Currently I am loving crunching on ice.

Hoping: I hope that I don't feel like crap tomorrow.

Listening: to the sound of Thomas the Train come through the baby monitor 

Needing: Some time to just catch up.

Smelling: I smell baby wipes.

Wearing: Purple and pink pajama pants and a black shirt. 

Following: I am following too much.

Noticing: I have been noticing that my husband has been doing more around the house. 

Knowing: There is a lot I don't know but what I do know is that there are amazing people in this world.

Feeling: I am frustrated that I didn't go to bed earlier. 

Bookmarking: I love to bookmark! I am bookmarking everything I want to come back and check out more of. 

Opening: Today I got home and on my doorstep was a box from Zulilly so I am opening that and the others that I am waiting on.

Giggling: I often giggle at myself. Today I was listening to a bad song and was blasting out to it. There I was driving my baby to daycare singing and dancing in the car having the best time. As I started to pull up I hit the power button and put my mom face on. The way I did it without thinking caught me and I couldn't help but giggle at myself. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

As a Mother I Feel Guilty About...

1. How much I look forward to him going to bed.

2. Not taking enough pictures.

3. Letting him watch too much tv.

4. Hating taking him outside. He loves it but he never stays in our yard and I do too much running around (I know I need it though).

5. Hating feeding Jack because every time he eats he throws everything he doesn't eat into the floor. I get so sick and tired of cleaning the floor, him, and the highchair every single time he eats. It gets frustrating. 

6. Wishing he were a girl sometimes.

7. Taking him to daycare.

8. Not reading to him enough.

9. Giving him too much junk food.

10. Not giving him enough discipline. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Something New For Me

I had an idea come to me in the night two days ago. It's too early to reveal here just yet since it's so new. Basically if it doesn't pan out then I don't want to look like a big fat failure. I'll be spending more time working on this new project so I may be a little absent around these parts from time to time but I will not abandon Mrs. Mama. I am so excited about this new venture! I pray it works out and I can tell you all about it. 

I wanted to share something sweet with y'all today. At our school the fifth graders do a Mother's Day program the Friday before Mother's Day. They put on a very sweet program complete with poetry and singing. Well some mothers suck and one in particular is refusing to go. I asked if she had to work but no, she just doesn't want to come. Her kid asked me to take her place. Melt my heart! I'm going to be a crying mess. I'm honored that he asked me to be his fill in mother. I'm sure that now I'm a mother I'll be even more emotional.

My table came in today and I put it together all by myself. Gangsta! 

I'm super excited about my new blogging area. I have got a few things I hope to do with the area. It's going to be my blogging and bill paying area. I've got to make sure that whatever additions I add they are safe from Jack's hands. He is into everything these days and I would hate to see my bills thrown around the living room like he does with our DVDs. 

Well I'm going to get back to my new project!