Beautiful Boy

We went to dinner last night, and then took Nick for a haircut. Great Clips, as you do. He patiently waited for his turn. Then, when it was his turn, he smiled and made small talk with the hair stylist.

He made small talk with the stylist.

For years, the same stylists would try to talk to him and he smiled at them with nothing to say. Or at least, without the ability, confidence, social skills to say anything. There has always been a lot going on inside, it just didn’t have a way out.

The stylist looked at me a couple times during the haircut and said “Does he ever get upset?” and “He is sweet down to his core.” and to him “You are my very favorite client.” and “You have made my whole day. We should all be more like you.”

The stylist next to her poked her head over and said “He smiled the whole time, didn’t he? I have never seen him not smiling.”

Sometimes a simple haircut can make a mom’s day too.

With his sister away with a friend for the weekend, he is enjoying his special time. We had donuts for breakfast and have already made cookies and played foosball.

He asked if I was letting him catch up to me in foosball. The truth? Nope. He loves foosball and is getting better and better every day. He’ll be beating me soon enough, so I’m taking all the wins I can right now. And when he beats me, he’ll know it was because he won, fair and square.

We’re honest with each other like that. At the end of the game, for a split second he might be sad that he lost, but faster than you can even realize it, he’s happy that I won. Because he loves me and he wants me to win everything. He roots for everyone before himself.

As we were making the cookies he started singing “Beautiful Boy” quietly to himself. I didn’t even know he knew that song but I joined right in singing with him. He smiled even bigger.

I asked him where he learned the song. It’s from a movie he likes, so no mom points for introducing him to the greats. We sang it together once and then he started changing the words to be Beautiful Fiona and Beautiful LuLu. He didn’t want to be the center of attention.

But he is the center of my attention. Even when I’m not doing a great job of showing him that. So I grabbed him, and we danced a little, and sang some more.

Me and my Beautiful Boy. 


New home!

I started this blog in July of 2008 the day after I found out what a  blog was from my lovely mama writer friends. They weren’t even friends then, just a random group of women who happened to get together to talk about and share writing.

I’m so happy I went to that first meeting.

I kind of can’t imagine my life had I not gone. Would I have this blog? Well, it wouldn’t be this blog. Maybe I would have caught on eventually, but it wouldn’t be this blog.

I wouldn’t be a part of a fabulous group of talented writers. They wouldn’t be some of my very best friends. I wouldn’t know the Nashville Women Who Blog. I wouldn’t have gone to Blissdom and Type-A Con. I wouldn’t have my freelance writing job with the Savvy Source.

Wow. *sniff* I’m getting all sentimental here.

What I want to share with you today, is that I have a brand new home. I have pulled up my big girl pants and with the help of the fabulous Jennifer from Bella Grafia I am now located at (same name, new site. Tricky, no?) I’m over at now with all the big kids. I’d love for you to check it out. We’re still tinkering around a bit, but that’s where you can find me from now on.

If you’re a subscriber, I’m pretty sure you’ll need to subscribe over at the new digs. You can sign up for posts to come directly to your inbox so you never miss a word of my all important musings, or add me to your reader.

I appreciate you all. Really, truly, I do.

Game On!

I posted on Facebook yesterday that I was plowing my way through all the candy in our house (a lot) before starting my diet on Tuesday. A friend mentioned an article that says the most successful dieters don’t tell others that they are on a diet.

The funny thing is I typed out that status and paused. I wasn’t sure I wanted to “announce” a diet. I hate dieting and truthfully, have only had to think about dieting for the last 10 years of my life.

So why, you ask, are you writing a whole post about dieting? Well, I reply, I may have found my dieting niche. I certainly hope so.

The Game On! Diet  has a lot of what other diets have – being aware of calories (not necessarily counting them unless you want to), adding exercise, cutting out sugar, yada, yada.

But it also has a 4 week time frame. I like that. A lot.

It also is a competition. I like that too. A lot.

You basically team up with a friend or two and take on another couple of friends. You keep score of a lot of things – it looks scary at first, but then it really does begin to make sense. And you get to talk trash to the other team. Ha. I might be good at this. And of course, encourage your own teammates.

The book was written by Krista Vernoff (executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy) and Az Ferguson. Krista is f-u-n-n-y. I laughed out loud many times reading the book. Did you catch that? I laughed out loud reading a diet book.

In addition to the good foods in, bad foods gone, no soda (not a biggie for me), no alcohol, you also get points for 7 hours of sleep a night, implementing a good habit (of your choice) and quitting a bad habit (of your choice), and drinking a ton of water (3 liters a day – even for a water drinker like me, that’s a LOT of water.)

It’s really a lifestyle change more that a diet but if I said I was eating all the candy in my house before my life style change on Tuesday, well, it just doesn’t sound the same. Besides, it’s a four-week lifestyle change. After that I get to re-evaluate.

The best part? Are you still with me? (Or did I lose you at no soda and no alcohol?) You get a cheat day. One day a week of eating and drinking whatever you want (except soda. There’s a whole chapter on why soda is the devil.) And one extra meal not on your cheat day to eat whatever you want. Plus 100 calories a day of whatever you want. So I still get to have one lovely piece of chocolate every day.

See? See! A diet that includes competition, trash talk, chocolate and sleep. YeeeeHawww!

I’ll let you know how I do. And hopefully I didn’t just jinx myself even more by talking about it.

Oh, and if anyone is interested in joining – let me know!

(P.S. I received squat for writing this. I sound like an ad, but it’s just me, drinking the kool-aid. Well, not kool-aid, because that has a lot of sugar in it, but you know what I mean. The lovely people of Game On! have never heard of me.)

Queen of best intentions

I have the best intentions of playing that game right after dinner, and kicking the ball in the backyard right after laundry, and reading an extra story when we wake up, and practicing handwriting in a fun way.

I have the best intentions.

“Let me finish this work on the computer and then we can do that.”

“This will only take me ten more minutes and then I can play with you.”

I believe children need a lot of unstructured play. They need to dig in the mud and create secret forts with rules only known to them. They need to figure out how to entertain themselves. They need to create games and use their imaginations.

But they also need to know how valued they are.

Of all the gifts the children received from friends and family for Christmas and Nick’s birthday, the gift they wanted most was time. Our time. Time spent with both of the them and time spent one on one.

I ran across a quote in a post by Vodkamom talking about resolutions with her kindergarten class. They were talking about resolutions as being promises and one child said “I know. It’s like when you go to bed, and someone promises they will play with you in the morning, but then the morning comes and they don’t, it’s like breaking a promise!”


I have the best intentions.

I seem to bump whatever my best intention is because there is no apparent deadline, no thing to cross off my to do list. But their needs are just as important as whatever is on my to-do list. Spending the first part of the morning together, being together, starts us off in the right mindset. Then they can wander off to be children doing their children things while I occupy myself as mom/writer/business owner with a clear mind because the most important thing I needed to do that morning is already done.

End of December

It’s pretty bad when you can’t even remember your password to write a post. Ahem. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Nick is now 5. Five. Wow. In a way it seems like he’s been 5 for a while, but in other ways, it can still sneak up on you. If he’s five, then Maggie is 7 1/2. Seven and a half is almost 8. I’m not sure I like where this is heading. I am trying to not worry about the teenage years until they are, you know, teenagers. (So my boy turns 5 and I’m talking about teenagers. I know… I know…)

Nick also is now tonsil and adenoid free. He’s breathing better, sleeping better, eating better and this week I can say for sure it was the right call. Actually as soon as the surgeon described the adenoids I knew it was the right call, but there’s that moment when your child wakes up from anesthesia that makes you wonder why you let these monsters touch your sweet baby, let alone carve part of their bodies out. He’s beyond all that, and was actually a pretty easy going patient. I could tell the day he felt better when he started messing with the cats again.

(P.S. for anyone who is having a tonsillectomy – 10 day recovery period. No lie. Ten days.)

And now we sit on the precipice of a new year – I’m a resolution maker. I am. Although I make resolutions just about every day, so it’s not really anything different for me. In late December, I usually write them down in a note on my phone and some years I look at the last year’s note and go with those. Other years, it’s a whole new list.

Some things I’m going to do this year (not resolutions, more goals):

take up knitting again, successfully this time.

launch a new website, with two redesigns on my current sites

pay off my super-duper new commercial embroidery machine (don’t worry, you’ll be hearing plenty about that soon.)

get back to more personal writing and documenting of our lives.

What about you? Do you make resolutions? Goals? Anything new you want to tackle in 2012?

Monday morning

The weather today is beautiful. Warm, breezy, more than one could hope for in mid-November. But tonight, there will be rain. And rain always means the potential for water in our basement.

We are learning to be proactive. (Sometimes being an adult stinks.)

Mike mentioned he needed to blow the leaves out of the basement stairwell (because they clog the french drain, causing water to end up in our basement.) But he had a wicked 24-hour virus yesterday, so I told him I would take care of it today.

“I can do it.”

“You will?” (sounding a little more surprised than I thought was appropriate.)



After he left, I headed out to the shed in my white t-shirt and skirt I had already donned for the day because this wasn’t really yard work, it was just a quick leaf removal. Kind of like vacuuming. Easy peasy.

After I kvetched over getting to the leaf blower that was hung by someone very tall over the mower that I couldn’t reach over, and finally got it down, I realized by the cobwebs on it that I had in fact struggled to get the old, non-working, why-do-we-still-have-this leaf blower.

I turned to see the new-this-one-works leaf blower right behind me on the floor. In pieces. It’s supposed to be in pieces, I assume, but I do not possess leaf blower assembly without directions abilities. Besides, it was kind of dirty, and I was wearing a white shirt. Hmpf.

Plan B – the wet/dry vac was handy so I grabbed that, found an extension cord and began sucking up the leaves that way. About the time I thought I might just be able to scoop a bunch up faster with my hands, I saw the biggest (hopefully dead) spider I have ever seen and decided a slow suck of leaves with the machine was better than coming anywhere close to touching such a beast.

Then it was time to empty the dry vac and I couldn’t get the stupid lid off which just frustrated me to no end. I finally got it to come off, emptied the bucket (eww) (thinking a self-cleaning wet/dry vac would be the invention of the year), and headed back for the second half. About this time, I looked around to make sure no one was watching me, because graceful I wasn’t.

I began to think that maybe a dry vac wasn’t really designed for the bulk of leaves, but leaves are light and fluffy. It’s a wet/dry vac. It can handle water. What’s a few leaves?

I was almost finished when I lost suction again. I emptied it again and put it back together, but still had no suction.

I had already run across the brother spider to the first spider and was pretty sure at least one of them was still stuck in the hose part of the vacuum. I imagined him fighting the air flow and crawling his way back out to get his revenge and eat my face off for sucking him up a hose.

So I found a stick and shoved it in the hose to try to unclog it. I forced a clog into the middle of the hose. Um, great. So then I found a longer stick and shoved it in the hose.

At this point I checked again to be sure no one was videoing this disaster because I’m sure I looked like a grade A idiot.

The longer stick was about a foot too short. So I used the shorter one to keep shoving the longer one through to the other end.

Aaannnnd got the long stick stuck in the middle of the hose.

Of course I did.

Now I’m flailing the hose around like a snake trying to get the clog, the stick, anything but the spiders out of the hose.

I used the small stick from the other end to shove the large stick back out. Unplugged everything and put it back in the garage. I grabbed the rest of the leaves with my hands, spiders or not, and finished my easy little project. Heh.

The stairs look good. Hope the basement stays dry. Lesson for the day: Don’t use a wet/dry vac to suck up leaves unless you have a super long stick that can clean out the clog and/or have your husband assemble the leaf blower before he leaves for work.


Feeling a little chatty today. Ahem.

I took Nick to Home Depot yesterday to buy a 2×4 to use as a balance beam. I got a chance to see some of the PT he does at school and much of it are things that we could easily be practicing at home, assuming I have them on a to-do list to cross off.

Our 2×4 is nowhere near as nice as the school’s but ours was only $2.30. The school’s might actually be a 3×3, but I’m calling it close enough.

Anyway, Nick was very happy with our new purchase and apparently felt a certain amount of ownership. Maggie came home from school and a melee ensued over the 2×4 piece of lumber on our living room floor.

They took turns. Only because an adult was standing there making sure no one took a 2×4 to the head.

Today, minutes after Maggie got home from school, I came into the living room to see Nick stretched out (the boy is l-o-n-g) on the 2×4.

“Are you lying on that so Maggie can’t get on it?”

“Yes. It’s mine.”

At least he’s honest.

I guarantee you if I had bought two of them, no one would want to use either of them.