Obedient Little Rock Stars

Watch out, this might get lengthy. Yesterday I had my teeth cleaned after 13 years. It's funny how even though I'm 30 years old, when I got into that chair I reverted back to a child. The hygienist asks things like, "Do you brush? Floss?" etc. and I say, "Yes ma'am" and hope that she doesn't find anything in there that's been stuck between my teeth for over a decade. (FYI, I got rave reviews and was told I do a great job taking care of my teeth...although I do have three cavities.) ANYWAY, this is not the point.

This is the point: She was being kind and asked me what my family does together for fun. I was speechless. The only thing I could come up with that involves all of us doing the exact same thing at the exact same time is music. At home we never all play the same game or watch the same thing or even barely eat at the same time since Jimmy works at night now. So I told her we like to listen to music together in the car and that our kids are very opinionated at a very early age about what kind of music they like.

In the name of music, last night we all drove together to Goodwill to look for a cheap CD player. I like to give my kids music at night. I feel like it's a great opportunity for them to learn something. They're a captive audience. I've stopped playing music in Libby's room as much since Penelope was born. (I don't do it much when they're babies because I don't want them to be overstimulated.) Well, I took Libby's CD player (the only one in the house) out of her room one night after she had fallen asleep and let Jackson and Cash listen in their room while they were falling asleep. WELL, this caused quite an uproar and in an attempt to put them off I said maybe sometime when we went to Goodwill we could see if they had a CD player there. I thought they would forget about it but oh no, I was asked about it multiple times by Jackson and Libby when we could shop for a radio. So we did. But they didn't have one.

So today at Wal-Mart we bought a radio/CD player. They were out of the cheapest kind, but we bought the one step up because, well, for peace's sake I guess. On the way there Jimmy was watching Jackson enjoy the music through the rear view mirror. He looked at me and said, "We can try, but that kid's not going to be good for anything except being a rock star." Music around here is out of control. Jackson has it on all the time. And I get regular concert/dance shows daily. Tonight I was giving Penelope a bath and I overhear Jackson announce the members of their band and I hear, "And on keys, it's James Cash Alley!" And he decided he wanted a mow hawk today when I cut his hair. Then, he proceeded to tell me he wanted "yellow" (he meant bleached) hair, got out the yellow food coloring, and brought me a bowl, yellow food coloring, and a cup of water. Talk about focused. Monday, he posed with a guitar, made me take his picture, and told me it was for his album cover. (Yes, I'm aware he's holding it wrong. I couldn't correct him for fear we'd loose the moment. He worked really hard not to smile.)

Now all of this is cute and all, but what's got me scared is that my kids are going to turn into rock stars in the way of attitude as well. (Raising a kid in America, it's hard for them to not think they should get whatever they want whenever they want it.) And isn't this the attitude every parent is trying to lasso, reign in, and tie up for good? Kids can be so much like rock stars. They have to have certain kinds of food and drink. (Exactly WHEN they want it!) They expect someone else to pick up after them. They play hard and destroy your living space. And they never perform when and where you want them to. Really, they're just punks sometimes.

So this is my new quest. To tame the rock star. Beware kids. Be young, have fun, rock out. But leave your spoiled, sassy, selfish, punk attitudes on the road. 'Cause we don't put up wit dat 'round here!


Move that bus!

We have begun our house remodel. Actually its just two small walls. Here are some pics.



"Have Poop?"

Yesterday Cash stuck his index finger down the top of my pj pants and underwear, lifted them away from my body ever so slightly, looked at me with curious eyes and said, "Have Poop? Have Poop, Mom?" And although I should have launched into a potty training pep talk, explaining why I don't wear a diaper and why I don't have poop in my pants, I couldn't. I was so flabbergasted all I could do was say, "No, Cash. I don't have poop." But hey, thanks for asking, buddy.


Notes from the road

Well, we have returned from my grandmother's 90th birthday party in Midland, Arkansas. It was approximately 36 hours on the road, so we are tired and glad to be home, although Libby cried when I told her we had to leave. There was plenty of fun quality time with family.

We traveled alongside of my sister Susan and her family on the way up. Jackson was so excited I thought I was going to have to tie him down to the luggage rack and let him get a few bugs in his teeth to get him to turn down the excitement a notch or two. We stayed at a Hyatt Place in Baton Rouge, LA on the first night. We all decided it was the coolest hotel room ever and Penelope's pack n play fit IN the closet which scored major points with this mom.

Life on the road didn't really interest Cash and he took to screaming at the top of his lungs when he got bored. We tried to keep it at a minimum and finally on the last day of travel when we were only 4 hours from home, I said, "Let's just let him scream." And you know what? A two year old can scream for a long time, but not forever. Just in case you ever want to try it.

Here are some cute pics of Libby and Penelope on the road. They were good travelers. Over all, Jimmy and I got way more cranky than any of the children. Patience is a virtue! One I'm still trying to aquire...

On the morning of the second day on the road we both drove into a rest stop and took a bathroom break. We all got back in our vans and as we were on the on ramp Jackson says, "Mom, wasn't that cool? My cousins had to go to the bathroom at the exact same time as us!" I tried to explain that we were traveling together and that Libby had to potty so they followed us but he was so excited to pee at the same time as his cousins it didn't even take. Twice, he got to ride in their van and play game cube at the same time so basically, it was like heaven on earth for Jackson.

There was lots to do in Midland...um, not really. But we weren't bored. Two different people in town admitted that those in town for Mildred's birthday doubled their population, so you can imagine the places to go weren't many. But we played at the park, swam in my cousin Todd's pool, and some made a trek partway up Sugarloaf Mountain, Midland's main attraction. Jimmy can never quite remember the name of this mountain, and I like to hear the new names he comes up with. It's always something sort of close. My favorite I heard is "Butterloaf" and then later he moved to butterscotch...

The actual birthday party was Saturday afternoon. We all piled into the church basement and made Grandmother pose for way more than 90 photographs and I'm pretty sure my kids personally devoured every single after dinner mint available in the great state of Arkansas. My mom and her siblings, my aunt and uncle, put together a musical theme with lots of notes and such around the room. The invitations said "A Noteworthy Occasion...Mildred is 90!" and people were invited to leave a "note" or memory for Mildred to read later. Her children wrote 90 memories which were printed on notes circling the entire room.

This was the first time in a decade that all of my Grandmother's entire lineage was present. All her children, their spouses, all her grandchildren, their spouses, and every one of her 16 great-grandchildren were present. The only place we could think of to take a picture was in the church choir loft. It was fun, chaotic, and wonderful to be around such a strong family.

My grandmother is quite a lady. I hope I am doing as well as her at age 90. She is her own person and knows where she came from and where she's going. She likes to collect dolls. I took a picture of one whose hair she cut off. I heard her tell someone, "Isn't that the cutest doll? I thought she was just so cute, but she had the ugliest hair so I just cut it all off." And therein lies the rub. Grandmother didn't write the doll off, she just got rid of the ugly part and kept the rest. She saw something beautiful in spite of ratty hair. And who keeps a doll with no hair? Only Grandmother.

Sunday in church we all sang "Wonderful Grace of Jesus" per her request. I ended up standing next to her and I felt proud. I'm hoping I inherited some of her perseverance and strength. Those, coupled with that wonderful grace and I just might make it to 90 myself.