The Heat is ON

You know it's hot when you break into a sweat just stepping outside to take out the trash. We have slipped into full summer mode here in the Tallahassee. I'm trying to deny that the heat has reared it's ugly head but it has and it's given meaning to the very expression "ugly head". I've been doing morning VBS with the kids this week so when we get back at 12:30 I literally vow not to leave the haven of air conditioning for the rest of the day. I've considered trying to pretend it doesn't exist and become a hermit for the next three months, not even venturing out to the grocery stores...living on whatever I can find in the depths of my pantry and freezer. (Don't think I haven't considered trying this on many occasions...not just when it's hot...trips to the grocery store can get pretty dreadful.) And then I think about how the heat will still win the war because my electric bill will surely show the constant AC use. But then...

My inner cheerleader steps in and chides me for being such a whimp*. Be aggressive! B-E Aggressive! B-E A-G-G-R...well, I can't type all that out, that's just a little too aggressive. Anyway, my inner voice says, "Julie, stop being such a whiner! Think about the Tallahassee Indians! (I don't know exactly what they're called but I'm too hot to look it up) They settled here so that you could one day enjoy living in such a beautiful town! They did not have air conditioning! And they had to kill their food! And plant seeds and weave stuff!" And then I think how fortunate that I didn't live then because I would not want to go around half naked with a baby hanging off my boob. Do you see what the heat does to me? It makes me crazy in the head!

And let me tell you something else. I think another reason it makes me crazy is because it doesn't get dark until like 9:30. When you've been with crazy kids in the heat all day you just want the cover of darkness. Please, can we just get a little Truman Show action around here and have the sun set at the bedtime of the Alley's house? However early that might be? Because I don't need daylight after bedtime. It's not like I'm going anywhere. It's not like I want to anyway since I become a hot mess of mosquito bites if I step out onto the front porch for more than like five seconds. Here I go complaining again. Where's my inner cheerleader now to stop my whining? Oh wait, she must have forgot her water bottle and passed out from heat exhaustion. Funny, her outfit looks very similar to those in my Native American daydreams.

I stand by my spelling of whimp. Spell check wants me to spell it w-i-m-p. But if whimper is spelled with an h, don't you think whimp should be too? If the word ginormous can be put into the dictionary, I can spell whimp however I want.


Happy 5th Bday Libby!

So, Libby turned 5 today and we had quite the outing to the mall so she could spend $10 of birthday money from my grandmother at Build-A-Bear Workshop. (She has been waiting days to give her bear a bath because she touched some mac n cheese a few weeks ago.) Then on to Chick-Fil-A where Libby got to get a shake to share with her brothers. The day started out though with Jackson impaling the side of his ankle with a toothpick. I was standing at the sink and he was just walking behind me and suddenly screamed in pain and I looked down to see quite a large line of blood pouring down his foot. I finished what I was doing (because blood, of course, has become no reason for alarm unless it is shooting across the room from someones jugular or in the near vicinity of my semi-new couch) and bent down to ask him what happened. He said a toothpick went into his foot. Like, he was just walking across the kitchen and a random toothpick on the floor assaulted him. I don't know how it could have happened but I believe him and plan to keep a closer eye on my toothpicks. After just watching part of Transformers with Jimmy I am wondering if maybe my toothpicks are robotic. Meanwhile, Jackson has quite the puncture wound and wouldn't put any weight on his foot when we got back from the mall. Where was my phone answerer and personal assistant? Jackson was asking me to get things for him. Whoa, buddy, not so fast.

The picture at the top is from this past weekend when we had a small party with my parents and sister's family. (I made a chocolate cake for the first time and I think it probably weighed more than Libby) The below pictures are lessons in self-control. My nephew Lincoln obviously wanted to help Libby blow out her candles but knew he may not be able to trust himself to refrain from helping so he went with the hands over your mouth technique. Libby also knew she had to wait until the song was over so went with the same technique to wait it out. I should have implemented the same technique at nap time today when I said in a not so nice voice to Libby, "I don't care if it's your birthday, I will spank your bottom if you scream again!" Note to self: If you get upset at your kids, place hands over mouth and sing Happy Birthday until your horns retract and your eyes go back into your head. Otherwise, you will look like Optimus Mom and your children will writhe in fear. Well, then. Happy Birthday Libby!

Thanks to my bro-in-law Willie for capturing this!


One, Three, Five, Seven

Libby's 5th birthday is this week. When she turns five, I'll be into the three months out of the year when my kids are two years apart in age. So I'll have a 1, 3, 5, and 7 year old. This is what these odd numbers are like these days...

1... (19 months)
Penelope is definitely not getting any dumber, uglier, or slower. Quite the opposite. She is making her way as a smart, mothering little girl who uses her cuteness to change any harsh looks directed her way. She loves to be sung to (her faves are Bob the Builder and Jesus loves me) and to snuggle with her blankets. Last week she picked and ate her own blackberries adjacent to the park we go to a lot. She was so cute nestled into a bush just picking and eating away. And that night I was amazed again at small kids colon activity when I was given her own recipe of quite a few smooshed and whole blackberries in her diaper. So everything is quite on schedule with her. Oh, and she loves to run around the house naked which is always fun to watch.

When I think about Cash these days I think about how he pees everywhere...in the yard, off the back deck into the yard, on the front tire of our van (he makes sure he gets it in the hole so he can see the steam come off whatever hot car part his pee is touching). And after he sits on the potty inside, he runs around naked too. Lots of nakedness from Cash. He can ppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,p ,puieasxd Oh, he can do the above--he typed this while I was away from the computer for a few minutes. This pretty much sums it up. Mischievous and sneaky. Oh, and he seems to say everything as if he is speaking through clenched teeth. Like, "Doh do dat Wibby!"/ that was him. / He thinks it's hil4larious. Typing numbe1rs 0while I'm at the computer. So funny, Cash.

Libby has become quite the bookworm. She has begun reading at an early age and reads whatever she can get her hands on. Today I was reading out loud to her and she began reading another book simultaneously and I had to stop her so I wouldn't be wasting my time. Although, honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if she could listen to a story and read a story at the same time. She is pretty with it. And very imaginative. She is always telling me stories and explaining drawings and I feel like a dummy because on a scale of one to ten she makes me feel like my imagination is a 2. And the only problems I have with her losing her temper and being unkind is when Cash won't pretend the way she wants. A few days ago she whacked him with a mirror because he wasn't doing the right thing with a plastic dog. Heaven forbid he places the dog on the wrong pretend bed. Don't get in the way of Libby's imagination or you will pay!

Ah, Jackson. Where to begin? He's Jackson. Full of life. To the brim. Questions galore and random facial expressions by the thousands. And fun to be with. I was doing dishes the other day and he walked up with a big folder and started fanning me with it, chanting, "You're the royal queen..." Last week he asked me if I had any ideas of how he could get to Hollywood? He said we could keep in touch by Facebook, Gtalk, letters, phone, and email. When I asked him why he wanted to go to Hollywood he said, "Because they treat you really nice, there's lots of fun things to do, and they have really good food." One night last week, I came in his bedroom to tuck him in and he was waiting for me, standing in a chair in his underwear, arms stretched over his head, and as soon as I came in he yelled, "I'm startastic!" I have no idea what he thinks this means, but that's exactly what Jackson is. Startastic.


This weekend we were out of town (again!) to my parents because my sis and family were there and we do not often miss an opportunity to hang with cousins. Jackson and my sister's three boys had quite a few crazy tube rides from their Pop-Pop. I went once with the camera to try and get a few pictures. It is not easy, as the boat is bumping like crazy too and trying to keep the camera from giving me a black eye was my main concern. Libby and I even went on a girly, no big bumps, slow tube ride. I like to go on crazy rides too, it's just hard for me to put myself in the hands of my dad behind the wheel of a ski boat. I've lost my innocence and tend to think of the ibuprofen I'll be downing in the morning. I totally trust my dad to take care of me, but he usually has quite a bit of fun throwing me around first. But it really is a lot of fun.