If you just sprinkle in a few (okay more than a few) links with social commentary attached, a bunch of “My babies are sick, this sucks” posts (usually followed by “OMYGAWD I’m sick now” posts), you pretty much have the past year in our lives. While the past year has been crazy–it has been crazy in a positive way, and I really hope that this is the last “yearly” update I ever need to post. I want to let ya’ll back into our *somewhat* daily lives. AND since I totally bombed on keeping those written journals for the girls–I’ll Doogie Howser it.
Without further adieu…
June 18th: “Mama! After America’s birthday, then it will be MY birthday!” Sophia is very excited for July.
June 27th: While I am proud that my girls are so hygienic, I really hate stepping in puddles on the bathroom floor, or tonight’s newest fun times: toothpaste. Bathwater, I get…But toothpaste?? And then one needs to ask themselves: if they did, indeed, get toothpaste on the floor, how did they miss seeing it? And if they didn’t miss it, WHY didn’t they clean it up? Are they just evil geniuses plotting my demise, one toothpaste covered foot at a time?
June 28th: After putting on a jumpsuit, Olivia grabs the straps, looks at me and says “I don’t think I can wear this to school, because it’s got these…noodle straps.” The cuteness….kills.
(Later that night): Typical night in our geeky family includes conversations on such topics: wormholes (so…it’s just a theory, mama?), algebraic formulas (“x+4= what mama?” “Well, it depends on what x equals. Don’t worry, you’ll learn all the formulas soon enough”) and arguing over Green Lantern and his powers. Ya’ll are SO jealous, amirite?
June 30th: Introducing my girls to a childhood favorite: The Goonies & having a living room picnic. The little things!
July 7th: “Hello, por favor sounds so much better than Hello, please” –Sophia, who never followed up with why someone would need to say please after hello in any language.
July 9th: This morning, Sophia asked for cinnamon toast for breakfast. After realizing I had no butter, I told her I couldn’t make it. She looks at me and says “that’s ok mama, you can just make me French toast.”
Well played little girl, well played.
(later): Olivia has been playing her guitar this afternoon, making up songs…Sophia goes to sit next to her and Olivia stops playing and says “No Sophia, not now…I’m not ready for an audience yet.”
(even later): While eating spaghetti, Sophia decided she was “eating grubs”.
Sophia: “I made up a song: “eating grubs, eating grubs, I am eating grubs”
Olivia: “I made up a song too: ‘no singing at the table, no singing at the table’.”
I decided not to point out the irony.
July 11th: I have lived in California for 14 years, and still have my Southern accent–albeit not as thick as it was when I was a kid, it’s still there and noticeable. Tonight, after a marathon phone conversation with my mom, the girls wouldn’t stop laughing at me. “Mama you sound like MeMe!” It’s true, I could give you a toothache with this drawl right now
July 12th: Fun: a trip to Trader Joe’s where we fill our cart with fun stuff. Not fun: having to re-shelve an entire cart of groceries when you realize your wallet is not in your purse. Sometimes, you just gotta laugh.
(later): Overheard while at McDonald’s playplace: Olivia (to a little girl):”My sister is a princess, but I am a mathematical genius scientist…but I’m not supposed to brag…but I’m definitely not average.” Kinda proud Olivia has found her voice, just gotta work on being humble.
July 14th: Looking through old family photos, Sophia comes across one of her dad wearing a “WTF?” t-shirt.
Sophia: “What’s that mean? Whaa-ttuu–fff?”
Mama: “Those are initials, not a word.”
Olivia: “Um, what does it stand for? White Turtle Farts?”
Mama: “Yes…yes it does…”
(I went on to explain that it was something big kids would say, and not for little girls’ vocabularies).
July 15th: Talking to the girls’ wonderful therapist about sleep training to halt Sophia’s middle of the night journeys into my bed, she suggested I put a bell on my doorknob.
Me: “That’s an excellent idea, going to do that tonight!”
Sophia: (whispering to me) “Mama, what if I hold the bell when I open the door, so it doesn’t ring?”
Seriously people–hands full.
July 16th: 5 years ago today, Sophia Madeline came into the world, knowing what she wanted, and she has not been afraid to let the world know since then. Spunky, stubborn, sweet, silly, smart, sometimes shy and sometimes sneaky, with an incredible sense of style, Sophia never fails to make me laugh. She is full of surprises, and every day I thank the universe that she is my girl. Happy Birthday my SophieMad, my Jeckle, my Cletus, my Clyde, my sunshine…I love you to the moon…and back.
July 25th: The girls are now filming each other making “Art Shows” where they teach “kids” how to draw stuff. Never a dull moment.
(later): Overheard while girls are taking a bath together:
Olivia: “Extra, Extra, here is the news!”
Sophia: *unintelligible mumbling*
Olivia: “NO Sophia! You need to ask me a question that only smart people would know!”
Hmm…guess I need to teach Olivia about the Lowest Common Denominator.
August 2nd: Amazing how having your kids ask you to play in the public pool with them makes you lose your self-consciousness of being seen in your swimsuit.
August 4th: While resetting my router today, Staas (Olivia’s friend and my adopted son came over to try to supervise and proceeds to attempt to insert his router resetting wisdom.
M: “Staas, do you know how old I am?”
I couldn’t even finish my thought after that.
August 13th: (In reference to a link I posted about Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”) The girls think the lyrics are “we’re up for a Mexican Monkey”
This made my morning. Love this song!
S: “I want a little brother.”
M: “Well, at the moment, I have no way of making that happen, but if one day, I meet a nice man who I love, and who loves me, you and Olivia, maybe you will have a little brother.”
S: “But what if you don’t have a boy?”
M: “Well, maybe I will meet someone who already has a little boy.”
S: (laughing hysterically) “WHY would you marry someone who already has a little boy??”
M: “Why would someone marry me, who already has little girls?”
S: (Takes a minute) “OH!! I get it!”
August 20th: Overheard at breakfast:
S: “I don’t know if you can do that.”
O: “Sure I can, it’s easy as pie!”
S: “You don’t even know how to make pie.”
O: (slightly exasperated) “It’s just something people say, Sophia.”
S: “You mean it’s an expression?”
O: (sighs) YES.
O: “So…does an ‘F’ stand for ‘Failure’?
M: “An ‘F’ is a failing grade but I don’t think the ‘F’ stands for “Fail”.
S: “I’ll bet a ‘D’ stands for “Double Loser”.
September 1st: Olivia and Sophia are playing LIFE.
Sophia (running into my room): “MAMA, I have $200,000!!!”
M: “Wow, that’s A LOT of money, much much more money than mama has!”
S (turns to walk out, stops, looks at me very sympathetically): “Well…mama, it’s not real money.”
S: “Back in the old days, before TV, if people wanted to get the news, they read the newspaper.”
M: “Yes–some people still do.”
O: “Yeah, newspapers are for people who don’t know about the internet.”
(Journalism Major) Mom FAIL.
O: “Sometimes I want to throw stuff at people for no reason…”
M: (laughing) “What? Why?”
O: “I said for no reason!”
I can’t stop laughing…also, I may need to email the child’s therapist.
September 13th: (after watching Space Jam)
“Bugs Bunny is really clever.” Astute as always, Olivia
September 14th: “I’m just gonna have some ‘me’ time in my room…if you need me you can knock on my door.” –Sophia (why doesn’t that work for me?)
(later): Sophia came in my room, underwear only and started dancing. “Can you video me?” So…I did…after she was done I asked her go to get dressed.
S: “Oh no…don’t send that video to anyone! I was only in my panties!”
It’s always nice to have blackmail fodder on your kids…or is that just me?
(even later): While watching ET:
O: “Mama this music sounds like Star Wars music!”
M: “That’s because the same guy did the music for ET & Star Wars.”
I then proceeded to blow her little mind with John Williams’ résumé. I love that she recognized it!
O: “I don’t like John, I was just following him around so I could annoy him.”
M: “Why would you do that?”
O: “I just like to annoy boys.”
Today we celebrate my oldest, beautiful brown-eyed girl. Happy 7th Birthday Olivia Dawn–my sweet, messy, adorable, witty, intelligent, sensitive, compassionate, funny, inquisitive, studious, enigma of a child. You amaze me daily, keep me on my toes and make me smarter. Never stop being you–my absent-minded professor, my Cletus, my Clyde, my LivieDawn–You are a fantastic big sister and daughter–I am the luckiest mama ever and so blessed to have been given the chance to show you the world, and to see it again through your beautiful brown eyes. May all your experiments, potions and inventions in life teach you something new.
Bad: scratching the mess out of your car…Good: spending 2.5 hours being adored by a gaggle of Kindergarteners & realizing it IS all good. Thanks Ms. H for allowing me into your awesome classroom.
I’m finally getting Olivia to start her Thank-You cards for her birthday gifts. Her honesty is refreshingly funny: “Thank you for the *insert gift here*-I haven’t opened it yet, but I know it will be fun.”
S: “I’m famous, yo!”
M: “Um…where did you learn that from?”
M: “You’re not in trouble, I just want to know.”
S: “Jessie…I think”
So, after having a slight heart attack that my child had seen Breaking Bad without my knowledge, I remembered they loved the Disney show “Jessie”.
S: “Can Santa read minds?”
M: “Um…why do you ask?”
S: “Just in case…”
October 30th: No, YOU just bought dog vampire capes to re-purpose for your children’s Halloween costumes.
November 2nd: Sophia was reading her “Silly Spooky Halloween Book” she made in class to me and she looks at the bottom of the book & sees the copyright. “Hey, Ms. H has a BLOG!”
Too smart, that one…too smart.
November 18th: Parent/teacher conferences today–Bursting with pride that Olivia is reading at about a 5th grade level (with spectacular comprehension) and has excellent math skills. Sophia had as close to perfect a report card that she is allowed in Kindergarten. I am so incredibly happy with the amazing public school education they are getting!
M: (after seeing Sophia’s new doll tucked into her bed) “wow, you are such a good dolly mama!”
S: “that’s because I was trained by the best mom in the world!”
If you need me, I’ll be in a puddle…
I wrote this last year, and while I’ve amended it slightly, I think it is still very appropriate:
Today and every day, I am thankful for this life. I am thankful for every moment I have been given. I am thankful for every single bump, bruise, failure and triumph of my past, because it has brought me to this point, and even when I am sad…I have happiness. I am thankful for the lowest points, because without them, the highest wouldn’t have been so high. I am thankful for the two beautiful, healthy, wonderful children I have been blessed with raising, even as I do it alone. I am thankful for every single person who has been in my life, because they have all taught me something, whether they knew it or not. I am thankful for my friends, who have helped me through the darkest of my hours, and have forgiven me for not being as good a friend as I want to be because of it. I am thankful for my extended family, for the family I never knew I had. I am thankful for being a little naive, for having a pure heart, for trusting, and for not allowing the past 2 years make my heart hard. I am thankful for new love, something I never thought I would find, the magnitude of which is still being discovered. I am thankful for being knocked down, as it has shown me the strength in myself others had seen, but I could never grasp. As Maya Angelou wrote, more eloquently than I would ever: “I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now”.
Happy Thanksgiving, to you and yours, love Natalie, Olivia, & Sophia
Step 1: Learn how to sew 18 inch (ie: American Girl Doll) sized clothes.
Step 2: Open an etsy shop.
Step 3: PROFIT
So…provided I pass a background check, I will have my (part time) childhood dream job–Elementary School Librarian (for the girls’ school!!!). I can’t wait to get started!! Thank you to everyone rooting for me & those who told me to apply. Love you all!
Having as much (if not more) trouble as the girls weeding out toys. Dang sentimental heart.
(later while waiting for Santa): Now I know what Ralphie felt like when he saw the long ass line to see Santa…
January 11th: Introducing the girls to Gummi Bears. You know you’re jealous…(aaannd now the theme song is stuck in your head too).
S: “Mama, can I be your super secret spy and when they (meaning Olivia & Staas) are doing something they shouldn’t, I will come and tell you?”
M: “How about…no…if they are doing something dangerous, of course come tell me, but no spying necessary.”
What are the chances she will agree to be a super secret spy when her sister is like…16?
March 7th: I once thought he was my future, but today I signed my name to keep him in my past…I am amazed at how far I have come in almost 3 years. I am thankful for my friends, my family, my amazing girls & my fantastic future–who helps heal me daily. Life is a roller coaster; there will be ups & downs; but I am now prepared to hold on for the ride.
March 20th: Sophia’s reading level was tested today and she is reading and comprehending at a third grade level. WHOA.
C: (after the kids have gotten out of bed a few times for various stall-tactic reasons) “we should wake them up in the middle of the night every 20 minutes; ‘I can’t sleep’ or ‘Natalie won’t stop looking at me’ etc…think they will get the hint?
Me: “you’re new to this parenting thing, huh?”
S (as we are walking on the sidewalk back to the car): “whew, I have a hard time walking up steep hills!”
M: “What are you talking about? This is a sidewalk! It MAYBE has a slight incline.”
S (not skipping a beat): “I have a hard time with those too.”
May 22nd: Unbeknownst to me, Olivia has been playing WWF (Words With Friends) under my account, so if you have played against me in recent months–that was Olivia
June 8th: Yesterday, Sophia got bit by a big ole fire ant. As I was attending to her, I said “well you’re a real southern girl now!” Through tears she said “I got bit on the other foot too, so I’m really really southern now, right?” I laughed & nodded. She looked at me & shook her head: “I don’t want to be really really southern, mama.” Bless her.
July 5th: The girls asked for a cookie from last night’s party…
S: “What if you said we could have all these cookies?”
M: “Well, I wouldn’t be a very good mom–you would get a tummy ache.”
O: “You would be a nice mom, but not a very good one.”
I’m glad that distinction is being recognized early on…