Showing posts from 2014

A name

I asked Husband what he thought about naming his son Edward Columbus. Edward after your father and Columbus after your uncle who died fighting for our country. Two great men who did amazing things with their life. One returned home to start a family; the other- without whom your parents would not have dated. While the life of Columbus was cut short, he left a legacy that we see today in this house. 
Husband said no.
I always knew the name he wanted, but wanted to investigate all options before committing. 
I asked Husband about Henry Thomas- part of your namesake. Henry has a lot of fight in him and the name goes back five generations your family. Henry Thomas was a faithful man of God, devoted father, and astute businessman- all qualities we hope for in our son. 
Husband said no.
Stretching to the other side, I asked about Lynwood Raiford- Lynwood after your father-in-law and Raiford after his father. Another fine example of two great men. Men who helped build Colquitt count…

Argue much?

Do all kids argue? Or just mine? LMC (Leenie) goes on streaks of bad habits and as soon as we break one, a new one pops up- much like whack-a-mole. She used to grind her teeth. When I asked her about this new teeth grinding habit, she said, "Lily says I have sharp teeth like a vampire, and I don't want to be a vampire. So, I am grinding them down and they won't be sharp anymore- and I won't be a vampire."

While I totally understood her logic, the habit was there. Softly correcting... softly reminding... softly saying, "LMC, please don't grind your teeth. It's bad for them." Soft got loud. Patient grew in. Grinding ceased.

LMC also decided that she did not need to brush her teeth. She would pretend to brush her teeth. She put up an argument about brushing her teeth. Every morning it was a battle to get her to brush her teeth. Sure, I could have done it for her- but what would that accomplish? (besides a calm morning, a pleasant day, and no scream…


We have a nativity set that I bought last year. Paid retail. And paid too much at that. It's one of those Little People Nativity sets and the first time I saw it, I wanted it for the girls. Price searching, I remembered that nothing for Christmas is on sale before Christmas.

But I wanted it. So I bought it. And paid retail.

Because I paid retail and because I knew how much more fun it would be to have all the parts of the nativity (because there are a lot of parts), I was a bit of a... uh... brat about where the nativity could be set up and where the pieces were allowed to wander to. The manger, Baby Jesus, those wise men, Mary, and Joseph were all on a silver tray (because that's how I roll) on top of the piano. LMC had a stool set up beside it where she could step up and play with the little people.

While a brat about where the nativity was, I didn't care how she played with it- as long as all the pieces stayed in the living room. Mary liked to slide down a piece of scra…

Life Lessons

Bennie (and I) have learned some good life lessons today on this day spent around the house-

Dirty dishes go in the dishwasher, not the cabinets.
Clean dishes go in the cabinets, not the dishwasher.

Bennie was trying to be such help as I loaded the dishwasher. She ran to her cabinet and pulled out a variety of plastic utensils and brought them to me in front of the dishwasher. Good thought, Bennie. On the flip side of that same coin, I had to go through four spoons before I found a clean one. She likes to put away dishes, clean or otherwise.

Mom should not use glass dishes to feed Bennie with.
Bennie should not throw dishes when she is finished eating.

That dish will break and Bennie will be put in time out. Babies in time out cry. Second borns get to be in time out until they stop crying. First borns get a minute per age in time out.

Potty chairs are for potty training- nothing else.
Potty training should commence outside in the grass and not in the den... on a rug.

Forks, even plast…


I skimmed an article one time about how Pinterest is ruining the average mother- because the average mother is exceptional (I, often, am neither average nor exceptional). While the article was boring and a little self-righteous about slice and bake cookies, I got the gist of it: this isn't a competition.

This same thought goes along the lines of the Elf on the Shelf. There are calendars to make it "easy" for parents. We won't have to think about where our Elf will sneak off to in the middle of the night, however- sometimes the assembly of the projects is a bit absurd. I am waiting for someone to invent "kits" to make 24 days of Elf antics.  But, if you want to win- you have to play. I look at the calendars and see if there is anything I can attack with ease and typically end up not using it.

Our Elf doesn't TP the tree. Because someone would have to clean it up. (cough, cough)
Our Elf doesn't get in the sugar. We live in the south and ants are a yea…

thirty one weeks

I have been trying to write a funny blog the past few days about these days and how un-fun they are. Because, trust me- this is the hangover that just won't end. My thought was to call it "Trials of the third child's third trimester." Catchy, right?

After writing and erasing over and over, I came to the conclusion that I should call the blog "Cheese for my whine." Because I was not reading things that were potentially funny, rather I was reading a whiny person whining about whines. And it was whiny.

For instance, I have had a head cold for the past two weeks and it has been nothing short of miserable. I have been a snot factory and it's been ... well, it's been gross. The head cold makes me sneeze, cough, and snore myself awake.

When the snoring wakes me up, I realize that I have to go to the bathroom- again. On average, I am up six to eight times a night back and forth to the bathroom or the hall closet for more Tums. I am worse than an old lady. I…

Banana Pudding

Miss Lucile was known for many things during her time on this green earth. One of the grandchildren's fondest memories of her, is banana pudding. She made her own meringue (I had no heart to tell Husband that you cannot buy meringue) and followed the same recipe from the same box on the same card for the last fifty years. Her children remember it, her church remembers it, but her grandchildren- her grandchildren cherished it. They would all laugh how they hated the meringue and would get an extra big serving by scooping underneath the stiff white peeks to get the yellow good stuff.

I have never been a banana pudding fan. I have never been a banana fan. Let's call a spade a spade- it does not matter how much sugar you put on a fruit- I am still not going to eat it.

[As I sit and type, LMC has a spatula in her right hand and bowl of whipped cream in her left- eating, while showing me her tap steps up and down the kitchen. kick-ball-change-kick-ball-change-walk-walk-walk...bite o…

Bring on the ice cream

I knew it was coming. When I was pregnant with LMC, I had it. When I was pregnant with Bennie, I failed my test by two points and the DC doctor said that's practically passing. I took him at his word. Every visit I had with my doctor involved a conversation about diabetes and when I would become the human pin cushion in anticipation of the gd-GD.

Two weeks ago, it was finally time to take the test and receive my diagnosis. I was ready. Ready to count carbs, ready to increase my exercise, ready-- just ready to move on to the third trimester and get gestational diabetes behind me. After my test, I thought I needed something nice and healthy... and carb-y-- like a bowl of rice.


The next day, I treated my parents to lunch at a nice restaurant as a thanks for taking care of my kids. When they asked if we wanted the check, I asked for a piece of peanut butter pie. Looking at my mom, I said, "I'm going out with a bang. Won't be able to have this next week."

And the…

Oxyclean and Sand

No one has ever claimed me as a domestic goddess. Looking around our house, I am reminded of this fact. Sometimes though,  I get a bee in my bonnet about wanting to make something from scratch. The other day, I told my mom that I was heading to the store for ingredients to make homemade marshmallows.

Every single website said they were "easy" and "delicious." Having learned my lesson with the corn dogs, I actually contemplated this mess I was getting into. The only drawback I saw was I needed to make a simple syrup that involved maintaining a constant temperature of 238F for five minutes without stirring.


Spending about ten days contemplating these homemade marshmallows and the thought of LMC "helping" and Bennie at my feet while the 238F syrup cooks without stirring, I set my dreams of dazzling my few blog readers aside. There were other things I could accomplish with greater ease.

In those ten days, I learned a few things:

-- Be…


As I sit and type, I have blue tape on my left arm and a bandaid from my flu shot on my right arm. Today is my dreaded three hour gdGD test. I am anticipating great things that will conclude with more pin pricks, more tests, and a new diet. Meh, not my first rodeo. 
Four blood draws + one flu shot = human pin cushion
Baby boy is steadily kicking as the sugar water I rapidly consumed an hour ago has finally crossed over and met his little body. He's a fan. Me? I am hoping to keep it down another two hours. I met with my doctor a few minutes ago and everything looks good. All my numbers are in the healthy range and he is growing as he should. I have put on five pounds. Doc asked me if I have been eating enough and I was quick to tell her about my love of steak biscuits and Totino's pizzas. Oh yeah- I am eating. It's one of my favorite pastimes. 
Husband took his BIG test yesterday-- the one that determines if he will continue to be a pediatric critical care doctor. My parent…

The stress is mounting

I have always had a deep respect for single parents, having spent over 50% of the last six years being a widow to the hospital- I do not understand what single parents go through day-in and day-out, but I have a glimpse of it.

And it is a tough world.

Husband has, oh, you know, the biggest test of his life coming up next week and if he is not at the hospital, he is studying. If he is not studying or sleeping, he is giving me a ten minute respite from the minions we created so that I can get my weekly bath.

Yesterday, Laura texted me and asked if I wanted to go to the park. I promptly responded:

"Sounds Amazing"

The biggest blessing I have had this week is that LMC's class does not have any homework. The teachers took pity on the parents with it being Halloween week. I sent the teacher flowers and a handwritten thank you note on fine Crane stationery. (exaggeration, rather, she received an emoji text- but my heart wanted to do so much more)

Seeing Laura yesterday, I told …

33 cabinets and 17 drawers

My kitchen is large. There is a lot of storage space in this beast. I went from having 6 drawers to 17 and 5 cabinets to, well, 33. I must confess though, most of them are empty. It's not that I don't have the stuff to fill them, I lack the discipline to keep them organized.

Husband says it's me. I say it's him. Details.

After LMC's Halloween parade at school, I came home to start cooking chili for supper. Realizing that I had zero interest in a turkey sandwich (blasphemous in this household) for lunch, I put eggs on to boil for egg salad.

After peeling and cooling, I went for my food processor. Now, let's be perfectly honest- I own four different types of things that process foods. The big one, the little one, the one that attaches to my immersion blender, and the baby food maker.

Because every belle needs four food processors.

I go to pull out the big one and can't find the blade.
No problem.

I go for the little one and can't find the lid.
Not a big d…

Writing Letters

Do you ever write letters anymore? I mean an honest to Goodness newsy about nothing letter. Something our great grandparents had a fine art in and something our grandparents did once in a blue moon. Rarely did our parents write one and extremely rarely- do we. Other than a "thank you note" (which I get a little frustrated with), when have you pulled out your stationery and written a note to a friend of family member?

I love writing letters and I write to a handful of people of a completely irregular basis about a whole box of nothing. For the past five years, I have been writing (mostly one-sided) letters to my (ready for this?) second cousin... once removed. She was born in 1928, never married (as far I know) and lives in the same house that she was born in. The house is on a handsome lot and was a gift from her paternal grandfather to her parents in celebration of their wedding (the lot- not the house). Talk about a gift! Granted, her maternal grandfather gave her parents …

Sprite gets a home

Husband hid his surprise really well when LMC brought Sprite in the door.

Did you know that fish need oxygen? There is a finite supply of oxygen in the Badge of Honor LMC held high for her daddy to see. We would learn many things about Sprite the Fish Cagle over the next two hours. Husband looked at me and asked, "Why did you buy a fish?"

Really? Do you really think that I bought a fish? No. I sat in line totaling over an hour and watched her throw twelve ping pong balls at 20-something glass bowls and internally begged the man to take some pity on her. I even contemplated bribing the fish keeper. That's how low I almost sunk. No. No I didn't buy a fish. Because if I bought a fish that would mean that I am a pet person and that I am certainly not.

That's what I thought. Instead, I said, "We won it at the carnival today! It was super cool. Tell Daddy about it!"

Husband and I look at each other. Do you know how to care for a fish, he asks. I respond with a…

Sprite The Fish Cagle

We have a new member of the family-- and she is worth mentioning. Sprite The Fish Cagle. Her name is Sprite... The Fish..... Cagle.

Let's back up.

Today was the annual Parochial Carnival. Every year, Parochial organizes a day filled with carney fun for the students. There is a ring toss, face paint, dunk booth, corn hole, and a dinosaur dig to name the handful that come to mind. It is the only fundraiser that the school has. Understand me on this: the kids do not go door to door selling cheap trinkets to neighbors. The kids do not sell $6/roll wrapping paper like I did back in the day. All those things that other schools do to offset the operating expenses are not part of Parochial.

Thank the Sweet Lord-- as the parents rejoice.

Parents do not have to walk from door to door to see that each neighbor/almost stranger does not, well, that they don't .... you know, be uncool to your kid. Parents do not have to organize children in the parking lot at Lowe's hitting up cranky sh…

Flea Market

My parents kidnapped LMC for a weekend at the beach- just the grandparents and the little Cagle. I was really happy to see her go off with them and get some one-on-one time that is so very, very rare.

Not to mention that it gave me four days with just me and Bennie as Husband was on call for those same four days. Think of a four day call as the opposite of vacation. He packs a bag with a toothbrush and a few changes of clothes. That's where the similarities end.

Me and Bennie! I was determined to not sit around the house for four days- anything could happen! We were girls on the go. We headed to the park, snuck into a secret opening of a new store in town, made it to Mass, headed to the river and the river market. We were everywhere.

And then I had a gumption that we needed to go to the flea market. Let me be perfectly clear: we needed to go the flea market.

Needed. As in we should have gone yesterday.

The last time I went to the flea market was eight years ago. Husband and Wife …

That Kid

Bennie has found her way to nap time, thank goodness. I am sitting with my feet in cowboy boots- crossed and propped on the counter. It feels good. Real good. The kitchen: wreck. The laundry: Mount Everest. The music: loud and Celtic. The day: excellent.

That kid gets into everything. I clean the kitchen- but she just messes it up faster than me. Before you volunteer the novel idea of locks on the cabinets- think for just a minute as to how many cabinets are in this kitchen. I count 16. At $5 a pop (for the cheap ones)- I am just too cheap to spend it. Especially since I know me, and I know Husband. We would not be the best at locking them back after dog-cussing them to get them unlocked. Besides- it would just be something else for her to figure out how to destroy.

It is cheaper and easier to buy new Pyrex. Besides, I probably own too much cookware as it is.

But, this kid. She kills me. I want to yell at her but am too busy laughing to get it out. For instance, the other day...



This pregnancy has been night and day different from the other two pregnancies totaling 77 weeks. Down to the test and up through the weeks, things are just... different. I am not going to say better, because that would really get us off on the wrong foot- and they aren't better (they are), they are just .... different. And different can be good. Apparently, testosterone agrees with me.

As I sit and type, Husband is studying for his big-BIG test that takes place in exactly 30 days. LMC and Bennie are wreaking havoc on this kitchen-- LMC jumping over (in) the food that Bennie has thrown on the floor- please note- peas are preferred to carrots and corn is not approved. Bennie finding any number of any thing to move from where it was to where it is. Read: I'm still trying to get the kitchen clean.

I just finished the last Publix sub that I will have for several weeks. It's okay, I'm ready. gd-GD won't beat me down. And, to be fair- I have not actually been diagnosed w…

Preferred Pajamas

It has been twelve years since I graduated college. Twelve. Watching tv the other night, I heard a fictitious dad say to a fictitious daughter something to the effect that college is the deferral you get in life before, well, life. It was obnoxiously accurate.

Somehow, twelve years later, I still have a plethora of college t-shirts. When not pregnant, I can still fit into [most]... [some of] them. Husband has a handful, too. These fraternity and sorority t-shirts that children wore to class, to flag football games, and out to eat with friends discussing the most important box of nothing have lasted medical school, moves, marriage, and -- most definingly-- children.

I remember my parents have a picture of my brother when he was about LMC's age wearing a t-shirt that must have been my dad's. They got married younger than we did. They had children younger than we did. Their t-shirts were in better shape. Brother is dancing in the picture, with his right foot in the air and waving…

Cornbread, vastly improved

I posted a cornbread recipe a long time ago... and accidentally said a tablespoon of salt instead of a teaspoon. Yuck. Last night, we had friends over. The house was a disaster- mostly due to the shortest person in the house. We stepped over tupperware lids, outgrown shoes- none of which matched, and a random assortment of dollhouse furniture and cheap jewelry.

Husband grew up with half the couple- they were classmates from preschool until senior year of high school before reuniting in medical school. He, his wonderful wife, and two kids came over last night to watch football, eat chili, and let the kids run around the pool. No one fell in, but his daughter thought about "accidentally" hitting the water more than once. She was smart enough to take her shoes off, thus getting caught in the process.

Right-- Cornbread.

I have mentioned my cookbook before and how I adore it. Realizing I need cornbread and wanting to branch out from the old go-to recipe, I went back to The Book a…

Scary to see

I could leave LMC in front of Mickey Mouse and grab a quick shower.
Not Bennie.

I could put food on LMC's tray and she would eat it. When she was done, she would signal and wait patiently while I cleaned her up.
Not Bennie.

I could let LMC play in the kitchen. She would always go for the tupperware cabinet. She would pull them out, and climb inside to play.
Not Bennie.

Bennie likes to climb on things. And then climb higher. She gets on a chair and bounces up and down before climbing onto the table to stand up while clapping her hands- as if to say, "The man can't keep me down. Or even low to the ground."

Bennie likes to find things. In all the cabinets. And throw them on the ground. Tupperware? Sure. Sippy cups? Why not. But-- behind Door Number 2, there is mom's pyrex. And it's breakable. Let's grab that aaaannnnnnddddd throw it over there! Crash. Break. Snap. Shatter. I come running.

Nice Bennie. Real nice.

I sweep. I clean. I block Door Number 2.



I killed my computer. Again. Dead. Like an overqualified paperweight kind of dead. A trip to the Apple store and $280 later, I am coming to you via a practically brand new computer. God Bless Mr. Jobs and his invention of the Apple. Buying an Apple is expensive and they don't have any clearance tables, but the purchase is not only a very powerful piece of machinery but also some kickin' customer service. My beast if five years old and it is just as cool as the Christmas Husband gave it to me.

Recently, I told an old friend that I am hitting a road block on things to write about. It seems like my days are hair tangles and homework with LMC and dodging thrown food and no-naps Bennie. I spend a lot of time volunteering at Parochial -- which I love -- and taking Bennie to a new Children's Museum in the neighborhood. Oh yeah... and incubating that new baby who met his halfway point of gestation this past Saturday. It's all downhill from here... okay, maybe it's still up…


We went to the doctor this morning. Bright and early-- Bennie wearing her squeaky shoes, running up and down the halls of the hospital and Husband in his scrubs, the proud father of his growing family. As I sit and type, snacking on my lunch, I am watching men are lay sod in our backyard and Bennie is contemplating throwing her lunch on the ground. Elmo keeps her entertained and occasionally, a bite from her tray makes it to her mouth.



These words have been in my vocabulary for a very long time. In this moment, nothing has changed- life is moving forward. We are making plans.

After getting a tour of our baby's anatomy, I called my BIL, David. He was as excited as we were to hear our news and said the most important thing I have heard, "Change is good."

And he is so very right-- change is good. It can be fun. Change is not always easy, but change is always an adventure. Change. I am getting good at change-- and loving how Change changes everything.

We will put a…


I don't mean for so much time to pass between blog posts; I wish I could say that the reason for it happening was because so much was happening around the house- but that is not the case. Rather all these little things we are doing with our daily routine are amounting to our days.

We have daily homework that should take about 15 minutes. LMC gets distracted when the wind blows, so it is more like an hour's worth of homework. She is back in ballet and tap- in a new class, making new friends. She also started piano lessons so she can play on that beautiful piano we have in our living room-- and not just pound on the keys, waking up her sister. While her rhythm is a little off, she is trying and, more importantly, loves showing off her new skill.

LMC is loving kindergarten. It seems her that her biggest accomplishment these past few weeks is that she is slowly learning to read. Bennie is in school twice a week and knows no strangers. Husband is studying-- a lot. He has a big test…