Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A post about china

Shocking, I know. Not the country, rather the dishes.

I have two sets of chargers for my formal china- six turquoise and six blue (or cornflower). The edges of the chargers have a dainty filigree pattern around the edges and are by Mottahedeh. The service plates really make the Tobacco Leaf really *pop* on a dining room table.

But, let's be honest- the Tobacco Leaf makes the Tobacco Leaf pop.

These puppies are $125 a piece- so I prefer to find them in estates.
Or gently loved.
New with tags.
Antique.
Established.
Or let's just tell it like it is- I shop at Goodwill, on Craigslist, or- most often- eBay. (Champagne tastes... beer budget)

The pattern of the chargers is called [color] Lace. There are ten colors.

Okay, now that all that useless useful information has been established, I came to the conclusion this Christmas that I needed to started collecting the Red Lace chargers. They would look great with my Christmas china and with my fancy pants china.

I start googling.

Now, let's just turn this post into a Public Service Announcement.

Do not, I repeat DO NOT google anything with the words "r-e-d" "l-a-c-e" and "c-h-i-n-a" without first closing your eyes.

Because there are, apparently, a lot of girls named China.
And red lace is something that is, apparently, popular for underroos.

Looks like the underroo gods are sending me a message? Spend money on underroos before china. And I am not talking about the girl.

Monday, April 28, 2014

New Bed!

Ok, total disclaimer- there are no pictures on this post. Sorry about that.

Husband and Wife made a plan about a year ago. When Husband got his first real paycheck, we were going to buy the following items:

- New towels
- New under-roos for the adults
- New pillows
- King size bed

The sheets we slept on, the towels we used, and the under-roos we wore were thread-baren and older than I care to confess to. Sheets and towels were mostly wedding gifts or purchased early in our marriage with store credits. These were sacrifices we made in our home to put a roof over our head, haircuts for all, and food on the table. These little things were things we did not need and we were the only ones that knew our undergarments had seen better days.

They were holy. But not religious.

At the top of the list, but the bottom of the needs, was the king size bed. Our queen bed treated us just fine and was quite comfortable. Why should it not be? The sheets were so soft because they were so dang old. From age and use, the bed was supple and wonderful. Yeah I said it- use.

So, that first paycheck came rolling in back in August. At the end of August. The very end. Thirty something days after Husband started work and about sixty something days after his last (tiny DC) paycheck. In those sixty something days, there was a mortgage payment + a rent payment.

And a twelve hundred dollar power bill.

Suffice it to say, those towels, under-roos, pillows, and bed were going to be pushed back a month until September. French drains cost how much? Thinking of September, I will go ahead and reference back to the fact we, let's just call a spade a spade, we got drunk and bought a bed at an auction. Not a king- but a bed came home with us.

October would be our month. Really, October would be better for us anyway.

But, November could work? Wait- Christmas and a tax bill loomed on the horizon. Husband's grandmother gave us new towels. She must have heard our plight and we were ever thankful to cross one thing off our list. Under-roos, pillows, sheets, and a bed were left.

January. We will start the year off right. New pillows. New under-roos. New bed. Just kidding.

February... March...

APRIL! April was it.

Taxes paid. Children clothed. Tuition covered. Hair cut.

The bed was ordered.

We did not get drunk and buy a bed. We had ten months to figure it out. Rather, we researched and contemplated and planned and discussed and Husband finally relinquished the reins to me and my wants. Awesome guy.

The bed came this weekend and we spent the better part of Sunday disassembling the guest room, moving beds, breaking down the old queen bed and moving it into the new home of that same guest room and putting it together. It appears as though we have more beds than rooms- a far cry from where I started.

I remember when I first graduated from college and took poor to a new level. I rented a house with maroon carpet and three bedrooms for $500 a month. I only had one bed- a double, that was a hand-me-down from my parents. One of the two extra rooms had a sleeping bag and pillow rolled out on the floor. I might have been poor, but my guests were always welcome!

The new bed is awesome.
I love it.
It's huge.
How did we ever survive on a queen bed for so long?

Now- to get those under-roos. Priorities. Clearly mine are in the right order.

I will regale you with the tale of assembling the bed, the box spring, and the rest of it another day. Tap is ending and LMC is running out the door with her new patent dance shoes. tap tap tap tap tap tap "Mama! Hurry up!"

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Gems

Disciplining a five year old is one of those things that just gets... frustrating.

Everyone has an opinion about how you are doing it wrong. Everyone else does a better job, has a better child, or is just a better liar.

Everyone else can stick it.

The other day, I took to Google to see if there were better ways or better suggestions than threatening the whines, popping the hands, and losing the toys that stopped working when she passed from four-and-a-half to almost-five.

"Know your child- and discipline accordingly."

"Mary was running late and she scooped up Scott who pitched a screaming fit about leaving his toys without any preparation. Mary was in the wrong. She should have given Scott enough transition time from playing with the toys to moving him out the door."

Eh?

"Children should respect you. Not fear you. Having them obey out of fear does not accomplish the needed behavior."

Correct me if I am wrong, but .. um... yes it does accomplish the needed behavior. And, I don't know about you- but I was fearful of getting in trouble, hence the good behavior.

"You don't have to love your child. You have to respect your child."

What? Yes. Yes, I have to love my child. I have to also respect my child, but first- I have to love my child. She came from love, so she will (not should) be treated with love.

You get the picture- The Internet is no place to go for medical advice or parenting tips.

I talked to a friend who has children the same age as mine and was also a teacher in a previous life. She said that she is experiencing the same thing and has pulled an old trick out of her teacher hat.

Gems.

For several weeks, we have had two glasses on our counter- one with a bulldog that is bigger than the second one that has an etching of Husband's medical school. The bulldog glass is where the gems start. When LMC does something good- whether it is something she should do anyway or something that is above and beyond the call of duty, we tell her to take a gem out of the bulldog and put it in the other cup. When the cup is full, I take her to the store and she can buy whatever she wants.

Money Bags, I am not. We go to the Dollar Store.

Bad behavior has the same result. A gem comes out of the "good" cup and back into the bulldog. This can be met with screams, tears, and getting very, very upset about this simple act of moving a gem. An effective punishment without lifting a finger or a voice.

There are 77 gems in the cup, so it takes a while. But, it gives her a goal and reminds her to act like we expect her to act.

She still whines. A lot.
She still pitches fits, sticks her tongue out, and demands things that we disagree with.
But, she's trying. We're trying and, for now, the gems seem to be working.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

About yesterday.

I talked a big game about updating yesterday, but apparently- I lied.

Sorry about that.

I never realized that I would be so busy doing "nothing." Nothing being children, a house, a husband, and all those things I piously scoffed at when other homemakers would talk about how busy they were.

It's just a house. It's just a family. It's just life.

It was when I was sitting at ballet with LMC when I realized that the day was almost over and I had not touched my computer, nor could I find my phone. How 'bout we rehash the last thirty days quick so we can start fresh?

We drove to Athens for Husband's sister's baby shower. She needs a name for the blog. She needs a name because there is a baby on the way and we are seeing so much more of them now that we live less than two hours apart and her husband works in Hometown. But what to name her? I'll think on that.


She is a teacher and he is in law enforcement. They are going to make wonderful parents, and not just because they have wonderful friends. Husband and I have both said to each other, to his parents, and to them- that they have amazing friends and have such a strong network of people to help support them in this next stage of their lives. They are lucky.


The next weekend we drove down to Smalltown to celebrate MIL turning 60 47.  We had a surprise party for her at the arts center and asked everyone to write down a fun memory of MIL or something that they learned from MIL.


There were some really sweet ones. Like this from Husband's second sister:


Preacher Man returned thanks for our meal, this precious woman, and the amazing family that goes along with her. (myself included in that "amazing" department)  It was, by far, the most fun I have had at a birthday party for anyone turning 60! Young and old, near and far- friends and family came to celebrate this woman who reared five children. There could be a whole blog post on her turning 60, but let's leave it with the bottom line of We Had Fun.


Thursday night, we spent the night at Beth's and enjoyed ourselves with her pregnant self, her husband, and her puppies. By the end of the night, she had us convinced that we needed to relocate to Smalltown to raise babies and grow old with them on golf cart rides, supper clubs, country clubs, and PTAs. It sounded blissfully simple and blissfully fulfilling. We started researching homes. And PICUs. And Catholic churches. And Catholic education opportunities. And came to the conclusion that this life could not provide the things we needed to make it a reality.

Perhaps we could convince Beth to relocate to Hometown from Smalltown? I'm not holding my breath.


Friday and Saturday we spent the night on the farm with the in-laws and all those cousins. There are twelve cousins if you don't count dogs. I don't. They do. 75 if you add the dogs into the mix. I think. Husband's baby sister is pregnant with #13. Toss in her four dogs and there is a full house when we all get together on the farm outside of Smalltown.


We spent hours hanging out with Husband's older brother and sister on Saturday night. The nine grandchildren ran from the pond to the garden and back again. They played tag, at hamburgers, and were thick as thieves in only the way that cousins can be- instant friends. The baby and Bennie are several months apart and took turns playing with a teapot and being held by either a dad or an uncle- depending on the man doing the holding.


It was a quiet and relaxing evening sitting outside amongst the "no-see-ums" and Spanish moss. We thought back to living down the street from Beth and growing old on golf cart rides as neighbors. And were reminded of that pesky little thing called a J-O-B and that there was no way Smalltown could support Husband's big career.


Sunday, we pack up and headed home. There were more plans and adventures to be had.


Kissing the siblings good-bye as we drove the driveway, we hustled back home with two very tired children who were pumped full of sugar and fresh air. What else do you expect children to be full of after spending a long weekend with grandparents? I certainly can think of nothing else.


The following Friday morning, Husband and I dropped the kids off with my parents and headed down to Savannah for Prom Queen's wedding. This wedding was over a year in the planning and a lifetime in the making. When she called us the year prior, I looked down at the phone to see caller ID. I said to Husband, "This is Prom Queen. She's probably calling to tell us she's engaged. "

And she was.

I screamed in the restaurant and people looked at me like I was some crazy Southern redneck. I didn't care. Prom Queen had found her match.


In looking back on our lives and how they have entertained together, it's amazing to see the very clear path that led her to this man that not only made her the happiest she has ever been, but was ready to get down on one knee and commit his life to her and hers to his.


Prom Queen has four sisters. In all honesty, I always thought she was the youngest of three- no idea #4 and #5 existed until I was an adult. Prom Queen and I spent weeks together on end, talking about everything and nothing... and somehow I had no idea that she was the middle children until about 10 years ago.

Forgive me.


The five girls live in three states, all the way up and down the Eastern seaboard. When they get together, I always tell Prom Queen that I will be on the lookout for the four horsemen to carry the five away- because it just doesn't happen. Not from lack of love, but lack of time and ability.


But, Lawd knows when they get together- they certainly make up for lost time. These five Greek girls are tons of fun and I was so thrilled to get to be a part of Prom Queen's big day.


Now, I have a confession to make.

You think you were a pretty bride?
I thought I was a pretty bride?
You thought Kate Middleton was a pretty bride?

You certainly did not see Prom Queen walk down the aisle. She was, no other word, She was breathtaking. She was the most beautiful bride I had ever seen. 


And it was not just because she was so clearly in love. She was. But, she was timeless. And lovely. And thrilled for it to be her turn to have her Husband at the end of the aisle.


Probably just as thrilled as he was to be on the receiving end. They, okay, I think I am starting to gush.


How about I leave it at this-- The wedding was amazing. The couple is so very much in love. The family was awesome. It was the most fun I have ever had at a wedding.


After the wedding, we had a little golf tournament that completely encompasses ten days for us. We hosted a BBQ, went to several parties, had a revolving door of guests at the manor, paid an arm and a leg for babysitters and were ready to crawl under the bed and hide by Sunday. 

It was fun. So much so, that I did not take a single picture. 

After Masters week, it was Easter. We had an Easter party at LMC's little school, complete with a relay race and a 55 degree day.

It was cold. 


So, there we are- the last thirty-ish days that probably should have been four blogs instead of all rolled into one.

Forgive me. Now, we can start fresh. Still come visit me? Please? I won't do this again.

Okay, I'll try not to do it again.



Sunday, April 20, 2014

Where did it go?

So, I looked up today and realized that a month has gone by in a blink. Perhaps I should have given up my blog for Lent instead of my plan for time. I would have succeeded better at the blog than the time.

But, that's not the point.

Where did it go?

How 'bout I answer that tomorrow? Really there is not much to say, but if I put this off one second longer, than there would be nothing to hold me accountable other than the foyer that sat as my latest blog posting for a month.

MIL turned 60.
There was a wedding. A wonderful wedding full of love. And I wore a blue dress, gave a toast, danced, and bribed the flower girl with lots and lots of lip gloss. It was the most fun.
We had a golf tournament.
There were eggs that needed dying.
Baby Bennie started walking.
The family came to visit. Aunts, cousins, and all those fun people that come with spring and golf tournaments. For ten days, The Manor was a revolving door.
In nine days, we will have been home owners of The Money Pit [AKA: The Manor] for a year.

Much to say, much to say.

But, it's for tomorrow- not today.

Today, Husband is on call and there are pictures to edit and TV to catch up on. It's Easter. And this Easter was very different than my last three Easters. Good, but different nonetheless. Preacher Man did not return thanks at our table. We did not eat off DC china. But, we celebrated with love, laughter, and the promise that Spring brings.

Tomorrow. I promise.