August 24, 2012

WELCOME!

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:33 am by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

TO OUR NEW MEMBERS:

WELCOME to Troop 387! With two years behind us, we’re starting to figure out just what it is we’re doing here – and we’re very proud to be one of the most active troops in our area. It is our intent to make Girl Scouting a positive experience for each of our girls by participating in a wide variety of enriching activities. Most of all, it’s our goal to HAVE FUN – and we’re thrilled that your daughter will be joining us this year!

Inside this (digital) handbook, you’ll find tons of information about how things are done in our troop – but if you have questions, please don’t ever hesitate to ask. As much as we treasure “our girls,” we’re also insanely grateful for the presence and assistance of a wonderful group of parents. We hope to make Girl Scouting as easy and fun for you as possible!

 

TO OUR RETURNING MEMBERS: 

WELCOME BACK! Unfortunately, you’re not off the hook as far as this handbook is concerned – although you know much of the information already, we’re changing a few things around this year. Look especially closely at the calendar of upcoming events (we’re always planning ahead!)

Hopefully the (small) changes we’re making this year will make things even easier on you, the amazing parents that we are so thankful for. Your input and suggestions continue to be welcome and important to the leadership of this troop. We are so happy that your daughters have chosen to return for another year of Girl Scouting, and look forward to making more happy memories with you all!

June 7, 2009

THIRTY!

Posted in Happy (Insert Holiday Here) tagged at 3:53 am by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

So…yesterday was my 30th birthday. I never really dreaded turning 30, although everyone seems to assume that I did. It doesn’t feel any different, doesn’t change anything. It’s just that I have to remember for the next year…that I’m THIRTY.

It was a nice day – my husband snatched Milly out of bed first thing and took her downstairs with him, which meant that I got to roll over and pull the covers up under my chin for a little while. This may not sound like a treat to most people, but just being able to pull the covers waaaaay up is al ittle luxury when you usually sleep with a toddler and have to keep them pushed down far enough so as not to cover her little face. Anyway, they were back in a little while with breakfast in bed, and several homemade cards and gifts from Rachael. I loved the little gift – crudely wrapped in wrinkled Christmas paper that she’s been wrapping gifts for her Barbies in for the past six months, and well taped. Inside was an artificial pink rose that came off a bunch of roses in her dress-up drawer. She told me that it was perfect because it would never die and I could keep it forever. Awwww!

The “eh” part of my day came when I had to go to the DMV to renew my driver’s license…which expires on your 30th birthday. Oops. Rachael came along with me and wanted very badly to take her own vision test, but the lady behind the counter had already flipped out over another kid touching the testing machine, so naturally I didn’t let her. I did point to a sign and ask her to read it, and loved watching the lady’s mouth drop open when my five-year-old started reading about saving five dollars by renewing your vehicle registration online… *snickers*

Then we were off to visit with my mom for the evening. We met for dinner at Ruby Tuesday…my first margarita in a looooong time, and it was nowhere near as good as the frozen margaritas at a little Mexican restaurant closer to home. Then we went to the movies and saw “Up” in 3D – I knew that Rachael was dying to see it, and the previews did look good. And it was good, I guess, except for several spots that will make any woman tear up…don’t know why Pixar has to do that to us. But Rachael loved it and, if you want to get absolutely technical about it, I actually turned 30 during the movie, at 8:37 p.m.

As good as Friday was, things really got interesting on Saturday…

Gene had been telling me for two weeks to not plan anything on Saturday. Nothing. At all. So when a friend called on Friday evening to ask me to go out geocaching with her on Saturday morning, to double-check her coordinates on some new caches she was placing, I wasn’t so sure. Gene told me to go ahead though, and just be sure to be home by 2, which was when we needed to leave. Tonya was coming to pick me up at noon, so I made sure that I was dressed to go out before leaving, and I had the girls ready to go as well.

Backing up just a bit…I’ll admit that I was having some minor anxiety issues on Friday night, and demanded that Gene ‘fess up if he was planning anything big. He swore that he wasn’t, and reminded me that I already knew I’d be seeing my dad and stepmom on Saturday. So, I was pretty sure we were going out to dinner with them. And I assumed that it would be somewhere out of town (most nicer restaurants are out of town, for us) since we were leaving at 2…

Well, Tonya and I passed by the street where our church is located and, out of habit, I glanced over at it. And there in the parking lot was my mom’s car. And a motorcycle that looked suspiciously like my uncle’s. Hmmm. Okay, I thought. So maybe we were having a family thing and eating in the church fellowship hall, the way that we did for my mom’s 50th birthday this past February. No big deal, I thought. I made a comment about this to Tonya, and she was confused – she thought we went to a church closer to home. As it turned out, the caches that she had hidden were all at churches. She arranged it as a multi-cache, one where you find coordinates at the first stop that lead you to the next, coordinates at the second stop that lead you to the next, and so on. She had deliberately chosen smaller, lesser known churches in the area…and one of them was ours! How funny! Our church was the fourth stop, though, so we visited the others first, checked the coordinates, and then pulled into our church’s parking lot.

We crossed the street toward the fellowship hall, my thinking all the time that I really hoped my mom didn’t look out the window. She wouldn’t know that I was out caching this morning with Tonya, that there just so happened to be a cache here. I was hoping we could check the coordinates quickly and be on the way…even if I knew that I was meeting Mom here later, SHE didn’t have to know that the surprise had inadvertently been ruined, right? So Tonya took me around the side of the building to the power meter and pointed out the tiny magnetic nano cache that she had stuck behind it. Just as I leaned toward the building to see the tiny nano…LOTS of people leaned out from the side of the building and yelled “SURPRISE!!!”  Needless to say, I nearly had a heart attack then and there. It took several seconds to fully register what was going on…that Tonya was in on the whole thing…that our errands were nothing more than a means to get me in the right place at the right time!

So I headed up to greet everyone. Gene and the girls had left right behind us to get there ahead of us. My mom was there, with her husband and his kids. Our friend Junior. My stepbrother Mark and Uncle Buddy. My friend Michelle and her husband with our godson. My friend Robin and her kids, Kate and her kids, Chandres and her family. Seeing Chandres was a shock as she was supposedly on vacation in Tennessee through late Saturday or early Sunday – but she had come home a little earlier than she’d led me to believe, so they’d be there for the party. It was awesome to have them all in one place…even if I was the center of attention, which I generally hate.

We went inside and Chandres promptly presented me with a big, sparkly party hat that says “All Hail the Birthday Princess”. They had decorated the hall with streamers and balloons, and tables flanked the room that were decorated to reflect the stages of my life. My friends and Gene had worked together to plan this thing, and he had sneaked my box of old photos out of the house without my realizing it…and my friends used these as the biggest part of the decorations. The first area was “childhood” – pictures of me as a little girl, surrounded with toys on loan from Tonya’s daughters. Very handy that a lot of my childhood favorites are making a comeback, as there were Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, Cabbage Patch Kids… There were peanut butter and jelly sandwiches nestled among the kiddie things, a crock pot full of Tonya’s mac and cheese, and pitchers of juice and Kool-Aid. Next up were pictures of my teen years – including an 8×10 of my and Gene’s prom picture.  🙂  He had also stolen my high school yearbooks, which were spread out on the table. Pizza and soft drinks were the ‘teen food’. Then there was the 20’s section – wedding pictures flanked by flower petals and champagne flutes, newborn Rachael pictures, Rachael as a toddler. Kate had cooked two of my favorites as the ‘adult food’ – her baked ziti and bruschetta, and Robin made punch. And lastly, the “now” section – a printout of our Geocaching.com profile page (only natural as Chandres, Tonya and Robin are geocachers as well) and a stack of birthday gifts and cards.

We all sat down to eat and talk…Milly had her first ever PB&J and (of course) absolutely loved it. While we talked, Chandres explained to me what I had *really* seen that morning.

Yes, Tonya had hidden the caches. But the name of the multi-cache wasn’t really “Wild Goose Chase” as she had told me. And she didn’t really need me to help her double-check the coordinates – Chandres had already done that. In fact…they hid the whole thing in honor of my birthday! The name of the first stop was “Kristin’s Surprise #1 – She’s 3030”. Although I had stood right in front of the church with the 911 address large as life on the front door, I had failed to notice that the address was (quite appropriately) 3030. At the next stop, the cache was hidden at the base of a speed limit sign – it never registered to me here that the sign read 30 mph. And at the final stop – our church – there was a code on the power meter with -30 at the end. I can’t believe how much thought they put into planning this cache! Even better, it had already been entered and approved in the geocaching website, but won’t be published until Monday – so I signed the log at our church first, claiming the coveted FTF (first to find) for my birthday.

After it was all over, Gene explained to me how he had contacted my friends several weeks ago through Facebook to ask for ideas for my birthday. Chandres emailed him right back with several ideas, and then started planning like crazy. She pulled the other girls in, and they put most everything together. I learned that they had been emailing/Facebooking for weeks, that Gene had been talking to them on the phone during his lunch break and on his way home from work, which are the only times it’s guaranteed that I’m not around. That he had given them his key to the fellowship hall so they could get in when they needed to, that they were all there decorating last night while Rachael and I were out with my mom. They all put so much thought and so much energy into this, and I appreciate it so, so much. Definitely so much more than I ever expected.

So yes, I’m 30. And it’s been one of the best birthdays ever. ❤

May 26, 2009

Admit it…

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:06 pm by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

…you were lured in by the snazzy new siggie at JMs, weren’t ya? 😉

May 19, 2009

WANTED

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 2:14 pm by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

WANTED: ONE GOOD FRIEND. Just one. That’s all I need. I’m not asking for more than my share of super-wonderful friends or anything. I just want one that comes close to the following requirements…

  • You must be a mom, or you’re not going to “get” me.
  • Preferably a stay-at-home mom, so you’ll understand how nerve-wracking it is to sacrifice self in favor of your children, then have your husband say “well you wanted this” if you ever complain about it.
  • Must be loyal…sure, have other friends, but don’t brag about what you do with them to the exclusion of the people around you, either. Or invite them along. Anything else is just rude.
  • Be thoughtful toward your friends, don’t stomp on their feelings just because you can. I can promise that I’ll do the same for you…heck, I try to do that for everyone, whether you’re my friend or not.
  • Call me sometimes just to say hi. Maybe not every day, but more than every two or three weeks. I’ll call you to say hi too, but on about the same time frame. I’m busy with my kids and errands and I know that you are too.
  • Call me if you need to talk, too. Don’t be afraid to vent or to ask for help. I love feeling useful, and I’ll drop most anything to help a friend. Only my kids come first. And believe me, there will be times that I’ll be calling to cry on your shoulder too.
  • Call any time, but understand that I can’t stay on the phone for an hour or more at a time. Too much going on, and you’ll already understand how kids behave when you’re on the phone anyway. Besides, if we talk for very long and I don’t hear your kids screaming in the background, I’m going to wonder if you just turned them outside unsupervised so you can chat.  :p
  • Hey, let’s get together! We don’t have to do anything, we can just sit and chat while the kids run amuck for all I care. But it’s nice to see you – sometimes. Again, not five days a week. But sometimes. Getting together sans children is cool too. Even needed sometimes. Just understand that most of the time, I’d rather be at home – I’m not a social butterfly by any means. You might have to suggest something first.
  • Come visit and make yourself at home. You don’t have to ask if you’d like something to drink. I’ll usually offer it first anyway, but if I don’t, just go get it! You should know which cabinet the glasses are in, and not be shy about digging through the fridge for a snack. I’ll learn my way around your place too. After all, you’re not really good friends if you have to ask which one is the silverware drawer.
  • If my kid is out of line, call her on it. I’m usually pretty on top of these things, but if she whacks your kid on the head with a toy while I’m in the bathroom or something, don’t let her get away with it! Not that I would expect her to, of course, because I teach my kids that those things aren’t okay…and I’m sure you do too. But if your kid whacks mine, you can bet your biscuits that I’ll call your kid on it too.
  • Sweep your kitchen and wash your clothes, but don’t have a home that looks like a page out of a magazine. If you do, I’m going to assume that you clean up before I come over, and I just hate that. You’re at home, BE at home. If you have kids, there are going to be toys in the floor. There are going to be little piles of stuff on the counter sometimes, or a random dish in the sink. You’ll find the same at my house, but if you’re really my friend, I won’t have to kill myself cleaning up before you drop by.
  • You don’t have to be perfect. In fact, any good friend of mine has to be slightly imperfect. I’m no Supermom and wouldn’t want to be. If you are, you’re just going to make me feel inferior with your smugness.
  • Just be there. Just be my friend. It’s all about give and take, and I’m willing to do my part…

*sigh*

The most sucky thing is, that I have most of these requirements in my online friends…but not in any that live nearby. In fact, my nearby-friends are most of what the “don’ts” are based off of.

I’m so tired of feeling like a third wheel among my “friends”, of feeling inferior and not good enough, of being included only on select occcasions, of still being expected to be helpful but with nothing offered in return.

I just want one good friend that I can count on…

I don’t want to come home feeling worse for having been with my “friends”…

May 3, 2009

FINE.

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 6:23 am by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

I’ll just admit it here since I can’t admit it anywhere else, and since it’s the middle of the night and I know I won’t go to sleep for a while yet thinking about it.

YES, my feelings are hurt. Very deeply hurt. Maybe they shouldn’t be, but they are. And I can never, ever let on that they are in person, so I’ll just have to whine about it online.

*sigh*

April 30, 2009

The dreaded update post…

Posted in What's Going On tagged , , , , , , , , , at 8:55 pm by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

I do believe that I’m the world’s most inconsistent blogger. As much as I love to write, it seems like it should be no big deal for me to write a few words every day about what’s going on in my life. And I mean to do this – I just forget. When I remember, my inner perfectionist pipes up with “hey, if you’re not gonna do it right, why bother?” (My inner slacker LOVES this.) And then I hear the long-suffering mommy voice reminding me – you’re going to regret this when you start forgetting the little things…

So here we go. It’s been a month and a half, and I’ve surely already forgotten some of the things I would otherwise have written here.

Rachael is much the same – she changes so slowly now that they’re nearly imperceptible. Although I know she’s getting taller (she outgrows her clothes as quickly as I can buy them) and her hair is getting longer (nearly to her waist now, and in need of a trim), there’s no more of the sudden “hey, that’s something new!” that there is with a toddler. We’re wrapping up our “school year” and I just think I might pass her on to first grade next year. 😉  We’ve been much more lax about school this year then I meant to be – so much so that I think I’m even going to chalk her kinder year up to being “unschooled” just to say we’ve done that! We’ve very much followed her interests this year, but it’s served her well – I downloaded the Virginia Standards of Learning for kindergarten and was able to check off (and very quickly) most of the list – more than half of it being absolutely absurd for her. Predicting the next shape in a pattern? Please. That is so three years ago for her. It’s so sad that there are parents who work so little with their children that they might not otherwise figure that out until kindergarten…

She’s joined Girl Scouts in the last month – I’m the proud mommy of a Daisy! We even got in on the tail end of the cookie sale – she sold a dozen boxes in two days, which earns her the cookie patch for her new blue uniform. She’ll be going to a day camp with her troop at the end of May, and a weekend camp in July – I’m thinking that’ll be a long weekend, as she’s such a big helper to me…but we’ll manage! She’s beginning to work on her music patch now, which means ten hours of instruction on a musical instrument. Thank goodness for Grandma, who will be starting piano lessons in the next week or so. Rachael’s first choice was the saxophone, but she’s just not quite big enough yet. We did go to see a local high school jazz band play yesterday, which was pretty awesome and reinforced her instrument of choice for her. And I got to sit and relive it all for a while, as I was the soloist in my own high school’s jazz band, once upon a time… Rachael was appropriately horrified at the preschool groups that were bussed in for the concert – at the teachers barking at them to get in line and stay in line and hurry up and sit down and be quiet. She was not at all impressed, and commented several times how glad she was that she wasn’t one of them…

Milly has definitely had more noticeable changes. She’s also growing like a little weed, although she’s getting taller more so than heavier at the moment, which makes her look more like a little girl than a baby, and I just hate that. Still not much hair, though, and I’m grateful for that. It’s getting longish in the back, and even curls up a little, but she won’t have to worry about bangs for some time yet! She is a fearless climber (the couch is no problem for her now) and runs and plays with the big kids. She has eight teeth now, and is working on a couple more. And she talks…oh how she talks, and I love it. In addition to the usual hi, bye, mama and dada of last month, she says:

sissy – no more “giggy” for her 😦
achewl – Rachael
bed – bed or breat
ni-night – good night
nack – snack
I uh you – I love you
got choo (sometimes I got choo) – got you / I got you (said to people as well as food)
tash – trash
shoo – anything dirty or otherwise offensive to her little person, not to be confused with…
shoes – her favorite thing in the world
cheez – a favorite food, as well as what she says every time the camera comes out
poopul, lellow, red, boo, peek, ahnge, geen – colors!
A, B, C, D – she’ll get the rest eventually
gasses – glasses
cub kak – cupcake
Ahka – Annika, her best friend (that’s my theory, anyway)
I poop! – self explanatory
dipee – what comes just after “I poop!”

There are certainly more I’m forgetting right now…she’ll attempt to say most anything, so long as she’s in the mood for it. That’s kind of the story of her life, so far – she can do anything, if she’s in the mood. And if she’s not in the mood – woe unto everyone around her until she is in the mood again!

Her favorite pasttime continues to be emptying my utensil drawer all over the kitchen and into the living room. I haven’t had the heart to put a lock on it, she loves it so much. Yes, it’s a pain in the rear stepping over things that she’s dislodging while I’m cooking, and sometimes I do have to inquire of other family members as to whether they’ve seen the spaghetti spoon or potato masher…but whatever. She’ll outgrow this all too soon, just like everything else.

She’s also discovered the joys of outside, and wants to be outside all the time, and then some. She’s not a big fan of grass, though, so she mostly wanders around the driveway. She also doesn’t like to swing – and I thought all kids loved to swing! She does love balls and bubbles and flowers, and I have a feeling we’ll be outdoors more than in this summer. Probably a good thing for our family all around, even though I’m not at all a fan of the HOT and would much prefer to be anywhere air-conditioned.

She’ll be 17 months old soon – we’re still breastfeeding and co-sleeping and I still love every minute of it. In fact, I get a little panicky when I think that it’ll soon be time to move her into the twin bed that’s waiting for her in her sister’s room. Rachael moved into her own room at 18 months…but once again, she seemed so much older somehow, than Milly does now! So we’ll see about that. For now, I’m enjoying the snuggles. And trying not to be too sad that there will likely be no more babies to snuggle with down the road. Trying to keep reminding myself how nice it’ll be to pull the covers up over my arms and under my chin again. And that there just may be two crawling in with me when Daddy leaves for work in the morning, instead of just one.

Speaking of Daddy, I seldom update on him…his being a big boy and able to fend for himself and whatnot. But I’m pretty proud of him at the moment too. After years of “I should”, he is finally going back to school! He applied and took his placement test and met with a counselor, and plans to go and register for his summer classes tomorrow. It may take a while since he can only attend at night, but he’ll be majoring in Industrial Electronics – which is basically reinforcing and expanding upon what he already knows. Naturally, we’re praying that this will lead to a much better job for him down the road. The sawmill has definitely played itself out for all of us, and the sketchy work hours of late are killing the budget as well. Things have never been this tight for us financially, and it’s very obviously wearing on us both…but we’ll muddle through. Things always work themselves out…and really, what’s the alternative? Life doesn’t stop because there won’t be a big vacation or many luxuries this year. Maybe next year will be better.

He is also considering (as if he doesn’t have enough on his plate already) volunteering with our local fire department. This comes following a brush fire that took about about five acres of our woods last weekend, and got too close for comfort to our storage shed. You could tell just by watching him that he was itching to get down there with the firemen and do something to help. It took him several days to broach the topic with me, but I can’t say I was terribly surprised. Rachael and I baked several dozen brownies for the firemen (we love to say “thank you” with food) and I picked up an application for him while we were there. I went to school with the fire chief, a super nice guy, and he assured me that they’d keep him safe…and looking at the department’s stats online also helped, as the vast majority of their calls are responding to either vehicle accidents or smoke alarms (not necesserily fires.)  Structure fires were the least common of their calls, and those are the ones that terrify me…the mental image of him rushing headlong into a burning building, which is probably based more on movies than on real life. I know he’d be well trained, I know he’d be cautious…but I’d still worry. And probably be irritated at how little we got to see him. But on the other hand, I’d be awfully proud of him at the same time – and who wouldn’t like to look at her husband through a “hero” filter? But we’ll see what happens – nothing is definite just yet.

And now, it’s nearly time for him to be home…time for a quick sweep of the downstairs, to make the house look a little less disastrous when he walks through the door – not that it ever stays that way. Not that it matters at all. I’ve pretty much given up on housework anyway – you just have to redo it all the next day anyway. 😉

March 12, 2009

Abbul and eckum!

Posted in Baby Talk tagged , , , , at 9:33 pm by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

Rachael said her very first word at eight months old – “duck”, plain as day, and she’s barely paused to draw a breath between chattering since. She was speaking in full sentences by eighteen months, which (combined with being a tall girl and having long hair) always made people think she was much older than she truly was.

Her sister isn’t going to have that problem. At fifteen months, she’s still practically bald on top. She’s normal-ish in size, and doesn’t say much. Until the past week, she’s been pretty limited to hi, bye bye, up, eat, no, uh-oh, bebe (baby), mama, dada and giggy (which is Mill-ese for “sissy”.) Suddenly, she seems to have decided that she’d rather talk, though, and now she’s attempting to repeat words left and right. She’s finally mastered duck, and is working on cup – her favorite thing in this world, although it still comes out “hup”. She can say abbul (apple), deuce (juice), kiki (cookie), ‘mon (come on) and pants whenever she sees a dog. My favorite, though, is “eckum”, said very quickly. This is “welcome”, and she says it every time she’s told “thank you”, which is constantly since she’s forever handing us something.

“Thank you, Milly!”
“Eckum.”

I love eckum.

Okay, wanna see a couple of new scrap pages? The big one in the center of this page is my all-time favorite of Rachael. She was six days old in these. 🙂

And this is Milly, snapped just a couple of weeks ago.

Both of these were made using the Sweet Dreams by Aisne’s Creations…whose creative team I’m thrilled to have recently joined. 🙂  Here’s the kit preview – just click on it to visit her store!

I’m behind on my scrapping (not to mention writing out updates on my children – oops), so I’ll be back soon with more…

February 25, 2009

CHEESE!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 12:42 am by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

Rachael visited the dentist this morning – she had been asking to go for some time now, the crazy little thing. She had a perfect checkup – all nineteen of her remaining pearly whites are in great shape, with one more a little wiggly in the front. The hygienist pointed out where you can just see the white tip of her first permanent tooth already poking its way through the little gap in her smile – I thought it would take longer than that, but then, I never expected her to lose her first tooth on her fifth birthday either! The dentist commented (not for the first time) that her teeth are well spaced to allow the permanent teeth to come in, so she shouldn’t need much (if any) orthodontic work later on. Hallelujah, the child may have gotten her daddy’s naturally straight teeth! Rather than the jumbled mess that was my mouth before braces. Now to pray that her little sister is as fortunate.

Speaking of sisters, my little camera hater has learned a new word. Every time the camera is pointed in her direction these days, she pastes on her biggest grin and yells “GEEZ!” – which of course, translates in English to “cheese”. I’m thankful that finally, finally I will have some pictures in my photo album where the child looks marginally happy.

See that smile?

Photobucket

Oh yes, here I am sneaking in my latest CT pages…these are from the kit “Chery’s Closet” by Late Night Scraps.

Photobucket

It’s a great little kit – here’s everything that’s included, and you can click on the preview to head to her store:

And if you like the second page that I did, you can snag this freebie and insert your own picture. 😉

(PNG – just right click and save!)

Photobucket

February 18, 2009

Be still my heart.

Posted in Baby Talk tagged , , at 9:57 pm by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

In addition to being a princess and a boogie, respectively, my children seem to be polar opposites. Rachael is always smiling; Amelia is always crying. Rachael has never met a stranger; Amelia doesn’t like people. Rachael is my little ray of sunshine; Amelia is my little black raincloud.

Grocery trips are always especially fun since Amelia arrived. They weren’t always so bad. From the time she could sit in the cart, Rachael would smile and wave and talk to everyone who passed by, and tons of people would stop to talk to her in return. Little Miss Sociable, that was her, and still is. She’ll talk to anyone, and she’ll talk until your ear falls off if you let her. Then Milly came along…first there was the learning curve of shopping with a preschooler and an infant, and that was no easy feat. I toughed it out until Milly was of cart-sitting age and breathed a (premature) sigh of relief – I had made it, shopping was going to be smooth sailing from now on! But it was not to be so.

Now let me preface this by saying that I believe that my children are gorgeous, as does every mother. But shopping around here seriously gives me a swelled head as every other person or so that we walk by stops to smile at my children and tell me what beautiful girls I have – this is very, very sweet of them and I appreciate it immensely, although Rachael is going to have a head the size of a beach ball before long if they keep it up. She *thoroughly* enjoys the attention. Milly, however…hooboy. I’ve been tempted on numerous occasions to make the child a shirt that says “please do not make direct eye contact” because she does not appreciate being spoken to by…much of anyone. She’s usually okay in the cart until someone stops to speak to her – and when they do, the lip pokes out, the face turns red, and the screaming commences – until that person apologizes and runs away. Guess who this embarrasses most? (Hint: it’s not my child.)

Soooo, we went to the grocery store this afternoon. It started off rotten, when I had to wake Milly up to haul her into the store, in the cold and the rain. She started screaming the second we walked through the doors, and I was just sure this was going to be a looooong visit. Thankfully, she calmed down in short order and we started shopping. Today was apparently Snooty Old Lady Day at Kroger, but even snooty old ladies pause to smile at cute little girls. After a while, I noticed that something wasn’t quite right…Milly wasn’t screaming. Not only was she not screaming, but she was making motorboat sounds with her lips as we scooted around the aisles and giggling at herself in between. I had to stop and collect my wits…what was wrong with my child?!

We were nearly finished shopping when one of the SOLs paused to speak to Rachael and was immediately dragged into an in-depth conversation about Rachael’s missing tooth. The longer they talked, the more sure I was that meltdown was imminent…but it didn’t come.

On to the checkout – another Milly bone of contention. One of her greatest joys in life is snatching things off of the conveyor (if she can smush it, so much the better) and of course, she is always most displeased at being stopped from this particular pursuit. She didn’t try it today. She sat patiently until the cashier handed over two stickers, and then happily played with hers for several minutes while everything was bagged and paid for. She offered the sticker to Rachael, then to the lady bagging our groceries. She smiled at her, and babbled at her. And when we were ready to leave and the cashier told her goodbye, my child smiled, waved and said “bye-bye!”

Be still my beating heart. I don’t know who this smiley little person is, but  I sure hope she hangs around for a while. Fourteen months of miserable baby is enough for anyone.

February 12, 2009

Unconditional Love

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , at 6:43 am by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

It’s been a busy, busy past few days… To begin with, my mom turned 50 last Saturday. I wish I could have made a bigger deal out of it than we did, but she did have a little party, lots of food, two cakes and some gifts. And she still doesn’t look a thing like 50, which is probably the coolest ‘gift’ a 50-year-old woman can have anyway. I only dropped the ball on one thing that I meant to do for her birthday – write a mushy letter telling her how much I love, admire and appreciate her. Maybe it’ll be a bigger surprise if it’s random. At least the birthday card made her cry…it made me cry too, in the middle of Target, and that’s how I knew it was just the right one.

On Tuesday, my little girl turned five years old, which seems preposterous to me. She was just a tiny little thing, and now she’s a smart, independent little lady with a vocabulary greater than half of the adults I know. As if having a birthday weren’t special enough on its own, she also lost her first tooth while eating lunch that day! Exciting, yes – not so much so when she swallowed it. (Sparing you the grisly details, the tooth has been retrieved – and now I have to find something really terrific for my husband for Valentine’s Day.) Anyway, Rachael was thrilled when the Tooth Fairy left her $5.00 (I’m assuming that the first tooth is worth more than the others), a note asking her to please have Mommy or Daddy help her pull the next tooth so it’s easier to find, and a generous sprinkling of pink glitter fairy dust to show where she’d been.

Her actual birthday party is happening this Friday night – six little girls for dinner, hair, makeup, nails and pictures! Two of them will sleep over afterwards, and I’m not even dreading it the way you might think. They’ve both stayed here before, and they all kind of focus on annihilating Rachael’s room and leave everything else alone. She can’t wait for her party, and for the gifts that she knows are coming…although I don’t think anything can top the trampoline (complete with huge safety net) that we gave her!

Okay, so I talked digi scrapping in my last post…and that quickly (!!) found, applied to and was accepted onto the Creative Team at Late Night Scraps. Anyone who knows me at all will immediately see the relevance there – as the majority of my accomplishments are made between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.  The first of her new kits that I was allowed to work with is called Unconditional Love – shifting the focus to Milly for a moment:

It’s a great little kit – and was an easy enough place for me to start, since love is a simple concept to scrap. Here’s a peek at what else is in the kit:

If you’ve never tried digital scrapbooking and want to give it a shot, quick pages are a great place to start – and I’ve attempted my first one with this kit. The page is already made for you – you just insert your picture and go. Give it a try (and let me know if it works) – just click on the image to download!

No worries, every post isn’t going to be scrapbook-related…but I do appreciate your input if you see something you like. Or hate. Hey, I know I’m still learning.

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