Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Toddlers and Tiaras

Okay, she wasn't technically wearing a TIARA.  But believe you me, she had a metaphorical one on.

That's her on the far left of the stage.  Notice how every kid is doing something different?  I think it's so each parent can assume their child is dancing the right move.  Which mine was.  Totally.

Girlfriend was a DIVA on Saturday.

A cute one, though.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Grime Scene

I have this friend.

She's one of the sweetest, most generous, big-hearted people you'll ever meet.  She'd give you the shirt off her back if you needed it.  She remembers and honors every occasion in your life, no matter how trivial.  And she's one of the most creative people I've ever known, starting her own business from scratch, and becoming so exclusive she has clients the likes of which I can't even name on a public, say for example, a certain really tall German basketball player...or a certain pilot who may or may not be exceptionally good at landing planes in rivers...yes, my friend is that good.

I owe her a huge debt of gratitude for my family, too.  She and her husband introduced me to Chris.  And her mother-in-law was pivotal in Aria's adoption.  And our husbands are best friends.  Our kids are engaged to be married  best friends.

She's the kind of person that makes everything look so effortless.  She can pack 36 hours into a 24 hour day, and still manage to look fresh and beautiful and well-rested.  It would be easy to hate her if she wasn't one of the dearest people in my life, and so darn sweet and wonderful.

But I made a decision last night.

I'm never talking to my friend again.

That's right. 

Never.  Talking to her again.

On the phone.

Because apparently, my children are both gifted with a sixth sense and can alway detect when I'm talking on the phone to this particular friend.  And it is at these times they choose, how do I put this pleasantly?  Oh heck, ya'll, there's nothing pleasant about it.  Whenever I'm on the phone with my friend, my children choose to...EXPEL WASTE FROM THEIR BODIES.  There.  I said it. 

Do you remember this last year?  The Code Brown when sweet Aria Grace handed me her poop?  Yep.  That was this friend on the phone.

Or how about the Chanel Mommy post?  Where Aria dropped trow to pee in our front yard?   Indeed.  Same friend.  Same phone.

But here's the thing.  Aria's long been toilet-trained, so we should be over any potty issues at this point, right?  Caroline's just twenty months old, so she's sitting on her little pink potty every once in awhile because she thinks it's cute and she sees Ya-Ya doing it, but it's not real honest-to-goodness potty-training, just a low-pressure gig.  So you'd think I'd be safe to chat away with my friends without fear of scatological repercussion, right?

You'd be wrong.

So, so wrong.

In case you can't tell what I found when entering my daughter's room yesterday - while ON THE PHONE with SAID FRIEND - here's a close-up view.

Come to find out, after further investigation of the grime scene (yes, thought that up all on my own), my little daughter apparently removed her diaper, emptied it, wrung it out (just a guess on that one, I have no proof), and then pulled her shorts back up on that dirty little hiney. 

What did I do?   I did what any parent would do in this situation:   I ran to the window and hollered down for Chris to come upstairs and take care of his daughter.   No, no.   Kidding.   I walked back out and close the door and pretended I never saw it.   Nope, kidding again.   Actually, my very, very initial thought when I encountered the crime scene was, "Oh great. More laundry."   And then I burst out laughing and said to my friend, ON THE PHONE,  "Oh.  Ma.  Gosh.   It's happened A-GAIN.   I have a Code Brown!   I repeat, a Code Brown!   Lemme call ya back". 

The mess?  Oh, the mess.  It was everywhere.  All over the bed, the bedding, the wall, the carpet, her Blankies, her stuffed animals, her clothes.  And of course, my phone pictures didn't capture the best (worst?) part.  Girlfriend had it under her fingernails.  I kid you not.  I do not jest. 

I would never jest about poop.

So to my friend:  I have made the monumental decision that we cannot speak by phone again.  Sure, we can email.  Text.  Hit me up on skype.  And we'll for sure swap poop stories over Sauvignon Blanc like the good old days.  But chatting on the phone?  Nope, no way.  Those days are gone. 

For the sake of my sanity, my abundant use of Clorox wipes, and the exploitation of my washer and dryer, I cannot risk another Code while we chat.

Sorry, girl.  It's just the way it has to be.


She's so proud of herself, isn't she?


Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Ya'll, I'm so not ready.

My Princess turned 4 on Thursday.  Four.  Quatro.  Quatre. 

Or as we say in South Carolina, Foh-wer!

I just loved Three.  It was not quite baby, but not quite big girl either.  She still sucked her thumb and wanted me to rock her to sleep at night.  She still had baby fat and square feet.  Her drawings were lines and dots, circles and squigglies.  She could be happy with a box of crayons or some legos.

Three wasn't all bubbles and baby powder, though.  We had our ups and downs.  Three was actually accompanied by a lot of very dramatic histrionic mood swings that at times caused me to want to run to my own Mama, throw myself at her feet, and beg her forgiveness for that one eensy-weensy little period of time in my life that I disrespected her. 

I think she remembers it as my toddler, school-age, adolescent, and teenage years.

But suddenly out of nowhere my baby went and grew up, and can now unlock all the child locks on the doorknobs with the mere flick of a wrist.  She wants to read books that actually have chapters and plots.  She can draw stick figures and faces and rainbows.  She wants to drink from a regular cup.  She carries a purse with her everywhere and applies Disney Princess strawberry lip gloss in the bathroom mirror.  She reaches for my iPhone almost instinctively to retrieve her games and videos.  And now she asks me questions like, "Mom, what is inertia?"  (Don't feel bad.  I had to look it up, too.)

Yeeaaah, this though, I was definitely unprepared for.  A summary of the phone call I received at work the other day:

Ring, ring.  Hello?

Chris:  "Hi.  How's your day?  Aria has something to ask you."  Snicker, snicker.

Me:  "Hmmkayyyyy....  Lemme talk to her."

Aria:  "Hi Mommy!  Daddy told me to ask you, 'What is that?'"

Me:  "What is what?"

Aria:  "That".

Me:  "What?  Can you be more specific?"

Aria:  "That pointy thing"

Me, panicking:  "Um, what pointy thing?"

Aria:  "That pointy thing, Mommy, down there."

Me:  "WHAT?"

Aria:  "The pointy thing.  Down there.  By your hiney."


Chris:  Peals of laughter

Me:  "What is going on?  Did she just say what I think she said???"

Chris:  PealsPea-yulls.  Of laughter.

Me:  "Honeeeeeeeeeyyy.  Be serious!  Really?  What happened?  Why is she asking me this?  And what did you say when she asked you?"

Chris:  "I told her to ask you".

Me:  "Okay.  Put her back on the phone".

Aria:  "Hi, Mommy!  Why is Daddy laughing?  Is it because of that thing?  That pointy thing?  By your hiney?"

Me:  Deep breath.  "It... well... that is...well... um... The pointy thing  ItsDaddyspeepee, Aria.  Boyshavepeepeesontheoutside andgirlshavepeepeesontheinside".   Another deep breath.    "AriaMommylovesyouverymuchnowputDaddybackonthephone".

Chris:  More peals of laughter.

Me:  "What the heck?  What happened while I was at work?"

Chris:  MORE peals of laughter.  "She walked in on me peeing.  And she asked.  And I thought you would like to handle it." Hysterical laughing - nay - GUFFAWING from my very supportive husband.

Okay, I'm not dumb.  I knew it was coming, I knew it.  I mean, the kid can open the child safety locks on doors, for pete's sake.  And she'll pretty much track you down anywhere in the house to ask you anything, so it was bound to happen, her walking in on one of us on the potty.  I just wasn't ready for the questions.

I thought I had ten, twelve more years.

Uh huh.  Ya'll.  YAWL.  I'm so not ready for this.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Elmo's a Loser

We spent this past Memorial Day weekend down at the lake.  The weather was perfect:  warm and breezy during the day, cool and clear at night.  The girls had an absolute ball feeding catfish, swimming in the lake, blowing bubbles, and helping Mimi pull weeds - and with that last part, thereby proving themselves fruit of Chris' loin.

It was a bittersweet time, though, because Memorial Weekend last year was the last time Grandad was with us at the lake, when the true symptoms of his stroke began to manifest, and we could no longer deny that he was becoming seriously ill. 

I must admit, however, that the laughter of children truly does seem to have healing properties.  It's just impossible to lose yourself in grief when you have giggling, babbling, singing, dancing, happy little ones around. 

God bless those girls.

Our neighbors in our subdivision at the lake organized a little patriotic golf cart "parade" on Saturday, replete with prizes for the best-decorated vehicle.  Hold up.  Wait a sec...  Hello?  Did you say prizes?  As in, a contest?  Ahem.  Now, it's not that I consider myself competitive or anything, but I have this annoying little habit whereas I absolutely insist on winning at all costs.  Which probably explains why I buy so much stuff on ebay, because to me, being the highest bidder in the last few seconds of the auction feels an awful lot like winning, despite what my husband says.  Whatever. 

And I don't mean Charlie Sheen's version of "winning", because, well, do I really need to overstate what an  oxymoron that is?  I'm talking the type of winning where there's a fair-and-square vote.  Or a game.  Or an auction.  Or a race.  Or at a slot-machine.  No, I did not just say that.

It's not like I ever competed in beauty pageants for the love of pete, because we all know how that would turn out.  I mean, can you imagine?  For the talent portion of the evening, Sarah Wood Thomas will be...what?  Writing a story for the judges?  Elbowing her way through a sale at Nordstrom?  Organizing a party?  Reciting the Preamble in her spot-on Elmo voice?  Yeah, yeah.  I've come to terms with the fact that my Elmo impersonation is not going to win me any pageants.  And guess what, I'm totally okay with that. 

Ohmagosh, speaking of pageants, ya'll?  The other day, I was driving down the Dallas North Tollway and - I kid you not - there was a white SUV with one of those big car magnets on it that read,

"So-and-So, Ms. Senior Texas 2002" 

Oh Yes.  She did.  So-and-So won the Ms. Senior Texas NINE years ago and sista was still proudly bragging about it.  On her car!  Isnt that greatness?  I just love it.  I wish I could meet that lady and shake her hand, or maybe take a picture with her for my blog.  To have that kind of confidence and to still have it on display nine years after the fact.  All I can say is, You go, girl! 

God bless that woman.

Okay, enough with that segue.

So, can you blame me for always wanting to win?  You try and grow up in the shadow of genius and tell me you wouldn't feel a fierce need to be right, I mean, WIN.

Anyway, I devoted a lot of time, and a lot of brain power to come up with the best, most award-winningest (sooo not a word) decorative golf-cart float idea which consisted of camouflage costumes for the adults complete with helmets and Army make-up, custom-sewn American flag costumes for the kids, and may or may not have included spray-painting Lexi red, white and blue. 

What?  Something wrong with that?

This was the First Annual El Dorado Bay Memorial Day Bike & Golf Cart Parade.  And daggum it, I wanted to win.  I was going to win.

Do you want to know how it turned out?

It didn't.

Because my husband ixnayed the whole idea.  (Yes, it's a word.  Go look it up).  Turns out, he himself has these two annoying little habits of:

A -  Not wanting to look like an idiot;  and,

B -  (Gleefully) being able to point out the flaws in my logic. 

In the case of the latter, it went something like this, Okay, hmm.  Sarah.  You want me to wear what?  You only have three days to put the whole float together and you want to sew costumes for the girls?  And, oh right, your sewing machine is still in the box on the upper shelf of Caroline's closet.  And...YOU WANT TO SPRAY PAINT THE DOG??? 

What can I say, ya'll?  I like to dream big.

In the end, I was forced to scotch tape Dollar Store flags around the perimeter of our golf cart, and bravely smile and wave my sorry little wooden stick flag even though I knew in my heart we weren't going to win.  The girls were dressed up cute, though, in red, white, and blue (store-bought) attire.  I even tried, as my last ditch Hail Mary, rallying everyone in my Elmo voice, but alas, this year, it was not meant to be.  Elmo failed me. 

Elmo, and the fact that reality does always not match up with what's in my head.  Whatever.  It's not like I'm a sore loser or anything. 

I admit the 2011 First Annual El Dorado Bay Memorial Day Bike & Golf Cart Parade Best Decorated title went to a golf cart more deserving. 

Although I'm holding out hope that if the winning golf cart cannot fulfill its duties...

Meantime, I've already got plans swirling in my head for next year's parade.  And all I'm sayin' is, the 2011 winning golf cart better watch its back, because next year, I WILL WIN.

Be honest, though, really?  How could THIS not get the vote?