Monday, August 31, 2009


That's right. Stay at least 50 yards away from me. I have some kind of terrible disease that is trying to eat me alive. Well, actually no. I like to pretend that I can diagnose myself. I actually developed a severe case of poison ivy on my face. I blame Byron (although he won't take the blame). I helped him outside in some tall weeds last weekend and I guess I must have caught it then. I had just spent a couple of days before that bragging to him that I had never had poison ivy in my life and I am one of the lucky few that is immune. Two days later my ears started itching and before I knew it my face was red, itchy, and my eye was swelling shut. Eeewwwww!! After the flesh eating bacteria (see, I'm still not convinced it's just poison ivy) theatened my eye sight I decided to head out to the doctor. She put me on an oral steroid which Byron has not stopped making jokes about since. She said I might be irritable, jumpy, sleepless, and have an increased appetite. I'm not exactly sure how I tell the juiced-up Alicia from the regular Alicia. I am happy to report that my swelling has gone down and I am starting to resemble the beautiful stunning woman I was a few days ago. The hardesst part? Not letting the kids touch my face. I didn't realize how much snuggly, kissy, smouchy face stuff goes on around this joint until I declared my face off limits. No wonder my make-up never stays where I put it!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Photo Flashback

Friday Photo Flashback

It's Friday! Time for Friday Photo Flashback. Thanks again to Alicia over at More Than Words for hosting. You can jump over to her blog by clicking the photo icon. Some savvy bloggers know how to put a direct link into their posts but I've never claimed to be savvy :-)

This is a picture taken of Byron and myself at Byron's graduation. Ahhh...young love. We were engaged at the time. I remember how proud I was of him. I still am!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Powdered feet

A couple of days ago I was in my laundry room when I saw two toddlers walk through the hallway together. Immediately my radar was up because they were not hitting, poking, or fighting with each other. Any good mother knows that the when sisters work together it is probably because they're in trouble together. I stuck my head out of the laundry room and saw tiny faint outlines of baby feet traced in white on my carpet. As I followed the feet I noticed they were becoming more defined as I reached the kitchen. When I reached the kitchen I realized where the footprints had originated. There was some sort of white powder all over the kitchen floor. It was pretty obvious that little hands and feet had been playing in it. I couldn't figure out what it was or where it came from. I knew it wasn't a cleaner. It wasn't sugar, flour, or powdered sugar. There were no obvious containers around. I finally had to take the plunge and stick my finger in it to taste it. Lemon flavor. Hmmm....what is white powdered that tastes like lemon? I couldn't figure it out. I crawled around the kitchen on baby level looking for something that would give me a clue. I absently opened the cabinet and there stood the evidence. An open box of lemon pudding. Those little stinkers dumped out the pudding and then tried to ditch the evidence. On the plus, the house and carpet still smell lemon fresh after the clean up. I would not recommend it as a carpet deodorizer though.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

She can't quite get it going yet so she really just holds the hoop and spends around with it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day of First Grade

Whoever said life never ceases to amaze must have had children. All week Kendall has been nervous about starting first grade. Everything changed when we went to meet the teacher night. She was so excited to see her school, her friends, and her room that all that nervousness went out the door. She hasn't had any anxiety about first grade since. She hopped on the bus this morning like it was any other day. Then they pulled away and I sat on the front porch and cried for 10 minutes. I know, I know! I thought I was going to make it but then Grace called out "Bye, bye Tootie! (that's what she calls Kendall) I wuv you!" Come on! What mom wouldn't cry at those sweet little words?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Photo Flashback

Someone sent me a link of the cutest idea called Friday Photo Flashback. You scan an old photo (pre digital days) and post it. It's a good way to share old pictures and get all those old photos scanned that you promise yourself your going to do but never get it done. This is a picture of my dad and I in 1982. I would have been 5 years old. My mom still has that Strawberry Shortcake swimsuit because my daughter was wearing it at Grandma and Grandpa's house last year. As far as if my dad still has those swim trunks, I think probably not. If you want to learn more about Friday Photo Flashback, check it out by clicking below.

Friday Photo Flashback

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What Not to Wear

I think my kids need to be turned into "What Not to Wear" on TLC. I'd like to hear the comments that Stacey and Clinton have to say about these little gems.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

So as I get more involved in the world of mommy blogging, I notice a lot of moms out there do something called wordless Wednesday. They just post a picture and they might write a short caption about it but other than that they usually leave the reader to make their own conclusions. I thought this was a cute idea and I am going to start doing it. The only problem is it requires you to be wordless and I don't know if I can do that! I'm already failing on this post for sure. Exhibit A: the picture I posted today. I really want to tell you that even though it looks like the kids are experiencing a disaster of some sort, they are really just being sprayed (no, more like misted) with water an the zoo. I want to tell you that I think its funny that my 2 year old looks like she's been held up by a robber. But I really shouldn't tell you these things because that defeats the purpose of WORDLESS. I see the irony. Really, I do.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Happy (Belated) Birthday Kendall

I can't believe I haven't got around to blogging about Kendall's birthday. We celebrated her birthday on the correct day and I'm usually good about getting the blogging for holidays out but I really dropped the ball on this one. Sorry Kendall! She had a good birthday. I'm really big on making birthdays a family affair and having good ole down home fun. I don't have a thing in the world against birthday parties but right now my kids just love to hang out with mom, dad, and sisters to celebrate and that works for me. She decided she wanted a homemade birthday cake in the shape of a six. I know it looks like a nine in the picture. Whoops! She also wanted a pinata. Even though we live on 5 acres Byron and I decided that tying it up to the swing on the deck would be the best thing. As you can see from the picture it is tied with an ELECTRICAL CORD! That was completely Byron's doing. I love Kendall's face in the picture when she's hitting it. I imagine quite a few boyfriends will get that face in the future. I've already received that face when she's been mad at me so it really came as no surprise. We started off whacking the pinata with a plastic baton which broke so we switched over to a broom handle. She still didn't get it completely open (I think those things are made of concrete) so I had to rip it apart Incredible Hulk style. Candy flew all over the deck and we're still finding pieces between the wood slats. It's little sweet reminders of Kendall's party.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Showering 101

When did showering become a planned event that includes so many steps? I used to walk into the bathroom dirty, shower and do all those things that go along with showering, and walk back out of the bathroom clean. Now this is what showering looks like for me.

1. Do the pre-shower walk through of the house. Shut all doors, pick up all things I don't want anyone to touch, and push back everything that is sitting on a surface at least 3 feet.
2. Put on a cartoon and usher everyone 6 and under into the family room.
3. Go turn on the water and put everything into place for the possible (and oh so frequent) middle of the shower exit.
4. Walk into the family room and announce "I'm taking a shower. Don't touch, be mean to, or even look at each other while I'm in there."
5. Race back to the bathroom, strip down, and jump into the shower with the clock ticking.
6. Listen to Grace walk into the bathroom and stand at the shower door. I don't have to look. I know she's there.
7. Get my hair washed, soaped up, and something shaved before I have to open the shower door and tell Grace and Maddie to stop pushing each other for the prime spot of standing by the shower door. Everyone wants to be the first one to see mom when she comes out. I guess I should feel like a celebrity. Maybe I'll get them tiny paparazzi cameras so they can get their million dollar shot.
8. Rinse off while I listen to Kendall tell me something "really important" about her hamster or the cartoon she's watching or how a cloud outside moved. This is the point when I tell her that "No, that was not important enough to come bother mommy while I'm in the shower."
9. Open the door to my fan club that immediately tries to grab my wet legs for hugs even though I've only been in the shower for 6 minutes and 22 seconds.
10. Pass around various beauty products for little hands to hold like we're at a Mary Kay convention. I use this time to slather on deodorant, lotion, etc. without having to share anything or answer half a dozen questions about my hair, body, or beauty routine.
11. Usher everyone out of the bathroom and shut the door so I can have FIVE minutes to dress and finish getting ready.
12. Make a mental note to barge in on them constantly as teen-agers for payback.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Texas Hold Em....Mommy Style

I've been putting on my poker face a lot lately with my oldest. She has been increasingly showing independence by informing me what she is NOT going to do. So when all the girls woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning I was not surprised to hear Kendall inform me that she was not going to eat breakfast. Then she was not going outside to play with the rest of us. She was not going to brush her teeth, etc. My response to these is usually, "That's your choice. It's not the choice I would make because I would (fill in the blank here). You'll need to live with the consequences of that." In my head I'm thinking, "Fine. Go hungry, get bored, and get cavities." But that's not what I say (usually). By lunch time I had about enough of listening to the complaining, whining, and crying. I announced that we were going to town for lunch to get out of this funk everyone was in. Guess who informed me they were not going? It went something like this.

Me: "Get your shoes on. We're going into town."
K: "I'm not going to town. I'm staying here."
Me: I'll meet you in the van. Don't forget to shut the door on your way out."

I then scoop up the babies and head out the door. I hear Kendall shut the door behind me but when I turn around I realize she's still in the house. Groan. I put the babies in the van and get in the driver's seat to start it up. As soon as I turn the engine over Kendall comes flying out of the house with a look of panic on her face. "Good," I thought. "Let her think I might leave without her." I was driving maybe two minutes when a magic marker came flying up to the front of the van. I cannot believe that child just threw something in the van. I put on the brakes right in the middle of the road and everything is dead quiet. I know every one's eyes are on the back of my head. What's mom gonna do? I've certainly got some choices. I could:

A) Give a lecture about the dangers of throwing things at the driver
B) Drag Kendall out and give her a good spanking
C) Confiscate the markers

I didn't even turn around. I just reached down, picked up the marker, rolled down my window, and tossed it out into the road. Four pairs of eyes watched a marker fly through the air, hit the side of the road, and roll into the ditch. I rolled up the window and just sat there for a few seconds. I felt like I should make a statement after throwing something out the window. Finally I said, "Anything that gets thrown up here will get thrown out my window." Then I put the van in drive and went on. It was stone silence all the way to town; which was nice. That was a few hours ago and nothing has been said about the marker which only means one thing; I won that hand of poker.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Why I will be investing in motion sickness pills in the future

I am a lover of amusement parks. Make it faster, higher, and spin more per second and I am hooked. I will ride anything once and most things multiple times. That's why I was so excited to take Kendall to her first real amusement park; Holiday World of Santa Clause, IN. I have loved this park since a kid. It's clean, efficient, and has a great staff. Since I have been in baby birthing mode for the past few years I have not had the opportunity to ride anything but my mini van or the occasional carousal while standing next to a toddler. Kendall has just broke the height barrier to get off the kiddie rides and start riding some of the fun stuff. We were having a great time as we rode the scrambler, the tilt-o-whirl, and the carousal (with me actually riding next to her instead of standing next to the horse). Then came the mother load. She wanted to ride the Spider. If you don't know what the Spider is then think back to the county fair when you were a kid. Remember the black twirly thing with spinning carts on top that had the big light up ball in the middle? That's the spider. I wasn't so sure about that ride for a newbie but she had done well on all the others so we went for it. Big mistake! I will be the first to admit I did not listen well in high school physics. I never really understand how to make the carts spin faster. I do know that if things aren't going your way on a ride, then you should stop pulling on whatever bar you're pulling. We got going on the spider and I thought we might be the first ones to spin our cart right off the arm it was attached to. We were spinning and spinning and Kendall is screaming and screaming "Make it stop! Make it stop! I can't take it!" I'm freaking out internally because I'm feeling what she's screaming. I throw my arm across her and pry her hands off the bars thinking it will slow us down. No go. I'm saying in the most calm voice I can muster right before our death, "It's okay. It's just a ride. It will be over soon. I've got you." I told her to look down at her feet and don't look up. I mean, that's what I was doing. Finally the ride ends and I'm shaking so bad from spinning that I can barely exit the ride. I'm thinking Kendall is going to demand we go home and she never wants to set foot in a amusement park again. We both limp out the exit and try to calm our nerves by sitting on a bench watching other victims of the Spider. Kendall pipes up, "I don't want to ride it again, but it really wasn't that bad. I just think I want to be a little older. Maybe I'll try again next year." That's fine, but you are going to have to sucker your dad into riding with you because I have officially become too old to ride stuff like this.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Oh dear...the odor.

The Halls have been over indulging in the wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables that summer time bring to our tables. My kids have been chowing down on peaches, berries, tomatoes, green beans and especially CORN ON THE COB. Yummy! However there is a downside to all that healthy good food. The downside is usually found in Madison's diaper. It starts first thing in the morning when I go to get her up. I stand outside her door and take a few deep breaths because I know what will greet my nose when I open her door. Sure enough an odor strong enough to drive terrorists out of their fox holes hits me as soon as I enter the room. Ugh!!! There's Maddie standing in her crib grinning from ear to ear. From the minute that door opens it is almost an Olympic event to get her up, changed, and the diaper out the back door before the smell takes over the house. Then it's back to her room to open her window so her room can air out before nap time. Of course I won't even go into the contents of the diaper but I will say Kendall commented once that it looked like Maddie's diaper had been sprinkled with the hamster's food. I think we might have to lay off the extra helpings of fruits and veggies for a little while or I'm going to need to invest in a ventilation system for the nursery.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Life is a Sticom

One of my favorite sitcom shows was "Everybody Loves Raymond". People can always come together over problems with spouses, in-laws, and just life in general. We are living out an episode of that show at the Hall house. Remember the episode when Debra left the suitcase at the bottom of the stairs and her and Ray began an unspoken battle of who would put it away? There is currently two suitcases sitting on our bedroom floor that have been waiting to be put in the top of the closet for 4 days. It is obvious to me that Byron should be the one to lift up awkward heavy things and put them away. Nothing of this sort is obvious to him. I don't post this to call out Byron personally. I would never do that. It's ALL men. Byron is no different than every male on the planet. Men just don't notice ANYTHING!! I will get up to go to the bathroom and on the way pick up/put away/throw out 20 things that I come across on the way to and from the bathroom. When a man gets up to go to the bathroom; he just goes to the bathroom. He doesn't see the dirty dish, the toy on the floor, or the junk mail that needs to go in the trash. I also notice a kid who is hurt, tired, thirsty, uncomfortable or needs assistance before the tell me what's going on. However, the girls will say "Daddy" 20 times before Byron says "Huh?" Like I said, it's not his fault. It's the way men are made. When I complain to Byron that he's not proactive enough his response is that I never give him a chance. I always jump in and do it before he can blink. He's probably right. It's my nature. I'm a worker bee. He comes up with the ideas and I put them into action. But this time I'm giving him a chance. Who will break first? Will Byron notice the suitcases and take initiative to put them away? (or read this blog post?) or will I give in and put them away myself to feed my need for organization? Who knows? Maybe they will just sit there until we go somewhere again. I'll keep you blogposted.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Dance of the School Supplies

Let me start by saying I'm sorry. Really, I had no idea. I didn't know that when I made school supply lists as a teacher that I was accidentally driving parents insane. I tried to make them easy but looking back I see that I was too demanding. I promise that I have learned first hand from my mistakes through my own child's school supply list. Who would think that this would be so hard? It's only crayons, folders, pencils, etc. Yet there I was sweating it out in the Walmart school supply isles. Elbowing up against other moms trying to get the last red folder with no prongs and bottom pockets. Hovering on the bottom of the shelf looking for pink erasers and yellow #2 pencils. Finding WASHABLE crayola markers (not the regular kind, heavens no). Finding 16 pack crayons even though the 24 pack are $.25 and in abundance while the 16 pack are $1.16 and way in the back of the store. Then there's the odd ball stuff that you tromp all over the store to get. Clorox wipes, sandwich baggies, large bottles of Jim Beam (okay maybe I made that last one up). How am I suppose to do this for 3 kids when I can barely manage for one? Every year they send out a little survey that says "Would you be willing to pay $1-2 extra to have all your child's school supplies purchased and waiting for your child at school?" Every time I check yes. So I want to know where is it??? What psycho mother is not checking the yes box? If you don't start checking yes then you better pray I don't find you in the Walmart school supply isle.