Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My people are fixing to go into battle for crying out loud (Biltmore stuff).........

After we had eaten dinner at The Old Stone Inn (later on that) and had made it back to the cabin, D went out on the back deck to smoke a cigar and watch the storm coming in. I put on my PJ's and ate his Nutella dessert before he could eat it. I figured his dessert was a cigar, plus he said earlier I could have his Nutella dessert....even if he didn't mean it, I ate it.

So the storm comes in. We have the door open and all is quiet in Mr. Roger's neighborhood except the cool breeze blowing in and the sound of rain. We are both reading in total silence which is awesome! I have my Nook with Pillars of the Earth going to town. D has grabbed a real book from the side table about some mountain living and so forth from about the late 1960's to early 70's publishing time. I am not sure but some of those books may have been there since that house was built.

He starts talking to me about some mountain folks in the book. I stop reading to listen well. He informs me to keep reading he isn't going to go on & on, he just wanted to tell me about x, y, and z. When he has finished I pick back up where I left off. My people are fixing to go into battle for crying out loud, I am right in the middle of Medieval time battle anxiety and chaos.....

D- Babe! You have to look at this guy, he is standing on this piece of wood barefooted and cutting with his ax! LOOK at him.

I look at the mountain man. He is in fact using an ax barefooted with overalls on and no shirt underneath.

D goes into the what feels like an on and off 25 minute discussion about the fellow with no shoes on and his overalls hacking away at the round piece of wood that he believes is a wagon wheel in the making. When he realizes it is actually a water wheel, it freaking rocks his world. Then he goes into another discussion about the amount of work it took to whittle out the vanes and blah, blah, blah....on and on and now this other hillbilly, old fellow, dude has made a bee hive out of an old humongous log and he's telling me how to do this.

I dang HATE bees. This information will never be useful to me in anyway. I have to listen to him though cause he has been so sweet to me all weekend. He tells me about bees, queen bees, worker bees, bee hives, bee swarms, how to mark a tree in the old days so no one else claimed the tree and it wouldn't get cut down by loggers, how to track some bees, boiled bees, fried bees, bees soup, bee gumbo, bee ca-bobs, bee pudding, bees and rice, here a bee, there a bee, everywhere a bee, bee. He informs me he is gonna get some bees and make a bee hive out of a log.

A- Really Babe? My people are fixin to be in the middle of a battle in Earlshire or something or other and the dang stable is on fire.....You know I hate bees, we are never going to own a swarm of bees, freaking EVER.....

....then this.....

...there is a framed newspaper article and picture in the mountain house about this really, really, old woman that was related to his mom from way back when....way, way, way back when....she was a midwife among a lot of other things she did while she was alive. Truly she was an amazing woman. I hadn't read the article in many years.....but, again, then this...

D- Amy you just don't understand how hard these people had it till you think about all this stuff they had to do to get honey and grind corn and .....have you read that article on the wall over there about that woman? I mean sometimes people couldn't even pay her. All they had for payment was a dang squirrel.

A- (laughing, cause I suddenly remembered that part of the article. It never occurred to me as funny at the time. Now I am delirious over barefoot, no shirt wearing under overalls hillbillies who used to be sweet mountain men at the beginning of the conversation who are now keeping me from Medieval battle in my Pillars book.)

D starts laughing a little too cause he understands how funny that sounds now too.

I'm all in my mind..... birthing Skylar or Cole or something and suddenly saying to the doctor...um, I am sorry I forgot my debit card...... but I gotta squirrel. Do you take a squirrels?

If you pull his tail you can run his tongue through he slider. Now Doc... that's the wrong way. Now his testicles are stuck.....yer gonna get a decline runnin him that way......

A- Babe, Shut up! You are killin me. I love you and all but I don't want to hear one more thing about that barefooted man or idiot bees......

D- I am just sayin it's all interesting I bet Dad loves looking at these books.

......all is quiet a few minutes........then,

D- Hey Amy, look here we are at the Biltmore.

I look over my reading glasses at him with that blasted book, for sure I am half cocked.

He shows me this picture.

I have to laugh out loud, cause it does look like me a little. I swear when I get up in the morning, with mis-matched pajamas, my glasses, and some random shoes...maybe they are the same on both feet... maybe they aren't....

D- Look.....it's you ridin my a** like a donkey in the rain taking pictures of flowers.

So dang funny.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

To tuck or not to tuck, my friends, that is the blasted question........

Cole had his very first ever soccer game yesterday.

We have been waiting since he signed up for his first big game. I made sure he ate well all day. I made sure he had a nap. I made sure all his gear was clean and ready to be put on when he woke up from his nap. Maysie had her Flip to record all the fun stuff, Zac had the water bottles ready to go, we all rubbed Sky's magic belly for good luck, D got home a little early so we could all ride together.

Excitement in the Williams household.

Did all that preparation work for me?

um, no.

Before we left Z told CB he'd have to tuck his shirt in. The little kid's shirts are too long. I had personally hoped they wouldn't have to be tucked in at the age, cause that would be a lot of tucking. But alas it was a rule that must be obeyed for the game. CB almost had a melt down at the house about tucking that shirt in. I had asked Z to just leave him alone I figured once we got to the field I would casually tuck it in and we'd move on.

um, no.

D casually tucked his shirt in once at the field and all was well in the universe. All the stars lined up properly till CB burst into tears and wanted his shirt untucked.

About this time I was walking up with the cooler full of after game drinks and snacks. I am like what the heck is wrong now? M, Z, D, & CB all at once try to explain to me that CB will not tuck his shirt in. No shirt tucked in = no playing(to put the pressure on).

Z is in shear panic the whole game cause CB isn't going to get to play and CB is sabotaging himself with his pride...it is literally making Z crazy. May is going on about how she can't film him and trying to guilt him. Sky is rubbing it in his face that he is not going to get to have a Capri-Sun drink and fruit roll up by drinking a Capri-Sun drink in his face. CB doesn't care his pride is now firmly cemented. I am embarrassed by his behavior and trying to do the right parenting thing. Secretly on the inside, I want to insist that he get his butt on the field and play like he is supposed too or pull my hair out strand by strand with a pair of tweezer in sheer torture.

To make a hour and a half long story short. I told him we had paid for all that gear and he committed to playing on the team, now Dad had committed to coaching and by golly HE WAS GOING TO TUCK THAT STUPID SHIRT IN EVEN if he sat in the chair on the sidelines.

Which is what he did.

That little boy had determined in his mind that if he had to have his shirt tucked in, he WAS NOT GOING TO PLAY...even if Jesus came back I don't think he would have got up out of that chair, he was so full of himself. Strand by strand I tell you......

Not once did he ask me to get up, not once did he say he would play. He would only convey that I was being mean and he wanted his shirt untucked.

After the game he did not ask for a Capri-Sun or fruit roll up not even in the car on the ride home. D handled the whole thing much better than I thought he would. I thought he would read him the Right Act about his attitude, but he didn't. He conveyed his disappointment and explained how the team had to work harder because he didn't do his part. Explaining how other team members had to be extracted from the opposing team to fill in his spot and relayed what we put down as parents for him to play. When we got home we made him go to his room for a while and then onto bed. He was not happy about that at all.

I conveyed to D that I was proud of him for not losing his temper and handling CB so well. The other kids clapped for him and gave him the standing ovation treatment. They were proud of him too.

In the end though, when I kissed CB goodnight, he was happy. It was as if that evening had never happened and had been erased from his mind.

CB- Goodnight Mommy, I want to give you a kiss on the lips(its his thing).

A- (kiss, big squeezy hug) Okay CB see you in the morning. After tonight we are never going to bring this up again okay. You are going to be expected to do better with out having to be reminded of this day.

CB- I know Mommy. I am going to play next time. I want to play soccer. I'm going to wear my shirt tucked in. (He is telling me these things so easily, they are just flowing out smooth and velvety....I just can't understand why he so happily says them now and so stubbornly refused them just 3 hours earlier.)

A- Okay, sounds good( I give him a big hug and leave)

CB- Go get Daddy and tell him I want a kiss goodnight please.

I tell D.

D and CB have some conversation I can't hear over the air purifier though I am trying so hard to hear it my eyes are squinting for better reception. I can't make it work and move on.

Later that evening, I was conveying to D my severe agitation at having to tuck the dumb shirt in anyway, cause they were too long. To which he said something along the lines of - Thats what's wrong with kids. They aren't made to follow the rules, they make them up as they go along and they expect everyone in life to play along. When kids don't get their way they pride up, people give in and, they learn that if they stomp their feet long enough they get what they demand and don't have to earn it and to heck with respect for themselves or anyone else....the shirt tucked is a principle point about respecting the rules of the game, himself, and his team mates, and his coach. (in a quick nutshell)

I understood that perfectly and it was very valid.

Ugh!! My inability to know how to deal with it publicly was frustrating. It put me on the spot about my child's pride issue. All the peeps in our little family pull their weight pretty good, especially when pressed. Last night Cole did exactly the thing that none of my children have ever done...wait me out and won, while wallowing in pride. I commented to one parent, half joking-half not, that I ought to make him wear his pajamas tucked in to bed tonight. I didn't though...cause he sleeps in his underwear....

I have seen kids do that kind of stuff before, but I had always had the whole "not my kid syndrome." Consistently, CB has been the one who teaches me how to handle parenting skills that I have never had to access before.

I mean it really is a truth that no two kids are the same. Some may come close, but they are not the same. I can see distinct differences in all 4 of my children.

This goes back to me saying 100 times.....

Parenting is freaking hard work!

I have to just keep telling myself.....he's only been alive for 4 years, he is still a super young human with a lot more lessons to learn....

......and teach me about parenting apparently.

Thank you God for grace, I crave it.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I think we'll have a little JAM with our toast this morning....

Today I feel old school.....and I like it.

Excuse me Doug E Fresh yer on......


no....just chill out............

We made it to the mountain house after an extremely looooooonnnnnng drive over the mountain.  This dude from another state, but not Florida or Texas was driving like 15 mph.  I am not exaggerating.  He might have went 20 mph at some point but I just can't be sure.  There were about 120 places he could have pulled off and let the cars stacked up behind him go by...but he just chose not too.

At first we were all... so what if it takes a while we are alone and together and in no hurry.  Then after about 20 minutes we were like is this guy for real?  Who puts their brakes on going up a mountain at a speed one could walk faster?  Derrick is generally honk yer horn happy. He told me he was going to start honking his horn at every pull off and maybe the guy would get a hint and pull over.  We now had 16 cars stacked up behind us(I counted).  We were #2 behind some Floridians who were growing impatient also and had started to totally ride the dudes bumper.

D commences the horn honking on three different pull offs and by now I am all for it.  I'm ready to scratch my face off thinking I may grow a beard and die before we get to Bryson City.  The guy does not pull off.

We go through a tunnel and as a tradition we always honk the horn in long dark tunnels....so we honk some more for fun now cause he is obviously not going to pull off.  EVERY car behind us lays on the horn as they go through the tunnel.  D and I snicker to each other cause we know everyone is getting delirious.  They don't just "toot toot", they

toooot toooooot toot toot toooooooooot 

...it's stress relief.

It has been some tiiiiiiiiiiimmmme now for real. I think folks had settled into never getting to their destinations.....except for the Florida peeps who were almost about to ride connected to the back seat belts in the slow dudes car....when he suddenly decides to pull off ....at a pull off like he's freaking supposed to do instead of back up traffic.
  • I roll my window down.
  • Florida stomps their gas and takes off, we don't ever see them again.
  • I hang my head out of the truck and make the raise the roof dance motion and holler as loud as I can accessing my inner redneck, "Wooooooooooo, yeah!  Way to go dude, Alllllriiiiight!!!!"
In that order.

As I pass I see a balding late 20 something male looking out his rolled down car window smiling at all the passing cars.  I swear, I swear.... he is looking proud of himself, like he has really done a good deed  for all man kind....and believe me he has in a way.

He appears to be amazed at all of the cars he has backed up by this time.

My heart thinks I have truly seen a real live moron. In fact I think my mouth may have said it out loud and D's concurred with it.

...so we get to the house, unload a few groceries, unpack, put sheets on the bed and chill out a bit before dinner on the deck... reading the paper and so forth.

I get caught up in my Pillars of the Earth book and D begins to cook dinner.  I tell him I will come in and help as soon as I get to a stopping point. D says to me, "No, just chill out with your Nook," and I decide to do just that.

Soon it's getting dark and I can't see on my Nook as well as I had been able to about 45 minutes to an hour ago and I am smelling garlic galore....

D- Come eat!

This is what I see when I go inside. 


  • fresh basil linguine & shrimp with a fresh, garlic, parsley, basil, and Parmesan cheese sauce
  • Ciabatta bread with Benissimmo dipping olive oil
  • Spring Salad with balalmic vinegarette dressing(my favorite)
  • Smoking Loon Merlot(another favorite)
  • For dessert he made a NUTELLA Mousse  the night before we left so it'd be ready for dinner on this night.

Everything was delicious tasting.  I couldn't have had a better meal in a restaurant.

  All was super quiet.
      We didn't eat fast purposefully.
            It was my dream dinner.
                 I felt really special and loved.

He took care to make things he knew I would go nuts over.  I am so glad we ate at the mountain house instead of going out.  This was definitely a night that will rank high in my memory files cause literally everything was perfect.

When we were cleaning up the dishes I found this.

Which I thought was sort of funny.

A- So what did you do? Google romantic dinner for two?

D- Yes.  You aren't supposed to be looking at my cheat sheets...give me those(yanks them from me and puts them away).

I was secretly glad he had cheat sheets cause it told me he took the time to care about what were going to do on this rare occasion we had alone more than 2 hours.  I believed it to be thoughtful and I liked it a lot.

After dishes we gabbed some more on the back deck about the book he was reading, then about the book I was reading, then about how people write such clever books, then about this and that and on and on and on....

.....not once were D and I interrupted by a wee little voice that said we needed to wipe a butt or break up a squabble.  I missed my kids....

......but just not that much at that moment.    ;o)

....cause.....I knew Nana was wiping butts.   :oD

Saturday, September 18, 2010

and Michael Jackson's hair to blow up.........

So I turned 40 this past Sunday on the 12th.

To me this signifies(God willing) the beginning of the next half of my life. I certainly want to do things a little differently now than say I did 5 years ago.

It turns out that D and I were able to go to the Biltmore Estate for a couple days by ourselves. My mom came in town from Atlanta to keep our kids on Friday. Shortly after that, D and I headed toward North Carolina. We were to stay at his parents mountain house in Bryson City then tour the Biltmore on Saturday.

On our way over we stopped for lunch at this place called The Apple...something or other.....it consisted of a few nice log type buildings. One building a cafe, one a super cool general store with old fashioned candies, jams, jellies, banjo bird houses and stuff. The third log building sold quilted goods, candles, and other things women generally go nuts over like cool book marks, nice dishes, and monogrammed stuff.

Lunch was delicious. The stand out items from lunch were the house made potato chips, they were outstanding. I could have eaten way to many of them and in a hurry. I had a peach fritter that wouldn't stand a chance against my Momma-Bet's(grandmother) apple fritter.

Walking into the general store you get slammed in the face with the smell of rock your world flavored coffee beans ready for the scooping. There was this one maple coffee that I was just about to stick my face in and suffocate myself, but I refrained. So this hiker/runner type couple enters the store behind D and I. They are from the north and not very chatty. I know cause they commented on the smell of the coffee and I had just lifted my head from the barrel of maple delicious goodness...

A- You have to smell this one, it's amazing. They all smell great.

Husband (half smiling like he smells dog dooky) - yeah
Wife - Well we bought coffee last night. (she moves on past me without ever looking at me)

A- OOookay then.....

I move onto the old fashioned candy and what do my wondering eyes spy but CANDY CIGARETTES and bubble gum cigars. Remember the kind that you would puff and powdered sugar came out like smoke? I hadn't seen those in like forever. Because who buys candy cigarettes for their kids to pretend to be smoking for petes sake.

uumm ....me.

I bought a pack of the bubble gum, powdered sugar smoke ones, a pack of the candy stick ones that taste like stamps with the red tip insinuating fire, and 4 bubble gum cigars......cause that's the kind of parent I am.

The kids and I had just been discussing how when I was a kid, we walked to the Tenneco gas station up the street. we'd buy 3 cent a piece gum or if we were lucky enough to have a full .35 we'd get a candy bar.....an by the way while you are there get your mom some Benson & Hedges Lights. I'd buy my mom's cigarettes and buy myself candy ones and pretend to be smoking. All the kids I knew bought their parents cigarettes. We'd pull in the gas station and our parents would send us in to buy the cigarettes so they didn't have to get out of the car.

For real, I mean we didn't think anything about it. Today if you sent your kid into a gas station to buy cigarettes somebody would probably report you for abuse.

Nonetheless, the kids were intrigued by the thought of bubble gum cigarettes that blew out powdered sugar like smoke. When I saw them I knew I had to get them. I also found honey sticks in all flavors. They wouldn't touch the ones we bought fresh in Santa Fe though.

When I got the stuff home Cole wouldn't touch the bubble gum cigs. The powdered sugar looked like smoke to him and he wasn't having any part of that....even when I showed him the cigarette was purple and you could eat it. It was funny and it made me feel good about his decision making too. The other 3 were basically just trying to puff the sugar out and thought the gum was horrible. It was back then, and it still is now... horrible tasting gum.

The stamp tasting candy stick ones...Z ate like they were steaks. Of course he is at the stage where he might eat a stick of butter if there is nothing else within his immediate grasp.

I am glad they got to see them. It showed me that my kids even the young ones are quite able to distinguish between things that are good for them and things that are not. They understood these were for fun and it was fun to puff the sugar and turn red in the face trying to get it all out, but that was all it was.

I love that my kids are cool that way. They react accordingly cause they aren't expected to overreact. They don't have to be explained all this philosophical hullabaloo about ......Now children these aren't REAL cigarettes and they are just for play...we all know cigarettes aren't good for your body....isn't that right children? Now we all know matches start fire and fire, young people without the brains to think, causes cancer and Michael Jackson's hair to blow up...blah, blah...blah...blah...blah, blah....

Okay where was I?

In the store. I bought some awesome Minnetonka Moccasins also.

While I was paying for my bad parenting products and my shoes, I totally saw the hiker wife going beserk in the scoop your own coffee beans section. No lie she was scooping hard and so fast filling her clear bag to capacity. D said he saw her spilling beans all over the floor. In my heart I felt like hiker wife was an idiot. She talked to her husband like he was her pet, I didn't like it. The hiker husband was kinda sniffy too. I didn't respect him too much for letting his wife talk to him like that....but he was wearing the coolest Keen shoes and I did respect that he treated his feet well.

Gotta a lot of stuff to get out...it may take a few blogs but it'll all get here eventually.......

Thursday, September 9, 2010

when you put a platypus in someone's bed it's called a platy-prank.............

Uncle Charlie to Maysie some time ago - What did you do to your hair?

M- I got it highlighted.

UC- Yeah one time I highlighted some strands of my hair....the ones that were more important than the others.


May to me one night before dropping them off at Awana - Are you going to fix your hair?

A- Yes.

M- Good. It looks like the curly wall of terror and doom.


Z in the car on the way to soccer practice - Did you know that a platypus is poisonous?

A- No

Z pretending to be a geek and dorking out someone else dorkier than himself - Hey, ya know that kid over there?.....Well, he got bit by a platypus. Now he has platy-pox.

M (from the back seat somewhere)- ....and he had to take some platy-pills and rush to the platy-porcelain pony when he had to platy-poop. He had to platy-pray to the platy-pope for healing so he wouldn't become platy-paralyzed.

A, Z, S, & CB (insert much laughing)

M- You have to cook platypus eggs in a platy-pan......and when you put a platypus in someone's bed it's called a platy-prank.

A, Z ,S ,& CB (insert much laughing)


Getting in the car for practice one night, it's just me, Z, and one other kid, I can't remember which one, probably Cole. Cole is in his car seat Z climbs all the way to the back of the van. I am like why is he sitting all the way back there?

A- Why are you sitting all the way back there?

Z- I don't know I just felt like it.

A- Well, sit up front or in the middle?

Z- Why? What difference does it make where I sit?

A- Number one because I said so. Number two because I am your mother not your chauffeur. I don't chauffeur you around from event to event cause I have nothing better to do...because that's my job. I purposefully drive you to those events because I want to watch you play. I want you to have a good time doing what you enjoy. So when you sit up front it acknowledges to me that you understand I am not your maid, I am your mother who chooses to take you to your happy place.

Z moving up front huffing a bit.....I know he is rolling his eyes though I cannot see it.

Z- Why Lord......do females have to be so dang complicated all the time?

The way I see it....I'm just breaking him in well for his future wife.......


I haven't had the time to blog or do anything that remotely causes my brain to rot in decompression since school started and it's not going to get better any time soon. The only thing I can do is drive from place to place and try to "keep up with the Jones' " which I despise. I can't stand running all over Hell and creation throwing money out of my car windows in the form of gas and losing what feels like a life time in the drivers seat of my car. Keeping the files in my mind in order so as not to skip something is a freaking chore these days.

So one morning while lamenting in despair over my Outlook calendar looking like someone threw up lego blocks on it in the form of activities that steal my valuable time.....Cole shuffles into my room in the early morning darkness and crawls up in my lap. He nods back off to sleep.

I notice his top lip pushed forward as he sucks his thumb hard. I can smell his breath, it wreaks of a good nights sleep. I can see the veins in his eyelids, smoothly covering his big greenish eyes. I notice his stark white hair bleached from the summer sun and his tan body hanging all over me. His legs have gotten so long that they hang over one side of my chair and his head is hanging over the crease of my other arm on the other side.

My baby is so long all of the sudden.....in fact he isn't even a baby or a toddler, he's a little boy. When the heck did that happen? I try to hold him more like a baby to see if it will change my perspective, but it doesn't.

He's really big.

My last baby is a baby no more.

I pulled him close to sniff his hair and his face to see if he smelled like a baby. He smelled like shampoo from the night before and that's it.

CB(sleepily)- Mom.........quit smelling me. I took a bath last night. My stomach wants something delicious to eat. It wants toast with no butter and chocolate milk.

This means he wants toast with butter. If he sees you put the butter on the toast, he won't eat it. If you serve him the toast with no butter...he won't eat it. So you have to do it all in secret, then everything is furry bunnies and rainbows.

I completely forgot about that despicable calendar of events for the day. I realized that my baby boy was really a little boy.......

........all the time with all of my babies is forever gone. It was really a jagged little pill to swallow for a few minutes. My throat physically squeezed tight and my eyes tried hard not to get wet.........

.....then suddenly..... I felt euphoria.

It came to me, I would never ever, ever, ever, have to potty train again.

All the stars in my universe were aligned properly after that.