blogging about daily life from Griffin, Georgia

Easter (4.8.12 and 4.9.12)

Category: Personal | Comments (0) | Valerie @ June 20th, 2012   

After surviving the school egg hunt, it was on to the church one. You’d think this one might be a bit easier, right? I mean, church folks, they’re less aggressive and no one pushes and kids are different, right? WRONG. If anything, it’s WORSE because no one is watching their own kids. All the church parents are huddled in the shade talking about how they’re going to volunteer next while their kid somehow obtains the powers of a superhero. But, guess what? They’ve met their match because I can become psycho superhuman when you least expect it. This year was especially nice because Dan was able to attend. As we traveled from the fellowship hall over to the courtyard where Brittain’s age group was to hunt eggs I was giving strict instructions: “You stay with Coleman. If you can break away from him and point some eggs out to her, do it.” “Brittain, when they say ‘go” you go as fast as you can and pick up as many eggs as you can.” We arrived at the courtyard and they were instructed to line up. I’m standing there with my camera knowing good and well that I’m not going to get a single picture. “GO” is yelled and they’re off. I immediately run toward Brittain and I’m pointing to eggs. “Here…here…look there…put it in your basket and GO…I don’t care if that’s a pretty egg…just GO.” Several times I would see a kid running toward one of HER eggs and I would give him a look of death. My eyes get all crazy looking and my nostrils flare out…”Don’t you DARE touch that egg.” Of course then I stand up and say very sweetly, “Look at all of you. This is so much fun. Aren’t they the cutest?!” In the end, Brittain ended up with an average amount of eggs. Not the most, of course, but thankfully she didn’t walk away with 3.

How many more years do I have to do this? I’m thankful that my next one is a boy. Secretly I’m hoping he’s going to be one of those aggressive ones who doesn’t care who he knocks down in his path. One can only hope.

When the actual Easter day rolls around it’s almost a relief because all the egg hunts are finally over. One tradition that we started several years ago was a group picture of some of the kids at church whose parents we’re friends with. This year was our 5th year taking the kids picture together. It’s hard to believe how much time has passed:

counting to 10 is harder than it looks (apparently) (4.5.12)

Category: Personal | Comments (0) | Valerie @ June 20th, 2012   

Y’all know by now how Easter Egg Hunts freak me out, right? I would be perfectly content if I never had to attend another one again, but that apparently doesn’t go over well with kids, particularly mine, and I’m still trying to make sure my kids always remember good things about me. So, despite the fact that I very well should take a tranquilizer before going, I’m always there with a smile, camera in hand.

The first egg hunt of the season was at Crescent for Brittain’s Kindergarten class. I arrived before the hunt began. I started out surveying the class. “That kid’s ok. She’s shy. I can tell. I don’t think she’ll grab every egg before Brittain ever gets started.” “Oh no. Look at that kid. Not only is he twice the size of every kid in here, you can tell he’s mean. Look at the red hair. We’re done.” I am jolted back to reality when I hear the teacher say, “Now, does everyone remember the rules? You can only get 10 eggs. After you’ve found 10, go and sit down.” The relief I felt at that moment was like nothing I can describe. THANK YOU, I thought. Finally someone with some sense around here.

At that point it was time to head outside. Brittain and I cheerfully skipped. I was so happy. My kid was going to be able to find eggs and would not leave with nothing in her basket. With that, the hunt started and I stood back and smiled. But that smile only lasted a brief moment when I noticed Brittain wandering around saying, “I can’t find anymore eggs”. AND SHE ONLY HAD 3! “What the…” I thought to myself. I immediately run out to the playground with other children, scouring the ground for the rest of MY KIDS 10 EGGS. But then I realized…there are idiot kids. The teacher finally calls for everyone to come sit down. I am that person going up to each kid and saying, “How many eggs do YOU have? Oh really? Well, let me count.” and “Does this look like 10 eggs to you?” and “I’m just going to have to take a few out of your basket because YOU apparently can’t follow directions.” I mean, seriously? It’s KINDERGARTEN folks. LEARN TO COUNT TO 10 ALREADY. Sheez…

Get me the hell out of here. Someone please tell me…where is the fun in this?

the baby boy’s 1st (3.11.12)

Category: Personal | Comments (0) | Valerie @ June 18th, 2012   

During my pregnancy after I found out I was having a boy I went through a gamut of emotions. While sadness and a bit of anger were a part of those, I also began to feel some sense of relief. I had been a mother to a girl now for 5 years. And while you all know I love my Brittain so much that sometimes I think my heart might explode, she is a GIRL and let’s just face it…high maintenance. So, when I really began to let it sink in that a boy would be joining our family, the more used to the idea I became. I began picturing myself a different person, shasaying around, throwing my hands in the air while saying, “That’s a boy for ya. Whadaya do with ’em?” I somehow convinced myself that I was going to give myself a break this second time around. Turns out what everyone told me was true – I DO love this kid as much as the first one. Dang it! So, when Coleman’s birthday started approaching, I rolled my eyes (at myself) and knew that I was about to start doing a ridiculous amount of work for someone who poops and tee tees his pants.

In case you don’t recall Brittain’s 1st birthday, you can view it here: It was crazy
overboard with handmade hats for EVERY guest. We squz (yes, i know that’s not a word, but that’s what we did) around 40 people into our house for the big celebration, and best of all we debuted “Brittain’s 1st year video” that Dan had compiled of all video clips and photo clips from Brittain’s first year of life. Clearly, there was no way I could live with myself if I planned a simple, family-only, low key celebration for Coleman’s big day. What kind of mother would I BE? And how could I explain that 20 years from now when he’s looking at the blog and sees a small homemade cake with just his FAMILY around him?

So, I began the planning. This go ’round was different because Brittain wanted to be a part of EVERY part of the planning. It was wonderful and we had so much fun together getting things ready. Of course when party day came around, it was really more of a party for Brittain…but that was ok. She deserved it. And I really like parties.

The entire time I was planning I thought several thousand times, “I am SOOO tired” and “Why is no one helping me with this?” and “Why do I not remember the planning of any other party being this stressful?” (A funny side note: One night I was saying these things to Dan. I think I may have tried to lay some kind of guilt trip on him that I was doing all the work for this and he was doing nothing. He finally said to me, “I don’t know why you’re so upset about this. It’s not like I’ve ever helped you with a birthday party before.”) Ah. Thank you, Dan. Anyway, I know, I have 2 kids now to try to find extra time to do things like this, but I have planned one other party since having 2 kids – Brittain’s 5th birthday party. So, during the writing of this post I look back at Brittain’s 5th birthday party. Ooohhhhh…I get it now. That was when we did her party at the party palace place. Where I didn’t have to do ONE SINGLE THING.

Of course, none of that matters now because Coleman’s 1st birthday party was a big success. The theme was based on the only word he could say to date and that was “BAAAAAAALLLL.” We had ball hats, ball games, a ball cake…it was a blast.

And my baby boy, you turned 1. A year ago when I was on my way to the hospital to have you I was excited to finally be able to meet you. But there was no way I could have known the joy you would bring to this family. Before you were in my tummy, I knew I wanted another baby, but what I couldn’t see at the time was how you would bring a different level of completeness to me. I’ve gone through my life feeling unsurmountable joy. When your big sister was born I couldn’t imagine that I could be any happier than I was at that moment. She has been my everything when I didn’t know there was a deeper love than what I already had. The day you were born I felt that same feeling again. It was different in a way because I had already experienced that deepened love. I knew it was there. I knew it was possible. I knew it was within my reach again. You came along and there it was again. You have brought a different dynamic to our family. You brought that same joy to me and your Daddy, but your big sister now knows that love, too.

I am thankful that God knew me better than I knew myself. I am thankful that He knew my capacity for love was bigger than I knew. I am thankful that He knew bringing a little boy to my life would be the icing to my life that I felt was already completely fulfilled.

Happy Birthday, little boy.

Despite all the planning I had done and the good time everyone seemed to be having, once we hit about the halfway mark of the party I was just about done. The running around, coordinating the games, the prizes, the cutting of the cake, my ATTEMPT to also take pictures, I needed a break. My sister’s timing couldn’t have been better because what was getting me through this party was knowing that when it was over I was getting a night at the Ritz filled with yummy food, lots of wine, good times with my sister and my mom, and a spa day. Aaaaaahhhhh.

I got to leave the mess behind and go off for one of the most fun nights I’ve had in a long time. We took these pictures after returning from dinner that night. When the three of us are together the laughter is overflowing, and this night was no exception: