Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Things on my mind. . .

Lots of thoughts rattling around this morning, so to be somewhat coherent, I'm just going to give you a list. . .
1. My cousin passed away today. He was too young, but aren't we all? He suffered way more than is understandable. . .
2. My kids' babysitter is the world's best babysitter! I'm afraid that's all I can tell you, or she would be bombarded by others wanting her to keep their kids. Seriously. Since it was Kyler's birthday, I picked him up early from school. He then asked me to drop him off at the baby sitter's house (that he goes to EVERY day). When we got there, she had baked a birthday cake just for him. My daughter has never cried when I've left her at the babysitter's house. I'm actually doing her a disservice by calling her the babysitter. We truly consider her to be family.
3. Two-year-olds are extremely impulsive. This was reiterated this morning when Kady got one of the two goodie bags that were left over from the birthday party. Inside was a package of gum. I walked in the living room to see her squatted down, surrounded by goodie bag contents and gum wrappers. She yelled, "Hide!" and took off with her remaining gum sticks. . .Not exactly stealth-like.
4. It sometimes continues. Kyle came to Kyler's party. He comes from a large family. Remember when you HAD to eat the candy/cookies/etc., to keep your brother/sister from getting it? No? Maybe that just happened in my family. Anyway, Kyle rode to the party with my parents. He managed to eat all the goodies before he got home. . .except the gum. Mom said she told him that he could share that with his brothers and sisters. . .He managed to get all the gum in his mouth before he got home. : ) (Jenn, I hope you don't get mad! I thought it was hilarious!)
5. When a two-year-old has gum, all moms morph into Kate from Jon and Kate plus Eight (and I've only seen a couple of episodes of that show, but isn't it hilarious!).
6. Life is precious! Let the two-year-old chew gum, blow bubbles, and run around outside despite the dirty dishes in the sink.
7. It's book order time again. I love books. All. Books. In celebration of improved reading (YEA, US!), I want to know your favorite kid's book. Here are a few of ours. (Ahem. . .pretend you don't know where I, um, borrowed these pictures from.)

a. (above) Barney says, "Night Night" originally came from a garage sale. Our copy is falling apart, but each of the kids has loved it around two years of age.

b. (below) Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day is one of my all-time favorite books. This should be mandatory reading for adults! c. (above) Freckleface Strawberry. Yes, this is written by THE Julianne Moore. It's really, really good! It deals with freckles, which when I way a kid, were so yucky. Since I didn't want my kids to feel the same way, I bought this book. I'm really glad I did.

d. (below) Junie B. Jones entire series. Yes, she's sometimes rude and impudent, but she's funny and well-written.e. (above) Max Lucado's Just in Case you Ever Wonder. The kids think it's ok, but I have to keep from crying every time I read it!

YOUR TURN! Please tell me your favorite books for kids. Thank you!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Focus: Perspective

The Kendrick Clan survived more birthdays this weekend that should be humanly possible. You think I jest. . .Kev turned. . .well, a really large number on Saturday, my nephew turned 12 on Saturday, Kyler turns 8 today, and Kady turned 2 at the beginning of the month. (This does not include Kyler's two best friends, who also have birthdays at the end of September.)

Due to convenience and sanity reasons, we chose to combine Kyler and Kady's birthday parties into one celebration on Sunday. It turned out well. I was so nervous. I am not a great hostess, and our house is TINY. (Ironic, huh, to exaggerate the point, I made the word HUGE. . .I'm weird today, can you tell?) We had way too many people in a too small house, but I think everyone had fun. My friend Martha S. (not her real name, but as close as this non-domestic type will get to the real Martha Stewart, and this one is cheery and fun!) brought her four kids. She reupholsters her own furniture. She homeschools all 4 kids! She bakes. . .like, from scratch! She's amazing!

Martha S. and I were talking about school. She said it was difficult to teach all four kids at different levels (7th grade down to kindergarten). Gee, ya think? I'm not even woman enough to try! She however, can do it, and does it well. She is so good at relating everything in the world as a learning experience. (This is where I tell you your "funny of the day.")

Go back with me four or so years ago. Martha S. and her family went camping with my family. Martha S. and myself had taken the kids and driven up to the showers (when we go camping, we REALLY go camping). Martha S. sees this really neat looking beetle crawling on the floor. It was really unique and very colorful. We had never seen anything like it. She proceeds to teach her kids about it. You know, observing what it does, talking about what it eats, etc. As she is talking, this woman walks into the bathroom, sees the bug, screams, and squishes it. DEAD. As in, beyond recognizable. His buggy momma wouldn't even have recognized him.

It was one of the funniest moments of my life, and Martha S. does not even remember it. To her, it was just another teaching experience. To the lady in the restroom, it was a frightening experience that must be dealt with. I guess everything is relative to your perspective, which is where I'm headed with this post. . .God is teaching me that life is good. Kyler may not make straight A's. He may struggle more than most. He may be slightly. . .oh, who am I kidding, very hyperactive, but he's a good kid. Kady is a good kid. . .even if she wakes me up at 4:30 am to go outside and blow bubbles. (Have you ever tried to explain to a 2 year old that it's too dark to SEE bubbles? This could be the reason for my strange behavior today. . .) Kev is a good husband. Basically, life is good, and God is good. Maybe I just needed a healing of my attitude. . .

Friday, September 26, 2008

Per Your Request

Here's the questionable haircut. Don't laugh.

I'm just full of funnies today. . .Wanna know how the diet's going. Well, I've lost 8 pounds, but a guy at work asked me if I was pregnant today. . .

We got behind the truck (pictured below) and Kyler said, "MOM, FOLLOW THAT TRUCK!" I'm way ahead of you son. (It's got donuts all over it.)

And, lastly, Kady found Kev's old glasses last night. . .

Ok, one more. . .Are you curious about our success with ditching the baba? Well. . .
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND. I'm outta here till Monday!

Ode to my Mental Health Friends. . .THANKS!

I got my hair cut off. No, I mean gone. As in short. Really, really short. (Totally having second thoughts, but that is not what this post is about.) As the normally great-hairdresser morphed into the questionable hairdresser, she told me her daughter was diagnosed with cancer. As in CANCER! Her adult daughter is facing bone cancer, after having faced so much in the last year. . .Sometimes, God puts people in our lives to teach us something. Kyler is wonderful. He is sweet. He is just who God wants him to be. Mostly, he is healthy.

So, for everyone who posted comments yesterday, thank you! I needed you all! You guys had great words of encouragement! I thank you all for taking the time to read and comment, and I appreciate you all. That said, I think I have a little more perspective, and we'll be ok. We really will. Now, we need to put our heads together and solve some bigger problems. . .you know, the economy, dependence on foreign oil, and the nuclear situation in Iran. . .And, will someone please figure out how to help the Razorbacks before the game tomorrow. . .

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Heartbreak

I'm struggling with how much to post and how much to keep to myself. In the interest of being honest (and feeling desperate), I'm choosing to share.

Remember parent-teacher conferences? The excitement and sometimes anxiety of having your parents talk to your teacher? Remember the book fairs? They made it all worthwhile! Here's where I have to interject that I was the kid my parents never worried about. My grades were always good. I never had to work too hard to get good grades. I'm not saying this to brag. I'm not trying to say how smart I am, and my husband would definitely use this opportunity to point out how blonde I can be! My point is, school always came easy to me. If I worked (or even sometimes, if I didn't), I had good grades. (Kevin, on the other hand, never tried. He did what he had to do, but that was it.)

Remember the dreams you had for your child? MY child is going to ace through school. He will enjoy reading. The teacher will love MY child, after all, he is the smartest, sweetest, funniest, most handsome student she has ever had! When he finishes high school (after graduating with honors and being all-state in at least 2 sports), he will turn down the offers to go pro. He will just have to, because in this family, we value an education. He will just have to wait to play professional _______(fill in the blank, because he really could play it all!), until after he finishes med school (or perhaps law school) at, um, Harvard or Yale or Columbia or well, maybe even. . .University of Arkansas (Go, Hogs, Go!!).

Ah, if only life went the way we dream. . .Kyler is one full year behind in reading. That is one full year of school that he basically hasn't had. I knew he struggled in reading. He hates to read. He wants to be out playing, running, being wild. At best, he'll read a little, and then, I have to read the rest to him. I guess I've been in a very bad case of denial. When the teacher told me how behind he was (with charts and graphs and standard scores and NCE's and everything), I cried. I actually cried. Y'all, I AM NOT a crier. I am one of the least emotional women I know (at least in public). His teacher was very understanding and even admitted she has been there with her own kids. The teacher he had last year was very young and not the teacher HE needed. (She was very sweet, and I would be mortified if she read this. I do not intend to blame her.)

Now, all those morning of crying/whining about going to school and short temper after school and frustration with his homework makes sense. How could I not have seen this? (I chalked the temper, etc., up to everything else. . .Kevin working away so much, typical for his age, picking it up from someone else, just be ing a "boy" thing. . .) Why didn't we address this sooner? Why didn't someone else bring this to my attention? Why, oh why?

The good news (and there is some). His teacher this year is fully committed to improving his reading ability. I am fully committed to improving his reading ability. Between the two of us, we are going to get Kyler back where he needs to be. My realization, hard as it is to admit, is that Kyler is a beautiful, smart, creative, hyperactive young man, who will never be the top student in his class. My hope is that he is able to enjoy reading and learn what he needs to learn. (After all, the U of A has high standards, and some dreams die hard. . .) We have a long ways to go, and Kevin needs to come a long way to understand what is realistic for Kyler and what is not. (He's mad that he doesn't have straight A's. This, from the husband that made very few A's in his life!) Like I said, desperation and discouragment has pushed me over the edge of the cliff to write this, so please send kind words our way.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Kiddos Update

Kady is sick. As my mom would say, "she has the crud." And with Kady. . .whatever she gets winds up in her lungs. Yesterday, I called the doctor and asked if he could get us a nebulizer for home use. He did and it's working. She still has a runny nose and a (looser) cough, but she's BREATHING again! I'm off in a few minutes to give her her next breathing treatment.

So, in a related note, here's your funny for the day. Her nebulizer mask looks like a dinosaur. Kyler loves dinosaurs. He asked me if I could give him a nose test. OOOOOOOKKKKKKKKK, furiously my brain went through nasal resonance testing procedures. . .It's what I do, y'all. Nothing. Why would he ask that? Had we said something about testing a nose. . .Nnnnnnnnoooooooo. Then, it came to me. He wanted a breathing treatment. You know, nose test--breathing treatment. Why didn't I get that? : )

Oh, Gee, the Pressure. . .

Thanks, Steph. Steph is the author of the Red Clay Diaries Blog. She is a great author, and I enjoy reading her work. . .Unfortunately, she's tagged me in a meme. Um, I'm not even sure I know what that is, but she says it is like a "chain letter, but without threat of bad luck or bodily harm." (Which is unfortunate, because I was definitely going to threaten bodily harm for tagging me. . .No, seriously, I jest. I just don't like pressure. . .) I am to list the top 5 ways blogging has changed my life. (Forgive me if I copy someone else's answers. It wasn't intentional.)
1. New friends. I have met so many people. I am thankful for you all. It's so much fun to read what everyone is going through and what perspective you have on life.
2. My perspective. I find myself doing more than just chuckling at the kids' antics. Just this morning, Kyler said one of those cute kid things, and my first thought was "I gotta blog that!"
3. Family. I think, I hope the grandparents feel a little closer to the general going-ons in our family. I don't know about other family members.
4. More introspection. (Is that the right word? Is that a word?) I tend to avoid the "deep" thoughts about myself. I don't enjoy the "psycho-babble," because I figure in the end, who really knows why we do what we do. However, God's working on me. I don't know exactly what His plans are in my case, but I definitely feel growth in my relationship with him, and from that, relationships in general.
5. Ok, that's pretty much it. Since I have to come up with 5. . .how about. . .Works for me Wednesday! (Whew. . .I didn't think I could do it!) I've learned that I can use Borax to clean dishes. I've quit buying dryer sheets (use a washcloth and essential oil instead). I use old wipes containers to store plastic baggies. The list can go on (and on).

So, my 5 tags. . .
1. Amy at (Somebody please tell me how to hyperlink these names, like y'all do!) http://byhisgrace-amy.blogspot.com/
2. Erica at http://krazykennetts.blogspot.com/
3. Jenn at http://jennscraps.blogspot.com/
4. Shannon at http://sweetpeaemily.blogspot.com/
5. Elizabeth at http://findinghimbigger.blogspot.com/ (Sorry, I didn't have anyone else!!! Forgive me, please!)

Ok, get to . . .um, memeing(?) now, people! Or not. (Remember, NO threats of bodily harm allowed!) And to read Steph's answers, go here. http://momonthejourney.wordpress.com/2008/09/23/me-and-my-blog-the-good-the-bad-and-the-um-long-winded/

Monday, September 22, 2008

Found a New One and I'm Talking About the Rest of You!

All you have to do is look at my blog list, and you realize that I love to read other people's blogs. I thought I would give you a little background (what I know, anyway) about some of the blogs on my list. By His Grace-Amy was suggested by one of the girls I went to graduate school with. Amy is very entertaining, but more than that, I've enjoyed exchanging emails and comments with her. She is a super sweet person. Rocks in my Dryer, the Queen B, and We are THAT family are great reads any day of the week. They each have their own personality and it shows. (If you tell them I sent you, they won't have a clue what you mean. They're in a whole different realm than my attempt at blogging.)

Emily C (went to grad school with her mommy, the blog's author), The Kennett's Krazy Life, and Today is a Gift are local blogging friends that make me glad I decided to do this. It gives me a great chance to keep in touch with a great bunch of girls. . .although Today is a Gift is getting ready to be not-so-local.

Jenn's Junque is a fairly new addition. I knew of her through my mom, but we've never really met in person. I can't wait to, however, because she cracks me up! (I love anyone who makes me laugh!!)

Journey to Ever After is the blog written by our former pastor's wife (former pastor, not former wife). They recently took a fellowship/missionary position in Washington, DC. (That's far away, people! Not good, although I'm learning to deal with it. . .)

Ink, Stamp, Repeat is a blog I stumbled over. She is very crafty and talented, and you know me, I envy those people! If I had time, I would try to do what she does. . .albeit poorly.

The newest addition includes the Red Clay Diaries. She's in Georgia (not so close to Arkansas), but it was great to not so many similarities. . .Here's the post you have to read. I can just say, "ditto" to this post. Tell me what you think. http://momonthejourney.wordpress.com/2008/09/18/the-women-but-not-the-movie-although-im-sure-its-very-entertaining/

And if you LOVE the new look of this blog, make sure you check out shabby creations! (Please say you do, because I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT, I REALLY, REALLY DO!

Just Another Day in Paradise

OK, to avoid whining about a horrible football game (Go, Hogs, go, but you've disappointed me. . .), I've decided to explain where I got the name of this blog.

It all started around 18 months or so. Kevin was burnt out working at, well, we'll call it KC Bunt (you know, the trucking line). It had been a rough year. Several very important people in our lives had died (some more tragically than others) within the last year or so, Kady was here, and changes were taking place at. . .well, you know. Kev was STRESSED and I think, a little depressed. However, things were good. Yes, you read that right. Kady was here. Kyler was amazing. We had 2 wonderful kids, a house of our own, great friends, and we had been pulled closer together through all the turmoil that we had faced.

I called Kev at work one night, like I always did. I knew he was stressed, and I was doing everything I could to cheer him up. He was doing everything he could to cheer up. When he answered the phone, I asked him how he was doing. He replied, in a fake cheery voice, "it's just another day in paradise." It struck me as funny. We both started laughing, and it felt good. While it felt like the world was falling in around us, despite all our blessings, Kev was trying so hard to be my sweet, honest hubby that I love so much. Since then, it's become our motto. Whether it's a sunny day or a rainy day in our lives, we know that God has blessed us with so much. There will always be difficulties. We know that. Sometimes those difficulties will knock the wind right out of you. God will be there, and we'll face them together, as a team.

How about you guys? Where did you get the name of your blog? Do you have mottos/code words you use to get through the tough times in your lives?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'm Not Barbie (Your Thought for the Day)

Last night, as I was watching Wife Swap, Kady ran by and just caught a little of what was on tv. She stopped, looked at the screen, and pointed. "Barbies, Momma, Barbies!!" It was a promo for Dancing with the Stars. . .I laughed and laughed. Then, I realized something. If my two year old realizes how unrealistic those women's bodies are, shouldn't I?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

As Promised. . .Labor Day Happenings

We went to visit Kev Labor Day weekend. He took Kyler fishing around Heber Springs. Kady and I watched and played on the bank.

Kady managed to entertain herself pretty well. . .(The monkey is, of course, eating a banana!)

It was a very successful day. Kyler caught two trout.

Kev handled the icky stuff. See why I love him? I thought my children were being very reflective. . . Then, I found the FISH HEADS left by the people before us! Overall, it was a wonderful day, and the kids had a blast. Here's my favorite picture.Sorry it took so long to get these up. Ok, the slide show is over. You don't have to look at family pictures anymore. : )

Works for me: Bacon

I have learned to cook bacon in the George Forman Grill. It takes a lot of grease away, yet the bacon stays nice and crisp. You can also leave the bacon to cook without worrying about the grease popping little ones as they run by, etc. It works for me. To find out what works for others, check out this link.



Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sarah Palin on SNL

Tina Fey is hilarious! Regardless of who you vote for, isn't it great that we have the freedom to laugh at everyone?! Wonder what Hilary's thinking?

Dreaming of. . .

Warm beaches and sunny skies! I want to go on a cruise. I have for a long time. Unfortunately, Kev is not in agreement. Being stuck on a boat for anything other than fishing is unreasonable, in his opinion. I have made the decision to go. . .in a year of so. If anyone is interested in accompanying me on a 4 or 5 day cruise, let me know. I'm thinking the Caribbean. . .

Monday, September 15, 2008

Baba Still Here and Momma is in the Fetal Position

We survived the weekend. One very hormonal mom, two rambunctious kiddos, and one of those is supposed to be kicking the baba habbit. . .Can you say, "LONG WEEKEND!?" I lost 5 pounds, all of which was water weight, I'm sure, but who cares? Listen to me, if you weigh 3 pounds less when you take off your shoes, that is 3 pounds you have LOST!!
We tried to kick the baba habit, but that came back to bite me in the butt. Let's just say Mama caved--BIG TIME!! To be fair, Kady was screaming for the baba for a LONG time, and Kyler was pleading her case ("Mom, PLEASE give it to her.") Never fear, the baba will eventually get in the way of her braces, and she will have to give it up. Just don't make fun of the girl in kindergarden with the pacifier--she's MINE!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Deep(er) Thoughts from Moi

I recently read a book that mentioned 5 types of healing. Now, don't y'all jump on me for not getting everything just right. . .You know I hate confrontation. Anyway, according to the book, they are: 1) body's own natural healing, such as immunity, 2) actual miracles, 3) technology/ medical healing, 4) healing of attitude, and 5) death. This was not meant to start a spiritual argument. My point is, I had never really thought of the last two as healing. How often I need a healing of my attitude when I would rather God just "take care of it." When my grandmother died, it was a healing. I know she went to heaven, and it was such a comfort to all of us (I'm sure even the mentally unbalanced ones. . .but that's another story). Ok, I promise not to get too deep for awhile. . .maybe. What's been on your mind? Hope all have a GREAT weekend, and don't forget to pray for everyone displaced by the hurricane.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Holding On. . .Barely

Ok, folks, when I say I have ZERO willpower, I mean it! So far, so good. . .but it's only been 2 days. Thanks for all the encouragement. No one has called me at 3 am, so far. I did tell Kev last night that I would chew my right arm off if it would get me a candy bar. . .Remember the Bar None candy bars? They were the BEST!! [sigh]

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Diet, Schmiet

Ok, the diet officially starts TODAY. I have ZERO willpower, so I am depending on everyone to harrass/encourage/belittle--whatever floats your boat, basically, so that I might lose weight. . .Do you like how I placed so much pressure on you? Nice, huh?

Anyway, we went to the county fair. (It was great. Kev got to go with us. It was a big improvement over past years.) At the rodeo (you know we went to the rodeo--it was a county fair!), I saw so many people I knew. That's when it dawned on me. There are two types of women: those who get fat out of high school and those that don't. I am tired of being in category #1. . .thus the diet.

Starting today, I am going to significantly limit my carbs. (Some of you may know that I lost quite a bit in grad school using the Atkins Diet.) This time, I'm going to try the South Beach Diet. Any tips, tricks from anyone? Again, I have no will power, so feel free to call at 3 am and scream "Fatty" into the phone!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I Dream of . . .Supernanny & Vice Presidents?

For those of you who do not know us well, we do not watch much tv. Seriously. We love to watch movies or old tv shows (like Bonanza, I Dream of Jeannie, Andy Griffith, Rawhide, Lassie, etc.) on DVD. We frequently watch movies--even in the car (BIG shoutout to the maker of the portable DVD player!). However, we watch very little tv. There are a few exceptions, such as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Wipeout (perfect for the 7 & 8 year old set), Wife Swap, and Supernanny. (I do have my faves that I occasionally watch after the kids have gone to bed. . .)

Kyler, already warped from having a mom who's a speech-language pathologist and receiving speech therapy himself, was watching Supernanny last night and announced that Jo (who's Brittish) needed to go to speech therapy. . .How sheltered is my child?

Later, I stayed up to watch Sarah Palin's speech at the Republican National Convention. ATTENTION ALL READERS: I'm going to do something I would typically NEVER do. I am typically 99.9% non-confrontational (see, how I didn't claim 100%--just in case someone disagreed!). If you do not wish to hear my opinion on current politics, do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT read any further. Please direct all arguments to the comment section below. I promise to run, hide, and generally pretend they are not there and that we still live in never-never land, where all is peaceful and calm and my husband frequently shows up with cooked meals and clean laundry and you all still like me. . .Okay, now joining Rachel's Soapbox. . .

I am every politician's nightmare voter: I vote ever election, but I am. . .erratic, at best, as far as who I vote for. I watch little tv, as previously mentioned, but research politicians' voting records before each election. I consider myself a moderate conservative, who believes in healthcare reform, the rights of the accused, less dependence on foreign oil, and education reform initiated by educators--among other things. Enough about me. . .I was not jumping on either bandwagon thus far in the presidential race. I have researched both candidates. I appreciate that both mean are sort of "mavericks" in their party. The point is, unlike my lovable, gun-toting, red-neck husband (You tell him I said that, and I will get even. He obviously doesn't read my blog. In fact, he asked last week if I had email!), I was undecided. After watching the RNC last night, I think I may have possibly made up my mind. . .maybe. If you didn't see it, Mrs. Palin managed to make a self-deprecating joke about soccer moms and tell about selling the state's private jet on EBAY! In between, her youngest daughter licked her hand and smoothed the baby's hair down. . .ON LIVE TV! She does not appear afraid to speak her mind. Let's face it, McCain is at least 450 years old, but with Palin behind him, I might vote for the man. . .possibly.

Ok, Rachel has now stepped off the soapbox. (Oh, and Bob, if you read this, I'm sorry, really, really sorry that I spoke favorably about those R-r-r-r-epublicans that you've warned me about!) If anyone is still reading my blog after that, I hope to post pics of our Labor Day trip to Conway/Heber Springs soon. . .