Mamagirl… says it all…

Just a Mama's musings…

I am the worst blogger EVER! July 25, 2013

Filed under: Family,Musings,Summer,Uncategorized — mamagirlsaysitall @ 1:05 pm

MamaGirl says…

I am the worst blogger EVER! I thought I was going to get back into it this summer, while I was going to have all of this “down time.” And although there has been a good bit of down time, there just hasn’t been a lot of blogging going on. There’s been plenty of stuff to share my opinion about, no doubt. And we’ve even had a few great adventures this summer, but the blogging just hasn’t been happening for me. The few times that I’ve tried, the words just haven’t worked out so much. It is what it is, I guess.

So, now it’s been two months since my last post… yeah, I know, I’m pathetic. It’s not that there hasn’t been anything to write about, we’ve done all sorts of stuff this summer. I’m just super crappy at making myself sit down and write about it.

So, here’s a quick run-down: The day after the kids got out of school, we all took off for Atlanta. We dropped them off at my parents house and headed on in to the city for a weekend of partying and celebrating Hubbo’s 40th birthday. (I swear, I’ll try to write a post about it. It was a really great party). Then, at the end of that weekend, Hubbo and I took off for 6 days in south Florida. During which, the kids had their own beach vacay with their grandparents. Then, everyone reconvened back home and we spent a week or so trying to recover from all the fun we had on our vacations. There was some bike riding, but mostly we just lazied-out and played video games. Then, the kids took off, back to their grandparents, for what was supposed to be another two weeks. However, that trip was cut short by a few days so that we could fit in some camping trips. And now, we’re all back home again, trying to enjoy the few, short weeks of summer that are left.

We’re going to try to work in one more camping trip, and some hikes and bike rides. But before we know it, it’s going to be back to setting the alarms every night, back to schedules and routines, back to real life.

Summer is so sweet and so short. I love to wallow in it and enjoy every hot, sweaty moment. In fact, I like it so much, I haven’t even turned on the AC this year! (Actually, it hasn’t really stopped raining long enough to turn on the AC, but we can say it’s because I like the heat.)

So, there’s the run down on what we’ve been up to. Not too terribly exciting, but fun nonetheless. Maybe after I get this house cleaned up, I’ll sit down and write that post about Hubbo’s birthday. But don’t hold your breath, it’s just as likely that I’ll sit right back down and play a video game. Y’all hang tight. I’ll see ya when I see ya.

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She’s baaaaaack! May 15, 2013

Filed under: Musings,Summer,Uncategorized — mamagirlsaysitall @ 9:43 pm

Has it really been nine months since I last posted on the blog? The ingenious little tracker thingy that keeps up with such irrelevant (ha,ha! but I just found the relevance, didn’t I?), mundane things says that it has. It doesn’t feel like nine months….

Those of you who know me in real life (whatever that is) know that I have been spending the past nine months deep in the recesses of the local University’s Sociology department and absorbing all that I can of all things feminist. As always, it was a heartily enlightening and educating nine months, but it’s nice to take some time off, greet the warm days of Summer with open arms, upset some earthworms by dragging a hoe through their home, and generally experience life with no schedule and on an as-I-want basis.

I am happy to tell you all that as of the close of the semester, I am now officially a Senior. I’m double-majoring (because it’ll make me more “marketable” <eye roll>), so I still have three more semesters to go, but there is an end in sight and that means that there may still be some slim ray of hope for my sanity as well.

I can’t wait to tell you all about what’s been going on in my life and, as always, share my ever so valuable opinion on all things parenting, pop culture, and feminism. Hell, who knows, maybe this time I’ll keep the blog going for more than a summer. But don’t hold your breath on that. My CPR training has expired.

 

My mother is a badass, the Olympics are awesome, and I have purple hair. July 30, 2012

Filed under: Family,Olympics,Summer — mamagirlsaysitall @ 1:54 pm
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MamaGirl says…

Whew! A lot has happened in the past few days! I’ve been super-busy keeping up with the Olympics. I’m taking the morning of from Olympic coverage because I watched something like 15 hours of it yesterday and very little got done around my house. Of course, not much has gotten done around my house today either, but I have gotten somewhat caught up on some blog reading (although not all of it). So, let’s do some quick catching up, shall we?

First things first: My mother is a badass!

Some of you know my mom, and I think you will agree that she is a lot of things. She is creative, she

Not their actual trip, but on the same river.

is a gourmet cook, she is an accomplished web-designer, she is gracious, she is polite, she is considerate, she is the quintessential modern-Southern-lady. However, badass is not a word that I have used to describe my mother, until now. Here’s why: My mom is 57 years old (sorry Mom, it’s important to the story) and over the weekend, she celebrated her 24th wedding anniversary by going white-water rafting. Now, let’s back up a second. While she is certainly all of those things mentioned above, another word that has never been used to describe my mother is adventurous. Her idea of adventure is eating at a new restaurant. That’s not to say that she’s boring or that she’s never had an adventure. Actually, her biggest adventure to date was traveling all over Ireland with my step-dad for their 20th anniversary. So, let’s not get the wrong picture. It’s not that she isn’t adventurous at all, she just has a different idea of adventure. Her idea of camping is a 3-star hotel, instead of a 5-star one, and for the life of her, she can’t figure out why we like to sleep in tents so much. Anyway, back to the story. So, yesterday, she gathered up 57 years of being scared of things that have the potential to hurt you (something that I inherited from her, but luckily mine came with a bit of adventurous spunk that will sometimes outweigh the fear… sometimes) and she strapped herself into a life-jacket and a crash helmet, and took to the river. Now, that’s pretty badass for a sweet-tempered southern-gentle-lady, but here’s where the story takes a turn for the awesome. If you’ve ever been rafting before, you know that you have to tuck your feet in to keep yourself in the boat, after all staying in the boat always beats swimming and/or drowning. So, like she’d been instructed, she tucked her feet. I can only imagine that with the fear of falling out of the boat permeating through her, those feet might as well have been welded into the boat. She’s pretty good at following instructions, and knowing her sense of self-preservation and fear, I know that she had them locked in with the thought that those feet might be only thing keeping her from drowning until she managed to get back off of that boat. And that’s what got her leg broken. Yep. I know her. I know that once they told her to keep those feet tucked in, in order to stay in the boat, she took it very seriously. Maybe they should have told her to relax a bit too, but that’s neither here nor there. So, when they hit a big rapid, and she felt herself being lifted off of the seat, those feet stayed stuck. Unfortunately, her leg didn’t.

This is the phone call that I received yesterday afternoon:

“We just got off the river!”

“Oh yeah? How was it?”

“It was fun! It was a little scary, but we had a really good time!”

“That’s great, Mom! I’m glad you enjoyed it!”

“Yep, me too. Now we’re on our way to urgent care to see if my ankle’s broken.”

“WHAT?!?”

“Yeah, it was so embarrassing. They had to come rescue me. I hope it’s just a bad sprain and not broken, but I’m really glad that I did it!”

Well, I’ll be damned, y’all. Turns out she broke her fibula. Not only did she face her fears and DO it, she broke a bone doing it (her first broken bone in 57 years) and you could still hear the smile on her face over the phone. She was proud of herself! And I was proud of her too. I don’t know that I would have still been happy about the whole thing after breaking a bone. And who knew that Mom was such a badass that she could break a bone, ride a couple of hours back home to see a doctor, and still have a smile big enough that you could hear it over the phone? Go ahead, Mom.  And when the doctor told her that No, she wasn’t too old to be white-water rafting, she replied, “Well good. I’ll come back and see you again after I go snow skiing.” What a badass.

Sidenote: What makes this even more badass is that I will not go rafting. I have had a friend die in the river and I refuse to do things that I have known someone personally who died doing it. I also do not ride motorcycle’s anymore, for the same reason. So, my Mom did something that I am scared to do. Man, she’s a badass! Drop by her blog, Never Enough Thyme, and wish her “get well soon!” (Oh, but don’t cuss, it’s a family friendly blog).  =)

Second: The Olympics!

Wow! What an emotional ride we’ve had already! Currently: I started off hating Ryan Lochte. How DARE he beat Michael Phelps! Not the American Hero! NO! And then, that turned to worry. Has Phelps given up? Does he even want to be there? Then, we got to the relay last night. And Lochte practically threw away the lead that the team had built up for him. I know that isn’t exactly fair, that  Frenchman simply out-swam him, but Lochte was in the villain role for me right then. However, once I saw how it obviously effected him, how devastated he was, that they were in the lead until he got in the water, then there was a little redemption for him. Maybe he needed a little reminder that he wasn’t the best on the team? Maybe I’m still being unfair. I’m a Phelps fan.

World Champion

Devastation brings us the Women’s Gymnastics qualifiers. And Jordyn Weiber. Bless her heart. She worked so hard all night, and she deserved to make it to the all-around finals, but instead she’s being cheated out of it by a stupid rule! And Bela Karolyi is PISSED! Did you see that interview? He was so mad he could barely speak English! Get ’em, Karolyi!  Of course, I’m happy for Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman, but Weiber should be in that competition too! She’s the World Champion for Heaven’s sake! I cried with her last night. I’m not sure that 16 year old’s should be put through that kind of pressure and disappointment.

And last, but not least:

I have purple hair. I’ve wanted it for some time, and played around with a few purple streaks, but

Not me, but the right color.

this time I went all-over purple, and I LOVE it! Hey man, when you’re 35 years old, and trying to blend in on a college campus, purple hair is just the thing! Gotta keep ’em guessing! They don’t know if I’m an old-lady with purple hair, or a college kid who looks really tired all the time! LOL!

And now, I have to get some laundry done before it comes alive and starts looking for dinner! You guys keep up with Olympics, because you know I’ll be talking about it! See you soon!

 

Olympic Fever July 27, 2012

Filed under: Family,Olympics,Summer — mamagirlsaysitall @ 12:17 pm
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MamaGirl says…

Although we are generally not a sports family, we do tend to get rather excited about the Olympics.

University of Georgia football is an institution all it’s own.

Growing up, I lived in Georgia and being a UGA fan or a Braves fan was about the same thing as being American, you couldn’t really do anything about it, it’s what you were born into. I know people who have rooms in their home decorated only in their favorite sports teams merchandise.

BeeBop is a huge UGA fan, if they were playing, the game was on either the television or the radio, or both. His favorite Georgia announcer, Larry Munson, called the game over the radio and if he could get them both, he would often have the game playing on the television, with the sound turned all the way down, and Munson calling it over the radio.

Atlanta Braves baseball is second on to church in deep south Georgia.

Football season and baseball season, University of Georgia and the Atlanta Braves, sometimes it seemed like life revolved around them and for a lot of people, it did. I never got it. I just wasn’t into sports. I tried playing softball when I was about 10, and that went over like a lead balloon. I couldn’t do anything! I couldn’t catch, I couldn’t throw, I couldn’t hit, and I didn’t run particularly fast. The poor, harrowed coach finally just put a catcher’s mask on me and stuck me behind home plate. But even then, I had to roll the ball back to the pitcher, because throwing it took up too much game time, as someone always had to go chase it down. Yes, I was a sorry sight. And that pretty much wrapped me up on playing sports. Besides, I don’t like to sweat. (I am a fairly strong swimmer though, and if my high school had had a swim team, I think that could have changed my outlook – but probably not.)

You’d think that even though I couldn’t play a sport worth a flip, that I’d still be able to enjoy watching them on TV. I mean, everyone else around me certainly seemed to enjoy it. But I never was able to understand all of the rules of football and watching baseball is almost as exciting as watching tennis. They just go around and around. Over and over. Yeah, I never got into it. I was never a cheerleader. I wasn’t even in the band. I was a Drama nerd, thank you very much. But my boyfriend “played” football and I dutifully went to the high school games and watched him sit on the sidelines. (He didn’t miss anything, my high school never – not once – won a football game in the four years that I attended.)

Hubbo doesn’t get into sports either. Growing up, he was into rock ‘n roll and playing guitar, and little else. So, we don’t know the score of the big game, we don’t know who’s best rated (I don’t even know the terms), we don’t even watch the SuperBowl! Seriously, not even for the commercials. Some years we have an anti-SuperBowl party for our non-sports-inclined friends. So, okay, you got it? No sports going on around here.

But all of that changes once every four years. The Olympics are coming! The Olympics are coming!

I’m SO excited! Can you tell?

Hooray! Hooray! For the next two weeks (10 days, something like that, I don’t know) we will be glued to the television. We will pour over schedules and search channels on the guide. We will have one event playing on a laptop while we watch another on the TV. We will cheer and route-on, we will gasp in shock and awe when an athlete does (or doesn’t) land a perfect score. We will fall in love with gymnasts and swimmers. We will talk smack about other country’s (sorry guys, we’ll love you again after it’s over). I am so excited, I can hardly WAIT for the Opening Ceremonies!

Oh yes, Olympic Fever has struck our house. Now, I have to go familiarize myself with who these athlete’s are, so I know who I’m routing for, and figure out what I’m going to watch when. And as my buddy, Summer, has warned me – there is a big time difference and we can’t have any spoilers going on around here! I want my Olympics pure and unadulterated! Gosh… one might think that I actually liked this stuff…

 

Coffee is a Hell of a Drug July 26, 2012

Filed under: Family,Musings,Parenting,Summer — mamagirlsaysitall @ 10:52 pm
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MamaGirl says…

This morning, there are four, count ’em four, children in my house. Those of you who are keeping up

It’s the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning.

(and have elementary math skills) should quickly be able to deduce that two of said-children do not belong to me. How did I go about collecting these extra children? I’ll tell you….

Due to our camping trip this past weekend, and a severe case of Mom-brain, Mags wasn’t able to attend the sleep-over that a friend was having for her birthday. In order to appease having to miss the highlight of the summer (in first grade terms, a birthday party-sleepover is tantamount to a Hollywood Oscar party), we invited that friend to come spend the night at our house instead. So, one extra kid I expected.

The other, I sort of picked up over the phone. Yesterday afternoon the phone rang:

“Hello?”

“Hi, this is [kid’s name], who is this?”

“This is [MamaGirl], A-Man’s mom.”

“Oh good! Listen, I need somewhere to stay tonight.”

Well now, dear readers, what do you say to that? Exactly what I said…

“What?”

“Well, see, my sister is having a sleepover tonight and we don’t have that much room at our house. So, I was wondering if I could come spend the night with A-Man.”

Now, I don’t about the rest of you, but I have a real hard time saying “No” to other kids. I may say it to my own kids 1000 times a day, but when it comes to other people’s kids, for some reason, I just can’t say no. And besides, what kind of ogre would I be if I condemned this poor boy to an evening of being cooped up in a small space with two middle school girls? Oh, the horrors!

As a side note, when I related this story to my own mother, she said:

“I would have killed you if you had done that!”

“Um, Mom… you do realize that’s how Krissy and I set up every single sleepover that we had for years, right? It was always YOU ask my mom, she won’t say no to YOU.”

I don’t know how anyone ever figured out to roast it, grind it, and brew it – but I am grateful to them everyday.

And she does know that, I think sometimes she feels like she should be indignant on my behalf. She’s pretty awesome that way.

The little ones, I finally managed to get into the bed a little after 10. The big ones, I usually let stay up until they pass out (for sleepovers, not every night). Usually, when we have sleepovers, I make a thick pallet of blankets on the floor in A-Man’s room. When I check on them during the night, there’s usually boy-parts spread all across the room.

When I went to bed, around 1am, I looked in on the boys. Mine was passed out in his bed, the other was wide awake, playing video games.

“You might want to try to get some sleep, bud.”

“I can’t really fall asleep.”

“What’s wrong?”

“I’m not really comfortable on the ground.”

Hmm… not much of a camper is he? Both of my kids will pretty much sleep wherever they finally drop from exhaustion, but hey, that’s cool. No problem. A-Man woke up, groggily slid down to the floor and promptly went right back to sleep. We’re flexible.

So, about 1:30, I finally managed to actually put my butt in the bed. I knew I wouldn’t go to sleep right away, so I read for about 30 minutes and, around 2am, finally turned off the light. I tossed, I turned, I tried in vain to distract myself with thoughts that don’t cause me a panic attack. It didn’t work. Around 2:30 I was wondering how much my books for next semester were going to cost, and by 3am, I was back online, in the dark, logging into the University bookstore website.

The big kids are plenty grown enough to get up in the morning and fix themselves breakfast without any assistance from Mom and I hoped that I had kept the little ones up late enough that they might actually sleep in. Yeah, right. It was not meant to be.

At 8am precisely, I was awoken to a small tap on the arm – which was a lot nicer than the ringing

I might have a little problem. I think they make 12-step programs for this…

phone in my face or the scream drifting up from downstairs of “MOOOOM!” that I usually get – and after what seemed like a whole 3 and a half minutes of sleep, they were all ready to go again… and eat again. Do you know how much two 12-year-old boys and two 6-year-old girls can consume in a 24 hour period? Try it some time, but take my advice and stock up first.

So, a bleary eyed and slightly cranky mom stumbled down the stairs, started a pot of coffee and threw some french-toaster-stick-things into the microwave. I poured myself a steaming hot cup, even though it was already nearing 90 degrees in my kitchen and found myself a tiny, little sliver of salvation in the bottom of that cup. Is there anything that coffee won’t fix? We should try throwing some of that Columbian goodness at cancer and see what happens. Okay, maybe I’m getting a little ambitious, but I’m pretty sure that coffee might be the answer to all of the worlds problems. Or least all of MY problems. Okay, fine. If nothing else, coffee solved my damn problems this morning. Okay? And my gratitude extends far beyond the waking-up abilities that it bestowed on me this morning. Why hell, it worked so well, I might just have to do it again tomorrow morning!

 

Holy Time Warp, Batman! July 23, 2012

Filed under: Family,Musings,Parenting,Summer — mamagirlsaysitall @ 12:18 pm
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MamaGirl says…

Over the weekend, we went camping with another family (post forthcoming) and I had something of a ‘Matrix’ moment when another parent said the words “school starts back in 2 or 3 weeks, right?” You’ll have to imagine the slow-motion cinematography – time slows down, I hear something like “tttwwwooo ooorrr ttthhhrrreeeeeee wwweeeeeekkksss, rrriiiggghhhttt???” ,my head whips to the side, frame-by-frame, “WHAAAAT?”

And it dawns on me, just like it always did when I was a child experiencing my own magical summers, that summer is not eternal. As always, it must eventually come to an end and our lives will once again be filled with structure and rules, schedules and responsibilities.

And as that thought crosses my mind, another follows right behind it – I didn’t realize how close we were to the beginning of school because I too have had a magical summer. I’ve been exceptionally fortunate to be able to stay home with my children this summer. This isn’t because we make enough money for me to not have to work, but because we are willing to make certain sacrifices in order to be able to be together as a family – just to be clear. But that’s not the point, the point is this: Along with my children, I too have had a wonderful, magical summer.

Being on a semester system in a University, my school year ended about 3 weeks before the kids got out of school. I spent 3 glorious weeks alone in the house for most of the day, playing video games and indulging all of my favorite vices that have to be left behind during the school year. When the kids got out of school, they took off for Nana & BeeBop’s house for 2 weeks, and Hubbo and I sat around for the first week enjoying the silence and then went camping together for the second week. We were way overdue for some alone time.

When the kids came back home, I decided that this summer we were going exploring and over the past few weeks, we’ve explored hiking trails and swimming holes all over WNC. We’ve been hiking and swimming  out at Warren Wilson College a couple of times, we’ve been to Skinny Dip Falls, this weekend we went camping at Mt. Pisgah and made another trip to Skinny Dip, when Hubbo & I went on our camping trip we explored the town of Highlands.

We’ve made new friends, we’ve become closer with old acquaintances and we’ve had a blast the entire time! There’s still 2 more camping trips that I’d really like to do this year, but I don’t know if we can possibly squeeze them in… we may have to extend our camping season this year.

Last year was a rough summer. I had a lot of depression, I felt useless quite a bit, I was pretty lost. I don’t really feel like dredging it all up again right now. But this summer, this summer has been amazing. I’ve really, truly enjoyed spending time with my kids. We’ve gotten out of the house, we’ve had adventures, we’ve experienced new things. Those old, horrid ghosts have been kept at bay. I’m healthy and I’m happy and my children are too. Life is good.

I still can’t hardly believe that the summer is almost over and school is right around the corner again! It’s time to start all of those preparations and slowly reintroduce schedules into our lives. Only Hubbo has been on a schedule this summer – I don’t believe in schedules when there isn’t anything scheduled to do, so we’ve pretty much flown by the seat of our pants all summer and it’s worked out better than expected.

So, for the next 3 weeks, I think we’ll take advantage of whatever we can manage to get into. If you want to get out of your house, there’s a good chance that you can find us down by the river. I’m going to enjoy as much as I can over the next 3 weeks, and savor every minute of it. When school starts back, our family will consist of a 7th grader, a 1st grader, and a double-majoring, college junior (that’s me). Who knows what kind of crazy, insane schedules we’ll be running.

There’s not much time left now, but there’s still a little time for swimming, sunning, hiking, family, and friends. Go get you some!

 

Lilies and Hula Hoops July 10, 2012

Filed under: Family,Summer — mamagirlsaysitall @ 10:57 pm
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MamaGirl says…

My lily bloomed today!  Hubbo and the kids gave it to me for Mother’s Day about five years ago and every year, I can’t wait to see it bloom again. It’s a Stargazer Lily and it smells amazing! The bloom is bigger than my hand and so bright pink that it’s almost red. It’s gorgeous and I love to sit on the porch and inhale it’s heady perfume.

This year it doesn’t look like it’s going to have as many blooms as it had last year. There’s only two more buds on it, and one of them looks like it might bloom tomorrow. Last year it seems like we got eight or ten blooms. Maybe it has something to do with the mild winter? I have no idea. But since it will clearly be a short-lived bloom this year, I’ll have to spend a lot of time on the porch for the next few days, so I can enjoy it. Luckily, I have a laptop. (I know that all four of my readers must have gotten terrified at the thought that I might not be able to blog! [I crack myself up])

Tonight, we took the kids to the Asheville Hoop Jam. My mother said, “What the heck is a Hoop Jam?” It’s an awesome gathering every Tuesday night during the summer at a downtown park to enjoy music and hula hooping. I had never been before, but since I bought Mags a hula hoop for her birthday (and one for myself because she had to have someone to hoop with, right?), I thought this would be a fun experience for us. A-Man could have just stayed home as far as he was concerned, but Mags and I hooped until we were dehydrated and had a great time, and Hubbo was quite content watching all the hot girls hoop-dancing.

Some of these women were amazing! I can barely make the damn thing go around my waist, and I look like a drunk wobbling around while doing it. But there were girls making hoops twirl around their shoulders, tossing them up and catching them, and twirling them out to the ends of their arms. I hid in the back and tried not to be noticed much.

Now we’re exhausted and we should sleep well tonight. Tomorrow, I’m going to sit on my porch and look at my lily. Next Tuesday, I’m going back to the Hoop Jam to do it again, and in the mean time, I’m going to put the speakers in the window, crank up something with a good rhythm and try to figure out how to hula hoop without looking like a drunk. I’m sure the neighbors will love it.

Maybe on Friday night we’ll go to the drum circle, held in the same park, and get back to our hippie roots a little bit. It’s good, clean family fun that allows our children to experience music and diversity, two of the things that make this town so amazing. I’m glad that we live here.

Lilies and hula hoops… that was a good day.

 

 
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