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Monday, January 31, 2011

Tightening the rope

I try to let my boys be boys by not over-coddling them, encouraging them to play outside when it's warm, and by not tolerating whining.  Because we all know there is nothing worse than a whiny man and I am determined not to raise two. 

I have to admit though, I often find it difficult to let them run free without feeling the need to stand over them and follow them around, warning them to be careful and to force them to wear helmets 24-7, just in case they get the urge to do something stupid and reckless.

And as you might well know, boys often do get that urge.  It's like it's just in their DNA.  Sometimes they can't help themselves.  And some of them are worse than others. 

The Dracenator is one of those.

I believe I told y'all the story about him riding the rocking horse down the front steps when he was 3. He got lucky that time. He's busted his forehead open twice and broke his collar bone once.  Not to mention all the many countless scrapes, cuts, stings, bruises and bumps he's endured.  And he is only 7. 

I've had to toughen up to be a mom of boys, especially to be a mom of one like Dracen.  You see, it's in my nature to be an overprotective worrier.  It's like I can't help myself.  I worry, worry, worry....about everything.  But especially about my boys.  

I know though, that boys need to be allowed to be boys so I try very hard to give them just enough rope to do that.  And I pray. A Lot.

Most of the time, I am able to remain calm when one of them gets hurt and by one of them I pretty much mean Dracen since he is almost always the one getting hurt but something happened yesterday that shook me up hard. 

We had gone over to Momaw Pat's to eat after church and after eating the kids went outside to play since it was so unseasonably warm here yesterday.  After awhile we went outside too, to sit on the front porch. 

They were playing a game of redneck baseball don't ask! in the front yard.  Suddenly, Dracen stops playing the game and comes up on the porch with a pouty look on his face.  My childhood babysitter, Mrs. White, would have put it like this..."You've got that lip stuck out so far, you could ride to town on it!" 

He had that lip stuck way out there.  And it is not like the Dracenator to take himself out of the game. Not without darn good reason.  

So we begin the questioning.  He tells us nothing is wrong and all the others shrug their shoulders and insist they don't know what is wrong either.  I've been a mom long enough to know better.

I was suspicious.  Very suspicious.  And I wanted answers.

He finally spills it.  They have this old jeep over there that hasn't worked for years.  You know, those little battery operated toddler jeeps?  They were using it like a stunt vehicle.  I've seen them do it before.  Push each other down the drive and out into the grass.

Only this time they had concocted a ramp. And Dracen crashed. He then tells us that his cousin has a video of it on her phone.  

Y'all.  I can't even find the words to express to you how sick I felt when I saw that video.  My knees nearly collapsed under me and I got nauseous.

"Don't you ever do that again!  Do you HEAR ME?!  Never!" 

I was full of emotion.  I wanted to pick him up and never let him go because he was safe, I wanted to scream and yell at him for being so reckless, and I wanted to do the same to the others, for allowing him, the youngest one by far, to do something so incredibly dangerous and stupid and then to not tell us about it.  

He came flying down the hill on the jeep, out into the grass, over the ramp, flipped the jeep upside down and way up into the air, crashed down to the ground and rolled.  

I scream at him to get into the car to go to the ER.  I needed assurance that he was know that he didn't have a concussion or something worse. 

There's nothing like spending a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the ER waiting room watching people vomit and wander around all glassy eyed and barely able to walk because they are clearly coming down off of a 3 day drunk. 

Fun, fun, times.

We finally see the doctor who tells us that he will do a CT scan if we really want him to but judging by his behavior and the fact that he remembers everything and never lost consciousness, that he would not recommend it. 

Apparently, they recently did a study and determined that in children under the age of 12, 1 out of 1500 of them who have had a CT scan got brain cancer.  He was just sick about it himself, saying that he's been doing this for 15 years so he now wonders if he ever gave a child brain cancer by doing a CT scan that wasn't absolutely necessary. 

Wow!  I appreciated his honesty but that's some scary stuff.  And just FYI, he said it's 1 in 5000 over the age of 12. 

He advised us to just observe him, wake him up every four hours through the night to make sure he was not unconscious and bring him back if he started to vomit or act confused in any way. 

That fours hours was more like every one to two because that's about how often I woke up last night.  I overslept by a few minutes this morning and Dracen informs me immediately upon waking that he feels baaad. 

One minute his jaw is sore which I don't doubt and then his belly is upset, and then his neck. I let him stay home from school, though at this point I'm not sure if he feels that bad or he's just really enjoying the extra attention and sympathy.

I'm suspecting the latter.  Either way, he's getting a day off from school. And I may or may not be coddling him just a tad bit.  

Oh, and that old jeep?  Destroyed.  Devin and his cousin took it into the woods while we were at the ER, beat it to smithareens and put it in the trash. What better way to redeem themselves, right?  

And I'm sure they didn't enjoy hacking something to pieces at all. Not at all.

Boys will always be boys. 

And moms will always be worriers. 

And sometimes coddlers.  And rope tighteners. 



Friday, January 28, 2011

Fancy Friday...The Power Of The Flower

Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower." ~Hans Christian Anderson

I love flowers.  I mean, really, what sort of curmudgeon doesn't like flowers?  I discovered, though, back when I was a florist, that I'm actually allergic to several types of them, especially those big stargazer lilies, which I love.

I guess I was naive back then, or just plain in denial, because I somehow couldn't figure out why I was constantly getting sinus infections.  I went to the doctor and he said, "umm, you have allergies." Oh really?!  Huh.  I must be allergic to the flowers...I'm a florist, ya know?  "BINGO!"

I became a big fan of the antihistamines after that and still remain on a first name basis with Zyrtec even though I've been out of that business for almost 8 years.  

And I still love flowers, even the ones who don't love  me. Something about a little flower on a shoe, or a pretty floral print just makes me happy which is why the focus of today's Fancy Friday is all about the flower.

The soft little petals on these Italian made leather ballet flats from Sundance Catalog are just too cute for words, aren't they?  

Amazonite Blossom Ring
The precious little amazonite bloom on this sterling silver ring was handcarved in the USA and according to Sundance's product description, amazonite has been believed to improve the skin, ease fear and anxiety and provide balance to thoughts and communications.  In that case, bring on the amazonite!

Florist Measuring Cups

Are these not the most darling little meauring cups you've ever seen?  They just make me want to measure something...anything!

Daisy Does It Bag
Check out this fancy little daisy bag I found at ModCloth.  According to the dimensions, it's plenty big enough to hold a laptop.

Pink Studio Bellina Mary Jane Pumps
I think I expressed my love for the mary jane to you all last week. The darling little flirty petals on this pair are right up my alley.  I could seriously see me running into something with these on my feet though because I know I wouldn't be able to keep my eyes off them!
Embroidered Floral Tunic
What's not to love about the subtle floral trim on this sheer black tunic from Boston Proper?   LOVE this!

The Flower Power Scarf

How much happier could a flower scarf get? 

White Narcissus Mirror

Mirror, mirror on the wall... I fell in love with this mirror at first sight...the love faded a bit, however, when I saw the price tag!  Isn't it beautimus, though?!

For some reason when I envision myself in this top, there's also a mimosa in my hand.  Just sayin'.

I've been searching high and low for a new pair of pj's and I think this pair I found at Vickie's Secret is definitely in the running.  And if your name happens to be Charlie and you love me, this would make an awesome Valentine's gift.  Size M, Regular Length, Color: Ivory Floral.  No pressure, though.  ;) 

I'm not sure which I like better...this dress or the name of this dress?  I can see rockin' a pair of heeled boots with this or even with a sweet little pair of mary janes for a softer look.

Follow the Flowers Handmade Necklace

And how cute would it look with this necklace?  You could wear this with so many different things. 

We all have that one little thing we don't feel complete if we leave the house without wearing.  For me, it has always been earrings.  I feel naked if I forget my earrings.  I found this dainty little pair at Novica.  I think the name "blossom blessing" sucked me in.  Because, really, we could all use a little blossom blessing in our ears, no? 

And that, my friends, concludes this edition of Fancy Friday.  Thanks for joining me.  Have a great day and don't forget to stop and smell the flowers...after you take your Zyrtec, of course.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


The following quote by Maya Angelou is one of my absolute all-time favorites so when I saw it listed among Mama Kat's writing prompts this week, I knew it was the one for me...

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. -Maya Angelou

That is so incredibly true, isn't it?  If you really stop and think about it?  We often tend to forget the little details of major events or daily happenings in our lives. 

But the feelings?  Those are much more easy to retain and to pull out of the memory banks of our souls at any given moment.  Sometimes even when we'd rather not. 

Take facebook, for example.  I can see a name and face of a person I haven't seen or even thought of for years and while I may not be able to recall one single conversation I had with that person, I am almost always able to remember how I felt when I was in their presence.

When Darin (my first husband) died, so many people came to my house, to the church, the funeral...brought food, sent plants, flowers, cards, made donations to the boys' college fund. 

Many of these people I had never met before yet they were there because Darin had touched their lives in some positive way and they wanted to pay it forward. 

A lot of them, most of them, didn't know what to say.  I mean,  who really does in a situation like that?  But they came anyway and while it was emotionally and physically exhausting and draining to stand for so many hours and greet each one of them, I will forever be grateful for the love and sympathy they so thoughtfully brought and gave to us.

I don't remember now who brought those casseroles, chocolate eclairs, or rolls upon rolls of toilet paper and paper towels that took me two years to use up.  I don't remember which particular persons came through the receiving line or to the house and poured eloquent words of wisdom upon me. 

What I do remember is the feeling that everything, somehow, was going to be okay because how could it not with so many people around me who cared so much? 

There have been many, many times in my life when I have struggled for the right words to say or the right thing to do for someone , when all that was really needed was my presence and maybe a smile of support, or a wink of understanding.

We watched a video of a sermon by Andy Stanley in our Sunday School class this past Sunday and in it he talked about the things we say about people after they've passed on.  He brought up how often times at funerals, we display photos or videos of the person doing the things they enjoyed with the people they loved. 

He then pointed out how you don't see us displaying pictures of their material possessions or tax returns with the amount of money they made throughout their lives.  Because in the end, we all know those aren't the the kinds of things that matter...the kinds of things we really want to be remembered for.  

We want to be remembered for the love we gave and the kindness we showed.  

When my mother was in the hospital for 3 weeks last summer, the attitude of the nurse or doctor on duty was often our topic of conversation. The ones who came in with a smile on their faces and a warm and kind demeanor were always a welcome sight.  

Sometimes I would show up at her room in the morning and could tell immediately what kind of night she had and it almost always had a whole lot to do with the nurses who cared for her through the night.  She would say, "oh, I hope I have her again tonight!" Why?  Simply because she was a little bit more kind, caring, thoughtful...

The attitudes we carry around with us are often far more powerful than we realize.  Sometimes the way a complete stranger acts towards us, depending on our state of mind at the time, can make all the difference in the world.

They will often forget the words we said, they will forget the things we did, but they will most likely never forget the way we made them feel...

Wise words.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

WW: The Darling Dachsie Diaries

"Aren't I pretty?"

"What was that?"

                              "Hey, psst!  Get up!  I think I just saw a squirrel!"

                                                "Where?!  I don't see anything". 

                            "See, see...there!  in the bush beside the window"   

                                     "Ohhh, there it is!  Get over here, quick!"

                                               "Where?  I STILL don't see it!"


     "How can you NOT see it?!  It's RIGHT there!...ohhh...ohhhh....I gotta get out...gotta get it...gotta get out and get it NOW!"

                                      "Hey, come back!  I DON'T SEE IT!!!"

                                                        "Ugghhh...I'm outta here. 
      Who cares about a stupid squirrel anyway?!"

                                                                      "I'm so pretty."


Live and Love...Out Loud

We all have them

a peculiarity of action, behavior, or personality; mannerism

We all have them, those little habits and behaviors that others often find obnoxious, annoying, or just plain strange. Quirks. I've always liked that word and when I describe someone as "quirky", I usually don't mean it in a bad way.

Sometimes we find the quirks of the ones we love cute or endearing and other times we want to ring their necks if they do that thing they do one more single time today. 

Take me, for instance.  I have a bad habit of leaving my dresser drawers open because I sometimes get a little nuts when I'm trying to decide what I'm going to wear.  Clothes start flying off the hook left and right, socks whirl out of the drawers and you may get hit with a flying shoe or boot if you're crazy enough to enter the room when I'm in one of my "I don't have a thing to fit me right!" moods.   

I happen to know that drawers and cabinets being left open drive Charlie a little nuts and I'm kinda with him on the cabinets thing but nary a day goes by that I don't leave a drawer or two at least partially open.  But never once has he criticized my doing it.  Why?  Because he has to live with me and he knows how to choose his battles wisely.

This is very important to remember when dealing with quirks.  The quirks you find cute, you can point out with a wink and a smile, but the ones that annoy the crap out of you? Go easy.  

I know this can sometimes be very difficult especially if the quirk,  heaven forbid, belongs to one of your children.  Those are the ones I find the hardest to swallow.

Devin has this incredibly irritating habit of constantly making some type of insanely annoying sound whether it be spewing out some kind of gibberish from his mouth or tappity tap tapping his foot on the floor or pencil on the table.  Drives me COMPLETELY INSANE!

And Dracen?  His latest quirk goes something like this:

"Mom, I'm hungry." (even if he just ate 15 minutes ago)
Well, what do you want, Dracen?
" Well, what do you have? "
Dracen, you just went to the store with me.  You know what we have as well as I do. 
"But I can't remember...what do we have?" 

And we go through this at least 5 times a day.  Seriously.

This though, is what I call a passing quirk because I know that he'll outgrow this one eventually.  The fact that he and his brother both also posses the bad habit of leaving their drawers open and clothes on the floor is another kind entirely and the kind that, oddly, drives me the craziest. 

Have you ever noticed that? 

The older my kids get, the more I'm beginning to see that the things they do that bother me the most are many times the ones they seem to have either inherited or learned from me, myself and I. 

Devin is a channel flipper.  Every morning when I'm driving him to school, he's flip, flip, flipping the radio station and I can't even tell you how crazy this makes me...Yet, I myself am queen of the channel flippers.  I will sometimes flip through those channels 5 times before I land on a song I find acceptable for my listening pleasure and then again when that song ends...and then again.  

We all have our quirks. Some of them we outgrow, some develop over time and others are just part of who we have always been...the ones that when added all up together, makes us who we are and who we were meant to be.
I think this quote says it best...
"Certain flaws are necessary for the whole. It would seem strange if old friends lacked certain quirks". ~Goethe

How true is that?!

Now if y'all will excuse me, I must take my quirky self in here and hang up some clothes....

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ~Dr. Seuss


Friday, January 21, 2011

Fancy Friday...I'll take the red one

When I was a little girl, my favorite color was yellow.  I had a yellow room with a canopy bed and pretty white curtains with little yellow flowers on them. 

Later on, in my preteen years, when asked what my favorite color was, I never hesitated to say, "purple".  I recall a little cloth purple and lavender purse I picked out for my birthday one year.  I was over the moon for that thing...OVER the moon!

In my 11th grade English class we had the assignment of putting together a "Song of Myself" book, a project I took great pride in completing.  I remember having a ball with the subject of my favorite color which, at the time, was pink.  I was convinced, like Julia Robert's character, Shelby, in Steel Magnolias that "pink was my signature color" and that I looked every bit as pretty while wearing it as Molly Ringwald did in the movie, Pretty in Pink. 

When I got married at the age of 25, I was all about the color lavender, had all my bridesmaids decked out in it from head to toe and carried a great big cascading bouquet scattered with lavender tulips.  "Lavender was my signature color!" 

I still love lavender and yellow and pink and purple, along with many, many others that make up that giant 64-count crayon box I so loved to get my hands on when I was a kid.  I will never forget the fresh smell of those brand spanking new Crayolas...happiness in a box it was.  I think now they have one with 120.  I would have been absolutely beside myself with joy! 

Something happened some time in my 20's though that made me realize just how very much I had always, deep down, been madly in love with the color red.  Maybe it was those red cowboy boots I had that always made me feel like I could conquer the world or maybe someone I admired told me I looked good in the color red or maybe it had a whole lot to do with that shiny new red Mustang I was making payments on and riding around in all footloose and fancy free. 

Whatever the reason, I fell in love with red and still carry a burning torch for it to this day which is why I am dedicating this edition of Fancy Friday to all things RED. 

 The Kapow! Boot.  a.k.a The Wonder Woman Boot! There were those red cowboy boots I had in my twenties and I currently possess a pair of red boots I've owned for about 4 years now but these red kicks I found at ModCloth are nothing short of smokin'!
 Kalanchoe Blooms Dress
 One of my current obsessions/guilty pleasures is the AMC show, Mad Men, that Charlie and I have been devouring on dvd for the past month.  If you haven't watched the show, you need to buy or rent it immediately! It is set in the 1960s and this dress reminds me of something you'd see there.  Va-va-va-Voom!

Faithfully Yours Flower Hair Clip.
Nothing makes me feel more feminine than a flower in my hair.   Found this pretty little red felt one at Ruche...

 Float On By Butterfly Dress.
 Okay, so this dress is mostly black but OMG, the red butterflies!

 Leaf-Print Fringed Scarf.  This Old Navy scarf had me at semi-sheer cotton voile.

 Warmth and Cheer Coat.  Is it just me and the fact that I was a child of the 70's or is this coat to die for?  Because, seriously, how much cuter could a cherry coat get? 

 Yasmina Tunic
I absolutely love the character and style of this tunic and best of all, it's silk....

Red Flower Dishes
I realize this is an odd thing to throw in here but I just stumbled upon them and have been searching for some new dishes to match my red-accented kitchen for awhile now.

Bodacious Watch
I don't always wear a watch and I'm kinda sorta picky about them when I do but I could definitely sport this one.  And who knew a watch could be bodacious?

Recherche Bag
LOVE! I would carry this bag anywhere it wanted to go...

Rustic Romantic Indie Necklace
And I wouldn't mind a bit if this necklace came along with us!
I got sucked right in by the words "rustic" and "romantic"...

Mary Jane Pleaser
Don't ask me exactly why it is, but I have always been drawn to the mary jane. Something about them just seems to be the perfect combination of sweet and sexy all wrapped up together...

Minimalist Handmade Earrings
I could spend hours surfing the numerous handmade items on etsy.  These red coral and oxidized sterling silver earrings were made by my childhood bestie from her little farm in Athens, Georgia.  I'm super impressed with her mad talent.  Check out her etsy site, jNicDesigns

Hope y'all have a great weekend!