Friday, August 31, 2012

Three Down, Three to Go

This has been a monumental week in the Boyd house since we sent another child off to college this week. Wouldn't you think--since this is the third time we've gone through this--that we'd be used to it by now?

Yeah. Me neither.

What does surprise me is that it actually seems to get harder with each one. Maybe because each one seems younger than the last one was.

Maybe because there's fewer and fewer people left at home as they head off to finish their educations.

Maybe because, as I gain more experience, I feel less and less like I've adequately prepared them for life.

Nah. Must be because they leave so many empty chairs around the dinner table.

How else can you explain why a little darling like this--

Can turn into a brand new college student overnight.

I'm pretty sure that first picture was taken last week.

The guy in the second picture has been really looking forward to college. But I think it has less to do with learning and more to do with the fact that he and his girlfriend will be on the same campus instead of living two hours away from each other.

I chattered about class schedules and being responsible with homework.

He talked about taking the GF to a mexican restaurant for dinner.

I lectured on consideration for others when living in small dorm rooms.

He dreamed of not having to count his phone minutes because he could talk to the GF in person.

I tried to teach this boy, who has been homeschooled throughout his high school years, about multiple classes and multiple teachers and multiple projects.

He smiled benignly, but I have the feeling that my voice in his head sounded a whole lot like adults do on the Peanuts cartoons.

I cried several times last week at the thought of him leaving. I cried again in the shower the morning we took him to school. Not that I want him to stay. He's growing up and I don't want to hinder or stop that.

It's just that each one seems to grow up a little faster than the last one did.

Our third child--who has never known a stranger, and loves challenges and adventure (he is the son of Indiana Jones, after all)--took everything in stride right up until we started unloading his things in his dorm room. Then, for just a moment, a fleeting look of uncertainty crossed his face.

That quickly it was gone, and his confident smile was back. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that the GF was walking by just then.

I cried again when we said goodbye, but my tears dried up when I found out that my husband and sons had been betting each other as to when and how often I would cry. That kind of insensitivity should not be rewarded with additional cash!

Luke has called and texted at least once a day since we left him at school. He's passed his placement tests, gotten his class schedule for the semester, done a little shopping at the dollar store, and made some friends.

He seems to be settling in well, and I find myself beaming with pride. Maybe I've trained him enough after all. Maybe he's truly ready for this.

He always tells us he loves us, but then he ends each call or text with, "I miss you, Momma."

And then I cry again. He maybe ready for this, but I never will be.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Labor of Hodgepodge Love

Okay, I'm in a hurry 'cause I want to go to bed soon so I don't really have time to explain how this works. You should know what to do by now anyway. Read. Comment. Click. Repeat. It ain't rocket science, folks.

1. Americans will celebrate Labor Day this coming weekend. Do you know what we're actually celebrating? (without consulting your friends Google or wikipedia, ahem) What's a project you're currently 'laboring' over?
Ummm, let's see. Labor Day ... Labor Day ... yeah, I'm gonna go with celebrating labor and delivery. I've spent over 100 hours laboring and delivering my babies in my life and I think that should be celebrated. 

And I should get cake.

2. Labor Day also signals the unofficial end of summer for most of us...what summer food will you miss the most? If you're in the southern hemisphere feel free to substitute winter for summer.
I could list the usual summer indulgences, such as watermelon or corn on the cob, but I'm not gonna because I live in Florida and we basically have summer year round here. 

3. A well known proverb states, 'It's easier to seek forgiveness than ask permission.' Your thoughts?
It's not easier on the one who has to give forgiveness instead of permission.

Ask me how I know.

4. Food critic, film critic, book critic, art critic....which hat would you most like to wear?
Okay, first of all, I like hats, but my hair doesn't so I probably wouldn't wear any hats. But as far as the above professions, I could do any and all of them. I'm great at being critical.

5. When you were a kid, who (besides your parents) was your favorite adult?
It was a toss up between Superman and Wonder Woman. Superman could fly, but Wonder Woman had great jewelry. (the bracelets, man!)

6. The astronaut, Neil Armstrong, passed away last week. He was regarded as a hero by many generations of people all around the world. Do we still have modern day heroes? What makes someone a hero?
Being a hero is someone who does what they're supposed to do when they're supposed to do it, in spite of any and all obstacles. "Sully" Sullenberger, the pilot who landed the plane on the Hudson River, is a hero. Major sports figures and movie stars are not.

7. I never get tired of __________________.
Broccoli soup, mashed potatoes, getting my hair brushed, hearing my kids say I love you, kissing my husband ... shall I go on?

8. Insert your own random thought here.
My daughter-in-law and my granddaughter are doing very well. Stella Elise is still expected to make her appearance into the world at the end of November. This week I very heroically resisted the urge to buy over priced pink baby cowgirl boots. I may not always have that kind of discipline.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Breaking the Code

In my last post I told you that we had found out whether Matt and Kylee's baby was going to be a boy or a girl. Here is the text conversation between my son and me after an excruciating day of waiting.

Matt: 4475

Me: What?

(3 seconds later)
Me: SCREAMS!!!!!! Does that mean what I think it means?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Matt: Baby

Me: GIRL!!!!!! It's a GIRL?!?!?!?!

So how did I know what the numbers meant? Well, at first I didn't. I have to confess that I figured it must be a girl because there were four digits, and there are four letters in the word girl. I know there's no logic for that reasoning, but it made sense to me.

After I was through with my initial--and useless--thought process, I started kicking my brain into gear. A long long time ago, before the age of cellphones, people actually had to dial numbers in order to call someone. Depending on your age, you may remember that each number on the keypad also had 3 or 4 letters assigned to it. I called up the keypad on my cellphone and sure enough, there was the answer to the code.

4 = G

4 = I

7 = R

5 = L

By the way, the reason Matt didn't answer after my last text was because instead of waiting for an answer, I called him as soon as I sent it. He assured me that Kylee and the baby were both healthy and that he was very happy because he'd wanted a girl first.

Right after I got off the phone with Matt, my daughter called. Our conversation was punctuated with laughter and excited squeals. First we added Kylee to the family, and now a baby girl as well. Slowly but surely, we're evening the gender inequality in the Boyd family!

Having a baby around will be something new anyway because my last baby is twelve. But to have a girl is such a novelty, I don't know what we're going to do. I mean, have you met my family?

Sure they clean up nice. But there's a lot of testosterone in the group!

To their credit, the boys seem just as excited about a baby girl as the rest of us. And they're already making plans for after the baby makes her appearance.

*They've assured Kylee that they will not discriminate. They will work just as hard at teaching a girl how to burp and pass gas as they would a boy.

*All of them have made various plans on how to discourage potential suitors when that day comes. I hope the baby will be okay with being single until she's 35.

*They've agreed that at least some of the camouflage clothing they get for her will be pink camouflage.

*If we're lucky, they will not get her an airsoft gun at least until she's old enough to go to school.

In the meantime, I'm shopping for hairbows, and I already bought her a pair of sandals with plenty of bling. I think our daughter is making plans to monogram every item of clothing the baby will ever wear. I've told her I think it's a waste to monogram disposable diapers, but ...

Speaking of diapers and in other baby-related news, I'm going to a baby shower tonite. In a fit of creativity, I decided to make a diaper cake. I'm quite proud of the results.

Since I quite lack that creativity gene, my family was really shocked at how well this turned out, but really, after six children, why wouldn't I be an expert at working with diapers?

My boys were less than impressed when they realized that it was not a cake they could eat.

I'll bet my granddaughter would understand.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Grandchild is a Venusian!

See how I just rolled that "g" word right out there like that? I've come to the conclusion that it takes nine months to grow a baby, not just so the baby can develop, but so that all those who are related can adjust to their new station in life.

Still adjusting here.

I was on pins and needles recently, waiting to hear the results of our daughter-in-law's ultrasound. We already knew the baby was healthy, but that wasn't the reason for the ultrasound. (Not in my mind, anyway.) No, there was a much more important piece of information that needed to be determined.

Boy or Girl?

The ultrasound was scheduled for 11:00 a.m., and I made my dil promise to text me as soon as they knew. At 11:22 I grabbed my phone when the text alert went off. The message simply said the ultrasound had been moved to 4:00 p.m.

Nothing like putting off the moment. Or letting the suspense build.

Even the stalwart Indiana Jones was eager to know the results, texting me to ask if I'd heard anything. Apparently making Matt and Kylee promise to contact me was a good idea. Otherwise I might have been left in the dark, too.

I got sidetracked later in the day, and was surprised to get a text from Matt. The message said simply this:


Can you guess what they're having?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Can You Lend Me A Hand ... Or A Couple of Legs?

As if I didn't have enough trouble walking on two legs, I've sprouted a couple of extra ones. I sprained my ankle, and now I'm on crutches for the next ten days.

I'll wait a moment for your murmurs of sympathy.

Okay, done yet? Because I don't need sympathy about my sprain. It's stupid and I'm so mad at my ankle that I'm not talking to it right now. Not that I randomly talk to my body parts, but you know what I mean. And if you don't, than you probably shouldn't even be reading my blog.

Cranky much?

As soon as people see me hobbling along they gasp, "What happened?!" Original comment, dontcha think? I'll bet you asked that (in your head, if not out loud) as soon as you read that I was on crutches. I know people are being sympathetic, and deep down in my heart--way deep down--I appreciate it.

My problem is, I don't have a great story to tell what happened. It's a stupid story. And not stupid in an I-went-parasailing-and-landed-wrong kind of way. That's a stupid story that still inspires people with my adventurous spirit. Unfortunately, my story has no adventure. It's not even a stupid story where people laugh and say they can't believe I did that. It's stupid in a way where, when I explain what happened, people stare for a minute, like they're waiting for the good part. Then when they realize that's it, they just, kind of blink and say oh.

So after a lead-in like that (and trust me, the lead-in was more interesting than the story itself), here's what happened:

The week before last, Terry and I went away for a few days to celebrate our twenty-fifth anniversary. We've actually been married for twenty-six years, but last year we were traveling to our son's wedding a week after our anniversary so we didn't really have the chance to celebrate. We're getting even, though. We told him that on his twenty-fifth anniversary, he'll be busy planning the party for our fiftieth.

At any rate, we went to the Gulf for five days and played in the water, walked on the beach, shopped, slept and ate seafood five days in a row. Well, Terry ate seafood. I was a little fished out and I started ordering hamburgers toward the end of our vacation. We even went for a late night swim and then walked along the deserted beach in the moonlight. It was absolutely wonderful until the last night when I sprained my ankle.

None of the above activities caused me to hurt myself. Oh no. I'm unique. On our last night, I sat curled up in a chair, reading, until my leg went to sleep. Then when I tried to stand up, my ankle gave out.

Here's where you say oh.

Yep. That's really it. I basically sprained my ankle while reading. See? Even people who live very sedentary lifestyles can injure themselves. If they're clumsy enough.

Clumsy doesn't end with being on crutches, though. I've never had to use them before. They always looked fairly simple, but they're killing me. My shoulders and arms ache unbelievably from supporting most of my weight. (Note to self: get back on your diet!) My right leg aches because it's doing all the work, and my left leg feels guilty for not doing it's fair share. Plus, everytime I move the crutches forward, somehow I don't seem to make them land an even distance from me. One is always in front of the other. One afternoon as I crutched through a parking lot, my shirt caught on the crutches and hiked higher with every step, exposing my bare belly to the whole world. No one wanted to see that.

I carry a big purse, and it throws me more off balance than usual when I'm trying to crutch. So I ended up hanging it around my neck when I went into work today. I felt like a St. Bernard. And now I'm wondering ...

If I stood on a street corner leaning on my crutches with my purse around my neck, would people start throwing change into it?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

1001 Ways to Answer the Hodgepodge

There are probably more than 1001 ways to answer the 87 different Hodgepodges that Joyce has hosted, but I think just sticking with one way would simplify things on my blog, so that's what I'll go with. If you want to see the other 1000 ways to answer (or maybe just 50-60), click here to head over to Joyce's. Before you go, you don't have to leave 1001 comments, but just one would be nice. Two or three is good, too, if you have a lot to say.

1. I'm (this would be Joyce, not me) joining my daughter1 in the 101 in 1001 challenge. Essentially you create a list of 101 things you hope to do or accomplish in the next 1001 days. What's one thing you'd put on your list?
Eat lunch. (I'm starting with small, manageable goals, and I'll branch out from there. Maybe add supper and breakfast to the list.)

2. How many remote controls do you have in your house? What's one item in your home you wish could be operated by remote control?
The question isn't how many remotes do I have; the question is where are they when I need them? And I wish my kids were operated by remote control. I'd be using the mute button a lot.

3. What does having it all mean to you? Is it attainable?
If "it all" is attainable, then it must be by mail order because they're always sold out at Walmart.

4. What's your favorite movie soundtrack?
"Oooooooooo-kla-homa where the wind comes sweeping down the plain ..."
That's going to stick in your mind for the rest of the day.

5. Describe the best view you've seen from a rooftop.
Since I have a thing about heights, I think the best view would be the ladder (and safety harness) that I would need to use to get down.

6. What's your least favorite thing about summer?

7. Our weekly Hodgepodge falls on the first day of August. In ten words or less sum up your July.
Sticky. Slower. Over. (Do I get a bonus since I didn't use up all ten words?)

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Is dry cleaning really dry?

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