"Watch My Trick!"
Thursday, February 28, 2008

"Oh! That's a funny face Dylan!"

"NO MOMMY. It's not a funny face. It's a trick."

"Oh, show me again. Um...yep...that's silly!"

"[sigh] It's not silly. Or funny. It's a trick. See? I stick my finger in my ear and it goes through my head and pokes my cheek out!"

"Oh! Great trick!"

Mom's are slow sometimes.

Military Tactics

You know how in Army movies, there's always a training sequence where one guys fails to do all the required pull-ups, or complete the 5 mile run in the required time frame, and so his entire unit has to do something like 500 sit-ups?

I totally used that tactic on my second-born last night.

You see, I have
known in my soul that Dylan knows how to sing his ABC's. He just refuses to do it. I catch him humming along when Ryan sings. I will start to loudly sing "A-B-C" then abruptly stop, and he'll begin singing "D-E-F" before catching himself and stopping. He just flat out refuses to demonstrate with speech or song his knowledge of the alphabet.

So last night after trying to cajole him, I finally resorted to military tactics. I told him that if he would sing is ABC's, then everyone could stay up five minutes later and get hot chocolate before bed. But if not...sadly...no hot chocolate.

He belted out the purest Alphabet song you've ever heard, complete with "elemenopee".

In retrospect, my strategy may not have been parenting at it's finest. If he would have refused, and no one would have gotten hot chocolate, I would have felt like a terrible mother for putting all that pressure on him. Good thing it worked out as planned. He got to be the unit hero instead of the poor sap who can't ever get over the wall.

Who Loves Ya?
Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"Lauryn, who loves you?"

"Ms. Dee!"

Hmm...not quite what I was expecting. I was anticipating a "Mommy" or "Daddy" response, not the Parent's Day Out teacher she sees once a week.

I do have to admit that Ms. Dee is a pretty special lady. I've been told she is in her early seventies, but I would guess her to be in her early sixties. She's got more spunk and get-up-and-go in her little finger than I have in my whole body.

In addition to teaching the 2 year-old Parent's Day Out class, Ms. Dee also teaches the 3 year-old Sunday School class. It's a known phenomenon that when kids turn four, they will have serious anxiety about separating from their precious Ms. Dee. It happens to almost all of them.

I wish I could bottle up that something special she has and sprinkle it all over everyone who works with children!

As Lauryn has proven tonight, the kids just know she loves them. In the end, isn't that what it's all about?


Jonathan leaves for work every morning, taking Ryan with him to deposit him at Kindergarten. Most mornings, Lauryn gives Jonathan a hug, tells him bye, maybe blows him a kiss if she's feeling particularly sassy, and then scampers of to start working on her morning to-do list. (Playing with dolls...annoying Dylan...changing her shoes 4 times...asking for a snack 142 times...all those things that must be accomplished before lunchtime.)

But once a month or so, as soon as Jonathan is out the door, she decides she really, really doesn't want him to leave. There's much crying. Stretching her arms toward the door. Throwing her head back and weeping to the heavens. Running to the window to watch the car go down the street as she screams "DAAAAAA[sob]DDDYYYYYY!"

Today has been one of those days. It's quite pitiful.

(I'm sure all you mothers of teenage girls are thinking "Just you wait....")

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I watched Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window for the first time this weekend. (Gotta love the local library and their classic movie selections.)

I decided I think Grace Kelly is the most beautiful woman to ever appear on stage or screen. Her teeny little waist is almost inspiring enough to make me refuse that Krispy Kreme donut my husband offered me this morning. I said almost.

High Point/Low Point
Saturday, February 23, 2008

High Point of my Day:

Running around with my family at the park, flying a Dora the Explorer Kite I picked up at Family Dollar for $.25 cents.

Low Point of my day:

Lauryn had a blow-out, ending the kite flying.
(Blowout: A bad diaper with the contents exploding out the legs and back.)

The contents of the diaper got on her pants and shirt.
And smeared on the interior of the mini-van. But I'm not yet emotionally ready to discuss that.

I realized I left the diaper bag at home. Growl.

The following conversation ensues between Jonathan and I:

"You left the diaper bag at home? Seriously?" [I glare at him. Then he says,] "Don't we have a spare diaper and wipes in the pouch on the back of the passenger seat?"

"I used it
yesterday." (Didn't even really need to use it...I was just too lazy to get the diaper bag out of the very back of the van. Don't you just love the timing?)

"Why are you getting your wallet out?"

"Because I need a dollar."

"Starr, what are you doing with a dollar?"

"I'm going to find someone in the park who will let me buy a diaper from them for a dollar."

And that's what I did.

After approaching two families whose children were all potty-trained, and talking to one guy who offered to sell me shop rags and duct tape, I finally approached a nice dad spending time at the park with his daughter. He gave me a diaper and wouldn't even take my dollar. Parental solidarity. Gotta love it.

We Love Sonic's Happy Hour
Friday, February 22, 2008

Ryan, while drinking a cherry limeade
[instead of his usual, a cherry slushie]

Note to self: Discuss and label foods in the produce section more often.

More Serious Thoughts from the Laundry Lady
Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The following thoughts are rolling around in my brain courtesy of a Bible study I'm currently in and highly recommend: Breaking Free

We all have hurtful situations in our past or present. Our hearts get bruised by loved ones we've lost, friends who we feel have betrayed us, abandonment we feel we've suffered.

If I serve a sovereign God who loves me, why would he let this hurt touch my life? I don't know that I will be able to fully answer that question until I'm in His arms in eternity, but here is what God is telling me until then:

"...though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." 1 Peter 1:7

I used to read that verse thinking that the glory would come to Him when He was revealed in His return. But now I see that He is glorified and revealed anytime my faith proves genuine in the midst of trials.

So when a 1st grader in my small group class at church looks at me with tears in her eyes and says, "I miss my Daddy. He left without saying bye. I don't have a Daddy any more...", I can take that sweet baby in my arms, look in her eyes, and say "You know what? I don't have a Daddy either. But your Heavenly Father is the best and most wonderful Daddy you could ever wish for, and he'll never, ever leave you." - and her eyes light up with hope, and with wonderment that Ms. Starr somehow understands; in that moment, His glory is revealed.

I am certainly not yet in a place where I can look upon any suffering I go through with gladness, but I am beginning to slightly understand how Paul can say "Rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed." 1 Peter 4:13

Help us use our hurts to glorify You, Lord!

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Taking up a lot of space in his brain

We heard this old Paul Simon song yesterday, and my husband sang EVERY WORD. I was really quite impressed.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Papaw, Mo, and Uncle Stephen were in Lubbock for a visit this weekend.

At their hotel yesterday, my father-in-law was waiting to get on the elevator to come down to the pool, where the rest of us had been swimming with the kids. When the elevator arrived at his floor, he could hear us laughing and talking behind the elevator door. So when the elevator doors opened, he spread out his arms....jumped forward...and yelled "BOO!"

Except it wasn't us. It was another family.


This Postcard Came in the Mail Today
Saturday, February 16, 2008

What a mighty fine man I have.

Ice Skating
Friday, February 15, 2008

Ryan and I went ice skating together tonight. He was such a trooper. The first couple times around the rink his legs were flying out from under him with every step. He sorta looked like a cartoon character. But he kept trying and eventually worked out a way to stay on his feet! So cute.


I'm no figure skater, but I did somehow manage to keep from falling on my rump. Quite impressive if you had seen me trying to help Ryan as he violently flailed all over the ice. However, lest you think me too proud, I must admit my legs are already aching. I hope I can get out of bed in the morning.


I read this quote somewhere this week and feel the same way:

"I hate MySpace and Lip Gloss. But I'm such a hypocrite because I use both of them."

I could rid my life of the wasteland of MySpace if not for a few friends who use it to share pictures of their beautiful children. I will keep trying to bring them around to blogging! (This means you HJ. I know your youngest says and does enough funny things daily to fill up a blog for a week.)

As far as photo sharing goes, I highly recommend dotPhoto. Great site!

He is a handsome kid, but geesh.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ryan informed me last night that he has received two marriage proposals from girls in his kindergarten class this year. He's also reportedly had to run away from girls on the playground to escape getting kissed. (Well...I think his words were something like , "She asked me if I would marry her, so I just turned and ran away before she kissed me!!!" So maybe he concocted the kissing part in his own head.)

My first thought was
"Seriously? In Kindergarten?" Then I remembered that when I was in Kindergarten, I had a "boyfriend" that I shared (huh?) with my best friend Amber. We even figured out how to look up his phone number in the phone book and called him. His last name: Looney . Yep. Looney.

Do girls that young really have a crush on a boy? Or do they just hear older kids talking about boyfriends and girlfriends and then try and follow suit?

Just the Four of Us
Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Jonathan is attending a conference in Phoenix this week. The "but that's not how Daddy does it" count is up to two so far (incidents involving t-ball, and nighttime prayers), and we still have two more days before he gets home.

I tried to get a picture of all four of us to email him with a "We Miss You!" message. The lesson I learned is that three heads are the maximum amount you can fit into the frame when using the "stretch your arm out as far as you can" technique.

Umm...where's Lauryn?
(I love it that her omnipresent hair bow still made the shot.)

Second try. Just as funny as the first try.
By this time I'm losing consciousness because Dylan is choking the life out of me.

Protective Signage

I'm torn between thinking this sign is funny (first impression), or a pretty good idea (my second thought).

If you should happen to want such a sign, you can purchase one here.

This Too Shall Pass
Monday, February 11, 2008

I can't tell you how many times Jonathan and I have told Ryan, "You need to be very careful when you play with your Magnetix set. Don't leave any of the pieces out, because it could be very dangerous if Lauryn swallows any of them."

I guess we should have also mentioned it was important that he keep them out of his mouth as well.

Yep. That would be the piece he swallowed. Circled in red, right there in his stomach.

After Ryan frantically confessed that he swallowed a piece, we spent Saturday night at the ER. If not for the magnets on each end of the piece he swallowed, we may have just let nature run it's usual course. But it turns out this toy has some bad history, and after reading this online, we were pretty freaked out. (Excerpt from article: The medical examiner said that the magnets killed a small boy when they pinched his small intestine shut and then wore a hole in the intestine wall, leaking deadly bacteria into his blood stream.)

After the X-rays the Dr. assured us that Ryan would be just fine. The magnets are still firmly encased in their plastic housing. (After injuries were reported, the toy company changed the design ensuring the magnets cannot come out of the casing.) They won't be able to attract to one another and cause any damage. In the Dr's words, "This too shall pass."

Ryan showed us exactly which piece he swallowed. So this is what's floating around somewhere in his gut right now, waiting to make it's grand exit:

Parenting. It's a weird, weird world.

Culinary Tall Tales
Thursday, February 7, 2008

I asked a four-year-old little girl in my Wednesday Night class what she had for lunch . The following conversation ensued:

"So what did you have for lunch today?"

"Well, I ate the whole thing! It was a-ma-zing."

"But what was it?"

"Oh, well...see, it was a snake. My Daddy shot it and then we cooked it right up. It was delicious. [pause] Seriously delicious."

"Wow! That's so cool! When your Granny picks you up from class tonight, I'm going to ask her to invite me over next time you have snake for lunch!"

"Oh. Well, you know what? I forgot. I had waffles. [long pause] But I ate so many my tummy grew as big as this room!"

So Cliche
Wednesday, February 6, 2008

You know how in cartoons and movies, kids are always throwing things in the house, and the mom tells them to stop? But they don't listen and end up breaking her favorite vase? Yep, that really happens in real life too.

Boys and Girls. They're different.

"Whatcha doin' Dylan? Playing with Lauryn's baby bed?"

"NO! I'm FIXIN' a CAR! [followed by improvised banging and clashing sounds]"


I'm babysitting a four month old baby girl today. Lauryn keeps saying "I want to hold it." Cracks me up.

Great Weather this Afternoon
Monday, February 4, 2008

Baseball Hat.
Football Jersey.
Soccer Ball.

He knows from experience


Me: Well then go! Run!


Disclaimer: When Lauryn exclaims that she needs to pee-pee, she's merely toying with me. As of yet she hasn't produced the goods once she gets to the potty.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

We're planning on taking the kids to a basketball game today: Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State.

I will be trying my hardest to get Ryan to root for OSU. I have my doubts if I will be successful. The indoctrination into Red Raider adoration begins early here in Lubbock. Ryan has already asked us for a Texas Tech jersey because "that's what all his friends wear."

I asked Jonathan to drive me to the border of Oklahoma when my kids were born. But he thought that was a little unrealistic (imagine!), and now we're paying the price by having three little Texans in our home! We're outnumbered!

Update: After the first period the kids were bored and uninterested in rooting for anyone. So we left and went to Sonic for Slushies, which always makes for a good day.

United Spirit Arena
Texas Tech

Cliff Familyt

I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)



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