Friday, March 31, 2006

Stuff Portrait Friday: Fluff, Fold, and Flower

Welcome to Stuff Portrait Friday, the day where we go on the photographic scavenger hunt, as directed by Kristine. This week she wants to see:
~ Your Washer and Dryer
~ Your Robe (if you don’t have one of these…wait, how can you live without a robe? NO ONE should ever have to live life without a robe! GO BUY ONE!)
~ A flower (it’s sposta be spring remember?)
And since it's been a few weeks since I've had time to play, I have extra credit pictures!

The washer & dryer

The house where we lived in Dallas was ooolllldddd, and had the 'laundry room' (and I use that term very loosely) in the kitchen, behind a set of bifold closet doors. We needed more food storage space, and got an upright deep freezer, and that only left room for a stack unit. We had to cut out upper cabinets when we moved to the current house, because I wasn't getting rid of the awesome Maytag front-loading stack unit.

The robes...

The cozy waffle weave is from Ten Thousand Waves, the red silk is for recreational purposes, and the cotton geometric print was swiped by my hubs in some hotel in Japan. That last one is actually my favorite, and the one I tend to wear most.

The flower...

Here's where my bonus points come in:The impatiens in the hayracks on my front porch

And bluebonnets...

because it's spring here in the Texas Hillcountry, and also our state flower.

Did you play? Let me know and I'll come see your stuff over the weekend.
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Enquiring Minds

Q: "So how big is his head, really?"

A: Big enough to need an adult bicycle helmet.

Yes, that big. But! He's back on "the chart" with all the other kids....albeit on the very last line that still counts as "on" the chart, but still!

(Actually, I shouldn't say 'back on', but rather just 'on', as his 2 year checkup marks the first time he's actually been "on" ever.)

We always knew he would grow into his head....someday.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Yeah! We Got The Beat!

Last night we revisited junior high...

...but in a good way, if that's possible.

We went to Stubb's to see the Go-Gos. It was really good, and those gals have really kept the pipes up. They also still look pretty good, too. No false advertising there!

There's always some controversy or other going on here in the blogosphere, no?

Friday, March 24, 2006

Say What?

Oh, how my world has changed since having children...
The boys were playing outside while Daddy McA. was doing yardwork. I was feeding Lulu in the kitchen near the open door and heard Little Bit yell "oooowww!!, Mama!"
He came upstairs and said: "It hurts. Kiss it please?"
Me: "Show me what hurts."
Little Bit: (turning around and pointing to his rear-end) "Here, Mama. Kiss it and make better."
wait...(as I looked at him with what I'm sure was a "you've got to be kidding me" look)
wait...(as he looked at me with those big greens with a look that said "I know you love me and this will make it all better")
Little Bit: "Thank you, Mama!"
Yeah, I did it.
He happily returned outside to resume his play.
Not the first time someone has told me to "kiss my a$@", but definitely the sweetest.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Way Back Wednesday: Play that Funky Music...

Welcome to Way Back Wednesday, the day where The Kept Woman gives us a theme involving past events and we are to dig through our albums and post the pics. Today's suggestion comes from Texas Mom and is all about 70's fashion. I was born in 1969, so my entire childhood is a study in bad 70's fashion. I literally could have found a sutiable shot with my eyes closed. I give you some of the highlights:
Let's start with the person who was responsible for all these groovy togs, my Mom.Here she is in the summer of 1970, when I was just 4 or so months old. Why couldn't I have gotten the skinny gene?
Easter 1972. Kinda cute, actually. Lovin' on the white patent leather shoes on the brother. (I actually have white saddle oxfords for my boys for this year...what goes around comes around and all that.)November, 1973. My 4th birthday. I think the look on my face sums it up nicely.
And finally, the best for last:
Easter 1974. I think Howdy Doody was popular then or something....
I could go on and on....
Did you play?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Bits & Pieces

Busy, busy....

I haven't had much time to feed the blogging addiction lately. It seems the only time I can even sit down in front of the laptop is when I feed Lulu, and then I can only read, as my hands are full...literally. Time for typing new posts of my own and commenting on others' is in short supply for me right now. I hate not leaving comments, but that is the way of my world for the time being, and that's ok. I'm so thankful that so many of you have your s%*@ together enough to post daily so I have something entertaining to read!

I got many thoughtful and thought-provoking comments about my last post. Parenting is such a complex issue and is so subjective, and therefore is an extremely controversial topic. Like it or not, our children are a reflection of our values walking around in the flesh. My ultimate point was not about the kids in the scenarios or kids like them, be they mine or yours, because we've all been to Tantrum Town and will certainly visit again. Rather, my point was aimed at parents and taking action, whatever your choice may be in regard to the situation. Every interaction with a child ends with that child walking away having learned something. As parents it's our responsibility to try to make that something good. Parenting is a full contact sport! And I know I'm not the only one who harbors fantasies of living on a desert island without the influences of today's society - tongue-in-cheek, people, tongue-in-cheek...

Lulu Update : She is now 4.5 months old, and recently went in for her checkup. The fabulous pediatrician tried to get me to admit that she really wasn't born in November, but rather in September, as she's measuring about average for your run-of-the-mill 6 month old: 16.2 pounds, 26 inches tall and with the ginormous noggin that has come to be expected from all McAustin kiddos. All this puts her at greater than 95th percentile for all areas as a 4 month old (having been born in November... which she was....I was there, I remember). She rolls both directions, scoots across the floor on either her back or her belly or by rolling repeatedly, and has started the constant consonant babbling. She also has become quite the rice cereal aficionado. Behold, our first attempt:


This past week was the South By Southwest Film/Music/Interactive Festival here in Austin.We got to see some great films, some fabulous music, and the boys got in on the action at the interactive site with the "Lego Playpen".

What could you make with enough Legos to fill a 20 by 20 foot area about a foot deep? Little Bit and the Critter thought a car was in order. They searched in vain for wheels, only to discover that in all those Legos there were none. We learned later that they'd used the StarTrek and Spiderman sets which apparently have no wheels.... Still, good times for boys.

Hopefully I'll have something better than bits and pieces later in the week....maybe chunks and parts. We'll see.

Have a great Monday.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Me & My Soapbox

The toddler boy was approximately 2 years old, and was obviously excited to be at the petting zoo. He repeatedly slapped the animals near him, and finally his mother picked him up. He then hit her in the face and on the arms and yelled at her until she set him back down on the ground where he returned to terrorizing a goat.

We were at Cabella's. The little girl was around 5, and she looked directly at her mother, who was watching her, and purposefully dropped her jacket on the floor, and then stomped away. The mother went behind the child, picked up the jacket and tied it to the strap of her own purse, while saying something to the child. Child then ran over to mom, and slapped her on the arm, hard, folded her arms across her chest and stomped off. Both parents watched this happen, and did nothing.

Both of these children appeared to be normal kids at appropriate developmental stages for their approximate ages. Neither of them appeared to have any visible neurological problem that would cause this sort of behavior and they seemed to interact with their siblings appropriately at other times during the time we observed them. Both of these children had both mother and father with them at the time these incidents occurred. Both of these children are preschool age.

Both of these children have won in their households.

A while back someone asked me why I didn't have my kids in any sort of mother's day out type program. My "official" answer was that I didn't believe that they needed it as yet: they have each other to play with, we read, play, sing, paint/draw/color/sculpt every day, and we're saving money for the days when they will attend a quality preschool program. For the Critter that will be next September, for Little Bit, the year after. My private answer? Because I don't want my kids to be around mean children who have not been taught what appropriate behavior is.

Notice I wrote 'not been taught' as opposed to 'haven't learned'. There is a difference, and it is a big one.

I worked in public schools for 15 years, working with age levels spanning pre-k to college, and occupying various positions. Every year when I worked in elementary schools, a new crop of Kindergarteners would enroll, and you could tell right away which kids had not been taught appropriate behavior. When I worked in secondary schools you could point them out with ease still, and in college there were some people on the cusp of adulthood who obviously hadn't been taught the rules of the sandbox. We here in the blogging world see it in full-grown adults who leave nasty anonymous comments.

They don't just wake up one morning as pre-schoolers/pre-teens/young adults gone wrong, and it's not about socio-ecomonics or stay-at-home versus daycare. They all started out as innocent babies, and it's the adults who screw them up.

Children really aren't that complicated, but they do learn what we teach them. And all too often, what we teach them is entirely by accident, omission, or inaction. I would hope that no one would ever purposefully teach a child that hitting is appropriate, but by not acting when it happens, we have done just that.

(And why is it that they learn the negative things after seeing/hearing/experiencing it just once, and I'm still reminding the Critter 'no elbows on the table' after two years of 3 daily meals? ... but I digress...)

Yes, it's easier to not deal with it, and hope the behavior will go away.
Will it? No.
Yes, it takes time and patience to correct children.
It is easy? No.
Yes, there are are some children that are more 'challenging' or 'spirited' than others.
Does that mean we can NOT do our best to teach them? Absolutely not.
Do I always do it right? God, no.
Do I pray every single day that I have more positive moments than negative? Absolutely.

No one said that it would be easy when we signed on for this parenting gig, and by bringing these children into this world we have placed the responsibility of being their first teacher squarely on our own shoulders.

So suck it up, quit your whining, get off your lazy tush and do the right thing.

If we teach them that whining is the way to get what they want, they will whine from that day forward.

If we teach them that hitting is appropriate problem-solving, they will employ that solution from now on.

If we teach them that people who look different from them are bad or wrong, they will go into adulthood with those attitudes.

If we teach them that it's friendly to use good manners, they will use them.

If we teach them how to be patient and talk out their problems with others they will do it.

If we teach them to be tolerant of others' differences and that everyone is God's creation, they will live that attitude.

Those kids? Those are the kids I want my babies to hang out with.

Maybe I'll invite them to visit us on our private desert island once in a while.

Friday, March 10, 2006

SPF: Junk, Trunk, Trash

It's time for Stuff Portrait Friday! This week Kristine wants to see:the junk drawer, the trash can, and the trunk.


Full of junk of all sorts. It's a constant battle to keep it under control, so I clean it out every couple of weeks. Looks like it's that time again.


A butterfly can from Simple Human. Love.It. I would rather not see a trash can at all, but with 3 kids, a small one just isn't practical. See how nicely this one slides right into that space? It holds a ton, and takes regular tall bags. It's taken us 4 years to find the perfect trash can. Sad. And as it turns out, you really DO get what you pay for.


HA! You've already seen the "trunk" (a.k.a. cargo area) of the 'Burban, so this time you get the trunk of a tree in my front yard.

Did you play? Let me know so I can come check out your junk.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

"I'm Melting! I'm Melting....."

Oh, no, wait. It's only ketchup. All over his face ...and hair ...and place at the table....and chair. This is what happens when the world's messiest eater is left alone for 2 minutes at the end of a meal. When I came over to see what was wrong, he continued to yell "my eyes! my eyes!" while smearing the lovely acidic stuff on. I swear he really isn't brain damaged.

Today, we continued our quest for appropriate grooming with another episode of "Hair Salon Home Edition" and the results were quite nice. It took almost an hour, but my new strategy is to go V-E-R-Y slowly and use the scissors a lot, in order to try to maintain what little hearing I still have. The screaming wasn't quite as epic as in past editions, and I actually am happy with the results. Could we be making progress?

In another completely unrelated matter, I have a question for all you bloggers out there. Do you find that friends IRL don't talk to you or email you as much as before you started blogging? It seems like mine don't, but to be fair, I don't either. I think part of it is that they read the blog and feel like they have talked to me, sort of. They know what we've been up to, see the kids, and listen to me rant, and therefore what else is there to talk about. Or maybe it's just me...

I didn't play Way Back Wednesday, because I could not find a single picture of me wearing any of the multitude of bows I owned back in the 90s. Go figure.

Gotta run, I'm off to abuse Lulu with *gasp* a bath!
I know! Haircuts for boys and a bath for Lulu all in one day? I must be a glutton for punishment.

Have a great afternoon.

**edited at 1:50 to add
No crying! No screaming! No flailing! I guess the immersion (not into the water, rather into the process) technique of 'face your fears' works with this little one. In the last 3 months I've given Lulu baths almost daily, and finally, a day without the drama. I can only pray it lasts.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sometimes Love Hurts

Just because you want to give her a kiss,
and you can't reach her lips
because she's lying on her belly on her Boppy,
it's not ok
to pull her head up
by her hair
so you can reach her.

No pictures now, my hair's still a mess. And seriously, you've got to do something about the hair pulling...

Friday, March 03, 2006

SPF: Freckles, Photos & Jeans

Welcome to Stuff Portrait Friday. Go see that cool California chick Kristine for the directions.

Freckles: being a redhead, I have TONS, everywhere. So here's the biggest.

On the arch of my left foot.

Photos: on the computer...and in a few other scattered spots.

Jeans: I've never been much of a jeans girl, more of a chino chick, so I don't have favorites of my own.
But these? I love them! My older son looks adorable in his Talbots slim 3Ts.

Did you play?
Have a fabulous weekend.