Monday, March 31, 2008


I didn't expect to react this way. Really. But as the engine of the big yellow school bus roared as it pulled away from our corner, I cried. Today was a first for D. In the realm of "first this and first that," riding a school bus alone for the first time is a biggie.

At his previous school, it was a half-day program and we not only had to drive him there every day, but we had to sign him in as well as walk him to the door of his classroom. That's why this transition has been so huge for him-- and for me. It started with the all-day schedule...and more kids in his class...then it was hopping out of the car-rider line by himself to walk in to class. Now--well, we're in full-on big boy mode.

He was so excited as it neared time for the bus to arrive, he just about popped with anticipation.

"What do you want for breakfast?," I asked him.

"Anything that won't take so long that I miss the bus," he answered.

So, after scarfing down a bowl of Shredded Wheat, he jumped up and threw on his coat and backpack. Making sure that Baby J. was sound asleep in his glider, we darted out the front door to meet the bus at the bottom of the driveway.

At first we were the only ones waiting but, one by one, kids started approaching from all directions. One little girl with platinum blonde hair and big blue eyes introduced herself as a fellow kindergartener and told D. he was welcome to sit with her on the bus. It really was the sweetest thing ever and I chuckled as he smiled a sheepish, uncharacteristically shy smile and accepted the offer.

When the bus arrived, I introduced myself to the driver and she was extremely nice. As D. was stepping on the highest step he turned to me and frantically asked, "What's my bus number, Mommy?! What's the number?!!"

"92!," I replied and, with that, he disappeared into an abyss of seats and backpacks.

But, just as the driver was closing the doors, I heard a sweet voice utter, bravely, "Bye...Mom."

Cue the waterworks, folks.

And, as the big yellow bus pulled away and headed toward the beautiful rolling hills that lead to his school, I cried. I cried because he's growing up and because I'm so proud that my little man is so brave. I cried because he is trying new things and making his way without me holding his hand every step of the way. But mostly, I cried because I love him more than he could ever know.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Big Boy School, Heel Shots and Other Titilating Reasons Why I'm a Blog Slacker

Yeah, I know.

I remembered today that I actually have a blog that a handful of wonderful, distinguished, amazing people read every day. That is, if I were to actually write something every day.

I thought I had this moving thing licked. Well, after dealing with a psycho of a "handy"man supposedly doing work on the house we're selling and then fussing with my hubby on Easter morning as we rummage through boxes to fnd a lost "Easter Shoe" (sounds like a children's book title)...well, I realized I do NOT in fact enjoy the process of moving, thankyouverymuch. No, I'm tired as can be of digging through boxes of STUFF--stuff that was once neatly organized contents of desk drawers, spice cabinets, belt racks-- all jumbled together in an unsightly concoction and tossed willy nilly into a box. Lawd.

Oh yeah, and moving with a three month old? Do. Not. Do. This. He has been an absolute champ but mama's nerves get fried real easy when the Cryin' and the Fussin' starts and I can't get anything done. Do not get me wrong, folks...I love him and his smiles make each day worth getting up for...but when da' boy needs da' attention...he demands it. My sis-in-law Tonia is here this week helping out. She is also under the impression that she is getting to leave on Friday. Yeah, um, that's not gonna' happen. I've bribed her with honey and almond body lotion, Sun Chips and even cough drops (I'll stop at nothin, people). What more could a girl want?

D. started "Big Boy" school this week (a.k.a. public kindergarten) that goes all day. He is really adjusting beautifully but, boy howdy is it an adjustment for us all. He is exhausted at the end of the day and I really do miss him being with me all afternoon. I just have to say, though, that me in the car rider lane on the first day was pretty funny. I had NO IDEA what I was doing and people who have been doing this little procedure all year are all pulling up to The Designated Spot That Everyone Knows About Except Me and jumping out, grabbing a child--any child-- and hopping back in and zooming off. I should have had Tonia time me with a stop watch so I can have a baseline on which to improve. My measure of success was having a kid in my back seat that happened to be mine. I think we're off to a good start.

Heel shots. No, this is not something you do at a bar; rather, it is a fun little process you go through on a doctor's table as he comes at you with a needle squirting out heaven only knows what kinda liquid (turns out to be Cortisone). I apparently have Plantar Faciitis on the heel of my right foot and, folks, it sho' is painful. Besides hobblin' like a little ol' lady after sleeping or sitting for a long period of time, it has crawled up the back of my leg to compensate for me only using the ball of my foot. Good times. Going to the airport tomorrow and touring numerous hotels in the greater Baltimore area for a couple days. My timing is IMPECCABLE. I'm so proud of my special gift in that area.

OK, it's 2a.m. folks and I'm not going to even tell you what time we're heading to the airport in the morning (cough, 6am) so I'd better sign off.

If I haven't completely lost my entire lot of readers with my negligence, please say "hello." I'm not brave enough to call for a total Reader Delurking (calling out all those readers who read but don't comment) know, it's the same fear as planning a party and no one showing up...but I would like to hear from you if you get a sec.

Hope all is well wherever you are. I'm gonna hobble my hobblin' self downstairs and pack. Er, I mean get in the bed.

Nighty night.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

From the Mouths of Babes

My son. My sweet, brilliant, excitable, maddening, funny, funny six-year old child. Oh, how you make me laugh.

Last night (setting the scene): Time for D. to go to bed. Has not brushed teeth. Despises brushing teeth. Mom tells him to go brush teeth. D. slams both hands down on his lap simultaneously in frustration.

Me: (obviously sarcastic) "ooh, knick-knack, paddy-wack. Is that what you're wanting to play?"
D: "no, I'm playing knick-knack MAD-ee-wack."

Oh yeah. Those teenage years are gonna be a breeze.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Good Friday, Indeed

I've always thought it a bit odd that the holiday that my family observes today-- the day our Savior was crucified--well, I always thought it was strange to call it GOOD Friday. As I've grown older, I understand more fully the concept of why his death is indeed good for me...good for this world. Without this sacrifice, I would never know the freedom of forgiveness and the simple beauty of God's grace. A grace that is imparted to me an a daily, if not hourly, basis.

As with many parents, I've dealt with the delicate balance needed in celebrating the "commercial" traditions of Easter along with focusing on the true reason for the holiday. We will do the obligatory Easter egg hunt in the morning as well as the jelly-bean-laden basket that my son will discover Easter morning. But he also knows that Jesus died for all of us and that the celebrating that we do is because he rose again. I see no harm in working in some of the traditions we observed when I was growing long as it is tempered with the story of how Jesus died to save us of our sins. I guess it's all about perspective.

I'm grateful this Good Friday. I'm grateful because our family is back longer separated but doing life together again. I'm grateful for a new home, and new friendships, and a new place where it truly feels as if we're where God intended us to be. But most of all, I'm grateful for my Savior. His life, His sacrifice...they are the real reasons I'm here.

It really is a Good Friday.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Now that baby J. is learning to roll over, he thinks it's the funniest thing in the world. Here is a before and after of his tummy trick:

BEFORE (serious look)

AFTER ("whoa, that was fun" look)

In a Word . . . American Idol

I could talk about AI all day but I'm going to see if I can keep it to one word for each contestant's performance this week. You know, to make it interesting...unlike last night's show:

Amanda-- predictable

Brooke-- awkward

Syesha-- cleavage!

Ramiele-- yawn

David Cook-- cool

David Archuleta-- soothing

Jason-- boring

Chikezie-- delightful

Kristy Lee--inconsistent

Michael-- lackluster

Carly-- capable

It really was a snoozer of a show. I am not a Beatles fan, y'all. I don't NOT like them, that's just never been music that I've listened to on purpose. So, I was mighty disappointed when I heard we were being treated to a SECOND week of Beatles songs.

And, as much as I do not care for her style, I agree wholeheartedly with Amanda when she responded to Paula's suggestion of doing a ballad. She said she wants people to get a taste of what she would be like in concert. I couldn't agree more. Ruben Studdard was a big, cute teddy bear of a guy but when his album came out there was nothing on there I was happy about spending money on. Sure I'd love to see John Denver week on Idol... but that's just not ever going to be the style of most of the folks on there.

Bottom line: Lots o' talent this year... but no one is blowing me away yet. We shall see....

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

1,053 Things To Update You On

1. The movers left yesterday after unpacking all our stuff
2. Unpacking by movers consists of them emptying all of your stuff onto whatever solid surface they can find and then they leave
3. I shant be utilizing unpacking services in the future
4. You don't really think I am going to list 1,053 things, do you?
5. I probably could, though
6. I love our new area
7. I love our new house--even though we're renting
8. I love our new SuperTarget enough that my hubby has already banned me from going there because I went in for a plunger Sunday night and left with $195 worth of stuff
9. Yes, D. really needed those flip flops
10. And yes, I really needed that lite garlic herb cream cheese
11. Our new neighbors brought us food. I love them.
12. D.'s new school is out in the's such a BEAUtiful drive
13. At church Sunday, I saw a friend of mine that I graduated high school with...he and his wife also adopted a son from Russia and have a 6-year old boy. Small, small world.
14. I think my 6 year old is going for a record for swinging on a backyard swing. He loves that thing.

OK, I'll spare you more laundry list. We love it here. I am loving the rolling countrysides that greet me everywhere and the big, open skies and friendly people. I am loving the AMOUNT OF STORAGE we have in this house and am wondering how in the heck we're going to be able to match it when we either buy or build in a year or so. Hubs is loving his job and he really enjoys having someone say "hey--we're so glad you're here." Who wouldn't love to hear that?

There was so much to update you on but my mind is failing me. I really did spend $195 in Target because, well, it's Brand Spankin' New. New cool plastic buggies, clean aisles fully stocked with stuff. Did I mention I went there alone? I was in heaven.

I am trying to dig out from under the Pile o' Mess I was left with yesterday. My kitchen....oh, my kitchen. It waits for me, begging for me to relieve its counters of the random objects perched there. In one spot is a sticky note pad, a small whisk, extra buttons, a stray cookbook, parts to a slicing thingie, a puzzle and my camera battery charger. Do you see why that stresses me out? I quite prefer the neat stack of dishes waiting to be tucked away. Oh, yeah. Me likey the stacked stuff.

The boys are doing well and are adjusting to their new place. It feels good here. I'm excited to see what our new area holds in store!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Well, we're movin' on up............

Ok folks. Mama need a break! The packers came yesterday and packed most of my house so quickly it was like flood waters rising and I couldn't stay ahead of them! Finally, I had to create a human shield to the staircase leading upstairs. "NO! I'm not ready! I have to grab some undies! I'll need a hair dryer! Oh, and our alarm clock! I need time, people!"

Apparently it worked because they left to give me an evening to:

1. Breathe
2. Watch American Idol (a girl's gotta have her priorities)
3. Pack our clothes for now through Monday
4. Breathe some more

And then, like people you'd think get paid to do this or somethin, THEY CAME BACK. But this time, I was ready. Well, except for the computer. I've all but pulled a tree-huggin stunt here at my desk. But, I hear footsteps coming up the stairs.

No! Please don't take it..... please. I must. have. internet. accesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

[insert muffled sounds of crumpled paper and packing tape]

Roses are Red, Violets are Violet will return to its regularly scheduled programming on Tuesday, March 18. (Not that I've ever done anything regularly but that's beside the point.)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Various and Sundry Random Miscellany

How is that for a non-commital title?

THE MOVE--Breathe, Katie. The movers will be here, unm, tomorrow. Yep. Not in a month...or even a week. TOMORROW (Tuesdyy a.m.). In true anal annie style that my friends know me best for, I have gone through the house taping up signs that indicate how stacks of itmes should be labeled. Since we are only going to be in this new house for a year (renting until we decide where to buy or build) we don't want to have to unpack EVERYthing only to re-pack and store it. Yes, our home closely resembles a discount warehouse but at least I have some tiny little semblance of peace that it won't be chaos. Or, at least it will be sorta-organized chaos. Breathe.......................

THE WEATHER--stunningly beautiful today. Shorts weather today. Snow showers 2 days ago. It's a wonder we don't all have P-noo-monia.

AMERICAN IDOL--Sad that I am tucking this in a laundry-list of a post...but I haven't had the wherewithal to write at length about it (not that I've had such riveting material in its place, mind you). Here's my lowdown for fellow AI'ers:

  • I'm lovin' the David's. Archuleta, Cook and Hernandez. Love 'em all.

  • I just want to squeeze Parcheesi, I mean Jacuzzi''s cheeks. He's so darn cute.

  • Jason and Michael are as cute as they can be, but I haven't been wowed with their vocals just yet. To me, they've just been "aw-ite, dawg, you know...just aw-ite"

  • As for the girls... well, Amada scares me...she'd hurt me for sure. Brooke is great but I just want to find out she's done ONE thing wrong in her life. One . Carly is amazing but she'd kind of got the whole "I've had a record deal before" stigma going on.

  • Kristy Lee Cook's figure MAKES. ME. ILL.

  • Syesha is a great singer...but a super star? And little Ramiele? Adorable.

  • The judges are getting on my nerves. Bickering. Jokes about the contestants. be cool guys.

  • Ryan should leave well enough alone. I'm bored with his Simon-bashing. Blah, blah, blah.

3:39 am--It is 20 minutes til 4 a.m. and I am still working to get things ready for the movers tomorrow (or TODAY since they'll be here in a few hours!). With a 6 year old and an infant, this is literally the ONLY time I can get what I need to get done. If I don't turn it in, I'll be good for nothin' tomorrow. Must........get..........sleep.

Please excuse my absence lately. Once we get moved, I promise to get back in the groove.

More later.........

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Outside the Carwash

The sky was a brilliant, cobalt blue
Your shirt a crisp white
Your sandy blonde hair shone in the sun
Rivaling only the spark of your smile

Unbridled joy

Run, run, run my child
Across the blades of green
Youthful spirit unleashed and free
My heart soars as we fall
Into a pool of laughter
As we wait outside the carwash

In this small patch of grass
It is as if we are in a distant place
You and I leaping through flowery meadows
Imagining animals out of billowy clouds

But instead our time is up
The man hands me the keys
Off we go, back to the lines of cars
Others rushing through their daily lives
Traffic lights beaming green, yellow, red

Soon we’ll return there
To our little patch of heaven
Where billowy clouds dance by

Outside the carwash

ktb 04.28.05

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Help Wanted

Did you know that The Golden Gate Bridge is ALWAYS being repainted? It's so grand in scale, crews get to one end and it's already time to begin painting again. Same goes for the mound of baby bottles in my sink. daily. I begin each day with such hope...promise...a bevy of sparkling bottles with which I can provide nourishment to my little man. Then, as the day goes by, the sink begins to fill up. Dirty bottles stacked atop one another in some twisted "King O' the Mountain" match up.

So, I devised an ad. It reads:

Think it'll work?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Are You Smarter Than a 3-year Old?

This is the daughter of a good friend. Not only is she one of the cutest kids on the planet, but she's obviously not short on the smarts, either. He emailed us this video and I CACKLED at the end. It's pretty darn funny. Check it out for yourself:

Introducing Sydney:

Saturday, March 01, 2008

There's Never a Samoa Around When You Need One....

I spotted the car waiting at the end of the driveway. Then I spotted her..a little different than the Girl Scouts of old-- you know, when we were forced to wear the requisite green garb and knee socks with the little flags on them. Oh I was cute all right. I was a force to be reckoned sash of badges twittering the breeze and a cookie order form firmly in my grasp.

I digressed, didn't I?

Up walks a girl whose only identifying mark was the box of Thin Mints peeking out from a plastic grocery sack. You know that can only mean one thing............


Hubs had mentioned ordering some cookies a while back and, frankly, I had forgotten about it. But quicker than you can say "lemonade stand" I was tearing into the bag to survey the glorious contents. I stopped dead in my tracks.

The only boxes in the bag were Lemon What-It's, Thin Mints (a given) and a box of (prepare yourself) SUGAR-FREE chocolate chip cookies. Sugar-free? Oh my good gracious.

Where are my SAMOAS????

What about my shortbread cookies???

I felt faint.

It was clear there had been NO IDENTIFIABLE PLAN when ordering. Oh, no siree. This apparently was a hubs-cookie-preferences-only decision. We have been married for just under 150 years and the man does not know that I clearly appreciate a good Samoa. Hey, even a Tag-along or two. But lemon? And, for goodness sakes, SUGAR FREE? It's just plain un-American, if you ask me.


I guess that'll be helping the diet along. Who needs THAT?