Photobombing at the Zoo

Photobombing at the Zoo

This weekend we packed up the kids and headed to Birmingham. Friday night we went to the state basketball championship. Unfortunately our team lost but it was a testament to the guy’s hard work that they made it that far. Number two in the state ain’t half bad. Oh, calm down, Autocorrect. I can use the word ain’t if I want to. 

IMG_2072The nieces came and kept Stella occupied. So between her cousins, the funnel cake, and my iPhone she did pretty well with that nine pm start time. Although I yawned quite a bit.

Saturday morning we went to the zoo with my cousin’s Margaret and Lauren. And, hey guess what! For the first time in the history of us, me and Billy did not fight at the zoo. You should be impressed. For some reason zoos make us fight. Eh…now that I think about it we did kinda fight on the way to the zoo. Whelp, that just doesn’t count. No fighting INSIDE the zoo – for the win!

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“I’m not impressed.”

Shut it, flamingo.

Hey speaking of flamingos, this flamingo totally photobombed us.

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So, of course, we thought that was just about the funniest thing ever so we proceeded to attempt other photobombs.

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This cat was SO DANG CUTE.

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It’s eyes were HUGE. Really, eyes in picture are larger than they appear.

We stole my eleven year old niece for the weekend. If you’re going to the zoo with littles I highly recommend borrowing an eleven year old girl.

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They are very efficient at crowd control. This is the cool crowd we went with. Notice the excessive amount of belly fat that child in my niece’s arms has. It’s epically awesome. 

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The even cooler crowd.

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Yeah, I’m wearing a monogrammed jacket. I have mixed feelings about it. I may be too old for it. If you see me sporting ribbons in my hair, stop me. Because I’m kind of thinking that would be a good idea but the older I get the less fashion sense I have.

Speaking of fashion sense, how about my nephew:

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This kid. Four point four GPA, cross country star, amazing saxophone player, ranked number one academically in his class in his 6A school, AND he loves my kids well.

We took him to lunch at Little Donkey in Homewood on Sunday and peppered him with things like:

“Do you need any lectures? How about the drug lecture? We’re great at the drug lecture!” 

“No, I’m good.”

How about a lecture about drinking? We can do that one too!”

“Heard it.”

Tell me more about you social life!”

“Oh, Aunt Paula.”

He totally loved it. Uh huh, loved it.

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“I’m not buying it.”

Dang it. Judgmental flamingo strikes again!

 

I’m the Guard…

I’m the Guard…

Last week we finally got our snow and were rewarded further with a glorious two hour delay from school. It was lovely. I did feel kind bad though because the local elementary school across from our house was NOT on a delay and while we were sledding they were all mutinously trudging off to school.

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I got a little weirded out when I saw that I had sent a text to James, my oldest, telling him school was completely cancelled. It wasn’t cancelled and I hadn’t sent the text. I thought there must be a ghost in the house until Hank admitted that he had woken up early and sent the text to James to trick him into thinking school was cancelled. Why? Why would he do that?

Mean spirited, vindictive, tricky tricky boy! I was so mad! James got mad at him too and physically picked him up and tossed him into the snow…in his underpants. I saw it happening and didn’t stop it.

And then I realized something pretty terrible. I’m the guard. Ya know that guard in Guardians of the Galaxy…Um, what do you mean it’s not the greatest movie in the history of the world? It is so!…the guard that looks the other way when Gamora, the heroine, is about to be murdered.

Or heck, any guard in any movie that looks the other way when someone does something bad.

I am supposed to be this child’s defender. Badly done, Paula. Badly done. Bonus points if you can tell me where the Badly Done quote is from. 

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Whew! This child. Y’all, I was flat out unprepared for the sheer volume of sports information that was going to be required of me when I had him. Watching a sporting event with this kid goes something like this:

“Mom, who is better Russell Westbrook or Kevin Durant?”

I don’t know. I don’t follow the NBA.”

“Mom, just pick one.”

“Okay, Russell Westbrook.”

“What!? No way! How can you say that?!”

Every. Single. Sport.

And, heaven forbid, if I forgot to tell him about some sporting event that’s on. “How could you let me miss the Slam Dunk Contest? You’re supposed to be my Mother!”

So, I try to read the sports section and stay up to date. Heck, at least it’s something interesting. James was into Pokemon, and still is a little bit, and I couldn’t even feign interest in that. Good thing he moved on to comic books, because that I can handle.

Not to be weird but when James was a newborn I watched Buffy while I fed him at night. When Hank was a newborn I watched the short lived show Sports Night soooo…you can read into that what you will.

And, hey, if you live in North Alabama you know that that puny little snow we got last week was nothing compared to what we got this week! EIGHT WHOLE INCHES! Y’all it was amazing. We sledded and built snowmen and missed school and contemplated moving to Colorado because snow is the best thing ever.

Then I woke up this morning and was kind of over mittens and wet socks and slushiness and now I’m just thankful that I live in Alabama and know how to appreciate snow. Because all that business that goes with it is kind of a pain. And now I know why Northern Moms complain about it.

I mean, they don’t complain as much as this guy when he found out I forgot to tell him the Combine was going on but you get the picture.

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Siblings and a Rivalry

Siblings and a Rivalry

Last night we went to Birmingham for the 4A High School State Basketball Semi-finals. This is only Westminster’s second time to make it in to the semi-finals. I know all about the last time even though I wasn’t there. It was in 1993 and Billy’s basketball team made it. He was a junior. We weren’t friends yet since I was at Randolph but he’s told me all about it.

How he spent the whole time flirting with a certain someone and had so much fun and everyone got snowed in and there was a Waffle House and on and on and it was, like, the best trip ever. I’m not bitter. Nope, not at all. Please Billy, tell me more about this amazing time you had with she who must never be named.

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“Oh, it’s going to be one of those kind of blogs. Fun…”

Ah, I’m just playing. We had a great time last night.

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I got to hang out with both my brothers which is always a plus.

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Brothers are pretty swell. I highly recommend them. Before we left for the game last night I was listening to the Avett Brother’s song ‘Murder in the City. I know, I know, it’s a terrible title but it’s actually a really sweet song. It’s about a young man moving to the city and dealing with his parents fears for him. Here are the lyrics:

If I get murdered in the city
Don’t go revengin in my name.
One person dead from such is plenty
No need to go get locked away.

When I leave your arms
The things that I think of.
No need to get over alarmed
I’m comin’ home.

I wonder which brother is better.
Which one our parents love the most.
I sure did get in lots of trouble
They seemed to let the other go.

A tear fell from my father’s eyes
I wondered what my dad would say.
He said I love you
And I’m proud of you both, in so many different ways.

If I get murdered in the city
Go read the letter in my desk.
Don’t worry with all my belongings
But pay attention to the list.

Make sure my sister knows I loved her.
Make sure my mother knows the same.
Always remember, there is nothing worth sharing
Like the love that let us share our name.
Always remember, there is nothing worth sharing
Like the love that let us share our name.

Those last four lines…oh, the feels! At my Grandmother’s funeral, where I was already feeling crazy emotional, I stood beside my brother’s and watched them talk to each other. For once, I didn’t feel the need to interject.  I just whispered ‘I love you, I love you’ over and over again to them in my head. Seriously, brothers. You gotta get some.

The team won last night despite a shaky ending. They play West Limestone Friday night at nine pm. Seriously, NINE PM. What is up with that time? Are we going clubbing afterwards? Nothing like a ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’ reaction to a nine pm start time to make you feel really old.

We’ll be there. They’re a really fun team to watch. They have great chemistry and seem to really appreciate the fan support. So, yeah for school spirit and all that.

We’ve played West Limestone twice already. We won once and lost once so Friday night should be quite the rivalry game.

Not a sibling rivalry but a rivalry just the same.

Here’s to a big win Friday night.