Nope She’s Just Naughty

Nope She’s Just Naughty

Alright…here’s the deal with Gracie’s behavior…I’m pretty sure it’s all my fault. See, the problem isn’t that I have no parenting backbone – the problem is that things that bother other people just don’t seem to bother me – and that’s a bit of a problem.

Here’s an example from this week: Mondays at Little Rosie’s are relatively uncrowded. Me and my bestie go there quite a bit – it’s one of Huntsville’s greatest breakfast spots. I like to throw words like ‘bestie’ into my blog to check and see if my teenagers are reading it – if they are, they’d totally bust me for using the word bestie.  This week while at Little Rosie’s I look down and realize Gracie is on the floor drawing in her notepad. Now instead of doing what normal parents do which would be to GET HER OFF THE FLOOR I just shrug and say ‘meh, she’s not bothering anyone.’

IMG_2218

Uh, hello, Paula your child is LAYING on the dad gum floor. Something eventually clicks and I think ‘oh yeah! No kids on the floor!’

I ended up pulling her out of school because her behavior had gotten so suspect. She wasn’t kicked out but I had come to dread the ‘Gracie did blah, blah, blah’ note that was accompanying picking her up. And more than that note I was dreading the drop off where she screamed and clung to me. So for my sanity I pulled her. Which means we spend all day every day together. Which is good because this little nugget is only three.

On the positive it gave me more time to do projects in the house.  Got these pictures hung up in the abnormally large space between the mirrors in our bathroom. I ordered them from the MixTiles app. It was really easy and I think they turned out well.

IMG_2263

“Hey there little gnome.”

As far as Gracie’s behavior goes, I guess, part of being a better parent is just paying attention to the stuff that other people care about – which is generally pretty terrible advice but works in this situation. We leave for Disney World in a month. Girlfriend needs to straighten up and fly right while we’re there!

Speaking of trips, I’ve got big plans for a nice long RV trip in the summer of 2018. We went to the RV Show this weekend. The kids are into it. Well, into it-ish.

IMG_2274

They were mostly into climbing all over the things.

This continued at Hank’s basketball party. I highly recommend having a party in a gym. IMG_2297

Hank and his best friend Brandon. You know how sometimes you hear parents say things like ‘my child just doesn’t have enough self confidence.’ Yeah, that’s something we will never have to say about these two. They have plenty of confidence. Like, probably too much.

Oooh! Ya know what else I recommend? Having a Dads Versus Sons Basketball Game because that business was pretty hilarious.

IMG_2302

Although, the basketball party brought us several more examples of Gracie Shenanigans. Other Parent: ‘Um, excuse me but did you know your daughter was climbing on the bleachers?’ Yes, yes I did.

She has a pretty significant language delay – when you combine that with her behavior issues I used to think she might be somewhere on the spectrum. Now I’m pretty convinced that she’s just naughty.

IMG_2305

We’re all a work in progress, right?

A cute, cuddly, smooshy, bundle of love and tantrums work in progress.

IMG_2306

Waffles on Felling Night…

Waffles on Felling Night…

Before the Waffles moved in we did a few things to the house.

Er…I guess this is a good time to admit that we call our foster kids ‘the Waffles.’ This is because when we first started talking about bringing them into our home and possibly adopting them it sounded scary. FOSTER CARE. Just say it. It’s like saying a scary medical term. FOSTER CARE – terrifying, huh?

Don’t you just hear those drums the Texans had to listen to while they were waiting for the Mexicans to attack at the Alamo when the words foster care are uttered?

Boom. Boom. Boom. Foster Care. Foster Care. Foster Care.

But Waffles? EVERYONE LOVES WAFFLES! There is NOTHING scary about waffles! So, we’d say ‘hey, are we getting the Waffles this weekend? What are we thinking about the Waffles? Can we really handle having three biological kids AND three waffles? Do you think we should take the Waffles to Auburn with us this weekend? How in the world could we ever go to Disney World again if we got the Waffles?’

What? It makes total sense.

So, when we started moving rooms around I decided to have Ginger (my decorator – y’all, I’m SO fancy) do something about the closet under the stairs. It didn’t have shelves and ended up just being a hot spot – ya know, one of those places where you stuff things and close the door when your Mom comes over. So, we decided to turn it into a little mini office. We (and I’m using the term ‘we’ here very loosely) took the door off, added a desk with a piece of glass over it, a skirt to cover the electronics, and a cork board.

Enter Patrick Rothfuss. Y’all know I’m a wee bit obsessed with the Kingkiller Chronicles. It’s my very favorite book series. Yes, Patrick Rothfuss did singlehandedly destroy my house one day but I’ve forgiven him for it. So, I decided to order vinyl lettering to put on the wall with the opening of the Name of the Wind – the first book in the series.

Name of the Wind vinyl lettering

I love the way it turned out. It just makes me happy every time I walk by it.

Plus, between you, me and the Internets THE MAN HIMSELF ACTUALLY RETWEETED MY PICTURE when I tweeted it – which, of course, pretty much made my year.

Patrick Rothfuss TwitterHey, have I ever told you about the time he mentioned my blog in his blog?

Yes?

Only a thousand times?

Really?

Well, do you want to hear it one more time?

No? Okay! You don’t have to get huffy about it. 

The thing I love SO much about Rothfuss is he is so good at world building. If you don’t know what world building is it’s the process by which authors create their fantasy worlds. He’s just a master at it.  This fantasy world he has created in which his characters live is so big and so awesome.

For instance, take his first sentence:

It was Felling Night and the usual crowd had gathered at the Waystone Inn. 

It wasn’t some random Tuesday or New Year’s Eve. It was Felling Night. A made up holiday. A holiday just for his world. And it’s not at just any inn. It’s The Waystone Inn. Sigh, I just love it. I just stinking love it!

Alright, simmer down Paula.

Rothfuss also runs a charity called Worldbuilders where fantasy authors and readers come together to make the world a better place. Dude! That’s what we’re trying to do with the Waffles!

I love The Kingkiller Chronicles like like I love waffles – but, not our Waffles because, oh my goodness, how much trouble are they? Okay, okay. I love our Waffles too…most of the time…definitely on Felling Night.

 

Herping for Six Year Olds

Herping for Six Year Olds

Several years ago I got all in a panic because of the seemingly excessive amount of snakes we saw at our family’s Cousin’s Camp – affectionately known as Camp Pigeon Roost. I did what any self respecting person does when they are all in a tizzy – I took to Twitter.

I posted videos and pictures of the snakes – incredulous that I’d seen so many. David Steen, a PhD, Twitter Snake Expert, and Biology professor at Auburn (ahem…War Eagle) responded very nonchalantly. He basically said ‘yeah, you saw snakes in the woods. Big deal. Snakes live in the woods.’

IMG_3326

Excuse me Mr Fancy Pants Doctor, but I’m panicking over here in Cullman County, Alabama and need everyone else to be panicking too. I kept at him ‘but there are SO many this year!’ Again, with that annoying calm, he responded with ‘they’ve always been there. You just happen to be seeing them this year.’

‘But should we kill them?’ No. ‘Not even if they’re poisonous?’ Nope. Dude was way to chill about the whole crazy snakecapades we were experiencing. I’m telling you they were true SNAKESCAPADES! It was Snakes on a Plane! Except, near a cabin, in the woods.

I blogged all about it!

After the Snakeapolypse I began to follow Doctor Steen on Twitter. Basically, it all comes down to this. The majority of time people get bitten because they are being reckless – not because snakes are out to get us. Following him gave me a deep appreciation for snakes. Heck, I go looking for them now.

Enter a local herpetologist that agreed to take us…uh…herping in March. I just knew that Stella, the six year old, was going to be SO into it. She loves looking for snakes with me and is zero percent afraid of them. She loves to hunt for them with me!

Instead…

Well, there were trees to climb.

IMG_9119

And flowers to pick.

IMG_9112

And, in case you haven’t been in the woods with a six year old lately, there was lots and lots of ‘NOT being quiet so we didn’t scare the snakes’ going around.

Even though it was early in the season we did find one little guy sunning himself amongst the rocks.

IMG_9115

Dang it, kid, I’m pretty sure Dr Steen would say no poking it with a stick. Sheesh, what kind of show are we running around here.

So, did she learn a ton about snakes that day? Uh, no…she didn’t. But maybe at this age herping is more about just being comfortable in the wild.

IMG_6720

And trust me, she’s got that covered.