About That Pain…

About That Pain…

A couple weeks ago Hank decided it was all over him. He had this pain he couldn’t explain in his abdomen and he was pretty sure his short little life was drawing to a close. It was nothing that should have caused too much trouble but he absolutely couldn’t shake worrying about it. Why does it hurt? What is causing it? What if it doesn’t go away? What if I have to have more tests? What if the doctor can’t find out what was wrong with him. It was consuming him.


We got it x-rayed, we went to the doctor, heck, we even had blood work done. The doctor determined he’d probably just injured it during baseball but Hank still couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Come to find out he’d watched some sort of movie about a child that get’s cancer and dies. Oh Henry…Even after I talked to him about how movies can put ideas in our heads he was still fixated on this pain.


Finally I had the bright idea to ask my friend Kathy,who is a therapist, about it. I told her how he had no reason to worry but he was.

In case you can’t see the picture here was her response: “I would say something like ‘I know you are worried. We have been to the doctor, he has run all the tests he needs, and you are healthy. Sometimes our brains get stuck and we worry about the same thing over and over until it seems real. You really are okay. You need to tell your brain what to do. Tell it you are fine and go do something fun.’


Y’all! It worked. It really worked. Now I had to say it several times over the course of the next several days but every time he would bring it up I would just pull out my phone surreptitiously and just reread it to him. He’d say ‘okay’ and then wander off.

You should totally find a friend who is a therapist.

The other little quandary we’ve had with this character occurred before we left for Disney World at Space Camp. The fifth graders at Hank’s school go to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center for a five day day camp. After graduation the kids were allowed to hang out and ride the rides. All his friends piled on the Space Shot ride and he got on with them. Now he had hemmed and hawed about whether to do it or not and finally decided to go for it. He gets on the ride, they buckle him in, and then they say ‘last chance to get off’ and Henry raises his hand and says he wants off. Whomp, whomp, whomp…I pleaded with him ‘Hank, I’m worried that you’re really going to regret not going on this ride.’ But, he insists that he wants off. So, off he comes.

About thirty five seconds after we get in the car to go home he starts up ‘I should have gone on the ride. Why didn’t you make me go on the ride?’ It reminded me of a tweet I’d seen Jon Acuff make recently:


‘Regret has a longer shelf than fear.’ Ain’t that the truth. It certainly set us up well for the next week when we went to Disney World though because he went on everything there. Even Everest.


Let’s just hope he doesn’t see a movie about a kid that dies on a roller coaster or we’ll be back at square one. 



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.’


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.


“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.


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.


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.


We’re all a work in progress, right?

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


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?


Only a thousand times?


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.