Sunday, September 5, 2010

Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer

I promised myself that I would catch up blogging all our summer fun before fall.  With the symbolic end of summer fast approaching - tomorrow to be exact, it's time to get cracking.  So, here is the drive by version of July and August.

4th of July.  Festive Feet.  Parades.  Downtown cafes.  Face Painting.  Fireworks.

Playing.  Hanging out.  Loving being home.

Girl Trips to Pigeon Forge with Mimi.  Fun, fun, fun.

Swimming.  Laying in the sun.  Lounging by the pool.

Goodbye lazy, hazy days of summer.  Hello school, crisp air, apples, and football.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The 4 Letter F Word

Fear.  We've all got fears.  Some are rational; some are irrational.  Like any mother, I've got a million, but I try to keep them to myself.   Who needs a 3 year old afraid she's going to sleep walk again and hurt herself?  Or, who needs a 1 1/2 year old who fears she's going to come in contact with amoxicillin and have another allergic reaction?  Or... the list could go on and on.

No, we try to shelter our children from things that cause us fear, and teach them to be confident and brave.  But, sometimes the worry gene is just too strong.  Emma Kate is a ... well, a scaredy cat.  There, I said it.  Emma Kate is afraid of so many things that I have lost count.

Some of her fears I get - thunder, the dark, loud noises, motorcycles, big trucks, big animals.  And even lawn mowers, yard blowers, the sound the washing machine makes when it gets off track, dogs, bears, horses, frogs, worms, bugs, the sound of a flushing public potty, strangers, and scary masks I can see.  But, that's where the rationality stops. Some of her fears are just down right funny, like Justin's golf bag, hats, vacuum cleaners, fans, and kittens.  It didn't help that when she finally mustered enough courage to touch the golf bag, she knocked it over causing a monstrous crashing noise on our hard wood floors and golf paraphernalia to be scattered everywhere.

We soothe, and reassure her that no, it won't hurt her, and tell her all is well constantly, and the worry lines melt away, and her body relaxes.  Most of the time, snuggles do the trick.  These are easy things to soothe.  These childhood fears, I can deal with.  I can tell her for the millionth time that the vacuum cleaner won't hurt her.  I can reassure her that I'm an arm's length away during the dark night.  I can tell her how proud I am of her when she gets brave and touches Papa's 4-wheeler.  And, I don't mind scooping her up when she comes flying toward me at the sight of a bug or the sound of a truck coming down the road.  Yes, these are easy.  It's the fears and doubts and heart ache that I know will inevitably come later that will be much harder to soothe.  When she's afraid of the school bully, or her confidence falters after failing a test, or her boyfriend breaks her heart, those will be the times I wish we could return to these days of bugs and loud noises.  Those will be the times my heart will literally be walking around outside my body.

And even then, I will continue to reassure her, and tell her how proud I am of her, and let her know that Mama is here.  That fact will always remain.

Oh Baby!

Our summer fun continued with a trip to Babyland General Hospital in Cleveland, Ga.  BGH is the birthplace of Xavier Roberts' Cabbage Patch Dolls.  I still remember my Cabbage Patch babies - Emily Suzanne and Matthew Reece.  They sat in a basket beside the door of my bedroom for years.

Grace and Emma Kate are right smack dab in the middle of being in love with baby dolls.  Every where we go, we take 2 baby dolls, 2 diaper bags, 2 bottles, and about 2 million other baby items because you never know when your baby is going to need a diaper change, clothes change, new hair 'do, get bored and need to be entertained, etc.  In other words, the trip came at a perfect time.

After we signed in at the front desk, our tour began with the preemies.  These little dolls are cute enough to eat, and they're dressed in the likes of Feltman Brothers and Petite Ami.  Seriously.  We started picking out which preemies we wanted to adopt until we found out their cost resembles that of an insurance deductable paid when having an actual human baby.  Ha.  Moving on.

Emma Kate found a box of Sour Patch Kids candy in the car right before we got out.  Naturally, they were by far the most interesting thing she found.  No, she hadn't eaten lunch yet, but they were compliments of Uncle Brad's weekly gift of candy, it was week 1 of potty training, and most importantly, they were just enough to distract her from the fact that she wasn't pitching a fit every other minute.  I call that a win-win situation.

The search is on.  We encountered Cabbage Patch babies from newborn through big kid, and for every interest group.  Did you know you can get a Cabbage Patch Kid wearing a petticoat skirt and Converse tennis shoes???

It's a girl!  When it's time for a baby to be born at BGH, the doctors are paged, an ultra sound is performed, the baby is delivered and named.  It's fascinating, and fun, and precious.  The name is chosen by the crowd that gathers to witness the birth.  I am proud to say that there is a bouncing baby girl at BGH named after Grace!

So much to take in, we don't have time to look at silly cameras.  In addition to the preemie nursery, tree house, and actual cabbage patch, there are dolls gathered around Christmas trees, riding a school bus, learning in a classroom, and chilling in bedrooms.  

We must look at and touch each and every doll to make sure we are choosing the right one.  Even more mandatory than good hair or the right color eye is what the baby is wearing.  Just ask Grace.

After a comprehensive search and in depth naming conversations, Grace and Emma Kate are the proud mamas of Lydia and Sarah.  What attentive mamas they have been.  Well, Emma Kate has ensured that Sarah has been naked 95% of the time, but what's a little free spiritedness when you are loved?