Friday, August 30, 2013


Let's talk about something other than Middle School.  Cool?

I've really fallen off the blogging train over the summer and cobbmobb was in need of an update.  I think the new layout will do for now but I won't even pretend that I know how to recover the old one.  I'm going to make this one work at least until I'm able to pull out the big girl camera again and update the family photo.  A bit of a sore subject if you must know.   I have managed to break my THIRD Nikon dslr by dropping it.  Perhaps if they weren't such an awkward shape, I could get a better grip! Speaking of updates, I haven't provided any recent news of Sweet Stella Rose.  Oh, Sweet Stella Rose.  My little hot head.  The real reason for this post.

Stella got the nickname "perfect Stella" early on in life and it's definitely NOT because she is actually perfect.  It's because she acts like she is.  She's a little woman.  A prim and proper perfectionist.  In fact, she is 2 inches from the screen as I type this watching every letter appear.  She has a large attention to detail and is very fond of anything structured or organized.

Stella appreciates all forms of beauty from the birds in the sky to her toe nails getting a fresh coat of paint.  She has the most adorable deep raspy voice that I hope she never grows out of.  She's so petite and girly and when she talks I die laughing at her man voice.  She loves to sing (I think simply because Mayzie does) and she has a legitimately terrible singing voice.  Poor thing sounds like she needs a Netti Pot every time.  At least she's way too young to realize that Mayzie can carry a tune freakishly well.  She can also count to 10 as long as we help her with the last 2 numbers and remind her that 40 does not come after 8.  Even though Stella is a germaphobic perfectionist, she still has a great sense of humor because she loves to laugh.

So that's the good news.

The bad news is that she proves herself to be in the terrible two's everyday.  Climbing out of bed and taking off her own diaper are only minor daily battles.  Lately she has been putting her pants on OVER her naked booty.  Even this doesn't prepare me for the elmo undies that have been in her drawer since Christmas.  Someone please tell me I'm not alone.  Potty training sounds 120% miserable.  Diapers are FAR easier than taking a toddler to the bathroom every 30 minutes. I'm thinking a 3 day holiday weekend is just what Stella and Mayzie ordered.  However, if potty breaks interfere with our beloved Labor Day parade, were bringing diapers for backup.  Just sayin'.

Why, yes, that IS a naked booty and BOTTOMLESS
potty chair in the LIVING ROOM.   Nice try, Stella Rose.

Stella also has a slight obsession with seat belts and buckles of all sorts.  Seat belts, car seats, life jackets, carts at the grocery store?  Yes, they all cause a tantrum.  Keys?  Tantrum.  Iphones?  Tantrums.  Strollers?  MAJOR tantrum.  Food?  She's not a fan.  Wearing shoes that actually fit?  Why?  Holly's flip flops are MUCH cooler without that "baby" strap on the back.

Being 2 brings natural challenges.  Even with a gem like Stella.   She's easy 75% of the time and extremely difficult the other 25%.  I melt when she plays with her babies and I shriek with humiliation when we leave the gym and she's clawing my face because we can't stay to go "wooming."  At nap time she hugs me and says   "I love you mommy"  and when she needs disciplined its "I need my daddy!"  Leaving the gym is usually a time she "needs" her daddy.

In other great news, this ain't our first rodeo with a kid like Stella.  She's Sammy all over again.  That means we are armed and prepared to raise Stella into a lady of God.  It's hard work but I'm honored to be her mommy.

Doesn't mean I don't THANK JESUS everyday for my precious, innocent, life loving, easy going, bracelet making, birthday party planning, dancing for joy, so so easy to parent, baby Holly.  Holly is my breath of fresh air.  My almost 9 year olds update is next.

Also, I'm thinking about inventing an otterbox for the dslr camera.  Genius?  I think so!  Look for me on shark tank.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Middle School Madness

Remember how I said I was a 50/50 split of excited and devastated about Middle School arriving?

Yeah, well that was the day before it started. Now that we are one week in, I'm more like in a 50/50 split of "what the hell is going on" and "this has got to be the end times."

The short version is that Sam loves it and I hate it.

For the interested, here's the longer version...

I'll start with orientation.  Where I showed up with plans to leave him there all day.  I mean, the website SAID 8am-3pm.  Apparently, it's common sense (something I thought I had until middle school set me straight) to know that it's an open house orientation. You come with a parent and bounce around to stations and leave.  So definitely no dropping him off for a full day of hanging out with his friends and getting to know the building. He took mug shots pictures for the year book and I wrote $150 worth of checks.  We were done by 9.

First day of school.

I packed him a lunch and off we went! He was nervous but excited.  I almost crapped my pants when I saw kids jumping out of cars that were practically still moving and hustling into a building bigger than my catholic High School like cattle.  I begged Sam to let me take a picture of him outside the school even though I knew he would shoot me down and honestly, I was terrified to actually try.  It's a miracle that an accident didn't occur because I've never seen so many U turns in such a short amount of time.  I had a brief yet very deep moment of appreciation for the elementary school drop off.  As I made my expected U turn, Holly yells "mom, that guy just said they have a half day!" I panicked and pulled up the email on my phone.  And there it was, in bold print, 10:15am dismissal on the first day.  I was so hung up on the start time and the fact that it was 45 minutes BEFORE Holly started that I stopped paying attention.  I sent him in that building with a lunch!  I was, however, relieved to find out that it was only 6th grade there.  Praise God but....wait....that was only A THIRD of the usual traffic!?!?

It gets worse.  Much worse.

I got there nice and early for pick up and followed the crowd to park in what seemed to be the back of the building.  When kids started flooding out and I couldn't find Sam, I was literally sweating.  I then received a call from a mysterious number and answered in a panic.

Me:  HELLO!!!?
Sam: uh mom...
Me: I know! I'm here!!!! Where are you!?
Sam: oh
Girl who's phone he borrowed:  give me my phone back!
Sam: uhh in the front?
Girl who's phone he borrowed: why don't you have a phone anyway?
Me: HOLD ON! I'm coming that way!!! *click

Then after 15 minutes of sweating and panicking I found him.  I immediately texted Gage that we NEEDED to get him a cell phone and I marched him right into Verizon to gather the info.

Day 2:

I woke up with a terrible stomach ache but was determined to figure out this drop off with the rest of the school all there.  Other than the fact that I was in the car for 45 minutes to and from school due to traffic, it went as smooth as it could.  I got home and the stomach ache escalated into horrible pain.  Food poisoning.  Although I haven't quite pinpointed what caused it, I can confidently say that it was the worse day of my life.  It made labor contractions feel like heaven.  I didn't get one second of relieve for 12 hours other than the 6 times I vomited simply because it distracted me from the pain.

Since I was in no condition to drive or talk or walk or even open my eyes, Mandy was next in line for school pick up.  Sam walked around the building twice before he found her 15 minutes later.  I was half dead and didn't care.

Day 3:

I'm now getting the hang of drop off and coming to grips with the fact that it takes almost an hour. Pick up on this day was another classic.  I thought I was so awesome getting there super early and parking right up on the curb of the building.  I told Sam to expect me in that spot so I made sure it was mine. It was definitely mine.  It was mine for a good 20 minutes AFTER he got in the car because I was completely boxed in.  As we sat there, I watched mortified as the girls flirted with the boys at the crosswalk.

Day 4:

Sammy read the student handbook.  I'm sure there was plenty of good material in there but Sam has never been the kid that is attracted to the positive when the negative is so blatantly in his face.  Since kindergarten, he has always obsessed over the naughty kids.  In middle school, apparently, that obsession turns towards the inappropriate behavior.

He tells me that the handbook reads something like this:
No coming to school drunk, no smoking, no peeing on each other, no running around naked.  Oh, and the real kicker? The middle school drug dog (!!!!) will make 3 random visits throughout the year.

This has got to be the end times, people.  Even though we had a little laugh at how ridiculous those things are, it hurts my heart so much.  I know every mom has a hard time entering into a new phase of life.  I'm watching my sister struggle with the adjustment of sending her first to kindergarten and as my beloved Troupe 8th graders all entered High School this year, I choked up at every Instagram photo.  But there is just something about middle school that is so heart wrenching to me.  Maybe it's because I never went to a middle school and they always seemed so scary to a sheltered little catholic girl.  Maybe it's because it's a scary period of life for any kid and it's a time of serious change physically, mentally, and socially.  It's a time they are forced to grow up, whether they're ready or not.  My mind is spinning with mom worry.  Will he be influenced by the right people?  Will he make good choices?  Will his teachers say the right things and will he treat others well?  Will he remember what I told him about first impressions and girls having cooties?

The prophetic words "raging river" that I heard when he was a baby have been in the back of my mind for 11 years, but I feel them pressing towards the front in the form of concern.  I'm putting a smile on my face and telling him I'm so proud of him everyday but in reality I'm freaking out.  I'm praying against the enemies schemes and begging God to keep him innocent.  My heart wants to lock him up in a bubble and my head wants to just get him the damn cell phone but I'm not confident in either one.  I know I've been preparing for middle school for what feels like an eternity but it still took me by storm.  It's worse than I thought. I hope I'm being dramatic and as Gage tells me, using too many adjectives, but what if I'm not? What if this is the NEW reality?  Just in case, like mom to mom, I could use some prayers.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Summer's end

It's the last night of summer and even though this is easily my favorite season, I'm not sad to see it go. It's been the busiest one to date and I can hardly wait to have a schedule again. I want a reliable routine and kids that are exhausted by 9pm.

The majority of Sammy's summer was used up playing baseball.  His season with Ralston had it's highs and lows, but he was fully committed to another year until he was offered a spot with a Gretna team. He was torn for a few days but in the end, we believe he made the right choice to play for Gretna.  Next year he will be playing with some old friends and coaches.  And, of course, by next year I mean in a few months when the season starts. 

Until then, Football season is in full swing.  After rally day yesterday, mama's little linebacker is in a 3 way tie for the smallest on the team.  Already better than last year where he was drastically smaller than all the rest. It amazes me how much Sammy loves football.

As for school starting tomorrow, I'm a 50/50 split of excited and devastated that Middle School has arrived.

Holly managed to make her summer a blast as expected.  Just saying her name brings a huge smile to my face.  I've been so proud of Holly all summer with her commitment to her very intense dance schedule. She's pumped for 3rd grade and even more excited to welcome Melrose to Willowdale this year!

We took the kids on our second annual end of summer trip to KC for Oceans of Fun and back to school shopping. We may as well have been in Disney World the whole time because my little tourist, Holly, said it felt like a dream. She took 472 pictures on her iPod.  After a few days in KC, we drove to Lyons to fish with Gages family.  Holly owned that fish pond.  I just love her love for life.  She's a total keeper.

Stella Rose has been my biggest challenge this summer. She is sassy and stubborn and moves slower than molasses.  Except when she climbs out of her crib when she is suppose to be sleeping.  She really picks up the pace in that scenario.  Also, when she is taking her diaper off when it's full of stuff that I would rather not have on the floor.  I only feel about 20% bad that I haven't potty trained her yet even though she has practically begged me.  Perhaps I will feel more motivated when the schedule quiet downs.  Maybe.  No promises.

I guess I'm not sad to see summer go because it didn't feel like summer at all.  I blinked and it was gone.  Be good to us, 2013.2014.  We have HIGH hopes for you!