Mixin’ it up

Lots and lots of pictures today.

First off is my idea for Works for Me Wednesday.

Now, I have never done a WFMW, and may never post another one… I’m just not very good at coming up with things that are ingenious and fresh. In fact, I didn’t come up with this one on my own. But a lady in my bible study class last year came in with her big Daniel bible study bound. It was wonderful! Amazing! Clever! So I went to Staples yesterday and had my new A Woman’s Heart (updated version!) study bound. It cost under $5.00 for it to be cut and bound, and only about 4 minutes to do.


Now I can fold my study back and it lays flat while I work on it.

THAT works for me!

I am embarrassed to be posting these next photos… They certainly DO NOT make me feel like mother of the year… My poor Quinn has been the victim of countless bites and stings (you may recall this from last year – *he looks so little!!)… And the weekend I came home from the hospital was no exception. He and Sean went out to the woods to hang Sean’s deer cam. Along the way, Quinn sat down on a rotting log. It was filled with chiggers…

Those are not chicken pox. They are hundreds and hundreds of chigger bites, literally, from the top of his head to his toes. He has taken oatmeal baths and been sprayed down. My poor guy…

Isn’t that JUST AWFUL!!?? Again, I say, Mother! Of! The! Year!

The following photos are just because they are so STINKIN’ cute!!

Seamus was playing with the walkie talkie on the way home from Alabama on Sunday. He kept talking into it and giggling. Suddenly, his eyes betrayed him. Even asleep he tried desperately to keep that “phone” up to his ear.




A rare glimpse of Declan’s eyes:

The obligatory trip to our nation’s battlefields

Sunday afternoon we decided to go to Stones River Battlefield in Murfreesboro. Stones River is a wonderful, well tended battlefield. The visitors center is one of the best I’ve seen, with a fantastic museum. (It interested even the kids). Sean is a huge Civil War buff, and one of the best “tour guides” anyone could ask for when touring a battlefield. He knows so much about them and makes it interesting.

I grew up in Frederick, Maryland – a stones throw from about 5 major battlefields. Nearby, there is Antietam, Monocacy, Gettysburg, Bull Run/Manassas, Chancellorsburg and many many more within a 1/2 days to a days drive.

Needless to say, a lot of elementary school field trips were to the battlefields. And I can’t tell you just how much more fun they would have been had Sean been the guide on those trips.

One of the neatest things the National Park Service does now is to offer a Junior Park Ranger badge. At each park, the kids are given a booklet of the park, geared towards their age group. There are fun activities for them to do at stops around the park and questions they need to ask of a volunteer. Once it is completed, they take it back to the main desk and it is checked. The child is then sworn in as a Junior Park Ranger; they take a pledge, get a badge and a certificate, and then it is announced throughout the Visitor Center that there is a new Junior Park Ranger.

Abigael took it all very seriously. My picture of her “swearing in” didn’t turn out, but this is her discussing the importance of her new role with the volunteer. Notice the big girl stance.

Proud face after it was all over.

It was a gorgeous day – In fact, the weather all weekend was wonderful. So it was perfect for walking around the park.

Seamus telling me “bye” in his little southern accent. (Do you see his tiny Crocs? he loves those and so do I because he can put them on himself)
Three of my loves:

This was taken before we read in the pamphlet the part about not sitting on the cannons…

We had a wonderful, relaxing time. No complaining, not whining. It was glorious!

On a completely different, random note: My tip of the day – If you run out of hair gel, run yogurt through your hair and let dry. You’re welcome.

And I had to post this so you can get just a small small idea of how much the mosquitoes love Quinn. This poor guy is just covered with them. They have found every part of his body and conducted a taste test. (Last year he ended up in the emergency room twice in one week before we realized how he reacted to them) This is just one portion of his face they have tried out.

The Name Game

I have always fancied myself a bit eccentric. Not (hopefully) eccentric, in the way we tend to speak of little old ladies who wear outfits with matching shirt, pants, socks, shoes, earrings, nail polish-type eccentric.

But just slightly off center.

Not, over the cliff.

The first time my mom let me go to a hairstylist by myself (8th grade), she picked me up and was in shock at my short spiky crop cut.

When I was in high school, I had plum hair. And I wore white lipstick.

I’ve said before, I wish I had had one moment of clarity when I could have had a normal photo taken of me. I suppose there are, but they also contain the awful prom dates I managed to snag. That’s an entire week of blog posts in itself.

My best friend was an Annapolis, MD prep. We always joked about how different we looked when together. Sort of like the clothing version of Jack Sprat and his wife. Me with my plumb asymmetrical hair and intense eye shadow and esprit cowboy boots with long johns under a skirt (hey, I was still a girl!) and her, with her expensive Georgetown cut and color, natural makeup, tweed skirt and cashmere sweaters.

Seriously. We couldn’t have been more opposite in the clothing department.

But we had so MUCH in common and managed to balance each other out. We always found something absolutely hysterical in any situation. When she had drama in her life, I was the rock. When I had some drama with one of my skateboarding,mohawk wearing beaus, she backed me up and helped get my feet re grounded.

One thing we spent a lot of time doing one summer, was making up names for our future children. This was when we knew we would be living in the same town, on the same street with husbands who were also best friends (this was during our moments of optimism, when we figured I would one day have to marry someone with normal hair and goals).

Of course, our names were as different as our choice in clothes.

I picked names like Celia and Padric. She chose names like Caroline.

Years later, after a stupid fallout, and fortunately, regaining our friendship, we both have had the opportunity to choose names for children. And it is still fun.

Names are fun. And they have become so fashionable in the past decade. (maybe they always were?) Actually, I should say, unusual names have become quite fashionable.

It probably started with Demi Moore naming her daughters Rumer, Scout and Tallulah.

Naming my children has been quite an adventure for Sean and I. I still love the unusual.

Somehow, by a miracle of the Lord, we both wanted Abigael as a daughter’s name. There was never any doubt. (though, I was miffed that it suddenly shot up from nowhere to the top 10 list of names, the year she was born). Boys names were harder.

We wanted traditional Gaelic names. We both have  Irish ancestry  and loved the traditional names. However, they tend to have odd, unpronounceable looking spellings. Take “Sean” as a simple example. My husband has had his name mispronounced – rhyming with “bean” – countless times.

Abigael isn’t a Gaelic name. It’s Hebrew. But the meaning was perfect (a father’s joy) and we chose to spell it with a “gael” at the end – a Gaelic spelling.

Our second born, is Quinlan. We call him Quinn. Not too difficult. Though, when he was little, people thought he was saying Ken or Kenny.

Next, is Seamus – pronounced Shea/Shay-mus. Unfortunately, we have probably doomed him to a life of a mispronounced name. I remember taking him to a checkup, telling the receptionist his name. She wrote the pronunciation out phonetically. When the nurse came out to call us back she call for Sea-mus… We knew we’d get that… but hearing it shouted across the waiting room made my skin crawl.

This baby has a name. The name is not crazy to pronounce or hard to read. But it is a traditional Gaelic name. (though, he has no middle name yet…)

I’m curious if there are any guesses on his name?

Dancing Queen

This past Saturday marked the beginning of the end of Abigael’s dance career.

All year long she has dreaded going to dance class, but she has looked forward to her recital with total excitement. Almost to the level of a holiday or birthday. Not quite… but almost.

My parents came to town to see her performance. After all, who can resist cute little girls twirling aimlessly around stage. Clueless to everything but the music in their own heads.

Friday night was rehearsal. As my southern mamaw says, it was hotter than Helen Foster’s hat band… I thought I was so prepared with my sweatshirt. Stupid me. How could I forget, that once school is out, it is impossible to guarantee that any requests will be received by the proper authority.

But the dance instructors were optimistic and assured us that the building would be plenty cooled off for the recital.

I’m tellin’ y’all – they couldn’t have been more wrong.

It was hot. It was hotter than hot. Worse yet, as we all know heat rises, and my poor family had to sit in the balcony, where it was well over 100 degrees. Abbie and I were able to sit in the cool 95 degree lower level (due to the fact that we had to go in and out of the auditorium for her performances.)

But, oooooohhhhh the cuteness… it was unbearable and thankfully, allowed me brief respites from the heat.

Abigael was in the 4th dance – her ballet. They danced to A Mother’s Prayer, by Celine Dion. That in itself is enough to send me to the floor in a heap of blubbering tears. But with my sweet girl dancing around the stage to it… Oh, how I love that girl!!

After intermission came her tap performance. The tap song was the 80’s hit “I Want Candy” (Bow Wow Wow)… Good heavens. The giggles I had to suppress…

Once it was all over, she was ready for her flowers. Every star knows that flowers follow a great performance.

I present: My Dancing Queen

Oh, the makeup…

waiting to go on stage

this is her “solo” during the ballet — each girl had to stand and do some moves

On a totally different note — I’ve been meaning to post photos from our camping trip (here) They don’t show much camping, but they show the fun we had:

click on this one to enlarge and you’ll be able to tell how much dirt Seamus was eating…

We’ve been waiting!!

Being the mother of a 4 year old boy doesn’t make today an out-of-the-ordinary sort of day, but being the mother of a 4 year old who runs around in a Spider-Man suit, dressed as Spider-Man for halloween does.

Today is a big day in our home. Spider-Man 3 opens! Oh joy!

For him it’s been bigger than waiting for Christmas morning. It’s been a countdown since he first saw the trailer back in November.

I’m not a “waiting for a movie to open” sort of gal… I don’t wait in line to see movies on opening day. In fact, we rarely even go to the movies at all (I think, 3 times in the past 6 years.)

Before Quinn became a Spider-Man fan, I just “sort-of” watched the movie. But now that it’s been played over and over (and over and over and over…) the movies have come together in my brain, and I’ve become quite fond of the boy in the red and blue spider suit and all of his inner turmoil and conflict.

For right now, Quinn and I are side-lining Handy Manny, Wonder Pets and the rest of our cartoon friends. We’ve been watching the on-demand trailers, teasers, interviews and background on Comcast for the past 3 days. We are nothing, if not prepared!

Now, to be sure, we are not catching it opening day. But some time this weekend, you can bet your bottom dollar that our family will be sitting in a dark theatre eating popcorn and candy and catching up with our favorite superhero.

Have a great weekend!