Monday, March 30, 2009

Ribbons Undone

This is one of my favorite songs in the world. When I first heard this song I immediately thought of Hailey. It didn't remind me of Maddy right away because Maddy would have knocked me out if I tried to put any kind of ribbon in her hair! When I heard the song for the first time I thought of so many things. How little girls often like to wear dresses and ribbons... but I have always had a problem with the "bow heads". The perfect little white smocked dresses with the big fat bows in the hair. Is that a precious look? Absolutely. But if my girl wears a white smocked dress, (cause i do love those..esp vintage ones) she is going to be able to wear it on the playground and get it all dirty while the loose little ribbon in her hair flies around in the wind. Anything she wears can get dirty.

The song however, is not about clothes...or ribbons. It's about girls growing up. They want to grow up and be "big" like Mommy. But there are times when they come home from school and fall apart because they are tired of trying to be "big". School/society puts a lot of pressure on little girls to be responsible and helpful. Early on, we train little girls to be caregivers. We ask for their "help" as soon as they are old enough to talk. As soon as a sibling is born, the big sister is expected to be "such a big a helper!". And while this can be a great can also be stressful.

Sometimes my 14 year old comes home and screams, "I am tired! I don't want to watch my little brother and sisters. I don't want to help clean the house. I don't wanna do my homework. I don't wanna go to the gym today!" She doesn't say it in those words exactly...she just falls apart. She cries or argues about something that normally wouldn't be something to argue about. And then I know. I know that, at least for today, my baby girl isn't quite ready to grow up. Sometimes she is soo responsible that I have to say, "Hey, why don't you take a day off and be a kid?" And I don't say it in those words either. I hug her and smooch on her and play with her hair...and act like her Mom. I tell her to have fun. Because she is still my little girl...and it is her time.

Today, my 11 year old came home after a long day at school. I asked her to do a couple of favors for her little sister. After that, her little brother asked her to help him on his skateboard. She found his helmet, got all of his gear together and took him out to help him a bit. When she came back in she asked me if she could go hang out in her room. SHE ASKED ME IF SHE COULD GO TO HER ROOM. I said, "Honey, go play. Go hang out in your room. Talk to your friends on the phone or do something you want to do." She said, "Thanks Masha! (Yep, I'm Masha) Do you want me to go play?" She had a big smile on her face. I said, "Yes sweetie." She asked why and I replied, "Cause it's your time sweet girl. It's your time to play."
As she flew out the door, let the storm door slam, and left the door wide open, I had a big smile on my face. And then I cried a little. Ribbons undone. Shine little girls. Shine.

Sing it Tori!

Ribbons Undone lyrics

She's a girl
Rising from a shell
Running to spring
It is her time it is her time
Watch her run with ribbons undone

She's a rose in a lily's cloak
She can hide her charms
It is her right there will be time
To chase the sun with ribbons undone

She runs like a fire does
Just picking up daises
Comes in for a landing
A pure flash of lightning
Past alice blue blossoms
You follow her laughter
And then she'll surprise you
Arms filled with lavender

Yes my little pony is growing up fast
She corrects me and says
"You mean a thoroughbred"
A look in her eyes says the battle's beginning
From school she comes home and cries
I don't want to grow up Mom at least not tonight

You're a girl
Rising from a shell
Running through spring
With summer's hand in reach now
It is your time
It is your time
So just run with ribbons undone
It is your time yes my angel
It is your time
So just run with ribbons undone

Run run darlin'
Ribbons undone

Sunday, March 29, 2009


She did it. After scratching four times this season...SHE DID IT. She was so happy!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

As Stell would say, "Me MAD!"

I am emotional mess today. Yesterday was a really weird day. I found out three different things that just about knocked me right over the edge. I am trying desperately to compartmentalize all that is swirling in my brain. Trying to place things into nice little categories so that I may think clearly about each one. I am not having much luck on my own, so I feel the need to write them down. Number three is quite a touchy subject for my school. If you are a reader who has ties to my school, you may want to bypass. It's a school situation that makes me the sickest at the moment and I fear it's leading in direction that will inevitably cause toxic fallout. I think I am getting ready to be a very loud child care advocate ....and I don't really care who dislikes me for it. Just a warning for a couple of know who you are... and I love you dearly. (I know saying not to read is like saying don't will probably go to #3 first. Just forgive me for pulling you in.)

Here goes...
Hailey is competing in Winston Salem tonight. Level 7 State Meet. This has been a touchy season for my sweet girl. She had "beam issues" all season. She had to scratch beam 4 meets because her coach wouldn't let her use a spotter for her back handspring. I have had problems with this all along, she does everything else beautifully and I felt that she needed to be doing beam so that we could play down the fear and let her keep it moving. I knew she would get it eventually. This is an anxiety child, however, and her scratching beam just seemed to make it a bigger and bigger deal. Her coach wouldn't let her substitute the skill, wouldn't let her use a spot, all because "she doesn't do that". Her reason was that Hailey would not be able to grow on the beam, get any better until she got that skill.
Ok. I am a teacher and that is like telling me my kids CANNOT learn anything until they have mastered the letter A. BULLSHIT. You can't dictate how my child will grow and develop best. BUT it is her gym and we do love her, so I tried to support her decision. She is the coach with all of the gymnastics experience.
So she suddenly decides that Hailey can do beam at State with a spotter. Even though "she never does that". NO spotters at level 7...ever...!!! So okay...yay...Hailey gets to kick ass on beam and she WILL place on beam. I will bet you money. Her routine is beautiful...with or without the damn handspring.
I sent the coach a nice note thanking her for letting Hailey do it. Told her a bit about a conversation Hailey and I had about why she thinks she isn't doing her handspring yet...yada yada. So she writes back, thanks me for letting me know and then adds,
"I don't forsee Hailey moving up to Level 8. She has too much fear and lacks the aggresiveness she needs to move up."

Wanna barf now. Kinda knew it was coming..but still makes me sick to see it in writing. She will now be removed from the girls she has been with since she was 8. I dreamed about telling her all night. I can't do it. I'm gonna let her coach do it. Makes me sick. I really don't think it's fair. Nobody has cared enough to work with her on it. And why the hell can't she do other stuff until she gets it?? There is a chance she will make a come back over the summer. She is getting a new coach in June. Hailey is very excited about this new coach. So I am gonna pray it works out in a way that Hailey is comfortable with. It's gonna hurt her bad though. I know it. Sweet baby girl. Works so hard. Life and unfairness. Man. I keep telling myself she still has skills that the majority of the people on the planet can't comprehend. She is perfect to me. Kick ass today little girl.

Maddy informed me yesterday that she is going to get a D in math for the quarter. A D. I have never even seen a D on a report card. What in the hell is that? Why in the hell didn't her teacher let me know that she failed 2 tests? I know why Maddy didn't tell me....loss of priveleges for one....having to study with me more...another. BUT WHY IN THE HELL DIDN'T HER TEACHER TELL ME????
I am going to have a conference with her math teacher next week. UGH.

Boys Club
We have a boys club at our school. It's for some of the older boys. It's suppposed to be a club where the boys can gain some conflict resolution skills. IT's supposed to help build self esteem and help those boys learn how to make some positive decisions. Supposed to be fun and positive. Supposed to be all about team building and support.
My friend Leslie asked me if I had ever witnessed any of the "Boys Club" meetings. I said "No" and I knew instanly in my heart that I should get down to one of those meetings and listen for myself. So I promptly headed on down to the meeting. I went in to the work room to listen for a bit. Not afraid to admit I was full on spying. I ended up getting paper and pencil so that I could take notes. I ended up with 2 full pages of plain old NASTINESS. I was so shocked and disgusted at the words coming out of the mouths of those two stupid men that I almost went into a wild rage right then and there. Let me give you some examples of the words I heard....
Mr. M
"You guys are a bunch of knuckleheads and we don't need a bunch of knuckleheads running around here."
Listed and called children out by name..."these are the kids I can trust....these are the kids I worry about...."
Then my favorite...Mr. R kicks in...
"Let me tell you how it's gonna be around here from now eye for an eye...that's how it's gonna be around here from now on. Just like the other day when X dumped out N's lunch. What did we do? We went and got X's lunch and dumped it out on the floor. That's what we did. An eye for an eye that's how it's gonna be."
He added in some preaching for good measure...
"And you know what? I am not gonna worry about catching who's been stealing because the higher power saw you. He sees you all the time and he knows what you do. It will come back to haunt you don't you worry. It WILL come back to haunt you so I hope you enjoyed spending that money cause the higher power knows."
Let's not forget these threats,
"I suggest you get that smirk off your face and I suggest you do it quick"
"You better straighten up and you better do it now."

These were just a few favorites...that's not all folks...there's more. Much more.

The best part about it all? I have to write up my formal complaints and take them to our acting principal....who is his WIFE. Mr. R's freaking wife. How fun will that be for me? Wish me luck my friends cause I'm about to make some enemies. (Nobody's gonna talk to my students like that and get away with it. Nobody.)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Girl.

Here is my first real attempt at making my girl. Beginning stages of course. She has to have clothes done next...but she has a face!!!!

Gratitude Wednesday!!

I actually had a really good day. Wednesdays aren't my favorite ya know. Today I give thanks for the following:

1. I did not yell at anybody today. Not even close. I don't think I got irritated with a single child today. Yippeee!

2. On our way home, Stella exclaimed, "ME HAPPYYYY!!" And of course that made me feel happy deep down in my heart.

3. I am at home right now. Sitting on my couch in front of my computer with no where to go for the next couple of hours.

4. I painted the face on my new "girl" today. I am taking this online class called "Mixed Media Girls" by Wyanne Thompson and I love it. My girl is looking okay. I am pretty excited about it.

5. Nick is using his new ipod touch to play music throughout the house. He is picking up satellite stations that he knows I like. :)

6. Hailey feels good today.

7. Maddy and Finn are working on writing and performing songs together. How cute is that??

8. Nick just found Tori Amos on one of his stations. OH MY GOD I LOVE HER. And the song is from Great Expectations. I love that song a little extra.

9. My head hasn't hurt today. Not once!

10. I remembered to order Hailey's contacts today!

I thought of 10 things. I am really happy that I thought of 10 things.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Online Art Class

I can't believe it but I signed up for an online art class. I LOVE IT!!! I have learned all kinds of cool stuff. I don't know if I will ever actually paint or not...but I think I will. Here is my first attempt at face painting. HAHA!!! So much fun!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Growing Pains

My little girls are growing up. Hailey is 14 and she has started to spread her wings a little. I was a little prepared for that. I knew it was coming. What I was NOT expecting is this recent change in my Maddy.

Maddy has always been a "tomboy". When she was 2 she used to wrestle with her Dad and play with cars as often as baby dolls. She has always played with boys in school. She got along well with girls and boys and was NEVER afraid of boys at all. When she was 2 we used to say she was going to be a line backer...and we weren't far off. She was the first girl to play flag football for the YMCA in our old neighborhood. She ran so fast that the other coaches used to yell, "WATCH THE GIRL!!!" (My dad wanted to have that quote printed on a t-shirt for her!) She got an award for being a great running back. (they all got awards...but still...)

So you get the picture. My tomboy loved to hang with the boys and ONLY wore boys clothes from the time she was 4. She got called a boy a lot, even though she has long gorgeous hair, and it didn't seem to bother her much. She did ask to get her ears pierced after getting called a boy by a teacher once. So she got the earrings ...but still nothing else "girly" allowed.

WELL....this year for her birthday....guess what she wanted? Girls clothes. We started with some girls jeans (not too "girly" of course). And then she asked to go to Aeropostle for some girl shirts. OMG. She looks so different now. She looks beautiful. It makes me happy and sad all at the same time. My little girl is growing up.

Now she laughes and giggles on the phone for hours. She hangs out with her girlfriends and talks about the boys she likes.

I was NOT ready for that at ALL.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rainy Saturday

I don't really like rain. Especially cold rain. BUT the drops of water are pretty cool. This tree hangs over our back deck. I liked the fact that there was just enough light to make the droplets sparkle a bit.

Tomorrow will be rainy too.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Woeful Wednesdays....

I don't know why I dislike Wednesdays so much. Most people enjoy the fact that it's the middle of the week...easy sailing after Wednesday. While I do appreciate that fact, I still manage to think all day's only WEDNESDAY???

So I decided to make a gratitude list for the day. Here goes...

1. We went to ImaginOn today. My class had a great time and there were no major problems along the way.

2. It's 81 degrees outside today. LOVE that.

3. My sister picked number 1 up from school and brought her home today. Gave me a nice little break!

4. My dad picked up 2 and 3 and still has them! They always come home in a good mood when they have been with GP.

5. Number 4 did not throw up today!

6. I did not have car duty at school today. YIPPEE!

7. My kitchen sink is clean. No dishes sitting in it!

8. Nick doesn't appear to be mad at me today.

9. My newphew got to Thailand all safe and sound!!!

10. I don't have too much school work to do tonight!

There it is. I probably shouldn't write about how hard it was to come up with that list, but man it required some positive thinking. I am not kidding. That is so sad. I am more negative than I realized. Those who know me well know what I mean when I say...I was picking the fool out of my eyebrows trying to come up with 10 things. But I did. And now I really do feel better. I think I need to do this more often....maybe soon, it won't be so difficult to think about the positives.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Maddys computer

Maddy got a Mac for her birthday. Her Dad got it for her to share with her sister...yeah...sure. Her sister already has a's just a Dell....but she is 14 and she doesn't have any interest in sharing with Maddy so....Mad lucked out. She LOVES her computer. She takes that thing everywhere she goes.

Nick and I were just watching some of her videos and SHE IS HILARIOUS! Oh my lordy we were laughing so hard. She and her cousin like to make videos when they are together. And let me say that 11-12 year old humor is ,in fact, so funny that it makes me wanna be that age again. I am not sure if we are raising a bunch of narcissists around here or not...but she has 213 pictures of herself making goofy faces. CRACKS ME UP.

Here is a photo that she took today.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My Daddy is the best Grandpa in the whole world. Hands down. Just ask Stella. She adores him. All of my kids love my Daddy. (Yep I still call him Daddy) He truly enjoys these children of mine. Thank God. He comes every time I ask him for help. He seems truly glad to be able to help. Never seems irritated or stressed about watching my kids. Always does fun and exciting activities with them. He is the best. I love him a lot. One of these days I am going to have to tell him how great I think he is.

Now I have to back track here and tell you that I have always loved loved loved my Daddy. And all was great for the majority of my life. We got along great most of the time. And then I got divorced. He was not happy about that at all. I also got pregnant 3 mos before my divorce was final. He did not like that AT ALL. He literally did not come around much for a couple of years. He would go to see my kids when my exhusband had them on the weekends. He pretty much avoided me completely for a while...about 2 whole years I think. The night I went into labor with Stella, the out of wedlock baby, I called on Daddy to come and stay here with my older three while they slept because I went to the hospital close to midnight. He came right away. He came to see me in the hospital and he held the baby after a couple of weeks. Pretty normal for my Dad. It wasn't until Stella was old enough to really respond to him that things started to change. I think that's when the Divine Intervention started.

Stella fell in love with my Daddy. Love Love Love. She started running to him and holding her chubby little hands up. She would go bouncing over to him with her little curls just a bouncin saying "Up! Up!" Not a man (or woman) alive could resist that preciousness. She is really very cautious too. She doesn't just go to anybody...has to be someone pretty dang special. So...fairly quickly...he caved. He fell in love with her too. So he started being nicer to me. Started coming around more often. Started watching what a good daddy Nick is and even started talking to him. He actually even seems to like him now.

That little girl saved a relationship that was almost destroyed. I can't imagine a life without my Daddy. I think he would have come around eventually but you never know.

It still hurts my feelings to think back to when he was so disappointed in me. Many times I wanted to scream at him. I wanted to say..."You mean all it takes to ruin 36 years of a great father/daughter relationship is a damn divorce?? Are you kidding me???" I think that he must have thought I had an affair. Lots of people probably thought that. But hell, what if I HAD had an affair? Is that reason enough to end a relationship with your child? I can't imagine that. But who knows. I guess every situation is different and you can't possibly know what you would do until your in a similar situation yourself. I have thought about telling him that I didn't need the scarlet it would ease his mind. But I guess if he ever wants to know, he will ask.

Until then, I am just happy that we are on the mend. And that he is back to being the best Grandpa in the universe.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


I have written before about the power of prayer and/or meditation. I think that I may have helped saved my nephew's life one night. (OK that may not be the case but something powerful happened) He was in a rehab center about an hour away (his 3rd time in rehab i think) and I decided I needed to meditate and "ground" him. I did this whole visualization meditation where I placed a rope of light down his spine. I started at the top of his head, worked my way down his spine and eventually planted him firmly on the ground. I was sort of playing around with the idea of meditating for and about someone else. I started the meditation before I fell asleep but I was so tired that I only got through about half of his body before I fell asleep. I then woke up around 4:30 0r 5am and freaked out because I realized I hadn't finished grounding him. I sort of thought it was silly but I coudn't go back to sleep until I finished. So I got the rope of light all the way through his body planted it into the ground.

The next day my sister called and told me that Daniel had left the rehab facility around 10 or so the night before. (same night i did my grounding) He sort of felt like he was losing it and had to get out of there. He had nowhere to go and no one to pick him up so he just left on foot and walked all night. He finally somehow had a meltdown of sorts and called his dad for help. He asked to be taken back to rehab...he'd had a moment of clarity and wanted to try again.

This may not sound like that big of a deal...but to me it was huge. I still feel like I connected with him somehow that night. I really believe that I put some kind of positive energy out there for him. When my sister told me about his experiences that night, I just cried and cried. I didn't know it at the time, but something inside of me knew that he needed some help at that particular moment.

I still really believe that when we are truly present, we can hear and feel all kinds of things that we normally miss.

Our boy is leaving Monday for a treatment center in Thailand. I pray that he is able to find that same type of presence...the strength, the courage, to fight the beast he has to live with every day. He really is a beautiful boy with a peaceful soul and some light that needs to shine.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Better than Chocolate...

I will tell you what's better than eating chocolate...watching your kids dive into some chocolate fondue. I bought a block of milk chocolate for Valentine's Day but because we had to take Hailey to Raleigh that weekend, I just didn't get around to making the fondue until a few days ago. The kids were so excited!!! The liked strawberries the best but before it was all over, they were sticking every food they could find in that stuff. It was just that good.

After our chocolate buzz had worn off and I was putting kids to bed, Finn asked me to sing to him. He hasn't asked me that in a couple of years! He wanted me to remind him of the song I used to sing to them when they were really little. He said, "What's that song about the ice cream and the chocolate??" The song that he was requesting is a Sarah Mclachlan song called Ice Cream.

The song will forever remind me of my little toddler children. Here are the words:

Your love is better than ice cream
Better than anything else that I've tried.
Your love is better than ice cream
Everyone here knows how to cry.
But it's a long way down,
It's a long way down to the place where we started from.

Your love is better than chocolate
Better than anything else that I've tried.
Your love is better than chocolate
Everyone here knows how to fly.
Cause it's a long way down,
It's a long way down to the place where we started from.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Chapel Hill Treats

A couple of weeks ago we went to Chapel Hill to see my sister. Hailey had a meet in Raleigh so we stopped in CH for a bit. Jill surprised me with these yummy, delicious treats!!! One of the chocolates was even hand painted. The flavors were really cool too. Sea salt and caramel, pear, milk chocolate with lavender, chocolate covered cherry, and white chocolate...YUM!!!

Another great part of the trip was Margaret's masterpiece. She built this extremely elaborate Lego dollhouse with layers of coolness. I could not believe the amount of time and patience this 10 year old (just turned 10 I might add) put into this project. UNBELIEVABLY COOL.