Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Family

Last night we celebrated a special wedding in our family. We are so happy to welcome Christopher into our family and wish he and Emily every happiness in marriage.

Here is my family. Outside of religion, these people make my world go around. They each love John Hinton in ways that I could never have imagined and will shape him in ways that he will not realize until he has his own children.

Excuse my mother, she has the inability to take a good picture which is saying something since she is so stinking cute. She was talking in that one and has her closed in this one. Still, I think it is a great picture of my parents.

Two of favorite men: my cousin, John Martin, and my brother, Chris.

Everyone had a good time, but I'm not sure anyone had as much fun as Plum. He danced and danced and ate sausages and cake off of strangers' plates.

Happy New Year! Thank you, God, for your blessings and challenges in 2011. We are grateful for each one.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Live from New York, it's Christmas!

My mom and I at Rockefeller Center a couple of weeks ago.

Merry Christmas! I hope each of your's is filled with peace and joy.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Same Santa, Different Baby

2009, curious baby:

2010, pissed baby:

2011, stoic baby:

Why the long face, Plum?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Top ten ways you know you a mother of a toddler...

10. There is an elf on your shelf and you are the only one that cares.

9. Someone ate most of the decorations for your gingerbread house.

8. You hid said house in your microwave so someone would stop eating it.

7. You are helping Santa out by hiding big gifts in your office.

6. There are at least three match box cars in the console of your car.

5. You bought all new ornaments for your tree. Shatterproof ornaments.

4. You say things like "baby Jesus needs his mama. Please put him back in the nativity."

3. There is a cozy coupe in your bathroom.

2. There are half a dozen Nerf whistle missiles in the bottom of your purse.

1. There is a Percy in your Tom.

For those of you who do not know, Percy is Thomas's best friend. Thomas is Thomas the tank engine of Thomas and Friends. They are trains, people.

Love, the mother of a toddler

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bedlum in Bethlehem

Little town of Bethlehem before the Plum got home and discovered baby Jesus and the people and animals that accompany him.

The mayhem that unsued after Plum got home. Baby Jesus thrown out of the manger on the left.

Close up of the mayhem.

Don't worry. We have removed baby Jesus from the nativity for his own protection. He had taken a wild ride on the cozy coupe and when I asked Plum to take him back to his mama and daddy because babies need their mamas, he brought him to me. I have placed him on the mantle. Last year, Nonnie and PawPaw's Jesus missed the whole advent season and new year. He did not appear again until groundhog day.

Should we visit you during the holidays, hide baby Jesus! I am not responsible if you choose not to.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

God Bless the Strong Willed Child

God bless the strong willed child and the Mama that loves him and is trying to train him.

I know God must have big things planned for you. Things that will use your determination and passion for good. However, before you get to those things, I have to raise you not to be a self-centered, mama-biting, daddy-spittin, drama-queen. In order to do that, God will need to give me strength, patience, courage, and understanding, because you, my love, can be exhausting.

Tonight, it was a bleeding bobo on your finger which led to screaming and gnashing of teeth. We had to cut bath time short. You refused a band-aid. I don't know what your deal is band-aids. You are terrified of them. I tried to put ointment on it and you fell out crying right after you wiped it all off. Then you got in the fridge and demanded a coke. Um no.

You my little demanding love are going to do big things one day, and I will remind myself of that and thank God for the opportunity to be part of it.

Now, let's hope you are a little more laid back tomorrow and maybe I won't wake up in such a butt kickin name taking mood, and we can all make it though the day with fewer hissy fits.

Love, your exhausted mother

P.S. I could be wrong about God having big things planned for you, i.e. you could choose not to use your strengths for good but rather for evil. In that case, just remember that Jesus and I both you and that I tried.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

MY Unc!

After church, we went to visit my brother-also know as "Unc"-at the fire station so the Plum could visit with him and see the truck. He had the best time.

We also enjoyed the swings behind the station.

Well, after our visit Plum just kept insisting MY UNC! He is going through this *umm, little* possessive phase. I'm not sure which one of us he thought was vying for his uncle but he wanted none of it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lighten up

We are going back to our regularly scheduled programming and the reason you all come here: THE PLUM.

When Morning Guy is away, Plum has suckers for supper, BIG thuckers as he calls them.

When Morning Guy and I are both away, Plum eats dirt at daycare. Like a lot of dirt, apparently.

I even love a sticky and dirty little Plum.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Good Christian, Bad Christian?

I did not know when I got my "Christian Card" that there were categories of Christians, and that by voting NO on Amendment 26 I was a "bad Christan." Thanks to facebook and all the "good Christians" on there, now I know. Here I had been thinking that I was just a flawed sinner trying to do my best to discern God's will for my life, be a good mother and a decent wife and repent and apologize when I fell short. I wish someone would have told me earlier, we all know that I'm an over achiever and people pleaser, and I would have tried a lot harder. We all know it is your works that get you to heaven.

But as long as I am airing all of my sins, let's get it all out on the table. I regularly let Plum eat suckers before 8:00 AM. I hardly ever eat my vegetables. This past Sunday, I skipped Sunday School because I wanted to share that extra hour with John Hinton and J.R. without screaming at everyone to hurry up. I am always thinking something unchristian in my head.

So back to the topic at hand, the convictions that got me on the bad list:

I think it is a shame for any women to die during child birth. I think it is criminal for society to tell a woman that she should die because she has suffered an ectopic pregnancy that will never result in a child.

I cannot agree with the notion that victims should be revictimized by carrying a child conceived during rape or incest rather than offered the morning after pill prior to the implantation of a fertilized egg. My only response if I were in that situation would be "yes, please and may I have another."

I made it very clear to J.R. that I would lay my life down without pause for John Hinton and that I expected him to respect that decision. And I would do that same thing for him a thousand times over. However, it is my life to give and my choice to make.

As for the allegation that by voting no that I do not value God created life, well, you don't know me that well. I truly believe that mothering John Hinton is as close as will get to God on this side of heaven.

I think that a grown woman can with prayerful consideration make these difficult life altering decisions without a constitutional amendment. These are not nonchalant or flippant decisions, and the women involved-also a God created life-deserve at least as much respect and dignity and protection as her fertilized egg.

This is not a diatribe against people who voted yes. I am proud to be part of a family where we all voted our conscious which resulted is some yes's and some no's. This is a rant against people who think that they are "good Christians" because of the way that they voted. But if you feel morally superior to me because I'm obviously a baby hater, don't worry, God can give me the business about it when I get to heaven.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Halloween and kitchens

The Plum enjoyed Halloween--in spite of having a double ear infection. But he would rather ride the Ranger than get candy. We went trick or treating with the cutest little robot you have ever seen! Thanks to Steven for driving us around.

Morning Guy went as Fred Flintstone.

I spent three hours Saturday morning putting together Plum's new kitchen from his Grannie.

On a completely unrelated note, if you are going to give Plum a gift for Christmas, you should plan on assembling. I'm out.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

a trip to the northeast

I saw a river,

their covered bridges that were damaged by TS Irene,


and a library built by the Rockefellers.

I bought lots of maple syrup. I have seen pretty leaves and lots of snow, at least, a lot by my standards. I ate lobster and their cheese (mainly goat), but not together. I also ate the best maple caramels ever! Now, I am beyond ready to come home.

The Cuddler

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

"Corps Day" at ERDC with mom...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Belated Birthday

Now that Plum is getting older and forming his own (unreasonable, strong, contradictory) opinions, I have decided to make this blog my own. I know, the Plum can't believe it either.

This, like many of my posts, will be my thoughts written to the Plum for the sake of remembering these sweet, trying, and fleeting moments as his mother.


Almost two weeks ago, we celebrated your birthday. I soaked this day in with our family. You turning two was a much bigger deal for me than you turning one. You have become such a big boy and it is hard as your mother to let my baby go. I savor our brief moments when you say "wok mama" or lay your head down my shoulder.

I made you a sign. This little token of love took me for freaking ever to carefully carve each letter out of card stock.

I also made your cake. You and Kelsey Ann ate all of the candy letters off of the cake in no time.

You and Aunt Susan working on the combination to release your new dozier. It would have been easier to gain access to Fort Knox.

A good time was had by all, just ask Emmy.

Uncle Jim showing how to use the new nerf missiles that Uncle Chris and Aunt M bought you.

Uncle Chris couldn't be there. He was busy firefighting. I so wished he could have been there. The missiles are so fast that they whistle. I shot John Martin at point blank range and he claims that he is injured and traumatized. I hope he forgives me.

You and Linds looking so pretty on your beautiful day.

You are one loved and treasured little boy.

With much love, your mother

Saturday, October 1, 2011

nothing says PAR-TAY like a museum

Well Plum, we went to the Children's Museum today for your birthday and had a great time with your little friends. Here is a picture of all of the boys:

Carter, Plum, Nic, and Jacob.

Morgan and Riley were inside acting like little ladies while you boys were working off some energy waiting on our pizza at Sal and Mookies.

Here are your stats from your two year well baby visit: you are 29 pounds, 33 inches tall and your head is 50 cm. This makes you a little short, stocky and really big headed compared to your two year old boy counterparts. That is just the way that we expected you to be. Your mama loves every inch of you.

You have made these last two years, two of the happiest of my life.

Love, the Cuddler

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Store Bought High

Sugar high, that is. Plum and his daycare buddies will be flying high on these treats tomorrow.

They were prettier but they went flying onto the floor board of the Pilot on the way out of the walmart parking lot. I had to buy the pink ones because they were freshest.

I'm a lazy working mother. This is the best that I could do.

Love, the Cuddler

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

so sad

Dearest Plum,

As we approach your second birthday, I have been preparing for your party. I went this week to the walmart to get supplies for your cake. As I was in the cake decorating aisle trying to pick out a sheet pan, a woman startled me by speaking to a toddler with such harsh "not nice" words in such an angry way that I stood there looking blankly at the pans for several minutes. I could not decide if I should hug her, pray for her, or beg her to stop yelling at him. I hope and pray that this was not his mother, but I suspect that it was. It broke my heart and made my stomach turn. His lack of reaction tells me that this was not the first time that someone has treated him this way.

In thirty-one years, my mother has never spoken such hurtful words to me or ever used that tone with me.

I know that I will fail you in many ways on many days. May God have mercy on my soul if I ever make you feel like you are anything but my life's greatest responsibility and a precious child of God.

You are truly the light of our lives and joy of our hearts.

Love, your mother

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Things that make you go hmm...

First, this is directed at Morning Guy. If you and your seventeen year old niece are in line to get into the same “social establishment” in Starkville, then you should not be there. You have now become the old creepy guy. Go home. I have no further comment on her being there.

Second, what is with airlines? My ticket was bought by the government at a premium price months ago. I arrived over two hours before departure and Delta has the nerve to give a boarding pass with “seat requested” instead of a confirmed seat assignment. Um, yes, a seat was requested. Months. Ago. You accepted my money in response to that request. That, my friend, is what we lawyers call offer, acceptance, and consideration. The combination of which leads to a binding contract. Look it up.

So, I go and take a seat at the gate. There is a list of standby passengers on the screen on which, I do not appear. I go to counter to inquire. “Oh ma’am, you are on our list but we just have gotten to you yet.” What the hell? How many people did you sell a “seat” to and then NOT give a seat assignment? At least the six, because they are appearing on the screen. I did get on the plane shortly before departure. This must be illegal or at least immoral.

Lastly, what is up with electronics on planes? There is a militia of “flight attendants” that come by to make sure your electronic devices are in the off position from the time the door shuts on the plane to the time you reach 10,000 feet and from 10,000 feet to the ground. If it has an on/off switch and batteries, you better believe that they are going ream you if it is not in the off position. If my iphone and little Jimmy’s game boy can put a 757 at risk, then why are terrorists packing bombs in their undies? I’m just saying.

Much Love, The Cuddler

P.S. Plum if you ever act like a little crap in the Orlando airport after Morning Guy and I have shelled out thousands of dollars to take you to the happiest place on earth, I will tan your hide in the bathroom. Well, knowing me, I will first give you a hug and ask you 1. to calm down and 2. what is bothering you. If you choose not to accept my offer of grace, then Morning Guy will meter out more traditional discipline. We love you enough to make sure you know that you are not center of the universe. (This is currently a work in progress. Right now, you are right on track with your wildly egocentric attitude. Way to meet a developmental milestone! Prepare to be taken down a few notches over the next couple of years.) You will, at least, feign gratitude for all that we allow you to have. Remember, we can also take it all away.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Some Tidbits from my TDY Trip

1. $4.37 for a iced tea at the Jackson airport is criminal. They know that I cannot bring in a drink from the outside because of the TSA rules. I'm thinking of writing a congressman.

2. Unless you are under 23 years old and 125 pounds, you should only wear leggings with a dress.

3. Just because you are in the Orlando airport, does not mean that you have to wear a Mickey Mouse tee shirt. I'm just saying, you an adult and are wearing a cartoon mouse on your chest.

4. There is no need to stand up on the plane when we pull up to the gate. It is going to be another 10 minutes or so. Calm down. Sit down.

5. This is to the men (are there any men here?), when you are at hibachi do not repeatedly try to engage a group of women in conversation. They are not interested.

6. They should give you shot of vodka in ATL when you disembark just to take the edge off.

7. Disney is not the happiest place on earth when the only place you want to be is home.

8. Toddler and Tiaras is scary. The moms are really scary and they girls are sad. But it is addictive like crystal meth. You know you shouldn't but you just can't help it.

9. Oh, but "I was pregnant and didn't know it" was scarier.

10. When the Cuddler is away, Plum goes to Kelsey's volleyball game with Unc and Aunt M.

And to work with Morning Guy when he is running fever and cannot go daycare.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

beach bust

Day one:
Travel to the beach along with lots of other people in the rain. Sit in traffic for forever.

Days two, three and four:
We were under siege with angry skies

Blistering winds that will blast you with sand

Raging seas

So, what do you do for four days when you have to hunker down and hide?

Snuggle with Kelsey Ann

Go to Walmart a couple of times


Let Aunt M give you a mohawk

Wait until day five, the last day, when the sun comes out and make the most of it by checking out the sea life

Until next year

Love, the Plum