Oct 312009


“Wrap Your Little One Like the Gift that She Is”


After having 3 boys, it was my mission in life to dress my little girl like a baby doll.  I’ve started a collection of little girl’s headbands, hats, flowers and bows.  All hair accessories come with a clip, making each item interchangeable with all hats and headbands.  Feel free to check out the website at:  http://www.avaclaires.com And  “Wrap Your Little One Like The Gift That She Is.”

 Posted by at 10:55 pm
Oct 282009


Did you ever watch the Andy Griffith Show?  Remember when Goober was the gas attendant, marriage clerk and waiter at the local diner? He wore many hats.  Before he knew it, the gas attendant was writing up the marriage license and the waiter was pumpin’ the gas.  Too many hats can be overwhelming.  Even Mayberry couldn’t fix this.

Webstsers dictionary defines perfect as: Entirely without Flaw.  Pure, unmixed, correct in every detail.  Perfect is good on paper, but not usable in life.  Even if perfect existed, we couldn’t appreciate it, because we’re not perfect.  When we strive for the unattainable, it makes us fall short, feel like a failure, and only reinforces the fact that we’re not making the A+ Grade in life.

Is the house organized?  Is the homework done?  Do you have a weekly menu planned and ready to go on Monday Morning?  Do you exercise daily?  Are the kid’s clothes laid out and lunches made the night before?  Did you finish that strategic report for the office or PTA meeting?  Is your hubby happy? Is the car clean?  Wow, my head is spinning, just thinking about it.

Take one day or one week to organize, clean the car on Saturday, better yet have the kids clean the car for quarters or the garage for a day of fun. Take it one step at a time – one room at a time, one meeting at a time.

Moms have so many responsibilities and many hats to boot.   We try to keep all the plates spinning and all the balls rolling . . And for good measure, we make it look easy, so everywhere else will comment on “I don’t know how she does it.”

She makes it look easy, when behind the scenes, you’re a ragged mess.  Be real, let people see that you’re human, and change your phrase to “Practice makes Progress.”  We CAN’T do it ALL, but we CAN do it ALRIGHT.

In the end, God isn’t going to give us a “Big GOLD Star” in the sky for being the best house cleaner or money maker, but the question is:  “Did we spend time with our kids?  Did they feel loved?  Did we raise them to be full of character and good values?

We’re just one person with many responsibilities and a big hat rack.  Just Do Your Best. And Forget All the Rest!!  Here’s to “Progress!’

I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength.  Phil. 4:13

 Posted by at 12:33 pm
Oct 232009


I was sitting on the back porch swing one night, hanging out with my dad when he said:  “You were an easy kid to raise.  I can’t think of One bad memory; you were a pleasure growing up.”  Well, the first thing I thought, was he needed to be checked for Alzhemers.

I smoked my first and only cigarette at 6, never ran from an argument I didn’t believe in, didn’t take baths for most of year 9, stole the family car at 16, and most evenings, it was my dad’s job to be the family mediator.  And I was EASY to RAISE??  Is there a Dr. in the house?

We often reflect on the good, forget the bad and change our life story.  Milestones are memorable, boring stuff … ’em, not so much!

You can be in labor and think you’re giving birth to a bowling ball and a week later, you’re looking into those sweet baby eyes thinking, “When are we going to do this again?”  Oh how quickly we forget.

Growing up, I lived a pretty normal life and like most, we remember those major events: our first date, first kiss, broken bones, stitches from a bike crash, graduating from college, the day you got married, the time you ran out of water hiking the Grand Canyon and we make our own story as if life is “Connect the Dots.” Except our story is constant.  We often live for the next BIG THING, the next big event or mile marker, and life never really stops; it keeps going.

There are certain things that stand out in life, but there’s a ton of stuff in between that we forget.  And they are just as important as the blinking lights along the side of the road.  All the events, great or small, led us to the place we are today.  If we forget, it’s as if we have deleted those files, making them obsolete, as if they never existed.

My dad has some of the funniest stories I’ve ever heard.  Growing up with 7 brothers and sisters, he could have you laughing for days and never repeat a story.  Often, the memorable stories are those that include drama, heart ache or surviving a situation by the skin of your teeth.  It was a story that was exciting.  Every day humdrum life is not exciting, but it’s valid.

My mom and I took a trip to Miami once and had a blast, but the one thing I remember most was being chased by a crazy taxi driver, who thought we owed him money.  Now I’m sure we had some great conversations and exchanged heart felt moments, but that’s what I remember.

Write it down, keep a journal of the funny things your kids say, moments enjoyed on a fishing trip, a story your dad told, meaningful conversations with friends.

Let’s face it, as we get older, we get further from our story. In the movie “Australia” the little aborigines boy tells his friend that he has to go on a journey, a “Walkabout” to get his story.  If he doesn’t go, he will have no story and will never Belong.

Getting a D on a Geometry paper or riding the bus home everyday is not memorable.  Having someone spit Redman Tobacco out the front of a bus and have it hit you in the face, as it came through the back window, now THAT’s memorable.  That’s my sister’s story.  And I’m sure one that stands out in her mind.

Life is slow and long and there are incredible moments that happen in our lives that tend to stand out more than others, but don’t neglect the small things, the mundane stuff, the laying in the floor with our kids on a rainy day, hearing them laugh.  The time you climbed a tree and secretly wished you lived there, listening in silence to the wind blowing quietly through the leaves.

Write it down.  Record those giggles; they won’t always sound like that.  Write down the little moments that seem so insignificant.  We can go on the journey and find our story, but if we don’t write them down to pass along to the next generation, it’s as if they never existed; they never belonged.  Go write your story.

 Posted by at 8:15 pm
Oct 192009

One day after hearing my girlfriends talk about shaking things up a bit in the bedroom, I thought I’d go get a Brazilian Bikini Wax. Not thinking very clearly, I decided to make an appointment with the full service spa next door to my video production company.

What I should have done was made an appointment with a spa in the next county and walked in mysteriously under an assumed name with a bag over my head and just went for it.  But oh no, I had to go next door to my office, where everyone knew me.  I walked in, not really knowing what to expect  It’s kind of like having a baby.  You go in smiling, you come out bargaining with God, promising anything if he’ll just make the pain go away.

I walked in, they put me on this waxing table and asked me to put a thong on.  Hmmm.  Red Flag. . . Next thing I knew she’s poured honey on everything and when she goes to Snatch, I shot off the table crying “Mother of God!”

She tried to distract me by asking questions, like  – how much does it cost to have old reels transferred to DVD?  Yank!!!!!!  and as I was giving the answer she snatched again.  She snatched twice before I could take a breath.  “Oh Lord Jesus, I can’t take this anymore.”  You can fool me once, but not twice.  I told her I didn’t care what it looked like down there, if the honey stayed or went, I was outta there.

I grabbed my clothes and left.  I’m sure they had a big laugh that day, as I headed next door to my office.  At the end of the day, I made sure I parked in the back just to avoid passing the front of their store.  There’s got to be a better way to shake things up in the bedroom, because I can assure you, no husband will ever appreciate the pain you go through, getting a Brazilian Bikini Wax.

When I told my husband what I had done, he fell off the bed laughing.  You know, men are not complex.  He said I didn’t need to go to all that trouble to Shake things Up.  But was wondering if I brought home the thong.  I said honey:  I think a piece of it is still down there.

 Posted by at 4:01 pm
Oct 162009

Do you ever take your kids shopping with you, thinking – “It can’t be as bad as last time.  Hmm.  You might as well put your finger on the stove girl, cause you are fixing to get burned . . . again!

Why we think something so horrible will get better, I don’t know.  The minute you walk through the doors of the Mall to make a quick run for that cute blouse, Timmy has a melt down, Mary has to go to the bathroom and Sam can’t sleep in public.  Dear Lord.  It’s just sheer “Will Power” to really want to go shopping, for us to take our kids, after repeat offenses.

When I was 7, my mom took me shopping at a department store.  While she was in the fitting room, I saw this mannequin on a platform.  My 1st thought was – Is it wearing underwear?  So, while I waited for my mom, I climbed up the ladder onto the platform; as I was putting my head under the skirt to see what was under there, the W-H-O-L-E thing fell 10 feet . . . and I came down with it.

The older ladies ran and got my mom, who was embarrassed beyond belief.  My mom grabbed me by the ear (remember that trick?) and hauled me out to the car, hollering, “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?  I said:  I wanted to see if the mannequin was wearing any underwear.  She looked at me with those stern mom eyes (the kind that puts chills down your spine) and I said:  If you were wondering, it WASN’T.

And that’s why you don’t take kids shopping, if you REALLY want to joy yourself.  Get a babysitter, trade play dates with a friend, go shopping in the evening or on the weekend, mow somebody’s lawn, just get time alone, Girl!

Then you think, “I’ll take “laid back” Johnny with me and leave loud Suzy with Dad.  Forgetaboutit!  It’s like trying to loose weight.  We work out hard all week and eat junk food on the weekends and never really get where we wanna go.

Keep the kids all day or all week, but when it’s your turn to enjoy PEACE and QUIET, get that Star Bucks coffee, find your favorite music on the ipod, jump into the car (ALONE) and head out to that “Well Deserved” time away.  You can’t do it half way.  Oh, No!  As the song says:  Go Big or Go Home!  Here’s to Peaceful Shopping!

 Posted by at 7:43 pm
Oct 102009

You Can Swing Over the Water Son, Just Don’t Get Wet!

Do you ever walk into a room and your husband has one of the kids by their feet, swinging them across the living room as they scream in sheer terror and excitement, while you envision pictures of stitches in the ER?  It’s something I can’t watch.

I heard a statistic once that said:  When a child sees their father, their heart rate excelerates.  When they see mom, their heart rates decreases.  Interesting.

The other day my husband knew that I needed a break, so I took off, ran a few errands, did a little shopping and had an enjoyable few hours to myself.  Upon my return, I walked in the front door and noticed the kids were playing in the ATTIC!  An unfinished attic with partial boarding on the floor and Hubby was no where to be found.

Hmmm.    My husband said:  ‘It was raining and they needed to explore.”  Well, that certainly makes since.  Why didn’t I think of that.  NOT!  Funny thing is, they rarely get hurt on his watch. It’s Amazing.

I came in one day, and on “Dad’s Watch”, found the baby asleep in the high chair in front of the TV watching VH1.  J-O-H-N!!!!!  His excuse, ” I was reading the boys a book and the baby was tired and hungry and VH1 seemed to do the trick.”  Well alrighty then.

Now I see why their heart rates go up.  It’s part fear and excitement of the unknown, of living on the edge.  They don’t know what’s in store for them, but whatever it is, with dad it is going to be exhilarating.

But when they see mom, their heart rate goes down.  Well, of course.  They get to live another day.  It’s because they know mom will give them food and a hug, not a roller coaster death drop.  They associate mom with safety and nurture.  We give them a sense of calm, keep them focused and on task.

Dad lets them fly down the stairwell on a mattress or in a box.  Often times, I want to roll them in bubble wrap before heading off to the park, where I know they’ll try something crazy and get hurt.  But then I have to remember,  kids need to explore, take risks, learn and try new things.

Opposites attract.  God knew this would be a perfect fit for our kids, to give them a sense of caution and adventure.  So, hold your breath mom, say a few prayers and break out the bubble wrap, because dad will be home soon.    Here’s to creative parenting.

 Posted by at 1:20 am
Oct 042009

When I was little, I hated taking baths.  When it was time for one, I would throw soap into the water, let it turn gray and make a few swishes to keep any listeners at bay.

But it was the smell of NOT taking a bath for a week – that told on me.

Turns out, my little ones have the same gene.  Often times, after playing outside for a couple of hours, my kids get that “dirty stinky school bus smell.”  They beg me not to have to take a bath.  They have turned out to be quiet the negotiators.  They should do well as salesman in their later years.

So as an incentive, after dinner I tell them they can have dessert -IN THE TUB!  You have never seen a child run so fast, jump in the tub and take a bath.  The power of a popsicle or jello cup is incredible.

For me it’s a Win Win. They are getting a bath and my kitchen is not sticky from dripping popsicles.  So when the tub is drained, I just have them drop the popsicle sticks and jello cups in the trash and everyone is happy and sparkling clean.

Here’s to a clean kitchen and clean little bodies.  : )

 Posted by at 7:51 pm