Easters of years past (Wordless Wednesday)

This week, we thought it would be fun to post photos of our children stuffed unwillingly into wearing their Easter finery.

Easter 2005

Should he ever need therapy, I'm sure this cute little puppy dog hat will be mentioned.

Easter 2006

Somebody got entangled in his rather large basket!

Easter 2007

Easter 2008

And am now hunting for 2009 … hmm…

For more Easter pics, go here:

Moody Mom

Blessed Mom

Family Way

And for more Wordless Wednesday, go here:

She’s Crafty

Baby & the Beasts

Guess what, guys? We’re onto you.

So lately I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon at the grocery store —

Fathers shopping with a small child.

Now, it’s not unusual to see guys roaming the aisle ALONE. But with a kid? And no wife? Not so common. And there’s a reason for this, ladies.

The grocery store is a man’s last-ditch attempt after work to put off going home, where child-related chaos awaits. Beer with the guys no longer flies, so men have come up with what they believe is a more acceptable stalling tactic. Doesn’t matter whether you’re a working mom or a stay-at-home mom — we’ve all gotten the phone call from the huzzer:

Hey, do we need anything at the store?

You can tell your man that the panty’s so well stocked that you could survive ten rounds of bird/swine flu and the Ice Storm of the Century and still, he’ll persist.

I thought we were out of paper towels. And don’t we need laundry detergent?

I’d always suspected that the grocery-store offer was a ploy. And then my hunch was confirmed in a book called Babyproofing Your Marriage. (A hilarious read, btw.)

Here are a couple of daddy confessions printed in this book:

I drive home at about thirty miles an hour. I do whatever I can to delay the moment.

And …

Yeah, I call my wife from the car to ask her if she needs me to pick something up from the store on my way home. It’s a great stalling tactic. She hasn’t figured it out yet.

Oh yes she has! And this realization is  evidenced by the growing numbers of men at the store with small children in tow. Thing is, I’ve noticed only one child per dad, likely because the dads panicked at the thought of taking two or three at once.

Don’t worry, daddies. That’s next on our agenda.

Road trip with Taylor Swift

So the kids and I are on our usual Texas tour, with stops at Papaw’s house and then Nana and Grandaddy’s.

This time, the disputes stemmed from different music preferences. Tootie wanted Taylor Swift, tracks 5, 8 and 11, rinse, repeat. I wanted driving music: read Lady Gaga, ’80s hits and classic country. And the E-man? Well, my little napper wanted only silence.

So here’s what it sounded like in our car:

Lady Gaga:

Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh…
Stop telephonin’ me!
Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh…
I’m busy!
Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh…
Stop telephonin’ me!
Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh…

Cathy, dancing as she sings:

Boy, the way you blowin’ up my phone
won’t make me leave no faster.
Put my coat on faster,
leave my girls no faster.
I shoulda left my phone at home,
’cause this is a disaster!
Callin’ like a collector –
sorry, I cannot answer!

Tootie:  Mommy, quit singing! I can’t hear Beyonce!

Cause I’ll be dancin’
‘Cause I’ll be dancin’
Tonight I’m not takin’ no calls, ’cause I’ll be dancin’!

E-man: I can’t sleep! I need my beauty sleep!

Tootie: Now can we listen to Taylor Swift again? Put it on 11.

Our song is the slamming screen doors,
Sneakin’ out late, tapping on your window
When we’re on the phone and you talk real slow
’cause it’s late and your mama don’t know
Our song is the way you laugh
The first date “man, I didn’t kiss her, and I should have”
And when I got home … before I said amen
Asking God if he could play it again

Tootie: Play it again.

E-man: I can’t sleep!

Don’t get me wrong. I like sweet little Taylor. But omg, if I have to hear 11 (or 5 or 8) all the way back to Arkansas, I will be certifiable. Of course, the kids clearly feel the same way about my singing.

Standardized tests … ugh.

Yeah, it’s that time of year again, when we plunk down stacks of tests in front of the children and expect those to be a true reflection of both a school and a child’s ability.

Clearly, I’m not a fan.

First, some kids simply aren’t good test-takers, especially with the amount of pressure placed on them to do well on these tests. And second, I’ve never believed that a single week of tests is any indication of a school’s quality.

I think these tests also are unfair to teachers. They have to shift gears and focus in the middle of a semester for a week of testing. And that’s a week lost when it comes to what the kids are supposed to be studying and learning.

My daughter is a good student. She’s done well this year in all of her subjects. I’m not going to risk breaking her confidence by stressing over a stupid test. We’ve done the practice tests at home, yes, but I treat them like regular homework. Hovering over her and lecturing about how important this is won’t improve her performance. Rather, I think it would make her anxious. And anxious kids don’t test well.

For her teacher’s sake — and the school’s — I hope she does well. I hope all of the kids do.

But as far as I’m concerned, that test won’t prove anything.

Wye Mountain Daffodils

This festival is a must-do for many Arkansas families. I mean, the photo ops are limitless. And the kids love romping through fields of flowers. Hubs took these a few years ago when he was trying to capture some sister shots!

Flower girls.

Humoring Daddy.

Like Ferdinand, she just wants to smell the flowers.


For more Wye Mountain photos, stop by Moody Mom’s place!

So, are you done?

Having kids, I mean. Post a comment below or send me an email telling me whether you are/aren’t and what led to your decision. I’m writing a column about it and would love some input. I’ll use only first names. Thanks so much.


Not mine — shudder.

My stepdaughter’s was Saturday night, so we headed up to Cabot to see the kids off. And to take pictures, of course.

Tootie loved seeing all the pretty dresses. (There were at least a dozen couples gathered at someone’s house!) She also loved the mama lab that was romping around the yard.

After photos, we caravaned to a parking lot where a party bus awaited. This, my friends, is a brilliant idea. Each person contributed, and because there were so many kids, the cost was only about $50 a kid. At most. It may have been even lower. And I was happy to note that the limo driver appeared to be very no-nonsense, especially when she listed all the rules.

Anyway, here are a few photos:


The E-man isn't big on kissing.

Sisters. (I love this one.)

Inside the party bus.

Karma. Ugh.

Anyone care to guess what happens when one calls her husband a “big, whiny baby” because he keeps whining about a cough and hoarseness?

Am now completely without a voice.

Hubs and the children appear to be more than OK with this situation.

The Mollydog

If you found your way here via my Forces of Nurture column, welcome! If you haven’t read the column yet, go here.

On our last night with Molly, Tootie insisted that we read Dog Heaven aloud to Molly. Of course, I sobbed the whole way through.

This is a wonderful children's book about an afterlife for dogs.

Group cuddle.

And now here are some happier memories. These photos were taken when Molly was in her prime.

Molly always was an over-sized lapdog.

These next few photos illustrate the Battle of Red Chair.

During my years as a single girl, I had this cute red chair that Molly adored.

The canine lounger.

Problem is, when Hubs and I got married, Hubs decided he liked the chair too. There were times when they would actually race for the chair. When Hubs got it, Molly would lie in wait …

When he gets up to refill his coffee mug, he will lose that chair.


They tried on occasion to share, but …

... that didn't work so well.

One year, Hubs decided he would be the one to groom Molly. So he ran out and bought some puppy trimmers.

The dog was skeptical.

“Oh, look,” our vet said when we went in soon after. “It’s the Faith Hill cut!”

Molly's mommy did not like the cut. On Faith or the dog.

Molly was a great outdoor dog. She loved Frisbee, ball and hiking. Oh, and grilling. Because she got the leftovers.

"Yeah, I know it's slimy, but please throw it again!"

After we got rid of the Red Chair, Molly found a new place to nap.

Doggie in the laundry basket.

These last two photos are among my favorites:

On top of Pinnacle.

I miss you, Molly. RIP.