Friday, February 29, 2008

Dancing with the Stars- Bama Style

I don't know where my kids got their dancing skills from because neither the Hubs nor I have any dancing talent what so ever. I am the most uncoordinated, klutzy person and always have been but somehow both of my kids at 5 and 20 months have more talent in their pinky toe than I have ever had. Dancing talent must skip a generation cuz these kids got moves...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday-Jedi in Training

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What's in a Name?

I know I make fun of the South a lot but today I am going to switch it up a bit and share something about the South that I find quite endearing.

Growing up in the North was great and contrary to what some may believe, we are taught manners north of the Mason Dixon Line (well, most of us anyway). But one area that often left me scratching my head was trying to figure out how to address certain people, especially my friend's parents. It was always a little akward... Did I call them Sir or M'am? That always seemed a bit too formal but "Judy" seemed too casual and a bit disrespectful, even if I was invited to do so. I usually opted for "Mr. or Mrs. Smith", but even that didn't quite feel right so I tried very hard to avoid situations that required salutations all together.

Now that I am a parent living in the South, I have found myself pondering this again. What should my kids call their friend's parents and vice versa. What is appropriate and customary in the South? We are not a Sir or M'am kind of family (we reserve this for our elders). Not that there is anything wrong with that-it just isn't us. M'am would make me feel old and I like to think of myself as a young, thirty-something, hip Momma. "Lisa" just seems too informal and is usually reserved for my friends and family. "Mrs. Jones" is ok but my last name is not really Jones and my real last name is difficult for the most articulate adult to say (which is beyond me because it is actually quite simple) so that is out too. But "Miss Lisa"- now that is just perfect and suits my fancy quite nicely. It's the perfect combination of formal and informal and easy to say. I think folks up North should adopt this practice- it sure would save a lot of kids a lot of grief and anxiety!

Not everyone agrees however; the following excerpt is from a book entitled "Southern Manners."

~"It has now become common practice for young people to use first names or at the most formal, Mr. or Mrs. (First-name). This practice creates a blurring of the lines of authority and a loss of respect. Adults wanting to be a child’s friend instead of their authority figure or role model has wreaked havoc on the fabric of our society. "

I disagree. I think this practice is a happy medium along the formality pendulum. And frankly, I don't think that this practice alone creates a blurring of the proverbial lines of authorty and a loss of respect- our actions do. I believe that I can be called "Miss Lisa" and still maintain my desired level of authority. What do you think?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sprite's 'Spressions

It's hard to believe that these pictures are of the same little Sprite that threw a monster of a tantrum in the middle of the Georgia Aquarium, bringing the city of Atlanta to a halt, but they are. When she's cute, she's cute and I try to capture these moments to sustain me through the not so cute moments. I just love her eyes and her facial expressions...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Who Knew? A History Lesson on the US Penny

We already know that I am not smarter than a particular 5th grader ,but last night when I realized that I am not smarter than a particular Kindergartner, it was a little disconcerting, alarming, demoralizing...(insert adjective here) to say the least. Now, I have never been much into history and have no desire to be a historian, much to my father-in-law's dismay, but as an American who has spent years collecting pennies in a wine jar and even more years spending these shiny copper coins, you would think I would know a thing or two about our U.S. currency/coins.


Take a look at this picture:

What do you see?

Tails, the back of a penny, the Lincoln Memorial, 12 pennies? All good answers and ones that proudly and quickly came to my mind.

Ok, let's get a little closer:

How about now? Anything else?

My pride quickly diminishes as I think that this is a trick question in an attempt to wipe away any dignity that I have left.

Oh, you need me to get closer?

Do you see it now? No? You need me to get even closer yet?

Ok, closer, closer... (prepare yourselves)

There it is! (pay no attention to that litle microchip that is taking away from the focal point of my lesson here, it's the only picture I could find that actually shows what I didn't know existed.)

Who knew that there was actually a tiny picture of Lincoln sitting inside the Lincoln Memorial on the back of a penny? Please tell me you did not know this, paleeaasse!! Tell me it isn't so. (that was a rhetorical question, by the way, you didn't have to rub it in!)

The only saving grace here is that my husband, who is much smarter than me, especially when it comes to U.S. history, did not know this either. But now, our cover has been stripped away likes stripes off of a Zebra. The wizard behind the curtain has been exposed. Our 5 year old son now knows that his parents do not, in fact, know everything!

I guess the silver lining here is that our son is getting a quality education and learning more than we, his parents, can teach him! I guess this does not speak highly of the education that both my husband and I received at Charles E. Riley Elementary (yes, we went to Elementary school together). Sigh!

I'll just be behind this curtain if you need me, pretending that I know everything and I'd appreciate it if you would join me!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wordless Wednesday- Evangeline Oak

My good friend HollyAnn took this picture and was kind enough to share it with me. She is an amazing photographer and takes beautiful pictures. I may have mentioned a time or two that I love trees and you may have noticed that this picture has found a permanent home on my sidebar. Hope you Enjoy it!

About Me

Just in case you haven't noticed, I changed my About Me section.

I’m a northern girl who’s been temporarily transplanted in the deep south, where sushi is still called bait. You’ll notice that my blog is titled after the movie ‘Sweet Home Alabama.’ It combines my love for the movie and the southern colloquialisms and the fact that Alabama is Home Sweet Home-for now! I poke fun at the south and the state of Alabama but it’s all in good fun so don't go gittin yer gussie up-it’s how I cope! I also poke fun at my hometown- it’s in the Guiness Book of World Records for having the most bars per square capita. And no, I did not have my baby in a bar! But it sure has been an interesting journey transitioning from career woman to stay at home Mommy to two strong-willed young’uns. Most days I don’t know whether to scratch my watch or wind my butt! You’re welcome to come along on this crazy journey but just be sure to bring your earplugs and bug nets; my kids are loud and the bugs are fierce. Or is it my kids are fierce and the bugs are loud? ;)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bigger Is Not Always Better

As I mentioned yesterday, the Hubs and I decided to take the kids to the Georgia Aquarium over the long weekend. Traveling with two small children requires a little prior planning and preparation which I thought we had done fairly well. We pre-purchased tickets from the military base, packed lots of snacks and the DVD player for the drive and woke up early the next morning in an attempt to get to the Aquarium when it first opened. We figured we would beat the crowds on a Sunday Morning. Boy were we wrong! By the time we got there the lines were wrapped around to the surounding sidewalk. It was a little confusing as to where we were supposed to go with our advance purchased tickets. I jumped lines and asked an employee who told us to go in. We attempted to go in and were told that we had to wait in the "Will Call" line. What does that mean anyway? This line seemed to take longer than the line for purchasing same-day tickets. When we get our ticket it says entrance time: 1:00-2:00 pm. Are you kidding me? There was no mention of this on the website or when I purchased tickets. We finally get in and are blown away by the mobs of people everywhere. We decided to try to grab lunch first since the kids get grumpy when they are hungry, just like their Momma! The food lines were also insane. Not one to stand in line patiently, I walked around from line to line to see which was the shortest and managed to grab a few mini pizzas in a relatively short amount of time while the hubs and kids stood on the sidelines . The hunt for an empty table or even a chair was as crazy as trying to get into this place. There were not any empty tables as the table hoarders were in full force. You know the ones, the ones that sit at a table with like 12 empty chairs and say that they are all taken. Or the ones who hang a coat or purse across three or four chairs. We could have sat down and finished our pizza before any of these people emerged with their food!!!! Finally someone offered us a table and a chair while they were waiting for the rest of their party and food. And just like I said, we were finished before they even made it out of line! (Thank you nice lady or my kids would have had to eat pizza on the floor!!!) After scarfing down our pizza we decided to start the tour and realize that amongst the mobs we are in major trouble as I did not bring a stroller. HEY, I said I had prepared fairly well-not perfectly! But, in my defense, we don't even own a stroller anymore. We had an umbrella stroller but it was covered in black mold (gotta love Alabama) and after trying to clorox it without sucess, I chucked it! Besides, Sprite hates being confined in anyway and part of the attraction of the aquarium was that there would be plenty of open space for her to run around and squeal in delight at the fish, or so we thought. Afterall, they proudly boast that they are the "largest aquarium in the world!" Apparently, this is not large enough for my Sprite! I decide that it may be in our best interest to rent a stroller, you know the ones that look like a whale with Georgia Aquarium proudly displayed along the side. I head to the information desk and ask the grumpy old troll behind the desk who coldy replies, NO! when I ask her if they have strollers for rent. Gotta love customer service! Come on-I mean every zoo I have ever been to has had strollers for rent. Right? You see, I refuse to admit that any of this was my fault in any way and prefer to blame everything on the Aquarium so just humor me ok? OK? So, we head off with Sprite in her Daddy's arms in an attempt to have some sort of fun on this trip and immediatly run into trouble when the first exhibit, or gallery as they like to call them, is crammed so full of people that you can't even see the tank of brightly colored, exotic fish. I mentioned that Sprite doesn't like being confined right? And have I mentioned how strong-willed she is? No, oh, well, let's just say it is stronger than Titanium, which is one of the strongest metals in the world. While this will serve her well someday, it makes for some tough battles in these early years. So, I let her down but told her she had to hold my hand. Well, she didn't like this either and started pulling away and almost got lost in the mobs of people who could have cared less that they were about to run over my daughter. I pulled her off to the side and told her that she either had to hold hands or be held but she was not fond of either of these choices and so the 'screamin demon,' 'screacher creature', 'bucking bronco' emerged. We tried to calm her down and reason with her but once her head starts spinning around, there is no turning back! (Can you really reason with a 19 month old in the midst of a major tantrum anyway? If your answer is yes- please leave your secret in the comment section.) The mobs were silent and staring at this child thrashing around in my arms. Not knowing what else to do, I took her outside and told the hubs and Sprout to try to enjoy the rest of the Aquarium. We manage to find the exit amongst the chaos, stares, and whispers. I thought once outside, she would calm down. Wrong again! The odds were not in my favor today. The three mile trek back to the car was one of the most pleasant walks I have ever had with my daughter. I hope you noticed the sarcasm there. I think the entire city of Atlanta witnessed the 'screamin demon' in all her glory. I tried a few times to put her down so she could walk the rest of the way but we were past the point of no return. So, I continued to avoid all of the onlookers as my sweet, precious daughter that I carried and nurtured in my womb for 9 months, continued to thrash, scream and hit me. Oh- this was a doozy! We finally get back to the car and I set her in her seat and turn on the DVD player, one for distraction and two because I needed a minute to regroup and dial the Supernanny! She eventually calmed down as I sat in the front seat shaking my head, wondering how my husband and I are capable of producing such strong-willed children . I figured Sprout and the Hubs would be a while so after she seemed to be recovering from the tantrum I asked her if she wanted to go to the park to play. Of course she said NO, so we just sat there in the parking garage watching Max and Ruby! To my surprise, Sprout and the Hubs return in less than an hour later and had seen the entire Aquarium!!!!! You mean to tell me that I just drove 3.5 hours, paid over $60 (and that was the discounted price not including lunch) to see what is touted as "The World's Largest and Most Engaging Aquarium"- in less than an hour!!!!!!
I know I didn't actually get to see the aquarium but I would have to wager that this one is overpriced and overrated!

Now, I was hoping to have some fabulous pictures of all of the aquatic life in the 8 million gallons of water to share with you but instead of seeing the Beluga Whale as hoped, this is what I got to see:

The inside of my car!

And instead of the giant Whale Shark that I was so looking forward to seeing, I offer you this:

Nice consolation, huh?

Oh, you wanted to see pictures of the JellyFish? Yeah, so did I!

Maybe next time. Oh wait, there won't be a next time!
I am still trying to figure out if bad luck follows us or if we are chasing it!

Monday, February 18, 2008

We took shelter in a Piggly Wiggly!

The Hubs starts the next portion of flight school on February 25th so we decided to try to do something fun together as a family this weekend. We decided to take the kids to the World's Largest Aquarium in Atlanta. Yes, that would be Georgia. I know, what were we thinking driving 3.5 hours to go to an aquarium? But, but, but, we have exhausted most of our entertainment options here in Sweet Home Alabama and it was supposed to be rainy out. That last part may prove to be the understatement of the year! The Aquarium itself was a disaster but I'll save that story for tomorrow! Stay tuned!
So, after reviewing the storm report below, does anyone see a possible problem with driving from Atlanta Ga, to Southeast AL on February 17, 2008?

Thanks, I was just checking!
So we are driving along, listening to my XM radio, laughing about our adventure at the Aquarium and how we seem to make really bad choices when it comes to family entertainment when we notice the clouds getting darker, the rain getting harder and the winds picking up. The Hubba Bubba looks up and says, "those clouds don't look good." Gulp! This makes me a wee bit nervous since he learned all about cloud formations in the weather portion of flight school. Then I said, "we better turn on a local radio station." I did this just in time to hear this:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A * TORNADO WARNING FOR... SOUTHERN BARBOUR COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST ALABAMA... THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF EUFAULA... Gulp! I grab the atlas to find out where Barbour County is and how far we are from Eufala. I look up as Hubby swerves around a tree just in time to see a little green sign that says "Entering Barbour County." Double Gulp!



I am totally panicking at this point and yelling at my hubby to find a place for us to take cover. He pulls into a parking lot, blinded by rain. We wrap the kids up and run like h*ll for the nearest building. We thought this was better than the alternative of lying in a ditch (they were all flooded anyway) with our hands over our heads. Turns out we ran into a Piggly Wiggly! Only in the south can you take cover from a tornado in a Piggly Wiggly!

We waited it out in the Piggly Wiggly, picked up a few things on our way out and got back on the road. There were tornado warnings in just about every county we went through, severe thunderstorm warnings and crazy lightning the rest of the way home but we managed to escape harm and make it home safely.

Do you think maybe, just maybe, we should have checked the weather forecast before heading out for a little family entertainment? I thought maybe you would!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I'm Moving, Sort of

Well, changing my blog address anyway.
My Blog Spot address is changing tomorrow.
Jump in and come see me here:

Be sure to update my address in your blogrolls/links.

And Ya'll come back now, ya hear?

Love is...

Love is...
Strong and steadfast...


Love is...
Precious and pure...


Love is...
Protective and proud...


Love is...

Unconditional and unselfish...

Love is...
Complicated and confusing...
Love is...
Silly and sincere...
Love is...
All of this and so much more!
Happy Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Everything!

It's a week of celebrating around here.
Happy Birthday to You...

30 something and still a heartthrob!



Happy Anniversary to You...

36 Years and still going!



Happy Valentines Day to You...

I actually meant you this time!

Since I was late posting the previous two I thought I'd be early with this one.

Ponch called and wants his glasses back!

Ponch* called and wants his glasses back!
*Ponch from CHIPs -you remember right? Please tell me you remember...
Well, just for the record, I watched reruns!

Monday, February 11, 2008

She Earns Her Keep Too

I didn't want anyone accusing me of playing favorites.
She earns her keep too!

She does the dishes...

And the laundry...

A well deserved break after a hard days work...

Now, if I could just get her to cook!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Child Labor is NOT Illegal in this House

They say that the punishment should fit the crime, right? (Don't ask me who "they" are- I'm assuming they're the brilliant, know it all, ingenious, child experts who obviously know a whole lot more about parenting than I do). So, what was I to do when Sprout got caught eating in his bedroom when he knows the rules about eating in his bedroom AND lied to me when he said that his Dad told him it was ok! In following with those brilliant, know it all, ingenious, child experts, this is all I could come up with...

Now, before you go off thinking that I am some kind of harsh authoritarian, I am, (kidding, those of you that know me know that this is pretty far from the truth), but one of the reasons I am so strict about this hard fast rule is that we live in the deep south where a certain kind of bug that begins with cock and ends with roach like to feed on leftover crumbs and I can't handle catching, swatting and or smushing these said bugs so we eat at the bar or the table only-and occassionally the couch but whatever! You remember my aversion to bugs right? And the adventures we had last summer with Rochello the Roach? Well alrighty then, glad to see that you are keeping up; let me just remind you- click here, here or here for a little refresher! Besides, how was I supposed to know that my ginormous Dirt Devil weighed 21 pounds!!! The poor kid said the thing was heavy but 21 pounds! That is almost half of his body weight! That would be like me pushing around a 60 pound vacuum cleaner- ok maybe 70 pounds, alright, alright 75 but that's my final answer!

Ok, so it was 20.5 pounds but whose counting; Sprout, perhaps? Looks like we are in desperate need of that Oreck XL Ultra being given away over at 5 Minutes for Mom. At 9 pounds I think Sprout would be very appreciative because I have a feeling this won't be the last time I catch him sneaking food into his room!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Tomatoes and Twisters

I am sure most of you have heard about the devastating tornados that ripped through the south earlier this week. It is said to be the deadliest US tornado outbreak in two decades. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those in Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama, and Mississippi who are recovering from the devastation, death and destruction that so violently
ripped through their area.

Unfortunately, folks in this area are all to familiar with the devastating effects of a tornado as many are still recovering from the violent tornado that hit our area last year. I will never forget the terrifying feeling of hearing the sirens going off telling us to take cover, holding my daughter in my arms and worrying about my son who was in school and my Hubba Bubba who was in the field. I remember calling my sister in a panic about Sprout. It was almost time for him to be getting off of the bus and I had no idea where he was or what the school emergency procedures were. We were brand new to the area and my Hubba Bubba was in school. I had no idea what to do and had never been through a tornado before. Eventually the threat passed our area and the "all clear" sirens sounded. Sprout was released from school and made it home safely, albeit shaken up from sitting in the hallway at school with his hands over his head listening to the pounding rain and ripping winds! We were lucky but folks in Enterprise were not so lucky. The tornado ripped apart Enterprise High School killing eight students and left a trail of destruction in it's path.

So needless to say, tornados are a part of life in our area and a real threat so we take warnings seriously. As Hubba Bubba and I were watching the weather channel earlier this week as the stroms were raging a little further to the north, Sprout walked up to us with this serious look on his face and said, "is a tomato coming?" We held back our laughter (as I pictured a giant tomato barrelling through town) and tried to aleve his fears by telling him that we didn't think a tornado was coming to our area. He said "weally?" And we replied, "really!" You see Sprout cannot say his "r's" and while he attends speech therapy twice a week to work on his articulation and phonics, I still find it cute when he says things like this.

Please do not think that I am making light of the devastation, destruction and mourning that so many are facing-I am not. I simply find delight in the innocence of children and their incredible ability to make one smile, even in the face of fear, pain, and tragedy.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Wordy Wednesday-Life Lessons

My computer has been acting up lately and I have not been able to check my e-mail or blog since Sunday! I threatened to throw the computer out the window but it decided to cooperate today so I'll hold off until it acts up again. Speaking of tempermental electronics... I got my camera back today- yippee! They had to replace the central powering unit, whatever that is. Sounds expensive so I sure am glad that it was still under warranty. So anyway, since I just got my camera back I don't have any new pictures to share but I wanted to share this beautiful picture that my sister-in-law took last summer in the Adirondack mountains. She will probably hate me for sharing this but the circumstances that led to this breathtaking photo and the life lessons that followed are worth sharing...

This is an edited version of what my sister-in-law wrote about this picture ... "We were on our way out the door to a dog show, I was tired because it was 6 AM and I hadn't slept well. I was a little grumpy because we had to drive an hour to get to the dog show, it was cold, and Kenny asked me to get back out of the warm car to take a picture of the "pretty steam coming off the water." I almost didn't do it, but at the last minute decided it would only take a minute to make him happy. Now that picture means so much to me. It means -- Take the time to appreciate what you have. It means -- Quit bitching about the little stuff" and so much more...

There are so many things in our everyday lives that prevent us from taking time to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us, whether it is the steam coming off a picturesque lake, the sound of a babbling brook or waves crashing, the joy of watching a family of deer grazing, a beautiful sunset or a flower blooming... All of these are missed opprtunities, lost moments, if we don't allow ourselves the freedom to enjoy them. Now, this almost lost picture serves as a reminder to appreciate what we have and the beauty that surrounds us! Thanks for sharing this with me Amy!

This reminds me of the "nature of wisdom- to recognize the brevity of our existence, acknowledge our connection with each other and with the rest of life, and to regard each day as the precious and irreplaceable gift that it is" (Tim McNulty)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

And the Winner is...

Robin from Around the Island.

Sprout picked number 100- not a big surprise since he has been practicing counting to 100 lately and doing all kind of school projects related to the number 100- and Robin, from Around the Island, had the 100th comment!

Congratulations Robin, you have won ...


And a big thanks to Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer for hosting this crazy carnival and to everyone who entered my giveaway! It was a blast!