Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Mother's Daughter

My mom, Pamela Ayers

My mom and I have always been very close.  Yes, there was a time during my teen years where she went through a dumb phase, and I just couldn't get through to her.  Miraculously, the older I got the more she came out of that phase.

OK, maybe it was me going through the phase.

I love her.  She taught me, and not just like most mothers teach, either.  She was actually my teacher from the 4th grade until I left high school, because we home schooled.  There were times I hated her being my teacher, like when we would spend hours...literally, hours...crying over Algebra.  There were also times when I was grateful for her being my teacher.  Like when we would spend hours crying over Algebra.  (But by gosh, I remember what I learned in Algebra!)

Frankly, not a good picture of either of  us, but you can see how alike we look.
Mom and I share many passions.  My children.  Classy women, like Audrey Hepburn.  Knitting.  Reading.  Hot Tea.  The list goes on and on.  I'm a spitting image of my mom, and people still to this day confuse us for sisters.  I wouldn't choose another person to look like or be like.  Except for maybe Audrey Hepburn.

So, my birthday is coming up soon (I'll be 28.  I'm telling you now, because as of my birthday next year I will forever remain 29.  Just like my mom.), and my mom is going on vacation half way across the country.  Without me.  I think this is the first time I will not spend my birthday with her! 

I will add, here, that this is not the only reason I am bitter about this vacation of hers.  She is going to see a very dear friend of hers, who also had a huge impact on my life, and I get stuck here.   Dogsitting! 

Anyhow, she and my daddy came over last night to bring my birthday present.  My mom was about to bust at the seams for me to open my gift. 

Let me say here, that my mom doesn't give gifts just for the sake of giving a gift.  It always has a lot of thought behind it, and I treasure the things she has given me.  In fact, I still have a mini-book of Emily Dickinson poems easily accessible.  I just went to it, to see the date she gave it to me.  The inside cover reads "Emily, You and I may not always get along, because we're so much alike.  But, its because of that - because we rhyme - that we'll always be together.  Love forever, Mom.  10-4-92"  I was 10 years old (I think that is about the time she started being the obstinate person I was referring to in the first paragraph!)  Even her hand-writing is classy, don't you think?

My mom got me the most beautiful china tea service!  I have always wanted one.  Had I been there with her when she picked it out I would have chosen the exact same design.  She knows me all too well! 

I'm not a big believer in "special occasion dishes"; you know, the ones that only get pulled out for Christmas.  Maybe Thanksgiving.  We never know how many days we have left, so I like to use my special dishes every chance I get.  I'm also not stupid, and using this special set will not happen during my afternoon tea time (little hands, you know).  But they will be used for my evening tea before bed.

Considering the mug I was using before, I think this is much nicer, don 't you?  Oh, and in case you can't read it, it says "Ladies sewing and terrorist society".  I guess we have to loose some class every now and then.
Thank you momma!  I love it, and will treasure it until the day it becomes Mattie's.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dear Moms....

I have been both a working mom, and a stay at home mom.  Let me tell you, both are difficult in their own way.  As a working mom I had to juggle all my work duties, home duties, and mother and wife duties.  As a stay at home mom with a daycare, I still juggle all of those.  There are plus and down sides to both as well!  When I worked, I didn't get to spend as much time with my kids as I wanted to, but had adult conversations every day!  Now, I spend all the time in the world with my kids, but sometimes go days without a meaningful adult conversation. 

I love my job now.  I keep 4 little ones at my house each day, and love each one of them as though they were my own.  I have been blessed to have kids that come from loving families, and they have great moms, so I can't complain.  I have had some doozies of moms, too.  The following letter was on a friend's blog the other day.  She writes under anonymity, so I am not going to post her name, but she gave me permission to copy this letter. 

This is for moms who work.  Moms who are thinking about working.  Moms who have had their kids in a daycare and can relate.  Anyone who keeps children.  Its so true, and made me laugh.  Hope it does the same for you!

"Dear Mothers of My Daycare Angels,
     Today sucked, and guess who I am going to take it out on?  That's right.  You.  Because frankly, your children are the way they are because of you.  Please remember I spend no less than 9 hours a day with your children.  I know them very well, inside and out.  I speak each child's individual baby language.  I love them like I do my own.  I might also remind you here that, although I do not clock into a job every day, I am not an idiot. 

     First, when you walk in my door and announce "Guess who pooped on the way over here!?"  I hear, "My kid pooped in his pants right before I left the house and I didn't have time to change it.  But that is OK, that's what I pay you for!"  Really?  You live 10 minutes from my house.  Poop doesn't dry on a butt in a 10 minute ride!  Please, make sure your child is clean when they get here!  I know the difference!

     Second, when you say "He has a runny nose, but its just his allergies (or teeth)", I hear, "My kid is sick, but I can't afford to take a day off.  I gave him Tylenol 30 minutes ago so his fever would be down when we got here.  Get ready, its gonna spike in about 2 hours."  If your child is sick, PLEASE keep him at home!  I have several other children here, as well as my own and myself!  If you bring your angel here sick, I will get sick.  When I get sick, I take time off, and you will have to take a day off work.  Why not keep your baby at home and care for him!?

     Third, on Friday afternoons, when you say "Oh shoot!  I totally forgot my checkbook!", I hear "You see, I went shopping on my lunch break.  Now, I can't pay you.  I have to wait until my husband gets his check so that we can afford it."  MAY I REITERATE.  I AM NOT DUMB.  I know how much you make.  Hell, you bragged to me about how much you spent while you were shopping.  While I love your children, I have this daycare to help my family with financial needs. You paying me is no different than your boss paying you!  How would you feel if your boss came to you and said "I'm sorry, but things are just a little tight right now.  I should be able to pay you next week, though."  Please pay me!  If you don't, I will not continue to keep your child.  Then, how will you work to fund your shopping addiction!?

     Fourth.  "I forgot the diaper bag again!  I am loosing my mind!"  Yes.  You are loosing your mind because you think I fall for that.  The fact is, you ran out of time to go to the store for diapers, but know that I keep some extra ones on hand just in case.  Don't worry.  Those extra come from when you actually do bring the diaper bag.  I pull them out and replace mine that I had to use.

     Lastly, you can say "My angel is the  most independent child I have ever come across!" all you want.  Some of them truly are!  Some of them.....eeeeeeeh....not so much. 

     I care for your child, because I love your child.  I am a temporary mom to your children while you are at work.  My job is not menial, mindless, and I do not sit on the couch and watch TV all day, contrary to popular belief.  When they fall down, I kiss their booboo like you would.  They love me.  Be kind to your daycare provider.  We take care of your most prized possession all day.  Be grateful.  Pay on time.  Tell us the truth about your angel, because we can help them better. 

    Have a nice friggin day.

Your daycare provider.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Memory Monday

Today has been one of the most hectic Mondays I have had in a long time.  In between ironing over 3 dozen pieces of clothes, cleaning poop of my refrigerator (don't even ask!), and everything else that goes along with raising babies, I have finally found time to sit down and write!  I haven't had the chance to take any pictures today, so I thought I would find an old one that is special to me, and reminisce a little.  I think I may make this a regular Monday thing!

This is my 7 year old daughter, Mattie.  At the first of the year she expressed an interest in learning to knit, so I found her a pair of needles, some yarn, and we got to work!  It took a long time for her brain to tell her fingers what to do!  Boy, she understood the concept right off the bat!  But making those fingers work while holding a strand of yarn plus TWO needles!?  Now that is another story!  She worked so hard on that little piece.  I started off with 10 stitches on the needle, and knit the first 3 rows to get it established for her.  Somehow, we ended up with 2 extra stitches!  It was as you would expect....pretty sloppy, very loose, and lots of wrong stitches, but look at her face!  She was so proud of herself.  I don't think I have ever seen her so proud of something in my life.  We ended the piece, and I put it away in the special box I have of keepsakes.  One of these days, when Mattie's daughter wants to learn, she can pull this little piece out, and remember that special time I spent with her.

Every knitter remembers the first time they knit.  They remember who taught them, and where they were, and likely still have the first piece they knit.  I would venture to guess that whether its knitting, sewing, painting, singing or whatever your cup of tea is, you remember the first time.  You look forward to passing it down to someone who will remember, too! 

My mother taught me to knit, just as I taught my daughter.  I remember where we were sitting.  I remember the color of the yarn.  I remember what I was making.  I remember the perfume my mom was wearing.

I suspect its not the activity we so much enjoy.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say its the simple fact that someone spent some time with us, and lovingly showed us a treasure they held.  They gave us a little piece of their heart when they showed us the talent. 

I want to see that look in my daughter's eyes more often.  Never under-estimate your talents, or abilities.  Never assume its to small or insignificant.  It just might make the difference that someone else needs in their life as well!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For

Yesterday was not the best day of my life.  We will leave it at that. Nap time rolled around just about the time I thought things could not get any worse.  (I am a firm believer that God made babies to need naps just so mommies could be alone for even a few minutes!)  I sat down, wrote yesterdays post, and enjoyed some tea, wondering what it would take to have one day to do nothing but sit with my feet up.  I heard a little voice from another room alerting me that nap time was over, then it happened.

The Toe.

We recently got a new bed, and like any good husband would do, mine stacked the old mattresses against the wall instead of removing them from our room.  We have about a foot wide walk way now.  I was calmly (let me say it again...CALMLY) walking when I hit my foot on the corner of the dresser.  You know the pain when you stub your toe?  The kind that makes you start laugh crying and almost wet your pants?  Yeah, that's what it was.  Then I looked down. 

Now, correct me if I am wrong, but I am pretty sure toes are NOT supposed to point outward from the side of your foot.
Nor are they supposed to be blue.
Or so fat that you can't see your own toenail.

This morning, I was able to at least walk on my foot, but it was also a lovely shade of blue.  Have you ever tried to care for 5 children, ages 2, 20 months, 15 months, 15 months and 13 months with a broken toe?!  Seriously, there was a sign above my head saying:

please step on my toe!!!!!

And they obeyed. 

I was actually excited as I had something to write about today, so I walked into my bedroom.  Carefully and slowly.  Sat down in the chair. 

I hit my toe again.  Now, its back where it belongs.  I think?  Except now I have this funny looking bump where my toe meets my foot.  And I only THOUGHT it was swollen yesterday.

And now, I am sitting.  With my feet propped up.  "Can someone bring me my bonbons?  Where is the remote!?  Hello?  Someone needs to change the baby's diaper....anyone?  no?"

I need a good stiff drink, friends!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fall Weather!

The weather on the first full day of fall did not disappoint in the Texas Panhandle!   It rained all night.  It was raining when I woke up this morning.  It rained until nearly 11:00 this morning!  Its still just barely in the 70's.  I for one love weather like this!  I don't have to use my air conditioner, just throw open the windows.  (Oh, did I mention the wind is also blowing about 25 miles an hour too?) 

My husband is not too thrilled about this type of weather.  He does love the rain, and we needed it.  Badly.  But when your job is to go out into a plowed field and load broken down John Deere trailers onto a flatbed on the back of a semi-truck, I can see where you might not like the rain. 

 I know a few kiddos who aren't too pleased with the rain, either.  That is my son, throwing a fit since he cannot go outside.  He loves it there.  As Sophie (one of my daycare kids) said "We can still go owside Emmy.  We just have to put our wain coats, and boots and hats and un-bur-ullos on den we can go get into allllllllll da puddles."  And for a second a thought about it.  Then my son hit me in the head with a toy car and I snapped out of it.  Don't worry guys, the sun will be out after awhile, it will be hot (and humid) again and we can go play!  Some days, the joke about weather in the Texas Panhandle is no joke! (Guess God decided we needed our annual rainfall amount in one day today.)

What is there weather like where you are?  Rainy?  Nice? 

Think I will go make a cup of tea.  And knit.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day one again!

Its nap time, and my 5 little ones that are with me each day are finally down for a nap!  What should I do?  Nap with them? (Probably should.)  Clean the house like I have been putting off? (No thanks.) Knit?  (Of course, that is a stupid question, but I left all my supplies in the same room where the baby is sleeping and I am afraid to go in there.)  Hmm.  I guess I will start writing again! 

Today is officially the first day of fall, and officially my favorite time of year.  Its cooler, so people don't look at me strangely when I make my 50th cup of hot tea.  Nor do they look at me strangely for knitting a wool scarf.  OK ,yes they do, but that is another story!  Its also getting closer to my birthday, which nowadays is not nearly as exciting as when I was a kid.  In fact, its downright depressing.  But they say with age comes wisdom.  I'm hoping the wisdom part catches up.

I was able to take some great pictures of some of the winter things I have been knitting!  I'm going to post some sneak peeks here, but they will not officially be up for sale on until October 1st.  (Unless of course you see something you cannot live without.  In which case...SOLD!)

Many thanks to my reluctant neighbor/friend/model, Savannah!

I will not say what my goals are with this blog, because I am secretly deathly afraid of failure.  Rather, deeply afraid of admitting failure.  Therefore, if no one knows what the goals are, then no one knows when I have not accomplished them! (Is that messed up!?)

And now, before I finish my last few sips of pomegranate white tea, and the babies wake up, I am going to go knit.  I hope you will follow along with me!

Too late....a little face just came in smiling......