Monday, February 28, 2011

Flowers for Grandma

Sunday Dotty and I were walking around Mom's condos and Dotty started picking "flowers" for Memaw. These flowers are actually weeds called henbit (thank you Jake and your horticulture degree...Mom and Dad's money was well spent).

As Dotty bent down picking all the "purple flowers" she saw...and she saw plenty...her little hands would get so full she would hand me some and go off looking for more. We had tons of them by the time we made it back around to Memaw's condo.

I stood there watching my beautiful baby girl doing exactly what I did for my Grandma when I was younger. I so remember picking millions of "purple flowers" and proudly presenting the little bouquets to Grandma. She would always act so excited and she would thank me and even put the "flowers" in small vases from time to time.

Just remembering my Grandma (Dotty gets her middle name Marie from her) made me happy and sad all at the same time. I know Grandma would have been just crazy about having great-granddaughters. Grandma had all boys and had all grandsons until I came along. When I was born I was put on a pedestal...the one and only girl my Grandma would have. Grandma spoiled me rotten. I had the prettiest dresses, my hair was always curled up in ringlets, I had purses, jewelry, fancy shoes...I had the works.

In return, I gave Grandma purple flowers...and that was enough for her.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Time Heals All Wounds

Last night I texted Tony to check on Dotty. He said she was great but that she had not moved her left arm in several hours. Apparently Tony had lifted her up at some point and she had claimed her arm hurt.

Being the good mother that I am, I told Tony to try to trick her into using it. For example, get her to play catch or something. Being the good father that he is...he had already thought of that, tried it, and it had not worked. She is a smart girl and was not to be fooled.

I told Tony we should wait until morning and if she was still saying her arm hurt and was still refusing to use it we might need to go into Clinic Care.

So this morning I texted Tony again to see how Dot and her arm were doing. She had made a miraculous recovery over night. Once again proving that time, does in fact, heal all wounds.

Lately, Dotty has been wanting band aids and ice packs for all kinds of "hurts". Many times the band aids are taken off within the hour and the ice pack usually gets left behind to melt on the floor.

I think it is funny how in life when we are young we look for scrapes, bumps, and bruises in an effort to get love, attention, and (if we are lucky) a princess band aid. Yet as we get older we learn to hide or ignore our hurts, bumps, bruises, and all kinds of pain...both physical and emotional.

When Dotty falls I have to be careful to not immediately say "you are okay...get up and dust yourself off". I have to remember to actual check first to make sure she is okay and then help her to dust herself off.

Too often in life I myself have suffered some real hurt that I have simply told myself that I am okay and dusted myself off and gone on my way without really looking at the hurt or helping it to heal.

I don't want to raise a child that is a whiner or who cries at the drop off a hat. I want Dotty to be strong and brave. But I also want her to know that in life there is pain. And it is okay to hurt. And if we let ourselves hurt then we are also letting ourselves heal.

When we work out at the gym together, Jeri tells me "pain is progress" (or something like that) and I know that in order to grow bigger and stronger muscles I will have to endure some pain. I think that is true about one of the most important muscles in our body...the heart. In order for it to grow bigger and stronger we must let it feel pain.

I want Dotty to some day know that my heart has been chipped and broken many times in my life and will no doubt be chipped and broken many more times in the future. However, time does heal all wounds. And each day that I allow my heart to heal is a day that it grows bigger and stronger. No princess band aid required.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Group Kisses...

Lately when Memaw leaves she, Dotty, and I do a "group kiss" goodbye. This is basically where Memaw and I sandwich Dotty between us as we kiss Dotty on the checks. Dotty puckers up but she really never kisses either of us (or at least not me...I have a sneaking suspicion Memaw might be getting all the kisses).

Today when I dropped Dotty off at school she wanted a "group kiss" goodbye. Since Memaw was not there Dotty started looking around the room for someone to take Memaw's place.

I knew where this was going...Cooper Gee would have been her first choice.

Thinking fast on my feet, I told Dotty we would use a doll to play Memaw. While this was not exactly what Dotty had in mind she went along with it anyway.

As I walked out the door I warned Mrs. Hall to be on the lookout for any "group kisses" that might be about to take place. A teacher's life is never dull...neither is a mom's.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Dotty and I did not go through the McDonald's drive thru this morning, but we do on a lot of mornings on our way to school.

(Side Note: My child will never starve, but she will also not get many homemade meals either. I am not a very good cook, I don't like to cook or to clean up after I cook, and I really don't have much time to cook.)

When you pull up to the speaker at McDonald's, they have a prerecorded voice asking if you would like to try the promotional meal they are pushing at the time. Right now that meal is the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal.

So when we pull up to the speaker, a female voice asks in a very cheery voice, "Would you like to try our new Fruit and Maple Oatmeal today?"

Usually I just say "No thank you" and wait for a human to come on and say "I will take your order as soon as you are ready."

(Side Note: Yes...I do realize how sad it is that I know the speech by heart. Trust me...the McDonald's we go to knows our order by heart and the employees have also commented on the fact that I got a new car and ask me where my little girl is every time Dotty is not with me. I am like the "Norm" of McDonald's.)

Earlier this week Dotty asked me "Why does that lady always ask us to try the Oatmeal?"

I simply said "She just wants us to try it but we don't have to."

Okay...conversation over I thought.

The next day, we pull up to the speaker and the minute the prerecorded message starts Dotty (without any warning) screams, "WE DON'T WANT YOUR OATMEAL!"

After a second of being shocked, I started laughing so hard I could barely talk to the poor woman trying to take my actual order.

Then, as we pulled up to the window to pay and again at the window to get our food, Dotty reminded each lady in a loud voice, "We don't want the oatmeal."

I really hope Dotty does not end up working at McDonald's some day. Karma might pay her back for that little trip through the drive thru.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sweet Words...Ulterior Motives

Last night before we went to bed, Dotty and I were watching Blues Clues. The episode was about things that make people happy. When the show was over I told Dotty she made me happy because I loved her.

She then told me, "Lots of people make me happy because I love everyone in my heart."

I thought to sweet!

Dotty went on to say, "Make sure you tell Santa that I said something nice. I want lots of toys next Christmas."

I thought to myself...I do have a sweet three year old girl...she just has ulterior motives.

Monday, February 21, 2011


As a parent, you never know for sure what your child does or says when your eyes and ears are not present. You have to hope that they are well behaved and good. Then you have to rely on the "honest" feedback of friends, family members, teachers, and of course the random stranger that feels the need to comment on your parenting tactics...both good and bad.

Everything family members say to me about Dotty (especially the good stuff) I take with a grain of salt. They love Dotty so their view of her is tinted with those rose colored glasses.

Even Dotty's teachers at school always seem to look on the bright side of things. Of course, if I had to deal with 11 three old children five days a week I too would probably need to find the good in life...or else start looking in the "help wanted" section of the paper.

The other day Jeri made a comment that Dotty is so good to say "thank you". Now Jeri is a very close personal friend of mine, so you might think her opinion would also be a little tainted. but Jeri has the great personality trait of being blunt. Knowing that about her, I knew that when Jeri said Dotty was very good at saying "thank you" Jeri meant every word of the compliment.

As a mother I breathed a big sigh of relief. Dotty, like most children...young and old...takes me for granted. Many times she just makes demands and snatches things from me. I am constantly saying "what do you say"...trying to get Dotty to use her "please" and "thank yous" on a regular basis.

There are many days when I feel like I losing the battle in regards to manners. Thanks to Jeri's kind words I know I at least have one small victory.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Girls Night Out...

In my 20s a good Girls Night Out would not even start until 9pm. We all spent hours getting ready, primping, and making plans. Then once we did get "out" we stayed out for quite a while.

Last night, Dotty and I had a Girls Night Out with Desiree, Emma, and Jeri. The night out was really a night in...the ladies all came over to our house. The party started at 6pm. I came straight from work. I did not brush my hair or anything. (I even noticed later on that my Shed shirt was dirty from cracking a customer's pecans). I did try to pick up the house a little...but I mean very little.

By 8pm everyone was gone so Dotty could get ready for bed.

Wow! Girls Night Out has changed in a decade.

I am here to tell you though, I had more fun last night watching Dotty play with a friend and just sitting and visiting with my friends than I did most nights in my 20s. There was no drama. There was no fighting...not even between Emma and Dotty ...and since both are only children that is pretty impressive.

I was in bed and asleep before 9pm...and I went to bed with a smile on my face...and Dotty snuggled at my side.

It is so funny how life changes and how people change over time. In my 20s I would have never believed that a night like last night could have been so much fun, but now in my 30s I can't imagine doing anything else. Quite frankly, I have no desire to do anything else.

I do think we all have to have the nights in our 20s in order to enjoy and appreciate the nights in our 30s. I can't wait to see what nights in my 40s will be like. Considering Dotty will be a teenager when I am in my 40s, I have a feeling I better enjoy my 30s while they last!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ding...Time is Up

Dotty is only 3 so the concept of time is lost on her. Usually when I try to tell her that something is about to happen I base it off of the t.v. For example, I tell her we will be leaving as soon as Dora is over...or...she will have to get in the bathtub when Diego is over. This has seemed to help her know when something is about to take place.

However, at times I don't have 30 minutes to wait for a show to be over. When this is the case, I use a kitchen timer. At first I was not getting the best results, but lately it has been working great.

Lots of times at night Dotty will just scream and cry for Memaw not to leave. The last few nights though when the timer has gone off Dotty has happily kissed Memaw goodbye and the entire process has been much more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Last night we set the timer many times. Once for Memaw to leave. Then we set the timer for when Papa Tim had to leave. Then for when she had to wash her hair in the bathtub. Then we set the timer again for when she had to get out of the bathtub. The entire night was full of little "dings", but the best part of all of it was it was not full of Dotty screaming or crying or fighting with me. It was so nice.

I don't want to turn Dotty into Pavlov's Dog, but it is nice to have her minding me so well. I promise to not abuse the power of the kitchen timer. I won't try to have her fetch or roll over or anything.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The School Rebellion

Apparently at school today, the children in Dotty's class decided to rebel at nap time. All of them decided to "play" with the toys they had brought to sleep with instead of "sleeping" with them.

This caused Mrs. Joann to take up all the toys and all the children had to have nap time without anything to sleep with. This in turn caused all the children to not get quite as long of a nap as they normally do.

When I picked up Dotty from school, the afternoon aides warned me Dotty might be a little fussy and told me about the 3 year old uprising that had occurred. While I tried not to laugh, Dotty and I spent the ride home talking about what is the right thing to do during nap time...mainly nap.

However, I am worried that my child will be easily persuaded if the mood turns radical again tomorrow. I hope Mrs. Joann is up for another round with the protesters.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

True Love's Kiss...

Dotty has watched Enchanted about a million times and lucky for me it has been showing on ABC Family and Disney Channel a lot at night (our DVD player can take a break).

Last night we got home just to see the last 30 minutes of the movie. When the scene came on where Giselle gets kissed by Edward and Robert in an attempt to wake her up with "true love's kiss" Dotty turned to me and asked...

"Mommy, do you kiss boys."
My reply..."I try not to."
Dotty...long pause..."I want to kiss Cooper Gee."
Me...long pause..."Why?"
Dotty...pause..."Because he is my friend."
Me...pause..."Well I have lots of friends and I don't kiss them. I give them hugs. Do you want to kiss any of your other friends?"
Dotty...pause..."Maybe. But I don't think they will let me. They might hit me."
Me..."Well then let's just not kiss anybody. Ask them if you can give them a hug and if they say no then ask them if you can give them a high five."

Dotty is 3 going on 13. I am not looking forward to Dotty liking boys...or wanting to kiss any of them (immediate family members excluded).

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I Am Changing My Name...

I remember growing up my mom used to say to me and Jake..."I am going to change my name to Daddy!"

I never really understood what she meant until I have been at home with Dotty a lot during these snow days. Now I too want to change my name.

It never failed...anytime I went to the bathroom, got something to eat, hopped in the shower...whatever...Dotty would holler "Momma!"

If I did not respond within 1.5 seconds then I heard "Momma, Momma, Momma" said at different pitches and increasing in volume each time.

I know Dotty is spoiled because she is an only child, but I also realize that me being her only playmate at home is sometimes not a lot of fun. I have dishes to do, laundry to fold, beds to make, and occasionally I need a shower and at 3 years old it is hard to play by herself for an extended duration.

I know I am so lucky to be Dotty's momma...I just have to remind myself of that from time to time when life gets hectic.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Dotty is in love with the movie "Enchanted". We watch it almost every night and usually before she goes to school in the morning. She knows all the characters and she loves dancing to the music.

I love the movie because it is shot in New York City and it reminds me of how fun and unique that city is. I truly hope someday Dotty can visit there as well and take in all the sights and sounds that you will only find in NYC. (Plus the cheesecake!)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

24 Hour Room Service

Dotty has, on numerous occasions, mistaken me for "hotel room service". Many times in the night she will wake up wanting something to eat, something to drink, another blanket, another pillow, etc.

The other night though I finally had enough.

Dotty woke up at 4am and said she wanted watermelon.

(Side Note...I know many of you would just tell her "tough cookies", but I hate to deny Dotty food. She has been so skinny for so long that I really don't like to tell her "no" to food requests. Plus she comes by this need to eat at night mom is a the queen of night eating.)

I went to the kitchen to make her a bowl of watermelon and when I returned she was sound asleep. I took the bowl of watermelon back to the refrigerator.

At 5am she woke up and said she wanted cantaloupe "straight up"...which in Dotty lingo means "cantaloupe only" other fruits mixed in.

I went to get her a bowl of cantaloupe and when I returned she was sound asleep. I took the cantaloupe back and put it in the refrigerator next to the watermelon.

At 6:30 Dotty woke up saying she was hungry. I told her the waitress's shift was over and she would have to go to the kitchen and get something to eat herself.

Dotty asked me what the waitress's name was. I smiled and said "Sally". (It is hard not to find humor in a child's innocence. Dotty had no idea I was being sarcastic out of exhaustion and a little bit of frustration.)

Dotty went to the refrigerator and found two bowls of fruit. She wanted pizza. Now I was tempted to tell her to make it herself but the thought of exploding pizza in the microwave made me rethink that option.

Dotty sat happily watching her morning cartoons and eating her pizza. When we went to bed that night Dotty said her prayers. She thanked God for flowers, princesses, Mommy, Daddy, and Sally.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Dotty and I tried to make a snowgirl yesterday but we did not have much luck. The snow was so dry it would not stick together. So here is our "SnowBlob Princess"