I grew up as a step-child. My parents divorced when I was four years old. The step-grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins- they were nice to me. But there were those awkward moments when I felt like an outsider, or a misfit.
I’m not putting anyone down. My parents were just navigating the rocky waters that happen after a divorce. However, those little moments where I felt like I was on the outside changed the mother I was going to be. Read the rest of this entry
I did it! I survived the summer! I know, some of you moms are weeping in your Frosted Flakes this morning as your little ones made their first journeys to kindergarten. Some of you are just sad that summer and all your extra time together has come to an end. I have been both of you, but today I’m the mom I never thought I’d be. I’m the mom that shouted “Hallelujah” at the Silence of the Zoo!
Don’t get me wrong, I love lazy days and lemonade and picnics by the pool, but with these kids at home, the grocery bill is somewhere around $500 a week, and I think a whopping $50 of that is just toilet paper, so YES! Enjoy them Tigerland. I will pick them up at 3pm. Read the rest of this entry
Seventeen years ago I was a young mama full of enthusiasm. We had just moved into our house and I absolutely hated it. It was so small, so bland but the landlord offered to sell it for a rock-bottom price and I had HGTV so we started making it our own for our little family. We had a bubbly little girl, a bundle-of-joy baby boy, and a black Labrador retriever that was never meant to be our dog and she’d just had a litter of puppies.
We weren’t going to keep any of them. I swore it up and down as my little Dyl Pickle toddled through the hallway saying “puppy” for the first time. Then Blondie started getting attached to the runt. “But Mama, this one is so tiny…..” Read the rest of this entry
So apparently my husband had no idea that we give out teacher appreciation gifts! I’m not sure how he missed that. We’ve had kids in school for the past 16 years now. I used to do a Christmas gift, maybe a little something for their birthdays- but add that to the pile of “things I did when I had a few kids!” Now, I run a zoo, so it’s just once a year that I sit down and try to show my appreciation for the people who spend almost as much time with my kids as I do- and if you know my kids, you know these amazing people deserve some appreciation! Daddy should have realized that even if there wasn’t a tradition of teacher appreciation already in place, there would need to be some kind of recognition for the people who help tame our circus!
This year I thought it would be fun to make some edible arrangements. Every single time that commercial comes on, KK asks me if we can order one of those. I looked once- I was going to surprise her, and when I saw the price, let’s just say that fell off my to-do list. I thought “surely they couldn’t be that hard…”
My little ZooCrew was so excited to open the fridge this morning and see the creations they got to give their teachers! One teacher even emailed me a pic of her enjoying it!
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Last night my nearly 17 year old son was sitting at my desk, scrolling through Facebook. I was sitting back staring at this kid, like I usually do. I keep asking myself “how did I make that big strong guy?” His birthday is just about a week away, so I’m drunk on nostalgia every time I look over at him.
He caught me staring and I could tell he was about to do it. He was about to make me cry. He does it on purpose. Every time he catches me giving him that “you’ve grown up too fast” look, he says “just think Mom, this is my last year of being a kid… then I’m gonna grow up and move away. I’ll probably travel. Maybe Alaska. Read the rest of this entry
This is Texas, so we’ve already had spring sprinkled all through our winter. It was 80 degrees yesterday. The week of Christmas my butterfly plant bloomed again. We have definitely not been holed-up with cans of Campbell’s soup to warm us after a snowball fight. Down here in Texas we know Spring will be here soon, so Punxsutawney Phil didn’t give us any surprises, but I’m sure for some of our neighbors to the north, news of an early Spring is the buzz around town.
I kind of like Groundhog’s Day. It’s one of the few holidays yet to be destroyed by commercialism. No one is expecting cards or gifts or candy-filled eggs. And even though the Hallmark channel hasn’t dedicated months to groundhog cinema, there is indeed one funny movie to celebrate with. Too bad it’s not on Netflix- I’d stream it for the kiddos and make them a Groundhog’s Day feast.
Nothing to sell here folks! Just a groundhog going for a drive…
I think I just had a genius idea! Maybe we should celebrate Groundhog’s Day. Blondie can break out the karaoke, we’ll have Dyl Pickles build us a bonfire, we can play Slap Jack on the living room floor… this might be a plan brewing… Read the rest of this entry
For a while my kids were so into Duck Dynasty that we had it saved on our DVR. I didn’t even realize a new season had started until I noticed three episodes were saved, so I turned it on. It’s one thing my husband and I don’t argue about. He doesn’t love my HGTV obsession and I seriously cannot stand watching someone hunt or fish on TV, so Willy and Jase give us a little sliver of neutral ground.
The ZooCrew in Monroe, Louisiana. My grandpa use to say you can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose… but you can pick the nose of a Robertson.
So, I hit play- as the show ended I realized there were actually two episodes saved together, one was Duck Dynasty and the other was a new spin-off, Expanding the Dynasty, which chronicles the new journey of Jep and Jessica Robertson, as they venture down Adoption Road.
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“Mom, Jordan called me Kailynn!” My seven-year-old is screaming across the house as if she’s got a broken bone. “So,” I say in my flattest tone of voice, “that’s your name.” “But I don’t want him to call me Kailynn!” She continues to scream. I reflect upon my most recent meeting with her therapist and I wonder, “should I try medication? Surely all kids are like this!” Just as we start to get over that crisis, Jordan comes in holding his head, crying profusely because Jayden has hit him with a towel. Not even a wet towel, just a plain old dry kitchen rag. So I tell myself “if she needs medication, he needs medication, they all need medication, or maybe it’s me, MAYBE I need medication.” But I can’t dwell on it long because Trenton tackled Jayden and tore his hoodie. We have a new crisis brewing. Read the rest of this entry
If a picture is worth a thousand words, well, I then I have about 18 million words at my disposal right now! I can’t believe I finally got my hard drive back, and it had 18,000 pictures and videos on it. I’ve spent the last year or so thinking those pictures were forever lost. I’m so elated to have them back that I probably wasted 3 hours just browsing through the folders. I issued a serious Facebook warning that I had recovered seven years of proof that I lead one crazy life, and those who have taken part might soon appear in my way-back-Wednesday or throw-back-Thursday postings. At least I warned everyone before I started digging for the truly good ones.
Lucky for my oldest son, I didn’t have a digital camera yet when he was a baby. I took my all-time-favorite picture of him sitting in a bird bath naked when he was about 9 months old. It was a small concrete bird bath with fall-colored mums planted all around it. There were little flowers floating in the water and his blue eyes caught the afternoon light so perfectly that he looked just like a little angel. It was absolutely adorable, but you will have to take my word for it, because if I posted that online, he’d probably kill me in my sleep and we’d end up on an episode of Dateline.
I didn’t post the bird bath, but I can’t resist spaghetti face!
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The day after Thanksgiving I sent my son to our shop to fetch the Christmas boxes. He came home empty handed, bearing bad news. The main pole that holds up our 8 foot Christmas tree was bent, badly bent. I don’t know that I’ve ever faced a December as bleak as this one has started out. News of the broken tree seemed to be icing on the cake.
I love Christmas. It’s my favorite time of the year. I love the decorations and the lights and the spirit floating around. I love the parades and Santa Claus and the chance to grant my children a wish or two. I love Christmas. Read the rest of this entry