The boy spent his first week away from home at Paleontology Camp last week. He left on Sunday and went down to Yorktown to stay with his grandparents for the week where they would ferry him back and forth to the Virginia Living Museum to camp every day.
We have had a rough start to our summer. My beloved Grandma has left this life and has moved on to the next. I miss her, more than I could have even imagined. Every evening, about the time I would make my daily phone call, where we would inevitably talk for an hour, I have a mini-meltdown.
Brownies and Diet Coke are an odd combination; but those two things bring an instant image of my Grandma to mind. The smell of Giorgio perfume and powder, the clanking of her eyeglass chain and the feel of her long manicured nails playing with my hair can be easily conjured.
Girls, “sugar and spice and everything nice” –right? While she surely has enough of the “everything nice,” I think my sweet girl may have gotten an extra dose of the spice. You see, my sweet, innocent little flower has become quite the spitfire lately.
Being a parent is hard. I know I have said this in one way or another over the last six years in this column; from temper tantrums to night feedings, haircuts to dentist office visits, it truly is a day to day struggle. I want to raise them to be kind human beings.
Spring has finally arrived, and boy, is it glorious. The bright bursts of color in every direction you turn can take your breath away (that and the pollen). This time of year makes my heart fill with joy and I am happy.
It is pouring rain outside at the moment, the weather matching my mood. I am expecting a group of seven-and eight-year old children to arrive in an hour for the boy’s eighth birthday party. A “pre-historic party,” dinosaurs are back on his radar yet again.
Ten years, it seems like a long time, but in reality you better not blink. Ten years ago on the first day of spring, I married the most wonderful man on earth. My love, my best friend – he is my everything; I honestly don’t know who else would have put up with me for ten years.
I am so over winter. I am so over snow. I want bright, warm, sunny days like this past weekend. My tulips are coming up and my daffodils are blooming-then the snow. I wish Mother Nature would make up her mind.
I should have been more aware of the signs that this dentist appointment was not going to be like our others. The boy happily went back to have his six- month check up by himself – clue number one that this was different.
Yesterday was the precious flower’s fourth birthday, yes you read that correctly-FOUR YEARS OLD. Where did the time go? Didn’t she just tell us we were expecting a bouncing baby girl? That’s how it feels to me sometimes, and then sometimes I look at her and wonder how we ever made it without her.
The flu (ugh), I succumbed once again. For the second year in a row I made sure my little family was vaccinated – was even mean enough to have the children get theirs on Halloween. As they sat there getting “misted” with the flu vaccination, I did have a fleeting thought of “Oh, I need to get one, the flu really sucked last year.”
Happy New Year! I hope that you all enjoyed the holidays and are now happily anticipating getting back to normal; I know we are at the Lashley house. The children’s lunches are packed and waiting to be put into book bags, and I am happily anticipating the moment the school bell rings, I need our schedule back!
Today is the big day; I know my two little elves have been anxiously waiting for this very morning for weeks now. Christmas Day has finally arrived and with it the joy of little ones abounds as the wrapping paper flies and the stockings are emptied out.
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year...” We are all hopped up on candy canes, holiday parties, and hot chocolate and good cheer. Sometimes I wish this feeling would last forever, but then again, if it did it wouldn’t be very special anymore.
As I sit here in front of the fire on this bitterly cold Sunday evening (yes, that’s usually when I sit down to write), I am reflecting on many things. I have just finished browsing Expedia Hotels in Manhattan for March, thinking that on our first wedding anniversary we celebrated there, and now that our tenth is approaching maybe we should go back and take the kiddos.
We are just barely into the second week of November, and already it seems as though Christmas is upon us. The stores have erupted with ornaments and lights, fake snow and good cheer; while the clerks eagerly await you at the checkout lines with jolly smiles.
Tomorrow night is what I think of as the “kick-off” of the holiday season, Halloween. We have been steadily moving up hill through the summer, the start of school, the first crisp mornings when you feel the chill of the approaching fall and now, it’s here.
The Lashley family moving saga continues; with the government shutdowns in full swing and the debt ceiling disaster looming, we may very well be staying put. I certainly hope that all of this “unsettledness” (I know that’s not a real word) will calm down soon enough...
The Lashleys have a lot going on, I mean more than usual. Yes, we have swimming lessons and tap and ballet, we have Awana on Wednesday nights (this is new but very popular) and the usual play dates galore on the weekends, but the big one has just descended upon our family.
As I type this, the precious flower and her sidekick, let’s call him the one with the red hair, are upstairs jamming to the beats of Disney’s “Teen Beach Movie.” It is pure torture for this Mama, I have listened to this soundtrack all summer and my sweet flower knows every lyric, every dance move, you get the picture.
A couple of years ago we read an article by Lisa Bloom titled “How to Talk to Little Girls.” The article talked about how we are all predisposed to compliment little girls on clothing, looks, hair style, etc. She mentioned how these are our “icebreakers” when talking to little girls.
The “willful” child; we have all heard stories about them, shaken our heads at them, whispered to friends about them, prayed about them and hoped beyond hope that we would not end up with one. You see where this is going don’t you, oh yes, my precious flower has become one of “those” children.
Four weeks until school starts, that’s crazy. When I was a kid I felt like the summer was endless. The days at the pool seemed to drag on forever. My nose constantly filled with the smell of Bullfrog sunscreen and coconut oil (all those babysitters striving for the perfect tan; who cares about skin cancer).
We finally broke down and did the unthinkable. I never thought that I would see the day, never, ever, ever. We Lashleys are now the proud new owners of a puppy. I used to loathe those “dog” people. You know, the ones (heck, half of you are those people).
He fights for freedom; wherever there’s trouble, G.I.JOE is there. YO JOE! As a boy of the 80s this was a popular battle cry for boys combing the toy aisles. Oh, sorry, dad is filling in this week, didn’t want to confuse the readers.
Ahhh, we finally made it through the final week of school. The madness of the end of year projects, teacher gifts and the mountains of paper that get sent home daily – I tell you what, I am a complete psycho when it comes to keeping my house straight, and the piles of paper coming into this house that last week of school were sending my poor heart into palpitations daily.
Well, this week is really one to celebrate isn’t it? We have the most anticipated week of the entire school year (the last one) and Father’s Day on Sunday. Whatever are we going to do with so much fun?
Mother’s Day, a glorious day of rest and relaxation for Mothers all over the world, a day when massages are given and breakfast is had in bed, a day when your children are perfect and a day where you get to sit on the couch watching marathons of Real Housewives eating ice cream out of the carton.
It has come to my attention that we have a dangerous predator lurking in our yard. A stealth animal with razor sharp claws and the teeth of a great white, a female that stalks it’s prey with the precision of a tiger, her name is Ruby. My adorable sweet little kitten, who we rescued from the life of dumpster diving in a murky Fan alleyway nine years ago, has turned into a hunter.
It’s the time of year where I make my annual run to stock up band-aids and Neosporin. The time of year (my favorite) where the windows are open, the birds are chirping and the kiddos are running around with shorts on, thus the first aid stock-up. We have already had more skinned knees and elbows than I wanted to deal with all spring and summer.
A while back when a fellow gardener asked me the significance of Latin names of plants, I found myself fumbling for an answer despite the fact that botany was my major in graduate school; evidently, associating plants with Latin names has become somewhat of a second nature for me.
At 6:21 a.m. on Saturday, April 1, 2006, I became a mother for the first time. It was an experience that I can’t honestly remember (thank goodness), but am so thankful for. Being a mother has been the most wonderful part of my life and I can’t believe how quickly it’s going by; my sweet first born turned 7 years old this morning at 6:21 a.m.
It’s hard to believe that Easter is right around the corner, the weather can’t seem to make up it’s mind cold and dreary or warm and sunny (we all know which I prefer). I love Easter; it’s my favorite time of the year, the warm sunny days, blooming flowers and the wonderful message of Hope. Between church services and Easter egg hunts we are on the move during the season.
This past weekend we traveled to Emerald Isle, NC to celebrate my Papa’s 85th birthday. We packed the car with everything we would just die without for two days; multiple pillows, blankies, babies, movies, crayons, Legos, Star Wars guys, Dora the Explorer, apples...
The winter doldrums, I hate them. I suffer from them every winter and I long for spring. I anxiously wait for the mild mornings when I can open my windows, letting the sweet smell of spring infiltrate my home. Mr. Robin singing his sweet song and the tulips blooming in my flowerbeds. Oh how I yearn for spring.
Having a daughter changed my life. I love my boy beyond words, however, having a girl is just different. I love playing “Dora” with her, brushing her crazy curly mop and I get so much joy from her very serious decision-making in regards to outfits and bows. Her twirling, whirling, singing-self – my little flower is growing up.
They say when it rains it pours. As we all know, it rained last week and rained and rained and rained. I was so sick of the weather I felt like screaming. My job requires that I travel from business to business in the area and with all of that visiting, I have to get in and out of my car. Yes, my hair situation was abysmal last week to say the least.
On Sunday, Dec. 16, my little guy, mother, best friend and I made our way down the dirt filled streets of Rockaway Beach. As we passed houses still sitting in water (the shoreline forever changed), metal fences that had been twisted and turned with the force of the water, sand and grime everywhere you turned, my heart hurt for the community.
Last weekend, as I looked down all 53 feet of the Abilene tractor-trailer sitting in the parking lot of Chester Baptist Church, I thought there was no way we would even come close to filling it. Now, one week later, there is more and more floor space being covered.
As a person of compromise, I have maintained a wonderful Thanksgiving schedule with our combined family. This year it was my grandparents turn down in Emerald Isle, N.C. The children and I joyfully prepared for our pilgrimage south (pun intended) by making our early Christmas gifts (salt dough ornaments) for all of the extended family members and baking, baking, baking.
Aaahhh, Monday mornings, could they be any more anticipated? The merry-go-round that is our morning routine has been pushed to the back of my mind after a relaxing weekend. The mornings are nowhere near as stressful when you have no place to go and church doesn’t start on Sunday until 11a.m.
It’s early Saturday morning and as I sit here writing this, in my pajamas no less, enjoying my cup of coffee, the threat of a “Frankenstorm” is looming near. The big “hybrid” storm, the “worst we have seen in over a hundred years” is barreling up the coast and heading in our direction.
Spaghetti sauce (made with canned tomatoes from our garden) simmering in the crock-pot, baking bread in the bread machine and the smell of homemade chocolate chip cookies baking away in the oven; I love nesting. The fall is my second favorite time of the year.
Food, that’s my number one thought these days, food. While trying to get our eating habits under control (eating “real” food, nothing with more than five ingredients) I have taken an almost obsessive look at the nations’ food system. We have been buying over-processed, chemically enhanced food for years and it’s scary.
It’s that crazy time of year again – between soccer, ballet, preschool drop-off and getting to the bus stop on time, I’m wiped out; it’s relentless. However, I am grateful to be back in the groove of our school schedule.
Beef, poultry, fresh eggs, oh my. This is what has been on my mind lately, food. I have been educated on things that I knew existed, but it is so much easier to stick my head in the preservative-laden sand.
The gathering up of backpacks has begun. I have been fishing summer toys out of the bottoms of said backpacks for the last week. We have newly packed backpacks, freshly scrubbed lunch boxes (What is that sticky mess?) and we are ready for the start of school.
Walking into Walmart this past weekend, I could have sworn that I had missed a few months and that it was Black Friday. People were everywhere, swarming in little circles around the school supplies. It was like bumper “carts” and utterly ridiculous. The “Back to School” tax free weekend has become a mini-Black Friday.
The heat is trying to kill me. Not only is it almost impossible to take a breath without feeling like you are trying to breathe underwater, but it’s too hot for the children to even be able to play outside.
The heat has arrived and with it the glorious smell of sunscreen and charcoal grills. The sounds of children squealing with delight as they run through the sprinkler or play in their pools with ice cream dripping down arms and watermelon juice covering little chins; it’s the stuff summer is made of.
The excitement in the air is palpable. They can’t contain themselves for another minute, not to mention a week. The last week of school is finally here and we Lashley’s, have a countdown going on our newly chalkboard painted cabinets in the kitchen.
Sometimes my children really get on my nerves. It takes a lot for me to admit that because there is some tiny little voice inside my brain telling me that I am a terrible mother for even thinking it. However, it’s the truth and while I love them wholly, dearly and without hesitation, they can irritate the snot out of me.
As of today the children only have one month and one day until school lets out for the summer. I for one cannot wait. This will be the first summer that we actually get to spend time together as a family. No longer working a full-time job, I have totally dedicated every moment not spent working to my children and shockingly enough, I love it.
You can see them coming from a mile away, cell phones in one hand, tucked under their ear, recyclable bags filled with wholesome treats for the children they are dragging mercilessly through the crowd gripped in the other.
As I sit here writing this, stewing over a number of irritating thorns in my side I can’t help but want to cry. Don’t you ever just want to have a good cry? I have so much on my mind; so many worries and I think back to my childhood and feel more connected to my own mother and even to both of my grandmother’s.
Oh, how I love this time of year, it makes me so joyful. To get up every morning and throw my windows open, letting the warm spring sunshine in makes my heart sing with gladness. I am so happy that I get to enjoy the birdsong every morning while enjoying my coffee and I do love the morning sunshine.
I can’t believe that I am actually getting to put this on paper. It makes it truly official; we now are operating as a diaper-free household. We may need a pull-up at night just as a precaution, but these last few nights, even those have remained as dry as the Sahara.
Mother’s guilt, we all have it. Whether it’s from driving through the drive-thru once in awhile, becoming “psycho mom” trying to get everyone out the door on time in the mornings or feeling like you are not spending enough time with them, it’s always lurking. We always feel we could be doing more, doing less, doing better.
As I write this I am looking at my precious little flower who will be two this week. The curl of her hair (the hair I thought she would never get), the curve of her small cheek, flushed endearingly so as she sits quietly content to watch her one true love, Olivia.
Hello Chester. The husband is filling in this week, and well, giving moms and dads a little something to read. That’s right ladies, be sure to hand this to the “most wonderful man in the world” in your life when you are done because I’m talking playoffs this week.
I shaved my legs yesterday. I know that might seem like a little too much information but you see, I figured if I started the New Year off with shaved legs I would be more likely to have nice smooth legs in 2012 than not.
I always tell myself that I love this time of year. The Christmas spirit fills me to the brim and I get caught up in the pleasure of spreading good tidings of great joy and watching the delight on my children’s faces as we bounce from one Christmas activity to the next.
I must have had too much wine with my Thanksgiving meal because for some reason my mother-in-law and I decided that we were going to Wal-Mart at 10 p.m. to start our Black Friday shopping, on Thursday.
It finally happened, I am a grown-up. At least I feel as though I should be considered one now because last week I hit a milestone, a major one in my book, I turned 30. I know, I know I have been “grown up” for a while now: marriage, house, babies and a mini-van all qualify you as being grown up.
We try to dodge the bullet. We bleach, Lysol, hand sanitize not only their hands, our hands, other peoples’ children’s hands, but it is inevitable. The crud will make its way into your house one way or another; you may miss it one year but it seems to know that you’re up for a turn.
Why did no one tell me how hard it is to get two children up, fed, dressed, out the door and off to their respected places of learning for the day? You would think that I would know this, being the mother of a five-year-old and all.
Divorce, I guarantee all of us know someone who has been affected by divorce or who has actually been divorced. Before you all start getting excited about some juicy gossip, no I am not getting divorced, the husband and I are still very happily married, but we both are the product of divorced families.
The Lashley house is now less than two weeks away from some major changes. As you all know the boy will be starting kindergarten in a matter of days, and our precious flower will begin her own exciting adventures at the Goddard School soon after.
In the last few years I have been lulled into a sense of peaceful tranquility when it comes to taking the children out in public. The boy has long past outgrown the days of screaming in outrage when he doesn’t get his way and playing chase up and down aisles at the grocery store.
The dog days of summer have arrived and with it the summer blockbusters. There is nothing more refreshing than being hit with the welcoming blast of icy movie-theater air as you drag your limp, heat-exhausted body in from the Sahara-like parking lot. Not only are you greeted with a revitalizing shot of arctic frigidness, you are also treated to one of the most heavenly scents that will ever travel through your olfactory system.
While opening my mail recently I had the most unpleasant experience. I’m sure it’s happened to you all as well: you get your EOB in the mail, you know, your “Explanation of Benefits” from your insurance company, and you begin scanning down the lists of charges the doctor’s office has made.
I am sitting here listening to the hum of the dryer, wondering what I am going to write about tonight. As we all know, it’s usually about the children, even though every now and again I like to mix it up a little bit and throw something random out there just to stir the pot.
As a child I remember walking down Main Street with ice cream dripping down my arms. We were always racing to catch up to my mother who was leading the way to our own little “village green” where they would have concerts in the summer.
Mother’s Day, a day of flowers and brunches, packing up the car and driving from one grandmother’s house to the other’s; making sure to pack extra clothes in the diaper bag along with the homemade cards full of glitter that manage to stick to every imaginable surface, including your hair (making your co-workers wonder how you decided to celebrate.)
Bonnets and gloves, little purses and sweet little shoes, this is the first Easter where I truly get to enjoy dressing up our precious little girl. The darling one is now 14 months old and bopping around joyously, causing hearts to melt wherever she goes. She has the Queen’s wave down to an art and can blow you a kiss that will knock your socks off.
It has finally arrived, the time that we have been both anticipating and dreading, a milestone that has been reached, an extremely quick passage of time; little man has finally turned five years old. Sometimes it seems that he was born just yesterday and then again there are times when it seemed that we would never get to this point.
As I sat outside watching my children happily play among the budding spring foliage this past weekend, it was hard to imagine the horror and destruction occurring on the other side of the Earth. Last Friday, as we all know, there was a devastating earthquake followed by an even more devastating tsunami in Japan.
You can feel it in the air, it’s softer, warmer and lovingly embraces you instead of taking your breath away and knocking you senseless with gusty frigid winds; spring is upon us and with it comes leisurely afternoons spent playing outside, working in flowerbeds and grilling out with friends.
“Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” is a new parenting book out by Yale Law professor Amy Chua. The book has become quite controversial; Chua’s message that children raised by Chinese parents are more successful than those raised by Westerners due to stringent discipline and unbending values.
While at a recent community meeting, where the discussion was mainly about bike paths and extending existing trails, I had a feeling of dismay come over me. While being passionate is a wonderful trait, and while I am not the one to say who should be passionate about what, I found it very hard to listen to all of this talk of beautification.
“Mommy why did the bad man shoot that little girl? Did his imagination get sick?” This is the question my 4-year-old so innocently asked while watching the news coverage of the tragedy in Tucson. The only response I could manage was, “Yes, sometimes that happens to people.”
I am preparing for a traumatic year. This year will bring big changes in the Lashley home and I am already preparing for sleepless nights and plenty of tears. You see, the little man will be starting kindergarten this year and, if that isn’t enough in itself, our beloved Meme is retiring, which means my sweet little girl will have to go elsewhere while Mommy and Daddy hoof it to work every day (sigh).
We were patiently waiting for Old Saint Nick to arrive. The countdown that began weeks ago was finally coming to an end and the little ones’ eyes were shining more brightly as the days passed. As we drew closer to the big day, I could only hope that we would make it to the New Year without one of the children just truly exploding with joy.
It really is the most wonderful time of the year. Cold weather calls for a fire in the fireplace, twinkling Christmas lights cast a whimsical glow on all that shines and, let us not forget, the familiar music evokes memories of baking sugar cookies and drinking just a tad too much eggnog.
My kitchen table is a collage of my life. At any moment you may find pretty leaves that we picked up outside, a bud vase that houses paint brushes for our watercolors, art projects from school, winter hats, Daddy’s sketch pad and, shock of all shockers, the salt and pepper shakers.
The sounds of happy and excited children were heard all over the Village Green Saturday night at the first annual Halloween on the Green. Halloween on the Green started out as a small idea to bring families together for a safe and happy Halloween and turned out to be much larger than anyone anticipated.
I have been a big fan of Halloween for my entire life. From the time I was a child, I was religious in my pursuit for the perfect costume and the best trick or treat route. My mother always had the house decorated in its spookiest décor, and for many years we had a Halloween “routine” of trick or treating and, once home, beginning the sorting and bartering while we watched the family friendly Halloween movie that was on one of the major networks.
Living with a 4 year old is truly an experience in itself. The daily commentary is priceless and more entertaining than trying to figure out the finale of Lost. Our little man’s mind seems to be full of profound insights, which he chooses to share with his devoted parents on a daily basis. I thought I would share a few with you.
As I sit here writing this, my two beloved children are playing together nicely on the floor. No matter where the big guy is, his little sister is sure to follow. She has not quite mastered the art of crawling yet, but we figure she slithers like a snake wherever she wants to go.
I had just recently found my first gray hair when more were found at a hair appointment at Bondi Blonde (bless you, ladies). When I say more, I mean a whole crop sprouted up overnight. As each foil was placed, I all but shouted for her to cover them up, slather on the blonde to hide my dreadful decline into a matronly future.
The summer is coming to an end and just like that another school year begins. This summer has gone by especially fast; I feel like yesterday was Memorial Day and now here, we are again, waiting for the tax-free weekend and the before-school sales. No matter how short this summer seems to have been, we Lashleys have had a ball. Maybe it has gone by so quickly because we are constantly doing something.
As I write this, we have just returned from the baby’s six-month check up. Six months and I feel like she’s always been here, can’t imagine life without her. She is so cuddly, sweet and happy I can’t get enough of her.
The past five months have gone by in a blur. The birth and my maternity leave are just a memory now. At times I look at the little munchkin and have a hard time remembering her as a newborn. She is full of personality these days, laughing, always smiling and talking to us and just being a little person.