Saturday, September 22, 2012

less of me



He’s had a cough.




Only I didn’t know it.


The joys of being a deaf mother.


Mr. Daddy told me in the morning, that he’d been up with the kiddo and gave him some medicine sometime in the wee hours.




Mommy guilt.




She was in front of me in line at Target.


She had an empathetic look on her face, said something, and gestured in my direction.


I assumed she was indicating the plastic separator-bar-thingie she’d placed between our items.  I smiled and said, “thank you”.


She looked puzzled and shifted her glance behind me.


My hearing aid registered a loud and rhythmic sound.  Even Itty Bit twisted around to see the source.


A toddler was pitching the mother of all public fits – scream sobbing at his mother with face and fists full of 3-year old rage.


I mentally repeated the sounds the woman in front of me had said.


Poor kid.


I gave myself a virtual head-palm and realized she had been talking about the fit-thrower, not the conveyer belt.


And I’d said, “thank you”.



Dumb.  Dumb.  DUMB.







On the weekend.


I turned to see my father-in-law standing in the entry chatting with Mr. Daddy.  They were both looking at me.

I breathed a sigh of relief that I was bedecked in a guest-worthy TWO undergarments and they were both appropriately not visible!  However, the poor man may have walked in to hear me singing.

I have no idea how long he’d been standing there talking while enduring that torture.


Dumb.  Dumb.  DUMB.






Bang.  BANG.  BANG.


I couldn’t locate the source of the sound.




And exactly 52 minutes later the mystery was solved.


A smoking hot piece of pumice retrieved from a freshly dried load of laundry.  Thanks kiddo.





He loves it.





And it warms my heart.





I’ve passed on my love of reading to him.




His teacher tells me she is impressed at the level he’s reading.


I beam inside.


My kid’s a genius, right?


(Go ahead, chuckle.  You’ve been reading this blog, haven’t you?)



But her next words deflate me.

She has no idea.



But he seems to have picked up your accent.



And just like that, the words fall hard in front of me.
















Is it true that we all feel a measure of pride in seeing a bit of ourselves in our children?  Or that we fondly hope they will be better versions of ourselves?



Instead, I’m the mom who sleeps through his coughing.  Answers strangers in stores with answers that make no sense.  Sings away while company stands ignored.  Can’t figure locate the loud noise that might be destroying a major appliance.  And cannot teach her boy how to say words.


If this sounds like a poor me post, it’s not.  The realities of parenting with a disadvantage sometime suck.  And this week brought some harsh reminders.


In this way, I wish he had less of me.




My plan of attack includes a secret weapon.


Swapping Talk About My Occupation Day for teaching a classroom full of first graders sign language is bound to make Itty Bit less self-conscious about his momma signing to him in front of others.

Because sign language is FUN for 6-year olds.  Heck, sign language is fun for all ages.  Including this particular 3-year old.  See?


(Standard apologies for the video voice apply)


I am blessed.


All of this parenting thing needs a lot of prayer.



I guess I just need a t-shirt for the rest of the world around me.



Sunday, September 16, 2012

what’s in a name



I tried…




But this was just begging to be posted.


In the world of social media, one must always be mindful of how your information might appear, no?


I did an Etsy search for “thumbtacks”.  (The reason why is a whole ‘nother post… and never have the words, “I have a blog and I’m not afraid to use it” been so tempting.  Methinks the blog will be used soon…)


And this was the result of the THUMBTACKS search:



While YumYumButtons might be a darling shop name; one should always make sure they know how many characters are displayed.


There’s no way I could explain a $8.50 payment to “yumyumbutt” to my redneck husband.  This would cause all kinds of 12-year old snickering… and would be retold multiple times with unfortunate audiences.  This post here is a preemptive strike.


That’s all.


I feel better.




Saturday, September 15, 2012

So I’m just full of apologies



#1.  Sorry for the delay in getting the giveaway winner posted.


#2.  Sorry for being a dork trying to figure out the Rafflecopter thing.


#3.  Sorry that you have to read through the apologies to see who won.


#4.  Really sorry if the winner wasn’t you.  But seriously… remember she has a 10% off code: GIVEAWAY.  Go get yourself some happy.


#5.  Sorry… but I just can’t publish a post without a picture.




#6.  Sorry if your mom gave you underwear in front of your boyfriend many years ago.

(Thanks Mom… I’m still traumatized).


#7.  And I’m sorry for the awkward pause here now.


#8.  No apologies to this chick:  Kandi, you won the Atticus&Cole giveaway!  Congrats!  Would love to hear back from you after you pick out your prize!


Thanks for playing!  Don’t forget that 10% off code here!

And now for more awkwardness… someone *ahem* JULIE posted this photo on Facebook, and the conversation turned to insanity pretty quickly.


squirrel costume


While everyone else was nuts about the picture, it nearly triggered a kung fu smackdown later in our house over the debate of whether or not acorns were nuts.


Help me out here?



#9  I’m sorry I subjected you to that disturbing squirrel picture.




Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Redneck Dance Contest



In which I feel the need to compulsively apologize for my Minnie Mouse voice and apparent lack of volume control

(in all fairness… the BULLDOZER is what my lone hearing aid picks up and amplifies 1000x… so the silly deaf chick assumes it’s that loud for everyone else too.)




And since I just embarrassed myself by hysterically screaming,


on my own blog… would you mind consoling me by knocking this giveaway out of the park for the new Etsy artist who offered a sweet prize to one of you?  Closes tomorrow night!


Seriously… we tried to make it so easy you wouldn’t even need coffee to get ‘er done!

Comment, tweet, Facebook, blog… all right here :)  Thanks y’all.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 09, 2012

her birthday


(Would you guys please go check the giveaway?  There’s only 12 entries and I think it’s because people may have been having trouble with Rafflecopter?  It’s the first time I’ve used it… and I would rather re-start the giveaway if it’s not working?  No account or Facebook login needed – just an email address so I can contact the winner.  Anyone want to test it for me here?)




So it’s been almost a year.




So hard to believe.


I think it feels so unkind sometimes.  The way life keeps moving on.


It’s not as if time makes it hurt much less.  I think it turns wounds into scars that ache instead of bleed.


In many ways, her death was peaceful.  In pain here, to stepping one breath away into her reward.


Her daughter is here now.  Filling Mom’s kitchen with jars and jars of canned peaches.  Her granddaughter helps her.  Her great-granddaughter has grown two inches and just made the varsity volleyball team.


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See what I mean about life moving on?  The hole gapes.  Mom’s laughter is missing from the four generations as they slice the peaches and stand over the hot stove that she prepared decades of meals from.

I grieve for Itty Bit.  For what he’s missing.

There’s nothing like a grandma who makes you feel loved.




Marrying into the family didn’t make me feel any less loved.  She was just one of those people.  Go grab an extra plate and bring it to the table.


A year brings a long time of

Mom would have loved this.

Remember when?

How did Mom do it?


The house is different.

Absolutely everything could have been exactly the same.  Yet, the person who made it a home – it feels as if she’s stepped out and we are somehow still waiting for her to come back.


Her kitchen window overlooks our yard.  I still catch myself starting to wave as I leave in the mornings.


There’s so much to be said for living well.  For investing in others.  For hard work and a happy spirit.  For being willing to let God use you in a million big and little ways.



There are just so many reminders of the loss.


In some ways… it feels as if we are all riding alone now.







So happy birthday Mom.  We miss you.  We love you.



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Saturday, September 08, 2012

I Heart Faces– Summer Fun



So we didn’t quite get a vacation this summer.


No pool time.

No beach time.


But a whole lotta oncology/radiology/waiting room time.


Reminds me that the real fun of summer is who you get to spend it with!


We didn’t have to go far from home to find the fun.  Tearing it up through a backyard of 40,000 acres meant the kiddo got some driving experience under his belt.

I think Daddy might be a little nervous about that 6-year old’s skills, though…






What was your summertime fun?


Photo Challenge Submission


Don’t forget to head on over to our Atticus & Cole giveaway! :)

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Atticus and Cole giveaway


Because Blogger won’t let me put punctuation in the title… let me throw in the exclamation points here!!!!!!!  Super duper excited to finally get to do this – because y’all know how much I love Etsy and right now I’m just surrounding myself with as many happy things as possible.


But first…

the obligatory First Day of First Grade picture.  The kid pretty much only keeps Momma around to do laundry and dole out gummy vitamins.  Can you believe that apparently the mere sight of me in the doorway elicits this mortified reaction?!?





I couldn’t be offended, because I was laughing so hard.

Seriously… the poor kid!




(His sweet deskmate has no idea what to make of me.  I may or may not have been making monkey faces and speaking gibberish.  I fully plan to do this for every single first day of his entire scholastic career.  The lifetime benefit of childbirth payback :)





Now… onto the reason y’all are really here.  A GIVEAWAY!

(insert jazz hands)


Introducing Kimberly from the Atticus & Cole Etsy shop!


I first stumbled across this:


(all pictures are clickable links)

…which was all kinds of happy.  It originally had space across the bottom to customize with a special date or name… and I loved the doodling and asked her just to fill it in.  This pretty thing is at my desk right now – making me smile.


So after I fell in love with that… I happened upon this sweetie and it kind of sort of came to live with me too.



That “wish” reminded me of my favorite saying and I asked if she could do a custom piece.  She didn’t know what she was in for… who knew mustaches could be so much work?  It truly was a labor of love :)





Somehow I managed not to ruin her fingers or enthusiasm with it, and convinced her to knock out a truly custom piece… a fun punch of color for our otherwise neutral family room.




Seriously… how cool is that?!?  She rocked the outline and I’m smitten!



Kimberly has generously offered one of you lucky ducks a hoop art piece from her shop! (Would it be poor form for me to enter my own giveaway?)  So let me introduce you guys to the artist herself:


What kind of art does your shop carry?
A: Atticus & Cole has hand embroidery art of all kinds. Lots of hoop embroidery art, but also embroidered onesies, napkins, canvasses & more. I will be adding some new stuff soon. Oh, and there are also girls hair accessories listed right now.

(She also does some pretty cute embroidered jewelry!)


Do you do custom requests?
A: Yes! Some of my favorite projects have been custom work.

(I assume that means she has forgiven me for the mustache.)


What’s your family like?
A: Crazy! Oh, that wasn't what you were looking for. :) I am happily married with 2 beautiful kids, 1 girl & 1 boy. I couldn't be more blessed. But, it is crazy. All the time. We live in the mountains of NC (beautiful) and have 2 dogs and 1 cat (which probably adds a good bit to the craziness). Enzo, our cat, acts like he was raised with lions.


Any funny human tricks you can do?
A: I've got nothing.

(I, for one, refuse to believe that a person exists who doesn’t have one… I vote that her kids get to answer this question :)


Greatest accomplishment?
A: My kids. Does everyone say this? It's true though. Sure there are other things, but they pale in comparison to how proud I am of my kids.

(She sounds kind of awesome.  Like she wouldn’t humiliate them with monkey faces and gibberish at school…)


Hobbies/favorite charities?
Well, embroidery for one, obviously! I like to sew, but am too impatient for patterns, so I just wing it. I also love to read and run. And the Lupus Foundation is my favorite charity. It hits close to home, and thus is close to my heart.


(Love talented people who have a passion.)


Would you rather swim across a river that is filled with crocodiles
- OR -
spend the night on an island where man-eating tigers live?

(umm yeah… totally blowing raspberries at King Julien for that epic Battle of the Blogs win :)

A: B, spend the night on an island where man-eating tigers live. I feel like I would have a better chance of hiding and using my brains to evade them, whether I would be able to or not is debatable. I do not want to be stuck in the water where I can't see what is around me and I know I couldn't out swim them. I have snorkeled in murky waters before and was terrified!

(Personally, I think she already lives with Enzo the Lion and knows how to tame him… she’s got a leg up on all of us!)


I can vouch for the fact that she is just as fun in Etsy conversations and I hope that you guys enjoy her shop as much as I do!


Don’t miss this… Kimberly is offering a 10% off code for you guys!  Enter GIVEAWAY in the checkout for your super-sekrit deal!


Check out a few other favorites:










owlcanvas art for little adventurers






For a priceless way to save those precious drawings (from a certain embarrassed little first grader), I love her embroidered children’s artwork!



Now I’m totally on the hunt for the perfect family drawing where he doesn’t make me look like the Michelin Man…


And when I saw this…



…I was reminded of the annual school picture I take of Itty Bit out by the monkey tree.  Cute little crazy-haired silhouette!



Itty Bit would like to please direct your attention to the super-cool glasses with the lighting bolts behind the ears.  His mother would like to please direct your attention to how tight those little buggers are and the fact that she is convinced they are squeezing his brain and causing a temporary compulsion to ignore everything his mother says.  Oh help me, I hope it’s temporary!



So… the rules.  I love when bloggers give you a million ways to enter.  For this prize, the only mandatory entry is that you visit the Atticus & Cole shop and tell us your favorite item.


Heart her shop for another entry.

Like her new Facebook page for an extra entry.

If you’re a follower of Once Upon A Miracle… BAM, another entry.

Want to blog about it?  Leave us the link and get FIVE entries.

Are you on Twitter?  Tweet for two more entries daily!

No pressure… bonus entry for following us on Twitter here.


And if you’re game for some Extra Credit…an entry every day for your favorite school prank memories.  And if you were more the Principal’s Office type… an entry for every tale of your scholastic antics.


See… we make it easy for you.  And we’re trying out Rafflecopter (yippee), so bear with us if things look wonky for a bit.  Until Friday!

Don’t forget the GIVEAWAY code to use for 10% off!


Go forth and enter!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Fast Forward



As in… tomorrow is officially Itty Bit’s first day of first grade, so this is the long overdue post of where on earth our summer went.


And to prove that we actually did have a summer… 94 degrees HOLLA!



We’re in the 80’s now, with some gorgeous lawn crisping going on.




Anyone recall that crazy redneck parade that happens here every year?

The one that Itty Bit ADORES?


Man… I totally jinxed the “I’m not going to cry before my baby goes back to school” thing when I went back looking at parade day pictures through the years.



          (you know you’ve been around here for awhile when you remember this

original introduction of Itty Bit’s double eyebrows!)




(you might think the noteworthy thing here is that he could still fit into those glasses and hat the next year.  but women everywhere will understand when I say, Thank You Jesus for that little head!)




What on earth would make a kid freak out like that?  Umm yeah.  The same thing as last year and the year before and… ad nauseam.






Are you guys getting this?  Because the dude has a busted foot and he’s driving that monster with a CRUTCH on the gas pedal.  Holding the crutch with his right hand and throwing candy with his left.  We live dangerously around here.


And who doesn’t love a good ol’ burnout?




That might have had something to do with why we had the obligatory horse-that-sidepasses-the-entire-parade.  Remember this one?




Speaking of horses.  Remember that super-sekrit post about our neighbors and their *ahem* questionable horse smarts?  (Caution – that post is also otherwise known as The One Thousand Ninety-Six comment Facebook status, no joke.)


Well… I’ve tried to catch them on video a time or two while they are “training” their horse to dance.

I can respect culture… I just can’t handle watching someone tie a horse down and beat its legs with a stick to make it “dance”. 

This post wasn’t supposed to be a downer – but watch what happens when these guys see me standing there with a camera on the parade route? (Because they quit hitting the horse every time they see that camera otherwise):


Go ahead… just watch the expressions – dare you not to giggle.



heeeyyy!  I’m in a parade!  Isn’t my horse gorgeous?






Wait a minute.  I know you!


Hey guys.  Guys!  Don’t look over there.

It’s that crazy woman with the camera.  Don’t look at her!






And just because I can.  Seriously… look at their faces!



Scared of little ol’ me?  Pshaw.




Back to the craziness of the redneck parade.  Does yours have random Darth Vaders and biohazard suit guys on bikes?



Or the parade grand marshal, Chewbacca?



Or GRANDMA?!?!  Yeah… in the red shirt with the puppet :)






Next on the list was the county fair.  Where Itty Bit forsook all other rides and only wanted to bounce.


Don’t you love it when you get home and you realize that there is a whole story going on in your pictures and you had NO CLUE at the time?  The guy running the trampoline was a hoot!





Then somebody had a birthday.



If you guessed Itty Bit, you’d be wrong.  The man of the house is the one who can’t stop quoting Kung Fu Panda.




My parents write the funniest stuff on giftwrap. (Remember the legendary one?)



“We luv u, Son, and you can have our Bud-Light”


I promise, we didn’t let Itty Bit drink it.


In fact, it’s still in the fridge.

It’s just wrong to drink alcohol from your parents, right?


And in ultra-redneck news, check out the celebratory plate…


Mom, that was a chocolate ├ęclair with a candle, right?

And some kind of smoked salmon hotdog thingie?

I’m still kinda disturbed.




I reeeaaaally wanted to get these for Mr. Daddy’s birthday:


(squirrel insanity here)




Then we hit up another county fair.

The difference between state fairs and county fairs is right here folks:



Them are some first class hogs.




Mr. Daddy shelled out 30 smackeroos for Itty Bit to win a $5 Minion.



A creepy McCreeperson guy dressed as a geriatric Captain America approached Itty Bit at that junction.


I thought, “duuuude… six-year-old with a sharp object… creepy guy… you’d better run


But the thirty bucks?  Worth every penny.






I promise, not much longer…



Another important element of redneck fairs?  The antique tractors.


Picture #1:  He makes vroom vroom noises.



Picture #2:  He discovers the seat is wet.





Small town summer days include the fire truck showing up at church.



Honey?  Better get away from…




Oh Butter.  Ohhhhh Butter.




And on a beautiful day when Mr. Daddy had saved up some energy – we hit the harbor for some fun.



(remember Dana telling the whole world that Mr. Daddy had crabs?!?!)


and then Mr. Daddy had his fingers smashed approximately 42 times by a miniature hammer in the kid craft zone.


Gratuitous gun show shot.  You’re welcome.





But the real fun?


Was another kiddo outgrowing a toy.


And not being able to keep a secret long enough for us to get a proper helmet for a certain thrilled speedster.





Umm yeah…

we found a full racing helmet pretty darn quick after this:


(Gas engine + gravel = crash.  It was only funny because he and the fence and the quad were ok!)




So if you lasted this long – 50,000 OnceUponAmiracle points to you!  And a special freebie entry into our super fun giveaway coming soon!  Remember to enter AS YOU WISH in the upcoming contest entries!