Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I can't even...

The day Bode found out that the kindergartners at Oakdale were doing a play, he came home and said, "Mom, can you make sure we are in Disney World on December 17th because I am NOT going to be in the puppy dog play."
The next thing I know the same kid, who just last week clung to me like a leach when I tried to take him to children's bible hour at church, is singing the solo in said play. (It will come as no surprise that they threw Mia in the show for good measure and turned the song into a duet.)
And when I heard my two kids singing on stage I died, then I left my body, went to heaven, heard angels singing, came back into my body, and then came to consciousness. I may or may not have had a slight overreaction.
Just a couple of months ago this kid refused to go to school and initiated a stand-off that made me question my own will to live.  
Now, he loves his friends, loves the cafeteria food, and loves dodgeball days in P.E.
He couldn't be happier.
And I couldn't be more relieved.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Rude Awakening

After spending eight days in Disney World where the the temperature was a perfect 80 degrees, we came home to find out that hell actually did freeze over. You haven't lived until you've tried to leave your house in an ice storm and instead rolled backwards down your street while your children are in the backseat screaming that they don't want to die. It's. Awesome.
However, I will not let a measly ice storm cast a shadow over our perfect week in Florida. So perfect, in fact, that I actually ran into one of my best friends (and the glue of our small group) who moved to Virginia last year and I've been missing like crazy ever since:
 Three peas in a pod:
 Mia was one reason this trip was so awesome. This girl is in the zone in Disney World.
And this kid was finally tall enough to ride the coasters, which thrilled his Father way more than it thrilled him:

 Going on a trip like this with ten people is no walk in the park, but as I've always said, "With enough coffee anything is possible."
 Mia happened to be picked for every show, every parade, every possible opportunity to be in the spotlight, this girl was in it:
And Bode can still sleep anywhere, anytime, and in any position. "I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him." (For real, after having Mia I prayed my next kid would like to sleep.)
 These two little punks rode Tower of Terror about ten times.
After our 5th trip to Disney World my one piece of advice would be to hire my husband to plan your trip. The man is a Disney Nazi. And I mean that in a good way. His obsession with efficiency, navigation, timing, planning, and most bang for your buck is strangely awesome.

He's already planning our next trip. It's kind of a problem. A wonderfully exciting problem.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

How to pack for 8 days at Disney World.

1. Put everything you own into some bags.
2. Go buy a bunch of stuff you currently do not own and shove it into some other bags.
3. Hand each of your kids a backpack and tell them to fill it with everything they want for the plane ride there and back.
4. Don't even think about looking in said backpacks or you'll just end up screaming, dumping it all out, and packing the stuff you want them to bring. ("Why no, son, you can not take all the leftover Halloween candy and 52 action figures. However, you can bring these nice books I bought for you and a shiny, red apple")
5. And for yourself: Earplugs, earbuds, earmuffs, a giant wad of that ticky tack stuff, whatever you can scrounge up to drown out the children on the plane would be good.

Despite the anxiety attack that I had trying to get us packed for this trip, I can't wait.

See you on the other side. I am sure to weigh 5 pounds more and be completely unbearable for at least a month. Sorry I'm not sorry.

Monday, November 25, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Disney....

Friday we head back to the happiest place on earth. I wish I didn't actually believe that last sentence and had just used it for ironic emphasis, but I totally believe it. Disney World is the happiest place on earth - go ahead, judge me. 

Because I'm already in trip mode and have basically already mentally checked out of, well, life, I can't really think of anything witty and amazing to blog about. However, I have read some great things lately and wanted to share.

Don't be fooled by the super cheesy title and artwork for this book - it's a very good bible study about the friendships of women. I have really enjoyed this and I plan to give this away to lots of people for Christmas. If Jen Hatmaker will write something then I will read it, it's just that simple.

I did this study with a group of students at OC. I honestly had no idea what to expect, because, you know, sex. However, I thought this was an excellent study and was so blessed to lead this. I would recommend this to young adult/teenage students.

I just finished this book. I have always prayed that my kids would never make a split decision that would ruin their lives. This book pretty much plays out what happens to parents when their kid does just that. Geesh, this was stressful, but I couldn't put it down.

And another terrifying child murder mystery. This one is way more sad than scary about a mother who is determined to prove that her daughter did not commit suicide. A real page-turner.

Mia has insisted that the entire family wear matching t-shirts on this trip to Disney. As much as I love Disney World, I have never been able to stomach wearing Disney clothing. But when a sweet little nine-year-old designs a family t-shirt, you wear it with pride and just a little embarrassment. 

Just a little. 

Okay, a lot.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Well, it has been a week.

Times are rough around the Lashley house these days. Times. Are. Rough.
The kids and I woke up sick Tuesday. Because Andy and five kids in Mia's class had strep recently, I got meds called in for the three of us and went on my merry little way.

This is Bode hanging his head over a pot of boiling water so he could breathe. 
This is the picture of desperation.
And then Mia just got sicker. And I started to entertain the idea that my killer mom instincts may have been wrong this time. So on Friday I drug this little thing to the doctor to find out that it's actually the flu. Ooops, my bad.

And before you ask, OF COURSE WE GOT THE FLU SHOT!
Just the word "flu" sends me spiraling into this crazy panic mode. I start racing up and down the aisles of Walgreens, heart pounding (mostly out of my desperation to get in a full breath), shopping cart speeding, arms just sweeping things into my cart with reckless abandon. 
I'm a mother who got it wrong, whose instincts failed, who feels kinda stupid. It's a bad combination. As punishment I got to pay $200 for three Tamiflu prescriptions. It was too late for tamiflu to do Mia any good, perhaps that's my silver lining - the sickest one saved me $75.
It's like war-times over here - we're waving the white flag, ready to negotiate a deal, making promises we aren't sure we can keep, sacrificing our dignity just to survive.

In ten days we are leaving for Disney World. One way or another.

Monday, November 11, 2013

I suppose I can't expect you to understand how awesome this show was...

Maybe posting 756 pictures will drive home my point: This was such a fun show and a wonderful experience for me Mia. 
Every person in this production was so gracious to all 40 of the little rug-rats that were running around all over the place.
 Every time Alyssa got near Mia her heart skipped a beat (or was that mine?). After the first show Mia said, "I think Alyssa is the most famous person I know."
The children's' director, Saint Vanessa: How this lady didn't loose her cool about nine million times I'll never know.
 I told Mia that if she learns to sing like Alyssa I will personally dye her hair any color she wants.
Mia is so blessed to have these girls in her life. They have come to see her in every show she has been in since she was four years old.
 Cast Party Cake:
 Mia's voice teacher, Miss Kristin, had four students cast in this show. She was so sweet to come and support them.
 Mia's teacher at Oakdale, Mrs. Branson:
 It's kind of nice when your students are cast members in the same play as your daughter. You can basically threaten them to take care of your child and show her complete favoritism at all times. 
Reagan asked me to let her know when the next show is so she can play violin in the pit. She also stopped a complete stranger in the lobby to point out to them that they had just used an idiom. Shy she is not.
I am sure none of the directors, cast, or crew read this blog, but just in case: Thank you, thank you, thank you for blessing Mia with this show.

In true Mia fashion, she cried yesterday because she missed the cast and wanted the show to run "for at least, like, 3 more months or something."

Sweet girl.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like showtime.

Mia's latest adventure is the OC Homecoming musical, Joseph and The Longest Name for a Show Ever.
This is such a fun musical - think operetta meets rock concert. Also it only runs for one weekend, and it's a mile from our house, so, basically, it's the greatest show to ever exist.

Her sweet Uncle Jeff already sent her flowers.
 After four musicals, you come to expect this kind of treatment. 
When she saw these she said, "Make room on the dining table because, you know, it's show week. 
The little diva.
The other day at school they were supposed to dress in 80's clothes in honor of red ribbon week. I can't really figure that one out.  Maybe it's because we have the 80's to thank for the whole crack-cocaine thing? Whatever the reason, I was thrilled for an excuse to force Mia to wear one of my home-made dresses from 1986.

She has no idea what I have in store for her when it's 90's day....

Thursday, October 31, 2013

I think I'm going to throw-up while simultaneously crying. This won't end well.

Today I ran out the door at 7:28 to try and get to the new sunrise chapel at OC by 7:30. I wanted to support the students that have put it together - because they deserve it.

In order to do that, I slapped Mia's vampire make-up on her face, ran to Bode's room for 2.9 seconds to see him in his costume, and on the way out the door I yelled over my shoulder to remind Andy that the Halloween parties start at 2:45 and I can't come this time because I have a bible study at 2:15, and he will have to be the mom, and to be sure and start at Bode's class and then go to Mia's because it's Bode's first class party and he needs you the most, but don't forget about Mia because she needs you too.......

And then I started crying. And I haven't been able to stop.

I swear sometimes I think I can't do this. This whole working mom thing. This whole mom thing. I feel guilty when I'm fulfilled by my work, and I feel guilty when I love my kids more. I feel guilty when Andy has to do the laundry, and I feel guilty when it takes a ring around the toilet to remind me that it needs to be cleaned.

And don't even get me started about graduate school. If you remind me that I chose to do this, I might end your life, accidentallyonpurpose.

I used to do laundry on Wednesdays and clean on Fridays. Now I do bible studies on Wednesdays and more bible studies on Fridays. It's good, meaningful work, and I am proud of it. But I was also quite proud of my clean house and my clean underwear.

When will this whole life thing get easy?

I don't like to get on rants about how hard it is to be a woman. But, dang, it's hard to be a woman. Your heart is always in two different places.

I remember when Mia was first born, lying in bed listening to Andy talk to one of his buddies on the phone. They were talking about the new movie they just saw, and the book they were reading, and the new album that just came out. And I burst into tears because I had nothing going on but this little crying, pooping, bundle of stress and complete joy and I couldn't imagine ever getting to watch a movie again in my entire life.

And today, I'm crying because I have more going on than I ever wanted - most of it good. And the thought of sitting still long enough to see a movie doesn't even sound fun anymore.

We tell each other all the time that we can't have it all. But the irony is, we have no choice but to have it all sometimes. Not all of us have the choice to be an employee or a mother or a student or a mentor or a leader or a domestic engineer maid.

I guess what we need to tell each other (and ourselves) is that we will have it all whether we want it or not. What we can't have is perfection. That illusive b**** that dangles itself in front of us and whispers in our ear that we are almost there...that if we try just a little bit harder we will get it.

Perfection is the devil that is trying like crazy to keep us from experiencing grace.

Today it almost won.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween is over. Thank goodness.

Halloween gets so overdone around here that by the time the actual day rolls around I'm so over it.  In fact, I started thinking about it and realized my children have never actually trick-or-treated in their lives.

I see this as a victory.

There's trunk-or-treat at church, trick-or treat in the OC dorms, and a costume parade at school. I declare that enough for one holiday.
Leave it to Mia to be a demented looking vampire. Although I'll take this any day over a princess.
OC trick-or-treat is like a huge college reunion. If that college reunion were in a tiny, cramped hallway of your old dormitory. Which it is.
 Mia's friends are sweet things like sock monkeys and Mary Poppins.

 The boy cousins had a Star Wars theme this year. At the rate these little nerds are going, they will be dressing as Star Wars characters for at least ten more years.
 Halloween costumes are cuter the smaller they are. Case in point: Cohen as a shark.
I would say I love Halloween because I get to pilfer through my kids candy buckets, but let's be real, I'm a grown up now and I can buy myself candy whenever I want.

And I do. A lot. Like, almost every day. Ok, fine, every day. Fine, multiple times a day.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I think I can sum  up our life the past week or so via Instagram pictures.

I accompanied Bode's class to the pumpkin patch. In true Oakdale fashion there were more adults there than children. 
Bode has turned into quite the politician. He spent the entire trip high-fiving, winking, hand-shaking, back slapping, and fist-bumping his friends. It was equally creepy and adorable.

My child officially came in last place at the Oakdale Rocket Run. I was a little under the weather so my sister came to town to run with the kids. She said at one point they were so far behind that their wasn't a single person in view from any direction. If you know Mia this will not surprise you one bit. She's much too busy daydreaming to care about a silly race.

Ringo thought he was the bombdiggity the other day when he realized the batteries on his shock collar were low and he could blow right past the invisible fence.

He spent the rest of the day locked in the garage, so the joke was on him. Sucker.

Life has been busy but so, so blessed.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My Latest Reads

Continuing with my obsession with terrifying memoirs I read this little ditty about growing up inside Scientology. I'm not about to open up a religious can of worms on this blog, but, yikes. Yikes, yikes, yikes.

I re-read this book just to try and conjure up some more strength to survive living with Mia for the next nine years. Every parent of a girl should read this. It's so spot-on. This book inspired Tina Fey to write the movie Mean Girls. Yah, it's that depressing.
 Next on my list is Wiseman's companion book, Masterminds and Wing Men. All about boys and their weird relationships with each other.
If anyone wants to start a support group for Moms of girls (or guys for that matter), I'm in. Because, geesh, sometimes this parenting thing really blows.