Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Those dang pinchers

See this baby?

She's pretty darn cute, right?

So this cute baby and I did the unthinkable today. Well, 'unthinkable' may be a strong word....let's instead say we did something today that I've been dreading: we went to the store. (Do you hear the creepy music playing in your head yet? Well, you should. This is pretty creepy stuff.)

Yes, she's been to the store before now.
However, she has NOT been to the store and sat in the buggy, carrier free, before today.
To those of you non-mommies out there, you may be wondering what the big deal is.
What's wrong with taking the baby to the store?
I'll tell you what's wrong: it seems that the minute the little is out of the carrier, people feel as though she's suddenly fair game for cheek pinching and chin tickling.
 Today THREE complete strangers proceeded to pinch, touch, pat, and rub on my Holly Belle.
I swear one lady was two heartbeats away from kissing her had I not resorted to my infamous 'don't even think about it' look- you know, the one that came in so very handy during my days as a high school teacher. 

Don't get me wrong,  I'm all for people admiring my little one....from a far. Admire her, wave at her, and please feel free to tell me how cute you think she is.
However, I draw the line at touching.
What makes random people think it's ok to get in my baby's face and touch her at will?
Would you walk up to an adult and touch as you please?
I certainly hope not.
(Not that any of you reading would ever do this-- I know you're all way too cool for acts such as this. :) )

We all have our pet peeves, and this is one of mine. There are germs out there, people! And while I'm not anywhere near what I consider germ-aphobic, I'm also not ignorant to the fact that strangers carry more germs than the people I know. I mean, that is proven, right? Ok, maybe not-- but it certainly seems that way. There's all kind of scary stuff out there, and I'd really prefer to keep it all as far away as possible from Hollyn's cheeks.

I know they're squishy and appealing.
 I'll even go as far as to say they're begging to be pinched.....by me....at home.
Not by strangers at the store.

I love new people.
I love my baby.
I just don't love new people touching my baby.

Don't worry folks (here's where you can push 'pause' on the creepy music player)- next time we head to the store, I think I'll make Hollyn a sign to wear...it'll look something like this:

Hopefully, this will do the trick and help the strangers keep their pinchers to themselves.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Father and Child

I don't do this often, but I'm entering a photo challenge this week, seeing as how when I originally posted this photo on my blog, the ladies went nuts! So, here it is again-- in case you didn't get enough the first time. The theme is 'father and child', so what could be better than this?

Five days

Last week was bliss.
 I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I come from a very small family. I'm an only child and have a mere two first cousins. However, I prefer to see this glass as half full and make the most of the wonderful family I've been given, no matter how small it may be. And rockin' the small family means visits as often as possible. So, last week we packed up everything we own (ok, not really- but it seemed that way) and headed south to Louisiana, because six kids are far more relaxing than two.
 In all seriousness, it was fabulous and just what I needed to refill my cup. There is just something so comforting about being surrounded by those who know your history.

 It was the vacation to top all vacations.

It was the vacation where Libby spent five days doing this:

.....where I spent five days loving on this cute little fella......
......where I spent five days seeing this every time I looked out the window.....

....where I spent five days oodling over my cousin's birthday present....

....where Libby spent five days playing dress-up with someone who loves it just as much as she does.....

......where my grandmother spent five days in her very own version of heaven on earth.....

....where I spent five days fulfilling my overwhelming desire to get a dog....

....and where Hollyn spent five days being welcomed to the family.

And it couldn't have been any better.

Here's hopin' you rock the family visits every chance you get.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fun Ways to Keep Your Kids Writing This Summer

So you want to know how you can keep the kiddos writing this summer? Well, you've come to the right place. I wrote an article about that for Blissfully Domestic. You can find it here. Hope you enjoy and stay tuned...I got a post coming up that I think you'll enjoy. In the meantime, happy Friday!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

5 thanks- July

'Ole Neg' (that's Mr. Negativity for you newbies out there)
 has been practically beating down my door this month.
I blame it on a combination of summer heat,
a lack of vacation funds,
and not enough coffee.
And it could possibly have something to do with the
'I'm five and know all there is to know about life' blues as well...
and perhaps a little to do with the non-sleeping, albeit super cute baby, who lives in my house.

Either way, it's been a rough one.

There has been many a day lately where I've wanted to pick up and run for the hills.
However, I know I'd want to come back as soon as I was out of kissing distance.
And I'm not much of a runner.
Plus, you can't run in flip flops,
and these babies aren't leaving my feet until it's so cold that
I'll be both physically and socially uncomfortable sporting them in public.

That being said, it's time to focus on the good stuff
and be thankful for all the things that are oh-so-very-wonderful about my little life right now:

1. The anniversary date

I've mentioned my wonderful mom a time or two, but did I ever mention that she's a babysitter extraordinaire? She gave us THE MOST PERFECT GIFT for our anniversary: a baby-free day. I am firm believer in the notion that every once in a while, every mom needs a break-- a break from the responsibilities and the diapers, the bibs and the apple juice pouring, a break from the one billion questions and the peanut butter and jellies.

So, the question of the hour is how did we spend our baby-free day? Simple. We did as little as possible.
We got out of town (our town is so small that unless we want to drive around all day or go to Wal-Mart, this really is non-optional) and headed for the nearest bookstore. As nerdy as it may seem, bookstores are kind of our thing. We go in in the morning and come out in the afternoon. We love the quiet and the coffee smells. We enter holding hands and then part ways- perhaps casually passing one another as we each search for something fascinating, or at least eye-catching, to fall into for a few hours.
It was magical and exactly what we needed.
Time with this one does my soul some good....even if it's spent doing a whole lot of nothing.

2. The Kara visit

Speaking of good for my soul- oh mylanta, you just don't know. She speaks my language. She gets my jokes. She eases my worries and makes me laugh so hard I almost wet my britches. We had the best of best visits, stayed up way too late giggling, and begged for more time to be together. I love my best friend. If you don't have a Kara, stop reading and run right out and getcha one. But be warned-- one this good will be tough to find.

By the way, in the spirit of 'we do everything alike because we're all but one person', Kara is expecting her very own baby number two. Little Boy is about the same size as this here bowling ball, and I already LOVE him.

Love- you know- like the way Kara's little one and my little one feel about each other.

3. Mercy Watson

In case I haven't mentioned it lately, the Libster is QUITE the little reader. And we have both fallen madly in love with this new book series by Kate DiCamillo. If her name doesn't ring a bell, she wrote Because of Winn-Dixie, which I happen to adore.

She also wrote these:

They're Libby's first chapter books. It may not sound like a big deal, but when your baby progresses from early readers to great big chapter books, it's big stuff, at least it is at our house.
These books are so stinkin' cute and completely age-appropriate. And not only are the illustrations a work of art, but they're laugh-out-loud funny. If you've got a little one in your life, I highly recommend them.

4. My new bling

Ok, so it may not look like much, especially considering I should be shot for posting a picture with such terrible quality, but this is my newest prize. I had some grown-up stuff to take care of tonight, and when I got home to the 'daddy daycare', Libby had this waiting for me. She made it ALL BY HERSELF....she told me she even used red beads because she knows red is one of my favs, and the M is for both Mommy AND McCall. Bless her little bones. Not only is it hott stuff, but you gotta love the kid for thinking my neck is small enough to fit into this. Oh, I heart that little girl.

5. My hair

Alright- you caught me.
I'm not actually thankful for my hair.
 In fact, it continues to be my big, frizzy nemesis.

However, I AM thankful that it doesn't look like this:

Obviously, things could definitely be worse, and for that, I am nothing but overwhelmingly thankful.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oh so popular


This week my college's alumni blog is featuring one of my posts. Head on over and check it out. I ADORE my Alma Mater....maybe you will too. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

I interrupt this broadcast...

....to say that we're in Louisiana, or at home- as I like to call it, visiting family. I'll be back soon and promise to have lots of pictures and the funniest of funny stories to share. 
However, right now I'm super busy doing things like this:

....you know- the super important stuff in life.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Seeing Pink

So, in case day-to-day life at home battling the heat with two babies isn't enough fun for all, H decided to spice things up a bit....by getting pink eye. It started out in one eye and then jumped on over to say hello to the other.

And in case that wasn't enough, she can always count on her big sis. to make sure there is never a dull moment....because how on earth would we manage even a moment without drama of some sort? Some days I can't even remember what that's like.

Poor little pinkie can't catch a break.

Here's hopin' the pink eye hits the road STAT-- we're hoping to head out of town in a few days, but no one wants a crusty-eyed baby sleeping in their guest room.

Happy weekend to all! Hope you see much less pink at your house than we do at ours.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Who Needs New York?

Since she was a wee one, the Libster has had an undeniable love for one thing: dress up.
Other fads have come and gone, but to date, this is one is here to stay.

What is it with girls and our desire to be someone we're not?
A princess, a fairy, a bumble bee, a rock star, a cowgirl.....

Why is it not enough to just be who we are?

 I mean, don't get me wrong- there's not much that's cuter than Libby sporting pantie hose that are two sizes too small and a backwards cat costume, but still I'd love to think that she'll one day be content to be nothing more than Libby.

My wish for her (there are many, but I try to limit myself to one wish per post) is that she, unlike so other many great girls out there, will ultimately be happy with herself.

One of my biggest fears for her as she prepares to start kindergarten this fall is the idea that little girls are mean, plain and simple. They say hurtful things, pull hair, whine, tease, and yell. They point out anything that can pass as a fault and pick, pick, pick until someone cries.
They're hateful, cruel, and down-right no fun at all.
I don't think it matters if you're the most beautiful, brilliant, fabulous girl out there, the truth is the truth, and being a girl is tough stuff.
I'm dreading the first day she comes home crying about being teased and picked on at school;  I know it will chip away at the ticker in my chest.
But for now, I sit and do the only thing I know to do: I love the heck out of her and try to instill in her that she is wonderful in so many ways, no matter what anyone might say.

I want her to love herself despite her half curly, half straight, all messy hair that she inherited from yours truly.

I hope she can be proud of the fact that she's sillier than most and can outsmart a Rubik's cube...at age four.

I pray she'll be able to laugh at herself when she trips and pick herself up when she falls.

And I hope she'll be able to see that she is one heck of an amazing kid despite what society will tell her she's 'supposed' to be.
I know this won't last forever; her days of dress up are limited, no matter how much I hate to admit it.
Until the day when dress up is no longer 'cool', I'll keep my camera handy and try not to complain about picking up the ump-teenth pair of 'fancy shoes'.
And until that dreaded day comes, you'd better move over New York- here comes Libby- the coolest five-year-old I know.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Beat the Heat

I'm not sure what you're up to this summer: vacationing, sailing, kicking back, working hard-- who knows. I don't know where you live or what you enjoy, dislike, or love dearly. However, I'm willing to bet that no matter where you are or what you're doing, we can agree on thing:
it sure is hot these days.

Here's what we've been doing in our feeble attempt to beat the heat.

* we've been going through water balloons like ravenous beasts.....

..... and secretly hoping we get hit with every single one of them

* we've been staying as wet as possible...

....and slippin' and slidin' 'til our little bellies are bruised....


....but we have fun anyway

* we've been eatin' popsicles like they're going out of style...

... and we even let the little one in on the action

...and in case there was any doubt, she loved every slurp

Here's hoping you and yours have as much fun attempting to stay cool as we have.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Former Me

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named McCall.
She had big blue eyes, big golden curls, and even bigger dreams.
She was often funny and somewhat interesting, and had the world at her fingertips.
And then she grew up, got married, and had kids.

Bye bye free time.
Bye bye 'me' time.
Bye bye social life.

Ok, so really it's not as dramatic as all that.
However, life sure does change when you have kids.
I mean, people ALWAYS told me this, but I never believed them.
I mean, I knew it would change in obvious ways: sleep, house, daily life, etc.
What I was not nearly as aware of was that having kids literally takes your life, inserts it into one of those Christmas snow globes you may or may not love, and shakes the ever living stew out of it.

Sometimes, when I'm not busy changing diapers or force feeding my baby with a spoon (still a work in progress), I take a mental step back and barely recognize the person I've become.
It's not that I don't like this grown-up version of me, it's just that she's so different than the me of days gone by.  I know the 'former me' is in there somewhere, sometimes begging to come out, but right now she's up to her elbows in "no" and "stop that" and can't come to the phone.

Here are a few "former self" loves that I simply can't seem to fit into my schedule these days:


I miss seeing the world. I miss hotel rooms and airplane rides.
 I miss the art of packing for one and traveling free from the ninety pounds of this and that a baby requires for even a one night voyage. I miss not having to schedule my time away from home around naps and nursing.
 I miss walking all day and taking in more than my mind can comprehend in one twenty-four hour period.


I live on a whim.
I'm the kind of girl who randomly gets an idea and loves to act on it.
It calls to me in the night and beckons to me all day until I finally give in to whatever it may be.
This hasn't stopped with the onset of kiddos, but it HAS gotten way more difficult to shut the whims up and make them go away and even more difficult to actually act on them.
Need an example?
Latest whim: playing the guitar.
After months of begging and pleading with the Mister,
I finally convince him that my life will just not be complete without a guitar.
I get it.
We start to bond.
And then I get pregnant again.
Bye bye last five remaining minutes of daily free time.


I miss sleeping in and not feeling guilty when I wake up.
I miss having nothing on my planner and staying in my pajamas all day by choice and not because I literally couldn't find a moment to squeeze in a shower.
I miss sipping coffee 'til noon and reading an entire book in one beautiful, uninterrupted sitting.
I miss days when the most important, pressing thing I had to do was watch The Real World on MTV.


I'm not necessarily referring to the kind of road trip that takes you far away;
I'm talking about the kind that randomly takes you to the movies or the store late at night
or across town in search of the perfect whatever.
I miss being able to pick up and go when the mood strikes.
 I miss living in a way that was unplanned and unstructured, or at least a way that allowed for such living.
I miss lazy afternoons turning into grand adventures.


I miss my girls.
I miss giggling 'til I almost wet my pants or 'til someone shoots Coke out of her nose.
 I miss talking about absolutely whatever instead of who's potty training.
I miss girl trips for spring break and getting all dressed up for a night of who knows what.
I still see them from time to time, but it's not nearly as often as I'd like,
and it's never without the feeling that I need to be home with my new girls....
you know, the ones who call me 'mom' instead of 'Mac'.

However, no matter how much I miss the old me, I am happy with the updated version.

And I mean it when I say I'd happily trade all of  that for some of this:

And a whole heaping spoonful of this:

Being a mom may not always be glamorous, glorious, or filled with glee.
In fact, there will be days that are no fun at all.
 There will be times when I question whether or not I'm really qualified for this and whether God really gave me the patience I'll need to make it out alive.

However, there's a joy that comes with this adventure that none of those old adventures can even dare to compete with in any way, shape, or form.
And to put it simply, trading that life for this life?
Well.....let's just say I got the better deal of the two.

Friday, July 2, 2010

My Beloved is Mine

Tomorrow is a big day in our house: the anniversary.

It's the day we celebrate not only that we are married
but that we still love each other after another year has been added to the stack.

And this year has been a big 'un;
the surprise pregnancy brought
the surprise baby brought
 the surprise major readjusting and new daily juggling.

And with new surprises comes new responsibility.
And we all know responsibilities are not always the most fun of all.
However, responsibilities are better when shared with my one and only.

If you've listened carefully, you've heard me say this before:
I respect this man like no other.

I think that's how I knew he was THE one and not just the NEXT one.

 He's smart like no one I've ever known.

He loves God and reminds me on a regular basis to do the right thing.

He holds me accountable
and knows how to tell me I'm wrong in just the right way
so that instead of getting mad, I get inspired to do better.

But bigger and better than all that, he GETS me.
He doesn't try to change me or mold me or shape me.

 He's ok with
the fact that I'm not always the neatest kid on the block,
the idea that I sometimes get so engulfed with a project of sorts that I forget what time it is,
the notion that every so often I'm just downright grumpy and need a minute (or many),
the concept that I've been known to talk on the phone for hours at a time,
the thought that I need girl time on occasion,
and the theory that I like my music louder than most.

He accepts the idea that we don't and won't always see eye-to-eye.
But, we've gotten pretty good at the whole communicaton thing,
and I like to think we're a nice balance:
I'm more of a talker, and he's more of a listener.

He's also one heck of a good daddy to our little girls.

There is just something magical about the way my girls love their daddy.
It's like their little hearts were designed with a "my daddy is the most special person on this planet" button that he somehow managed to push at birth when I wasn't looking.
To say they adore him is such the understatement.
I guess I can't blame them; I happen to adore him as well.

He comforts me in a way I've never knew existed.
He's like the world's best paci, blankie, binky, and lovie all rolled into one-
and he belongs to me.

I think he deserves a trophy some days for putting up with me....well, us.
To be honest and lay it all out there, Libby is me in little person form.
And some days, she's a handful.
Yeah, that would be me.

So, in theory, he's getting a double dose of me....with a scoop of Hollyn to serve as the cherry on top.
For while Libby is me made over, Hollyn is Lee.
Lib and I ride a roller coaster through life-
we know every emotion there is-- sometimes all in one day.
Yet H and Lee know two: fine and furious.

And even though Lee is so different from me and Libby
that it's sometimes hard to fathom the notion that we're of the same species,
he's learning to see life from our perspective...
or at least learning to fake excitement when he knows we need it most.

He never ceases to surprise me.
And I am so in love with the fact that even after all this time,
 I'm still learning new things about him.
We are NOT old hat-- In fact, I believe we're just getting warmed up, folks.

From the outside looking in, many will say and some have already said
that we seem like we don't add up all that well, 
 but I disagree.
For you see, whoever it was that said opposites attract.....well, he was talking about us.

This fella is so my kind of funny.
And his little kid grin makes my heart go pitter patter.

So 'baby cakes', here's to you and me.

We're another year older,
another year stronger,
another year closer,
and another year US.

And I meant it when I told you that YOU are truly one of my greatest gifts.
Thanks for being my better half and for loving me so much it hurts.
You are my beloved, and my beloved is mine.