When Breakfast Bars Happen to Clean Babies

At first it’s a little distressing.

And then it’s plain old fun.



Two years ago today I started blogging.  I’m not sure if it’s the blog’s birthday or anniversary, so I’m calling it the blogiversaryday.

It started as a way to keep up with what life is like with a toddler, and now there are two little ones to keep up with.  I’m not at all the artsy-craftsy type, as if I have to actually write that down, so keeping a scrapbook was never an option.  Any activity that requires me to sit, cut, glue, and make pages look pretty is pointless.  I will either stab myself with the scissors, glue all the pages together, or go to sleep in the chair from all the sitting.  I think scrapbooking is an endurance sport, and I don’t have what it takes.

I never thought the blog would last as long as it has, especially when I went back to work last fall.  I almost abandoned it altogether, but I’m glad I didn’t.  I love that I’ve “met”  so many sweet people and found great blogs to read.  I had no idea this ever-growing world was out here, and I’d never read any blogs (except Lincee’s during The Bachelor/Bachelorette shows) until a few months before I started Tater Tales.

For the few who read Tater Tales, thank you so much for stopping by, sometimes leaving a note or sending an email.  I appreciate you so much.

Please treat yourself to a piece of cake or pie, or enjoy a milkshake, a diet coke, or whatever floats your boat today.  You’re terrific, and you deserve it.

And Birthday Makes 4

Monday was Tater Tot’s fourth birthday, a fact that astonishes me because I KNOW we brought him home from the hospital yesterday.

Saturday was the family birthday party at my mother’s house.  My brother, Jim, drove in from Knoxville to celebrate with us.  When Tater Tot saw him, he hugged him for what seemed like an hour.  The boy loves his uncle almost as much as his uncle loves him, which is a whole lot.

The theme for the day was Spiderman.  Here’s the cake.  (Don’t mind the smudge…I blotted out Tater Tot’s name.)

After two bites of cake, the birthday boy was ready to open presents, but he waited patiently while the rest of us old people sat down for a few minutes to enjoy a piece of cake and ice cream.  We finally quit torturing the poor child and started the present-opening part of the party.

The wonderful thing about going to a four-year-old’s birthday party is that everything he opened was followed by, “It’s just what I ALWAYS wanted!”

My mother gave him a butterfly garden, which he’d been asking for since he saw it on TV a few months ago.  It arrived a couple of weeks ago, so by Saturday, the caterpillars had already gone through their metamorphosis.  When we opened the box we found about 7 butterflies just waiting to be admired.  Tater Tot was giddy as he watched the butterflies fly around in their new little home, and he and Jim put leaves and sugar water in for them to enjoy.

Tater Tot decided that they butterflies needed to be let go Sunday afternoon.  He said, “They need to find some of their friends,” so we said our goodbyes and sent them on their way.

Jim gave Tater Tot a “mixer mixer truck” that makes noise and everything.  Tater Tot is fascinated with all kinds of construction trucks, so the cement mixer was a big hit.  He parked it next to his bed Saturday night so it wouldn’t get lonely.

Tater Tot was kind enough to share and let Jim and David play with it, too.

David’s parents gave him a tee-ball set.  Jim took him into the backyard and gave him a few pointers about hitting the ball, and then they played for a sweet forever.  Tater Tot has pretty good aim.  When I went out to watch, every time I moved to a different spot, the little stinker nearly hit me with the ball.

Monday was very exciting for Tater Tot because he decided he wanted to take cupcakes to his “school” and share them with his friends.  I’m sure his teacher was calling me some ugly names since I’d left her to distribute sugary cupcakes and deal with the aftermath.  I don’t know if any of those children took a nap.

Tater Tot, David, and I had the afternoon to ourselves, so we went to see Toy Story 3.  It was as good as everyone says it is, and Tater Tot loved it.  Except for the parts he missed while going up and down the steps 83 times.

We picked up Small Fry and headed home, where there were a few more little gifts waiting for him after supper.  Then it was bath time and bedtime for one sleepy little four-year-old.

Before falling asleep he asked if he could have his birthday again tomorrow since we had some cake leftover.  “We can do it all over again.”

I had to break the news that he had to wait another year for his birthday to roll around again.  That suits me fine.  Because these birthdays seem to be coming faster and faster each year.

Bringing Back Memories

When my mother was in town Wednesday we stopped at an orchard’s fruit stand to buy some peaches.  It brought back a lot of memories.

My mother’s father, “Papa,” had a peach orchard.  I may be a little biased, but they were the best peaches in the world.  Of course, there’s nothing better than a fresh peach.

People could go out to the orchard and pick their own peaches, or they could stop at one of the two peach stands in town.

As part of the family, I worked one of the peach stands for several summers.  It was hot.  The peach fuzz made you itch all the way up to your elbows.  The days were long.  But it paid pretty well, and it was great fun.

People from all over the county stopped by, bought some peaches, and visited for a little while.  My mother brought me lunch and cold drinks throughout the day.  I think that’s when my love of Sonic diet cokes began.

I remember, as a child, going out to the orchard and riding around with Papa to check the trees.  I can still smell the inside of his truck — gasoline and dirt!

We would stop every so often and pick a peach.  People were always telling us how the peaches tasted best.  Pies, ice cream, over cereal, or in a cobbler.  But Papa’s favorite way, and mine, too, was to pick one straight from the tree, wipe it off, and eat it right there in the middle of the orchard.  I remember going home with peach juice all over my chin and shirt.  It was great.

Just before Papa died in 1992, he decided it was time to give up the peach business.  By then he was 80.  He had the peach trees dozed over.

That fall he called me at school to tell me what he’d done and said, “You can be a little sad with me.”  He knew I would miss them, too.  I asked if he pushed every single tree, and there was a pause.  “Well, I may have left one or two down by the lake.”  I wasn’t surprised.  I didn’t think he could push over every one.

It was strange to drive through town in the summers and not see one of the peach stands in their old familiar places.

I miss my grandfather and his peaches.  After he died, I never bought a peach, even though it’s my favorite fruit, until Wednesday.

The peaches Mama and I bought are good.

But they don’t compare to the ones from the orchard of my childhood, grown by a man who loved them so.

Monday Has Hijacked My Friday

Today seems like Monday rather than Friday.  Mondays always overwhelm me, and I’m a little overwhelmed.

Tater Tot’s birthday party is tomorrow.  It’s nothing big and fancy — just family.  But there is the whole planning bit that goes on.  How many people can make it;  the list of things to get;  ordering the cake;  wrapping the presents (which I have not done).

I planned to wrap the presents today while Tater Tot and Small Fry went to “school,” but they’re both home because Tater Tot has an awful cough.  I figured that if I took him to play, someone would call within 5 minutes to tell me to come pick him up so as not to infect a dozen other little children and several adults.  So the wrapping will have to wait until the little ones are asleep.  Of course, I stashed the presents in Small Fry’s room because Tater Tot would never think to nose around in there.  All I have to do is remember to drag everything out before I put Small Fry to bed, and forgetfulness is one of my signature traits.

Speaking of forgetfulness, the pest man came today and we (meaning David, who is home AGAIN) forgot to close one of the back gates.  Then he immediately let the dogs out the back door.  All three — including Zeus, who moves at the speed of dripping honey — took a tour of the neighborhood.  Good times.

One week from Monday, I’ll be back at school for a week of inservice.  I have one week to deep clean the house (again).  I have one week to enjoy getting up at 7:30 rather than 5:30 or 6:00.  I have one week to get myself and the house organized enough to survive the next 10 months.  There are clothes to wash and iron.  There are quick and easy menus to plan and shop for.  There is one week to get the boys on an early morning schedule so the real thing won’t blow their little minds.  There is the constant nag of how to crunch all of the household jobs into a couple of hours a night so things don’t get backed up for the weekends.  It’s all a little daunting to think about, even though I know once we settle into the routine it will all work itself out.

Our internet is on the blink, so sometimes my laptop will connect and sometimes it won’t.  It’s kind of frustrating, but it leaves more time to work on all the things that need to get done.

My normal stress-calming mechanism would be to eat half a cheesecake and drink a tub full of diet Coke.  But, again, my hips forbid me to do it.

I’m hopeful that my Friday eventually catches up with itself.  And I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Just Another Random Thursday

What do you do when you have writer’s block?  Why not write about nothing in particular at all.  I have no idea where this one is going, which doesn’t make it that different from most of my posts.

(1)  The P key on my keypad is sticking for some reason, and I have to really hit the thing hard to make it type.  Until now, I had no idea how often I use the letter P.  Pretty pitiful, wouldn’t you say?

(2)  I went shoe shopping the other day and found a pair or two of cute sandals on sale for half of the already discounted price at DSW.  You can’t beat it with a stick.  I also ran across these.

I realize that wedges are all the rage these days, and some are pretty cute.  Just for giggles, I tried these on.  They were great until I tried to walk in them.  It became crystal clear that it would take me all of 3.2 seconds to break one, if not both, ankles in them.  Check out the pair behind them to the right.  Does anyone remember Yo-Yo sandals from the 70s?  I barely do, and these remind me of them.  I tried those on, too.  What do you know?  It was like trying to walk with yo-yos attached to my soles.  Obviously I am not one to keep up with the latest shoe fashions.  I care too much about my physical health.  I am a walking accident waiting to happen.  I own it and embrace it.

(3)  I received a catalog with the most comfortable looking clothes I’ve seen in a long time.  I think this St. Tropez Knit Tunic is adorable.  I bet you I could live in this shirt and these pants.  And I’d love to think I could pull off this top and skirt, but my hips tell me otherwise.

(4)  My mother came to town yesterday and we spent the day together by ourselves.  It was wonderful.  We did a little shopping, ate lunch, laughed a lot, and had a great time.  I love it when we have a day like that.

(5)  After my mother left, I met my friend, Amy, for a little while at McAlister’s for some laughs and a huge glass of tea.  We both drank ours in about 5 minutes, trying to replenish our bodies from sweating half to death just from walking from our cars to the restaurant.

(6)  Tater Tot’s birthday is Monday.  We’re having a little family gathering at my mother’s house Saturday to celebrate.  This year is all about Spiderman, and Tater Tot might just explode if Saturday doesn’t get here soon enough.  Adding to the excitement is the fact that my brother, Jim, is coming home from Knoxville for the birthday festivities.  I hope he realizes what he’s in for with a four-year-old on a Spiderman cake sugar high.

(7)  Have you seen this YouTube video of the brave baby gorilla?  If you haven’t, it is sure to make you laugh.  Just be sure to watch it all the way through.

Have a great Thursday.  I’m off to some kind of workshop this afternoon that has something to do with computers.  I am sure I will be the star student.  Bwa-hahahahaha!

Involuntary Eavesdropping

Saturday morning, David offered to keep the boys while I took a little time to recover from being at home all week with 2 boys, one of whom was sick.  He didn’t have to ask me twice.  I was out the door by 1:15, and I took myself right down to the movie theater.  Or the picture show, as my Grandmama Maxine would say.

About the only thing showing that remotely interested me was “Knight and Day” with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.  I bought my ticket and a bottle of water (no diet coke — shocking), found a seat, and waited for the trailers to begin.  The movie was showing in one of the smaller theaters, I suspect due to the less than raving reviews of the movie, but the little theater quickly filled up to capacity.  There were 4 seats to a row, and I had the aisle seat, with a family of three sitting next to me.

As the trailers started, the lady’s phone rang, so naturally she answered it and practically screamed into it in order to be heard over what the rest of us were trying to watch.  The other person was screaming, too, so I could hear the whole conversation.  I won’t bore you with the whole thing, but I will tell you that Stephanie got Aunt Barbara to stay with Memaw that night, and that everyone was taken care of.  I know you are relieved, as were the other 87 people in the room.

When she finally got off the phone, her husband told her to turn off her toy.  She hollered that she had to unlock it first, but couldn’t remember how to do it.  It seemed like this went on for a sweet forever.  Much like this post.  At long last, my neighbors settled back into their chairs and continued smacking their extra large bucket of popcorn, brushing their crumbs all over the floor.  And my feet.

The movie eventually started, and I settled into my chair, ready to enjoy the next two hours.  The movie was action packed from the get-go with all kinds of twists and turns and great chase scenes and great stunts.  I thoroughly enjoyed the show.  Except for the parts – almost the entire movie — during which the husband tried to predict what was going to happen next or explain what just happened.  “Oh, look, she’s gonna be behind that door.”  “He meant to bump into her.  He meant to.  I know it!”  “Aw, he’s about to get killed.”

I wanted to say, “Hang on!  The lady two seats over is about to throw her water on you!”  But I paid almost as much for that little bottle of water as I did for the ticket, so I held onto it.

Sometimes it’s kind of fun to hear what other people are saying.

And then sometimes it’s not.

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