Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Political Campaigns, Trains and Discount Chains...

What do these three things have in common? Our first visit from Hoosiers we love involved all three. Hmmm...well, let me explain and perhaps you too will be enticed to visit us as well. We may be small and not have everything but...
Yes, my dear readers, this establishment exists in our little town. As you can see by the boarded up door, it is no longer open. So, it causes me to pause and think, 'If they ain't open does that mean all my needs have now been met?...uh, not quite, but close because my mom and dad (along with Molly) came for their much anticipated first visit this past week. This is what the first evening consisted of...
There was so much smiling and laughing and hugging and snugging that it couldn't be contained. And, of course, in this little house you can't help but run into somebody. So watch out when you come visit, you're likely to get hugged and loved on too! Molly stayed with us while Mom and Dad stayed at the Patrick Center on Presybyterian College's campus. Which I'm sure at the end of the day was a much needed respite from our monkeys.

Many a conversation surrounded the upcoming election. And, of course, we had to tease mom every now and then that if she ever wanted to she her grandchildren again she better cross party lines on November 4th! I have to admit that bit was stolen from Sarah Silverman and The Great Schlep. But I'm glad to report that it may have worked! We'll know more on November 5th. [By the way, don't follow the link if you are sensitive to expletives (aka cussing) - her comedy isn't for everyone.]

Most of Mom and Dad's visit was spent doing simple things. Walks with the dog. Feeding the ducks at the duck pond at PC. Going to Wal-mart in Laurens. Going to church. Touring the different houses we've looked at. Attending a Fall festival in downtown Clinton. Having meals together. But nothing compares to when Mom placed pennies on the railroad tracks in downtown Clinton to get some flattened pennies for the kids...
You would have thought the she had gold for the kids they way they swooned over them! Given that Clinton has 23 trains that pass through it everyday, you too will have the opportunity to smoosh some pennies when you come and visit.

Here are some pictures of our time together...





As you might notice Gavin is strangely absent from most of these photos. He wasn't feeling particularly photogenic during their visit so I encouraged him to take some of the pictures instead. He enjoyed having that job.

It was wonderful to be together and it was hard to say goodbye. We cherished every moment. Now we are looking forward to seeing everyone in November. Until then, its not too late to start planning your ultimate Clinton vacation.
Political Campaigns, Trains and Discount Chains...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Childhood Milestones

So I've brought you all share this childhood milestone with you. I couldn't be prouder of my son. And I'm sure every seven year old boy out there is demonstrating this talent across the globe. The facial expression is what gets me. And in the future, my dear readers, I hope to share more of these glorious moments captured in our little house.

For today it is the illustrious art of armpit farting. I'm beaming...just beaming.
Childhood MilestonesSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wordless Wednesday 10-15-08

A beautiful boule of bread baked by Patrick...yum.
Wordless Wednesday 10-15-08SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, October 13, 2008

Where's my puss?

For all of you who know the punch line, here's to Opal Mae! For those of you in the dark, well you'll just have to force it out of me! I'm writing this quirky little post because I was trolling some of my favorite blogs which many times link me to other blogs that are soon to become my new favorite blogs (help me I'm stuck in an ADD time warp of blog!). Well, here I was hoping to find something I couldn't live without at Design Freebies (my new bff!) and came across the greatest thing for big girls and little girls alike...a Hermes paper purse you can down load, print, color, cut, tape and...voila, you've got yourself a designer purse! And plus, how could I resist it when it's called "The Kelly"? Hermes must have known how cheap I really am but still want to look good too; I'm so honored they named it after me. Honestly, I'm thinking about how can I laminate this bad boy to "make it work"! Also, I see the trappings of a fabulous little girl's birthday party! Woah, somebody stop me! Do you hear my little brain working right now when I really should be in bed sleeping getting ready for another day as Mama of the year? God, I hope this isn't the beginning of some crazed manic phase where I find out at 43 I've been bi-polar all this time. Oh, well, I'll enjoy the ride. It entertains me. Thank God I'm a clinical social worker too, huh?
Where's my puss?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

How do you like them apples?

We actually got in the car and drove somewhere. I know, I know, it's hard to believe considering when we strap our children into our 1998 Honda Civic we have voluntarily entered hell on wheels. Yes, drive any further than 10 minutes with these two and you will know that I write the truth. Torment just does not describe it accurately. I challenge you, dear readers, to leave your own comments in the comment section below just trying to describe it. I double ding dong dare ya'! So, Patrick's on Fall break for a few days and we decide that deserves a little Fall trip to an apple orchard or pumpkin patch. We had been told that there was an orchard in the mountains in North Carolina that was well worth the drive (note: I don't think this person took this drive with two young children in hell on wheels). So, after printing directions off and packing a picnic lunch we headed up the road to Sky Top Orchard in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Once Anna fell asleep (thank you God) we were able to enjoy the gorgeous vistas that driving in the mountains bring you. Friends, I never thought I'd drive an hour and a half for an apple orchard but I am so glad we did. To get up to Sky Top you drive up up up this black top drive that seems to never end but when it does you see why they named it Sky Top. Every family in western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina must have been there, for parking was at a minimum. Once we parked we headed to the barn to get our baskets and start picking. However, we found out that they don't accept cards and we, in our bear of very little brain way, didn't get any cash before we left. So between Patrick and I we had a whole thirteen dollars (counting Gavin's contribution of one dollar in quarters)! So we walked away with one basket instead of a basket for everyone. Gavin quickly commenced to climbing every apple tree he could (so much for protecting his mononucliousis-ed inflamed spleen)
and Anna began picking every apple within her reach.
Being surrounded by the mountains while you picked apples with hundreds of other people wasn't how I pictured apple orchards but it was pretty darn sweet. The only lament I have is that I didn't have my kids dressed like the other parents who planned for those perfect fall pictures. I dressed them to get dirty. Here's the closest I came to cute pictures. The apple was my way of hiding other people who were picking apples that I couldn't "photoshop" out (antiquated computer and all...).
Here's Anna and Patrick sampling the apples...
Our boy, who is half monkey, discovered a new way to collect apples. This was purely by accident but we thought it was pretty funny when he descended one of the trees with an apple in his hoodie.
After paying for our apples and having some hot and fresh (no comments from the peanut gallery please) yummy cinnamon doughnuts we set off for some scenic driving. We thought we'd head to Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. Unfortunately everyone else decided to go there too at the same time. Because we failed to do the complete research "a la Kevin" we weren't aware that it cost $36 for us as a family to get into Chimney Rock Park. To not be able to actually climb to the main attraction of the park (what with a 7 year old with mono and a 3 year old who wants you to carry her after a ten minute stroll through the neighborhood) seemed like a waste of good money. But here's a picture for ya'll to see what we missed.

That body of water you see is Lake Lure. We were planning on exploring the area a little bit more. And in fact, stopped in Chimney Rock Village to check out the Rocky Broad River(it's called rocky for a very good reason). But we didn't stop anywhere else because Gavin's foot had slipped into the river where he was hopping from rock to rock. He was now soaked on one leg...we warned him, but did that stop him? We all know the answer to that one now don't we? Here's a pic of the river...we didn't capture Gavin in the act so I had to use my imagination...

So it would seem all the fun had ended for the Kiley. But let's not be too hasty. At least one member of the family experienced just a little more joy. For on the way home an excursion to Lowes in Spartanburg, South Carolina occurred and mama got her washer and dryer (to be delivered on 10/14/08)! Do you hear the angels singing and see a golden glow in the southern sky? It is a sad sad day my friends when this woman gets excited about having her own washer and dryer. I mean, after all it is the 21st century and all (oh, that's right I'm in Clinton...shh, they don't know about that 21st century thingy yet). Sad yes, but grateful, that in our little house I can do laundry when ever I want and it requires no purse full of quarters for it to work. Joy on Calvert Avenue tonight. I hope there is joy in your home too. Love to all.
How do you like them apples?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

There's hope!

Anna and I attended the first official story hour today at the Clinton Public Library. Trying to get her to leave the house to go was an art in manipulation because I'm convinced she is now officially hypnotized by Disney Playhouse (please, not another nomination for mother of the year, my ego just couldn't take it!). Now before you get excited about me describing the dismal state of our little prison, I mean public, library you'll just have to cool your jets. It's not going to happen. This is about a little book I picked up for Gavin about the United States of America. We've been having a lot of discussions about states since we moved from one to another and are separated (big sigh) by several. So the book is called The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller.
It is so much fun to read! All the states have personalities and there are tons of little side conversations going on all the place. We laughed and laughed while reading it and then it happened. An alternative universe was revealed to us that should make all of us rest a little easier tonight (That is if you, like me, are missing the distance betwixt us. And if you are not, well, just humor me and shut your pie hole...she says smiling sweetly.).You see, in this alternative universe our states are neighbors and we're right above Mexico! Fiesta! Seriously though, it is a great book to introduce the states in an entertaining way. And I discovered there is a game and jigsaw puzzle available too. I thought of Uncle Scott the entire time I read it. I swear he could have written and illustrated it! So hop to it Scott! Erin, crack that whip! We'll be there at the book signing beaming with pride.
There's hope!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, October 3, 2008

WWKD: What Would Kevin Do?

Just as the great (and not so great) leaders of our country and states deliver a report after their first 90 days in office, I feel compelled to deliver a report of my first 56 days as a housewife...SAHM(stay at home mom for those of you who don't "speak text")...domestic engineer or, as I prefer, freelancer. Quite honestly who knows if I can make it to 90 days. There have been many many times when I've tapped my finger on my chin and asked myself, "What would Kevin do?". Kevin, my brother-in-law, is my SAHM/D muse. He, in my humble opinion, has perfected the art of running a household. And since I am a bear of very little brain which can be very distracted I am in desperate need of direction. Now granted, I may veer off in another direction due to that pesky little thing called ADD but I give it my best effort on most days.

Kevin manages to keep his house clean, cook fabulous meals, parent my adorable nephew and niece, squeeze 100 dollars out of a dollar bill, and yet, still finds time to obsess, I mean focus, on pet projects that have varied throughout the years. Many of these projects have been home improvements, cooking/baking (he's quite the foodie), organization, and planning for the future (various aspects - financial, vacations etc). If Kevin has done it you can rest assured he has done the research. Instead of "googling" we have just called Kevin up many times! The biggest difference between him and me (despite the obvious) is that his brain has a lot of "engineer" wiring. Mine, sadly, has a lot of interesting wiring but I got shorted when God was handing out the left brain wiring.

So what have I been doing these last 56 days besides having bouts of tearfulness and great gnashing of teeth? I've been trying to find my inner homemaker. In looking for a way to be domestic and still have a signature Kelly style to it is challenging. Somehow the two words, domestic and Kelly, don't always come together in my little universe. So far, I've managed to go to the laudromat more times than I would have liked -so the laundry is getting done; I pack Gavin's lunch everyday and get him back and forth to school as well as his personal homework director (I might I say that particular job sucks the life right outa me sometimes!); I plan meals everyday and most days execute that plan - they may not be that interesting but they get done; I pay the bills and am the official landlord of St Joseph Street; I've unpacked, organized to a certain extent and tried to make our little house look like a little home. And, of course, every day is a day with Anna which creates many mama opportunities. So what am I obsessing about, I mean focused on right now? More room...a bigger house...seeing family again and planning for our visits...buying a washer and a dryer (BTW, Kevin, could you do a little research on that for me? Wink, wink)...finding a church that is right for me and the kids...finding OA meetings I can get to again...the economy...the election...oh, and finding myself in all that.

So here's to Kevin, the man who really should be blogging about his domestic prowess and writing a book to save all us right brain "freelancers" who don't have a clue how to domesticate anything! I will continue to look to him for inspiration and guidance as I trudge this road of happy destiny.
WWKD: What Would Kevin Do?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Crazy little thing called Mono

Gavin's been home the last two days with a fever related to the mono. It was really bad yesterday. Last night around 9pm he woke up crying. I went into his room to check on him and he was talking crazy - I really think he was having hallucinations due to the fever or dehydration. He was talking about his back "singing" and he wasn't going to sing. I brought him into the living room and Project Runway was on. He pointed at the t.v. and started crying and screaming something unintelligible - so obviously we turned the t.v. off. Perhaps it was commentary on this week's designs. He continued to say he wasn't going to sing and he wished his back would stop singing. He had this terrible look of fear on his face confirming that it was very real for him. That sufficiently freaked me out! He's much better this morning and back to his normal self which consists of tormenting Anna frequently. I wish he was in school today actually but we're "homeschooling" for a day. Right now they're watching Nick Jr. I'd be the worst homeschooling mom. All I can say is thank God for public education!
Crazy little thing called MonoSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend