Conversations With Bria

Yesterday I found out it might be possible to break someone’s (my) ribs with an ultrasound wand while Ray was in a tiny room with Jack and a doctor. Still, I’m pretty sure he had the worse end of the deal. Dueling appointments at Tripler means Jack is due for a blog update and I’m due for some humor in my life. His update will have wait. I’m still processing our next steps and how he can keep his privacy while I try to explain how far he’s come and how far we have to go. Lucky for me Bria doesn’t disappoint in the humor department. I can’t call them Briaisms anymore though because now that’s she’s five, she just inserts herself into conversations.

Yesterday I was a little over the news. Hawaii News Now feels it’s necessary to remind us repeatedly that President Obama’s vacation here cost $7 million. Ray was watching his evening news and we were having a conversation about what sort of budget President Obama will present. I had a difficult time with the President’s vacation because of the cost in light of our deficit. If my little family’s budget forces us to make difficult decisions about where and if we will vacation. I have a hard time with decisions made by the Obama family. Ray and I were some of those choices made including when as a country we were encouraging everyone to travel to the Gulf Coast and Mrs. Obama chose to head to Spain. Just in the living room having a political conversation with my husband when I said, “I really wonder what sort of budget he will present when his trip to Hawaii costs 7 million dollars.” Out of no where Bria’s voice pops out of the stair well. “Who’s coming for 7 million? Uncle Mike?” I had no idea Uncle Mike had 7 million anything.

Bria has also taken to giving us the biggest puppy dog eyes you’ve ever seen. A few days ago Ray was leaving to take a Red Box movie back. Bria wanted to go. Her seat wasn’t in the Jeep. It was cold and raining. That would mean Ray taking the van. She started giving him the look. It was cute and pitiful. I don’t know how she didn’t crack up. She plead her case for so long with her mouth turned down to her toes and her eyes begging to go for so long Ray could have been to that darn box and back twice. In the end he took her. The next morning I have no idea what she was asking me for. I said no. She turned those big eyes back on. They are pretty powerful. I looked her straight in the eye and said, “That doesn’t work on moms. We’re meaner.” Currently she starts to give me the look and then says, “Oh. It doesn’t work on moms. Daddy!”

One of my all time favorite conversations happened Tuesday. Ray has a friend stationed here that he has known forever. Their friendship forged in Iraq and solidified over years of working together. That sometimes means you go years speaking to someone all the time but you are in two different parts of the country. I don’t know George nearly as well even though after hearing Ray stories, he should be part of the family. George has orders to head back to the mainland so Ray called and said that he and his wife would be coming to dinner. I had some errands to run that day and a house to clean so by the time I got to the school I was a bit of a scatter brain. I was telling the kids to hurry to the car so I could get everything done. Bria must have asked why I was in such a hurry. Now, George is Ray’s good friend but he also outranks him and the kids have only met him at official events like Change of Commands. I was choosing my words carefully. I didn’t want them to call George by his first name. I had a strong case of cerebral flatulence and couldn’t think of his last name. So I was saying “Daddy’s friend is coming to dinner. His name is Captain, Captain, I can’t think of his last name.” Bria says, “He’s a captain! Is he a pirate?” So much for her status as a military brat. She seriously thought Jack Sparrow would be arriving for dinner. I think she had plans to sharpen her sword.


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Happy Birthday Bria!!!

I don’t know how it happened… How did she go from this… My little glow worm

to this…

There is so much that I can say about Bria. Her first birthday rolled around and I felt like she dug me out of a hole. She is my child that goes from the moment she wakes up until about five minutes after she falls asleep. And sleep…she doesn’t that much. She takes care of Jack and plays with him and relishes her role as a little sister to the bigs. She will not be outdone and she knows exactly what she wants and goes after it. She is devastated when someone tells her she can’t do something…like attend a middle school Halloween party. She isn’t afraid of much. She loves fiercely. I’m honored to be her Mama. This girl is going to conquer something…maybe even the world.

Right now one of her favorite things to do is look at pictures of herself… I have many narcissists in this house. It’s taken forever because I couldn’t choose. I tried to grab probably too many pictures and I’m not sure they’ll all show up. Here’s a look at Boo over the years…

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Our House Guest

I understand that once we move to Hawaii we’ll get all sorts of house guests…not necessarily the human kind. We get a few critters here in Tennessee too.
I think I’m in serious trouble. No fear in this one. Good thing he was pretty quick…and Bria is still short. Straight up it is!

Scratch that. I know I’m in trouble! Know idea how she learned the karate kid move…or who it’s meant for other than most likely her mother or the camera.

Speaking of house guests, time for me to get busy. Nana and Papa are coming for a weekend visit. Hoping the rain doesn’t spoil our fun!

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Another Misadventure In Parenting

Every morning things around here are a little bit nutty. Bria is throwing around orders like General Patton. I’m trying to get Jack going and generally hand feed him breakfast. There are lunches to make. While it should be suddenly clear that I could have the girls make their lunches, if I have to constantly remind them to brush their teeth, how are they going to get everything in the lunch box? The big girls are easily distracted by everything. Moving them upstairs means I’m not in their face giving them direction every two minutes. And… we need a better system. It’s often in the middle of this that I wonder why I’m going through the rush. Wouldn’t it be easier to home school? Then I realize that would mean we would be engaged in this dance ALL DAY LONG. No thank you.

Here’s another thing… never compare your children to you as a child. Even in a whisper, Karma will hear. I promise. Karma WILL HEAR. The night before last on the way home from church, the van was getting louder and louder. Big girls find that picking on the little girl is pretty entertaining until the little one gets all of them in trouble. Their evening reading time was taken away. Arleigh was ticked, seriously ticked. She was at a plot twist in a book and was looking forward to reading it. She was in a bit of a tween tizzy. Off to bed mad at me, Ray said something. I made the horrible mistake of saying, “Arleigh isn’t going to do anything to me that I haven’t already tried on Mom.” Never use those words ever, especially if you have more than one child. See, I have three other ones. I’m pretty sure that while I could say that about Arleigh… Hanan and Bria at least are a whole other story. Jack is still to be determined…

So there’s Hanan, my little fashionista. She is always trying new things with her style. Unfortunately right now she’s toying with a grunge bohemian look. She has a fabulous lunch box. It’s a zebra print with her name on it in last year’s favorite color, Blue. It looks like a Memphis Tiger bag which used to thrill her. This week, or today, blue is out and pink is in. She went down the street and for a quarter bought a lunch box for twenty five cents. The dirty pink camouflage lunch box used by another child for years, was apparently a steal. Hanan was so proud of her purchase. I dropped the lunch box in the wash and she used it for a while. Her thermos won’t fit in the lunchbox. Drives me crazy. The kid who forgets everything…like her mother…wants to hand carry her thermos. I let her use the prized possession for a while. I started throwing in juice boxes so things would fit. And let’s face it, throwing in three Capri Suns is a lot easier than filling three thermoses with ice and water. That would take a whole three minutes off my time. See where she gets it from?

Lately I’ve gone back to the thermos. Water is better. Saving money is better. It’s also impossible to get their little soup thermos and that other thermos in Hanan’s pink lunch box. I forced her to take another one. I thought she would see how easy it was and switch back. Carrying everything is one bag would seem easier right? Ummm no. She was switching back and forth. When I wasn’t paying attention, she put the other lunch box back. Yesterday I started making mac and cheese to put in everyone’s lunch. I couldn’t find her little container. I saw the lunchbox at the back of the pantry. Would she really? She knows the rule about emptying lunch boxes as soon as we’re home. She also knows the rule about brushing her teeth. See where this is going?

I opened the lunch box. Smell, not so great. Yep, it’s in there. Oh my word. Soup must have gotten in the seal. I could not unseal it. I was on the phone with a friend. She is telling me no worries. She has her own version of Hanan and she knows just what to do so I won’t have to throw away the $15 thermos. So much for saving money on water over Capri Sun…I can’t budge the seal. Well, maybe I’ve budged it. I sat it down and walked away to finish the conversation. Then I heard a pop, clank, clank, clank. I walked around the corner to see what Bria had done because she’s my go to for things like that. The thermos had exploded. Lid off. Tomato soup on every cabinet and counter top. It looked like a crime scene and smelled worse. Bria was sanding there, eyes big as saucers.

As I cleaned up the mess I remembered another very special thermos. It was new. I wanted to use it all the time. Mom folded and told it fine but do not put any Coke in it. That would be Western KY speak for soda. I did. It sprung a leak. She was ummm, ill. See, paybacks are awful. I do realize that it could have been worse. I make garlic oil. It’s stored in a clear container in the fridge. It has a shatterproof sticker on it that I had never noticed until a few nights ago when Hanan said, “That shatter proof sticker really makes me want to throw that jar and test it.” Oh my word. I’m in trouble.

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The Peek A Bug Whisperer

Bria has always had a fascination with Lady Bugs, AKA Peek A Bugs. I have probably mentioned it before. Her last two birthday parties had a Peek A Bug theme. I seriously say Peek A Bug instead of Lady Bug all the time, even to adults. It’s weird. We also had a problem when Bria was studying the letter “L” at school. It was very confusing to her how Peek A Bug could start with an L. It’s a problem.

A couple of weeks ago Bria participated in a Thanksgiving Feast at school. The school set aside a time for the kids to participate in a feast and hopefully try some new foods. I wasn’t there. Insert a sad face because there are no pictures. She did come home with a feathered headband and a new Indian name. The back of her headband said, “Peek A Bug Whisperer.” So fitting. Thank you Miss Kristin!

This weekend at Grandma’s Bria was living up to that name. There were Peek A Bugs everywhere and every one was a pet. I’m sure when we left they were a little worse for the wear.

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Bria And Charles

This is Bria…
This is Charles. Please try to ignore the fact that he is in fact wearing Bria’s clothes. Long story but I’m really glad that I have this picture to use as leverage just in case. I’m getting to that…
Bria and Charles go way back…
Like to the sandbox back…
This is one of my favorite way back photos. I love how Charles is explaining exactly how long…

This is the Christmas card picture in which Bria is sporting a black eye courtesy of Charles. 
This would be the most recent picture I have of Bria and Charles, taken in the dark in the museum that houses all of Elvis’ old cars at Graceland. Notice how it’s blurred… because neither of them could be still. 

It’s been nearly two years since we’ve lived in the same vicinity as Charles. In the past two years, they were able to visit for a long weekend. We’ve skyped. We haven’t seen them in what seems like forever. You can imagine how surprised I was to hear this conversation this morning.

Bria and Ray were discussing a gathering that would be happening at our house.

Bria: Is Edison coming?
Ray: No honey, Edison’s family had other plans.
Bria: I really wanted Edison to come.
Ray: Do I need to have a chat with Mr. Edison? Is he your boyfriend?
Bria: NOOOOOOO Daddy! Charles is my boyfriend!!!

I am in serious, serious trouble. Bria and Charles together just means TROUBLE. The stuff these two got into together as babies and knowing what they’ve gotten into separately as they aged from 2 to 4 in the blink of an eye. Oh my word! On the bright side, together they might just have enough power to rule the world.  I’m not sure what she would do about the name thing though… Bria Stiff Babcock just does not sound right.

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