Bats! meow…

creating, living, loving – all in a long black skirt

Shaking in My Docs

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October 16th, 2013 Posted 9:50 am

I admit to several slightly irrational fears:  clowns;  monkeys;  the smell of toothpaste [don’t ask].  If you’ve been in earshot anytime within the past 18 years [essentially since I found out I was pregnant the very first time], you’re well aware of another – the biggieRAISING DAUGHTERS.

Princesses

Don’t get me wrong. I love these little she-monsters will all my heart. But, having been raised in a house full of women [one mom, one aunt, two sisters, and me] plus my father, I know how difficult we can be.  Yes, we. I won’t pretend I’m not part of that equation.  I did breathe a sigh of relief when the first two children were boys, but I swear my heart stopped for an instant when Eric looked at Ravynn’s [of course she didn’t have a name until she was three days old, but that is another story for another time] ultrasound screen and announced gleefully, “that’s a girl!”  That is was.

Oh my!

I was sure the first decade would go well. But I knew, without a doubt, somewhere not long after that, lurked the crazy.  It happens to all of us, without fail, only in different degrees.  I expected it to hit my house with a vengeance, especially when less than a year later we welcomed another wee princess.

It’s only a minor exaggeration to say I’ve been living in fear of their 11th birthdays.  Ravynn celebrated 12 not long ago Whisper is looking forward to 11 in February. I do see a little crazy waiting for us in the years ahead. Two girls making a path through their teenage years [and high school] at essentially the same time can’t leave anyone entirely unharmed.  Mama included.

Indeed!

Fear of this has kept me from agreeing to the much requested slumber party. Until this past weekend.  I must have been feeling brave when I agreed to let Ravynn invite her friends over.  She is one of a triad of friends.  Three very similar young ladies.  Similar enough that I didn’t notice the addition.  They cleaned up after themselves; they said please and thank you; they were sweet.  I had intended to spend my time doing things that would keep me out of their way – because isn’t that what you want at a slumber party?? – but they kept coming to get me and asking if I was going to watch movies or eat with them.

Very sweet, but quite unexpected.

That first sleepover went so well, that I gave in when she asked to schedule another one tonight.

I suspect I may be the crazy one.

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Giveaway!!

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October 10th, 2013 Posted 11:55 pm

We’re running a a Rafflecopter giveaway!!!

Come on over and enter to win a fabulous Trick or Treat bag from Bats! meow…

 

 

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Posted in Awards

I May Be a Hypocrite

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October 9th, 2013 Posted 10:00 am

Driving through town to pick up Jordan from an event at the library, Whisper and I were jamming out to the radio.  Really. Dancing, singing, letting our hair blow in the breeze.  We’re manic station flippers and were bouncing between stations, leaving the second we didn’t like what we heard.  For the most part, we agreed on the decisions we were making.

Until.

“If you can’t hear what I’m trying to say
If you can’t read from the same page.”

Ugh.  Whisper immediately starts singing along. Horrified, I immediately reach for the radio. I’ll admit, my sweet little princess threw a bit of a temper tantrum.  The song is catchy, but it’s not that good…  “We do NOT listen to that song.”  My rule: Forbidden Music.

Not too long ago, Eric set a similar rule.

“So la da di da di
We like to party
Dancing with Molly
Doing whatever we want
This is our house
This is our rules”

Yup. I like that one too.  In theory, I even like what it says. Short of that one little reference. You know the one, right? Well, that’s the one that moved it to the Forbidden Music list.

It’s a relatively short list. Two songs from all the decades of available music and they’re both current!  Amazing.

Just the other day, Jordan scolded me for not turning off the radio when the song, “Pumped Up Kicks” [Foster the People] came on.

The story of a high school student intending to take a gun to school and shoot his classmates…

“All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You’d better run, better run, outrun my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You’d better run, better run, faster than my bullet.”

 And then a favorite from a CD that Ravynn and I are both super fond of.

This is not a well adjusted relationship…

“I used to love her,
But I had to kill her
I had to put her six feet under
And I can still hear her complain”

Then this one. There really are no words for how much I love it.  In fact, it’s almost a family joke that this will be my first request when Jordan brings his iPod in the van.

“I am the Tin Man, who the ___ are you?
Do you know how badly your blood will clash with that shade of blue?
Has no one clued you in that in this land there is no scarier
Answer me or so help me I will crush that ___ terrier”

So yes. A hypocrite. Verified.

I’ve always been really comfortable with my double standards.  More than I should and enough that it really annoys a lot of people. But, I insist you can learn more about people from the exceptions they make than by the actual rules they say they live by.

I’ve said no to the date rape anthem and to the “praise” of illegal drugs by someone I did hold up as a good kid and a decent role model.  At the same time… school shootings, murder, and well… more murder by a character from a beloved childhood movie all make the cut. Even I wonder what it says about me.  Not being one to really enjoy comedy at all, I can pretend it’s the comic elements in each of these songs. Or at least the tone that keeps them from being taken seriously.

But it’s not.

After some thought, I imagine it’s more that I know all girls are potential targets for date rape.  And it kills me to admit that. I want to imagine my kids are safe and sound at all times. All humans are potential drug users. But I see less than a fraction of a chance that my children will become murderers.  The other Forbidden songs illustrate real-world threats.

Maybe I’m not a hypocrite afterall…

…but I probably am.

 

 

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We Bought Stuff

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July 18th, 2013 Posted 7:48 pm

A lot of stuff.

Friday evening, we [Eric, the girls,& I] drove around town and the topic of yard sales came up.  Since I had a Saturday morning off, we could all go together.  That’s been a rare thing for a good year or so, so I was really excited. Knowing this journey was bound to be special, I set about creating intent for the day, asking each person what they REALLY wanted to find through the day.  I wanted pretty mugs and teacups that I could repurpose into candle holders.  Whisper wanted shoes – specifically tennis shoes. Ravynn wanted clothes. And Eric was hoping for witchy/pagan items, either for as-is use or for crafting.  We wished it, we saw it, we had faith.

The first few stops we made were underwhelming.  Set up for collectors and VERY overpriced.  I did find a pretty pendant that can be resold after some “cleaning”.

I was very successful in my quest to pick up mugs for candlemaking [now, I need to get to work candlemaking!].  See the 11 mugs that we found:

I didn’t pay more than 50¢ for any of them and most were only a quarter. So… umm… yeah!  I’m excited to put them to use, but am mindful of the tasks that must be completed first.

We also, with dancing and giggling, found bundles of silver and gold metallic candles. They reach past the edge of the photo, but all the  taper candles you see here were picked up for 50¢.  Yeah us.  Also a set of candle sticks with a Japanese symbol on them, a VERY retro candle holder [this is Ravynn’s purchase] and a taller candle stick that will mesh perfectly with our overall home decor.

One [??] of the major finds of the day [we actually picked this up at two separate locations].  Tons of loose herbs, stick and cone incense, and a little “herbs” plaque.  All picked up for roughly $6. Woo!!

Eric had been saying, during the drive where we set our intentions,that it had been MONTHS since he’d found any decent STAR WARS offerings.  Well, lookie here.  Some ships, a figure or two, a lot of books, magazines, and several badges from SW Cons.

Catering to our inner geeks, we found these items.  Books on Authurian Legend and the prophecies of Nostradamus.  A classic Link/Zelda game. A Game of Thrones card game. And comic books featuring Superman and Aquaman.  Yes Aquaman – squee!

In addition to the pagan-appropriate goodies found above, Eric lucked out with the crafting wish as well.  Several faces [eww!], some plain wooden boxes, easels for displaying his artwork, and that grey case is full of paintbrushes and will give him a good way to store/carry the others he already has.  The Needlecraft book is for Ravynn, a gift from a sweet lady who was touched that someone so young was so excited about counted cross stitch.

And we found clothes.  The girls are especially pleased with the tennis shoes, flip flops, and Blondie tshirt.  They don’t quite understand the awesomeness that is CBGBs :)  There was also a fedora, a white baseball cap, and a Notre Dame baseball cap that didn’t make it into the picture.

Here is the big Bats! meow… find.  Almost 45 pieces of  punk jewelry found for a good price. These will be seen again in a booth display and on the website.

Here we have the “as is” selection of pagan finds. Decorative pieces, vases [one that Eric and I both decided looks like The Goddess”], a giant spider ornament, candle holders, coasters, wall decor, a gorgeous Russian-themed plate, and various rocks/gems.

A walking staff. Just gorgeous. I can’t wait to see it after Eric personalizes it.

I was waiting in the car when this purchase was made.  It freaks me out a little and a I made Eric put it in the back of the van for the drive home. Yes that’s where the kids were, but it didn’t freak THEM out. I understand it’ll be used in an art project [but it does look super amazing at the top of that walking staff].

The “other stuff”.  Backpack, conditioner, bubble bath, journal, thingie to strap and iPod to your arm for running or biking, stickers and writing paper, chopsticks, and seeds.

And a size 2T Colts jersey. Perfect for the dog, who was so exhausted from the walking we did she couldn’t even raise her head for a picture.

Overall, I call the day a success.

A huge success.

 

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22-28/365 [Take 2]

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February 26th, 2013 Posted 1:47 pm

One of my goals for the 101 in 1001 Project is to complete the 365 Project – to snap one photo a day for 365 days. I’d started this last year and did very well, but fell off track when Eric took the camera to Burning Man in August.

Here we are. Starting again.

022/365 – Sunday, 17 February 2013
This is what a temp of 104.2 looks like :(  Nurse Circe to the rescue.

023/365 – Monday, 18 February 2013
Cilantro for the evening festivities of making paneer

024/365 – Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Happy Birthday sweet baby Pip!

025/365 – Wednesday, 20 February 2013
The book report poster – Edgar & Ellen Under Town

026/365 – Thursday, 21 February 2013
The day’s mail! Two from Moscow :)

027/365 – Friday, 22 February 2013
Morning snuggles.

028/365 – Saturday, 23 February 2013
Adjudication. We were busy. I admit, I did not take a photo today, but I’m sharing one sent to me by Ana Hunter.  Her daughter is dancing with Alek.

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And the Oscar…

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February 25th, 2013 Posted 10:07 pm

I go through phases with the Oscars.  Either I watch every moment from the very first mention of the red carpet hours before the actual event or I read about the awards the next morning over my coffee.  Typically my interest level is directly related to how much I love the movies up for awards. This year… I don’t believe I’ve seen more than a handful of the movies and have little interest in watching many of the others.  My family is, quite honestly, disgusted with my apathy toward Argo, Les Mis, and Life of Pi…  They are likewise disturbed by my great need to own Lincoln and Django without seeing more than a brief preview.

I found a great pleasure this year in watching the red carpet with Ravynn and Whisper and choosing our favorite dresses.  Here are our top 5 favorites.  In order, no less…

#5.  Amy Adams

#4. Charlize Theron

#3. Reese Witherspoon

#2. Stacy Keibler

#1. Kristin Chenoweth

No, I wouldn’t WEAR all of them, but they are beautiful.

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10 Years with Pip

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February 19th, 2013 Posted 6:06 am

Whisper Mania

Ten years ago, my sweet Whisper Mania joined our family.  Eric and Jordan came to to the delivery room with me.  Alek and Ravynn stayed with Grandma.  We’d been scheduled for induction at 6am.  The nursing staff didn’t believe me when I told them labor had already started, so I just let them do what they’d planned and allowed them to marvel at how well everything was going.

I’m nice like that.  It was kind of a bonus that they left me alone for the six minutes between the start of active labor and her birth.

She’s been a lovely last child.  Like the rest of them, she’s come with her own unique set of challenges, but also her unique set of blessings.  She brings us an incredible amount of joy.

But…

The coming of her 10th birthday is throwing this mama into a bit of a freak out.  My BABY is about to be in a double-digit age bracket.  Babies aren’t 10.  Little kids aren’t 10.  Big kids who are almost teenagers are 10.

Overdramatic? Maybe, but it feels valid. And a little painful.

Whisper agreed that if we allow her to turn 10, she’ll stop there for awhile. How sweet of her.

She’s nice like that, but I suspect the draw of 11 will be too strong to resist.

 

 

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Posted in Daily Life

I Love This Blog

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February 18th, 2013 Posted 11:57 am

Sadly, I don’t have as much time as I’d like to read other blogs.  There are a few that I wouldn’t dream of missing – even if I do play catch up every 2 or three days.  I wanted to take this time to award them the “I Love This Blog” Award and encourage them to keep going!!


Kids Running Wild was created by my cousin, Rhonda.  We had tons of sleepovers when we were little and she played piano at my wedding, but we hadn’t talked for years before we found each other on Facebook.  While I’m not a runner [and don’t expect I ever will be], I love the tips she gives for getting and keeping kids active.  I’m also a big fan of her feature, “What I Ate Wednesday.” :)


Kate SeRine is a friend I’ve known for many years.  She worked with Eric and then a few years later, we all worked together for a different employer.  My kids call her aunt and her kids call me aunt.  We’re family.  I love so much to watch her success and to KNOW how deserved every bit of it is.  I’ve read the first book in her Transplanted Tales series and I highly recommend it.  Looking forward to reading the rest of the series [and anything else she sends our way].


b’longa’b is another cousin of mine. I met her only a few times in our young lives, but we connected really over [you guessed it] Facebook.  We did have a chance to meet for lunch once – that lunch lasted over 7 hours because of how much we had to say to each other.  Her blog is an extension of that conversation.  I laugh, I empathize, and most of all I learn about her and about ME.


 

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15-21/365 [take 2]

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February 17th, 2013 Posted 3:12 pm

One of my goals for the 101 in 1001 Project is to complete the 365 Project – to snap one photo a day for 365 days. I’d started this last year and did very well, but fell off track when Eric took the camera to Burning Man in August.

Here we are. Starting again.

015/365 – Sunday, 10 February 2013
To be fair, someone else took this picture, but the camera was on its way to Ohio for Houston Ballet auditions.

016/365 – Monday, 11 February 2013
A Valentine from Whisper

017/365 – Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Ravynn stealing MY soy milk!!

018/365 – Wednesday, 13 February 2013
I am sick. I need nothing but tea :(

019/365 – Thursday, 14 February 2013
Ravynn did her hair and dressed in red for Valentine’s Day :)

020/365 – Friday, 15 February 2013
Home for a sick day, I put on thick socks. When Whisper got home she joined me.

021/365 – Saturday, 16 February 2013
Pierogie!!  Ravynn was a wonderful help.

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Posted in Daily Life

Seeing is Believing

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February 16th, 2013 Posted 6:25 am

Out and about in Anderson, we’ll still run into people who recognize us from Wife Swap.  While that surprises me [Teen Mom is also filmed in Anderson and Amber could sit on me and I still couldn’t know her], I’m more surprised that they feel they know us from a 60 minute episode – 15 or so minutes that were devoted to commercials, and 20 or so that were spent with the other family.  This leaves 20-25 minutes of screen time to develop a complete view of total strangers.

Initially I had planned a series of blog posts describing the WS experience in detail, but it became monotonous.  “You saw X; Y is reality. The reason they misled you is Z.” I’ll still write them if there is interest, but I’m afraid it will come off as whiny, begging people to “Don’t judge us.” Truth is, we’re not afraid of being judged. At least for what is true. We do not like – as much as any other person – to be judged over gossip and assumptions.

“But,” you’ll say, “we saw you force your children to dance and we saw your son have long hair because you wouldn’t allow him to cut it.  We saw you drag your kids into situations where they would be made fun of. We saw you sitting on the sofa being lazy while your kids did all the work.”

Did you?

Really?

I know you saw Alek say we forced him to go to dance class. But, you didn’t see the discussion about how he didn’t like the alternate class the producers found for him when his real studio chose not to allow cameras inside.  He was concerned that showing him in class with his sisters – both younger and with less skill – would make him look bad. He did not appreciate that waste of time.  And he was very vocal about that on several occasions.

I know you saw Alek’s long hair and you heard his, “yeah!” when Stacy told him he’d be getting it cut.  Did you know he’d been growing it out for several years with the intent of donating it to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths project? Did you know Rule Change  was his first realization that it was officially long enough to cut and donate?  And we’d made the offer to wait to cut it so it could be incorporated into rule change.

You were told we dress up the kids and parade them about town so that people will see them, judge them, and make fun of them and that we don’t care.  Did you know our kids dress how they want, within reason? Did you know we don’t change for other people because we live our lives for us and not for them? I had a great discussion with my swap husband, Ed, about this. It’s one of the things we strongly agreed on. Looks are important to both families. The main difference is that they dress to define themselves based on what other people think of their appearance and we dress to define ourselves based on what we think of our appearance. Did you know that one of the first things the producers did before filming was remove any bit of clothing that did not fit into the got aesthetic as they defined it?

You’ve been told I’m lazy and make my kids clean and feed themselves while I sit on the sofa playing on the computer. You even saw that, right? But you didn’t see the producers and directors scold me for pouring milk and sitting down to eat with my kids.  And it wasn’t made very clear that my job was freelance editing and that I run an at-home business from my laptop. In addition, helping them to be able and prepared is quite the opposite of lazy parenting.  I’d go so far as to suggest that doing everything for your kids is the lazier version of parenting.

No one would know that without talking to us.

And I’ll be honest. I watch Dance Moms and Survivor and I struggle to remember that what I see may be just as cleverly edited as our WS episode.  I know it. I lived it.  This reminds me to be more patient with people who don’t have the background I’ve been exposed to.

If there is something you want to know about, please just ask one of us.

We’d be happy to talk to you.

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