So glad I’m not missing this

Who knew Chick-fil-A could be a fine dining experience? Take a Penguin with you and you will see. Despite the intermittent play breaks it still takes her a good thirty minutes to even eat her food. Plus she must decide the difficult decision of keeping her treat or turning it in for ice cream. There are list involved sometimes.

During one of these visits while she pondered life across from me, I just couldn’t help but smile. Smile and thank God for this opportunity that my husband was giving me to be a stay at home mom with her. I was immersed in her conversation while at the same time so delighted not to be at a workplace. I could feel the freshness and weightlessness of the genuine moment we were sharing.

“It’s weird I like these cherries, I mean , I didn’t always like them.”

“Okay, and then what happened?”

“But, I drink cherry coke, and that’s cherry…..so, I don’t know”

I’m just smiling from ear to ear.

She flips her hair.

“Was my hair like this when I was five”?

Then I just laughed and was so thankful I had not missed a moment of what just happened.

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Turtles & Sewer Pipes, not the kind named after artist

Really, this is a typical morning for us. I truly cannot make this up. My precious Penguin has my active mind that just goes and goes, and this is what she came up with the other morning after using the restroom.

I’m standing in front of the mirror brushing Penelope’s nest on my head as she comes over and we begin this conversation:

P: I figured it out

SB: Figured what out?

P: Where all the water goes when you flush the toilet.

I give a confused look her way….

P: It goes down the drain into the pipes down below where the turtles are.

 So, in my mind I’m thinkin ninja turtles. I don’t mention this thought, I just assume she saw it on tv or talked about it on the playground.

SB: The turtles?

P: Yes, and the wipes you flush too.

SB: Very confused now…What do the turtles do with the wipes?

P: The people that sell them get them out. They get the wipes off of the turtles 

Realizing we have passed Donatello and the pizza at this point..

SB: There is a turtle store down there?

P: Yes, the turtle store is there. And when you go buy them they make sure the wipes aren’t there.

SB: Okay. Smiling on the inside because I just had a conversation with myself. 

We quickly switch stations, keep up!

P: Wow, the sandman visited this eye last night!

#southernbelleoncaffeine

Grape juice Explosion and ACV 


I know all about the benefits of apple cider vinegar. The real kind. I’ve seen it work personally. But, like most people, I’ve had a lot of trouble getting past the god awful taste. I attribute some of this to a CRAZY weight loss plan I did some years back. I could only eat about 6 different things with limited seasoning, however one of those was Apple Cider Vinegar. So, I cooked A LOT of things in a “stir fry” fashion in the stuff. I think I got major burn out.

So, I’m on my third try of drinking the good for you stuff again. I’ve taken surveys on Facebook to get advice on how the regulars take theirs. My mama is just balls to the wall and shoots hers like a sorority girl and tequila. Others say mix with a bottle of water and my daddy chases his with milk (but his LDL didn’t improve). But, I went to where any self respecting wanna be super mom would go-Pinterest. I found some great recipes that appealed to my tastebuds and didn’t cancel out the health benefits.

I stocked up on fresh pressed Organic grape, cranberry, and apple juice. No sugar added, not from concentrate, only the juice straight from the fruit. I carefully measured it out for and drank it for about 4 days. Then, this happened….

I was running behind so I thought, “I’ve done plenty of shots in my lifetime, this will be a breeze.” I prepared the shot glass and had grape juice as a chaser. I got the shot down and took a gulp of the chaser just as the acid hit my stomach. I literally spewed grape juice all over the kitchen counter and dripped down onto the floor. Because of the burning sensation in my throat I started coughing and couldn’t catch my breath. The penguin, who previously was very concerned for a patient on Grey’s Anatomy, didn’t even bat an eye. She stepped back to let me know I had gotten grape juice on the floor that “daddy had just fixed”. I finally composed myself and made it out the door.

Now, two days later, I am braving it again. Only this time I mixed it, shook it, and poured it over ice. We are watching “Barbie:Life in the Dreamhouse ” and the penguin said I could “close my eyes and pretend I was drinking it on Barbie’s jet”.

Cheer….

#southernbelleoncaffeine

Am I the ringmaster or the monkey?

This morning I was trying to take a bath and shave my legs before someone thought I was an extra for a Wookie. The penguin was sitting on the edge of the tub, Tommy was standing at the edge scrolling on his 📱. I asked “when you are in a mental institution, are there this many people watching you all the time?” Of course in my most sarcastic tone. Tommy replied, “yes, especially if you have a razor”. OMG! Somebody please help me. I’m in a cage.

#southernbellegoingcrazy

#southernbelleoncaffeiene

The Penguin tells me why I’m not a cool kid

Well, you know that I care nothing about being a cool kid. Never did, never will. I definitely don’t tell the Penguin about being cool, except for in the sarcastic way this conversation went this morning. But, it is alarming how even at age six she has some understanding of  cool vs. uncool.

We were discussing the pop socket I have on the back of my phone. You know, that really stupid gadget that is making someone a fortune because it is the latest thing to have. I guess I fall prey to propaganda, and I love gadgets! 

Penguin: I like this on the back of your phone. What is it?

Southern Belle: It’s called a pop socket, its what all the cool kids have (sarcasm oozing)

P: Ms. Sarah and Ms. Summer have one of those on their phone, but it doesn’t look like yours.

SB: Okay

P: Mama, you can’t be a cool kid (looking up at me like the emoji SMH should be above her head)

SB: Why not? (Very indignant, yet humorous)

P: Because you don’t wear a hat, cool kids wear hats

SB: Uh? Cool kids wear hats?

P: Yes, daddy can be a cool kid because he wears a hat

SB: Where did you learn this rule?

P: Dylan, he says cool kids wear hats. Sometimes they even wear them backwards 

Now, I’m the one with the face palm emoji above my head.

#southernbelleoncaffeine

Is her kindergarten my eighth grade?

Always reach high my strong willed child


Eating solid foods. Crawling. First steps. First words. Just a few milestones a parent looks forward too and remembers about their children. I have the pivotal one coming up that starts in motion the rest of her life. I know that may sound dramatic, even for me, but as I think about it, I don’t know how else to explain the importance. Kindergarten. Then I realize, my mini me, the almost 6 year old version of myself, sees kindergarten as I saw starting eight grade. And, that makes me sad. And, that makes me excited.

Starting kindergarten for me was no big deal in this rural southern town. At least I don’t remember it being an issue. At that time there was no choice where you went, if you lived in one county you went to School A, if you lived in the adjoining county you went to School B. I already knew many of the children I would be in school with, either from daycare/preschool or church. It didn’t hurt that my daddy was principle at the middle school at the time either I guess. So for the next 8 years (1st grade-7thgrade and kindergarten) I went to school with the same children. Even if we moved up a grade we only went to a slightly bigger school with children who had been at our old school the previous year. There was no anxiety about not knowing the lay of the land. No anxiety about a sea of new scary faces. Until the end of 7th grade. At that time, 8th grade was at the High School, which meant I had 4 months between me and an entire school with 4 whole grades of new people. Older people. Some, like the juniors and seniors, we’re so much older our paths had never crossed paths in other schools before. Scared? I spent the summer outlining reasons why I should be homeschooled. I did not want my independence and free spirit that my class since kindergarten had been accustomed too, to become the punch line for lunch room mean girls table talk. I also knew I didn’t ‘look’ the part. I didn’t particularly want to, and further more I knew I never would. But, of course I made it through high school. I have some bumps, bruises, and scars to help me remember, and that’s okay.

What if, when my precious, free spirited penguin looks at me and says “mama, I am a little norvous about big school”, she feels the same anxiety on some level? I know it seems I’m reaching deep for this one, and yes, it’s perfectly normal for a child to be somewhat apprehensive about a new school. Stay with me though. She has only been to daycare/preschool and church with the same group of children. Now, in the same rural town I grew up in, there are two private schools to choose from which have become quite popular among the parents. My penguin knows that some children went to a different Pre-K and come to her school for after school care. She realizes that not all of these ‘friends’ of hers, and children who know her ways are going to be going to school with her in a few weeks. To top it all off, I have to keep reminding her of all of the horrible things that don’t happen in kindergarten. No changing clothes just because you dribbled water on your shirt at the water fountain (yes, I know we have some ‘issues’), no going to the bathroom on a moments notice which   also means you can’t have ‘accidents’ because you can’t change clothes. And….no naps!!! So yes, my all the world’s a stage, aka her stage, penguin is standing in front of this milestone with quite possibly some of the same apprehension I had about high school. 

It’s okay baby penguin. I know more now and I know what I should have told myself then. That works out well for you since you were made from my mold. I’ll guide you as the older version of yourself and I will teach you and love you like only your mother can. We’ve got this. You. Me. Together. Let’s jump over the milestone ready to see what waits.