Don’t cry over … an empty milk container

Me and the kids

Here’s some milk, mommy … I bought it,

my 10-year-old said as he handed me a container of milk bought at the gas station.

The look on his face almost broke my heart.  I know he’s 10 (actually almost 11) and growing up very quickly.  He only calls me mommy when he’s upset.  He’s grown up in many ways,  but he will always be my baby, just as much as my daughter who is approaching 20.

Sometimes the simple actions of a child who has not yet really had to “face the world” can teach us so much.  Such a small gesture – stopping with his dad on the way to school to buy me some milk; but it taught me, actually reminded me of a lot.  As you see, I have already learned and apparently forgotten this lesson.  I just needed a review.

I shouldn’t let problems at home, fights with my husband, money issues and such be visible to my children. Period. Never!  As a parent, I have been trusted with these two wonderful treasures and it is my job to make sure they grow up happy, healthy and as equipped as I can possibly make them to face the world.  I failed that morning.  I think our roles were slightly reversed.

I was stressed over lack of time, lack of money and plethora of other things.  I was making my breakfast/lunch to take to work and we were out of milk.  I made some offhanded, grumpy comment to the effect of  “I don’t know how I’ll continue to keep food on the table at this rate.”  There’s some truth to that, but we aren’t destitute.  I can buy milk.  However, my son took those comments to heart.  He wanted to help in his own way and make his mom happy.  So, he took his own money earned from watching the neighbor’s dog and asked his dad to stop to buy me milk.  It not only made my day, but taught me a lesson.

It should not be my child’s responsibility to worry about what’s wrong at home.  I should also not cry over an empty milk container.

So, now as I continue this journey I started with last week’s blog, I will add remembering to always remain positive in front of my son to my bucket list of things I want to accomplish.

Until next time ….

Coming tommorrow:  A’Tempting’ Tuesday — My attempt at a new recipe each week.


It never fails ….

It never fails that something throws a kink in your plan.

I had gotten myself organized right down to the minute.  My list of things I needed to take care of prior to leaving for Disney on Monday was extremely detailed, right down to the time I actually zip up the luggage.

I thought I was home free and for once, going to relax as I prepare my family to leave for vacation.

Then I got the call from the daycare.  My little boy who never gets sicks wasn’t feeling well and had a temp of 100.6.  That in itself is not too bad.  By the time we got to him about an hour later it had spiked to 101.7.  Hubby decided to take him on in to the doctor.

Bless his heart.Only 45 hours from Disney and he is diagnosed with strep.  He never gets sicks so I couldn’t believe it.  My hubby called me from the doctor’s office and I could hear my little one crying in the background.  From the sound of it, I could tell he felt really bad.  I immediately went into paranoid mom mode.

The thought of him not being able to enjoy his trip to Disney just breaks my heart.  The thought of mom sitting all week in a hotel room with a sick little boy doesn’t sound too promising either.

But in true Collier fashion, as soon as the antibiotics and the ibuprofen kicked in, he was running around the house like the little wild man he is.  He was chatting about Mickey Mouse and wanting to start packing.  I really hope it lasts.

We just put him to bed after another dose of meds.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Here’s a new pic of him.



Hi Ho, Hi Ho It’s Off to Disney we go….

My family and I, along with our best friends and their children, leave in less than a week to go to Disney World.  I am sooooo excited.  I don’t know who is anticipating the trip more, the children or the parents.

I’ve never been, so it will be fun for me.  But, I just can’t wait to watch my children.  And then, there will be the scrapbook pages when we get home.  My husband jokes that we plan our lives and take all our photos with scrapbook pages in mind.  There may be some truth to that.  I’ll have at least a good week of scrapbooking our vacation memories when we get home.  I’ve been collecting paper and embellishments for months.

As excited as I am about the trip, getting ready to vacation is just a nightmare for me.  Packing and getting ready to leave for any amount of time sends me into panic mode.

I’ve written before on this site about my yearning for my lifestyle to be “Martha Stewart, HGTV and Southern Living all wrapped up in a Norman Rockwell painting,” especially around the holidays. Not going to happen! I do make quite the valiant effort each year.  Unfortunately, four Christmas trees and 36 boxes of decorations later I’m still trying to put my home back together after last Christmas — and it’s July!  (That might be a slight exaggeration, but it did take me a while).   Anyway, that’s another post.  Back to my original topic.

The panic if feel during the holidays is nothing like what I feel now.  It takes on a whole new level when I’m going to travel. About a week prior to any vacation, I go into an adrenaline-driven whirlwind of trying to tie up every loose end in my life.  I can thank (ha ha, that’s Southern for “think”) of a million minuscule things that I must take care of NOW.

The funniest part of it all is that I spend so much time cleaning house, organizing drawers (because, of course, that is of the utmost importance), digging dust bunnies from under the bed, writing my memoirs, filing the box of bills and papers that have accumulated over the last year and a plethora of other just as mundane tasks, that I have all my packing to do at the very last minute.  I will be in a mad dash as I’m rushing out the door stuffing the last “just- in-case-I-need-it item” into the zipper pocket on my luggage, trying to get to the airport on time.  It’s a good thing my husband loves me.

I’m normally a fairly organized person.  The mere mention of the word “vacation” tosses my organizational skills out the window.

Oh well. The good new is …. Hi Ho, Hi Ho it’s off to Disney we go! 

I know as soon as we are on that plane, all will be good.


A rare moment….

I was trying yesterday to no avail to get my daughter to pick up her shoes and dirty socks from my living room floor when my son came running through, picked up the socks and said “do I put ’em in the laundry room?”

I was astonished – not only at the mere fact that he picked up those stinky socks but he did it happily, to his own accord.  Then, on his way back through the room, he grabbed the equally stinky volleyball shoes, headed toward the stairs and proclaimed, “Sissy is my best friend.”

WOW!!   I love it.  I’m not sure if she was bribing him or if he was trying to butter her up for something.  Either way, I just love it!!

A few minutes later they went out to the pool, hand in hand.  After a while I took a quick peak out into the backyard to see what they were doing.  They were smiling and laughing.  My daughter was holding her little brother, making faces at him and doing a very good job at entertaining them.

I was one of those rare moments you don’t ever want to forget.  They were both lost and involved in just being together.  One of those rare moments free of sibling rivalry.  A stranger looking in would have seen the sweetness that only their mother can truly appreciate.

Now, as I sit here writing this, things are back to normal.  I can hear stomping, doors slamming, my drama queen yelling “mooooommmmmn” and my sweet 5-year-old proudly proclaiming to his sister “you have a very big butt!!”

Still, just gotta love it.


What is real?

In my vegetative state this Monday evening, after children were fed and what little energy I could muster for laundry and housework was spent, I sat mindlessly watching TV.  I surfed through the channels for just a few moments and out of desperation for anything better to watch, I settled on Nashville Star.  Nothing of substance here, but I admit it was mildly entertaining.  I do say that occasionally, I like to watch television that requires no thought.  And, “Nashville Star” required me to think very little.

However, in the course of about 10 minutes I sat through commercial after commercial for one “reality” show after another, some I had never even heard of.  I’m sure many have asked this question long before I have when it comes to the endless absurdity of what today’s television has resorted to … but what has the world come to?  What is reality?  I know it can’t be “The Baby Borrowers”, “Celebrity Circus,” “Dancing with the Stars”, “Big Brother”, “The Bachelorette”, “Rock of Love” or any of the other dozens of today’s reality TV shows.

I’m ashamed to admit (and this is closely related to yesterday’s post about guilty pleasures) that I’ve watched several of the aforementioned shows and many others.  Okay, I guess I rarely want to think when I’m watching TV.  All too often, TV is used just for background noise at my house and rarely do I sit down with the intention of paying attention to it.

Do these shows leave others with the question:  “What is real?”   In my quest to “get real” I certainly do not care who can fall in love in the course of one six-week series, or who can dance the best, or who can make the biggest fool of themselves on “America’s Got Talent,” and I don’t care who is smarter than a 5th grader.  I’m certainly not dumb enough to believe that most of these unscripted reality shows are actually not scripted.

In my unscripted life I’m actually trying to get real and focus on the things that really matter … taking care of my children, not worrying about the unimportant stuff and actually “making it” from one day to the next.  I admit, I like to escape in the ridiculousness of some of these television shows.  But, now that I look at the dozens of them on today’s television line up and realize how really far out they’ve gotten, I’m not sure what I’m trying to say here.  Maybe it’s just “GET REAL!”



Guilty pleasures … and Grease is still the word!

Good morning!

Guilty pleasures … we all have them.  I have a few, well quite a few … too many to list here.  I guess probably my biggest is cheesy movies.  I LOVE THEM!

I watch all of what I call the “junior chick flicks” with my daughter.  She’s 14 and I’ve been doing it for years. Yes, I love “The Princess Diaries” and yes, I know all the words to “High School Musical,” both 1 and 2. We are eagerly awaiting the premiere of the third install in the HSM saga. 

Both my children and I sat in anticipation Friday evening as we watched the timer so cleverly placed by Disney Channel execs in the upper right hand corner of our television screen countdown the minutes and seconds to the premiere of “Camp Rock.”

Of course I do have the real guilty pleasures.  Those cheesy movies that are much more refined, much more mature and age appropriate.  The list is long,  but my favorite — “Grease”.  I’m sure all those “Grease” aficionados know what I’m talking about.  The music, the characters…doesn’t it just take you back?

I was in sixth grade when “Grease” was released in theaters. I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to go see it. At the the time, the costumes, the characters and the music were “so cool.” Even more exciting was the day I got my “Grease” album.  I could already sing every word and the album just allowed me to sing in front of the mirror with accompaniment and my very own background singers! (Something I would never, ever do now! )


Now 40 (ugh, gasping for air),  I can still sing all the words to each song. “Grease” is definitely still the word!  My best girlfriends and I recently took our daughters to see a local theater company’s production of “Grease.”  I think they enjoyed it as much as we still obviously do.  I think we may have embarrassed them a little as we sang .. at times loudly … to each song.


That afternoon in the theater brought back memories of sitting in my sixth-grade classroom on the days our teacher would allow us to bring music to school. I got my brief 15 minutes of fame as I was the first in my class the have  the album (my daughter once told me she knew what a record album was …. “A really big CD that they listened to in the old days”) and we spent many a Friday afternoon listening to it.


My friends and and I had a “reunion concert” of our Grease favorites yesterday evening.  We were all gathered for the 10th birthday of one of the gals’ daughter.  When the younger girls tired of the karaoke machine, we did it!  We broke out the karaoke version of Grease.  Our daughters were once again driven to hide in shame in the corner as we sang and danced.

Soon they too will learn to appreciate the guilty pleasures of “Grease.”

Well have a good day.  I have homemade bread in the oven and it is smelling quite yummy.


Letting go…

I spent my early morning hours yesterday at the airport sending our second exchange student on her way home.  It didn’t get any easier this year. It was like watching a part of me walk away, knowing that most likely, I’ll never see her again.  She’s spent 10 months in our home so she’s become “one of ours.”  I know it’s selfish of me to not want to send them home to their own parents. 

As I sat in the very same airport last June, watching another student sob and tell me how much she was going to miss me, I thought to myself how I could ever consider doing this again.  Yet, the glutton for punishment that I am, just a short month and a half later, we had a bright Ukrainian student who began calling us “Mom” and “Dad” right away.  As I was watching her leave yesterday, I was already counting the days until our “new” daughter arrives, go figure.

This year’s experience has taught me many things.  Mainly, what to watch for as my daughter gets older.  At 14, she hasn’t yet begun to cause some of the issues our 16 year-old-exchange daughter did.  All teenage girl stuff for the most part, but it’s already sent me into “full alert” mode wanting to stop my child from making some of very same mistakes.  To be completely honest, I think it’s more to protect myself from the worry and frustration, as well as the total shock at what they do sometimes.

I knew from the first act of defiance to the final “knock down drag out” between she and my husband in the airport as we were trying to get her boarded on the plane, that she was part of our family and always will be.

With all that said, it really has been a good year.  We truly enjoying welcoming students into our home.  It’s been good for us as well as our children.  And, as an added plus, we have children all over the world now.

Night all.  I promise something a little more clever, or at least entertaining in my next blog.