A few weeks ago, Taylor declared that one day she would play basketball and wouldn’t be afraid of the buzzer.  We are one step closer to that day.  Russ took her to Columbia today to watch the USC women’s basketball team play.  They are pretty good this season and are coached by an Olympic gold medalist with a pretty impressive rap sheet:

Dawn Michelle Staley (born May 4, 1970) is an American basketball player and coach. Staley is a three-time Olympian and was elected to carry the United States flag at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympics. She was named the University of South Carolina women’s head basketball coach on May 7, 2008. After winning the gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics, she went to play professionally in the American Basketball League and the WNBA. In 2011, Staley was voted in by fans as one of the Top 15 players in WNBA history.

Taylor had a lot of fun and even got to meet the players and the coach and shake their hands afterward.  She was pretty excited.  She got a poster, and Pops gave her these little cards of all the players that he got with his season tickets, like baseball cards.  She came home from the game and wanted to put them all on her wall in her room.

She says her favorite players are #0 and #1 and the coach.

It’s good to bring a little diversity to her purple, flowery, princess, girlie room.



Russ’ gut punch

Back in February of this year, Taylor got engaged on the bus.

She and “T” have been growing in their fondness for each other since then.  Taylor talks about him all the time.

During football season, Taylor declared that she like Carolina AND Clemson because T liked Clemson.  We definitely need to work on this!

Last week, she said that she was going to marry T and another little boy whom we’ll call “C”.  Even though we try to tell her that she can’t marry two people, she keeps insisting.  But I think T is still her favorite of her future husbands.

Later last week, she was talking about how “E” was wrestling with her, and T pulled him off and told him to leave her alone.  Her own little knight in shining armor.

It’s funny that whenever I pick her up she is running around playing rough with the boys much more often than she is playing with the quiet girls putting together puzzles or playing with the dollhouse.  At first, Russ thought this was great – preferring a rough and tumble girl to a prissy girl – until he realized that this extra time spent with boys meant she was spending more time with boys, and T in particular.

She missed that last 2.5 days of school because of a mystery fever, and has been asking to see her friends each day.  Today, I finally let her go visit when we picked Caleb up.  She walked into the room, and “T” was the first one to run over to her to say hello.  I could tell that they were both really excited to see see each other.  He told her all about the day they had been having.

Then they had a little spat.  Taylor said that she got the plates for their class Christmas party (we got Christmas plates today for another party and she got it confused).  He corrected her and said, “No, I’m bringing the plates for the party.  You must be bringing something else.”  It was hilarious because it totally could have been a married couple arguing over a miscommunication about who was supposed to buy the plates.

But after the brief preschool spat, I told Taylor that it was time to go.  T gave her a big hug, even picking her up off the ground.  As we were leaving, he yelled out, “Your dress is really cute”

When we got into the hallway, Taylor smiled slyly, giggled, and recapped, “T said my dress was cute.”

And with every story about T, Russ’ heart breaks just a little.

gut punch

First of all, Taylor is still sick.  The women who work in the office of her school told me this morning that she came to the office yesterday, sat down in the chair and sighed before saying, “I don’t feel good…I should have just stayed home in bed.”  Is she 4 or 40?   I feel like a GREAT mother for sending her to school sick.


This afternoon, she crawled up into my lap after playing outside (this is one side effect of being sick that I don’t mind one bit).  Russ had just left to meet a friend for dinner before going to a meeting and told Taylor that Grammy was coming as a means of convincing her she didn’t want to go with him.  She looked at me and said, “Mommy, are you and Caleb going to stay home with me and Grammy?”  I sighed and replied sadly, “No, I have to go back to work for a little bit….but you know what?  After tonight I won’t have to work at night again for a long time.”

She perked up, threw her arms around my neck, and exclaimed with much excitement “THAT’S SO GREAT!”  Then she grabbed my face in her hands and gave me a big kiss.

How’s that for making a mom feel guilty?!  I really felt like I got punched in the gut.  I love my job.  And I love that my job has the flexibility to spend a lot of time with my kids, but missing bedtime is tough….especially when there are weeks like the last two when I’ve been gone at night much more than I’ve been home.

And to add insult to injury, on Monday morning, we were looking at a picture that Taylor drew of a child with a frown on his/her face.  We asked her why the child was frowning, and she said “Because he’s sad, and he misses his mommy and daddy because they aren’t home at night.”


So I will begin to assuage my mom guilt by staying home with her tomorrow for her third sick day in a row.

But then I will have minister guilt because there are things left undone at work and things that I’ll have to cancel.  It’s a never ending cycle trying to find the balance.

I am, however, definitely looking forward to the next few weeks when the scale tips more towards the family side.

Paging Dr. Taylor

I don’t know if Taylor’s gene pool predisposes her to having a knack for diagnosing herself or not, but she does have it coming from both sides.  My great grandfather was Dr. Taylor….he was my paternal great grandfather and delivered my maternal grandfather in the small town where both of my parents grew up.  Fun trivia.  And we all know that Russ is THIS CLOSE to being an MD.

Last night (this morning?) at about 12:30 am, Taylor stumbled into our room and said she had a headache.  I got up felt her forehead and tucked her back into bed.  At about 1:30 am, she strutted back in (as if she had been awake the entire previous hour contemplating what she would say), and declared, “Daddy, I need some water, and some honey for my cough and some medicine on my chest”  So Russ got up and met her requests and tucked her back into bed.  She coughed a bit for the next hour or so, but finally drifted into a deep sleep and then slept late – all the way until 6:30am!

After breakfast, she said she didn’t feel good, but she looked and acted completely fine.  I felt her forehead again and told her to get dressed for school.  On the way to get her shoes on, she said.  “I have a fever.  I’m not going to play today at school.  I’m just going to sit down and rest because I’m sick and I don’t want to get my friends sick”.  I thought that was a pretty interesting statement, but still, she was acting and looking fine…and her forehead still felt normal, so we sent her into school.

Then at 11:30am, I get the phone call from her school that she has a temperature of 103 and it was still climbing!

Poor thing had a fever and chills…was completely flushed…and just so pitiful.  She fell asleep on the way home from an errand and would not wake up for the next couple of hours.  But almost-doctor-dad came to her rescue and took great care of her this afternoon/evening.  I hope she’s on the mend.

But for now, I’ve learned my lesson – I need to trust her when she says she doesn’t feel good.  Well, at least until she’s a teenager and faking sick to get out of going to school.

what dreams are made of

Last Christmas, my sister and brother-in-law gave us a fire pit.  We were really excited about, but there was always some reason we didn’t actually USE it…it was too cold or too hot or too light outside or raining…or Russ was working late…or I was working late.  You know, life.  But last weekend, we decided it was the perfect time to try it out.  So great! And now we are hooked.  We did it again last night.

I mean, really, what’s better than sitting around the fire on a crisp fall evening sipping hot chocolate, listening to Christmas music, roasting marshmallows, making s’mores and hanging out with your favorite people?  Nothing.  Nada.  The only thing that would make it better is if Caleb would refrain from trying to touch the fire and therefore be allowed to hang out with us.  So far, he’s only made it 5 minutes before I put him to bed so we can enjoy the time without fear of third degree burns and a screaming toddler.  But the upside of that is that Taylor has gotten some good quality time with the undivided attention from both parents.

Last night we sat around talking for a while.  Taylor finished her hot chocolate, then pulled her s’more apart, ate the melty chocolate, then scraped the gooey marshmallow off the cracker, then decided to put the cracker in the bushes for the ducks.  Then she wiped melty chocolate and gooey marshmallow on her jeans (*note to self:  bring wipes outside next time).  She sits back in her chair for a minute gazing into the fire before looking at Russ and saying:

Daddy I want to cuddle with you.

and climbs up into his lap with her blanket in hand.

His face was covered side to side with a grin of perfect contentment as he says back to her:

I love you so much.

She gives him a kiss and says:

I love my whole family.

Then she snuggles her hello kitty hat covered head under his chin as he and I share a glance that confirms that this is what dreams are made of.