Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Show Me!

Background Info: There are members of the Artis household who have yet to develop an appreciation for undergarments, well to be more specific, underwear. Why? I'm not exactly sure. I make it a daily practice to wear them under my clothing, and my husband strives to wear them everyday also. We have made several attempts to make sure that the non-schoolers develop this same appreciation for underwear, but for some reason they have yet to really "catch on" to the idea of wearing underwear everyday. Take Ike, who is 4. He prefers "decorated" underwear, usually covered in Power Rangers or Spiderman. For awhile he would put them on backwards so he could see the characters that are printed on the rear of the underwear. If there are no "decorated" underwear that he prefers for that day, he opts for freedom. Sarah who is a "semi-practicing pottyer" switches between pull-ups and underwear, but she likes her freedom also. She is our little streaker. Drew, the lone "non-practicing pottyer" simply does not like underwear at all. So needless to say, it is not uncommon to hear me asking "Do you have on underwear?" And of course I can't just ask, I have to always follow up with, "Let me see." And just another tid-bit that you may need for clarification later on, per Sarah, "girls wear panties and boys wear draws."

The Incident: The entire Artis 6 spent the night with their Papa and Grandma Sat. Sunday morning my dad strolls downstairs in his robe to enjoy his morning coffee. He is greeted by his beloved grand-babies. They love their Papa and they know that telling him how much they love him, earns them more "brownie points" and stuff. In the mist of this Sarah yells, "Papa, do you have on draws?" Now, I am sure you can only imagine what went through my dad's mind. In shock he answers, "Yes! I have on draws." Sarah responds quickly with, "No, you don't!" At this point my dad should have taken on the role of a parent and decided not to argue, but noooo, he chooses the path of a grandparent and decides to argue with the two year old, who by the way speaks extremely clear. So there was no mistaken what she was asking. My step-mother at this point is "hollering" in laughter. I am now wondering why didn't she rescue him. Her laughter only encourages my dad to continue this argument which leads to Sarah saying, "Well, show me!"
My step-mother is still "hollering" laughing at the two year old requiring that her Papa prove that he has on draws and my dad is still horrified! While speaking with him today, several days later, he informed me that he has yet to put that robe back on. And to answer the question you're wondering, No, he didn't show her.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

Its My Birthday!!!!

I will be having my first child-free birthday party!!! I am so excited! I have planned it to my liking with the help of some very special, and might I add creative ladies.....Thanks Rhonda, Talexis, and Kim so that means lots of cheesecake and no birthday cake. There will chocolate everywhere and children no where! What a day! My birthday isn't until Sun. but I will be celebrating all weekend. I'll be back Mon. with lots of pictures of the fabulous event.......(singing in my best hip hop voice, "Its my birthday, birthday! uh huh It's my birthday, birthday!"

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Equipped to Succeed

For as long as I can remember, I remember my father sharing stories of my family's rich history. My father has gone to great lengths and spent many hours educating my sisters and I on the triumphs and accomplishments of our family. He told stories of my grandfather who refused to work as a sharecropper and worked endlessly to give his children the future of hope and success. My grandfather taught his children that education and hard work were the keys to success. He was able to purchase land from his father and later give land to his children. That land still belongs to our family. Because of that work ethic and determination, my grandparents were able to proudly watch all six of their children attend college, bringing forth teachers,superintendents, chancellors, supervisors, business owners, and principles. Those six children married and begin to pass on the same keys to success in life.
My sisters and I grew up knowing that college was a requirement in our household. My father, mother, many aunts and uncles had gone to college. When my father retired at the age of 50 he began to drill entrepreneurship. He would constantly tell us that ownership was apart of who we were. My sisters and I have always been Daddy's girls, thinking that our father could do no wrong. In our minds, Daddy is ALMOST always right. So when my father said we could be entrepreneurs, we believed him. My father helped me start a thriving hair salon while, he opened a residential care facility for adolescent boys. He tried in every way possible to get us involved in his ventures. My sister, who is a nurse, is the resident nurse, my sister "the techie" handles all of our technological issues, and most recently I have begun going a few days a week to assist with administrative duties. On the days when I go to work for my father, I sometimes take the non-schoolers. I have convinced them that it is necessary for us all to go to work to help "Papa" with his business. My four year old has really taken to this idea. In preparing for the next day, if he knows we are going to work, he takes out his "work clothes." Usually khakis and a button down shirt, I noticed he is mimicking what he sees my husband and my father wear to work. He walks in the business with confidence because he knows his "Papa" owns the place.
My sister called today to tell me that she had begun talking to her little ones about entrepreneurship. During that conversation her little ones informed her that "Lil Ike", my four year old is an entrepreneur. In our visits to the business he has convinced himself that he too is a business owner and he proudly tells everyone that he goes to work. It dawned on me that he is taking work very serious because he views it as his own, and some day it shall be.
This is what parenting is about. I think of parenting as kind of a learn as you go experience. There are things I will get right, but there are tons of things I will get wrong. But it is those moments when you realize that your words and actions are shaping the lives of the people of the future. The decisions I make now to educate or not to educate them on certain things impact their thoughts and ultimately their actions and decisions in the future. I sit here with a big grin on my face as I happily tap away at the keyboard chronicling this story, all because I know that I am equipping my little ones to successfully grab hold to their prosperous futures. I know that one day these very same lessons will be passed on to my grandchildren, great-grands, and many other generations to come, and that I feel good about!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Lovin' the skin she's In

Its always interesting to watch little ones grow and mature. My little niece recently celebrated her 8th birthday. My sister decided to give her the most fabulous sleepover a little girl could dream of, set up in a very swanky hotel room, complete with tons of junk food, loud music, and too many happy, screaming little girls.......well too many for my patience. My nine year old daughter informed me that my sister is MUCH cooler than I am so I guess that means she has more patience than I do. But as I sat there watching the little ladies jump around, singing and dancing I felt so proud of my little niece. She was prancing around in her swimwear proudly parading her beautiful deep chocolate skin and gorgeous afro-puffs. My sister has managed to teach my niece to be proud of how she was created. I proudly sport a natural but I am having a hard teaching my daughters to love their hair. It goes against the standards of beauty they see everyday in school, or on TV. Yes, brown skin and big or short beautiful naturals are becoming more common on TV but not celebrated. My 9 year old should not have to endure teasing at school because her hair isn't straight and hanging down her back. I teach my daughters to we are all beautiful. Our differences are beautiful. I want to teach them to feel comfortable with who they are, not feeling a need to change their appearance to look like anyone else. I want my daughters to know the self-love and proper self-image my sister has managed to instill in my niece, b/c she is lovin' the skin she's in.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Color that Lasts and Lasts and Lasts

For anyone who's wondering.....I'm a MAC makeup junky. There are few things I love and truly indulge in, well other than good food, and that's a whole nother subject, but the one thing I have a hard time resisting is new colors to add to my MAC collection. I have been building it for years and I proudly display it whenever someone says, "Your makeup looks great!" Well everyone in the house knows that my MAC is the one thing you don't touch, just like everyone knows if you wanna send my husband over the edge, drink the last swallow of Coke......and yesterday the twins dared to touch my MAC lip colors. Not only did they touch them but they too decided indulging in my MAC makeup was the thing to do. I had properly laid them down for nap (thanks for the advice from the moms on overcoming bedtime/naptime drama). I have been following the instructions given to me by pros, I checked on them. They appeared to be sleep so I decided to retire to the couch for a little nappy nap myself. I awoke to 2 sticky, greasy, colorful little monsters. Sarah and Drew decided to paint one another with MY lip color. They stripped down to undies and pull-ups and carefully painted one another on the back, stomach, legs, head, face.....and the list goes on. They touched EVERY lip color I had, whether it was lipstick or the wonderful gooey lipglass that I Love so dearly. After coming out of shock, I took them to the shower and began to scrub, and scrub, and scrub, and after more than enough effort and time they were still sticky, greasy, and slightly colorful. One of the reasons I love MAC colors is because they last, and last, and last. Even this morning the twins skin looks so shiny and moisturized. Actually the lipglass appears to be working much better than the many lotions I have tried on their dry skin. I just caught a glimpse of little Drew running through the room, with his chest shining like one of the guys in a Tyler Perry play, shirtless of course (only because he is following the example of my teen-age son who thinks his little muscles are growing bigger everyday). I guess I will just have to start over with new colors.....and to anyone wondering where to start to let me know just how much you love me on my birthday, the MAC store is a great place to start!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Perfect Weekend

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not the sappy, emotional type. To be honest I have been focusing and working on being more emotional (it only seems right for a mom to be emotional and all teary eyed). Well I think for Mother's Day my husband and children set out to bring down the emotional flood gates. This has been one of the best holidays I've had. The weekend was filled with so many great moments. Lets start with the gifts. In the past I have not been a great gift-giver, as a result of that I expect to reap what I have sown, or lack there of. About Feb. I decided I would change with my gift-giving and hope for better gifts also. (I know you're not supposed to do things like that out of expectations, but you gotta start somewhere). I know many of you ladies need diamonds, pearls, cars and the such but none of that was on my list. On mother's day I got the lovely scrapbook bag I have been eyeing. It holds just about everything I need for scrappin' sessions away from home, all in a nice organized fashioned. I also got tons of bath and body works smell goods, and all this time I thought my husband had selective hearing. My wonderful in-laws gave me not one but TWO gift certificates to the spa. "Lord, I really thank you for my in-laws. They are the best a girl could ask for." So the gifts were only the tip of the iceberg. Unlike previous mother's days, I got the chance to spend time with my mom, and sisters without feeling rushed to move on to the next thing on the agenda. As I get older I'm realizing the importance of taking time to enjoy the special moments that I have with the special people in my life. And did I mention that I didn't have to lift a finger to do anything all weekend! What a weekend! So to all the mother's that had a less than perfect mother's day, I pray that next year will be better, and my husband teaches classes on being the perfect husband.....he's pretty much got it down....well most of the time anyway.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

It is only right that my Mother's Day writings would focus on the many women that God has navigated through my life that have played such an important "mothering" role in me becoming the wonderful wife and mother I am today. I am blessed to still have many of them here on earth with me to celebrate this special holiday. I want to send "shout outs" to the following women who have had a hand in shaping me into who I am.
Debra Allen- my wonderful God-appointed birth mother, she raised me and pored everything she had into me, I am thankful that in a couple of hours she will be reading this. Thanks mom for everything,including my love of writing.

Maggie Harding - my granny- she is still teaching me that sometimes sweetness wins people over, I don't always have to share what I am thinking with people, She is a woman with incredible patience and sweetness..

Sarah Johnson - my granny- she taught me early on that sometimes you just gotta let people have what they are asking for, She also taught me "eyes on, hands off!" She is a woman with incredible strength and endurance.

Patricia Artis - Don't let the size fool you! She may be small in statue but mighty in strength and commitment. Without her I wouldn't have my wonderful husband. She is a loving mother-in-law.

Joyce Johnson - my step-mom, She has taught me that love crosses all boundaries, and an organized life can eliminate alot of grief!

Paulette Savage - my surrogate auntie -She has taught me to love me, just like I am, beautiful brown skin, full hips, locs in my hair, and all. I am beautiful.

Catherine Blackwell - my first customer - Loyalty and commitment are better than gold, without her commitment to seeing me be successful I would never have had a successful full-service salon for 6 years.

Selma Bunn - family friend - Never allow your situation and people's opinions determine your future. I will never again allow someone else to inflict their negative feelings about me, on me. My bad decisions are just that and I will always recover from them.

Barbara Keith - my auntie - A will to fight and live a full life will bring you just that. I can have the things I desire, if I determine that they are worth fighting for. (Thank you for never giving up your fight!)

Bishop Rosie S. O'Neal - My relationship with Christ is most important, above anything else, and he has equipped me with everything I need to create the life I desire.

And the only one no longer with me.......

Cora Larkins - She nurtured my love to create and encouraged me to become a hairstylist when I was very young. Some years later she came back and helped me build my salon. She taught me everything she knew about hair. She believed in me. She helped take care of me during my pregnancy with my twins and adopted Sarah as her grandbaby. She spoiled her ROTTEN! I miss her smile and laughter dearly.

To all my Mamas - I LOVE YOU!!!! HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

Drew: the lone non-practicing potty-er


Proud Mommy Moment

There is so much that comes along with being a mommy but by far my favorite moments are what I call proud mommy moments. These are times when your child does something that makes you realize what being a mommy is all about. So yesterday my oldest daughter, (9 yrs old) comes home and tells me she would like for me to take her to the store to buy a birthday gift for one of her closest friends. I'm thinking.......ok, how much is this gonna cost? To my surprise, she has her own money!! Who knew and where did she get if from, but that's another blog, well maybe not, she received it for doing so well on her report card. So Great Job Patrice! but getting on with the story...... She decides to give her friend a Ben and Jerry's gift certificate. Great gift, her own money, this is sounding better by the moment! So she steps up to the counter like a little lady, selects the gift certificate she wants, pulls her wallet from her purse, like a little lady, pays for her purchase and then get this.......She tips the cashier and said thank you!!! (sniff, sniff) The cashier was shocked and could barely utter out thank you. She is actually watching me and pay close attention. Just when you think that your children are not listening or paying any attention to any of the things you do, no matter how hard you try to set a wonderful example for them, they do something like that to let you know, although they may not think you're cool or hip or hot or fly or whatever it is the kids are saying now, they do realize that you are indeed smarter than them!

I'm Back, and there is Potty Drama

So, I got the one night and half of a day off, and it has taken me 2 1/2 days to recover! I fully intended to blog about why 20 hours of vacation from house management turned into an additional 40 hours of overtime work but I have a much more serious issue. ONE OF THE TWINS REFUSES TO POTTY! We have this theory in our home, after explaining to everyone the purpose and location of the potty in the house, you are officially POTTY TRAINED! It is up to you to become a practicing potty-er. Well not completely up to you, we work with you, remind you, and provide guidance but essential you have to make up in your own mind that you are going to be a practicing potty-er. So right now we have 5 practicing potty-ers and 1 non-practicing potty-er. Drew who will be turning 3 next month refuses to potty! He is not interested and he doesn't subscribe to the whole "big boy" thing. When you mention to him that "big boys" potty, he replies, "I'm Andrew!" When asked does he want to be a big boy, he replies "No, I'm Andrew." Why, Why, Why? I am so tired of changing pullups and he seems to be fine with it. When all the older children turn up their noses and tell him he stinks, he just walks by them and looks like they are the ones with the problem. His twin sister is a fully practicing potty-er during the daytime, night is a different story but I can live with that. I can't remember the last time I actually had to change her. She potties and proudly announces to everyone what she has accomplished and if you don't remember to tell her you are proud, she will ask "Aren't you so proud of me?" Drew is just not motivated in the same way. He doesn't care that I am not proud that he is soiling all of his pull ups, he doesn't care that I am not proud that he is walking around behind me smelling like..........well I can't think of the words to describe what he smells like, but my grandma used to say when you eat grown folks food, you have grown folks poop. Can anyone offer any words of encouragement or advice to get Drew practicing? It is my desire that everyone in the house is a practicing potty-er, including Drew.......uh....I gotta go change him now!

Friday, May 1, 2009

I know, I'm overly excited!

Can you believe it? I can't....I don't even know where to start to explain this. I am soooo excited. What to do? uh, let's see....sleep, relax, have complete brain blankness, do nothing, SCRAPBOOK! What not to do? clean, fuss, cook for anyone including myself, change diapers or pull ups or wet underpants, no dirty socks, no bookbags all over the floor, no big shoes to trip over for the hundredth time, no mommy come here, no, "uh, honey do you know where" (fill in the blank, just pick a word out of the sky, cause any and all words fit in that sentence). I know I'm overly excited but, I'M GETTING THE NIGHT OFF! I'm off from mommy and wife duty for a couple of hours. Sure, its for a women's church function in a neighboring city BUT its still the night off! No children Allowed! See you tomorrow!..............I'll be back on duty.

And Ladies, please enjoy your weekend!