Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Growing Up

May 2009

Monday, Chloe began her first day of summer camp as a rising Kindergartener. Today, Connor had his last day of Second Grade. I no longer have any kids on the preschool hall at Idlewild Children's Center. I no longer have preschoolers! I do still have two sweet babies, though.

May 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Ugh! More of your old-fashioned music!
-Chloe, upon being forced to listen to Temple of the Dog, Hunger Strike

While listening to The Morning Rush with Will and Peter on Sports 56:
Will: The Grizzlies just don't have anyone who can create his own shot off the dribble!
Connor: Uh, OJ Mayo?
Peter: Well, except maybe OJ Mayo.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

On the Pot

Yes, I know how much you folks love Chockley tales of poop. Like Connor pontificating at 2 1/2 about the subject, the 2006 gas station debacle, or the Christmas Poop Story.

So here are new words of scatalogical wisdom, heard from across the house as Chloe performed her daily duty (heh) the other day:

"Maaaaaaan, I'm doin' some HARD business in here!"

...followed several minutes later by:

"POOP, there it is! POOP there it is!"

Monday, May 09, 2011

Friday, May 06, 2011


The thing about becoming a mother is that you suddenly understand what "love" really means. I mean yes, I loved my husband and my family and friends before I had kids, but once Connor showed up it all changed. I now loved at this deep level that I hadn't even known existed. Not just Connor, either- everyone.

It was Connor's presence that suddenly made me cry every time I hear Beyonce's "Crazy In Love." (Totally not weird that that's our song, right?) It was Connor's presence that reminded me that I couldn't live without Chip. And most surprisingly, it was Connor's presence that made me fall in love with my own mother all over again.

Because, holy shit y'all, the way I love this baby right here? My mom loves ME that much! ME! That realization floored me. I knew that she loved me, of course, but as I've stated above, I didn't actually know what love meant. And now that I did, I was amazed. I'd call her up and say, "How did you ever let me ride my bike around the block? Didn't you die a small death when I went out of your sight?" and she'd assure me that by the time we get there, it will be difficult, but manageable. I'd call another day, in tears, demanding to know how she ever let me move out of the house and go to college. Because I never ever wanted Connor to do that. I wanted him to live with me until I got old and died! And Mom would assure me that, by the time he's 18, I'll be begging him to go to college in a different city.

She was right, of course. It does get easier to be away from your children as they get older and don't need quite as much protecting. But I still hope that when my babies grow up, they move into a house a mile away from mine and call me on the phone every day and remember, always, how much I love them. Just like I did when I grew up.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Memphis Ball Boy

It's been sort of quiet here lately, and that's because I didn't want to bore you with the sole topic that is dominating our everyday life: Basketball. See, the NBA Playoffs have started. Usually, that's something that only effects me and Chip. This year, with the Grizzlies' exciting run, the playoffs have become more important- not only to the city of Memphis, but also to our own Connor.

In the past several months, Connor has really started to care about watching basketball. This trend started during the C-USA and NCAA tournaments, when he fell in love with the Tigers. It's like a light switch went off, and he realized that a) this team has my city name on their jersey, and b) there are real people wearing those jerseys! Seemingly overnight, he knew all the players' names and jersey numbers. He followed that tournament religiously, even cheering for a UConn victory just to bug me since I was pulling for Butler. When it was over, he said, "Now what?"

Much earlier in the season, he had attended his first NBA game, Memphis vs. Detroit. He had also started playing NBA games on his handheld gaming devices. He was learning who all the players were, what their numbers are, etc. Once March Madness was over and his civic pride had kicked in, his interest went from "general NBA" to "GRIZZLIES." He begged to stay up and watch their games, he studied the programs Chip and I brought home from games we attended, and he really started listening to sports radio when in the car with me. Following the playoff race was exciting for him. Who would be seeded where? Would the Grizzlies slip in? Who and when will we play!

Towards the end of the season, I managed to secure a couple of FANTASTIC tickets for me and Connor for a game against the Spurs (pictured above). Connor watched the warm-ups like it was his job, and by the time the game started, he told me who was and was not going to have a good game. And he was dead on. Since the playoffs have started, he has watched with the same intensity. He's stayed up late watching games on TV, he has talked to us about all the series with a surprising knowledge of them all, and he has not let his growl towel leave his side. He sleeps with it, he carries it to school in his backpack, and he waves it during every game we watch.

It was only fitting that I splurged on a ticket for him to attend Game 6 against the Spurs last Friday night. (By "splurged" I mean "bought a $25 nosebleed seat.") I checked him out of school early so that we could get Downtown ahead of the massive crowds gathering to watch the Grizzlies, the Redbirds, and the Beale Street Music Festival. We went to the team store and bought him a t-shirt and a Grizzlies bracelet (the thick rubber kind) and then cheered the Grizzlies on to a first round victory. He had an amazing time, and proceeded to wear that Grizzlies shirt to sleep in, all the next day, and then to sleep in again. We finally peeled it off of him Sunday morning and soaked him in a nice long shower. The shower, incidentally, is the only time he has taken off his Grizzlies bracelet in the past week.

His blossoming love affair with basketball, and with the Grizzlies in particular, has been fun to watch. It's just another way he seems more and more grown up to me on a daily basis. It's been a joy to have this common interest to share with him, after years of just tolerating his interest in the movie Cars or playing endless games of Memory. I'm almost worried about the void that will appear in his life when the NBA Champion is finally crowned! But not too worried- we've got a whole team of Redbirds whose jersey numbers Connor doesn't know yet.

All pictures appear courtesy of my iPhone. In no way do they reflect the talents of Chip Chockley Photography!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Seaside Sunset

A couple of years ago, I was inspired by a really incredible photog from Flickr-- Lisa Lucky-- to take some wide-angle photos of the kids in front of a beach sunset.  I loved what she got here and here.  I asked Lisa how she got some of her shots, and she gave me some pointers.  The biggest tip?  You're at Mother Nature's mercy.  You just can't create a beautiful sunset-- it has to be there for you to work with.  So, I bought the wide-angle lens I'd been lusting after, and waited for beach vacation time to come around.

Lisa was right.  In the whole week we were there, there was *one* day with a sunset that was close to what I wanted.  I mean, all sunsets in Seaside are beautiful, but this masterpiece was the one that would really sing in a photo.  After checking every day, I saw it, and ordered the kids out to the beach immediately.  They took direction well-- just hold hands and walk away from me!  Of course, I've learned a lot since then, and see things that I'd change now.

For the past several months, the folks at Cottage Rental Agency-- the company that handles all the real estate and rentals in Seaside-- have been running a contest:  "Picture Yourself in Seaside."  I sent in this picture and didn't think much of it for several months.  And now, I find out that I won the Grand Prize!  Four days and three nights in Seaside!  Thanks CRA!  Let me unfold my remarks here.  I'd... uh... like to thank the Academy, Lisa for the inspiration, Mother Nature for the awesome view, and my kids for being cooperative and cute.