Sunday, December 23, 2007
The party with mother's family always included the most amazing southern food. From fried chicken to dumplings to BBQ to coconut cake to chocolate cream pie, it was a feast. We would open gifts and laugh and play until it was time for midnight mass where my father would always sing. We would even grab all the cousins and go out to sing carols for the neighbors every year.
Christmas day, up at dawn, all eight of us would wait at the top of the stairs. Mother and Daddy would go downstairs to the den with the camera and ooooooh and aaaaaaah for what seemed like an eternity. We just could not contain our excitement. They would then say, "ok, we're ready" and sixteen footsteps could be heard barreling down the stairs just to be the first to see what Santa had brought.
Chaos ensued. Paper being torn and thrown around. The screams of "Yeah!!" " Wahoo!!" and "Thanks, Santa!!" as the toys were revealed could be heard throughout the house.
We would head then, to my father's parent's house for even more fun and presents. We would eat more wonderful food prepared by my grandparents and play with our other cousins until dark.
I cannot imagine how on earth my parents pulled off Christmas every year. From the expense of it all to just the logistics of putting together all those toys for eight children. Where were the presents hidden? When did my parents go out shopping? These are still mysteries to me.
I'm home this year for the first time in as long as I can remember and the first time since I've had children. When Jon and I thought that we would avoid the travel and make our own holiday traditions here, I'm not so sure we had any idea how sad we both would be not to be in the middle of the chaos.
Our Dallas "family" has invited us over for Christmas Day. We'll have new memories this year. It won't take the place of being with my family but I know we'll have a good one!
Merry Christmas, Everyone!
Monday, December 17, 2007
So, here's the hilarious part to me, first, this is not a family-focused shopping center. They could be, but they are not. The only family store they had in it was Gap Kids and they took that out a couple of years ago. Imagine the hippest urban mall you can think of next to a university and you would be close. It is a mixed-use mall with loft apartments on top of the stores and restaurants. The stores include Gap, Urban Outfitters, upscale clothing and West Elm.
THIS outdoor shopping mall decided to lure families on a cold December night with the promise of free food for the kids and an outdoor showing of A Christmas Story. Yes, you read that right, an outdoor showing of A Christmas Story on a Monday night in the middle of December. Don't get me wrong. That movie is a must on the Christmas list but honestly, outdoors in December? with kids? No thanks, I'll watch it when TBS runs the 24-hour marathon.
And then there was Santa. This poor Santa was placed in a chair outside in 30 degree weather with NO ONE around, of course, because no families ever go to this shopping center!
And that made it the greatest Santa experience I have EVER had!
We pulled around to the parking garage, and there was (that poor) Santa. Sitting alone in a chair with a beam of light shining on him. Jack started screaming. It was probably one of the greatest moments I have ever had as a Mom. So, we meet Dad there and Jack goes running down the stairs to see Santa. He plopped in his lap and immediately asked 25 questions about where the reindeer were and the elves and the toys and will Santa join us for dinner at the pub, etc.
No two-hour wait to see Santa at the mall like I had last year. No other moms impatiently waiting and tapping their foot while my three-year old thinks of all the toys that pop in his head. No $35 Santa photos. Just Jack and Eva with the big guy.
Santa, as it should be.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
I saw this prompt on Sunday Scribblings this week. I can't seem to get The Safety Dance out of my head as I'm writing this. I'm not quite sure why.
It would be difficult to find a prompt that I have spent more time doing than this one. Dancing is probably my most favoritest thing in the whole world (next to singing Bon Jovi on a karaoke).
I love dancing. I've written about this before but my kids and I have "dance party" each night before bed. Mostly, we dance to The Kung Fu Hustle but we sometimes mix it up. Jack is not so much a dancer. He likes doing the kung fu moves in the "hustle" but mostly he just watches me. Eva, on the other hand, she's in the center of it all. That music starts, and she starts squealing and clapping. She loves dancing.
My love of dancing started very young, in private. I was a large child and incredibly awkward in that I was the tallest girl in my class and not so much a petite flower. I tried ballet but I can't tell you the trauma I still have of that horrible time. Man! I was B-A-D!
But I always danced at home. I danced with my Dad on the counter, as he sang to me. I danced in my room to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. I danced to Joan Jett and the GoGo's. I danced all the time.
I finally took my "dancing skills" I had honed in my bedroom public with I was a teen. My friends and I would go dancing every weekend at an 18 and over club in Virginia called.......wait for it.........Ferrari's. Ah, yes Ferrari's. Some of my fondest memories were made in that club in a strip mall. That's where I learned to do the "running man", the "Kid 'n Play", made up "the Kristi Dance" and many other now hilarious dance moves. As a matter of fact, when I went to NY this weekend, I was able to bust some of those moves after a few cocktails. 37 years old and I've STILL got it! :)
I thought I would do a list off the top of my head of songs that have the word "dance" in the title. I came up with 20:
-The Safety Dance (of course)
-Dancin' on the Ceiling
-Dancing in the Street
-You Should be Dancing
-Rythm is a Dancer
-Let's Dance (David Bowie)
-Save the Last Dance for Me
-Dancing with Myself
-Dancing in the Dark
-Shall We Dance? (from The King and I)
-I Could Have Danced All Night (from My Fair Lady)
-Dancing in the Sheets
-Dance with Me
-I Want to Dance with Somebody (Whitney Houston)
-I Don't Feel Like Dancin' (Scissor Sisters)
Off the top of your head, what did I forget???
Thursday, December 13, 2007
As I mentioned, I went to NYC this weekend to spend time with my friends and see my dearest, Joseph. As I have mentioned in previous posts, Joseph has his first book of his poetry out. I was so lucky that he had a reading the weekend we were there.
I thought I would post a poem he read. I think it is just beautiful.
Imagined Love Poem to my Mother from my Father
My mermaid, I watched you scaling milkfish.
Your hands and arms were silver,
and your body flecked
with otherworldly raindrops.
You were a silver mine to be mined.
Perched on a high branch of your mother's
mango tree, I saw only a glimmer
of the blade as you scaled the fish, upand-
down strokes, repeatedly,
gracefully, like an artist whose gift flows
through her veins. A strand of your hair
danced across your forehead, sweat
trickled down the joyous strained lines
of your neck, and your breasts, like twin
bells, I heard their transcendental
sounds. The glistening, naked
milkfish escaped the warm Pacific
for such honor. Kismet, chosen by Neptune,
it entangled itself on the fisherman's
net and beckoned you with its fresh,
clear eyes. You sliced
its stomach, sweet blade twisting
in me, scooped out its innards,
the heart, pulled out the gills
from underneath its head's protective plates.
I almost fell off the tree, there was a deep
aching in my chest, and my breathing
was shallow. Crouched beside the spigot,
your brown arms pumped briskly for water
as you cleaned the fish, cradled
by the softest hands, blood
and scales streaming onto the earth.
Didn't you hear the fish mouthing my words
as you were salting it: Do unto me, the spy
up on the thick fruit tree, as you have done
unto the milkfish? One day I hope
to recite for you these verses
and in my voice you will hear,
from across the oceans surrounding
the archipelago, as if reverberated through
the ages, the voice of our future son.
© 2007 Joseph Legaspi
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Basically, I stay with my dearest Joseph (without hubby and kids!) and my girlfriends stay in a nearby hotel. What makes it really fun is that it just puts me in the Christmas spirit.
I've been doing alot of things recently to get me in the spirit from our annual Christmas tree cutting ceremony, to watching as many of my Christmas favorites as I can (White Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Year Without a Santa Claus) but nothing gets me going quite as much as my New York trip.
So, on to the stalking. My "celebrity sightings" seem to be feast or famine when I go. This year, we were a bit up. We saw Andy Samberg, Seth Meyers, Lucy Liu, Fred Schneider (from the B52's) and who I'm pretty sure is Giuliani (I'm counting him anyway).
I have to say I'm a pretty cool cat when it comes to celebrities. I mean, I don't gawk or take pictures. I know they are just normal folks trying to go into a paper store or head to the bank or whatever.
But, since my SNL radar was up, I had hoped to see who Joseph calls my "girl crush", Tina Fey. I just love her. I'm not kidding. She's so amazing. Smart, hilarious and a UVA grad! How can you not love that! I'm also such a huge fan of 30 Rock, I just can't stand it.
AND I totally think we could be friends. She's a brunette, I'm brunette (mostly), she's a mom, I'm a mom, she wears glasses, I wear glasses, she knows Alec Baldwin, I once saw him in a bar. See, so much to chat about already!
That said, I think I might fall apart if I met her.
It might be another Bill/Felicity moment.
Let's go back to 1999, shall we?
Joseph and I once met William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman on the street in NY. We had seen an off-broadway play with "Bill". We were standing outside of the theatre just chatting away about the play when I notice Felicity Huffman standing next to me. I turn to her and completely blurt out very loudly "Sports Night is my favorite show!" She looks at me and says, "thanks?" Embarassed, I walk away. Joseph laughed at me and said, "nice work, way to be cool." Then, all of a sudden out of nowhere, Bill Macy is standing next to us. He looks right at Joseph and says, "do I know you?" Joseph very sheepishly, "uh, no, we're just really big fans." I chime in, "yeah, big fans." He said, "thanks?" And they walked away, hand in hand.
We can now only get within 300 feet of them but it was totally worth it.
Maybe it's better I didn't run in to Tina.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
My family and I took my favorite walk of the year today. We went to a Christmas tree farm and cut down our own tree.
We started this tradition about six years ago, the Christmas after we got married. Jon is Jewish so he never had a tree growing up. When I told him that I was going to head to the local tree stand to purchase, he went online and found a farm.
Every year since then, we've headed to the surrounding areas to cut down our tree. Some farms have hay-rides to the fields (as this one did today), most have little shops where they sell homemade pies, cider and Christmas tree ornaments. The place we went today even had a train ride through the property. Jack had such a great time. It just puts me so much into the Christmas spirit.
Running through the rows of trees, Jack looked at every tree. Can we have this one, Mommy? This one? We finally picked our tree. It was a small one. We usually get two trees. One small one for the den and a big one for the dining room.
Jack and Jon grabbed a saw and T-I-M-B-E-R down it went.
This week, Jack and I will make ornaments for it. Heck, we might even string popcorn!
It's beginning to look alot like Christmas! Now, if only it would drop below 80 degrees!!
Monday, November 26, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I got several emails on the back story of Eva in this photo so here you go:
Eva robbed a bank and the "pigs" got a hold of her, see. Doing her "time" of three minutes of time out has made her hard. She came off of her naughty mat with an Elmo tatoo. I hardly know her anymore.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Immediately, my palms started to sweat. Isn't this a craft that the teachers usually do? Why are they making the parents do this?
Here's my problem. In addition to the MANY things that I have NO skill in whatsoever, I am a terrible artist. Seriously, when I draw, people comment on what a great artist Jack is.
Now I have to build a pilgrim hat from scratch? Immediately, I take off to Michael's where I'm SURE they have a pilgrim hat kit.
Guess what. Like all retailers these days, they have completely skipped over Thanksgiving and have all their Christmas decorations up. No pilgrims there. Oh, man, I have to do this myself.
So, here you go. My attempt at a project usually reserved for five year olds. Not bad, eh?
(this is also posted on the North Texas Kids website)
As part of a group called Mother Talk, I get to review books from time to time. Of all the books that they had available for review, The Daring Book for Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz was the one that intrigued me the most.
Why? Well, those of you who know me know I am most definitely NOT a girly girl. I have short hair because I can't style it. I wear little to no make up because I don't know how to put it on without looking like a clown. I hate shoe shopping because my feet are gigantic and narrow so they never have any shoes to fit me. I am a terrible cook so Jon does all the cooking.
So, when I had my daughter a year ago, I was a bit terrified. What am I going to teach this poor child?
When I saw this book on the list, I immediately signed up. In reading it, it turns out that I am more of a girly girl than I realize (at least to the Daring Book for Girls authors). I know how to make friendship bracelets! I know how to play hopscotch! I can make a mean sit upon! I can play freeze tag! Maybe there is hope for my daughter after all!
I cannot wait to sit down with Eva when she gets a bit older and read this to her. What an interactive story time we'll have! I know she'll enjoy the story of the female pirates and the real-life princesses in addition to learning to make a clock run off lemons??! What fun!
One thing that I think is really a neat is that each of the sections is multi-faceted. For example, the section on weather not only has the definitions of cloud types but famous sayings about the weather and even poems about the weather. Most of the sections on sports not only have a how-to play but a history of the sport. I also enjoyed how they chose such interesting sports or "sports" as it were.
I have to say, I have had more fun reading this book. In addition to all the history lessons given, I learned all important karate moves. Each night Jack, Eva and I have a dance party before dinner. Our song of choice? The Kung Fu Hustle. So, now when we're "kung fu fighting, fast as lightning", I can look like a professional!
The best part for me, however, as the title of this blog states, is I can now whistle! I can't wait to try my new found skills on NYC cabs in a couple of weeks when I go. Thank you Daring Book for Girls!
Here we are, just in time for Christmas. I would highly recommend this book as a Christmas gift to girls of any age. I know I'll be sending it out for sure.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
October was such a busy month. Between weddings, Jack's soccer, parents in town, Eva's birthday, Eva's sudden illness (a mean bout with RSV, ugh), Halloween, and that dreaded kitchen remodel, I seriously feel like I completely missed the month. I feel like I've been on auto-pilot just moving from one event to the next.
When I was young(er) and single, I had plans 6 nights of the week. EVERY WEEK! Six nights, I would be out on the town or over a friend's house or staying out late and then would get up and go to work. Sleep? No problem. I'll just take a power snooze at 5p when I get home from work so I'll be ready for the next night's activities.
What happened to me? Eva gets sick and I average three hours sleep for seven days. It about kills me. I was so tired, I could not even blog about how tired I was.
I'm 37. I guess I have to accept it. I'll save my big nights out for my trip to JazzFest in April or my girl's weekend in NYC in December or the occasional time Jon and I get a sitter. And you know what? That's ok. Just please give me a little rest from time to time.
So, now we're in November. It's fall and the weather is fabulous. I've had two nights rest and feeling really good. Ready for November. Bring it on.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Happy First Birthday, Baby Girl! It's been one year and I can hardly believe it. It seems like yesterday that you came out in the world your own special way. Mommy still has the scars to prove it!
I thought I would do a little post about all the things I love about you:
-Your smile takes my breath away.
-When I hear your little voice say, "hola!", my heart smiles.
-I love it when you sing along to music.
-I love the way, you light up a room with your sheer joy.
-I love your sheer determination to do anything. (THAT one I'm sure will come back to bite me later! For now, it's adorable!)
-I love the fact that there is no one better in your eyes than your father.
-I love that despite the fact that he can be difficult towards you, you still love your brother.
-I love rocking you to sleep.
-I love the fact that you will answer to us with your name, Eva, and your nickname given to you by your brother, Little Fuzz.
-I love the fact that I'm your Mom and I can't wait for all the adventures we'll get in together.
You have made our family so complete in such a short time, I can't imagine what life would have been without you in it.
A very happy first birthday, my little Eva Jane.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Anyway, so, here you go. Start to finish.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Just a few parenting tips from an expert.
I have to say, I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for the kitchen. I cannot believe the difference. Should have it done by Friday in time for the birithday party and I'll post pics of the finished product.
Could this really be almost over?????!!!
Monday, October 08, 2007
Just got back from Philly to attend the wedding of one of my best friends, Alex. I had such a great weekend. It is so amazing to see so many folks that I have not seen in so long.
Most of these folks I knew in my high school/early college days in Virginia. Back when we used to go clubbing every weekend and have "dance offs." Back when we used to shoot movies until four AM most weekends (Go Leland Files!) Back when we used to travel to DC from time to time and sit on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial until dawn. Back when we used to walk on the beach and lay out covering ourselves in baby oil to get just the right tan (well SOME of us needed to tan!) Back when most of us worked at the movie theatre and some of us worked at the Cookie Company across the mall hallway. Back when we would sit at the banks of the Hague river and read and talk all afternoon. Back when we had a radio show at WODU on Friday nights. Back when we were young and carefree.
While we all do not hang out together that much anymore, it was so great to see how much we are all so different but yet still the same. Some are married, some not. Some have kids, some not. Some still in Virginia, some very far away. Some see each other more than others.
I can only hope that my kids can be as lucky as I to have found such amazing life-long friends.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
So, Jon and I decided that we have had enough of our terrible wallpaper in our kitchen. By Jon and I, I mean just me, really. So, I've decided that we should remodel the kitchen.
As is the case with many, times they is a-tight for us. So, we thought, this might be a project we could manage ourselves. Everyone suggested that we just paint over the wallpaper. So, that's the plan. Please keep in mind, Jon and I have NEVER done anything of this magnitude. I've painted plenty of rooms but this is my first ever wallpaper experience.
I thought I would keep a daily journal of our remodel.
We've taken next week off and have been preparing for two weeks with colors, etc.
Day 1-Saturday, September 29
Yesterday, I spent the afternoon spakling the cracks we have in the wall. Easy enough. This morning, I was following the directions on how to sand things when off comes a HUGE chunk of wallpaper. On the phone with my remodeling expert Mother, she tells me that I will probably just have to remove the paper. Ugh. There goes my timeline.
Off I go to the Depot. I buy Dif and various tools for wallpaper removal. At 8:30 am, I begin to remove the paper.
9:00pm. Only two walls done. My god, this is hard. I should not be surprised at how badly the walls were underneath or what cockamamie job the previous owners did at wallpapering, given their talents in other rooms we've already remodeled. There was layer after layer of god only knows what. None of it liked coming off the wall, that's for sure. We are having to remove the paper with our fingernails. Pulling each layer off in one inch strips. But, there has to be a better way. I say, Jon, "wouldn't a steamer be more helpful?" He says, "yes, that's what the professionals have and I think they rent them from the Depot." Why didn't you tell me this 10 hours ago??? Back to the Depot. Jon and I work with the steamer (yea!) until 10:20pm
Day 2-Sunday, September 30
8:00am. Jon starts to work with the steamer. His sister, thankfully, takes Jack away for several hours so we only have Eva--and Eva likes to nap. Wahoo, we're getting Lots done today!
12pm-Jack's home. Time for Mommy to stop working. We still only have three walls done. Ugh. Jon is working HARD!
2p-Nap time. Will this ever end??
8p-FINALLY finished wallpaper removal. Oh, man, you should see how badly the walls are damaged. Call Mother (again) and she tells me to go to HGTV.com to find out how to fix it. They are very encouraging with a step by step guide. They have rated my problem/solution as a level 2 out of four on the easy fix it scale. I'm about a level 1-A but two is not so far out of reach.
Day 3-October 1
Off I go to the Depot (again) for more supplies. I'm armed with my printout from HGTV. Jon's off to Miami (conveniently, I say), so I"m flying solo for two days. Fortunately for me, Jack is off to school this morning so I just have Eva. Who likes to nap.
While at the Depot, I realize that I have no idea what I'm doing. They say to get drywall compound. All I see is joint compound. Is that the same? They don't have any tools that look like what I'm seeing. I flag down a friendly Depot employee who then asks another employee to help me. While I'm waiting, a friendly painter is nearby. He sees the look of terror on my face and offers to help me. He says to save money, I should roll a coat of flat paint over my holes so that the drywall will stick. Great. Another step and another day lost. Good news, I know how to roll out paint. Tomorrow, is the big drywall day.
Day 4-October 2
My week is quickly slipping by. Am I even going to be close to finishing this project? By the way, I have determined that I HATE DRYWALL! Why is this a level 2? I would hate to see what a level 3 would be! Thankfully, Jack's in school and Eva likes to nap because I swear, this is just WAITING for their little handprints to come in and smear around. Jack has been very good thus far in staying away. We're on day 4 and I'm not sure how much longer he'll stay away. So, here I sit, 5:30p. My wall is drying and it is looking very scary. My sister insists that all will be taken care of with a little sanding. A lot of sanding, I think. Honsestly, I'm beginning to worry that after all this work I'll have to pay someone to come in and do it. It's like when those mom's go through 17 hours of labor and have to have a c-section. That's my kitchen. My 17 hour labor/c-section project. Actually, having had a c, I think I felt better after that than I do right now with this f*%$$%$ kitchen.
Day 5-October 3
Ok, I must admit. I took today off from that kitchen. Thankfully, Jon came home last night and only one of us could sand at a time. I decided to change out the kids clothes from summer to fall. All day long I hear Jon in the kitchen grunting and sanding. Ugh. It's 2:37p and I have inspected his work. I have to say, my sister might be right. The walls actually don't look THAT bad. I really don't want to get too excited. I'm afraid of what will happen when we put the primer on in a few minutes.
Put the primer on. Only created one one-inch hole in the wall. Beyond that, it's great!
We have to put the project on hold to go to a wedding tomorrow in Philly. Hopefully, nothing will fall apart while we're gone.
Update--Let me just say, when you say, you hope things don't fall apart, you really should just watch what you say. Jon noticed a little mold on the wall in our pantry on Wednesday evening. He then put his hand through the wall. Apparently, we have a leak in our washing machine that has had water flooding in our walls for sometime now. According to the handyman who had to come today to help us, it takes a LONG time to mold insulation. Ours was barely recoginzable. Ugh. So, we have to fix this, before we can finish our project. I really love being a home owner!
Sunday, September 30, 2007
For me, I had to think long and hard. I have not felt powerful since my kids were born. It's an amazing thing, becoming a mother for the first time. That feeling of powerful and powerless hit you at the exact same moment. Your thoughts range from, "I can shape this child" to "how am I going to shape this child?" all within five minutes of each other.
To say when was the last time I felt really powerful that I can do anything had to be when I took a trip before I got married in 2001. I toured the world for nine weeks prior to moving to Dallas.
All that planning. Where do I want to go from here? I just took a world map and thought, where have I always wanted to go? The world was at my disposal.
The trip started with a wedding in India with my dearest Joseph Legaspi. JoJo and I decided to take three weeks to tour India. We ended in Bombay. From there, I went to Singapore and then Australia for a couple of weeks. Then, off to Korea and Japan.
Touring all those places by myself is such a scary undertaking. It makes you really force yourself to be the bravest and strongest person you can. In short, your most powerful you.
Friday, September 28, 2007
My favorite line from last night was said by the Steve Carrell character, Michael Scott, "I'm not superstitious, but I'm a little bit stitious."
They must have had that stowed away for YEARS until they could use it.
Classic The Office. If you don't watch, you should.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Today, I walked in the door, Eva was sitting in her high chair, she looked dead at me, smiled and said clear as day, "hola!"
Gotta love Texas.
This weekend, when I was off at a friend's wedding, I had the chance to finish What Mothers Do Especially When It Looks Like Nothing by Naomi Stadlen.
In reading this, I was thrown back to a couple of years ago when Jack was small. I would be at home and wonder, what did I do all day? I'm sure that I did something but when Jon came home, all I could mutter would be things like, "Totally exhausted. Here's son. Must sleep." God love Jon, he would ask with genuine interest in helping me cope better, "what made this day so exhausting?" I had no way to tell him why I was so tired.
I wish back then, someone had given me this book. This book was the voice that I did not have three years ago when dealing with my newborn son.
Told through interviews with mothers in London, Naomi Stadlen shows us exactly WHAT we do during the day. I swear, she must have heard me speaking to my friends at some point because so many of the quotes sounded just as if I had said them.
She makes many points in the book but one that really struck me is the uncertainty that so many mothers have about raising their children and the fact that so many books have conflicting information in them. Of course, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be the best parent we can. So, to whom do we turn for advice? We turn to books. This can be the most frustrating course of action.
What Mothers Do is a calming force in the sea of parenting books. It shows us how we are terrific parents and that we are not alone. It does not try to give us advice on whether or not we should let our babies cry but rather shows us that no matter whether or not we let our babies cry, each tiny decision we make on behalf of our children during the day is definitely not nothing.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
So, I probe Jack further. Jack, why did James hit you?
"Mommy, because I called him Chad" What? "Yes, James wants to be called James and not Chad but I kept calling him Chad over and over." "He asked me to stop, I said, no, Chad, I will keep calling you Chad." This goes on for a while. I ask more questions and am just perplexed by the situation.
While he keeps telling me that he kept calling him Chad over and over, I was thinking why Chad? Does he even know a Chad? Is Chad on his soccer team? His yoga class?
Finally, I asked Jack if he called him Chad after another kid in school.
Jack looked at me and said, "No, Mommy. Chad like the country!!!"
How stupid of me not to think of that first. I guess I had better spring for that world map. I swear, sometimes, he's too smart for a three-year old. I think I'm in for it.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I put down my stuff and say to Jack, ok, I'll take care of the "monster." I look in my three-foot tall hamper only to have a pair of beady eyes looking back. A possum had invaded my laundry hamper.
I immediately grab Jack out of the laundry room and shaking, call our handy man, Dub. Dub says, he can come get him tomorrow, if I would like, and get rid of him. If he's escaped, he'll set a trap for him.
Escaped??!!! Into my laundry room??!!! I must get the hamper out of my laundry room.
In the middle of the night outside of my window I hear, tink--tink--tink--crash. My beady-eyed friend escaped.
Dub came this morning to set a trap. He then tells me that once we have him again, all Jon has to do is put the trap in the car, drive it to the lake and let him go.
Sure, I said, but Jon is in London.
Wait. You can't mean that I HAVE TO PUT IT IN MY CAR AND TAKE IT TO THE LAKE???!!!
You know, this is why we live in town so that we don't have critters coming into our homes. Guess living this close to the park has its drawbacks.
Dub assures me that once I open the trap, the animal (whatever kind I have caught) will then run the other way. Yeah right. That's REALLY comforting.
Time to get my big-girl panties on.... (to be continued)
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Me? I think of my dad and my grandmother.
I think of all those years in school when I was a terrible writer (read: I do not care about school, why are you making me go?) Not only did I have tough teachers at school, I had a tough teacher at home, my ninja grammarian-former-english-and-latin- teaching father.
I can't recall the number of reports that I gave to my dad to proof only to have them completely re-written in red ink. Even to this day, my father is my #1 choice for grammar questions. He proofs nearly all my work (except for this website-ha ha) Now, instead of red ink, he can use word's red font. Things have not changed all that much.
Daddy came by his grammar snobbery honestly. He got it from the second-most wonderful woman to have ever walked on this planet, his mother (of course, mine being the most wonderful).
We called her Bama. She had the sharpest wit and could reduce you to tears of laughter from any one of her many hilarious life stories. But, Bama could shame anyone on grammar. She was the absolute authority. Just to be sure we knew what we were saying, she used to give us pop-quizzes. Phone conversations would begin like this, "Binky, tell me why you use the word 'lie' instead of 'lay' when you are going to lie down?" Uh, Bama, I was just calling to ask you to my choral recital but since you asked....
I am thankful to them both for making me love writing as much as I do now. They made me and still make me want to be a better writer.
So, the pop-quizzes live on in my house. My poor husband and children. Additionally, I find myself using many of her sayings. "Hey Mom! I'm done with dinner!" "Done with dinner? What are you, a turkey? Honey, it's finished."
Somewhere far away, I'm sure that she's smiling.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Here's my question. Is there a market to wax or pluck eyebrows of 10-month olds? What kind of mother would sign up for those?
Oh, yes, mam, I have an at home treatment. I put scalding wax on Eva's face and then rip the hairs from her skin twice per month. She cries a little but don't you just love the results?
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
-I have a little crush on Zac Efron.
-Yes, he's half my age.
-Yes, I just admitted that an adult is half my age.
-Anytime 13 Going on 30 comes on television, I have to watch it.
-Speaking of movies, one of my favorite movies is Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan.
-On my first date EVER, I fell off a curb in front of the two entire high school football teams with a full stadium watching. My hatian bag purse spilled all over the floor. Among other things, out came a hairdryer and feminie products. I should have taken that as a sign of dating dramas to come.
-I used to go rollerskating every Sunday night to Christian music when I was in high school. As a friend once said, "yeah, man, we're skating for God."
-Sometimes, I just need a minute.
-I'm Walkin' on Sunshine is my favorite song.
-Sometimes I listen to my son's CD's in the car when he's not there.
-I sing karaoke in my house when I'm alone (and sometimes when I'm not)...mostly old Bon Jovi stuff
-At my surprise 16th birthday party, I was wearing a teal shirt with pineapples on it, a fedora, a diamond in one ear and a cross in the other, stretch pants that were rolled up AND was quoted on video as saying, "Oh, my, I'm so surprised! Thank god, I dressed up!"
Anything you want to share?
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
In my own home, my darling hubby can be counted in the 25%. Actually, the last book I remember Jon reading was Seabiscuit and that was in 2002. Now, Jon loves the newspaper and we are avid readers of that but books, for some reason cannot hold his interest.
Even I have found my reading slowing down. BK (before kids) I always had a book going. Now, that precious sleep is more enticing. I think that I have only read five books this year.
With so much information being fed to us via computers and television, it is not surprising that reading something that does not have pictures attached to it causes too much stress on your brain. I mean, where would we be if we did not get to see "art" with our stories. What? Have to imagine what a collapsed bridge looks like? What? Have to imagine what Lindsey Lohan was wearing when she wrecked her car?
Even so many books are being turned into movies. I'm all supportive of that, truth be told. I kind of like to think of it as a different perspective on the story. Heaven only knows that they never follow what happens in the book, anyway. The book is always more of a guide to the characters than the actual storyline of a movie. AND yes, I always read the book before going to the movie.
But have they gone too far? I read recently, that they are making a movie from The Daring Book for Boys. They are somehow making a movie from a book that shows you how to make go-carts. Huh?
Back to our house. Jon and I do read to Jack every night. Every single night without fail. We even read to Eva, but she just likes eating the pages now. Soon, though, we'll begin our family reading time.
I have always felt that one of the greatest lessons you can teach your child is to have them see you reading a book to instill the importance of using your imagination. I sure hope that is true for our kids.
Monday, August 13, 2007
My view from the swing
It is funny, this week's Sunday Scribblings was exactly what I was thinking about posting today.
I spent the last four wonderful days with my Mother and two sisters (sans kids...wahoo! and a shout-out to Jon!) in Asheville, NC. For those who have never been there, I highly recommend it. We stayed in a beautiful B&B on a hill called Chateau on the Mountain (thanks Jean and Lee!) and just relaxed, hiked, shopped, ate and drank wine the entire weekend. Pretty much perfection.
So, one morning, I could not sleep and I woke up at 5am. Not wanting to wake Mother and my sisters, I went outside to sit in a swing and watch the sun rise over the mountains. As I sat, hearing nothing but the sound of cicadas and the eventual sound of birds chirping, I got goosebumps at the beauty of it all. It was my private moment. No one tugging on me asking questions, no one screaming and asking me to pick her up. Just me in the swing.
Before I had Jack, Jon and I took a babymoon to Anquilla and St. Martin. My happy place was always that day on Anguilla when I sat between two palm trees in a hammock on the ocean and read a book in its entirety. I do not know that that day can ever be topped, but this was pretty close. I was very happy to add another "happy" place to my arsenal.
So, here's my question of the day. Where is your happy place?
Dozier women take on the Blue Ridge Parkway!
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Jack drives the truck.
Jack and Daddy sit on the back.
Jack and the "nice firemen."
Eva just hangs out.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
The prompt for this week is: Decision. I hope you make it a good one!
Each week, my BFF Jana goes to this website called Sunday Scribblings (www.sundayscribblings.blogspot.com). It is a site that gives you a topic to blog about. I've been enjoying hers for quite some time. I've made a decision to start to blog each week (if I can) with the topic.
So, this weekend's topic, oddly enough, is decisions. I thought alot about what to say with this topic. Should I talk about decisions that shaped my life? About the time that I went to Pat O'Brien's and met my husband? Or when we went to F&M's and Jana met hers? Or about the time I walked past a visiting colleague's office on my way home, went back to introduce myself, and through her ended up meeting some of the best friends I have? Or about the time I quit my job in Atlanta on the fly and moved back home to Virginia to live with my beloved Grandfather to finish my education?
There are so many small decisions you make in a day. Who knows how many of those seeming inconsequential decisions change the course of your life forever?
Thursday, August 02, 2007
For those not familiar, it is a free local posting. You can find anything on it. You can check it out by going to craigslist.org and looking to the right to click on your area.
Take for example, we had a garage sale this weekend. We sold SO much stuff, it was unbelievable. We were very happy with the results. I could not believe what we sold. Credit to Jon, we sold a bag of torn towels that we were going to throw away for $2 as "shop rags". Man, people will buy anything, that's for sure.
The greatest things about the sale were that 1-I did not have to pay for a listing in the newspaper, we had MANY folks come by who had seen my listing on craigslist. 2-I did not have to negotiate the price of any of the big stuff. Once the sale was over, I just took some pics of our big items that did not sell and put them on craigslist. In one day, we have nearly sold everything adding an additional $250 to our total.
The sale got rid of all the small stuff in our garage, and craigslist got the rest of it AT our asking price with no negotiation.
Gotta love the internet.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Tonight, we were there and poor Eva hit the tired wall. When Jack was little, he could fall asleep anywhere. Poor Eva, she just can't. So, she cried. And cried. Jon and I took turns taking her out to calm down. Keep in mind, Eva is not the only child in this restaurant. There were literally hundreds of kids running around and yelling and the restaurant is LOUD.
So, Jon brings Eva back and I was finishing my meal to take my turn when some woman yelled from the next table, "please pack up your food and take your screaming child home."
I said, "excuse me?" She then said, "I did not come out to dinner to have a child screaming at the next table."
I could not believe my ears. I politely turned to her and said, "well, maybe you should have picked a different restaurant."
I'm not kidding when I say that it was all I could do not to hurl something (or expletives) at her. I took Eva out so Jon could finish his dinner.
Five minutes later, when Eva was happy, I brought her back and moved my chair so that woman could have a clear view of my daughter.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Yeah, it's diaper rash cream and then covered with baby powder. Check out the dresser behind them. You can't see the rest of the room in this photo but you get the idea.
Jon and I took the family to Houston this weekend. One thing about the way we travel, if we have the time, we always take the back roads. I really think that it gives you such a good feel for the area.
As we left for our trip, I picked up our paper to read in the car. There was this article on "geotourism." What? Basically, it is a made-up word to describe pretty much how every person over the age of 30 traveled when they were 22. It's learning where the locals eat and play. It's going to Australia and instead of hitting your Starbucks (yes, they have them there, I saw them), you can find where the locals go for their coffee. For some reason, the world is so homogonized, we need a word for that.
So, back to Saturday. We hit the road early and headed down I-45. Jon had looked on a website to find where people had blogged about a good restaurant for us to have lunch off the beaten path. Boy, did he find one.
In Huntsville, TX, the New Zion Missionary Baptist Church has a BBQ restaurant attached to it. If you go there, please do not be confused with the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church. As we found out, they have no restaurant.
I called the restaurant to get information on where they are. I was told to exit 45 at Montgomery Street, turn towards the Dairy Queen and drive until I saw a smoker on the side of a church. Now, I knew I was going to love it.
We followed the directions and sure enough, they were correct. It was a shack with a smoker in front right next to a church. AND was the food good! In addition, I give it an A++ on atmosphere.
Having spent much time in New Orleans, I always follow the rules that the more run down the restaurant, the better the food. That is definitely the case here.
I asked the guy how long they had been in business, he said, "well, there were some folks who started it when they were young. Then, they got old. Then, they gave it to the church."
So, if you want to experience "geotourism" right here in Texas, I highly recommend it!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Mommy, are you awake?
Will you please rub my back?
Did you sleep all night long?
Why is Daddy snoring?
Can we go to the den?
Why do you have that piece of paper?
What is that pen for?
What are you writing?
Can we watch TV this morning?
Are these my big boy pants?
Is poo poo good for your body?
Can I go potty now?
Why does little bus make this noise?
Is that dog barking at the trash truck?
Why did the trash truck take my bat?
Is it because I hit my baby sister?
Am I a good boy now?
Is Maria coming today?
Is she ok?
Why is she at her doctor and not mine?
Where does my doctor live?
What's that noise?
Is Little Fuzz (his sister) awake?
Where is my airplane?
Is this a regional jet or a 777?
Why do I have more in the diaper bag?
My diaper bag or yours?
Is Little Fuzz awake?
Is Willam coming today?
Will we be playing on the slip and slide?
Will he be bringing his swimsuit?
Can we go get Little Fuzz now?
Why are we by ourselves in my room?
Why is Daddy still sleeping?
If I am a good boy today, can I have my trash truck out of the closet?
Can I vaccum the room?
Why doesn't Little Fuzz eat chest anymore?
I'm too big to eat chest, too?
Eva is as big as I am?
Why can't I hit my baby sister?
Do I have a guitar like Smitty (from the Imagination Movers)?
Can we dance to the Imagination Movers?
What are you doing?
Why are you taking sleep out of Eva's eye?
Why is Eva lifting herself up on the bed?
When can I take Pancake (his stuffed dog) on a 777 airplane in the morning?
Why is Lightning McQueen a car?
Why do I have brown eyes?
Why do you have brown eyes?
Why does Eva have blue eyes?
Can I snuggle with you and Eva on the bed?
Yes, honey, I'd love to snuggle with you and Eva on the bed. Let's just please have quiet time for 5 minutes, heck, I'll even take 1 minute.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
I always imagined that at some point I would get one but when he's three???!!!.
I guess I should have been prepared. Towards the end of the school year, I got a note from Jack's teacher saying that one day, he had been put in timeout 8 times. He is in school FOUR hours and had timeout 8 times. But he was not sent to the office.
Yesterday, he was so bad, he was sent to the office. I can only imagine that since they did not send him to the office on the day he had 8 timeouts what he must have done to get sent there yesterday.
If I were only a rap star.... Too bad I did not think of these names earlier. Also, if I were to write a song, it would sound alot like this.
Most of you do not know that I have a rap name. It's Azz Kikah. On the street, I just go by Azz. Ok, by the "street" I mean in my living room or on the street outside of my best friend, Joseph's NYC apartment. So, I guess you can call it a "street" name but Chelsea is hardly the 'hood. Also, it is hard to have street cred when you thought of your rap name over Sunday brunch at a french restaurant in the West Village.
I guess I keep it so that one day, I can make up a story about how cool and hip I once was.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Well, I had quite a week. Jon's sister is the Executive Director of Nobel Women's Initiative, a collective of all the living female Nobel Peace Prize winners. www.nobelwomensinitiative.org
Of the 100 winners, only 12 have been women. Of those 12, 7 are still living and one is under house arrest in Burma. This week, three of the 7 came to Dallas to speak of peace. I was lucky to not only meet all three but get to spend considerable amounts of time with them one on one. It was an experience I won't ever forget.
There were many things that were interesting about meeting three of the most accomplished women in the world. First, what made me most excited was how down to earth each of them was. I know that everyone says that that they are just "human like the rest of us". But I have to admit, I was extremely nervous meeting them. I mean, what would I have to say? Let's see. Anyone read People this week? No? Well, I'm out.
These women were so funny and so amazing. One of my favorite conversations that I had with Jody Williams was which of the chores in the house we both liked/disliked. Now, that's a subject I have lots of knowledge on!
The unfortunate part of the conference occured early on. Betty Williams won for her work in Northern Ireland back in '76. She gave a great and very emotional speech about how much work she was doing to help refugee children. She has this amazing plan to create a City of Peace for refugee children. Not a pie in the sky city but an actual one. They have already had the land donated to them by the Italian government.
Anyway, during the Q&A portion, Betty was asked how it would be that Americans can get back in the good graces of the world. She said, "Impeach Bush". Everyone applauded. Then she made the comment, "man, he is so bad, I could kill that guy." Of course, the next day, front section, page 2 of the Dallas Morning News, "Nobel Peace Laureate wants to Kill the President". ugh. No mention at all of her Peace City or anything else. Day 2, it was on the front page of the paper. I was so angry. I mean, yes, she should have known better being in such a conservative town like Dallas and saying things like that where the media was present. It was just so frustrating. Never mind the irony in the title of the article.
Overall, it was a great conference. During Jody's speech, she made a call to action to stop talking about things and do something. It really made me think about what I can do here locally. While I am unable to run for anything, maybe I can support someone who is. I'll write my congressman more. He really needs some work. I'll fight Fidelity more to have them remove their money from the Chinese government who is supporting the crisis in Darfur.
It is so important, as a parent, to show your children that it is OK to get involved. While I'm often not sure of the example we set for our kids in other ways, Jon and I always take our children to vote. My daughter is 9 months old and has voted with me three times.
So, my thought today, whatever your politics, what are you doing? Whatever you talk about doing, don't be afraid, just do it. Think about where women would be if those brave ladies did not fight for our right to vote. To quote Yoda, "Do or do not, there is no try."
Thursday, June 21, 2007
How I Spent Last Night or Why You Should Never Drink a Bottle of Wine by Yourself When Your Husband is Out of Town
Ahead of the game, I put both kids in bed by 7:30p and settled down with a bottle of wine that I had chilled all day and a cheesy movie I won't admit to watching. AND I had the TV all to myself with no eye-rolling from my husband when I wanted to watch said cheesy movie.
In the first 30 min, Jack was up 7 times. 7! Mommy, please tell me a story. Mommy, let's call Daddy. Mommy, why is the sky blue? Eva, on the other hand, I believe is teething and shot up around 8:30 for an hour and a half. Bitter much? Yes, for sure.
Then, at 3a, for some unexplained reason, Jack was back in my bed. Ordinarily, this would not be a problem for a parent BUT Jack likes to move around the entire night, talk in his sleep and kick me in the face. He's not now the cuddle bunny he used to be. That said, I have no abilitiy to put him back in his own bed at that hour. Why the parenting books all insist this is the right thing to do is beyond me. How is someone lucid enough at that hour to march their child back into their bed? I'm weak. I admit it.
Now, back to the wine. Yes, I drank the whole bottle. Did not seem like such a bad idea until Jack was trying to have a conversation with me at 6am on whether or not he could hear crickets outside. Sadly, I had no husband to pawn him off on.
Yes, Jack, there are crickets. Now, help Mommy take the bottle of wine to the recycling bin.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Sitting at this table called love
Staring down at the irony of life
How come we’ve reached this fork in the road
And yet it cuts like a knife?
Feel free to watch the first episode on HBO.com/conchords/video
It has been quite an eight months. Dealing with my son, Jack and now this sweet little girl.
All my friends with two children told me it is like going from 0-100 in 20 seconds. They did not have my son. With him, it is like 0-400. He is so busy!
We seem to have good and bad patches. We're in a bad patch. Recently, I asked my husband if my voice sounded at the pitch only dogs could hear because for some reason, Jack just ignores me when I'm talking to him. Jon just walked away from me but my neighbor's dog sounded out, so who knows.
For father's day, we decided to go bowling. Anyone who knows anything about taking a three year-old bowling probably would have talked us out of it. More than once, i had to go diving down the lane of another bowler to retrieve Jack's ball that he insisted he throw himself. We did have fun and Jack loved it. I was just happy that Jack did not try to bowl his baby sister down the lane. I'm sure that he did not do that only because he did not think of it in time.
Jon is off in Miami this week, so I'm at home with the two kids. Tonight, I have a date with a bottle of wine and a bed.