Saturday, May 30, 2009

Semi-Random Saturday

I guess I could also have titled this "Mildly Entertaining Things My Children Have Done Lately".

The other day I was trying to talk to someone and Elizabeth kept saying "excuse me! excuse me!" over and over. She doesn't understand that even though she's polite she's still interrupting. Finally I turned to her and said in an extremely exasperated fashion, "WHAT!" She looked me straight in the eye and said "I love you!" Sneaky kid.


When the girls are pushing the tolerance buttons we count. What happens at what number depends on who is counting, but they know that counting in a certain tone means that they are supposed to stop something or another. Although all I need to do with Elizabeth is make eye contact and start holding up my fingers. It works. But all this attempted discipline has taught Lilli a lesson. Now if you are doing something that she wants you to stop, and she says "Don't want it!", which is her way of saying "cut that out!", and you don't stop? She will start barking out the numbers in a very stern and forbidding tone. I imagine she's imitating her Papa. He sounds a lot sterner than he is. At any rate, it's hilarious.


Lately the girls have been pretending to give each other hair cuts. It reinforces my decision so far to never let Elizabeth use scissors, and I think that will continue for a while. And for Lilli also.


Lilli is a complete and total drama queen. If she thinks she should be upset about something, she opens her mouth wide with pooched up lips (makes me think of a chimp about to hoot) and lets out a totally fake "Waaaaaaaa, aaaaaaa, aaaaaaa". She has also been know to cast herself dramatically to the floor, the picture of utter devastation at the cruelty of the world.


Elizabeth has a charming new habit lately of forcing herself to drink as much water as possible before bed, and, since she doesn't like to get out of her bed in the dark alone to use the potty, ensures at least one or two visits by mama and daddy to keep her company as she empties her bladder multiple times.


We solved Lilli's latest bedtime reluctance by letting her take a crank-type flashlight to bed. She is perfectly happy to be tucked in alongside flashlight now, and since there aren't any batteries it just require a minute of hand cranking to keep her happy long enough to doze off. The only bad part of this is that i made the mistake of showing her some shadow puppets (the basic hand varieties, dog, eagle, bunny, etc.) and now I have to sing Little Bunny Foo Foo even more frequently than I used to. And I am so sick of that song.


So there you have it, semi-random. Random things all about one topic, my favorite one naturally. I could talk about them all day. I'll resist.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Spin Cycle: To all the boys I loved (or liked, or whatever) before...

This week's Spin Cycle topic is dating.

While I could talk about some creative dates I've been taken on, or David's and my official first date (Johnny Rockets, a good month after we started "dating", he serenaded me with a ketchup bottle, I was simeoutaneously charmed and disturbed but here we are 10 years later), I find myself busy making cupcakes for the second time in a week and I'm going to cheat and do my first ever re-post. Sorry to those of you who read it the first time around, some other time I'll attempt something new and fresh.

The following was posted on January 6th, and it pretty much covers my dating experience. I called it "Name That Boyfriend"


"You know how you associate songs with certain old boyfriends (or girlfriends, of course)? I know some of you do. “Fields of Gold” anyone? Nudge, nudge. Yep, you know who you are... It doesn’t matter how you feel about a person now, whether it’s good, bad or indifferent, the right song can whisk you back into the past so fast your head spins.

So today I thought I’d give you my list.

Partly because I've been with David for more than 10 years which is more than one third of my life, which is weird all on its own, but also weird because if it weren't for the songs (and also my journals) I would have a hard time remembering what it felt like to be interested in anyone else.

And partly because my list is entertainingly eclectic. Except for all the songs by Cake, that's just a freakish coincidence. Hmmm. Perhaps this will be my next iPod play list.

Bear in mind that I wasn’t allowed to date until I was 16 so I’ll pretty much skip the soundtrack from before official dating (both the angst and the triumph), and I started dating my hubby when I was 19 so it was apparently a jam packed three years. But I assure you that, to a teenager, dating someone for 3 months feels like being married for 30 years, and there was only a wee bit of overlap in some of the cases, so um…yeah. I’m giving you a list of 10 guys and their songs, plus David. I’m skipping the crushes and the guys I dated that had very little impact on me either while or after we dated so they never got songs associated with them. Hmmm. I suspect my iPod playlist is going to be called "Top Ten Soundtrack".

So here they are starting with B…..

Ha ha! Just kidding. I’m not that stupid. I’m actually going to mix them way out of order. These are either songs that describe the relationship or had some sort of significance to it. Oh, and ummmm, if you happen to be ON the list and figure that out? Let’s never talk about this.

Behind Door Number One: "Till You Love Me" by Reba McIntyre, "You Don’t See Me" by Josie and the Pussycats, and "Dreams" by the Cranberries: This is my one exception to the dating thing. These are the songs that remind me of the great, unrequited love of my teenage years from the time I was around 14 and on. So of course “On My Own” from Les Miserables is on that list. Just like it's on the list of every girl who has been a teenager since the musical was written. I didn’t actually get over this guy until I was pretty darn sure that I was going to marry David which was about 3 weeks after we started dating. For those of you who know who this was (And you do, you may have forgotten, but if you think about it for two seconds you totally do), you may recall that while all other crushes and boyfriends came, distracted me for a while, and went, he was always in the background. Completely hopelessly backgroundy. Or at least so I assume. The most ironic part of the unrequited love thing is that generally you never get up the nerve to inquire if they know you’re alive. Of course, in this case we were friends, actually all the way through college. At least he was friends, I was not feeling the friend thing. *sigh* The bad thing about keeping journals through the most angsty period of any girl’s life is that you have a complete record of your stupidity. "Day 1: I love X, I love X. He’s so wonderful, blah blah blah, how is it that he is oblivious to the fact that I AM MADLY IN LOVE WITH HIM? Day 2: So I’m dating Y who is the best boyfriend EVER! He’s so cute and sweet and blah, blah, blah. Day 3: X SPOKE TO ME! (Heart, Heart, Heart) I love him!…." Yep, I’m an idiot. But at least I'm a recovered one.

*whew* let’s reel this back into a list instead of a novel.

"Peaches" by The Presidents of the United States. A very sweet guy, his extremely annoying favorite song that WOULDN'T GET OUT OF MY HEAD.

"Staring at the Sun" by U2. Because isn’t there at least one U2 song that reminds you of somebody? And also “She'll Come Back to Me” by Cake: An overheard quote. I did not. Go back that is.

"Stick Shifts and Safety Belts", also by Cake: For the cute-as-a-button guy that introduced me to the band. I reeeeeally like the band. I reeeeally liked the guy.

"A Little Less Conversation" by Elvis Presley. Totally fits this one guy, but ratchet your mind out of the gutter. I was a sweet and innocent 16 year old at the time. I still couldn’t figure out what all the chatter was about though. The proportions of discussing kissing to actual kissing were way out of wack in my opinion.

"Let's End it on This" by No Doubt. Appropriate for one of the three major players (one of the two that are not my husband) on this list. In fact, I’m going to listen to it right now and nod emphatically at the right moments….

...ok, I'm back.

Additionally for Major Player #1, "Unseen" by Katie Armiger, "One and Only" by Teiture, "Can’t Behave" by Courtney Jaye, and "You're Driving Me Crazy" by the Squirrel Nut Zippers. In retrospect that last song will give me away to that person, so to you I say: Yeah, you DID drive me crazy. You also get "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps", either the Doris Day or Cake versions. Want to turn me into a crazy person fast? Keep me guessing. I’ll both love you and really, really want to hit you. Also, thank you for zestily stirring up every insecurity I had. I eventually got over them and I still manage to be shockingly fond of you. So you’re welcome.

For Major Player#2, "Eternal Flame" either by Atomic Kitten or the Bangles. Because for about 30 seconds I thought that (well, slightly longer than that). Then I woke up. But it sticks with you. Also "Marry the Man Today" from the Broadway version of Guys and Dolls. Because it's all about how you think "Oh sure, he'd be different if we got married." And I'm sure that's a lie.

A song I can’t tell you the title of because half of it is his name. Dagnabbit! And it is so fitting too. Grumble. He was super sweet and should be at the top of any DESERVES GOOD THINGS list.

"Baby's Got Sauce" by G. Love and Special Sauce: It was on his computer. I listened to it a lot. I have no idea why I loved it so much. It’s a pretty silly song, but it makes me happy to hear it. Another super sweet guy. Somehow I managed to not date any jerks. And I pat myself on the back for that

"Pretend to be Nice" by Josie and the Pussycats and "What's the Name of the Game" by Abba. Another guy who kept me guessing. It only rose above crush/eh?/wait, so do we like each other or not/huh? status briefly but went on for quite a while. The maybe, maybe not part that is. And I mean QUITE A WHILE. There’s also another song that should go in his list that is so appropriate that I just cannot express it, but actually I’m not going to because it’s another song that would give too much away. I know, I'm a tease.

Just about every love song ever written, including ridiculous ones like Shania Twain’s "You’re Still the One" and respectable ones like Leona Naess’ "Chosen Family", "Lucky" by Jason Mraz, and "Paradise" by Ana Serrano van der Laan" . These are David songs of course. And also "It's Your Life" by Lenny Kravitz. It was our Rebel Yell to several eyebrow-raising people about our impending nuptials.

So how did you like that? It’s really just a self-inflicted meme, but you know I like those. TMI? Fascinating insight? Do let me know… "


So that was that in all its repeated glory. Check out the other dating-related Spins, quite possibly involving a healthy dose of teenage angst, over at Sprite's Keeper.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

RTT: The Tuesday that Feels Like a Monday

Because today was the start of my week and really felt like a Monday (despite the joys of esfiha for lunch and a conversation with a much missed friend), I've only got a few sad little bits of randomness for you today.


One of Elizabeth's favorite games at the moment is to play "Oh No! A Monkey Has Escaped From the Zoo!". This involves her, Lilli and David taking turns being the monkey and escaping from it's cage (the girls' play tent), while the other two chase the monkey and try to catch it and lead it back to its cage to lock it up. The girls like Daddy to be the monkey the best, and it both amazes me and frightens me how good he is at being a monkey. He moves like one, suddenly his arms and legs become twice as long, and the most ungodly sounds come out of his mouth. I asked him how he got so skilled at sounding like a monkey. Apparently practice makes perfect. When he and his co-workers are out in the wild doing whatever they do, they keep track of each other by yelling. Normally they make a specific noise at each other, but sometimes one of them will start a monkey call, and then you have a bunch of full-grown ecologists all out in some swamp sounding like a pack of primates. For some reason that mental image cracks me up. Or maybe it's my image of the very confused native Floridian peering out his backdoor while clutching a shotgun that does me in.


The thing that irks me the most out of the whole John and Kate debacle, and I don't even WATCH the show, is the pinata they had at their sextuplet's 5th birthday TV party. They might have had more than one, but I said, I don't watch, so I only know about the one. I just can't avoid it. I have seen multiple pictures of that pinata and it distresses me. It's of Uniqua from the Backyardigans and is very similar to this one, but it is most definitely not the pull string variety, as various members of the family have been pictured holding a decorated pinata stick. I wouldn't mind it at all if it was the pull string variety, since what's not to like about candy? I just think its very wrong to teach children to bash a small, but almost toddler sized, pink bug person over and over until candy comes out. In later pictures Kate was shown holding a headless Uniqua and scooping out and handing around her innards. It was disturbing I tell you. To heck with the rest of their family drama, I only care that no innocent cartoon characters be hurt. Well, it would be nice to spare their children too, but you can't have everything, right?


Well, if you want to have everything, or at least a whole lot of randomness, head over to Keely's site at The UnMom and check out the links.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Long Weekend

Because we took it fairly easy this weekend (it was not the action packed weekend I briefly had planned) I'm going to show you a lot of pictures and pretend we were on the move every second. Ok? Good. Not that we didn't do fun stuff, it's just that on Thursday night I was a click away from a spontaneous Disney weekend and had to be talked down from my "I MUST GO THERE NOWWWWWWWWWWW" ledge by my loving and amazingly tolerant hubby.


There's a mall to the south of us, a good 45 minute drive away, that has a great indoor play area. Great for around here anyway. Those of you who have great mall play areas 5 minutes from your house can shush. This one is so far away that we apparently haven't been there since Lilli was 7 days old. I know because I just looked through my photo files to see if my suspicions were correct. They were.

At any rate, it's swamp themed, very appropriate for Florida, and the girls loved it.

Elizabeth having conquered the snapping turtle:

Poor Lilli, lost and floating out among the cypress:

Apparently captured by a dragonfly?

Elizabeth showing that dragonfly why it shouldn't mess with her sister:

So yes, they loved it, but I, who had dreams of Mickey and princesses, however briefly, was not satisfied. We JUST WERE NOT HAVING ENOUGH FUN!

So I forgot I had toddlers and took them to Build-a-Bear. I'm actually kind of against this, I think they're too young, they're already overflowing with stuffed animals, they don't get the whole little ceremony where you kiss the bears heart and promise all sorts of things before inserting it into the fresh stuffed bear (although they eagerly participated)...yeah. Normally I'm against it. But I fell sucker to Lilli's immediately calming from an "I desperately need a nap" freak out as we walked by the store and went for it.

Elizabeth did actually understand more of it than I was expecting, and was quite happy to press the pedal to stuff both girls' bears:

And they both eagerly gave their bears a bath (over and over again):

And Elizabeth LOVES her bear (she named her Cubby), but the time of day is just not conducive to building in my opinion. At least the bear is smiling in the below shot:

I'm completely sparing you from the picture of Lilli screaming in apparent agony as I tried to get her to pose next to her sister with their bears.

It took a little sugar to restore her normal good natured mood. Did you know that the DQ people will very kindly put your smoothie in two cups since it only comes in one (giant) size? They're nice like that.

The girls were completely done in and it was only Saturday morning!

We took it really easy Saturday night and Sunday, just did errands and played around the house. This morning, having been re-bit by my "WE MUST HAVE FUNNNNNN" bug, and having agreed to meet some friends there, we went to an Open Jump at our local Pump It Up. I've mentioned that place before, it has giant bouncy things and is a lot of fun, but we've only been there for birthday parties before since the normal Open Jump days are not working mom-friendly. The place was packed, but the girls had a great time and once again wore themselves out.

I was so proud of Elizabeth, today was the first time she was able to climb the vertical wall completely unassisted. And she just scrambled right up. She insisted that I climb up with her and slide down more times than I care to remember. When I was making cupcakes this evening I couldn't figure out why my mixer was so heavy, and then it came back to me that I'd had an unintended workout. *sigh*

A bounce house is totally the place to be:

Even Lilli shocked me with her climbing agility today. I was too busy getting ready to catch her should she fall off this wall to take her picture (and so I only have her at the bottom), but she made it quite a ways up before she got tired. I'm very interested to see what she decides to be when she grows up. She's a tough little thing.

Poor Elizabeth. She was asking today if we could go back to the mall, meaning the very far away one, and I said probably not because it takes so long to get there. She heaved a sigh and in a defeated tone said "yeah, its too far away. The mall is too far away, Monkey Playhouse is too far away, and the Aquarium (meaning the Tampa Bay one, that we went to a couple months ago and she loved) is too far away." And then she heaved another sigh. Poor thing. I can't help it that this city is not made for children. It's a lot better than it was when we moved here 6 years ago, but it has a long way to go.

Tonight we had my parents over to celebrate my mom's birthday tomorrow. In answer to the e-mails I've been getting asking how she's doing, the answer is that she's doing pretty well. She's been dealing with infections and that sort of thing, which is a pain, but the actual site of the lumpectomy is healing nicely. So yay! But anyway, she's turning a year older tomorrow. Something I'm grateful for in case I haven't mentioned it. So we celebrated. But in the preparations, my post Pump-it-Up afternoon was a whirlwind of baking and cooking and now I'm pretty pooped. Which of course is never something I can explain without a back story it seems.

I had purchased a cake for my mom, thinking that would be one less thing to take care of this afternoon, but after an entire weekend of the girls asking me for cupcakes I humored them, knowing full well that Elizabeth will just lick the icing off, and Lilli will only eat the cake part, and I'm not supposed to eat them at all. We'll see how long I resist, because if there's something that I love, it's a cupcake.

Yummy, eh?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Spin Cycle: Scary Cat Lady

Nah, not that scary. We only have 3 cats, not 30. Although three is a lot to some people. All that cat hair wafting through the air is probably some kind of choking hazard. And I know my house kills allergy sufferers, so really, why even bother to de-clutter? Most of the people I'd like to have over couldn't come anyway. Right? Let's just humor me since I came homefrom work to a living room that looked like a toy store threw up in it, and David's and Lilli's attempt at "cleaning" while Elizabeth and I were at Publix only resulted in a giant pile of toys off in one corner. Anyway.

So, the Spin Cycle topic this week is about our pets. I didn't get to have "real" pets as a child (as I thought of dogs and cats) because my parents always rented and said that was why we could never have them. Personally, I think they really just don't like them much. Over the years I had pets that lived in small spaces and weren't supposed to go anywhere, but frequently did. Butterflies (remarkably good at squeezing through small spaces, always found one of them on my pillow), tadpoles (turned into frogs extremely quickly, one promptly jumped out of its container not realizing the heights it was being kept at and promptly and unpleasantly met its end), parakeets (we weren't good at taking them to have their flight feathers clipped), a gerbil (named "Houdini" for a reason), and a dwarf hamster (Often escaped, but at least he came when called).

All that changed the week before my wedding.

This is Abby:

She's a 17 pound Calico of indeterminate age. Look at that lush fur. It absolutely coats my house. Anyway, the week before I was married, David walked me to my car one evening as I was leaving what would be our first apartment. He was already living there, but we were old fashioned and I was at my parent's house still. As we were standing by the car (we may or may not have been "saying" goodnight), we heard this frantic mewing. We looked over to see a scrawny little cat (she has since grown. A lot.) come tearing across the field in back of the apartment building straight for us at top speed. She ran right to David. He sat down in the parking lot (being that kind of guy) and she immediately sat in his lap. Let's just say it probably wouldn't have taken the can of tuna to get her to stay with us, it was love at first sight on her part. My husband is her favorite person in the world. We think she was maybe a year old when she came to live with us, so that would make her 8 or 9. She is definitely the boss cat. She's very good with the girls, especially Elizabeth, and they adore her. Her favorite past time? Wedging herself in between David and I any time we lay down or try to sit next to each other. She's worse than the girls.

This is Bailey:

Not a great picture, but he's a busy boy and moves around a lot. He's a 16 pound, 7 year old, mutt kitty. As both our only purchased and only male cat, he somehow ended up being "my" cat. He's definitely a mama's boy. Even though David and I are old and boring and have the girls, we occasionally frolic around. If I laugh or shriek too much? Bailey comes over and bites David on the leg or whatever he can reach. He's my knight in fury armor. Not quite a year into our marriage I got pretty baby hungry and since he wasn't quite ready for children, David bought me a kitten. He might tell you something different about how we got Bailey, but that's the nuts and bolts. It worked, it was a good distraction. I like babies in every species.
Abby wasn't super happy about this, but grew to tolerate him. He likes to bite her bum after she uses the litter box, and she likes to retaliate by whapping him in the face, claws extended. This started pretty early, she once managed to scratch his cornea when he was a kitten, and neither he nor I were happy with my needing to put ointment on his eyeball multiple times a day. The girls like him too, but since he as a tendency to freak out when he feels cornered (and in their love they corner him more often than we can stop them) they've learned a bit of healthy respect for his "sharp toes".
This is Lily.

Yes, you heard me right, Lily. And yes, our daughter Lillian/Lilli is named after this cat. We named her Lillian so she can pretend she's not named after the cat when she's older, but Lilli/Lily is her true name. Lily-cat (as we've been calling her) looks very cross in this picture, but she's starting to squint into love eyes at me because she's a sweetie. She's a 5 year old, 6 pound, 100% mixed breed, foundling, fraidy cat. She is David's and my cat equally, and was our first true experience with parenting.
5 years ago I was working at a Spa (literally down by the river), and there was a large feral cat population living around the buildings that some of the ladies I worked with enabled by feeding them. Due to inbreeding among themselves they pretty much all looked similar to Lilli. As in delicate boned wild cats, wearing tabby jackets over their white underoos and socks. One day when I was at work, we got a call from a lady living nearby saying that there was a kitten crying under the holly bush by her pool cage and it had been there overnight. Could one of the notoriously soft hearted employees come and get it since it seemed to be the result of one of the parking lot unions? I was about to leave for the day, so I excitedly volunteered. I reeeeeeally like kittens. I'm a sucker for the fluff. I don't know what I was expecting, but I certainly wasn't expecting a tiny bundle with closed eyes and ears that fit into the palm of my hand. If I had my scanner hooked up and knew how to use it so I could post a picture of her at 5 days old? You would pass out from cuteness overload. I knew right then that I was certainly not going to be giving her to anyone else, she was miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine. David had said over the phone that we definitely were not going to have another cat, but after just one look he was hooked too. And so we began the new parent cycle of bottle feedings and diaper changes every two hours. Ok, not diaper changes, but mama cats have to help the kittens go to the bathroom and we did too. Major bonding took place, she thinks she's human and although we consider all our cats to be our furry children, Lily is special. And we know she has a relatively limited life span, both because she's a cat, but more so because she's from a feral population that could have bred some future problems into her. So we want to have her memory live on, as cheesy as it sounds to say that about a feline. She is afraid of, or cautious around, every single person except for David and I and she is so sweet it is almost painful. When she stands up beside your chair and gently pats your arm so you can make room for her in your lap, it almost feels like an honor.
So yes, I love my cats. Dander, tumbleweeds of fur, occasional funky litter box smell, surprise vomit piles and all.
For more spins about pets, potentially less long-winded ones, please check out the other spins at Sprite's Keeper.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Little Miss Negative

You know, I'm generally a really optimistic person. I was reading an article about that topic today (I'm afraid I don't know which magazine, I subscribe to more than my fair share), and it said something about how optimism is the best outlook for general good health and long life (for many reasons I won't go into). It did say that happy and optimistic don't always go together, but they often do. And I'm generally both.

Today though, was an interesting day. In the interest of discretion I'm going to be cryptic, but let's just say that I was reminded of what a cesspool the economy has become. And I'd kind of (optimistically) felt like it was starting to improve. Probably entirely because I recently had quarterly investment statements showing a gain for the first time in months, but I still felt pretty good about things. I even started flirting with the idea of buying a second (much larger) house for one fourth the price of this tiny little place since I'm seeing them advertised all over the place, and maybe renting out this one while we moved to the larger one and maybe I went for the third child can see how I got a little carried away.

Let's just say that after today I am not getting caught up in fantasy. I fully expect the economy to stay down in the sewer, the un-employment rate to soar, and me to be living on my stored 50 pounds of oatmeal, sugar and potato flakes before the year is out.

And I really need to get moving on that garden business.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Then & Now

Then (May 2008):

Now (May 2009):



It amazes me how much they change in a year, and especially how much their hair grows. Even with haircuts!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Many Faces of Lillian

And I thought the older one was destined to be my dramatic child. Not so...not so...
In other news, Miss Lillian was 22 months old yesterday. That's exactly one day older than her big sister was when we brought Lilli home. Nothing like putting that into my perspective funnel and letting it percolate around my brain for a while to have it hit home how fast time is passing.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Spin Cycle: Prom

Heh. Prom. 'Tis the season I guess. I went to two of them although you won't find pictures on here since I'm not technologically savvy enough to have hooked up my scanner yet. Even though I've had one for three years. Provided I could even find the pictures that is.

My junior year of high school I was dating a freshman. We'll call him "Timmy". Nice guy, I thought he was cute, boy was he young. Really young. Neither of us could drive so I believe we took advantage of friends for Prom. I even believe my best guy friend cooked dinner for us and his girlfriend. I also believe it was Surf & Turf and was delicious. Of course I could be mixing it up with my Senior Prom. Man, who knew that the year you turned 30 your memory went?

One moment while I consult my journals.....


Well! I found the appropriate volume and right inside the cover was taped a leaf with "Rachel and...Tim" on it. That must mean that my Junior year had the Enchanted Garden theme for Prom. That friend who cooked for us actually created the artwork for the invitations, and it was amazing.


.....several hours later...
Unfortunately it seems that's about all I remember of my Junior Prom. It also seems that while I found a whole lot of entries (both fascinating and utterly embarrassing) that have distracted me from this post for a good long while, I neglected to write about my Junior Prom at all. Which has to mean that it wasn't that great. I do remember that I borrowed E's shoes for the event, the cutest cream colored ankle strap shoes you can imagine. Sadly E and I no longer wear the same size shoe, I am sure, since pregnancy did not agree with my feet. I also remember that the pre-prom pictures were hideous, which makes me really glad that I have no way to show them to you.

Senior prom was quite a bit different. I was dating another nice guy (We'll call him "Ben", no, not his real name either), this time actually in my grade and I'm afraid I was much more casual about the relationship then he was hoping for, and so even though I said yes, I'd kind of been hoping that his best friend would ask me, which was STUPID, because you know, they were friends, and this other guy was a nice guy too. But I was young and not 100% into reality back then. Anyway. Some of this prom actually made it into my journal, no doubt because of my teenage angst over this.

As a very (extremely) sheltered child and teenager, my dress was the most immodest piece of clothing I had ever owned. It was (*gasp*) sleeveless. I know, I know, I'm horrified too. Of course it was about as conservative as a sleeveless dress can be. But I really wish I could show you the one picture I have of me in that dress, because I must say, in a completely objective fashion, I was hot. Smokin' (huge puffy clouds of smoke) hot. I even had my first manicure in honor of the occasion, and naturally, since this was 1997, my nail polish was iridescent lilac. That was also totally hawt, I tell you. But maybe not so objectively.

I don't remember what the theme was, but I do remember that the highlight of the Prom was dancing with "Ben's" best friend, who had gone stag to Prom. And, although it is very unlikely, I've always liked to think that was in my honor.


This wander down memory lane was brought to you by Sprite's Keeper. Please check out her site to read other spins about Prom!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I'm looking forward to June...

I was sitting here listening to Lilli sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" to herself over the baby monitor while she waited to fall asleep, and was alternately thinking how shockingly cute she is (and how sometimes my heart just wants to explode with love for her), and about all these babies that keep dying. Yesterday when I watched in the rear view mirror of my car while Elizabeth sang "Happy Birthday" to her daddy over the phone, because she just couldn't wait until we met him at the restaurant to sing it in person, the expression of joy and love on her face almost physically hurt me. I adore them both both so much, and the thought of something happening to either one of them almost incapacitates me.

It seems like April was a bad month for babies, and May doesn't seem to be that good so far either.

At some point in the last month and a half, on almost every blog I read, the writers have either gone through a personal tragedy of such magnitude that I have to hold my breath just to keep from crying so hard I can't read, or are expressing sympathy, with a link, to someone who lost their child. And most of these babies are little girls. And even though I know what it does to me, I, like a glutton for punishment, click over to the site and find myself sobbing over babies that I don't know, as I read my way through the archives of that child's life. And let me tell you, I am way too emotional to handle it well.

It is tough enough to handle the passing of what essentially is a stranger's child, no matter how well I feel I know them through their posts, and not feel comfortable leaving a comment saying "Hi, I've been lurking on your blog for the last year and have never commented, because I am by nature a bit shy and more comfortable lurking, but I had to come out of the woodwork to tell you how sorry I am about this because everything you wrote made me love your child more than you can possibly comprehend." But at least I feel that I've "known" the child and am entitled to mourn to some degree.

But these precious babies lying in wait for me in link traps set in blogs that I've innocently gone to, maybe hoping to read the latest hilarious thing that the blogger's dog did, are killing me. It is not the time in a parent's life to have a random person virtually come up to you more or less at the wake of your child and say "Hi, I came over from X's blog, and even though I had never heard of you before tonight, I have just spent the last 3 hours reading the entire life of your child, and no, I can't understand what you are going through, I barely know you, but I have two babies myself and I have very good imagination and I am now grieving for your child in a way that I have no right to." It's not the time, but its what I want to say. I feel like clicking on these links and mourning these children is the only thing I can do to honor their short lives and their parents' suffering, even though I hurt myself with empathy.

Gack. It's too much, that's all.

Kind of a downer post, I get that, sorry, but why have April and May been so bad for babies?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Happy 31st Birthday to my wonderful husband! You're the best hubby a girl could ask for.

Is it wrong of me to hope that we get to celebrate this number of years at least two more times?
Maybe when you turn 93 (and I'm still a spring chicken at 91-going-on-92) we'll do something more exciting than just having dinner at Iguana Mia.

Monday, May 11, 2009

"Zoo" is my new favorite word...

I think we can say that "zoo" is the first word that Elizabeth has read. And by that I mean, she successfully sounded out a word that we hadn't previously pointed out to her.

She's been good with logos since almost as soon as she could talk. She recognizes Wal-mart, Target, Subway, McDonald's, Burger King and many other signs no matter whether they're on a building or on paper. In fact, Wal-mart was the first word she could spell (W-A-L-star-M-A-R-T), and since she knew all her alphabet letters on sight and out of context by 20 months, she's known that letters go into words for quite a while. She also loves books, loves to be read to, and loves to "read" them to herself. She has a really good memory so she can do a convincing display of "reading". But its all been memorization and, in my opinion, parroting back what we tell her until now. Even the words she can spell, mama, cat, Subway, etc, etc, really seem to be a product of her memory, and not a product of any great understanding of how reading works. We've told her how to spell them, and she remembers the order of the letters. In fact, I would go so far as to say that she has not shown much interest up until very recently into the mechanics of the process.

I have no idea if it had anything to do with the fact that today she was really (and I mean REALLY) into Super Why! today, and they, after all, have the power to read, but I was (belatedly) putting my mom's Mother's Day card from the girls into its envelope (What can I say, it was a really busy weekend and I'm behind) and Elizabeth asked me to read it to her. It's a glittery thing comparing a grandma to all kinds of good things, and one of them is a "peppermint zoo". No, I have no idea why a peppermint zoo is a good thing, but I'm going with it. But ANYWAY, there is a picture of the walkway (covered in peppermints) up to a gate and the archway over it says "ZOO". Elizabeth said "What does that say?" Instead of just telling her like normal, I said "What do you think it says? Sound it out." And she looked at it, put her finger on the Z and said "zzzzzzzzzzzooooooooooooooooooo.....ZOO!"

It was a proud moment. And I'm long-winded when I'm proud.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day to Me

This is my third Mother's day.

Technically it's my fourth since I spent one with Elizabeth hanging out inside me while my husband underwent the extreme sacrifice of cooking me pancakes (he was forced to handle eggs! eeeeeeeeeee!) in honor of the day.

Third, or fourth, whatever, I actually look at Elizabeth's birthday as the day I became a mother. My momiversary so to speak. But I still like the Hallmark holiday version since it stops all the men and children out there and forces them to think about what we went through to become their mothers, whether it was labor pains or a pile of hellish paperwork. It also forces them to attempt to put their appreciation into words in the form of a card, flowers, edible goodies and random other booty. You have to love that.

Of course during all this contemplation of motherhood and What it Means to Me, I spend time thinking of my four moms. Yep, four. I've got a birth mother, a foster mother, who knew me for less than three months but loved me like her own, my real mom, and an awesome mom-in-law. They've all helped make me who I am, and since I'm pretty happy with how I turned out, I'm thankful for all of them.

I also spend a lot of time thinking about the sweet little girls who made me a mom. Even when I'm tired and feeling pulled and pushed in all directions (frequently literally), or even feeling really annoyed by them, I love every second I'm with them. And I love every part of them from Elizabeth's unruly curls down to Lilli's funny looking big toe. I have a hard time, now that they're so big, wrapping my mind around the fact that they came out of me, and that Elizabeth's foot was once the length of my pinkie and Lilli's foot was once the length of my ring finger. And now they're so big and fun and chatty and so gosh darn CUTE, and I'm just more grateful for them than I can say.

Happy Mother's Day everyone.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Alter Egos

Apparently a family of dinosaurs lives in my house.

Who knew?

Yep, Mamasaurus Rex, Daddy-dactyl, Elizadon and Trilillitop.

We've gone Jurassic.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Vacation Day

I can't remember the last time I took a day off work and it actually felt like I was on vacation. It is almost always because I'm sick or someone else is sick or I need to be somewhere. But my in-laws are visiting, so David and I took the day off of to spend it with them. And we went to the beach! For people who live less than an hour from several beaches, we don't go very often. In fact, the last time we were at one was last October when our friends from Wisconsin were visiting. Come to think of it, that was also the last time I took a day off work purely for fun. This every six months thing is not cool with me.

Anyway, it was a BEAUTIFUL day today. Hot, of course, this being Florida and me being heat intolerant, but I had a big hat and 60 SPF sunscreen and there was a breeze. Ahhhhhhh, a breeze.

Here is Lilli wearing her hat for the first and last time:

Here Nana is starting to document the day. It was gorgeous:
Lilli seemed to enjoy the freedom to run wild:

Have I mentioned it was a beautiful day? I have? Well, it was:

Every time we go to the beach it takes Elizabeth a few minutes to remember that she likes the water:

The beach is, of course, the world's largest sandbox:

Here's Elizabeth getting braver:

I suspect that the waves looked huge to the girls:

Building a sandcastle with Daddy:

She wouldn't wear her hat, but she sure liked mine:

Worn out, wet, a little bedraggled, sunscreen wearing off. Time to go home!

We did amazingly well as far as sunburns go too. I, who will burn through high SPF sunscreen in about 15 minutes, re-applied frequently enough that I'm only slightly pink. And the girls, who have fair skin that seems to be on the hardier side like their daddy's, for all that it is baby soft and pale, emerged pretty much unscathed. You can tell that they were completely slathered in sunscreen except for two spots. Elizabeth's back, right above her swimsuit line, and the cutout spot on the back of Lilli's swimsuit. We somehow didn't put any on those spots at all. Fortunately the girls, as I said, take after daddy, and definitely got burned, but not badly. If it would have been me I would have blistered. *sigh*
Anyway, it was a great day, and we're looking forward to the rest of the weekend!

*****side note****
I'm always a little apprehensive of Mother's Day approaching. Something to do with a pile of unreasonable expectations I may have built up but not conveyed to my husband since he is, of course, expected to read my mind...
But guess what came today? The most beautiful boquet of sunflowers that I've ever seen. Yep, he's racked up a whole boquet's worth of brownie points!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Good news!

My mom's surgery today went very well. The lumpectomy was preformed without a hitch and the follow up biopsy was negative, so that should mean they got it all. And thanks to some Percoset, she's really quite comfortable. Now all that's left is for her to heal up and start radiation and she should be out of the woods. I'm very impressed how fast this all happened, from the suspicious mammogram to surgery. Only about three weeks I think. So yay! We can still use your prayers and your good vibes, but we're feeling really good about things.

By the way, I apologize for not e-mailing anyone personally about this or even popping up a Facebook status, but I've been hit hard by a stupid (cold, I'm pretty sure) bug and this is the extent of my appearance on the Internet for the day. This is kind of like a mass e-mail, but more up-to-date. Although if I wanted to be really up to date, I suppose I should have Twittered. Except I don't Twitter. So.

Hmmm. I think that cold medicine is finally taking effect. Goodnight!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

RTT: Making an appearance just to be random


I've been offline quite a bit thinking about stuff with my mom (her surgery is tomorrow so cross your fingers for her) and flirting with the thought of getting sick. Well, my immune system's thinking about it at least, since it seems to be taking the week off. Anyway, I'm making a rare (recently) appearance tonight just to participate in RTT


My wall calendar at work this year is kitten themed. I chose it partly because it’s cute, and partly to make up for traumatizing my cubicle mate with my MC Escher calendar from last year. Very highbrow, but a little freaky. This is much better. Although the picture for May? Not so cute. It’s a tiny striped kitten peeping out of a hatched chicken egg. I can only assume that the kitten ate the chick.

Here’s some irony for you. Last week I felt deathly ill. Smooshed by a truck, achy from head to toe, stay home from work kind of ill. I had a bit of a runny nose, but nothing that messed with my day or my sleep. This week? I mostly feel great! I’m not exhausted to an unusual level, the only body aches I have are caused by too much typing, although that might be changing. But I’ve got congestion that you wouldn’t believe. AND a cough AND the feeling that my lungs might explode. Not cool. And very irritating.

Does anybody or their kids play Webkinz? I fell into this thing completely by accident when I was walking by a Limited Too and saw these absolutely adorable stuffed animals through the window with a sign stating that they were Buy One Get One Free. I’m a sucker for a sale, so I went right in, and picked up two that I knew the girls would like. A dog for Elizabeth and a bear for Lilli. It wasn’t until after I’d cut the tags off to give them to the girls and saw a dire warning on the tag to SAVE THIS TAG OR ELSE, that I realized that there was more to it. We hopped right on to the website and they’ve been loving the game for almost a year even though they’re a little young for it. My job (besides buying the girls more Webkinz animals) has been to play the more complicated games after the girls are in bed to earn them KinzCash so the next time we play together they can stick to the easy games and spend all the “money”. But I’ve learned that this game apparently feeds into the collecting desires of adults too. I recently listened to a Webkinz themed podcast by an adult, for adults, and it was all about which stuffed animals were coming out, and which are being retired, and where you might be able to find the ones you were missing. In certain circles it’s a lot like that Beanie Baby insanity from the 90s, only with a game attached and there are a few fewer possibilities to collect. Although did you know that Ty now has a similarly styled online game? Anyway, I’ve lost track of my point if I even had one to begin with. Hmmm. Maybe I was getting at the fact that it’s a good way for the girls and I to bond without me having to go sit out on the lanai in their playhouse in the heat. And it teaches them computer skills in a much more interactive way then their Caillou software does. So yeah. That must have been my point.


For Random Tuesday Thoughts that may actually have a point, head on over to Keely’s site The UnMom!