Friday, September 16, 2011

You-lizabeth is 6!

I have had Johnny Cash's "Burnin' Ring of Fire" stuck in my head all day, and of course I'm desperate for some salsa. For some reason that song always does that to me. I want a nice fresh pico de gallo though, not some super hot overly canned thing. My co-worker H makes this amazing beef jerky and he's always trying new versions, and I am a sucker for beef jerky so I am a happy guinea pig, but his latest version is hot hot hot! I need something tomatoey and cool right now. *sigh*

That, however is not why we are here! We are here to celebrate my 6th Momiversary! 6 years ago yesterday I finally became what I'd waited my whole life to be- somebody's mama. I love my amazing Elizabeth ("You-lizabeth" to her sister) so much. She is sweet and super smart and a good helper and she says funny things all the time, and I just adore every bone in her body.

This was her day:

Step one (not pictured): Get woken up by mama singing the happy birthday song. Yay!

Step two: Mom brings Popsicles to school to celebrate the big number 6. Get to stand on a chair to be sung to! Get your "bucket filled" by your classmates saying nice things to you. Have your class make mama's day by first, having your best friend yell out "Wow, Elizabeth! Your mom is really pretty! (that child may need to visit an optometrist, but she's my second favorite person in that class!)", then having the rest of the class amazed and delighted that your mom knows their names so they treat her like a celebrity her whole visit.

Step three: Open a present. Be delighted!

Step four: Be forced to do your homework even though it is your birthday

Step five: Open more presents! Be delighted.

Step six: Unprompted, write in your journal about your birthday. Ask your mama how to spell "Crown"

Step seven: Go to PF Chang's. Eat dumplings!

Step eight: Mourn the last dumpling:

(Grandma and Lilli were there too! Daddy was out of town for work. Boooooo)

Step nine: Be adorably delighted by birthday dessert:

Step 10: Blow out that candle!

Step eleven: Go get ice cream! The ice cream was on the agenda, the dessert at the restaurant was an unexpected perk!
Step 11.5 (applies to Lilli only): Take a MASSIVE bite:

Step 11.75 (still Lilli): Be really pleased with yourself

Step 12: Follow self-created "Birthday Agenda" with stops at the following locations:
A: The Mini Puppy Store. To look at puppies
B: The Fish Place aka Bass Pro Shoppe. To see the fish and ride the elevator and play in the tents for a REALLY long time
C: Petco. To see the critters. Especially the ferrets. Express fervent desire for a ferret. About 50 times.
D: Target. Ostensibly to buy an appropriately sized screwdriver to put batteries in a birthday present, but also to push all the buttons in the toy aisle. Fall in love with "Sweet Talkin' Ken". Repeatedly tell STK "Elizabeth! You are gorgeous". STK cooperatively tells you: "Elizabeth! You are gorgeous!" in his deeper voice. Sigh all the way to the check out about how you want to go visit STK again. Embarrass mommy by pointing out the reasonably attractive guy two carts behind you and saying (loudly) "Look mommy! He looks like (dreamily) KEN!!!". Make the cashier crack up with the goo goo eyed look on your face. Talk all the way to the car about Ken. Make your mommy worry. Boy craziness hit her at 6 too.

Step 13: Go home to bed and pat yourself on the back for a birthday well celebrated!

I love this girl!!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Another 10 Year Anniversary

10 years ago today I was just getting settled in at my first day of work after returning from my honey moon.

I got a call from a patient who was crying and said she couldn't come in because there had been a plane accident. This sounds horrible, but to be honest, I had heard some interesting excuses for canceling appointments at the last minute and trying to avoid the cancellation fee, and I really thought this was another one. But then more calls came in, and they came in faster, and everyone said get to a tv, something awful is happening. Most of the events are a blur for me, but I know that the doctor I worked with hooked up a tv and in between taking calls I saw the towers fall. One of the things I remember most from that morning was the rumors were flying thick and fast. There was a brief period of time where we all thought the first plane had been an accident. But when the second one hit and it started to be obvious it was more than that, everyone who called into my office was saying that they'd heard that this city or that city was a target. Especially after the Pentagon was hit and the airplane went down in Pennsylvania. I also remember being extremely worried about my friend who was attending Columbia University (the only person I knew in New York at the time), but also being afraid to call her parents because I didn't want to know if she wasn't ok. And most of all I remember watching the news for hours and hours into the early morning of the 12th, watching the planes hit and the towers fall and things burning and people jumping over and over and over. I felt like even though I didn't lose anyone I knew personally that day, that it was just such an awful event that all I could do for anybody was to suffer to some degree along with them. And I did suffer.

So no, I'll won't ever forget.

I always wondered how I would tell my children about this day. We avoided talking to them about death for as long as we could get away with, and we've always talked about it in pretty pleasant terms. We believe in a heaven, and we teach our girls that they will see people who die again someday. We tell them that we are sad when people die because we will miss them until we see them again, not because something bad has happened to them. But we always talk about people dying from old age, sickness or accidents, it's only very recently that we've introduced to them the possibility that one person could hurt another person badly enough that they die. In other words, we talk about death, but we don't talk about murder.

This morning I was watching the 10th anniversary coverage when the girls came out of their rooms. Lilli came out first and asked me what I was watching. I still didn't know what to say, so I told her that some bad men made some buildings fall down and a lot of people died, and we think about them on this day and we remember why it is important to love everyone in the world, and not hate people who are different from us. She was very interested in the memorial, so we were still watching when Elizabeth came out. She asked what we were doing, and I started to tell her my (admittedly sanitized) spiel, and she said "Oh! 9/11! I know all about that, we watched a movie about it at school!" I was taken aback. At the same time I want to teach my children about this, I wasn't quite ready for her to actually see any of the images that are so vividly implanted in my head. So I'm still digesting the fact that someone else took care of telling her about this. She clearly didn't really understand. All the kids made cards for the NYC Police and Firemen, and hers said "Thank you for keeping us safe!" And she drew a picture of a plane hitting a skyscraper. So. There's that.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this post. I just want it known that I haven't forgotten and I won't forget. And eventually I'll figure out how to tell my children and make sure they don't forget either.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I always want to write while I'm cooking...

In this case, I'm waiting for the brownies I just baked to cool so I can frost them. I'm doing them all weird though. From scratch dark chocolate brownies with milk-chocolate-frosting-from-a-can, and box "milk chocolate" brownies with homemade peanut butter frosting that is so good I shed a little tear.

Unfortunately I was asked to make them for a birthday at work tomorrow so I can't even sneak one bite of the brownies in advance, but I can assure you that I will be licking the bowl of the peanut butter frosting. IT IS SO GOOD OH MY GOOD GRAVY THAT'S HOW GOOD IT IS. It's like sweet creamy peanuty air. ARGH.

The only other thing of interest that happened to me today was that the lobby of the dance studio was delightfully less crowded with dance moms than usual. I only rolled my eyes once while I was waiting for Elizabeth. And that was because I heard one of them say to the other "My husband was watching "Dance Moms" and laughing, so I watched some of it, but I didn't think it was funny and I turned it off. Those are crazy women." It was only one eye roll, but it was a big one.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sometimes I am smart...

...and sometimes I eat waaaay too much watermelon. Which is not so smart. Arghghghghghh.

What can I say? I'm a sucker for a guy on the side of the road selling giant watermelons at 2 for $5. Even when its no longer watermelon season. So now I suffer from a way too stuffed tummy that doesn't seem to know that dinner was over two hours ago.

I spent too much of this past Labor Day weekend....laboring. We, as I mentioned before, suddenly found ourselves with all our belongings piled up in the half of the garage in which I used to park. I had just gotten used to being able to park in a garage, it was delightful, and now I miss it! So I went through a lot of boxes this weekend. I get the whole concept of the trash/sell or donate/keep piles, but what am I supposed to do with the stuff I want to keep? And why do I want to keep it so bad? I was able to part with the cheesy and crumbling Christmas Caroler I made in third grade from a light bulb and construction paper, simply by taking a picture of it. But for some reason I can't get rid of a tiny little bell I got from the Land of Little Horses in Maryland when I was 7. I mean the LoLH was awesome and all, but I don't get it. So I have these things I am not ready to get rid of, and maybe I never will be, but what am I supposed to do in the meantime? Since we do have the goal for me to park in the garage again someday, we have exactly two shelving units that we can fill, plus a shady shelf-less cabinet (I actually refuse to open it, I was just told that there aren't any shelves) that came with this house out there in the garage, and that's it. We have other storage spaces in the house, but they are in a pleasant non-cluttered state with designated items that they store and I want to keep it that way. David's closet has plenty of room, but he's told me its off limits to my childhood mementos. And there's no way I'm going up in the attic, even if it actually has pull down stairs to get to it. There could be bugs up there. They could touch me.

I guess I have to do more paring down. *SIGH*

Saturday, September 3, 2011

We should never ask the children what they think...

And the reason we should not ask the kids' opinions on where to have dinner on a Saturday night, is because of course they never agree. And since the parents couldn't really agree either tonight, instead of forcing 2 of us to come around to the preference of the other 2, we split up. David and Elizabeth went to Buffalo Wild Wings on one end of the shopping center, and Lilli and I went to the Five Guys on the other end. We really should do the one on one parent/child thing sometimes anyway, and everybody was happy. David had tons of TV screens, I had a decent burger. Elizabeth had access to smiley fries, Lilli got the hot dog she was desperate for.

I don't know what all went down at what we call "B-Dubs" (not sure why we call it that), although I suspect David and Elizabeth spent their time in silent mesmerization by the televisions, but I had a very entertaining time with Lilli.

First, she talked the entire time we were there in a very loud (and typically high pitched) voice, with the exception of the few seconds it took her to swallow each bite. After expressing brief annoyance with the fact that her hot dog had been cut in half the long ways, she spent significant energy trying to line up the two pieces of bun even with her bites, after somehow managing to consistently eat more of the bottom bun than the top one with every bite. Then, she refused to eat any of the "brown parts" of her fries (those brown parts were potato skin), but was quite willing to eat them after I bit off the offending portions. Ewwww. And she was chucking down the peanuts as fast as I could shell them. And the reason I offered to shell them was because she was trying to open them by bashing them with the face of this little Barbie and the Nutcracker Happy Meal toy Ken doll I found for her today while going through boxes. She was convinced that the "Nutcracker" should be able to get those peanuts open for her. After I explained to her that he couldn't open the nuts because his enchantment had been broken and he was now a prince, she gave him a look of total disgust, but at least stopped trying to disfigure him.

Ahhhh. Good times with Lilli.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My To Do list is a mile long...

...but here I sit on the computer listening to my Frente! channel on Pandora and doodling around the internet. It's pretty nice.

I got a full night's sleep last night and then some. It didn't stop me from feeling like the walking dead today though. I'm not as young as I used to be. All nighters just don't work out for me any more. I said it before, and I'll say it again, staying up all night just isn't any kind of fun unless its Black Friday. After Black Friday I still pay for my foolishness, but at least I have great deals and good stories to show for it. I'll be heading to bed soon!

Lilli had her 4 year check up today! I still can't believe that she's that old. She's super healthy and right on or ahead on all her developmental milestones. She is in the 50th percentile for weight and the 75th for height (41 inches tall). I guess her days of being a 99th by 99th percentile butter ball are over. She had to get her boosters today and she did great. Luckily they had the combined vaccines in stock, so she only needed two pokes instead of 4, and then a little finger poke. My poor baby. She was a trooper though. A few tears and a "Owwwwww. That really hurt!" There was new stuffed friend waiting for her at home, and he totally changed her sad face to a happy one.

Guess I'll go pack Elizabeth's lunch for school so I can cross one thing off my list.

But first I'll listen to a little more Frente! It bums me out that iTunes doesn't have it, but it keeps me listening to Pandora.