Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November 1st

It may surprise you to hear this, but today is the first day of November!

Ok, maybe I'm the only one that is surprised. This has been the fastest year ever. And no, of course I don't say that every year. Really. At least not loudly.

Anyway, even though I have all kinds of pictures to upload and stories to tell, I thought I'd try to do that thing where you say something you're thankful for every day in November. I'm thankful for a lot of things every day, but I usually find myself realizing that its November 10th and I haven't posted one thing and I give up before I start. I resolve to be different in 2011!

I expect I won't be thankful for serious things all the time (right now I'm feeling pretty fond of Hulu for instance), but I'm going to start out with the biggie- my family. I'm thankful for my wonderful husband who is loving and kind, considerate, and gorgeous to boot, and who gave me my beautiful girls who are my heart and my sunshine. I'm thankful for my parents who have helped raise our girls while we work, and for my husband's parents who have helped us so often in so many ways. I'm thankful for my sister-in-law who taught my husband not to mind having a bossy female around, and her son who gives my girls someone to look up to.

It might not be a big family, but it's mine and I'm grateful I have it!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


The girls and I are going with my mom tomorrow to go visit my grandpa!

He's 97, but he's still doing great, although he keeps saying "I never expected to live this long."

We can't wait! Well, Lilli can wait, actually, she hates to fly. She suggested driving, and when I told her that would take too long, she suggested walking. It seems we need to have a talk about how long things actually take. The girls are really excited to see fall leaves and they keep hoping for snow, since they've only ever seen the fake kind at Disney. I don't mind the leaves, but I would happily pass on the snow.

The only tricky part to this packing business is that I realized the Elizabeth was short on long sleeved shirts and all the girls' church dresses are Florida-ish and I had to work hard to figure out what might be appropriate for a Pennsylvania Sunday in October.

Also, my grandpa lives in an assisted living facility. Which means that there's not a lot of entertainment for little kids while we grownups chat. So most of my mom's and my luggage consists of things for them to do. I'm big time grateful for small things that pack a lot of entertainment. The Kindle, the portable DVD player and the DS are TREASURED at this moment. But we've still got puzzles and books and coloring supplies and games and crafts and....right, gotta remember to leave room for my own clothes!

The big down side to this whole trip is that David is staying here, so we won't see him until Monday night and none of us are happy about that. He thought we were coming back Sunday so he wasn't super happy about it either.

I just keep telling him to think of all the unlimited computer time he's going to have.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Did I mention that someone turned 6?


So, Elizabeth had a birthday party almost a whole month ago. Bad mama blogger! Bad!

She wanted to have it at the community pool, and as I was still residually partied out from the Panda Extravaganza in July, I was very supportive!

Just look at that barren table:

Actually, someone must have moved all the snacks around. Because that table did actually have stuff on it besides some sad non-themed cupcakes with crooked candles.

Let's pause to mourn the other half of the cupcakes which got flipped upside down when I delegated responsibility for them elsewhere...

The other half survived though, and at least I made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing just like she asked for, so that's something, right? RIGHT?

Poor kid.

I liked this picture of some of the party girls even though Lilli has her eyes shut. The other girls look too cute:

Here's my chocolate covered birthday girl:
She really liked the cupcakes.

I don't normally post present pictures, but her expression was too cute on this not to post:
I especially like how Lilli is in the background hoping she'll hurry it up so she can hand her another present.

It may have been low key and non fancy for a birthday party, but even though I did color coordinate everything, get goodie bags together, and do some decorating at home in case we had to change the location due to lightning, I think its the most relaxed I have ever been on the day of the party, and the most relaxed time I have ever had at one of their parties. I just got to sit on a bench in the shade, baby sit everyone's stuff, and talk to whoever wasn't swimming at the time. It was awesome.

And Elizabeth told me it was the best day of her entire life.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Maybe one too many things at once...

I'm busily multi-tasking at the moment. Organizing some photos, playing Pioneerville, watching Terra Nova, crocheting, and posting. Not sure if I've picked too many things to do that don't go together or what, but my head is feeling all full and disjointed at the moment.

I need to download my brain somewhere, but there's nowhere that's truly private. I could write down everything and then erase it, but I know I'll want to re-read it in order to process it, because that's what I do. Obviously the internet is out, desktop journals are viewable to my 6 year old, and I hate writing by hand in a traditional journal now that I've spent so many years typing. I am very lucky to have good friends and a wonderful husband I can and do talk to, but sometimes you just want something to talk to that doesn't formulate any opinion about what you're saying, doesn't offer advice, can listen completely objectively, and can repeat back exactly what you said. And that's never going to be another person.

Ok, that seemed a little melancholy. Which is generally the complete opposite of my personality. Clearly too much busy is getting to me. If I figure out where this magic private recordable brain download station is, I'll let you know.

But you'll have to get in line for it. I think I'll be there a while.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Post hiatus

Hello blog, I've missed you!

I've been a busy girl. I don't even know where to start, that's how busy. But between the crafting, the cupcake baking and the crocheting zillions of granny squares for a service project, my fingers have been too busy for typing. Plus I just got back from Mom's Weekend Away in Orlando, so that took a whole weekend off the table. I'll catch up someday!

Meanwhile, I've been listening to "Stereo Hearts" by Gym Class Heroes a lot lately. For someone who likes to sing as much as I do and lives her life in playlists, it's kind of perfect.

You can decide if you like it as much as I do.

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 the....mini 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.