Saturday, September 11, 2010

Our Alamo

Growing up in Texas, I was taught the battle cry “Remember the Alamo” early.  Texans take their state’s history very personally.  In learning the story of the historical slaughter, I accepted my own tiny corner of the state’s painful memory.  The package also contained a piece of the indignant rage, shameful pride, and even a desire to make good on the promises of the past to ensure that those lives were not lost in vain. 

Today, my Facebook news feed is flooded with a more modern battle cry of sorts, “I remember.” 

I wish I didn’t.

Of course I remember.  How could any of us forget the day we heard the news?  How could anyone forget the waves of confusion and disbelief?  How will any of us ever forget the panic that sent us to the pumps, preparing to flee if necessary? 

I’d rather not carry the memory of the missing faces papering the tall city we all knew.  I’d love to forget the days of mourning, silent moments broken only by tolling bells.  Families broken forever.  Bodies.  Wreckage.  Tears.

Televisions on round the clock coverage.  Flood lamps illuminating Ground Zero like day.  Workers covered in soot and ash.  Empty fire houses.  Another building falls and the work begins all over again.

I remember sitting in a wooden pew on a Sunday in September, searching for peace and comfort in the words of a pastor.  I knew we all were searching together.  We wept together, sharing fear and sadness.

A year later, before the memory grew stale and quiet, I found myself standing beside a truck with my husband and his brothers in uniform.  Above us, red, white and blue waved in the ocean air, atop an extended ladder.  The dancers gave me a rose, a hug and a kiss on the cheek, despite my protests. 

The next year, I sat with those men in a dark room.  For days, they watched marathons of documentaries.  They had read the reports.  They knew the story like the back of their hands, and they relived it with faith and dedication.

With each year that passes, the memory retreats a little.  But all we have to do is call its name and it appears again, filling our mind and heart with months we would rather never to have lived.

Last year, I taught this story to children who did not remember.  In doing so, I passed them their own little piece of our pain.  Those children, the ones that do not remember, will inherit this shared memory just as we inherited the memory of the Alamo, Pearl Harbor, or The War Between the States.  They will carry this story in their hearts without ever completely knowing it. 

Sadly, though, their day will come.  One day, they will live through their own September 11th.  Their own Alamo.  Only on that day will they begin to understand. 

Then they will learn what it means to remember, no matter how much you wish you could forget.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

For Amelia

Today was to be her day.  We were counting down till today.

Today was the day for the baby girl that came not to be.

Sweet Amelia, I’m thinking of you. In my mind, you have bright strawberry blonde hair, like your Daddy’s, with big, soft, spontaneous curls.  You have a smile as big as your heart and skin like cream, fresh and soft.

You would’ve toddled after my girlies, and happily endured their doting.  They would’ve felt grown and responsible on some days, and pestered on others, but you would’ve been loved nonetheless.  I would’ve stolen you from your Mommy and Daddy and tried to win your favor.  We would’ve giggled and tickled, smiled and cooed, cuddled and loved till you fell in love with me merely half as much as I adored you.

I thought of you this morning as I lie in my bed, cozy, calm and safe.  I think of you now as I sip my morning drink in the quiet of a sleepy morning.  And I will continue to think of you today, and everyday.

When I feel little hands in mine, or feel a short squeeze around my knees.  When I smile at the comfort of my own green grass. When I pause to take a deep breath and let gratitude rise in my heart.  When I see the reflection of my own eyes in the rearview mirror and think, “I’m so lucky.”  When I hear a song I love and feel it lift my spirits.  When I push myself to do what I thought I could not.  When I hear seagulls.  When I tell my family I love them.  When I laugh with friends.  In these moments, I will think of you. 

It isn’t fair that you didn’t get to feel the warmth of a fortunate life, nor weather the storms of a hard one.  But, this is how it has come to be.  And you, dear baby Amelia, are loved still. 

Life is short.  Life is delicate.  Life is beautiful.  For you – as for life itself – we are all grateful.  Today, we will give thanks, smile, and remember you.

Sleep tight, sweet Amelia. 

We love you.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Four-Legged Angels

bo resting


BabyGirl woke up in the night last night, not an unusual occurrence in my home.  After tending to her and returning to bed, I found I couldn’t sleep…also not an unusual occurrence.  As I lay in bed, listening to Big Boy Bo snore, I laughed to myself.  He’s really good at snoring…even when he’s awake.




This morning, I awoke and listened to him in his usual routine of stretching, yawning, shaking, and jumping down from the bed and heading to the back door to check on his yard.  I snuggled with Crazy Baby Daisy as she ran through her daily routine of yawning (with a quiet little girlie yelp to punctuate), stretching, shaking till her ears create a syncopated rhythm, and then trotting off after her Big Boy Bo before she misses out on some excitement.

I thought to myself, “People who don’t have pets are really missing out.”

My experiences with my doggies have run the gamut.  I’ve paid hundreds of dollars to vets to fix problems and cure disease.  Heck, even recently, I’ve paid hundreds of dollars to vets when nothing was wrong!  I’ve attended obedience classes and nearly died of mortal embarrassment as my four-legged pupil made a fool of me and behaved as a saint for the teacher.  I’ve read book after book on dog training, dog care, and dog language.  I think I’ve grown to become quite a fair and just Alpha Dog, who can command the respect of many* dogs – even unfamiliar. I’ve been through groomers good and bad, vets good and bad, dog sitters good and bad, foods, treats, kennels, you name it.  I’ve cried as we’ve rushed them to the pet ER.  I’ve prayed that I won’t have to say good-bye just yet, not this time, I’m not ready yet.  I’ve had sleepless nights with my dogs just as a young mommy does with her babies.  My career as a Doggie Mommy has had it all. 

I think all pet owners would agree, though, that there’s an intangible element of being an Alpha Dog (or cat?  Do they have alpha cats?) that cannot be matched.  Without pets, particularly dogs, you’re missing out on a very special guardian angel. 

Recently, I was at my brother’s house.  Ours plus theirs made three dogs together.  As I took a phone call that brought me to tears, I no longer sat alone on the floor by the couch.  My lap was warmed by a big, fluffy white head and floppy ears.  Sweet Thomas, my nephew doggie, came to comfort me, just as a good friend would come put their hand on your back or give you a hug as you cried.  Thomas curled up beside me and didn’t leave my side.  He was sad for me, with me.  He was there to comfort me, protect me, make things better in anyway he could.  Thomas slept with me that night, after having barely acknowledged my presence in his home prior to that moment.  (Like a child, he had been too busy hanging with his cousins.)

Years ago, I remember sitting on the floor of our apartment sobbing, my face buried in the guest bed.  I’m not even sure what upset me so, perhaps a fight with FireDaddy…plus, I was very pregnant with BigGirl.  Bo, at the time just a little adolescent doggie, still wild with energy and very vocal, gingerly crept towards my face.  His front paws leading the way, tentative and cautious, demonstrating his submission and good intentions, Bo came to me to help.  He licked my tears and stayed with me.  Calmly.  Patiently.  He knew I needed him.  He was still and quiet.  He was loyal.  He stayed with me through his dinner time without so much as a hungry rumble.  I was never alone.

My mother tells of a time she was alone, recovering from surgery.  She aw0ke from a nap feeling the presence of her loyal poodle, Hershey.  She could feel him lying right up against her side, like he always did.  Only, Hershey had grown old, blind, and feeble years before.  His life had lost its quality and my parents had already made the hard decision to put him down.  They had cried and said good-bye on a surreal day, weeks and weeks prior to this one.  Mother had already grown used to his absence.  On this day, though, she could swear he had been there, guarding her.  Tending to her needs.  Showing his love and loyalty, just as doggies do.

Pastor Frank, the man who married FireDaddy and I, once told us, “A woman is like a mirror.  She will treat you the way you treat her.”  I think this is true of women (at least myself), but even more so, I think it is true of dogs.  I’m sure there are tons of people out there that would argue my points and say, “But I had a dog and it was nothing like that.”  Just as they say dogs can smell fear, they know your heart.  Nine times out of ten, if you love them, they will love you.  If you open your heart and welcome them into your life as a true member of your family, not just an outside inhabitant of your yard, they will never let you be alone.  It takes time, but it’s an investment that will pay you back tenfold. 

This morning, as I do many days, I gave thanks for my little four-legged guardian angels on Earth. 


(*Note: I did not say ALL, but many.  Darn that little Teddy Dog.  His brother wasn’t as stubborn, though.) 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lessons Learned

Some days are more productive than others. 

…Which is not to say that today I washed, dried, or folded the laundry giving me dirty looks throughout my house, weeded the flowerbeds that might soon climb up the walls, windows and doors of my home like a horror film, or cleaned the floors and bathrooms that I’m curse under my breath countless times a day.  No, I did none of those.  However, I learned a few things today.

For instance,

1.  Those awesome squeezable mayonnaise containers that boast “none left in the bottle” are not lying.  Be careful how much you squeeze, because you can’t take the mayo out of the chicken salad as easily as you can put it in.

2. I really must remember not to make chicken salad, prepare two girlies’ lunches, eat my own delicious chicken salad pita lunch, and clean the kitchen between showering and drying/styling my hair.  It’s a recipe for a bad hair day.

3. Flies are much easier to swat the day after they sneak in through the sliding glass door.  They’re hungry and weak…and more susceptible to my ninja-like swatting abilities.

3. The word is out about $5 movies on Sunday at our local theater.  Get there early.

4. Teach your children about the value of siblings.  Tell them, openly, that one day, they will be the closest person they have left.  Remind them that siblings are a gift to be treasured, not an inconvenience and a hassle to be tolerated.

5. Never take your children’s words too seriously.  One minute, they will swear they hate each other, vow that they will never forgive or play together again, and proclaim that they wish that evil sister had never been born…and the next minute you will find them cozied up together, “teaching” each other to read, giggling and cooing at pictures of baby animals.


6. Last, but not least, I’m reminded today, once again, that life is a fragile and fleeting miracle.  We have no guarantees.  Tomorrow could be stolen from us far faster than my ninja skills steal it from dehydrated flies in my kitchen. 

In all seriousness, I told my girlies today, “You’ll never know when you’ll never see someone again.  Tell them you love them and treat them like a gift you cherish every day.” 

And never, ever lose sight of that truth. 


Thinking of Baby Amelia and my long lost friend, Jen, today.  I love you both.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Join me, won’t you?

I’d really love it if you’d join me for a discussion over at my other little place today. I’ve got some questions buzzing around my mind, and I’d love to hear what your thoughts.

See you there!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sleeping Single in a Double Bed

Tomorrow, FireDaddy will return home after 11 days on the Appalachian Trail. 

My intent for these eleven days was to have one fun, relaxing day after another with my girlies – visiting family, swimming, beaching, hitting the gym.  Unfortunately, my hopes did not come true. 

Instead, we spent our time taking doggies to the vet, getting eyes dilated, hairs trimmed, roots colored, and running other non-thrilling sorts of errands.  I changed batteries in chirp-chirp-chirping smoke detectors, paid bills, anguished over budgets, made service calls, and scheduled appointments for still more doctors and dentists.  I accumulated piles of books and various household items for an impending garage sale  and piles of decorations for next year’s classroom, applied for a part-time job, washed/dried/folded/hung laundry, and washed/dried/put away dishes.  I reserved hotel rooms for our upcoming road trip, had Big Boy microchipped, registered dog tags, reregistered car tags, and cleaned out my refrigerator.  I rose around six with the doggies each day, while my girlies blissfully slept till nine or ten.  I baked blueberry scones, Mediterranean chicken, and fresh pound cake.  I filled the baby pool and emptied the trash.  I’ve washed booboos and blankies, heads, hands & toes… and everything in between. I fussed when they bickered, and nagged when they destroyed the den and their room and my room and the office.  I’ve answered countless times each day, “How many more days till Daddy gets home?” and “How many more days till our trip?”  I hugged and held them as they cried, fed them when they were hungry, and reached the cups when their throats were dry.

All of this is not to imply that I’ve been entirely miserable…don’t get me wrong.  During the past eleven days of uninterrupted girliness – I’ve introduced my girlies to the Bangles, Madonna, and Barbara Mandrell, as well as continued to expose them to pretty-much-inappropriate current tunes.  We’ve kept up with the latest Disney Radio tunes, and counted down to the big Disney premiere of Sixteen Wishes.  We’ve played games, held our breath under water and felt the wind in our hair as we sailed down the road with the sunroof open (ahem…in my brother-in-law’s truck).  We’ve stayed up late and cuddled in the night.  Together, we’ve danced the Cha Cha slide, the Chicken Dance, and our very best ballet and jazz. 

Coming from a mother who prides herself on being able to do it alone, I’m POOPED.  On nights like these, maybe a girl truly needs to stand in her kitchen with nothing but a glass of wine, a fresh slice of pound cake, and a Zune stocked with ridiculously old songs to keep her company.  It’s nights like these that I close my eyes and see myself standing in front of my white whicker dresser, and look into my own eyes in that familiar whicker framed mirror – so vivid and real that I am positive the cold mirror would meet my hand if I were to reach my fingers out far enough. 

It’s funny how some things have grown so much easier over the years – like skipping songs, once a careful lifting and lowering of a needle, now a simple click of a button.  Yet, other things – like the long, hot days of summer “freedom” – have grown so much harder. 

When I was little, I loved Barbara Mandrell.  She was beautiful.  She could sing, dance, and play more instruments than I could tally.  I played her records over and over and over again in my room until I’d memorized all the lyrics.  I was thrilled when Daddy took us to the Maude Cobb see Lee Greenwood --- because he had recorded a duet record with Barbara Mandrell.  I was worried and afraid for her when she was badly injured in the car accident.  I loved Barbara Mandrell. 

It’s funny how songs can take you away to another place.  Take you back in time.  The familiar click-click, click-click of the needle passing over blank lines between songs is fresh in my ears.  Where is that click-clicking now?  We push a button to skip forward and skip backward…there is no waiting.  No pauses.  Like MP3 files, the hours, days, weeks all flow seamlessly together on autoplay.

It’s halfway through 2010 already.  My babies are seven and four.  My anniversary is next week and my birthday is close behind.  I’m turning 33 and I’ve been married for ten years.  FireDaddy and I’ve been together for 14.  Where has my life gone???  Hell, where did these 11 days go???  Before I know it, I’ll be hunting down plastic duo-tang folders and sending my girlies off to 2nd grade and VPK. 

My throat is tight and lumpy; my eyes sting.

I miss the soft, scratchy static and click-clicking between songs. 

Monday, June 21, 2010


I was raised by a near perfect mother.  Our well decorated home was immaculately clean.  Her checkbook was balanced the day the statement arrived, every single month.  We ate home-cooked dinners FAR more often than not.  She was Room Mother Extraordinaire and her banana bread could win awards.

We had homemade, expertly decorated birthday cakes in designs that reflected our personalities and interests – a Barbie cake for me, a pizza cake for my brother, even a brown sugar sand trap complimented the fresh from scratch buttercream icing rough, fairway and green on the golf course cake she made for my lady golfer 4th grade teacher.  Our lunch bags were lovingly branded each morning with our names…in calligraphy.  My dresses were smocked with care by my own mother’s hands.  In fact, I even had a smocked nightgown with matching smocked barrettes. 

We were well mannered, well behaved children growing up.  We knew to say “ma’am” and “sir” to adults.  When called upon, we were trained to reply not with a “Huh?” or “What?”, but a “Ma’am?” or “Sir?”  We did not run in people’s living rooms or put our feet on their furniture; and if we did, we immediately stopped when corrected – sans sass talk.

We wrote thank you notes.  Our table was properly set with placemats and cloth napkins for each meal.  After dinner, as we cleared our own places, we thanked my mother for the delicious fare.  My older brother and I attended Cotillion when we were ten, where we practiced introductions and dancing.

My mother was not a “stay at home” mom.  She was a “work at home” mom. In addition to flawlessly running the household and raising children, she ran the family home building business from her desk - keeping books, helping Daddy manage contractors, and selecting flooring, wallpaper, lighting, and more.  She taxied us to dance, Blue Birds, Boy Scouts, soccer, T-ball and more.  She volunteered at the local hospital, served in the Junior League and occasionally worked in a friend’s gift shop. 

This was my mother. 

And today, as I sit in my pajamas, lazily letting my baby girlies sleep in on this summer morning, sipping a canned Diet Coke for breakfast, I marvel at the fact that she left dishes in her sink today when she left for work.


I remember sitting in my mother’s closet, in awe of her clothes.  She had so many clothes.  Clothes she’d hung onto for what, to my young mind, seemed like decades.  In reality, most of them were only a few years or perhaps A decade, I suppose.  She had a Real Wardrobe, not just a bunch of clothes.  I remember wanting to one day have a closet like that.  I remember wanting my closet to be organized and tidy like hers; everything in its own place with room to breathe.

I remember her long skirts, scarves, and jewelry.  She had earrings upon earrings and all sorts of zippered silky bags tucked away with gold and jewels inside.  Her shoes and her slips were so feminine and adult. 

I would sit on the little stool and help her decide which outfit to wear and how to accessorize it.  She asked my opinion and listened to my suggestions, almost as much then as she still does now.  She would show me shiny treasures - some hers and some mine – and tell me their stories, surrounded by the quiet in her closet. 


I am not my mother.  And, I will never be her.  My home will never be as clean as hers.  My cakes will never be as good, my sewing never as perfect, and my daughters’ school lunches will never wear their names in calligraphy.  My checkbook will forever envy the loving care hers receives, and my budget will never be so carefully balanced.  My closet is a shameful mess right now, and my baby doggie is much more at home in there than my girlies. 

The older I get, though, the more I am OK with this.  I am me.  This is me. 

I love and treasure my mother.  Her home is a comfort to me, as is my own.  My mother gave me love and safety everyday, just as I do for my girlies.  My mother was with me everyday; everyday she gave me herself.  I am with my girlies everyday; everyday I give them myself.  I kiss.  I hug.  I love.  I laugh and fuss and teach.  Just like Mama.


***** It’s been a while, I know.  I’m not entirely sure I’m back for good, but I thought I’d make an appearance.  I’ve also made a few appearances here in during my hiatus.  Hope to see you all again soon. *****

Friday, March 26, 2010

Would anyone miss it when it was gone?


The world has a way of sneaking up on you sometimes.

Today, I came inches from squishing this booger with my new springy pastel pink floral flops.  That would’ve been a tragedy. (I’ll let you infer into that statement as you wish.)

Instead, I gasped and recovered quickly enough to grab my Nikon and paralyze him into a digital image…or 9.  Which is really quite funny, because I really do not care for frogs or toads or, pretty much, any of the reptilian and/or amphibian classes or phylums or whatever you call it.  But nearly smearing this ugly dude’s guts all over my coveted sandals was more than enough to merit a moment of inspection and pseudo-appreciation.  I mean, he did just have a near miss with his chance to be reincarnated as something a little higher on the food chain, right?

After I satisfied my urge to photo document all of life’s little oddities and chance encounters, I packed up my camera and set off for the day.  As I rambled through my usual routines of prepping a classroom, Friday spelling tests, giggles and gasps at our adored daily read aloud, spring recess (the very best kind), spinach salad eaten en route back to the dining room, raised hands, messy backpacks, and our beloved alma mater ceremoniously bringing our school day to a close via “all call”, that same ugly mug played chicken with me over and over again in my mind.

I thought about him (or her?) as I backed out of my driveway.  I wondered where it would go.  Was it already gone?  What if it decided to escape and made the fatal mistake of hopping towards the driveway - rather than away from it – and I murdered it with my Firestone?  I have to trust that, were that the case, it was just meant to be.  His (or her) number was up.  The universe has a way of making things happen, you know?

Sometimes, it’s just time.  Sometimes, the jig is up.  Obviously, this fellow (I’m just going to run with the guy option.  Surely if it was a chick she would have some rosy cheeks or something, right?  I mean, it’s hard to find a good man out there, right?  If she ever wants to make some tadpoles with a nice, family sort of toad/frog/thing, then she’s got to strut her stuff… right?) has completed his cycle of life.  I’ve seen the diagrams in our science labs at school.  He’s at the top of the circle.  All arrows lead to him.

And you know what else?  I don’t believe in coincidences.  I’m certain that things happen for a reason.  I think little Tommy Toad was planted for me to write this post.  It’s a post that I’ve been stewing on, sitting on, trying to squish down for a while.

Sometimes, I think I’m like that toad. (Except, I’d rather be a frog, thanks.  Smoother skin.)  Sometimes, all I can do is freeze.  Hope I blend in.  If I smile and stay really still, no one will notice my buggy eyes.  Be veh-wee, veh-wee quiet.

I’m going into quiet mode for now.  I’m going to try to blend into the scenery for a while and just watch the world around me.  I’m not motivated to write what is appropriate to share, and not willing to share what I’m motivated to write.  I going to lie still beneath that pink sandal hovering above my head, and hope the shoe doesn’t drop. 

After all, a frog’s best defense from predators is it’s camouflage.  Well, unless it’s a poisonous frog.  Then it’s painted all sorts of pretty colors.  While I do like pretty colors, I think I’ll save the poison for another fairy tale.


Just a note…

Thanks for reading.  I’m taking a break.  There’s a lot bumping around in my head right now – about the blogging and internet world, friends, family, marriage, and boundaries.  Lots and lots about boundaries.  I am going to take a hiatus with my notebooks and freely express without hurting feelings, offending beliefs, or being judged. 

Love to you all.

I’ll keep you posted on my impending return.  I hope you’ll be open to the possibilities.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday in Snaps: Raining Cats and Dogs

This morning, the girlies and I welcomed the rain from the comfort of my bed.  We cuddled beneath the covers watching Barbie hang ten and save the mermaids from evil Eris.  My sheets are littered with Pop-tart crumbs, but my heart was as warm as the coffee on my bedside table.

Meanwhile, out back….

DSC_0386Daisy rested against the glass door between mad dashes after silly squirrels.  Bo lingered beneath the trees, patrolled the perimeter, and made laps through the wet grass.  He was so filthy by the time I was finally able to lure him back inside, I banished him straight to the shower for a complete overhaul. 

For the remainder of the day, my four-legged babies pouted and paced, scratched and begged to, once again, be granted their freedom out in the elements.


Mean Mommy that I am, their romp in the rain was over for the day. 

They made the best of it, though.  Bo in his red club chair…


and Daisy on a soft, faded quilt…


my little ones finally figured out the second best way to spend a rainy Sunday. 

I sure do love rainy “stay-at-home days”. 

P.S.  My Big Boy sure does smell purrty tonight.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Motivate Me

As you may recall, I’m currently in the midst of an intervention.  And, as interventions may go, it’s moving along quite nicely, if I do say so myself.  As with anything in life, finding the motivation was half the battle, really.  You know, that whole mind over matter thing.  To be quite frank, I tend to struggle with a little condition of “matter over mind”.

Recently, though, I’ve reacquainted myself with my inner strength and motivation.  I thought perhaps you all might benefit from some of these highly technical tips and techniques,

Money.  As you probably already know, money can be motivating.  I encourage you to consider financial punishments and/or rewards when setting up a personal goal.  If you’re like me though, this alone is easy to lose sight of…like the cost of my gym membership.  The thought of wasting that auto-drafted chunk of change every month has never once been motivation enough for me to drag my lazy bootie to the treadmill. 

Public humiliation.  When in doubt, plan your own roast.  I did and I really hope I get to cancel it.  I REALLY hope I get to avoid that.  Really.  I don’t know if I can survive that.

Circle of friends.  Peer pressure is a good thing…after about 21 or so.  Get a partner – or more – and put them on speed dial.  My partner in crime and I have talked each other down from the ledge more than once already.  With her support, I was able to resist the temptation of the fresh, hot pizza calling my name.  She, with the assistance of my psychological prowess, was able to throw away a completely untouched small fry from McDonald’s.  Together, there is nothing we cannot resist.  Last year, I had a workout partner…until that crazy chick moved without my permission.  While we ran our mouths, and laughed till our sides ached, we worked our booties off multiple days a week – despite our busy schedules and irrational harassment from a tacky gym patron.  Everything’s more fun with a friend.

Tunes.  Not only does music keep your energy level up while your working, but it’s been known to keep me going a little longer, too.  For instance, I may be in the last two tenths of a run when a favorite song comes on.  All of the sudden, I go all music-Nazi-slave-driver on myself and make a rule that I can only listen as long as I’m running.  If I quit, the music goes off.  Usually, a great song will be worth another few minutes of weary muscles and chest pains for me. (Then again, I’ve often said I want to find a gym where it’s completely normal to bust out in song and dance while you’re on the treadmill.)

Open your eyes.  If fitness is your goal, take a good hard look in the mirror.  Naked.  Recently, I started my own ritual.  After arriving at the gym, I drop off the girlies in the play area and head straight for a private dressing room.  Then, I strip.  Nothin’ but skin, babe.  I stand there in the obnoxiously poor lighting from the one pitiful 60-watt incandescent hanging overhead and try to disgust myself.  I look at all the places I usually suck in and cover up.  Then, I suit up and head to the torture chamber, ready to do battle.

Jealousy…I mean “role models”.  Choose the treadmill, elliptical machine, or mat right next to the hot chick.  Watch her.  Get jealous.  Really, really jealous.  Like – bitter and mean jealous.  Let the envy soak in deep until you feel like a fat pig.  Then, push harder, run faster, lift stronger – because you can be that flaming hot, too.  Show that biotch what you’ve got!  Yeah!

An audience.  Be aware of the men watching you.  You may think you look awful – sweaty, stinky, ragged and pale.  Apparently, they don’t agree.  Either that or they just don’t care, because men watch women working out.  That’s all there is to it.  Married  men, single men, old men, young men – they’re all looking at you.  Feel the heat of their eyes boring holes into your arse.  Imagine what they see.  I don’t know about you, but if somebody’s going to be looking at my backside, I hope they see a nice, firm buttocks with just enough softness for a good pinch – not a bowl of jell-o and orange rinds.  Somehow, I think you might agree.

Eye candy.  Look right back at those men.  Sometimes, you get lucky.  Just today, this totally hunky Tim Tebow look-a-like pulled up to the elliptical right next to me. Wow.  Not a minute before, I had begun to back down and woos out.  Miraculously, I got my second (third?) wind, found a little more strength, and stuck it out through the remainder of my mission.  And, as an added bonus, I also noticed a nice looking man downstairs who, through squinted eyes and the red metal handrails of the stairs, looked an awful lot like a scruffy Chris O’Donnell. I was thoroughly entertained. 

Sweet success.  As a friend of mine said recently, nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.  No pain is worse than the sting of defeat.  The miles never look more doable than when you’re looking back over your shoulder.  You never feel fat and lazy AFTER you work out.  Focus on these things. 

I don’t claim to be an expert – by any means.  But, I’m pushing.  I’m hurting, I’m sucking it up, and I’m trying everyday to do better than the day before.  And, that’s all anyone can ever ask. 



Thursday, March 18, 2010

Line, please.

This feels foreign and uneasy. I've missed the success and escape, but stage fright can be crippling. These bucket loads of dry sand I've been trying to hold between two bare hands are beating me. Emotions, thoughts, memories and words run through me as long ribbons of blurred grains - smooth like silk, warm like the sun - leaving me hollow and limp.

I turn to my bed. The book on my nightstand, once filled with passion, adventure, images and culture, now lies silently beside my clock, resting beneath my mobile wake-up call, counting down boldly to 4 A.M. Reluctantly, 5. Regrettably, 6.

Each night, I turn off the day and blanket my soul with the safety of an old quilt, cushioning my nighttime thoughts with a pillow, sweet with the scent of home. This is my retreat.

I read my friends' lines and directions through the filter of distance - miles and years. I can hear through these flimsy walls the soundtracks of their own dramas, romantic comedies, documentaries, and musicals as their stories carry on. My own movie is paused like an old VHS. Someone needs to fix the tracking. It's shaky and wiggly.

I'm waiting for direction, the next pages of my screen play.

Improvisation is harder than it looks.

The show must go on. Put on a happy face.

How the hell did I get here?

Whose line is it anyway?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

March 12x12


The day started ridiculously early.  When I took this picture, I was up and dressed, packed and almost ready to walk out the door.  Coffee in hand. 

It was all worth it, though.  What a fabulous day.


Sitting in the airport, one my fellow travelers- after taking a Zantax for her fear of flying – noticed we were flying on a small, commuter jet and texted her last wishes to her mother from gate A7. 

“Take a nice trip with my money and donate the rest to the ASPCA.” 

Her mother’s reply: What’s the ASPCA?

After a cab ride of endless traffic, we hit the streets for some shopping.  The cold and rain, along with an intense desire to find deals, steals, and irresistible finds, drove us into H&M for a thorough visit.  We canvassed their three floors and emerged victorious.

At tiny tables wedged between the kitchen and the wall, we devoured a warm pizza lunch.  We entertained ourselves watching the hopelessly unorganized supervisor try to communicate with his non-English speaking crew and observing the constant stream of locals pouring into the little pizza joint – ironically called Firehouse Pizza.  It was a welcome break from the cold and wet.

Heading onto MoMA, I ooooohed and aaaaaaaahed at Monet’s Water Lilies.  We laughed and marveled at Burton’s quirky perversions, questioned and stared at the performance art and all agreed that some art just isn’t for us…namely the scary stuff

Afterwards, we ducked into the Magnolia Bakery for a sweet treat on the go, paired it with a glass of wine at a warm, dry pub before making our way back to the hotel to check in and freshen up.  We were checking out our view of the Empire State Building and gray skies when room service surprised us with a gift from my brother Jethro – a yummy bottle of champagne to celebrate our retreat. 

An old friend of mine (whom I hadn’t seen in too many years to count) met us at our hotel, guided this group of lovely bumbling tourists through town to a little dive for a drink and hailed us a taxi like a true gentleman.  He sent us to the Coffee Shop for the most delicious fries and chive dressing….on the side of our burgers, of course.  Girl talk poured all over the table like the little bottle of Heinz 57 and our energy finally began to wane.

Back in the room, Steph and I giggled like girlies playing with our cameras and smiling at  faces and moments frozen in time on the digital display of our DSLRs.  While our roommates slept, we shared one set of earbuds, Zuned some tunes and Googled craziness on my Blackberry.  It was the adult version of hiding beneath the sheets with a flashlight past lights-out. 

What a fabulous day. 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday in Snaps: Toy Story

After a big day down in Riverside yesterday, we were beat today and hung close to home.  Consequently, my house and yard is a trail of destruction.



Oh. There’s one more.


Hope you all have had fun makin’ messes this weekend, too.




Friday, March 5, 2010

permission to write junk: granted

I’ve written about this before, but some things are worth revisiting.

When I first read Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones and saw how she emphasized the importance of writing with pen in hand, I scoffed.  I can write best when I type.  I can type faster than I write.  I had a million thoughts about how this did not apply to me.  DSC_0077

Now, after more than a year and a half, hundreds of pages and dozens of pens, I’ve reformed.  In fact, you could say I’ve “converted”.  I am a notebook junkie.  Not in the sense that I buy notebooks everywhere and have pretty, fancy journals.  Although there is some truth to that as well.  But in the sense that I have at least four or five notebooks running at any given time.  What’s more, they’re usually with me – wherever I am.  In my car, in my work bag, in my purse, notebooks, notebooks, notebooks.  I even keep a pad of paper in the pocket of my car door. 

When I write at my keyboard, there is a pressure to publish.  I need to do something with these words.  Go somewhere with this message.  A notebook does not impose itself on my mind in that way.  Rather, it is a place for me to do with it what I choose.  It is a dumping point and a blank canvas simultaneously.

I wish I could say all these notebooks are neatly tabbed and organized, categorized by writing purpose or topic.  But, that would be a lie.  No, my notebooks are very much a mess, somewhat of a stream of consciousness.  Though, I don’t always work front to back or even chronologically.  My topic or purpose may be a sharp contrast to the last piece I wrote, so I find myself skipping twenty pages or so to isolate the entry.  At times, I open to the back page and start from there. 

In effect, I’m burying treasures for myself.  On many occasions, I’ve stumbled onto a forgotten page and thought, “Wow.  I like that.”  Other times I think, “Ugh.”  But, more often than not, I find within those lost words a piece of something I can use – some line or paragraph I can lift and rework or build upon.

DSC_0079 Many times, momentary regret leads me to feel I should be more organized and systematic with my spirals and pages.  However, I always decide – no.  That would take away the freedom of the page.  I never want to find myself sitting before a page reserved for Hank and Ione.  I don’t want to be faced with lines allocated to emotional tirades.  There is not a humor and sarcasm tab in my mind, nor is there a specific time of day or chair in which I sit for motherhood reflections.  I may dream in my bed, but perhaps I remember and ponder my dreams while pulling Pop-tarts or drying my hair.  I need an outlet that goes with my flow, or my flow won’t go.

And there’s one more great thing about these crisp white pages.  One day, when I’m good and ready, I’m going to burn them.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Nothing to lose.

*** Let me just begin this post with a heads-up for any relatives of mine who might be reading. Today?  Just stop here.  Really.  Come back and see me another day, please, but this post is not for you.  I love you all dearly, but I don’t think you need to read this Girl Talk post. 

For those of you who are not related by blood or law, carry on.  Just bear in mind, this week, it’s all about FANTASY. ***

In a world with no consequences, you’ve got nothing to lose.  What is your fantasy?

Wow.  That’s pretty darn wide open, isn’t it?  I mean, wow.  You’ve got nothing to lose.  Nothing.

That’s actually a large part of the fantasy for me – feeling you have nothing to lose.  Just letting go and running with it.  I melt at the thought of letting passion and desire swarm over you.  Letting it rule your mind and dictate your actions completely.  Just go for it.  Do whatever you desire, however you choose, wherever, whenever. 

Adding the risk of “getting caught” spices it up too, though I guess that sort of goes against the idea of a world without consequences.  Perhaps I should explain. 

I read an article recently about a restaurant somewhere in the U.S. that is notorious for having sexy bathrooms.  And, by sexy bathrooms I mean – bathrooms people frequent to have sex.  Yeah.  They’re not popular for their cheesecake.  Diners just want to do it in their bathrooms.  So, for Valentine’s Day, restaurant management decided to play it up.  They encouraged couples in a way that meant more than turning the other cheek. 

While the thought of standing in line for a turn in a stall does not appeal to me in the least, doesn’t it sound wildly fun to sit across a table from your special someone in the middle of a crowded restaurant lost deep in your desire for each other as you sip your wine and bide your time - until you just can’t keep your hands off each other?  Impulses sweep you away.  Your judgment goes out the window with reality and you just succomb.  Steal a moment, find a spot, and make a crazy, wonderful memory.

Imagine moonlight on the beach.  You two are virtually alone, although you know that could change at any moment.  And somewhere in time, in the air between you – the air that has lessened, and lessened still more, as you felt the pull of each other.  Any sense of care about being seen, heard, or even stumbled upon slowly drifted away like a broken shell in the tide.  You can hardly see each other in the darkness.  The sand is wet and cool compared to your bodies.  You are absolutely lost in passion.  The world around you is muted by the sound of the ocean rolling in and out and in again.

It really could be most anywhere, because it’s not the time or the place but the pull.  It’s the irresistibility.  An urge that can’t be squelched.  A want turned need.  That “I don’t give a damn - I want you now,” feeling. 

For me, it’s not about costumes or toys or role plays.  It’s not even about far away romantic locations or bodies beautiful.  My fantasy is the passion itself.  A passion that is so magnetic and electric you lose sight of everything else and let it swallow you whole.  You can’t help yourself.  You just let go…like you’ve got nothing to lose.

My Private Tunnel

It is dark and lonely and the wind is strong. The sunshine is beautiful on the other side, though.  I know it’s warm there.  The sky there will be a beautiful blue with only a few cottony white clouds floating high above me, just enough to make the blue all the bluer.  tunnel

Some tunnels are so dark and so windingly long that they rob you of the sunshine peeking in from the other side.  Not mine.  My tunnel is mostly straight with an easy, gentle curve or two, but none so sharp and tangling as to blind my eyes to the relief that lies ahead of me.

Going into this tunnel, the face of the mountain was rocky, barren, jagged and threatening.  But when I emerge, the peak above me will slope more smoothly.  And it will be green and fertile and filled with signs of spring – rabbits, deer and fat little chipmunks will be busy around me as I squint in the glare.

When at first I feel that familiar warmth on my face again, I will pause in my tracks, my hand at my brow, filtering the stark rays from stinging my dark-weary eyes.  Footsore and lonesome, I will rest for a moment and suck in the calm deeply.  The relief.  The gratitude.  I will let the sounds of life, long muffled beneath this mountain I’ve been working through, fill my ears again.  They will sound brand new and beautiful to me.  Even the rustling of leaves as the wind tangles them against one another will feel like taffeta to my ears.

Across the way, just beyond the shoulder of the road, I will find a soft patch of fresh clover and wildflowers.  There I’ll lie outstretched on my back, napping beneath the blanket of light.  Time will stop as I close my eyes and breathe.  And feel.  And be.

Until that day, I will continue.  I will hold tight to that feeling of peace and warmth and safety as a promise, stoking the fire in my engine.  I will dig deeply and scrape the courage from the tips of my pinkie toes and elbows and wear it around my neck in a locket.  When I feel myself growing tired, I’ll rub the small silver charm between my fingers and will my energy to renew, my fire to refuel, and I will start again.

Until that day, I will press on.



Photo credits: / CC BY-NC 2.0

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Baby Claire

Author’s note: Bear with me as I fast forward a bit, please.

* * * * * * * * * *

The little pink line, faint as it began to emerge, pushed tears through Ione’s eyes.  It brought back too much.  Memories of hospitals and bedrooms darkened by drawn curtains and days that made her heart claw ferociously stood before her mind, front and center. 

It wasn’t supposed to happen like this.  She needed Hank to be home.  She wanted him there with her.  She longed to curl up in their bed together, bury her face into his shoulder and cry again for Claire, before letting happy tears fall for this second chance baby.

This baby would help make losing sweet Claire a little more bearable.  This baby would help heal the hole she carried.

Ione knew she would never entirely be free from this pain, 3889358806_b8521fd11f_obut she hoped one  day she might be able to look into a baby’s cheery little eyes and not see the daughter she’d lost.  Perhaps one day she could hear a girly giggle or see a curly pigtail tied in a bow without feeling like she’d been robbed of her chance at motherhood.

Claire was like a porcelain doll.  Her tiny round face strengthened by Hank’s square jaw.  Perfect little cupid’s bow lips, smooth and pink, begged to be kissed.  Eyelashes and fingers that stretched on and on gracefully.  She was already a little lady at only less than a day, a beautiful little lady.

One day was not long enough.  Ione remembered a time she had wished she would just die, too.  Why not leave this world and be with Claire?  Maybe there she could hold her baby again.  She imagined sleeping next to her; watching those tiny lady fingers wrap around her own; feeling the smooth, soft roundness of Claire’s head as it fit in the palm of her hand.

Sweet, baby Claire.   Your mommy loves you.  I’ll love you forever.  I’ll never forget you, baby.  This one – this new baby – will not make me forget you.  No one can do that.  I’ll love you forever.  We’ll be together one day, baby, I promise.  Wait for me, Claire.  Wait for Mommy.  I promise I’ll come for you.

But now, she needed to stay for this baby. 

What will Hank say?  How will I tell him?  Dear God, please God, keep this baby safe.

I can’t do this again.

* * *

Photo credit: / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Monday, March 1, 2010

I need an intervention.


I love food.  I particularly love sweets, but I also LOVE cheese, and potatoes, and breads, and pastas, and vegetables, and FRUIT – oh, wonderful fruit, and pizza, and hamburgers and steaks and ALL red meat, and fish, and salads, and French fries dipped in ranch dressing, and nuts, and cookies, and chocolate, and vegetable omelets with turkey sausage on the side, and Wheat Thins, and sliced apples with peanut butter, and popcorn, and Diet Dr. Pepper, and wine, and just about anything with artichokes and/or mushrooms.  Oh, and recently, I’ve fallen in love with French toast.  I love food. 

I love to cook.  I love to try new recipes.  Much like my outfits, I try new recipes more often than I repeat them – with the exception of a moderately sized repertoire of “cook by heart” dishes, of course.  On the weekends, sometimes I like to bake.  I absolutely love to slow cook things like roast or tenderloin all day long on a Saturday or Sunday.  I wish I was better about using my slow cooker because I love that, too.  I love to make a big pot of soup or chili – and I think there’s almost nothing better than a homemade salad.  Yum.  I love to make homemade pizza with spinach, fresh tomato, mushroom, and black olives.  I love to poach an egg and serve it on an English muffin with fresh basil, a huge slice of tomato and melted Swiss cheese.  I love to cook.

I love to watch cooking shows.  In fact, Rachael Ray is on in the background as I type this.  In those long ago days of my old life, when I was just the mommy of one, BigGirl and I used to lay around all day long on Sundays watching PBS cooking shows, one right after the other.  (That was in the decade that I didn’t pay for cable….Darn it, Comcast.  You’re evil.) Perhaps it was those early days of her life that firmed BigGirl’s own love of cooking shows.  Just a moment ago, as she ran out of the room for a quick second, she instructed me “Tell me everything I miss!  And don’t you forget a thing!”  So, when she returned, I dutifully filled her in on the steps of hollowing out zucchinis, cleaning mushrooms and starting a saute skillet.  We love to watch cooking shows.

Now, unfortunately, these three loves come at a price.  Now, I need to lose weight…again. 

Enter CBS Sunday Morning.  This show has “been in the family” as long as I can remember.  Growing up, the only Sunday mornings our home was not filled with the soothing sounds of Charles Kuralt’s voice were the days he was on vacation.  Those final peaceful scenes in which the only soundtrack is that of crickets chirping, wind blowing, and geese honking were the Closing Ceremonies of our Sundays.  This tradition has carried on into my own home.  A few weekends ago, they featured a story on procrastinators, during which they highlighted a unique site called  It “stuck” with me as a unique concept.  I intended on looking it up later.

Enter my sister-in-law.  She, too, loves food.  She, too, wants to lose weight. 

Two heads are better than one.

Here’s the plan:

We’ve made a little challenge/wager of sorts.

The Plan:  We’ve both committed to exercising at least 3-4 times per week each week until June 18th.  At which date, we are aiming to have lost 20 pounds.  (Each.  Hee hee!)   You can check on our progress here and here.  Feel free to cheer us on…or heckle, I guess.  That can be motivating, too.  

Collateral:  We will pay each other $5 every week that we do not meet our exercise goal.  Our progress is being refereed by impartial parties. 

End Results:  If we do NOT reach our ultimate weight loss goal, the other will

(a) Do something with the other person’s money (which, depending upon our diligence, could reach a maximum of $80) that they would NEVER do. 


(b) UTTERLY AND COMPLETELY HUMILIATE THE OTHER ON OUR OWN BLOG.  I mean, we’re going below the belt.  We will leave out no detail.  She gets to tell the world what a lazy bootie I’ve been.  She gets to tell the world what a fat bootie I’ve become. She gets to tell the world everything I don’t even want to tell her.   This part was her idea, by the way. 

That, my dear, is an intervention.  B.  It’s all about (b) for me.

Well, that and the insults my Wii Fit threw at me yesterday as I climbed back on after months of neglecting it.  Man.  That thing really knows how to hold a grudge and smack on a guilt trip, doesn’t it?  “Looks like you didn’t reach your goal.  Humph.  I could have told you that already.  Do you want to try again, or are you done trying to keep up appearances for my sake???”  “Oops.  Looks like you’ve gained a few pounds, haven’t you?  ***inflates Mii to five times its original size*** There.  Now that’s  more like it.  Don’t you agree?”  “Have you been participating in fitness activities away from the Wii Fit?  Have you been cheating on me with the gym?  Is that why you never come see me anymore?”  And I love how it talks about everyone else, too.  “You know, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen Diego…Have YOU heard from him lately?”   I do not always like my Wii.

Gotta go.  Ina Garten is on.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday in Snaps

I woke up this morning feeling the pressure of a typical Sunday – too much to do, too little time.  We made the best of it, and all in all, it was a pretty darn productive day.


BigGirl woke up early on the office floor.  The girlies had decided to “camp out” on palettes.  BigGirl was the only one to make it through the night. 


I cooked breakfast…


and baked banana bread.


BabyGirl brushed the doggies for me,


and we headed out to run a few errands.


We shared a quick laugh and I stole a hug from some guys in uniform we happened to run into


as we were headed into the bookstore.






We grabbed a quick Italian lunch before picking up the last of our weekly necessities at the store and heading home.






And finally, after a successful, yet degrading, Wii Fit session and a walk around the short loop while the girlies rode their bikes,


we enjoyed a lovely meal of homemade chicken and dumplings and fresh salad.

And that was when we noticed BigGirl was sportin’ a fever….Who knew?….

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Have some whine, won’t you?

I think it’s necessary to introduce this week’s Girl Talk Thursday with a very suitable complaint – whiners.  I really cannot stand whiners.  I mean, everyone deserves and needs an opportunity to vent on occasion.  And, it’s only natural to need to complain a little in life.  But, whiners?  They stand in a class of their own…and I hate them. (I can hear BigGirl in my mind right now saying, “ooooooh…you said Hhhhaaaaate…..” because in my house, that’s a dirty word.)  But, I do.  I hate them. 

People, everyone’s life is hard from time to time.  Everyone’s got something to complain about.  My attitude is – if it’s really that bad, quit whining and get up off your bootie and do something about it. 

That said, this week’s Girl Talk Thursday is all about complaining.  Today we all get a free pass to let’er rip.  So, please do not walk away from this post thinking, “Man…that chick is a whiner.”  Really, I pledge to try my best to never achieve that status.  And you all have permission to smack my face till the make-up comes off if I get that way.  Please, do it.

Anyhow…what’s buggin’ you?  Oh wait, it’s my turn first.  Get ready, folks.  Here we go…

1. It’s times like these when I feel like the demands of professionals in my line of business is absolutely completely humanly impossible.  It is a joke.  We are taken advantage of because the world - the government, the districts, the parents, everyone – knows most of us in this line of business will suck it up and get it done, even if it means sacrificing your sleep, your family, your home, your wallet, and your sanity.  And I think that stinks.  It’s times like these that I seriously consider a permanent career change.  And that really stinks, too.

2.  Money really should grow on trees.  Don’t you agree?  I mean, it’s kinda hard to come by sometimes.  And it takes a lot of work to keep up with it.  And everyone sure does want it once you’ve got it.  That all stinks.

3.  Time is ridiculously hard to come by, too. 

4.  I cannot seem to wake up in the mornings for the life of me!!  Even when I actually have a sleep-filled  night, and I go to bed at a decent hour, I just can’t get out of bed in the morning!  This, I think is partially related to …..

5.  The weather.  I am completely DONE with winter for this year.  I’m ready for spring to spring and stay sprung.  I’m tired of layering, tired of jackets, tired of cold mornings (see #4), tired of it all.  And, I’m ready to wear my flip flops and NOT watch my toes turn blue, thank you very much.

6.  Speaking of weather, we’ve had some rainy days in my neck of the woods this week…which reminds me of something else I’m totally sick of – WET PANT LEG HEMS.  Ugh.  This has become a major pet peeve of mine, just this season.  Wet pant legs are cold, dirty, and generally icky.

7.  I want to play.  I want to run away for a little bit and be footloose and fancy free.  Being  a grown-up really stinks sometimes.

8.  I haven’t had the time and energy to do enough of the things I love lately – like read (still haven’t even gotten into the flashback chapters of Dragonfly in Amber yet), write (yes, I know, I’ve been writing some…but not as much as I’d like), cook (believe it or not, I actually enjoy this…but hate it when it feels more of a burden than a pleasure), and sew (ha! those were some high hopes I had for myself).

9. My house needs to be cleaned…like ALWAYS.  I’m over it.  I need a housekeeper.

10.  My house is littered with laundry…like ALWAYS.  I’m over it.  I need a housekeeper.

11.  Mean kids make me mad.  This week, I’ve had to take time out of my day every freaking day to mend hurt feelings and dole out consequences and guidance because of someone’s unkindness.  Can’t we all just get along, people?  What makes people mean??? (Don’t answer that…I really do know the answer.  Well, I know some of the answers.)

12.  I need to lose weight and I hate myself for it.  I hate when I go undoing good hard work that I’ve already done. 

13. Forgive me, people…but I’m over the Olympics and American Idol.  I’m completely over them.  I do not care.  At all. 

14. I’m also over this freaking war.  I don’t want to go getting all political on you, but I think I tend to be a pacifist for the most part.  (See #11 – Can’t we all just get along?) I think there is a MAJOR shortage of tolerance all over the world – and a MAJOR amount of arrogance. (oooooh…I should put arrogance in this list somewhere….)

15. This week’s SeaWorld death really bummed me out.  Ridiculously so…I have no personal affiliations or anything, but I am utterly saddened by this poor trainer’s death.  That stinks.

16.  My baby girl doggie needs a haircut.  I don’t want to take her, though, until the weather warms up.  She’s sensitive.  She shivers when she’s cold, so she needs all the layers she can get.  (Speaking of, see #6.)

17.  I need to get to the gym more often, because I need to lose weight (see #12), but I can’t seem to get out of bed in the morning to go before work (see #4).  Also, I really wish my gym had more locations with child care and more yoga classes during the hours that I am available and the child care center is open.  (Why don’t they ask for my input when planning this stuff?)

18.  My house needs the carpet ripped out…like 5 years ago.  I hate it.  We MUST do this ASAP.

19.  For the past few days, my hip has been all funky when I wake up in the morning.  I really dislike feeling like my body is letting me down. (This is another reason why I need to get to the gym and yoga.  See #17)

And lastly -

20.  The really cool games that are on my laptop (like Scrabble, Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud, and Jeopardy) are no longer free to play.  They want me to pay to play the games and that is freaking ridiculous!!!! I refuse to sign up to purchase virtual game tokens so I can play a game on my own computer!!!!! (See #2)  This especially stinks because my whole house was completely enjoying those games, even the girlies.  :(


All righty then.  I feel a bit better….I think.  Actually, I think writing this post just got me all fired up…crap.

In order to cool us all off again, what do you say we have a little silliness?  Shall we take a lesson from that baby girl doggie I mentioned up in #16?  Let’s all just kiss and be merry.

Daisy's a lover from Jenny Nash on Vimeo.


***Yeah, that’s the real me.  I’m all serious like that.  All.  The.  Time.  If you have no sense of humor, people, you’ve got NOTHIN’.***

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Little Meg(s)

I laughed to myself today at the sight of BabyGirl in her sister’s outgrown dress under a red ruffled top with her brown suede boots on the wrong feet.  The dress is really still too large for her, so even if the weather were, in fact, warm enough for spaghetti strap sundresses, the shirt would still be required to prevent flashing the world through the too low neckline and gaping armholes.  As we headed towards the glass doors of her school, she confidently slung her lunchbox on her shoulder like a purse and sauntered towards the defunct green button marked “EXIT” that she insists on pushing daily before crossing the threshold. 

She is quite a character.

Today, the spring in her step reminded me sharply of Meg Ryan’s quirky walk in You’ve Got Mail.  Then, the more I thought of it, I realized she is Meg Ryan.  Well, in a matter of speaking.

First off, let me point out: she’s a Gemini.  The twins. Soooooo true.

Twin #1: Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail


Feminine, yet not overly prissy.  She’s smart, quirky, spunky, and independent.  She isn’t afraid to speak her mind – no matter how giant the foe….and all of this tucked neatly away beneath the exterior of sugar and spice and all things nice.  She is just so “cute”.

BabyGirl has a side of her that is sweet as pure honey.  “Esscuse me, Mommy.  When djou are done can djou please get me som’mor golefish?”  She loves and dotes on the doggies with the gentlest of hands, pulling them to her and kissing their cheeks.  She holds me, kisses my face and rests her head on my shoulder and spontaneously says, “I love you.”  She’s been a little cuddle bunny from her own very beginning, wanted to be held even more so than BigGirl (always described as a cuddly baby herself) ever did.  Because of her sleep struggles, BabyGirl sweetly, pitifully asks us to “soffly” her (rub her face and arms softly) until she falls asleep. 

Yet, she has that joyful quirkiness and independence to her spirit that tells her to wear a short-strapped purse across her body like a messenger bag and sport shoes on the wrong feet, despite repeated corrections. (She likes them that way.)

Twin #2: Meg Ryan in Addicted to Love

DSC_0723She’s a bit hard core.  Do not cross her; she will come at you full throttle.  She holds grudges and is smart enough, sly enough, and determined enough to see those grudges to the bitter end.  Her emotions are raw and unfiltered.  She is a force to be reckoned with….

I told you about her first cat fight at school, didn’t I?  I’ve long thought it humorous that I am more often than not rescuing her older sister from her rather than the other way around. (In fact, I cannot think of a single time I’ve had to rescue her from her sister.)  She does everything with a passion – all the way back to nursing and taking bottles.  (That’s when FireDaddy and I started joking that we fully expect to walk into a party one day and find her upside-down beneath a funnel.) 

She is just starting to give BigGirl a run for her money with the smarts.  Just the other day I overheard her spouting off (with a tone of sass, might I add) in the backseat to her big sister about Pluto’s status as a dwarf planet.  

And you know the old trick of promising dessert for those who finish their dinner?  Forget it.  If she doesn’t want it – she isn’t going to eat it.  She’ll sooner pass on her favorite dessert than let you get your way.  The end.  No negotiating.  “Akch-ually, I don’t want chocolate ice cream,” and she’s finished.  For real.  You may as well save your breath.

As for cleaning up toys?  “BabyGirl, if you don’t help clean up I’m going to throw these toys away!”

“OK, Mommy.  You can frow dem away.” 

…and I do…..and she doesn’t care. The girl means what she says.


This BabyGirl of mine surprises me everyday.  It is so amazing to watch her start to stretch out her legs as she is figures out which way those legs will take her.  I have a feeling, no matter which way her road will lead, it’s going to be a wild ride.   We are going to have some kind of fun.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday in Snaps

FireDaddy took the girlies to the zoo today.  I felt more than a little under-the-weather this morning, so I stayed behind.  Somewhere near mid-day, I felt up to getting dressed and hitting the market.  Before I ran out, though, I decided to play a bit in the yard. 

I’m planning a little family shoot in the backyard sometime soon.  I especially want some Mommy and Me shots, since I’m rarely ever in the snaps I take of my girlies anymore.  So, I took advantage of the uninterrupted silence and sunshiny day to practice a little bit of my self-timed photo skills.

And for future reference, I discovered this is waaaaaay harder than it looks.

sunday in snap 1

sunday in snap 3

sunday in snap 2

 (grrr….frizzy hair and ocean breeze…..)


That’s all for Sunday in Snaps this week.  Next week, more of the other stuff.  That’s enough of me for a while.


(Now I have to find the guts to push publish….oy……)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I’m such a follower.

Have you ever done something and thought “Why am I doing this???”  Yeah. Me too.  Really recently, in fact.

A few weeks ago, I was teasing my friend Melanie about her online gaming.  When I say “online gaming”, I am not referring to the “World of Warcraft” types of games that my darling brother plays.  No, I’m talking about the far more pointless – albeit no less addicting -  variety,  like Farmville and 4Square

Melanie’s (and at least half a dozen other folks’) Farmville updates clog up my Facebook newsfeed.  This I find humorous because I have nothing to do with virtual agriculture or livestock.  Nothing, I say.  Nada.  So, I couldn’t resist ribbing my dear friend when her little thumbnail Google maps started flooding in on top of her pleas for help with her manure shoveling duties…or whatever it is you people do in Farmville. 

And then, in a moment I’m not proud of, I downloaded that silly app to my Blackberry, and now I’m checkin’ in all over town.   4square

“Why on Earth am I playing this silly game?” I ask myself regularly.

Today alone was worth it.  Now, I am truly hooked.

The Girlies and I had to make a quick run to Target for some eye make-up remover and a new water filter for my coffee maker.   A trip, by the way, that AMAZINGLY cost me UNDER $30!!! I know you know why I’m celebrating that. And if you don’t know, keep it to yourself because I may begin to hate you.  While I sat in the car, waiting for my little shoppers to finish chowing down on their pretzels and whales (imitation Goldfish) so we could shop without crumbs, I dutifully checked in on my 4 Square app. 

SURPRISE!!!!! “You just ousted Melanie as the Mayor of Target!”

heh. heh. heh.

A sinister smile smeared across my face as I headed in for my necessities. 

Later, as I unloaded in my driveway, The Pink Lady chirped. 

“Mayor Nash…are you still here?”

Melanie was pulling into Target and must have just received the news of her displacement.  We had a good laugh, and moved on with our day.

A short while later, I saw that she had ousted some Random Dude as the Mayor of Chick-Fil-A.  This was even better….

Me: …and how do you think Random Dude feels about this?

Her: Same way I felt when you ousted me!

Me: heh heh. :) don't you know it's probably worse when it's someone you don't know?  at least you can smile and laugh with me about it - he's probably all "that crazy Melanie, the bitch, I'll show her!!!! - I'll take a number one with a diet coke!" LOL

Yes, folks.  This is what life is all about:  ousting your friends for a good laugh, and ousting strangers for an even better one. 

We’re kicking ass and taking names.

Now, who’s  up for some 4 Square???  Anyone?

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