“Be like a duck. Calm on the surface but paddling like the dickens underneath.”

~Michael Caine

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Playing with Scissors

So, when most kids get their hands on a pair of scissors they cut paper or, worst case scenario, hair. Well, not my kid. Tommy was sitting at the kitchen table cutting paper scraps into tiny little pieces. It looked like he was using the scissors properly so, I let him (also avoiding a potential meltdown). Jose walks in while Tiffany and I are in the kitchen making dinner. He carefully asks "Do you know Tommy has scissors?" In unison, Tiffany and I flippantly answer "Yes". Jose shrugs his shoulders and returns to the beer making activities in the garage. Not a minute later Tommy starts whining "Oh No! I beeding. Owie Mommy!" Earlier in the day he had a terrible nosebleed so I initially thought that his nose had started bleeding again. I look over and sure enough Tommy was bleeding. But not the same way he had been earlier. He had taken the scissors to his nose and sliced a perfect "U" shape into the tip of his nose. See exhibit A below. Oh the adventures we have in our home. (Please Note that this was and extremely minor incident with the potential for serious injury. We have since taken the proper precautions to prevent such things from happening again.)

In the middle of the night he starts crying and yelling. I go into his room to see what the matter is and when I ask, he just lays there and yells and cries. I plead with him to stop yelling and crying and to just tell me what's wrong. Why can't he just tell me what he needs?!? He just lays there looking at me and crying. Finally he says 'Ice water!'. I get his ice water, and he settles down. I kiss him goodnight and close the door. The moment I get back under the warm covers he starts at it again. I lay there for a minute silently hoping that he'll stop; trying desperately to telepathically communicate with him: "Tommy, shhhh, it's ok. Just settle down. Drink some water. Shhhh. You'll wake everyone up." I come to the realization that I have no telepathic abilities whatsoever because it is clearly not working. So, I get up and burst into his room and say "Tommy! Stop Yelling!" and when I reach his bed I notice that his nose has started bleeding again and it's all over his face and his pillow. I felt terrible. I cleaned him up, made him drink some ice water and turned his pillow over to the clean side (Yes, I should have changed the pillowcase but it was the middle of the night and I don't know if I have any extras anyway). So I asked him if he wanted me to hold him in my desperate attempt to clear my conscience of feeling like a bad mommy for yelling at him. He said "woking chair". So I took him into the living room and rocked him until he went to sleep. It was just what I needed. Looking down at his sweet face while he slept I thought about how these moments become less and less frequent as they grow older. I was astonished at how all of a sudden he was so big. The last time I rocked him like that he was half the size he is now. And, it wasn't very long ago that his head, that is now the size of a large melon, was once the size of a softball. I sat there rocking him for as long as I could keep my eyes open and told him that I was going to bring him back to his bed. He whispered "OK" and went right back to sleep. We both slept soundlessly for the rest of the night. I learned that what he needs is sometimes what I need too.


Monday, November 30, 2009

Speaking of Christmas...

Tommy always runs down the hallway...always, no matter how many times we yell at him for it. I was sitting at the computer tonight and he runs down the hallway hollering "Mommy!". Did I mention that he only has two volume levels? Hollering and sleeping. I swear that child cannot speak without yelling. Remind you of someone? Anyway. "Tommy, you don't need to yell, what is it?" I respond. "I sit wit you?" I say "Sure!". So I pick him up and sit him on my lap. He looks over at the Christmas tree and says, "Look, a noman tree." I say "That's not a Snowman tree, that's a Christmas tree. Do you know who's coming for Christmas?" While he glares at me with his big brown eyes and his sly grin he says "Noooooo..." So I tell him that Abby and Paw Paw Woody and Grammy are coming for Christmas.
Pause for back story...
Me and my brother always referred to his godfather, the late Howard Bernard, as Nonc (Pronounced NONK). It's a derivative of the french word for uncle (Oncle). He couldn't pronounce Oncle, so he called him Nonc and it stuck.
With hope in his eyes, he looks up at me and puts his hands together as if her were praying and says "And Honk too?!?"
I couldn't help it. I almost fell out of my chair laughing. These are the moments that I will cherish forever.

Love you little brother...and so does Tommy.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Tales from the Porcelain Bowl

Potty training is not for the faint of heart or anyone with a sensitive gag reflex. Both of my children were fairly easy to potty train. Remarkably, Tommy seems to have had an easier time of it despite the old wives tale that boys are harder to train than girls. During the first week of him being out of diapers, we started with just going pee pee in the potty. On day 2, while I was dozing on the couch, Tommy runs into the living room without pants on and his hands covered in poop. With tears in his eyes he says "Mommy, I go poo poo.". I follow him back to the bathroom and find poop and toilet paper covering his step stool. My heart swelled with joy at the sight. Only a mother would understand being overjoyed at the sight of a poop covered step stool. Let me remind you that we hadn't really talked about pooping on the potty and it was only day 2. He attempted to poop on the potty all by himself, missed, AND tried to clean up the mess by himself. Poor thing; he was crying with poop all over his hands and confused cause mommy was telling him what a good boy he was. He must of thought I was crazy. Tommy: "Who is this woman? Mommy usually yells when I make a mess, now she's clapping and jumping up and down like a lunatic! God, when can I move out of this mad house?"

This reminds me of a similar story from Emma's potty training days. The memory is a little foggy but I'll do my best to recall it.

I'm scrambling around the house doing something. As I walk past the bathroom I find 2-1/2 year old Emma on her hands and knees on the rug in the bathroom. She was scrubbing the rug with a piece of toilet paper that was rapidly disintegrating and softly sobbing to herself. She was clearly trying not to attract attention. I asked her what was wrong and she said "I poo poo." She was trying to clean up the mess she made cause she missed the toilet. Poor baby girl. Of course I consoled her, threw the rug in the wash and her in the bath.

So, throw out that old adage of 'boys are harder to train than girls' out the window. Run out of diapers and you'll see how fast your kids get potty trained no matter their sex. It's really amazing what YOU and your kids are capable of without the security of a diaper.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Ten Tenors and Their Youngest Fan

One Sunday morning, Emma was watching PBS. I was doing some things around the house and hadn't really been paying attention to what she was watching. After all, PBS is safe enough, or so I thought. All of a sudden, she starts yelling "MOMMY MOMMY! They're coming, they're coming!". Panicked I ran to the room to see what was wrong. "Who's coming, Emma?" I ask. "The Ten Tenors! They're coming! Can you get tickets?!?" she yells jumping up and down. "The who?" I ask. "THE TEN TENORS! Look!" and she frantically points to the TV. PBS was broadcasting one of the concerts and she was absolutely mesmerized. I guess during one of the commercial breaks, there was an advertisement for the show in San Diego in December. So I told her I would look into it. I figured that it was quite a special thing for a 5 year old to be interested in something like this so I bought tickets for the evening show on December 12th and called it my birthday present. Even though we didn't have the cash, there are just some things you MUST put on a credit card. Since telling her that I bought the tickets, she asks me almost every night how much longer before we can go to see The Ten Tenors. How cute is that?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Horses and Hugs

Emma crawled into our bed in the middle of the night which doesn’t happen very often. Granted she was sick with a fever, but in the morning, she looked so peaceful and sweet I couldn’t help but lift her into my arms and hold her for just a few minutes. As any mother knows, there is nothing more beautiful than her sleeping child. She sleeps like a bear in hibernation, so I figured she wouldn’t wake up. Another thing that Miss Emma is known for is talking in her sleep. So I wasn’t surprised when she started mumbling when I picked her up. I held her for a minute and before putting her back down I gave her one last squeeze. She started to grumble again and as I laid her back down with her eyes still shut she holds up her hands and says “Woah, take it easy girl!”. If only I knew what she was dreaming. Horses?

As for Tommy, he’s a light sleeper just like Ty. If he wakes up on his terms, he generally wakes up happy (not always). If he is woken up by anything else, he’s a monster. And when he’s grouchy, look out. He cannot be consoled, spoken to, or touched. It’s as if something is causing him physical pain. He yells in his bed “MOMMY!!!”. I go in his room and say “Yes, Tommy?”. The only thing that he can seem to do is lay in his bed and yell at me. So I tell him, in my sweetest, mommy voice “If you need me Tommy, you have to tell me what you want. I can’t help you if you don’t tell me. What do you need?” He just lays there and looks at me with his sad eyes and yells “NO!” So I say, “Ok, when you are ready to tell me what you need, you can come out of your room and tell me.” I close the door and of course he proceeds to scream some more. “MOMMY, MOMMY, MOOOOMMMMMMYYYY!!!” I let it go for a minute or two and go back in his room and proceed to ask him if he wants a drink, a popsicle, something to eat, anything to try and figure out what he needs. With each calm question I ask, he responds with a resounding “NO!”. So I finally ask him if he wants me to hold him. He looks at me with his sad eyes and nods his head. FINALLY! So I pick him up and take him into my room. I sit him on my lap facing me and he puts his little arms around my neck and held on tight. After a few minutes, he pulls away and looks at me in the eyes and gives me a big kiss before going back to holding on to me for dear life. I sat there with him for a few minutes with him kind of whimpering the whole time. Finally, he sits up and says “Mommy, can I pay you done, peas?” Translation: He wanted to play on my phone. Seeing that he finally snapped out of it I said “There you are my sweet boy! Where did you go? I’m so glad you’re back.” Sometimes, all they need is a mommy hug.

It’s so strange and wonderful how the two of them are so different. Emma wakes up happy each and every day. Tommy is the wild card. I love them both so much that sometimes it hurts. Each of them has their own quirks, and I love every single one. They change so much that it’s hard to remember how they little they were. I do remember how perfectly their little heads fit in the palm of my hand when they were first born. Who knew that something so little could create something so big. It’s invisible, but you can see it. It takes no shape, but you can feel it. It’s powerful enough to take your breath away but gentle enough to make you feel secure. There is nothing that I wouldn’t do for them. In my very biased opinion, I believe that Ty and I have created the two most wonderful children in the world.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fresh Baked Memories

As most of you know I just got back from a trip to Edmond, Oklahoma, Grapevine, Texas and Lafayette, Louisiana. While visiting Carol in Oklahoma, she made the most delicious bread. She told the story of the sourdough starter that she has kept alive for 13 years. Every Saturday, she feeds it potato flakes and sugar it's always ready for her when she needs to make bread. She said that when the kids were young, she would make bread every Sunday. This struck a chord with me. I instantly began thinking about something that I could make every weekend for my family. She offered to make me a starter but I declined for fear that I would somehow forget to feed it.

All throughout my trip I pondered on what I could make for my family. I tried a french bread recipe and ended up with 4 hard bricks. Then I found an old Amish sandwich bread recipe and decided to try it. I made the recipe as directed. Well, sort of, I substituted some of the white flour for whole wheat flour. After the first rise, I divided the dough in half, formed one and dropped in in a loaf pan. With the other half I rolled it out, lightly buttered the dough and sprinkled cinnamon sugar over the top. Rolled it up, jelly roll style and dropped it into a loaf pan. After letting the loaves rise one last time in the oven, I baked them. The result was stupendous! All I can say is YUM! I sliced the plain loaf and will use it for Emma's lunch sandwiches. The cinnamon loaf sadly didn't make it to the end of the day. I have never worked with yeast dough before and I am hooked. My next endeavor is to find the perfect cinnamon roll recipe.

I'm sure some of you are wondering why I'm babbling about my kitchen escapades. Well, I want my family to remember me in the kitchen. I want them to look forward to my weekend baking. I want them to say, "Oooo, Tomorrow's Saturday, Mommy's making Cinnamon Bread." or, "Let's go to my house, my mom is making homemade Cinnamon Rolls!". Our society is becoming more about instant gratification and fast food and less about patience and slow food. I want my kids to think back when they are older to the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven every Saturday morning when they were children. I want to pass down a memorized recipe to my kids that they can pass on to theirs and so on. I want them to appreciate the time that it takes to make something from scratch and appreciate it when it's finally done.

I've found the perfect bread recipe, now all I have to do is find the perfect cinnamon roll recipe.

PS: I calculated out the cost of making the bread and it's only 97 cents per loaf. What a deal!

I'm Leaving!

Last night, I was in the kitchen cleaning up the mess that seems to multiply anytime I use the kitchen. I was wiping down my stand mixer when Tommy walks into the kitchen sporting only a diaper and my car keys and says, "Bye Mommy! I'm leaving!" I said, "Where are you going?" stifling my laughter. He said "Work." Of course, I didn't want him to leave (not that he could drive off on a whim anyway) so I was able to distract him with a cinnamon roll. I love the way they try an imitate us. It surely is the greatest form of admiration.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Picture this: You're walking through a mall. There is a large group of people in front of you walking in a line perpendicular to the direction you are walking. They all stop at once, blocking your path. You say 'excuse me' and 'pardon me' but they don't speak english and just stare at you like deer in the headlights. You make a little wiggling movement with your head and your body to make it seem like you're trying to get through. They stare then turn around and start walking again with you stuck behind them. You sigh with defeat. But then......you see an opening. You're excited...you might finally get past them. You hurriedly walk toward the wide space to the left of the slow perpendicular walking herd of foreign deer people when you are met by on coming walkers. Ugh. You want to push through the obviously brainless crowd of humans and say "GET OUT OF MY WAY!", but...that would be rude. You say to your self 'I'm not a rude person.'. So, you walk at the excruciatingly slow pace of the herd resorting to reading the next chapter of your book secretly hoping that you will 'accidentally' bump one of the herd members while you are so engrossed in the really super interesting book you're reading. This sparks an idea. You start to plot. You think to yourself if you 'accidentally' bump into one of them, they would move out of the way and you could get through. You decide that you are actually going to go through with it. You speed up your pace pretending to be throughly involved in your book when all of a sudden...

...the whole group turns in the opposite direction you need to go. Yippee! Back to work you go.

Monday, July 13, 2009

You want a what?!?

After a long day of swimming and playing at our friend Tiffany's house, we finally made it home. When we went inside, the house was very stuffy even though all of the windows were left open all day. I told Emma to go put on her pajamas. She asked if she could sleep in her undies because it was so hot. I said that was fine and as she was about to get into her bed she asked me "Mommy, I want one of those things for 5 year olds." "What things?" I ask back. "You know those things that go like this (she motioned across her chest) and over your shoulders and then you buckle it in the back." Perplexed I ask "A bra?". She answers "Yeah, they have them for 5 year olds. I want one so that no one can see my boobs." It took everything I had to contain my laughter. I ended up telling her that we could look into getting her some undershirts. What am I gonna do with this girl...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Holy Moly Guacamole!

Is there anything cuter than a two year old trying to master the english language? I don't think so. While visiting grandpa's house on Sunday, Tommy was eating chips and guacamole. We told him to say guacamole. It was so cute we made Ty get out his camera and record him saying guacamole. I could just squeeze him, but if I did he's yell at me. As most of you know, he's really good at that.

He is also becoming quite the little persuader. The men were working on the lighting on our patio. There were various tools and such strewn about and of course a ladder. Well I haven't met a kid yet that doesn't want to climb a ladder. It's definately a temptation that can't be resisted. Tommy walks up to the ladder and in his two year old lingo says to me "Mommy, I up here, yes or no, yeeesss?" Little bugger. Trying to persuade me to let him climb the ladder. As I've said before, the cuteness is a survival mechanism.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Monsters and Bad Guys and Noises, Oh My...

It seems that Emma is having another flare up of Monster Fear. About a year ago, she started complaining about monsters. Not knowing what else to do I asked her "Are you sure that they are bad monsters?". "No" she replied. I said "Well maybe you should introduce yourself. Make friends with them." Next thing I know she is in her room saying "HI! My name is Emma. What's your name?" That was the beginning of a short lived friendship between her and Salina (the monsters name).

We've started to use the Monster Spray again. She still isn't 100% convinced that it works but it's so cute to watch her attempt to conquer her fears. I keep the spray bottle in a cabinet that she can get to without help. When she gets nervous about going into her room when it's dark, I hear her pad over to the cabinet, get the spray and pad her way back to her room blowing raspberries and saying "You can't get me monsters! Ppppfffbbbbbtttt!" The other night, she was walking around the house exterminating with her spray and raspberries. On her way to put the spray back in the cabinet, she passed by the back door and with her bottle carefully aimed at the screen and her feet firmly planted on the floor she said, "You wanna get me monsters?!? Oh yeah, well, you can't! Pppppffffbbbbttt!" My brave girl.

I think Tommy has been picking up on her fears. He'll come running to me and say "Scary me, Mommy, scary me.". So I ask what it is and he says "Bad guys.". Anyway, this Monsters/Bad Guys battle went on for a little while last night and the kids were finally and unusually quiet. I went into my bedroom to see what is was they were up to and both of them were quietly sitting on my bed looking at books together. I walked in and said "Hey, what are you guys doing?". Emma looked at me with big eyes, and in a whisper with her finger over her mouth said "Shhhh Mommy! My monsters are sleeping in your bathroom. I don't want you to wake them up!"
She's so dang cute...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Much ado about a mess...

Monday, I began the process of baking for the wedding that I'm making a cake for this coming Saturday. I'd already made one layer and wanted to work on the strawberry buttercream. Making this recipe is kind of involved. It requires pureeing a pint of strawberries with 2 tablespoons of sugar and then cooking it over low heat until it is reduced to 1/4 cup of syrup. While this was cooking, I started putting the ingredients together for the next cake layer. I didn't feel that the strawberry reduction needed constant supervision as it was on low and I was checking it every few minutes. I had my back to the stove while I was mixing the wet ingredients for the cake with my hand mixer. Ty was putting away the dishes when he glanced over in my direction and calmly said "You're making a mess." I looked down to notice that not only was I NOT making a mess, I had done an unusually good job of keeping all of the ingredients in the mixing bowl. So I looked up at him and said "What mess?". His non verbal response was to chin point to the stove where my strawberry puree was supposed to be slowly reducing. "OH NO!" I yelled. It was boiling over. Darn it! So in an irritated tone I said "Why didn't you say so?!?". He said "I did. I told you that you were making a mess.". Then the argument ensued. I said "Why do you have to make it so difficult?" After complaining about the way he chose to direct my attention to the mess he said "It's 6 o'clock, I'm not talking to you till 6 thirty."
Fine. I figured I needed time to cool off anyway.

Our friends asked us if we wanted to go out for dinner at Chili's. On the way there the clock in the car changed from 6:29 to 6:30. The first thing he asks me is "What are you playing?". I was typing out my thoughts on my phone in the notepad app. I answered "I'm not playing anything.". He obviously thought I was playing a game on my phone. Anyway, I apologized for snapping at him and said "I am not excusing the way I reacted to your statement. But, sometimes I get frustrated in the way you say things in that it makes it so incredibly difficult to talk to you."
He replies with "What should I have said?". I answer "You could've said, 'Your pot is boiling over.'". He says "I didn't see that it was boiling. I saw that you were making a mess.". Then I say, "Or you could've said 'Your pot is bubbling over.'" He says "I didn't see any bubbles. I saw that you were making a mess."
Arrrrgggghhh! Do you see how he makes me work for the pleasure of having a conversation with him? Then I finally say, "You could've said 'Your pot on the stove is making a mess.'You could've been more specific."

As I type this out the whole thing seems silly. I love him and don't want him to change his ways just because I don't understand why he does it or because they frustrate me. But, for goodness sakes, sometimes it DOES get frustrating. This is just one example of how he makes me work for it. I'm not exactly sure why but, damn it, I sure do love him.

By the way, everything was fine. No one stayed angry. He went to see the new Transformers movie with his Nerd Herd last night...AT MIDNIGHT. Needless to say, I didn't sleep well. I never do when he's gone.

DISCLAIMER: This exchange of events is reported from my memory only. Other parties involved were not available to give their statement of accounts. Accuracy cannot be guaranteed.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Little girl, BIG dreams...

Right after I gave birth to Tommy, Emma's world ceased to exist as she knew it. She turned 3 on the day I brought him home from the hospital. There were all sorts of people visiting and so many new things in the house, I'm sure her head was spinning. The most intriguing thing to her was my breast pump. She would sit and watch me express milk and ask questions like, "Mommy, what is that?". "A pump, so mommy can get milk for Tommy." I answered. "Can I have some?" She asks. "No honey, mommy makes special milk just for Tommy. It's only for little babies." I answer. "Oh..." She says. I thought that was the end of it.

Things start to settle down after a couple of weeks and she stopped asking questions but still liked to sit with me and listen to the 'wah, wah' of the pump.
And then, it happened. Luckily, my husband caught it on video.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Interview with a Daughter

The following transcript is an interview with my daughter Emma. Her answers have been recorded verbatim. I got this idea from a friend of mine who posted her son's answers on Facebook. I have to say, it's pretty cute.

Me: "What is your favorite cereal?"
Emma: "Chocolate Cereal."
Me: "What is your favorite vegetable?"
Emma: "Carrots."
Me: "What is your favorite drink?"
Emma: "Um...um...giggle...um...he-he, fruit punch." She was laughing because I was typing all of her "um's".
Me: "What is your favorite toy?"
Emma: "Um...my kitchen." I found this funny because she told me not long ago that she didn't like it anymore.
Me: "What is your favorite TV Show?"
Emma: "XD, no, no I mean Five Zero" This means channel 50 which over here is Cartoon Network. Initially she said XD but then she said "Never mind I don't care about it, I just like five zero." I have no idea what XD is.
Me: "What is your favorite game?"
Emma: "Indigo Prophesy." This is some strange, complex game that Ty downloaded on Xbox. This proves that our children surpass our knowledge because although I've been known to Halo it up my hubby, I have absolutely no Idea how to even begin to play this game.
Me: "What is your favorite book?"
Emma: "Color books." She is talking about the 'Help me be good' series of books. They are books about all types of mis-behaviors. Interesting answer.
Me: "What is your favorite Restaurant?"
Emma: "Red lobster." I can't remember the last time we ate there. It must have been at least a year ago.
Me: "Why?"
Emma: "Cause I like to see the lobsters, the real ones." Of course! Who goes to Red Lobster to eat?
Me: "What is your favorite holiday?"
Emma: "Valentines Day." She definitely takes after her Grammy. Besides it's only days after her birthday.
Me: "What is your favorite animal?"
Emma: "Elephant."
Me: "Why?"
Emma: "Cause I love them, but I only love stuffed animals, that's what it is."
Me: "If you could change your name, what would you choose?"
Emma: "Emily."
Me: "What do you love most about Mommy?"
Emma: "You're sweet and I like it when you make breakfast and dinner and lunch."
Me: "What do you love most about Daddy?"
Emma: "He is sweet too and he makes lunch when you're not there."
Me: "What do you love most about Tommy?"
Emma: "He likes to play with me and I like to ride bikes with him."
Me: "Where would you like to go on vacation this year?"
Emma: "Um...why do you keep typing um? To see Poppy and Abby and Paw Paw Woody and Aunt Mel." Can you tell who calls our house most often?
Me: "What are some of your wishes for this year?"
Emma: "A new kitchen." Ahhh, now I get it. She likes playing with her kitchen but she wants a remodel.
Me: "What is your favorite thing about our house?"
Emma: "Playing on the big TV." This means the Xbox or the Playstation. Refer back to the favorite game question.
Me: "What is your favorite room in our house?"
Emma: "My room."
Me: "Why?"
Emma: "Cause it's fun and I like to play on my piano."
Me: "Who is your best friend?"
Emma: "Jesse and Keanu."
Me: "What are you most thankful for?"
Emma: "Cake for my birthday and um... oh no, I forgot about my water animals."

While performing this interview we were waiting for the Magic Grow Capsules Sea Animal Edition to transform.
I think I'll ask her the same questions in about a year and maybe even do the same for Tommy.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Everything seemed to be going well last night while going through our nighttime routine. Tommy was in the living room watching the end of 'Tale of Desperaux' and Emma went with Ty to bring Maria home. I went in to the living room and noticed that the sliding screen door had been knocked off the track and the back door was open. I asked Tommy if he broke the door. He said "No. da-dee bug." I said "Ladybug?" (She's our dog) He responded "Yeah, da-dee bug." Please keep in mind that he is still trying to master the English language. I looked over and sitting sweetly in front of the TV was Ladybug. Laying there as if it was so normal and natural, just part of her everyday life. Apparently something spooked her (probably fireworks or a car backfiring). She really is a sweet dog. Tommy went over and sat next to her pointing to and naming all of her parts. Eyes, ears, nose, mouth, etc. She just sat there sweetly letting him poke and prod her.

Ty got home and Emma had fallen asleep in the car so, of course she went straight to bed, which left me with just Tommy to read books to and tuck in. I told Ty about the screen door and while he was fixing it I put Tommy in his bed and told him to wait there while I went to get something in the hall. He called "Mommy" while I was exiting his room. I called back "Hold on Tommy I'll be right back.", then he called "Mommy" again with a little more volume. I called back "Hang on just a minute baby boy." Then he finally yelled out "Damn-it Mommy!" Poor little guy doesn't know how to voice his frustrations. Of course he learned this from his parents. I went back in his room and explained that 'Damn-it' was not a nice word and not to say it again. Then he said something along the lines of "I ont sum awa pees, Mommy." Translation : "I want some water please, Mommy." I swear when he says "Pees Mommy?" My heart melts every time. He is so adorable. We read his favorite book and when I went to give him a hug and a kiss, he said "Tight, tight, Mommy." He wanted me to hug him tighter. Gosh, if I hugged him as tight as I wanted to, he would break. I said "I'll see you in the morning." and he responded with "I due." which is his version of I love you. Again, the cuteness is a survival mechanism.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Comma to the top

I was born and raised in Louisiana. Most everyone there has some sort of accent. Northern and Western Louisiana has a twangy accent (being so close to Texas). Southern Louisiana has a Cajun french accent. Eastern Louisiana has an accent that has kind of a New York/Chicago sound to it. But, there are some people that make up their own version of the English language.

My brother told me a story involving one of these people. I will attempt to re-tell this story now.So, my brother is waiting in line at the blood bank. There is a woman in line ahead of him. The receptionist asks "Hi ma'am, what is your name?". She replies "R'nez". The receptionist asks politely "Can you spell that for me?". Then with annoyance in her voice she answers (I will try to spell this phonetically) "Ah-ra comma t-da top N-E-Z."

I laughed so hard that I thought I might split in two. Comma to the top. Of course what she meant was apostrophe but I guess a new term for that is comma to the top. What's next? Double comma to the top for quotations? I couldn't help but share this one. It was just too funny.

Monday, June 8, 2009

We went to the zoo...

And had alot of fun. The kids really enjoyed looking at the animals or as Tommy says it 'Amimos'. Emma's favorite was the flamingos, because they are pink of course.

Tommy was arguing with the stroller about which way to go.

Emma and Tommy liked watching the fish swim in the hippo water.

Emma doing her best impression of a Sabertooth cat.
We even got to watch the Polar bear poop carrots. I didn't know that carrots were found in the artic. It was fun!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Proud of my girl...

My little girl will be starting kindergarten in the fall. I have to say that being in preschool has put her a little ahead of the game. Some of the credit belongs to Ty and me. I have read to her every night since she was about 18 months old and Ty is constantly taking advantage of teaching opportunities. But, for me, this takes the cake! Emma came home from school one day and said the name of our new President. Ty decided to teach her who the Vice President and Speaker of the House were. From there, knowing that she has a knack for memorizing things, I decided to start teaching her the rest of the cabinet. This is how we've come so far...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I asked Emma who was in this picture. She said "Tommy and Me.".

Who do you think it is?

It's me and my little brother. Well, he's not so little anymore. In fact he's taller than me. Wow... It's really all I can say...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Talkative Tommy

Tommy's favorite book is Dr. Seuss's ABC's. My favorite part of the book is the letter 'P' because the way he recites this part is so flippin' cute! I have attached a video link for your viewing pleasure.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Merriam Webster defines the word oppression by saying it is an 'unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power'. That said, I was listening to a morning radio show this morning and they were talking about TV shows the listeners were not allowed to watch as children. One woman called in and said that her mother would not let her watch 'The Flintstones'. "What could possibly be wrong with 'The Flintstones'?" the radio show host asked. She replied with some cockamame nonsense about Wilma being opressed. She went on to say that Fred was always yelling at her (you remember 'WILMAAAA!') and how Wilma was always cooking and cleaning and said that it was sexist. This does not sound like oppression to me. This sounds like a woman taking care of her man. Oh this poor woman. If she only knew. Then, she went on to say that she does not allow her husband to watch 'Family Guy'. Allow?!? I agree that 'Family Guy' is disgusting, degrading, vulgar TV trash, but to say her husband is 'not allowed' to watch it is ludacris! It kind of makes you wonder what else she doesn't allow him to do, say, watch, or feel. What else does she withhold from him? That poor man chose the wrong woman. He is going to be miserable for the rest of his marraige...if it lasts. He probably sneaks out of bed at night just to watch the TV show. What else do you think he might be sneaking out of bed for? It's this 'oppressed woman' mentality that is part of the reason why most marraiges and families are broken. Instead of putting her husbands needs and desires first, she demands things from him and gives him rules and limitations. You can't tell me that there hasn't been a yelling match between this woman and her husband at least once. Everyone gets frustrated now and then. Oh, wait, she might not allow him to raise his voice for fear of being oppressed.

I don't believe Wilma is oppressed. She is proud to be taking care of her man. And all this about her cooking and cleaning and how it's demeaning...BALONEY! She is taking care of him, and I bet it makes her happy. And who knows what goes on behind closed doors if you know what I mean. There is nothing more satisfying than taking care of the most important person in your life. I'll bet that woman isn't happily married. Correction: I'll bet her husband is miserable.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Just an Update

So, Saturday, Emma had her first 'practice' recital of the year. It amazes me every time. She fools around in her dance class and seems to have trouble paying attention and following along. But, when it comes time to get on stage and perform, she's brilliant. Her rhythm and timing and her execution of all of the steps are great! My hypothesis is that she knows all of the steps and songs that they dance to in class and doing them over and over again is boring. When it comes time to get all dolled up in her costume and hop on stage for 'the real thing' she turns it on full blast. What an awesome little girl. I just need to figure out how to get her to focus and pay attention in class. Does this sound like someone you know?

We got a postcard in the mail from the school she'll be attending in the fall. Kindergarten. Wow. Do you remember when Kinder was just a stepping stone to help kids prepare for First Grade? Well the postcard was sent to inform us that Emma has a Kindergarten entry assessment. An entry assessment?!? Fortunately, Emma is a pretty smart kid so I don't think she'll have any problems. My friend, Cindy, is a teacher and is always giving me advice on what to teach her to get her ready for Kinder. She's been reading for a few months now and knows some very basic math. I downloaded a Dolch Sight words list and decided to see how much she knew. The list is broken up into five segments. Pre-K, Kinder, First, Second and Third. She knew them all. She corrected herself on a few of them but for the most part blew through the whole list. She never ceases to amaze me.

As for Tommy, he has recently started beating me up. I guess he hasn't learned his boundaries yet. I'm sure that he and Daddy rough-house at least once per day for fun, but I do not find this amusing. He like to punch me and say 'YA!' as if he were performing some complex Karate move. He pulls my hair, pinches me, I could go on. Maybe he just wants my attention and after a day of horsing around with Daddy, doesn't quite know how to switch gears. He'll get it eventually. He's a tough kid.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Paying it Forward

I loved this movie. The concept that the little boy came up with is genius. So, today I had an opportunity to pay it forward. I was on the trolley 2 stops away from my destination when the trolley Officer hopped on board asking for tickets and passes. I pulled out my wallet and showed him my pass for April. He brought this to my attention and so I pulled out my April pass and showed him the one for May. There was a teenage girl sitting across from me who pulled out her pass and showed it to the officer. He said, "That is for last month. Today is the 1st of May." She was clearly taken by surprise. He went on to explain to her that she needed to get off at the next station and by herself a ticket and that she needed to realize that the citation would have cost $125. After the trolley officer went about his business, her eyes welled up with tears as she called her dad. She explained to her dad that it was a new month and she only had $1 on her and that she didn't know what to do. I tapped her on the leg and asked her how far she needed to go. She said America Plaza (4 stops away). I told her that I would buy her ticket. She told her dad and got off the phone. We got off the trolley and I pulled out my bank card but the ticket machine didn't take credit cards. So, I ran across the street to the 7-eleven ATM machine. When I came back with my new crisp $20 bill I put it in the machine. The trolley Officer standing nearby explained that the largest bill the ticket machine took was a $10. Argh! So I ran back to the 7-eleven and bought a pack of gum and ran back across the street to help this poor girl. Success! I bought her a $5 day pass so that she wouldn't be stranded in the afternoon. She said that if she ever saw me again that she would pay me back. I told her "No, you'll get to help someone else out someday." I gave her a hug and bounced off to work. Nothing like doing a good deed to start your morning off right! So, I say, pay it forward. I hope that I made an impression on this girl and I hope that she never forgets to help people in need. I'm not talking about just giving money to a homeless person on the street. I'm talking about recognizing a situation when someone really needs help and it's the type of help that you can provide.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Love & Marriage...Horse & Carriage

I was talking to someone today and telling him that he should just marry his girlfriend already. They've been together 5 years and he is still 'thinking about it'. I said the problem with that is that either one of them could get up and walk away at anytime with no legal obligation or consequence. His retort was 'That's the beauty of it. You don't have to get married. You can live together, have kids and never have to be married.' Well, I didn't know exactly how to respond so I didn't say anything. But, it got me thinking. Why do I think that this is wrong? I'm not a very religious person so I can't say that's the reason. I do consider myself relatively conservative, though not as conservative as my husband. So, my reason for this being wrong is this: The children. That's it, just the kids. What kind of example are we setting for our children if we don't get married and just get up and leave when things get rough? The underlying message that they receive is that they don't matter enough for you to stick around and work it out. The only legal obligation we have is to pay child support. There is no law that says you have to 'raise' your children (although there should be). Of course our legal system has made it pretty simple to just get up and leave a marriage anyway. It just seems like people don't put the effort into marriage anymore. They look at the wedding as a great big 'look at me' party and expect the marriage to be 'perfect' afterwards. You know, knight in shining armour/princess in the castle. Real fairy tales aren't like this at all. You either create your fairytale or create your nightmare. It really is what you make it. I got married and always told myself that I would never have the option of divorce no matter how hard things got. Because I knew how damaging it was to me as a child. At the beginning of my parents separation/divorce I just thought I was a bad child. I behaved badly and made lots of poor choices that at the time I attributed to being a bad child. In hindsight I know that it was the lack of focus on my parents marriage that was the real problem. Don't get me wrong, I don't wish to change anything. I'm glad things turned out the way they did. I learned a lot about independence and how to deal with things on my own. I'm now able to look back on that chapter of my life and feel ok about it. And, it could've been worse; much, much worse. Granted, I took the 'scenic route' but I think I turned out OK. At least Ty thinks so. It really all boils down to choices. You can choose to be happy or choose to be sad. You can choose to work honestly or you can choose to steal. You can choose to live within your means or you can choose to acquire debt. So, I choose to be happy, work honestly, live within my means and to stay HAPPILY married no matter what.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Does it hurt?

I wonder if being tired as a child causes physical pain. Last night, during Emma's shower, she screamed and yelled giving me a deluge of complaints. From missing me while I was at my cake class to not wanting to take a shower to not wanting to wash her hair to her lip hurts, her tummy hurts, her leg hurts, etc, etc, etc. After her shower, I was helping her put on her pajamas. Of course the complaints continued with big fat tears. She complained that her sides hurt, her lip hurt, stc, etc, etc. At this point I knew she was exhausted because this is completely out of character for her. I had her sit on the stool in front of her vanity so I could dry her hair. All the while she complained. The she finally said, "Mommy, can I have a pillow please?". So, I grabbed one of the throw pillows from her bed and gave it to her. She put her head down and was asleep before her head hit the pillow. It just makes me wonder if al of her complaints about pain were real. Does it really hurt to be that tired?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Will it ever end?

January 23, 2009
Had emergency surgery to have a foreign object removed from my abdomen. Four days of pain medication.
February 14, 2009
Took Emma to the Doctor because she was complaining of a sore throat. Turns out she had strep throat and pink eye. Ten days of oral antibiotics and five days of eye drops.
February 21, 2009
Emma breaks out in a terrible rash. A trip to the doctor and we find out that this is an after effect of having the strep infection. Three days of antihistamines.
February 26, 2009
While at our friends going away party, Ty is suffering quietly with a very sore throat.
One night and seven beers.
March 4, 2009
Sent home by my boss because I have a terrible cough and fever. Call the Doctor and make an appointment for the next day.
March 5, 2009
I stay home from work because of my cough and fever. While at home with the kids, I notice that Tommy is warm. Thermometer reads 102 so I call the Doctor and get him in for an appointment. Two Doctor's appointments and four prescriptions.
March 5, 2009 (evening)
Emma has a low temperature.

I should invest in the pharmaceutical companies.
Please let it end soon....

Friday, February 6, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What's wrong with this picture?

Can you find it? No, it's not the missing parrot piece. No, it's not the Koi fish in a too small bowl.
This is a child's toy. Obviously a child would not point this out. A 2 year old doesn't know the first thing about procreation. Only their parents whose minds live in the gutter would point out something like this on a child's toy.
It's almost as bad as the bowl that Emma used to have that had a cow on it. I won't go into details but it was clearly a phallic symbol. Darn marketing companies...I've heard that sex sells but this is ridiculous.
By the way, it's the mice. Maybe the next puzzle we get will have hundreds of little baby mice to put together.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A swing in a tree

My dad visited us for the holidays. We had a wonderful time and thanks to him we were able to get a few projects done that had been on the back burner for a while. Emma and Tommy have so much fun on the swings that have been hung on the tree in our back yard. Yes, swing sets are fun but there is something nostalgic (for me) about a swing in a tree. It reminds me of my Granny and Poppy (I miss them both terribly) in Breaux Bridge Louisiana. There was a huge tree in their back yard. I cannot remember if it was a Pecan or Oak tree. But, I do remember the swing. It's long ropes hanging down from the branch way up top. It seemed to me at the time only someone as magical as my Poppy could get up that high to set it there. I can only wonder if Emma's perspective is the same. Though the tree looks average size to me, does it look monstrous and impossibly huge to her? I remember the fig tree with it's plump purplish fruit hanging from the branches that also adorned huge leaves that looked like something from Jurassic times. There was a rain gauge on the fence in the backyard that I loved to investigate after a weeks worth of rain. Adjacent to the carport, there was an apartment-like kitchen that was used for storage and extra space for large family gatherings. We used to make homemade ice cream there. As clearly as if it happened yesterday, I remember the sound of the machine as it whined with each turn of the paddle and the taste of the rock salt that I couldn't help but put the beautiful sparkling crystals to my lips. I remember the sound of their laughter and the way it made me feel. I used to sit and watch 'Young and the Restless' with my Granny. I wonder if the green floral print blanket that I used to wrap myself up in is still around. There was something so comforting about the smell of that blanket.
A very dear friend of mine gave me a much different perspective on memories. She said that when you think of people you miss the most, it's their way of visiting you when you miss them. Ever since she told me this, I have stopped being sad or lonely when I remember them. I cherish the memories I have with them and I hope that I am able to impart this valuable knowledge on my children.