Friday, February 27, 2009

Slowly...

G was a big baby- practically the size of an 8-year-old when he was born. His biggest struggle has always been trying to control his body which is much bigger than his brain could handle. He walked early and only walked for a couple of weeks before he was running. Which would be fine except...


He was top heavy.


So, he fell. A LOT.


I got in the habit of always saying "Slowly, G, slowly." And- I would say it s-l-o-w-l-y.


G. is also cautious. So, after his playset had been constructed and he was getting ready to go down the fireman's pole the first time he cracked me up.


He cautiously reached out for the firepole and then said to himself "Go s-l-o-w-l-y G, very, very slowly." And he did. His little hands and thighs screeched all the way down that pole.


Anyway, we've hit life at the speed of light here- everyone is busy and NOTHING is going slowly. They are growing up faster than I can scrapbook.


So, naturally, I had an epic panick attack. And then I drove by the road that used to take us home. Before Coach and I married, the kids and I lived in a small house on a farm owned by some dear friends.


900 square feet. Tiny bedrooms, no dishwasher, ONE BATHROOM. And...


It was glorious. Don't believe me? Check it out.


This was where I read every day.

My front yard


Athletic fields to play games

Toys for the kids


Companionship... (Holly and her best bud Russell)


A swimming pool/fishing hole

Plenty of wildlife

Lots of friends to play games with



And best of all we lived s-l-o-w-l-y.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Needy

Hey a fun trick to try:

Go to Google and type in your name and needs in quotation marks and see what the first ten things are. (i.e. "traci needs")

Turns out I'm much needier than I thought:

Traci needs...
1. to integrate her Jekyll and Hyde sides. (no reason for that- Coach so enjoys two delightfully crazy personalities)

2. to make a split decision. (Really, is there any other kind. One thing I am is decisive.)

3. a tech makeover. (Funny and prophetic - the blog is undergoing a makeover in the next few weeks as soon as I master a few more Photoshop techniques)

4. to get out more. (AMEN!!! She so needs to get out more- there are beaches everywhere that want her)

5. to help finalize skit night. (My own personal Hell- not a fan of any kind of skit night or talent show)

6. a vacation. (HELLO- look at number 4- I think God is speaking through Google now- this girl needs out of here!)

7. to Google before speaking (Whatever- I've got nothing here)

8. eyeball insurance. (Again, speechless. BUT also very creeped out as well)

9. a thong alarm. (Why yes, yes I do need a thong alarm because, well, that would just be wrong)

10. to get waxed. (Okay- so odd because I'm actually going to get waxed tomorrow- my eyebrows are ready to braid!)

On that note, I told the kids that I had to leave school before G finished track practice, so Coach would take them home. They asked why and I told them I had an appointment. G asked what for and I told him it was personal.

Confession- I only told them that because I knew they would want to go with me, and I love going to get my eyebrows waxed because the table is warm, the music is nice, the lighting is soft, and I can get a 5-7 minute nap in without anyone asking me anything or breaking anything,and most importantly there are NO CHILDREN. Anywhere. And, I do happen to think that follicle management is a personal issue thank you very much.

AC was worried about what possible thing I could have in my life that was personal, and both kids were obviously bothered by this. So when she asked if it would make me die, I felt so badly that I told her I was getting my eyebrows waxed.

Her reply: "Oh, that's not personal! I'll just go with you."

Me: Foiled again! And I will refer you back to numbers 4 and 6. Can anyone help a mother out?



Sunday Supper- Mardi Gras Edition (8)

So, Mardi Gras is this week. Sadly, we aren’t down South enough to fully enjoy the party that is Mardi Gras. However, Coach went to school in Memphis and roomed with a Cajun and played football with several more. So, he has talked about Gumbo and Etouffee and Beignets and King Cake for as long as I’ve known him.

Now that all of the kids are officially out of the childhood culinary stage in which the only foods tolerated are chicken nuggets, pizza, cheese, and grapes, I am planning on venturing out and trying my first New Orleans feast. We’ll see how it goes.

Anyway, here’s what I’m going to make: Chicken-Andouille Gumbo, Red Beans and Rice, Okra Fritters, King Cake, and maybe, JUST MAYBE- Beignets. I’m pondering them right now- yeast and deep fryers intimidate me. If I man up, I’ll put a recipe on for those as well- I’m still in the research phase. As much as I’d love to do Jambalaya and Etouffee, the kids aren’t that adventurous yet- so we’re starting slow.

Here you go with the recipes:

Chicken-Andouille Gumbo
1(4 lb) chicken, cut up
5 bay leaves
5 parsley sprigs
3 garlic cloves
3 tsp. salt, divided
1 lb. andouille or smoked sausage, diced
1 cup vegetable oil
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 medium onions, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 large celery rib, chopped
3 Tbsp. minced garlic
½ tsp. ground red pepper
1 tsp. black pepper
Hot cooked rice
Hot sauce
Garnishes: chopped green onions, chopped fresh parsley

1. Bring first 4 ingredients, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 gal. water to a boil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour. Remove chicken, reserving broth. Skin, bone, and coarsely chop chicken. Pour broth through a wire-mesh strainer into a large bowl, discarding solids. Return broth to stockpot. Skim fat (if you want to).
2. Cook sausage in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring 8 to 10 minutes or until browned. Remove from skillet.
3. Wipe skillet clean. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat; gradually whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 18-20 minutes or until flour is a dark caramel color.
4. Stir onions and next 3 ingredients into flour mixture, and cook, stirring often, 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
5. Gradually stir 3 cups chicken broth into vegetable mixture. Stir vegetable mixture into remaining chicken broth in stockpot. Stir in sausage, chicken, red and black pepper, and remaining 2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 2 hours.
6. Serve over hot cooked rice with hot sauce. Garnish, if desired.

Red Beans and Rice

1 lb. dried red kidney beans
1 large ham bone or ham hock
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ tsp pepper
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. hot sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, minced
2 celery stalks, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp ham base or 1pkg. Goya ham-flavored seasoning
Canned chicken broth, as needed
1 lb. smoked sausage cut into 2-inch pieces
3 cups cooked white rice

1. Put the beans in a large pot and cover with water. Soak beans overnight. Drain and rinse the beans.
2. Place the beans in a large pot with a lid. Add 8 cups water, the meat, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and hot sauce; it is important to measure the water.
3. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Saute the onion, celery, and garlic for 3 minutes until limp, then add to the beans. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Add the ham base and stir well to dissolve. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the beans for 2 to 2 ½ hours, stirring occasionally to keep the beans from sticking. Be sure to keep the temp low so the water doesn’t cook off before the beans are done. If you must add more liquid, add a little chicken broth; if you keep adding more water, the flavor of the dish will be diluted and your seasonings will be off. Remove the ham bone when the beans are done.
4. Add the sausage after the first 90 minutes of cooking.
5. To serve, remove the bay leaves. Place ½ cup of rice on each place. Spoon the red beans, sausage, and gravy over rice.

Okra Fritters

½ cup yellow cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
½ cup picante sauce
1 Tbsp. seasoned salt
½ tsp baking powder
2 cups chopped fresh okra (use frozen if you need to)
1 large tomato
½ cup chopped green bell pepper
½ small onion, chopped
6 green onions, chopped
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp ground red pepper
Vegetable oil

1. Stir together first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, stir in okra, next 5 ingredients, ground red pepper.
2. Pour oil to depth of 3 inches into a Dutch oven; heat to 350. Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls into hot oil, and fry in 3 batches for 3 minutes or until done, turning once.
3. Drain on paper towels and serve.


King Cake

½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2/3 cup evaporated milk
¾ cup plus one tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 envelopes active dry yeast, regular or rapid rise
3 eggs
Grated zest of 1 lemon
6 cups all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp butter, melted
1 egg white for glazing

Cinnamon-Sugar filling
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

White Icing
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 Tbsp whole milk

Colored Sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
Yellow, green, red, and blue food coloring

1. Melt butter in the microwave in a medium mixing bowl. Add the evaporated milk, ¾ cup of the sugar, and the salt. Stir so that the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool.
2. Dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup lukewarm water and stir in the remaining teaspoon sugar. Allow to stand for 10 minutes, until foamy. If the yeast does not foam up, it is no good, so you’ll have to start over with new yeast and sugar.
3. Add the yeast mixture to the butter and milk mixture. Add the eggs and lemon zest and whisk together vigorously, until well-blended
4. Whisk in the flour, 1 cup at a time, until you have a thick paste—about 3 cups flour. Then switch to a wooden spoon and continue adding flour and mixing well. Do not add more than 6 cups flour, or the cake will be too dense. When you have added all the flour, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured wooden board and knead it with your hands, (dust them with flour first). Do this until the dough is smooth and elastic, about a dozen turns.
5. Place the dough into a large clean bowl that is sprayed with Pam. Turn the dough to coat on all sides with spray. Cover the bowl with a towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
6. Punch the dough down and divide the dough in two. Roll each half into a 10x15 inch rectangle. Brush each rectangle with half of the melted butter and then sprinkle each rectangle with half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roll up the long end like a jellyroll. Press the roll together at the seam, sealing with water if necessary. Wind the two rolls together forming one thick piece.
7. On a baking sheet sprayed with vegetable oil, form the dough into a circle and seal the ends together.
8. Cover with a tea towel and allow to sit in a warm dry place for an hour. (When it rises the center will almost fill up and it will b “bumpy”)
9. Preheat oven to 350. Whisk the egg white with 1 Tbsp water. Brush the top of the cake with the mixture. Bake for 30 minutes until it is browned and sounds hollow.
10. Make the white icing: Combine the sugar and milk in a small dish and whisk until smooth. If it is too thin add more sugar. If it won’t drizzle, add a little more milk.
11. Make the colored sugar (or buy it)
12. Allow the cake to cool for a few minutes. Drizzle with white icing and sprinkle with the colored sugars.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Everyday Compassion

Yesterday was one of those days that you just want to go away. The boy (who is 12 and may not make it much further) was in a mood which, in turn, caused a tumultuous series of events BEFORE 7 AM. If you know me, any activity that takes place in the morning is considered an assault, but a true assault that takes place that early? Oh the horror! Anyway- we all survived his mini reign of terror and got to school. From there the day spiraled into some kind of teenage purgatory where everyone reverted back to needing their shoes tied and mouths wiped- (you know, in a figurative sort of way.) Track practice had its own mini-drama, but sadly this one involved the irrational rantings of a parent/coach who didn’t get his way earlier in the day and chose to handle it by quitting on 100 kids, one of which was his own daughter.

In short, it was a day that required a very close walk with Jesus- A VERY CLOSE WALK. I’m having more of those days lately, and I think- no, actually, I know that it is because I’ve been relying on myself just a bit too much lately. A conclusion I astutely drew mid-way through the coaching drama. So- I prayed.


I have to be honest here. I did pray for forgiveness and had to recommit to giving up the faux-control I had seized in my life. BUT- I also prayed for something good to happen- ANYTHING good to happen. I was really thinking more along the lines of winning the lottery (which would be truly miraculous since I don’t play the lottery) but instead I got something in the mail- the exact something that I needed- not anything I would have thought to ask for - but just as always, my Jesus knows me better than I know me. So…..

I opened the first letter from our Ugandan boy- MA (we’ll call him that as those are his initials, and I think it’s best to protect his privacy) that we sponsor through Compassion. He’s four and he is PRECIOUS. He can’t write yet, so they send this sheet where he checks things and someone fills in blanks for him.

Here’s what I know: he lives by a river in a rural community. His mother is a farmer. His favorite color is green. He likes soccer and football. His favorite subject in “school” is counting. (So far he’s not in formal school as his family doesn’t have the money to send him- hopefully that will not be an issue anymore). His best friend’s name is Kyarismuma. His favorite song is “The Lord is my Shepherd”. His favorite foods are matoke (I haven’t a clue what that is), rice, beans, and ground nuts. His responsibilities at home include gardening and getting water. He has an older sister who is 14 and an older brother who is 12. His prayer was that his mother would stay well, and that he would also stay well. And finally, he dreams of being a businessman someday. On the top of the paper was a drawing of his family and home in pencil and colored in green crayon (his favorite color).

I got on the Compassion website yesterday and also found out that at the time he was taken into Compassion’s program, his mother and father both lived in the home and were both farmers. That was October of 2008. By the time his letter was written on January 7th, the father was gone. I don’t know if he died or if something else happened, but I have a terrible fear that he is dead because MA's only prayer was that he and his mother stayed well- a big and fearful prayer for a child.

MA lives in Uganda- a place where 1 in 60 people have HIV/AIDS. The average monthly income is $35. Clean water is a luxury for the wealthy.

He needs help, and for $32 a month I can help. For $8 more a month I can help provide medicines and healthcare for people in and around the area where he lives who are living with HIV/AIDS.

We aren’t rich. We are definitely feeling the effects of this economy, and we struggle at certain times during the year. But our struggles are so small compared to the struggles of these people. I spent $40 this month, got a letter, and that letter made my day- I can’t think of a single thing I could buy or do for $40 that would have brought as much joy as that letter from that little boy did.

$40 gave me perspective. $40 can help a child, can help take the worry off of a poverty-stricken mother, can help to medicate and provide comfort to a person dying from a horrific disease. $40 a month can show a family a world away what Jesus looks like- and I can’t think of a better way to spend my money.

Please consider sponsoring a child. You can click on the banner in the column on the blog, or you can simply click here.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Intersection of Chubby and Obese

It’s no secret to those of you who are faithful readers that weight, food, and exercise have been issues lately. I’m not obese…yet. I would say I am flirting with “chunky” – but it’s about to get serious.

Now, I’ve taken drastic measures of late- even signing up AND attending Boot Camp religiously. It’s great- it’s very difficult, the camaraderie of the other women is oh so nice, and honestly I can’t remember the last time I felt so good after exercise. The only con is that it is pricey- and I constantly feel like getting in a fist fight (so there are two cons- just depends on how you look at it I guess).

So, what to do, what to do? Hey I know- sign the entire family up for the new health club! Oh yes I did. We have a brand new fitness club that has a family plan- and by family plan I do not mean a glorifed nursery with cast-off Little Tikes toys and a television playing Spongebob. This place has programs for kids- exercise classes, a pool that they can swim in INDOORS while I exercise, a full gym with basketball goals and soccer goals- all totally supervised.

Not only do they take care of the kids- there is everything under the sun for the adults too- so I’ll be taking a “Booty Camp” class for six weeks that guarantees to “lengthen and sculpt a feminine physique.” We’ll see.

The locker room is beyond cool- but that will require a post all to itself. In addition to Booty Camp, I also get a complete nutritional assessment from the dietician when I signed up- it was a promotional deal they had going. I will have this assessment this week. Here’s how I envision it going:

Dietician Lady: Let’s look at your diet. What would you say the basis of your diet is?

Me: Chocolate and Cheese

Dietician Lady: What about for meals? What kinds of vegetables do you eat?

Me: Chocolate and Cheese

Dietician Lady: Vegetables?

Me: Not really

And then I foresee that things will go south very quickly. I have a love/hate relationship with vegetables. Actually, it’s pretty much a hate/hate relationship. I know they are good for me, they prevent cancer, make your skin healthy, keep you thin, blah, blah, blah. BUT- chocolate and cheese make me happy. Doesn’t that count for something?

In my world, eating vegetables is much like marriage. You know- at first (the honeymoon period) you’ll eat the vegetables just as they are- no seasoning, no special preparation- just the way they are because they’re good for you and make you feel good.

But, as the relationship progresses and you settle into your new life you still like them, but start to notice that if you added a little balsamic glaze, ginger, or maybe a light vinaigrette, they would be sooooo much more appealing.

Then, the honeymoon is over and no amount of balsamic glaze will do because as much as you know that vegetables are good and right and healthy, you just start to crave chocolate (DON’T read anything into this- sometimes chocolate is just chocolate- NOT a metaphor for anything else.)

You fight the urge for a while and continue to glaze your broccoli and eat salads, but your heart just isn’t in it- all you can think of is chocolate. So, you start sneaking the chocolate because you don’t want your vegetables to feel less cruciferous. You keep telling yourself that if you just eat a little more chocolate you’ll be ready to re-commit to the vegetables, but the more you eat the more you want. You even find yourself trying to create a chocolate glaze for your vegetables- surely they could become friends! But, you fail…miserably.

There is no good way to mix chocolate and vegetables, so you reach a crossroads.

You are officially at the intersection of chunky and obese. You must choose a direction. One way requires that you eat your vegetables, attend Booty Camp, and drink water (the horror)! The other allows you to continue the chocolate, cheese, Diet Coke feast. What to do, what to do?

All that is left is to choose. Do I choose a lifetime of better health, smaller pores, and improved colon function or a shortened lifetime with sallow skin, a sluggish colon, and an extra butt cheek or seven?

It’s a tough choice.




Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Model Mommies


It’s that time of year again when mommies all over the country go to the mailbox full of depression and self-loathing. Yes ladies, it’s SI Swimsuit Edition time again- pages and pages of bikini-clad 20-somethings frolicking joyfully in the sun and surf. It’s enough to discourage even the most resolute dieters of the mom species.

I had a friend that once put on her bikini and an apron and prepared dinner for her husband in an effort (a successful one at that) to distract him so he wouldn’t notice the magazine. Yes, she was in her mid-twenties at the time and she had not had any children yet. BUT- it was still February in TENNESSEE (we have extremely schizophrenic weather- but 40’s and dreary is the norm)- the proper preparations for bikini season had not yet been addressed, but she totally pulled it off! No tan, no professional waxing, no 14-day starvation diets. Just totally off the cuff- now THAT is C-O-U-R-A-G-E!!!

I actually enjoy the issue and get genuinely excited when it arrives. It’s residual trauma from my mid-80’s Christy Brinkley worship. But, whatever.

So, ours came in the mail last week. I came home from Bible Study, grabbed a Diet Coke and some miniature Baby Ruths (don’t judge me, the Diet Coke eats all of the calories from the candy) and started perusing.

Danica Patrick in a black bikini and heels on the hood of a car…classy touch, and quite a throwback to the classic 80’s pose. Oddly- no member of White Snake anywhere though. Then page after page of lithe, tan, twenty-something skin.

Oh wait! What is this? Interviews? Oh yes, the models speak this year, and turns out we aren’t so different from the lovely SI swimsuit models. As a matter of fact, if you airbrush a little hail damage off my thighs and rear end, make me three shades darker, and hide me behind a rock- I could totally pose for a spread!

But what caught my attention and drew me in? Just how much I have in common with this very rare species of woman. Don’t believe me? See for yourself. Each model was asked a series of questions. Below are the questions and some of the girls’ answers…VERBATIM.

Question 1: What was your reaction when you heard you were getting into SI [going to be a mommy] ?

Esti Ginzburg: I was shocked. I was standing in the street in New York and I got a call from my booker and I was screaming and I called my mom and my sister and everyone to tell them. This was something I wanted for awhile.

Now, didn’t you do exactly the same thing when you found out you were pregnant? Thought so.

Julie Henderson: Well, my agency played a joke on me, saying that they heard back from Sports Illustrated but they said your boobs aren't big enough. I was like, what?! I couldn't believe it, but my agent was laughing hysterically and I looked back up at him and he said, 'You got it!'

Ha! We’ve got them here ladies- boobs being too small- NOT A PROBLEM when you’re pregnant. Pulling them out of your waistband is a little bit of an issue though.

Jarah Mariano: I was super stoked and thought someone must think I'm attractive enough or right for this job, which is still a surprise for me.

Well, what else can I say? Super stoked? Sure- motherhood totally evokes that feeling. But, seriously, how many times a day do you wonder if you’re right for the job? Attractiveness? Don’t even go there.

Question 2: Is modeling [motherhood] really that hard?

Brooklyn Decker: We do get ordered to do some crazy acrobatic poses sometimes! The hard part is not having the ability to make plans far in advance.
Amen sister! If you’ve ever tried to cook dinner, hold a crying baby, talk on the phone, and put Barbie’s head back on at the same time you know about acrobatic poses. As far as making plans- plans are simply an invitation for someone to spike a fever.

Lucia Dvorska: I think it is. There are a lot of things that go on behind the scenes that people don't see. They think it's easy and glamorous. They don't see and don't know that the model had to wake up at 4 a.m. to get her hair and makeup done, and then at 5 a.m. she had to be dressed in summer clothes even though it was winter temperatures. It's hard, but it's important how you look at it. If you like it, it's easy. If you don't like it and have to force yourself to do it, it's hard

Okay- ditto all that except take away the makeup and hair and add that not only are the clothes the wrong season, they are most likely the wrong decade as well.
Jessica Hart: Emotionally it's a little bit different. You're always alone. You can never plan anything; you're at everyone else's beck and call. You have to be happy and smiling on the days you might not be happy or want to smile. Those kinds of things are not easy.

Beck and Call – yeah- we’re intimate.

Jarah Mariano: You do make certain sacrifices but all the benefits you reap are cool and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Modeling is sort of like acting. You do sort of play a role whether you have to go and be really energetic or you have to be really sexy and some days it's hard to bring it because you're not really feeling it that day.
Why yes, I do find that it is sometimes hard to "bring it." As for "feeling it" - well, who doesn't love a come-apart in the grocery store or an eight year old coming completely undone about not being allowed to wear flip flops and a tank top to church...in JANUARY? But hey- it might just be me.

Jessica White: You try doing it! You sit there nude, surrounded by people you don't know and you don't know what they're thinking about you. You're standing there in the hot or cold dealing with your own personal insecurities.

Uhhhhh, delivery room flashbacks? Anyone? Anyone?

Question 3: When do you know you’ve made it?

Danica Patrick: I always set new goals that say this means I made it. We have to wear Nomex underwear for fire-retardant protection. They were always so big and bulky. So I said, I'll know I've made it when I can get custom-made Nomex underwear.

Well, of course big, bulky, fire-retardant underwear equals success. Seriously, what other industry appreciates such an undergarment feat? Only motherhood and apparently NASCAR or Indy racing (aren't they the same thing?). And they said we couldn’t bring sexy back. Hah!

Melissa Haro: In the industry they say you've made it when you become a household name

Well, in the industry, Mommy is THE household name- when you get that name…you know you’ve made it. For better, for worse, in sickness and in health...




Monday, February 16, 2009

First Flowers of Spring!


This nice surprise was waiting for me in our backyard today.

Railrunner to Santa Fe

Today the kids woke up at 5:30am, so they were dressed and fed by 7am. But they were acting so ornery I knew we had to go do something! I figured if I skipped my shower we'd just have time to make the 7:30 Railrunner train to Santa Fe, and we did (that's the latest morning train, BTW). The train ride was their favorite part (I think Quartz used the bathroom on the train 5 or 6 times). We got off and took the free shuttle to the capitol building, which doubles as an art gallery (like most buildings in Santa Fe). Then we got a $2 bagel at a little coffee shop and walked back to the train station, stopping for about 20 minutes to admire a mobile crane working at a construction site. The 11:30 is the only train until 4:30 or so, and it was PACKED! I forgot today was President's Day so lots of people don't have school/work. Also, apparently lots of Santa Fe museums are closed on Mondays, so it's a good thing we didn't try to go to any. The boys started getting pretty rowdy on the way back (NAPTIME!), but somehow we made it home in one piece. And now they are sleeping peacefully . . . Whew!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

When Onyx Grows Up


Onyx says, "When I grow up, I going buy a motorcycle and a tractor and a garbage truck. I going push on the gas pedal and go up the steps. Quartz can go in and sit on the seat. Mom can ride in back. The waayyy back so she still get out."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Baby Sapphire is Now Officially Cute


OK, Sapphire's has officially entered the "cute" age, where she's not just a blob to feed, put to sleep, and carry around. Everyone in the family loves to get smiles from her. Quartz says "Thank you!" every time she smiles (I think I said that one time when she smiled at me and helped me feel better, but he says it every time).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Urgent!!!

So, today at school we got this odd, somewhat disconcerting e-mail titled URGENT!!! about a person on campus (pay special note to the description):

All,
Please be aware that there is a sweet looking older lady that has come into the middle school office several times asking for information about people attending this school. She has a black raincoat on and pure white hair. Apparently her niece and nephew attended [my school] at the old campus. She wanted to know the religious affiliation of the school. She seems paranoid, stating that the Mormon’s and Scientologists are taking over. [Our school is not a faith-based school] She seems to think that Nicole Richie, the Kennedy’s (as in JFK), and the Carter’s (Jimmy) are to blame for the bad things happening to her.
She drives a:
Silver Toyota Avalon
License plate – Georgia plate
Thank you,
Rosemary




Two minutes later I received another e-mail from Coach (who teaches and coaches at the same school) also titled URGENT!!! (I get a very sick feeling in my stomach b/c we have one child home from school with bronchitis and I am certain things have gone awry there) It read:

Are you wearing your black raincoat today?


Nice talking to y'all- apparently I've got a bone or two to pick with Nicole Richie, the Kennedys, and the Carters.

Talk to you soon!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Keepin' it Fresh

Well, where on earth have you been? Maybe you're wondering the same about me- it's been busy, busy, busy here, and while I have pretended to write many blog entries in the last 10 days- none have actually made it to fruition.

It's been a hiatus of sorts. Really, you wouldn't have wanted to hear from me. I have now embraced the horrible truth that I am indeed deeply affected by the weather. It has been miserably cold and dreary here for WEEKS. But, I am happy to report that today it is sunny and 70!

Call me a sissy, call me a wimp- whatever. Things got desperate- so much so that Coach and I escaped last weekend to go see a movie. What did we see? Revolutionary Road - you know the movie about a couple in the 50's living in suburbia? Leo Di Caprio. Kate Winslet. We threw around the idea of Slumdog Millionaire, but decided against it because we thought it would be too depressing (and frankly, Coach was concerned that at any moment my head was going to start spinning and spewing green goo).

Bad decision.

Can I just say a few things:
1. This is one instance where it would have been beneficial to read the book (heck, even the back of the book) before going to the movie.

2. All families in the 1950's apparently were not like the Cunninghams. There was no Joanie, no Chachi, and certainly no Fonz. Matter of fact, there wasn't a single thing about this little family that was remotely funny.

3. Maybe I'm not the hippest, most modern thinking woman ever, but if my husband came home and told me he had gotten a big promotion, we could buy a bigger house, go on wonderful trips, and stay at home with my kids- well, I think I could have put my plans to be a secretary in Paris on hold for a bit- I'm just saying.

On a lighter note - well actually a heavier, but more humorous note (and that depends on who you are). I got a stomach bug on Wednesday night. I was so excited mid-way through the day on Thursday that I resurrected myself and went to Weight Watchers (no sense wasting a perfectly good stomach bug).

Let it be noted- I did, in fact, GAIN 3 pounds. How about that? It takes real dedication and perseverance, I know, but I pushed through and somehow managed.

And apparently it did not go unnoticed, because while we were at V's talent show on Saturday (oh, and do I have a post on that one- American Idol has nothing on these little rascals) a little girl came running up to me and asked for my autograph. I laughed and asked her why, and she said her mom told her I was famous.

Who knew?

Monday, February 2, 2009


The High Desert park off Academy east of Tramway is known as the "Excavator Park" in our household. Everyone enjoyed the sunny morning digging in the sand.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Update........not much going on

Well, there's not much going on lately....although it seems like we have something to do everyday!! Isn't that always how life goes?

Work has been the same, but always super busy. Mondays are usually my most busy days, and others sometime feel like they aren't going to be, until it's 5:15 and I realize 2 things....1. where did the day go, and 2. I should have left 15 minutes ago........But I guess it's good that the days go by fast. I don't have much time for socializing, if anyone needs me or wants to see me, they pretty much have to come find me in my hiding place (my office), because I don't really have time to walk around and say hi to everyone like I used to be able to. BUT, I prefer it that way!! :)

As for the kids, they are growing like weeds. I need to upload some pictures.....






These are some Christmas picutures we took recently (well Christmas time! ) Click on it and make it bigger....Tyler's face is SO adorable in some of these pictures........Oh and look at Kaitlyn's straigh hair!!!!














Not that you want to see us, but here we are!! :)




Tyler swinging





Brian and his newly found birth sister Tiffany....do you think they look alike???










Kaitlyn swinging










That's the family!!!!! They are all growing fast. It's hard for me to believe that Tyler will be 18 months on in 6 days! WOW...How time flys! He's walking all over the place like a big kid, and starting to talk now t00. AND, he's eating me out of a house and home!!
Well, I guess I better get back to watching the Super Bowl with my husband. I'm honestly not all that interested in who wins....The only person I know is Ben Roethlisberger......
Well hope everyone's week goes well...........
TTFN!