"Mommy, you would look so beautiful in this dress!" she exclaimed, pulling the dress outward so that I could take in its glory.
"Oh, sweetie," I responded, running my fingers over the flowing fabric, "I don't know where I'd wear a dress like that."
She stopped and turned around, looking up at me with brow furrowed. "You'd wear it ON YOUR BODY." She said it slowly and carefully to ensure my comprehension.
The following day, we were headed to church. Our church is right near the airport, so we often see airplanes landing as we are waiting at the light. A watched a mid-sized Northwest Airlines flight touch down on the runway. "We're taking an airplane to see Meemaw in Oklahoma!" she exclaimed.
"Yep, we're leaving in two weeks," I responded. "We're not leaving from this airport, though." We are driving to a larger "hub" airport because the fares are a lot cheaper.
"We're going to spend the night at Kathy's house the night before," I continued. "She lives closer to the other airport."
"Mommy, why would we stay at Kathy's house? WE. HAVE. A. HOUSE." Again with the careful enunciation for my benefit.
I never knew I was so stupid until I became a mom. After all, I spent much of my education in Gifted/Talented classes. I graduated college with honors. I've read Faulkner, for crying out loud! But now, I'm just a run of the mill dumbass who does not understand basic concepts.
From the back seat I keep hearing things like, "This is NOT the way to our house. You need to turn." Also, I'm often told that I've forgotten something, when the truth is that I haven't forgotten - I just haven't done it yet. Just as I'm reaching into the refrigerator to pour some apple juice for our resident pre-schooler, I'll hear that sing-songy voice, "Mom-my, you forgot my ju-uice!"
"I didn't forget, " I say through slightly gritted teeth. "I'm getting it right now." I never get credit for it, though. It just continues through different objects. "Mom-my, you forgot my pillow/blanket/teddy/pajamas/backpack/umbrella/coat/toothbrush!"
It's a wonder I manage to shower properly and feed myself each morning.
The gentleman on the other end was friendly and folksy. "I'll be coming myself because I'm the owner and I do everything myself. If you want it done right, you do it yourself. That's what I always say." We made arrangements for him to come on Friday afternoon, when I would be taking a late lunch in order to meet him at my house. I was instructed to have $110.00 in cash.
As I left the office on Friday, I told my co-worker, "If I don't come back, it was the guy at Alpine Chimney who did it."
The chimney sweep arrived at the appointed time and set up shop next to the fireplace. He had various round bristle brushes and other soot-covered tools. He was an older gentleman, dressed all in black, of course. He wore glasses with oddly tinted lenses. He had Santa Claus embroidered on his shirt, because his slogan has something to do with helping make sure that Santa can get into your house on Christmas Eve. Won't my daughter be thrilled, I thought. She has been asking me a lot of pointed questions about the Easter Bunny lately, such as "WHERE were you sleeping when the Easter Bunny came in?" Apparently she is having a hard time believing that a giant rabbit hopped all over our house and I somehow failed to spot him.
Before the chimney sweep got started he handed me a folded card which bore one perfect, sooty thumbprint in the corner. The card had some sort of motivational message on the inside, and a list of references. I noted that most were names with no telephone numbers. I went into the other room to watch Judge Hatchett while he worked.
About twenty minutes later, he called me into the living room to show me the fireplace, which has been sucked clean of its filth. He pointed out a few small cracks and suggested I do something about them when they get wider. He then gathered his gear and loaded it into his car. I was impressed that there were no sooty footprints on my carpet or anything. A few minutes later, he came back in to issue me a receipt and here's when things got interesting. Writing in a small folio, he leaned down to pet Fritz, who was on the other side of a baby gate and who didn't seem to mind having blackened fingertips scritching him on his head. The chimney sweep then pulled out a photo of a youngish blonde woman surrounded by three enormous St. Bernards. Not having any idea why he was showing me the photo, I said, "Oh, um, are they your dogs?"
"Oh, God no," he said, tucking the photo back in. "She went through a terrible divorce. Oh yeah, it was just the worst. Those dogs are her babies now." I have no idea who this woman was (and he didn't say) but I now knew quite a bit about her tragic personal life.
I handed the cash to the chimney sweep. "If I pay extra, will you dance on my roof like Dick Van Dyke?" I asked. No doubt I was the 548th person to make this request.
He smiled. "I used to have this one guy working for me," he started. "He wore the stovepipe hat and the coat and tails and the whole deal. Oh, the TV stations all wanted him, you know. Everyone always wanted to rub his button. That's good luck, you know."
Then he lowered his voice. "Yeah, that guy . . . his father beat him to death with a hammer." I just stood there, unsure of the proper etiquette for this type of situation. He wasn't done, though. "His dad was at all the bars downtown, you know. That alcohol is no good." I nodded.
He opened the folio again and handed me a blurry Polaroid of a tiny figure standing on top of a factory's smokestack. "That's me!" he exclaimed.
"Well, so it is!' I responded. He went on to tell me about that particular job and how hard it had been to work at that altitude. Not sure where this conversation was going to go (or for how long), I mumbled something about how I had to get back to work, which was the absolute truth. Otherwise, it seemed like we might be standing there until Santa really did show up.
I am loving the stage they are in right now. I hope they are best friends forever.
Talk about freaky to read when you're pregnant. When I was pregnant with Kate, I had this horrible dream that I got pregnant again while already pregnant. It was one of those unbelievable but very convincing dreams and I woke up very confused about whether it was real or not. I called my Mom who reassured me that it's impossible to get pregnant while you're already pregnant. I've been hanging on to that reassurance she gave me. I mean really, can you imagine? Getting pregnant while pregnant? It sounds horrific to me.
So the other day, I'm checking the news and see this crazy headline, "Arkansas Pregnant Woman is Pregnant Again." I immediately read the whole article and thank goodness it's extremely rare and only happens within the first month of being pregnant.
So glad it's not me.
- did 13 loads of laundry, and more are going as I type.
- stripped, primed and painted my bed today...it took 6 straight hours. Lillie watched the kids for 3 1/2 of those hours making it possible.
- did 3 days worth of dishes and sweeping
- made 4 loaves of whole wheat bread and fresh scones for my kids
- finished the book Catching Fire (loved it by the way)
- am about to shower....the first one in many days
Honestly, it's been a good week.
Isn't that what every daddy says to his precious baby girl?
In other super hero-related news, the kid has decided to be Super Girl for Halloween. We bought the costume, but she keeps insisting that she needs to wear a tiara. We've told her repeatedly that Super Girl doesn't wear anything on her head. The get-up is pretty garish already, truth be told.
Speaking of super heroes, I cannot say the word "Superman" without my brain involuntarily adding the rest of the line. "Superman looked up at me, he said 'you rock so naturally.'" I realize I am really dating myself with this. Honestly, I should be ashamed. But somehow, I'm just not.
After some intense negotiations, she agreed to eat breakfast. But, she made it clear that she was NOT happy.
Then, at the end of the day . . . my reward. A little girl who runs out of the school yelling, "Mommy!" And for a little while, that other kid, the morning one, doesn't seem quite so unruly.
Shad "surfed" with Tanner after work. Tanner calls boogie boarding surfing and it's all he talks about. The last collage is of Kennedy, my friend Tara's baby girl. They were up there the whole time as well...her husband works with Shad.
So, what to do? I got her up early today and gave her a new dress to wear. Then I pulled her hair into two braids and . . . shellacked her entire head. I layered on as much hairspray as I could until she waved me away and told me I'd gotten some in her eye.
Here are the awards we won:
* Top of the Chart Award-awarded to the chapter who RSVP'd first to the board workshop
*2nd Chapter Basket- Awarded to the chapter that created a fantastic basket
*Outstanding Service Programs: donations to Make A Wish, Challenged Athletes, Water Drive, Halloween Parade, Wreath Sales, Adopt a Soldier, FD toy drive, New Leaf Foundation, Mother's Day cookies, Ride for Silence, Aid to member in need.
*Outstanding Aid to Member-Organized meal support every 3rd day for 31 meals, helped with childcare, housework and yard work.
*Outstanding Children's Activity- Themed Park Day Picnics
*Mother to Mother Fund Donation
Way to go ladies on an awesome year! Looking forward to more fun in the future.
Arrive, go to bed.
Day 2, Sunday:
Hang at resort beach....we stayed at the Marriott in Poipu
Pictures on Lillie's camera
Day 3, Monday:
Day 4, Tuesday:
Day 5, Wednesday:
Day 6, Thursday:
Day 7, Friday:
Obviously, I have TONS to write about, but we're on our way out, so maybe in a few days??
Thanks for coming with Ross and Lillie!!! We had a blast.
Also, I cut Kate's hair last night....9 inches off. Pictures to come...
I am still reeling from the events at work last week. I am like a cat in that I do not cope well with change sometimes. I've been trying to soothe my anxiety with food, but as my sage Weight Watchers leader advised me: "If hunger is not the problem, food is not the answer." I've been repeating this mantra to myself for the past few days, but there is still some little part of me that feels the need to test the theory out just in case food is, as it turns out, the answer.
Rather than wallowing in self-pity yesterday, I got up early and headed to a rescue event about an hour away. It was, I had to admit, a beautiful day. We set up our lure course at a shelter charity walk, and I sat a table selling tug toys and tee shirts. I didn't manage to sell much, persuasive salesperson that I am. Mostly I just fussed over participants' dogs. The event was held at a park on the shores of a large lake, and at one point a large flock of pelicans flew soundlessly overhead in a perfect V formation. I had never seen a flock of pelicans before and I was entranced. I tilted my head back and watched until I couldn't see them anymore. Thereafter I kept scanning the sky and lake in hopes of seeing more of them. I never did, so I decided that the flock I had seen was gift enough.
Later in the morning, I headed to a hot dog stand to buy a soda. As I was waiting in line, I spotted a sign: "Boiled Georgia Peanuts $2.00." When I got to the front of the line, I saw that the booth was manned by an older man and his wife. "Have you been moving a lot of those peanuts?" I asked him. "I haven't seen boiled peanuts since the last time I was in South Carolina." I was truly curious.
The man turned to his wife. "See?" he said. "I told you someone would know!" I explained that I grew up in Virginia and that we often went to Myrtle Beach for family vacations. Down there, you can buy boiled peanuts just about everywhere. There are roadside stands devoted solely to boiled peanuts. We used to eat them every summer.
The hot dog vendor pulled out a styrofoam cup and scooped out some hot peanuts for me. "On the house," he said, handing me the cup. I went back to my table and shelled the nuts. I munched on the mushy goodness inside while my mind was flooded with long-ago summers full of sand and saltwater and ferris wheels.
Later, the man came over and gave me another cup of boiled peanuts. It seemed we were about 1200 miles away from the prime selling area for such a delicacy and he hadn't had a single sale. No one this far north had ever heard of them and weren't inclined to give them a try. I suspect boiled peanuts are one of those things people either love or hate, not unlike marshmallow Peeps.
I offered some to my friend Kate, who had never heard of such a thing. She wrinkled her nose. "I can't believe you're putting those in your mouth," she said as I shelled another nut. "I brought brownies and you're eating THAT?"
When tragedy strikes, maybe the little things just seem to bounce into focus a little more. Here's to pelicans and peanuts!
This is the first time the sinking economy has had such a major impact on my life. The shareholders are looking to sell the company and I will probably lose my job when the company is sold. They want me to hang in there until then. An old friend posted condolences on my Facebook page and mentioned "survivor's guilt." I think he was dead on. I feel terrible for my co-workers who lost their jobs and I have no idea why I was spared (at least for now).
So, I have nothing witty to say this week. Looking at my co-workers' empty desks makes me physically ill. I didn't sleep at all last night and found myself at 2:30 a.m. watching Dr. Phil episodes saved on my DVR. The dogs were confused. Is it morning, and if so, shouldn't you be feeding us? I went to the grocery store last night and felt an overwhelming desire to binge on something horrible. It's disappointing to realize that even with four years of Weight Watchers meetings behind me, I'm still :::this::: close to consoling myself with baked goods. Gluttony, thy name is brownie bites.
I feel fortunate to have a job, even though it is a job that is now almost impossible to do. This bites. Fuck you and the horse you rode in on, economy.
You may recall that back in the Spring, A kept telling everyone that she and I were going to have a fabulous time growing sunflowers together. Seeing as how I had no intention of growing sunflowers and had not proposed any such project to her, I was a bit perplexed. I've never been much of a gardener. Along the lines of "the frugal gourmet" or "the thrifty traveler," I call myself "the haphazard gardener." I throw seeds in dirt and hope for the best. I never save the package and so when something does sprout, I have no recollection of what it might be. I like surprises.In April, I took the kid to the gardening store and we bought some starter trays and a few packs of seeds, including sunflower seeds. We dutifully planted everything and waited patiently, watering our dirt each day. But then, my friend Kevin died and I had to fly out for his funeral during the seedlings' crucial first days. When I transplanted what was left of the plants in May, none of the sunflowers seemed to have survived. However, one seed somehow landed among the petunias and so . . . we have one solitary but mighty sunflower. Behold!