Saturday, July 31, 2010

Buddies



This week's Paper Mama photo challenge is "Buddies." My daughter really is just what my son needed. She is his best friend and for a big bruiser of a kid he is remarkably gentle and sweet with her. When I found out I was having a second child and that that child would bring pink and not blue, this is what a wished for.

He squeezes her so tight but she never complains.





The Paper Mama

Music I Love ~ Day X

I was a big fan of Alanis Morissette when she first came out. I mean I think most chicks were. She was really pissed off and that always makes me sit up and listen. The Katy Perrys of the world don't generally do much for me because it's all so one dimensional. I like a chick that's famous for more than a great rack.

Jagged Little Pill was a pretty angry album. To find out later that You Oughta to Know was possibly written about Dave Coulier did nothing for me. I always thought that guy was a toolbox. I think my days of really liking her are behind me. Now that she's married to some rapper I've never ever heard of there's no reason to bitch about everything and the thought of listening to Alanis Morissette while chirping birds land on her finger is just not going to happen but for a while she really kicked ass.

This is Uninvited. It's my favorite song by her and better live, me thinks.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Rules For My River ~ Revisited



When my daughter was born I made a list of rules that I wanted her to know. I made them for her scrapbook and then posted them here. As I watched her sleep (like an angel) on the monitor tonight I was reminded of them and pulled them up to see if there were some things I wanted to add, now that I know her better. I came up with a few that I added at the bottom. Tomorrow I'll revisit the rules I made for my son.




Never let anyone else define who you are.

Never allow a man to tell you that you aren't good enough.

Never allow someone to make you feel ashamed of who you are.

Be a leader, not a follower.

Never wait for someone else to do something for you. Do it yourself.

Be proud of who you are and where you come from.

Always tell people that you love them.

Study hard.

Always stand up for what is right.

Always be kind to your brother, he’s sensitive.

Whatever you believe, believe strongly and make no apologies for it.

Listen to your grandparents; they know what they’re talking about.

Sleep late when you can, it doesn’t happen often enough.

Dance even when you know people are looking. You won’t regret it.

Try everything at least once.

Don’t marry a man that isn’t as good as your father.

Go swimming, even if you don’t like how you look in a swimsuit.

Don’t make promises you can’t keep.

Be loyal to your friends.

Never let your parents down, we love you.

Shake things up a bit sometimes, you’ll be better for it.

Drive better than I do.

Don’t be afraid to be different.


Take a lot of pictures


*New Rules*


Keep the attitude. You'll be tough to raise but it will serve you later in life.
Tell your brother everyday that you love him.
Question what you're told. I'll hate it as your mother but you'll be better informed and not easily railroaded if you're paying attention.
You came into the world screaming and you're good at it. Don't be afraid to kick a little ass when the situation calls for it.
Exercise. Genetically you're screwed and you eat like a Mongolian orphan. Be careful.
Never say mean things to your brother. He will always remember them.
You got my spark. Use it in good health.
You are absolutely beautiful and I have a feeling that you always will be. Don't let that go to your head. Get over yourself and mingle with the common folk.
Your brother is sensitive, like his father. Be kind to him, he loves you so much.
Say this to yourself, "He's just not that into me, He's just not that into me" NOW MOVE ON! Don't waste your time on losers. You're too good for that.
Always express yourself like you do now. You'll be healthier for it. Trust me on this.
You are a rockstar and you should never forget it! Shake what ya momma gave ya!


Music I Love ~ Day IX

10,000 Maniacs are probably my favorite band from high school. Natalie Merchant can sing anything and have it sound beautiful. In My Tribe is an album that I've listened to so much that I think I've owned 5 copies. I originally bought it when it came out in 1987 through the Columbia Record and Tape Club on vinyl. Those bastards haunted me for years! I also bought it on tape so I could listen to it in my Walkman and wore it out so the need to replace it came quickly. I finally gave into the changing times and I bought it on CD, and still have replaced that a few times because it's gotten destroyed, worn out or stolen by ex-boyfriends.

Every song on In My Tribe is excellent. This is the last song on the CD and has always been my favorite. I remember once Momma was working at her desk and asked if I had any soft music she could listen to. I put this song on and left the room to continue whatever it was that I was doing and when I came back she was tearing up a little and asked, "Do you have anything that doesn't sound like a Requiem?" A bit dramatic maybe but this really is a beautiful song. I couldn't find a decent performance of 10,000 Maniacs doing it so this is just Natalie Merchant, but still good. I think she left in 1993 and it's been down hill for them since. If memory serves I think they had a few name changes and she had that CD Tigerlilly (what I would have named my daughter had it been only up to me) but I lost track of them after that. Shame because they were crazy talented.


Verdi Cries by 10,000 Maniacs is one of my all time favorite songs from one of my top 5 favorite albums. I generally listen to it way too much when a relationship goes sour. Needless to say, I haven't heard it in a while.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Open Letter to Rocky Run


The daily business of running a restaurant really isn't all that difficult. It certainly doesn't take a Rhodes Scholar to whip your servers into shape or hire new ones, make sure food is hot and that your employees are polite but to the people at Rocky Run in Marley Station Mall, these things are a mystery.

I don't ask for much but when NOTHING goes right from the minute you walk in the door, you start to wonder why. Does the server suck? Oh, most definitely but servers suck many places and it doesn't turn a restaurant to shit. This restaurant however, is a gigantic shit hole and you have to look around for the clues as to what is going on.

I asked a few things right off, I'd like water with no bacteria infested lemon that you just dug out of a bucket with your dirty, smoke stained hands, also when I ask you for chocolate milk for my three year old I ask that you just put a little bit of syrup in it because again, he's three and doesn't need to slip into a diabetic coma at the dinner table. That's not too much to ask, right? Apparently it was because you didn't get either of them right. Although because you're an idiot you put the lemon on my husband's soda and then looked at me and said, "I'm sorry, I meant to put that lemon on your water!" Yes of course you did because you're either half deaf or functionally retarded and I'm going with the later.

Because I could read the writing on the wall, I opened up my son's milk to see milk so dark that I thought a Hershey bar had been murdered in there. I mean really, is it really that hard to listen to people when they speak? Also, I sensed a little attitude when I asked you for another milk. Trust me when I tell you that you DO NOT want to fuck with me. I'm many things but your bitch isn't one of them, now shake your ass back to the kitchen and get me some plain milk to dilute this bullshit in a cup you just handed me!

It's at about this point that I start looking around to try to figure out what the hell happened to this place. My husband and I use to come here for salads often and while the service was always a bit lacking, it was OK but now it's just a big ole mess! One thing I noticed is that there was no manager to be found. I was a restaurant manager myself for a chain pretty similar to Rocky Run so I know the drill. You walk through your restaurant from time to time to "manage" things and please don't tell me you were busy in the kitchen because our food sucked. If you're busy in the kitchen, you're busy stealing glassware and huffing cleaner because you ARE NOT busy managing anything back there! I ordered a grilled cheese and mac & cheese for my kids and they came out room temperature at best! Perhaps you could see the annoyance on my face (I wasn't trying to hide it)and asked me if everything was OK. Here's the exchange:

"Is everything OK ma'am?"
"Not really, this food isn't hot."
"Would you like me to get them to make new ones?"
"Not really, I don't think she is going to complain" Truth be told I didn't want to wait 20 more minutes for them to fuck up one of the easiest things in the world to make...again.
"I don't know how that happened."
"Well, the food isn't hot. It wasn't even sitting in a window. It was sitting on the counter. That's how it happened." Just breaking it down since she seemed so unaware.
"Oh, OK, I'll tell someone."


Yeah, you go find that that elusive, nonexistent manager. I knew as soon as you said that that nothing would come of it. Did you really think I thought that worthless sac would stop by my table, seriously? Sometimes restaurants just have a few shitty servers but sometimes restaurants suck because they have poor management and that's the problem here. That place is a free for all and every time we go there the brain cells at the door have to click together and have a pow wow before they seat us. Like they had no idea someone might come in and ask for a table. I see as a hostess how you didn't know that was coming.


Two parting thoughts, your hostesses are almost as worthless as our server. When families walk out the door after "dining" in your restaurant, tell them to open their mouths and speak. It really isn't that much of a leap to expect that out of someone with the easiest job on the fucking planet. Just say "Thank you" or "have a good day." Neither require you to have an IQ over 35 so I think those two should be able to manage. Also, I'm glad that you're so proud that Thursday is "Kids Night," but if you're going to have a kid's night, have kiddie cups that work. I mean really, that's restaurant management 101. It's probably the simplest thing you do after having a chain smoke with the staff and hiding in the kitchen. Buy kiddie cups with lids that fit so when my three year old takes a sip he doesn't get the chocolate death that your idiot server made all over his Thomas the Tank Engine t-shirt!
As we were leaving I told my husband to take a good look around because we won't be wasting our time in that trailer park of a restaurant ever again. Why in God's name would I put my family through that? With unemployment so high you'd think you could hire people who actually want their jobs and might work for them but somebody knows somebody because I can't figure out why you'd hire such an inept group of people. If I hear of someone looking for a job I will send them your way. Your turnover must be incredible. I can only imagine you're always looking for new people. God knows you need a manager!


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Music I Love ~ Day VIII

I haven't always been a fan of Liz Phair. I'm not even sure how I missed her in the early 90s but she wasn't even on my radar screen. Her music is honest to the point of being uncomfortable, which I like. She doesn't have the best voice in the world but that's OK because she has something to say which is more important.

Shockingly enough my husband introduced me to her when we went with friends to see her play. We were right up front and she had the tiniest denim mini skirt on so we got to stare at her shiny green underwear for the whole show. My husband didn't complain. I thought it was pretty funny. I mean she looked great and I didn't need to eyeball her undies but I would have had to stare at the back wall for the whole show to avoid it.

She has many songs that are excellent but this one, Fuck and Run if my personal favorite. I have trouble listening to the studio recording because I have a live version on my iPod and it's really, really good so going back to the original is difficult. I think this is from Exile to Guyville, but don't quote me on that.

I love a good kick ass Indy rock chick!



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

One of my favorite blogs that I follow does a post called "Wordless Wednesday." I don't necessarily know what that means to her but to me it means a photograph that is so beautiful that you don't have to say anything. Now that I've explained the premise, I'm going to shut up.







The Paper Mama

Music I Love ~ Day VII

I absolutely love the Indigo Girls! I have loved them since I was in high school. I have a few of their CDs and a Retrospective that is mostly live but they totally rock! I saw them in high school on National Coming Out Day on the Vandy campus with my friend Joey and I think he and I were the only non gay peeps in the house. Not that it mattered, we had so much fun and they were excellent! One thing I remember most about that show is that was when wearing those tights that stop mid thigh with a mini skirt was cool. I was wearing those and one of them kept rolling down. Totally annoyed me all night but I was able to still pay attention and watch all the gay guys gawk over my friend Joey because he was then and still is a super hottie! We're friends on Facebook and he is married and has a few kids. Still way cool.

Anyway, there are few albums that I've purchased where I like every single song on the whole CD. That's pretty rare. Every CD has a lull but the Indigo Girls CD which I think came out in 88-89 kicks ass, the whole thing! I can think of maybe 3 or 4 CDs that are like that for me. 10,000 Maniacs and Counting Crows both have one, actually another Indigo Girls CD, Rites of Passage is like that too. Every song on the CD is amazing but seriously, what band today makes a CD that has 12 strong songs on it?

So today my choice is the Indigo Girls, Closer to Fine. It's an excellent song and I never get tired of watching the video. They really are very talented and have beautiful voices. I actually was this close to priting a few lines from this song on the back of my wedding program and the only reason I didn't was because I ran out of room. This is what I'd planned to use. I think it's beautiful.



"Darkness has a hunger that's insatiable
And lightness has a call that's hard to hear
I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
I sailed my ship of safety till I sank it, I'm crawling on your shore"






"Yeah, I Know Her, She Sings Bennie and the Jets"


I have this friend, we'll call her "Stephanie." I met her about 3+ years ago when I joined a Mom's Group after I had my son. This was the first of the many playgroups I joined during that year. Most have fallen by the way side but this one has held strong. I think we had six moms when we first started. Some moved away or quit coming for whatever reason and we even added a couple of new members. I'm not the most inviting person when it comes to new people so new members is hard for me but it seems to be going fine. I really like them all and am happy that we've been able to keep it up. It's getting harder and harder with the kids going into preschool but so far we've worked it out.

So I'm talking to "Stephanie" today about my blog because she follows and she's asking me about the Music I Love posts. She tells me that she's never heard of most of the music. OK, she's a little younger than me but I think every woman should know who Joni Mitchell is. I get not knowing the song River but if you don't know who Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez are, you should totally lose your chick card. Then she says, and this is where it gets funny, "I know who Joni Jett is though because in the movie 21 Dresses, they sing that in the bar, you know, Bennie and the Jets!" I shit you not, she said this. I AM NOT MAKING THAT UP!

Two things:

First: Elton John sings Bennie & the Jets. I mean I see how you could think that's a chick singing because he's such a whinny bitch and would probably play Satan's wedding ceremony if the money was right, (that's pent up anger for another post) but he's a man and Joan Jett is a woman.

Second: Really? Would it kill her to pick up the entertainment section or turn on the friggen radio? I think her musical growth was halted when Dolly Parton wrote 9-5.

"Stephanie" is a big Dolly Parton fan and I get it. I love her too. I'm not knocking it. While I could have lived without Jesus & Gravity, she is a musical genius. She's written thousands and thousands of songs that people don't even know about. Tres talented! Plus I'm from Nashville so I have to represent from time to time. "Stephanie's" husband likes Muse so it's not like her whole family is musically "misguided," it's just her.

Someone once told me that when you graduate from high school you lose any knowledge of what's going on in current music. I think I heard that over fifteen years ago and it really stuck. I'm thankfully more open to new music now than I've ever been. Even though everyone I know who is musically inept is younger than me, I'd feel old if I didn't know what was going on. I mean I don't scan Rolling Stone daily but I listen to the friggen radio!

Anyhoo, the best part of the conversation was when "Stephanie" looked at me and said, "You aren't going to blog about this are you?" Seriously, have we met?




Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pour Your Heart Out Wednesday ~ I HATE Summer!



I'll be honest with you, I think I hate summer. I hate the heat. I hate the humidity. I hate the sweat that gathers behind my knees when I sit on the ground with my children. I hate that I burn five minutes in the sun. I hate that my daughter got the same skin and wrapping her in a berka at the pool makes more sense that the sweet tutu swimsuit I got her. I hate that I covet my son's skin. This is the skin he inherited from his mostly Italian father. He can run around all day with little sunscreen and come out with the best tan ever! Pisses me off! Poor River is white as all get out and in order to preserve that skin she only gets about 15 minutes or so in direct sunlight. She's like a little vampire baby!



This week has been the hottest that I can remember. I mean, ungodly hot. Whenever I step outside it feels like I'm stepping directly onto the sun. I opened the door yesterday to ask my husband a question and the vile humidity hit me in the face and I slammed the door and decided to wait for him to come in. Rude, I know but I just can't stand it! This MUST be what it's like in the Sudan. I have no idea how people live there. These days I don't even stand by a window without lotion and Chapstick. I think it's starting to cool off a little bit but I couldn't really say because we've been hiding inside. It isn't worth the demon burns I get when I step into the light.



The only thing that gets me through this sweltering mess is knowing that my favorite season is around the corner. Thinking of the days where I can wear shorts and a sweatshirt helps me survive this blistering sweatfest. Also, when I brave the heat there is usaully water invloved and I get great pictures of my babies in the water! Thank God there's a pool!






Shutter Love Tuesdays ~ Sports



This is a picture of my son in one of his many Hokies jerseys. My husband is a Hokie, which makes us a Hokie family. Some of my favorite pictures of Owen are when he's wearing his jerseys and running around with his father. Good stuff.



ShutterLoveTuesdays

Absolute Favorite!


Paper Mama's Photo Challenge this week is "Absolute Favorite!"

It's clearly impossible to pick an absolute favorite from the tens of thousands of pictures that I've taken of my kids but this is a recent favorite of River.


The Paper Mama

Music I Love ~ Day VI

The first album I ever bought was Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, I Love Rock N Roll. I think I was in the 5th grade and I skipped lunch all week so I could have Momma drop me off at Port O'Call Records in Harding Mall to get it. That mall isn't even there anymore. Not too upsetting since we called it Hardly a Mall, even then. But I was so proud to have that album which totally rocked if memory serves.

I've always loved Joan Jett. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I have a special place in my heart for any chick that would rather kick you in the throat than hear any bullshit you might unleash. She's fierce. After leaving The Runaways she was certainly the most successful of a relatively successful all girl teenage band. Lita Ford had Kiss Me Deadly but that just wasn't the same.



I haven't seen the Runaways movie yet because I love Joan Jett so much that I hate to think of Kristen Stewart chewing her lip all the way through Joan Jett's life story. That's OK in some of the teen movies she's made. I mean I wanted to melon ball my eyes out while watching Adventureland but I can't allow her to sully Joan Jett for me. It makes since for an 17 year old who is dating a 90+ year old vampire to be so lip chewy but not Joan Jett!


Anyhoo, this song isn't from that first album I bought, it's from Bad Reputation which I think was her second album but I don't feel like Googleing that to make sure. It's a good album but this was the standout for me. I bought her Greatest Hits a few months ago and it's really, really good. Putting the CD in and hearing this song first was a pleasure. It's the first song on the second disc. Cherry Bomb is the very first song. This pleased me as well because I love that song too!





Joan Jett, Do You Want To Touch Me? is a great song from maybe 1982ish. I was 11 or 12 and fell in love with her immediately. Maybe she's why I wear so much black. Who knows?

The video is very dated but I think you get the idea. Also, the recording on the Greatest Hits CD sounds much better. I'm sure it was remastered.





The $55 Ebony Dream



In my travels I pass many things that I'd like to have, not much that I really "need" but I see things that I like but don't buy for many reasons. Either it's too expensive, not something I would use a lot or I just don't really need it. Few things stick with me after I choose to leave it in the store like this purse did today. I ignored my kids all the way home after I saw this purse thinking about how I'd always wanted one.

I've wanted this exact Kate Spade purse for almost 15 years. I've seen it from time to time and always thought, I should just buy that damn thing but I think it was $140 when it first came out and I think only an ass spends that much money on a purse. Not to mention the fact that since I've got two kids under 3 1/2, I almost never carry a purse because I'm carrying a diaper bag. However, when I do go out and I need a purse, I've never had one that I liked.

I don't ask for much in a purse. It needs to be black, square and boxy enough to hold my wallet, camera and cell phone. So I knew all these years that I wanted THIS purse, not just any Kate Spade purse. I've also wanted one for so long that I knew a few things to look for to spot a fake and everything checked out.

I was with my kids today when I discovered this black dream of mine but shopping with them is a nightmare. I actually left without buying the purse because I thought spending $55 on a purse was frivolous (because it is) and my kids were pushing me over the edge. I told my husband about it when we got home and he said what I knew he would, "Go back and buy it, we aren't poor!" He also suggested I call them and ask them to hold it for me, which I did.

After I put my kids down for their nap, I skipped back to the store while my husband worked from home and bought my Ebony wallet holder. I was so excited when I left with it that as I pulled out onto the main road, I looked over at it and said, "I HAVE A KATE SPADE PURSE!!!"

I don't ask for much....

Monday, July 26, 2010

Music I Love ~ Day V

I'm not an idiot, I know Amy Winehouse is visually appalling. She is like walking heroin, I get that. However she can sing her ass off and not in the same way most seem too. She's clearly different in that her voice is low and rusty and she sings to 50s beats and styling but she's singing about rehab and how she's no good. No shit!

I've seen her perform live (on TV) and she's frightening talented. I was shocked when I saw her live because she sounded so good while looking so bad. I think she actually pulled some cocaine out of her Snookie poof right in the middle of the show. I wish that shocked me as well but it didn't.

I hope she doesn't kill herself before she gets cleaned up. I wonder what she'd sound like it she got her shit together. It would be nice to see her perform sober so he voice would be clean. Also, I have a hard time watching someone sing when all I'm thinking is, "Does she have tracs on her arms and how many sailors did she sleep with this weekend?"

I couldn't decide which song I loved more, Rehab or I'm No Good. I'm leaning towards I'm No Good but because I love the slow beat. You decide for yourself. She ain't no Joni Mitchell, but I can appreciate her even though she's a big ole mess. Also, her knobby knees are just distracting. Maybe if she's stop snorting her lunch and actually eat it but what do I know?














World's Shittiest Parent


I just did the worst thing that I have ever done as a parent.

I had a very productive morning. I got up before the kids and took a shower. Then I got their breakfast ready before I got them out of bed. I dressed River in something really cute to celebrate "Girlie Girl Monday." While they ate I cleaned their rooms so I could vacuum after nap time and after they finished eating I loaded them into the van to get Owen to school on time. Lately I'd been rolling in right at 9 AM and I hate being "that mom" so I made a point to leave early today. I was pleased that we were the first ones there.

I didn't have anything special planned for "Girlie Girl Monday," but River dressed the part anyway. Cute as hell! We headed to the market because the kids were out of fruit. After that I drove to a consignment shop in Annapolis to help get past me being in mourning for my favorite consignment shop that closed it's doors on Saturday. I was able to find a few little Gap tops for River and really cheap.

We got back to get Owen from school just in time. He seemed to have had fun at school but the only thing I could get out of him was "juice." He feels like he's getting away with something because I don't give him juice at home. Not that he needed to tell me. Kinda hard to miss the red mustache.

When we got home I made the kids lunch and even let Owen eat his on the couch while he watched Thomas. I cleaned out River's drawers setting aside everything that she'd outgrown for a couple of upcoming consignment sale. I then put away the loads of kids clothes I'd folded. I really got a lot done while they had their lunch. Somewhere during this time, my husband came home because the air conditioning was broken at work. He worked in the basement while I finished putting the clothes away.

River was sleepy so I easily put her down for her nap and then went to get Owen. I asked him if he needed to potty first and he said he did so I set him on the toilet and left him there to pee on his own because that's the only way he'll do it. I thawed some things out for lunch and put away the towels before I put another load of laundry in and folded the remaining clothes from the drier. I also separated all of the clothes that still needed to be washed and sent an email to friends who are having babies to see if they need any of my tons of burp cloths or receiving blankets that I dug out of River's drawers.

After I completed these many tasks I sat down at my computer like I do whenever I have a free minute to get some writing done. I probably sat there for 35-40 minutes until my husband came upstairs to get something to drink and he asked me why Owen's door was open. My first thought was that I forgot to shut it when I put him down. I couldn't imagine what he wanted me to see when he came running out telling me to come and see what Owen was doing. I went into Owen's room and I heard him whimpering but I couldn't find him. My husband pointed to the bathroom where I looked and found Owen sitting on the potty, after peeing. My husband was happy because he thought Owen got up by himself and went to go potty. What he didn't know was that Owen didn't do that. He was still sitting on the damn potty from before nap time! HE'D BEEN ON THE DAMN POTTY WITHOUT SAYING A WORD FOR WELL OVER HALF A FRIGGEN HOUR!

Seriously, worst thing I've ever done as a parent. How could I have forgotten he was in there? You should have seen the little red ring around his sweet little butt. I can't believe he didn't complain or at least yell for a cookie after he peed. Needless to say he's skipping nap time and playing with his train table while we watch Star and Nina lead us into Thomas the Tank Engine. I have a feeling I'll be paying for this for a while.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Music I Love ~ Day IV

As I creep towards my 40th Birthday I thought I would have a harder time picking female artists who kick ass for my Three Weeks of Music I Love but so far, it's been a no brainer. Women who kick ass are everywhere these days and even when I pick a song that is almost as old as I am, it is still a really good song that I can listen to without it feeling dated. This song was used in the movie Almost Famous so that might help the younger crowd, maybe.

I've always loved Joni Mitchell. I think every woman should if only for how she and women like her opened up doors for others in a time that doing what she was doing and being a woman was kinda new. Not to mention that she has an amazingly beautiful voice. If it weren't for Joan Baez and Jodi Mitchell, there would be no Liz Phair or Amy Winehouse.



This song is part of the reason I liked the name River for my daughter. After my husband nixed it for a boy's name because he didn't want to name his son after a guy that died of a heroin overdose in front of The Viper Room, he suggested it for a girl's name. I immediately thought of this song and it's part of the reason I agreed so quickly. I probably should have mentioned that to my husband. Maybe I did mention it, I can't remember but I don't think he would have heard the song before anyway. It really is a beautiful song. Sarah McLachlan did a cover of it years ago and while it was nice, I like this version better.

Joni Mitchell's River is a beautiful song and one a lot of people don't know until they hear it and say, "Oh yeah, I've heard that song!" I never get tired of listening to this!




Saturday, July 24, 2010

Not All Who Wander Are Lost


But some of us are.


This morning I did something I've been putting off for a while. Just thinking about it made me feel ill so I put it off as long as I could but I knew it had to happen today so I took the plunge. I took my camera in to be serviced. This may not be a big deal to some people but it's a HUGE deal to me. I can't remember a day since I've had my camera that I haven't used it. Maybe when I was in the hospital in December but other than that, I don't think it's happened.


I guess I should just be glad that I got the service plan so that the issues can be fixed. It had a couple of small issues before but when my flash stopped working on Friday morning, I knew the time had come. Figures the thing I hate the most is the first thing to break. Even though I have a good external flash, I don't use it as much as I should. The warranty runs out next year so I wanted to get this taken care of with time to spare. I also needed everything done before my Portland/Forks trip. I don't want to be worrying about my camera in the land of Vampires!


The Geek Squad said it should only be gone for 1 1/2 to 2 weeks which of course means at least 3 weeks. I speak nerd cause I married one. I stripped my camera of all the bling, strap, Tripod attachment, UV filter, memory card, battery and left it with this stranger with a red beard. I'll be honest, I had a hard time walking away. I left feeling like I forgot something. I kept checking for my cell phone and my keys. My diaper bag felt lighter too. I haven't been anywhere without my camera in years.


I must have gotten up to get my camera five times today and each time I kicked myself for forgetting. I wonder how long it will take before I stop doing that. I'm guessing three weeks. Now I have no choice but to find out what my point and shoot can do. I once saw a photo book filled with really great photographs taken with a Polaroid camera so I'm only as limited as I allow myself to be. That being said, I think it will be a long three weeks.
I just want my camera! I posted a picture of us during better times.

Music I Love ~ Day III

In a day when most performers are so pathetically untalented (Miley Cyrus I'm looking at you) and most of them can't walk and sing at the same time (Britteny, Hello?), it is refreshing to see someone who not only can sing but doesn't use dancing as an excuse to lip sync. I can think of almost no one else today who would be capable of singing like this while hanging from the ceiling and spinning.
When Pink first came out, I wasn't a huge fan. I mean I liked her but the pseudo punk thing she had going on wasn't working for me. Thankfully she's turned into more than that and that has never been more clear than in this performance at the Grammies in January of 2010. I loved this so much that I kept the entire three hour performance on my DVR for over four months. I can't even tell you how much I watched it. My son was singing it by the time I finally deleted it.

It's just nice to see someone willing to strip down to basically nothing in front of a room of her peers and sing her ass off while hanging upside down, wet, from a big piece of what looks like nylon. She didn't miss a beat. Also, her body kicks ass! In a time of everyone looking like they ate a pea for lunch, it's refreshing. I like how he descended like she owned the place because on that night, she did. That's my kind of chick! Fierce.

Pink's Glitter in the Air was an easy choice today. Is this seriously the same girl who sang Get this Party Started? I just can't connect the dots on that one.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Things I Say Way Too Much!

I am gleefully a SAHM so except when my son is in school, I am with them 24/7/365. I'm not complaining, I love it and am so happy that we're able to do it. I mean I can't remember the last time I bought a new pair of shoes (except for the rainboots I bought for the Portland/Forks trip) because I don't need them and can live without having 50 pairs of black shoes.


I knew some day I'd turn into my mother and I'm fine with that. I think of her anytime I walk down the cereal isle and look at the price of a box of cereal. How one woman raises three kids with shitty child support is beyond me. But I do find myself wondering if my mother had to repeat herself as much as I do. I'm sure I was a complete joy to raise (sarcasm) and was never any trouble (again, sarcasm) but she must have had to tell me something often before it sank in. Sometimes I think that's all I do, harp on the same damn issues aver and over and over again.

We're just getting to the point where I can ask Owen things like, "Can you please put your plate in the sink?" He does stuff like that with little or no grief. That kind of stuff isn't what's driving me insane. It's the things I feel like I'm begging Owen AND River to either do or stop doing.



These are my personal favorites:


1. Please drink your milk!


2. River, stop throwing your food!


3. No Owen, you can't have chocolate milk!


4. Owen, get your hand out of your butt!


5. River, get out of the dog's water bowl!


6. Owen, do you need to go potty?


7. Don't push your sister! I don't care what she touches!

8. Owen, stop eating your sister's Goldfish!


9. Owen, stop saying Vagina!


10. Owen, get your hands off of your penis!



The last one I must say 50 times a day. Having his hands on his junk must be some kind of involuntary reflex because I truly think he's incapable of not juggling the boys all damn day long! I'm a chick so I just don't get it.

Please, someone tell me that your kids make you do this too. I mean I want my kids to know the proper names for their body parts and I want Owen to understand that River doesn't have a penis but good God, how do I stop him from running down the isles of the market screaming, "River's vagina, River's vagina, River's vagina?!

Thank God I have a sense of humor because I see how this could turn you bat shit crazy if you weren't paying attention.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Three Weeks of Music I Love ~ Day II

I've always loved The Wizard of Oz. It has been my favorite movie for as long as I can remember. I've seen it more times than any other movie, even Twilight hasn't surpassed that. When I was in school, there was a time when I would come home and watch it everyday before starting the dishes five minutes before my mother got home from work. So with my long history with Oz, I was afraid to see Wicked when I first had the chance because I worried that it would make me sympathetic towards the Wicked Witch. As it turns out it kind of does but it didn't bother me. It's always good to see the other side of the story, even if it is Oz.

I saw it with my husband at the Gershwin back before we had kids and I loved it so much that I cried a bit during this song and it wasn't even the finale. It was really, really good and I'm one of those people that is impressed by absolutly nothing. I actually went in thinking they were going to totally screw it up and ruin The Wizard of Oz forever for me, but they clearly didn't. I loved it so much that when my husband and I were in London for our honeymoon we saw it again. Idina Menzel was playing Elphaba in London. She's the one doing Elphaba here and she's amazing! Also, Kristin Chenoweth as Glenda? She was perfect! If you get a chance to see it, you should because it is worth every penny!

I chose this song because it's ridiculously well performed. The part that I posted bellow is my favorite part of the song and something I've have sung to both my children on many occasions. Any message that says try before you count yourself out and don't let anyone else tell you what you're capable of is a good one that can go along way. Imagine where we'd be as a people if all kids were taught these simple things.


"I'm through accepting limits
''cause someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know!
Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love I guess I've lost
Well, if that's love
It comes at much too high a cost!"









Three Weeks of Music I Love

Music inspires me more than anything and so in celebration of my upcoming 40th Birthday I've decided to post a song I love every day. Most will probably be by women I love and who I think kick ass! I can't promise that everyday will be a woman but I can promise you that the music will be good, which I know is relative but good according to me because here, that's all that matters. It should be interesting because I have absolutely no idea what music I will choose besides this first song and the last one. I will do my best to not pick Madonna every day but it might be tough cause like her or not, she's fierce.

On my actual birthday I will post the song that I've listened to on every single birthday since it came out in 1988. I totally love the song and go out of my way to rarely listen to it all year so it will be special when I hear it on my birthday.

I like the song I chose for today and sing parts of it to my daughter and always have. I can't imagine my daughter would ever take shit off of anyone or feel inferior because she's a woman. This song just helps me remind her of that. I didn't post the actual video because it cuts out a lot of my favorite lyrics. It's Madonna's What it Feels Like For a Girl.

"Strong inside but you don't know it.
Good little girls they never show it.
When you open up your mouth to speak could you be a little weak?"



The answer to that question is NO, not if someone tells you everyday that you're beautiful, strong and worthy of everything you want in life. That's where I come in.





Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Like the Moon, and the Stars and the Sun ~ Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop




I’m one of those people that colours outside the lines. I don’t tend to do things because that’s the way they “should” be done so when it came time to choose the music for our wedding, I was totally fine with thinking outside the box. I wanted to dance to a song that wasn’t slow and wasn’t sappy. Slow and sappy has been done and I wasn’t interested in rehashing things that had been at every other wedding I’d attended. Some might say that getting married itself has been done so I knew some things would have to be similar to the way others had done them but I wanted to do what I could to make things different.


My choice for our wedding song was “Instant Karma” by John Lennon. It’s always been one of my favorite songs. I thought it would be perfect in setting the tone of free and happy which is how I felt.


“Instant Karma's gonna get you,
Gonna look you right in the face,
Better get yourself together darlin',
Join the human race,
How in the world you gonna see,
Laughin' at fools like me,
Who on earth d'you think you are,
A super star,
Well, right you are.

Well we all shine on,
Like the moon and the stars and the sun,
Well we all shine on,
Ev'ryone come on.”

It pretty much said everything about how I was feeling and I thought it was a clear choice. The problem? I had to consult my husband and he completely disagreed. The funny thing is that I thought this song was a compromise because he's a big John Lennon fan, but I was wrong. He’s far more traditional that I am and has told me on more than one occasion that if he had his way our wedding mass would have been in Latin. Uggghhh…..

So, in the end we chose a song that we both liked. I say “like” because I didn’t then nor do I now, love it. I think it’s slow and a bit sappy but my favorite song by an artist that I think is a bit of a toolbox. I know a lot of people are fans of Dave Matthews and I have a friend that has seen him like 30 times but I’m just not a huge fan. “Crash into Me” was a song that kept coming up in our relationship but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it’s “our song.” If I had to say what our song was, it would be "Baby Got Back!" That song has come up more in our relationship that any other song. We've certainly danced to it more that the one we chose. How funny would it have been for our wedding song to be "Baby Got Back?" No one would ever have forgotten that!

If I had to do it again, and I don’t, I would have pushed harder for something a little more uplifting and inspirational. I like songs that tell you to kick off your shoes, screw the world and do what you want. Dave Matthews doesn’t do that for me. John Lennon does. Janis Joplin too but even I knew that was out of the question. In the end our day was perfect, no matter what song we danced to. It really didn't matter.



Watch the video if you get a chance. It really is an amazing song. Yoko is sitting next to him knitting the whole time. Random. There is a microphone in front of her so I'm just thankful she wasn't singing. I'd rather watch her knit than hear her incessant fucking warbling.

Also, as a side note, please don't look at the wedding photo I posted above and my profile photo and think I walk around all day with my mouth agape because I don't.











For more info on the workshop:






Mama's Losin' It

My Son Digs Blonds!


My son has always had a thing for blonds. Even when he was very young he would crawl over to a blond chick and just stare are her. It didn't matter if we knew her or not, he had to be near her. I remember at one library story time that he crawled all the way across the room, knocked a kid out of the way to crawl into the lap of a girl with beautiful blond hair.

Today when I was dropping Owen off at school, his teacher from last year (Mrs. Jean) that we loved so much stopped by. I'd talked to her the day before about dropping off his PECS book to help with Owen's potty training. I posted a link at the bottom so I wouldn't have to explain what PECS is but I can tell you that it's been very helpful to Owen.


I saw her at the door and ran to open it so Owen could see her but he hid behind my butt because that's what he does when he's being shy. He buries his head in my ass like it's beneficial for either of us. I wish he wouldn't do that and was a little sad that he wasn't able to speak to Mrs. Jean.


When I picked him up after school, I loaded him up and we went straight to a playdate at our friend Laura's house. One of the moms from our mom's group moved to Hawaii so we get to see her today while she's in town. On the way to Laura's I asked Owen about his day like I always do and while he talks a lot, I don't really get much out of him. I said to him, "wasn't it great to see Mrs. Jean today? She came all the way to your school so she could drop off your PECS book and see you!" He talked a bit about Mrs. Jean and some of the kids from his old class. He went through the list of the kids, "Momma, Where is Antwon? Where is James Jefferson? Where is Caydence?" I answer the same way I always do when he asks me about his friends from last year, "They are home with their moms." I don't know how else to explain friends he won't see anymore to a three year old. I guess I could let him watch Bambi so he'd know sometimes you get screwed in life but I'm trying to hold off on that.
Anyhoo, in the middle of all these questions Owen looks at me and says, "Mrs. Jean is pretty." Oh, OK, that explains everything! He clearly really likes her but acts like someone else's kid when she's around and refuses to speak to her. So funny! Owen is sweet on his teacher! What a cliche! When I asked him if he was crushin on his teacher, I think he blushed! This reminds me of my favorite Van Halen song. Ha!
In the interest of full disclosure, Mrs. Jean IS NOT in this video!






http://www.pecs.com/

Pour Your Heart Out Wednesdays ~ Life Without Cupcakes





My family and I drove to Virginia to go to a mall that's supposed to be the shit. I, personally didn't get it but there were some nice stores once you got through the shit storm that was the parking lot. Tyson's Corner was not for me but I guess I can see why people like it. Some stores are nice but it isn't the kind of place you run in to return something. It's the kind of place where you'd make sure to pack extra diapers and milk for the kids if you planned a trip. It's an all day affair and from what I witnessed within the first ten minutes we were there, it's a place where people go to be seen. Can you say faux-hawk? Hello?




Anyhoo, one thing I thought was great about the mall were some of the places to eat. There was a lot to choose from and because we had the kids we kept it simple but walking through that mall brought me front and center with all that I am missing. Diabetes just plain sucks. There is no way to sugar coat it because even that would probably kill me. See? I can still joke about it. That's something, right?


The things I can't eat these days far outweigh what I can eat and I am coming to terms with that. The pastries alone that we passed were enough to stop me in my tracks. There is a store there called Cake Love. I'd never heard of it but apparently it's a chain. They had a window full of the best looking cupcakes I've ever seen! I can't even tell you how much I wanted to dive through that window, unhinge my jaw and eat the whole case! Just eyeballing those bad boys made me crave a gallon of milk, which in the end just made me sad. I mean things like cupcakes at a party or the cupcake tower I plan to make for my daughter's second Birthday are the little fun things in life. I think that's the "smelling the roses" kinda stuff that I'll miss out on. I know it's just food but planning around things that will send you to an early grave is no fun.



Seeing those yummy cupcakes in the window got me thinking of some of the things I already miss so I thought I'd make a short list and purge a bit, if you will.




1. Starbucks Chai Tea Frappachino w/ cinnamon


2. Karen's macaroni and cheese


3. Chinese food


4. All the milk I want


5. Indian food


6. Normal bread


7. Italian food


8. Blueberry turnovers


9. Mexican food


10. Real peanut butter


11. White chocolate


12. Pina Coladas


13. Fruit


14. Smores


15. Ginger Ale




The list could go on and on but this is my top fifteen. I'd planned to only make a list of ten but my love of white chocolate and memories of the pina coladas my friends made the other night overtook me. Don't even get me started on the smores fixins in my pantry!




Watching my kids play and laugh together makes it a lot easier. I'd like to be here to see them graduate from high school and if I don't continue making this drastic change, that might not happen. But still, I'm human. I just want a fucking cupcake.




Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Follow Me Back Tuesdays

I came across a blog today. Little Yaya's has something called "Follow Me Back Tuesdays." It's a good way to find new blogs that I might have otherwise missed.

Every Tuesday everyone links their blogs to the sites of the hosts (there are 4 of them, I think) and I can paruse all of these great blogs! It's pretty cool. You should check it out if you're a blogger.

LittleYayas

River is 18 Months Old Today!


My baby girl is 18 months old today! She's sweet, feisty and a lot like me. I haven't had her 18 month pictures taken yet but that's coming up soon. She gets along well with her brother but is in no way as gentle as he is. She doesn't take no for an answer and carves her own path.



18 months ago I couldn't have imagined that I'd have a daughter with my exact personality.


18 months ago I couldn't have imagined that I'd have a blog mostly filled with pictures of her because she was so easy to photograph.


18 months ago I couldn't have foreseen owning a hair bow/tie in every colour imaginable.


18 months ago I wouldn't have believed how wonderful it was to have two beautiful babies in my arms.


18 months ago I only dreamed of eyes this blue.


18 months ago I didn't know a kid this young could have so much hair.


18 months ago I was the mother of one and didn't know what I was missing.


18 months ago I didn't know how fulfilling it was to see my kids playing together.


18 months ago I didn't know how mean a baby could be when I woke her up early from naptime.


18 months ago I didn't know a girl could eat so much.


18 months ago I didn't know what a wonderful feeling it was to have someone say, "That is the prettiest little girl I've ever seen! She looks like a babydoll!"


18 months ago I didn't know what it was like to have a family member with narrow feet and a tiny ass.


18 months ago I didn't know how mad a kid could get when you didn't give her what she wants, right when she wants it.


18 months ago I would have told you that you were a crackpot if you told me I would invest in so much pink.


18 months ago I didn't know how much a could love my beautiful baby girl!



I love you Rivie-roo!


Trendy Treehouse ~ Shutter Love Tuesdays~ Faces


I can't tell you how much I love finding new photo blogs that have fun stuff that I can do! I think it may be one of my favorite things about blogging.
I came across this blog today and they have something called "Shutter Love Tuesdays." Every Tuesday there is a new theme and this week it's faces. I love photographing faces more than anything else and just took some Groovy photos of River.
I don't even care that it's an actually contest. I just love things that are photo related. It's fun to see what everyone else is doing.


ShutterLoveTuesdays

In A Yellow House ~ Photo Challenge ~ Landscapes




This week's photo challenge is landscapes. We live so close to DC and never seem to go there but this is a trip we took into the city during the Cherry Blossom Festival with my mom's group. We make a habit of doing it every year and it's pretty cool. The trees are beautiful and the kids love running around the water and hanging out with their friends.

I like this photo because the blossoms are so beautiful and I think the reflection of the Washington Monument is pretty cool


BWS tips button

Sunday, July 18, 2010

There's An Ass In My Photo!



I take a lot of photos of my kids. I generally try to do them in a series. That's usually the plan anyway. I never take my kids to the park with the thought of possibly getting one good photo. I always plan on getting a series of good photos with one that is hopefully really, really good. Obviously really, really good is relative so I just try to please myself and say "screw the world," which is what I say in most situations. It works for me.
When Owen was a baby I took some excellent photos of him in our sunroom. The sun was blazing. He had an orange shirt on and he just looked like a perfect little cherub! I've always loved those photos and have often thought of taking photos of River in the same spot as well. We had the pear tree removed so the back drop is different but I closed the curtains so our cars wouldn't be in the photos.
Owen was in the room with us watching his Thomas the Tank Engine DVD for the 5 millionth time and since he'd peed (among other things) in his big boy underpants at least 4 times within 2 hours, I left him butt naked. I'd heard this sometimes helps them say they have to go so I gave it a shot. I was tired of changing him out of wet pants while hearing his indifferent fake whine. I felt like if I heard it one more time I might hang myself from the shower curtain rod so I did what I could to prevent it.
Anyhoo, the picture I was after is the one I posted above. One of the earlier tries is the one I posted bellow. See if you can spot how Owen ruined it.


A Shit Nugget. Really?




Let me start by saying that I absolutely LOVE my beautiful babies. My son in particular is the sweetest little boy I have ever met. He is sweet and he is kind. He is gentle and says "Thank you" and "I'm sorry" without being asked. That's why I feel terrible sitting here while we watch Thomas, secretly wanting to kick him. I mean obviously I won't kick him but I just don't understand why he does what he does. I've had enough of my son peeing in his underwear three times in one hour! WTF? I don't understand why he just can't say, "Momma, I have to go potty."



I get that it's tough to get use to something different but I am over holding a shit nugget in my hand while I try to comfort my crying son. That is just the vilest thing to take off your kid's underwear and a warm shit nugget lands in the palm of your hand. I mean really! What do you do? Throwing it was my natural instinct but that would just cause more mess that I'd have to clean up. I can only imagine how much more I'd be pissed off if I also had to clean a shit stain from my wall! So I just held it til I got to the bathroom and tossed it. It was able to not scream because I was gritting my teeth in annoyance.

He gets very upset when he pees in his big boy underwear and usually tries to hide it. I'm not sure why he gets upset because we don't get mad (on the outside) when he does it. I stopped saying, "It's OK Owen" to calm him because my mom friends told me that may be giving him the message that what he's doing is OK and clearly it is not. I've switched to, "Next time you'll do a better job" and "We aren't angry with you but peeing or pooping in your pants is not OK."

Look at that sweet face! No doubt playing like an angel while he plans his next pooping adventure.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Paper Mama's Photo Challenge

This week's photo challenge is "ACTION." I took this picture yesterday of my husband taking my son down a giant slide at the local firehouse carnival. We had no idea that my son would hate it so much. Live and learn I guess. It would have been nice if he'd mentioned it before we bought all the tickets!



Paper Mama's blog:






The Paper Mama


CANNONBALL!!!!


Tonight my girlfriends and I went to an adult pool party at our gym. I knew I'd have a good time but I had no idea I would be doing cannonballs! If I'm being totally honest I have to say that I'm not sure I've ever done a cannonball. It isn't as easy as you might think when you have to hold your nose. I don't technically know how to swim and every single time I go underwater, I hold my nose. So I guess I did more of a half cannonball but whatever, it was fun as hell!

After some prodding, we got all the girls to get on the two slides that are generally reserved for the children. My son would never get on that damn thing but I think I must have done it ten times! I will never look at that thing the same again! It was just nice to be at the pool sans kids. I love my babies but it's nice sometimes to reconnect with myself.

Riddle me this, why do people go to pool parties and not get in the pool? Are you worried about getting your hair wet? I don't get it. It's a friggen pool party! Get over yourselves! Granted, I didn't expect everyone to be doing cannonballs but still, relax a bit already. When we walked in I felt like we were that group of cool girls in high school that everyone glowered at as they walked though the cafeteria with their hair flowing in wind that shouldn't be there. Not so much because they were dressed better or they were prettier but because those girls knew their shit didn't stink and because they knew how to have a good time! That was us tonight. We were the cool girls. We owned that fucking pool!

I think the most outgoing person all night was the wonked boob girl we met in the bathroom. Who knew?

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Kid Hates Carnivals




We had a good day today. We got went to a tye dye playgroup at our friend Laura's house. I tye dyed t-shirts for the kids and even a pair of leg warmers and socks for River. I haven't done tye dye since I did some tights in high school so I was up for it. Turns out the squirt bottle method sucks and it's MUCH better when you just dip them. Also, you don't get it everywhere when you do it like that. Who knew?

After that we spent some time in our friend Laura's pool which was crazy awesome because it was like the Sudan outside today. I say "we" but it was just River and myself. Owen chose to stay inside for most of the day with the Thomas the Tank Engine Train table that Max has. Good to know that if we ever go over there again for a pool playdate, he'll be on the island of Sodor while River and I enjoy that crisp cool water.

After dinner we decided to take the kids up the street to the fire department. They're having a carnival and every kid likes a carnival, right? WRONG! My kid hates carnivals! I specifically asked him if he wanted to ride the rides before we bought the tickets and everything was OK while we were in line but as soon as it was our turn to go, don't you know he totally lost his shit? I couldn't believe it. I mean the kid is way over the height limit and we were good to go but he just wasn't having it. Nothing like standing in the blistering heat with your offspring while they bitch about how they are 100% sure they're not getting on the airplane ride!

We ran into one of Owen's best friends and I thought for sure once he saw Alexa on the rides that he'd be more interested in maybe at least riding with her. NOPE! We just stood there under the Africa like sun and watched Alexa enjoy herself. Chris finally took him to get an ice cream. That's something we know he'll like. While he ate the hell out of that ice cream cone we did a loop around the carnival and past the Tilt a Whirl. I remember this ride we because in the 70s, my mother rode that while wearing a spider ring and ripped her polyester pants. Ha! Only in the 70s!
Because Owen refused I rode the Ferris wheel alone with Laura and Alexa. While it was a nice view I have to be honest and say that it made me just a little queasy. I think having kids has ruined some of those things for me. My stomach just isn't what it use to be. At least there was a nice breeze and I could see my family as we went by.
The only thing we were able to get Owen to do was to side the big slide with his dad. He seemed fine on the way up but as you can see, that changed on the way down. Check out the scared shitless look on his face and the death grip. That's almost worth me having to give the tickets we bought away in the parking lot. Almost.