Monday, April 30, 2007

Round 2

Ben came traipsing into the living room carrying a license plate frame that he only could have gotten to by climbing into the baby's crib.

"Did you get into the baby's crib? Were you playing in it? Is Avery in there now?"

Nothing like a barrage of questions at a small child to make him feel like communicating.

"No, I didn't get in the crib."
"Tell the truth Ben, I don't want you telling me a lie."
"I didn't get in the crib."
"Ben, that's not okay, I happen to know for a fact you got into the crib and I really don't like you not telling the truth. Now tell me, did you get into the crib?"


"I need your answer."
"I really don't want to answer you mom."
"Well, I really need to hear you tell me the truth," I say matter-of-factly.
He replies, just as matter-of-factly, "Well, I really don't want to hear you feel mad at me."

And he won. Why does he keep doing this to me? I'm so weak.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

You Can't Blame Them For Genetics

This morning before church:

Avery voluntarily leaned in against Benjamin as her interpretation of "Smile!"

This sweet photo shoot was followed immediately by me griping at Benjamin about not listening and not smiling normally, and basically how acting his age is suddenly a crime. Yeah, I was at my best this morning. So on the way to church I say something about his nice smile and how it made me feel sad that he wouldn't just do what I ask and pose for the picture. From the back seat he mutters, "Yeah, well I feel pretty bad about it too."

I shut my trap.

This evening, Jay was on the phone and I was lying on the bed reading. When we both made our ways back to the living room to check on the kids, we found this:

Note the complete lack of regard for the supposedly stern parent hovering over her. Granted, I was taking pictures, but STILL.
But these are the kinds of things where I know I can't get mad because I helped make her, and in so doing, made her this way.
On a completely different note: I tried to fix the below post so you can see the handwritten note. Did it work?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Love Letter From Mom

In the box I dug through the other day, unearthing all sorts of lovely reminders of my past, I found this:
This was written when I was 14 or 15 years old. It tells you everything you ever need to know about me. And my mom. I've mentioned in the past how my mom used our kitchen cupboards as her personal "1980's ghetto planner" and I just happen to have saved one of the exhibits. This actually may have been taped across the front door to greet me when I got home from school. Or taped to my bedroom door. Or taped around the phone. With duct tape.

I also can't help notice that, for a former school teacher and MAJOR stickler for proper english and grammer, this note is quite the run-on sentence. It's like she started with a simple request "immaculate room" and remembered who she was dealing with and added "permanently" and then thought, "Oh what the heck, while I'm asking for the impossible, why not throw in practicing!?"

I still can't keep anything immaculate. I still spend inordinate amounts of time on the phone. On the other hand, I don't have to practice anymore! Oh yeah, and my mom doesn't get after me about how I keep my house. She's thoughtful like that.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

He's Got My Brains

Benjamin is outside playing with a couple of neighbor kids. One is 8, the other 11.
Benjamin says, "Hey 8 year old friend, Spiderman 3 is coming out tomorrow!" They discuss it briefly, I stick my head out and say, "Next week Ben, it's not coming out until next Friday."
Benjamin then says, "Yeah 11 year old friend, next Friday. It goes like this, (singing) Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Thursday, Monday, Saturday, then FRIDAY! Just like that! Isn't that great!?"

Hey, 32 year old friend, isn't my boy a crack-up?

*Jay just read this post and asked "so who were the kids?" and I realized that it looks like I was trying to keep their identities secret---but no---I don't know their names, Ben called them "8 year old friend" and "11 year old friend" the entire 2 hours he played with them.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I Might Make It A Musical

Last night I got to park in front of one of these:

It was every bit as thrilling as I imagined it would be. I have only ever seen these signs when I'm not pregnant. So, pulling into Kroger and seeing it, and being it and then doing it, it was all very exciting for me.

And now, I would like to share a scene with you from my appointment with the doctor this morning.

Scene: Expectant mother (see above) lying reclined on ever-so-comfortable ultrasound table.
Enter, Very Serious Doctor
(it should be noted, but is not overtly portrayed in this scene, expectant mother doesn't talk as much as she usually does or has in the past because her attempts at humor are either completely lost on or not appreciated by Very Serious Doctor. She also hates being talked to like she has a 3rd grade education when she is about to give birth to her 3rd child. However, it should also be noted, she understands most doctor's tendency to do this and is quite understanding. And beautiful.)

Doctor: Well hello there (briefly scans folder label)...Angela! How are things going?
Angela: They are going well!
Doctor: Do you have any questions for me?
Angela: (slight pause because she is a pleaser and would love nothing more than to offer a question to do her part with conversation and make the doctor feel good about having been so intuitive as to have asked, but remembers last time she asked a VERY good question, it didn't get answered, in. the. least. and really, she just can't be bothered by that kind of stuff) Nope. No questions. Things are going great.
Doctor: All right, let's check things out, see how things are going. He walks to the other side of room to retrieve ultrasound gel, with his back turned, Do you have any questions?
Angela: Nope. Meanwhile she shifts and maneuvers clothing as though she actually thinks there's any hope of decorum while lying on a table in a gynecology office. She modestly slides her maternity pants down an inch below her belly button because, well, there's still some decency in just an inch below the belly button. She knows Britney Spears didn't get in the tabloids showing her belly button. Doctor returns with gel, sees patients pathetic attempts to remain "proper", sighs and yanks waist of pants considerably lower than any ultrasound has any business being and the ultrasounding begins.
There are two minutes of complete silence and then:
Doctor: Looking good here--any questions?
Angela: (Biting tongue because she wants to say: Nope, not in the two minutes since you last asked. Or in the 30 seconds before that. Or in the 90 seconds before that...) Brightly: No, no questions here!
Doctor: (Finishing up and wiping 1 tablespoon's worth of the 4 cups of gel he has lathered on the patient's belly) All right, everything's looking good---now, do you have questions?
Angela: (Forcing herself to answer) No--but thanks!
Doctor: Okay, I want to see you in a week, take care, if you have any questions during the week, call me.
Angela: What, and miss an opportunity to actually have a question the 37 times you ask when I'm HERE?
Doctor exits, unaware that Angela has spoken. Mostly because she said it in her head, and OBVIOUSLY he ISN'T A MIND READER!!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

I Need To Be Cool

I wondered when it would happen, Ben getting an opinion on what he should wear. Avery came out of the womb screaming, "I am NOT wearing this another second, it's not my color, get it off me!" Apparently wrinkly, red, newborn doesn't appeal to her sense of style.

Well it happened. And it's consistent, but I can't figure it out. Suddenly he won't wear sports clothing, like those basketball shorts or the longer pants made of the same material. Maybe my attitude about exercise rubbed off on him and he can be heard to say, "these are for exohcising---I am NOT wearing them".

He's easy-going enough that sometimes I can persuade him by promising him he only has to wear them until we get back from the store and then he can find something else. Or telling him that Amy's boys wear those kinds of shorts/pants all the time.

But today, he wasn't having any of it. I just needed to walk a little bit across the complex and thought that he should at least have pants on while we did that. I'm classy like that.
So, I pulled out the only clean pair of shorts he had and tossed them to him.

I don't want to wear these showts, I don't like them!
C'mon Ben we're just walking over to the garage for a little bit, put them on.
I hate these pants!
What are you talking about, they are great shorts---those are the kind that __________ (at least five really cool kids) wear!
Fine. I'll wear them, but I'm taking them off as soon as I get home!
Why don't you like to wear them? They are so comfortable!
I need to be cool.
Completely alarmed by this statement, we don't DO cool in this family, how did he possibly get the notion that he could or should? Certain that he doesn't exactly know what cool means, I ask-- What's cool Ben?
Not these!

Sure enough, after we finished our errand and I waddled in the front door, a good 20 feet behind him, I tripped over his very uncool shorts in the entry way. He must have had them off before the front door was opened.

Mix Tape

Yesterday Jay and I spent most of the afternoon sifting through boxes of books and papers trying to eliminate boxes we've been hauling around since we got married.

While Jay slimmed five boxes of books (his sentimental attachments) down to 2 or 3 boxes, I spent the entire time on one box of papers and letters. They were things I had saved since I was about 14 years old. Looking at the dates of 1990 and 1991, I hardly batted an eye. That seems like yesterday in print. Then I realized that was SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO and I almost couldn't breathe. I don't feel like I've even been on this earth long enough to have been constructing complete sentences on paper and compiling them in a book 17 years ago.

I found a few treasures in the midst of a bunch of crap. One was a snarky note I wrote to an English teacher my freshman year. I was touched, as a 31 year old reading it, by the kindness of her response. I was moved to email her and thank her. Not just for the note, but she was one of my favorite teachers ever. I'm sure she'll remember the nondescript girl she had 17 years ago who's last name was Smith. But, I felt compelled.

I found a mix tape that one of my best friends who I later developed a hopeless crush on and who even later turned into a gay guy---had made for me. I couldn't wait to hear what was on that tape. I just turned it on while I was making lunch and basically it's all those sappy songs that now they play in the dentist office while you are reclined, mouth pried open, having slobber kindly sucked out of your mouth because you can't do it yourself.

I had my back to my children as I lathered mayonnaise on bread and "our" song came on. It was Vanessa William's "Saved The Best For Last". I can remember so clearly the anguish I felt as I listened to that song when I was 16. ".....All of the nights you came to me, when some silly girl had set you free. You wondered how you'd make it through, I wondered what was wrong with you...." I closed my eyes mid-mayonnaise stroke and tried to conjure up those old feelings. They were so REAL back then. There seemed to be no relief, there seemed no other way than to feel that way.


I turn around and barked at Ben and Avery to get off the table, for the 4th time since I started making their lunch. They are still in their pajamas. I'm not sure if either of them ate breakfast, I can't remember that long ago.

I turn back to the sandwich and smile at my failed attempt to relive the past. I remember how desperately I wanted things to go back then, and how none of it did. And now, none of what might have been--is my history. No heartbreak of a boyfriend telling me after all, "I've decided to be gay" (he did "decide" by the way---his words, not mine). No time wasted in a town or in a relationship, hoping for something that shouldn't have been. No history of turning someone gay...:)

I smile because I've been struggling lately with feeling worthwhile. Feeling like I'm doing right by my kids---particularly when most days turning on the TV is the most I can do for them. Feeling like I'm holding up my end of the deal in marriage. Did Jay really mean to marry a smart, sassy, slender, redhead, only to end up with 3 kids and a plump, frumpy wife five years into it? Could keeping a house and finances really be this hard?

Tonight I have a husband coming home after work who is more of a friend, husband, and father than I ever dreamed I would have. I have a home I love to be in. I have friends I can call at any time for any reason. I have a blog. :) I have an almost 4 year old who's smile melts my heart, who gets my jokes, who tells me daily--things like, "I'm smiling because I was sinking about that joke dad told me about greasy chicken" and every time he has to use the bathroom, and then long monologues while he does. I have a two year old who says "I need a hug" right after I scold her and always wants "one more tiss" at nap time and night time. I have stretch marks. I have dirty dishes in my sink. I have a future I look forward to.

I hope in 17 years I can close my eyes as I lather flax seed spread for regularity on my wheat germ bread and "relive" these moments and feel the perfectly blessed way I feel now.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

And Again

My head is pounding. My nose is running. My throat is scratchy. My eyes are watery. I'm sick again. Just to recap my health in this here pregnancy:
Two days before I found out I was pregnant, in the throws of my children's chicken pox epidemic, I got strep throat. First time I've ever had it.
That was September.
October was good to me.
November, head cold and morning sickness.
December, head cold.
End of January, sinus infection.
Middle of February, head cold/stomach ickies combination.
March was kind.
April, it's back.

Tell me that's not fascinating information.

Tonight's dinner conversation.
Ben: So, who lives on Mars?
Me: Nobody
Ben: Who?
Me: Nobody
Ben: Who's that?
Me: Are you kidding me, nobody means---no people live on Mars.
Ben: (chuckling), I knew that. Well, then who lives on the green part of Oaf (Earth) and who lives on the blue parts?
Me: What?
Ben: Who's on the blue team of Oaf, and who's on the green team?
Me: I have no idea.
Ben: Well, I sink Aunt Sehwa lives on the green team and we live on the blue team.
(I later realized he meant water and land shown on a map)

Ben: So, Monica had a birthday yestohday, who's bowthday is next?
Me: Yours
Ben: YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Is it tomorrow?
Me: No, it's next month.
Ben: Is it the next day aftoh tomorrow?
Me: No, it's in a month--30 days away.
Ben: Oh, well lets go look at the number chart and see what a 30 looks like.
Me: No, I'm eating my dinner.
Ben: Whoa Mom 30 looks like a three and a zero! That's almost here!!

Ben: An upside down "Oh" is a "zero". And an upside down "7" is an "L". An upside down "M" is a "W". And upside down "H"...well, it's still just an "H".

ALL of these conversations/obvservation took place within a span of about 5 minutes. And I'm not even telling you about his philosphies on meat and playgroups for girls that were mingled in there.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Because I Thought I Could Spend Half an Hour On The Computer This Morning

Due to popular demand,
Update on Naptime: Avery DID stay asleep. It was a miracle.
That part about weaning Ben from naps---just kidding. He will be napping today.

Monday, April 16, 2007


We just transitioned Avery to a toddler bed. I have heard people say things about the uselessness of toddler beds, but I LOVE ours. I love that it fits in a small space and that the kid doesn't have far to fall if he or she falls. And there's just something really cute about tucking a little petite girl into a little petite bed. She in turn, tucks a not-so-petite frog in under a petite corner of her little blanket.

The transition has been flawless. Her and Ben are in the same room and are asleep within probably 15 minutes of us putting them down. Or, they are at least quiet, and I don't really care about anything beyond that.

I have exclaimed aloud at least half a dozen times in the 4 days we've had this sleeping arrangement, "Man that went better than I thought it would!"

Today, I put Avery down for her nap, while Ben and his friend stayed up to play. I'm also transitioning Ben out of naps. He goes to bed earlier and easier without, so we're trying it.

Ben and his friend got noisey playing outside and woke up Avery. I knew she wasn't ready to be awake because she woke up crying and couldn't manuever the door handle. Two things that are very uncommon for her.

I ran into her room to lay her back down before she woke up too much. I stumbled into her darkened room and sat down on no less than 3 toys as I positioned myself to soothe her back to sleep. I didn't pay attention to the racket I was making, I had one goal, to get her back to sleep.
It worked. I stroked her hair and she fell back asleep almost immediately.

I did the waiting game every mother has done.

I decreased the number of hair strokes per minute. I lightened the pressure of the soothing hand, so it was barely noticeable. I manuevered my elbow off her pillow so the indentation it made, combined with the removal of my hand, wouldn't make her stir.

I held my breath.

I positioned my body and hands and feet to make the most graceful, noiseless exit possible. No small feat right now, I guarantee you.

I was ready, I was sure, her breathing was deep, her eyes didn't flutter, I was going to move out and wait for just the right moment to breathe again. I made my move.


In my rush and hurry to get to Avery, and in all my stumbling in the dark, I had rested my batootie squarely on a squeaky ball.

Apparently, it too was waiting for just the right moment to let out it's breath.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Poor Bereft Me

In October of 1996 I had been on a mission for 2 months. A new set of missionaries arrived, and my group suddenly wasn't the youngest anymore. And we loved the group of girls who removed us from that lowly state by taking it over.

There was one girl in the class that I liked pretty immediately. I don't even remember our first encounter(s) but I remember always thinking she was pretty cool.

Then one day she said to me, "I think you were in my freshman Spanish class in college." And it turned out, I was. I stand out in crowds. I make people stop and notice. My Spanish-speaking skills are superb.

We became fast friends and we spent the duration of our missions together with a lot of highs and lows. A lot. And then we went our separate ways. She married soon after the mission and I showed up to her very classy and nice reception dinner, late, carrying a laundry basket with a mop and broom sticking out of it, surrounded by several other cleaning supplies. It was incredibly tacky, but she still smiled and greeted me, and we stayed friends. :)

She started the whole married and children thing long before me, but we kept in touch over the years. She was full of spit and vinegar and had a way of saying things as they were, in a way I was always envious. Spit and vinegar isn't bad, right? I mean, I think Avery's full of it and I'm her mother.

So, a year and a half ago when Jay found out he was getting the job here in Texas, I emailed and then called my friend to see just how far she was from the "Dallas Area". I knew that they had not so long ago bought a house in Tyler, and I was just hopeful that Tyler was within a couple of hours of where we were going to move.

Talk about joy of all joys when I learned that because of a sudden job change, THEY had moved to Plano, just a few months before. And they were living in an apartment, something we had planned to do while Jay was in this stage of his career, traveling all the time.

Jay was flying to Texas the next day or so to look for housing and I told him he had to check out at least 5-7 apartments before looking at the one Amy lived in because I knew I couldn't be unbiased enough to not want to live there, no matter the cost or convenience. He did just that, and was immediately most impressed with where Amy lived. So we moved in. Our doors are a football field length from each other. When Jay described it to me over the phone, I expressed dissatisfaction that it wasn't next door, with a suite-like door between our homes, so we could live more communally. Or something. I remember actually being disappointed it wasn't closer. I'm really good at finding even the greatest of circumstances disappointing.

Well, we've lived near each other since the first of January, 2006. It has been heaven. I have dumped my kids on her at times because I'm afraid I might hurt them. I've gone over to her house at dinner time and sat at the table and watched them eat, just for the company, and they've never made me feel like an intruder. Even though I was. I've spent countless hours on their gigantic bean bag (I'm sure it has a better name than that, I just don't know...) saying over and over without meaning it "Well, I really should go now."
I've borrowed eggs, flour, nutmeg, 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, dozens of cups of milk, butter, salsa, salad dressing, freshly made chocolate chip cookies, water, and at least a dozen other random things. The best part was I could send Ben over, sometimes just in his skivvies and I wouldn't have to leave my very important task of burning or completely screwing up dinner.

She would come over and hang out with me for an hour or two in the morning and give my life some semblance of sanity with adult conversation. She never once made me feel like the slob I am with laundry strewn all across my living room, a weeks worth of dishes on the table and kitchen counters, and magic marker masterpieces on my carpet.

She's taught me the therapeutic powers of late-night Target runs or getting away just for some frozen custard or Chili's dessert.

She's calmed my parenting concerns with having "been there and done that" with two very active boys.

I don't have to put on airs with her. Ever. She can see me in the completely disgusting state I often let myself get into with no husband to answer to during the week, and I never feel self-conscious. Don't get me wrong, Amy's not all fluffy and sweet like I may be making her look, but she isn't critical or judgmental. She'll be the first to compliment my snot-stained shirt or nappy hair. But some things just can't be ignored. I understand that.

Oh, and since I'm being honest---another really annoying thing about her is she doesn't gossip. Try as I may to get her to, she won't. It's really annoying. Trust me. In my defense, I don't repeat gossip. I only say it once.

Avery adores her. Ben does too, but in a different, boy kind of way. Avery thinks she's her mom. The first year we were here, Avery basically preferred Amy to me. I was usually okay with it because then it was Amy's knees she was clinging to while Amy prepared dinner. I had no problem sitting on the gigantic bean bag watching it all.

Well, Amy bought a house. A friggin beautiful, completely enviable, with a backyard and bonus room---house. You may or may not recall a post I did last July on feeling jealous. I'm not easily prone to it, but Amy was the subject of my feeling it then, and it's happened again. In combination with feeling very happy for the house they scored, I'm immensely jealous. It's the kind of house I could live in for the rest of my life. But I wasn't invited.

Most of the details of buying and negotiating and closing and all the stuff that goes with buying a house, happened as I was preparing for our trip to the Carolinas and then while were gone. It made it less threatening that I had something else going on to focus on.

Then Thursday they closed.
And Friday they moved.
And this morning when I woke up, I realized that there was no chance of her two little guys knocking on my door in pajamas to borrow some eggs. Or cheese. Or each holding the ends of a cookie sheet so that they could BOTH return it to me. Or knocking on my door to return Avery in her pajamas. She's always trying to bust out of here.

And today when I woke up from my Sunday nap, I felt so sad for the loss of that proximity. I actually thought I'd escape feeling sad. She's only moved a mile away. But that's a mile I can't send Ben in his underwear, and a mile that Avery, even on her best day, can't navigate safely.

I'm glad for the year and 3 and a half months I had. It really was heaven, and a huge blessing with this "single-parenting" stage of my life. And, on the upside, now when I go to Walmart on Sunday for an ice cream fix I didn't prepare for, I don't have to duck and run to the car in fear of her children seeing me and asking why I go to the store on Sunday but they don't.

But even if they ever did see me, I'm sure Amy would just tell them I like the heat. And I want to burn in hell.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I got up at 5:22 AM CST because no matter what time zone I am in, my pregnancy insomnia kicks in at 5:30ish AM. I usually don't get up. I usually lay in bed and swear at the damn insomnia. But today I had 3 suitcases to unpack. Which I didn't. And 4 loads of laundry to do. Which I didn't. And blogs to read. Which I did.

I had a regular dr's appt today and there I learned that because of a positive result on a screening they did in my first trimester, my doctor now wants to monitor the baby's heart weekly and do ultrasounds to make sure everything is going as it should. I should be grateful that modern science makes this kind of care possible. I should be grateful that after today, everything looks great and there's probably little to no chance of a problem. I should be grateful that I am in good care and can have children. But to be perfectly honest, I'm totally annoyed. I know the doctor has to do what he has to do. But I spent a total of FOUR HOURS in his office today. 3 of them were butt numbing hours spent with lube all over my girth and monitors or ultrasound wands pressed to my belly. The baby is measuring bigger than any of my babies have measured and the main thing they are looking for with all this monitoring is to make sure the baby is growing properly. He/she is doing more than properly. The end.

Avery got a birthday package from Grandma while we were gone and we opened it this morning. While pushing Ben away and yelling, "No mom, no birthday" at me over and over, she pilfered through the box of tissue paper and goodies. Tucked at the bottom was a lovely, coral scarf. For me. Since I began dressing myself, my mom has been trying to get me to wear things around my neck. I think it started with turtlenecks.

Most recently, in my adult life, she has tried at least once every time we've gotten together to get me to accessorize with a scarf. I can't do it. I feel like a big baffoon. It just don't flow, you know. They look lovely on some people. Namely, my mother. Even both my sisters can pull off scarf wearing. On me, scarves look like loose, sheer, nooses.

Well, the scarf is a beautiful color. In fact, it's MY color---and that is first and foremost why it got sent to me. In my daughter's birthday package. She can't help herself.
I know that.
Well, I can't help myself either.

Mama, I tried.

SEE: Coral Scarf-Wearin' Baffoon

Avery on the other hand had NO problem figuring out to do with her presents. A baby who came with her OWN 'night-night' and some purple bling for the baby's mama. Excellent choices Grandma!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Oh No I Dih-unt!

Yes, yes I did.

I wore this shirt all day as I traveled from Charlotte, North Carolina to Dallas, Texas.

I must confess, a part of me felt like po' white trash, but the bigger part of me (which is MUCH more dominate right about now) thinks this is one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. And I just can't help myself.

I didn't show my face in this picture not because I want to keep my identity super secret, but because I've been packing, traveling, or eating all day long and I don't really need the face confirming any suspicions of po' white trash.

And also, try not to look to closely at the fat aaaaaarms in the little sleee-eeeves.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Happy Headed

I don't know who Don Imus is. I mean I've seen him on tv before, but never knew his name. Then over the weekend, Jay and I kept seeing the tail end of news reports on what he'd said, but never hearing what the hooplah was about. After like, the 6th time of seeing it in the news and not knowing what it was referring to, Jay said, "I'm gonna google it." A few minutes later Jay came back and said, "They are saying he's racist because he called the Rutgers basketball team happy-headed ho's." I screwed up my face and thought, "so since when is publicly calling someone a ho so horrible and racist? Rappers do it all the time."

We had this conversation about 36 hours ago. For the last day and a half we've been completely baffled by all the uproar. Then today as we were driving to dinner, I said it aloud again, "WHAT is such a big deal about calling someone happy headed, are we really so out of the loop that we don't know the insult behind those words!?" And as I said it, I realized how remarkably similar to "Nappy-headed" it sounded. And then realized how much an "h" can look like an "n" in the dark, on a laptop. So I say to Jay, "Are you sure it wasn't NAPPY-headed---because that's a pretty awful thing for him to have said." Jay says, "What's nappy mean, why is that racist?" I explained that the word nappy is a pretty derogatory comment usually in reference to a black person's hair, even though, I've had some pretty nappy days myself. And then it was all clear. And then I laughed and laughed and laughed that Jay, the news guru, the man who knows everything, verbatim, almost before the dadgum news anchors do, reported the phrase "happy headed ho" and stuck with it for a day and a half. Now I can't stop laughing.

Interestingly, Benjamin overhearing the conversation wanted to know if he was black. This then started a conversation about who was black and Ben wanted to know all the names of all the black people we know. I was coming up short after a few real people we know---and Ben got exasperated with my ignorance and turned to his dad. Dad triumphed by listing off every famous black person he could think of. Like Will Smith and Martin Luther King Jr were close personal friends of his.

He's such a cheater. Happy headed cheater.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

To The General Public OR, Those Who Like To Stare

She's two.

It's called a fit.

Yes, I see her.

No, I don't care.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I know, I know, stop blogging on vacation already!

How much could one person have to say when she spends her days loitering around a hotel. Well, whatever---it's my blog. :)

Mostly I just want to document a few things, as we all know how fleeting things can be with small children. Avery talks all the time and a few of the things she says need to be recorded because she passes through her phrases and her speech impediments too quickly.

Yesterday Jay said to her, "Just a minute, it's hot!" and she replied very subdued, "oookaaaaaaaaay" and has been doing that all day in response to my "Hang on's, just a minute's, not right now's" It's totally appropriate and I wonder how much she knows that.

She also likes to rush to the hotel door to let herself out before the rest of us anytime we are headed that way. It's always locked. And she immediately informs us. Only, she hasn't quite mastered the word "locked". So every time she sounds like she's dropping the f-bomb. Which I find entirely hilarious. "Oh man, we're f-ed" she says. I tell her to go open the door regularly, just for the entertainment. "Me tan't, we're f-ed!" It reminds me of Everett on "O Brother Where Art Thou" when they are trapped in the upper part of the barn. "damn, we're in a tight spot" over and over. Yeah, good comedy.

We have Nick Jr on constantly here. Ben's in heaven. He looooooooooves Wonder Pets which seriously baffles me. It's probably the most low budget kids show I have ever seen in my life. But, to be fair, I haven't really ever watched it, just heard it. I just hear him bellowing, "What's gonna wohk, TEAM WOHK" and I am amazed at how he already knows all the words to everything they say on that show routinely.

Anyway, like, 52 years ago I turned off "Lazy Town" once, back when we had cable in our home. Something about that show really bugs me---particularly the villain. I'm not sure what it is---but I really do dislike it. Enough to put up with his contesting loudly when I put it off. Apparently this made a lasting impression. I've overheard him telling at least half a dozen people that I don't like Lazy Town. And now, since he sees commercials for it while indulging in his 6 hour marathon of tv watching, he comments on it ALL the time. "So, is it that skinny guy that you don't like on Lazy Town?" As a rule, I don't like skinny guys. Or, "Those people right there are why you don't like Lazy Town, huh mom?" There really isn't a cute punch line to this story, but it has really amazed me at how much it matters to him that I don't like this show and why.

Tonight at dinner he did ask Jay if he liked Lazy Town. Jay thought he was talking about me and told him "Don't call your mom lazy, and it's a house, not a town." Just kidding, but when Jay said he hadn't ever seen it, Ben responded, "Well, I've seen two episodes." Excuse me? What three year old uses the word "episodes" in conversation? Probably one who's mother watches too many episodes of tv. Or has episodes herself. Either one.

Just now I read a book to Ben and on one of the pages was a picture of the Humpty Dumpty character. He started reciting the nursery rhyme word for word and I just looked at him filled with pride. I'm not so great with reciting nursery rhymes or regular nursery songs with my kids. I just forget to and stuff. Plus, that's what church and preschool are for, right? Well, I know I have only said Humpty Dumpty to him maybe twice. Maybe. I am just amazed with his memory. I look on at him proudly and he finished, "...couldn't put Humpty together again...but Dora can!" So, now that I know he learned it from Dora, I know now that he's probably heard it 732 times and half of those yelled at the top of her sweet little lungs. So what, he still has a good memory.

I've been trying to get Avery to say Ben for a long time. Pretty much since she started saying anything. She never would. Until today. And it's "Bean" and she says it sort of patronizingly, like she's the adult and he's the 2 year old who still has no problem walking around with his own excrement smooshed in his pants until someone stops blogging and catches her him. And sometimes it's "Baby Bean" which I quickly got Benjamin to laugh at the first time so as to keep him from knocking her block off.

And last but not least---well, yeah, it's least. If you haven't seen the Alannis Morisett spoof on the totally crass song "Humps", you should. It's hilarious. But not you mom, you shouldn't watch it. And you should also know, I would never watch or listen to anything like that. Ever. Let alone promote it on my blog.

Monday, April 02, 2007

From The King-Size Hotel Bed

I could really get used to this life.

We are at Residence Inn now and they serve a full breakfast and a light dinner. Room service, meals, Nick Jr, good books. What more could a girl want?

We had a fantastic time in DC with our friends. Code Yellow is the perfect hostess. She's much more of a domestic goddess than I knew. Or will ever be myself.

We rolled into town around 12:30 am and plunked Avery and Ben down on the pullout bed around 1 am. Avery's never slept "unconfined" before. Unconfined is such a joke---she hasn't been confined by anything since about 17 months old. Anyway, we rigged up some couch cushions and tables and chairs to keep her from falling off the edge----and they slept perfectly all night.

This morning I woke up to the most tender sound of Ben singing softly. He was the only one awake and just laid quietly in the bed, next to Avery, softly singing. "I'm trying to be like Jesus, I'm following in his ways...." It truly melted my heart. Avery woke up soon after and they stayed in bed whispering and giggling with each other. THAT melted my heart again. Then both of them spent the morning yelling and whining at me and I wanted to leave both of them strapped in the cart at target and just take my chocolate eggs and run.

Right now Avery is scaling every surface in this hotel room, and Jay is reading the Winston-Salem tour guide magazine to Ben. He's extolling the virtues of the Melting Pot. Which he's been to like 5 times and I've never even seen the outside of. He probably won't ever take me until I learn how to not end sentences in prepositions.

Earlier Jay was playing hide and seek with the kids. Ben has a pretty good handle on the game, but this is the first time I've seen Avery actively playing the "right" way. She hid herself in the closet while Jay was counting and from the closet she yelled along, "Eight! One! Fie!" and then lets herself out saying "Red-done!" as Jay says, "ready or not, here I come!"

Tomorrow is a long day of walking 20 yards to prepared meals and laying around reading.

While I don't miss the dishes in my sink, I do miss Texas.