Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Why I have the coolest kids

Most nights, after we finish reading stories, I lie in bed with the Boy for a few minutes and we talk and I scratch his back and sometimes sing him a song but mostly just lie there with him until he falls asleep. The nice thing about this is that it's his calmest part of the day and we actually end up getting in some nice, rational conversation, regardless of how crazy the rest of the day was, so I don't go to sleep all guilt-ridden if I've had a day full of ... mothering challenges, shall we say?

Last night we started talking about names, and why we named him what we did instead of something else, and why we named his sister what we named her. "What would you name a little girl?" I asked him. "Kicky," he said, seriously. "Kicky-wicky. Or if it was a boy, and he chewed on his pencils, I'd name him Chewy." Then he laughed.

This morning, the first thing the Girl said to me when she woke up was, "Mama. Do you wanna see da Bad Boy face?"

Who could pass up an offer like that? And what could be better? I'll tell you what: She meant BAT BOY. And if you don't know who I mean by the Bat Boy, what supermarket are you shopping in? She does the face PERFECTLY.

"Papa showed it to me in a book ad Bahns n Nobus," she said. "Silly Bad Boy!" And then she made the face again.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Zen and the art of breaking and entering

Friday 7:00 pm: I'm happily buying paint for the new house.
7:40 pm: I'm heading home so to hop on the computer and put a hold on a billpay item I just realized I hadn't rescheduled until Monday.
7:50 pm: I realize my Internet is down.
7:55 pm: I realize I locked ALL MY KEYS in my car.
8:00 pm: I call the Chica, who kindly logs on for me on her computer.
8:10 pm: We can't access the transaction, which means that IT'S PROCESSING.
8:20 pm: I start breaking into my car so that I can drive to the bank and make an emergency deposit.
8:30: Breaking in.
8:55: Breaking in.
9:30: Breaking in.
9:48: I lose the zen.
9:50: I recover the zen.
9:57: I succeed in using the dandelion digger to wrench open the driver's side door just enough to insert a wire coat hanger far enough to hook the trunk release and pop the trunk. YAY!
10:03: I eat half a banana.
10:07: I crawl into the trunk, insert a rubber-tipped crutch through the ski hatch (which thank heavens I had opened to fit in the paper blinds I'd bought at HD), and push open the lock on the back door.
10:15: I drive to the bank and make the bloody deposit.
10:30: I pour myself a big-ass glass of port, stick in "Nights of Cabiria", and start knitting.

Car: Slightly dented around the edges
Bank account: Saved, thank the Lord
Interent: Still hosed; piggybacking on the neighbor's wireless.
Zen: Hanging on by a thread.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Sorry, ma'am, but that's MY job

I am completely serious about this: My daughter is doing Kegels. She thinks it's hilarious to sit on the potty and start and stop her pee because, she says, "It's going too fast!"

First, this makes for a really damned annoyingly long trip to the potty.

Second, this makes me feel guilty. Aren't I supposed to be the one doing those things? Not that I ever do. I mean, I suppose you should keep in training even if you ain't running in the race, but sheesh, people. Only the 3-year olds have time to sit around on the potty all day.

We went to the park today with our old neighbor who is now our new neighbor a-GAIN, yay, and her kids, and the Boy and Neighbor Girl were making up missions on which to send each other. I got hold of some evidence, one of the slips of paper on which they were writing down their assignments, and this was the Boy's: "Run up to my mom and smack her on the but."

Later he brought his notebook over and asked me to sign the bottom of a piece of paper that already had a lot of writing on it. I did it without thinking. Well, maybe the thought went through my head: "Oh, how sweet, my boy wants my name in his notebook." Then I read what was written above my signature:

My mom is crasee
My mom is werd
Sine here

Beware the dark side, young Jedi.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Another day, another hobby

So now I'm KNITTING!

Oooh, it is so zen.

I am making a scarf. I ran into an acquaintance today at the pool; the kids are taking swim lessons (they swim! they use up all their youthful energy! they throw massive hysterical fits if I do not then shovel food into their faces with 2.2 minutes of their emergence from the pool!) and I was sitting in the lobby, knitting my scarf. "I took a class last year," she said, "so basically, I can make a dishcloth." "Groovy," I told her, holding up my project, "I can make an elongated dishcloth."

Last night, I knitted and watched the copy of "The Thin Man" I'd grabbed from the library. I love those movies. I want to be half of a rich and drunken and witty detective team! Ahh, those were the days. Plus, watching those old movies always sort of throws me back to my teenage years, when we lived in this tiny, rundown house out in the middle of nowhere, and my grandmom gave me a little portable black-and-white TV for my very own, and all I could get on it were PBS and the local ABC affiliate, all fuzzy, and I'd stay up late when I couldn't get to sleep, which was most of the time, and watch old movies on PBS.

I don't where this is going. Except! It bugs me to heck that all the sequels make it sound as though Nick Charles is the Thin Man, when it was actually one of the other characters in the original movie that was the Thin Man. Dang it!

Not that I'm, you know, neurotic enough to care. Or anything.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Oh, I'm so proud

Go Google "thighs strangle".
I think I teared up a little bit, there. It's the accomplishments in life, you know?

The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen.

I have always been a Drama Queen. I mean, it's in my blood. When I was a kid, I thought my aunt was Lucy, from "Peanuts". No really. I did. She was so totally ... Lucy. And her aunt, my Aunt Flossie? Oh, man. And her mother, Gram? Take my word for it.

But now I'm all zen. This does not compute. I think the crown is passing.

The Girl and I were eating lunch the other day--and I had to sit next to her, mind you, not across from her but NEXT to her so that she could lean over now and then and grab my arm and rest her head on my shoulder and sigh with the most excruciatingly adorable sighs you've ever heard. Her imaginary friends (who are real friends from school but just aren't, you know, here) sat across from us. She looked up, looked at them, looked at me, and made these huge pouty lips, closed her eyes, and shook her head from side to side: "Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm, mmmm, mmmm!!!"

"Oh boy," I murmered. "SOMEbody's a Drama Queen."

Her eyes flew open. "NO Mama! I not Drama Queen. Dat's a bad guy."

"Ohhhh, I see," I laughed, running my fingers through her hair, "Drama Queen the Bad Guy."


Sunday, February 19, 2006


I love listening to the kids, even when they're being quarrelsome or naughty. I hope they grow up to be the type of brother and sister who like each other, who keep in touch. It's such a mystery to me, this state of not being the only one. Somewhere, I have sisters. A brother too, perhaps. I wonder, sometimes, if I'd know them if we met. Would there be something in the eyes, the shape of our faces, our walks? Do they know about me? Do they like each other?


Friday, February 17, 2006


Some ... complications have come up with the closing on the new house. We have had to put it off until Tuesday.

And yet I am most definitely not stressing out. This is where I get to put my money where my metaphysical mouth is and affirm that every transaction takes place at the right time, in perfect harmony and for the good of all involved. Divine abundance is in place and there is supply for every demand.

I never did tell y'all what was going on with my uncle, did I? My mother's brother was a favorite of mine when I was a child, but we grew apart after my mother remarried. At one point, he let my mother down, in my view, and as an adult I found him to be rather distant and, well, republican. But last November, just before my birthday, we got a call that he was going to have open-heart surgery the next day. He had a pulmonary embolism and had a history of heart problems. "Today's a lousy day," he told my mother over the phone, "but tomorrow will be better."

The next day we got a call from my aunt. The surgery had not had the outcome they'd hoped for. The doctors had put my uncle in a medically induced coma because after the surgery, the pressure in the right side of his heart was too elevated. They were using a machine to function for that side of his heart and needed him to stay unconscious to buy time, a few days during which they hoped his heart would heal. They would have to take him off the machine before they could close him up; if they took him off and his heart still wasn't working properly, they could do nothing else. Everyone was grim. They wanted my mother to come out to Atlanta.

She was the only one who refused to believe that he was going to die. And he didn't die. He was in a coma for a week, but he made it. Not only that, he's now home, nearly done with therapy, and suffers only some vision problems related to the ordeal. The hospital in Atlanta, I've been told, calls him Lazarus. Since then, he's called me twice. He seems to be a different man. When he talks with me, there is a warmth I don't recall having heard for years. I guess a miraculous recovery will do that for you.

I know how fortunate he was, how fortunate our family was and is, and how things can turn around no matter the odds. So I'm certainly not going to get in a sweat over four walls and a roof. I don't mean that to sound simplistic or glib. Life is full of fear and uncertainty, I just see no reason to pile on more.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


There it is.

Yesterday I had a date. With my Boy. He got all dressed up; I wore jeans. I offered to put on lipstick, but he said it would make me look awful. "You should just go as you are, Mama."

That's my kinda guy.

First, he gave me chocolates. Then we went to dinner at a local cafe and had sandwiches in front of the fireplace. Then we went to see "Nanny McPhee" (which was absolutely darling, btw--plus who doesn't want to spend a date gazing at Collin Firth?). All in all, a very satisfying rendezvous.

Monday, February 13, 2006

But where's the bad stuff?

I saw this over at Phantom's and made one on a whim. But there aren't really any ... erm ... negative traits on the board. Don't you need some negative traits? Or maybe no one would have the balls to pick those? What the heck, you guys can tell me my negative traits whenever you want, anyhow.

I see the moon

It's the Snow Moon. Tonight it surprised me as I dropped off the Girl at her father's. As we got out of the car, there it was, glowing round and orange just above the skyline.

"Look!" I whispered to her. "Do you see the moon?"

I have a memory from when I was her age. My grandmother and I had been to my great-aunt's house a block away. We walked home as the sun set, and as we reached the house, my mother was waiting for us out front. She took me in her arms and turned me around to face the eastern horizon.

"Look!" she said. "Look at the moon!"

I know what I remember is an impossibility, but here's what I see: The Moon, orange and round, hanging halfway above the horizon like a giant from some science-fiction novel. So big, it looked as though it was about to collide with the Earth. It stretched completely across the horizon. I'd never seen anything so huge or unearthly, so incredible. I wasn't afraid. I was in awe. I'm still in awe of that moon. I wonder if it will ever return, whether one day my children will tell me that it visited them, too. I hope so. My life would be less without it.

Talking Girl

A continuation. It's Strawberry Shortcake's world, I'm just living in it.

this is an audio post - click to play

Singing Girl

If you aren't into adorable preschoolers, skip this one.
What's all that extraneous background noise, you might wonder? Popcorn. Being eaten with a spoon. Not by me.
You hear that sad voice? That is one sad voice. Is it any wonder she gets away with shite?

this is an audio post - click to play

Sunday, February 12, 2006

So much big

That's what the Girl said when I observed how big she was getting. "Yesss," she murmered, in that lispy preschooler way, "So much big!"

I start my new job tomorrow. My new job which I am sure not to blog about, just as I never blogged about my last job. Except I will say this: My first assignment, according to my new manager? "Sleep in late."

Can I tell you how much I'm going to love this job?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Somehow, I knew it was gonna be phlegm

As seen over at Holly's, home of the Croc-Loving Child:

You Have a Phlegmatic Temperament
Mild mannered and laid back, you take life at a slow pace.You are very consistent - both in emotions and actions.You tend to absorb set backs easily. You are cool and collected.
It is difficult to offend you. You can remain composed and unemotional.You are a great friend and lover. You don't demand much of others.While you are quiet, you have a subtle wit that your friends know well.
At your worst, you are lazy and unwilling to work at anything.You often get stuck in a rut, without aspirations or dreams.You can get too dependent on others, setting yourself up for abandonment.

And the funny thing? I really did know it would turn out this way. Man, I am SUCH a SBFH.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The things you hear...

Scene: The dinner table
Players: The Boy, the Girl, PK
PK: Gigi, eat your turkey. B...
B: [looking up] Yeah, Mama?
PK: B. Honey. Why do you have a rubber band around your head?
B: It's cutting off the insulation!
PK: Oh. Well, then.

Scene: The phone
Players: Old Dear Friend, PK
[Edited to add disclaimer: We are both mostly JOKING in this conversation! Because my friends and me? We give each other shit. A lot.]
PK: So the Girl threw a total hissy today because I put her in pants to go to church. She totally freaked. "We wear DRESSES TO CHUUUUUURCH!!!" I don't know where that came from.
ODF: Well, I guess she isn't going to be a lesbian.
PK: !!What?!
ODF: [giggling a little] You know, if she likes dresses.
PK: I can't believe you just said that! Like lesbians can't like dresses?!
ODF: Well...
PK: I mean, that's such a ... that's so ... that's a completely sexist comment!
ODF: I suppose so, but...
PK: And Hey! You're a lesbian!
ODF: I know. And I hate dresses.
PK: [really just teasing her now] Yeah, but, it's still sexist. You're like, the Sexist Lesbian. That can't be right.
ODF: [sighing] Okay, okay. I'm sorry.
PK: Well, you should be, Missy!
ODF: (I still like suits better.)

Scene: The park
Players: Boy, Girl, the Chicita (the Chica's girl)
C: Gigi! You are a chicken dish!
B: You are roast beef!

Scene: The office
Players: PK, the Chica, Really Sweet Doe-Eyed Intern
PK: [to RSDEI] You want anything from the Donut Haus?
RSDEI: [with a little gasp] The DONUT HAUS?
C: Mm-hmm.
RSDEI: There's a DONUT HAUS? A haus of donuts??
PK: Oy yah, baby.
RSDEI: [as if seeing the face of God] Oh my gosh! That's so ... awesome.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Winter:1, Discontent:0

I'm not sure how it happened. I guess it must have been a gradual process, but it seems so sudden.

I am in love with winter.

I have never liked winter. I was born Down South! I've spent cumulative years walking all hunched over and muttering under my foggy breath! Okay, so winter and I had a sort of a truce going last year, but this year it's all-out adoration. I'm not even bothered by the wind. And I tell you what, I hate me some wind. I am in love with my sweaters, my down duvet, the boho furry collar on my brown coat, the grey skies, the early pink sunsets, the icy lakes, the frosty grass, the cold stars, the hot coffee.

The Boy's school is participating in a February "fitness challenge", and we're supposed to keep a record of how many minutes a day he spends in physical activity outside of school. I've set aside an hour after he gets off the bus (at 4:00) to spend doing some sort of activity--mostly running around in one of the nearby parks. We've chased each other up and down the crisp hills, laughed at the noisy flocks of geese, muddied up several pairs of Crocs, and warmed up frozen hands in the car on the way home. And I've loved it. And I honestly can't say why this sudden change of heart.

I'm going off the Lexapro. I'm going slow. I cut down to 3/4 of a pill when I refilled my script last week. The first few days were interesting--lots of night sweats, dry mouth, nausea, and this interesting shouldn'ta-had-that-5th-cuppa-coffee feeling. But emotionally, I felt fine, even with all the juggling going on around here and some Ex-related drama that I don't feel like detailing. In a few weeks, I'll go to 1/2 a pill. I close on the new house on the 17th, and start the new job on Monday. I think it's going to be fine. I'm optimistic. You know how it is when you're in love.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Terms of Endearment

I realized something tonight, as I hung up from talking with my friend Sally. (Who, by the way, can stage a house like nobody's business. If you're from around here and you ever want your house to kick. ass? You call me and I'll tell you how to get hold of Sally. Plus? She spent two nights over here staging the hell out of the place and drinking wine and looking up our horriscopes on the Internet, and she didn't charge me a red cent. She's a Goddess.)

So, this was the end of the conversation:
Me: Okay, sweets, have a good night.
Her: Talk to you soon, my love.
Me: K, bye hon.

Maybe it's because I'm from the south originally? I don't know. But there it is: I'm a sweetheart-er. A honey-er. A sugarpie-er. And the majority of my friends are, if not also confectionary talkers, nicknamers. Jeannie always calls her close friends by either their last name or their initials. The Chica...well, okay, let's not use the Chica as an example cause we just have the psychic bond at this point and don't even talk, we just do that beginning a sentence and then nodding at the other person thing. But my conversations and even emails with friends are well-seasoned with hons and darlin's and sweets and sugars. And the kids! Depending on the moment, either of them could end up being my punkin, bean, sweetpea, butter, suggie, hon, lovey, darlin, doll, bunny, or pie. Is it any wonder I need to get more exercise?


More blogroll work. I've added some new people that are just awesome, too: Tessa and AJWP--both have ways with words that leave me green, but hey, green looks good on me.


Remember that little fluffball of a kitten that we got back in August? The teeny, tiny, Yoda-eared bitty kitty?

Guess who turns out to be a Maine Coon?

My lord, you should see the size of her. It's like Attack of the 50-Foot Cat. She isn't yet a year old and she's nearly as big as our Big Marshmallow Psycho Kitty Cat, that 16-pound fluff bucket who always gets a double-take when new folks walk in the door. I guess we are just not destined to do petite around here.